skinminimalist skinminimalist

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Márcia  Scientific researcher on nerd quest: streamline skincare & find effective routine for healthy skin |30+| combo & sensitive 📩skinminimalist7@gmail.com

Skin-loving ingredients | PEPTIDES
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Recently, we hear a lot about peptides (compounds where 2 or more amino acids are joined together – basically small proteins) but they are NOT NEW in skincare - it has been shown more than 10 years ago that peptides can firm skin & stimulate collagen production; but NOT ALL peptides can do it, most peptides are too large to penetrate the skin and the ones that can work need a certain concentration (not achieved by most skincare). So, be aware of deceiving products that will throw "peptides" in their description but are using very low concentration or (even worse) useless fragments without scientific proven function.
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• Which peptides are good for skincare?
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📌NEUROTRANSMITTER PEPTIDES - designed to inhibit acetylcholine release, which reduces muscle contraction. Designed exclusively to treat expression lines, neurotransmitter peptides include Palmitoyl tetrapeptide-28, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38 and argireline (acetyl hexapeptide-8).
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📌CARRIER PEPTIDES are delivery molecules; initially designed to deliver trace elements for wound healing but now used to transport molecules for anti-aging results (a function that copper peptides can also achieve).
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📌ENZYME INHIBITOR PEPTIDES - can partly prevent the degradation of collagen by inhibiting enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases – MMP (underappreciated players in skin physiology because they break down proteins like collagen and elastin into other recyclable fragments).
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📌SIGNAL PEPTIDES - designed to stimulate collagen synthesis, increase elastin and help the skin look firmer and younger. Most peptides fall into this category — like the “Matrixyl-family” (Matrixyl aka palmitoyl pentapeptide 3 or palmitoyl pentapeptide-4; Matryxil® 3000 aka palmitoyl-tripeptide + palmitoyl-oligopeptide; and Matrixyl® synthe’6® ) that stimulate collagen production in the lower layers of the skin, increasing skin firmness; and the Copper Peptides (sometimes marketed as copper gluconate) - small fragments of protein bonded w/ copper that expedite wound healing in the skin & enhance skin regeneration.
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• WHICH ONE IS BETTER? (see my 1st comment 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻)

After-travel PM skincare | in 2 takes 📽
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Why did I split my routine? Here's the reasoning behind my choices:
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6 PM SKINCARE – take 1 📽
after travel, I’m keen to shower & clean my face; as I never wash my face in the shower (super hot water is a big no-no for me), I started my PM-cleanse at 6 pm; and as I did not bring any purifying cleanser/ mask during the to my trip, I went for a “decongestion routine” to get rid of accumulated build-up:
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1️⃣#niod Sanskrit Saponins - saponins are perfect for the job; I apply it on damp face, massage and rinse off. I did not went for clay-based cleansers (like SR Ceramic Slip) because I will apply a clay-mask afterwards.
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2️⃣#niod Flavanone Mud – my fave purifying-mask; left it on for 15min and rinsed it w/ tepid water (slightly colder than usual; warm water makes the rinsing-off-process more tingly).
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3️⃣#niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1% - perfect for calming my skin while delivering peptides than improve skin health functions: wound healing, immune function, collagen synthesis, blood vessel development, fibroblast production and anti-inflammatory responses – which in long term, results in younger-looking skin.
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4️⃣#niod Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex (after a spritz of #larocheposay Serozinc) - this is NOT a does-it-all-serum but is my fave hyaluronic-acid serum - contains several forms of HA + pre-cursors to help your skin produce its own HA in deeper skin layers.
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10 PM SKINCARE – take 2 📽
* after 4h-break: relax + light dinner | swipe for more 📷*
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5️⃣#deciem The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2% (better to use when sunlight is gone) - gentle formula that combines 2 retinoids: •solubilized Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate (gentle non-prescription ester of all-trans direct retinoic acid; also found in #sundayriley Luna oil and #pestleandmortarcosmetics Superstar Retinol Night Oil) + •encapsulated retinol (for slow but efficient delivery, which means your skin is not exposed to the full retinoid concentration at once - that's why it’s gentle).
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6️⃣#drjart Ceramidin Liquid + #stratiaskin Liquid Gold = you don't need to combine them (both work great on their own) but I love the combo - swipe for ceramide-overload video 💛

