Author: Margit Hiebl

CultureAndCream Author from Munich Since many years I am working as a freelance writer of beauty and lifestyle topics for magazines like Vogue or Glamour. What drives me again and again: not only the product or the trend, it is the people and the story behind - and what it does to us. In addition, my job often takes me to the most beautiful places in the world. Even in private one likes to find me in one or the other wellness location, research not excluded. Culture and Cream, then. Always in the luggage: fragrance, sunprotection and lipstick. What color? Red. What else

Tested for you: Dry Shampoo Mist” from Bumble and bumble

II love cozy beanies. But they have the same problem as their bourgeois relatives, the hats. Put it over your head once and quickly walk around the block during your lunch break, and then you look like you’ve had an hour of Vinyasa Flow behind you. The face is rosy, slightly sweaty, and the hair flat. It goes without saying that you can’t wash them immediately every time, just like after the yogic midday flow. Still, you’d like to have your hair fresh and fluffy. And this is where the “Prêt-à-powder Post Workout Dry Shampoo Mist” from Bumble and bumble comes in, which recently landed on my desk. Nomen est omen? Let’s see. Shake once … … and then sprayed into the roots at a distance of 15 cm: A cloud of delicate clementine scent wafts around my nose, but so discreetly that it doesn’t even bother me – and I have a very good nose – in the interplay with my perfume. It also lasts for a while, like freshly washed hair. After half a minute I run my fingers through my hair as described in the instructions. Then I let the moisture dry in the air – but you could also blow dry it away. Test level 1 In progress! Okay, the hair doesn’t look quite as fluffy and silky as it does when it has just been washed. But: It no longer looks sweaty or flabby. And also not powdered, as is often the case after dry shampoo. The hair has, as the saying goes: grip and volume at the roots. The mixture of silica and bamboo extract is responsible for this. And because fresh air is so good and I’m in the test fever, my beanie and I take another brisk walk, so test level 2: Even after that, the hair is not flat, but is back in shape – just dragged through the fingers briefly without spray. Not the typical hat hairstyle. And the day after? Test level 3: Actually I would have washed my hair today, but a look in the mirror says: It’s good enough for the zoom meeting. And what makes the spray even more appealing: It is free of … sulfates, silicones, talc, parabens, mineral oils, phthalate, formaldehyde and aluminum chloride – and provides moisture and UV protection. “Prêt-à-powder Post Workout Dry Shampoo Mist” from Bumble and bumble, 120 ml, 30 $US (also available as travel size)… weiterlesen

Tested for you: gitti’s “plant-based vegan nail color”

Free from… this is the big trend in the nail polish business. Many labels, whether small or large, are fighting a battle to produce free of any substance that could even begin to harm the environment or the health of humans. Actually a cool thing. Nevertheless – to be honest – the performance often falls by the wayside. Especially in terms of durability. As a nail polish junkie, I don’t want to have to repaint every two days, but still want a solution for my nails that fits my holistic philosophy of life. 77 percent natural ingredients Seems like I’ve struck gold with the “plant-based vegan nail-color” from gitti – the second line from the Berlin start-up. The first, a water-based nail color that was also completely odorless and solvent-free, had not yet convinced me in all of its features, because it did not last that long. But back to the plant-based variant: It is also vegan and cruelty-free and consists of 77 percent natural ingredients, such as potatoes, cassava, sugar cane, corn and wheat. Even the solvents butyl and ethyl acetate contained in the paint consist of them for the most part. The lacquers also smell of nail polish, but not as strong as some others. For optimal durability, gitti recommends using the matching base and top coat, of course also plant-based. And now the test The paint can be comfortably applied with the brush that is neither too thin nor too long. The first layer of color after the basecoat covers pretty well. So if you’re in a hurry, you can almost leave it at that. Overall, the individual layers dry relatively quickly – but you should allow around 15 minutes. By the way, I always check it like this: Carefully rub the nail surfaces together in a small, inconspicuous place – they slide, if the varnish is dry, if it stops, you have to wait a little longer. My conclusion The varnish (4 layers) has a nice shine and lasted for about five days, including the gloss – with a little brushing, even a week. Remarkable – despite beauty journalists everyday life (opening parcels, shredding boxes, rummaging in the product archive, opening and closing boxes, typing articles) and then on top the little household chores. „plant-based vegan nail color“ from gitti, approx. 18 Euro… weiterlesen

