Happy Holidays!

Hi loves! Wishing you a great holiday season with my newest painting (featuring Clara, gingerbread men and Mouse soldier from the Nutcracker ballet).

Claire and the | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Wether or not you celebrate Christmas, I hope you can take some time off to enjoy yourself. In Finland we got a white Christmas for once!! It’s snowy and bright while I’m typing this, but cold and frosty at the same time - an idyllic weather to spend some time in the country side with the fam. I’m not a huge holiday person myself, but I don’t mind it either. After Christmas lunch I’ll cozy up in the corner with a hot cup of mulled wine my laptop or Wacom tablet and paint more… lol.

If you’re a regular reader of the blog I apologize the lack of updates in December. Don’t worry, this is only temporary as I have a lot of cool products and post ideas for 2019! Lots of beautiful luxury (and a few bargain) makeup, eco luxury skincare, some opinion pieces, self-care etc.. I’ve been wanting to touch on health subjects as well, but mainly from skin/hair/mental perspective. I have a huge empties post coming up and I’m thinking of doing a general favorites of 2018 post as well.

So why the radio silence? I don’t think I’ve mention this but this Fall/Winter I started doing more freelance photography (while trying to continue my studies..), but come December I’ve been very immersed with my digital painting as well… and.. fallen in love. ;) There you go. In 2019 I hope to find a good balance and work towards doing photography and painting full-time! While blogging regularly, of course.

Best wishes,

Laura xx

6 Simple Self-Care Practises (When You Don't Feel Like it)

Today I want to revisit a subject close to my heart: self-care when you don’t actually feel like taking care of yourself. Maybe you’re busy, exhausted, anxious or something is constantly on your mind. Perhaps you always put yourself before others or don’t feel like you “deserve” any time off – well, this needs a change. As much as I believe that beauty and self-care come hand in hand, it’s not all about Instagrammable candlelit bath moments and face masks. Before getting into that zone - you need to care for your mind.

Simple Self-Care Practises When You Are Down | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Let Yourself To Take Time Off

You do not need to be available 24/7. If this causes you trouble, practise saying “no” and let go of any related guilt or self-blame. Allow yourself to take a breather; it can be 15 minutes or maybe a couple of days, whatever works best for you. If your job/school requires intensive attendance, perhaps talk to a supervisor or a counselor. If you have kids, then try asking help from friends or family? A healthy worker/student/parent is also an efficient one, so don’t blame yourself for taking the time you need. You’ve heard this one before: you can’t help others if you’re not helping yourself first.

Ditch Your Phone And Social Media

Referencing to my point above, when I’m facing a rough time I want to become unavailable. If there’s a lot going on I might post an update on Instagram or Facebook, simply thank everyone for their messages and tell I will get back as soon as possible. It can be as simple as that; you don’t need to state a reason if you don’t feel like it. Of course there’s always the persistent relative or someone who won’t stop calling, but in these cases you can answer and reply you’re unavailable. Focus on a book or a show instead of constant online updates gives your brain a break.

Sweat It Off (Find a Sport You Don’t Hate)

This sort of advice used to make me cringe. There are studies showing that exercise even helps depression patients, but what if you hate working out? When I’m down I want to curl in bed and not move an inch. Climbing has been an amazing discovery for me as I do it because it’s fun. I do it because really I want to! Heck, I sometimes even warmup at the gym just so I could climb better. So find a sport that you don’t utterly despise. I recommend something that requires concentration (like a new yoga class or pilates) if you have a difficulties getting into a flow.

..And Sleep

Seriously, I don’t know a better anxiety remedy than a nap. If you can: take a power-nap or longer 1 hour break during the day. Put on warm socks, grab a blanket and perhaps an ASMR video. It can be raindrops, whispers, fireplace sounds or my personal favorite - Bob Ross on Twitch. Often when I’m really badly anxious my boyfriend wraps me in a blanket and put Bob Ross on the background. After a couple of “happy little accidents” and a finished painting - I feel relieved.

Try Essential Oils

Thanks to our brain anatomy, memories and emotions (both good and bad) can be triggered by smells. I find this fascinating, so I’ve tried to do basic research on aromatherapy and how essential oils can be used for therapeutic purposes: relieve anxiety, stress or even sooth pain or upcoming flu! If you don’t want to invest in a diffuser, there are aromatherapeutic roll-ons on the market. You can also apply a beautiful face oil on your hands, cup your hands around your nose and mouth, deep inhale and exhale 3 times and apply the oil – maybe perform a little facial massage?

The Right Kind of Music

Emphasizing the word right kind of music for you. Preferably use good quality earphones - even at home - and blast it. Turn up the volume. Sing along or dance like nobody’s watching. Both of those are difficult for me (tone-deaf and two left feet) but after a glass of wine while doing the dishes I might jam along. I’ve noticed for me it’s melancholic songs that do the trick, but some bass is nice as well. Usually I have some sentimental attachment to the song, perhaps browse your old favorites? Here’s some of my songs that give the feels, if you care to listen:

Sia - The Greatest (or whole This Is Acting album)
Raf - Self Control
Gotye, Kimbra - Somebody I Used To Know
The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots Part 1
Björk - Bachelorette
Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body

What’s your favorite way to get in some self-care? Especially when you’re not really in the mood for it or occupied with other tasks? For more self-care inspiration you might enjoy reading my Beauty Rituals For Stressed Mind (here I also explain the importance of self-care) and Beauty Tips When You Are Feeling Down. Have a lovely start for the week! xx

If I Lost All My Skincare - 10 Things I Would First Buy

Good, old school tags have a place in my heart; the kinds that share easy, interesting information you didn’t even know you’re dying to know. Not a big fan of the craziest, mindless entertainment tags on YouTube, but when I saw Michelle’s and Natalie’s videos I got excited and started to think about my own picks: If I lost ALL my skincare - what would I run and buy? I think ten is a good number that covers most of the essential skincare steps and maybe a good mask or a pamper product. I’ve listed the products in the order of application, so let’s see!

