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Empties #17

As we’re approaching the end of the month and the year, here’s another portion of empty products.

Skincare and Makeup Products

Zdrave Acne Stop Micellar Water – This one was too fragranced and not that effective, won’t repurchase but I like other products from the range;
Estée Lauder Double Wear Long-Wear Makeup Remover Wipes – They are oil-infused which makes taking off makeup quite easy, they feel a bit more dry and at first I didn’t think they could remove makeup that well but they actually do. I like taking them away with me when I travel;
Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel – One of my favourite cleansers, it’s gentle but purifying, it’s soap-free and mild. I’d recommend it if you have combination or oily skin and you struggle with blemishes sometimes;
Zdrave Acne Stop Cleansing Gel – I actually have a full review on these two cleansing gels here, this is another amazing budget soap-free cleanser;
Clinique Pep-Start 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser – I love Clinique but this range is such a hit and miss. Sadly, this was a disappointing product for me and I ended up using it as a body polisher. It just didn’t do much for my face, plus, because of my skin issues at the moment, I’m trying to avoid cleansers that contain sulphates;
Zdrave Acne Stop Lotion – Sadly, this one contains alcohol but I quite liked it because of the Salicylic Acid. It calms my troubled skin and I already have a second bottle of it;
Armina Bio Organic Chamomile Water – Floral waters are a huge love of mine, they make my skin soft and hydrated. Chamomile water is also very good for me when my eyes are tired or a bit red, I soak two cotton pads and place them over my eyes for some minutes. It’s been helping us with our cats, as well, especially with one that is blind and needs his eyes cleaned once or twice a day and everything else is too harsh and drying. So, this is not only a skincare gem, it’s simply great to have it at home;
Pixi Skintreats Glow Mud Mask – That’s a great skincare find for me, need a full size now because I love how quick and easy to use it is and I don’t need hours to wash it off, as it doesn’t get so dry and tight like most mud masks do;
Argiletz Laboratories Pink Clay Face Mask – A lovely purifying but also hydrating face mask perfect for my troubled skin because it doesn’t dry it out. Too bad it didn’t last that long but it’s definitely a nice one and I’d repurchase or try some of the other clay masks from the brand;
KICKS Drink Up Instant Moisture Mask – This is the second tube I have from this mask because it’s lightweight but hydrating and sometimes I need a bit more moisture because of the Differin I’ve been using for a month or so. The brand’s face masks were initially sent to me to try, so if you want to read a full review, here’s a link to it;
Balea Aqua Hydrating Sheet Mask – I’m seeing so many different reviews and opinions on this face mask but I personally love it. It’s cooling, hydrating, comfortable to wear and it’s very affordable. I’ve stocked up on it, as I can’t find it in many countries;
Dr. Jart + Clearing Solution – Really enjoyed using it because it calmed my blemishes without drying my skin out. There were about 10-15 ml of the solution left in the sachet which I used as a serum afterwards, I just decanted it into a glass bottle with a pipette and used it at night when my skin looked a bit spotty;
Purederm Deep Purifying Black O2 Bubble Mask – The sensation was strange, it wasn’t that nice and I didn’t see any results. Too bad because Purederm have some really nice products;
Balea Beauty Effect Eye Gel-Pads – They feel cooling and hydrating thanks to the Hyaluronic Acid, they’re fragrance-free and I’d love to use them now, actually;
L’Oréal Revitalift Laser Renew Eye – Applicator feels great in the morning because it’s a bit cold, it’s comfortable to dispense the amount of product you need and feels firming after a few weeks of using it;
No7 Beautiful Skin Overnight Revitalising Eye Balm – Too bad it’s an underrated brand because they have some amazing skincare products and this is one of them. It’s moisturising but it’s also really nice if you’re having tired eyes, it feels soothing and a bit cooling;
Balea Vital Eye and Lip Contour Balm – I didn’t use this one around my lips and the range is actually suggested for more mature skin but some of the products are lovely and I wanted to try more. I like to use this balm during the colder months because it makes the skin under my eyes much softer and hydrated;
Bioderma Sébium Pore Refiner – I have mixed feelings towards this product but I feel like I just can’t make it work for me. There’s a post with my thoughts on it here;
Eucerin Sun Fluid SPF 50 – Well, Eucerin products are simply lovely, I still haven’t found an item from them that’s disappointing. I’ve been having a lot of problems with finding a sunscreen that doesn’t clog my pores and luckily, this was one that didn’t cause more issues for my skin;
Weleda Skin Food – A must-have in every home! Great ingredients list, fantastic soothing and nourishing properties, cult product that doesn’t need any further explanation;
MAC Instacurl Lash MascaraMAC mascaras are sometimes terrible on my lashes but when they’re good, they simply rock. This has been a favourite for months, it’s my second tube of it, I don’t have a third because I found even better ones (one is from MAC again) but one day, I’ll be surely going back to this one because it gives me great separation and curl;
Estée Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara – You can tell I love well-separated lashes, as this is another volumising and separating mascara. It’s really long-lasting and doesn’t smudge and this was probably my third tube of it;
Aura Correct Me! Concealer – A lovely budget concealer that I’m quite sad I didn’t get a back up of. It has medium coverage, it’s creamy and works just as well under the eyes or around the face. Need to repurchase;

