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Beauty Picks | Summer 2016

DSC_0289post DSC_0293postI’m enjoying my first proper summer days this year with my loved ones and couldn’t be happier. Reading about other people’s summer beauty essentials is something I really like and I realised that there are quite a few products I’ve been reaching for a lot lately.

If you haven’t already noticed, I adore facial mists and floral waters, I think they make a huge difference in my skin condition and I really like the L’Occitane Peony Perfecting Mist. It can be used as a toner before applying a moisturiser, as a make-up fixing spray or just to refresh the skin throughout the hot days. It has a delicate scent, it’s really fine and gives a long-lasting hydration. My skin feels much calmer after I started using this mist and it also looks much smoother. This product is a great multi-tasker and I’d highly recommend checking it out.

For my lips, I’m still in love with Lancôme Juicy Shakers, I’ve actually used up one of them already because they are so pretty and moisturising. One of my favourite shades is 301 Meli Melon because it’s perfect for that fresh and juicy summer look. I like how it leaves a nice dewy stain but the major part of the oil gets absorbed, it’s beautiful and hydrates the lips.

On my eyes, I’ve been using a lot the We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette (review and swatches here) in the past few weeks. It’s simple, it’s pretty, I love that it’s also travel-friendly, the texture of the shadows is amazing and I don’t think I need anything else at the moment. As I’ve said before, I don’t wear eyeshadows on a daily basis and I don’t have that many favourite palettes but this one has become a staple.

Clinique SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Lotion for Body* is my current body sun protectant. It’s a new one from the brand, it’s 100% fragrance-free and allergy tested, it’s oil-free and non-acnegenic. I apply it 15 minutes before sun exposure and try to reapply it every two hours. The sun is very strong at the moment, the temperatures are really high here and although I don’t sunbathe, I need that protection when I’m even out in mum’s garden.
This mineral sunscreen is really lightweight and absorbs quickly without leaving any sticky film or white streaks, it’s just invisible and comfortable on the skin. It protects against environmental aggressors and helps to reflect UVA/UVB rays by blocking them.
I don’t get sunburn easily but my boyfriend does and this lotion helps him a lot. Also, the bottle has a flip-top cap which makes it very easy to apply on-the-go.

At the moment, I’m using two body moisturisers. After my morning shower, I like to apply the Balea Body Gelée with Mint and Watermelon because it feels incredibly refreshing, gets absorbed almost instantly and doesn’t leave any residue. I can get dressed straight away and just start my day without worrying that I might get some sticky feel. The gel-like texture feels very soothing and lightweight and it’s also a bit cooling, perfect for the summer. At night I reach for the Biotherm Body Refirm Stretch Oil*. There’s something about the way Biotherm products smell, I love their scents, I first got a shower gel from the brand years ago and I still remember it, it felt really nice. The oil smells similar and brings back amazing memories. It’s not a greasy oil, it feels lovely on the skin and prevents from loss of elasticity and firmness. It gives me a lot of hydration, it tones my skin and doesn’t stain my clothes.

I’m still in love with Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint range and especially the shade Starfish which is a light tan colour that would look amazing on anyone, I think. You can see the post on my collection of these nail varnishes here.

My favourite COLAB Dry Shampoo fragrance must be Monaco but I have to say the New York one is just as lovely. It’s nice to have this mini with me for hair touch-ups and it’s amazing that their Sheer + Invisible formula doesn’t leave any white residue in my roots.

Why haven’t I gotten a solid perfume earlier? I’m in love with the L’Occitane Cherry Blossom one, I carry it around with me all the time and I can always top up my fragrance. It smells absolutely divine, it’s alcohol-free and I should get some more of this type.

These are my summer beauty picks this year, what are your staples during the warmer months?

*PR Samples

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Nail Polish Picks | Summer 2016

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Usually, during the warmer months, I tend to use brighter and brighter nail shades, however, this year it seems I’m reaching for nudes and neutrals most of the time. Of course, everyone has their own taste and preferences but these are the nail polishes I can’t stop wearing at the moment.

I’ve shared my love for the Bourjois La Laque Nail Enamel range here, I used the shade 1 White Spirit a lot last summer and it’s now back on my nails. I love how clean and elegant it looks, the design of the bottle is quite unique, the formula is incredibly pigmented and the finish is beautiful and glossy.

Whenever I go to Germany, I always spend a lot of time in front of the trend IT UP counter and especially, browsing through their nail polish section. They have so many finishes and colours that it’s a bit overwhelming. My favourite range is without a doubt the Double Volume & Shine one and the shade 110 looked quite different in the bottle when I saw it in stores. When I applied the varnish at home for the first time in the winter, I wasn’t a big fan but now I think it’s quite a nice shade for the warmer weather. It looks a bit more beige in the bottle but on nails, it’s much more peachy and warm. Like all the nail polishes from the range, this one is also very glossy and smooth, the colour is opaque and although I use two coats, it looks great with one, as well.

Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint varnishes are just amazing, I have most of the shades, you can see more here but at the moment I’m in love with Tiki Hut. At first, I didn’t think it looked good on my nails because it’s a pretty dark brown, almost like a coffee brown but it’s going to be quite nice if you have a bit of a tan going on. I love how fast these nail polishes dry, they don’t need a base coat and they look super shiny.

