New in #135 – Mateja’s Beauty Blog

New in #135 – Mateja’s Beauty Blog

BOURJOIS Healthy Mix Serum (2023 version)

I’m a fan of the Healthy Mix foundation, even the newly reformulated one (though the old version was better). They discontinued their Serum formula a while ago, a foundation I used for years and now they released a new “serum” version, this time the skin care/foundation hybrid that so many brands launched in the last years. Shade range is lacking, as they have two 51 shades and no 50 that I use at HM foundation, so none of the shades match me. I wear 51,2W as it’s less warm toned than 51, but it’s still noticeably too dark. Formula is thin, very light and it blends easily without setting too quickly. Coverage is light-medium, finish is glowy from the start, but on my dry skin it eventually becomes matte. Compared to the Foundation, the Serum covers less, but it’s not that big of a difference. For me the main difference is that the Serum doesn’t make my skin look as smooth as the foundation. Such thin formulas in general don’t work well on my skin, I don’t know why, though this one looks better than Maybelline’s and Catrice’s versions. Bourjois has been slowly and sneakily raising their prices over the decade I’ve been buying HM, so this new foundation is almost 20 € in Slovenia – you can’t really call it drugstore anymore. It’s 16,5 € in France. 

MAYBELLINE Fit Me concealer


I used to have this and reviewed it too, but it was before they had light shades and even though I liked it, I couldn’t wear it, so I gave it away. By now a lot time ago they expanded the shade range and 05 is a great match for me. I’m a long time user of their famous Eraser concealer and I still prefer it to this one. This formula is thicker, it covers more (about medium) and on my skin leans more towards the satin-matte finish, though it’s more hydrating than most popular high coverage concealers, which tend to be very matte. 
A standard repurchase. I bought so many over the years. Every now and then I try something new, mostly because I get sent stuff, but this remains a firm and reliable favourite. It’s intensely black, it lasts on the eyes all day, it doesn’t smudge or run during and the felt tip applicator feels soft on the eyes. It’s not as precise as Essence’s 24h Ever Ink felt tip eyeliner, but it’s more durable. 

CATRICE Highlighting Hero Duo Pencil

020 Daylight

This combines a matte pencil with a shimmery one. The matte side is meant to be used in the waterline and for lifting the eyes (and the face), while the shimmery one is a highlighter, most suited for the inner corners of the eyes. The matte pencil is a similar colour to the discontinued Essence pencil that I’ve been using for years (I stocked up on several when I learned they’re discontinuing them). It’s an off-white pink shade that suits my skin tone better than yellow toned pencils and opens up the eyes. The shimmery side is also in a pinky shade and it’s disappointing. Given that I bought this pencil mostly for the shimmery shade, I’m not happy about it being a poor performer. Pigmentation is much weaker than the matte side and even with a lot building up, it just doesn’t end up looking shimmery enough to bring focus to the eyes. Both sides are creamy and glide nicely, but pigmentation differs a lot between the sides. 

ESSENCE The Mini Nail Buffers

I always buy a different nail file from Essence, a thin four sided one, but the stand in a local Müller looks like it has been robbed and this was the only one the stand. It has the same four surfaces – shorten, shape, buff and smooth. The are shorter, but you get two. It does the job well and I ended up preferring the square shape, though the surfaces are smaller and they won’t last as long as at the thin version. 

CATRICE ICOnails Gel Lacquer

161 Stargazing

This is one of the new shades they released in the last update. I’m drawn to all starry sky shades, looking for the perfect mix of dark blue with the right amount of shimmer. This one ended up fairly basic, as I’ve had at least two identical shades before and the shimmer doesn’t look as intense or “starry” as I’d like, but it’s a nice deep frosty blue shade. Staying power didn’t wow me and usually Catrice nail polishes last well. 

BALEA Beauty Expert Hydration Toner

I find Balea frustrating at times. While I’m glad they are going in the right direction ingredients-wise with their Beauty Expert line, their formulas just miss the mark for me. At every product I’ve tried, there was something off. Their liquid exfoliator with the salicylic acid feels oily, so it doesn’t absorb for ages and their body niacinamide cream is too light (their discontinued retinol serum was also underwhelming). This is again a product that is brilliant on paper. It has 2% panthenol, 0.2% allantoin, betaine, urea, glutamic acid, aminoacids and it’s fragrance free. So you’d expect a comfortable, ultra-hydrating product like Cezanne High Moist I’ve been using for many years (and I need to order online), but this feels so bare, thin and water-like. I put it on and I’m just missing some extra hydration. I will say that it’s nice for layering, as it’s super light and fast absorbing, but as a stand-alone product, I feel it needs something to make it feel more hydrating. However, I will praise it as a relief product. My scalp was irritated a while back and I put this on because of the panthenol, hoping it will alleviate the irritation and itch. It helped very fast, but it also made my hair feel somewhat dirty, so I had to wash it the same day.  

