22/04/2014

How to fade dark spots naturally

FLAW - a beauty editorial for Schön Magazine

Acne, sun exposure and aging can all cause the appearing of dark spots on the skin. Although they may seem impossible to get rid of, lots of people have succeeded by using both natural and chemical remedies. You can easily find skin brightening lotions nowadays, even in your local drugstore, and dermatologists offer plenty of different laser treatments. But why not venture on a more natural and safe route instead? To make your dark spots fade more easily, you should...

… Prevent: if you don't want those marks to become permanent, you should stay away from the sun in the first place. Always use a broad-spectrum SPF every day if you know you are going to be outside, and concentrate it especially on the problematic areas on your face. Your skin will thank you for that!

… Exfoliate: doing a scrub at least once a week will help to remove the dead skin cells on the surface of your skin and reveal new ones. There is no need to use store-bought products to do so – a simple honey and sugar face scrub will do just as well, if not better. Just mix three spoonfuls of raw honey and three tablespoons of sugar in a bowl, then gently massage the scrub you just created on your face in circular motions. Honey is probably one of the best ingredients in the recipe for a good complexion!

… Use lemon juice: Lemon probably is the best natural remedy to make dark spots disappear. The vitamin C in lemons can help in fading skin discolourations; this fruit also has mild natural bleaching properties which help remove the top layers of the skin. The best way to use it is to squeeze a lemon to get all the juice out of it and simply apply it on your face with a cotton round at least once a day, preferably at nighttime; if your skin is particularly sensitive, you should dilute the juice lemon with some water.

… Use Aloe Vera: this plant has so many good uses, especially skin-related ones. It helps in healing burns, it moisturizes and -of course- it helps renew the skin, speeding the dark spots fading process. The best way to take advantage of Aloe Vera would be by taking the juice directly from the plant and applying it on your skin, but you can easily purchase 100% Aloe Vera gels in stores

... Use apple cider vinegar: the acetic acid contained in apple cider vinegar will help the renovation in the top layers of your skin, therefore making your dark spots disappear more easily. Substitute it to your regular toner and apply it all over the face every day for a glowing complexion!

Don't be discouraged if you don't see any results straight after the first application: if you want to get rid of your dark spots, it's very important that you are consistent, whatever natural remedy you choose. Our skin can take months to respond to a treatment, so just be patient ;)
photo credit: henrik adamsen

19/04/2014

My Current Favourite Lip Products

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Today I'd like to share with you the four lip products I'm currently obsessing over. Most of them are new purchases, so I decided to gather them all in one post :)

Max Factor Color Elixir Giant Pen Stick in Subtle Coral 02
I have been all about coral lately: coral clothes, coral nails and -of course- coral lips. After swatching just about every coral lip product in my beauty store, I found that the Max Factor Color Elixir Giant Pen Stick in Subtle Coral 02 was my favourite: it's the perfect orange-y coral shade for Spring time and I find it suits my skintone and hair colour perfectly. The texture is very smooth and balmy, and it has a nice glossy finish which makes the lips look more plump. The only downside to this product is that you have to sharpen it! But I like the fact that the bottom of the pencil matches the actual colour of the lipstick - that's always nice if you have tons of lip products like yours truly.

Essence XXL Longlasting Lipgloss in Coral Delight
I absolutely love pairing this lipgloss to the Max Factor lip crayon! They match perfectly and this Essence lipgloss makes the other product even more pigmented and shiny. I like it also on its own for quick, fresh-looking make-up looks. It's definitely pigmented for a €2,50 product and I definitely want to try more from this line. 

Revlon Lip Butter in Raspberry Pie
You know I love my Revlon Lip Butters - I have ever since they came out and I just can't stop using them. The one in Raspberry Pie was one of my less used ones because I found it was just too pigmented for day-to-day wear and it also made my teeth look a bit yellow. I tried it again on a whim a few weeks ago and I fell in love with it! Despite it having a very creamy and soft texture, I like applying it over lipbalm so that it has a more sheer and glossy finish. I love the dark berry shade, but most of all I love how perfectly it wears, because it leaves the prettiest stain on the lips after the gloss is gone. 