Dance of the molecules

Smelled a thousand times, maybe even right now. And yet we mostly don’t know their names. Synthetic fragrances, the molecules, are the big players in perfume creation. And quite literally: Without them, a playful, sometimes provocative approach to fragrance design is inconceivable. Many of the great classics would not exist without them. Because the synthetic fragrance molecules are not an invention from today’s tech labs: A molecule called “Coumarin” was used for the first time in 1882 in the “Fougère Royale” fragrance. Also “No. 5” from Chanel would not have this impact without the aldehydes and what would “Shalimar” from Guerlain be without its typical note, which comes from ethyl vanillin. The New York label Nomenclature celebrates these molecules in a special way. Culture & Cream author Margit Hiebl spoke to one of the founders, Karl Bradl (whom she still knows from his days in Munich). Where does the name “Nomenclature” come from?From the Latin nomenclatura (“calling by name, assigning of names”), from nomen (“name”) + calare (“call”)\ the act of naming\ the system, set of terms or symbols used in a particular science, discipline or art. What’s the idea behind?In the commercial and even in the niche perfume world, nobody ever spoke of molecular ingredients back when we started the brand. With Nomenclature we wanted to bring attention to the ingredients that are responsible in adding the magic to the fragrance creations. Nomenclature celebrates design in perfume chemistry by showcasing today’s most inspiring, exclusive molecules – so exclusive that some, known as “captives”, are zealously guarded by fragrance companies. What’s so special about the molecules, that are focused by Nomenclature?With the Nomenclature creations we highlighted some of the most important molecules that influenced past decades in the perfume market. For example: Hedione used in “Efflor_esce” was first synthesized in 1962 and is an active ingredient in Dior’s “Eau Sauvage” which came out in 1966. “Fluo_ral” highlights „Calone“, which went on to spawn the most iconic fragrance family of the 90s: the aquatic fragrances. Or Coumarin, which we used in “Psy_cou”: Coumarin was the very first molecule that allowed perfumers to cut loose from the past and venture into modern abstraction. First used in 1882 in the groundbreaking “Fougère Royale” – this synthetic marvel ignited a new era of artistic expression. Named after kumarù, the word for the tonka bean tree in Tupi, an Amazonian language. Coumarin is not only the primal source of modern perfumery, it is still a primary material in the fragrance industry.… weiterlesen

Tested for you: Royal Fern „Phytoactive Ampoules“

I confess: ampoules for me are always a case on special occasions. Either because I’m currently writing an article about it and then I convinced myself to use some again. Or because my skin is just tired / dry / irritated / exposed to environmental influences and needs an emergency kit. And that is exactly what the ampoules for, which I would like to tell this little story: Some time ago, as part of a research for an article, I had tested peeling pads with “gentle” fruit acids … on request also suitable for my sensitive skin. But shortly after using it, I looked like a lobster. In my distress I picked up the “Phytoactive Anti-Oxidative Ampoules” from Royal Fern … and could literally watch the redness dissapear. Sounds like an advertsing now, but it truly happenend. And what is the “power substance” in these ampoules? Highly effective antioxidants, above all extract of fern, a plant that has been proven to be incredibly resilient to the environment. And in popular medicine it is well-known and valued for its anti-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory effects – for example in South America, where it has traditionally been used for centuries to heal skin diseases and wounds. Its antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic effects have also been proven in current studies – even more so, its concentrated anti-aging power (keeps moisture, regenerates, inhibits collagen and elastin breakdown, inhibits hyperpigmentation). And you can see and feel that very clearly – even if you don’t have a lobster face. And yes, I now have the intention to use the small bottles more often (for reasons see above), even if they cost a small fortune. Royal Fern „Phytoactive Anti-Oxidative Ampoules“, set with 15 ampoules, 160 Euro… weiterlesen

