Iranians And Their Love For German Discounter Store Cosmetic Brands

Cien Haarspülung Professional Lidl Iran Export Embargo Paisley economy haircare skincare generic no name photo by Sharareh Shahedali

These tubes you see here are hair conditioners by Cien, a cosmetic line of German supermarket chain Lidl. I don’t know if the conditioner is good, I have never used it and this is not a product review in particular. Though I have to say that I use their anti dandruff shampoo and it really helps with my dry and sensitive scalp, I swear not an easy task with the water quality we have in Cologne.

I did not buy the conditioners for myself but to send them to my family members in Iran on request. It did wonder me why on all the options we have available in Germany exactly this discounter brand got chosen.

Apparently not only Cien but all those discount store brands like Aldi’s Ombia and drugstore chain DM’s Balea etc. are hype stuff in my country of birth. And people don’t go for them because they’re cheap, for Iranians these brands absolutely don’t come cheap! Mark up can be pretty extreme considering the difficulties how these products are brought into the country.

So why is it that people go crazy like if it’s some Chanel about those skincare and cosmetics of brands we consider no-name here in the land of their production?

First of all look at that improved packaging! These seem nothing like the generics they are. On the contrary the packaging is glossy and classy with very appealing color and labeling choices. Next the quality of contents in German brands is usually very high. Everything gets tested and made sure it will cause no harm. Despite still sporting a snobbish attitude I also do use a lot of German generics, too because admittedly they perform good and don’t make me cry about the money I loose on every use. Which lets us get to the next point: marketing. Iranian produced beauty-, skin- and haircare gets a bad rep in Iran itself which I don’t really understand. Of course that new chemical wonder against age with a ton of active substances will be more likely thrown unto the market by a big Western company with billions to back it up but come on your everyday shampoo and lotion? The Middle East is rich in natural resources and remember the Silk Road? Once the flow of oils and perfumes went the other way and these resources haven’t dried up actually. This only shows how people in emerging countries are the next to fall victim to industrialized and globalized companies. Like if the West has something better to offer than they already had? But people want high-end cosmetics and business savvy people will exploit the circumstance that foreign brands don’t have distributors in emerging and developing economies and will market cheap no-name stuff as the new Chanel and will charge over the top for it.


3 That Hit The Bottom | Honest Review Avéne Hydrance Serum – Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Hand Cream – Maybelline Fit Me Concealer

Hit the Bottom finished aufgebraucht products beauty cosmetic skincare pflege make up hand cream concealer avène hydrance hydrating serum fit me maybelline flatlay review kritik opinion

I am not a finisher. Even sample size products like the two on the left of this picture I have a hard time using them up. That’s why all my storage space is overflowing with beauty and cosmetics which has never stopped me from buying or accepting even more.

So I was very pleasantly surprised when I actually used up three at once. Here is what I think of them in short: Continue reading

Kawaii – Contact Lenses Container Situation

Cherryblossomgirl lense container lense box japan kawaii sweet pretty bears

Aren’t these contact lenses containers to die for. So sweet and pastel. I found this picture on the Cherryblossomgirl blog who brought them once from Japan. I did a little research after my last short trip to Berlin where I wondered why lenses containers always have to be so outrageously unesthetic and straight functional.

Need an example? Here:

contact lense container box Kontaktlinsen Aufbewahrung deutschland europa

Now compare. This is the situation in Germany and I suppose the rest of Europe, too. Someone should tell Bausch&Lomb that this is a serious market gap. I want eye pleasing design even to the little things of everyday life!

Now, excuse me while I go and waste hours finding and stocking up on those kawaii lenses boxes on the internet.

Also happy Women’s Day y’all!!!

5 Daily Essentials | Beauty & More

Flatlay Astor Soft Sensation Lip Color Butter, Nude Elegant & Other Stories Rose Revival La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP Casio watch Sally Hansen Shell we dance beboe jukserei apricot room six review

Sometimes I think I have the driest hands on the planet. I am constantly moisturizing but nothing copes with the winter cold and frequent hand washing. Yes, I use my hands a lot and I have them in the cold, chalky water all the time.

There are days when I get tired of hand cream and skip it altogether until I have to be presentable like with pictures here on the blog then I regret that deeply. So, one of my new year resolutions Continue reading

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour – Beauty Review

MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick beauty review Kritik Beurteilung test probe makeup of the day velvet lipstick lippenstift deutschland bullet Verpackung Feels So Grand Ok, guys I am very excited! Accidentally I came by the huge newly built MAC counter in the local Kaufhof and saw that there is a new stand with lipstick bullets in a shape I had never seen. (Different shapes = different textures) So what kind of new stuff could that be as MAC has so far any kind of lipstick under the sun represented exceeeeept for Continue reading

2 Staples Against Dry Skin

Do you have dry body skin? While many people suffer from an oily face, draught and desert seem more the case on the skin south of the neck.

