My Winter Morning Skincare Routine

I was watching some Youtubers sharing their skincare routines and thought it’d be fun to share my current go-to routine. Part of the fun is looking back my older routines and what products I’ve been reaching for. My routines are always a mix of “must-haves” and products I’m testing for a review - some of them will end up on the blog again and again while some might be left forgotten.. I recommend using the search and tag tools if you’re looking for a particular product review. Gifted products are marked with an asterisk (*). Also, say hi to Cara, my ~15-week-old maine coon kitten. <3

Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Current skincare goals / Concerns

My skin did pretty good before November, but as the month changed I swear to you my skin turned a) dry as a parchment paper b) my under eyes darker than darkness. Winters in Helsinki are partly freezing cold, windy and partly just annoyingly rainy, while there’s central heating indoors. Right now my biggest concerns are dehydration and evening out my complexion. I had a grand zit after the holidays and it left noticeable redness behind. Lightening my old acne scaring is always an on-going process, but sometimes I pay less attention on it. My final concerns are some blackheads on my nose (which this routine doesn’t target as much, I do opt for stronger acids from time to time).

Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My AM Routine

My “beauty sin” is to wash my face in the shower. Fortunately I dislike long and hot showers, so I’m out of there pretty quickly before my skin turns into a worse raisin than it already is. In the shower I have a couple of cleanser options, but lately I’ve been liking the Glope Hope Cosmetics Cleansing Gel* (33.1€ / 150ml). It feels mild and gentle, perfect for AM routine. The INCI list is short and simple: packed with cornflower water, aloe and hydrating glycerine. In the evenings I tend to reach for more heavy duty cleansers.

Next is the one and only - Januarylabs Daily Brightening Tonic (29.7€ / 150ml) (review here). I think I was sent one back when this launched, then I purchased another, then another.. I can’t begin to imagine my life without it. Because of the packaging I feel the easiest application method is to pour some on a cotton pad and gently swipe face and neck. This multi-purpose toner both retains moisture and gently resurfaces the skin with lactic acid. I can highly recommend this to everyone!

After the Tonic I apply an essence. I had a small break with essences, only to notice how much I miss it. My friend Marinka was kind enough to shop for me during her travels and top 1. in my wish list was the Fresh Black Tea Kombucha Facial Treatment Essence (69.53€ / 150ml). I had seen some positive reviews on Fresh and not gonna lie, the kombucha trend did encourage me to pick this one up. The essence is just as I like it - light but thicker than plain water, hydrates, plumps and treats. I have noticed my skin is glowing after I started using this, but I won’t make any claims just yet.

After prepping my skin it’s time for serums. This is a bit tricky category as serums take a while to make a difference in the skin - especially if it’s lightening pigmentation. Globe Hope Cosmetics Lumi Strong* (54.90€ / 30ml) is packed with blueberry extract and arbutin from bilberry extract, which is a melanin inhibitor. If you’re HC about eco skincare and want to lighten pigmentation, Lumi Strong is worth looking into, but I unfortunately haven’t seen any change in my pigmentation issues during the good 4 weeks I’ve been using it. Clinique’s Hydrating Jelly* (61.50€ / 125ml) is also a slight disappointment for me. As much as I like hydrating serums and ampoules, I haven’t found one that would beat Kypris Antioxidant Dew or Esse Serum (reviews here) in that deep hydration my thirsty skin craves. If Clinique launches its Vitamin C and Retinol Boosters in Finland (which you can mix in the jelly) in Finland I’m willing to try again.

Eye cream is something I don’t use 100% of the time. Lately I’ve tried various eco beauty roll-ons, but this Tata Harper Restorative Eye Cream*.. it’s a winner. Needless to say, as it’s very expensive (~100€ / 15ml). Is it worth it? Is any eye cream (or skincare product)? If yes.. then Tata’s close. This eye cream is rich, moisturizing, but doesn’t give me any puffiness around the eye area or milia. Finally I feel my dark circles have improved and I hope the good INCI list can strengthen my eye area as it promises.