Tested for you: LimeLife by Alcone, „Crème of the Crop”

Finally summer. That means: Bring all the sling pumps and sandals to me! There is no need to mention that this can only be done with well-groomed feet. And there’s no need to say, that mine, due to my job, was given the best foot creams and footcare tips. But really astonishing is the fact, that those little feet still get so dry during the day as if they haven’t seen a drop of cream for a long time. But during the last few weeks, everything has changed. And even if I don’t like to be carried away by giving an absolute product recommendation, sorry, it has to be here: “Crème of the Crop” by LimeLife by Alcone is actually a hand and body cream. And it is very lush. Really lush. You notice the high percentage of shea butter and safflower oil immediately. Surprisingly the cream is easy to apply, I guess, because of the mixture with aloe vera juice. You have to do a little rework in those tiny little foot wrinkles on the sole – but this is where the cream has to be massaged in until you can no longer see any white lines – as Bastien Gonzalez, the king of footcare and darling of the celebrities, told me years ago in a private audience . The cream has a delicate smell of lavender, an active ingredient that also soothes the skin. And, I swear, I noticed the difference within the first few days: my skin didn’t cry out for more cream after just two hours. In the meantime, I don’t even have to reapply in the evening. The sole is significantly softer and smoother. Cracked heels? Passé. And when my private foot-fairy saw the result, she was over the moon. But for now, let’s stop the sweet talk, I have to go for my sweet little summer sandals … PS: LimeLife by Alcone has its roots in a small shop that has sold stage makeup in New York City. Founded in 1952, the family company not only stands for organic skin care that is committed to sustainability, but also for women empowerment. Firstly through the sales channel, which enables women to work independently, but also through a foundation that supports the training and entrepreneurship of women in disadvantaged countries. „Crème of the Crop”, LimeLife by Alcone, 240 ml, US$ 38 Leading image: shutterstock@LookStudio… weiterlesen

Tested for you: MUTI Cleansing Range “Clean”

The skin’s microbiome has now become a buzzword. Rightly. Because this invisible layer of the skin is a complex biosystem that protects our skin from external influences. It loose balance by stress, age or environmental impact, but also by cosmetic products which are not optimally tailored to your skin. This might happen easily, for example, after daily cleansing. In order to prevent that, the Munich beauty brand MUTI has dedicated itself to the protection of this vulnerable species by creating its new cleansing line “Clean”. The range offers three products (micellar water, cleansing milk and gel), all adjusted to the physiological pH-value of the skin and not containing drying alcohols. They are also free of perfume, parabens, paraffins, silicones, mineral oils, sulfates and PEGs. Cleanser with glow effect Well, so let’s dive deeper – although, to be honest, I am usually quite reserved when it comes to testing cleaning products, because my skin quickly reacts with feelings of tightness and itchyness. I’m starting with my beauty darling of the past few years – a micelle water. A few splashes on the cotton pad, and the super mild texture even removes even my intense red lipstick and mascara. The skin feels fresh and clean. Well done. For a deeper effect, I tested the two cleansing products over the next days: The “Gentle Milk Cleanser” spreads nicely and creamy, but not greasy, and after washing up I don’t have the intention to apply cream to my face immediately. But the bigger surprise for me is the slightly foaming “Purifying Gel Cleanser” which is originally formulated for mixed skin: After applying, my skin feels pleasantly fresh and clean, but no tightness feeling at all. And that means a lot, especially when having a dry skin. Last but not least –one thing stands out with all products: My complexion gets a nice glow… apparently a specially designed complex with enzymes and peptides, which cleanses and moisturizes, has done a good job.… weiterlesen

How Crisis-Proof are Lipsticks now?

