Min's Beauty Equipment: November 2013

Friday 29 November 2013

Nivea vs Estee Lauder Review or Cheap vs Expensive Skincare

Should teenagers use face creams?

I started using face creams when I was a teenager. The products I bought were always middle range on the price scale as I thought that taking care of my skin at this young age would keep me wrinkle free for longer. I did not have acne spots nor any other skin problems, so wrinkles were the only reason for my strict skin care regime. How I wish that I spent all that money on something else!

I am not against skin care, quite the opposite, but using a cream at the age of 14 is simply unnecessary, particularly when your only concern is delaying the ageing!

So, what does a face cream do to your skin?

Even later in life each time I started using a new cream I thought that it was amazing. It evened out my fine lines and made my skin look good, so I thought that it was fighting ageing. The result was always seen almost immediately, i.e. the next morning after application of the cream. How come it only took one day to make my skin wrinkle free? Did it rebuild collagen and elastin in one day? No, but I knew nothing about collagen and elastin at a time. I saw something happening and I thought it was doing that anti-aging thing. The truth is that it takes weeks to months for collagen to regenerate. If something is happening to my skin it does not mean that it is turning back the clock.

Estee Lauder The Idealist, Advanced Time Zone, Night Repair creams and serums
Estee Lauder skin care, creams and serums
So, what does a face cream do to my skin? Most of the time, a good face cream is just a well constructed moisturiser which smoothes down shedding cells and fills in the gaps between the remaining dead cells which creates the impression of smoothness. Also, moisturisers may make the skin feel smoother by filling holes in the top layer of the skin through swelling.

Nivea vs Estee Lauder or cheap vs expensive skincare

A month ago I decided to ditch all the expensive creams and serums and replace them with cheap Nivea creams, just out of curiosity. I wanted to see the difference between the lower end products and expensive skin care.

Nivea Rich Regenerating Night Cream and Moisturising Day Cream
Nivea Rich Regenerating Night Cream and
Rich Moisturising Day Cream
After I stopped using Estee Lauder serums and creams and replaced them with Nivea range my skin started to look noticeably worse immediately (I mean within a day or two). What it means is that creams only work on the appearance of the skin. Estee Lauder range was making my skin look prettier, but it does not mean that the effect was permanent. A better looking skin does not mean that it is renewed from within nor that the effect is long lasting, which is what I thought before.

So, what do I think of Nivea vs Estee Lauder? I definitely vote for Estee Lauder range of products, because they feel nice on my skin, they are non greasy, the consistency of the creams and serums is lovely and they do smooth out the fine lines. Unfortunately, it is all a temporary fix.

Some people swear by Nivea products. They love all their creams and think that there is nothing better on the market for any price. I personally think that Nivea's products hardly do anything to my skin, except for making it greasy (Rich Regenerating Night Cream) or give sun protection (Rich Moisturising Day Cream has SPF 15). Obviously sun protection should not be understated. My skin looks the same whether I use Nivea products or I use nothing. After application of Estee Lauder serum and/or cream my skin does look and feel better.

Who may benefit from my story?

I wanted to share this story, because I thought there were more people who correlated temporarily smoother skin with cream's anti-ageing qualities.

I am not against spending money on expensive creams and I am not suggesting that cheap creams are just as good, but I think it is important that people know what they are paying for. If temporarily modified appearance is a good enough reason for you to splash out, then there is no reason why you shouldn't do exactly that.

If you are a teenager and you want to delay the ageing, invest into a sun cream and this will be more than enough. Often money is a scarce resource at this young age, so it's worth knowing how not to waste it on something that is nothing more than a disillusion.

Final word

I hope you found this article interesting. If so, you may want to read more about anti-aging creams and moisturisers under this link Anti-aging Anti-wrinkle Creams - Do They Work?

Now I would like to hear your opinion. What do you think about anti-aging creams? What are your favourite ones? Anything else you would like to share?

Monday 25 November 2013

Moisturising Bath Bombs Don't Dry Out Skin

Bath bomb from www.quinessence.com
Lavender bath bomb

What are bath bombs?

