I Hope You Are Okay

Hi,

When this pandemic started and the stay at home order was given in The Netherlands, I decided that I should spend those 2 hours a day I wouldn’t spend in public transport wisely.

I decided I wanted to learn both Korean and Greek, exercise at least 3 times a week and restart my blog. Which was a bit too ambitious….. I ‘studied’ Korean and Greek for two weeks using Duolingo, then decided to continue learning Greek only as it was a bit difficult too learn two completetly different alphabets. And as I am writing this it has been three weeks since my latest lecture.

Then, I have not been exercising three times a week, but at least I am working out more than before the pandemic. So, I guess that is an achievement.

I wanted to restart my blog for quite a while now. After graduating college and starting my career it has been difficult to make time. But to be honest, that isn’t really an exuse. Cause even though I have more time now, I haven’t had the headspace to get started. But here I am now on the 11th of May at 17:11, finally writing a blog post.

I am going to try to post more regularly as I do really enjoy writing and its a great way to escape this crazy world that we live in.

But that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is how you are doing.

I hope you are doing okay, but that you know it is fine not to feel okay.

I hope you and your nearest and dearest are safe and healthy.

And there are so many hopes and wishes I can share with you, but uhm that would make this post deeper than I intented it to. So I am going to stop here.

Lots of Love,

Maxime

Review Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Mask Kiehl’s

Hi!

I have never tried a skin care product by Kiehl’s before, but have been wanting to do so for what feels like ages. So, as I needed a new clay masks ( cause I feel like they clean my skin very well) I finally bought something of Kiehl’s namely the Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque (this is really how they spelled mask, which comes across as super fancy. but at the same time, I’m like… WHY!?)

Keep reading for my review!

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The Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque (I’m really annoyed at this name lol) is priced at €30.90 and then you get 125 ml, which is quite a lot of product. Moreover, it promises to deeply cleanses the skin and removes dirt, therefore minimizing the appearance of pores.

So, why does it have ‘rare earth’ in the name? Well I googled it and apparently one of the main ingredients is Kaolinite, which is a clay that is often turned pink-orange-red due to iron oxide. White Kaolinite is therefore rare, hence the name.

Okay, let’s get into the actual product. As you can see in the picture above and below the mask is quite thick. Since it is recommended to only apply a thin layer of the mask I believe this jar will last a while!!

During application you notice that the mask smells like clay, but also kinda fresh. It takes about ten minutes for the mask to try and then you can easily remove the mask with lukewarm water.

After using the mask, my skin feels but also looks clean! Additionally, my skin feels soft and not tight or dry at all! As my skin tends to be normal to dry, clay masks can make my skin feel very dry. However, this is not an issue with the Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque and I love it!

I definitely recommend this product! Which face mask are you loving at the moment?

Love life,

Maxime

Lookfantastic August Box Review

Hi,

A bit later than I wanted to post this article, but I guess late is better than never. I know it is not August anymore and I have already received the September Lookfantastic box, but here are my reviews on the products I received last month.

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The August box contains:

  • The Herb infused sheet mask by Natura worth 4.95 pounds.
  • The ‘The rituals of holi’body cream by Rituals worth 6.90 pounds.
  • The Beauty blur skin tone optimizer in latte by Vita liberata worth 12.00 pounds.
  • The Heatwave highlighting palette by Bellápierre worth 29.99 pounds.
  • The 737 tapered highlighter brush by Luxie worth 26.50 pounds.
  • The Luscious lip stain in holiday getaway by Doucce worth 11.95 pounds.

That is a total worth of 92.29 pounds!

First of, the Herb infused sheet mask by Natura. This sheet mask has a very strong botanical scent. Normally I like scents like this, however the scent of this mask is too strong for me. Nevertheless, after using this mask my skin felt hydrated and made my pores less visible. But I would not purchase this mask.