Our author Margit Hiebl tells why she won’t be without her red statement lips, even during the current face mask requirement. She also explains why expensive lipsticks sell particularly well in times of crisis’ like now. Normally I don’t go topless. I mean, without wearing a red lipstick. Even in times of Covid-19. But now I mean, without wearing a face mask. Will this be the timeout for lipsticks? Or just, making it a luxury item for the very special moments? Because, even if all restaurants and bars will be open again – the face mask will be our main accessoiry. And believe me, it doesn’t have a very seductive effect, when taking off the mask for having dinner and your lip-make-up looks as if you already had dinner. For, as known, a lipstick is essential for a lady, especially in difficult times. The „lipstick index“ A phenomenon, which was seen the first time after the economical crisis in the twenties of the last century in the US. Whereas the industrial did nearly halve, the revenue of lipsticks and creams did rise. A similar trend was seen after the financial crisis more than ten years ago. Same pattern after 9/11. And since then the phenomenon gots a name: Whereas stock exchange courses were flying low, sales figures for lipstick did skyrocket. Leonard Lauder, at that time CEO of Estée Lauder Companies, named this kind of indicator for economical development the “lipstick index”. Little luxury Why do women buy expensive lipstick in hard times? One attempt to explain: When the disposable income goes low in times of economical stagnation and they can’t or won’t spend lots of money for high value purchases, women treat themselves with a bit luxury – e.g. a chic lipstick. In the end, according to a maxim of Holly Golightly, the little-black-dressed New Yorker partygirl from the cult movie “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, what counts in difficult times: „A girl can’t read that sort of thing without her lipstick“. When the going gets tough – keep going, but not without a lipstick. After all, style is everything, Diana Vreeland said, New York’s socialite and editor in chief of US-Vogue (1963-1971). It helps you getting up in the morning and going down the stairs. It’s a way of living. In a nutshell Why not wearing a kick-ass lipstick in your homeoffice, instead of wearing masks (please do this, as usual, after work or on your weekend).… weiterlesen

The Secret of Essential Oils

Essential oils are one of the favourite ingredients in many skincare products. What is their purpose besides smelling so good? How do they work? What do we have to pay attention to? C&C author Margit Hiebl asked all these questions to Dr. Françoise Couic-Marinier, aromatherapist, pharmacist and author working with the french cosmetic company Decléor. The brand was one of the first in natural skincare working with essentials oils since 1974 when these were pretty unknown. What is the advantage of essential oils over other active ingredients? The advantage of essential oils is that they are natural but with a pharmaceutical quality and they contain many active ingredients for optimal effect. Essential oils completes vegetal oils. They benefits from numerous studies on their efficacy in all areas of cutaneous problems. Nowadays essential oils are really trendy and you can find a lot of cosmetics products with essential oils. But at Decléor, since more than 40 years, they select and sustainably source only the highest pharmaceutical grade of essential oils from the finest regions around the world: Their essential oils are locally steam-distilled to preserve maximum freshness and potentialize their cosmetic properties. They are professionally blended by their expert team of aromatherapists, aromachologists and dermatologists. And there ist no compromise between naturality, sensoriality and efficacy. What’s the difference between essential oils and botanical oils? Most botanical oils are found in fruit stones, whereas essential oils can be in the leaves, epidermis of flowers, roots, bark, wood, and fruit. A botanical oil is composed of fatty acids, which have more or less a great affinity with the skin. Essential oils, like botanical oils, are not soluble in water, but the similarities stop here. Aromatherapy works with the limbic system, but how can the smell of essential oils also enhance the effectiveness of skincare? Essential oils impact mood and emotions, thanks to their active scent, through the sense of olfaction. For example, neroli essential oil or real lavender in are strong mind relaxer. How deep can essential oils penetrate into the skin? They have powerful action on skin. The skin is a reservoir for essential oils through its skin appendages. They spread quickly or gently depending on the botanical oils that accompany them in the product formulation, and they treat the epidermis, the dermis and all layers of the skin if necessary according to the associated assets. A pure essential oil can penetrate very quickly directly in the direction through the skin if it is used pure on some points where the skin is naturally very thin (wrists, soles of the feet, solar plexus etc).… weiterlesen

