Thursday, 14 June 2018

Finding the best liquid foundation for dry skin

Foundation is a cosmetic that improves the look of our skin, this is why it's so important as well as so tricky to choose!
Liquid foundation is the most well-known type because it's easy to use and can create an impeccable look by minimizing skin issues like imperfections, scars and even minor breakouts. 
It's available in water and oil-based formulas for light, medium and full coverage.
It doesn't just cover but it additionally evens your skin tone to give you the flawless look you want

Tips the best foundation for dry skin

There are also the so-called “liquid to powder” foundations that endeavour to catch the benefits of both liquid and powder products. But back to liquid foundations...
An important role of liquid foundations is giving hydration or giving and locking it in, perfect for those of us with dry skin. This extra hydration also helps our makeup to set and last longer.
It’s also easier to find a better match to your skin tone with a liquid foundation rather than with a powder one!
In fact, you can always adjust your colour by mixing different shades of your favourite foundation.

Liquid foundation: the benefits

There are two kinds of liquid foundation: water-based and oil-based. So which one is a good choice when purchasing a new foundation? 
The solution relies upon your skin type: in case your skin is normal or dry, you will more likely need an oil-based foundation
These top liquid foundations for dry skin – all reviewed in-depth - have a natural-looking coverage and are less demanding compared to compact foundations. 
If your skin is oily, you should pick a water-based foundation because this type doesn’t feel heavy nor clog your pores (it isn't comedogenic)
The finish of a liquid foundation varies from sheer to full, all depends on your necessities
With highly pigmented formulas, you don’t have to stress about visible dyschromia or imperfections!

The pros of using a liquid foundation

Hopefully, every makeup brand has its foundation line available in different formulas, so it’s technically easy to find the one that works best for you and a shade that’s close to your natural skin colour.
But liquid foundations aren’t solely great for dry skin and its typical lack of moisture, they can fill in fine lines, pores and wrinkles and making them less visible with - as a result - a smoother and younger face.
Another positive note is that liquid foundations are easy to apply: with a foundation brush, a sponge or simply by using your (clean) fingers.
If you have a long-time experience with make-up, you know for sure how important is choosing the correct foundation for your skin. 
With dryness conditions, a liquid foundation will help to have and keep skin moisture all year around.
There are so many brands and so many product options on the market that it’s hard to find just a privileged liquid foundation!
May I help you? I’ve tested some new foundations and they will be reviewed here sooner or later. It’s worth to keep an eye over "Valens.... per voi"…

Saturday, 9 June 2018

D.Obsessed - Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and Retinol face serums (review)

If you are “obsessed” with skincare, then you don’t easily stop at toner and face cream, but add something more specific. And so I’m doing with D.Obsessed face serums, a collection of cruelty-free treatments with botanical hyaluronic acid.
I’ve introduced D.Obsessed Hyaluronic Acid, the Vitamin C and the Retinol serums to my daily routine and seen the results...

D.Obsessed - Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and Retinol cruelty-free face serums

D.Obsessed: the brand
D.Obsessed is an UK cruelty-free cosmetic company that delivers focused skincare products and its cutting-edge items are its trio of serums: the Hyaluronic Acid serum, the Vitamin C serum and the Retinol serum.
The claim is that they are effective but gentle, can they be strong and kind enough and at the same time?

D.Obsessed serums: the product

D.Obsessed Hyaluronic Acid serum, Vitamin C serum and Retinol serum are face treatments rich in naturally-sourced ingredients and nutrients like the hyaluronic acid featured in all these three serums. Each serum covers one or more skin concerns: hydration, ageing, dull complexion, skin imperfection...

The product: the packaging
D.Obsessed face serums come in 30ml Perspex bottles with a dropper dispenser making the product application hygienic and its dosing better.

How to use:
D.Obsessed serums have to be applied after your usual toner and before your face cream or any other treatment.
Their usage has no specific restriction or precaution but the general tip is to gently tap them onto clean skin until their complete absorption.
The D.Obsessed Retinol serum has to be used – as recommended by the company– after exfoliation and can be used daily; D.Obsessed Hyaluronic Acid serum can be followed by the Vitamin C serum and applied both on wet or dry skin.

D.Obsessed Hyaluronic Acid serum: the product

D.Obsessed Hyaluronic Acid serum is an “advanced moisturizing formula derived botanically, a hydrating and anti-age treatment that’s aimed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while leaving the skin soft, elastic and moisturized.
Its formulation contains key ingredients like natural hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C and E, green tea and jojoba oil. It’s a combination of antioxidant and brightening elements. 

Formula, texture & scent
D.Obsessed Hyaluronic Acid serum is a slightly thick but not glue-y, pearly white serum with a fresh and floral scent; it dries without leaving sticky residues.

How to use:
I’m using it combined with the Vitamin C serum both day and night: I pat it onto dry skin and I let it dry for one minute because of its consistency but it feels light afterwards.

I’m appreciating day after day how the D.Obsessed Hyaluronic Acid serum makes my skin feeling to the touch and looking smoother, I’ve also noticed that - after one week of usage – in combination with the Vitamin C serum, it gives me an even supple and elastic skin. 