Hair Products

Bochko Lavender Baby Shampoo – I’ve been testing out so many new haircare products that I can’t finish up any but I’ve been loving this baby shampoo, it’s sulphate-free, makes my hair really soft and shiny, has a delicate scent and I now have to stock up whenever I’m in my home country;
Kérastase Aura Botanica Gentle Aromatic Shampoo and Kérastase Oil Mist – Both of these products are repurchases and the latter is not featured on the photo because I just used it up but I have to say, Aura Botanica is one of my favourite haircare ranges and I’d rather leave you my reviews on every single one of the products from the line here;
Alverde Fig Body Butter – This was part of a set of three mini body butters and I grabbed it first because I love fig scents. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell like figs to me, at all but it’s not an unpleasant scent. Also, Alverde body butters always have nice texture and hydrating properties, so I’m happy that I could try it;
Rituals The Ritual of Dao Bed & Body Mist – Another mini from a set. I use Rituals mists only to spritz our bedsheets with because they’re a little bit different from most bed mists, they don’t actually smell of Lavender (which I love but sometimes I like to switch it up a bit) and I think it could be a nice change.

These are all my recent empties and I feel like next time I’ll be featuring some cute minis from my beauty advent calendars that I’m already so excited to start opening!

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Sephora Haul | November 2017

I’ve just got back from Milan and it was lovely although it didn’t stop raining even for a day. It was good to visit again the city that made me fall in love with Italy for the first time many years ago.

Of course, there was no Sephora in Milan back then, so it was only natural for me to visit a few of their stores this time. Part of the products I’m showing you today are from my trip to Milan but there are also a few that were ordered by my boyfriend from the US Sephora. I’ve been curious about some items that are not so widely available in Europe, so it was a great surprise when he showed me the box that came in the mail. I also decided to throw in a couple of purchases from Germany because they happened to be available only there at that moment.

I picked up a few skincare sets, they’re great for travelling but I actually wanted to get to know the brands. The only thing I’ve tried from Herborist was an overnight face mask that I really liked and I even used it as a day cream for a deeper hydration. This Discovery Kit contains T’ai Chi Masks (a black and a white mask that you’re supposed to use one after another), SILKY All-day Moisturising Facial Fluid and SILKY All-day Moisturising Eye Gel. I’m incredibly excited to try the Laneige Hydrating Trial Kit because I’ve heard only positive reviews on the brand’s products. The set contains a Moisturising Foam Cleanser, Essential Power Skin Toner, Water Bank Essence, Water Bank Moisture Cream and probably their most popular product, the Water Sleeping Mask.
I’ve never tried anything from KORA Organics and I’m a bit unsure how I feel about the essential oils that some of their products contain but this little Daily Ritual set for oily/combination skin sounds interesting, so I’ll report back once I’ve tried the items. Inside the box you find a Foaming Cleanser (not sure why so many cleansers are supposed to be “foaming”), Energising Citrus Mist and Purifying Moisturiser.
Another brand that I’m really curious about is Drunk Elephant. I’m hearing so many people raving about their products that seeing this cute The Littles set made me scream a bit. It’s quite a generous gift from my boyfriend because he knows about the struggles I’ve been having after the bad reaction to a sunscreen and apparently, these products work well on many people. Hopefully, they’re going to help me, as well. The set contains Pekee Bar and Juju Bar which are their solid cleansers, C-Firma Day Serum, T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, B-Hydration Gel, Lala Retro Whipped Cream, Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil and Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30.
The Dr. Jart+ K-Beauty A BB C’s sets are actually a repurchase because I really liked the trio the first time I tried it, it’s great for travelling, some of my friends wanted to try it, as well and sadly, it’s not so easy to get hold of it at the moment.

