Review | Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum

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Note: I’m 32 years old (time really flies!), with combination skin + dehydration issues during winter, some fine lines, but nothing too “serious” ;)

It’s been 7 months since I purchased my first Hylamide products, and I think it was about time I wrote my review. I’ll start with the SubQ Anti-Age Advance Serum, but before I get into details, let me just cover some basic information about this brand (though I’m sure you’ve probably heard it all by now). Deciem, the company behind Hylamide (and a few other brands), made a certain break through a while back since their approach and products are somewhat revolutionary (at least, that’s my view). If I had to use one word to describe them, I’d probably use the word simplicity. Additionally, I’d say that when it comes to Hylamide, I would describe it as “what you see is what you get”. By the time I’m writing this, I’m already on my second bottle of the SubQ Anti-Age serum, so I guess it’s fair to say that I took my time to test it properly ;)

The reason I purchased this product in the first place is because I have combination skin which can be dehydrated during the winter, especially here in Stockholm (it’s really windy and winter is quite harsh to put it mildly). Last winter I had a bit of an issue with dehydrated skin, so I figured I’ll do something about it for the next one. That’s how I came across Hylamide and I decided to give it a try. Long story short, it was a good decision. Of course, I haven’t used only this product, but I’m quite sure it did most of the work and my skin is really grateful now that the winter is almost over.

ABOUT THE PRODUCT

SubQ Anti-Age Advance Serum is “a highly active concentrate of advanced hyaluronic complexes, next-generation peptides and biotechnological technologies to target rehydration, while improving the look of lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and textural damage.

It comes in a blurred pipette dropper glass bottle. The formula of the serum is on the watery side so I have to be a bit careful when I apply it since occasionally it can drip here and there. I apply it after my toner, morning and night, directly onto my skin, a drop on the forehead, cheeks and my chin. It goes on smoothly and I don’t wait too long before I move on to my next step.

RESULTS

What have I noticed? For one, no dehydration, even if I skipped using it for a few days on certain occasions (like, when I was sick / didn’t feel like doing anything, let alone taking care of my skin. I know, not a great thing to do, but it happens from time to time). Additionally, my skin looks fresher and firm(er). My skin tends to look dull and tired because I do have issues with sleeping, so anything that can help with that is more than welcome. And, last but not least, I seriously see a difference when it comes to some fine lines and nasolabial folds (smile lines). I swear that lines between my eyebrows have improved and my right nasolabial fold is less obvious. You might think I must be exaggerating, but I do have quite visible smile lines. I have big mouth and I laugh/smile a lot! :D I wasn’t actually thinking about it before, but I do notice the difference now that I look at them. I purchased this product primarily to deal with dehydration issues, but I see that it does offer much more than that. I mean, they do say it offers more than just hydration, but that wasn’t mine concern. Well, if you are concern about fine lines and wrinkles, you might wanna consider buying this serum.

WOULD I RECOMMEND IT?

You bet I would! To anyone who has first signs of aging – some lines and mild wrinkles / you have issues with keeping your skin hydrated / you just want to add an effective and yet affordable serum to your skin care regime. Especially if you’re 30+. ;)

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Ingredients: aqua (water), glycerin, hydrolyzed yeast extract, sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, pentylene glycol, ethoxydiglycol, tamarindus indica seed gum, palmitoyl tripeptide-38, myristoyl nonapeptide-3, copper lysinate/prolinate, methylglucoside phosphate, hydrolyzed sodium hyaluronate, sodium hyaluronate, ahnfeltia concinna extract, saccharide isomerate, polyglucuronic acid, lactobacillus/ eriodictyon californicum ferment extract, pseudoalteromonas ferment extract, phospholipids, lecithin, salicylic acid, hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, cetyl hydroxyethylcellulose, polyacrylate crosspolymer-6, hexylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, sodium citrate, citric acid, trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, potassium sorbate, ethylhexylglycerin, sodium benzoate, caprylyl glycol, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin

Suitable for vegans / cruelty free? Yes
Where to buy? here if you are in Sweden (out of stock at the moment) or here
Price? €36 / 340 SEK

