Dear international readers of Beautyjagd,
Welcome to my blog! I have been meaning to add an English-language version to Beautyjagd for quite some time. In the end I decided that rather than translating all of the blog content, it would be more fun to publish a condensed version – kind of like a Digest – of the most important articles that have appeared on Beautyjagd during the last two weeks.
My colleague Annika from trend-traveller.com will be responsible for the translations. These will be based on the articles I write and each English version is linked back to the German original. To start with, we will publish the English versions twice a month. If the new format works well, we might even do it on a weekly basis – this is a work in progress, so we look forward to any feedback you might have! You can also continue to read Beautyjagd via Google Translator, of course.
If you require more information or if you are interested in specific articles please get in touch with me. And now: enjoy the best of Beautyjagd in English!
The last couple of weeks were really busy! It was incredibly hot in Southern Germany, with temperatures of up to 38 C, so I took a couple of days off and went to the Bavarian Alps, which are located close to the border with Austria. I stayed near a gorgeous blue lake and went swimming four times a day but I also used the opportunity to do some strategic beauty shopping across the border – amongst other things I bought Mozartkugeln (a delicious Austrian confectionery made from pistachios, nougat and marzipan) and the Serum Schwarze Ribisel (blackcurrant serum) from Austrian drugstore chain Bipa’s new organic own label brand bi good. Read more about this serum a little bit further down. And now, without further ado: here are some interesting new organic beauty launches I have come across in the last week!
For the last few days I’ve been wearing the luscious creamy grey-brown nail polish Chai Latte by Little Ondine. This polish is actually a kind of liquid nail wrap that is applied with a brush. With three coats you get an opaque, intense finish which lasted for several days, at least on my nails. There is no unpleasant smell and the polish dries quickly. And now comes the best part: if you want to remove it, you can just pull it off the nails! An interesting and innovative approach to nail polish.
Following a recommendation from my readers I recently bought the Mascara and a Lip Color Balm in shade Cherry Blossom from US brand Dizao. I love cherry blossoms and who can resist a mascara which is coloured with coffee and 95% organic! I ordered Dizao from the brand’s European online store and one week later, the products arrived. The USDA certified mascara is packaged in an elegant metal tube and gives good coverage (I would have preferred a little more oomph but at 10 Euro this is a great deal) and the lip balm has a nice intense pink colour.
One of my most important beauty products when the weather is super hot is a deodorant that works well but still moisturizes the skin. I had ordered a new deodorant cream which arrived earlier this week: Warm & Fruity from Vegane Pflege. The cream did its job even at outside temperatures of 36 C and I like the powdery-floral fragrance with its fruity accents – entirely composed from essential oils, by the way.
And speaking of hydration: A few weeks ago UK brand PHB Ethical Beauty sent me its new Skin Brighten Gel Neroli & Immortelle. The light gel texture is based on aloe vera and plant extracts including liquorice (said to help minimise hyperpigmentation) and anti-oxidant strawflower extract. I tried the Skin Brighten gel on my face and the body; it is scented with orange blossom and notes of ylang ylang and has a nice cooling effect. [Beautynotizen 24.7.2015]
I admit it: my heart belongs to niche labels and unusual beauty brands! However, I also like mass market cosmetics and after the recent slew of posts on niche products, I decided that it was time for another post on budget beauty – organic beauty brands that you can buy in the local drugstore or supermarket. Germany in particular has a great range of certified organic mass market brands but other European countries like France or Austria also have affordable organic cosmetics. Here are seven interesting products – priced between 1.95 Euro and 13.95 Euro – that I found whilst checking out the stores during the last few weeks.
Let’s start with the most expensive product: the recently launched Mandel Sensitiv Pflegelotion from German organic brand Weleda. Mandel Sensitiv (Almond Sensitive) is Weleda’s latest body care range. The light milky body lotion (certified by NaTrue) is based on water and almond oil and has a soft almond smell. It’s easy to apply and is absorbed quickly, leaving the skin beautifully soft. Mandel Sensitiv Pflegelotion from Weleda contains 200ml and is priced at 13.95 Euro. Available in drugstores and organic supermarkets.
