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Can you wash your face with hand soap? I just shared with you, why my skin looks better with 41 than with 37 and I remembered, while writing the article, that I used to wash my face with hand soap! I do believe it is important to always wash (at least at night) our face- especially if we are using makeup during the day. Which got me thinking, does it really matter, if we use a facial cleanser or can we just use a hand soap to wash our face?

Since I have used a hand soap to wash my face in the past, I can tell you, that I find it works just fine. But I also have to admit, that I don´t have very sensitive skin. I have however used Softsoap on my face without any issues! I actually thought it felt quite hydrating and gentle!

There are so many soaps out there—from cleaning our hands, hair, and faces to a variety of household cleaning jobs, such as dishes or laundry. But are they really all different?

I took 3 leading hand soap brands (Softsoap, Dial, Method) to compare their ingredients with 3 leading facial cleanser brands (Cetaphil, CeraVe, Neutrogena) to see if they are really so different!

Ingredients comparison of handsoap vs. facial cleanser:Water:All 6 products contain as first their ingredient: Water!

Glycerin:All 6 products also contain Glycerin. Glycerin is a skin-replenishing and skin-restoring ingredient, meaning it is a substance found naturally in skin, helping to establish normal balance and hydration.

Sodium Chloride:While all 3 hand soaps include Sodium Chloride (which is nothing but a fancy scientific term for.... salt!), only 1 of the facial cleansers includes it (Cerave). Why do they put salt in our soap? While adding sodium chloride to our soap can be drying it also helps to form a product that is less soluble in water. Ah OK!

Fragrance:Here is something to consider for our sensitive gals: 4 of these products contain fragrance- which isn´t a good choice, if you suffer from sensitive skin. Which soaps don´t contain fragrance? The Method hand soap free of dyes + perfume (as the name suggests!) as well as the Cerave facial cleanser. To my own surprise the Cetaphil contains a "masking fragrance".

Cocamidopropyl BetaineCocamidopropyl Betaine is derived from coconut oil. The Neutrogena Facial Cleanser includes this skin-conditioning agent just like all 3 hand soaps do.

However the Cetaphil facial cleanser includes PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate which is very similar and also derived from coconut oil.

Cerave uses instead Cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine which is also similar to cocamidopropyl betaine.

Parabens:None of the 3 hand soaps includes parabens- but to my surprise 2 of the facial cleansers do! Cetaphil includes Methylparaben and Cerave includes Methylparaben and Propylparaben. Parabens are controversial, as they might be linked to skin cancer. So in this case all 3 hand soaps are a better choice than 2 of the facial cleansers!

Citric Acid:The Cerave facial cleanser contains Citric Acid just like all 3 hand soaps do too. This is derived from citrus fruits and used primarily in small amounts to adjust the pH of products to prevent them from being too alkaline.


I marked ingredients that are common in all/most products green, desirable ingredients blue and questionable ingredients red.

Overall take:
One thing all these soaps have in common is their chemical origin; they were all made by mixing fat or oil with a strongly basic solution. And it was no surprise for me to see, that the ingredients of all 6 products are not that different from each other.
Each brand examined:Softsoap Milk & Golden Honey $1-$2 (7.5 fl oz)This hand soap includes all standard soap ingredients. I like that it contains Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice which can be great for dry skin.

It also contains Honey, Milk Protein and Hydrolyzed Silk (Silk protein hydrolized with the addition of acid or enzymes.).

It also contains Lactose which some people are not tolerant to.

It contains color additives which are not important at all in our skin care and none of the other product include these- however according to the EWG these are not very dangerous (D&C Yellow No.10 is rated 1-3 - 10 being the most dangerous and FD&C Red No.40 is rated 3).

Overall this is a pretty decent choice to use on your hands...AND on your face! I can only see that people that have senstive skin might have issues because of the added fragrance. Psst: I have used this as a facial cleanser and found it great! ;-)

Dial Soothing Care Moisturizing Hand Soap $1.50-$2 (7.5 fl oz)
A surprising easy and simple put together list of ingredients- nothing really in here is very questionable, except that again those with sensitive skin might not like the added fragrance! I haven´t used this one myself on my face, but from the ingredients this is a hand soap that you could use on your face and it is quite similar to the Neutrogena facial cleanser!


Method Geld Hand Soap Free of Dyes+ Perfumes $5.99 (for 34 fl oz refill= $1.32 for 7.5 fl oz)As the name suggests, this product does not contain dyes or fragrances- great for our sensitive gals! It also contains calming and soothing Aloe! We are presented a short and sweet ingredients list - however it contains Methylisothiazolinone which is according to the EWG´s skin deep database a possible human skin sensitizer irritant and rated a 7 (out of 10 being the most dangerous). Besides this ingredients that is listed last (therefore the smallest amount included) this could be a good facial cleanser!


Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser $14.49 at Ulta (16 fl oz)
I always assumed Cetaphil is fragrance free- but nope! It isn´t. So this could be again an issue for our sensitive boys and girls! ;-) This facial cleanser contains Methylparaben which is a questionable ingredients and might link to skin cancer. Panthenol and Castor oil are nice nourishing and hydrating add ons!


Cerave Foaming Facial Cleanser $14.99 (12 fl oz)
The Cerave Cleanser has pretty similar ingredients than all the hand soaps, however I like to mention that Cerave includes a whole group of Ceramides, Niacinmide as well as Hyaluronic Acid which are ingredients that I find desirable and helpful in your facial cleanser- however the fact that Cerave also includes 2 parabens (Methylparaben and Propylparaben) makes the whole product again questionable, as they are might be linked to skin cancer.

Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Face Cleanser $6.99 (6.7 oz)The ingredients of this facial cleanser are very similar to all 3 mentioned hand soaps. Only the added fragrance can be troubling for sensitive skin. This is a good choice- however the ingredients are super similar to a hand soap! ;-)


My overall verdict:
You see, all of the 3 hand soaps as well as the 3 leading facial cleanser are all not so different from each other! They contain Water, Glycerin, some Fatty Acids made out of coconut oil and conditioning skin agents and in most cases also fragrances.

If you have sensitive skin than you might try a fragrance free hand soap- otherwise: stay away from using a hand soap as your facial cleanser!

However: for those with normal skin- even dry skin: a moisturizing hand soap can work just as well as your facial cleansers. Just give it a try and see if you like it, if you like to save a couple dollar! After all you can get 7.5 oz of hand soap for like $2! ;-)

I think the best method to see if you can use a hand-soap on your face is simply by trying it out though. Does it feel drying, or even uncomfortable or do you feel no difference to your facial cleanser? Decide for yourself! I don´t see an issue here in regards to the ingredients. After all our hand soaps have evolved very much too, because nobody wants to have dry hands, right?

But please stay away from antibacterial soap- that might be a little to harsh, although it might be worth for me to compare those to an acne cleanser or maybe to treat that occasional pimple? ;-)






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I´m too old for Olay? What? How can that be? Isn´t Olay skin care made for aging skin? Confused? So am I! Let me explain. A couple of month ago there was a blogger campaign by Olay: "the Olay 28 day challenge". I was super excited and applied.

However: I was never accepted into that campaign. Bummer! Obviously this can happen. The brand can decide with whom they like to work with and maybe they thought I am not a good fit. I mean it can also be that my blog numbers weren´t good enough for them (although they are alright lol) or who knows what turned them off. I can not expect every brand to accept me as their influencer- clearly!

However, after I saw who actually was accepted into the campaign (just search #olay28day on Instagram), I was very surprised to see that ONLY ladies that are much younger than me were accepted! Millenniums but also bloggers that are in their 20s! The oldest lady that I could find was 34 years old! And I know a whole bunch of blogger ladies that are above 40 (check some out here)- apparently none of us were accepted into that campaign! How weird?

Was that the reason that I wasn´t accepted into the campaign? Because I am too old? This makes me really sad! Does Olay think that older ladies can´t be good bloggers or influencers or do they not want to use our old sad faces? I find it so strange, since Olay is a skin care brand that I thought is made for mature women? Or not? Is Olay intended for 20 year olds? Really?

Considering Olay chose Model Jesinta Campbell (age 26) as their newest spokesperson this totally fit´s into their scheme.

Ageless? With 26 years old? Obviously!

I was briefly chatting in the morning with another blogger girlfriend about this and she admitted to me, that she always claims on campaigns that she is 34 (instead of 47) to get accepted! How crazy is that? While I thought that is a smart thing to do of her, I find it at the same time so very sad!

Do I have to lie about my age to get accepted into an anti-aging skin care campaign? But what do people think, if I say I am 34. LOL! That could backfire like this: "Well, the skin care seems not to work well on her." LOL!

Anyway, I am trying to take this with a good load of sarcasm, but can´t help, but feel really left out.... and OLD!

Obviously Olay isn´t the only brand that goes for the youngsters. We all have seen brands like to use a 20 year old for their anti-aging skin care ads. Like Kendell Jenner (age 22!!!) needs some anti-aging eye patches. Ridiculous, really!

Kendell Jenner, a 22 year old for Estee Laude Advanced Night Repair- as is she would need it...

But the good news is that some brands are making finally a change. Lancome recently re-hired 65 year old Isabella Rossellini (ironically after firing her with 43 cause she was too old).

Isabella Rossellini got fired by Lancome when she turned 43 cause she was too old!