Vesna ♥

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New In | Herman Black Tara ♥

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Herman Design is probably one of my favourite brands when it comes to bags. In case you haven’t heard of the brand, let me tell you a bit more about it. Herman Design is a small, privately owned business located in Zagreb, Croatia.  Kornelija Herman, designer behind the brand, describes their products as “… a desirable mix of grunge, punk and rock combining an eclectic synthesis of the modern and retro.” All products are handmade and they can be made in genuine or faux leather. Since the products are handmade, you will have to wait a bit before you receive your bag, but trust me, it is worth the wait. ♥

Now, back to Black Tara. The reason I ordered it is because I actually wanted a new backpack, but as it turns out, this is actually a 2 in 1 product – it can be both a bag and a backpack! You basically get two products for the price of one. How cool is that? Of course, the fact that it is black had nothing to do with my choice ;) Once I placed my ordered and paid for it, I just had to wait. It took several weeks, but I really don’t mind since I know this is a handmade item and that it takes some time (they do tell you how long it will take for them to process your order). It took max. 10 days for it to get into my hands once it was shipped (I had a tracking number). And well, once I opened my package I have to say all my expectations were, once again, exceeded. I say once again because this isn’t my first order from Herman Design.

What can I say about the bag itself? Well, if there is perfection then this is it. It is beautifully made, every piece fits perfectly and one of the things I really liked – it comes in its own box! Anyway, take a look at my photos and hopefully I will show you soon how it looks in action!

♥ ♥ ♥

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Size: 32 x 30 x 10 cm
Price: €160 / $170 / 1550 SEK (this is the price for faux leather + shipping costs: €18 / $20 / 180 SEK to Sweden)
Where to buy: online

Vesna ♥

First impressions | estelle & thild

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Three weeks ago I picked up a few products from estelle & thild, a Swedish brand based in Stockholm. I’ve read some good reviews about their products and since I was running low on my toner and cleansing gel, I decided to give their products a go. Along with these two, I grabbed their tinted moisturizer, too (I got it instead of a new liquid foundation, and since I don’t like liquid foundations either way, this product seemed like a better option). As I mentioned at the beginning, I got these products three weeks ago which means I’ve used them for some time now, and here are my first impressions.

BIOCLEANSE Fragrance Free Cleansing Gel (150 ml / 189 SEK / €20 / 20 USD) – estelle & thild has two cleansing gels, and I chose this one because it’s fragrance free (I got really sensitive for the past few months and I try to buy products that have mild scent or, if possible, no scent at all). This product has a funny jelly formula and I have to be careful when I’m squeezing it out, because it is a bit watery/thinner, and I have to be careful not to end up with too much product. This gel isn’t just for washing the face, but it also removes make up. I have been satisfied with both options, even though I don’t use many layers of make up / mascara / eye shadows so I don’t know how it works with heavier make up. However, it does remove my daily make up which consists of tinted moisturizer, mascara, blush and brows.  All in all, I do like how it works, I feel like my skin is really clean after each use, but I’m not sure if I would recommend it to someone with really dry skin. I do have the feeling like my skin does feel a bit drier after I use it, but I do have a good skin care regime so that doesn’t really bother me since I apply my products right after I washed my face.

Ingredients: aqua, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, glycerin, cocamidopropyl betaine, xanthan gum, gluconolactone, sambucus nigra flower extract*, glyceryl caprylate, sodium gluconate, citric acid, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate.* Ingredient from Organic Farming

BIOCLEANSE Multi Action Facial Toner (150 ml / 189 SEK / €20 / 20 USD) –  before getting this product, I was using another toner from Paula’s Choice, but I decided not to re-purchase it since I wasn’t really impressed. I mean, it was okay, but nothing special. I just figured I could get something a bit cheaper, with the same effect. For now, it seems like I found a good product – I feel like my skin likes it, it feels hydrated and refreshed after each use, and it works well with the rest of my skin care regime. All in all, haven’t noticed any negative changes. Another reason, why I got it is that it has an alcohol-free. However, it isn’t fragrance free so that might not be a good option if you’re after fragrance free skin care. It has a mild plant-based scent which disappears soon after application.

