Beach holiday beauty essentials

I am terribly late with this one, I know. It’s basically winter in Germany, I keep seeing all these beautiful fall outfits on Instagram and I am totally unable to pull one off, because it is so freakin’ cold. Forget my awesome red trenchcoat and my beloved leather jacket, I need my winter coat now.

But still, I thought I’d share the beauty products I took with me on my beach holiday in Bulgaria. I must say, this year I discovered many beauty secrets and beauty products that work for me. I no longer have the need to experiment all the time, I have found my favourite products in some categories and I am just trying to perfect my routine so that I can achieve maximum results in a minimum time.

With that being said, I selected these products carefully. They were supposed to address problem areas/issues and to deliver results. Quickly. Read below to see if they managed to do that:14610574_1315907731755183_991441338_n

Beach holiday = sunscreen. My mum gave me Garnier Ambre Solaire Ideal Bronze 30 (spray) and I took it without thinking twice. I really don’t care what sunscreen I put on my body, everything works as long as I remember to reapply. This was great, it spreads easily and I didn’t need to work hard to make the white cast go away. Will buy again.

For the face I opted for Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50. There is a reason why everyone is raving about this on the Asian Beauty Reddit. This product is amazing! It is not greasy AT ALL. In fact, you don’t see it on your skin. Even better – you don’t feel it, as if you haven’t put anything on your face. It absorbs in seconds, it works beautifully under makeup. Remember what I told you about finding a favourite? Well, this is holy grail, I am not looking for replacements. It is not waterproof, but I don’t mind. This stuff managed to keep my boyfriend’s face and neck from burning, which happens waaay too easily. Like… 15-minutes-in-the-sun-and-he-is-red-easily. Yes, it is that good. I ordered it from ebay for 10 bucks, which is a great price!!
If you fancy reading a proper review, please check out this one. This blog is a must read if you are into asian skincare.

Kräuterhof Aloe Vera Gel – another must have on a beach holiday. It works really great for the body, but due to the high concentration of aloe it makes my face really red in 2 minutes. The same happened to my boyfriend, the ingredient list is pretty clear and it doesn’t leave space for any other interpretation of the reason for this reaction.
It feels sticky, but I don’t mind as long as I use it at night.

Skinfood Beauty in a food sheet mask (Snail) – Snail slime is great at repairing the skin and is supposed to work wonders against burning, wounds etc. Snails are actually producing it to heal different cuts from rough surfaces. I have been using sheet masks regularly for half an year now, so I decided to test this specific one on my vacation. I am impressed. It really helped my skin feel better after sun exposure, less tight, hydrated and smooth. Right now I am using it the morning after using my chemical exfoliation product which tends to dry out my skin a bit. It works so I will be definitely purchasing more. This particular brand puts a LOT of essence in their mask, I put it in a tiny little jar and use it as a serum for the next 2 ot 3 days. Great product!

Balea Shampoo pH 5,5 – I thought using a more gentle shampoo is a good idea when you need to wash your hair every day. This was a good choice. It was able to wash off any hair products I might have had, it didn’t weigh my hair down and it didn’t dry it out. My boyfriend liked it too and continues to use it, although he was not able to explain the difference to other shampoos. I use a different one now since I am washing my hair every three days and the one by Balea doesn’t keep it clean for that long.

Balea After Sun Intensiv Kur – I have no idea if this worked, it’s the same with heat protectors. I hope it did. However, I used this as a conditioner because of the convenient packaging. It didn’t hydrate my hair or make it soft and smooth. I don’t know – perhaps I should have used a real conditioner after this? Next time I’ll use one instead and a UV protection spray.

And now for the fun part. Or should I say sparkling?
Sephora Illuminating Bronzing Oil – this was fun to use, I tell you! I used it on my legs and I really liked the result. However, since this is basically liquid glitter, I find that it only looks good when used as an extra step. If you are really pale and you are searching for something to give your skin some life, this is not the product for you. If you already have a tan or are have a darker skintone, this will look really nice on you. I don’t plan on using it in the winter, but I am looking forward to next summer. And btw, this is basically a dupe for the famous Nuxe oil, which costs a fortune. I got this for 8 euros in Sephora, which is a great deal. Believe me, you will not be able to finish it for one summer!

And finally, the product I fell inlove with during the summer and keep using (not on the picture, the one below is from the Internet) – Dove DermaSpa Body Lotion with self-tanner.

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I LOVE LOVE LOVE this.
Not only did I use it on my whole body to give myself a really nice color, but I also mix this with my foundation to sheer its coverage a little bit. I am still using my summer foundation shade which was way to dark for me even in the summer, but this makes it work. Moreover, it hydrates my face beautifully and gives me a healthy glow.
Now, two things to keep in mind. First, if you are really pale – use the version for light skin. Since this product is meant to be used every day, it basically piles on your skin and using the darker shade will make any imperfections more visible (if you didn’t put it on your ears for example) and your skin may look slighlty orange.
Second, this has a smell to it and anyone who gets really close to you (I mean kissing you on the cheek, not simply staying next to you in the bus) will be able to tell. Right now I don’t mind that, but at the beginning, when my boyfriend started using it, it bothered me.
With that being said, I love the lotion. I am testing another gradual tanning lotion by Palmer’s, but I won’t be upset if it doesn’t work out. I plan on using the darker shade in the winter and my boyfriend goes back to using the lighter one.

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To sum up, this summer I was able to find two holy grails. With everyone complaining about how greasy most sunscreens are, I feel really lucky to have found mine. Because it works so great and because the price is awesome, I don’t have any excuse to skip sunscreen. This is particularly important when using chemical exfoliation products (as I have been doing recently).
Dove DermaSpa Body Lotion with self-tanner is one of those inexpensive beauty secrets everyone has. It’s a really great way to give your skin a little bit of color – expecially in the winter when using a hardcore tanning mousse/lotion may be too much. (Besides, who wants to stay naked for 20 minutes and freeze until it absorbs?!)

I am working on a post about more beauty secrets, tips and tricks, favourite products etc and I will be really happy if you share some in the comments. I am always looking for more ideas!

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