Another luxurious eco skincare treat in my routine is the Henua Organics Recharging Moisturizer* (129€ / 30ml), but it is a treat.. Not only Henua Organics is made in Finland, packed in the most exquisite bottles with birch wood caps, 85% organic farming and eco cert, but also this cream is packed with birch sap, pine park extract, sea buckthorn oil - just to name a few. It leaves my skin feeling so soft and supple, packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I want to write a whole dedicated article about Henua Organics, keep your eyes peeled!

Finally the must have I keep on preaching about: SPF!! This Mádara Plant Stem Cell Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF30 (~15.2€ / 100ml) was one of my Best SPF for Summer 2018. Don’t let the package fool you, some sites might even list this sunscreen on the ‘body’ section, but I use it for my face, neck, décolleté, hands, you name it.. This sunscreen is on the heavier, a bit greasier side texture-wise and does leave a bit of white cast, which does disappear when you massage it in. I was sent one tube to test, went through it and purchased a new one. In the Spring and Summer I might go back to my beloved Innisfree sunscreen, but Mádara is easy to purchase here in Helsinki, inexpensive and my dry skin simply loves it. Rain or shine, Winter or Summer - always remember the SPF!

Winter AM Skincare Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Did you spot any favorites in my routine or something you’d love to read more about? Leave questions, comments and your routine favorites in the comments below!

*Products marked with an asterisk(*) were kindly gifted me for consideration, with no obligation to write about them. My thoughts and opinions are my honest and my own.

Valentine's Makeup Look feat. SUQQU's Spring Collection 2019

In Finland, Valentine’s is actually called “Friends’ Day”, so we don’t often celebrate it by giving extravagant gifts or going out on dates. We usually just exchange cards or flowers, but that’s about it. Personally I don’t tend to celebrate anniversaries so Valentine’s is a good time to go out with my partner or have a cozy stay-at-home date. Sometimes we even celebrate White Day (for fun), which is a Japanese custom: on Valentine’s women give men chocolate, on White day men treat women with presents. Today I wanted to create a glowing and romantic makeup look to go with Valentine’s theme - or any day when you feel like wearing some pink hues. Gifted products are marked with an asterisk(*). Enjoy!

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup Routine: Base

I don’t wear a primer for this look, but feel free to adjust if you need to conceal enlarged pores or add any extra glow to your skin. SUQQU’s Nude Wear Liquid is a light foundation that wears beautifully on it’s own, leaving my complexion feeling and looking radiant. I apply a couple of drops from the pipette on my face and apply with a firm foundation brush that doesn’t suck a lot of the product but spreads the foundation evenly. This way you don’t use a lot of product, but even out the face. If you have redness, start from the centre and blend towards the perimeter of the face.

Although the skin appears almost wet or like Korean “glass skin” with this foundation, it doesn’t separate or move during the day! I find it setting enough on its own and lasting pretty good on my dry skin. Read SUQQU Nude Wear Liquid full review here. If you have oilier skin, press some translucent powder on the T-zone, but leave the cheeks bare.

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Pinpoint conceal any blemishes with a semi-matte concealer that sets on its own to avoid over powdering. I dab some salmon/peach corrector from Bobbi Brown to the darkest part of my inner corners, under eyes and near the lash line. Since we are using pinks, I don’t want any natural redness be emphasised around my eyes. I apply NARS Radiant Creamy concealer on the top of the corrector and quickly set with a translucent or a luminous powder - my pick would be Rouge Bunny Rouge Diaphanous (review here) or La Mer original powder (d/c). If you have creases under your eyes, make sure to remove creased foundation/concealer with a cotton bud before setting. A damp mini Beauty Blender is excellent for this step.

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup Routine: Cheeks

I use a powder brow color to trace my brows for this look. Powder lasts long but looks softer and more diffused, which suits this look. I keep my brows as straight as possible, combing the brow hairs up with a tinted brow gel. As long as you keep things natural and soft, you’re good.

Next, add some color to the cheeks with SUQQU Shimmer Liquid Blush 102 TSUYASHISO*. The pump gives a fairly generous amount of color, so start with 1/3-1/2 pump. I dab a couple of dots on the top of my “apples” of the cheek, blending towards my ear. I find this easy to do with fingers, but a dense synthetic or white goat hair brush would do as well. 102 TSUYASHISHO is a very sheer color, so you might want to do another layer or a powder blush on the top. I also dab some cream highlighter on my cheekbones, nose bridge and cupid’s bow with my ring finger.