Anti-Age Serum Schwarze Ribisel from bi good, the new organic own label range from Austrian drugstore chain Bipa: A velvety soft serum scented with a light floral fragrance, Schwarze Ribisel (the Austrian word for blackcurrant) is packaged in a pump dispenser, has a liquid gel texture and contains glimmer particles so it leaves a slight shimmer on the skin – but don’t worry, there is no disco ball effect! It really is a very subtle shimmer. The serum is based on water, apple juice, glycerin and grapeseed kernel oil and is certified by NaTrue. Anti-Age Serum Schwarze Ribisel from bi good contains 30ml and costs 4.99 Euro. Available in outlets of the Bipa chain and through the Bipa online store.
Some time ago the skin and body care range of German organic budget brand Benecos was relaunched with new packaging and a whole bunch of new products. One of the first products from this new range in my local organic store was the hand cream Aprikose Holunderblüte (Apricot & Elderflower). The cream has a light non-greasy texture and a lovely subtle apricot scent which is neither too fruity nor too sweet. Certified by BDIH, the hand cream is based on water, sunflower oil and apple juice. A tube of Benecos Aprikose Holunderblüte hand cream contains 75ml, costs 1.99 Euro and is available in organic supermarkets.
German drugstore chain Müller’s certified own label brand Terra Naturi recently launched a new hair care range and their press office sent me the new Glanz Shampoo Cranberry & Hibiscus. The shampoo foams up quickly which I like and cleanses the hair well – it is not particularly moisturizing or rich but seems to add a bit of volume to my (admittedly short) hair. Certified by NaTrue, the shampoo is based on water, coconut sulphates, sugar tensides and glycerin. A bottle of Glanz Shampoo Cranberry & Hibiscus contains 200ml and costs 1.95 Euro. Available in Müller outlets in Germany and six other European countries (including Austria and Switzerland) or through Müller’s online store.
The Vital+ Augen- und Lippenkontur Pflegecreme Goldschimmer Amaranth (Eye & Lip Contour Cream Golden Shimmer & Amaranth) from German drugstore chain DM’s certified organic own label Alverde range is for mature skin aged 60+. I’m not really a fan of combined eye & lip products – they are usually not rich enough for my taste – but I liked the texture of this Pflegecreme: creamy and slightly waxy, the product feels more like a protective balm. I used it primarily on my lips (it turned out to be a very good base for lipstick!) but it is also worked well on my eye area. The cream is certified by NaTrue and is based on water, soy oil, olive oil and glycerin. A tube of this cream contains 10ml and costs 3.95 Euro. Available in DM outlets in Germany and eleven other European countries.
One of my most recent purchases is German organic brand Logona’s Gesichtswasser Rose Aloe. The alcohol-free facial toner is scented with a classic rose fragrance and is packaged in a glass bottle equipped with a spray nozzle. I keep the bottle next to my desk when the weather turns hot – it’s lovely as a quick refresher during the day. Certified by NaTrue and BDIH, the toner is based on water, rose water and aloe vera juice. A bottle of Gesichtswasser Rose Aloe contains 100ml and costs 10.95 Euro. Available in organic supermarkets.
The new Straffende Bodymilk from German brand Lavera (Skin-Firming Body Milk) is a rich body lotion with a creamy balm texture. Scented with a warm sandalwood fragrance, the moisturizing milk is easy to apply and doesn’t leave a greasy after-feel. The lotion is NaTrue certified and contains water, soy oil, glycerin and alcohol as well as green coffee extract. It’s also said to be good against cellulite! A large tube of Straffende Bodymilk contains 200ml and costs 6.95 Euro. I bought the lotion at my local DM store but Lavera is also available in various organic supermarkets. [For more pictures click here for the original German article Naturkosmetik, die gut, günstig und (fast) überall verfügbar ist]
Yesterday I had a great idea: how about regularly featuring Make-Up Looks that are drawn on a kind of face chart? I love playing around with makeup and I like drawing and photography so the very next morning I made a start – and here is the first installment!
