Tag Archives: shu uemura

January Favourites

It’s the last day of the first month of 2018! Time really flies!
And although the flowers above are making it seem like it’s already spring, it feels like winter has absolutely no intentions to leave, not just yet.

But I have to say this winter has been quite mild although my skin is still a bit dehydrated. I just recently did a review on the Votary Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil here, so I will try not to repeat myself but I’d like to say that cleansing oils usually break me out and this one was such a joy to find and to start using. It’s great on my combination but dehydrated skin, it cleanses it really gently yet effectively and it makes me look forward to my evening skincare routine every day.

After I was suggested by a dermatologist to try wearing less makeup, now I’d just go for concealer, powder, mascara and lip balm. I’m not an eyeshadow person, I’ve said that before but somehow I like it when my eyes look a bit more defined. I prefer a soft wash of colour that looks elegant and makes the eyes pop. There have been a few options that I’ve been reaching for a lot but today, I’d like to share with you this mini of the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Amethyst. The shade is something between a soft mauve and warm taupe and has kind of a bronze metallic finish, it’s simply stunning and I feel like it would look great on everyone. The formula is creamy and glides on easily, blends like a dream and it’s extremely long-lasting. I always have to use a primer because everything creases on my lids except for this one! I forgot to use a primer a few times before applying Amethyst and whenever I looked in the mirror, it stayed perfect. The colour is very pigmented but flattering and not screaming. I use this as an eyeshadow or as a liner, I like smudging it over my bottom lash line, it’s also fantastic for a smokey eye.

My hands are very dry at the moment, it always happens at this time of the year, I wash them too often and I don’t apply hand creams regularly. The one that’s been giving me quick results though comes from Burt’s Bees and it’s their Ultimate Care Hand Cream for extremely dry skin. It seems like it’s possible that packaging is slightly different now or it’s just because I have minis but I found two in my stash and I’ve been keeping one at home and one in my handbag. This hand cream has been a true saviour, thanks to the Coconut Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil and a natural fruit acid complex to gently exfoliate the skin. It’s 98.9% natural, it’s has a rich, thick consistency but it’s not too heavy or greasy. It has a light scent that is quite natural. Although my hands are still dry and nothing can really cure them right now, this hand cream makes such a difference to them whenever I apply it, it instantly hydrates and nourishes while keeping the effect for a few hours. I like to apply it at night and wake up to smooth and soft hands which doesn’t happen very often in the winter.

There are two hair products that really helped me keep my locks nourished and shiny during the windy and rainy winter days. When I first got the ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud in my Liberty Advent Calendar, I thought it would be just an extra step that wouldn’t do much of a difference. But oh, was I wrong… Essentially, it’s a pre-shampoo treatment that you spread all over damp hair (I concentrate on my scalp) and leave it on for at least 20 minutes or overnight. I’ve never used it as an overnight mask, I just can’t imagine going to bed with damp hair and clay that dries out on my head. I’d leave it on for 30-60 minutes, then rinse it off and then continue with my usual shampoo. This treatment would be suitable for any hair type, considering how my roots get greasy quite easily and this product doesn’t do that. The first time I used it, I couldn’t believe how soft (but not frizzy), shiny and simply wonderful my hair looked.
ESPA Pink Hair and Scalp Mud contains Vitamin C-rich Watercress and Red Clay to soothe and nourish the scalp, Castor Oil and Apricot Kernel Oil for strong and healthy-looking hair and even Rose Flower Extract. The brand suggests that the product can be used on dry skin on the body, as well. After applying it on my scalp and hair, I usually massage what’s left on my hands and it feels really nice, especially now that they’re so dry.
This treatment would be great for those of you who suffer from flaky scalp in the colder months, it’s very soothing and replenishing.
I haven’t tried other products from ESPA but I might need to… or at least get a full size of their pink mud.

Once a week I like to deep cleanse my hair. I often feature purifying shampoos on my blog, I try different ones all the time and it was quite surprising for me that I hadn’t used the following cult classic before. Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo* is a product everybody knows about but somehow it was never available around me.
Before I continue, I’d like to mention that this product is supposed to be used as a daily shampoo or as a pre-cleanse treatment once a week before a regular shampoo.
The Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo* has paraben- and silicone-free formula and is made with Onsen (Japanese hot spring) inspired ferment that are known in Japan for their purifying qualities. It keeps scalp’s balance while gently cleanses the hair. The texture is quite lightweight and easy to work with, it lathers nicely and makes my hair clean and soft.
I wouldn’t say it keeps it cleaner for longer than other shampoos but I wash my hair every other day, I always wash it twice and that’s pretty often, so, for me, it’s more important that this product doesn’t irritate and dry out my scalp. It draws out impurities and buildup while keeping the moisture and volume and leaving a nice delicate scent.