D.Obsessed Vitamin C serum: the product

D.Obsessed Vitamin C serum is an “advanced anti-ageing formula for a brighter and youthful complexion” and its purposes are treating spots caused by sun exposure, evening skin colour, hydrating and fighting signs of ageing.

Formula, texture & scent
This serum contains Vitamin C, Vitamin E, natural hyaluronic acid, herbal infusions, jojoba oil and aloe vera. It feels less thick than the other serums and has a runny consistency, it’s yellowish in colour and has a light zesty note. It can be used daily and has a faster absorption, despite it can still result slightly tacky afterwards. Combined with the hyaluronic serum, it leaves my skin supple and elastic, smoothes out its texture and makes it brighter.

D.Obsessed Retinol serum: the product

D.Obsessed Retinol serum is a product targeted to skin ageing and it has been formulated to improve skin texture and colour, stabilize hydration level, minimize fine line and large pores. Indeed, the effect of retinol on skin is kicking up the cell rejuvenation process.
Formula, texture & scent
D.Obsessed says that this serum has a “unique formula combines 2.5% Retinol with synergetic blend of botanical extracts and oils”, indeed it contains retinol or Vitamin A, natural-sourced hyaluronic acid, green tea, jojoba oil, propolis and aloe vera.
D.Obsessed Retinol serum has the denser consistency in this trio and looks like an off-white gel.
It has no particular odour. It may feel tacky and takes longer to be absorbed but, once done, it refreshes the skin.

How to use:
It’s recommended to be used daily after cleansing and exfoliating your skin. However, it has been so far the hardest serum to fit into my routine because I can’t exfoliate every day, so I use it rarely.

So far and for the little, I’ve been able to use it, it has been leaving my skin smoother and brighter, thus I would recommend it in the case you’re looking for a 360° treatment, a moisturizing and anti-age product in one.
I recommend to use it before going to sleep, in order to improve the regeneration of tissues that happens overnight.

D.Obsessed - Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and Retinol face serums

Let’s recap all the pros and cons I've spotted in this skincare line.

gentle to the skin (all)
light scent or odourless (Retinol)
effective in a short span o time (all)
highly hydrating (all, averagely)
smooth skin texture and improve skin tone (especially Hyaluronic Acid + Vitamin C)
decently absorbed onto the skin (Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C)
good price for quantity/application

sticky sensation after application (Vitamin C)
long absorption time (Retinol)

D.Obsessed - Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C and Retinol face serums

The great pro of these serums is the customizability: indeed you can adapt their usage depending on what are you looking for.
I highly recommend the Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin C combination daily, day and night, because it’s really effective if not positively terrific.
My only concern regards the amount of Hyaluronic Acid I’m applying onto my skin as all three products contain it, but so far I’ve experienced no sensitivity to products or sunlight.
Practical question: where to find them and how much are they?
The D.Obsessed serums are available on or your Amazon local platform (here for Italy) and cost 10.99£, except for the Hyaluronic Acid serum which is 11.49£.

No make-up, no fancy filters: this is me, naturally.
Dress by GAP - Nail polish: LaCura (Fierce Fuchsia)

My question(s) to you: how "obsessed" would you rate yourself? (And are you enough for these serums?)

Valentina Chirico aka Valens

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Smile Brilliant: how to whiten your sensitive teeth at home

A universal truth is that coffee is students’ best friends and teeth’s worst enemy. I was the speaking (bad) model but I finally re-found my white, whiter smile with Smile Brilliant.

Smile Brilliant, how to whiten your teeth at home by Valentina Chirico

A nice smile is a winning business card but, unfortunately, some of the things we love to drink and eat stain our teeth with ease.
I’ve stumbled across different solutions and this human guinea pig is really happy to show her new discovery: Smile Brilliant.

Smile Brilliant is a customizable whitening system made in the US: a sort of mini dentistry lab that allows everyone to whiten his/her own teeth effectively, without dentist’s extra expenses and waiting time. All is done and received in a comfortable environment: your home!

Smile Brilliant whitening kit for sensitive teeth at home, review

This system consists of a pair of tailored trays, a set of whitening and desensitizing gel doses.
The Smile Brilliant experience is developed in two steps - trays creation and whitening process – and each one can be done with the kit shipped to your door.

Smile Brilliant’s trays are done by your impressions and will fit your upper and lower dental arches.They look like Invisalign, thus completely clear, flexible and lightweight but durable. They are so easy to wear that you could forget them!

Smile Brilliant whitening kit for sensitive teeth with ease at home


Smile Brilliant whitening and the desensitizing products come in syringes to dose and spread the gels in your trays without waste and mess. Dummy-proof, aren’t they? 
Both gels have a jelly and dense texture so that they don’t drip but stay inside the trays to cover and work on your teeth. 
The desensitizing gel has also an extremely pleasant and refreshing aftertaste!