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The Ritual of holi body cream by Rituals is an okay body cream. It does what it should do, so yeah I don’t have a lot to say about it. The scent is based on floral notes and grapefruit. I personally LOVE the scent of grapefruit, but for me the floral notes were a bit too heavy and sweet. I would have loved a more grapefruit and therefore a fresh, citric scent.

On to the Beauty blur skin tone optimizer in latte by Vita liberata. This product had the wrong description in the booklet that comes with the box. It stated that it is a tanning product for the face, so I was a bit scared to try it out. Especially since the product itself did not mention anything like that. Therefore I looked up the product and it happened to be a tinted primer.

What I like about this product is that it already covers most of the redness of my imperfections and that it slightly moisturizes the skin. Additionally, it helps with making my makeup look nice for a longer period of time than when I do not use primer. So, I like this product!

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The Heatwave highlighting palette by Bellápierre contains 5 highlighters. These are probably all the natural shades of highlight you would need. I really like the formula of these highlighters as they are easy to build up. Plus they look gorgeous!

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This is the 737 tapered highlighter brush by Luxie. It is a beautiful brush. But what I like about this bush is that you can really pack your highlighter on, while I find that a fan brush creates a more subtle look. I wish the shape of the brush was a bit smaller, so you would be able to apply highlighter a bit more precise.

The last product in the box is the Luscious lip stain in holiday getaway by Doucce. This lip stain has a bit of a weird smell and taste when you apply it, but luckily this disappears within 5 minutes after application. I do have grown to really like this lip stain as it lasts all day (!!!!!) and it is a gorgeous colour.

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Love Life,

Maxime

Berlin in pictures

Hi!

Earlier this month I visited Berlin and the hipster / millennial in me wanted to create a lil’ travel blogpost. Expect to see a lot of pictures of me standing in front of architecture.

We stayed in Berlin for five days, which I think was a great amount of time to discover the city while also taking some time to relax! We arrived in the afternoon at our hotel in Kurfürstendamm and after taking a little walk I was able to convince my boyfriend to go to the Sephora at Alexanderplatz! Later we walked to the Hackesher Markt, here you can find some nice restaurants and street music artists.

On our second day in Berlin we visited the best highlights of Berlin.

My favourite part of this day was visiting the Holocaust monument. This sounds really weird, but this monument is sort of a playground in the best way it can be. It brought so many emotions loose. It is gorgeous.

I do not recommend to go to Checkpoint Charlie as this was just one big circus and epicenter of tourists.

The day after we went to Potsdam, which is just outside of Berlin. Here we spent most of our time in Park Sanssouci where you can visit a couple of palaces and the University of Potsdam. We didn’t go in the buildings, but my they are pretty.  The rest of Potsdam is as well btw 🙂 This was my favourite day of the trip as everything was so pretty and I had the most amazing curry noodles at Chi Keng.

On our last full day in Berlin we went to the museum island, which has some beautiful neoclassical buildings! We visited the Neues museum, because it has a nice artifacts from the ancient Egyptians. The rest of the day we strolled around the city.

And that was my summary of my trip to Berlin!

Love Life,

Maxime

Lush Refillable Lipstick: a Review

Hi!

Ready for another makeup review?! I have tested out the refillable lipstick from Lush and in this article I talk about their refill lipstick concept and my opinion on the lipstick formula.

I bought the refill lipstick in the shade Dubai and in the picture below you can see the packaging in which it arrived. It looks very simple, but chic. FYI a refill lipstick is priced at €11.50.

On the packaging it is explained how you put the lipstick in the lipstick holder. However, I found this difficult to understand, so I watched this helpful video.

This is what the refill lipstick looks like, when you take it out of the packaging, it is the lipstick covered in wax. But I will take you through the process of actually putting the lipstick in a lipstick holder.

So, it is actually really simple.

Step 1. Peel the black “handle”that sticks out on the bottom upward until you completely remove it. The refill should look like the middle picture below.

Step 2. Carefully peel the rest of the black wax off.

Step 3. Then take the packaging/holder you want to put the lipstick in. This can be an old one from any other brand that you emptied (if necessary) or cleaned.

