Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'm moving! New website!

I put on some big girl internet pants and switched over to a new site! It got a bit hard to manage having my YoutTube channel and completely different sounding/unrelated blog, so from now on you can conveniently find everything in one spot at www.ttsandra.com

I'll see you with some new posts very soon :) 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Notable Minis | Ole Henriksen

My love for mini samples/travel sizes of products knows no bounds. Here are three products I have been testing (after hoarding Sephora samples in bulk) that are definitely going to make it to the "full size repurchase" list. I get my Ole Henriksen fix at Sephora, but if you do not have access to that, Feel Unique has got you covered with free shipping worldwide!



What it is: a clear gel that feels cooling on the skin, to be used nightly under the eyes
What it does: has tremendously helped refine the texture of the skin around my eyes. Fine lines be gone!!


What it is: a cleansing "gelée", the next revolution in cleansers. 
What it does: It's a gel that you massage onto dry skin, it then emulsifies into an oil as you massage it in, it melts off all your makeup and rinses clean with you add water. I prefer using this with a washcloth and warm water. Skin is left feeling super clean, not dried out and silky smooth.


What it is: a lightweight moisturizer
What it does: it's packed full of antioxidants aimed to help refine skin texture and fade spots/scarring. It has a lightweight texture, sinks right into the skin and works wonderfully underneath makeup or layered over a serum at night time. 


Have you tried any of these? I highly recommend that you do. They're great for all skin types but especially efficient if you have combination/oily skin and are battling acne, any sort of scarring or texture issues.

xx

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review: First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads

Ring the alarm! I finally found a daily face exfoliant that makes me happy! Aaaaand shock horror, it's in a pre-soaked pad format. I purchased the small jar of the First Aid Beauty Radiance Pads back in August as I was gearing up for my trip. I thought it would be more effective to have pre-soaked pads rather than carrying my bottle of exfoliating toner and a stash of cotton wool. (By the way how awesome is it when a company offers their products in travel sizes?)

Fast forward almost two months and two little jars later, I am finally ready to commit to the full size.


I love these things! They are alcohol free, loaded with glycolic, hyaluronic and lactic acid (amongst some other yummy things like aloe vera juice and cucumber water) and feel nice and refreshing on the skin. They are super gentle but effective, making them the perfect daily exfoliant. I am hesitant to use exfoliants daily when I have active breakouts but these are so nice and gentle they do not contribute to irritation whatsoever.

So, what are you waiting for? If you're in the market for something new (and effective) to add to your skincare routine, look no further.

You can pick them up at Sephora in either the 28 pack or 60 pack :)

Thursday, September 18, 2014

FFFresh Fall Face

I seem to have lost my flare for creating good titles for posts. I apologize.
This post is simple.
It's what I had on my face today! Fall is upon us and just like pumpkin spice lattes, MAC Mulch eyeshadow is coming back into heavy rotation:


Eyes: By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Brown Perfection smudged all over the lid with fingers as a base, MAC Mulch eyeshadow all over the lid, MAC Wedge and Espresso shadows in the crease. Dior Waterproof eyeliner pencil in Dark Brown, L'Oreal Miss Manga mascara.

Lips: Burberry Lip Cover in Blush

Face: YSL Teint Resist foundation, La Mer Radiant Concealer in Medium, Bourjois  Healthy Balance Powder in #53, Chanel Les Beiges Powder #40, Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Exposed.

What's your fall go-to eyeshadow? *** or are you still in summer mode? :)

Shop the post: 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Tourist: Casual Travel Outfits & Photos

Hi!


I just got back from vacation and the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. I initially intended on posting outfit of the days while I was gone (I spent 7 days in Barcelona and 3 in Vienna) but the internet at our apartment in Spain was so bad, it took ages just to get 1 photo uploaded so I figured I wait it out and compile it into one post!

I was super impressed with my packing skills in this trip - I managed to fit in all my belongings in just one medium sized suitcase (no carry-on aside from a small backpack that housed my laptop and camera)!! This means that a lot of my HG wardrobe items made the cut - namely loose-fitting soft jersey tops. I had just found the perfect muscle tank prior to leaving (by LA based brand Daydreamer), bought it in black and white, and wore them a ton during my trip.

