Green Glam – Favorite Non-Toxic Beauty Brands (EN)

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Like most people I find products appealing when they are described with the words: “organic”, “all natural”, “healthy” or “infused with natural essences”. However, when it comes to beauty products I have been disappointed so many times either because the ingredients don’t live up to its promise or the ingredients are indeed very natural but the product itself was not appealing or simply not performing….
I don’t just want green but green glam!
Having said that below are my current three favorite organic beauty brands (green heros) which I truly adore. These products are not only organic but do also perform. All three lines are absolutely contemporary and mirror the philosophy of the founders who wanted to create something non-toxic but with no compromises on performance or design.

RMS Beauty: The first time I heard about this brand was because of their cult product “living luminizer”. A beautiful sheer and glowing highlighter with a satin-pearl finish. The best about it that it only contains five ingredients: castor seed oil, coconut oil, beeswax, rosemary extract, and mica. For me the whole product/color range is beautiful and elegant as created by a professional makeup artist Rose-Marie Swift.
http://www.rmsbeauty.com

Kjaer Weis: another very luxury organic makeup brand that was created by a professional makeup artist. All products are encased in a high-end metal packaging which are designed to be refillable. The color selection is stunning and I do especially like the cheek colors/cream blushes and the lip tints from this line.
https://kjaerweis.com

ILIA Beauty:  started their business back in 2011 with a collection of 6 tinted lip conditioners ILIA Beauty is my absolute favorite organic beauty brand because of its gorgeous lip products, color selection and great performance.  I truly like everything in this line. You simply need to try!
https://iliabeauty.com

Since I have been talking about beauty brands, I thought I also put a nail polish brand into this round.
Zoya: I guess a nail polish can not be entirely natural but the nail polishes from Zoya won’t contain toxic ingredients as toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and dibutyl phthalate. For me Zoya polishes definitely perform as good as other mainstream brands and the color selection is amazing.
http://www.zoya.com

 

 

Products shown on the pictures (RMS/Lip Shine “sacred”,Kjaer Weis/Highlighter, ILIA/Multi-stick “Tenderly”)

posted by Meng

 

“Frozen”…Winter Skincare (EN)

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While Jule is experiencing her first “winter” (and she is lucky because this one is so mild … except for blizzard Jonas) in NYC for me it’s the second. My first winter here was brutal! I was literally shock frozen mentally and physically by how extremely cold and windy it can get. It was a torture for the skin! Dry patches on my face, cracked lips and chapped hands…I guess like most of us when the weather conditions are harsh.

Anyway…below are some of my favorite winter skincare products.

Face:
I don’t have many specific face creams that I would only use in the winter. Most of the time I would simply add two products into my routine.  A base before my moisturizer and a face oil when I feel that my moisturizer becomes to lightweight in the colder months (you can do the same with body creams by adding oil).

SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel: My base. I love this clean and simple product with it’s key ingredient hyaluronic acid which helps to bind moisture to the skin. In addition, this product is enriched with vitamin B5 which suppose to maximize the benefit of the daily moisturizer. My skin feels heavenly hydrated after the application. However, this product does not replace a moisturizer!!
http://www.skinceuticals.com

Fresh Seaberry Moisturizing Face Oil: Face oils. I truly think that everyone should have one! You just have to find the right one depending on your skin type. My current favorite is the Seaberry face oil. It’s super lightweight and a pure blend of some very good antioxidant-rich oils. It absorbs quickly into the skin without feeling greasy. I use this alone in the night or mixed it in to a moisturizer (1-2 drops) in the morning. Seaberry in the name refers to sea buckthorn oil which has been knowing for its healing property e.g. in the Chinese medicine for a long time.
https://www.fresh.com/US/serum/seaberry-moisturizing-face-oil/h00002664.html/H00002664.html

General advise: Try to use a gentler cleanser that is more hydrating (e.g cleansing milk or oil) rather than using cleanser with a foam formulation.

Hands:
Dr. Hauschka Hydrating Hand Cream:
 I haven’t quite found the ultimate perfect hand cream for very harsh winter conditions which is very nourishing but not greasy and only contains good ingredients (no silicones, no parabens or paraffin based). However, this one from Dr. Hauschka is a great one. It has a nice rich texture without being too thick and absorbs quickly into the skin. The scent is very herbal which might not be everyone’s cup of tea.
https://www.dr.hauschka.com/en_US/natural-skin-care-products/hydrating-hand-cream/

Lips:
Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm: Definitely one of my favorite lip balms especially for the colder months. When you tend to have dry and cracked lips try this one. It contains a lot of great ingredients e.g. shea butter, almond oil, honey derivates. The texture is thick but not sticky. The lips will feel hydrated and nourished right after the application. The finish is surprisingly more matt and not glossy. One cons: not a fan of the jar packaging.
https://us.nuxe.com/

