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:

August & September Empties

Monday, October 3rd 2016 Makeup

OGX, Schwarzkopf, Palmolive, Maybelline, Clinique, Far Botanicals, Za, hi-pro-pac, sebastien reviews - Lena Talks Beauty

I didn’t use up very many products during August, so I decide to save my empties for a combo August and September post. I used 14 different products up, and the majority of them were full size which is a particularly good effort. Hair products feature heavily, because I did a bit of damage to my hair by lightening it significantly. I have previously written posts about a number of these products, and I will link to them if you’d like to read more about them. With each product I say whether I would repurchase them – some of them were sent to me by brands and I marked them with an asterix – so really it’s more, would I purchase them myself. I also answer that question from a perspective of  if I didn’t have a lifetime supply of these products already sitting in my bathroom. The brands I’ve used up include OGX, Hi-Pro-Pac, Schwarzkopf, Sebastian, Palmolive, Far Botanicals, Za Cosmetics, Maybelline, and Clinique.

June and July empties

Sunday, July 31st 2016 Makeup

Batiste, Clinique, Simple, Collection, Trilogy, Rimmel, Lush, The Body Shop, Hask, Neutrogena - Lena Talks Beauty

It’s the start of a new month, which means it’s empties time! I completely forgot to write one for June, which means we have a bumper crop of used up products. There are 4 skincare, 3 body products, 6 makeup, and 2 haircare, most of them are even full size. Products are from brands such as Clinique, Batiste, Lush, Bare Minerals, Bourjois and much much more. Keep reading for my reviews on all of these products. Some of these products were sent to me from brands and PR companies, and those have been marked with an asterix – however my opinion is always honest.

Za Deep Cleansing Oil & Lasting Moisture gel

Monday, August 24th 2015 Skincare

Za cleansing oil

A little while ago I attended an event hosted by Za Cosmetics, and was given a great bag of their products. I’ve been working my way through the products, and today I’m going to be talking about the Za Deep Cleansing Oil and Lasting Moisture Gel. Both of these products are types of things I enjoy using – oil cleansers, and hyaluronic acid based moisturisers, so it was off to a good start already. Keep reading to find out what else I like about them!

Za deep cleansing oil and za deep hydration moisture gel

Skincare update

Wednesday, June 24th 2015 Skincare

It’s been a while since I’ve written about the skincare I’m using, so it’s time for an update. My routine changes frequently, based on how my skin is feeling, and I also l like to try new products. Being a beauty blogger means I often have new products arriving on my door step, and although I don’t try all of them since not everything is suitable for my skin, I like to give a good test of most of them before writing about them. The additions to my winter skincare routine lately have been Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque, Oasis Beauty Hot Toddy Super Hydrating Serum*, Clinique Turnaround Overnight Revitalising Moisturizer*, and Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel SPF 15.

neutrogena hydroboost, clinique turnaround overnight revitalizing moisturiser, oasis beauty hot toddy serum, queen helene mint julep masque

The line up!

April empties part one

Monday, May 4th 2015 Makeup

The beauty of being on a no-buy is that I’ve been using up lots of products! I’ve been making a concerted effort to finish as many things as possible, and it’s been working well. During April I finished two full size products, a deluxe sample, as well as a few samples, which I was very impressed by. Especially the fact I finished a lipstick – that has NEVER happened to me before! Here’s what I finished, and I’m going to be splitting this post into two, since otherwise it’d be ridiculously long. I’ll link the second post once it’s up, later in the week.

frank body scrub, revlon lip butter, urban decay eyeshadow primer potion, hyaluronic acid sheet mask,schwarzkopf essence ultima shampoo

October empties

Monday, November 3rd 2014 Skincare

October is a bit light on the empties front. I tried quite a lot of new products, so I didn’t really get through many of my existing products. Everything I used up was skincare, no makeup or even hair products this month. A couple of these products have become favourites of mine, so read on to see what they are.

Paulas Choice C15, madre labs hand cream, clinique moisture surge, linden leaves eye rescue serum

August Goodie Box

Wednesday, September 24th 2014 Makeup

August was my second month of Goodie Box – last month’s Birthday Box was my first one. On first impression, I liked it more than the July box. There are three full size products, and three that are samples. Four are skincare, one is haircare and one is makeup, which was a good range I think! I’ve been busily using them all, so now I can give you a comprehensive review about what I thought of it all.

August Goodie Box Ecostore Comvita Simple Glamourflage Revlon and Angel


Moisturising socks?!?!

Sunday, June 29th 2014 Skincare

Keeping my feet soft is a bit of a year round challenge for me. In summer, like many kiwis, I have the propensity to walk around barefoot or in jandals, so they get tough. Meanwhile, in winter they’re trapped in shoes and boots, and get dry like the rest of my body. I was recently browsing and found some moisturising socks listed for only 50c. Described as a ‘luxurious home spa treatment that provides moisture and nutrients to dry rough feet’ they promised to revitalise my feet and be easy to use, containing Aloe Vera and Shea Butter. As someone who is both very curious about beauty products, always on a quest to make my feet silky smooth, and powerless to resist a bargan I couldn’t help but add them to my cart.

