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2017 Beauty Favourites

Here it is, the last day of the year! I remember how at this time last year, I was hoping this one to be good and happy but it turned out to be one of the most difficult and sad years for me and my loved ones. In fact, the past couple of years have been very tough, so I think it’s finally time for something more cheerful and happy! And I hope you’re going to welcome 2018 in the best possible way!

I like taking a look back at what beauty bits I’ve been loving throughout the year because as we try a lot of products, sometimes we forget what works best on us. Like I recently mentioned, I don’t have that many favourite products this year. I’ve been struggling with skin issues since July, I’ve never had such problems before and it’s been quite challenging to find what’s best for my skin. At the same time, most of my favourite beauty items have been discovered in the second half of the year. But let’s just take a look at them.
Skincare Products

I’ve been setting aside micellar water quite a bit in 2017. It’s usually my preferred product when it comes to taking off the majority of my makeup, so that I can cleanse better afterwards with one or two cleansers. But as my skin problems started, I was suggested to try using it less. However, there has been one micellar water that I’ve been really liking. Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Water is very affordable and really gentle. It contains Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) which is anti-inflammatory and although I always wash my face after using micellar water, I can see the difference. I know that it is combination of products that make the difference but if I want to use a gentle micellar water, it would be this one. I also like that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue and doesn’t dry out my skin.

Just like last year, there are two cleansers that I’ve been absolutely in love with. I haven’t used the Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel for Face and Body for a couple of months but it has been a true saviour in the summer months right after my problems began. It is soap-free and it feels incredibly calming on my skin. It doesn’t strip my skin, it doesn’t leave it feeling tight or itchy. It contains Monolaurin to reduce excess oil, Zinc Gluconate to calm redness and irritation and Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe, soften and calm the skin. You can read more about this and one more cleansing gel that really impressed me in the warmer months here.
The second cleanser that I wanted to mention is actually my autumn/winter face wash. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is more of a cream cleanser which initially scared me but luckily, it doesn’t clog my pores. It’s fragrance- and sulphate-free and feels very mild on the skin. It’s feels a bit richer than my other favourite cleansers and I think it’s great for this time of the year.

Facial mists have always played a very special role in my skincare routine. There are so many that I love that I’d need a separate post to talk about them (I actually have a refined edit of some here) but I wanted to mention two La Roche-Posay products. I’m not sure how many times Serozinc has been featured on my blog but when you love something, you just can’t hide it. It mattifies the skin without drying it out and still leaves a healthy glow, it heals blemishes and feels really soothing. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray (not pictured above) and Avène Thermal Spring Water help me a lot when my skin feels a bit more dehydrated and they work well before applying facial oil. Thermal water sprays are a staple for me, as they can also be used on irritations, sunburn, rashes and I basically, have all sizes everywhere around me.

I admit, I collect too many lip balms, I love lip balms and I want to try all of them but I simply adore Dior Lip Glow and I can’t wait to see the new finishes for spring 2018 in January. When they came out with a Berry shade, I was more than happy because it was the shade that was missing. But when they added the Lip Sugar Scrub to the family and it ended up sold out everywhere, it changed my mind about lip scrubs being messy and hard to use. It’s a lip balm and lip scrub in one and it also leaves a beautiful hint of tint. It feels very gentle on the lips but it does exfoliate them and it’s very comfortable to use, it just looks and feels like you’re applying a lip balm. You can read my full review on these two brilliant products here.

Makeup Products

This is the category that usually contains the largest number of products but this year and especially, the second half of it, I haven’t been wearing much makeup. I was suggested by a dermatologist to try skipping the foundation step as often as I can (by the way, Dior Forever is still my favourite foundation, so no change there) and I’ve been mostly using mascara, concealer, light powder and lipstick. So, these are basically, my favourite makeup items in 2017.
I spent good 7 months trying to track down the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer and I’ve been using it only for about two but I already know that it’s amazing. I have really dark circles under my eyes, I’ve always been like this, there’s nothing I can do about it, so that’s why I’m always on the hunt for the best concealer out there. Coverage isn’t the only feature that makes it a brilliant concealer. But there’s something about pot concealers although most of us aren’t the biggest fans of dipping their fingers in the tiny pots. They just seem to have a bit more creamy consistency and higher coverage. What makes NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer stand out is the shade range, the fact that it almost doesn’t crease and feels creamy at the same time, it sets to a matte but not flat finish and it’s really easy to blend, it doesn’t feel drying and the coverage is medium and buildable. I use it on my dark circles or to hide some imperfections around the face and it works great both ways.