The Daydreamer LA muscle tank in black and white:


Tank: Daydreamer (link! on sale!)
Shorts: H&M (not current season)
Shoes: Puma (not current season)
Sunglasses: Chanel (Classic Cat Eye model)



Tank: Daydreamer (again! link!)
Jacket: Rag & Bone (similar here)
Leggings: adidas by Stella McCartney (link)
Crossbody: Coach (not current season)
Shoes: Puma (not current season)


Same story above, jeans are jeggings from GAP - one of my favourite pairs of jeans that I own!

I'm channeling the GAP jegging power in this shot too, paired with an asymmetrical bra by Helmut Lang (link!) and a loose T shirt from Zara:



Top and bag: H&M (I bought the bag a couple of years ago but the cropped sweater is recent)
Skirt: Aritzia (brand is Babaton, there is still a longer version of it available here)
Sandals: Italian Shoemakers (overall total granny shoe brand but I found these on a sale rack at Winners and they were too comfortable to pass up!)

I had such a wonderful vacation with two of my closest friends, and by far my favourite memory was just getting to go on ridiculously long walks to Barceloneta beach, grab a cone filled with fresh fries, soak them up with melted cheese and Spanish ham and soak up the sun/sunsets by the Mediterranean sea. 

However it's great to be back and to get in the swing of things (expect the flow of posts and videos to resume this week)
xx

Sandra

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Review: Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

I have been wanting to try this mask for a few months now and finally got the chance to buy it a few weeks ago. The Resurfacing Mask from Tata Harper is one of the stars of the brand and I was pleasantly surprised that it delivers.

Tata Harper is a Vermont-based natural skincare company with a really cool brand concept and manufacturing process (you can actually type in the batch code on each product that you own by them to find out more about when it was produced/who it was batched by, etc.), you can read more about it here but let's talk more about that mask, shall we?


Sephora carries a small selection of Tata Harper products exclusively online, the Resurfacing Mask being one of them so I ordered it as soon as my Ole Henriksen Lemon Flash peel ran out and have been trying it out for the last couple of weeks. It. Is. Awesome!

Not only is it refreshing to find a skincare product that is worth the investment (this mask retails for $55), but a natural one at that! It is beta hydroxy acid based, which means it penetrates deeper in the skin cells, provides deeper exfoliation and is more efficient on acne-prone skin than treatments that are strictly AHA based.


It has a light jelly texture and a pleasant sweet/slightly herbal scent, you smooth over a thin layer all over the face and leave it on for 20-30 minutes. The mask slightly tightens as it dries, and removes easily with warm water. I didn't do a particularly "thick" layer as the instruction suggests, and it worked just fine. The result after rinsing is instantly noticeable. My skin felt so smooth, looked more radiant and any active blemishes were calmed down. 

It's gentle (no scary tingling sensation) but if you have hyper sensitive skin I would recommend maybe just leaving it on 10-15 minutes and see how it goes.

In conclusion - this is a total win. You can find Tata Harper online at Sephora, Nordstrom, Net-A-Porter, etc. It's quite widely available for such a niche skincare brand, and it's a good thing. I'm currently using up a sample of their Resurfacing Moisturizer which is also awesome but I have to come to terms with the price tag first ($100. *gulp*) before I decide on indulging.

Have you tried this mask? If not - you should. It's incredible.

xx

Sandra

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hair Holy Grails: III

Catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 of my Hair Holy Grails series if you haven't seen those posts. In the third instalment we have quite the eclectic mix - a hair spray, a conditioner and a heat styling product:


1. Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Conditioner

This is the best tone correcting hair product I have tried. If you have highlighted hair and want to keep the brassy tones in check, look no further. Not only does it smell amazing and conditions the hair well without making it feel greasy or weighed down, but it is incredibly rich in purple pigment which is the key to neutralizing any orange tendencies that your highlighted hair might have. Kevin Murphy is an Australian brand and can be quite hard to get a hold of (I'm lucky to go to a hair salon that stocks the products) but I have had luck finding and ordering some of the products from Amazon.