I bought the lipstick holder (€8.95) that Lush offers, so of course I put the lipstick in here. This holder is partially made out of recycled aluminium.

Step 4. Push or turn the packaging/holder of the lipstick as high as possible.

Step 5. Then push the refill in the holder.

As you can see, a tiny bit of the lipstick smudged on the holder.

Step 6. Peel of the remaining wax.

And then you have your Lush lipstick! (Which you can buy also as a normal lipstick btw in packaging made out of recycled plastic, if you don’t want to go through these steps)

The lipstick is vegan and cruelty-free and contains really nice ingredients like Jojoba-oil and broccoli seed oil. This makes the lipstick hydrating. And this is also what gives the lipstick a sheer and glossy-like finish.

In the picture below you see two swatches, one applying the lipstick just once (lower swatch) and one for which I build the lipstick up (upper swatch).

I actually really like this colour and finish! The red has this nice orange tint to it, which is gorgeous. Also, the colour looks a bit darker when applied on the lips.

However, there are some slight disadvantages to this lipstick formula. For one, due to the hydrating ingredients the lipstick is not long lasting and transfers. During the day I would have to reapply this lipstick around 5 times, depending on what I eat or drink. Moreover, the lipstick has a slight gritty sensation.

So, final thoughts the concept of this lipstick range is environmentally-friendly and actually good for your lips. But because of this the quality of the lipstick is not as good as I am used to in terms of lasting power and texture. Nevertheless, I do see me wearing this lipstick formula a lot during the winter as my lip dry out quite badly. And actually really want to get a nude! This time I will use an (very) old lipstick holder/packaging.

Additionally, I actually find the price for the refill at €11.50 pretty good, as of course sustainable products tend to be higher in price.

Love Life,

Maxime

Bookclub Review: Mythos by Stephen Fry

Hi!

I love to read, but don’t do it nearly enough. I finished reading Mythos and here is my review.

Mythos is written by Stephen Fry, who is a famous British comedian, actor, tv-host and author.

On the back of the book it is stated that “In Stephen Fry’s vivid retelling we gaze in wonder as wise Athena is born from the cracking open of the great head of Zeus, and follow doomed Persephone into the dark and lonely realm of the Underworld. We shiver when Pandora opens her jar of evil torments and watch with joy as the legendary love affair between Eros and Psyche unfolds. Mythos captures these extraordinary myths for our modern age – in all their dazzling and deeply human relevance”.

And if you ask me that is a pretty good description.

In Mythos, Stephen Fry talks about different Greek myths in a fun and easy to follow manner. It is both entertaining as educational, as you are taken into the myths instead of just being given a dry explanation.  I love this approach and just how well written Mythos is.

If you are just the tiniest bit interested in Greek myths, I think you will really like this book. I absolutely love and recommend it to everybody! Mythos as become my new all time favourite book.

And look it has pictures (lol)

Stephen Fry has already enriched the world by writing a sequal, called Heroes. And as you might have guessed this book concerns myths about the Greek heroes. I am very excited to start reading it, but I am currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. So expect to see a review on that book as well.

Have you read Mythos yet? And if so, what did you think of it?

And, what are you reading now?

Love Life,

Maxime

lookfantastic July Box: Unboxing and Review

Hi!

For my birthday le boyfriend got me a subscription on lookfantastic. On Instagram I asked if you lot wanted to see review on some of the products, but you wanted a review on all of them! So here it is.

In the box I received:

  • Fat eye stick in Gilt by Eyeko worth 12 pounds
  • Hydra-balance day cream by Elemis worth 19,99 pounds
  • Revive body gel by Aromatherapy Associates worth 12 pounds
  • Gold eye pads by vitamasques worth 5,99 pounds
  • Makeup remover by Glov worth 11,90 pounds
  • Illuminating micellar water by Naobay worth 11 pounds

In total the box is worth 72.88 pounds/ €79.67 While you only pay €20 for a box if you just take a subscription for a month, but if you take a longer subscription the price per box decreases,

In the box you get a mini UK Elle magazine and a booklet about the beautybox. Within the booklet information about the products is given (wish they listed the prices in euros though) as well as separate articles about skincare and/or makeup.  Plus, you also get a sneak peak for a product that is in the next box.

