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Beauty Gift Ideas for Him and Her | Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is about a week away and there are tons of ways to surprise your partner. Actually, love should be celebrated more often. For us, it’s different every year on this day. This year we won’t be even in the same country but I get so spoiled with beauty gifts on a daily basis that I much prefer having an experience that we both could enjoy. Like going to the theatre, for example or to a concert, or maybe a football game, a trip, a weekend getaway…just whatever you fancy (to be fair, I’d love all of the mentioned).

However, I wanted to try to include a few gift ideas here that the men around me and I think you can’t go wrong with if you’ve decided to surprise your partner with a beauty present.

For Her
That’s the easiest, considering all brands are just releasing their spring makeup collections and you can choose from so many limited edition products that will make the whole experience even better.

But I always like to include at least one skincare product that anyone would love and I can’t believe I’ve never mentioned the Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II in such blog post before. This is the 30 ml mini which is still pricey but also a good way to try the serum and I honestly don’t know a lady who doesn’t want to have this one in her skincare stash. The mini is often available in different sets, as well, so you can actually get a better deal and more products for your loved one. The other skincare item I’d like to mention is Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, it’s a classic and it’s lovely because it has a light texture but gives a great amount of moisture and is suitable even for sensitive skin.
If you want to get a lipstick, the NARS Audacious range is the one to go for. There are so many shades to choose from and probably your special one already has a list of at least five desired colours from the series. I love Anita and I think it would look amazing on many skin tones (review and swatches here).
Fragrances are really individual but if your loved one likes a bit more dark and rich scents, the timeless Black Orchid from Tom Ford would be a great choice. If you’re looking for a sweeter perfume, I think the latest release from Guerlain‘s La Petite Robe Noire family would be a nice idea (review here).

For Him
The men around me are not that much into beauty but they like being taken care of just like everyone, so I wanted to feature this No7 Men Energising Face Wash and Energising Moisturiser with SPF15 duo because sun protection is important for all of us, men, women, children and I know men would often skip this step and not think about it. Of course, you can get the products separately, they are suitable for sensitive skin, as well.
Everyone appreciates a good travel set and Clarins Men definitely know how to do a great one. They often have deluxe sizes of their face wash, eye balm, shaving balm and moisturisers in a handy bag and I always wonder how they manage to put so many items in such small bags, it’s amazing.
A shower gel may seem a bit boring but I know many men who love their shower gels and would like to receive one as a gift. I don’t think you can go wrong with this Dior Homme Shower Gel, it has a light texture and the bathroom smells amazing afterwards.
I always try to learn which fragrance a man likes, so that I can get something else from the same range for him that he wouldn’t get for himself. That was the case with this Chanel Bleu de Chanel After Shave Lotion, I knew my brother liked the perfume, so this was a nice accompaniment to  it. The lotion feels refreshing and has a clean and crisp scent, they also have a balm version if you’re looking for something more hydrating.
Speaking of perfumes, this is probably the most difficult part just because all the men around me like different types of scents. Some prefer fresh smells, others want much darker and deeper ones and so on but the majority of them like Dior Sauvage because it’s spicy but fresh at the same time and just noble. My dad always gets compliments when he wears it and everyone around him asks all the time what his fragrance is.

I also wanted to mention a few non-beauty and unisex gifts in a way, simply because me and my boyfriend love getting candles for our flat, for example. When we are choosing a candle together, we often go for deeper scents but in general, my boyfriend has a great taste when it comes to scents, no matter if he is looking for something for a woman, a man or someone’s home, he just has the best taste. I don’t actually have one of our candles here but I love WoodWick candles because of their scents and also, the way they sound like a tiny fireplace is amazing. We also love chocolate, so this selection of Baileys pralines will be demolished in seconds. And finally, something I’ve mentioned a lot but I just can’t miss to share my love for Teapigs tea one more time. I think there is a flavour and type for everyone, the whole family loves them, my friends love them, I adore them.

No matter what you’ll be doing this Valentine’s day, I wish you a lovely one. Be loved and don’t forget to tell your dear people how much you love them as often as possible.

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Beauty Ideas for Him and Her | Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is just in 7 days time, some of you may celebrate it, some of you may not, personally, me and my boyfriend don’t spend it as the only day we show how much we love each other but it seems, we always end up getting something for the other one. I usually bake something more different and interesting and he surprises me with a thoughtful gift or like last year (when he broke our deal) with a short trip to our favourite London.

Today, I’m attempting to show you a few gift ideas which are something a little bit more special for your loved one but still not with the craziest price tag you’ve ever seen. I just wanted to gather up products that is almost impossible to go wrong with but to also be a nice surprise.