Bath bombs are a mixture of chemicals and sometimes essential oils that are hard pressed to form a ball (sometimes it comes in a different shape). They are used to add scent and colour to bath water, which creates ambient atmosphere, soothes away stresses and relaxes your mind. Once they are placed into water they start fizzing, which lasts for the duration of a few minutes. The fizzing effect adds to the atmosphere, creating amazing spirit in the bathroom. Some luxurious bath bombs have a moisturising effect.

My relaxation bath experience

When my husband went out to a gig last night, I invited my awesome friend around for a girly night. While sipping champagne and eating mouth-watering kebabs we were chatting about work and how much we needed to make more time for ourselves.

Lovely christmassy smell from my oil burner reminded me of my long anticipated relaxation bath experience with my lush bath bomb. We moved in to this new house more than a year ago and I have not had a bath yet, which is something that I did on a regular basis in the past. What a shame! This needs to change. Taking a shower all the time and not once a bath indicates how I started to neglect myself. I told this to my friend and she jumped in to tell me her story.

Lavender bath bomb from www.quinessence.com
Bath bomb
Sacha, who lives next door to me, has only a bath and no shower in her house, so she fills in her large bath every evening, lights up a candle and throws a bath bomb in. Every night she has this wonderful relaxing experience all on her own. She literally thinks about nothing, just stares into the burning candle and enjoys the moment. Unfortunately, recently she had to stop using bath bombs, because they were making her skin very dry and she couldn't put up with it anymore. She normally bought her bath bombs from the local shop.

I wondered what experience I would have from the luxurious bath bomb that is full of essential oils and is meant to moisturise skin.

Fizzing bath bomb from www.quinessence.com
Bath bomb in water
Today I cleaned my bath, removed all the bottles of shampoo, conditioners and other stuff that tends to accumulate and clutter the bathroom. I brought in my oil burner, that with the lovely smell, and lit a few tea candles. It looked lovely, the atmosphere in my bathroom was very relaxing and romantic. I couldn't wait to get in.

Home spa with candles
Relaxation bath
The water was nice and warm, so I climbed in. Unfortunately, the bath was not full yet, so I had to keep the tap on. To my surprise cold water started running out of the tap. After I had been patiently waiting for the water to warm up the realisation kicked in that this was not going to happen, so I turned the tap off.

I already had my lush bath bomb in, which was gently fizzing and creating even more relaxing atmosphere. Could I have done with warmer water and a full bath? Definitely, but I was enjoying the moment anyway. The candles were making me melancholic and the smell of the water with a beautiful moisturising bath bomb inside was making me totally relaxed.

It took about 15 minutes for the bath bomb to fully melt. After another 10 or so minutes I felt fully rejuvenated and ready to get out.

Enjoying home spa with a bath bomb
Enjoying home spa with a bath bomb

My skin did not feel dry at all, quite the opposite, it felt well moisturised. The description of the product on the www.quinessence.com website was accurate and I was rather satisfied with my experience. I am comparing this product with the products that I have never tried before (this was my first bath bomb ever!), but this amazing bath bomb must be of better quality. I have very dry skin, especially on my legs. It always feels worse after the shower, but this time it felt totally moisturised and pleasant.

Do you use moisturising bath bombs or just ordinary ones? What is your bath bomb or relaxation bath experience? Did you ever have to have a shower in cold water? Please share your experience. I would love to hear.

Monday 18 November 2013

Worst Addiction That Damages Looks - Your Vote

There was a day when I thought that plastic surgery was the most damaging addiction when we talk about beauty. Then I saw a picture of a woman who was injecting cooking oil into her face (well, it's also a consequence of her plastic surgery addiction, but taken to the next level), and then Patricia who thinks that looking like a brown leather bag from sunbed overuse is beautiful. I realised then that the list went on and on. The one thing I would like to know is which one of the addictions you would want the least - I know all of them freak most of the people out!

Some people gamble, others are addicted to sex and lots of other things, but these problems seem to be reversible if a person decides to change. I have compiled some pictures of the most shocking addictions that seem irreversible if too far gone. Please vote by saying which one you think is the most horrific. If you have anything to add to the list, please let me know in a comment. I am sure there are stories that I have not come across, and it would be great to hear them.

