iHerb mega haul – part 1

Hello sweeties,

I am super super excited, because I received my first iHerb orders! I’d like to shout it out, like “ORDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS”, but this isn’t right-on, isn’t it?

ORDEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERS.

gniiihihiI needed to show you guys what I bought, because I just can’t keep it for myself, I’m too excited, I need to talk! AND SHOUT. Talk and shout. Like the song. No, not like the song. But. Sorry, this is driving me crazy. I’m losing my mind.

iHerb mega haul 1 © Wina

Tada!

maliceSo… From where should I start? Hair? Yes, hair is a nice beginning, then we will be going down to the toe. But first, some general comments :

  • iHerb is an american website that sells mostly natural products (beauty, grocery and other stuff). Not all of them are organic, but there are some.
  • The orders were sent from California and I received them, in Paris, France, in 8 days, weekend included. Couldn’t wish for a faster delivery time!
  • The items are very well packed. The bottle caps are sealed with tape, so that they don’t accidently open in the package. Plus, liquid products are packed in individual zip lock bags, which is even saffer.
  • All the products arrived in an excellent state and there was no missing.
  • I had mini-yellow highlighter pens as gifts, which is awesome for a student like me

Alright, now make some popcorn, because the list is quite consequent. And still, you’re lucky because I decided to make it in several parts… Otherwise, you would all be dead at the end of the post. So today, we’re talking about hair and face products.

iHerb mega haul 2 © Wina

Nature’s Gate, Hair Defense Shampoo, Pomegranate Sunflower, 18 fl oz (532 ml) – $5.09

My Lush Daddy-O shampoo is almost over. I decided to choose this shampoo because it’s for color-treated hair, it says that it defends “from the damaging effects of UV rays, the environment and styling”.
 It’s paraben, sodium lauryl/laureth/coco sulfate, phthalate and butylene glycol free. Cruelty free and vegan also. And if I can read the composition properly, it seems that it also is silicone and PEG free. So that’s pretty good. But even if the composition is important for me, I have to admit that I mainly took it because it’s formulated with sunflower. I mean, SUNFLOWER. I love sunflower. This is probably my favourite flower (wink wink if you want to send me a gift or something)(well ok, at least I tried).

I used it once, of course, because I just couldn’t wait for that. And it smells suuuper good. It’s a nice sweet smell of pomegranate and tea, not sickening at all. At least, you can say that yes, they didn’t lie, there are indeed pomegranate and red tea leaf in it.
About the texture, it’s fun. I find it fun anyway. It’s like a jelly. Have you ever touched aloe vera gel? Because it’s that kind of texture. It foams well, which is a good surprise, because natural shampoos have the reputation to not foam much.
In conclusion, I’m very satisfied of this buy, especially as it’s very good value.

iHerb mega haul 3 © Wina

Nature’s Gate, Chamomille Conditioner, Replenishing, 18 fl oz (532 ml) – $5.09

Conditioners are a pain. THEY END TOO QUICKLY. Grr. So I took this big bottle, so that I could be peaceful for a while. I didn’t open it yet, because I’m still using my Korres Almond & Linseed conditioner.
 Anyway, it’s supposed to “effectively conditions and replenishes weakened color-treated hair to support the vibrancy of color and highlights while improving texture”. Nice program. It’s formulated with chamomile, horsetail and rosemary. I guess the smell will be very herbal. It doesn’t bother me, as I like the scent of rosemary in cosmetics. And like the Hair Defending shampoo, this conditioner is paraben, sodium lauryl/laureth/coco sulfate, phthalate, butylene glycol, silicone and PEG free + cruelty free and vegan.

iHerb mega haul 4 © Wina

Desert Essence, Organics, Green Apple & Ginger Shampoo, 8 fl oz (237 ml) – $6.05

If you are quite interested by american beauty products, you might have heard of Desert Essence. I’ve read and heard loads of nice words about their shampoos and conditioners, so I decided to take one, but not for me. For boyfriend, because he’s in love with apple. It’s supposed to be a surprise, but I don’t think he will be reading this post, because, you know, cosmetics, girl talk and all blah. And if, however, I’m wrong :

hello
Anyway, it says it gives volume and fullness to fine, thin hair. This shampoo has organic ingredients, which is nice. It’s 100% vegan, wheat and gluten free. There’s no parabens, sodium lauryl/laureth sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances or colors, silicones, EDTA, glycol, or petroleum based ingredients. Plus, it’s cruelty free and biodegradable.