And then re-hired with 65! Yay!


And Loreal is using Helen Mirren (71 years old). Bravo and Thank you Loreal!

Helen Mirren is with 71 years a wonderful spokesperson for Loreal Age Perfect!


So, here´s from me a quick "Yay" to those brands that got it right and a quick "Boo" for those that don´t! ;-)




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I have today 4 amazing skin care items by Pixi for you, that can help to restore, revive and reveal radiant skin, basically your skin rescue essentials!

The Pixi Glow-O2 Oxygen Mask ($24) is a brand new 2 minute mask that can revive dull, tired skin. How does it do that? With its genius Oxygen complex containing: vitamins, ginseng, caffeine and antioxidants! The Probiotic lactococcus ferment lysate can also strengthen your skin and the Lactic Acid also exfoliates your skin.

The consistency of this mask is like a gel. This mask will begin to bubble when applied and have no fear: a slight tingling sensation is normal! This mask feels super refreshing!

Little tip: use this before a big event where you want to look especially radiant! You will love it!

Ingredients:
Water/Aqua/Eau, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Coco-glucoside, Glycerin, Methyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Phenoxyethanol, Triethanolamine, Sodium Chloride, 1,2-Hexanediol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Lactococcus Ferment Lysate, Panthenol, Allantoin, Caffeine, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Lactic Acid, Niacinamide, Sodium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Maltodextrin, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Butylene Glycol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Pyridoxine HCl, Silica, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8.

Pixi Glow-O2 Oxygen Mask


The Pixi Overnight Glow Serum ($24) is an old favorite of mine! It contains 10% Glycolic Acid. Put this on at night and it will gently exfoliate your skin and reveal fresher, younger looking skin the next morning! It has a gel consistency (initially almost a bit slimy) and is super easy to apply. Wait until it is soaked up by your skin, before you put a moisturizer on top!

Little tip: this can also be used as a spot treatment for a pimple!

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Ammonium Hydroxide, Phenoxyethanol, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Arginine, Disodium EDTA, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Sucrose, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cyclopentasiloxane, BHT, Cyclohexasiloxane, Xanthan Gum, Ascorbic Acid.

Pixi Overnight Glow Serum

The Pixi Jasmine Oil Blend ($24) is an exquisite oil blend (of for example: almond oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, safflower seed oil, see below for complete list) that can calm and restore stressed and unbalanced skin. You can use this like a serum before your moisturizer or by itself.

Little tip: if you don´t have much time, just mix a drop into your regular moisturizer in the palm of your hands!

Ingredients:
Prunus Dulcis (Almond) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Rosmarin Us Officialis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tocopherol, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Punica Granatum Seed Oil, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Oenothera Blennis (Evening Primrose) Root Extract, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Salvia Hispanica Seed Oil, Tanacetum Annuum Flower Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Flower/Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Boswellia Carterii Gum Extract

Pixi Jasmine Oil Blend

The Pixi Glow Mist ($15) included 13 natural oils plus propolis, aloe vera and fruit extracts. This fine mist feels refreshing and it hydrates and nourishes the skin. You can also use this to set your makeup and it will add a dewy finish. I have personally combination skin with an oily t-zone and find that this mist might be probably a better choice for women with dry to normal skin than us oily girls that already have a "natural glow". ;-)

Ingredients:
Water, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Dipropylene Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Propolis Extract, Niacinamide, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Betaine, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Panthenol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Adenosine, Rose Flower Oil, Tagetes Minuta Flower Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil

Pixi Glow Mist


Pick up your favorite at Target or check out Pixi´s website!

I highly recommend the Pixi Overnight Glow Serum!







Disclaimer: I received the products mentioned above for free. All opinions are mine. Contains Affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.
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I can sing a song about brassy hair! It has happened to me many times. I have naturally dark blonde hair, but prefer to lighten it up. It seems that I have some red under-tones in my hair and so it happens to be that my hair ends up many times looking brassy- meaning having that totally undesired orangey tone to it. But I have also managed to find products that can help me with that! So today I have for you my best tips on how to prevent or correct brassy hair!

1. Choose the right color! 
I can´t stress this enough but it is so super important to pick the right color. If you want to lighten your hair more than 3 shades, chances are that it will get brassy! So, I usually don´t try to lighten my hair up too much - if you want it lighter than 3 shades, do it in slow steps: lighten your hair 3 shades lighter, after 4 weeks go even lighter and so forth, if you will. Give your hair some rest in between. This process will take sometime, but your hair will thank you for it!

Also: if you have red under-tones like me (if you tend to get brassy hair then this is probably the case), pick a "cool color". Loreal Preference always makes it easy as they label their boxes with "Warm", "Natural" or "Cooler". Pick "Cooler" or "Ashy colors" if you don´t want brassy hair!