It’s been quite rainy in the past couple of weeks here which tends to make me more tired and in a dismal mood. So, I’ve been looking forward to every evening when I can just shut the bathroom door, take a hot shower and do my skincare routine. Such simple rituals make me feel relaxed and there’s been one body product that makes the whole experience even more enjoyable. I got the Decléor 100 Grain Body Exfoliator in their advent calendar and to be honest, I didn’t think I would like it. I rarely like body scrubs because they’re either too harsh or dissolve much before I manage to exfoliate my skin. However, Decléor 100 Grain Body Exfoliator might be the best body exfoliant I’ve ever used. It’s suggested to use on dry skin and to make the application easier, to apply an oil before that. I’ve tried using on damp skin, as well and I still love it. The formula is enriched with Grapefruit Essential Oil, Pear Sugar, Argan Shell, Orange Peel and Fruit Acids such as Grape, Pineapple and Passion Fruit. The gel turns into an oil when you start massaging it into the skin and then it gets milky in contact with water which makes it really easy to rinse off. It leaves my skin so soft and smooth, as if I’ve applied a body oil, hydrated and nourished. And the scent… I can’t describe it but it’s gorgeous and if you’ve tried anything from the brand, you probably know what I mean.

Last but certainly not least, one of my all-time favourite scents, Thé Noir 29 by Le Labo. I don’t think I can describe with words how beautiful this perfume is. It’s addictive, it’s deep but fresh, it’s leafy and dry. We all know that fragrances feel different on different skin, on me, Thé Noir 29 is like a cup of black tea with fig and bay leaves present, it’s a bit smokey and woody, rich and bitter. It’s not difficult for me to fall in love with this fragrance, considering how much I adore fig scents. But the fig here is different, it’s dry and dark, rather than juicy and fruity. I can feel Thé Noir 29 even at the end of the day, after I take a shower, it’s still there, on my pillow, at night and the morning after, it’s amazing…

And while I’m still lost in this gorgeous creation and the idea of it, it’s time to say goodbye to January and to welcome February.

*PR Sample

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2015 Beauty Favourites

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At the end of the year, I won’t talk about New Year’s resolutions or big ideas and changes, I will keep that for myself. But I’d like to wish you and your loved ones an amazing, healthy and happy 2016!

It is pretty difficult for me to share all my beauty favourites for the year in just one post, there’s always the chance to miss something that you really loved and you’re still loving. I have a mix of affordable and more high-end products that I split into a few categories but I’m still struggling to find the best way of doing it.

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Skincare Products

Skincare got me into beauty and the first item I went really crazy about was lip balm. I simply love lip balms, I have way too many and I don’t think I will ever get tired of them. The L’Occitane x Pierre Hermé Paris Pamplemousse Rhubarbe Lip Balm is the newest addition to my lip balm collection but I’ve always loved the brand’s lip balms and the limited edition scent just makes it a bit more special. It feels very light on the lips and makes them really soft. Lightweight is also my second favourite lip balm. I saved just the tiny jar, I’m pretty sad that I’ve already used up the product because it’s not available in Norway and it’s a gorgeous, nourishing balm that melts in contact with your lips and has a delicate and sophisticated scent. It’s from A.S Apothecary and it’s their Lip Balm #7 Vanilla and Lavender*, I’m simply in love with this product.
Another A.S Apothecary skincare gem that I wanted to include in my favourites is their Cleansing Oil #5 Soothing & Restorative*. I’ve done a full review on it here but I just want to say that this is the best cleansing oil I’ve tried, it’s not heavy for my combination skin, it has great cleansing properties and an exquisite rose scent.
Pure Rose Water has been my favourite toner for years and I love this Rose Water Facial Mist* from Mirins Copenhagen, I just keep re-filling the pretty glass bottle.
I added two facial serums to my 2015 favourites because I use one in the morning and a different one at night. Looking at the bottle of this Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Active Concentrate makes me realise it’s time to get another one. I don’t know how many bottles of this milky serum I’ve gone through but it makes my skin soft and it’s great for combination skin because it keeps it blemish-free. It also has lactic acid which is a hydrating acid and I’ve included this product in a favourites post twice last year, a staple for me!
At night I’ve been mostly using the Mirins Copenhagen Facial Serum* which isn’t a traditional serum, it’s an oil and I loved taking it with me on trips, as it’s really moisturising but also calming and always keeps my skin in good condition.
Last but not least, my favourite face oil! In 2014, when I did my first annual beauty favourites, I included the Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil and I still love it. However, this year I discovered the Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil (review here). I have combination skin that is often dehydrated, too and I thought it was pretty difficult to nourish and make the dry patches go away but to keep the oil at bay where it’s needed at the same time. These oils are one of the best things that has happened to my skin, they give me the needed care without breaking me out and I’d really recommend checking them out, one bottle lasts really long time!