Reviews

For the first review I want to talk about the Eyeko, fat eye stick. I am not a big fan of eyeshadow sticks, it’s not that I have anything against them it’s just that I prefer powder eyeshadow.

The colour of this eyeshadow stick is called Gilt and it is a brown with a hint of green and golden reflects. A colour that I don’t have in my collection, so that is nice. 🙂

The product applies very easily, however if you want to blend it you should use your finger as a brush tends to remove the gold reflects. Sadly, this eyeshadow creases a lot on my lid… I don’t think I will be using this product a lot for this reason (read powder eyeshadow is my favourite), even though it looks really nice.

The rest of the items were all skincare products.

I really like the Hydra-balance day cream by Elemis! My skin tends to be rather dry, but this makes my skin feel hydrated all day long. Also it has a nice botanical scent.

Another hydrating product that was in the box, is the body gel of Aromatherapy Associated. The gel is infused with Grapefruit, Rosemary and Juniper essential oils and is supposed to stimulate circulation and reduce fluid retention. Because of these ingredients the gel has a strong botanical scent you kind of need to get used to.

I find this a difficult product to review as I think you need to be using this for a long time before you notice a change. It does cool the skin, so it is really nice when you are sunburned, but I can’t tell you if it actually helps with circulation and fluid retention. It does leave my skin feeling very soft, but I don’t think this is a product you need to have as part of your personal care routine.

Next up is the makeup remover by Glov which helps you remove your makeup by just wetting it.

I have tried another similar product, but what I like about this one is that the fibers feel super soft to the skin.  In the pictures below you can see that it works very well!

Except for my mascara the makeup remover was able to remove all my makeup. So, I used the Naobay illuminating micellar water to remove it. I like this micellar water as it does what it should and it makes my skin feel a bit cleaner than other micellar waters.

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The micellar water removed the mascara and a tiny bit of makeup that the on-the-go cleanser was unable to remove. Not sure if it illuminated my skin, but I like it nonetheless. Also, the product is enriched with green tea and Aloe Vera, which has anti-pollution properties and helps hydrate and soothe the skin. ❤

Lastly, the gold eye pads from Vitamasques ( I really like this brand name). The eye pads are supposed to plump, de-puff tired under eyes, hydrate and cool the skin.

I think it plumped my under eyes a bit, but it definitely hydrated and cooled the skin. I should use these type of masks more often, cause I have some small wrinkles there already haha.

My favourite items from this box are the Elemis day cream and the Naobay micellar water.

Want to see an unboxing and review of the products that are in the August lookfantastic box, let me know in the comments!

Love Life,

Maxime

Where I have been

Hi,

I know I have been a bit MIA and therefore want to give a little update of what is happening in my life and the future of my blog. Don’t worry, it’s all good news!

The last five months I was working on my thesis. Which I successfully defended (almost) two weeks ago. I am officially a bachelor graduate! 😀

Even though, I am busy with working at HEMA and started the search of a job with more responsibilities I really want to start writing articles and review product for this blog!

In fact, I have already started! Expect regular uploads very soon, so stay tuned 😊

Love life,

Maxime

HEMA Beauty Must-haves

Hi!

I have been working as an Intern within the HEMA Beauty department since September 2018, which has reignited my appreciation for affordable beauty products. There are loads of HEMA products that I like, however I picked out my absolute favorite skin care and makeup items for this post!

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Let’s start with makeup.

My skin tends to be dry and therefore, face oils are a lifesaver. The Master prime oil within the B.A.E. collection hydrates really well and makes my foundation look healthy and dewy! It takes some time to sink into the skin, so after I use a day cream I apply the primer and while this sinks in I do my eye makeup.

