My current skincare routine – winter 2017

Wednesday, August 9th 2017 Beauty, Skincare

Lena Talks Beauty skincare routine - neutrogena, goodness, la roche-posay, seed and soul, clinique, garnier, instanatural, avene, and dermalogica

It has been FOREVER since I’ve written what my daily skincare routine is. This year I have tried really hard to stick to a consistent routine, of using 1 product until I finish it up. When I first started being sent products to try for my blog, I’d be using new things every week. My skin did not enjoy chopping and changing so much, especially considering so many of the products weren’t right for my skin type. Since sticking to a consistent routine, my skin has really looked so much better. People often say that you need to stick to one brand of skincare which I don’t believe in. I use products from La Roche-Posay, Neutrogena, Garnier, Clinique, Dermalogica, Avene, Goodness, Seed + Soul, and InstaNatural. Now, onto my skincare routine:

The 5 best exfoliators without microbeads

Saturday, October 1st 2016 Skincare


Microbeads are tiny plastic beads that are used in personal care products, such as facial exfoliators and other body products. Sewage treatment plants are generally not designed to filter out such tiny particles, so they end up polluting waterways. Ever since I learned about the dangers they pose to waterways and the creatures that live in them I have avoided using them in favour of exfoliators without microbeads.

Reading ingredient lists to figure out if they contain plastic can be seriously confusing so I’ve done the work for you. In this post I’ve rounded up a list of exfoliators that are free of polluting microbeads. I’ve used these products myself and can recommend using them. Some plastic-free scrubs rely on harsh pieces like shell that end up harming your skin but these are gentle. The brands included are Goodness, Trilogy, Oasis Beauty, Dermalogica, and River Veda. All were provided to me as press samples.

MUA for a day with Laura

Tuesday, January 26th 2016 Makeup

Something that I like to do from time to time is to take turns with a friend to play makeup artist on each other’s faces. It means we get to hang out, try different makeup products, and have the experience of doing someone else’s makeup which is actually so hard! This time my canvas was the lovely Laura of Laura Laura Blog. We met through the #brunchclub bloggers meet ups that she is an organiser for and now we are really close friends and talk pretty much every day. I loved having the opportunity to use some different makeup products like the Colourpop eyeshadows and her Urban Decay Naked 2 palette.

laura laura blog makeup - lena talks beauty

Doesn’t Laura look beautiful? (the only acceptable answer is yes).

Let’s have a closer look at her makeup

laura laura blog makeup - lena talks beauty

I used a mixture of my makeup and her makeup, depending on what I thought would work best/my curiousity. We ended up with quite the makeup carnage on my bed and makeup table

makeup with laura laura blog

The products that I ended up using were the following:

  • Dermalogica HydraBlur Primer
  • Clinique CC cream
  • Rimmel stay matte powder – transparent
  • Collection concealer*
  • Nars Orgasm blush
  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette – Busted and Booty call eyeshadows
  • Colourpop eyeshadow –  High tide and Truth
  • Colourpop Lippie Stix – Tootsi
  • Collection Does It All Mascara*
  • Billion Dollar Brows taupe powder*

urban decay naked 2, nars orgasm, dermalogica hydrablur, colourpop eyeshadow, colourpop lippiestix - lena talks beauty

For her base, I started with Dermalogica HydroBlur Primer – it has the classic smooth primer base to it, but I didn’t see much of a blur effect, probably because Laura’s skin is smooth and wrinkle-free. She was a bit in between with foundation colours so I actually used my Clinique CC Cream and a wee bit of Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer to even out her skin tone. I set it all with my trust Rimmel Stay Matte powder, before finishing off with NARS Orgasm blush on the cheeks. I can see why Orgasm is a super popular blush, I love the shimmer and colour to it.

colourpop supershock shadow high tide and truth - lena talks beauty

Colourpop High Tide (left) and Truth (right)

I didn’t have a specific plan of what I was going to do with her eye makeup, I just sort of went with the flow. I started by applying two different Colourpop Supershock eyeshadows to her eyelids, with High Tide closer to her lashline and Truth back towards the crease. I found them to be hard to blend with my fingers, and I was scared of poking her eye out with my long nails. So I used some eyeshadows from her Naked 2 palette since those were easier to use with brushes.

colourpop hightide eyeshadow and colourpop truth eyeshadow - lena talks beauty

Here’s how the look came together – the two Naked 2 eyeshadows Busted and Booty Call were quite similar to the Colourpop ones so it blended together nicely. On her eyebrows I used Billion Dollar Brows Taupe powder. I always use the Taupe powder in my Billion Dollar Brows All About Brows kit, it’s an almost universal colour that is really flattering, and handy that they sell it separately too. On her lips I used Colourpop Lippie Stix in the shade Tootsi – the name is pretty ridiculous but the colour is nice. When I did Jordanne‘s makeup a while ago I used Colourpop lippie stix too and they were really nice.

real techniques and bdellium tools brushes - lena talks beauty

L-R Billion Dollar Brows Brow Brush, Bdellium Tools 766 Blending Brush, Urban Decay brush from Naked 2, Real Techniques Buffing Brush, Real Techniques Multi Task Brush, and Diane #4350 Professional Powder Brush.