Weleda Cold Cream:  This cream was my life saver during my last winter. I would use it for face and hands when I didn’t had time to fuss around. It can be used alone or on the top of your moisturizer depending on your needs. An allround product which is ideal if you don’t want to add x, y and z products to your daily routine.
Conventional moisturizers usually combine waxes with water and oils. The wax would help to seal moisture in the skin. This cold cream is enriched with almond oil to nourish the skin and it contains beeswax to seal the moisture. I love the natural ingredients (free of petroleum). An all time favorite.
http://usa.weleda.com/our-products/shop/cold-cream.aspx

I also want to quickly add Jule’s and Bo’s favorite product for outdoor in the colder months:
Weleda Wind und Wetterbalsam: the prove that if something is good for baby skin it can not be wrong for mommy’s skin as well. A product that is well know in Germany but unfortunately not available in the US.
http://www.weleda.de/produkt/c/calendula-wind-und-wetterbalsam

Please let me know if you have any winter skincare holy grails!

posted by Meng

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bye Bye Undereye (EN)

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As a parent sleeping in does not happen very often…
Two options on days where I am tired or look tired (could be both): wearing sunglasses or pulling my friend concealer out of the drawer. Well in December those days where I could wear sunglasses are quite limited…so its time to get more use of my concealer collection.

A good concealer should do two things:

  • Covering the undereye circles and highlighting this area. For this purpose the concealer is ideally one skin tone lighter than your skin tone.
  • Covering redness and blemishes. In that case a concealer should match your skin tone.

Below are some great options (and NO you don’t have to own more than one concealer like me):

Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer  is a high coverage concealer which was my favorite for a long time. The texture is more firm and sticky and that is why I don’t like to use it for the undereye area or to highlight. However it’s ideal for covering up redness and blemishes due to its consistency. With this product using a setting powder is key otherwise it might not stay in place.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer is a product that lives up to the hype. It’s a medium to high coverage concealer with a soft creamy texture. It can be easily blended into the skin and you will have a beautiful radiant/luminous finish (satin-matte). This concealer is extremely long-wearing and  won’t crease into fine lines. It can be used for the undereye area but also to cover blemishes. My current favorite of all favorites. However, I would not recommend this product to people with very dry skin as it tends to be a little bit drying.

Mac Pro Longwear Concealer is a reliable classic you can always reach for. If you have dark undereye circles or many blemishes to cover, this is the product to buy. It is a high coverage concealer with a matte finish which will cover everything you wish to cover.  However keep in mind that most of the high coverage concealers tend to look heavy. Therefore they might not be ideal for everyday use.

Urban Decay Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer a quite newly launched concealer with a high-tech formula making this product truly ultra lightweight. It would also not crease in the fine lines and is very easy to blend. A medium to high coverage with semi-matte finish. This product also contains some skincare ingredients making it even more perfect.

Drugstore Options: In case you don’t want to spend 20-30Usd for a concealer below is one of my favorite drugstore products:

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is known to be the more affordable version “dupe”of the NARS radiant creamy concealer in the beauty community. Well I don’t really agree with this. Yes, the packagings are very similar and it’s a great concealer for the price point but it’s not an exact dupe in terms of texture and finish. However, it is a great concealer who will do a good job. The coverage is light to medium with a nice soft-matte finish.

General advise: before applying a concealer, prep the eye area with a good moisturizer and set the concealer with a powder to lock the product in place.

Hope this will be helpful in finding the right concealer. Have a great Christmas season and looking fabulous!

posted by Meng

 

Favorite Beauty Products for Fall (EN)

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Let’s be real, most of the time I am not wearing any make-up or very minimal. BUT when I have the occasion and time I prefer to have a bit of selection what to use. Here are some of my favorites for Fall.

Moisturizer: Dr. Hauschka Rose Day Cream I have repurchased this product at least 5 times. Perfect for colder weather as it keeps my dry skin hydrated. If you have combo or oily skin try the light version.
http://www.dr.hauschka.com/en_US/natural-skin-care-products/rose-day-cream/

Base: Bourjois CC Cream (33 Beige) Much more hydrating than the usual foundations. That is why I like this CC Cream for the colder season. It’s easy to use and gives me very decent coverage. Very reasonable price point for a great quality product.
(Unfortunately only available in UK drugstores, get it online e.g. via asos)
http://www.bourjois.co.uk/catalog/make_up/complexion/foundation/123_perfect_cc_cream

Eye liner: Mac Pro Longwear Eye Liner (Powerline) A deep and intense liner in plum which doesn’t look harsh as a black liner. The formula is truly smudge-proof and long-wearing.