When my skin is really dry in the evening I like to apply this oil before I go to bed 🙂

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I use the Eyebrow gel in Brown, almost every day on its own or with the Precisely my  brow in 03 by Benefit Cosmetics. It does what an eyebrow gel should do, however I adore it because its a thin gel and has a slight tint to it.

Normally I am not a fan of cream products, but this highlighter stick is so gorgeous that I have to mention it. For application I like to use the fingertip of my index finger. I rub the highlight on my fingertip to warm up the product and this makes the highlight blend really nicely.

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This highlighter is 03 Stellar shine and gives the skin a beautiful glow with a subtle hint of purple! I hope you can see the swatch in the picture below.

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The last makeup item that I find an absolute must have are the Soft Matt Lipbalms. They are creamy, pigmented, last about 4 hours and do not dry out my lips. Do I need to say more?

I own the Soft Matte Lipbalm in 16 (red) and 11 (nude).

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Skin care!

I love lip scrubs, but the lip scrub by HEMA in Peach is my favorite. Why? Well the taste, and the fact that it gently scrubs the lips are a couple of reasons. But I also really like that it comes in a stick and not in a jar, because I find lip scrubs that come in a jar rather messy.

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I love the #Nofilter Scrub Stick with bamboo and fruit extract to clean out the pores on my t-zone and chin. It helps so well against blackheads and makes my pores less visible! I use it twice a week and absolutely adore it!

The last product I need to mention is the Beauty Sleep mask with lactic acid and grape seed oil. The mask removes dead skin cells and helps with repairing the skin. When you apply the mask the lactic acid immediately starts to work and this might feel a bit uncomfortable. However, this feeling fades quickly, so don’t worry! The morning after applying the mask, my skin feels so so so soft. Plus my complexion looks clear and dewy!

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Have you ever tried HEMA beauty products?

And if so, what is your favorite?

Let me know in the comments!

Love Life,

Maxime

Elf Charcoal Bubble Mask: Review

Hi,

I have been testing out the Elf Clarifying Charcoal Bubble mask. This mask costs €15,- or $14,- and in return you get 50 grams of product. It promises to gently remove oil and dirt from the skin for a clearer complexion. But before I want to tell you about the formula, I first want to talk about the packaging.

I really like the look of the packaging and it kinda comes across as luxurious. However, I hate the way you get the product out of the actual packaging. In order to get the mask out, you need to press the white part vigorously. I don’t mind an arm workout, but not when I am trying to put on a mask and have some me-time haha. Maybe its just me, but I find it really difficult to get the product out.

The Clarifying Charcoal Bubble Mask is not only vegan and cruelty free, but also free from Parabens, Sulfates and Phthalates! As said before the mask promises to gently remove dirt and oil for a clearer looking complexion.

The mask itself has a liquid/gel like texture, that quickly turns into firm bubbles that last on the skin for about 5-10 minutes. I personally apply 1,5 to 2 times as much of the amount of the mask that you can see in the picture above. You only need to apply a thin layer.

Excuse my poor dry lips

 

 

 

What I like about the mask is that it feels rather nice on the skin compared to other bubble masks. I often find them a bit ticklish, but I don’t have that with this one. After 5-10 minutes you need to massage the mask into the skin (I like to wet my hands first and then message it in) and then rinse it off with warm water. I find that the mask does what it promises. It cleanses the skin very nicely without dehydrating my skin.

I made before and after pictures, but sadly there was no difference visible. Nevertheless, I do believe that it cleanses the skin. I do think that you can get the same result from a normal facial cleanser.

So, I like the mask, but I am not in love with it. I don’t find that it aids in my skincare routine as I already have a cleanser that I love, plus I much prefer the 2 minute Pep-Start Bubble mask by Clinique. Moreover, I am starting to hate the packaging and therefore probably won’t reach for it.

If you want to experience the fun of a bubble mask while on a budget, then I would recommend to buy this one. But if you are able to splurge and want a mask that can actually benefit your skincare routine than definitely get the one by Clinique!

Love Life,

Maxime