I happen to love the color 9 1/2 A: the lightest Ash blonde, which is about 3-4 shades lighter than my natural color.

I have a tutorial for foil highlights here and a tutorial for random brush highlights here.

2. Quick blonde refresh in between color treatments!
For a quick root touch up or for some natural looking highlights I like to use SunIn! Yes, that stuff from the 90s! It still works! ;-) You can randomly spray it on your roots or wherever you like to get some highlights- or use this amazing trick: poor SunIn in a little bowl and dip a cotton ball into it and then do some streaks on your hair with the wet cotton ball! Then just sit a little in the sun- or even easier: blow dry it as this stuff activates through heat!


3. Use purple shampoo!
Once a week use a purple shampoo that removes the brassy tones! I have used many purple shampoos (some of them were a fail like the Lee Stafford Blondes Shampoo - read here about it- I think cause it is more red-based than blue based which might be a better choice, if your hair got yellow instead of orange), but the Amika Bust your Brass is the best purple shampoo I have tried so far. It is much more a blue toned purple and I think this works best to fight the orange tones in your hair! This immediately removes any brassy tones! And it also smells absolutely delicious! Also: this stuff is super concentrated and you don´t need much of it!

If you have super duper brassy hair, I recommend leaving the shampoo on for like 10 minutes (or even longer!). But always look in the mirror and double check, because if you have very damaged hair, your hair might even turn slightly purple- if you don´t want that, don´t let your hair soak too long with the shampoo. You don´t need to have the matching conditioner as the shampoo will do a fine job by itself, but I personally just like to use products that fit together and have the same scent.


4. Use a toner!
For immediate results - in case you just dyed your hair and are horrified by the result- try the Wella Color Charm Liquid Toner. I personally always have a bottle of the shade T18 in my bathroom in case I have an accident. You have to mix this with a developer (I use a 20% or here is a great set) and then apply it just like a hair dye.

How long you leave it on depends again on how brassy your hair is! It could be anything between 5-30 minutes. I highly recommend looking constantly in the mirror and checking the color, as you will see the results immediately. Wash out if your hair looks the right shade of blond- again: just like with the purple shampoo you can end up having purple hair! But don´t worry this will wash out after 1-3 washes.

So there you go, these are my best tips on how to prevent or correct brassy hair!






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Today I have the best bikinis for women with big busts on Amazon for you! I used to have problems, when I moved to the States to get bikinis that can hold my twins. Somehow it ain´t that easy in your regular department store and I am not ready to wear a flowery grandma one-piece with attached ruffle skirt just yet! LOL!

So for many years I kept ordering my swimsuits from Germany, as it isn´t a problem over there to get a cute swimsuit for larger cup sizes (but the shipping added expenses that I did not want to have!). In the U.S. however, I find that larger cup-sizes usually not only look like they are made for an 80 year old lady, but they include most of the times huge padding that only emphasizes what is already going on and I don´t want that. I don´t want anything hanging out there, still cover everything up, but look, hm... cute? Also: I find the padding annoying, because when you go swimming it will be soaked with water and your breast will be cold and wet the rest of the day (at the pool/beach).

Since I anyway already researched to get my new swimwear for this summer, I thought I show what was in my closer selection- cause maybe it helps some of you who might also be blessed with a bigger bust?

There are 2 brands that are always on the top of my list: Freya and Body Glove specialize in lingerie and swimwear for women with bigger cup sizes (up to FF cup) and most importantly: their stuff still looks fashionable! One of my old time favorites is this top by Body Glove featuring convertible straps with two-way adjustable back ties that comes in 15 colors! Just buy any bikini bottom from Target to combine! I have done it myself many times.

And here is my personal selection of cute bikinis- but also tankinis and a one-piece item, in case you don´t like to show your belly! ;-)

Numbers are referring to the image above:

1. Freya Glam Rock Bikini ($49.60 top, $32.50 bottom)
I bought this myself and it is so comfortable and elegant you guys! The color is black but with metallic rose gold stripes. With a low plunging neckline, the bandless halter bikini top offers the perfect coverage and is available up to a FF cup.

2. Freya Drift Away Halter Bikini ($24.99 top, $16.99 bottom)
I totally love this chic nautical striped underwire halter. It includes mesh-lined cups and
support with powernet back wings. Comes also with red stripes!

3. Freya Sundance Halter Bikini Top ($60 top, $38 bottom)
I bought this one myself too and the top fits so good! It covers everything that needs to be covered but still looks young and fresh! Love the crochet halter and the supportive underwire mesh-lined, darted cups! Comes in different colors too, if you prefer!

4. Freya in The Navy Deco Bikini ($74 top, $32 bottom)
How cute is this navy style bikini? Answer: Super cute! You can customize the fit with adjustable stretch straps!

