Bare Bones Skincare Routine – Did I Like It?

Some time last year I decided to strip my skincare routine to the very basics of washing, toning, moisturising, and occasional peeling and masking. It was not so much out of boredom/ for fun, as it was because I didn’t have the money to spend on anything extra. One could argue that skincare is not a necessity at all, aside from basic hygiene and sun protection. One would be right, but one would also be wrong.

So here are my basics.

Chapstick Hydration Lock Lip Balm

Over the years I’ve accumulated quite the collection of lip balms. I’ve been slowly going through them all, and this Chapstick was just next on the list. It certainly did not give enough moisture and protection during winter. Chapstick did OK in the spring time, and now that it’s summer, I don’t see much difference. The ‘day’ end has SPF, which is good. But I don’t feel like my lips are conditioned and soft unless I actually have this balm on my lips. There’s no comfort in between wears, so to say. I hear that’s an issue with nigh all Chapstick products. Once it’s gone, I will not buy it again.

Oriflame LoveNature Purifying Oily Skin Face Lotion

This is a basic oily skin moisturiser. I’ve been using it on and off for years. It’s no miracle worker, but unless your skin is especially dehydrated, it moisturises a decent amount. I like its light texture, and I really like its slightly medicinal herbal scent. I will buy this again, as it’s pretty much a staple.

Olay Regenerist Regenerating Eye Lifting Serum

This was a gift, and a next (and last!) one in my stash of eye creams. I have sensitive eyes, and Olay Regenerist Regenerating Eye Lifting Serum has some microglitter in it. I thought I would not be able to handle it (e.g. I couldn’t handle Avon’s Anew one), but it’s fine. This cream (serum?..) is lightly yellow in colour, but I noticed no colour correcting properties. I suppose it does diffuse the light just a bit and it moisturises a decent amount, but I noticed no effect on my fine lines.

Faberlic Botanica Face Tonic with Cornflower and Pomegranate

I was broke and I needed a face toner, and this one was free with my purchase of other things, so into my basket it went. I can’t claim this Faberlic Botanica Face Tonic does a whole lot, but it does something, so to say. I can’t skip the toning part more than two-three days in a row, as I begin to break out. Faberlic Botanica Face Tonic is, like the rest of my current routine, basic. I find it non-drying, but it’s not hydrating or particularly refreshing.

Avon True Nutra Effects Micellar Cleansing Water

I think this is the… fifth? Maybe sixth micellar water I’ve tried. Avon True Nutra Effects Micellar Cleansing Water is scentless, gentle, and fares up rather nicely to, say, the Garnier one, which is my favourite budget micellar water. I’m almost at the end of this bottle, and I already purchased a huge-arse 400 ml bottle as back-up. Good stuff.

Neutrogena The Transparent Facial Bar

I bought this recently as a replacement for my beloved Pears. Unfortunately, I don’t like it as much, though usually I am inclined to quite like Neutrogena. Neutrogena The Transparent Facial Bar has a strong perfume, which is also of a kind that I have come to associate with male-oriented cosmetics. I suppose these are the remnants of sexism in me, but yes, I’m a bit particular when it comes to scents. But that aside, Neutrogena Facial Bar is much more drying than the Pears soap I’ve been using prior to that. I’d buy a Pears bar in an instant, but unfortunately it’s not usually sold where I live. I snatched two bars on the grey market by pure chance. There’s a tiny bit left, but it doesn’t give me enough suds for a proper face wash.

Yellow Sponge Thingie

I’m pretty sure it’s not its proper name. 😀 This is a generic one I bought for like 60c per two. I like using it, but next time I’m going to pay a bit more and get a softer one from, say, Oriflame. This one is a little harsh on my skin, so I only tend to use it on my nose and my forehead.

The Grand Question: Do I Like This Routine?

You may have already guessed the answer, but… No. There are certain things that I enjoy about the basic skincare routine. It’s short, straight-forward, economical, and more or less efficient. Also, since I haven’t been experimenting with different moisturisers and cleaners that much, I’ve been getting less breakouts.