HOME IS WHERE YOUR SKINCARE IS... 😂
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Can you relate to this? Skincare is not, by far, the major thing that makes me feel like home but it truly comforts me and helps rewind after being away from home (it's #metime)!
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The ritual starts w/ boring unpacking & putting clothes to wash (I can't relax if I don't get this out of the way) and follows with a refreshing shower; then I put my silky kimono and turn on some candles to set a relaxing mood before pampering myself with an indulgent SKINCARE routine; finally, I lay down in the sofa, sipping tea and catching up with social media (or simply listening to music)!!! -
How do you rewind after traveling (small business trip / short holidays)? What's your ritual? -
#skincare #skincareroutine #travel #home #skincarelover #skincarejunkie #rewind #metime #skincarecommunity

ONE EMPTIE = ONE NEWBIE | Multi-task Serum
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If your skincare wardrobe grows faster than your capacity to fully enjoy it, try #1empty1newbie strategy 😉
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A serum can either be focused in 1 star-ingredient (like most of The Ordinary) or pack a rich array of skin-loving ingredients. Today's #1empty1newbie fits the latter category: both sera have well-rounded formulas that tackle several skin issues & improve the skin's health; both great on its own or mixed w/ a retinol- or a niacinamide-booster! 👍
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📌EMPTY: #missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule (often compared to Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair as its less expensive dupe) - contains a small amount of RETINOL but the stars of this formula are fermented and probiotic goodies: fermented bifida lysate, Lactobacillus containing peptide and vit B12, Lactococcus, etc; as bonus, there's also niacinamide, glycerin and chamomilla recutita flower extract. Amazing product if you want a do-it-all-serum w/ a tiny bit of retinol 😊
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📌NEWBIE: #paulaschoice CALM Redness Relief Repairing Serum - similarly to all products from the "CALM" line, it's packed w/ skin-replenishing ingredients: glycerin, ceramides, hyaluronic acid and several soothing antioxidant plant extracts (oatmeal, licorice extract, burdock root, sea whip extract, beta-glucan, chamomile, willow herb and epigallocatechin gallate) that help diminishing redness and lessen sensitivity. Like if this was not enough, this lightweight formula is also rich in antioxidants (hello anti-aging benefits!), fragrance-free and suitable to all skin types (incl. super-sensitive and/or sensitized skin). It's not my 1st bottle and I've used it on&off since it launched. If you want a well-rounded serum that: • does not trigger acne nor redness • soothe and calms • packs essential skin-loving ingredients • plays beautifully w/ other sera --> then this serum is for you!
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📝To be honest, I prefer the texture and feel of the missha serum (and it leaves my skin smooth and hydrated) but the Calm serum is retinol-free (great for days that my skin needs a break from actives), INCI list is amazing and packaging is way more practical = winner product! 👌

MAY SKINCARE CHALLENGE | Wanna join?
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The #mayskincarechallenge , hosted by the lovelies @antiagingamber and @morethanjustskin (some of the first people I started following in IG #skincarecommunity ) is almost here!!! During the last challenge (January), I learned lots of new skincare products&tips, I took the time to evaluate my own skincare choices and I met new skincare-lovers! Plus, it's FUN!!!! Plus, you don't have to post every single day but you can try... 😉
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I am already scrolling through the days, brainstorming and matching possible answers for each day 😍
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
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#skincare #skincareroutine #skinbeauty #skin #challenge