For Her
I really wanted to include a skincare product although it’s the hardest thing to get for someone else but I picked out a product that is suitable for all skin types. Dior Instant Gentle Exfoliant with Pure Lily Extract is very gentle on the skin and makes it look brighter and smoother. The particles are very small, they exfoliate well but without irritating the skin.
For lips, be sure to take a look at the Clinique counter and their Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks because they are creamy, moisturising, opaque and they have a ton of different colours. My personal favourite is 23 Blush Pop* which is a nude brown with a hint of pink and would suit many different skin tones. Also, the Dior Addict Lip Glow in Lilac from their new spring collection would make a great gift because it looks different on everyone. It brings out the natural colour of the lips and enhances it by reacting to the unique chemistry of each woman’s lips and just gives a natural flush of colour while conditioning the lips.
When it comes to body, a great hand cream or body lotion is something that I love so much! L’Occitane create some of my favourite hand creams because they are rich but non-sticky, Arlésienne Velvet Hand Cream has delicate, feminine and beautiful fragrance. Rituals have such nice body products that aren’t mentioned enough, try their Honey Touch Rich and Nourishing Body Cream, for example. If you want your loved one to have a more luxurious shower experience, treat her to the Lancôme Bocage Foaming Shower Gel with AHAs for a smoother skin. It’s soap-free and really gentle.
As to fragrances, it’s really personal, but two of my favourite ones are YSL Black Opium EDP and Giorgio Armani Si EDT. The latter takes me back to summer 2015 and so many great memories, so best would be if you know which fragrance makes your partner recall amazing times.

For Him
I have two skincare items to show you, a face wash and a face cream. Clinique for Men and their Face Wash are great because the products are fragrance-free and even people with sensitive skin can use them. The face wash is gentle, leaves the skin feeling clean but without drying it out…that’s what my boyfriend’s experience is. HYDRIX Micro-Nutrient Moisturising Balm is a moisturiser with Vitamin E and Shea Butter by Lancôme Men. I love the way this one smells! It looks pretty thick in the jar but it feels light on the skin and absorbs really quickly, it’s not greasy or sticky.
Once again, fragrances are something pretty individual, but the ones I love smelling on my boyfriend the most are Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gio and Armani Code (don’t think you can go wrong with Armani fragrances) and YSL L’Homme, all three of them are masculine but without being too heavy and making you feel hard to breathe around the man wearing them, there’s a bit of freshness to these scents, so give them a sniff, if you haven’t already.

I also wanted to mention two Origins products because I think they are unisex, there are so many men and women using them because of their amazing skincare properties, so I think they’d make a really nice gift. The GinZing Energy-Boosting Moisturiser has a lovely orange scent, it’s very refreshing, the cream is lightweight but hydrating and I’ve done a review on it here. Their Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask (review here) is loved by me and my boyfriend, I’m with combination skin, he has super dry skin and works great on both of us!

No matter what you’re doing on Valentine’s Day this year, remember that we should show our loved ones how much they mean to us every single day and not only with material gifts!

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Mid-Day Pick-me-ups

DSC_0417post DSC_0418postI believe many of us think that their skin feels and looks a bit ‘meh’ in the middle of the day. Especially, if you have combination skin like I do, you notice that the T-zone gets a bit more oily, foundation may go patchy on some areas and in the winter time we all lack radiance.

A few simple steps work really well on me and I hope this post will be helpful for some of you, as well.

Usually, in the middle of the day I need to blot because my combination skin doesn’t really care if I powder or not, if I use a mattifying foundation or not. I keep the Essence All About Matt! Oil Control Papers in my handbag and they really help me get rid of the shine. It’s really hard for me to find blotting sheets, so in case you have any recommendations, feel free to share.

Then, I’d go with a concealer just to brighten up the under eye area and to hide any imperfections around the face. At the moment, I’m carrying the Catrice Allround Coverstick in my bag because it’s really versatile. It’s creamy enough to be applied under the eyes but has decent coverage and lasts really well throughout the day. Also, it doesn’t take much space and you don’t have to dip your fingers in a pot concealer.

I need to powder to set the concealer and to just prevent the T-zone from shine after blotting, so I’m using the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder. It’s really finely milled, smells nice and doesn’t look cakey. It mattifies the skin but also gives it a bit of a glow and slight coverage.

The next step really helps me keep my skin hydrated in the colder months. I use a mist with Norwegian thermal spa water and I’ve actually already mentioned Maya Water Facial Mist with Organic Acai* because I really love it. But you have to be very careful in the winter and not go out straight away or spray when you’re out in the cold because if your skin is damp or wet, it will get damaged.
This mist is so fine and lovely, the mini bottle fits perfectly in my handbag, contains Vitamin A, C and E, Zinc, Iron and the fatty acids Omega 3, 6 and 9. I use it as a toner, underneath my make-up or on top of my make-up for a quick boost of hydration and glow. It doesn’t make me look greasy, it just gives me moisture and radiance and I’m in love with it.