Actually, that could be the Pears soap. If you suffer from acne, do give Pears soap a go.

But I’ve also noticed that my skin isn’t as plump, and there are many signs of dehydration beneath its usual oiliness. Also, the frown line on my forehead has become much more prominent. There are, of course, other contributing factors to less plumpness and more dehydration. Three prominent ones are stress, the office AC, and the fact that I’ve aged about a year. However, my epic multi-layer skincare routine that I’ve adhered to before helped me keep the effects of those factors on my skin at relative bay. The bare bones one I’m doing now is fine, but I want more from my skincare. Step up that retinol, mate!

I’m still at an awkward point financially, so it’ll be another several months at best until I’ll be able to go back to my multilayered long-arse day and night skincare routines. I’ll still be using the basic skincare routine described above with light variations of moisturises and lip balms and toners, and once I’ve finished the Neutrogena Bar, I’m going to switch to a different face washer. Aside from that, I’ll be relying on masking for hydration and cleansing in the interim.

Regardless, it’s good to know that I could fall onto a basic skincare routine like this one and still be more or less satisfied with the appearance of my skin.

What’s your skincare routine like?

Monthly Manicure Report – July 2017

Nail polish is one of my favourite things in the world, so I keep wanting to share with you what I’ve got on my fingers and toes, but somehow am never pleased with the format. Can I blather on about a single polish for an entire post? I sure can. But Armour & Warpaint is not a nail blog, and if I had talked about all the polishes that I wear throughout the month, we’d only have nailpolish posts around here.

This wouldn’t have been a case for July, though, because in July I wore four polishes only – three on my fingers, and two on my toes. I’m going to throw a June polish into the mix just to spice things up a little bit (really, though).

On my fingers

avon rebel rose

Avon SpeedDry+ in Rebel Rose

You will have seen this polish here and here. It’s old and gloopy, but I just don’t want to let it go. Recently I dropped a bit of alcohol in it to thin it out, and yay! It’s with me again! I’ve been wearing it non-stop in July, intent on using it up and getting it over with. This is such a perfect bright cool-toned pink, though. When AVON rebranded their Speed Dry line, they added a similar colour named Strawberry. I own it as well, and the tone is ever so slightly different. A normal person wouldn’t notice, but unfortunately I do.

Rebel Rose has been discontuned for a while, and I believe its replacement within the AVON line has been discontinued as well.

AVON Mark. Gel Shine in Mint To Be

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In June I painted my fingers and toes with matching mint colours. AVON Mark. Gel Shine in Mint to Be is slightly easier to work with than the Oriflame Mint Zest counterpart below – but Oriflame lasts longer and has more shine. I also enjoy the Oriflame brushes more.

As much as I enjoy mint as a nail polish colour, I find it very difficult to work with. The only two shades I find harder are white and yellow. Every single white, yellow, and mint polish I have encountered in life ends up being gooey, capricious, streaky, messy and slow-drying. I love this polish, it looks amazing – but consider yourselves warned.

blue nail polish

Flormar 437 + Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in 150 Fly By

This particular Flormar shade has been with me for quite some time. They’ve got quite a long expiration date, though, and this one has just passed it. I cannot say it has affected the formula too much, but I believe it started to chip a little faster. Anyway, it’s always been one of my favourites, and I am going to attempt to use it more until it decides to cooperate no longer. Sally Hansen is a sheer shimmer polish. It matches Flormar 437 perfectly, and I think I am going to wear the two together again. Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in 150 Fly By takes a long while to dry, though. A long while. I want to try wearing it over a white polish to imitate my friend’s gel manicure, but the moment I imagine the dry time of white polish and this topper, I reconsider.

On My Toes

avon on point blue

AVON Speed Dry in On Point Blue

Well this has been an AVON-heavy month, hasn’t it? I have quite a few of AVON polishes, and most of them are of great quality. This is another one of the SpeedDry series. It’s a revamped version, and is therefore younger than the rebel rose above. Blue polish is perfect for summer.

