Hair and Skincare Abroad

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Here’s one other thing no one tells you about living abroad – your skin and your hair will NOT thank you for it! Your skin and hair are both used to the water you’ve been using, so when you move abroad many people experience problems in these areas.

When I lived in Japan, my skin was pretty happy, but my hair was curly because it just couldn’t cope. Seeing my strong, straight hair today, it’s hard to imagine how my hair used to be, but it’s really surprising how much a change in water can change how you look. Like I said, my skin was happy and I didn’t have too much acne but in Japan it’s really hard to find a face soap that doesn’t contain skin whitener. Once I found a brand I could trust, everything was smooth sailing from there.

In Germany, my hair is a little worse than it should be but my skin isn’t happy at all. I have terrible acne here that I just can’t get rid of. I’ve been on the Nutregina course for about a month now and it’s made a littttle difference, but not cleared up the problem all together. I’m considering using bottled water to wash my face with…

With hair, it’s so much easier now I have short hair. When I had long hair I used to spend a great deal of money on expensive shampoos and conditoners. Now I use a lot of organic stuff, and it seems to work.

Even in the week that I was in Turkey, my skin wasn’t happy at all. I became more spotty than I’ve been in years while I was there (perhaps a sign that I shouldn’t move there after all???)

Fellow expats! When you’ve lived abroad, did you have trouble with your skin and hair? If so, how did you tackle the problems?

Friday Letters 11/10/13

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Dear Autumn food, keep it up. You’re doing a great job. Especially you, Butternut Squash. Excellent soups.

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Dear Germany, I may get angry at your crappy graffiti, but I do love your massive art projects that we can see everywhere. It’s like a treasure hunt to try and find them.

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Dear German trains, why do you attach a carriage when none of the doors work? What’s the point?

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Dear Samsung Note Mobile, your predictive word texts are hilarious. My new favourite thing is typing a word then using the predictive words that come after it to make random sentences. Such fun.

LINKIES!

My fellow Germany blogger Steven went to a SUPER COOL restaurant that has a rollercoaster running through it delivering your food! It reminds me of the sushi restaurants in Japan that would serve you your orders by tiny bullet trains.

A supermarket employee in Japan has been turning the lumps of minced beef into anime characters. The sonic one is my favourite.

After reading this post on breakfast and how it can affect you, I’m thinking of switching up my breakfast habits…I usually have toast with avocado or tomatoes on it. I know, a weird breakfast choice…

I really enjoyed this post from Expat Lingo about what sounds to be a very complicated new building in Hong Kong. It reminded me of this post my friend Stephen at Sparrow and Dove wrote about the escalators in the Frankfurt shopping centre My Zeil.

Some students in America tried to have a racial bake sale – where white men pay the most. I can see what they were trying to do but I’m not sure this was a good idea…

Video of the week is from this German beauty tuber I found. I don’t know what it is about her but I can’t stop watching. She’s just frickin’ adorable. And great for learning German! I watched one of her videos and then ended up spending 60 euros in DM… eep…

Product of the Month/Not Product of the Month Feb

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I had said a week ago to a blogging friend that I would stop doing beauty posts because they are not usually as popular as other ones I do, but you know what? I like doing beauty posts. So I think the monthly product of the month/not product of the month will be fine!

Product of the month is Olay’s Regenerist Regenerating Serum. I got a free sample… but I can’t remember where from. The back is in German so maybe I got it at Douglas? Anyway, I put this on at night after I’ve washed my face etc and in the morning my skin is noticeably softer and fresher. The full priced product is… an ok price. I’m not sure I’d pay out 20+ for something I don’t particularly NEED… but I would do in a few years’ time when I enter wrinkle city.

Not the product of the month is the So Susan lip cushion that I got with a JolieBox a while back. It’s a lip balm, that smells like a strawberry beauty product aimed at a 12 year old, but you try to put your finger in it to get some product and barely anything comes off. I just tried to go to their website to see how much it costs and their website is ridiculously hard to use and looks like no one is checking to see if it actually works or not. Sad faces all round.

If you’ve tried either of these products, I’d like to hear from you!

Face Mask Sunday 03.02.13

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Last night was the Anatomicals “Greece isn’t the word” face mask, which apparently cuts grease.

When I put it on, well, the colour was slightly off putting. And it kind of stung my skin a little. And afterwards and this morning, I saw zero change to my skin.

I still have half a pack of this left… :(

I don’t think I’ll be buying stuff from this brand again… though I appreciate their creativity…

Sunday Night Face Mask

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When I was in Paris, the lady doing my eyebrows said to me that I have terrible skin and should start using face masks. So, I’m going to try to do one every Sunday night!

