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H E L L O ! My name is Naomi Shiek (pronounced CHIC).
I've been very fortunate to have my own small independent atelier called Woodland Papercuts. This is my private blog exploring my favorite things in beauty & design.

L E T S__B E__F R I E N D S !
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Saturday, 6 May 2017

My recent skincare routine

A quick note: I have acne-prone, sensitive, combination skin. 
Often dehydrated, my face is swathed in redness, and I have Rudolph's red nose.

In the two years since I started regularly using skincare products, I tried many and found a stable of products I love to use again and again. As a result, I have a skincare routine! An honest routine I do my best never to skip out on, under threat of blemishes! And honestly, since I found these products my skin has calmed down and I only have a wayward blemish once in a blue moon - a world of difference from the suffering I experienced since childhood. I owe it all to the following products:
1. First and foremost I wash my face morning and evening. My favorite is Trilogy's Balancing Gel Cleanser, a great natural formula for combination skin, purifying without stripping. I LOVE it for winter. Whenever I finish it I move to Murad's Time Release Acne Cleanser, which works great during the sweaty summer months especially. I use them both on repeat.

2. The STAR of my routine, and truly a life savior: Ole Henriksen's Invigorating Night Treatment. I've been using this for 2 years I think, ever since Stephanie Lange followed by My Pale Skin said this changed their skin. I thought if two beauty gurus from different sides of the planet can agree on this - I have to try! I bought it as part of the three little wonders set, and while I think the day serum and moisturizer it came with are nice, losing them from my routine proved the night serum made all the difference! No joke, this will transform acne-prone skin.

If you buy nothing else, 
get the Ole Henriksen Invigorating Night Treatment. 
You'll thank me. 

However, CAUTION: A handful of months ago Ole Henriksen went through a rebranding. They changed their packaging and the product's name (It's now called Invigorating Night Transformation Gel and comes in a blue, frosty-glass-looking bottle). Unfortunately they also reformulated many of their products - this one included. *Cue panic*

I can't find anywhere online that carries the new version (at least, that delivers to my country) so I can't personally compare if the reformulation is shittier/better/the same as the one I love so much. I can tell you that instead of Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, and Algae extract topping the ingredients list (which was dominated by many other acids, plant extracts and inflammation suppressors), in the new formula Glycolic acid is immediately followed by glycerin, then by the other ingredients (some familiar, some not) in a different order of concentration than the original. I don't like that there's less Lactic acid.

3. Most nights I follow the treatment serum with Peter Thomas Roth's Retinol Fusion PM Serum. I find that it clears out pores especially well, so when layered over the treatment serum I use this on my nose and cheeks only. There are nights I use this serum instead of Ole Henriksen, don't even follow it with a moisturizer, and let me tell you my skin in the morning is clean and plump! During winter it might be too harsh to use alone, but now that it's getting warmer I'm going to do this more often.  Note that when tested under the eyes it felt like the texture became worse, so don't.

4. This winter I've used the Antipodes Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream as my last step hydration, night and day. I'm sold on anything with manuka honey because it's perfect for acne prone skin. It took me a while to get used to the (natural) scent, but I don't notice it anymore. The formulation is fabulous and clean. I find that I personally love oil-based moisturizers. It's a bit heavy going on, which is why I thought it worked great in winter and during the nighttime as well, but absorbs quickly and leaves skin light and smooth.

5. For under my eyes (and lately my lips) I use Trilogy's Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+. I don't like eye gels and didn't find a cream that works for me yet, but the oil is lightweight, hydrating, non-irritating, and I can use it at night and morning and under makeup! While I do have wrinkles and texture under my eyes, if I don't use the oil I find everything looks worse, so I know it works. I'm still looking for the product that will transform my undereye, but this oil is the best I found so far for that area.

I also use the oil on my whole face (night and morning) if I feel especially dry or just want to change it up a bit. While it won't inflame acne scars, I don't use it on blemishes for fear of reaction. The oil feels like a 'dry' oil, absorbs immediately into the skin and leaves a beautiful glow without any tackiness or residue. My face feels extremely smooth after using it.

