Fashion - Beauty - Lifestyle Blog

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

These Boots Are Made For Walking

Before I go on with the other part of my most-reached-for products of 2011 post, I'll allow myself a quick post on something I bought a couple of weeks ago. It's my blog, after all, so I can ;-P...

This is the new addition to my shoe family (although not the most recent one, but about that later, in another soon-to-come post ;-)). Hunter's Regent Savoy Wellington boots. 

I really love them - the winter has been mild so far (*pulling up a happy face*), so although I don't wear them with the optional fleece Hunter lining/socks, I am not cold. The boots have got a sponge quilted lining which makes them warmer than some other styles. On the other hand, they are not meant for a really cold winter, so I wouldn't recommend these for a walk in a really chilly weather. 

The outer rubber surface is shiny, with quilted design. It's hardly imaginable, that a piece of footwear made of rubber can be stylish and even elegant, but I think these somehow are. And comfortable. And what I love about them is that my feet are staying dry in every weather. 

What might be a valuable piece of information for those who would like to get these online is that if you are not sure about what size to order, go for a size smaller than you normally would. Or at least don't think that your regular size won't be big enough for you. I've got them in a size that is one number smaller than my usual choice and I still can wear them with two socks in each :-).    

Have you got anything lately that has turned out to be a good investment ;-)?

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Most-Reached-For Beauty Products of 2011 - Part One

Happy New Year to everyone! 

Time goes by very quickly and I haven't even realized that the last time I blogged was more than a month ago. I don't make any New Year resolutions, but if I did, the blogging-related one would be "Blog regularly". 

This post is not an innovative one. It is the typical end-of-the-year-so-let's-speak-about-the-favorites one, but since I personally like to read about the favorite products of other bloggers, I am doing it anyway :-).

These products might not be the best of the best for anyone, but they have become the staples of my beauty routine and are the most-reached-for of the past year.

In the HAIR category, I can't miss the products from John Frieda. I love the Frizz-Ease lines - Dream Curls and Smooth Start hydrating shampoos and conditioners, as well as the Full Repair and Body products. These don't dry my hair out, they are rich, feel moisturizing and nourishing. I have tried many other shampoos, some of them costing quite a fortune for a relatively small bottle and I think these are the winners all the way (quality and price-wise).

I also swear on Herbal Essences shampoo and conditioner from their "Hello Hydration" and "Break's Over" lines. These both, especially the hydrating line products make the hair sooooo smoooth and they smell like heaven. You really need to have these - if only for their smell (orchid and coconut extracts). 

I have already raved about the Schwarzkopf Gliss Kur Hair Repair products with liquid keratin complex here. Another great drugstore buy. All the products- from shampoo to the leave-in conditioner are great. Nourishing, smoothing, hydrating - really recommendable.

I was also very positively surprised by the Wella Pro Series Repair shampoo and conditioner. These are 500 ml bottles, were cheap (about 5€ for both, I think (?)) and they work really well. I have dry, sometimes even coarse hair, and these are fairly smoothing and nourishing, which is what I expect (and don't always get) from haircare products with a label "Repair". What surprised me was the price tag for such a big amount of product, so I didn't expect much from these - but the quality definitely excels the price here.

The one pricier product I keep buying over (and over) is CHI Nourish Intense Silk Hair Mask. It's only 150 ml for more than 20 €, but this might be the one I would recommend for dry and damaged hair that need some help. Since I have this positive experience with this one, I am curious to try out other CHI products - especially from this Nourish Intense line.

Since I use heat on my hair regularly, I always use an anti-heat product to minimize the damage. My absolute favorite is Schwarzkopf got2be Guardian Angel. It doesn't leave my hair sticky like some others and it smells gooooood.

I am a complete novice in the world of dry shampoos, but since this one has got so many raves in customer reviews, I was searching like crazy to find an online retailer with shipping to my country. As you can see, I was successful and although I can't compare it to any other dry shampoo, I really enjoy the Batiste Big and Bouncy XXL dry shampoo. I wash my hair every other day and I use this in-between. It is white, but it doesn't leave any visible residues in my dark hair and really gives the hair some volume. I can imagine, that the shorter the hair is, the bigger the volume (when not weighed down by the hair length). 

L'oreal Paris Elnette Satin is the hairspray of my choice. In my opinion, every hairspray is sticky to some point, but it's probably true, that this one is easier to comb out and isn't as sticky as the majority of hairsprays. 

SKINCARE. I am not saying, that these are the only great products I've used in the "skincare section" this year, but these are definitely the most-reached-for. 

Garnier Nutritionist Multi-active cleansing wipes with green mint and grape antioxidants. When it comes to make-up removing wipes, I am pretty picky. They have to be moist enough, mild, but effective and can't by any means burn my eyes, which many of the wipes do. I can't imagine why somebody would produce wipes for make-up removal which are aggressive enough to burn eyes, but this happened to me very often in the past, when trying out a new brand. These Garnier Nutritionist wipes don't and are my present favorite. 

The perfect duo for thorough and deep skin cleansing are Clarisonic Mia and Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser. The cleanser works very well with the intended hot cloth as well, but I like to use it with the Clarisonic Mia I talked about here and here. This little beauty appliance leaves the skin clean and really helps the skin to better absorb any face-cream. 

I raved about the Love Lettuce face mask from LUSH here - it has got it's own blog post, that's how good it is :-)! 

If you are looking for some refreshing feel-good face masks, that won't harm your budget, go for Freeman Feeling Beautiful masks. Pineapple enzyme mask, cucumber peel-off mask, goji berry hydrating mask or avocado & oatmeal clay mask, each of them is nicely scented and feels like fresh fruit and vegetables cocktail on skin. From these four, I'd recommend the clay mask for women with oily skin, the other three are for every skin type. 

The Moisture Surge face cream and All About Eyes eye cream from Clinique are products that probably need no introduction. I don't know yet if these are so distinctive from any other face cream I used before, but I use them more frequently than other creams I've got. The one very positive surprise from this "category" is Feuchtigkeits-fluid (moisturizing fluid) from Alverde. This is a German natural cosmetics brand which retails in the German drugstore-chain DM (Drogerie Markt). It costs about 3 € and it is really effective. The morning after its evening application, my skin feels visibly smoother and moisturized and for the 3 Euros it is a real winner. Highly recommended :-).  

The products for a naturally looking tan:
St. Moriz instant self tanning mousse. No orange undertones, costs about 2,50 British Pounds a bottle, can be used on both face and body, just make sure that you exfoliate before its use properly. Love it. 
La-Roche Posay Autohelios - find my full review here
L'oreal Paris Sublime Bronze for body and face - creamy consistence, smoothing effect, quite moisturizing, no orange streaks. What else do you need...

... to be continued...