Ingredients: Aqua, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Glycerin, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract*, Gluconolactone, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Parfum, Limonene, Sodium Gluconate, Citric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate

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BIOHYDRATE All In One Tinted Moisturizer Light (50 ml / 299 SEK / €31 / 33 USD) –  instead of buying a new foundation or a CC cream, I decided to go with this tinted moisturizer, but I do think I will be getting a foundation as well or something with SPF since this product doesn’t contain any SPF. The lack of SPF is the only thing I don’t like about this product and that might be a deal breaker for many (especially today when we all know how important SPF is). But, if I put that aside and if I had to describe this product in one sentence, I would probably describe it as ‘my skin but better’. I really love how it looks on my skin, how light it feels and how easy it is to work with. This is how estelle & thild describes it: “The custom all-in-one formula provides natural coverage, hydrates the skin and infuses it with radiance.” I completely agree. However, if you look for something that has SPF and offers medium coverage, you might want to look elsewhere since this product is really light in coverage. It looks completely natural and it does give this lovely healthy shine to the skin. Additionally, even though it says it’s for all skin types, I wouldn’t recommend it to someone with oily skin. It’s not fragrance free, but its scent is really mild. It comes in two shades: light and medium. My shade is light.

Ingredients: aqua, titanium dioxide, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, rosa damascena flower water*, glycerin**, prunus armeniaca kernel oil*, coco-caprylate/caprate, simmondsia chinensis seed oil*, butyrospermum parkii butter*, glyceryl stearate citrate, lecithin*, gluconolactone, sodium hyaluronate, glyceryl caprylate, tocopherol, cetearyl olivate, sclerotium gum, xanthan gum, sorbitan olivate, parfum, limonene, linalool, sodium gluconate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sorbic acid, CI 77491,CI 77492, CI 77499.

Suitable for vegans? Yes, all three products are vegan
Where to buy? estelle & thild or naturisimo (both ship worldwide); if you’re in Sweden then you can get their product at Åhléns, KICKS, etc.

Vesna ♥

Mini Review | Rouge Bunny Rouge Raw Garden Eye Shadow Palette – Caliche

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Last month I got my hands on a few products from Rouge Bunny Rouge, and one of them was this lovely eye shadow palette called Caliche. At the moment, Rouge Bunny Rouge has only two different palettes, but I do hope they will come out with more shades in the future. In the meantime, I’ll share my thoughts on Caliche which I’ve used a few times.

Let me start by saying how RBR eye shadows have one of the best formulas out there. Well, at least that’s my opinion. They are so silky and buttery. They basically blend without any additional effort – you don’t need to try hard to blend the shades because they do that for you. All you need is a brush. Caliche has the same formula, but I have the feeling like the formula is somehow even better. Not sure how is that even possible, but it really is – extremely soft and gentle formula with a bit of discreet shine that you don’t see until it’s applied on the eyelids. If I had to use an adjective to describe these eye shadows, for some reason fragile / delicate comes to my mind. Since the formula is a bit specific, the pigmentation is different as well – it’s much softer and not so much “in your face”. Caliche isn’t for those who prefer strong pigment, it’s rather for those who want certain colours in a softer form. I prefer to wear these colours on those days when I want to quickly define my eyes and get that soft, misted look. Another thing that I love about these shades is that they are cool toned, which makes me especially happy since lately I’ve been seeing mostly warm toned eye shadow palettes.

The packaging is definitely exquisite. Unfortunately, I have no photos of it, even though I tried to take some, but it’s impossible to show you how interesting it is. I think I’ll make a short video where you’ll be able to see how it looks like. When it comes to the packaging of the palette itself, I love how there is some sort of magnetic mechanism which makes it a lot easier to open the lid (hate it when I basically have to break my nails in order to open a product, LOL). Additionally, there is a mirror in the size of the lid which might be useful on the go. The only thing I don’t like, is the fact that eye shadows aren’t separated – they don’t come in their own pans. For now, that’s not an issue, but it might be in the future once I hit the pan and try to scoop the very last bit of a certain shade.

