A fresh take on skin care

2015 was the year of make up experimentation. I know, I’m not 16 anymore, but what I didn’t do then, I decided to do now, minus the blue eyeshadow that apparently every 16-year-old has worn at least once. I found tutorials online and tried all sorts of different ones to figure out what type of make up works for my face and my lifestyle and I’m very happy that towards the end of the year I was a pro (for my own face). I’ve also invested into better skin care. I used the cheapest cleanser from the drugstore for years, but last year my skin was drier than ever and I had the worst break outs. I later found out that these harsh cleansers were mostly responsible for my break outs. But I’ll get to that in a moment. Here’s what my advice is, now that I am too far into the beauty and skin care game (and I have the best skin I’ve had in a very long while).

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Find out what type of skin you have.

I knew my skin was dry, but reading more about it, I found out that my skin is dehydrated. The reasons are that first, I don’t drink enough water and secondly, the winter in Trondheim is dry and cold. I also found that I have very sensitive skin. I used to break out very often when I was using certain make up products, but I hadn’t made a connection until very recently. Now I know that all my skin care has to be specifically for dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin and same goes for my make up.

If you have dry or sensitive skin, avoid facial scrubs, deep cleansing masks and face brushes.

Dry and sensitive skin can be irritated very easily. There is absolutely no reason to use face brushes and facial scrubs that may give you the impression of squeaky clean skin (by the way this is not how skin should feel like ever), but they also disturb a sensitive skin. Deep cleansing masks tend to dry skin even further, so I find no reason to use these either.

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Always, no matter what, take your make up off.

To take my make up off, I use a wet cotton pad with a dab of extra-virgin coconut oil (this is the same one that I use for cooking, but I’ve set some apart for when I want to take my make-up off). This takes care of every type of make up. Then, I remove all residue with micellar water. I’ve tried different brands. Right now I am going through a bottle of Bioderma and before that I was using the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Purifying Micellar Water. Both do a great job, but they’re slightly more drying, since they’re meant to be for oily skin, so I’m still on the lookout for a great micellar water that won’t dry out my skin.

Avoid soap.

When it comes to my everyday morning and night face cleaning routine these days, I’ve been using this Clinique Liquid Facial Soap, that leaves my skin feeling hydrated and top it with this Clinique Clarifying Lotion. Both of these products are part of the 3-step system for very dry to dry skin. Regular soap (and most facial foaming cleansers) is too drying and can disturb the natural pH of your skin, as well as get rid of the natural oils, leaving your skin unprotected.


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Apply moisturizer.

These days I use oils that are homemade mix, but I have my eye on a facial oil from Kiehl’s. I have never bought an oil for my face and I would like to see how a store-bought one makes me feel, in comparison to a homemade one. For moisturizer, I use many different ones, some that are from that homemade collection that a friend makes. I also use the La Roche-Posay Nutritic Intense Riche Nutri-Reconstituting Cream, which works like a dream. On top of that, I’ve been testing out Clinique Moisture Surge, but it’s not as rich as the La Roche-Posay one and I won’t be purchasing it when my tester is empty. For the eyes, I’m using the Avene Soothing Eye Contour Cream and I’m quite happy with the results.

Use a bb cream instead of foundation.

After buying one full coverage foundation after the other for ten years and rarely using them, because I hate the feeling on the skin, I found Lisa Eldridge. She keeps saying that a pimple or two doesn’t mean you need a full coverage foundation. You can instead use a light coverage bb cream and cover the rest with a tiny (seriously) bit of concealer. Before I used concealer all over the centre of my face and it was a bit excessive. Now I’m using concealer for my under eyes and any red spots that show through a layer of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue. I just bought it and I haven’t made up my mind around it yet. I’ll let you know in due time, when I’m ready to talk about concealers.

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Avoid silicone, parabens and oil.

Most of the foundations have one or the other. Silicone dries the skin (and hair as well) in the long run, even though it makes it look flawless when you wear it. Oil is not bad if you don’t have oily skin, but I prefer to use high quality natural oils on my skin before I apply my foundation. As for parabens, they’re supposed to be evil, so better safe than sorry. There are few brands that sell products that fit these requirements and I am still looking for a great bb cream, so if you have a recommendation (for sensitive, dry skin) I’d love to test it out.

Don’t forget the lips.

After many years of dried and chapped lips, I found the perfect lip balm. However, it’s not possible to get hold of it anymore, which makes me really sad because it was perfect and cheap. I’ve been also using the Nuxe Reve de Miel (also almost empty) and while it keeps my lips moisturized, I find the texture weird. Any recommendations on that front?

Here’s my updated skin care routine. I’ve been moving towards more natural products, as well as products that fit my skin perfectly and I’ve seen such a big change. What are your current favorites?

Jamie’s crispy duck

Keeping up with the salad theme, today I’m sharing with you a recipe from Jamie’s book. When it comes to trying new food, I am quite open. So when I saw tofu in the ingredient list of this recipe, I was thrilled to try something new.

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Maybe I am the last person to try tofu (if not, my mom is) and I have to admit I didn’t like it. I liked the salad in general, because there is no salad I don’t like. This one has noodles and duck spiced with chinese 5 spices mix and drizzled with honey. The sauce consists of hoisin sauce, lime and garlic. When everything is ready you mix them up and serve.