Makeup Routine: Eyes

SUQQU’s newest permanent(!) Designing Color Eyes palette 12 GENKOUAKANE* is just perfect for this occasion with its bright pinks and glossy shimmers. I will do a separate post reviewing SUQQU’s two new palettes, don’t worry, there will be swatches!

I press the watermelon pink (1) on my mobile lid, making sure I get it near the lash line. I press the brown (2) to my outer corner and blend towards my crease with a small, fluffy squirrel hair brush. As I have hooded lids, I bring the shadow a little higher than my crease, so some shadow is visible when my eyes are open. I trace my lower line with the brown shadow and a pencil brush. Next I pick up the light pink (3) with a clean pencil brush and press an accent to the highest point of my eye, also in the inner corner. If your eyes are not hooded, you could highlight the brow bone as well. Finally I pick up this gorgeous mint green (4) and fluff it to the inner part of my eye. The unusual placement for the green makes the look very fun and interesting. It’s not too visible in every angle, so the final look isn’t too bold.

If you want to bring more attention to the eyes, draw a winged eyeliner near the lash line. I leave the inner corner blank for more wide, eye-opening look and do a small wing. If you have oilier eyelids try a sharp brush with gel liner (NYX and Bobbi Brown make excellent ones). After curling my lashes (always, always curl your lashes!) I brush long-lasting Heroine Make mascara to my upper lashes and Korres Plum Brown* mascara to the lower lashes. Using a color mascara (red, brown, plum) gives a nice detail to the look, a soft impression while the black liner makes the lashes look thicker.

SUQQU Valentine’s Day Makeup | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Last But Not Least: Lips and Perfume

Last but not least, lipstick! I apply fuchsia SUQQU Creamy Glow Lipstick EX-02 KAN BOTAN* from the bullet, pat it once with a tissue and apply another layer. Read my 5 Best Tips for lasting lip color in this post.

For my perfume, I’ve chosen Tom Ford’s Velvet Orchid. It’s a glamorous floral scent that I’d also describe as strong and mature. It has an unique character with notes of honey and rum, without being overly sweet to my nose. The base notes are warm with suede, vanilla and sandalwood - to name a few. Great for a night out or a romantic date, balancing the light and playful makeup. Like most Tom Ford scents, this perfume lasts on me for the whole night.

List of Makeup Worn

SUQQU Designing Color Eyes 12 GENKOUAKANE*
SUQQU Color Ink Liquid Liner 01 Black*
Heroine Make Mascara
Korres Mascara Brown*
Viseart Structure Brow Palette

SUQQU Nude Wear Liquid
Bobbi Brown Corrector
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
La Mer Powder (original, discontinued)

SUQQU Shimmer Liquid Blush 102 TSUYASHISO*
Kora Organics Amethyst Highlighter*
SUQQU Creamy Glow Lipstick EX-02 KAN BOTAN*

How did you like this style of post? What do you plan wearing makeup-wise on Valentine’s Day, if you’re celebrating one?

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms Swatch & Review

I’ve always been a fan of Rouge Bunny Rouge lip products. In one of my early blog posts I reviewed the Rouge Bunny Rouge DAZZLING SIP Tinted Luxe balms** in Pinch of Nude, Sip of Pink and Specks of Cerise. Sadly, these three shades got discontinued when RBR revamped their Tinted Luxe Balms and came out with the ENCHANTING BLOOMS collection. My sadness was short lived as there are now more beautiful shades available that promise skincare benefits with a pop of color! These products were kindly sent to me, I hope you enjoy the post!

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms

RBR Tinted Luxe Balm is advertised as intensively moisturizing anti-age lip treatment that promises to plump and smooth fine lines in daily use. They call it a ‘balm’ but the product is also a dewy finish lipstick available in 7 colors. DAZZLING SIP in Pinch of Nude is now called Heavenly Honeysuckle and you can see swatches in my previous post. €29 for 3.5g / 0.12 oz.

