Saturday, 31 October 2015


I mentioned this cleanser in my February Favourites earlier this year, so you already know how I feel about it, but I also promised to write my review, so here it is. Better late than never, right?! ;)

Alpha-H is proud of being an 100% Australian brand which is well known and loved among beauty enthusiasts around the globe, me being one of them. That is how I ended up buying this Balancing Cleanser With Aloe Vera. This is also the only product that I tried from their range but I would really like to try liquid gold next.

Alpha-H Balancing Cleanser With Aloe Vera is described as an extra gentle lotion that softly hydrates and cleanses, which leaves your skin feeling velvety soft. Its luxurious, creamy texture is gentle enough to remove all traces of make-up. Aloe Vera moisturises and rejuvenates the complexion whilst Vitamin E neutralises free radicals. The Balancing Cleanser with Aloe Vera is perfect for all skin types, but especially for those who have dry, dehydrated, sensitive and rosacea complexions. It’s non-greasy texture ensures a thorough cleanse, yet gentle enough to remove eye make up without causing irritation, leaving your skin perfectly fresh and hydrated.

When using it, you should dampen your face and apply it liberally to face and neck twice a day, morning and evening, gently massage over the face and eyes (use sparingly around the eyes) and remove with warm water or a washcloth. I wash it off with lukewarm water. In the evening, when removing my make-up, I like to have a feeling of a fresh and completely clean face, so I always wash my face twice with a cleanser, no matter which one I am using at the time. And this one really is like a cleansing milk. It applies/spreads nicely on the face, you can see a difference after washing it off and it doesn't foam up at all.

My cleanser came in a 200 ml/6.76 fl.oz. tube but it also comes in a bottle with a  pump on top. In every case, a 200 ml/6.76 fl.oz. product normally costs around 25 GBP, but I bought my two 200 ml/6.76 fl.oz. tubes in a set for 19.80 GBP. The usual price is a bit high but, in my opinion, it is worth the money. You can find Alpha-H products at lookfantastic or hqhair.

it has a protective foil first

This cleanser already made it into my favourites so it is clear that I love it and agree with most of the brand's claims. The thing I would like to point out first is that this is the creamiest cleanser that I have ever used! It is so creamy that when I first used it, without reading the instructions, I thought that it was a cleansing milk, which should be applied on dry skin and removed with cotton pads. So, I did just that. The effect was great! It removed make-up from my skin and it even did a better job with removing my eye make-up, than when I used it in a proper way, "mixed" with water. My skin was so beautiful, glowing, soft and velvety.... I LOVED IT!!! Used as it should be used with water, it is a very good cleanser, which removes almost all traces of make-up, and while doing that, it doesn't dry out my skin (which is on the oilier side). This isn't a targeted pore cleanser but it is a good helper, especially when I use it with my Foreo. But, to be honest, until now I haven't found a clenaser or a machine which would completely clean out my pores, without mechanical cleaning every now and then.

has a nice cap on top which makes it a good travel companion

Although it does a good job with cleaning my skin, I use it just as a step in my skin care routine, in combination with other products. I prefer removing my eye make-up with micelle solutions. I tried removing mascara with this cleanser and it was OK, it didn't sting my eyes or dry out my eye area but it didn't remove all traces of stubborn mascara like Maybelline's Sensational mascara.

It has a neutral and for me quite appealing scent which, in my opinion, shouldn't be offensive to most people.

And after everything said, I really do think that this is a great product, worth your time, interest and money. I recommend it!
What about you? Have you tried it? Anything else from Alpha-H range? Any favourite products?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here


Tuesday, 29 September 2015

I've been busy... My August 2015. empties!

I told you before in my August Favourites.... I am extremely late with this post but here it is. And that doesn't mean that you will not be reading about my September favourites very soon. This is just my way of saying goodbye to some August comrades.

You can definitely see a patern in all of my summer posts. The perfect word would be simplicity! High temperatures and well deserved holidays left a mark on my beauty routine, so you will only see a few necessary products, some in the lights of summer vibes, some are casualties of  my mother's need to pack our showers at the seaside full, with enough body gels and shampoos to keep clean the majority of our relatives.

Although I mentioned L'Occitane Verbena shower gel as my favourite, I didn't take it with me on my holidays. As I already said, I knew that there will be more than enough in our summer house. That is how I got to hang around with Fa PINK Passion shower gel. There is not a lot to say about it. It has a floraly smell, a bit too strong for my taste but it doesn't stay on the skin. And the other I*found*it*in*my*shower product, that I also finished is Schauma Push-up Volume shampoo. I actually have tried this one before and liked it. It is a good choice for greasy, straight hair. Not the most organic/natural choice but most people, who aren't so into this whole beauty community thing, will like it! In my opinion of course.