5. Freya Drift Away Halter Tankini ($31.99 top, $16.99 bottom)
Here is the Tankini version of the nautical striped bikini, if you prefer to not show off your belly!
It includes foam-lined cups that provide modest coverage.

6. Freya Remix Underwire Plunge Tankini ($34.99-$69 top, mix with any black bottom)
This one looks so classy and timeless! Beautifully bold colors to choose from, but I find black always works the best. This includes adjustable over the shoulder straps!

7. Freya Remix One-Piece ($88)
I personally am not ready for a one-piece yet but if I were: this one would be it. So elegant and timeless!

8. Freya Bondi Sweetheart Bikini ($22.89-$74.80 top, $12.99 bottom)
Very fashionable color block design but Freya offers the sizes that other brands don´t! You can customize the fit with fully adjustable stretch straps!

9. Freya Sundance High Neck Underwire Bikini ($76 top, $38 bottom)
This top is so adorable- love the crochet, underwire halter top. This includes supportive, fully finished, cups with seamed foam-lining. The crochet overlay allows the perfect tan too!


I hope this was helpful and you could find something in my best bikinis for women with big busts! Happy swim season 2018!







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I have today the best summer nail colors for you by LeChat! I am a huge fan of LeChat and the new summer collection is so super fun and bright! Jewel-tone bolds inspired by sun-kissed festival boho babes! In short: an IndieFest!

Let´s see all the colors! I am wearing 2 coats of each color. As always with LeChat nail colors: these are super opaque, very chip resistant and truly amazing quality (and that all for an amazing/unbelievable price of $6.95 each!!!) It´s time to let your inner wild child run free this summer with these gorgeous bohemian colors:

Free Bird: a bright teal cream.

Gypsy Rose: a deep vibrant pink.

Free Bird on my index finger and pinky, Hearts on Fire (a tangerine frost with shimmer!) on my middle finger and Electric Daisy (a sun gold frost with shimmer) on my ring finger. 

Wild & Free: a blue violet cream.

Bohemia: a light chestnut cream

What do you think? Which color is your favorite? I love that this line really includes some unique shades- I have never had a light brown color like this and find it fascinating! I absolutely love LeChat!

BTW: LeChat always offers 2 versions of their colors: the Dare to Wear Nail Lacquers ($6.95) but also the Perfect Match Geld and Lacquer set (for $16.67).

The IndieFest collection is available here!




Disclaimer: I received the products mentioned above for free. All opinions are mine. Read my full disclosure.
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I can honestly say, that my skin looks better now with 41 (actually soon to be 42), than when I was 37! With a (little) shock have I discovered a couple of images of myself on my computer, when I have just started to write this blog in 2013. And I was really a bit horrified, how my skin looked! And I don´t even remember that I looked like this! So I thought I will do a little comparison on how my skin care has changed in the last 5 years, to see what has caused the improvement of my skin! Which anti-aging skin care products did really help?

What has improved over the years? My wrinkles look so much better today than 5 years ago! That goes for my forehead, but also under my eyes! The deep frown line in the middle of my eyes has gotten much softer and the overall texture of my skin got better: the pores aren´t that deep anymore and my skin tone has gotten pretty even.

Now clearly I do have makeup on (on both pictures: the before in 2013 and the after in 2018), but that isn´t helping me in 2013 one bit, isn´t it? Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of me without makeup from 2013 (I wouldn´t have dared to do one and it is clear why! lol)- but let me show you up close, how my skin looked just this morning! Today I dare! ;-)

So there you go: the bare face of my 41 year old skin (click to enlarge, if you want it a bit more scary!). Compared to 2013 the forehead wrinkles and wrinkles under my eyes are much smoother. The deep frown line between my eyes has gotten much better. I have barely brown patches left- I would say the tiniest bit on my lower cheeks. I do have a very red chin, which is also because I have dermatillomania (can´t stop picking at my skin and I try to focus just on my chin to not destroy my whole face- read more here about my struggle).


How skin care changed my skin!
Before I started blogging, I wasn´t much of a skin care geek at all! I literally used liquid hand soap or body wash to wash off my makeup. I think the St. Ives Apricot scrub and Nivea cream were my only skin care items that I used to purchase back in 2012 (and the years before). Isn´t that crazy? I did not start this blog being someone that knew her stuff- but I definitely grew into it and I have learned and tried so much skin care over the years!

While my skin care in the last 5 years has changed a lot- many consistencies are to be found. You can´t attribute my improved skin to one single product- because how should I know which product had the biggest impact? I can only guess here- but what I can say for sure is that - no matter how old you are- a good skin care regime can actually truly make a difference!

