Monday&Moisturizers&Masks (and a cleanser too)

IMG_5207First of all let’s be very clear; I’m not a beauty blogger or a skin care professional. I’m at best entry-level skin care nerd and I’ve quickly become rather niche as I’m trying to find something that is organic/sustainable yet still suitable for my skin i.e. I have skin and I care about it.Furthermore this is not review of Tata Harper products as such, this is review of the small “daily essentials set” that is a discovery kit of sorts. I have an opinion or two after using the kit which has products for about a week.

It should here be mentioned that I have combination skin, with an oily t-zone (pretty common affliction) and the discrepancy between dry cheeks and oily nose is greater during the cold months of the year because of weather. In summer my skin is pretty alright and fairly balanced actually. This time of year though? My cheeks are oh so parched due to wind etc.

I also have rather sensitive skin, and what I mean by that is that I don’t trust labels or their staff for a second. This harks back to when I developed cystic acne basically over night and went around looking for products, and so many labels gave me the whole “your skin is dirty you need to clean it more” and sold me often expensive products that obviously made everything worse. I say obviously because people who actually know anything about skin/care know that cleaning with harsh products (and there are a lot of them out there, known labels and pricey AF) isn’t the solution. At a few counters the staff were like “you need to talk to your doctor about a prescription and a regimen but we have a few products that will give some hydration back and take down the redness”. Those labels are forever in my good book, and a few other labels are dead to me. D.E.A.D.

This is also the reason that I haven’t really stepped up my skin care routine earlier, pure fear of rocking the boat. I’ve been so happy of not having painful acne and aching skin that I haven’t dealt with my hyper-pigmentation (the result of having very sensitive skin when I was on medication for my acne), pores, a few scars and anti-aging. This year though I’ve started to make changes, but I also have gotten more informed and thus more concerned about environmental issues which leaves me with difficult choices. And thus we end up where we started ; the Tata Harper discovery kit which contains seven products.

  1. Restorative eye cream. This comes in a little sachet and the amount is way to much for one application but you can’t just leave the sachet open to use the day after because then the consistency will change. I know this because it happened to me. I should have put it in a little jar I guess, a bit to tired to think of it at the time.
  2. Regeneration cleanser. This is good, smells quite a bit though. Has tiny granules of something in it so gives you a bit of physical exfoliant, especially when used on dry skin as recommended on the box. Can also be used on damp skin I say and then the effect is less regenerating I guess but also more gentle. When I bought the box I also got samples of the purifying cleanser which was nice.
  3. Resurfacing mask. This is the product that I really loved of the bunch. You are supposed to use it first for a few days to really give your skin a going over, and then do it a few times a week to top up. It made my pores appear smaller. Winning. The effect might be short-term but with pores that all one can ever hope for apparently.
  4. Hydrating floral essence. Don’t like and that is very much related to the scent.
  5. Reparative moisturizer. That’s a no from me. Mostly based on the fact that it doesn’t go well with my foundation, it totally “jacks it up” because of how it sits on the skin. Also the scent is a bother.
  6. Rejuvenating serum. Feels more like a cream to be honest but yeah, it’s alright. Wouldn’t ever buy it though, very pricey and more so in Sweden. This is deluxe organic skin care for sure but I’ve looked online and the prices are extra high in Sweden.
  7. Replenishing nutrient complex. I’ve barely used this. I found instructions online that said to add a drop or two of this in the moisturizer but due to the roller-ball applicator on this mini version that isn’t possible. So I’ve rolled a bit on my checks, every time with a face that was essentially a question mark, wondering why they couldn’t have put this in the sachet and offered a more substantial vial of eye cream.

So, those are my thoughts. I found one product that I’m thinking about, and if I buy it I will probably do so online. But I don’t ever want to buy something like this on a whim or without having tried at least once. I bought products from The ordinary without prior testing but at that price it wasn’t really an issue. With these though? Satisfaction must be guaranteed before parting with that much money. Still, I’m glad I tried. Now I will go back to my old routine for a bit to calm things down (my skin hasn’t reacted badly to any of the products but I don’t want to provoke it either with new poducts every week) and then upwards and onwards in my search for sustainable skincare.