Even when I don’t use foundation, I like to apply a bit of powder because I tend to get shiny in the middle of the day but also, powders can have blurring effect. There are powders that don’t just mattify the skin but they also leave a beautiful glow to it and make you look a bit more healthy. This is the case with La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder in Translucent* that I was lucky to receive for reviewing. It is a gorgeous powder, indeed. It is so soft and finely-milled that it’s hard to believe it’s real. I really don’t feel it on my skin when I use it and I have to check in the mirror if it’s there but even then, I see radiant skin. The coverage is quite sheer, it’s not a powder foundation, after all but it just leaves a healthy veil, thanks to the light-reflecting pigments that create a soft blurring effect. The powder also has skincare properties and it’s really noticeable now that we’re in the colder months. Some powders can dry out the skin but this one leaves it nourished and glowing.

Mauve shades are usually supposed to be worn mostly in the autumn/winter but I love them all year round and my blush of choice for the past 5-6 months, has been the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure. I adore my Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve but I really wanted to try this beautiful shade from Hourglass. After sharing my love for the La Mer product, I have to say this is another soft, finely-milled and simply gorgeous powder. It blends beautifully on the skin and I’ve been using it for so long but it still looks like brand new which is great. I have a full review on this blush here.

Maybe because I’ve been mostly wearing mascaras or maybe there have been just many brilliant ones out there but I feel like 2017 gave us some amazing mascaras. My personal favourites are Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara and MAC Bold & Bad Lash*. The first one was initially sent to me by the brand and I loved it so much that I purchased another one. And I don’t usually get a second tube of mascara with a bristle brush. It’s very easy to work with the big and thick brush, the formula isn’t clumpy, at all, it isn’t too wet or too dry, it’s perfect. I love that it doesn’t smudge or flake and by the end of the day, it still looks amazing. Monsieur Big separates and volumises my lashes, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes and I’ve done a full review on the whole Monsieur Big range here.
What can be better than a good mascara? Two good mascaras…in one tube! MAC Bold & Bad Lash*  has two mascara brushes with two different formulas in one packaging and they both do a fantastic job at volumising the lashes but with just the right amount of volume. The small brush makes it very easy to control the amount of product you want to use on your lower lashes and as a person who normally doesn’t like to wear mascara on the bottom lashes, I love this one. Also, the one designed for the upper lashes holds the curl really well and lasts all day without flaking and smudging. In case you’re interested, here’s my review on this mascara.

The hardest part of this post for me was choosing my favourite lipsticks because I simply cannot commit to wearing just one or two. But I managed to pick three. Burt’s Bees lip balms are some of my favourite ones out there, so when the brand launched their 100% natural lipsticks, I couldn’t wait to try them. Sadly, we had to wait pretty long to get them here in Norway but the brand kindly sent over a preview and I’ve been enjoying them since the spring. 530 Lily Lake* is a beautiful mauve pink and there are so many shades to choose from, the packaging is really pretty and is made of 60% recycled material. The colours are very opaque, the texture is creamy and easy to apply and they feel really nice, hydrating and balmy. They’re not the most long-lasting lipsticks but they’re definitely good ones.
Tom Ford lipsticks are finally available outside Oslo and the shade Indian Roseis the perfect pinky rose colour. Obviously, I use the other side of the bullet because I wear it all the time and want to keep the TF for as long as possible. At first, I was surprised by how long-wearing the lipstick was, considering it is quite creamy and non-drying. There’s a slight shimmer running through when you look at the bullet but it doesn’t really show up on the lips, it just makes them look more plump. It’s a beautiful lipstick and I’m really happy to have it in my collection.
Role Play by Marc Jacobs is another lipstick that I really wanted to have, I know they’re all part of the same shade family but I just love such rose pink nude nuances. But texture-wise, this Marc Jacobs lipstick is nothing like my other lipsticks. It’s a gel lipstick and it’s hard for me to explain exactly how it feels, it’s moisturising, it’s not balmy but still glides on the lips easily. It’s quite unique and I really like that it’s a mini, I love mini products in general but also, the chance to use them up at one point rather than just collecting them, is much bigger.

Body and Hair Products

This is a tiny category but I wanted to mention a few products that I really love. First of all, the Rituals Foaming Shower Gels are some of the best-smelling and luxurious body products I’ve seen. When you dispense the product into your hand, it looks like gel but water transforms it into a rich and creamy foam. They’re such a pleasure to use and me and my boyfriend always have a few bottles at home.
Unfortunately, I don’t have my favourite body oil with me at the moment but I just can’t miss the opportunity to say a few words about it. I have a full review on the gorgeous Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil here and it was actually, my summer body moisturiser, mainly because of the scent but regardless, it is a beautiful body oil. It’s silky and luxurious, it feels amazing on the body, it’s nourishing and the scent is divine, warm and sultry.
Last but not least, there’s only one product pictured above but the entire Kérastase Aura Botanica range (I have a detailed review on each product here) is a dream. I was initially sent the whole line but since then, I’ve repurchased most of the products several times and I need to stock up on them again. Even if I’m on a place with hard water, these products help me get shiny and beautiful hair, they smell lovely and they are silicone-, sulphate- and paraben-free.