LOW pH HAND-WASH 🖐
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We wash our hands several times a day, which on its own is already quite aggressive and can be very drying. It is crucial to use a good cleanser that, similarly to a good facial cleanser, should be gentle yet effective; without SLS nor super-foaming agents, preferably non-fragranced, w/ low pH (<5.5) and affordable (I wash your hands way more often than my face; so, I can't justify 50$ cleanser as hand-wash). I am currently using the #eucerin Hand and Face Cleanser w/ pH 5 and very affordable - 500 mL for less than 10€). -
If possible, I always choose re-fill packages instead of small hard-plastic dispensers and re-fill my personalized amber-glass bottle (that recommends my guests to avoid wasting water while soaping their hands 💦♻️). PS - I also bring a tiny pot of this when I travel (just in case 😉).
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Besides choosing a good hand-wash that won't disturb your skin's pH, don't forget to:
• apply some of your facial skincare in the back of your hands (what's good for your face will be good for your hands)
• use SPF during the day and re-apply after washing your hands (specially if you are outdoors or next to a window) use a rich/hydrating cream during the night (currently using one w/ retinol).
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📌WHAT'S YOUR FAVE HANDWASH?
#handwash #phtest #skincare #hands #handcare #lowphcleanser #buylessbutbetter

TRAVEL SKINCARE ESSENTIALS ✈️
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When you go for a short travel (up to 5 days), you don't need to carry your entire cabinet (you totally can 😂but you don't need to). So, what do I pack? All my faves? No.
If you follow me, you know that some of my all-time-faves are missing in this 📷and that's because I cut out all items that fall in 1 or more of the following categories:
• are an extra/optional step (e.g. eye serum, niacinamide booster, masks, etc).
• are in fragile containers (#niod CAIS) and/or too large for my carry-on luggage (#niod SDSM)
• too expensive/delicate to risk transporting in bumpy airport rides and submit to cabin pressure and temperature fluctuations (e.g #biologique recherche cream-mask, Blue Coccon)
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📝To overcome these issues, I can either skip some extra skincare steps during my trip, pack alternatives, use samples / travel-sized items or depot faves to tiny containers. Here's what I've just packed for my long weekend trip:
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📌AM routine: 1b (#kicho natural mineral foaming cleanser; low pH & gentle; travel size), 2 (#drunkelefant C-firma serum), 3 (#niod SDSM in a re-purposed #mylindstrom mist travel bottle), 4 (#jordansamuelskin Hydrate serum), 5 (#belif True Cream), 6 (#skinceuticals mineral sunscreen SPF50).
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📌PM routine: 1a (#clinique take-the-day-off balm in a tiny pot + deluxe sample of #maylindtrsom pendulum potion), 1b (#kicho cleanser), 2a (#dr dennisgross alpha beta exfoliation pads) or 2b (tiny pot w/ #sundayriley Good Genes - to be used in the day before the main event of my short trip) or 2c (#bioderma matricium sampoule as emergency option in case my skin gets red or super dehydrated after the travelling day) or 2d (a retinol pad - that can be cut and get double use), 3 (#niod SDSM mist), 4 (JSS Hydrate), 5 (#belif true cream) and/or #maylinstrom Blue Cocoon (not shown in the photo but I packed a tiny pot w/ it).
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This skincare capsule fits in a small bag (together w/ a couple of makeup items) and I can carry it everywhere w/ me!
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WHAT ARE YOUR TRAVEL SKINCARE ESSENTIALS / TIPS?
#skincareroutine #skincare #travel #travelessentials #skinbeauty #travellight #healthyskin

#niod SPATULAS?
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I love NIOD. If you follow me for a while, you've noticed. However, there are 3 things that annoy most people:
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1 - NIOD names are long, complex and hard to memorize - hence the acronyms! For instance, my fave NIOD product is CAIS, which stands for Copper Amino Isolate Serum (it does not exactly stick in your ear, right?). This, however, does not bother me because I prefer techie names over names like "super wonder glow radiance"😂
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2 - they do not call things by their function; "LVC it's not a cleanser, it's a cleaning ester" or "SDSM it's not a toner, it's a dermal treatment mist" or "HV is not a moisturizer, it's a adaptive hydration seal" - you got the point! It does not help most consumers to understand when and how to use each product; although I understand the marketing strategy and it summons the skincare-nerd insides some of us 🤓
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3 - the packaging: although I love the simple esthetics of the brand and their preference for amber glass over plastic, the choice of putting viscous products is a glass bottle is not, by far, a good idea. It's a pain to get the last bits of product w/ my tiny spatulas 😞
And I know that many of you share this opinion. So, I thought, after all the consumer buzz, that #niod was going to STEP UP THEIR PACKAGING-GAME. Instead...
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[suspense]
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....they kept the bottles & CAME UP W/ HANDY SPOON (?) --> Whaaaaaaaaat? 😮🙄😞 After a few secs of mild indignation, I could not stop myself from laughing and thinking: "yeah, one of those would be helpful to scoop the Flavanone Mud (my fave purifying mask) and the Neck Elasticity Catalyst (great neck/chest gel-cream)!😂😂😂
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To sum up, I like their products so much (except for a couple products) that I will tolerate those unpractical bottles, keep purchasing my faves and will even BUY the damned new spatula (which btw only costs £1.80).
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NIOD. IS. THAT. GOOD. 🐒
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#deciem #spatula #skincare #packagingdesign #packaging