I had this great idea, and a little project going on. In my efforts to live more sustainably I had bought a little tester kit of products from the company Neal’s yard; I found it at a shop here in Sweden and the kit was for combination skin i.e. suited to my needs. As all their products it was certified by The soil association meaning it was at least 90% organic content. I was excited, I had heard great things about this brand and was looking forward to try them as I’m ambivalent of spending loads of money on product with the risk of my skin reacting adversely and having to throw it away (it’s happened). Starter kits are great like that (but not as awesome as when brands give you samples to try).

On Monday when I was getting ready to try the cleanser and put on their face mask I realized that the clay mask was crumbling because it was too dry, in fact all of the products had expired. I returned it the next day and got my money back, and an apology for my troubles, but all the other kits on the shelves had expired too. And there I was; running out of my Vichy cleanser and without a sustainable option.

However, the same place that sold the Neal’s yard sells Swedish skin care label Maria Åkerberg. They had travel sizes of a few products (and a few kits but nothing that felt it filled my needs) so I bought The olive cleanser for dry&mature skin as my skin in fairly dry in the colder months (it’s the windiness and the constant change in temperature from indoors to outdoors and back again). It smells really nice of petitgrain and is a nice and mild cleanser. I’ve used it as a first cleanse on dry skin and it removes makeup wonderfully but it should be noted that I haven’t worn mascara in months. I don’t know why, I just ran out of it and haven’t repurchased. I don’t miss it all that much actually and I think I look alright without it. Blush I need not to look dead but the eyes are fairly good without any make-up. But I digress, my point is I don’t know how well this would remove mascara. I like the creamy texture and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean, but go in with a toner afterwards (Pixi glow tonic preferably). I might buy this, and there is an enzyme peel in the line that I’m curious about.

Having bought that I went to Aesop to see if they had something for me. I have a somewhat checkered history with Aesop. I really want to like their stuff, which feels very natural and if nothing else uses natural ingredients and is made in Australia so i assume they are not jerks in production. That might be naive but whatever. I’ve tried a thirteen Aesop products ’til Wednesday but the Parsley cleanser is the only one I ever really got on with. It’s the scents, they always bothering me. One of the dangers of using natural ingredients I guess. I cannot bear with it. Staff is always super nice however, and they sell The Paris Review there so I’ll keep going there but rarely buying something (and when I do its gifts because I know people who adore their products).

Last but not least I ended up buying a set of miniatures from Le Labo when I went to buy a gift and a few other things at their shop. They launched some skin and hair care last month apparently. So for 90 SEK I got four small tubes and I bought the Body cream (nice but nothing special), The shower oil (nice but nothing special), the shower cream with the basil scented (which smelled amazing) and last but not least the charcoal face mask.

First of all I have to point out that some of these products come hinoki-scented by default. It is like the hottest scent right now; I’ve seen more hinoki products in the last three months then I have ever before. It used to be like what? Two perfumes from Comme de Garçons and that was it. But now? Hinoki is the new Oud, just putting it out there. I do not mind, I just don’t see the point. If they made more products that smells like the Basil shower cream did, then I would buy.

And then there is the face mask. If you don’t know how to use it then you are in good company. I got no instructions from staff and neitherdid I find any on the small tube, nor the internet. I went rough the first time (because I have used face masks before) and then sent of an e-mail. The second time it was as intended.

How to use the Le Labo Charcoal mask; apply to clean face, let it sit on the skin for 5-7 minutes and then rinse of. Can be used ever other day or three times a week. 

I will say that it felt nice, my face did feel clean and my pores smaller afterwards but after having used it only twice that’s more an impression than a review. I doubt that I will buy it, there is one more application in the tube (10 ml goes a long way with the mask, but is only one shower when it comes to the bath oil/shower cream). But my bathroom look like a disaster afterwards. There is a certain grit to the mask so when you rinse it off you get a little peel too. Nice but not worth having to clean my bathroom all the time, and I’m nit sure thse flanels will ever be clean again. Too much hassle.  It should also be noted that this product is “unscented” but here it means they haven’t used any perfume. It smells of bitter almond as there is bitter almond extract in it. Just letting you now if that kind of thing gets to you.

I guess I should just bite the apple and buy the Tata Harper kit with minis, but I’ll wait until there is “double points” at NK. At those prices I will make the most of it.