In this first chapter I’ll show you a natural and very simple Nude makeup which I wear quite often at the moment: I start with a light tinted day cream – La Crème du Teint by French brand Absolution; alternatively I use the mattifying Gea Complexion Color Corrector from Agronauti, a very cool Italian brand I recently discovered (more about Agronauti a bit further down!). Afterwards I apply a mattifying loose powder – I particularly like the French classic Poudre Libre Dermophile from T.LeClerc which has kept my face shine-free even in humid cities like Bangkok or Hong Kong. Another of my favourites is the Translucent Compact Powder Ilge from Berlin-based organic brand Und Gretel. Then a quick sweep of Dr. Hauschka’s Bronzing Powder on the cheeks and my face makeup is finished. Now I focus on my eyes and lips: I use the Tinted Eyebrow Gel from German drugstore DM’s proprietary brand Alverde to give my eyebrows shape and form, then I brush my lids with Eyeshadow Grace (a beautiful soft beige) from Danish makeup brand Kjaer Weis. My favourite mascara is from German organic brand marie w. and although I usually wear the black variant, marie.w also has an umber brown shade which is much more suitable for nude looks. Finally, I use a creamy rose lipstick from Australian brand Zuii which gives my lips a wash of soft colour but still lets the original lip colour shine through. The perfect look for hot summer days! [For more pictures click here for the original German article Natural Makeup-Look 1: Hitzefrei]
Check out my latest cooperation with Plaine, makers of the innovative shaving powder sachets. These sachets are really convenient and I’ve started to take them with me when travelling, so Plaine and I decided to do a kind of travel project: Plaine on Tour! You can discover where Plaine and I went over the last few months – here is the original blog post with all the pics. [Auf Reisen mit Plaine (Fotowettbewerb)]
Benvenuti in Italia! Welcome to a virtual tour through the world of Italian organic beauty brands.
I must admit that this is the first time that I have written an in-depth article about Italian organic cosmetics. Most of the brands you’ll read about were launched in the last five years or so; the Italian organic market is still young but there are some really interesting brands out there. Many of these have a strong regional focus and use local ingredients. Together with European online store Ecco Verde (which has a particularly wide range of organic niche brands from Italy, Spain and the Mediterranean in general), I decided that it was high time to take a closer look at what the organic beauty industry in Italy has to offer!
Let’s start with one of the most innovative brands I’ve come across this year: Agronauti from the Lombardy region in North Western Italy. The first thing I noticed was the great packaging design and the more I read about this small brand which is located in the town of Lecco (the Agronauti team consists of five people and a dog!), the more I liked their concept. All of Agronauti’s formulations are open-source which means that any company or brand can take the product recipes and use or amend them according to the Creative Commons Guidelines. A percentage of the brand’s sales goes towards charity projects such as the marine conservation projects Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. So far Agronauti’s portfolio comprises seven products (all of them are vegan) and I tried out two of them: the Ariel Antipollution Day Cream with SPF15 is based on water, rice germ oil, lemon water and coconut oil, with titanium dioxide as the sun protection ingredient. I liked the fresh, mattifying texture so much that I also bought the Gea Complexion Color Corrector, a CC cream which contains similar ingredients, offers medium coverage and is incredibly comfortable to wear even when it’s really hot outside.
Also from Northern Italy is Bioearth which is located near the ancient university city of Parma. Bioearth has a large beauty and supplements portfolio which, by the way, includes the Loom snail care range. Yes indeed, Bioearth offers ICEA-certified snail cosmetics! I mention this because snail products are really rare in Europe – Germany, for example, doesn’t have any snail cosmetics (let alone certified organic snail brands!). The UK or France are also pretty much snail-free as far as I can tell. In Italy and Spain, however, there are several (smaller) snail brands. Anyway, I tested Bioearth’s fragrance-free Sun Cream SPF 40 from the brand’s sun care range. The sun protection is based on titanium dioxide; the formula also includes water, oils, glycerin and silica which means that the product feels really comfortable on the skin. The ICEA-certified cream was completely non-sticky although it left a certain whitish tint on my face – a common occurrence with titanium dioxide and zinc based sun protection creams.
