In the middle of all the anti-spots, anti-aging, anti-acne and anti-imperfections everywhere, we decided to be anti-anti and launch the #NoActivesNovember challenge.
Promises: Just how it says on the lidl: It heals, it soothes, it protects. Nourishes and regenerates the skin, repairs chapped lips, restores the comfort and elasticity to the lips and the soft and buttery texture creates a protective film against external aggressions. Vogue’s word: You can run but you can’t hide from all the lip balms lost in purses, jacket pockets, messy drawers and bedside tables. It’s a classic. What is also a classic is the battle between Vaseline and Carmex. Look at the ingredients, Carmex’s products seem more interesting because they combine petrolatum (the main ingredient in Vaseline) with cacao seed butter, lanolin and salicylic acid, which gives you a light exfoliation. The distinctive smell of menthol combined with camphor give the lips a tingly sensation. It’s my to-go lip balm. I apply a thick layer before bed and sometimes I still have a little bit on my lips when I wake up. It comes in jar, tube and stick formats and personally I prefer the stick – but laying around the house I might find the jar, the tube, the original scent, the strawberry scent and even the newest launch: the tube, which now has a tint. Original Jar Classic Moisturising Lip Balm, € 4,98, Carmex.
Promises: Daily solar protection that is light and combines hydration with protection against UVA and UVB rays and external aggressions like pollution. The light texture makes it act like a makeup primer and it leaves no white cast. Vogue’s word: Knowing that Shiseido is a japanese brand, I was hoping for some J-beauty technology. However, both texture and smell were really similar to most SPFs that we find everywhere. Does it hydrate? Yes. Does it protect? Also yes. But it is not light. If you have combination to oily skin you might as well replace your moisturizer with this product. It leaves a slightly oily and sticky feeling on the skin (and maybe that's why it can be used as a primer?). Urban Environment UV Protection SPF 50, € 45, Shiseido.
Promises: Tovigorously hydrate ultra-dry hands. It is the brand’s best-selling hand cream and it is described as “Not greasy or fussy. Just hydrating”. Vogue’s word: A little pea size amount it’s enough for hands, nails and elbows. A little really goes a long way, since the texture is very rich but as soon as you start warming it up between your hands, you can spread it fairly easily. The herbal scent isn’t the most pleasant aroma, but it isn’t too intense, so it really doesn't bother you that much – and even if it did, given it’s moisturizing factor, you can look past that. To me, it is a hand-foot-elbow-knee cream and I use it in every area that needs a boost of hydration. A must-have to heal the ills of the hand sanitizers. Hard-working Hand Protector, 100ml, € 13, The Body Shop.
Promises: A deep scalp cleanse that removes up to 96% of the pollution particles. Enriched with hyaluronic acid, it nourishes and hydrates the hair along the way. Vogue’s word: It is, like the name indicates, a step before the shampoo. Just like we double cleanse our faces, using the first step to remove makeup, here the first wash is meant to remove styling products, dry shampoo and the first layer of oils. You apply in on damp hair – there’s no need to bring it down to the ends –, massage it in, rinse and then wash as you normally would. I used this product with the shampoo from the same range and I also tried it with different brands and I can say that I noticed that the shampoos were washing my hair much easily and that this allowed me to deep cleanse my hair. If you are, like me, someone who enjoys double shampooing, it might be interesting to use a product that is formulated for a double hair cleanse regime. Pre-shampoo Pré-Cleanse Régénérant, € 36,90, Kérastase.
Promises: Removing face and eye makeup comfortably and melting away even the most stubborn products without leaving an oily film on your skin. Vogue’s word: Among the most sustainable alternatives to remove your makeup are the cleansing balms and the cleansing oils. This one is a thick oil, lightly scented, made from sunflower oil, sweet almonds oil and castor oil. After you massage it in to melt all your makeup, you add water and emulsify the product, turning it in a cleansing milk. The skin feels comfortable and the face makeup melts easily but I noticed that some mascaras and eyeliners were a little harder to remove – but nothing that a little extra product in a reusable cotton round can’t fix. It is suitable for all skin types, but specially suited for someone who uses light makeup or is just looking for a product to cleanse the skin. For combination and oily skin it’s a nice first step for a double cleanse. Make-up Removing Cleansing Oil, € 16,80, Caudalie.
Promises: A light formula that refreshes and deeply hydrates, leaving the skin looking supple and soft. The patented probiotic technology (Jartbiome) boosts the moisture absorption, stimulates the production of collagen and creates a healthy microbiome. Vogue’s word: The Vital Hydra Solution line presents itself as an hydration shot to deeply nourish the skin. The gel-cream has an extremely light texture and when it touches the skin it becomes a light and refreshing water that is quickly absorbed. Sometimes these types of textures aren’t very moisturising for drier skin types but this one has a light texture but at the same time leaves the skin very nourished without feeling oily. The BEST part: it leaves the skin glowing and looking super rested and healthy. Gel-cream Vital Hydra Solution Biome Water, € 35,90, Dr. Jart+.
Originally published on Vogue Portugal November issue, "The Beauty of Imperfection."