I'd like to say I use the following items routinely, but frankly I mostly forget about them until a problem arises. These are my trusty sidekicks when I'm going to battle:
Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask | Meant to be applied twice a week, I use this when my skin feels tight and dry for instant softening. With many heavy hydrating creams the ingrdients will most-likely cause blemishes, but due to the high manuka honey content it not only prevents blemishes but even soothes them while hydrating my skin. I also left it on for bed a few times, and my skin felt great in the morning.

La Roche Posay Effeclar Duo+ | Meant to reduce skin redness and the appearance of imperfections, I can't say this prevents blemishes 100%. On some it works and on some it doesn't. Definitely most affective when the blemish is still a shadow or a sensation under the skin (you know the ones). But I do know that after it's all said and done this ointment does help the scarring fade away faster. When I feel I have bad skin days coming, or I need the added barrier between my skin and makeup, I put this all over.

Skyn Anti-Blemish Treatment Gel | When blemishes are coming up this gel saves the day. It prevented many bad skin days for me. But be forewarned, it cannot be used under makeup.

Lancome Pure Empreinte Masque | when I do get blemishes, cystic or topical, I use this cream. Applied directly to the blemish over night, it draws out all the impurities in triple-time and helps the area heal faster. Because it's drying, I only use it on the blemish itself.

Side note: I use stickers to note the date I started using each product. 
I used to always fear in the back of mind that I'll be doing more harm than good if the product is expired. Now I no longer have to guess!  

Friday, 21 April 2017

My Summer Foundation | DiorSkin Star review

I'm writing this when I should be working. So get ready for a far-too-long preface because I'm awkward when I need to share any personal information. Actually, I'll be writing this to myself because I'll probably forget all about this in three months or so and I'll need this to remember my foundation routine.

A quick note: I have acne-prone, sensitive, combination skin. 
I am a pale woman. Pale, pale, yellow-tinted white. 
Often dehydrated, my face is swathed in redness, and I have Rudolph's red nose.

I never thought I'd say "my summer foundation". I don't tan, I don't spend time outside. Through trial and error I learned that when beauty companies say their shades are for 'light' or 'fair' skin, and when beauty bloggers say they're "oh so fair, omg!", what they mean is in fact 'less than a suntan'. On me these shades always equaled Oompa Loompa or Pink Marshmallow face. Certainly no foundation in my country's drugstore counters will do.

Until this summer, I made do with concealers. My routine includes color correcting with Loreal True Match concealer in shade N1 Ivory, Loreal Magicque Lumi Highlighting concealer in shade 1 Light, NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly, and MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC15.
Side Note: At some point I bought IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream, which I realized too late is faaar too orange and dark on me, but due to its masking abilities and hydrating properties made for a great undereye corrector and cream blusher on my skin. In fact, until last month I mostly just used IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Correcting Cream under the eyes and on my cheeks and nose, and used on the jawline a mix of whichever concealers fit me on the day. You know the cute look of freckles over the nose and apples of the cheeks? This was my version of it!

If I wore a foundation at all it was either NARS Sheer Glow in Siberia (my perfect match!) or Loreal True Match in W1 (which oxidizes a bit pinkish on me but still pale enough to pass).

Then two days ago I found the DiorSkin Star foundation in the back of my base products drawer. I bought it two years ago when I sank my money into far too many foundations. This one I bought from a Chinese website, which seemed to be the only place that carried shade 011. The reason I looked so hard for this particular shade was that it promised to be a yellow-based shade pale enough to match me (this is before I found NARS' Siberia). Big surprise, it was far too dark on me. I was very disappointed, and banished it far enough into the back of my base products drawer that I'd hopefully forget the sting of spending $80 on it.