KIKO Precision Lip Pencil #311
My other favourite everyday lip product of the moment, together with the first two I mentioned, is the KIKO Precision Lip Pencil #311. It's a great 'my lips but better' shade, which is just a tiny bit darker than my own lips. I have been enjoying defining my lips a bit more recently, and I definitely want to branch out more in the lip pencil department. I'm trying to add more lip pencils to my collection because they make your lipstick stay on so much longer (and I definitely need that, especially when I have long days at Uni) and they look pretty even on their own, as this one does, especially topped off with some clear lipgloss. I find the KIKO Precision Lip Pencils are great: they are pigmented but not drying on the lips. I have a red Essence one as well that I love even more, but unfortunately the colour range is so poor!

What lip products are you enjoying so far? Which ones do you like to wear in the Spring time? :)

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Max Factor // Essence // Revlon // Kiko

12/04/2014

My Roaccutane Experience: Month 2 & 3


 Roaccutane

Here I am with the second post about my Roaccutane journey! It's been exactly 3 months since I started taking it. I'm still on 30mg a day, but I will probably ask to up the dose next time I see my dermatologist as it's going so well! It's insane. I would have never imagined how quickly it would have worked - I'm just hoping my skin will look this good when I stop the treatment too. But let's be more detailed, shall we :)

As I have said in my first Roaccutane experience post, my skin started clearing up about three weeks into the treatment. During the month of March I have had three (yes, only THREE) pimples, and that was probably because I wasn't eating very healthily. I pretty much have only scars left, which is just insane to think of... Yes, because when you wake up every day of your life for almost 10 years with at least one breakout on your face, you get used to it. So this whole 'no breakout situation' is completely new to me!

My skin has definitely been dry, but not drier than it was in the first month. My morning and evening skincare routine are exactly the same - I wash my face using Avène Antirougeurs Anti-Redness Dermo Cleansing Fluid, then I apply a thick moisturizer my dermatologist gave me (it's a local product so it's no point in me telling you the name). I know some people on Roaccutane have to moisturize multiple times throughout the day - that's definitely not my case. I would say my skin has gotten incredibly drier compared to what it was before, but it's rarely flakey or tight. Applying moisturizer before putting on my makeup is mandatory, otherwise the dryness will show through.
To take my make-up off I'm still using the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish hot cloth cleanser and Bioderma, and they don't irritate my skin very much at all and substitute make-up removing wipes beautifully.

Lips - My lips have been dry but not extremely flakey; I've been using the Bionike Proxera Lipogel lipbalm, which feels more like an oil rather than a lipbalm and smells like MAC lipsticks, which is amazing. It's worked very well so far in giving back my lips some needed moisture :)
Nose - The tip of my nose is driving me insane - no matter how much moisturizer I put on it, no matter when I apply it, it won't do nothing! It's so noticeable when I put foundation on, I hate it!
Hands - I got a weird rash on my hands from mid-February to mid-March, but it's completely gone now. My dermatologist said it was a normal reaction that many people experience during Roaccutane.
Eyes - My eyes get a little bit dry during the afternoon, especially if I have a lesson at Uni or I'm studying.
Body -The only other part of my body that is drier than normal are my underarms and arms, but nothing major. Despite not being super dry, my body skin is definitely more sensitive and that's a problem when it comes to shaving. I usually wax my legs and underarms, but I'm scared it will hurt too much - if you've been on Roaccutane, how did you shave? D:

I haven't been experiencing any other side effects: my blood levels are fine, I'm not feeling any more depressed than I normally am (haha), no headaches. I'm so, so, so happy that the treatment is going so well and I do hope with all my heart it will go even better!
Feel free to ask me questions and tell me about your experience in the comments below ♥

05/04/2014

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

Make Up For Ever HD Foundation

After managing to use a light-coverage foundation for two years, about 5 months ago my acne got so bad that I decided to switch to a more heavy duty product than my beloved Chanel Vitalumière Aqua: the Make Up For Ever HD foundation. I have been using it for a long period of time now and I have fallen in love with it!

