Makeup Therapy or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Routine

There are days when you will feel like like shit. Trust me, I’ve had a few of those recently. You may feel uncomfortable in your body, lack of energy and passion, pandas would envy your dark circles and perhaps there is a new zit or two (or three..) on your face. Today I’ll share you some peer support as well as tips how to deal with those days when you’d prefer to not get out of the bed.

Makeup Therapy Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

Acknowledge your feelings

It’s okay to feel like shit sometimes. Some of us are more prone to stress, changes in our skin and body or mood swings. Don’t hate or put yourself down because of these feelings, acknowledging is the first baby step towards dealing. Once you let go off the unnecessary guilt of feeling bad, you may tackle the reasons or even do damage control.

“Today I want to cover myself in a sack.” That’s okay. “Today everything is going wrong and it pisses me off” It’s fine. “Today my zits are the centre of attention” It’ll pass. “..But everything is wrong and I deserve it!” Stop, it’s not your fault.

Use Humour As Your Weapon

You had lipstick on your teeth and poured coffee on yourself during a meeting? Maybe instead of getting embarrassed or angry, try brushing it off by saying “Sorry, oops, it’s one of those days”. You will most likely make other people more comfortable around you when you laugh at the situation vs throwing a tantrum. You will appear more grown up, handling the situation with your shit together. You can later let it all out, perhaps during a physical activity.

Bloating, Zits, Bags Under the Eyes..

They’re all temporary. Make sure to stay hydrated during the day, don’t poke or squeeze your face (it’ll make things just worse). Use cold towel, cold spoons or eye masks to make your face and eye area feel more cool and relaxed - it also reduces puffiness. Consider light exercise to get your fluids moving.

Dealing with people who drain you

Constant complainers, overly critical, dramatic, constantly negative and demanding people.. Some are always like that, but perhaps your friend, relative or colleague is also having a crap day - either way, don’t get pulled in. You can be kind and emphatic while protecting yourself. If you can, be open about it: “This situation/mood is affecting me, please lets change the subject” or “I hear you, but these are my boundaries”. If these methods don’t help; politely limit your contact and disengage.

Makeup Therapy Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

My Makeup Therapy Routine

First: take a shower and wash away your worries. If you feel very anxious, try a cold shower for a couple of minutes. When needing to relax a bit, use warm water or take a bath. It’s much nicer and easier to continue to next steps when you’re fresh and clean. If you can, wash your hair as well.

Second: Music, video or a podcast and a beverage. For me it’s always coffee, usually Youtube playing on the background with something inspiring that uplifts. Gather your tools and brushes. Eliminate negative thoughts and self-critique at this point, you’re trying to make yourself feel better and not worse. When looking at yourself in the mirror, don’t focus on “flaws” or start picking at your face; today your skin is what it is.

Third is prepping your skin. When I’m feel grimy or down I like to start with an exfoliating toner, followed by hyaluronic acid serum, moisturizer and SPF. Something simple, quick, that leaves my skin both feeling fresh and hydrated. If you’ve been crying or sleeping badly, I urge you to try a cold jade roller, refridgerated eye patches or spoons around your eyes. There isn’t a magic ingredient for puffiness except caffeine and lymphatic drainage with massage, I often prefer the latter. Little self-care and pamper makes me feel good mentally.

Finally is any makeup you enjoy using. Maybe there’s something you have been saving for a special occasion? Grab it now. Go on, do it. The routine doesn’t need to be long and elaborate in technique unless you want to. I often get energized when I do a nicely even base with foundation and full coverage concealer, lots of luminous blush and either glittery eyes or power lip with red, bright orange or maroon. Let the music or video play on the background, sip your drink and take a couple of deep breathes.

Some Youtube inspiration for you:

Matt D’Avella (minimalism, creativity)
Carly Rowena (positivity, fitness)
Michele Wang (luxury beauty)
Mel Thompson (luxury beauty)
Justine Leconte (fashion design)

Makeup Therapy Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog @laurantaina

From Chores to (Enjoyable) Routines

I love healthy routines. When the brain doesn’t need to focus on planing the next step you can concentrate on being mindful in the moment or perhaps get inspired for future things. I try to think about my beauty routine as something positive and creative I can do each morning - plus taking some time for myself.

I avoid any negative associations like “I’m so busy, but I can’t go out looking like this”. Yes, you can. If you don’t have the time, just leave it. Makeup is always optional. Try building the confidence to go either makeup free or perhaps trying something new in your routine. When done in good lighting using clean tools, the application feels much more pleasant.

I hope you enjoyed this type of post! What beauty related self-care routines do you have? I just had a month long hiatus from blogging because of personal reasons, but I’m happy to be back and inspired to create new content! x

Dermapen4 Treatment by Rebel Helsinki (Review)

Have you heard about microneedling? I bet many of you have seen derma-rollers and other spiked, potentially damaging tools advertised online. Today I’m talking about safe and very efficient anti-ageing treatment which uses modern microneedling tool, the Dermapen4. The treatment was done in collaboration with REBEL Helsinki, enjoy!