Another two seaside choices that are completely gone are from after sun care range. Both of them are Balea products, very reasonably priced and they both do a great job! The only difference is that one was more liquidy, spray type product and the other one has a gel consistency. In every case and once again, great work Balea and DM!

And then there are my heavily raved about face products. I am risking to bore you since I mention them so much but is there a better way to show your love for a product than having it in your empties all the time? I love them and that is why you see them over and over again. And the stars of the show are Olival's face toner from their immortelle line and Caudalie Beauty Elixir. The toner is great, acts well on my combination skin, it is made in Croatia and I will definitely buy it again. In fact, I already have a backup. If you get a chance to try it, please do. And Caudalie Beauty Elixir? A miracle in a bottle. Also a staple of mine which you really have to try if your skin is combination to oily and your pores are pronounced.

Then there is body care. Also only old mentions and favourites. A bottle of Balea In Shower body milk for dry skin and Nivea Powder Touch roll- on. Should I even say something about them? They are great, they appear practically in all of my empties posts, one of them took care of my skin when temperatures were so high that I couldn't imagine putting anything else on it, and the other one helped me smell nice and clean when the temperatures were just below boiling.

Lastly, there is a bottle of ESI Aloe Vera juice that I regularly drink and can't recommend enough. Great for your body, health and in the end beauty. Another bottle of it will be finished in September, I bought it countless times before and will most definitely buy it again!

And that is about it. No makeup items, which is completely understandable since I pretty much only used LRP Anthelios XL tinted fluid with SPF 50 to even my skin tone. Do I need to say more? :)

What about you? How are you doing with your empties? Maybe preparing a post about them?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Sunday, 27 September 2015

My August 2015. Favourites!

I know... Where was I about a month ago?! Well, cut me some slack here. I promised myself that I'll do my monthly Favourites and Empties this year regularly, so here I am. Better late than never, right? And yes, my August Empties are also "coming". And yes, you might see my September Favourites soon, as well. :)

For me, August was a "slow down" month, the majority of which I spent on my vacation, somewhere in the Adriatic. LOVED IT!!! I had some me time but also enjoyed quality time with my loved ones. During "I am doing a break from everything" mood, my beauty routine was simplified, to say the least, which is why there is such a short list of Favourites here.

In spite of the fact that I have a perfume Favourite in August which was craaazy hot, I don't really use a lot of perfume during summer. But this one is a great choice because it is light, doesn't contain any alcohol and smells like the essence of summer. I can detect so many summer notes in it, beach, sand, sea, breeze...everything! If you want a little more sense, meaning actual notes, I am putting a LINK Fragrantica.

Lush Mask Of Magnaminty face and body mask got its review and compliments before, so I am not going to describe it in details again. But, since my routine was so basic at the seaside, my skin was very grateful when I reunited it with this refreshing, minty miracle in a jar!

Another refreshing helper of mine was First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller. It is a liquidy, kind of a serum eye care. You apply it directly on the area around your eyes and spread it with the metal roller on top, which also provides a more cooling and "wake me up" effect on your skin. But it is not only refreshing. It also promises to decrease puffiness and dark circles. I like it!!!

And almost last is my August food Favourite or Find. I discovered this individual packed oatmeal with different flavours and my favourite is raspberry. They are very handy, especially for work, because you only need to add some hot/boiling water, leave it for a couple of minutes and voila. You have a delicious meal!

There are two more honorable mentions... The first one is Eucerin Transparent Sun Spray with SPF 50, which already has its review and which I really recommend!

And the second one is Biobaza Liquid soap with Manuka Honey. It is great and I love it!!!

That was all of them. What do you think? Do we share some favourites?

Tell me...

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

My Sunscreen Dream Team (La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Tinted Fluid, Eucerin Transparent Sun Spray i Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist Spray)

I am fully aware of the fact that this post is long overdue but some will still enjoy sunny weekends at the seaside (like Yours Truly) or are just now going on their vacation. And there are always years and summers to come… I had three little helpers with me this year which did a great job with protecting my skin from too much exposure to naughty UV rays. 

Since the face is always the first one to get "hit" by the sun, as soon as summer knocks on our doors, or even if spring is very sunny, I start using some kind of face sunscreen. The fact that I chose La Roche-Posay to be my faithful companion two years in a row, really says a lot. Last year I opted for their regular fluid with SPF 30, but this year I wanted to try LRP Anthelios XL tinted fluid with SPF 50. 

I already mentioned it in my July Favourites so it is no secret how I feel about it, but basically, its name says it all. It is a lightly (more on the fair side) tinted fluid which is pretty runny, so much that when it is completely full, if you turn this 50 ml plastic bottle, the product will start dripping from its narrow opening on the top. But no worries. If you close it completely, it is very travel friendly and it will not end up all over your make-up/wash bag.

