As I promised, in this article I’d like to share with you my tips to live a splendid Erasmus-experience or, more generally, to make splendid your living abroad, at least as regards beauty and skin-care products.
I think it would sound obvious defining fantastic experiences such as Erasmus or Overseas not just in an academic but also, and especially, in a personal perspective. By this, I don’t mean these are problem-free experiences or experiences for everyone, of course. By going on an Erasmus trip, you’ll probably realise quite soon how easier it is when you face problems with your most loved ones next to you, rather than when you have also to cope with a new country with its own rules, traditions, and language. A lot of changes and problems have to be faced and some of them are far from being easy to solve, but somehow we’ve to cope with them.
During such an experience, everything is amplified: both the sense of being a stranger and the sense of freedom/independence. So, even stepping out of our own beauty comfort-zone can be really upsetting and enhance somehow our sense of being out of place. Trying to deal with the new situation “in the right way” really matters, if we really want to fix things and enjoy our experience. So, this is why I chose to give some pieces of advice and write this very essential (and useful, I hope) survival guide about beauty.
Here we go.
- Necessity is the mother of discover: it’s quite comprehensible if you want to take all your faves with you. But this is hardly possible in most of the cases, although I brought with my Lush shampoo bar with henna. Exception made for big companies with shops all over the world, like Lush itself, it’s silly to expect that we will find all the products or all the brands we love on a new, foreign market. So, this is the moment we all have been waiting for: discover and try new products, whose we’ve always only heard about on foreign YT’s channels or blogs (like Sally Hansen’s nail polishes).
- Stop prejudice, get surprised: here in Frankfurt there are local drug-stores (dm and Rossmann) like Tigotà or Boots, and they sell a lot (really a lot) of organic brands, even some of the most well-known in Italy, who are sold only in organic shops and online (like Santé and Lavera) for at least twice than their price here in Germany (e.g. a Santè 200 ml shampoo costs about €2,50 here).
- Dive into hosting country’s culture: this refers to beauty and goes beyond it, of course. Referring to beauty, it means that you should dare using brands and products totally unknown to you and hard to find in your home country, but very popular in your new country. Or perhaps you should try to “embrace” the general attitude of people there. For example, Germans are generally keen on organic products, especially when it comes to beauty (or food)! Here are very popular Santè and Lavera (German brands), Balea (sold in dm and Rossmann, some products are not organic, but they’ve got very good ingredients), alverde (dm’s organic line for beauty and skin-care) and CD (sold by Rossmann, its products are formulated for very sensitive and delicate skins).
- For everything else there’s Mastercard (and Amazon): it may sound odd, since I’ve been encouraging you to step beyond your boundaries so far. Now, I’m suggesting you to turn towards the biggest outcomes of globalisation: e-commerce and world-wide shipping. The point is that, in different countries, Amazon may sell slightly different products or the same product can have slightly different prices in two countries, furthermore also rules can change. E.g.: on Amazon.de there are discounts for students, in Italy this thing seems not to be even taken into consideration. Do you want proofs? Fine. On Amazon.de, I ordered twice the whole set of 11 sheet masks of the South- Korean skin-care leader, Tony Moly, each time from a different seller. The first time, I paid €7/8+€4 for shipping; the second time, I paid the whole set €12.00 without shipping (charged to Amazon). On Amazon.it, the same set of sheet masks is sold for not less than almost 17 euros, to this should be added shipping costs. In Italy, Sephora sells in exclusive both in its shop and on its website the masks: €5.50 each. Take a moment and think about it.
- Buy one, get 2 or more: one of the greatest concerns of every Erasmus or Overseas student is saving money: there’s a little Scrooge McDuck well hidden in each one of us. I think you’re all aware of my wallet availability, when it comes to buy a face-cream or a foundation or a good concealer, and that I prefer to cut costs on other beauty products (mascara, eyeliners, etc.). Anyway, saving money is made possible by using coconut oil as a makeup remover, an intense moisturiser for body and face, a face&hair mask, for example. Or you can buy a cream eye-makeup remover, which is generally very gentle, and use it to remove your whole makeup. Or, one more tip, you could apply your eye cream (Kiehl’s avocado eye threatment <3) also on your lips and around your nose for extra hydration and nourishment, especially if you’ve got flu.
- Do not horse about new products: it might sound odd, but if your literally stepping into a new beauty range of products and especially those products are organic ones, with higher level of actives, you should be cautious the very first time you use them: read the instructions and stick to them, unless you want to shampoo your hair 4 times in a row, in order to get rid of your new avocado hair treatment, that you applied and left on your hair for 2 hours instead of the suggested 20′. Any resemblance to real events is not purely coincidental. Once you become familiar with the product, you can also try to slightly change the time of leaving or the way you use the products.
So, these are my “guidelines” to let your moving abroad be a little bit easier and less traumatic, as far as beauty and skin-care are concerned. I hope you enjoyed it. In case you’re/have been in Germany, and you want to suggest me products I should try here or you’re interested in the products I’ve been using here so far, please let me know this in the comments below.