1. Plastic surgery addiction. Jocelyn Wildenstein invested millions of pounds to look like a wild cat in an attempt to stay attractive for her husband.

 Plastic surgery disasters - Jocelyn Wildenstein

2. Drugs. The beautiful pop star Whitney Houston did not look her former self after she became addicted to crack-cocaine. She passed away at the young age of 48!

 Famous drug addicts - Whitney Houston

3. Tanorexia. The world's first tanorexic Patricia Krentcil. This is not the worst picture of her!

 Woman addicted to sunbeds - tanorexic Patricia Krentcil

4. Alcoholism. I wish I had thought of this article when I was in Lithuania this summer. I could have taken some shocking photos, as there seem to be loads of alcoholics there these days. I didn't, so we'll have to be satisfied with this picture of Madonna's homeless alcoholic brother. Strangely enough this was the best picture that I could find when I typed something like "alcoholics pictures" into Google.

 Madonna homeless brother - alcoholic

5. Injecting cooking oil. The Korean woman who injected cooking oil into her own face to stay beautiful after her cosmetic surgeons refused to do further cosmetic surgeries on her.

 Model injects cooking oil - Hang Mioku

6. Food addict Ricky Naputi, one of the world's fattest men, is bed-ridden. Even if he loses weight, his skin will be permanently stretched.

One of the world's fattest men - Ricky Naputi

To be honest, I personally think that the cooking oil story is the worst, but then I think that it must be awful to be bed-ridden just because you are so fat! Then, what about the drugs and the fact that your life is under a constant threat? I am lost and I want your opinions, so please vote by ticking the box with the scariest addiction for you.

Pick the worst addiction
pollcode.com free polls 

Three more stories you will love

  1. story about a guy who swallowed a tooth crown and how he got it back. It's VERY FUNNY!
  2. weight loss pills - Hoodia and Fat Metaboliser.
  3. Chinese business culture. It's all a real story and it's quite funny too.

If you enjoyed any of these stories, don't forget to share them with your friends! Let them have a laugh...

There are little buttons at the bottom of each article for easy sharing!

Monday 11 November 2013

Should I Wash My Hair Everyday?


Today I somehow remembered a middle-aged woman praising a young girl at a gym for having beautiful hair. Then the lady started telling her her story: Twenty or thirty years ago she used to abuse her hair by dyeing it and having a regular perm. Her hair became very dry and frizzy and to this day she blames herself for the mistakes that she made as a young woman.

I listened to this conversation and I knew that the old lady was wrong, just as it's incorrect to say that cutting your hair will make your hair grow faster. Obviously, there are myths going around. Therefore, I decided to investigate and share my findings.

Is damage caused to hair permanent?

Once the damage is done, it is done, you cannot reverse it, regardless of how great the shampoo or the conditioner you use is. Nevertheless, this does not affect hair quality in the future. Once new hair is grown and the damaged hair removed: voilé. So, damage is permanent, but only on the hair that is visually seen above the surface of the scalp.

Hair and nails need similar treatment
Hair works a bit like nails. Bad eating habits, exposure to sun will make the nails split; they will become brittle. However, make certain changes to your lifestyle, take some vitamin supplements, eat healthy food, and your nails will become strong and beautiful again. The same applies to hair - look after it and you'll reap what you sow.

Can hair be repaired?

Once damage is apparent, nothing can be done to repair your hair - not even the best of conditioners or any other hair care product can fix it.

Sometimes we hear that a shampoo will repair damaged hair, strengthen it, repair split ends, give a vitamin therapy and etc. It's is impossible to repair damaged hair (maybe only under laboratory conditions). Hair care products and, particularly, conditioners reduce the magnitude of the forces associated with combing and brushing of the hair, especially when it is still wet. Conditioning makes hair feel softer, more moisturised and reduces flyaway hair, thus, increasing shine. This effect is temporary, no permanent change occurs.