I have been using/buying this for over two years and I can't be bothered to stray. Best hairspray ever. It has a medium flexible hold, smells like heaven, doesn't weigh the hair down and boosts it with a hint of airy volume. Oh, and it also adds shine. What more can you ask for? Get it at most salons (this brand is everywhere) or on Feelunique with free worldwide shipping!


This "restructuring milk for weakened hair" does just that. You apply and massage it into damp hair, focusing on the areas of most damage, which is usually the ends. It is then heat activated so when you blow dry/use styling tools it protects those fragile bits of your hair and strengthens them through the entire styling process. It has a pleasant scent and it doesn't weigh my fine hair down at all. It has made a huge difference in the condition of my split ends. Now it doesn't fix split ends (no product no matter how magical it claims to be will ever be able to fix split ends) but it does prevent future split ends from happening, which is good enough for me!

xx

Sandra

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Birthday Shoes!

For the last four years I have had this little tradition for myself... I buy myself a nice pair of shoes for my birthday. 

This year's pair makes me incredibly happy so I thought I would share them with you:


They are the Jimmy Choo Callie T-Strap Sandals and they are perfection.

They stand tall at 120mm, but they are so easy to wear and fit right in with my arsenal of black outfits. Sigh. Happy birthday to me!

xx

Sandra

Friday, August 29, 2014

CND Vinylux Nail Polish Review

A nail polish that claims to last at least 7 days chip-free? I'm in!

I've tried several polishes/top coats that claimed to stand up to this claim in the past but this is the first one that actually delivered. The CND Vinylux system gets two pretty and polished thumbs up!


How it works is super simple: you apply two coats of the colour and follow up with a the top coat. Not only is the result nice and shiny but it also dries super fast. It dried just as fast as my regular polish with the Seche Vite top coat minus the gloopiness!

The colour I got was a timeless bright red Wildfire (I can never get sick of red nails):


And this is what it looked like after not 7 but 10 (!) days:


Aside from regrowth and minor tip wear... this stuff was incredible and it survived many dish washing episodes (I wash dishes by hand, without gloves).

Have you tried this stuff? I think it's a great alternative for women who like to change their polish more often than shellac and are looking for a fuss free at home alternative!

I was kindly gifted this set by my co-worker but am currently scouting more shades online (Amazon is my BFF).

What has been the most long lasting nail polish you have ever tried?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

3 Masks For All Your Skincare Needs

This week I'm sharing my current skincare routine over on my YouTube channel and as a supplement I thought I'd share with you the face masks that I use depending on my skin condition. These three masks are tried and true - some I've been using for over a year:


From left to right:


This is my go-to mask before any type of special occasion where I want my skin to "perk up". I use it right after I get out of the shower. It has a light gel consistency, orange in colour and smells of oranges as well. As it comes in contact with your damp skin surface, the oxygen is released and it starts frothing up. It produces a fun tingling sensation that lasts for about 5-10 minutes, then you rinse it off. It's a quick skin boost and it leaves my skin feeling plump and refreshed, perfect to use before a night out!


This is one of the best peels I have ever tried. It's intense - roughly a 20% acid mix that works hard to slough off dead skin cells and promote skin cell renewal. It contains AHAs (glycolic acid, lactic acid and fruit enzymes) and it is a clear gel consistency that you apply with the brush it comes with, leave it onto the skin for 10-15 minutes depending on your tolerance (it stings) and rinse it off. This mask is ideal if you are looking to fade hyperpigmentation and old acne scars.
I do not recommend you use this if you have active blemishes on your face, though, since it can be quite intense and irritating on those sensitive spots. On old scars, though, it's a warrior!

3. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay ($10-15 at Whole Foods or on Amazon)

This is a cheapie but a goodie. I reviewed it in depth last year in this post. It's a DIY clay mask - the box contains the clay that you mix with either water or apple cider vinegar (I prefer the latter), apply it on the face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes as it tightens and absorbs excess oils and gunk from your skin. This is a must if you have oily/combination skin and are battling blackheads. 


What are your go to face masks?

Using face masks is seriously the highlight of my week sometimes. I'm easy to please :)

xx

Sandra
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