Another product that I adore is lip balm and especially this L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé Paris Jasmin Immortelle Neroli Lip Gloss. It’s actually something between a balm and a gloss. It’s very nourishing thanks to the Shea Butter added but has a sheer glossy pink tint that brightens up the face while hydrating the lips. It also smells really beautiful and feminine.

Last but not least, would it be a mid-day pick-me-ups post without a nice snack? I love this Corny Peanuts & Milk Chocolate Bar, it’s not the healthiest or the best one but I like nuts and chocolate and if I need a bit of energy in the middle of the day, it does the job for me.

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What’s in my Bag

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I’ve never done a What’s in my bag post and the content of my bags often varies. However, there are basic items that I always carry around with me, so I decided to share them with you because I personally, like reading this type of posts (We’re all a bit nosey, aren’t we?).

Cute little make-up bags were never a priority of mine because first, they get pretty dirty and hard to wash and second, they are either too small and with not enough compartments or way too big. That’s why I choose a mini travel bag with many compartments, perfect size and yes, it might not be pretty but it’s pretty functional.
I always have antibacterial wet wipes and gel, tissues, a notepad and a pen, my wallet and phones …and water. It’s very important for all of us to drink water during the day, if I don’t drink, I feel dehydrated, more tired and just I feel that my body needs water. I drink about 2 litres of water a day without including the tea that I also love and sometimes the amount can be even bigger. If you drink more water, you will notice that you feel more energised and your skin looks better, as well.

Now to the content of the mini travel bag. There must always be several kinds of plasters, hair ties, painkillers, lady stuff and often friends say that I’m a mobile pharmacy but I like to be prepared and help the others, too. I don’t always listen to music when I’m out but I prefer to have a set of headphones with me. I wear contact lenses and sometimes your eyes get dirty, especially if I’m in windy Norway and then I have to wash my hands and clean my lenses. That’s why I need to have my containers and a cleaning solution with me.
There aren’t many beauty items that I have with me on a daily basis. I try to always have blotting papers because I have combination skin, as well as a powder compact with a mirror (not included here). The mattifying papers that I have now are by Essence. My under eye circles are pretty dark and you never know when a blemish can appear, so it’s always handy to have a concealer in your bag. My choice at the moment is Revlon Colourstay. A multi-purpose moisturiser is a must and I’ve done a full review on this #LipGlam* one here. As you can see, the rest is only lip products: a lip gloss – Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector (review here), a lip lacquer – Rimmel Apocalips, my favourite Burt’s Bees Mango Lip Balm and a tinted lip balm by Catrice.
Sometimes I throw in a hand cream or umbrella, for example, but that’s why I said at the beginning that the content of my bags often varies a lot.

That’s the part I always carry around with me no matter if I’m using a big or a smaller bag. Of course, I tend to add even more because I’m a woman, after all.

What items do you keep in your bag?

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Simple and Easy V-Day Beauty

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Me and my boyfriend actually don’t celebrate Valentine’s day like most couples…we simply don’t celebrate our love just on this day. So, usually I bake cupcakes, he gives me a cute and funny card and then we watch football cause we’re both fans of the same team. I just like to feel comfortable and try to relax when I’m with him and even if we go out on a date night, I still want to feel comfortable and not put tons of make-up difficult to maintain.
If you’re like me, hopefully the next lines will be useful.

My Valentine’s day make-up is almost like my everyday make-up but with three additions: black eyeliner, eyeshadow and a bold lip.

First the base, I apply my favourite Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream (review here) for a natural finish. To brighten up the under eye area I use Rimmel Match Perfection Illuminating Concealer. Because I have combination skin, I powder my face with Bourjois Healthy balance powder (Review. I’ve already hit pan! I have to find a new one). To warm up my complexion, I use a darker shade of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, nothing too crazy, I’m not good at contouring, so I’m just giving a little bit life to my face. For the eyebrows, I use my Clarins  eyebrow pencil. I apply the KIKO eye primer on my lids and then use their eyeshadow in 130 as a base. After that I apply MAC eyeshadow in Patina all over the lids. To make it just a little bit more dramatic, I use the GOSH Kohl eyeliner in Black. On my lashes, I apply a layer of the Maybelline Colossal Go Extreme Volum’ Express for separation and then Bourjois 1 Seconde Mascara for more volume and drama.
For my lips, I use another Bourjois product and it’s their Rouge Edition Velvet in 01 Personne ne rouge (review here).
Putting the finishing touches with a favourite perfume and a nail polish like Essie Sand Tropez (review here).

I decided to keep it simple and the only thing that I might actually change is to replace the bold lipstick with a nude one because I can’t get used to the red shades on me.
Hope you’ll be having a nice Valentine’s Day!