10 Skincare Items I Would First Buy Tag | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil

I’ve tried many cleansing oils: FANCL, DHC, Whamisa, Josh Rosebrook, Max and Me, but the number one for me would be THREE Balancing Cleansing Oil. I love how gentle, luxurious and fragrant with essential oils it is, but takes off all makeup without stripping the skin. It’s a great workhorse that I look forward using every night, so it’s a must on my list.

de Mamiel Brightening Cleanse and Exfoliate

I should pick a second cleanser here, but my heart says de Mamiel.. I’m absolutely smitten with this powder-to-paste exfoliant that I can leave on as a mask for ~5 minutes. It’s strong with purifying clays, botanical powders and brightening Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C). I can’t wait for every use as my complexion feels so fresh and bright afterwards.

Mahalo the Petal Mask

I’ve had my ups and downs with this mask. Initially in my review I wasn’t crazy about this mask, but after meeting the founder of Mahalo, Maryna, I learned the Petal is not a moisturizing mask, but has a potency to pamper when “your skin doesn’t know what it needs”. Annoying tagline, but it’s true: the Petal evens out the skin, balances oil production, hydrates and pampers. I feel it’s a great all-rounder mask for anyone’s stash!

January Labs Daily Brightening Tonic

This gentle lactic acid and which hazel toner is a multitasker and a firm favorite in my daily routine. The Daily Brightening Tonic gently peels the uppermost layer of the skin while balancing the pH and hydrates with aloe and glycerin. The ingredients also include calming oat kernel extract, which can also be found in the day cream. Simple, light and lovely for daily hydration and glow. Full review here.

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50

I’m kinda cheating here and choosing two toners so I can rotate AM/PM. Lotion P50 is a classic, more “hardcore” exfoliating toner. It tingles, some say it stinks like vinegar, but the ingredients in this toner promise to diminish the look of fine lines, smooth texture, even out pigmentation and take care of clogged pores over time. I’m still struggling with minor acne scaring and I want to prevent premature pigmentation or signs of ageing, so this product is a must.

10 Skincare Items I Would First Buy Tag | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Kypris Antioxidant Dew

This serum is a saviour for a ‘prune’-like skin like mine.. The Kypris Antioxidant Dew is non-greasy, non-residue serum that provides an immense amount of hydration while packing the skin with plant extracts, oils and antioxidants. This serum quenched my skin’s thirst when I was feeling the dry due to seasonal changes. On my second bottle and will definitely repurchase again.

Max and Me I Am The Light oil

I’ve done a full review on the Enchanted oil/serum, which also appeared in my Best of Skincare 2017 post, but after I went through Enchanted and a mini of I Am The Light, I’m settled on the latter. Enchanted is more repairing while I Am The Light is for skin that’s more healed, I’d say. For dull or congested skin to give you the most beautiful illuminating glow. I love the calming scent of its essential oils and vibrant golden color. A must-have oil-serum in my ritual, but Mahalo’s the Vitality Elixir is a close second!

January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream

I can firmly say this is my “Holy Grail” daytime moisturizer. This lightweight lotion-like cream feels and leaves your skin silky. Packed with Niacinamide, Hyaluronic Acid, botanical extracts, peptides and Beta Glucan to strengthen, soothe and plump the skin. My dry skin simply feels nourished every time I use this. The packaging is also excellent and one bottle lasts a good while as you only need to apply ~1/2 pump for your face and neck. Full review here.

Lina Hanson Global Treasures Balm

Balms are difficult because I love so many, but I chose Lina Hanson Global Treasures balm (not pictured) as it’s very emollient, not too “heavy” and doubles as a face and an eye balm. Also, I miss having this in my routine as I’ve run out of my current jar. Luxurious and lush, but I equally love the Max and Me and Mahalo balms.

Innisfree Sunscreen SPF50

Oldie but a goodie. I’ve used up well over 10 of these tubes over the years. The current formulation is called triple care for dry skin or something similar, I just go for the yellow tube (not pictured) and slather my face with its physical sunscreen that doesn’t leave me a bad white cast or a greasy feel. Read more in my sunscreen roundups or empties posts.

10 Skincare Items I Would First Buy Tag | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Final notes

As you may have noticed this routine didn’t cover a proper 2nd cleanse or other serums (Vitamin C, Retinol) simply because I had “no room” for them in my routine and/or a favorite product at the moment. These are some products I simply can’t live without although I have many other favorites as well. Thank you for Michelle and Natalie for this tag! Finally, I’m tagging YOU! Please share your 10 products you’d first buy in the comments, Instagram or your blog! x

Btw if you love this Globe Hope makeup pouch as much as I do, with the code laura10 you can can get -10% off all purchases from their webstore! (non-affiliate code, valid until the end of November).