TOP 5 brands - part2 | French Pharmacy Brands
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I know, I know, I’m cheating by naming a group of brands instead of a single one but bare with me, I will narrow it down to 2 faves and few honorable mentions.
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My 2 favourite French Pharmacy Brands (from which I own several products):
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📌#bioderma: found it 7 yrs ago through the widely-known Micellar Water and my love spread for the entire brand, specially to the not-so-known (but miraculous) Matricium - a skin regeneration treatment that comes in practical & sterile 1mL-ampoules, composed by elements naturally found in the skin - a true skin-saver for red-itchy-dehydrated-sensitized skin (when everything else burns) 🙌. Bioderma has also great sera & moisturizers (the Anti-Redness cream shown in 📷is so faff-free & effective that my boyfriend “stole it from my cabinet” and uses nothing else) 😮
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📌#larocheposay (swipe for more 📷): my 1st skincare routine was a 3-step by La Roche-Posay; and I still reach for several LRP products nowadays: gentle cleansers (Toleriane range), Serozinc (cult mist w/ zinc sulfate - helps acne and inflammation), Cicaplast (works ok as primer and excels as reconstruction of irritated/chapped epidermis) and Anthelios mineral & tinted sunscreen.
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📝The best part is: you get QUALITY for an AFFORDABLE price - all the above-mentioned products (except for Matricium), cost 10-15€ 👏
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📌HONERABLE MENTIONS:
#avene: known for its Thermal Water (present in almost every product), Avène has some of the best options for sensitive skin; Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream is an amazing scar healer and Cold Cream Hand Cream is 👌
#clarins: I used more tubes of Clarins hand cream than I can count; milk cleansers are also great and I’m currently obsessed w/ Eclat Minute Huile Confort Lèvres (lip oil) 😍
#embryolisse - great moisturizers, specially the tinted one - Embryolisse Soin Correcteur de Teint w/ self-adjusting pigments to match your natural tone (a bit pricey but lasts ages).
#nuxe: love the body oil (Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse) and the lip balm (Rêve de Miel) lives on my bedside table!
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WHAT'S YOUR FAVE FRENCH PHARMACY BRAND/PRODUCT?

DO WE REALLY NEED TO WAIT BETWEEN PRODUCTS? -
A) For most cases, I do not wait between products application (cleansing, hydrating-toner, etc) but in other cases, a product can be more effective if I wait before layering more products on top of it (exfoliants, retinoids, etc - I let them do their thing or I take the time to massage it in and then I move on).
B) In some other cases, it is recommended to wait BEFORE applying a given product (e.g after cleansing, wait for your skin to dry before applying acid toners/exfoliants or retinoids to avoid sensitizing your skin) or wait AFTER application (like #niod CAIS - wait 30 secs before layering more products).
C) and some products simply don't layer well when applied immediatly after each other like the #drunkelephant C-firma serum + #jordansamuelskin Hydrate.
📌This layer-case combines A, B and C: you should not (in theory) have to wait in between a VitC serum and a Hydration serum but you might get better results if you leave the VitC power work on its own for a couple min; I usually skip the waiting if I'm in a hurry but I found out that if I do that w/ Hydrate, it will not skink in properly - it turns to a lightweight white cream that sits on my skin (probably an emulsion between vestigial marula oil from C-firma and the Hydrate formula but this never happened w/ other hydrating sera - #hadalabo Gokujyn, #hylamide SubQ or #niod MMHC).
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I could enter technicalities/theories about why I think this happens but in a nutshell it all resumes to the fact that both are very rich sera that need a couple of min to sink; and if I wait after C-firma, Hydrate will layer beautifully 👍Sometimes, all you need is a bit of patience and experiment to find out what works for your products and your skin. Do not give up on products before trying a couple of options: play with order, wait in between, alternate products, etc.
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📌DO THESE PRODUCTS WORK WELL TOGETHER?
For my skin, this is how it works: unless my skin is sensitized, I use VitC-serum 1st (let those actives do their job) and then I spritz #niod antioxidant mist (SDSM) folllowed by Hydrate. All it needs is a little waiting in between and this small issue is SOLVED 🤓

