Let’s dive right in!

After a long phase of walking around only in sunscreen (sometimes with powder on top) I think I’m getting back into foundation again. I used to put on a lot of heavy coverage foundation back in the day when my skin was really red and raw from picking (as probably did everyone who ever had acne in their life), but, recently, my preference has shifted to sheer or light coverage with good stay and a slightly dewy or satiny/velvety finish. Surprisingly, it’s really hard to find something like that at the drugstore, as all the foundations have medium coverage (and shitty shade ranges), so I recently splurged on my first ever higher end foundation, which is the MAC Face and Body Foundation in C1. (I got the smaller 50ml size for 31,95€ at Douglas, but I’m going through it so quickly that I think I’ll be getting the huge 120ml bottle at the MAC store for 40€ next time, as it’s half the €/ml.) I really love the barely-there (but buildable) coverage, the finish of healthy skin that’s been thoroughly moisturised, and the outstanding lasting power (I sweated and got shiny, but this stuff neither did separate or rub off at all); I’m already working on a review, it just isn’t possible to list all the stellar qualities of this foundation in one single paragraph.

Another foundation that I bought recently (but didn’t end up loving as much as the F&B) is the intensely raved-about Nars Sheer Glow in Light 1/Siberia. Upon first application I was horrified about having spent so much money on a product that seemed to be too light even for my NC15 skin and migrated towards my pores over the course of an hour (something which I haven’t encountered before), but after playing around with it and trying it with and without primer, powder, sponge, fingers, brush, etc. I found that it doesn’t look as bad when applied over a primer and blended down the neck (I need to be more strict about putting sunscreen there as well). Still, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype for me; I’m mainly using it to lighten up the single medium coverage foundation that I own (to use on bad skin days), or as a sort of highlighting foundation that I only use on the center high points of my face to lift things a bit (not that I need it, I’m just experimenting with different trends — as one is bound to do when one is my age). I’ll report back, but, for now, it doesn’t seem like this foundation is going to get repurchased anytime soon.

Writing these paragraphs has gotten me into the mood of testing out new bases, so I’ve researched a few products that I’d like to add to my stash:

First on the list is the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 51 Light Vanilla. I used to have the foundation version of this in 52 Vanilla, but, as my skin colour lightened due to proper use of sunscreen, it became too dark. The big drugstore chains don’t sell Bourjois in Austria anymore, but they do in Slovakia, which is where I’ll be getting my bottle from. I wasn’t sure which one to get — the foundation (again) or the serum —, but most reviews agreed that the serum has lighter coverage and a dewier finish, whereas the foundation is a foundation in classic terms, with medium coverage and a satin finish, and that decided the matter for me.

Maybe — should I feel very spendy — I’ll also get the Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream in 31 Ivory. As with the Healthy Mix Foundation, I once had this in 32 Light Beige, but it was too dark, so I sold it together with the foundation. Coverage was a bit less than the foundation, but the finish was rather dewy, which I prefer. I already mentioned that I own one single medium coverage foundation with a satin finish, and I don’t like to wear it that much, but if I were to have something similar with a more »real skin« finish, I think things would be different.

The last foundation on my list is the new L’Oréal Paris True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup in W1-2 Porcelain Ivory, which is said to have similar coverage and finish as the Healthy Mix Serum. The problem with this one is that it’s not available anywhere near, so I’ll have to wait a bit to get my hands on it through eBay and such.

Other foundations that have gotten very good reviews and that I considered to get include:

  • L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Foundation in 1.N Ivory
  • Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in 010 Light Porcelain
  • Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation in 105 Natural Ivory
  • Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation in 51 Light Vanilla
  • L’Oréal Paris Infallible 24h-Matte Mattifying Infallible Foundation in 10 Porcelain
  • Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid in 4 Light Porcelain
  • NYX Mineral Stick Foundation in 03 Light
  • Maybelline Fit Me! Anti-Shine Stick in 110 Porcelain
  • Maybelline Fit Me! Luminous + Smooth Foundation in 110 Ivory
  • etc.

My next two favourites are skincare items — sunscreens, in fact. (Come on, this one was so obvious!) They’re both from the Bioré UV range, which, in my humble opinion, currently produces the most cosmetically elegant sunscreens in the world.

The first one is the Bioré UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel SPF50+ PA++++. I had the Essence version of this before and enjoyed it just as much, but then I found the Gel, which retails for approximately the same price (~8-10€) for almost double the amount, so I got two bottles of it, and I honestly have to say that I think it’s almost the same exact thing. There are some minor differences in the formula and consistency, and I might do a comparison review someday, but, for now, I’ll redirect you to other bloggers who did a really good job at comparing them (I made sure to include reviewers with all kinds of skin types):

On me, the Gel dries very fast into a skin-identical finish, meaning that it isn’t matte, but it also isn’t anywhere near the disgustingly gloopy mess that non-Asian sunscreens make. This is my go-to sunscreen when I’m going out of the house but don’t want to wear any makeup on top (I don’t wear it when I’m staying at home alone; that’s what shitty Western sunscreens are for), and I would readily give it the title of »best sunscreen product there is and ever will be« if it weren’t for one little thing — it isn’t very long-wearing or activity-resistant (again, that’s what shitty Western sunscreens are for). Indeed, I try and reapply it every time I have sweated, even if it was just a little bit.

