Beauty over Forty

Keeping up appearances when age is just a number

Mario Badescu Anti-Aging Regimen Kit

I found the Mario Badescu Anti-Aging Regimen Kit on BeautyBay for 31,50 Euros and was intrigued. I had never tried any Mario Badescu products and this seemed like a good opportunity especially as it came with a free makeup bag with some travel size body care samples. This has now sold out, but US customer can find the set at Ulta.

The brand was founded in 1967 by Mario Badescu; who is a Romanian immigrant. He sought to bring his natural recipes and approach to New York city.  The brand uses known actives and has never tested on animals.



First Impressions: For Anti Aging the set struck me as a strange combination of items. It comprises a Glycolic Foaming Cleanser, Glycolic Acid Toner, Collagen Moisturizer with SPF 15, Super Collagen Mask and very small pot of Glycolic Eye Cream. Considering that the range also has products with ceramides, peptides, hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C the contents of the set represent only quite limited anti-aging actives.


User Experience:

Glycolic Foaming Cleanser; this has a light citrus scent, it is non stinging and foams slightly. Using it my skin did not feel parched afterwards a very enjoyable experience. It is only supposed to be used twice per week, which is good, because there’s only 2 ounces in the bottle.

Glycolic Acid Toner; this was also pleasant to use, again it doesn’t sting on the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and in a good place to receive further skin care. The scent is unusually a little like baby powder. It is meant to be used each time you wash.

Collagen Moisturizer with SPF 15, is a very fluid lotion with very visible sunscreen in it. I would expect the sunscreen to be stronger given the level of whiteness the lotion has. It is very comfortable and absorbs quickly and provides more moisture than it’s texture would imply.

Super Collagen Mask: This I did not like. The face mask is a paste that you apply and let sit on the skin for around 15 minutes until it is totally dried out. It contains kaolin making this a clay mask along with the collagen. It dried hard as a rock and was difficult to remove. I appreciate that it had collagen on it, but I don’t like Kaolin sucking moisture out of my skin and this does not strike me as effective anti aging.

Glycolic Eye Cream: I have to admit I have shirked my responsibility on this test and have only used this once. The reason is the idea of putting glycolic acid on the skin on my eye area was a bit disconcerting. In using it, my eyes watered from the acid in the surrounding area. It stung slightly when putting on but did not really irritate the skin. The reviews on this eye cream are really good, so maybe I should overcome my fears and give this a proper chance!

All in all, I don’t see this set as optimal for mature skin, at my age an effective anti aging regime would need some more actives than this, but it was great to test the products. I think skins in their twenties and early thirties can really benefit from these products.


Monthly Nails – March 2017

Hey everyone, I have never written about how I get my nails done. Whilst this is not my work, but the work of my local salon. I really appreciate them and get my nails a new look there around every three weeks.

Given that I am expecting a tough work week, here are my nails not too over the top for this week 🙂


Nails by VA Nails in Berlin.

Brand Review: Mad Hippie Advanced Skin Care


I have often written how much I appreciate the cost efficiency of The Ordinary products and I really enjoy the flexibility of my skincare regime incorporating multiple serums with multiple active ingredients, but not everyone has the time or the interest to find out how to do it. In December last year I started thinking and wondering whether there might be a brand that combines known actives in a no nonsense, affordable way that makes sense for people. I did a lot of research and stumbled upon the Mad Hippie brand. A brand that is not available in retail in the country I live in.

Mad Hippie’s founders are surfers, who were looking for good quality skincare to save and restore their weather beaten skin. Their products contain multiple natural actives that harmonize with each other. They do without anything unnecessary avoiding fragrance and harmful preservatives such as parabens. They use no animal testing and all products are vegan.

Getting hold of the products involved an order from i-herb for me followed by a one hour trip to customs to pay import duties. I was not able to buy everything I wanted, but despite the hoops I had to jump through to get them I do not regret the effort, it was all worth it.

Here are my thoughts on the products I have tested so far:

madhippievitamincVitamin C Serum: This product contains way more than just Vitamin C. Also Vitamin E, Ferulic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid, Konjac Root, Grapefruit, Chamomile and Clary Sage. The product does not sting when applied and absorbs quickly. A very pleasant serum. The only criticism I have is that it comes in a dark glass bottle with a dropper. You need to use it up quickly or it will turn bad in 3 months. An airtight, lighttight packaging would be better, but you can decant half of it and keep it in the fridge to extend it’s life, apart from that it’s a really pleasant good serum at a fair price of around 30 dollars.