Ayurveda – Well suited to Everyday Life

Tips on how to practice easily at home and how to stay healthy through the winter I can already hear the comments: “Oh, Ayurvedic living is so complicated!” But is it really? We asked Carina Alana Preuß, managing director of the Ayurveda Parkschlösschen in Traben-Trarbach. The 32-year-old, who grew up in an Ayurvedic environment, has been managing the 5-star establishment since last year. 25 years ago, her parents founded the first address for Ayurveda in Germany. Carina glows, inside and out, and whoever meets her is immediately drawn to the Ayurvedic way of living. She conveys her message with great passion and freshness and her expertise as an Ayurveda expert and yoga teacher is more than convincing. In order to make this ancient Science of Life (the meaning of the term “Ayurveda”) even more accessible and approachable to greater number of people over and beyond the classic Panchakarma cure offered at the hotel, she also makes use of various social media channels. She has, for example, developed an online course that is quick and easy to navigate, even for beginners. It is obvious from her online blog that she is the best example of a lived Ayurvedic lifestyle. A mentor in matters of contemporary Ayurveda, someone who knows what she’s talking about and who takes it very seriously. Living in the here and now, however, she does occasionally treat herself to French fries. Is Ok for an Ayurvedian to eat French Fries? Carina Alana Preuß: Exceptions and being undogmatic are part of Ayurveda. It’s just a question of being sensible about it. After indulging in a portion of French fries for example, it’s best to take Triphala (an Ayurvedic herbal formula that helps digestion). Or after a late night and a heavy dinner, one can skip breakfast or have a soup day. If I don’t want to get too carried away, sweet potato slices baked at home with salt, curry powder and oil are my healthy alternative to frozen foods and deep-frying in oil. Everyday hotel life, further training, constantly on the go – how do you manage to stay in balance? That’s a very good question. I really do invest a of energy in my endeavors to one day make the world a healthier and more awareful place. My diary may sometimes be bursting at the seams, but my food is sacred to me. I make no compromises there and insist on a healthy, warm and freshly prepared lunch.… weiterlesen

Professor Bader mobilizes Stem Cells

How a scientist intends to rejuvenate our skin Through and trough a scientist and a physician, that’s him. Beauty was not something that Professor Augustinus Bader used to be concerned with much – so far, that is. Being one of the leading scientists in stem-cell research, he has succeeded in finding a break-through development in the area of tissue-engineering. He has more than 200 patents under his belt. For example, Bader developed a hydro-gel that allows for the most serious burns to heal without scarring, and without the requirement of transplantations. This research led him to come up with the idea for an anti-aging care. Now, how does his technology translate onto wrinkles, pigmentation marks and impure skin? We spoke to Professor Bader about his new approach. Professor Bader, is this yet again another stem cell product? No, there is not a single stem-cell in my product. We did re-define the stem-cell technology, though. In order to understand this, we first have to do away with the existing myths. Which myths would that be? The first myth: “stem-cells need to be supplied to our body”. In fact, there is no shortage of stem cells in our body at all. They reside everywhere – they are not always active, though. A stem-cell is like a location-specific repair-cell. It has the task of repairing a defect at the given location. It is present but it needs to be activated – via an inflammation. Second: assuming that the magnitude of the injury influences the response behavior of the cell (meaning: “will I keep a scar or not“), there could be a connection to the lack of a semiochemical (the “messenger substance”). Replacing the latter will make our own stem-cell perform a perfect healing. I was able to implement this approach in the medical area for extremely serious burns. They can now heal within a few days without the need for any transplantation. And the third myth: “stem-cells in creams can have an effect.” Really? How would a stem-cell of an apple – as it is used for many products – support the human skin in any way? At most, it can create an apple. How did you arrive at this new approach? That happened while working on my clinical projects. The cells of the human body are highly specialized to carry out exactly those repairs that are required at the given time. Example: if I have a cut on my right hand, only exactly this will be repaired.… weiterlesen

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