Let´s see how my skin care routine evolved since 2014- which was basically the first time I wrote about it on my blog! I will however only focus on the skin care items that I believe made truly a difference and not mention which cleanser I used for example. So keep in mind: I will always have used a cleanser and toner. While I believe that these are important steps to do, I don´t think it makes a huge difference, which cleanser or toner you use! I have never used a cleanser that was bad. Obviously if you have sensitive skin, then you will have to find one that works- but I don´t have sensitive skin.

Anyway: as stated I will focus in my comparison only on the extra steps that I believe made a difference!

My skin care in 2014:
You can check out my skin care routine in 2014 here. This was the beginning of a somewhat more "advanced" skin care routine compared to what I did before (*cough liquid hand soap)- but if I look at the items that I used, I think the only product that might have been helpful in changing my skin was the Paula´s choice Resist Triple Action Dark Spot Eraser that includes Salicylic Acid (great for exfoliation) and Hydroquinone (to get rid of dark spots).

What I did not mention in this post from 2014 was, that I started to use Frownies approximately in late 2013 (here is a blog post after using Frownies for 1 year). Frownies will be a consistent product that I used over the years to get rid of the deep frown line between my eyes!

My skin care in 2015
In my skin care routine of 2015 something important happened: I started using a Vitamin C serum (to get rid of the brown patches and achieve an even skin tone!) and finally also sunscreen every single morning to avoid further damage from the sun! Of course I did not stop using my Frownies since the results were amazing! This is also the beginning of me using a Retinol cream at night. I also included a chemical peel once a month that contains 10% Lactic Acid (read also: how to do a chemical peel at home).

My skin care in 2016
In my skin care routine of 2016 I kept using the Vitamin C serum and saw already a major improvement in getting rid of dark spots on my face. I also still used a sunscreen every morning. At night I switched up to a little stronger Retinol serum (the Paula´s choice Resist Retinol serum), still kept using my Frownies and still did a chemical peel about once a month with 10% Lactic Acid.

My skin care in 2017
In my skin care routine of 2017 I was still using every single morning a Vitamin C serum and I have added since then a Hyaluronic Acid serum to plump up my skin cells. I still used sunscreen too- but often times just the IT Cosmetics CC cream that already contains SPF 50. I also started using Retin-A in 2017 and since it would have been overkill I stopped using the Lactic Acid Peel. I was still using my Frownies.

My skin care in 2018
And today in 2018 I am still including a Vitamin C serum, a Hyaluronic Acid serum and sunscreen. I use Retin-A for about once a week- sometimes even only every 2 weeks, because I find the flaking annoying and also find that I don´t need currently that much exfoliation and went instead back to using a Retinol cream every night, and yes, I am still using my beloved Frownies.


Biggest helper in improving my skin:
So, I will overall say that probably the biggest impact of improving my skin were:





I can only highly recommend to start using a Vitamin C serum, sunscreen and something to exfoliate your skin! It is never too late. You will be surprised how thankful your skin will be. Results won´t happen overnight- you see this process took me years! But I do see a difference and I am loving it!

I have also tips how to get Retin-A without a prescription!






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I just bought a new metal fur stool for my makeup vanity and it looks like my Lissy loves it just as much as I do! It was only $34.99 (at Ross!). I love the 60s vibe of the metal and the fur is super cozy too (Lissy thinks so too)!

I thought while at it, I´ll show my makeup vanity setup (you can see my old set up here- everything got a little lighter and fresher now and I am including lot´s of très chic gold!)

"I´m the Queen here!"

"Smells good too!"


Lilly seems skeptical! ;-)

On top of my vanity I have a Gold marble tray with my favorite perfumes. Currently using the most: Elizabeth Arden White Tea- flowery but still clean and fresh. Perfect for summer!



I just love my new makeup vanity set up! BTW: I recently cleaned out so much makeup, you guys! I also stopped buying makeup- I think my last splurge was the Too Faced Chocolate Gold in December! Wow. Obviously some makeup items (like mascara) will need to get re-purchased- but overall I am really rather using up all the makeup that I still have, than buying even more (if you are struggling to fight the urge of buying too much makeup, you should check out my Minimalism Test). Now I have only my absolute favorite makeup in that vanity drawer! I love it!

How do you like my makeup vanity set up? Yay or Nay?




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I have witnessed many times, how rude people on the Internet can be and I have been the victim of very rude comments myself lots of times (interestingly more often on YouTube than on any other social media site). But why are people so rude on the Internet? Do they behave like that in their "real" life as well? Are they just brave enough, because they can hide behind a fake name or even fake picture? Or is this even a way to let their aggressions out?

One rude or unthoughtful comment can hurt a person so much, but what´s even worth is, that many times it is not just one comment. Often times a whole group chimes in and makes the situation even worse.