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Make-up Products
I may go out without foundation on my face but concealer is an essential for me. I have pretty dark circles under my eyes, a bit of redness here and there and occasionally, a spot will appear thanks to my skin type. So, I’m always on the hunt for the best do-it-all concealer and I was pretty lucky in 2015. I have a drugstore and a high-end options for you and they both can be used all over the face. The Essence Camouflage Cream Concealer duo is my favourite travel bag concealer. It has a darker and a lighter shade that can be mixed for more coverage, it’s creamy but not heavy and doesn’t crease, it wears pretty well throughout the day. Another concealer that can be used under the eyes but also on imperfections around the face is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. This is such a pigmented and creamy concealer, has great coverage and doesn’t set into fine lines, feels light on the skin and you really don’t need much product. I’ve done a full review on it here.
Moving on to brows, without any doubt my favourite eyebrow pencil has been Soap&Glory‘s Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil and Brush in Hot Chocolate. The texture is really nice, the pencil is very skinny, so it gives you really good control and would’ve been nice if this product was available in Norway.
I’m quite picky with my mascaras but two stood out for me this year. Benefit Roller Lash Super-Curling & Lifting Mascara (review here) is one of my all-time favourite mascaras with a great brush and formula. This mascara lifts, curls, separates, lengthens and thickens the lashes and makes them look simply gorgeous. I can’t say enough good words about this product.
A bit newer release is the Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara in 01 Jumbo Jet*  with another amazing brush. I really wanted to include a drugstore mascara but I just realised I haven’t tried any drugstore mascaras in 2015! I never seemed to use more expensive ones before… So, you have to know that this mascara gets better with the time and makes the lashes fluttery and voluminous. I love how it separates the lashes and makes them super black.
My favourite blush has been the Essence Silky Touch Blush in 20 Babydoll. This is such an affordable but an incredibly pigmented blush, it’s not powdery at all and has a minimal shimmer, it looks beautiful on the skin.
The highlighting pen I’ve been loving is without a doubt the YSL Touche Éclat and this limited Kiss & Love edition is simply stunning! I have it in the shade 2 Luminous Ivory* and you can read more about it here.
I have two lip pencils in my 2015 favourites and they’re both from the drugstore. The shades look pretty similar, it’s just what I like but the formulas are an example of how a good lip liner should feel. GOSH Velvet Touch Waterproof Lipliner in the shade 002 Antique Rose and Essence Lipliner in 06 Satin Mauve are soft and creamy, they stay for hours on the lips and I’m wearing them almost every day in the autumn/winter.
When I reached the lipsticks part for this post, I think I had more than 10 favourite ones but at the end, I picked up 5 because this long post would have been even longer! Starting with the drugstore finds, it has been a year full of Essence, as it seems. Their Longlasting Lipstick in the shade 07 Natural Beauty is the perfect everyday lipstick colour. Swatches here.
The Maybelline ColourSensational lipstick in 342 Mauve Mania gives life to my face like nothing else and I even dedicated a full post to it here. And the Alverde‘s Bube Dame König in 20 Pi(n)k-Mauve is the best nude shade for me. You can read more about it here.
One of the most exciting beauty releases this year must be the Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer lipsticks. They are pigmented, they are hydrating but also long-wearing and they have amazing range of colours. My current favourite is 21 Rebel Pop* because it’s a gorgeous dark burgundy shade perfect for this time of the year. The posts dedicated to these lipsticks are here and here.
Do I need to add something when I say MAC Plumful (review here)? This could easily be in all of my annual beauty favourites.
I’m not a big lip gloss fan but there have been some really good finds this year. Like the Essence XXXL Nude Lipgloss in the shade 06 Soft Almond. Just adds a hint of colour, it’s comfortable to wear and it’s not sticky or too sweet.