I understand that, as the long, cold winter with radiators running strong combined with hot showers to feel heated up at least once a day wreaked havoc on my skin, too.

Aaaah the hot showers… now come spring I am still addicted to them. What is there to say, nothing more pleasant than a hot tub of water at home!

Though actually the human skin doesn’t like to be heated above its own temperature. And that’s not all,  more than 5 minutes in and you’ll lose protective fats and proteins even if you don’t use any soap or detergent. All down the drain once you’ll pull the plug. Enough? Not yet, you’re still about to receive the final hit with hard water which is especially common in big cities. Also remember the hotter the water, the more mineral solvent it becomes therefore it gets even harder than it already is.

Showering in less than 5 minutes…how is that even possible?! So damage control it is. There is no topical care in the world which will replace what you’re body usually builds up, be it high-end, drugstore or medical. This I learned the hard way.

Luckily, after lots of trial and errors I have come across a few products which are not a complete waste of money. One of them is Avène’s Trixéra+ Cream. It is pretty emollient and made for super sensitive skin. A sweet friend of mine asked me if I know anything that will help her skin and I immediately thought of this and wanted it to share with my readers, too. The tube lasted me about a month of frequent use but fortunately it’s not too expensive.

Eau Thermale Avène Trixéra+ selectiose Emollient Cream 200 ml against dry skin peaux sensibles Melkfett Vitamin E Ringelblumen trockene Haut

You can save money when you want to take care of your elbows. Just use simple bag balm. It’s basically vaseline but the ones with calendula and Vitamin E added are really nice.

These two together make a good tag-team and I hope they’ll help you, too.

Vor einigen Tagen fragte mich eine Freundin, ob ich einen Pflegetipp für ihre vom harten Wasser ausgetrocknete Haut hätte. 

Das Problem kenne ich nur zu gut, ist kalkiges Wasser doch in Städten weit verbreitet. Dazu kommt noch, dass ich es liebe superheiß zu duschen… sehr schlecht für die Haut. Eine Creme gegen die Effekte ausgesprochener Duschorgien zu finden, ist nicht einfach. Ein Arsenal nutzloser Bodylotions in meinen Schubladen kann dies bezeugen. Aber die Frage meiner Freundin kommt genau im richtigen Moment, denn gerade geht mir eine Tube zu Ende, die hält, was sie verspricht. Halleluja. 

Die Avène Trixéra+ Creme ist schön reichhaltig und für sensible Haut gemacht. Einen Monat ausgiebiger Verwendung hat sie durchgehalten, aber zum Glück ist ihr Preis vertretbar. Sparen kann ich dafür an meinen Ellbogen. Da hält simples Melkfett vor, am besten, die mit Ringelblumenauszügen. Melkfett ist im Prinzip Vaseline, aber mit ein paar zusätzlich pflegenden Stoffen versehen. Genial auf den Lippen, wenn ihr nicht alle fünf Minuten euren Labello rauskramen wollt.

$40 Million Scratches on Swifty // Spook Magazine

Taylor Swift injury Leg Scratch Kratzer cat Katze Versicherung Verletzung

(All images via Instagram/TaylorSwift)

These are Taylor Swift’s legs and Emma Marie Jones is so right about their level of gorgeous. Last week above scratch incident happened, I suppose alleged crime suspect is this one here:

Taylor Swift injury Leg Scratch Kratzer cat Katze Versicherung Verletzung

Jaja, I know that type disguising under an aura of über-cuteness but on the next shot the predator inside is clearly to be seen:

Emma Marie Jones wrote her fun article about body parts insuring of celebrities before Taylor Swift’s cat attacked her. I translated it for Spook Magazine Germany. Check it out!
Taylor Swift injury Leg Scratch Kratzer cat Katze Versicherung VerletzungFür Spook Magazine Deutschland habe ich Emma Marie Jones Artikel über Körperteil-Versicherungen von Celebrities übersetzt. Checkt ihn aus.

Review – & Other Stories Beauty

Other Stories Lipstick Fusible Peach Eye Pencil White Linen Body Lotion Sugar CrushA while ago I promised telling you about my & Other Stories beauty purchases. Some time has passed and I got to use all of them more than a few times so I can clearly give a final impression.

