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

Summer Ready Body Routine

I haven’t talked too much about body care here, have I? Maybe just Max and Me body oil rave here or there, but in general I’ve neglected this topic. No worries, it’s gonna change! Today I’m talking how to get your skin in shape, looking and feeling good! I hope you enjoy this post!

*Products marked with asterisk(*) are gifted for consideration,
all thoughts are honest and my own. This page uses ad links to support the blog. Thanks!

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Getting Your Body Summer Ready

Have a body. It’s Summer (soon). The end!

No, seriously, I don’t think you have to do anything extra to be “Summer ready” skin, body, health-wise or anything. It’s just the title. But for me, I guess it’s paying more attention to body care - for fun and self-care purposes. Most of the year Finland is rainy, cold, and I all I wanna do is being wrapped in a blanket from head to toe. When it’s warm enough to ditch wool socks, giving some TLC to your body skin is well appreciated - not required, if you get what I mean. Take and use these tips as you like.

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

The Best Exfoliating Routine

This TLC boils down to main things: exfoliation and moisturization.

I’d like to be one of those people who enjoyed dry brushing. Every time I take out my body brush I swear I’ll make it a habit and slowly transform into Gwyneth Paltrow (..no). I rarely have the patience to rub my skin more than 2 minutes and after doing it once, maybe twice, I give up. But dry brushing can be an efficient and cost-effective way to exfoliate your body skin, boost circulation and help with swelling. If you haven’t given it a try, I do recommend it! You can use a body brush or even mittens, brush yourself for 5 minutes in a circular motions towards your heart. Rinse in the shower and moisturize thoroughly.

Since dry brushing isn’t my thing, I have opted for scrub products. My favorites are from Skin Treat (exclusive to KICKS) and Flow Cosmetics. Skin Treat has two great shower scrubs: the mud-style Healthy Radiance Warming Body Scrub* heats a little while the gentle Clear & Pure Enzyme & AHA Peeling* acid exfoliator is good if you have congested skin. The pH isn’t low enough for strong exfoliation, but it’s boosted with manual scrub particles. If you want a more intense scrub, go for the Warming Body Scrub or Flow Cosmetics Peppermint Scrub*. Its ingredients include a blend of Himalayan salt, shea tree butter, coconut oil and peppermint essential oil. The oils make it glide on the skin while the salt gives your dry legs and arms a good scrub. I love the invigorating peppermint smell in the shower and thanks to the oils my skin doesn’t feel too dry or itchy afterwards.

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Body Moisturizers for Summer

As I do only mild scrubbing in the shower I’ve started using Skin Treat Bright Renewal AHA & PHA Exfoliating Treatment*, which is comes in a handy foam pump bottle. I wear pantyhose 99% of my days and suffer from pimples on my tights and bum area. I’ve noticed this Skin Treat foam helps the existing pimples to calm down faster, I’m still testing if long-term use will clear out my skin completely.

I also like their Instant Firming Body Serum* for my arms and décolleté as it sinks in quickly and makes my skin feel silky. I doubt it will actually firm my skin, but I don’t need to wait for the body lotion to dry before dressing. For proper moisturization I reach for my Max and Me body oils.

Last but not least: feet. In the past I’ve enjoyed the CCS foot cream, which has appeared in my empties once or twice, but lately I’ve been liking the Flow cosmetics Peppermint Foot Butter*. Again, I feel peppermint is very invigorating for the feet, but this foot butter doesn’t leave my hands feeling slimy or a slippery film on the feet. The solid balm is also easy to spread and massage without cream or oil dripping everywhere.

Summer Body Routine | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

How do you take of your body skin right now? Have you tried dry brushing?

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 (Cult Beauty* 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 (Cult Beauty* ~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, available at House of Organic (FI)*) 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.