Concealer: Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer (Light/Neutral) I always need a concealer to look awake and this one does a perfect job. Great coverage, extremely lightweight and it won’t crease in the fine lines.
http://www.urbandecay.com/naked-skin-weightless-complete-coverage-concealer-by-urban-decay/503.html

Eyeshadow: Tom Ford Eye Color Quad (13 Orchid Haze) I adore Tom Ford eyeshadows in general. They are all buttery soft and super easy to blend. The berry/taupe colors of this quad are perfect for fall. Very up in price but worth it for a beauty addict like me.
http://www.tomford.com/eye-color-quad/T0T9.html

Bronzer: Benefit (Hoola) I am getting pale and paler. This bronzer is just perfect to warm up the complexion.
https://www.benefitcosmetics.com/product/view/hoola

Blush: NARS (Deep Throat)  The name of this blush is slightly irritating (sexual) like most of NARS’ names for their blushes. But I don’t mind! For me NARS makes the best blushes with the silky soft and long-wearing formular. Deep Throat is the perfect mix of coral and pink with a golden shimmer-sheen.
http://www.narscosmetics.com/USA/deep-throat-blush/0607845040163.html#start=11

Lipstick: MAC lustre finish (Plumful) Lustre Finish is my favorite finish of all MAC lipsticks. Its on the sheer and glossy side and not drying. The name Plumful perfectly describes this lipstick and it gives me the perfect pop of color without looking overdone.

Nail Polishes: Essie (Chinchilly) and H&M (Plum Fool) I have to rave about the H&M nail polishes. When it comes to nail polishes I am really boring and would stick to two brands: OPI and Essie. However, H&M has just recently launched a huge cosmetic collection in the US and I was really drawn into the nail polishes because of the color selection. Let me tell you I am more than impressed with the quality. Great coverage, not streaky at all and so easy to apply due to the great brush.

posted by Meng

My Current Beauty Essentials … 10mins Getting Ready in the Morning (EN)

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The first 6 months after Philipp was born I was not wearing any make up most of the time. Every single so precious minute I would spend with catching up some sleep. So it was me with my bare face and dark under eye circles. When Philipp was 10 months old, I went back to work and I started to put on make up on a daily basis again. Simply because I wanted to look put together. Now with Philipp being a toddler, I have really started to enjoy playing with make up again… the OBSESSION is back!  As we are all in a rush in the morning… let me share some of my current beauty essentials when I don’t have much time.

Sunscreen: SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50. The best, I have been looking for a sunscreen I could use alone or as a base for foundation for a very long time. Most of the sunscreens I have tried were heavy or sticky (or both).  But this one is very lightweight, not sticky. It is also slightly tinted and would not leave me with a white cast on the face. Just Perfection!
http://www.skinceuticals.com

Base: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 (Nude) This step I would skip when I am really in the rush… however this iconic tinted moisturizer has a very light coverage. It makes my skin still looks like skin and keeps my dry skin hydrated. But if you need more coverage I would not recommend this one.
http://www.lauramercier.com/award-winners/tinted-moisturizer-broad-spectrum-spf-20-sunscreen-prod210061.html#cgid=cat32002-1&start=1

Concealer: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (NW 15) Another iconic product in my routine and I truly understand the hype around this product. Great coverage, long-wearing and it won’t crease!
http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/13844/10181/Products/Makeup/Face/Concealer/Pro-Longwear-Concealer

Blush: BECCA Mineral Blush (Damselfly) A peachy pink with a hint of golden highlights. I love love BECCA blushes in general because they are very pigmented and long-wearing. The hint of golden highlights will give your cheeks the perfect glow.
http://www.beccacosmetics.com/us/store/cheeks/blush/mineral-blush/

Eye shadow: MAC own customized Quad (Soft Brown, Wedge, ORB, Satin Taupe) This step I would also skip if I don’t have much time. However, I love to use ORB as an overall color for the whole eye area and Wedge to put on my crease (to create a crease). I like MAC eye shadows but I think there are better ones in the market.

Eye Pencil: Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Eye Pencil (4 Black) For a day time look I prefer an eye pencil over a liquid liner as it looks more natural.  I love this eye pencil because its very soft, easy to apply and to smudge. The color is black but its not the most intense black… perfect on a daily basis.

Mascara: Clinique Lash Power Mascara (01 Black) This mascara I have been using for years and years. I won’t say this mascara is the best for making the longest and prettiest eyelashes but its truly smudge-proof and cold water resistant. As far as I know Clinique is the only brand who has this unique smudge-resistant formula but in the same time it can be easily removed with warm water. Definitely one of my holy grail product.
https://www.clinique.com/product/1606/5320/Makeup/Mascara/Lash-Power-Mascara-Long-Wearing-Formula

Brow: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (Soft Brown) You need a brush (recommend the brush from Anastasia) to apply this. But I love this product since it has the perfect color for me (very cool-toned brown) and its very very long-wearing. The application can take a bit of time but if you are used to apply this on a daily basis it can be done very quickly.
http://www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com/dipbrow-pomade-waterproof-color-brow-sculp.html

Perfume: Byredo Blanche A soft, clean powdery scent. Perfect for day time and goes with everything.
http://byredo.com

posted by Meng