My resumé is a little mixed as I only liked two out of the three products. I bought lipstick for 15 €, white eye liner 8 € and travel size of Body Lotion for the ridiculous amount of only 1 €. & Other Stories also offers some cool, sometimes organic brands in their shelves but I concentrated on their in-house line. Their beauty products locate in the middle price range and all come in an incredible amount of different shades and gorgeous packaging.

Review Other Stories Beauty Lipstick Fusible PeachI mean look at it! That clean and sleek surface. Doesn’t it look like a bullet?

Review Other Stories Beauty Lipstick Fusible PeachThis beauty weapon’s only adornment is the signature handwritten style brand name.

Review Other Stories Beauty Lipstick Fusible PeachHere you can see the color. It’s Fusible Peach in matte.

Review Other Stories Beauty Lipstick Fusible PeachSwatch Review Other Stories Beauty Lipstick Fusible PeachAs you can see applied it is much brighter than in the tube. On my lips even more so. Sadly it performs really streaky. Which is a shame considering the price. One buck more and I could have had a MAC one! Seriously girls even my cheapest drugstore brand lipsticks behave better. They may not have as much pigment and not be matte but at least there is no weird streakiness going on. I really tried to make it work (with lip balm underneath, powder above, blotting and more) because the color is actually perfect. I have been looking for the perfect peachy nude shade quite a while and thought I found it.

What does that teach me: Never again lipstick shopping while your lips are already painted with long lasting red color. The tubes looked so cute and I really wanted to have this. Usually I would have tested but who wants to wipe off mentioned long lasting lipstick right in the middle of the store and then in front of everybody swipe some of them well tested tubes on? I only swatched at the back of my hand which came out well and hoped for the price they wouldn’t sell trash…

So to the next product. This is the white eye liner. Actually it is not white white, it’s more white with a hint of rose. The name states linen white for it.

Review Other Stories Linen White

On the back of my hand you can see the rose shade coming through.
Swatch Eye Liner Linen Whit

This time I even have a pic wearing the product!

On the lid it comes off as white but I think it is still more flattering and everyday wearable than a titanium white. Especially considering my skin tone. Most people use white liner in the inner eye rim to give a more open impression. Been there, too… don’t like that very much on me.

Review Other Stories Linen White
Click for bigger size of images.

I used it on my upper lid instead of black liner aiming to channel those runway model looks from last seasons. Some of them were quite daring. I kept it low key.

Overall I liked the liner. It’s high pigmented, doesn’t smudge and was easy to use. Sometimes bright eye liners can get caught up in your lashes which looks really weird. Like if you just woke up, if you know what I mean… thankfully that doesn’t happen with this one.

With Other Stories Body Lotions I am deeply in love. I already have the rose scented hand and the body lotion. And I think it is the best rose scent ever. Not too sweet or flowery with a hind of cedar. Scented creams usually keep failing me as they’re very often high in alcohol. So instead of giving moisture they dry out the skin. Also the scent is very often too sticky and off-putting. I was really curious if that would be the case here, too. But obviously investing in a perfume designer who has a name and doesn’t want to loose it seems to pay off. Behind all of & Other Stories Lotion and cream scents stands perfume designer Ben Gorham of famous show-stopper brand Byredo.

Other Stories Body Lotion Sugar CrushThe sugar crush lotion also has a really delicious scent. A warm caramel scent similar of freshly made candy. You want to bite right into it! Surprisingly the lotions and creams perform insanely good. Something I can’t say to a big amount of lotions of all kinds of brands, high and low, sitting useless in my drawer. My skin, actually the outer epidermis can get really dry and hard and the wrong product will result in strawberry bumps or worse but the & Other Stories kept everything smooth.

I say go for this one, too.


The Color You Should Really Try On Your Eyes

On my last post I mentioned the green liquid eyeliner from & Other Stories and how much I long for it.

You may now think, green eyeliner… how difficult to use or does it even look good? Yes, if you opt for a darker one with no shine it will suit each and any type of skin and eye color.

A black feline flick will always be classy allurement however dark green is not less elegant but also a fun change for your everyday makeup.

& Other Stories YouTube channel once had that great application video but they took it down for whatever reasons. Thankfully Lisa Eldridge never fails us and she has a 10 minute tutorial on how to create a great eye with green liquid liner.

You could apply a regular flick for everyday or amp it up like Lisa with going full over the lid and if you follow her directions it is really doable. The full eye is great and I would never do that with black because that’s just so intense. With big eyes like mine it would be total black abyss whenever closing them.

