30 June 2016

June Yays & Nays

I feel like I've gone through a great deal of products this month. I won't include all the different samples that I've taken with me on my recent holiday and comment only on the big guns.
For my nays I've included some rather meh! products:

Biotherm Biosource clarifying exfoliating gel: it's gentle enough to be used on a daily basis but I kept it to 2-3 times a week. I'm done with physical exfoliators as I've been sold on using chemical ones that can't damage your skin as the exfoliating particles can be somewhat uneven at times. 

Katari regenerating anti aging cream with olive oil and hyaluronic acid: it was too rich a formula for my oily skin, even though I used it only at night time.

Hawaiian Tropic sun lotion SPF15: very comfortable on the skin (it dries completely without leaving any sticky residue) and nice smelling but it's too low a protection factor to be using nowadays.
All of these I would repurchase, some of them I already have:

The Body Shop pink grapefruit body sorbet: it's a refreshing gel like formula that smells amazing, perfect for the warmer months. I've been switching between this scent and the Satsuma one.

Alterna Bamboo Color Hold + shampoo: for it being free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates and sodium chloride it foams up pretty well. I hate using a sulfate free shampoo and needing to use a whole bottle to be able to feel like I've really cleansed my hair.

Le Petit Marsellais Orange Blossom shower gel: it smells amazing, fruity with a touch of floral. The perfect combination to make help you relax at the end of the day.

Cutex nail polish remover: I tried a cheaper brand to see if it could compare to this one but nothing beats this oldie.

Simply Supplements Multivitamins: I like taking them from time to time as a pick me up, especially during the spring when I'm feeling more tired than usual.

Garnier Delial Golden Protect SPF30: I've raved so much about this but it's time to wake up and face the facts. It's been discontinued so I need to say goodbye to this gorgeous lotion that made my skin glow under the sun. I have one last bottle that I'm going to stretch out as long as I possibly can.

Roc Anti Cellulite lotion: it's been a staple product since I found a website that sells them for a fraction of the price. It helps in making my skin look more firm although it hasn't been able to get rid of all the cellulite I've been accumulating on my thighs for years.


27 June 2016

Casa da Ínsua: Hotel, Museum or Little Paradise?

Last week I already shared what I brought back from this Parador but I promised to show some pictures of the hotel itself:
Casa da Ínsua - entrance
The stone staircase to the lobby.
Casa da Ínsua- Inside yard
The inside patio. 
Casa da Ínsua - back gardens
A view from the back garden.
Casa da Ínsua - water lilies
A pond full of water lilies.
Casa da Ínsua - pond with ducks and swans
A larger pond with a swan.
Casa da Ínsua - swans
In fact there were two swans, one was a bit more aggressive than the other (the hubby almost lost his fingers when feeding them some bread crumbs).
Casa da Ínsua - ballroom
A ballroom with a piano and a huge fireplace.
Casa da Ínsua - Japanese room
The Japanese room.
Casa da Ínsua - portrait room
The portrait room.
Casa da Ínsua - old kitchen
The old kitchen that is now only used for wine & food tastings and workshops.
Casa da Ínsua - clockwork
A huge clockwork that occupied two stories (the pendulums went all the way down to the previous one).
Casa da Ínsua - chapel
The chapel that features the clock that I showed in the picture above.
Casa da Ínsua - bedroom
Our bedroom: the bed was huge and high up, I almost needed a staircase to climb on it.
Casa da Ínsua - bathroom
A standard but roomy bathroom.
Casa da Ínsua - sitting room
And we were upgraded to a junior suite (I'm still not sure why?) so we had a sitting room that we never got to use.

There still was much, much more to visit, so if you've liked the hotel so far I'd recommend you pay it a visit if you're ever in the area. The town is called Penalva do Castelo in Portugal.


24 June 2016

Adambeauty: Japanese SPF Haul

I never imagined Tokyo could be such a beauty heaven when we first decided to go there for our 10th wedding anniversary. I wasn't even a beauty blogger back then but I think I was born with a love for skincare. I remember being 8 years old and using a cheap hand cream on my face as a moisturizer. In my teens I was addicted to ordering from Yves Rocher, that was way before the age of the internet and I had to place my order by post. 

Many years later, thanks to YouTube, I finally developed a taste for make up and started using it on a daily basis. That meant getting up earlier and that was a huge commitment for me. I'm such a bed person, even now I'm writing this post from the comfort of my adjustable bed and thinking of the nap I'm going to take once I hit the publish button.

Wearing a non-greasy SPF underneath my make up all year round is 110% needed when you live in Spanish-California aka Alicante Region. But being an oily gal as I am you have to be careful of what product you use as your make up could end up melting off in no time. 