Although it is a fluid, when applied on the skin, you will feel its creamy properties. It will go on your face smoothly, nourish it, but at the same time it really sinks in completely without any oily residue, so if your skin is combination to oily, you don't need to worry about looking shiny! The fact that it is tinted is great but not a big deal at the same time. Meaning...the colour won't clash with any skin tone, but having said that, I had a feeling that it evened out my skin. Maybe it was just my personal suggestion since it is a good match for my skin tone, but I felt comfortable wearing it on its own during summer, with no foundation or concealer. To be fair, this product doesn't promise any kind of tinted or BB/CC cream look, but I really liked it on its own.

LRP Anthelios contains no perfume and is very light, which makes it a nice option for sensitive and sun intolerant skin. Another great thing about it is that it doesn't contain parabens.

And as for its protective properties, I love it! I am prone to couple of freckles and can get a slight sunspot around my forehead, which this little bad boy battles very successfully. Also, if you will wear it, it will definitely prevent getting sunburned. But, if you swim, snorkle, basically go into water, I suggest that you reapply it for maximal protection, although LRP claims that it is water-resistant. 

It is non-comedogenic, so your pores shouldn't get clogged with it like with most of sunscreens. For me, really high temperatures can result in a bit messier pores but this guy is not to be blamed for that. In fact, it really is cooperative with oily skin (which mine is during summer) and it replaced my day creams completely during sunny spring and summer months. It also acted well as a make-up base. Did I get shiny after couple of hours? Yes, but with 40 degrees Celsius temperatures I think that we can safely say that it wasn't his fault?! :) 

I must also say that my all-year-round-dry-skin friend, who is very prone to sunspots, also uses it and is very happy with its performance. So, this seems to be an universally satisfying product! For my oilier skin it provides enough moisture during warmer months by itself, and for dryer skin, I guess you should combine it with something more moisturizing. If you want to buy it, you can find it in most pharmacies across Croatia and it will cost you around 132 kunas (about 17.50 Euros/13 GBP/$20), but there are often various discounts which make it more affordable. 

list of ingredients

We are now moving on to sunscreens which I used primarily on my body, although you can use them on your face as well. I used two products which have one thing in common. They are exceptable for your significant other, even if they are entirely non-meterosexual men. These are spray type products which are applied quickly, don't leave an oily residue and most importantly offer a good protection! 

Eucerin Transparent Sun Spray with SPF 50 is an old favourite of mine. It travelled around the world with me (not this particular bottle) and always performed great! It is a transparent fluid which applies easily and spreads evenly on the body. It sinks into skin almost immediately without being greasy, and all of those features make it a great men's product as well. The only thing that kind of sticks out for me is its scent which is quite floral but, fortunately, it doesn't linger very long on the skin. 

Don't be fooled by the fact that this is a fluid. It really makes a shield on your skin and none of those naughty rays will get near you. In my experience, it is water-resistant and will protect you even after a long swim, but it is always a good idea to reapply it. As I said... Us two, we saw a good chunk of the world together and had a great time in Africa, Sahara desert, Dubai and of course, the Adriatic, so I recommend this product and would buy it again!

Alcohol Denat, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane, Ethylhexyl Salicylate,Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Dibutyl Adipate, Glycerin, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, Tocopherol, Glycyrrhiza Inflata Root Extract, Acrylates Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Benzoic Acid, Aqua, Parfum

I even applied it on my face and didn't have any reaction or irritations. My skin isn't sensitive but I think that since it is so light in texture it doesn't sit on the skin and therefore pores aren't clogged. 

One thing that I do have to mention is its packaging. It comes in a 200 ml bottle with a pump on top, which is very good and I didn't experience any leaking or pump failure with any of my bottles before. The only thing which will inevitably happen is rubbing off of the text on its labels. That happens always. 

This spray is available in pharmacies across Croatia and will cost you around 150 kunas (about 20 Euros/14.50 GBP/$22.50), or less if you find some kind of Eucerin special offer (for up to 40% less).

And the last suncreen of my choice for this year was Garnier Ambre Solaire Dry Mist Spray with SPF 30, which I bought as a result of a panic attack when I thought I was going to use up my Eucerin. Garnier spoiled us with its HE quality products for drugstore prices, so I was surprised with the price tag of this little 200 ml bottle, which I bought in Konzum (Croatian store chain) for 90 kunas (about 12 Euros/9 GBP/$13). It seemed a bit much at the time but it was the easiest thing to get. 