Out of all, the most summery shade has to be Catrice Ultimate Nail Lacquer in 82 A Gallon of Melon. It’s a fresh peachy-pink shade, the finish is quite creamy and I absolutely love the colour. I’ve had some disappointments with Catrice nail varnishes but I have to say, no complaints here. The formula is smooth and doesn’t go streaky, it does require a couple of layers for an opaque look but it wears pretty well. I adore the shade because it’s not too pink or too bright, it’s just the perfect fresh and summer hue.

Topshop Nails in Sweet & Elite is a pretty pastel purple with a bit of a pearlescent finish, it dries really quickly, it goes on smoothly and streak-free. The only downside is that it doesn’t last very long on my nails but there aren’t many nail polishes that actually do.

These are my nails polish shades of choice for the past (and probably the next) few weeks, what are your favourite summer nail varnishes?

May Favourites

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As we approach June and summer (although there wasn’t even spring in Norway), I gathered around a few of my favourite beauty bits for the past few weeks. The majority was actually purchased in London in April because I decided to try not buying any beauty products during May. I’ve never done this before, I usually share it with friends or just somehow ”announce” the idea and it never works. However, this time I kept it only for myself (and my boyfriend because he tends to get me beauty stuff all the time) and I did it…a whole month with no beauty purchases, so that I can use what I already have.

I have two hair favourites that really surprised me. The first one is the COLAB Extreme Volume Monaco Dry Shampoo and I actually regret not getting a few more from it. I like the brand’s dry shampoos but this one is just amazing. It’s not the invisible formula one but it just keeps my hair fresh-looking for such a long time that no other dry shampoo has ever managed to. It also gives me lots of volume and smells wonderful, it’s fresh and sophisticated at the same time. My favourite COLAB product, so far!
The second hair item is a Gloss Spray by the Swedish haircare brand Lernberger & Stafsing. I’ve tried a few products from them, I love their Leave-in BB Cream and I really wanted to find a good conditioning spray that also gives me shine. The Gloss Spray comes in an elegant bottle, it’s a really light mist that contains organic Argan Oil and I use it on both, wet and dry hair. It doesn’t feel heavy, it doesn’t make my hair look greasy, smells nice and also provides UV-protection. It controls the frizz and gives an incredible shine to the hair. The price is also very good, so if you ever come across Lernberger & Stafsing, I’d recommend checking their range out.

I finally tried the Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes, I got three of them and I love them all but my favourite must be 10 Nude Mauve. It’s nude but not quite nude, it’s something between a blusher and a bronzer, it’s luminous but not too shimmery, it’s finely-milled, it’s just a healthy glow in a pan! These are simply gorgeous and now I want the entire shade range.

Make-up fixing sprays were never something that I was drawn to but I gave this L’Oreal Infallible Fixing Mist a try and it surprised me. It really extends the wear of my make-up without feeling heavy or having a really strong smell. Quite a good product, especially if you have oily or combination skin like me, I don’t need to blot throughout the day if I’m setting my make-up with it and you can find it at the drugstore.

My Love for Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint polishes have been already confessed here and if you want a hydrating formula for your nails with amazing colours and a good brush at an affordable price, look no further. These beauties are going to be often on my nails in the next few months.

I got the Lottie London Soap Star Solid Brush Cleanser because many people said it’s a dupe for the Beauty Blender one and I have to say, I haven’t tried the high-end one but Lottie did a great job with theirs. I wash my brushes once a week and I don’t actually have issues with them but my blending sponges suffer quite a lot. I wash them always right after using them but they still get stained and it’s hard to make them look perfect again. This solid brush cleanser changed that and I can’t be happier. There are no stains left, my sponges are like new and it’s pretty sad that you can’t get this product here.

Speaking of sponges, now I know why Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge is so loved in the beauty world. It’s a great tool, it’s bouncy, doesn’t get too much of the product that is supposed to be on your face anyway, it’s easy to clean and I hope it doesn’t get worn off too quickly. It’s now a staple for me.

These are my favourite beauty products for the month of May. What are yours?

Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint

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Barry M is a truly impressive brand when it comes to nail polishes. Every time when I travel to the UK, I get a few of their varnishes because they are affordable but the performance is similar to many high-end ones and they always have great selection of colours.

The latest addition is their Coconut Infusion Nail Paint range. Coconut is a big trend in the beauty world and when gorgeous colours are combined with nail care, I need to try it.
There are 9 beautiful shades in total, I have 7 of them: Starfish, Sunkissed, Tiki Hut, Flamingo, Aloha, Surfboard and Bikini. For me, personally, it’s very hard to pick a favourite one.

The product comes with a really nice brush that fits the nail bed and makes the application very easy. I always use two coats but these have such a nice formula that you can easily go with just one.