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This is definitely a recipe where I had leftovers for a couple of days. A very filling noodle and duck salad. Would I try this again? Meh, well if that’s all I have left in the house, maybe..

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On Saturday

I went to the best spinning class ever with music from Karpe Diem.

I cooked the best omelette.

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I cleaned the house.

But I wore my glasses and no make up.

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And then I walked in the icy paths of Solsiden, trying to find a place and get me a coffee at Løkka.

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But that was impossible, as there was a live concert and there was absolutely no empty seat.

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I ended up at a new place nearby.

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Before I went back home, I bought four chocolates and a jar of jam because I’ve been craving a PBJ sandwich so much lately.

How was your weekend?

 

Couscous (or trachanas) salad

Hello there! It’s February! Today I’ll share with you my favorite type of salad, a couscous salad. If you’re Greek you can go ahead and make it with trachanas instead, a type of traditional Greek pasta.

Couscous (or trachanas) salad

Servings: 2. Preparation: 15 min. Cooking: 0. Total time: 15 min.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup couscous (or trachanas)
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 15 grape tomatoes
  • 1 green paprica
  • 1 red paprica
  • 5 olives (pitted and sliced)
  • a bunch of fresh parsley
  • a bunch of fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • lemon juice
  • a pinch of salt

Instructions:

  • Place couscous (or trachanas) in a big bowl and top it with warm water. Cover and let it absorb all the water.
  • Slice tomatos and cut papricas in small cubes. Thinly slice parsley and basil.
  • Add the tomatos, papricas, parsley, basil and a pinch of salt in the couscous and mix well.
  • Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.

You can serve this immediately or the next day. It’s a very simple side dish to fish or meat. Do you have a favorite type of salad?

10 things that made me happy: 01│2016

Halfway through January, I hit my toe pretty badly on the foot of the bed. The foot of the bed survived the crash unharmed. On the contrary, my toe became red and later on black and hurt a lot. I had to say bye-bye to my half marathon training and the plan of running a half marathon in March, but that’s fine now. I was sad for a day and then I saw it as a sign that it’s not meant to be right now, but I can always pick it up when I’m feeling better, which should take about four to eight weeks. In other words, soon-ish. Due to the lack of intensive half-marathon training, I had some more free time to spend relaxing by doing my guilty trashy things that you’ll read below. Please don’t be too judgemental!

The other big news of January are happy and personal. I don’t usually share personal details on my blog, but I couldn’t be prouder and happier about my awesome boyfriend getting his PhD degree. I’ve seen him work hard towards his goals, through the ups and downs of research and science. He has been a great example and an amazing coach. Celebrating his PhD defence was the perfect ending to 4,5 years of research. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a doctor in the house. :)

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Without further ado, here’s what made me happy in January!

– The sound of walking on a thick layer of fresh snow

– Snarking forums about famous (or not so famous) bloggers and YouTubers

– Google Kim K photos

– Celebrate the end of an era (and the beginning of a new one)

– Three course dinners in fancy restaurants

– My current challenge: Find the perfect blueberry muffin recipe (which means I’m not running out of blueberry muffins anytime soon…)

Akis Petretzikis (I went from being not impressed to head-over-heels in love with him, his tattoos and his cooking!)

My beach-y waves haircut

– Cut down my clothes and makeup spending to what’s absolutely necessary (hello wool undergarments!)

– Give alpine skiing a second (actually it’s more like a tenth, but anyway) shot

Which were the highlights of your month?

A Friday list

What are you wearing?
I am wearing jeans, t-shirt and dark lips. I am also wearing my black running shoes as they are the only ones my broken toe tolerates.

How are you?
I am fine. I feel happy and optimistic and it’s Friday ;).

What is your wish right now?
I wish for some more snow!

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What have you eaten today?
I’ve eaten oatmeal with banana for breakfast, broccoli bread and homemade truffles for lunch and I am currently drinking some peppermint tea.

What are you up to tomorrow?
Tomorrow I’ll have a very slow morning, I’ll do some strength training. I have no big plans for the day, but I’m sure it’s going to be fun.

And on Sunday?
On Sunday, I’ve invited some friends for game night. I’ll be making homemade pizza and opening a bottle of wine for the most casual Sunday.

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Who do you miss?
I miss my parents. I also miss the sun.

Latest purchase?
This Nike training bra and Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue. What a perfect product that is! I had very low expectations because of all the promotions and the paid reviews (I hated all the hype, do they think we’re stupid??!), but it actually works.

What made you laugh recently?

Old videos found in a forgotten SD card. Oh, how have we all changed!

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What made you cry recently?

Trying to put my broken toe in a shoe. Pain induced tears.

What are you reading at the moment?

A Greek detective novel that I got as a gift.

What movie did you last see?

The lobster and I loved it.

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Who was the last person to call you?

My mother.

Who wrote you in the facebook chat most recently?

My best friend. We chat about the most mundane things. “Hello, I just had a toast for breakfast. Have a nice day!”. Or, “You won’t guess who I met today! Maybe you will, but anyway!”. It’s just so nice.

Where do you want to go right now?

Nowhere. Trondheim is perfect right about now.

ps. Inspired by Hjartesmil. Images found on Pinterest.

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