AVON On Point Blue is on the thin side, so you would need two coats – maybe even three if you like working with thinner layers. It goes on well, dries quickly, but doesn’t stay put for very long. This is a problem of every single fast-drying polish I have encountered, though.

Oriflame The One Long Wear Nail Polish in Mint Zest 31458

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The photo was snapped with my bookstagram in mind, so the focus is obviously on the book, but you can see the polish just fine. It stayed on my toes for an embarrassingly long time. Frankly, it would’ve stayed longer, because it didn’t chip or crack anywhere, but I felt it was time for a pedicure and a fresh coat of paint. Oriflame The One Long Wear Nail Polish in Mint Zest was a limited edition shade; it is no longer available.

oriflame mint zest

AVON Shine Burst Lipsticks in Calypso and Strawberry Blush

avon shine burst lipsticks

AVON lipsticks and I haven’t been getting along for quite some time. From complete misrepresentation of colour in the catalogues to hellishly drying formulas, it just wasn’t working out. But on the greater interwebs I read a complimentary review on their new Shine Burst lipstick line. I trusted this blogger and decided to risk it. One of the things that I found most attractive, funnily enough, was sheer coverage. I’m a serious fan of full-coverage matte liquid lipsticks, but even I want to take a break from them and use something light.

So. What have I got to say about them?

Calypso is a cold pink that, to my eye, has got just a touch of lilac in it.

Strawberry Blush has got quite an apt name. The colour is indeed reminiscent of a light strawberry blush. Both colours have shimmer in it, but it’s much more apparent in Strawberry Blush.

As I understand, the entire Shine Burst line (also called Gloss Sticks) is separated into 4 colour categories, which is reflected in its packaging. All the bullets are chrome metallic; they come in pink, red, copper, and purple, respectively. The two colours I own come from pink and red categories.

Although my disposition towards them was quite sceptical, I fell in love with Calypso from the get go. A sheer coverage, no visible shimmer. The colour looks great with my favourite lip pencil as a base, but on its own it, too, is amazing. A great every day colour that is also good for evening time. Upon a closer look, you can see just the tiniest amount of shimmer in the tube, but it is unreadable on the lips.

Strawberry Blush gives a ‘thoroughly kissed’ effect on me. I love this effect very much, and if it weren’t for shimmer, it could be that I would’ve loved Strawberry Blush even more than I love Calypso. Unfortunately shimmer, besides everything else, also affects the texture of the lipstick. Compared to Calypso, which feels like a really luxurious balm, Strawberry Blush is a bit… chalky. That description is offputting, but don’t let that stop you – both of these lipsticks do not feel drying. They are a pleasure to wear, especially during winter.

I’ve only got two negative things to say about AVON Shine Burst lipsticks. One is the amount of product – 1.8 g only. I’ve already used up about 1/3 of both Calypso and Strawberry Blush, though I can’t say that I’ve been using it more often than my other current favourites.

Another point is they tend to bleed outside of the lip line during summer. The formula is rather creamy and sheer. They are not long-lasting in the slightest, so during the hotter days make sure you use a clear or nude lip pencil with AVON Shine Burst lipsticks.

However I did like both of these AVON Shine Burst lipsticks quite a lot. When I run out of either of these, I will definitely repurchase it. Some other colours in the line have also sparked my interest (Peach Punch, Iced Mocha…) but since I’m saving money this year, I don’t quite know when I will get my hands on them.

calypso and strawberry

What’s your take on AVON lipsticks?

On Trial in May 2017 – AVON, Relouis, Faberlic

The start of a new series? We shall see. I intend to pick up several products and give them a good use throughout the month. They could be completely new or they could be some poor unfortunate souls stuck in the limbo of my collection. Since I’m on a semi-no-buy, it will more than likely be the latter.

In May, however, all the products were new.

relouis complimenti! face powder

Relouis Complimenti! Compact Powder in 01 (lightest)

My old compact powder (coincidentally by Relouis as well) finally gave up the ghost, so I went and bought practically the cheapest available on the local market. As much as I was OK with the previous incarnation of Relouis compact powder, I am having trouble with this one.

