Kira Kira Crate March 2017 Review
Hi everyone!

I won't bore you with the details of why I didn't post recently and instead will dive right into the review of my very first Kira Kira Crate! I have always been a huge fan of subcription boxes and was very delighted when the kind people of Kira Kira Crate reached out to me to let me try out their march box.

What is the Kira Kira Crate? In this Japanese subcription box, you will get 6-8 full-size beauty items straight from Japan, which is probably every beauty blogger's dream. The box also includes a magazine with translations and instructions for those who are not able to read Japanese. It includes a variety of items from skincare, beauty and bath items. You can look up past crates here and get an idea what kind of items are featured in the box. I really appreciate that they send me their "normal" march box and not some special kind of "blogger box" which I have been seen from other companies and which makes it really hard to cast fair judgement over what the company does offer. So already a small bonus point there. :) What did I get in my box..?

Avance Lash Serum N Tweety

This was by far my favorite item in the box! It's a lash serum that claims to make your lashes longer and more voluminous. The serum came with a cute tweety pouch that I will definitely use on my next flight as it has the convenient zipper and it semi see-through :) I have used this only for a week and have to report back what it actually does (be sure to follow me on IG as I'll likely report there instead of another review) but it seems very promising as I think my lashes are just a tiny bit more full (but that could very well be only my imgaination - have to look at my before and after pictures in a few weeks to confirm!) I absolutely adore the tweety design and it's something I probably would have gotten if I spotted it in a drugstore in Tokyo :)

Rilakkuma Face Mask

I was super excited to see the Rilakkuma masks but also slightly bummed that I didn't get the Korilakkuma one! Dammit! Rilakkuma is cute but Rilakkuma is so much cuter, sigh ^^ I'm definitely excited to try these as they will turn you into Rilakkuma! I actually never tried those character masks before. These masks are from Pure Smile, a company that I have used a lot when I was living in Japan for face masks and was always quite pleased with.
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Country&Stream Honey Peel Off Pack Review Or: The Peel-Off Mask From HELL.
Hi There!

There are so many exciting things going on right now - I am in the middle of making my apartment more homely, building myself tables and a nice area in my kitchen for lots of people to sit and chill (will definitely share pictures once finished!) and I might take on new responsibilites at work as well as a payrise! Things have been really busy, but also real good. Except for the item I NEED to review today: Nothing good will ever come out of this. It's the devil in disguise (LITERALLY.) Please take a second to say hello to the most evil peel-off mask on the (Japanese) market: The Honey Peel Off Pack from Country & Stream.

Looks pretty harmless, no? Yeah, don't let the cute little chubby bear fool you. Fool me once, shame on me you say. This is the devil's child and I have no idea what the people from Country & Stream thought when formulating this spawn of evil - I absolutely loved their lip balm until I found out that it breaks me out. Duh. Guess there's a reason to lure people in with cute chubby bears.... (just kidding - I don't want to bash the brand. But man this is just bad.)

I bought this on one of my trips to Japan and thought well, you can't really go wrong with honey, right? As a big honey and propolis fan, I thought this would be a nice mask once in a while to pamper myself. Turns out this thing was created to destroy my skin. But more on that later. The packaging is to die for, as expected for a product from Japan and probably the main reason why this caught my eye. If I remember correctly, this was about 800Yen and I bought it in Plaza which is one of my favorite stores to browse for new Japanese skincare products! (Sadly, I don't know the ingredients for this as they are not printed on the tube -there was a plastic thing over the tube that I threw away a long time ago, I suspect that's where the ingredients would have been printed- but since I am not recommending this product, why bother with ingredients! Ha!)

In comes in a little plastic tube and holds 60g of product. The instructions are pretty clear: Wash your face and make sure that it is really patted dry. Afterwards, put on a "pearl-sized" amount of product on the areas displayed, leaving out the sensible eye and lip areas. After 15-20 minutes, peel it off and you are good to go! There is an underlined warning in the description that says you shouldn't let it dry too long under no circumstances. Maybe that should've gotten me thinking but well, I've been always been the adventurous kind of beauty blogger. What could possibly go wrong.....? -cough cough -

When I squeezed the product out I immediately noticed how extremely sticky it is. Like, you know honey? Smooth, velvety but slightly sticky consistency? Yeah, this is nowhere near honey - I had actually the feeling of putting glue on my face, that's how sticky this stuff is. I couldn't even really spread it across my skin because it was so immensely sticky to begin with. Needless to say, it was already quite the challenge to get enough product out of he tube. But hey, nothing can stop my curiosity.
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How to combat hyperpigmentation 101: How to really fade that shit (super long + detailed)
Hi there,