GARNIER Skinactive Vitamin C Glow Booster Night Serum

A while ago I used up Afrodita’s Vitamin C serum with ascorbly tetraisopalmitate, which I liked, though not as much as the Professional version (which is much more expensive). This time I wanted to try the new Garnier one because it has 10% ascorbic acid (the most potent version of vitamin C, but also least stable), it has no alcohol, it has some salicylic acid and adenosine. It can be opened for just 3 months. It’s a light clear liquid with a tiny bit of an oily feel, but that goes away. Products can be applied over it with no problems. I felt nothing when I first applied it, so no burning or tingling, nor did I get a delayed reaction. But I did instantly get that odd smell, like you can at self tanners. I’ve tried applying it with gloves, but I apparently touch my face a lot, so my hands smell like self tanner all the time. I don’t think I noticed anything significant in terms of the condition of my skin, but I’ll keep using it.

BODY BOOM Peel-off Rubber Algae Mask

A new brand that’s sold in Slovenian drugstores (DM) and like Eveline it’s from Poland. Products are said to contain up to 99% of ingredients of natural origin and they are vegan. Here you get a big pot with some lovely-smelling powder and you’re supposed to mix it with precisely 30 ml of lukewarm water in the same cup. The mask is meant to be for a single use. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s clay mask that sets to a “soft-touch dressing” on the skin and then you’re supposed to peel it off. I’ve tried similar products before and in my experience they don’t come off it a single piece, but we’ll see how this one ends up. It contains pink clay, aloe vera, calamine (which is soothing and good for calming itchiness), oat  kernel flour (oats tend to be used in products for sensitive skin), algae and blueberries.   

 Ingredients: Diatomaceous Earth, Glucose, Algin, Calcium Sulfate Hydrate, Calamine, Tetrasodium Phyrophosphate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Vaccinium Corymbosum (Blueberry) Seed, Illite (Pink Clay), Kaolin, Montmorillonite, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Salicylate.

FACE BOOM Day/Night Hydro Cream

A moisturiser for sensitive to dry skin. Instead of the classic glycerine, they used trehalose as the main ingredient. It’s a sugar which is supposedly an excellent hydrator. Other ingredients include brazil nut seed oil, avocado oil, glycerine, rose oil, pineapple juice, melon juice, banana extract and raspberry extract. So it’s more about fruit extracts than the by now classic hyaluronic acid, glutamic acid or ceramides. Formula is light and relatively fast absorbing. It’s not too heavy to affect makeup on top. I haven’t used it long enough to say anything more, but to me it feels more of a formula for combination/normal skin, as for my dry skin it’s on the light side. I don’t have sensitive skin, so I can’t say if it’s gentle enough, but it is quite heavily fragranced (personally I like that).

Aqua (Water), Trehalose, Betaine, Stearyl Alcohol, Bertholletia Excelsa (Brazil Nut) Seed Oil, Propanediol, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Rosa Canina (Fruit) Oil, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple) Fruit Juice, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Juice, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vegetable Oil, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Citric Acid, Sodium Salicylate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

BODY BOOM Mattifying and Detoxifying Cream

A moisturiser for combination and oily skin. It promises to normalize sebum production and to reduce the visibility of pores. It’s actually very similar to the Day-Night Hydro Cream, as textures are so alike. It doesn’t really feel like a classic mattifying cream, it’s more hydrating than the mattifying lotions I used in the past and it’s thicker. While it contains rice starch for absorbing oil, it has a higher content of hemp oil and rice oil. There’s also green tea extract, black tea extract, lime juice and some ferments. 

Aqua (Water), Trehalose, Propanediol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Sorbitan Olivate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Glycerin, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Black Tea) Leaf Extract, Saccharomyces Ferment Lysate Filtrate, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Juice, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Citric Acid, Sodium Salicylate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzyl Salicylate, Citronellol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Coumarin, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool.

SORAYA Beauty Alphabet Normalizing Cream+ Vitamin Serum 2 in 1 

B3 + Yeast

A niacinamide lotion with yeast ferment. The ingredients list is short, but it doesn’t state the percentage of niacinamide. Formula it’s a lotion type of product, so not the lightest niacinamide product and certainly not a serum. Those with oily skin may use this as a moisturiser, as it’s rich enough, yet it’s not a greasy, heavy formula. I haven’t used it long, but it promises a brightening, pore-tightening effect. 