Biofficina Toscana from Lucca in Italy’s Toscana region was the very first Italian organic brand I ever tried out. Bioofficina has a very regional approach and its ingredients are primarily sourced locally. The company has four patented regional ingredients: Uviox is derived from the skin of red grapes, Oleox comes from fresh olives, Hydropom from the skin of red tomatoes and Phytaluronate is based on carob kernels. All products are certified by Italian association ICEA and the brand’s portfolio includes face care, body care, hair care and children’s products. The Antioxidant Facial Serum is one of Biofficina Toscana’s bestsellers. I was delighted by the texture – a rich gel-like liquid (the texture reminded me of Asian toners!) which is quickly absorbed into the skin, hydrates well and can also be worn solo when it’s really hot outside. The serum is based on water, glycerin, grape and olive extracts; the scent is quite floral and a little more intense than what I am used to. The reason for this is that the serum’s fragrance contains certain synthetic ingredients which ICEA allows but which you wouldn’t find in organic brands here in Germany.
And actually, that is something I noticed with several of the Italian brands – they tend to have more voluptuous scents than German or French products. Another thing that I found really interesting is this: on almost all of the products I tried out (and I tested the products of ten Italian brands) the packaging had a sign which said “no chromium, no nickel, no cobalt” – obviously these potential allergens are a much bigger problem in Italy than in Germany (I’ve never seen this claim on German organic brands). And the third thing I realized: many products include rice powder or rice germ oil as an ingredient – which makes sense considering that risotto dishes are a favourite in many parts of Italy!
Tea Natura comes from Ancona in the South of Italy and was founded in 2003. The brand’s portfolio includes cosmetics, incense and household cleansers with a strong focus on Fair Trade and organic agriculture. I loved their Crema Solare al Monoi Tiaré (Sun Care Cream Monoi & Tiaré) with its retro orange-brown packaging and a gorgeous scent of monoi – monoi always reminds me of summer time! The sun cream is based on zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as SPF; it also contains walnut oil, rice germ oil, carrot seed oil, sea algae, coconut oil and gamma oryzanol which also works as a UV protection ingredient. [For more pictures and brands click here for the original German article Eine italienische Beauty-Reise]
Greetings from Berlin! I spent this week in Germany’s capital and it was such an exciting week. I met some of my readers at the Crêperie La Bigoudène in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood, we also checked out Weleda’s new store on Brunnenstrasse. The very next evening the friend I was staying with took me to a great bar: Bryk Bar serves amazing experimental cocktails which are based on the principles of molecular cuisine. Wow! As a special souvenir I bought myself the Berlin Shower Gel from German organic brand i+m Naturkosmetik. i+m is actually from Berlin and they have this unisex Berlin range which includes a shower gel, body lotion, hand cream and foot cream. The packaging is decorated with the Berlin skyline – very pretty and the perfect Berlin gift!
Do you see the gorgeous red handbag in the photo? It is from Abury, a Berlin-based handbag brand with a strong charity background. Abury has a showroom on Kastanienallee and I met the brand’s founder, Andrea Kolb. The Abury bags are hand-made by women in Morocco and 50% of the sale of each bag goes towards a foundation established by Andrea. The Abury Foundation is an educational charity, the women and girls who make the handbags learn reading and writing and basic business skills. How cool is that! Buying a handbag whilst supporting disempowered women. I was very impressed with Andrea’s vision (and also by the beautiful leather handbags).
And here are some interesting products I came across last week. While I was in Berlin I met Floris from organic online perfumery Amazingy for lunch. I had already put the new Lip&Cheek Tints from US brand Tata Harper (another tip from my readers) on my mental must-try list. Floris and I made a trade: he gave me a Lip&Cheek Tint (in the shade Very Sweet which is a nice apricot-tinted rosé) and I invited him to an organic gazpacho soup! The Lip&Cheek Tint is based on coconut oil, sunflower oil and castor oil, has a subtle fruity fragrance and a transparent, natural-looking finish.
I finally found an almost-dupe for the Ballerina nail polish from Chanel: German organic budget brand Benecos has brought out several new nail polish shades and one of these, Be My Baby, is a white-based pink which comes very close to the Chanel colour. Yay! [Beauty-Notizen 31.07.2015]
I hope you enjoyed the first English chapter of Beautyjagd. Any feedback or suggestions are welcome: this is still a work in progress so feel free to comment.
Have a good day and see you in two weeks!