*Gifted treatment, in collaboration with REBEL Helsinki.

Dermapen4 Treatment By REBEL Helsinki Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Dermapen4 Treatment By REBEL Helsinki Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Dermapen4 Treatment By REBEL Helsinki Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What is Dermapen4 microneedling treatment?

Dermapen4 should not be confused with at-home derma rolling or other traditional microneedling. Dermapen4 is a microneedling pen makes a minuscule punctures on the dermal layer of the skin, boosting the collagen and elastin production. It’s accurate, quick and safe with no permanent side effects. With Dermapen4 the trauma is kept minimal so the skin can improve its overall condition vs derma-rollers where skin uses most of its effort in fighting the ailment.

The Dermapen4 treatment begins with consultation and the needle length is customized to every client and treated area. Dermapen4 is suitable for everyone and can be used to solve skin issues such as post-acne scars, improve elasticity, diminish fine lines and pigmentation. Whether you have specific concerns or just “anti-ageing” or skin tightening, this can be the treatment for you. Recommended time between treatment sessions is about 5 to 7 weeks. Price (face and neck) €220 - see discounts for multiple sessions.

For more information and booking, contact:

REBEL Helsinki / Fabianinkatu 4 b 15 00130 Helsinki/ 0407771207

Dermapen4 Treatment By REBEL Helsinki Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Dermapen Treatment Experience at Rebel Helsinki

At REBEL Helsinki all treatments being with consultation. For me, I had slight forehead lines, very dry lips and remains of acne scaring on my cheeks. After hopping on the treatment table the first step is cleansing and disinfecting the skin. My Esthetician, Jessica, is very experienced and professional in her work, I felt safe in her hands. At Rebel Helsinki the technique, experience and hygiene is everything and it shows. Next, she applies a treatment gel on my skin and begins needling with Dermapen4.

Jessica starts with my forehead as that tends to be one of the more sensitive areas. Dermapen4 treatment is fairly quick to minimize the discomfort, but max the results with personalized and adjusted needle length: different for lips, scars and so on. The needling isn’t exactly painful, but I did feel a bit uncomfortable towards the end. The feeling cannot be compared to a blood test, that’s way more intense, I’d compare the feeling of microneedling if you strongly scratch your arm. I can take a peek from the mirror and I see very, very slight punctures on my cheek. 

Next, she applies a gorgeous jelly-like sheet mask for about 10 minutes. I relax on the table, close my eyes and listen to calming music in the beautiful treatment room. Although Rebel Helsinki is a very results focused salon, the beauty and luxe feeling of the decor never ceases to amaze me. Finally my Esthetician removes the jelly mask, adds final cream and SPF. It’s recommended to avoid touching or wearing use any makeup for the rest of the day. “Babies, pets and partners - keep them away!”, Jessica laughs.

Dermapen4 Treatment By REBEL Helsinki Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Dermapen4 Treatment By REBEL Helsinki Review | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Rebel Helsinki Dermapen 4 Results | Laura Loukola Beauty blog

After the Dermapen4 Treatment

My face is a little tingly and red, I step outside the treatment room and I’m given a collagen drink. After a couple of hours the redness has mostly calmed down. My face tingles a little bit, but I resist my urge to scratch it. The down-time is pretty quick, next morning there I don’t have any signs of redness.

Next day I observe my skin from the elevator mirror of my apartment and notice how my acne scaring had almost disappeared. It’s hard to tell in the “After” image as my skin is pretty fair and even, but look at the circled area and tell me if you see red spot marks. There is some texture, but overall I’m ecstatic with the results! For years I’ve tried different lotions and potions to fade any acne marks. According to my Esthetician at Rebel Helsinki the scars were not bad (ie. treatable), but I was blown away to notice them faded. Same with my less prominent forehead line, it’s barely visible.

Final Thoughts

I feel like the treatment actually “did something” and wasn’t just for relaxation and pampering. There’s a time and place for those type of treatments, but if I go to a salon I do like to see some results. I can see why Dermapen4 is a preceding anti-age treatment that both improves the overall appearance of the skin as well as tightens and treats troubling areas. I will take a few weeks of from treatments and save up, as I want to do another round!

Have you tested microneedling yet?

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products

Have you paid attention if your household supplies are good for your skin or eco safe? I talk a lot about skincare on my blog and today I’d like to expand the chat to products that also affect our skin wellbeing. When I lived in Japan I didn’t only suffer from adult acne, but I got a nasty skin reaction probably related to my laundry routine. Since then I’ve tried to be conscious about my household cleaners and laundry detergents, creating an eco friendly home at the same time. Enjoy!