SAMPLE SUNDAY | Moisturizers
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I wanted to start a Sunday series & share my 2 cents about skincare samples. This one is obviously delayed due to Easter but here goes:
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Currently, I'm using #katesommerville Goat Milk as AM moisturizer (great but pricey & hard to get in Europe) and the #stratiaskin Liquid Gold + #drjart Ceramidin Liquid or Blue Cocoon at night (2 great combos that my skin is enjoying).
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However I had these 3 samples and I decided to put them to test as PM moisturizer:
1️⃣#cailyn Bounce IT Aqua Memory Gel (GWP from @victoriahealth ): has the weirdest texture ever - lightweight-soufflé - but in a really cool way; it is packed w/ peptides and claims to brighten, firm, hydrate & plump skin. I saw no brightening after 8 uses; good hydration power; but its capacity to firm & plump is amazing👌 would defiantly welcome another deluxe sample but was not convinced enough to 🏃🏻‍♀️ & buy a full-size.
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2️⃣#omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream: came in a brand-discovery-set but (similarly to the Hungarian Queen Mist) I did not like it; too heavy/occlusive for my combo skin & heavily fragranced; After PM use, I woke up w/ hydrated cheeks but greasy nose. Hmmm, no. Finished as neck cream. 😞
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3️⃣#murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture: got this sample at Sephora because I heard so many good things: and now I understand why so many people love it: hydrates without feeling heavy/greasy, it does not contain fragrance and is suitable for my sensitive skin. The sample was only enough for 2 (almost 3) uses but enough to rate it as a winner 🏆It's in the same price range of KS Goat Milk and it works as good! Plus, Murad is easier to get in Europe (without crazy shipping costs and customs fees).
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FINAL THOUGHTS:
Option 3️⃣ is an amazing option to futurely replace my Goat Milk; however I might consider to go back to my old FAVE #cerave Lotion PM because it has a lighter texture (gel-cream) that I tend to prefer on Spring/Summer and is much cheaper (I prefer to splurge in good serum options). Nevertheless, I think that 3️⃣might be a future purchase as Autumn/Winter moisturizer 👍
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HAVE YOU TRIALLED ANY SAMPLES RECENTLY?
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#skincare #moisturizer #samples

SCIENCE BEHING MASCARA -
Even mascara has its science! ⚗️
There are so many mascaras in the market that claim to increase volume and/or length; that mimic the appearance of falsies; and use all possible words to make you buy it: telescopic, marvelous, magic, amazing, seductive, glam, unicorns... and sometimes, I get lost! what can these products do for my lashes? The best option (as always) is to try them but... there are hundreds and I wonder if there's a way to narrow down my options?!? That's when a bit of theory behind mascara products becomes handy 🤓
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This photo is adapted (cut & paste, basically) from a post by @futurederm (for more details check her blog) and it has helped me choose more wisely which mascara I want to try next!
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Note: I usually change my mascara every 3 months or so... I avoid splurging on mascaras but there are several "high street" options that do the job beautifully 👌
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Just finished one from #smashbox (got in a promotion set) but I guess I will go back to those "oldies but goodies" from Cover girl, L'Oréal or Maybelline 🤔ANY SUGGESTIONS?
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#mascara #makeup #beautyscience

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