Smile Brilliant whitening kit for sensitive teeth

Each Smile Brilliant set contains all the material for your custom-made trays (2 blue trays, 3 pots of catalyst and 3 pots of base paste), plus whitening and desensitizing gels (the amount of syringes depends on your chosen kit) and step-by-step instruction leaflets

The first step to a whiter smile is creating your own dental impressions... 
Don’t get fooled here: it’s easier than you can even imagine and I’ve been surprised by that! 
The guides will follow you through this process which is really fast: floss and brush your teeth and be sure they are completely clean and free from residues; mix one pot of catalyst paste (which is white) and one of the base (the blue paste). Mix them as a sort of Playdoh until you get a blue paste
Put it quickly in your tray (one per time); wear it and wait for 2 to 3 minutes to create your impression; remove it and let it dryRepeat for the lower impression.

VoilĂ ! Your impressions are done and you can ship them back to the Smile Brilliant lab with the pre-paid envelop you’ll find in your set. After 5 days your custom-made trays are ready and shipped to your door from the States.

Smile Brilliant whitening kit for sensitive teeth at home

The second part is the proper whitening process
For a lasting whitening effect, 7 to 10 sessions are recommended to be repeated 1 or 2 times every 3 monthsNo worries! Also, in this case, the guides give all the information to safely use the kit and start your journey to a whiter smile. 

The steps I followed fit quite well my routine if done before going to sleep... 
- brush your teeth with water- wear the trays with the whitening gel. I suggest starting with a short whitening session of 45 minutes (the max session is 3 hours but it’s too much to start with)
- at the end of the whitening step, wash your trays with running water and dry them with paper, then brush your teeth with a mild/no-whitening toothpaste (I used Sensodyne to reduce sensitivity)
- wear your trays with the desensitizing gel for up to 30 minutes
- remove, wash your trays and refresh your mouth with water.

The immediate result is a fresh breath and... in a couple of sessions, if every day in a couple of days, you’ll see some “brilliant” progressions.

Smile Brilliant whitening kit for sensitive teeth at home

If your guinea pig was able to do it, you can do it alone and that’s a great satisfaction!
Overall, you may ask, what are the main pros and cons of whitening at home with SmileBrilliant?

no queue at the dentist’s
complete kit at home
custom-fitted trays (at home)
easy to use
quantity (gel quantity per syringe)
lasting effects
competitive price
good value for money
freshness feeling

risk of sensitivity

When I joined the program I was both excited and concerned: thrilled for this experiment, which is really personal; concerned about the possibility of pain or hassles due to previous sensitivityI was extremely scared of doing my impressions all alone and - especially - of pulling my trays out of my mouth! Every time at the dentist’s, I felt so much pain while he was taking them off! I’ve taken my impression really fast and I’ve also done an extra to be sure to send a good “sample” of my smile.
My custom trays arrived really quickly, after one week from their creation!

Smile Brilliant whitening kit for sensitive teeth at home
Before my Smile Brilliant whitening treatment for sensitive teeth

I felt like a pro when I’ve started the whitening with Smile Brilliant...
I wanted to start straight away because I’ve been getting really excited and... in the meantime, I’ve been consuming too much soluble coffee, that my teeth weren’t that nice anymore. 
I’ve started little by little with a 45-minute session and had no problem at all, then – after 5 days – I tried to reach a 1-hour session but I faced some bothering sensitivity overnight night but...
Ashley, the inventor of Smile Brilliant, has never left me alone and she kept giving me suggestions and tips for my case.
I’ve just skipped a couple session, replaced by a simple desensitizing treatment before going to bed and the pain has vanished. 
I’ve completed my first whitening session without further problems and these are the results....

Smile Brilliant whitening kit for sensitive teeth, result
After whitening with Smile Brilliant kit

I was smiling at the mirror and impressed by how shiny my smile was and how smooth the surface of my teeth are... and it’s still so
I’ve been looking to improve my smile for a long time but going to the dentist was too expensive and time-consuming in Italy, impossible in my new house because I haven’t got yet my personal dentist and, so far, all the other whitening options rather disappointing: sage leaves, stripes, whitening toothpaste... every time I switched toothpaste something went wrong, while stripes don’t fit my imperfect smile.

I’ve been pleasantly shocked because it’s all real! It’s so real and uplifting that I’ve also cut my caffeine intake in order to keep my smile whiter than ever! 
Do I recommend it? If you have my same problems (little income, irregular bite, re-constructed teeth and sensitivity), Smile Brilliant can be your solution and be quite gentle with your wallet too!
If you are here and a loyal follower, you're lucky! You can win 149$ credit to create your custom whitening kit at Smile Brilliant.
Click the banner to join or enjoy a 15% off coupon with the code valenspervoi15!

There are also kits for sensitive and no-sensitive teeth
, light to heavy stained smile, starting from 139€.
On the website, you'll find all the information you may need before starting and after whitening with Smile Brilliant, with tips and news; while on Instagram you can have a look at how 
Smile Brilliant fits into everyone's daily life!
Yes, Smile Brilliant has helped me a lot, in self-confidence and health... all done from the small room #5!

Valentina Chirico aka Valens