So, repairing the damage of your hair and alike is a marketing term, which is not entirely correct.

The surface of a healthy hair

What is the structure of a hair?

A hair consists of a cortex that is surrounded by a few layers of overlapping cells, called "cuticle". The cuticle affects the feel of the hair, i.e. hair shine, combability, etc.

The surface of unhealthy hair
A healthy strand of hair is smooth like baby skin, whilst the damaged hair has cuticle that sticks out like flaking skin. This flaking hair increases combing forces, thus, making combing even more difficult. What's worse: it increases damage caused by combing even more.

How to prevent hair damage?

It is important to use a conditioner after shampooing, particularly if you have chemically treated hair. It can be a rinse-off conditioner, leave-in conditioner, a cream, gel, mousse, lotion, spray mist or anything else that is meant to condition your hair.

How does a conditioner work?

Let's look at this in a very simplified way. Hair is negatively charged. A conditioner is positively charged. The positive charge of the conditioner binds to negative sites on the hair surface, thus stopping the hair from flaking and resulting in a coating of hair fibers.

The more damaged the hair, the more negatively charged it is. This determines what type of conditioner one needs.

The major function of a conditioner is to protect the hair cuticle from grooming damage.

Natural dreads that you get if you don't wash or
comb your hair

Should I wash my hair every day?

Ideally, you wouldn't wash your hair or use hair curlers or straighteners. You don't dye, perm or even comb your hair; it's all bad for it. What would be the result? The result would be: healthy, ugly looking hair that eventually turns into dreads. If this is what you are aiming for, then this is fine. Otherwise, wash it as frequently as you like, but use a conditioner in whichever form you like to minimise damage.

On the right you can see my awesome tour guide in South Africa, who claims that he never washes his hair nor combs it. His hair is slowly turning into naturally forming dreads.

What type of conditioner should you use?

Intensive treatment or deep conditioning gives a higher degree of conditioning. These kinds of products contain higher concentrations of active ingredients that are kept on your hair for longer periods of time prior to rinsing. 

Leave-in products are lighter, but may provide more significant benefits than the rinse-off products as they stay on your hair until it's next washed.

How often should deep conditioning treatment be used?

I thought that deep conditioning hair more frequently was good for me, but I may have been wrong. It's best not to use intensive treatments too often. Obviously, you should follow the provided instructions and use your own common sense. On some hair types positive charge can build up, resulting in limp, unmanageable hair. This is particularly true for untreated, fine hair.

Final Word

I'm hoping this has struck a cord - any personal experiences, don't be shy. :)

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Motivation to Look Good

There are no ugly women

Today I came across this article about Adele in the Daily Mail. It reminded me of something that I heard as a child: "There are no ugly women, there are only women that look after themselves and the ones that don't." This sentence stuck with me to this day.

Daily Mail: Adele on a shopping trip and on the red carpet
It must be true. If we look at Adele's picture on the left we will never think that she is a beautiful woman, but if we try to analyse her face features, a rather attractive woman appears in front of us. A little bit of make-up, better hair style, nicer clothes will turn her into a princess in no time. Obviously, her red carpet looks are a bit more than a little bit of make-up.

How do we motivate someone to look after herself?

So how do we motivate women to look after themselves? I am sure it is hard to find time for make-up when you have a little child like Adele does, but there must be something in between her shopping-trip look and the red carpet appearance.

Reading lesser known blogs may help

For me, reading a lot of small beauty and fashion blogs helped. It is not usually the same with popular blogs. Big names often talk about celebrities and sometimes they forget normal people. It is nice to dream about fairy tales, but at the end of it we all want something better for ourselves. It is pointless to compare oneself with a celebrity as you will always find an excuse as to why they have a better shot at looking better. Small bloggers are often more down-to-earth and more personal. They are just like you and me, so there is no excuse. When someone picks a nice outfit, you can see yourself wearing it too.

I noticed improvements in my ability to pick an outfit that works. Before, I would have to spend hours trying various combinations of clothes to find a reasonable match. Now, my intuition works a lot better.

What about you? Do you prefer a famous blog with millions of readers or a smaller one?