Light but Lovely - Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream by Mia Höytö (Review)

As someone who browses Finnish eco boutiques I knew Mia Höytö Cosmetics and Globe Hope clothing and accessories by their name, but not much else. Mia Höytö's style was always top-notch, high end and luxurious eco beauty, which I particularly like. I was in the false understanding that her line was getting discontinued, so I felt hesitant to try more products - c'mon who wants to fall in love just to get their heart broken? But on the contrary - it became a part of Globe Hope as Globe Hope Cosmetics. Today I’m talking about her Valo Eye Cream** but more reviews will come!

 Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Background of Globe Hope Cosmetics

Globe Hope Cosmetics is an organic brand, made in Helsinki, Finland. The products are same as the original Mia Höytö line, but beautifully rebranded as a part of the Globe Hope family. Globe Hope is a sustainable Finnish accessory brand from Nummela city. They use recycled or surplus materials to create beautiful and durable bags and pouches. The cosmetics line was founded from Mia’s interested for organic food that grew into a passion for natural skincare. As many cosmetic brand creators, she found it difficult to find products that worked for her, so she took up the challenge to create her own line. The production is in Finland to guarantee excellent quality and ingredient purity.

 Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
 Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

About Valo Eye Cream

‘Valo’ means ‘light’ in Finnish, which is a fitting name for an eye cream. The cream promises to be a light but hydrating and eliminate signs of puffiness. Other suggested uses are facial massaging or using Valo as a mask by pumping extra cream and applying on the skin. Fragrance free and certified by ECOCERT Greenlife. Valo comes in 15 ml opaque pump bottle and retails for €38.10 / ~$44.15.

Using Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo Eye Cream

I’m not a big advocate of using specific eye creams unless the eye area has specific concerns - such as puffiness. I usually apply my regular moisturizer near the eye area without suffering from puffy eyes, so I can’t really report back if Valo has helped preventing that. The darkness under my eyes is most likely genetic and gets worse from lack of sleep.. there’s nothing except makeup that can erase that.

I think Valo is a nice, solid eye cream: no fragrance, hygienic pump and elegant package design. The pump gives an adequate amount of product and it nicely gets absorbed when patted around the eyes. Despite containing some organic oils, the feel is not greasy and sits well under makeup. I even used this as a “primer” for my clients when I was doing a makeup gig.

That I like about the cream is the very clean INCI list and a reasonable price if your eyes really suffer from lack of moisture and dehydration.

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Ingredients

Aqua, Centaurea Cyanus Flower Water*, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerin, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil*, Olea Europaea Fruit Oil*, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil*, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract*, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter*, Cera Alba*, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil*, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract*, Avena Sativa Kernel Extract*, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Benzoate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Sorbate.
*Ingredient from Organic Farming
99% of the total ingredients are from natural origins
23% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming

After water, this eye cream is packed with black elder flower extract to prevent dark circles and puffiness. I couldn’t find very much scientific info on this, but at least elder flower has skin conditioning properties. Next there are emulsifiers, moisturizing glycerin, sweet almond oil, olive oil and sunflower seed oil. This formula contains shea butter, which I know some people can’t tolerate, but personally I don’t find if comedogenic on me. There’s hydrating aloe and one of my favorite ingredients - oat kernel extract, which is soothing and anti-inflammatory.

I’d like to see more antioxidant rich ingredients in this formula, perhaps more complex plant extracts in the base. Something to make it extra beneficial for mature skins to prevent signs of ageing. Right now I find the eye cream hydrating and moisturizing with many oils and humectants, but not much else.

Overall thoughts

While I enjoy Valo, it doesn’t blow my mind. Well, I don’t think there is an eye cream that would. So far January Labs’ and Exuviance’s eye creams have been excellent, but they’re both significantly more expensive. It simply isn’t possible to cancel my dark circles or totally prevent fine lines, but if I get a chance to give my eye area little TLC, I’m up for it. Globe Hope Cosmetics Valo is for someone who appreciates natural, eco certified ingredients mixed with elegance, but doesn’t want to break the bank. Perhaps most suitable for younger audience; if you don’t have very visible signs of ageing and like wearing makeup, this could be a potential eye cream for you.

Have you tried anything from Globe Hope Cosmetics?

**This product was kindly gifted for consideration.
My thoughts and observations are my honest & own.

Healthy Scalp Tips from Mark Birch Trichologist (And My Shocking Diagnosis)

This week I had the pleasure to attend an event about medical haircare and scalp health. It changed completely how I view my haircare routine and to be honest I was quite shocked. Today I want to share with you what I learned from my quick interview with trichologist Mark Birch and his presentation about scalp health. This post is more about general tips on scalp health, reviews of the products will come later!