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Nail Products
This was another tough category because I’ve purchased so many nail polishes in 2015 and I fell in love with so many of them that including less than 10 here seemed unrealistic. However, I’ve picked up three formulas instead of shades. Bourjois La Laque and this particular shade 7 Lycheers had to make it to the final selection. It’s creamy, pigmented and glossy! Full review here.
Golden Rose have so many different finishes and colours in their nail ranges that it was hard to choose just one but I went for their minis. The WOW! Nail Colour series has smooth formula, not too thick, not too runny, opaque colour and pretty good staying power for the price.
DM’s own brand trend IT UP really impressed me with their Double Volume & Shine line. Beautiful shades, shiny finish and intense colour payoff, the brush is lovely, as well.
I had to mention two Essence nail products because they add the final touches to my manicure. The Gel Nail Polish Top Coat extends the life of my nail varnish and adds an incredible shine while the Nail Art Express Dry Drops (review here) are perfect if you’re impatient like me.

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Body Products and Tools
Last but not least, the tiniest category. You’ve probably seen my post on the new Weleda Almond Sensitive Body Care where I shared my love for their Almond Sensitive Skin Body Lotion*. This lotion is very lightweight but incredibly nourishing and has the loveliest and gentle scent. I love the pump, I love how quickly it absorbs and the fact that is not sticky.
I think I’m going to share more about this YSL Black Opium EDP in a future post but I’m pretty sure you already have it or at least you’ve tested it, so you’ll know why I’m attracted by this mysterious and addicting fragrance.
I really wanted to feature the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler in my annual beauty favourites because it changed my eyelash game! You can see before and after photo here and what I’d like to say is please, don’t use cheap curlers, as they may be pretty dangerous, better invest in a good pair and you will see the difference!

That concludes my 2015 beauty favourites, thank you for reading my blog, hope to see you in 2016, as well! Have a fantastic new year!

*PR Samples

The Game Changer

IMG_3566post IMG_3571postcollageshuuuI’ve been trying to stay away from eyelash curlers for years because I thought this beauty tool wouldn’t change my eye look so much and simply because I was too scared to use a cheap pair from the drugstore. My eyelashes grow completely straight but because they’re quite thick, they look decent with mascara. However, curiosity prevailed and I started doing a research. I’d still suggest not to risk your eyes with drugstore eyelash curlers. Most of the time they’re really bad quality, your natural lashes can remain on the tool or you can pinch your gentle eyelid skin.

The Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler has been on my beauty wishlist for about two years. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a place to purchase it from. At the beginning of the year, on one of our trips to London and Liberty’s, my boyfriend decided to make me a present because he saw the tool and knew that I wanted it.

It’s pricey but the difference is that the design is much better, the quality in general is much higher than the one of the drugstore curlers. The shape is made so that the tool ‘hugs’ your eyelashes without pinching the delicate skin. The handles of this one are longer than most of the curlers that I’ve seen which makes the curling process much easier. The pad protects your lashes and the best thing is that it comes with an extra pad that you can replace the old one with once you can’t use it anymore.

I pump my eyelashes for about 5-10 seconds on each eye and then apply mascara. I never use curlers after applying mascara! You can see the difference on the pictures above, there is no mascara involved, just natural eyelashes. The eyes look much more open and awake after curling the lashes. Since I have the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, I’m never skipping the curling step and I’ve noticed that mascaras perform much better, as well.

So, if you’re scared of this tool like I was, my suggestion is to invest in a good pair of curlers and then try. Once you have a good quality tool, you’ll see that there is nothing to be afraid of.

April Favourites

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April is almost over and I’ve been really hoping that by now winter would be gone too but I’m still wearing warm sweaters and scarves. That’s why this month’s favourites are a bit of what my skin still needs but also adding a pop of spring colour.

The colour actually comes from a lipstick and it’s the Essence Longlasting Lipstick in 07 Natural Beauty. I’ve been really enjoying this muted dusty rose shade that actually goes quite opaque. The formula is creamy and feels moisturising although it doesn’t replace lip balm. It doesn’t last all day, of course, but 3-4 hours is pretty good for me. It’s really affordable but the quality of the product is very good. Many people say that this shade is a dupe for MAC Syrup but I can’t compare them since I don’t have Syrup around me. I prefer natural and fresh look for spring, so this shade has been often on my lips in April.

I never thought that investing in a good pair of eyelash curlers would make such a difference to my eye look. Each day, I feel more and more convinced that I made a good choice by picking up Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. I don’t think my eyelashes are bad but they just grow straight, so I need a bit of help on the curling front. The curlers really open up the eye and mascaras perform better as well.