Exfoliating Serum: I love this serum, it has glycolic and lactic acid in it, as well as Matrixyl madhippieexfoliating(peptide complex), apple stem cells, gigawhite (botanical blend that is skin brightening), Sodium Hyaluronate (related to Hyaluronic Acid)´, penetrates skin deeper), and the anti-oxidants white tea, goji berry and ceramides to protect the moisture barrier. This is the best exfoliating serum I have found to date.

Face Cream: The ingredients of this face cream are amazing, but it was not hydrating enough for my dry skin, normal skin though would love it! I still use it, but top it with a more oily product on top. From the actives, I can’t think of a better combination. It contains  Matrixyl & other peptides, Coenzyme Q10 (affects cell activity), Antioxidants: resveratrol, acai berry, pomegranate & green tea, niacinamide (evens skin tone and affects size of pores and sebum), aloe vera and  coconut & argan oil.

Eye Cream: The eye cream is amazing. This is the opposite of those oily creams that sit around your eyes with you wondering what the heck they are actually doing. It absorbs immediately and it may be my imagination, but I actually think I can feel it doing good things. This one is suitable for everyone. The actives are matrixyl & other peptides, chamomile, anti-oxidants: pomegranate and white tea, Vitamins C, B3 and E, Wheat Protein and Argan Oil. Best eye cream ever for only 25 dollars.

I have heard great things about their Antioxidant Face Oil, but unfortunately could not get my hands on it.

I have heard that in the States Mad Hippie can be picked up at wholefood stores. I envy you!

I hope to test more Mad Hippie products and I totally support the brand. Proven actives, fairly priced, well combined from an ethical company. I don’t think we can ask for much more.

Save your Money: Skin Chemists Aqua Repair Facial Serum

I got the full size of this product “Skin Chemists London’s Aqua Repair Facial Serum” in a Look Fantastic box, it retails at 39 GBP for 30ml/1 ounce. It’s called a serum, but is more like a somewhat fluid gel.

Whilst this is not a harmful product, it is a bit b***s***, and this is why I think you should save your money.

The main actives advertised on the packaging are Rose Water and Aloe Vera and that there are no Parabens.

As you will be aware: INCI rules mean that ingredients must be stated with the ingredient with the largest proportion first, so the lower down an ingredient is named, the less of it is in it.

The first two ingredients are Water and Carbomer. Carbomer is a filler that expands when wet. So the main content of this product is filler. Then good news: the next one is Rose Water. At 7th place we have Allantoin (smoothing, helps acne scars).  At 10th place we have perfume (middle of ingredients list), and boy can we smell it, Finally at 16th place we have powdered Aloe. Interesting that they don’t list the ingredients on their website.

Instead of preserving with Parabens, they preserve with Coumarin. Coumarin  can cause liver damage in individuals sensitive to it ,even at low levels. Like Parabens, it has also be shown to induce cancer in rats and mice. So, I’m not exactly sure why Coumarin is cooler than Parabens ^^

This is pretty much the cheapest set of ingredients I have seen in a long time in skincare, we might do better buying a 3 GBP Rose Water from Amazon and mixing it with Olive Oil. Save your money.

Tom Ford Eyeshadow Quad: worth 82 Bucks?

In a mad moment of shopaholism I bought a Tom Ford Eye Quad. They were all there in front of me laid out like jewels in Berlin’s most exclusive department store, I chose the one whose colors spoke to me: Last Dance. I paid no attention to the price, just wanting to have a little luxury.

A few weeks has passed and it’s time to answer the question: Was it worth it?

User Experience: The packaging is beautiful and on opening comes with a sponge applicator and a very small brush. Due to the brush, this means that you can use these tools for a look whilst travelling.  I enjoy the color selection. 3 satin shades and one metallic. At a first glance the satins look like mattes, but they are satin. Combing the satins give nice workday looks, the petrol blue metallic is a lovely pop to be combined for glamor. I started working with what I thought were mattes, and discovered they were satins, but not too in your face, we have a khaki green, a brown and a light yellow. The are easily combined as yellow for highlight, brown for crease/transition and green for lid. They apply really nicely and blend very well with no fallout. Then I used the metallic petrol blue. This did not want to pick up on neither natural nor synthetic fiber brush, in application with the brush there was little product, little pigment and fallout all over my face. I do not mind applying metallics with my finger, but for over 80 dollars, why can’t Tom Ford get the formula right where others such as Natasha Denona do? This is an unfortunate detraction from a great color combination quad.

So was it worth it? No, I really love this quad and I will save it for special occasion and I really do appreciate it, but for over 80 dollars they should do better. Consumers should not  have to put up with poor formula to own a luxury brand.