So two days ago I pulled out this foundation, and thought I'd use it the same way I use my IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Redness Color Corrector. Why not? Well, imagine my surprise! It looks great all over! I must have caught some sun sometime because there isn't an obvious foundation line down my neck. There is a teenty-tiny bit of difference, but nothing that needs to be covered up with concealer if I don't feel like it. I am... flummoxed... because NARS Siberia still looks good on me. I guess the difference is in if I want to have my winter shade or my summer shade.
APPLICATION TIP: I first use MAC Fix Plus as primer to add hydration. >> I apply the foundation with a Beauty Blender. >> I press and roll IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder using its included puff on the T-Zone (center forehead, nose, cheeks, chin) to lock it in. This mattifies the glowing foundation, but that's the look (and durability) I prefer.  >> I brush Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light under the eyes, on the jaw, and down the neck. If needed, I also lightly pass a fluffy face brush with this powder all over the face to remove any white-cast from the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder. >> I seal it all with Skindinavia's Bridal Finishing Spray.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: The foundation is glowy. It's a beautiful glow, but on my skin can develop into a high-sheen in a matter of hours unless powdered down with the right formula (as explained above). The scent is mild, not as strong as the Lancome foundation I tried (though that could be because it's two years down the road). The foundation does not emphasize texture, doesn't sink into my lines or pores with or without primer (though it's of course better with a primer) and lasts fantastically throughout the day. More importantly, it doesn't seem to irritate my skin whatsoever!

While oiliness shows through on my nose and chin at the end of the day (close to 12 hours), the foundation is still there (it doesn't disintegrate badly), my undereye wrinkles and crepe texture aren't accentuated, the foundation hasn't sunk into my large pores, and my jaw's dry texture hasn't cracked through. In short, I'm left with a smooth look at the end of the day!

All this, makes DiorSkin STAR foundation in shade 011, my Summer Foundation. 

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Farewell 2016

2016 was not a good year. It honestly seemed to be a bad year on a depressing level for nearly everyone. Really up there with despairing of humanity. Mine started really bad but even-keeled at the end, mainly because I decided to forget the first half. Then November happened (anyone else spend it in bed?) and it took my family (and holiday shopping) to make me get over it. 
So, I'm happy to welcome a new year, clean and fresh out of the box! Yes, it comes with '16's baggage, but don't we all? So from me to you, 
and may this one be better than the last

Saturday, 15 October 2016


I'm posting now to prove that even this blog can be a phoenix and rise from the ashes of... Honestly, I just forgot about this space. Which is fair, because I also forgot about my business blog, so see, it evens out.

I've looked at my drafts folder, and there are 15 makeup posts saved in there from April of last year. I don't remember what makeup I wore then, but apparently I loved false lashes and had much to say about other beauty finds, like lip balm. Seems moot to post all these now, since my favourite lip balm is different, I've found a mascara that can hold a curl, and also I've finally found foundations and concealers for my pale skin (no more orange face at age 30! Woot! Woot!) - Not that it stops me from loading online carts with other options, but a gal can go insane watching makeup collection vids on youtube.

My obsessions have indeed changed somewhat. My wallet, for a short while, thanked me. First of all, I spend hours online scouting furniture that I'm never going to buy. Partly because it'll cost a fortune to get to my house, but mostly because I am commitment-phobe (Yes, with furniture). Also, sitting on the floor isn't so bad. But my latest money pit is buying pinup-style clothes online. See, I gained a bit of weight when I turned 30 (I was shocked, too!) and gave away a lot of clothes I hardly wore. I was so proud of myself! Then I spent a few months in nothing bout lounge wear (not ashamed), and then found online shops for retro style clothes (god damn you Top Vintage!). So naturally I went from a capsule wardrobe to spending thousands on clothes I don't need. Why?! I work from home. Really, when am I ever out of pyjamas? It hurts, ya'll.

So, I didn't die. Just went stupid. I do miss those livejournal days when I blabbered on and on online about life and hobbies. Now instead I spend days - DAYS! - looking for the best vanity mirror online (you know, the kind that looks glamorous, but magnifies your skin to a degree you want to kill yourself? That one.) and frankly, who in their right mind would want to read about that? I don't even want to live through it!

Yeah, ok, I'll write about it. Give me a year.

Photo taken at dear friends' wedding, circa 2014
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