The price of this product is on the higher end – it costs €59 / $63 / 560 SEK. It contains 7 grams of product in total, which is 1,75 grams per eye shadow, and that’s €14.75 / $15,75 / 140 SEK per eye shadow. Personally, I am a fan of their eye shadows and I think they’re totally worth the price.

All in all, I’m satisfied with my purchase, but to be honest, I didn’t think it would be any different. I just know that I always get the best quality with Rouge Bunny Rouge products and I always know what to expect from them. So far, I’ve never been disappointed and I hope our mutual love will last…
As I mentioned above, the formula is one of the best out there, they apply like a dream and they last for many hours on my eyelids without any primer.

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swatches without primer, photo taken in natural daylight (unfortunately, they look so poorly pigmented on my photo, but I think it has to do with the formula which is, as I said, really delicate in a way; would be nice if you could try it for yourself)

Ingredients: TALC, NYLON-12, MICA, DIMETHICONE, HYDROGENATED POLYISOBUTENE, DIMETHICONEOL STEARATE, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, PHENOXYETHANOL, HEXYLENE GLYCOL, ARGANIA SPINOSA KERNEL OIL, AQUA (WATER), BENZYL ALCOHOL, DEHYDROACETIC ACID, SODIUM HYALURONATE, [+/-]: CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77492 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77499 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77007 (ULTRAMARINES), CI 75470 (CARMINE)
Suitable for vegans? No (one or more eye shadows contain carmine)
Where to buy? online
Price? €59

Vesna ♥

Lush Cup O’ Coffee Exfoliating Mask Review

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A while back, when I was trying to kill some time while I was waiting for a friend, I visited Lush and this mask caught my eye. The reason it caught my attention was because it contains coffee and smells like coffee, and since I love everything coffee, I couldn’t resist purchasing it. Additionally, it can be used on the face and body, but I use it only on my face since it is a bit pricey. Before I review it, just to mention that I have combination skin with T-zone and I love exfoliation (well, my skin does for sure).

Cup O’ Coffee comes in a recycled plastic container (and, in case you didn’t know, you can collect five of these and take them back to Lush and exchange them for a new fresh face mask). It has a screw-on lid, but for some reason this product does leak a bit despite that. It’s quite thick, but it can be applied with both brush and fingers. Lately I’ve been using a brush to apply it since it’s less messy that way. It does have a warming effect in the beginning and I like to leave it for at least 15 minutes on my skin. To take it off, I use mild water and I gently massage my skin so that ground coffee, which this mask contains, can exfoliate my skin while I’m taking it off. Ground coffee is a bit rough so I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with sensitive skin, and I’d definitely recommend to be extra careful when you’re removing the product from your face. You don’t want to cause any irritation. This product leaves my skin feeling super soft and smooth on touch, and I’d even say that my skin does look really clean. I would even say that my skin feels a bit firmer and tighter, too.

However, as mentioned above, I would not recommend this product to someone who has sensitive skin, as well as to someone who has dry skin because it might leave your skin dry. That’s why I use it only once a week and I always apply my skin care products after I take it off. :) All in all, I do like it in general and I will be getting a new one as soon as I go through the one I have.

The only flaw this product has is the price. It’s quite expensive considering it can be used all over the body, but as I said in the beginning, I’m using it only on my face and that way, I save some money. I guess it wouldn’t last long if I’d use it all over, maybe 3 times, but since I use it only on my face, I can use it at least 10 times, which seems okay to me and worth the money in that case.

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Cup O’ Coffee on my skin

Ingredients: Organic Agave Syrup Kaolin Glycerine Coffee Infusion Talc Ground Coffee Bentone gel Perfume Vetivert Oil Vanilla Absolute Roasted Cocoa Extract Coriander Oil Caffeine Powder *Coumarin *Limonene *Linalool 
Suitable for vegans? Yes
Where to buy? Lush stores & online
Price? 99 SEK for 150 g / 195 SEK for 325 g

Have you tried Cup O’ Coffee? Or maybe any other face mask from Lush that you’d like to recommend?

Vesna ♥