iHerb mega haul 17 © Wina

Dickinson Brands, Original Witch Hazel, Pore Perfecting Toner, 16 fl oz (473 ml) – $4.85

I like witch hazel. I like the word in english. In french, it’s less funny, “hamamélis”. Not very attractive eh? While “witch hazel” makes you feel like you put some magical thing on your face. I used to have a witch hazel hydrolate and I really liked it, so I took this Dickson Brands bottle. It’s 100% natural and there’s no animal testing. But there’s alcohol in it. I didn’t opened it yet, but after ordering it, I’ve heard that the smell was bad. I’m scared.

iHerb mega haul 6 © Wina iHerb mega haul 7 © Wina

EcoTools, Fresh & Flawless Complexion Brush Set, 5 Piece Brush Set – $13.28

When I saw that kit on the website, I was like “iiiiih neeeeeeed”. And as I’m weak, I put it in my basket. But I must say I regret nothing. I mean, I’ve never ever seen such cute brushes. The details are wonderful, it’s very esthetic. And soft! The bristles are cruelty-free and super soft, they seem to be good quality. The ferrules are made of recycled aluminum and the handles of sleek bamboo. Also, it’s a travel kit, so the brushes are smaller than standard ones. But it’s good for me, as like to be very close to the mirror when I make-up.

In the kit, there are :

  • Flat Concealer Brush : great for applying creamy or liquid concealer
  • Buffing Concealer Brush : more for powdery concealer I think. But the bristles are pretty dense, so I don’t know, maybe for blending the liquid/creamy concealer
  • Precision Foundation Brush : this brush is clearly too small for that! I don’t know what I’m going to do with that… Maybe applying my face masks
  • Complexion Blending Brush : might be nice for face powder or blush
  • Full Powder Brush : good for powder, blush, bronzer, highlighter

I didn’t test them yet, but I can’t wait for it.

iHerb mega haul 8 © Wina

Bdellium Tools, Green Bambu Series, Smoky Eyes, 5 Piece Brush Set – $22.95

Well, I took a face brushes kit, so I had to take an eye brushes kit, right? Right. Super soft synthetic bristles and bamboo handles there too. Plus, they’re green, which is cool. Hey, the look of the brushes matters a bit. Oh and you have to know that contrary to the Eco Tools kit, you can buy the brushes of the Bdellium Tools set separately if you’re not interested by the bundle.

In the set, there’s the 769B Angled Contour brush. It’s a quite dense bias cut brush. Actually, I don’t really know what I’m going to do with it. Nose highlighting maybe?

iHerb mega haul 9 © Wina iHerb mega haul 10 © Wina

781B Crease brush : a good basic brush for blending the eyeshadows or for doing the cut crease.

iHerb mega haul 11 © Wina iHerb mega haul 12 © Wina

760B Liner/Brow brush : my favourite! Even if I didn’t try any of the brushes yet. It’s my favourite because it’s the smallest eyeliner brush I’ve ever seen. It’s so cute. I’m always complaining about too thick eyeliner brushes (I mainly use cream or gel eyeliner) and I think this one will be perfect.

iHerb mega haul 13 © Wina

716B Smoky Eyeliner brush : well, I don’t know what to do with this brush neither. Probably the highlight under the eyebrows or for smudging the eyeliner line.

iHerb mega haul 14 © Wina

777B Shadow brush : a nice classical brush for applying the eyeshadows.

iHerb mega haul 15 © Wina

And last but not least for today, the Madre Bees Beeswax lip balms with vitamine E (the brand changed its name to Sierra Bees). I got them as freebies in my orders but they usually cost $0.85. I chose the Organic Mint Burst, Organic Pomegranate and Organic Honey ones.

I didn’t dare opening them yet, as I still have several lip balms that are already opened, I want to finish them first. But they seem to be great, I’ve heard good things about them. In any case, they are organic and the beeswax is USDA-Certified Organic, which is a guarantee of quality (USDA means United States Department of Agriculture for those who are not familiar with it).

iHerb mega haul 16 © Wina

That’s all for today. I think there will be 3 parts in total. Next time I’ll probably be talking about body wash and care. Meanwhile, if you are tempted to order some things on iHerb, I have something for you. If it’s your first order, here’s my coupon code :

HVL901

With that, you’ll save $5 if your purchase is under $40 and $10 if it’s of $40 and up. Feel free to tell me what you bought in your first order (and not-first order too, my never-ending wishlist is not long enough)!

