A review of the cult beauty & fashion products I discovered during the month of July, along with some lifestyle favorites.
The Cheap Way To Travel Europe: A Surprise Trip
July has been an interesting month for me. Instead of having a regular vacation, I took my first mystery trip with WowTrip and ended up visiting Frankfurt, a beautiful city in Germany filled to the brim with green beauty picks, very interesting museums (shoutout to the Städel Museum and the Seckenberg Museum), and fairy-tale towns in the surrounding area.
I very much enjoyed my short trip to Heidelberg (see pic above), a cozy and extremely romantic town an hour away from Frankfurt. I swear it looked like Belle’s hometown and I am sure it has inspired the Beauty and the Beast artists in many a way (though the original villages are in France.)
Low-Cost Green Beauty Haul
The second great discovery of the month was the vast wealth of Natrue-certified cosmetics in Germany. I honestly didn’t expect to be able to buy organic makeup products for less than 3 euros apiece, but life has that kind of surprises in store. Needless to say, I literally had to wear two layers of clothes in my flight back to be able to pack some of the beauties I purchased.
Of all my green beauty purchases, I especially loved these three:
Wolkenseifen Deodorant Cream
Wolkenseifen is a German brand with a very cool store in Heidelberg. The founder created the first completely natural deodorant cream in the country and it is still a bestseller to this day. The Wolkenseifen cream deodorant is free from aluminum salts and does not suppress the body function of sweating. Very nourishing, the formula uses a mixture of corn starch and sodium bicarbonate to make your pits an unwelcoming place for those nasty bacteria responsible for the fowl odor of sweat. Extremely eco-friendly, a little goes a long way and one 65g jar is designed to last for a whole year.
With a cheek-in-tongue attitude and fun pin-up illustrations, Wolkenseifen has now a wide range of natural products of its own and sells wonderful clean American brands such as Badger, another favorite of mine. If you want to purchase their beautiful products, you can navigate their website (thank God for pictures, since I don’t speak German) and they will ship your order anywhere in Europe. US folks, you might want to contact their customer care team to make sure they ship overseas. An alternative is to find a wonderful European friend who will hold on your package for you.
Alverde Sensitive Eyeliner
I have been looking for an organic black liquid eyeliner that performs well and doesn’t interact with my delicate eyeballs. Alverde, the private label for drugstore maven DM, has a glorious sensitive eyeliner for peeps like mine. With a flexible brush tip and a very pigmented formula, it looks glorious without the familiar sting I get from regular eyeliners. Plus, it is certified organic by Natrue and I paid less than 3 euros for this beauty.
Alterra Naturkosmetik Sensational Definition Mascara
Alterra is another wonderful private label certified by Natrue, in this case for Rossmann, that everyone is talking about. Finally an organic mascara that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg and has a voluminizing brush! I personally love how thick my lashes look with just a couple of coats, and the fact that it doesn’t irritate my dry eyes when I remove it. At 2,50 euros, it is a steal!
Sweet Fashion Deals: My Fjallraven Re-Kanken Experience
August is the month of the year when the folks at Asos go crazy and have incredible discounts. I have added to my wardrobe this beauty: a Fjallraven Re-Kånken in Lagoon Blue. This special edition Kånken is made entirely from polyester recycled from plastic bottles. A wonderful way to reuse plastics and avoid unnecessary waste being dropped in our oceans.
You will probably have seen many people using these Swedish backpacks in New York City, and you might be wondering if they are worth the investment. Because, let’s get real: They are crazy expensive, and I actually purchased one because it was deeply, deeply discounted (I believe I paid about $55 for it using a discount code.) Although what attracted me to the Kanken backpacks was their beautiful design, I quickly found three reasons why they would actually solve some of my daily problems. For one, they are perfect to carry your laptop along with your yoga clothes. Check! Second, you can fit quite a few books since there is zero wasted space inside because of their rectangular shape. Wonderful news for a bookworm like yours truly. Third, the back padded lining doubles as a seat protector, which has quickly become a must-have for those winter strolls in Central Park.
I am overall quite happy with my purchase! The Fjallraven Re Kanken Waterproof backpacks have a main compartment with a large zippered opening that makes it a breeze to pack and unpack. There are also two flat side pockets and a front zippered pocket, perfect for small items you want to grab easily. The carrying system is quite unique; aside from the adjustable shoulder straps, it has wide handles at the top allowing you to adapt it to your daily needs. The only downside? I prefer backpacks with padded straps, but that is an accessory that can be purchased separately.
If you need a sturdy backpack that fits a good amount of books, a laptop, is water-resistant and can avoid freezing your a** in the wintertime, the Fjallraven Re-Kanken is a good choice.
Book of the Month: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
If you have watched the latest period drama craze on Netflix, you’ll surely know what I am talking about. Victoria is a novel that portrays the early years of the Queen of England that created a worldwide empire. Portraying her fight to become independent, the book shows a young woman discovering the world of politics, power, and love in an era when women were confined to their homes.
A fascinating read full of wit, it painstakingly describes the transition from her early youth to adulthood in a way that breathes new life into Queen Victoria’s story. A great summer read that will whet your appetite for a re-run of Upstairs, Downstairs.