Lately, the wind outside has been fierce and my hands are terribly flaking and bleeding again. Many of the hand creams I own aren’t suggested for use when you have scratches or wounds, so it can be even more painful to apply hand cream than not using one. One product stood out in the month of April and it’s the Mirins Copenhagen Tea Tree & Lavender Hand Balm*. The texture reminds me of my favourite Hand Salve from Burt’s Bees. It’s a solid balm that melts into an oil on your skin, has herbal scent and rich texture which I love. Feels very soothing on my irritated hands, the Tea Tree Oil is also antiseptic and I use this balm as a night hand moisturiser. On the next morning, I see a significant change in my hands condition. This hand balm also contains Apricot Kernel Oil, Shea Butter and Beeswax.

Sanctuary SPA recently arrived at the Norwegian drugstores with several of their products. I was curious to try some of them and because I use up my body washes extremely quickly, I decided to pick their Cleansing Burst Body Wash. After that I got some more products from London because they looked amazing but unfortunately, I haven’t noticed them here yet. The body wash is infused with essential oils and bursting with moisturising capsules of sesame oil and jojoba which burst on the skin to help the skin feel soft and smooth. It creates a gentle lather, leaves your skin soft and clean and gives your bathroom a spa smell indeed, the smell lingers on the skin as well. It’s really relaxing to take a shower with this body wash and I feel my skin nourished after that. Can’t wait to try the rest of their products.

The big surprise for me comes from the drugstore and it’s a shampoo. I have a long, thick but soft hair and every single hairdresser tells me how they see something like this for the first time in their lives, how my hair is thick but at the same time so soft and falls down heavily and it’s impossible to style it…or at least the hair style doesn’t last more than 30 minutes. Apart from the fact that if I want to look presentable, I have to wash my hair every single day, it sometimes lacks volume because of the ‘falls down heavily’ feature. So, when I saw this post by the lovely Lora (yes, I know, she’s perfect), I knew I had to try the Balea Professional Pure Volume Shampoo. I like that it comes in a squeezy tube and is a clear gel rather than creamy formula that usually weighs down my hair. Smells amazing and the smell lingers on my hair for at least a day. However, what impressed me the most was that it actually does give me volume and makes my hair look shiny and pretty. I love this shampoo and I regret not telling my boyfriend to get more of it when he was in Germany.

What are you loving in the month of April?

London Beauty Haul: High-End Products

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I’m finally starting my London haul series and because the high-end products post will be the easiest and tiniest one, I decided to make it first. It has just a few products because there are many luxurious brands available in Norway and the ones that aren’t available here and I was looking for in London, always had their best products sold out. It was quite sad but oh well, I guess I have to keep waiting for NARS and Charlotte Tilbury *sigh*
Something similar actually happened at Boots too! Even the drugstore products that I wanted were always sold out.

I really didn’t need another moisturiser but I have a soft spot for Clarins and I always want to try more products from them. I got their Multi-Active Day Early Wrinkle Correction Cream-Gel. To me cream-gel sounded really suitable for my combination skin and I have to start thinking about preventing the first wrinkles already so hopefully this will help.

I love L’Occitane and I get really excited when I see a store because here we have only small counters with their products. I’m a huge fan of their sets, so I was hoping to get some in London but unfortunately there were no new ones or ones that I haven’t tried. At the end I decided to pick a hand cream because L’Occitane hand creams are some of the best. I haven’t tried the Arlésienne Velvet Hand Cream and the scent was amazing, so this was my choice.

Me and my boyfriend decided to go to Liberty’s and get a present for his parents because they love taking baths, so we picked the Aromatherapy Associates Miniature Bath & Shower Oil Collection. It has 10 oils which are: Inner Strength Bath & Shower Oil, Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil, Light Relax Bath & Shower Oil, De-Stress Mind Bath & Shower Oil, De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil, Revive Evening Bath & Shower Oil, Revive Morning Bath & Shower Oil, Support Equilibrium Bath & Shower Oil, Support Lavender & Peppermint Bath & Shower Oil, Support Breathe Bath & Shower Oil. I really hope they will like this collection.

And last but not least, again from Liberty’s I got something that I’ve been wanting for such a long time. It’s the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler and the reason why I wanted it so bad is because I’ve never used an eyelash curler simply because of fear. Yes, I was always too scared to buy a drugstore curler and twist my eyelashes not knowing what would happen to them. It is a pricey tool but I’m sure it will serve me a long time, I already tried working with it and there is a huge difference. My lashes look prettier even without mascara. I’d still recommend not using curlers instead of risking your eyes with cheap ones.

Have you used any of these products?