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Face care routine – April 2013

Hello sweeties,

Well yes, the post title is boring. But the content is less (hopefully).

For a few years now, I do layering skin care. Layering is a japanese technique that I  discovered through Sonia’s blog and, intrigued, I started to follow this routine. The principle is to superimpose layers (whence “layering”) of products. The 3 basic gestures are cleansing, tonering, moisturizing. Then you can add specific care products and stuff. It’s not that much time taking than the usual washing-face-with-soap-and-barely-moisturizing-it and it’s a real pleasure ritual.

I’m under the impression that I know my skin better thanks to that. I have a dehydrated and sensitive combination skin. Meh. It’s super oily on the nose and as dry as desert on the cheeks. I have small imperfections, blackheads and sudden redness (in particular on the cheeks). But I’m ok with that. I never had acne, I rarely have spots and my priority is rather to have a comfortable skin than a flawless one and this is how I choose my face care products. I first want moisturizing and appeasement.

Speaking about how I choose my products, I try to favor bio. My make-up products are full of bullshit, so I try to rebalance my chakras (wut) with a healthier skin care. And when not bio, I tend to use pharmacy products (because they’re supposed to be safe for sensitive skins and not very expensive) or asian brands (because they’re great value and more adapted to my asian skin, surprise). Enough with the life talking, let’s get into the heart of the matter. face care routine 1 © WinaMorning :

  • Detoxifying cleansing foam – Etat Pur

face care routine 2 © Winaface care routine 3 © WinaIn the morning, I wake up (thank God) and after the obligatory sacred cup of tea, I wash my face with Etat Pur Detoxifying Cleansing Foam. I love cleansing foams because they’re gentle and last veeery long (I’m using this bottle since… Since… Well I can’t even tell. Probably December). In early April, it was very cold in Paris and my skin was so dry that nothing could be done about it I guess, even the Detoxifying Cleansing Foam was *aggressive* for me (I could see my skin start to peel off after each wash, ugh). In the second part of April, it did its usual perfect job.

[French readers, I already talked about it here yup yup]

  • Thermal Water – Avène

face care routine 4 © WinaObligatory step for me since I discovered that I have a dehydrated skin. It helped me a lot with the cold weather. I spray it all over my face and also on my neck, I wait that it dries a bit (but not completely), just before applying the toner. I also use it each time I spot some random redness on my face, it really calms my skin. It’s a good investment, I have the 300 mL spray and it cost me something like 8€.

  • Anduze Region Bamboo Hydrolate – Aromazone

face care routine 5 © WinaA hydrolate is a product of plants distillation.
I use that as a toner, applied with a cotton pad when my face still have some Thermal Water on it. It takes the last impurities off and start the moisturize step. I like the light smell of this hydrolate. I bought mine on Aromazone, but I guess you can find it elsewhere. It also is supposed to regulate sebum, but I didn’t see that mush difference. I guess it’s ok.

  • Sensitive skin moisturizer – Mixa

face care routine 6 © Wina Cheap, efficient, non greasy. Really nice. It was my best friend this winter, but in March and early April, it wasn’t enough anymore because the cold weather has last too long and my skin couldn’t handle it anymore. But now it’s good again!

Night :

Same routine, but with my homemade bio cleansing oil in addition.

face care routine 7 © Wina

face care routine 8 © Wina

Tiny washed brain ha

In layering, cleansing oil is recommended for removing make-up. Or any rich make-up remover (like the cream ones), because that’s what works the best. Forget the cleansing milk, micellar water and even more the cleansing wipes. First, it’s more aggressive. Second, it’s less efficient. Third, it’s cotton pads waste. You really see the difference when you switch to cleansing oil. Oh and try to use those that don’t have mineral oils in it (= come from petrol, yummy), favor vegetal oils.
My experimented cleansing oil is made of argan oil and water melon (not watermelon) oil. I added Babassu foam, so that it emulsifies with water (= change into a kind of milk) and drops of E vitamin to make sure that I’ll conserve it for a while. But I think I messed up with the quantity of Babassu because it’s all thick (like custard), hard to massage. Or maybe is it because I shaked the bottle too much. Anyway, it does the job though, as well as the cleansing oils that I bought before, and maybe better. And it’s total safe, no itchy eyes, yeepee!