*Products marked with asterisk (*) have been gifted for consideration.
This post contains affiliate links to support the blog.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

My Background and Itchy Skin

About 5 years ago when I lived in Japan I didn’t have my own washing machine. I used a local coin laundry (very common in Japan) to wash my clothes, sheets and towels. The washing machines were set to wash everything in 40° and they did gather dust which nobody else seemed wipe off. I used local, pretty general laundry detergents and after a while I started to get very itchy skin. I doubt this was a reaction to water or any personal cosmetic product (such as body lotion) that I used. There was no visible reactions such as rash, but I felt very uncomfortable. After returning to Finland my skin calmed, but I wanted to avoid getting the same odd reaction. I was already a vegetarian and wanted to live an environment friendly life, so started to investigate eco detergents and soaps.

While “normal” laundry detergents are effective, they are often heavy on fragrance, cleaning agents and chemicals that prevent dirt from settling back or work well in harder water. I’m not going to list any “harmful” ingredients here as I couldn’t find too many reliable sources and this article is not about green washing. I want to share some options you can try, if you wish.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Soap Nuts | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skin Safe & Eco Friendly Way to Wash Clothes: Soap Nuts

Soap nuts are my favorite way to wash laundry, I’ve used them for about 5 years now. This may sound “too hippie” to some of you, but hear me out! Soap nuts are very simple, easy and wallet-friendly way to wash clothes efficiently. You take about 4 soap nut halves for one medium amount of laundry (check the instructions from your packaging), place them in a sock or a small cotton/muslin bag, close it, crush the soap nuts (I step on them) and put the soap nut bag with the laundry. You’re done. You may even reuse the nuts if your laundry isn’t very dirty.

Soap nuts contain an ingredient called saponin which is a powerful natural surfactant with foaming and cleaning properties. This works very well for clothes that are washed between 40°-60° celsius, removing dirt, oil and stains. Once the soap nuts soften or you’ve washed a couple of laundries with them you can compost the nuts! I know it’s possible to even make your own liquid soaps from soap nuts by cooking them, but I personally I’m lazy and reach for readily available products.

Mummi ja Minä | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Liquid Laundry Detergent and Laundry Vinegar

Since soap nuts work best in warm to hot water, I do have a regular laundry detergent for silk/wool. Lately I’ve washed sensitive materials such as linen and underwear with an eco safe laundry detergent called Mummi ja Minä*. These detergents are made in Finland and have a light fragrance, which has proven to be useful when washing workout clothes. They are rather expensive (~€12 for 500ml), one bottle equals about 16 washes. I only do laundry for 1 person, so these have lasted me a while – especially when I reserve the liquid for workout clothes and hand washes. My favorite is the laundry vinegar that makes my sheets soft and smell pleasant. I’m using it in the place of fabric softner.

The ingredients of the Peppermint Detergent* are only: Plant oil compound (Anionic surfactants) 5–10 %, alcohol <5 %, sea salt <5 %, peppermint essential oil 5 %. pH ~6. If you’re very sensitive to essential oils I might do a test wash first, but I don’t find the fragrance any way overpowering. The Laundy Vinegar (Peppermint)* has: vinegar >5%, essential oil < 5%, Natrium Benzoate (preservative), < 5% with pH ~3.

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soaps | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Other Cleaning Supplies

I do like to use Mummi ja Minä dishwashing liquid* as well thanks to the lovely bottle and nice, natural scent, but when I have very dirty dishes or perhaps grimy coffee pots I do reach for “regular” dishwashing liquid as it cuts oil better. With other eco cleaners I haven’t noticed much difference in efficacy vs regular ones.

I’ve purchased some eco conscious home cleaners by brands Lilly’s, Method and Ecover. Especially the Ecover Toilet Cleaner is very efficient and available at my super market. Otherwise I think I’ll dilute liquid home soaps myself in the future with Dr. Bronner’s.

Dr. Bronner's castile soaps* are very versatile and rather affordable, they can be diluted as hand soap, cleansing liquid, mopping, dishes, toilet cleaner, plant spray for bugs, even shampoo and brushing your teeth! Yup, lovely Mia told me she has tried.. and it tastes like soap. Dr. Bronner’s products are also biodegradable. The unscented castile soap* is one of the best for washing beauty sponges and puffs as it’s gentler than rubbing your sponges against a soap bar.

Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree soap* is nice for mopping when diluted in water, I got stains off my floors very efficiently. My new kitty, Haku, likes to carry his food around.. so it can get pretty messy, you know. The tea tree scent is fairly prominent while mopping, but does fade pretty quickly. I think I’ll purchase the eucalyptus scent for creating my own hand soap and kitchen spray.

Skin Friendly and Eco Conscious Home Products | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

What are the ways you’ve made your home more eco conscious and skin friendly? Have you heard about soap nuts before or gotten a skin reaction to a cleansing product? Let me know! x