un.sized.

girl, not sissy.

Smooth operator

Finding the perfect care + make-up routine has been a life quest since the glorious day my mom started buying me cosmetics. She’s a wonderful mom and a great beautician, it’s more than time I praise her for that.

But let’s not divert. I am far from having a perfect baby skin, in fact it is much more messy than that – mixed, sensitive, with open pores and for some reason never hydrated enough. Along these last years I have started to feel more the need of complementing my care routine with some make-up, trying to look less like an exhausted mom on the verge of converting to the holy church of sweatpants and more like a regular “the 30’s are the new 20’s” girl.

Important to say that I am all for the natural look, I have a really hard time seeing myself with too much stuff on and, to make things even harder, my oily skin requires a fair amount of maintenance. But luckily there are solutions and these are my current favorites:

Care

Alpha-H Liquid Gold

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When I was a teenager I had to go through a dermatological acne treatment, Ruacutane and the whole nine yards. That was when I got acquainted with Glycolic Acid. I remember it worked wonders on my skin and, since then, I have always missed that intensive skin workout that made my face wake up smooth and bright. A couple of months ago, gossiping online with some friends, one of them pointed out Alpha-H Liquid Gold as one of the lifesaver, skin changing products on their beauty routine. As soon as I read the “G” word, I decided I should give it a shot.

The guys over at Alpha-H actually have a very straight forward way of explaining what Glycolic acid is and how it works: “Glycolic Acid is perhaps the best known Alpha Hydroxy Acid in the cosmetic industry. It is naturally derived from Sugar Cane and is often selected for use in cosmetic products because of its small molecular structure, the easy of penetration into the skin and its water binding properties. (…) Glycolic Acid exfoliates the skin by melting away the ionic bonds that hold skin cells together. This promotes a healthy and constant cell renewal process that is necessary to prevent a buildup of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin. Exfoliation is vital to preventing blocked pores, deep lines and wrinkles, an uneven complexion, dull appearance and thickened skin.” 

I have been wearing it for a couple of weeks now and it’s starting to work it’s magic. Not that I believe in miracles, but this product actually does a very good job keeping the skin clearer and more even. Not that much improvement on pores yet, let’s see what it does in time.

Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF 30+

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This is a vital part of any skincare routine: hydrating + UV protection. Even more so when you are using any products with Glycolic Acid, it is an absolute must, since the skin is renewing and needs extra care to stay beautiful and even. I have chosen to try also a moisturizer from Alpha-H, thinking that they probably worked carefully to build products that perfectly match. I really like it. It is rich and hydrating, leaves my skin very comfortable and, surprisingly, it absorbs very well and doesn’t leave the skin greasy or sticky.

Actually, I have to say that I kind of fell in love with this brand. I am gradually trying out all the Alpha-H products that I find suitable for my skin. I love the ingredients, the concept, the simple and clever branding and packaging. And I do love the fact that their products seem to have a great value for money, the prices are very reasonable. More on my adventures with Alpha-H to come!

Make-up

Guerlain Terracota Skin

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Trying to even out my skin and have it all clear and smooth doesn’t exactly mean I will become porcelain white. I come from a long lineage of brunet/yellowish skinned ladies, or so it seems, and to make it more tricky there are all the freckles on my nose and cheeks. During summer my skin always looks great, no need for foundation or any tinted cream, but hello winter and the skin tone turns dull and not so healthy looking. After being a mom the less sleep, more chaos combination made me realize that foundation needed to stop being my enemy. Our battle goes back to the era when foundation was very thick and unnatural, thankfully now that I actually need it there are more options and lighter textures.

For skin tones like mine, a great choice is to go for a natural sun-kissed look, well adjusted to the seasons of the year. This Guerlain Terracota Skin is perfect for that kind of look, combining the correcting and perfecting foundation characteristics with the mythic Terracota bronzer glow. The finish is very natural, the skin appears finer, healthy and glowing.

Dior Hidra Life BB Eye Creme

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Chronicle dark circles? Join the team! Honestly, after trying a lot of different options to solve this problem, I am still lacking a definitive solution. Mainly my strategy is to keep the skin around the eye area well taken care of and try to minimize the dark circles appearance. This Dior Hydra Life BB Eye Creme has proven to be a great partner, not only because it conceals the dark circles, but also because it keeps the skin moisturized, fresh and it has UV protection to prevent sun damage and aging. Definitely on my essentials list!

Guerlain Terracota Light

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So much has been said about Guerlain’s Terracota, there isn’t really much more that can be added. It gives you that summery glow that everyone dreams about the whole year. We all look so much happy and healthier when we’re elegantly tanned! I am currently using this Terracota Light, I like it because you can adjust the color by selecting more of one or another of the tones in the palette.

CK One Brow Pencil + Gel Duo

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Brows are usually very underrated. Or ridiculously considered. Should we try to make them look trimmed and full and tidy? Yes! Do we need to get rid of them to paint on purple arched lines over our eyes? Erm…

Usually I don’t wear all that much make-up on my eyes, on the one hand because I am lazy and thoroughly removing eye make-up can be a nightmare, on the other hand, because already having big eyes makes them to their own thing and I don’t feel comfortable overdoing it. So my eye essentials for complete make-up tend to be mascara, black or brown pencil and some nude eyeshadows. And this CK One Brow Pencil + Gel Duo.

On a daily basis this alone does the trick for me, the pencil gets the brows full and slightly colored to match my hair and the gel allows me to have them all tidy and looking gracefully defined.

Erborian Lip Dome +

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This lip balm rocks. It does. It is full of herbal goodness and has an extremely rich and fluid texture. It doesn’t get the lips sticky or stained, on the contrary, they immediately get supple and comfortable. Plus it leaves this transparent glossy shine, looking beautiful and natural in a way gloss never seems to be able to.

Have you tried any of these? I would love to know what you think and what other skin perfecting tips work for you!

On being cold

My first northern Europe winter was fun, at least kind of. It was really just half of the longest winter of my life, from January to May. There was snow everywhere and a lot of coats and scarfs going on. I felt I was pushing my own limits and that felt good. Coming from Portugal, it was really a challenge, usually my winter at home is what here in Germany would be called a pretty ok autumn and it all lasts for around 3 months, when everyone complains about the 10. degrees, the short days, the white skin and missing our flip-flops a whole too much.

But this year the fun is gone. No, really. I do understand winter hasn’t even started, but what we are experiencing here now is what my mom would call the “polar cold” wave. Add that to the rumors of another very dark and long winter like last year and we’re talking about 6 to 8 months of cold, rain and snow. Crap, I miss home.

Not all is bad, though. My winter wish list is already in the making. I reckon it will be quite a long one, so expect some posts about this – and about my day dreaming about summer.

Today I’ll start with some essentials:

Modström’s Unit winter coat / UGG Korynne rain boots  / Zara’s poncho sweater  / UGG Caraby boots

What are your top choices to warm up this winter?

First things first

I am a woman, a mom, a wife, a professional, a party girl and a traveller. I am a sucker for arts, for design, for fashion and all things beauty. I imagine no life without music, and without technology, for that matter. I enjoy food, sometimes even too much and I do feel that the beach is the best place on earth. I am a girl, not a sissy. This is one of my windows to the world. Nice to see you here.

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