Blackhead Steam Balm from TONYMOLY has been on my wishlist for such a long time but no matter where I tried to get it from, it was always sold out and the only thing that remained on the shelves was the tester. I hope it’s as good as they say.

I decided not to go crazy with the sheet masks, so I purchased just a few. I haven’t tried Sephora‘s lip and foot masks yet, so I picked up their Rose Lip Mask and Almond and Lavender Foot Masks. The TONYMOLY I’m Real Tomato Mask Sheet Radiance was supposed to be tested during our trip but I ended up forgetting about it. When I was picking up the masks, I turned around and saw this Dr. Jart+ Bright Lover Rubber Mask in my shopping basket. My boyfriend put it there simply because he has a lot of fun when he sees me with strange masks on.
Clay masks in pots dry out so quickly and that was the only reason why I didn’t want to get the Sephora Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying one when I first heard about it. Luckily, now they have miniature size of it (or maybe they always had it but I never saw it) and I can’t wait to try it.

I’m a huge lip balm lover, I also adore peach-scented products, so when I saw the Lanolips Peach 101 Ointment Multi-Balm, I had to have it. Plus, multi-purpose moisturisers are great to have in your handbag, especially in the winter.

Hype isn’t something I often buy into but all the different opinions on the Sol de Janeiro‘s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream made me want to try this body moisturiser so bad. But now I’m scared to open the mini jar and to actually use the product. Yes, I realise how ridiculous it sounds.

The only tool I picked up was the pink Beautyblender just because I  need a new one.

As you can see my haul mostly consists of skincare items and I guess that’s because of my skin issues. And although the makeup products are not many this time, they’re absolutely amazing. This Marc Jacobs The Nude(ist) set is so beautiful! I love everything about it and I can’t wait to add it to my handbag.
Some of you may know how much I wanted the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer but I never had luck with finding it. They didn’t have all the shades in Milan and most of them looked either too pale or too pink/orange for me. So, I picked up the shade Creme Brulee and I hope I didn’t make the wrong decision.
Last but not least, something that I wasn’t that curious about but now that I have it, I really like it. It’s the Fenty Beauty Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter Duo in Mean Money/Hu$tla Baby. I don’t usually go for peachy shades but these ones are quite sheer, soft and blendable.

These are all my recent Sephora purchases and I’m looking forward to finding out more about each of the products. I have big hopes for the skincare sets and I’d be happy if you share your experience in case you’ve already tried some of them.

October Favourites

Autumn has been amazing, so far this year! I’m lucky to be spending some weeks at home and each year the season gets more and more beautiful in my city.

However, I haven’t been that fortunate when it comes to my skin. If you’re not aware of my troubles, I’ve been suffering with a bad reaction after using a sunscreen in the summer, I’ve contacted several dermatologists but sadly, with no result. The latest thing I was prescribed was Differin Gel and if you’re familiar with this medication you probably know that the first couple of weeks are the hardest. Right now, my skin is peeling, it’s burning and feels painful even though I’m not applying the gel every night.

So, I’ve been trying to hydrate and calm the skin. The three products that are helping me the most at the moment are this Vichy Mineralising Thermal Water, the Zoya Organic Bulgarian Rosehip Oil and the Dr. Jart+ Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser. And I use them in this exact order but on an evening when I apply the Differin, I’d use the medication first, then I’d wait around 30 minutes and continue with these three products. The thermal water spray feels very soothing, it’s infused with antioxidants, it calms my skin and the oil applies much easier while the face is still damp. The rosehip oil doesn’t give me a stinging sensation (at the moment many products feel irritating) and not only moisturises my skin but it’s almost like it’s healing it, as well. Since I’ve started using the rosehip oil, my skin feels much less stripped, dry and painful. At first, the Water Drop Hydrating Moisturiser wasn’t helping me much as it was burning a bit but now that my skin is a lot more soothed, I can enjoy the lightweight yet hydrating feeling of it. I need a tiny amount of the product, it looks like a gel but applies almost like water and smells quite nice. If you have dry skin, this wouldn’t be enough for you on its own in the winter but I think it’s lovely if you want to give your regular moisturiser a boost, for example. I have a mini of 30 ml but it’s lasting me a really long time.