Phew! Finally, this is the end of the post. Hope you’re still alive and that it interested you (a bit)(a tiny tiny bit).

On the face

Hello sweeties,

Sorry for the 2 weeks of silence. Back to school and being sick, half-exhausted and half-frozen by the snow (snow in Paris, guys. BUT good thing is that I’m going on an adventure this weekend, having a walk in the forest, yey!

Anyway, it looks like this Lush saga is never-ending eh. Let’s start with the cleansers. As I have a combination AND sensitive skin (hello, my skin is lame), my cheeks always get dried after cleaning. I asked for advice to the saleswoman and she recommended me Angels on Bare Skin.

Angels-on-Bare-SkinFrightened? I was too. The product is a thick grainy paste. You can actually see and feel the lavender grains and the ground almond. It’s disturbing. I can hear you say “but how do you use it? The texture is so weird…”. It’s not as complicated as it might seem actually. You take a nut of the paste, put it in the palm of your hand, add some water and mix. Then you simply apply on your face, like you would do with gel cleanser. It scrubs the skin, but it does it gently. My skin usually can’t bear scrubbing, it’s so sensitive that it gets allergies when I do so. So I was quite scared about the first use. And fortunately, I didn’t turn into a monster of rashes!
  The bad point is that once rinsed, it leaves an oily film on the skin. I didn’t end the pot up because of that. The product is good but I don’t like the rendering.
Links : en/fr

After that, I had a Coalface sample. And I fell immediatly in love.

CoalfaceI love this product. It’s way much easier to use for me. The smell is particular, it’s amber, very pleasant. It cleans perfectly, no oily film after rinsing, my skin feels very fresh. And my sensitive skin tolerates it. It leaves the cheeks a little dry, but it’s ok.
Links : en/fr

After the cleaning, I always apply a toner. I first tried Tea Tree Water.

tea-tree

That’s a great toner for oily or combination skins, it matifies the T zone. But it might dry a bit the cheeks. Of course, it smells very refreshing, which is great in the morning. They say you have to spray it on your face and then I guess you have to spread out the product with a cotton pad. But I find that the pressure is a little powerful and it really wasn’t pleasant for me. So I just sprayed it on the cotton pad 6-7 times, so that it’s imbibed, before applying on the face.
Links : en/fr

Once I ended Tea Tree Water, I tried Breath of Fresh Air.

breath-of-fresh-airI like this one. I prefer it to Tee Trea Water. It’s softer, more hydrating and it’s ok on the T zone.
Links : en/fr

Last part of my daily face routine : moisturizing. I was using Imperialis at night and Enzymion on day.

imperialisLet’s be clear, they say it’s for combination skins but I absolutely disagree with that. I have a combination skin and this is way too nourishing for me. Guys, it makes the T zone shine like a fresh french fry, how can you dare telling me it’s for combination skin. For me, it’s forbidden the day. But good thing is that it’s a perfect cocooning night moisturizer. It’s so nice after a tough day of stress and pollution and cold and subway. Plus, you can clearly smell the lavender in it, that’s really relaxing.
Links : en/fr

And now, my love forever : Enzymion.

enzymionThis is probably the best face moisturizer I’ve ever tried. First, the smell is fantastic, it’s refreshing, lemony and smooth. Second, the matifying effect is really impressive, without congealing the face. At my first application, it matified naturally the T zone, the hydration was perfect on the rest of my face, my skin was unified and radiant. I went out with nothing else than this on my face. No face powder, no concealer, no highlighter, absolutely nothing. And I had lots of compliments. Can you believe that? It was magical. I was even asked if I was wearing foundation, what I never do. Ma-gi-cal. But there’s a black spot. The product has the tendency to turn. After 3 weeks of use, it started to smell unusual. So I recommend to conserve it in the fridge, even if it’s not indicated.
Links : en/fr

And of course, I tried one of their fresh face masks, Love Lettuce.

Love-Lettuce

Used it twice only because of the I-don’t-have-time-for-masks thing. The interest of Lush’s fresh face masks is that you keep them in the fridge. The cold on the face is really nice. And I guess this *temperature shock* helps to matify the skin and to refine the pores. Love Lettuce is supposed to be adapted to combination skins. I didn’t notice anything special. It was just nice to use. It hydrates well the skin though and let it soft and a bit velvety.
Links : en/fr

Alright, I think next time will be the last episode of this saga! I’ll be talking about shower products, body products and other stuff. A catchall post.