My mask last night was the Iroha Magic Day Nourishing Facial Mask. It’s a pretty big pack, and I think I have at least 3 more applications in there. The scent is LOVELY, like honey. It happily sat on my skin for 20 mins then was pretty easy to wash off. This morning my skin isn’t exactly softer, but it feels… plumper (?) like more nourished. Perhaps that’s just me imagining it…

Like I said, I don’t usually use masks so I have nothing to compare it to. But In a few weeks hopefully I’ll be able to see how good this is in comparison to other masks.

Do you have a favourite face mask?

Holiday Beauty

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Holidays in winter give a great chance to bring out products that get neglected during the colder months. Here is a short list of the things I used when I was away in India:

The Body Shop Banana shampoo and conditioner

I LOVE LOVE these. They certainly do not get neglected even when I’m back in Frankfurt as these Body Shop beauties keep my hair SO shiny. I’m tempted to say that they are the best shampoo/conditioner combo I’ve ever used. I know a lot of people dislike bananas but they don’t smell so much of bananas… I’d say more of a honey smell. Certainly after washing, the only scent left over is the honey one.

Ritessens Gommage Visage Teint d’Eclat

This creamy exfoliating face wash is very creamy and rich yet contains a small amount of beads to exfoliate the skin. Usually this is a little too creamy to use at home and it just makes my skin a little dull looking. However, on holiday with my sun kissed (read – lobster red) face it’s a welcome drink for my skin, with a small amount of exfoliation to get those pesky bits of skin away. The scent is also very exotic which made it fit perfectly with the location. I got this in a JolieBox in December.

Jergens Original Beauty Lotion

Another product which is too rich to use at home. I’ve been using this for a little while now and it’s a pretty thick moisturising lotion for the body. The scent is a tiny bit sweet for me – I think it’s the almond in it. But again, this was perfect for the days when I got a little too much sun.

Lancaster After Sun Tan Maximizer

I got this in a beauty box so it was only a little sample. I used this on my face in the evening, and it’s kept my tan nice throughout without letting it flake away. I wouldn’t say it was any better than a normal moisturiser, though.

(Not shown) Eau Thermale Avene 50+ Sun Cream

This was a medium sample that I got last year… perhaps in a GlossyBox. It was just the right size to last me all week, and it was very good at protecting my skin. It says that it is “very water resistant” and after a dip in the sea, it still was good on my skin. The only places I got burnt were places I couldn’t reach by myself.

Has anyone else used any of these products? Let me know what you think!

 

Product of the month/Not the product of the month Dec-Jan

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I’m late with this, this time round. What with all the excitement, I forgot to do this post this month. But here it is.

Product of the month goes to – Moa The Green Balm.

I got it from a Joliebox a few months ago and was skeptical, especially as the tub is so small. But I used it on my face when I had skin problems, or when a spot was 70% healed and needed that last little boost. It’s really good and speeds up the healing process so much. When I was in Paris I forgot to take it with me and I really really missed it. The only downside to it is that it’s slightly greasy, so I have to make sure I use it at night, or at times when I don’t have to put makeup on top of it.

You can buy The Green Balm from Moa’s website HERE.

Not the product of the month goes to – Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray.

I bought this in Sephora as I’d heard of the brand but didn’t even know where to start with what I should try out from them. All of their products are ridiculously expensive – I don’t think I saw anything less than 20, maybe 25 euros – and so I expected a lot from them. As it was Sephora, a salesman came round to bug me and I asked him what he’d recommend for my thin, boring hair. He suggested this spray (but before he made his decision he asked me – rather curiously – “do you do lots of brushing with your hair?”) He said that it’s not only a thickening spray but also a protection spray, too. I’ve been using it to blowdry my hair with for about 3 weeks now, and I can say it’s made no noticeable difference. As a protection spray, it’s hard to judge how well it works, but I have a much cheaper spray that does that, so I was covered in that area.

I’m not taking it away on holiday with me, so maybe I’ll miss it and realise that it really was making a difference, but to be honest, I doubt it. 25 euros for a medium bottle of spray and I expect a lot, lot more.

Have you tried either of these products? I’d love to hear your opinions!

Product of the Month/Not the Product of the Month November

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So with all the excitement of recent weeks, I forgot to do this post at the end of November! Whoops!

The product of the month November is L’Oreal Ever Pure Shampoo.