 Mark Birch Trichologist Haircare | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog Laurantaina

About Mark Birch Trichologist

Mark Birch, Trichologist (hair and scalp specialist), is internationally recognized as one of the world’s experts in scalp and haircare. He is based in London, but has worked in the Dubai region over many years. In Dubai, he met his business partner, Tuija Lindstrom, and together they are launching own line of cruelty free, vegan haircare for treating multiple scalp and hair (loss) problems. Soon available in hair and beauty salons (December 2018 in Finland, for more information please contact Rebel Helsinki).

Some Key Points On Healthy Haircare

It’s all about the scalp. While our hair is dead material, our scalp has living pores like our face and skin does. The main hair concern for people is obviously hair loss and basically anything can disturb our scalp internally and externally: antibiotics, medications, stress, product buildup, diet, sleep, menopause, pregnancy, genetics. There’s also several types of hair loss, such as scaring and non-scaring and one fix doesn’t work for all: not only hair types vary, but so does the pH of local water.

People tend seek help when they have hair concerns but the key is to looking after your scalp. According to Mark Birch, preventive care is the best: general health, high emphasis on nutrition, lifestyle and hygiene. You should wash your scalp every day. Every. Day. Blogs and Youtube are full of tips how to extend time between washes when we should be washing our scalp daily: just like we wash our face and body. Our scalp produces new skin cells (just like our skin) and the top layer is dead, there’s sweat, oil, product buildup, etc. that should be washed off.

We should also pay attention to styling products and make sure they don’t touch the scalp: common hairspray is basically glue and alcohol, meant for our hair (dead) and not scalp (living). Obviously you don’t want to touch your scalp with heat styling tools.

Mark recommends using a mild, natural shampoo. “If you can’t wash your face and eyes with it, why should you use it for your scalp?” Massage 1€ coin size of shampoo to your scalp and let it be for 3-4 minutes, meanwhile wash your body/face and then rinse off the shampoo carefully. Conditioner should only be applied to the hair and ends of our hair, let be for a moment and then rinse.

 Mark Birch Trichologist Haircare | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog Laurantaina

Above: Mark Birch Trichologist showing patient before-and-after photos.

 Mark Birch Trichologist Haircare | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog Laurantaina
 Mark Birch Trichologist Haircare | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog Laurantaina

My Hair Background and SUrprising Diagnosis

Before this I hadn’t paid any attention to my scalp. Yes it itches sometimes, but that’s just the weather right? I don’t suffer from any product sensitivities, dandruff, hair loss, oily scalp, problems with hair growth or so forth. Actually my hair is pretty easy to manage: it’s thick and coarse, so only thing I’m lusting after is shine and moisture. My parents’ hair types are completely opposite: fine, thin Finnish hair or baldness. While I’ve been focusing on my hair itself, I’ve completely neglected my scalp. I had no idea about preventative care, I thought you use scalp tonics only when you’re loosing hair?

After my interview and Mark’s presentation, I had a chance for a quick diagnosis. Normally the Trichologist does a complete interview (background on lifestyle, diet, health problems, medications etc) and blood work, but now he just asked some key questions while examining my scalp.

While my hair growth was okay, it didn’t take him even a minute to observe that I have eczema. Eczema?!! When I went home I rushed to the mirror and took a look at my scalp: I could see dryness and tiny flakes. While I’ve suffered from itchiness I would’ve never guessed… nor paid attention. I don’t suffer from eczema anywhere else on my body so I didn’t even consider it’d be possible on my scalp.

Future Scalp Goals

Obviously, I’m trying to get my scalp back to normal. It might not be easy this time of the year when it’s freezing outside and there’s central heating indoors, but I’ll try. I was kindly gifted some press samples of Mark Birch Trichologist products (their packaging will change slightly) and I will try them and perhaps some other very mild shampoos or soaps. I will also start washing my hair every day. There. Now when it’s said out loud, I must try my very best to do it. I’m so glad my hair is short and doesn’t take ages to dry.. Of course, I write a comprehensive review on the products once I’ve used them long enough and update you on my scalp health.

Have you ever suffered about hair or scalp issues? How did you treat them?