Often times the people that make the rude comments think, that they are the ones that say the truth and have the "right opinion" and therefor it´s their right to make just that comment. But is it OK to say something rude or mean- even if they think it is correct what they are saying?

Absolutely not. It is quite ironic that people that do that think of themselves of "speaking out about what´s not right". They actually think they are helping the world, because they see something that wasn´t right in their opinion and they speak out.

OK- if you haven´t witnessed anything like that, you might be wondering: what am I actually talking about? So, I want to give you some examples.

Just this morning I stumbled on FaKebook (that´s how I call Facebook- I don´t think I need to explain that?) on a video (an Advertisement for the FabFitFun box) by Kim Zolciak Biermann (you know from the Real Housewives of Atlanta). So far, so good. But now to the juicy part: I couldn´t believe my eyes, when I read the horrifying rude comments, that were below the little video.

Here a a couple of examples of rude comments made under the little video.








The comments go on an on, but they all have in common that they are very rude. In fact: I have only seen 1 comment, where a lady is actually speaking out that people are rude in the comments. And you know, when you comment on Facebook, your friends see that comment and they might join you and also leave another rude comment.

I mean, there is a big difference of saying your opinion in your own home- to let´s say your husband or mom- but behind closed doors! Sure, you can have your opinion and that is good! I personally don´t use Botox (read here why) and I also many times find people overdo it and it can make their faces look weird. But it is not up to me to judge anyone else for using it!

Everybody can do with their lives (or face lol) whatever they please- the same is true for Kim. If a truck-load of Botox makes her happy- so let her! Tell your husband, how ridiculous you find that, or even make a funny joke about her....but: do it behind closed doors! Don´t scream it out loud in public. And let´s not forget: these people are actually writing their rude comments directly on Kim´s Facebook page!  She can read all those comments and will get a notification for each one! So this is literally targeted at her! She is a human being and I can assure you: this is painful for her! Nobody likes to read comments like that about themselves!

Of course I make myself statements here and there about someone´s looks to my husband or a girlfriend. But to write a rude comment like that in public on the Internet, where not only other people can read it - but also Kim herself can see it, is just plain rude behaviour. Like it or not how Kim looks- it really doesn´t matter! But do you have the right to talk like that about her in public?

Do you have the right to talk in public about someones looks, just because the person is a celebrity? I don´t think so. And as I explained above: rude people attract more rude people like a magnet and the comments get more and more, because every rude person thinks: "that is exactly what I thought too and so many think that too, so I want to join in as well. It seems right, cause everybody is doing it." And still...it is NOT!

You might think this situation can only happen to a celebrity- but wrong you are! My first really bad encounter of rude people was a couple of years ago, when I created a "Bollywood look". I had so much fun creating it and loved how it turned out. One day later I woke up to hundreds of hateful comments on my Facebook post (click to see all comments). It was truly unreal! I´ll give you a couple of examples:





And this one was basically I should end my life! That was ridiculous!



I could not believe it and felt sick to my stomach. People were talking about "cultural appropriation", which I admit, I hadn´t heard of before and so I googled it. These people thought that I had not the right as a white girl to dress like an Indian person. I cried and struggled and was very torn, weather to delete my post or not. Then I did what I thought was the only right thing to do: I excused my behaviour and explained also that I wasn´t aware of the cultural appropriation and that I understood. But that only lead to even more hateful comments. Hundreds of comments and they went as far as, that I should end my life! It was nuts! And I am not a celebrity or anything like that. At some point I had to block people and I also started deleting comments.

A week later, when finally the situation calmed down, I realized something awkward: most of the women that made a rude comment on my Facebook post, were black (can you even still say black or is that wrong again? The world has gotten so complicated!) Anyway: That was weird! Why were they offended by my Bollywood look so much- they had nothing to do with the Indian culture? Notice how many times they use the phrase "white girl" in their comments!

On the other hand, I had lot´s of Indian women comment, that they really liked my look! What was going on here? And how did these women even find my Facebook post? It´s not that I was so famous in the blogger world that everybody saw this. I started checking out their Facebook profiles and saw that lot´s of them had something in common: they belonged to a certain "group" (I saw they used all the same symbol)... and it was something that I (naively) didn´t even know exists: hate against white people.

Anyhow: these people are fighting for their rights and so they thought they do the right thing: "That look is cultural appropriation and we have to speak out loud against it". And so a whole group of people were bullying me with rude and very offensive comments in the believes they are fighting for the "right thing".

Kim´s situation is pretty much the same: people are commenting because they are against Botox, Fillers or maybe just haters or jealous people (sometimes I wonder if that is the same? Is a lot of times hate formed by being jealous of someone?) and so they think they have to speak out loud and say something.