I got this in my first ever GlossyBox, and the combo I was using made my hair really super nice. But I thought it was the hair mask that was making my hair like that. It was only when the mask ran out and I used this shampoo with other conditioners and masks that I realised that it was the shampoo that was making my hair so great. If you have a nice mask or conditioner, this shampoo will improve the effects of that product improve so much. I don’t know what it is about this shampoo but it is amazing. AND it lasted ages. I got this in May and I just finished it a week or so ago. I will buy this again for sure.

NOT the product of the month is Syoss Volume Powder.

Syoss is the German brand name for Tresemme, so I know the brand well. It seems to be a bit cheaper than the Tresemme products in the UK, too. You shake the powder onto your hair for volume… but it makes your hair sticky like it has gunk in it… and it smells SO BAD. Like old damp towels. I use it very occasionally, when my hair is really bad. But I always spray it with other things after to take the smell away. It makes me want to gag.

Here are some bonus photos of the weather today! Snowy Germany!

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Products I’m Not So Sure About…

 

So here are some products that I’ve bought but I just don’t know whether I like them or not. The jury is still out on them. Maybe if you guys out there are using the same products, you can share your opinions, and help me decide if I like them or not!

The first is this Jergens Original Beauty Lotion, in cherry-almond scent. I bought this when I was back home, because one of the beauty bloggers was raving about it. The smell is nice (though very sweet – not for everyone, that’s for sure), but I don’t see any difference to my skin when I put it on. My skin isn’t softer, and the scent goes away after 10 mins or so. I don’t see the point, really. But maybe I’m missing something here?

 

This duo of That Gal Brightening Face Primer and Hello Flawless Oxygen Glow. I’m not a fan of Benefit products… I find them so thick and gunky. Like piling plastic onto my face. But I was in a rush and I needed something new (and someone to spruce up my makeup before an after-work coffee) so I bought these two that the woman had used on me.

I like them because they do give a pretty flawless coverage. They also last most of the day. I don’t like them because it’s just so heavy and fake. I’ve only used it a handful of times, so I guess I just need to get used to that kind of look.

 

This Redkin Protective Straightening Lotion isn’t something I bought, but I got it in a JollieBox a few months ago. You’re meant to put it in your hair and then blowdry as normal for gorgeous straight hair.

I don’t straighten my hair, ever. I like to have some volume so I like to keep it a little fluffy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want nice smooth hair. It made my hair a little heavier, but it’s not that sleek. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong…

Have you every tried any of these products? Let me know if you have!

Oct/Nov Empties!

It’s that time again, kiddies! Empties!! I have a lot more than normal this month – or at least, my box filled up a lot quicker. Before it overflows, I’d better do a post!!

First up is this Fekkai Protein Rx shampoo and conditioner. I bought these from Douglas almost a year ago, when I had really horrible hair and I wanted something to tame it. These cost something like 20 euros each, which is ridiculous money. They are good products, but I just don’t think they are worth the price tag, and I don’t think they made a difference to my hair at all. The smell is pretty nice, though… a kind of sweet marshmallow smell.

Next up is Clearasil Ultra. I bought this a looooong time ago as well. Mainly because I needed a face wash and it had English on it so I knew what to do with it. I used it as a mask (you can also use it as a wash) about twice a week, and my face was always really soft afterwards. Did it help combat spots? I don’t think so. My spots are usually hormone or stress related so nothing like this can help me. I’d buy it again, though.

Lancome Teint Miracle foundation was the first super expensive makeup I ever bought. At around 30 euros, I thought I’d spend out just once to see how these expensive things work. This does work really well, and covered up any marks on my face. It did last longer than most foundations, but not until the end of the day. It made my skin look good, but nothing miraculous, I think. I’d like to try a load of other, cheaper foundations, but I may come back to this one… maybe around bonus time…

I was given a tint weeny tube of Clarins Fluide Hydrantant Matifiant when I bought another Clarins product. Despite being tiny, it lasted at least a week. I think it’s one of those moisturisers that make you break out before they start working, because this made my skin pretty bad. I think I’ll stick to my rose moisturisers.

Rimmel Sexy Curves mascara is something I’ve blogged about before. I liked it. I think it’s not perfect by itself, but it’s pretty good. I used it on my Japanese flatmate and it made her Asian eyes so pretty. I’d buy it again, once I’m all out of the ones I have right now.

Garnier Mineral UltraDry deodorant. I am a lady who… perspires… more than most. I go through lots of brands of deodorant to find the strongest ones – and this would be one of them. It was pretty good. Even on days when I went to the gym, I wasn’t that smelly. The only complaint I’d have is that it didn’t seem to contain much, and it ran out within a few weeks. I’d buy it again, though.

Have you tried any of these products? If so, let me know!