FACE BOOM Skin Dopamine Highly Moisturizing Face Cream SPF 50

The most interesting product in the bunch for me, an SPF 50 cream. Currently I have dry skin, so it’s not the best time to review it for those that interested in how light or heavy it feels on the face. I wore it only once, the two finger amount. Texture is more on the thin side, but still creamy. I got no white cast, though it took some time to blend in. It doesn’t feel heavy or greasy, but it’s still maybe doesn’t feel as nice for oily-combination skin, as it didn’t absorb fully – I’ll have to give it a test in the summer, to see how it works. For the current conditions, it feels fine to me. I didn’t try wearing makeup over it yet. UV filters are  Dibutyl Adipate, Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate , Tris-Biphenyl Triazine (nano), Ethylhexyl Triazone, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine and Methylene Bis-Benzotriazolyl Tetramethylbutylphenol (nano). It also has babassu oil, jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera, vitamin E, vitamin C and squalene. 

MOROCCANOIL Hand Wash Fragrance Originale

A thick that forms a rich foam with a small amount. It has a version of the typical Moroccanoil scent (spicy amber with a floral accord), but it’s more gentle and more “soapy”. Moroccanoil sells shower gels and hand soaps for the same price, but you get a lot more in the hand soap version – plus it has a pump.

 MOROCCANOIL All in One Leave-in Conditioner

A repurchase. I use this after every hair wash and it’s so far the best leave-in conditioner I’ve found. It’s true to the claim of long lasting hydration, it leaves my hair somewhat softer and it dries smoother. They changed the pump, but never had problems with the previous version.  

MOROCCANOIL Frizz Shield Spray

I bought a mini not long ago and I still have some left, but since it was on offer I got the full-size. Unlike the Color Wow version, this one actually does something and helps my hair dry smoother with less frizz. It doesn’t create the glass hair effect on me, but it’s still very effective. It’s actually similar to the their Smoothing lotion, but this one also protects the hair from getting frizzy when in contact with humidity. It’s very light, but it hydrates and it makes my hair smoother. It needs to be activated by heat. 

NIVEA Care & Hold Soft Touch Caring Mousse

A game changer. I used to use mousses all the time when I was younger and still had natural curls, but I never liked their texture and how sticky/stiff they left the hair, so stopped using any such styling product. I decided to give them another go, since I heard the secret to a long lasting blowout and curls made with a hair dryer (or a Dyson like cheap approximate) is using a mousse with heat protection. This literary feels like nothing is on the hair. I don’t know how they managed to do that, but it holds volume all day. Curls made with a blow dryer last as long too and without a mousse they are gone within minutes that’s why I always preferred using curling wands that use more heat. In the next days, the hair feels normal, it’s not any dryer, more stiff or anything, it’s like it’s easily brushed out of the hair. I’m genuinely impressed. Plus it has heat protection. I’ll try the hair spray too. 

I use this at every hair wash since I got it a month or two ago. My overnight curls now actually last and I can “redo them” over the week without having to wash my hair. 

SCHWARZKOPF Brilliance Gloss Treatment

Chocolate Brown

Another tinted hair mask I’m trying, this one is sold in local drugstores. The colour is a perfect match for my natural colour and there is no line visible between my natural and coloured hair. So it’s a very deep, almost black brown shade as well as very cool. On my ends there is a gentle hue of greyness because of that coolness and I could immediately see this will wash off towards grey-blue-green shades on blonde hair – not ideal for me, but if you have red tones appearing as your brown colour is washing off, this one will counter them just like Subrina’s Cold Brown shade (that one is lighter, not as deep). Due to being a cool shade, it also means the colour is flat and matte. As much as I’m very pleased I found a perfect match, I would prefer if it were more reddish-golden because of that, so at the next wash I already added some Subrina Colour Refresh in Magenta. Formula is nice, better than Wella and my hair didn’t feel stiff and unnourished like it happens to me at Wella.

LA RIVE In Flames Eau de Parfum and Shower Gel

A dupe for Paco Rabanne Olympea. It’s been a few years since I used up my Olympea, so I can’t compare them side by side, but when I spray this it’s definitely smells so similar. Notes of vanilla and salt are most prominent at the start along with hazelnut. Middle notes are more floral, with the strongest note being jasmine, but it’s more subtle than in Olympea. Staying power is good considering this costs 10 €. I got this in a set with a shower gel, but the latter doesn’t smell like the fragrance. It’s a generic, floral-fruity creamy clean scent – nice, but probably those that buy the set would like to see it smells like the fragrance.