I’ve been loving two mascara in the past couple of months. They’re totally different in terms of formulas and brushes but they both give me amazing results, they’re long-wearing and smudge-proof. Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara* was mentioned here when I reviewed the entire Monsieur Big collection from the brand and since then it’s been my go-to mascara for days when I want full and separated lashes. For me, it’s totally worth the hype and I can already see it as an annual favourite of mine.
This cool dual-chamber packaging of MAC Bold & Bad Lash* actually contains two brushes and two different formulas (full review here) in one tube. With this mascara I can create a really natural everyday-appropriate look or go for a bold effect if I want. The tiny wand for the lower lashes is very precise and even though I don’t usually wear mascara on my bottom lashes, this one made me change that.

The Tom Ford Lipstick in Indian Rose* looks brand new but that’s just because I use the other side of the bullet to apply this beautiful pinky rose shade. This is the perfect lipstick, the colour looks stunning no matter if I’m wearing it in the summer or winter. The texture is quite creamy and I would have never expected such a creamy lipstick to be that long-wearing but it really is. There’s a subtle shimmer running through but surprisingly for me, it makes the lipstick colour even more beautiful. In fact, the shimmer doesn’t show up on my lips, it just makes them look more plump and not flat. I simply adore this lipstick!

These are my favourite beauty items for the month of October and I already have a full box of different products to try in November which makes me really excited. Holiday season is just around the corner, as well, so I’m curious to see all the gift sets and other limited edition releases.

*PR Samples

July Favourites

July is usually never an exciting month for me when it comes to beauty discoveries. It all seems to be paused, everyone’s on holiday and my routines are quite minimal.

But this year, I had the chance to try many products while I was away in Italy and hopefully, I’ll be sharing more about them in the next few weeks. In this monthly favourites post I’m featuring a couple of these products because I fell in love with them straight away.

One of them is the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser. I was surprised by the texture of this cleanser, as I was expecting it to be thick and even a bit drying. However, it feels light, at first it looks a bit like a clay mask or some sort of paste but it almost transforms into an oil when in contact with water. It’s purifying but also hydrating and my face feels really smooth and soft afterwards. At the beginning, I was a bit concerned because the formula contains 5% Glycolic Acid and my skin isn’t the biggest fan of this acid but it also has Hyaluronic Acid, Chamomile Extract and Avocado Oil, so the combination of these really seems to work for me at the moment. I’ve been using this mini as a morning cleanse or a second cleanse in the evening. Now I’m thinking about purchasing the full size because it’s not drying at all, feels amazing on the skin and leaves it fresh, clean and nourished.

It is not a secret that I adore floral waters and rose water was the first and only skincare product that I used when I was younger, even before my teenage years. The Alteya Organics Organic Bulgarian White Rose Water made me very curious because I’d never tried white rose water before. Rosa Alba is one of the rearest oil-bearing roses. Compared to rose water from the traditional Rosa Damascena, this one has lighter and a bit more delicate aroma but still has amazing soothing and calming properties, it’s softening and moisturising and rose water will forever be one of my favourite skin treats. It’s very gentle on the skin, it’s suitable for all skin types and can be used as a toner after cleansing, to refresh the skin during the day or after sun exposure, I also love using it when I travel and feel a bit dehydrated. They have different sizes and types of bottles, this is a huge 500 ml one but the little 100 ml spray version is really handy to have in a travel bag.

Origins Flower Fusion Sheet Masks are now some of my favourite sheet masks. There are six types and the ones I keep repurchasing most of the time are the Raspberry (it feels refreshing in a hot summer day) and Lavender (very soothing and calming before bed) ones. Here’s a link to my review on the five I’ve tried, so far.

The only base product I’ve been using in the past weeks has been the Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45. I’ve mentioned in my Simple Summer Makeup blog post that it would be too dark for me in the rest of the year but the shade is great at the moment because I’m tanned. I like that it’s a lightweight BB cream but provides medium coverage, it’s quick and easy to apply and stays on all day.

I reach for This MAC x Steve J & Yoni P Touch Me Baby* eyeshadow duo whenever I don’t have much time or just want a wash of colour that can make me look more fresh and presentable. I love how small and compact the packaging is while still being stable and having magnetic closure. The eyeshadow on the right is the popular Soba that is a wonderful golden brown everyday shade but the frosted light pink Keep on Twinkling (on the left side) is really beautiful for a touch of sparkle. They may not seem compatible when you first look at them in the pan but you’d be surprised what a great pair they actually are.