Once they arrived, I was excited to put them to the test. When I opened the packet, I found they were essentially plastic bags, with a lining of some kind of fabric or maybe it was even paper, that had been soaked with moisture.

Moisturising Shea butter and Aloe Vera Socks

The instructions say to wash and dry your feet before using, which I dutifully did. You then slip these on to your feet which is a really bizarre sensation because the inside is full of moisture. They’re not tight at all like a normal sock, and don’t really follow the shape of your foot, so I wore a big pair of socks over the top to stop them slipping off. The packaging says one size fits most, and my feet only just fit – I wear a size 10 women’s shoe (41 in European sizing) so if your feet are any bigger this is not the product for you. I then set my phone alarm for 30 minutes later, as I wanted maximum moisturising time, and went about my business (sat on the couch and browsed the internet). My feet felt squishy in the socks which was kind of gross, it made me think of having wet socks in my shoes.

Moisturising Shea butter and aloe vera socks on

My foot crammed inside a moist plastic bag.

After half an hour I took them off and patted the remaining moisture into my feet. They felt a bit more moisturised, but it really was nothing spectacular at all. It was a let down that my boyfriend said I should have seen coming (hater).

The first two things on the ingredients list for these socks are water and mineral oil, and they are probably what will give the most moisturising effects. As I discussed in my post on mineral oil myths, it is very effective at trapping moisture in your skin, which is exactly what you need to do if your feet are dry. In the reviews for these socks people were freaking out about parabens being included, saying that they’re toxic, will give you cancer, and all sorts of nonsense. Parabens have actually been proven to be safe many many times, and the only “evidence” to say that they are linked to cancer was one very small study that never said that they cause cancer. You can read more about parabens in this article on There were also people freaking out that mineral oil will give you cancer too, which was covered in the mineral oil myths post too – spoiler alert, it won’t.

I definitely wouldn’t buy these socks again, although it was kind of interesting and a low-cost investment. I’ll be sticking to using my tried and true method of using a basic foot file, and then putting a foot cream on with a pair of cotton socks before bed. It’s also much less wasteful because it doesn’t generate rubbish like my moisturising socks did. It also feels much less gross, and has the benefit of actually fitting your feet, as long as your socks do.

Have you tried these socks? Do you have any smooth foot advice for me? Let me know in the comments section!


Product Review: Garnier Moisture Match – Goodbye Dry moisturiser

Thursday, May 22nd 2014 Skincare

Garnier NZ has recently launched Moisture Match 24 Hour Hydration Tailor Made moisturisers  which are a “new generation of moisturisers with a variety of sensorial textures, customised to match specific skin needs.” According to their promotional material the five different moisturisers all offer 24 hour hydration to suit your skin.

The types are as follows

Protect and glow – for normal skin
Goodbye Dry – for dry/very dry skin.
Start afresh – for normal/dry skin
Wake me up – for dull skin
Shine be gone – for combination/oily skin

Last month Garnier NZ had a contest on their Facebook page  to win of their new moisturisers. I didn’t win a full size, but they did send out samples as a consolation prize which was nice. They have five different types, and according to their quiz I should use Goodbye Dry – for dry/very dry skin. This was correct, I do have dry skin. The quiz/contest has finished on their facebook, but it’s available on Garnier UK’s website.

Garnier Moisture Match Goodbye Dry samples

Garnier Moisture Match Goodbye Dry samples

I received 5 sachets, which was great – it meant I was able to properly try out the moisturiser for about a week before reviewing it. When I first opened it I was surprised that it wasn’t as creamy as you would expect from a product for people with very dry skin, but I used it anyway after my nightly skincare routine. It felt nice, and it wasn’t sticky or slimy which is an important consideration, especially if you were to put this on in the morning. In the morning I did feel like I needed to moisturise again, which I don’t typically do as part of my skincare routine. I wouldn’t say that this gave me 24 hour hydration, but that’s not really a terrible flaw in the product, I think many people moisturise twice a day anyway, especially if they wash their face twice a day. I probably won’t be throwing out my existing moisturisers to start using this moisturiser instead, but once I’ve finished what I currently have I would consider buying this moisturiser. I might be inclined to use this before make up as it’s non-greasy and dries quickly, and it has Dimethicone in it which is an important ingredient in my favourite primer. Garnier doesn’t have the ingredients list on their website but it has been entered to CosDNA which is a cosmetics ingredient database – check it out here.

Garnier Moisture match moisturisers are available in New Zealand at supermarkets, Farmers, Kmart and presumably other places too. In the process of writing this post I’ve found that they’ve been out in the UK for at least a year, but I’m not sure about availability elsewhere.

Have you tried this, or are you interested in it? I’m curious to see what the other products in the range are like, and if they are drastically different.

Lena x


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