That’s it for my beauty favourites of the year! I wish you safe and happy celebrations tonight and a wonderful 2018, be good and do good!

*PR Samples


September Favourites

The season of warm blankets and cosy knits has just started, so it is probably normal that this month’s beauty favourites post is a mix of summer and autumn bits.

Rituals have some of my favourite bath and body products but their skincare was never something I looked into. My boyfriend knows that I love lip balms and a few weeks ago, he passed by a Rituals store and decided to add the Smooth Operator Lip Balm to my collection. At that time my lips were pretty dry and this was the only lip balm I had with me, so I started using it the same night and I liked it straight away because of the minty feel and smooth texture but I really fell in love with it the next morning. When I woke up, my lips were so soft, smooth and hydrated that I couldn’t quite believe it. The formula contains Shea Butter, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil and Eucalyptus and it feels really moisturising and refreshing at the same time. There’s also a lot of product in the bullet and I’m sure it will be an essential for me in the upcoming winter days.

A few weeks ago I shared with you a bit about my skin issues because of the high temperatures in the summer and a sunscreen that probably wasn’t the right one for me. Since then, I’ve been using the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ and I really like it. It has a milky texture and feels quite light on the skin. It doesn’t look too shiny on my combination skin and I don’t find it pore-clogging. I’m not sure what took me so long to try it but now I know why the reviews on it are so positive.

Weather’s getting colder and the skin on my body has been feeling quite dry and although Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil was a summer favourite of mine, I still keep using it. At this point, I like taking a warm shower at night and applying the oil while my skin is still damp. This has made such a difference to its condition and I really don’t want to see this bottle empty because I simply love the product. I’ve done a review on the body oil here, so you can take a look in case it’s interesting for you.

I’m pretty sure this is not the first favourites post where I’m featuring Weleda Skin Food. Most of us already know how amazing it is but I got new tubes for us (my boyfriend and I) and for my family, so this was one of the old ones that I decided to use as foot cream. I’ll usually apply a thick layer of Skin Food and then I’ll put on warm socks and let the cream do its magic. It’s a rich cream as you probably know, so having sticky feet is not the most pleasant feeling but once it’s fully absorbed, you see it was worth it. I also like applying it on my elbows and knuckles, it’s really hydrating and smells very fresh although some people hate the scent.

In this post, I said that I love Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure and I think it’s worth the splurge. Since I got it, it’s been constantly in my makeup bag but I feel like I’ll be using it even more in the autumn and winter months. It’s just a beautiful finely-milled powder, they have a gorgeous selection of shades and they’ve just released their holiday face palette that looks stunning!

I can’t believe we’re already in the last three months of the year, time’s flying and I feel like we’ll be soon talking about Christmas preparations.

Worth the Splurge? | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure


Luxury makeup can be really tempting for many of us. But I rarely purchase products on impulse whether they’re budget or high-end ones. As much as I love collecting beauty products, the most important thing for me is to be able to use these products and to actually have them in my daily routine.

Hourglass is a brand I’ve always been curious about but somehow, never available around me. When I saw their counter in Sephora while I was in Italy, I couldn’t help myself and began swatching everything. Sadly, the lighting in the store was terrible, so I couldn’t really see proper shades and textures but I can tell you that all of their powders are stunning. What caught my eye was the new colour range of the Ambient Strobe Lighting Blushes (Euphoric Fusion is such a gorgeous shade) and the bronzers, the shades were incredibly beautiful but surprisingly, way too shimmery. I think the new line and its glittery formula are more appropriate for a night out and probably that was the idea of the brand when creating them, just they didn’t look like my cup of tea. That’s why I ended up swatching the original Ambient Lighting Blushes and I fell in love with Mood Exposure, a beautiful warm rosy plum shade with a satiny finish. It looks a bit darker in the pan but it’s a bit more vibrant on me.

My boyfriend really wanted to get it for me but I was put off by the price tag and considering how similar the blush looked to my favourite Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve, I wasn’t convinced. However, he just decided to get it for me and after a month of using the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure, I wanted to share with you whether I think it’s worth splurging on it.

