#37 - Skin Edit - Blue Lagoon, Iceland

So I finally have a chance to sit down to write this... I was going to prepare a travel packing blog for last week for whilst I'm away (and hence packed for travel - carry on only!), but bottled it as I didn't think it was a worthy enough content. Also it was a lot of new products I was trying so don't want to put it out there before I actually tried and tested them.

Last week, I was in Iceland - I must have missed the memo about this place because it's so popular but the hubs and I were a little "meh" about it. Probably because of how expensive everything actually was...! Nevertheless, I bring you this week's blog and share a little part of that holiday, which is the Blue Lagoon.

You've seen the instagram pictures, you've heard about amazing things it does for the skin and here is my take. I wish my phone camera hasn't broken though to get more images...but it has so I'm afraid I don't have many images! I should really look into getting that phone camera fixed....

So, Blue Lagoon. Known for beauty properties, highly popular geothermal spa in Iceland. It's practically a luxury spa with the number of treatments and amenities available there and rightly so! It is really lovely soaking in the warm water in the winter (although your face may freeze). 

The water averages at around 37°C I believe, and is rich in minerals, particularly silica and sulfur and bathing in it supposedly boost collagen and just make you all beautiful and all that. And it's fun because you don't just have to sit there and even when it's busy, it's big enough to not be invading each others' private space.

 

I honestly don't think I need to sell you this place, but here are a few things that I think to know in advance

  1. bring a swimsuit: no brainer, but remember that you have to shower before putting your swimsuit on before you can get in
  2. tie your hair up: although if you decide to float like I did, this goes right out the window
  3. don't bother with makeup: I know we're all about the instagram life and posting images and etc and believe me, I wore makeup too, and I saw plenty of girls with makeup... but in hindsight, I really wish I didn't wear makeup, or at least wiped it all off before going in to get the full benefit of the mud mask!
  4. definitely use the silica mud mask: because if you were to buy it, it is hella expensive for a small tube!! I used the mud mask liberally on myself and the hubs....TWICE during the 5 hours we were soaking in there!
  5. bring moisturiser: I don't know why I haven't thought of this, but whilst the thermal pool doesn't dry your skin out and my skin actually felt okay, not stripped dry or feeling tight, I still wish I brought this with me...'cause there ain't any in the changing rooms
  6. consider upgrading your package, or bring a towel: because to hire one is 400 ISK. Yes, for a towel. and 1400 ISK for a bath room. No, I'm not joking. A little upgrade will get you the algae mask and 1st drink of your choice too so in hindsight, that would be what I'd do
  7. entry is expensive: it is, and pre-booking is necessary, but soak in the spring long enough and using the mask liberally will make you feel like you got your money's worth - Iceland is an expensive place in general so....
  8. everything you need to know about the Blue Lagoon is on the internet

Just a little note on the silica mud mask....if you do want to purchase it, get it at the airport, where it is duty free. If you try to buy it outside of Iceland, It costs more than double. You thought it was pricey at the store, it gets even more expensive when you leave the country...!!

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Super unflattering image of me but nonetheless, lathering that silica mud mask on. This mask is no doubt one of the best mud masks I've ever used and whilst I get why it's so expensive, if you have the cash, by all means, go ahead, but I am going to look for dupes.

Reason why this is special is because the silica mask from the Blue Lagoon is special. The ones in the tube may be processed further but this mud that I scooped out of the tub is probably the OG mud. This mask has done amazing for my skin and I know because the hubs actually noticed how good my skin looked. Pore-less appearance because of how deep cleansing it is - no blackheads left whatsoever - and skin doesn't lose moisture either. The whole age-defying thing? Yeah I can totally see this mask doing the job. I don't think this mask can do any wrong in my mind, just the sheer price of it! I don't think my skin has ever felt that clean ever, even with my favourite Kiehl's rare earth mud mask.