Atelier Cologne and Mimosa Indigo (Review)

It’s rare I encounter a fellow beauty enthusiast in person, so I tend to take IRL recommendations I hear very seriously. One time at my friend’s house party, I had a lovely conversation about perfume. It was the first time I heard about Atelier Cologne, and it was something I couldn’t get off my mind. What surprised me more was that there’s a counter at Stockmann Helsinki (our local equivalent to a high end dept store). Today I will be sharing how I came across the my scent of dreams.

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Atelier Cologne Mimosa Indigo

Mimosa Indigo** is a Cologne Absolue (pure perfume) concentrated at 20%. Available in 30ml, 100ml and 200ml size retailing from $130/€95 to $325/€270. It’s described as velvety and addictive with leathery notes, highlighted by soft mimosa. Star Ingredients: Mimosa indigo accord, Mandarin from Italy and White leather accord. Made from highest of quality ingredients, 83% renewable natural origin*. Made in France with the highest percentage of fragrance oils. Available on Ateliercologne.com and Stockmann (Finland).

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About Atelier Cologne

There are six collections: Joie de Vivre, Chic Absolu, Avant Garde, Haute Couture, Carte Blanche and Bon Voyage. Each of these collections can be described with three key words, for example Joie de Vivre is fresh, lively, citrus while Haute Couture is powerful, rare and precious. You may initially be drawn to some of these categories, but what makes Atelier Cologne difference are the stories.

The Creators of Atelier Cologne are a couple of movie aficionados, Christophe and Sylvie, and their perfume house was born out of their love and passion. They want each Cologne Absolue tell a story - like a scene from a film with these powerful emotions and memories. When you pick up a sample of a perfume it’s wrapped with a beautiful post card describing not only the ingredients and scent profile, but the scene describing the scent.

All Atelier Cologne perfumes come beautifully, meticulously gift wrapped to celebrate the idea this is always a gift - even when you’re shopping for yourself. You also get an engraved leather case to go with your perfume, available in many colors at all counters. From what I understood there’s no need to layer or mix the scents, but they do not argue together.

Finding My Perfect Scent

Stockmann Helsinki has amped up their perfume game: this Fall they finally opened counters for Byredo and Jo Malone. Atelier Cologne’s counter is different: it’s not only elegant, but warm, inviting and somewhat Mediterranean. At the time I had no idea of the stories behind the perfumes and about two dozen bottles in front of me was both intriguing yet intimidating.

I first wandered around sniffing scent with catching names and scent profile descriptions (like Iris Rebelle, which wasn’t for me at all), but I do recommend a help form your Sales Associate as they can even do scent consulting. When I asked the lovely SA at Stockmann I was explained it can be the story behind the perfume that “clicks” with someone, then the scent. I described scents I usually like and she handed one I loved (Santal Carmin), but then “something completely different” which hit me even harder (Mimosa Indigo). Then I heard the story:

A lady in a taxi three in the morning, passing a jazz club and stopping when she hears the music playing inside, walking to the musician sitting in the dark.. (read full description here).

Yup. I was done with my search.

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Wearing Mimosa Indigo

This perfume feels special to me, something I’ve never smelled before. It’s mature, but lively and vivid at the same time. When my nose first picks up the scent of mandarin, I feel like this is a perfume for someone who wants adventure and fun. The white leather and mimosa balances out the crispness of citrus, giving me a feel the wearer is still positively (self-)conscious, determined and carries themselves in an elegant way. There’s something smooth and very balanced about this scent. The citrus or floral notes are not overpowering and marry together with the white leather beautifully. I’m happy the leather tones aren’t too strong (like in some musky fragrances), but balancing, grounding and again - awfully elegant.

On me, I don’t find the cologne very strong (I do one spritz on my wrists, and one spritz behind each ear), it doesn’t linger in my clothes. The scent sort of melds with my skin, the scent doesn’t wear me nor I wear the scent: we’re one (sorry for the cheesy description but it’s true!). During a long day I feel I need to reapply, but in my case this happens with all of my perfumes except one oil roll-on. Not that I mind, I’m smitten with Mimosa Indigo.

Final Thoughts

I only wish this cologne would wear longer on my skin as I wouldn’t mind all my scarves smelling like Mimosa Indigo. But as I’ve said, I find most colognes disappearing on me within a couple of hours (the scent from the full size bottle lasts longer on me, could be due to application method). Mimosa Indigo not only a pleasure to smell and wear, but gives my self-esteem a boost through its story. I couldn’t recommend more giving Atelier Colognes a sniff!

**This product was kindly sent for consideration.
My thoughts and observations are my honest & own.
Thank you to the lovely Atelier Cologne Stockman HKI SA for the help and information!