Bioré UV Perfect Milk SPF50+ PA+++ is the other sunscreen I have enjoyed this autumn. (Please note that this is the pre-2015 PA+++ version, not the newest PA++++ version, which has augmented UVA protection.) I got the bottle as a gift from my brother-in-law, but I have looked it up online, and you can get it for ~10€ on Amazon. What stroke me was that this tiny 40ml bottle is apparently being marketed as a body sunscreen?!?!?! That’s just about enough for one full-body application! Dear Bioré, get your shit sorted out, for fuck’s sake!

I have used it for face only (at the danger of repeating myself — body protection, that’s what shitty Western sunscreens are for), and it’s certainly a bit heavier than the aforementioned Gel (still, nowhere near as heavy as Western sunscreens). It feels very slippery and silicone-y upon contact with skin but settles into a satin matte finish; the high silicone content also gives it great makeup-priming properties. It’s a bit more resistant than the Gel, but still not as resistant as Western sunscreens; indeed, longevity seems to be the only weak point of Asian sunscreens.

I’m slowly hitting bottom with my good, cosmetically elegant sunscreens, so I’ve placed a few orders on Amazon (it always takes a while with free shipping but unfulfilled sellers):

I credit Auntie Snails with all of these orders — her sunscreen wardrobe post is a total enabler, and her new sunscreen application method is just pure genius.

My last favourite may seem a little odd at first, but bear with me — it’s actually spearmint tea! I only recently stumbled over a post by the amazing Michelle from LabMuffin (despite having followed her months ago!) in which she reviews two studies on acne involving spearmint tea. The studies were actually too short to show external results, but there is enough anectodal evidence floating around the Internet [1][2] that supports the hypothesis of spearmint decreasing high androgen levels, thus relieving hormonal acne, especially in women with PCOS and hirsutism [3][4][5]. Being the curious skincare fanatic that I am, I of course had to rush to the supermarket immediately and stock up with el cheapo S Budget Pfefferminztee (0,89€ for 90g) to see what the deal with it is.


In my whole life I never would have thought that, one day, I would proclaim a fucking herb a skincare favourite of mine. Even now as I am typing these words, it just seems too ridiculous. However! It really did make a difference to the odd hormonal breakout I would still get from time to time — not every month, and mostly only one or two medium-sized cysts, but it was annyoing nevertheless, and it made me feel really frustrated about all the hard work I had put into refining my skincare routine and clearing up my acne. Megadosing on peppermint tea — we’re talking 8 cups a day — has definitely helped a lot, despite the risks of decreased iron absorption [6], liver [7] and kidney damage [8], and uterine relaxation leading to increased blood flow and potential miscarriage [9] (in men, it could cause problems with fertility [10][11]). Don’t worry, I have since taken it down a notch by brewing up only one kettle a day (I used to do two, and each would fit four very generous cups) and sharing it with the Boyfriend, so my total daily intake of peppermint tea is now two cups, which equals about half a litre. I only drink it in the evening, as it has significant muscle-relaxing effects on me, and, frankly, I really don’t want that during my lectures.

I’m also planning on introducing chamomile tea into my daily morning routine, mainly because of its antioxidant properties (of course). I’m only just researching the whole thing, but it seems to have some prophylactic and therapeutic properties regarding cancer [12][13], it’s strongly anti-allergenic [14], anti-inflammatory [15], free radical-scavenging [16] (particularly interesting for us skincare addicts!), mildly sedative [17], and anti-depressant (this study was performed only with postpartum women, but I witnessed the effect in myself, so I guess you don’t have to have given birth and be exhausted as fuck to reap the benefit [18]). However, I have also found a large amount of medical cases describing contact dermatitis, asthma, and even conjunctivitis from consuming chamomile tea, so be careful and check with your GP if you have any known herbal allergies.

I know that this kind of post isn’t exactly a novelty, and that I didn’t include any photos (I only wrote it two days prior in-between getting some killer homework done, so don’t blame me), but I thought it was quite fun to research and compose, and I think I might do it again sometime. Anyways, let me know what you think about it!


This post doesn’t contain any affiliate links. Affiliate links and PR samples on PALE AS F∗CK are always marked with one (∗) and two (∗∗) asterisks, respectively.