This goes to show that mud masks are effective, so time to go find a dupe for it! I've seen on facebook and instragram this "Sand & Sky" mud mask - has anyone tried it and how do you find it?

If you go to Iceland, I would definitely recommend spending a morning or a good chunk of your day at the Blue Lagoon. It's a good place to just chill out and enjoy yourself and definitely, definitely use the masks!

#15: Beauty Edit - Skincare and Makeup I travel with

This is going to be a quick one because I'm just about to leave and head down south for a small break, so all done in advanced! I've just packed my bags yesterday and makeup and skincare always takes up most of my time because I just want to bring...everything. Well, thankfully I didn't and because of my subscription to GlossyBox, I now have a lot of sample sized items (plus getting samples from shopping/browsing around) or small full-sized items to bring along with me. Here is what I've packed - I've swapped a couple things out last minute just before leaving though and will make a note of it in a sec!

Skincare

  1. Simple Eye & Lip remover
  2. Simple Cleansing Oil (removes makeup, I will also use as first step cleanser)
  3. Himalaya Herbals face wash (from GlossyBox)
  4. Olivarriet Toner & Samples: Cosmetic Jolse has kindly sent me the Olivarriet toner and some samples to try out and review so I've brought them with me this time. I have no travel-sized toner anyway, so my toners has always been a large bottle!
  5. Gangbly cleansing water: my absolute favourite cleansing water but I have swapped this out for a smaller sized Garnier micellar water instead. Only used for simple cleansing in the morning
  6. 111Skin Eye Concentrate
  7. Nip + Fab Moisture Fix (Moisturiser)
  8. Caudalie Moisturising Sorbet: because just one moisturiser might not be enough
  9. Guerisson Moisturiser (sample): this horse oil moisturiser is the one I've been using for a while and really loving it! Horse oil has always worked well on my skin even during the summer (use less of it)

Notice there isn't a serum in here this time and normally I would bring my The Ordinary Hylauronic Acid, but I will be trying the 7 skin method with this new toner instead and see how it goes

Makeup

When travelling, I find it hard to pack makeup because, again, I just want to bring everything. Like, everything. Having staples really help cut down the number you need/want to bring though and packing makeup this time hasn't been too difficult. Plus I've made my own custom cushion foundation, which I learnt how to from Gothamista - I sound like a creep but I love all the content she creates and her. She has ridiculously flawless skin too! 

  1. Sunscreen: because the sun is harmful to the skin and ages it. Always wear sunscreen, people. If there is an oily layer after application, grab a piece of tissue and dab and you should be fine, or gently powder on top first before foundation
  2. Custom cushion foundation: for tutorial from Gothamista, click here. I will also blog about what I did for this cushion in a couple of weeks though so keep your eyes peeled if you're interested! This is a great way to put skincare in your makeup and combine all in an easy peasy compact to bring along with you
  3. Sport FX brow pencil: comes with that brow brush so no extra brushes needed!
  4. Eyeshadows: Mehron (blue), Gosh (green), theBalm (brown). Not particularly conventional colours but I am feeling adventurous and will be trying these. They are actually very wearable colours!
  5. Ruby blush (coral): also doubles up as an eyeshadow. I've worn it like so before
  6. Maybelline Fit Me concealer: one of drugstore best. I'd bring my cream ones, but they seemed too heavy so I'm sticking with these ones
  7. Manna GLO Illuminator: very pink, doubles up as a blush too
  8. Shiseido eyelash curler: don't go anywhere without this baby
  9. Lip tint in Red
  10. Clinique Chubby Stick in a natural pink
  11. Too Faced Mascara
  12. MacQueen liquid liner: only my absolute favourite
  13. Beauty People Gel Eyeliners: all of them 'cause I can use all of them
  14. MUA loose powder

I've added a NYX Setting/fixing spray last minute to set the makeup and keep the skin mattified during summer. 

And there you have it! My travel companions this time. What do you like to travel with? Do you travel with different products every time? What do you recommend? Do you bring more/less with you?