Leave-in conditioners are my thing and when they’re in a spray form and it’s summer, I can use them all the time. Kérastase Aura Botanica Essence d’Éclat* is a beautiful hair mist that I use on damp hair after washing it or on dry hair to make it look more shiny and soft. It smells lovely and the formula is bi-phased, containing Jojoba, Avocado, Coconut and Argan Oils. I’ve done a blog post on the whole Aura Botanica range and in case you haven’t seen it, here’s a link to it.

There’s a bit of all, skincare, haircare and makeup, in my July beauty favourites, so maybe there will be something for you, as well.

*PR Samples

Simple Everyday Makeup | Summer 2017

I’ve been lucky to be able to enjoy a beautiful and pretty hot summer this year. There have been days when the temperatures rised up to 40 degrees Celsius which has been a big challenge for all of us but for our skin, too.

In the summer, I tend to use less than 5 makeup products on my face, mainly because of my shiny T-zone but also, I like it to feel as light as possible.
There are a few new products I’ve incorporated into my daily makeup routine in the  past few weeks and I decided to share my experience with you.

This mini of the Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45 was part of a set I got from Sephora while I was in Rome. There is no shade name on the packaging, I believe the product comes in two shades and this one is great for me now that I’m tanned but would be too dark for the rest of the year. I love that it has SPF 45 and that I can really notice skincare benefits the more I wear this BB cream. At first, the texture looks quite thick but it spreads easily and evens out the skin tone. It has medium coverage and hides redness really well. I’d say it would be best for normal to dry skin, as I need to blot a lot more in the days when I’m wearing it but I really like this product. I don’t need a brush or a sponge to apply it, it’s quick and easy to use and it’s actually lasting me a long time although it’s only 15 ml.

The concealer I’ve been reaching for lately comes from Catrice and it’s their Liquid Camouflage Concealer. It has great coverage, it’s brightening, creamy and budget-friendly.

Another Catrice product I’ve been loving in the past few weeks is their Sun Glow Matt Bronzing Powder in the shade 030 Medium Bronze. The texture is buttery, smooth, velvety soft, the powder is finely-milled, looks beautiful on the skin and it’s everyday-appropriate. Depending on the skin tone, it can be even used as a light contour without looking too harsh. Most of the days, I’d skip other cheek products but sometimes a highlighter and a blusher just add the finishing touches to a certain look. I’m in love with the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight in Opal. It’s another mini I got in a set with the matching powder highlight but I think this one looks better on my skin in the summer. Probably many of you think that Mood Exposure from Hourglass would be more appropriate in the autumn but I love this mauve shade so much that I could wear it all the time. This Ambient Lighting Blush gives radiance and a touch of colour to my face, makes me look more healthy and awake and blends really well with the bronzer.

I’ve just started using this Essence Mattifying Compact Powder, so I can’t say much about it at the moment but it feels lightweight and natural-looking.

Clarins Eyebrow Pencil is an old favourite of mine, this is probably my third one, it’s perfect for those days when I don’t want to spend hours doing my brows. If you like more precise pencils, this isn’t the one for you probably but I love it for quickly filling my brows and defining them a bit.

When I first saw the MAC Fruity Juicy Eyeshadow Palette in Fruit A La La*, I fell in love with the packaging. The print is gorgeous, the case is compact but sturdy at the same time. However, I wasn’t sure if I could get good use out of it, considering I’m into simple eye looks. And oh, was I wrong… This palette is so tiny, yet it has the perfect shades for neutral or more fun look. It is also great for creating this sultry sunset eye we see a lot in the summer. You can create so many looks with it and I can’t stop using it now.

I finally purchased the Dior Pump’N’Volume Mascara, it’s been on my wishlist since it first came out because I’m a Dior lover and because the tube is a bit unusual. The mascara is really volumising, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes and doesn’t smudge. I’ll be sharing more once I’ve used it for a bit longer.

Most of the days, I’d just exfoliate my lips with the Dior Addict Sugar Scrub and the rosy tint added to the balmy feeling would be enough for me on the lips. But Tom Ford lip products finally launched in more boutiques around Norway and I’ve been in love with the packaging, the formula and this shade called Indian Rose*. It’s sophisticated, elegant but still fresh and pretty for every day.

There are a few scents that form my summer fragrance wardrobe at the moment but the one I use mostly is Moschino Fresh EDT. As the name would suggest, it’s fresh, joyful, juicy. The floral notes are not so prominent, so it feels more citrusy and fruity, rather than floral. I really like this fragrance for the summer.

This is my current makeup menu and I’d be curious to know more about your summer makeup loves.

*PR Samples