Anyway, again a spray product, because I am lazy and my Significant Other accepts products like this :). But this one has a bit more thicker consistency. It is not a cream. It is more like a very light white body milk. It smells very nice, Coppertone like but much more subtle.

shake well before application

And for the "Dry Mist" part, as I already said, it has a thicker consistency than Eucerin, but is also applied easily and evenly. 

I was a bit disappointed when I first tried it because it did leave an oilier residue on my skin, so it wasn't exactly a dry solution, but in about 10 or 15 minutes it sinks into the skin and you will not have a feeling that you just applied a cream on your body.

It offers nice protection and I didn't experience any sunburns while using it, but I did reapply it after swimming, just in case, and that is what I would recommend you to do, too, although Garnier claims that it is water-resistant.

Would I buy it again? I don't know. Maybe I am more prone to trying Eucerin's version of this type of product next year.

And to conclude this sunny but safe post, just a little glance at my sunglasses. Sunglasses will protect your eyes, sight, skin around a delicate eye area and make some kind of a statement. Mine are from Asos and I got them on sale for less than 4 GBP. Love the flower details, they did their thing and I wasn't obsessing over a posibility of loosing them.

And that would be the end of this sunny story. I hope that my little reviews helped you to learn a bit more about these products, how they worked for my combination to oily skin and perhaps make a decision whether they would be something for you?! Since I am going to the seaside again this weekend, they will get some more use. Can't wait!

Have you tried any of my little helpers? Do you have any recommendations for next year?

Tell me... 

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

LUSH Mask Of Magnaminty- face and body mask

In my June Favourites, I mentioned that I have a new found love for Lush Mask Of Magnaminty face and body mask. You are probably thinking "SO?!" Well, the fact is that I am kind of a Lush freak who tried many of their products, face masks included, but this one just never made the cut, although people rave about it all the time. Thankfully, a friend of mine gave me pot of it, so I got a chance to try it. I am glad I did, because this mask really is Magna (Large)! ;)

This is how Lush describes it:
"A multi-purpose mask with a mixture of gentle yet effective ingredients to clean, calm and clear the skin. Easily smoothed over the skin, this mask is made with peppermint oil to stimulate, marigold oil and chlorophyllin to treat the skin; evening primrose seeds and aduki beans to gently exfoliate as you remove it. You can use this mask anywhere."

And now me.... :)

While it has a bit of a thicker consistency, this mask spreads nicely over the face. You can feel the clay which is one of its main ingredients and small particles of Azuki beans and primrose seeds, which make a good scrub. Its scent is quite natural, combination of herbal notes in which mint stands out, immediately bringing freshness to your senses and skin. In my opinion, this is an "at home spa" product which is very nice, pampering, at the same time invigorating and relaxing.

The mask looks very natural and home-made with its green colouring, and it will look that way on your face, too, especially because you need to be generous when applying it. But as soon as it touches your skin, you will feel a sense of relief, followed by beautiful clean, fresh and glowy skin. It really makes a difference! In my case, during summer and with such high temperatures my routine became almost non-existant. Mea culpa! My maintenance steps, which managed to survive, were a lot more basic, which was, I must admit, visible on my skin's texture, and my pores definitely were full of themselves ;)

When I finally "woke up", I reached for Maks Of Magnaminty and immediately remembered why it was mentioned in my June Favourites! Because it offers quick and visible results! Sign me in.

Clays (bentonite gel and kaolin) will absorb that stubborn grease which my pores like so much and help remove a layer of dead skin cells. The honey, with its antibacterial properties, will make sure that your breakouts are under control and prevent the appearance of new ones, and by rubbing your skin with azuki beans and primrose seeds you will remove any impurities and improve your blood circulation, which will make your skin look more plump, healthy, fresh and glowy. Having said that, in my opinion, this mask is best for oily and combination skin which sometimes struggles with clogged pores or/and breakouts. My skin is combination with oily t-zone but in summer months it becomes legitimately oily and loves this mask! I didn't experience any irritation or dryness while using it.

I've read a Lush recommendation for its usage. According to them, you should generously apply it on your face, leave it there for ten minutes and then wash it off with water, while rubbing your face in circular motion. I went a bit farther. I left it to dry and then made a really good scrub. I rub it off when it dries and then wash the rest of it off, in circular motion. It worked for me, but if your skin is more dry than mine or sensitive, use water from the beginning.

You can buy this mask in Lush stores or order it online (315 g costs 88 kunas/11.68 Euros/8.55 GBP/$13.12; self-preserving formula- 315 g costs 98 kunas/13 Euros/9.52 GBP/$14.61 ).

I love it and recommend it if you have oily or combination skin with larger pores, because it really does make a difference!

Have you tried this mask? Interested?

Tell me....

Love, beautyandbrains007

For Croatian version of this post click here