Ingredients

POLYBUTENE, HYDROGENATED POLYISOBUTENE, C12-15 ALKYL BENZOATE, OCTYLDODECANOL, CANDELILLA CERA (EUPHORBIA CERIFERA (CANDELILLA) WAX), OLEIC/LINOLEIC/LINOLENIC POLYGLYCERIDES, POLYETHYLENE, CERA MICROCRISTALLINA (MICROCRYSTALLINE WAX), MICA, AROMA (FLAVOR), HYDROXYMETHOXYPHENYL PROPYLMETHYLMETHOXYBENZOFURAN, PENTAERYTHRITYL TETRA-DI-T-BUTYL HYDROXYHYDROCINNAMATE, BENZYL ALCOHOL, LINALOOL, TOCOPHEROL, CI 77492 (IRON OXIDES), CI 77891 (TITANIUM DIOXIDE), CI 15850 (RED 7 LAKE), CI 77491 (IRON OXIDES), CI 42090 (BLUE 1 LAKE), CI 15850 (RED 6), CI 19140 (YELLOW 5 LAKE), CI 45410 (RED 28 LAKE)

The formula of these lipsticks is very similar to the original Tinted Luxe Balms, except there is more pigment in most colors. I think RBR’s description is very accurate, except I was sceptical of the “anti-age” benefits of these lipsticks. I guess it’s how you label anti-ageing, in general I’m not a fan of the word. Tinted Luxe Balms have a patented active complex from sunflower oil that promises to plump, improve elasticity and also smooth fine lines. I looked into these polyglycerides (fatty acid molecules attached to glycerin), which are an Ecocert approved technology that is non-sensitizing, non-irritating and a greener replacement for lanolin, wax and silicones. I couldn’t find studies, but the manufacturer does promise these effects. I doubt any lip product except for injections can bring back lost volume (=size), but smooth and nourish for sure.

My lips are in a fairly good shape, I don’t have lines that would bother me - but I also haven’t used these lipsticks for 4 weeks of daily use. However, I do like to replace my lip balm with these lipsticks - especially with the old Pinch of Nude (now Heavenly Honeysuckle) as it’s almost transparent, very nourishing and feels like it “sinks in” the lips instead feeling waxy on the top.

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Wearing ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms

Compared to previous Tinted Luxe Balms these have more pigmentation. The feel is hydrating and smoothing, perhaps more slippery than RBR’s other lip products. They remind me of SUQQU’s Extra Glow Lipsticks, which are also designed mature lips in mind. SUQQU is richer in texture, which makes lipstick slipping and sliding more noticeable: RBR has some transparency which you can build with extra swipes. The site says that Tinted Luxe Balms are delicately scented, but I haven’t paid any attention to the fragrance - if you’re sensitive to scents I think these should be okay.

I find it slightly hard to compare RBR lipsticks as they are all very good, same packaging and I use them interchangeably. The Sheer Lipsticks feel less moisturizing, less shiny compared to Tinted Luxe Balms while Color Burst Lipsticks are more opaque. All of them glide beautifully on the lips. The wear time isn’t very long, these do move if you eat or drink and there’s no stain left behind. However these lipsticks are a pleasure to reapply.

Swatches

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Captivating Camellias - Light caramel nude with peachy undertones

Mysterious Magnolias - Cool/neutral toned soft pink

Amazing Anemones - Bright, translucent cherry red

Playful Primrose - Cool toned vibrant pink

Poised Peonies - Darker wine/cherry red with cool undertones

Lovely Lilacs - Cool white based violet

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Overall thoughts

Again, Rouge Bunny Rouge is winning with their lipstick formula. I don’t find nudes as flattering on me as the juicy, vibrant reds and pinks, but I’ll likely use all shades because of the comfortable wear and lip pampering benefits. I fear RBR is discontinuing their Sheer Lipsticks (they are now on sale!), but the Tinted Luxe balms wear just as lovely. Rouge Bunny Rouge is one of those rare brands that doesn’t release massive collections every season, but put the effort and elegance in all of their products, producing only very best. I would never purchase a mere lip balm this pricey, but with this lovely color and finish I do recommend Tinted Luxe Balms.

If I had to pick a favorite.. Amazing Anemones is very lovely and my usual style, but so far I’ve used Lovely Lilacs the most! What’s your favorite shade? Have you tried Rouge Bunny Rouge?

Rouge Bunny Rouge ENCHANTING BLOOMS Tinted Luxe Balms | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

**These products were kindly gifted for me. My review and thoughts are honest and my own.