Behind the Brand: Stephanie Nicole’s Viseart & Muse Beauty Interview

Ever wondered why those Viseart shadows are so expensive? Who does the work behind the scenes? How the products are produced?

YouTuber Stephanie Nicole interviews the Heads of Viseart and Muse Beauty to find out:

Brand New from Shiseido: Synchro Skin Glow, Luminizing Fluid Foundation

Unusual for me, again I benefit from a product launch hitting the shelves in Europe. I am a huge fan of Shiseido Synchro Skin Foundation, it is long-wearing and due to some super special technology I can not explain, combined with it being oil free it does not travel during the day, meaning it does not gather in fine lines and wrinkles. As it is matte, and I love glow; I was very excited to hear that Shiseido would be launching a luminous version. called: Synchro Skin Glow, Luminizing Fluid Foundation. It arrived about two weeks ago and here is my resume of testing it.

DSC00366First impressions: The foundation comes in the same packaging as the normal synchro skin, except that the glass bottle is transparent rather than frosted. This means that straight away you can gauge the shade and see that the fluid has got a glow to it. The foundation has SPF 20.

User Experience: The foundation is not quite as liquid as synchro skin, though it is still quite fluid. This makes it a little easier to apply. It does apply easily, blends out really well with an immediate glowy finish that looks as the name says luminous, not oily. Coverage is medium and it can be built to full cover.

Despite the luminizing finish it does not accentuate texture of wrinkles. But it does not hide them as well as it’s matte sister product. Set with a light dusting of powder, during the day it faded gradually, it did not have full day staying power and on areas of the face most touched it was gone by late afternoon. But by early evening the face was generally still well covered, but by 10pm there were only traces left. It did not travel into fine lines or wrinkles. Slight word of warning – it does appear to have microglitter in it, but this is only visible when standing in direct sunlight. I like it, but not everyone will.

It can last all day with a setting spray such as Urban Decay All Nighter.

Would I buy it again? Yes, it’s sister product has better staying power, but the luminous finish of Synchro Skin Glow is just beautiful! I see both products as complementing themselves, the normal Synchro Skin for more traditional type of make up days and the Skin Glow for the more natural glowing look.

Melissa sends a strong message to Estee Lauder

Melissa sends a strong message to Estee Lauder regarding ageism in beauty advertising. Please watch and help – she has a good point!

3 Miracle Skincare Products plus the Cold from Hell

Last week I had the worst cold of my life, I think most would classify it as full blown flu. A few days before I got the cold from hell I started using Retinol 1% by the Ordinary. I have been using Retinol products since August last year, I have always striven to use the “best” and whilst I have seen some improvements, they have never been particularly noticeable until last week. So I used the Ordinary’s product two nights in a row, by the third morning and all of a sudden my skin started peeling and not in a dry patch type way, but in a baby snake sheds its skin kind of way. I was speechless, there was no dryness, no irritation, it was just lovely fresh skin wanting to get to the surface asap. So that was great and impressive! I could peel the skin off nearly my entire face within 2 days simply by lifting the edges (yeah I know that sounds gross and it was gross, but hey this is an anti-aging blog!). So this product really works!!!

Unfortunately I was then struck by the cold from hell, (yeah more grossness ahead). That cold  pretty much involved a waterfall of snot coming from my nose. My nose was rubbed so raw by it, it was literally bleeding. Every product I put on to help stung and none really made a difference. I was pretty miserable, face still peeling, incredibly ill and a bleeding nose area. I few weeks previous I did a really naughty Charlotte Tilbury (yeah guilty, I did not tell you about that), as result they gave me a rather large sample of Charlotte’s Magic Cream, a product I had flat out refused to buy in store, believing it be over-hyped and unnecessary due to my multiple step skincare that revolves around individual actives. Well seeing as nothing had worked I thought, hell, why not try this? Charlotte’s Magic Cream IS MAGIC. Around my raw nose area it genuinely cooled and the entire area was healed within 2 days. The cream feel fabulous overall on the skin providing great fast absorbing moisture and creating a comfortable barrier against moisture loss. I am converted. I looked up the ingredients on her website and they really are great. I generally use about 4 to 5 serums topped with a moisturizer and then primer etc.. Using this cream I use only two serums, a hyaluronic acid complex and a vitamin c serum, then follow with the cream, it’s all I need. I will be purchasing the full size.

The third miracle item I need to tell you about is the Dr Jart+ Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution™ sheet mask. My cold hit me whilst my face was still peeling. This mask did a fabulous job of cooling my skin and providing hydration helping keep my skin in as good condition as possible during the retinol peeling and the fever caused by my illness.

Now that I am better, I have received compliments EVERY day for my skin! I am really glad I have found these products and hope they can help you too.

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