Coconut Infusion Nail Paint polishes have a caring blend of Coconut Oil and Coconut Water to gently hydrate and nourish the nails while it delivers a smooth and gel-like finish, it’s really glossy and beautiful. The formula is enriched with anti-oxidising properties and Vitamins B & C for repaired and healthy-looking nails. I haven’t been using these nail polishes for such a long time to see a big difference but I can say that my nails really look bright and nourished after taking the colour off. They last for about 4-5 days on me which is a lot, considering I can usually wear a nail shade for about 2-3 days.

These nail polishes have been designed to be worn without base coat to gain the full benefits of the nail care ingredients. Basically, it’s good for the nails and it also saves time!

It’s amazing how such wonderful and flattering colours can be added to a caring and gentle nail polish formula…and you can find all these at the drugstore! I’m really happy I managed to get almost the full range because I’m in love with every single one of them.

Have you picked up a shade or two of the new Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Paint?

London Beauty Haul: High-Street Products (Skincare and Make-up)

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We finally reached the last London haul part! It’s the second high-street one and I’ve featured some products that aren’t necessarily drugstore but aren’t high-end either. You’ll see what I mean if you keep reading.

Starting off with eye make-up and with my favourite mascara at the moment. It’s from a high-end brand but this mini came with an ELLE UK issue and it’s practically a freebie, so I decided to include it here. I got several because I wanted to stock up on it considering the full size wasn’t available when I was in London and because I wanted other people to try it too. You can read my full review on it here. Since I loved the Bourjois 1 Seconde Mascara, I decided to get it in Ultra Black version but then I realised I have too many mascaras at the moment and I’m giving these away to my mom and my boyfriend’s mom. The Barry M Showgirl mascara is often mentioned by British girls and I’m really curious about it. But enough mascaras! Since I’m quite rubbish with eyeliners, I picked a cheap liquid eyeliner to practice and it’s Fast Stroke by Collection. I’ve been wanting to get my hands on Rimmel‘s Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal in Nude but there aren’t any Rimmel products in Norway and I’m really happy that I finally got it. It opens up your eye when you apply it in your waterline and makes you look more awake, it’s really creamy and easy to use.

If I have to pick the most desired product of my latest London trip, it has to be Archery by Soap&Glory. I’ve been hearing and reading so much about this product, I’ve tried to find it online but it was just not possible to get it to Norway. Then I went to Boots and the shade that I wanted – Hot Chocolate, was always sold out! After visiting a dozen Boots stores, I finally managed to get two of the pencils and already sent one to my mom. I can say that I absolutely love this eyebrow pencil and will be rambling a lot about it in future, I guess. I saw my boyfriend putting the L’Oreal Brow Artist Plumper in the basket while we were browsing the aisles and I didn’t protest, he knows what I want to try.

Concealers are a huge love of mine, I’m ‘blessed’ with really dark circles and combination skin that tends to go crazy from time to time, so it’s a saviour for me. Makes me look more awake and healthy and I simply can’t imagine going out without applying a concealer. If I do it, it’s guaranteed that people will ask me if I’m sick. I got Kick Ass Concealer by Soap&Glory and I haven’t tried it yet but I love how many things you get in such a small pot. Had to take the Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Concealer in both shades available and also, the Revlon Colorstay Concealer which I’m currently using and I’m surprised how good the coverage is. I also picked up a darker shade of my favourite Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream because I can make the lightest one work but wanted to see if this would be a more suitable one.

The lip products that I got are only two and I can’t even believe it. I really wanted to try darker shades of the Rimmel Exaggerate Lip Liners but they had only light ones, so I picked Eastend Snob which is a little bit too pink for my taste but I’m pairing it with a slightly darker lipstick and it looks pretty. I finally got my hands on Revlon Lip Butters and picked the shade Berry Smoothie which is gorgeous.

I wanted to get some eye creams, nothing too special, just products that moisturise the delicate eye area. My choices were Simple Revitalising Eye Roll-On and Boots Simply Sensitive Hydrating Eye Cream because I like applying a gel in the warmer months and a cream in the winter. Also from Boots, I got their Tea Tree and Witch Hazel Concealer stick because I have other products from the range and I was curious about this one. I like that it’s very creamy, it has a good coverage but the shade is too dark and I saw only one, not sure if they have more. From Sanctuary SPA I picked their Polishing Hot Cloth Cleanser for our mothers and the 5min Thermal Detox Mask because everybody is talking about it and I want to try it. I got the Rimmel Eye Make-up remover because I couldn’t find the famous Botanics one, they had all the micellar solutions from Botanics but never the make-up remover.

Then on Valentine’s Day we popped into LUSH and I saw the Tea Tree Toner Tab which seems very interesting but I still haven’t tried it. Now, I don’t regret buying the Tea Tree Water but it smells exactly like my homemade tea tree water and it has almost the same ingredients. It’s really nice and refreshing, especially if you have oily or combination skin but I think it’s something that I can make on my own. I absolutely love the Cupid’s Love Soap, it’s so fruity and creamy and just amazing. I keep the mini Charity Pot Body Lotion in my handbag because it’s really tiny and I can use it as a hand cream.

So, it’s done! All the three London beauty hauls are here and I can’t wait to try these products. There are still many on my list of beauty stuff that I want to get from the UK but I’m really pleased with what I got.