  • It does not appear to be as finely milled;
  • it’s very picky in terms of brushes it wants to work with;
  • it doesn’t stay put for a long time;
  • although the coverage is very light, it piles on and starts to cake, especially around my nose, as the day goes by;
  • I do not enjoy the scent;
  • it seems to be going pretty fast – if you look closely into the photo below, you will see that the ridges of the pan are already visible. They’ve been visible since the first week of usage.

complimenti! face powder

The positive factors are:

  • packaging – it’s black, white, and modern-looking;
  • the compact opens up to 180 degrees;
  • the shade. Although it has a pink undertone (I don’t), it’s light enough and sheer enough to fit my skin tone.

I wanted this to be sort of a workhorse, and although I’ll continue using it until it’s gone, I might pick up something else in the interim – something that would actually suit my needs.

avon mark finishing powder

AVON Mark. Magix HD Finishing Powder

I’ve been setting my face with Isadora Loose Powder for a while, but was on the fence about the result I was getting. Although I will not be writing off Isadora Powder completely, AVON Mark. Magix HD Finishing Powder gives me a better result. It doesn’t alter the colour of my foundation as it is truly translucent. It’s not the most finely milled powder I’ve encountered, but it’s nice enough. Gives a matte finish. The sifter is nice too – I’ve barely had an overshake with it, and I’m a chronic powder overshaker. You can also close it, so you can take the powder with you and not worry about spilling it everywhere.

avon mark finishing powder dispenser

I’m pretty sure this will stay with me for a while, and if AVON still runs them when I’m out, I’ll be repurchasing.

faberlic express volume

Faberlic EXPRESS Volume Mascara

I bought this mascara a while ago, but only opened it this month. It was a blind buy, so to say, and I had no idea the brush would be so small. So far, I’ve got mixed feelings about this: Sometimes I feel like it gives me good length and good volume; other days I feel like it gives me relatively long, but messy and spiky lashes with little to no volume. As it ages, it’s getting better.

No gripes with longevity, though. Stays put throughout the day.

faberlic mascara wand

Recent Eye Makeup Products

mascara brow pencil eye liner

Isn’t this the greatest photo to ever grace the beauty blogging scene? It ought to be. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reshoot, because these were all empties that got thrown out the minute I snapped this picture.

Though I brought back the Outgoing! posts, there’s still a bit of a backlog of stuff I’ve used up when I wasn’t doing any empties sharing with you. These eye makeup products are one such thing.

Chanel Mascara, sample size

I suppose this has a more precise name, but I don’t know it. I loved using this, though I found the brush a bit unyielding and messy. My main gripe was that it dried out. so. fast. I don’t know if it was just my sample, or the air in my room, or something else, but seriously. I got this sample for free with a magazine, but I imagine how pissed I would have been if I had paid an indecent amount of money for a luxury mascara, only to find it barely alive about two weeks later.

Curious: How have Chanel mascaras fared for you? I want to invest in a big size one, but if it dries out in a couple of weeks, well, then I don’t want to any more. 😛

Relouis eyeliner pencil

Relouis eyeliner pencil has been my go-to brow pencil until I ran out of it. It was difficult to use as an eyeliner – rather low pigmentation, not a lot of staying power, the formula is just on that side of being a touch too harsh… – but as a brow pencil? Gimme. I think I’m going to repurchase it once I run out of my current OFRA brow pencil.

AVON DIVA Eyeliner

This AVON eyeliner was a purchase influenced entirely by nostalgia. Long time ago Oriflame came out with a similarly themed collection, and my mother bought me the entire range of that as a gift. When I saw this AVON offering I had thought of mum immediately, and had to snap it up. This is actually a very good eyeliner. It is a dark silver grey that is not matte but not sparkly either. Stayed put throughout the day. The brush was thin and easy to work with even for someone like me. It also lasted me a while and kept really well. Didn’t dry out one bit – and honestly, the only reason I’ve given it up was because it’s hella old. I don’t even want to tell you how old it was lest you shun me off the face of the beauty internets. This was a limited edition collection, but I would totally buy again.