I've tried many, many, many European SPF brands and none have worked out for me. My travel to Tokyo changed all that and I'm happy to share this with y'all. As I was so obsessed with finding the right sunscreen for my face I purchased a few different brands to try out. One of them was in loose powder format, very convenient for touch ups without disrupting your make up.

The only downside is that Japanese SPF are reformulated and repackaged every year so if you fall in love with one particular formula you may be unable to get it the following year. Ratzilla has an awesome blog in which she puts everything to the test and publishes the results with her best SPF formulas as soon as the new products come out. 
This year, I chose the 2 most affordable options, although I went for the Sunkiller perfect water essence instead of the perfect strong moisture that she featured in that post. I went for this version because it's alcohol free and, while my skin's not sensitive to alcohol I wanted to try this out to recommend to other people who like to stay far away from this ingredient. 
I'm not sure why I included a picture of the ingredients on the back because I'm not able to read them and I don't suppose any of my few readers can either but, whatevs.
The products came by ordinary post inside an envelope and wrapped up in bubble wrap. It took less than 2 weeks to be delivered from the other side of the world and the shipping is their best feature: only 2$ (U.S.). Of course you don't get tracking but I've ordered from them a few times in the past and I've never encountered any trouble.
I paid a total of 28.50$ including shipping. The Isehan Sunkiller is 50gr and a bit thicker in consistency although it blends out like a gel and the Bioré UV is 90ml and has a very runny consistency. They both have a citric smell to them and they dry on the skin almost immediately leaving it silky soft.

The only reason I haven't shopped at Adambeauty more often is that they only had PayPal available as a payment method. I've had many problems with PayPal in the past and was reluctant to take the chance of getting my payment details hacked again but I found out that you can actually pay by card without signing in to PayPal, yay!

What's your favourite SPF? Does it work well under make up?


20 June 2016

Vacation Haul: Portuguese Delicacies

I think I've well established my love for food & wines in previous posts. We've just come back home from our vacation in Galicia and Portugal. Instead of buying souvenirs like magnets, key holders, pens and such we prefer to bring back something food related to give to our friends and family. 
The last Parador hotel we stayed in is the first and only one that has been opened in Portugal for now: Casa da Ínsua. They have their own winery and they also produce different kind of jams, olive oil, honey, cheese and much more although these are the ones that you can purchase directly from them. They also sell a lot of pottery and gorgeous crockery but we aren't very keen on those.
We prefer red wine over white and rosé so we took one of each: a small bottle to give to the in-laws and the 2010 and 2012 wines for us. We already had a glass of the 2012 with our dinner the previous night so we already knew it would make an excellent choice for a souvenir.
They only make two types of cheese: young and matured, we picked one of each. 
I don't have much of a sweet tooth but the hubby does, so we picked some honey for him, my mom and our friends, an apple jam for the in-laws and a 1/2 liter olive oil for me.
This is the hotel seen from the backyard. I have some amazing pictures to share with y'all but I'll leave them for a future post. I don't want to overload you with all the amazingness. If you ever have the chance to visit this hotel I'd highly recommend it. It's only a hour and a half from Porto, Coïmbra and 3 hours from Lisbon. The food and wine are delicious and the scenery is beyond amazing. 

16 June 2016

My Vacation So Far: Paradores

The hubby and I have taken a week off from work and are driving through the north of Spain and jumping from Parador to Parador. Paradores are hotels run by the Spanish Government in order to maintain older buildings that would go to waste otherwise, like castles, palaces, monasteries, etc.
Monday: Benavente (Zamora)
Tuesday: Cambados (Pontevedra)
Wednesday: Pontevedra
Thursday: Baiona (Pontevedra)
Old Paradores map:
Next stop: Portugal

13 June 2016

Cleansing Make Up Brushes with Brushegg

Sunday is brush cleansing day. Make up brushes get cleansed every sunday and hair brushes every month. I started out using olive oil and dish washer but since then I've moved on to Lush Shampoo bars. I came upon the idea when using the Beauty Blender Solid Cleanser. It's a smaller version of the Lush shampoo bars so I thought I could try the shampoo as a brush cleanser and see if it would give the same results. But it didn't, it worked even better.
Brushegg + Lush Shampoo bar in Brazilliant
I used to swirl my soapy brushes on the palm of my hand until all the built up make up came out but now I have the help of this tiny rubber gadget.
Brushegg + Real Techniques foundation brush + Lush Brazilliant shampoo bar
The textured surface helps out to get your brushes cleansed in no time. It's a real small and cheaper version of the Sigma Spa Brush Cleansing Glove or the Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette.
I found it on Amazon and ordered a few of them to give to my friends as it was only 1,56€.
Brushegg + Real Techniques foundation brush
I highly recommend the Brushegg if you where thinking of getting it's grown-up version but you don't want to spend that much. You can see it in action in this video by Kathleen Fuentes:

How often do you clean your make up brushes?