Some of the women that left rude comments on Kim´s post could be my grandmother (I mean they could be age-wise- otherwise absolutely not, cause my grandma is kind!) I used to think that only the younger generation is rude on the Internet. Like women my age or even older aren´t rude on the Interent. Wrong! Age means nothing. People of all colors, ages, backgrounds can be rude on the Internet.

And let´s be very clear here: this is bullying. These people are bullies and I the worst part is: they don´t even realize that.

But I say: they are wrong. Don´t be rude on the Internet. The Internet is public. Don´t embarrass yourself by being rude. Everybody can read your comment! Be kind.



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I have tried them both: the Roc Max Daily Hydration Creme and the Neutrogena Wrinkle Repair cream. Besides that nobody can probably remember both of the names- haha -they have in common that they contain Retinol. So, which one performs better?


Claims:
Here are the claims of the Roc Max Daily Hydration Creme ($27.49)

Reveal younger-looking skin and visibly reduce wrinkles with RoC Retinol Correxion Max Daily Hydration Crème. This intensive anti-aging cream is clinically proven to reduce wrinkles in one week with continued improvement each week thereafter. It delivers smoother and more radiant skin after one week, smooths eye wrinkles after four weeks, and visibly reduces deep wrinkles and dark spots after eight weeks.

Here are the claims of the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream ($25.99)

Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Regenerating Face Cream regenerates visibly younger-looking skin in just one week. Rich moisturizing cream delivers the highest concentration of Accelerated Retinol SA deep into skin's surface quickly and effectively, for visibly smoother and younger looking skin in just 1 week. Accelerated Retinol SA is the fastest retinol formula available.


Do you see, how similar the claims are? Both claim to provide: younger-looking skin in just one week and to deliver smoother skin in one week! (Personally I find the claim not justified for both creams, please give it at least 4 weeks to see first results with a retinol cream).
Consistency:
The consistency of both products feels the same to me: they are moisturizing well and are easy to apply without feeling heavy or greasy. The Roc cream has a light yellow color to it, while the Neutrogena cream is white. But the color does not really matter. No winner here!

Fragrance:
Both products smell very nice- I would say the Neutrogena smells a little lighter and fresher, while the Roc smells a little deeper and more "perfume-like". If I would have to guess, the fragrance of the Neutrogena is made for younger folks while the Roc is made for mature women, yeah which I realize sounds a little stupid. Cause I don´t think that our age defines what kind of fragrances we like- but I am guessing that is what THEY think of us. LOL! So, no winner here.

Price:
Depending on the retailer they cost both about the same- something between $25-$28. So you might be able to save a couple dollar, if you are looking, where it is offered at a lower price. However, since they are in the same price range, we have no winner here.

Ingredients:

Ingredients of Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream:

Water, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Behenate, Ceteareth-20, Isohexadecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Polyethylene, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide, Fragrance, C13-14 Isoparaffi n, PTFE, Chlorphenesin, Polysorbate 20, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, Retinol, BHT, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Laureth-7, Sodium Hydroxide, Ascorbic Acid

Ingredients of Roc Max Daily Hydration Creme:

Water, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Glycerin, Dimethicone, PPG-15 Stearyl Ether, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Glyceryl Behenate, Ceteareth-20, Isohexadecane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polyethylene, Sodium Polyacrylate, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Crosspolymer, Polyacrylamide, Fragrance, PTFE, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Chlorphenesin, Polysorbate 20, Hydrolyzed Myrtus Communis Leaf Extract, Retinol, BHT, Sodium Hyaluronate, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Laureth-7, Ascorbic Acid, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid.


OMG, OMG, OMG! See that? The ingredient are almost completely identical!!!!

To be honest: I completely expected that already, because when I tried both of the creams, I was already thinking to myself: Hey these 2 creams perform actually exactly the same! LOL!!!

Let´s not forget that both companies are owned by Johnson & Johnson- so they can literally produce products with the same ingredients under different brands. And I think this is what has happened here with the 2 products. It´s the same product with different packaging under different brands with a different scent! ;)


Overall verdict:
So, overall, which one is the winner? Well, in case you haven´t noticed: I think they are almost exact dupes, it really doesn´t matter which one you choose. Like I said earlier: the Neutrogena smells fresher and cleaner and the Roc more "perfume-like"- so that is up to your preference. Both are winners. Both contain Retinol and will help to smooth out wrinkles. However, if you have sensitive skin, I recommend the new fragrance free version of the Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Cream.

BTW: if you use a Retinol product and find that your skin feels dry- this is a misconception. Your skin is not getting dry- it just feels that way, because the Retinol is trying to get rid of the top layers of your skin- it´s called exfoliation- not dry skin- even if it seems at times as if you get dry skin. ;-)





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