[1] meowpleaseeee: Spearmint tea stoped my hormonal acne!! reddit.com/r/SkincareAddiction 2016

[2] p33terpan: Has anyone tried drinking spearmint tea for hormonal acne? reddit.com/r/SkincareAddiction 2015

[3] Akdgan, M. / Tamer, M. N. / Cüre, E. / Cüre, M. C. / Köroglu, G. K. / Delibas, N.: Effect of spearmint (Mentha spicata Labiatae) teas on androgen levels in women with hirsutism. Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 21 No. 5 2007, p. 444-447

[4] Grant, Paul: Spearmint herbal tea has significant anti-androgen effects in polycystic ovarian syndrome. A randomized controlled trial. Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 24 No. 2 2010, p. 186-188

[5] Grant, Paul / Ramasamy, Shamin: An Update on Plant-Derived Anti-Androgens. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol. 10 No. 2 2012, p. 499

[6] Akdogan, M. / Gultekin, F. / Yontem, M.: Effect of Mentha piperita (Labiatae) and Mentha spicata (Labiatae) on iron absorption in rats. Toxicology and Industrial Health, Vol. 20 No. 6-10 2004, p. 119-122

[7] Akdogan, M. / Ozguner, M. / Aydin, G. / Gokalp, O.: Investigation of biochemical and histopathological effects of Mentha piperita (Labiatae) and Mentha spicata (Labiatae) on liver tissue in rats. Human & Experimental Toxicology, Vol. 23 No. 1 2004, p. 21-28

[8] Akdogan, M. / Kilinc, I. / Oncu, M. / Karaoz, E. / Delibas, N.: Investigation of biochemical and histopathological effects of Mentha piperita (Labiatae) and Mentha spicata (Labiatae) on kidney tissue in rats. Human & Experimental Toxicology, Vol. 22 No. 4 2003, p. 213-219

[9] Güney, M. / Oral, B. / Karahanli, N. / Mungan, T. / Akdogan, M.: The effect of Mentha spicata (Labiatae) on uterine tissue in rats. Toxicology and Industrial Health, Vol. 22 No. 8 2006, p. 343-348

[10] Nozhat, Fatemeh / Alaee, Sanaz / Behzadi, Khodabakhsh / Azadi Chegini, Najmeh: Evaluation of possible toxic effects of spearmint (Mentha spicata) on the reproductive system, fertility and number of offspring in adult male rats. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, Vol. 4 No. 6 2014, p. 420-429

[11] Akdogan, M. / Ozguner, M. / Kocak, A. / Oncu, M. / Cicek, E.: Effects of peppermint teas on plasma testosterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone levels and testicular tissue in rats. Urology, Vol. 64 No. 2 2004, p. 394-398

[12] Kogiannou, D. A. / Kalogeropoulos, N. / Kefalas, P. / Polissiou, M. G. / Kaliora, A. C.: Herbal infusions; their phenolic profile, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in HT29 and PC3 cells. Food and Chemical Toxicology, Vol. 61 2013, p. 152-159

[13] Matic, I. Z. / Juranic, Z. / Savikin, K. / Zdunic, G. / Nadvinski, N. / Godevac, D.: Chamomile and marigold tea. Chemical characterization and evaluation of anti-cancer activity. Phytotherapy Research, Vol. 27, No. 6 2013, p. 852-858

[14] Chandrashekhar, V. M. / Halagali, K. S. / Nidavani, R. B. / Shalavadi, M. H. / Biradar, B. S. / Biswas, D. / Muchchandi, I. S.: Anti-allergic activity of German chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) in mast cell mediated allergy model. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol. 137 No. 1 2011, p. 336-240

[15] Srivastava, Janmejai K. / Pandey, Mitali / Gupta, Sanjay: Chamomile, a novel and selective COX-2 inhibitor with anti-inflammatory activity. Life Sciences, Vol. 85 No. 19-20, p. 663-669

[16] Yoo, K. M. / Hwang, I. K., Moon, B.: Comparative flavonoids contents of selected herbs and associations of their radical scavenging activity with antiproliferative actions in V79-4 cells. Journal of Food Science, Vol. 74 No. 6 2009, p. 419-425

[17] Gyllenhaal, C. / Merritt, S. L. / Peterson, S. D. / Block, K. I. / Gochenour, T.: Efficacy and safety of herbal stimulants and sedatives in sleep disorders. Sleep Medicine Reviews, Vol. 4 No. 3 2000, p. 229-251

[18] Chang, S. M. / Chen, C. H.: Effects of an intervention with drinking chamomile tea on sleep quality and depression in sleep disturbed postnatal women. A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Advanced Nursing, Vol. 72 No. 2 2016, p. 306-315

2 thoughts on “FAVES ‘N’ WISHES: AUTUMN ’16

    1. Minnie says:

      (Sorry, Michelle, I had to let out my excitement somewhere!) 😀

      Well, thank you for sharing the tip! 🙂 I wasn’t sure about it at first since I have had my hormone levels determined and they were perfectly balanced, and the tea I got is Mentha piperita, not Mentha spicata, but I found some sources – most of them anecdotal – saying that it works too (maybe it’s a bit less potent than spearmint? don’t know), and I’m so happy that I tried it in the end! Thanks for writing that post, really! ❤

      I wouldn’t say it’s a cheaper version, they are different. I’ve googled the ingredients, and the Gel isn’t purely chemical/organic, it also has some titanium dioxide (no white cast, though). However, I still don’t understand why it’s cheaper than the Essence, especially because I’ve read that mixed-filter sunscreens could actually provide safer protection than chemical-/physical-only sunscreens… Well, I’m not complaining! 😀



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