I mainly used Laura’s brushes, and it was nice getting to try some other brushes. They aren’t usually something you can try before buying. The Billion Dollar Brows brush & spoolie comes with the powder which is great, very useful for filling in brows. The Real Techniques brushes were great as expected, they can always be relied on for great brushes.

laura laura blog and lena talks beauty makeup

To read about the makeup Laura did on me, and see some closeups, visit Laura Laura Blog.

What do you think – should I quit my day job? (Kidding!). Let me know in the comments what you think, and don’t forget to pop over to Laura Laura Blog to see my makeup!


*PR samples for review/use.

September Empties

Friday, October 2nd 2015 Nails

Bioelixia Body Shaper, Deseo Jennifer Lopenz, Nivea Eye Makeup Remover - Lena Talks Beauty

This month I have an absolutely bumper empties post, since I tidied my makeup table and did a bit of a clean up of my collection. Many of these aren’t actually empty, but they’re going in the bin all the same so they deserve to be in this post. There are a whopping 25 items, so I won’t be going through all of them individually – I’ll focus on the full size products that I’ve actually finished – so let’s get into it!

September Empties - Lena Talks Beauty

Review of Dermalogica Samples

Monday, August 11th 2014 Skincare

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, Spot Clearing Fix, Overnight Clearing Gel, Skin Prep Scrub reviewWhen I wrote my review of my Dermalogica facial, I said I would be reviewing the samples that were given to me once I’d used them all – and now I am!

Dermalogica Facial at Esthetica

Wednesday, July 16th 2014 Skincare

Last week I decided that I needed a bit of pampering, and also that my skin could do with some help, as I’m still struggling with acne, so I hopped on and scored myself a deal for a Dermalogica Facial. I chose a Dermalogica Active Resurfacer 35 facial from Esthetica Waxing and Skin Specialists, in Birkenhead, Auckland – it cost $60, and the normal price is $80. I did have a $50 Flossie credit, so I only paid $10, but this isn’t sponsored by Flossie or Esthetica in any way – I’m just mentioning Flossie because it’s a great way to get a cheap price on high quality beauty services. 

When I went for my facial, it was a wild and windy cold Saturday, so it was nice to go to Esthetica’s beautifully clean, warm salon. Fran, the therapist and owner, greeted me and gave me a glass of water, while I filled in some pre-treatment forms about my skin concerns, any medications I’m on and my current skincare routine. Once we went into the treatment room, she went through the form with me and asked me a lot of questions – she was very thorough, and I felt like I could really trust her with my precious skin, which takes a lot for me.

Fran started with doing a face map for me – which you can see below. She noted down where the pimples, fine lines (eek!), milia, and other skin issues were present on my face. This is done to keep track of how skin changes through treatment – if I go back, it’ll be done again, and we can see the changes. The treatment itself began with a double cleanse of my skin – first with an oil of some sort, and then a cleanser. I’m not exactly sure which specific Dermalogica products these were, as she didn’t tell me their names. Everything went down to my neck as well, which is good – you don’t want a glowing youthful face and then a neck which rudely announces your age!

face map

Fran used an exfoliator, which was lovely and gentle, and while she was applying this to my face a steamer was on. I’ve never had a steamer used while having a facial before, so this was a bit new for me. I’ve read that steaming your face can cause negative effects, if the steam is too hot and you do it for too long, but that was merely warm and it wasn’t for that long. 

The star ingredient of the The Active Resurface 35 treatment is a product aptly named the Exfoliant Accelerator 35 – it contains 30% lactic acid, which is the same AHA that I use regularly, albeit normally at an 8% concentration. It also includes Salicylic acid, a BHA, and other botanical extracts. The whole time the treatment was going, Fran was explaining the products and how they work, which was very interesting to me. She warned to be particularly careful with applying sunscreen for a week after this treatment, as the chemical exfoliant removes top layer of your skin which can put you at a major risk for sun damage. Trust me, I’ve been obeying, and have been even more sunscreen vigilant than usual.

My memory has failed me, and I can’t remember if the extractions were directly after the Exfoliant Accelerator, or after the mask. Either way, Fran extracted a few milia for me, including one on my brow bone which I have been hating for months. She warned me it would be a bit of a sting, as she inserted a needle into the milia and gently squeezed the cyst out – sounds disgusting, and it probably looked gross too. It was a sharp sensation, especially the one right by my eye, but it disappeared quickly. Then she applied a couple of different masks at once, one of which was made of oatmeal which was very soothing for my skin. Once these were removed, she applied a moisturiser and eye cream to me, followed by a tinted moisturiser with SPF 20 which was good. Even though it was a gloomy day, UVA is always present and you need to be protected.

At the end of the treatment, Fran explained to me which Dermalogica products she recommended that I use, and gave me some samples so that I could try them at home and see what I think. I left, clutching my samples and skin map, very happily. The treatment took 45 minutes, but I was there for about an hour because we discussed skincare for a while. I really enjoyed this experience, and felt utterly radiant afterwards. Here’s a picture of me looking radiant that I took afterwards (I actually look much the same because it takes a few days for the effects of the treatment to show, but just play along okay)

So radiant

I received samples of:

– Daily Microfoliant
– Overnight clearing gel
– Skin Prep scrub
– Clear Start

I’ll be using these over the next few weeks, and will have another post reviewing them.

Dermalogica Samples

To purchase the same treatment go to or for more about Esthetica check out their website.

Lena x


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