Unfortunately, I don’t have my Max Factor Creme Puff Blush to show you side by side how similar the colours look. The texture of both products is incredibly soft, silky, finely-milled and blends beautifully on the skin. The Hourglass Blush looks a bit powdery in the pan but doesn’t actually apply powdery or cakey on the skin. Mood Exposure has a subtle sheen (the Max Factor seems a bit more shimmery but not glittery at all and still amazingly beautiful) that doesn’t make the pores look more prominent and gives a healthy, glowing finish.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure is really pigmented and I have to use a light hand when applying it which means it’s going to last me a very long time. I love the pretty packaging, it’s also stable and compact and has a mirror inside. I simply adore this blush and I actually really want a palette and the bronzers now. Thanks a lot, Hourglass!

For me, it’s definitely worth treating yourself to this beautiful blush or any of their powders. The shade range is gorgeous, the texture is amazing and you can just see how good the quality of the product is even before swatching it. I’m also really happy that I picked up Mood Exposure because I’m using it almost every day and the shade would look beautiful in any time of the year.

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

Sephora Italy Haul | Summer 2017

This past week has been absolutely incredible! After about 14 months of all sorts of issues, I finally felt truly calm and happy. Not sure how long it would last but I’m going to enjoy it while it’s happening.

During my stay in Italy, I purchased a few things from Sephora in store and also placed an online order that was supposed to wait for me after I came back home. Sadly, it was cancelled and I still have no idea why but it would have been nice if they answered their phones.

But let’s focus on the positives. The Caolion Pore Purifying O2 Sparkling Soap has been on my wishlist for a very long time, so I got the mini version of it to try. I didn’t get the full size because two of the ingredients (Shea Butter and Coconut Oil) aren’t the best for my skin but my hopes are high because of the Charcoal, Tea Tree Leaf Oil and Hyaluronic Acid in it. The soap is supposed to be purifying and exfoliating in a gentle way and to remove impurities while balancing sebum production.

I felt like purchasing all the sheet masks but I remembered I still had so many at home, so I only got two. The first one is from Skinfood and it’s the Blueberry one, it’s made to illuminate dull skin. The second one comes from Dr. Jart+ and it’s their Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution Sheet Mask that should improve the tone and texture of blemish-prone skin.
I also picked up a trio of minis from Dr. Jart+ that contains the Water Drop Moisturiser, the BB Cream SPF 45 and the Dermaclear Micro Water. The set is great for travelling and I’ve heard many positive reviews on all three products, so I’m very excited to try them out.

I’ve been meaning to purchase the Clinique 2-in-1 Exfoliating Cleanser for over 6 months and somehow I never did. But when I saw it again the other day, I just had to add it to my basket. I still haven’t tried it but I really like some of the other products from the range, so I hope it will be just as good.

As you may see, I adore travel sets and miniatures, so it was only natural for me to get the This Works Can’t Sleep Kit. It contains their famous Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and Stress Check Roll-On that is still new to me but I simply love the calming scent of the pillow spray.

I believe Becca just launched at Sephora Italia, so I was pretty happy to see this Opal Glow on the Go Kit. I haven’t tried anything from the brand but this duo is perfect to get to know their liquids and powders. The set contains minis of the Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight and the Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter both in the shade Opal.

If you find yourself in Rome and wonder which Sephora to visit, let the Termini one be part of your choices. I went to at least five of their boutiques and all had something different but the only one that had Hourglass was at the Termini station. I was really surprised because I didn’t know this and when I saw the stand, I just had to stand still for some seconds. Then the swatch perty began and I picked up their Ambient Lighting Blush in the shade Mood Exposure. It’s one of those rosy plum shades that looks like a blusher and a bronzer at the same time. The texture is incredibly soft and finely-milled, blends seamlessly onto the skin and has a beautiful sheen that makes you look glowing and healthy. For me, this is a very pricey powder and I’ve been thinking about purchasing one for a long time, so when I got the chance, I took it. I still need time to decide whether it’s life-changing because I love my Max Factor Creme Puff Blushers, too but it’s definitely a treat and a gorgeous present for someone that would appreciate it.

Speaking of treats, here’s a fantastic one. My boyfriend surprised me with a Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil which will now forever remind of our beautiful time in Rome. The oil is lightweight and non-greasy but leaves the skin nourished and radiant-looking. I always think it’s best to apply oils on damp skin but it works on dry skin just as well. Soleil Blanc is the ultimate summer scent, warm but light, sultry, floral, sensual… I’ll be featuring this product more on the blog soon for sure.

And because I needed a summer fragrance that is a bit more fresh, I went back to an old favourite of mine. Moschino Fresh has joyful citrus notes, exotic ylang-ylang, juicy raspberries and a floral heart. Many people say it doesn’t last long on them but at the end of the day, I can still feel it on myself and the longer I have it on, the better it smells.

These are my purchases from Sephora for now, I hope the issue will be soon fixed, so that I can finally get my hands on some of their online exclusives. Fingers crossed!