I was looking for an oil free, long lasting product, but most of all I wanted something that would cover up all the redness and scarring on my skin: the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation seemed to tick all the boxes. This foundation's coverage definitely is very high, but what I like about it is that it doesn't look fake or cakey - it looks like real skin. It almost gives a glowy, non-flat finish. And on some very good skin days, I can even skip concealer!
Despite having such a high coverage, it doesn't have a thick consistency: it's almost runny and it doesn't feel very heavy on the skin. For that reason, I like to apply it with my hands by patting it on the skin - that way I can concentrate more product on my problem areas and less where I don't really need it. I tried to apply it with the Real Techniques Expert Face brush when I first bought this foundation, but I found the coverage was less intense and the effect was less natural. Also, for some reason the product clinged to dry patches like crazy, so for me the best way is to apply it with my fingers.

Back when I bought this product, I wasn't on Roaccutane (read more about that here) and my skin was oilier than usual, so I had to powder after max three hours after applying my make-up - it was driving me insane. Thankfully, now that my sebum production is being controlled by Roaccutane, I can wear this foundation for more than 12 hours, which is a dream come true. It wears really well and it find it tends to disappear a bit on certain areas only after many hours. 

On the whole, I would definitely recommend the Make Up For Ever HD Foundation to those who have hyperpigmentations, blemishes and things like that, not so much to the lucky girls with already good skin! The only 'con' about this product is that it need a good moisturized base underneath, because it tends to cling to dry patches. The shade selection is great -it comes in 26 shades-, so I bet there's one for everybody. What's not so great is the price which is pretty high, but I am willing to pay a bit more for such a good product. Also, I've been using it since October and it's not nearly empty yet!
Overall I am really enjoying my Make Up For Ever HD Foundation and I would absolutely repurchase it if I was not hoping to not need it at the end of my Roaccutane treatment ;)

29/03/2014

Redecorating My Room: Part 1

About a month ago, I decided I had to change some things in my room. My bedroom probably is my favourite place in the entire world, but I felt like I could organize it a little bit better: I only come back home every two weeks and to find a pretty, tidy room is the best feeling ever for me. I need a cute little space to study and relax in, since life in Rome is so stressful.  
As soon as I was finished with my exams mid-February, I took a morning off from everything and give my bedroom a little restyling - hopefully it will inspire you to do the same :) 

bedroom decor

I liked how my books were organized before, but I was running out of space - if I had bought one  more book, I probably wouldn't have known where to put it. They were stacked two deep, so they were often hard to find. I decided to move them to a set of shelves that were already on another wall of the room (blog post coming on that soon!) and move the content that was there to these ones. Much more organized, huh?

bedroom decor

On the first shelves I put two Glossybox boxes where I store little bits and pieces, a Starbucks cup full of little memories and covered them with two pretty flower crowns I made a few years ago. On the background you can see a portrait of myself when I was 10, taking part in a rhythmic gymnastic competition :) I know I could fit so much more on this shelf, but it looks nice as it is, so I am probably going to leave it like that for now. 

bedroom decor

The next shelf is another pretty useless one, but at least it's nice to look at! I have a Ladurée recipe book there, together with a Ladurée tea box and a simple embroidery work I did during the Winter holidays. I love keeping a few quotes here and there in my bedroom - it's the place where I spend the most time when I'm at home, and they keep me motivated :) 

bedroom decor

The fourth shelf I left as it was before, with my foreign fashion magazine collection. I like how the white spines look together! The next shelf is filled with cardboard magazine organizers, in which I keep extra stationery, binders etc. I picked two packs of IKEA Flyt magazine files for super cheap, covered them with brown paper, glued some string around them and tied a little bow in the front. It took a few hours to do the whole process, but I couldn't be happier of how they turned out!

bedroom decor

I didn't make any change to this corner of my room, but I wanted to show it to you anyway :) I like to pick flowers from places where I go on holiday to, let them dry in a book and frame some of them. These, in particular, I picked from Sicily and Greece ♥

I hope you enjoyed this little peek at my room, and that you can take some inspiration from it. I believe that improving in the space you live in always has positive consequences!