I really hope & Other Stories still offers the liner when it opens up its store otherwise I will try this one from Bourjois although the color seems more pale.

Bourjois waterproof eyeliner kaki urbain

Sadly the Eyeko one which Lisa recommends is not available in green anymore and as far as I remember my favorite liquid eyeliner brand Guerlain doesn’t offer it, too. And maybe I have to take a visit to Kiko again, between their wide range of colors there should also be something for me.

Land Of Beauty Mistakes

On my way through Bonn yesterday it happened that I walked by a few examples of beauties made up like this:

via Maskcara

Of course you can find those mistakes not only in Bonn. They’re quite common everywhere in Germany and obviously as you can see from the location of Maskcara’s Blog in the States, too.

This makes me wonder about the grade of beauty education in other countries because as hard as I’m trying to I can’t remember seeing this kind of bad make up for example in Paris. Or was my sight just blurred from the general excitement of being in Paris…

May be there is more such a thing like every country has their own special kind of false applied make up. Because in Iran you surely won’t spot a girl looking like the left side of above picture. Groomed appearance is soooooo important in Iran and girls have a special look they aspire to. Just sometimes they overdo it and end up with something like a scouse brow.

These sweet girls made a fun, slightly exaggerated video on how Iranian girls like to apply makeup. They talk mostly in Persian but it is still funny if you don’t understand any.

Fortunately there is no need to fall for a flat make up anymore. The times where girls mostly had to figure out everything on themselves are long over. Gosh, I cringe when I think of my extensive bronzer use in the 90s and how long it took me to find out the difference between face powder and bronzing powder.

The make up artist which took the before and after picture has a good blog where she will tell you a lot about the secrets of highlighting and contouring. Go and explore if you struggle with that.

And from all the millions of youtube tutorials the ones I recommend the most are Lisa Eldridge’s videos. She is a real celebrity make up artist oftentimes called goddess by her followers. With her always nice and beautiful style she keeps producing really helpful advice without bothering everyone with irrelevant information of her personal life which seems to be a widespread disease under youtube vloggers.

Now, I’m curious the girls I see on the streets running around like this girl in her before picture, are they actually as pretty as her after the makeover?

Rituals Giveaway – The Winner

I am happy to announce the winner of the Rituals Cosmetics giveaway:

Rituals Giveaway - Winner

Congratulations! I will contact you via Facebook for further details.

Did the choosing process analogue, just out of joy for the old school.

Rituals Giveaway - Winner
Writing down the names with a pen.
Rituals Giveaway - Winner
Fishing for the winner’s name

And for the rest of you, I have another documentary recommendation. I got hinted at Forbidden Voices which will be broadcasted tonight at 10 pm Central European Time on ARTE Germany. The docu is about three bloggers from Cuba, China and Iran and the problems they face with their work. You can watch it later if you are like me and still have uni or something else to do, like uhmm sleeping… On ARTE+7 the programme is always seven days after broadcast available and also more accessible if you’re on the other side of the planet. The links lead to the German sites but they have a French version, too.

Getting Gifted And Gifting You

Last week a nice package from Rituals Cosmetics reached my door. Inside lots of good scented stuff in popping colors, yay.


The acetone-free nail polish remover and eye make-up remover came in immediate use and they’re pretty good.

Usually I prefer acetone for getting rid of my nail polish because it works quick and contains no additives like oil which if you paint your nails right after reduces its longevity. However this time I got convinced, especially the bath solution got me. And it was a happy coincidence that the eye make-up remover was included so I could swipe away the blue eye-liner I wore at Weiberfastnacht which is beautiful but also a tough job to swipe away.

You see the big pink jar in the picture above? This is a salt body scrub. I am so glad about that as I don’t need to worry again about teeny tiny plastic beads polluting our environment whenever I want to rub some of it on my skin.  I wrote about the Polyethylene issue here and here.

And now, my dears, I am happy to announce the very first giveaway for this blog! I decided to share this beauty package with you. The give away will contain the Happy Mist, Qi stress relief serum, Energy Bubbles and Hammam Mint Tea. Just leave a comment below or like this site on facebook and I will randomly select the winner next week on Tuesday, March 11th.*

Happy Mist, Stress Relief Serum, Energy Bubbles, Hammam Mint
Happy Mist Bed & Body Perfume, Qi Stress Relief Serum, Energy Bubbles Moisturizing Cream Bath, Hammam Mint Tea

Have a nice rose monday!!!

* Due to shipment this give away is open for Germany only. Despite this, if you really want to take part, I can send it anywhere in the world, you just have to be willing to take over shipment cost then.