YES. ITS FINALLY HAPPENING. I know I promised this post ages ago but it never left my mind as it might just be the single most important posts I've ever typed. Without my struggle with acne, this blog wouldn't exist. If I didn't hit hard rock-bottom with my skin, I would have never went down the deep Korean beauty rabbit hole and I probably would have missed out on a lot of fun with friends I probably would have never made. Also, I finally moved into my first own apartment in July and I just got internet connection about a week ago so now it's time to finally get back into the game. Me so happy :')

There are many reasons why people develop acne and looking back now, my personal struggle was definitely more on the psychological side. I never had problems with acne before -no one in my family does- so it came quite as a shock when I developed quite severe and painful acne seemingly out of nowhere. Looking back, moving every few months to a new country, missing friends and family, writing two master theses in two different languages, working part-time and going to university in a foreign country.........yeah. I now see it might have been a little much, thank you skin for watching out for me. (No, I didn't feel particularly stressed at that time as I am very stress-resistant but I guess my skin needed to vent about my crappy life choices. I'll allow it.) 

Which brings me to my first and most important point: Stopping the acne. Obviously, it's quite impossible to combat hyperigmentation when your skin regularly throws a rage party on your face without thinking of cleaning up after itself. Unfortunately, as manifold as the reasons for acne are, as various are the possible solutions for calming your skin. 

While the root of my problem was mainly psychological, I was also quite oblivious at that time when it came to skincare and just slathered on my face whatever I considered fancy without really thinking about what it did to my skin. Getting in place a well thought-out routine has not only helped me to calm down my acne tremendously, but to also keep it that way without the use of harsh chemicals or even antibiotics (which didn't help me anyways..).

I got ahead of myself and tried various AHAs that only made my face itchy and didn't help at all with the acne. It's definitely a lot of trial and error necessary, but products with good old BHA (beta hydroxy acid or salicyclic acid) did a good job at keeping the more deep and painful pimples at bay. Also, when my skin looked still like this the only thing that helped me is the Duac acne gel that I got as a prescription from my derm. 
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Kbeauty Summer Favorites!
Hi There!

I'm not sure about the weather where you live, but this year the summer is crazy in Germany! At least in Berlin where I live, we don't get into real summer feeling for a prolonged period of time. Most years, we're lucky to have 2-3 weeks of summer temperatures before it's more or less almost autumn again. This year however, it's been crazily hot and humid for the past two weeks and it's only been May! As a fellow vampire, I don't approve of this development.

Regardless, as I had to adjust my skincare regimen according to the melting temperatures I figured it's a good opportunity to share my favorite products for summer time! Most of them are Korean or Japanese products but I threw in some of my personal European favorites in there too.

It's probably not a secret by now that the sunscreens from Hada Labo are my absolute favorites (unfortunately, my favorites the UV Creamy Gel and the UV Moist Emulsion have both been discontinued. It's however still possible to find both of them on Ebay!). I ordered the Biore Uv Aqua Rich Smooth Watery Gel (90ml, yays!) and also can't wait to try the replacement from Hada Labo which is the Koi-Gokujyun Perfect UV Gel. The formulas are to die for, sink into the skin nicely and have never failed me. (Probably common knowledge, but still important to repeat: These sunscreens are for daily wear (as in: shopping in town or going to work) only, they are not meant for a day at the beach or a lot of sun exposure! If you are going on vacation, make sure to use appropriate sunscreens that are sweat- and water-resistent.)

One sunscreen I still need to write a review on is the Biosolis Extreme Fluid 50+, a physical-only sunscreen that I've been using for probably a year almost daily and that still is not empty! It unfortunately is too greasy and white cast-ey for daily all-face use but I put it on the parts of my face where I had the highest amount of hyperpigmentation (my cheeks) and I think this is the main reason it has healed and faded so well (yes, that post on fading hyperpigmentation is coming.) I also love to mix this with all my foundations which are usually a tad too dark for me and create the perfect pale base. I usually use one of my Hada Labo sunscreens, wait for that to sink in and then either put this on my hyperpigmentation or mix it with my base make-up.

Speaking of make-up, I am still on the hunt for a translucent powder with SPF for touch-ups. If you know of anything, please let me know! So far I have used the Bare Minerals Natural Sunscreen Powder, but even the lightest shade is too dark for me and tends to look cakey. So I mainly use one of my cushions to keep the sun protection going throughout the day.

One thing I ALWAYS use in the summer time is a chapstick with SPF. Some people easily get cold sores or blisters after too much sun exposure and guess who is one of those lucky gals...? The Avène High Protection Lip Balm SPF 30 worked great for me and can easily be bought in any pharmacy in Germany, which is a big plus! :)

I've talked about hydration before in my skincare regimen post and this part is actually not *that* different from what I usually use. My skin needs lots of hydration in forms of water instead of oil as my pore clogs easily when I use emulsions that are too rich. So I prefer gel moisturizers and light essences all year round with the only difference being that I use a facial oil once or twice a week in the winter time but don't really feel the need to once it's summer. I also tend to use sheet masks way more often in the winter time, but that might just be me.
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