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Hair & Body Bits | Summer 2017

We often talk about skincare and makeup products we use during the summer but it seems that body and hair ones can be a bit neglected sometimes. Summer’s still here and my intentions are to keep enjoying it before the lack of sun comes upon us. The products I’m featuring today are great for the hot days because they combine the joy of pampering yourself and the care we need in the summer. Of course, I use some of them in the rest of the months, as well but I really love them for the season now.

Starting off with a face mist that I’m actually using on my body. Sun protection is very important all year round and especially in the summer. I’ve been away from Norway this year and I’ve been lucky to have a proper summer with over 38°C which can be very dangerous, too. Pixi Sun Mist SPF 30 is actually meant to be used on the face. It’s a very lightweight milky mist that I tried to use once on my face but it just sits a bit too shiny on my combination skin. Instead, I’ve been loving topping up the sunscreen on my arms when I’m out and about in the city. I don’t usually expose myself in the sun much but I love having this spray bottle in my handbag to be able to reapply the mist a few times a day. It’s only 80 ml, so it’s great for travelling, as well, it lasts a really long time, it’s very easy to apply and doesn’t feel sticky or unpleasant. The sun mist is formulated with Chamomile and Bamboo Extracts, has a lovely subtle scent and I love that it doesn’t leave streaks even on my black clothes.

And while we’re on the mists topic, I’d like to mention the Avène Thermal Spring Water. I have all sizes of it in every room and handbag, I use it on my face and body all the time. It’s very soothing and cooling, I also love spritzing it before applying my facial and body oils so that they can spread more evenly.
One of these oils is the Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil which I shared with you last month in this post. It’s a special gift from my better half while we were on holiday and it’s a great way to moisturise your body even if you don’t like doing it in the summer. This body oil is a treat and it’s a great pleasure to use, the texture is beautiful, the scent is warm and sultry, it’s simply divine.

I’ve been trying many new hair products in the past few months but there are a couple that are my absolute favourites. I’m thinking about preapring a separate blog post on this Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo because there’s a lot I can say about it. I didn’t know I could find Living Proof products around me but one day I went into a lovely store, noticed the brand and picked up this shampoo, they also had the cutest Living Proof minis. This shampoo gives my hair amazing shine and body, tames the frizz and my scalp loves it. It’s really gentle because it’s sulphate-free but lathers up quite well, so you don’t end up feeling like you haven’t washed your hair. It actually cleanses my hair thoroughly but without stripping it. I noticed that many people hate the smell, I really like it, it reminds me of Aura Botanica by Kérastase but it’s a personal preference, so go give it a sniff first in case you’re interested.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I coloured my hair for the first time this year and I was lucky to be able to test out a product that is now one of my favourite ones out there. Kérastase Soleil Aqua Seal* is a fluid cream for sun-exposed, sensitised, colour-treated hair. It comes with a pump which makes it really easy to dispense the right amount of product, it’s very lighweight and doesn’t leave my hair sticky, it also smells incredible. I use the CC Cream from the range, as well but I’d like to think that Aqua Seal* is my hair serum because it makes my hair very strong, shiny, soft, smooth and nourished. In the summer my hair tends to get ginger/red tones because of the sun but this year, it looks totally different and I wish I knew about this product before.

I love all of these products and I feel like I’ve found the perfect summer bits this year. I’m curious to know more about your summer body and hair essentials.

*PR Sample

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Empties #14


Usually this type of posts contain a lot of products but like I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to do them more often and with less products now, so that they don’t get too long and boring. Here it is everything I’ve used up recently.

Skincare Products

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water – One of my favourite micellar waters. I like taking my makeup off with such products before cleansing my skin and this one is very gentle yet effective, a cult classic that doesn’t need too many words;
Bioderma Sensibio Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel – This is the cleanser from the same range and I love it, I already have a second bottle of it because it doesn’t really foam, it feels very soothing on the skin and leaves it soft and clean;
Balea Active Charcoal Sheet Mask – A fantastic budget sheet mask that contains Salicylic Acid and Zinc which is great if you have blemish-prone and oily skin. I use it when I feel that I need it or once a week because of my combination skin;
Sephora Algae Face Mask – This is the purifying sheet mask from Sephora and I have to say, I enjoy using almost all of their sheet masks. This one makes my skin look a bit brighter but definitely not matte. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite one and I’m not sure if I’d repurchase but I don’t think it’s a bad sheet mask;
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray – Thermal sprays, floral mists and toners are must-haves for me all year round but especially in the summer. I love the cooling and soothing effect of this thermal water, it makes my skin soft and radiant without looking shiny;
La Roche-Posay Serozinc 
– This Zinc Sulfate solution for oily, blemish-prone skin is a huge love of mine and sadly, not available anywhere around me. I’m really sad I’ve used up another bottle of this miracle worker and I hope it will be soon easier to find;
La Roche-Posay Tolerian Ultra Fluide – A soothing lightweight cream for face and eyes that calms my skin and leaves it moisturised without making it more oily;
Balea Eye Cream with Lotus – This is probably my 5th tube of my favourite drugstore eye cream. I love the texture, it’s so light yet hydrating, the formula is fragrance-free and contains  Vitamin E, Panthenol, Almond, Jojoba, Aloe and Lotus Oils and Caffeine and Vitamin C;
KICKS Age Defence Turn Back Time Sun Protection SPF 30 – This sunscreen has a lovely apple scent and doesn’t break me out which is one of the most important things for me when it comes to SPF. It can look a bit more shiny on my combination skin but I much prefer this cream to many of the popular ones that tend to leave white cast or look too greasy or too chalky;

Makeup Products

Essence Stay Natural Concealer – One of those concealers in a pen form that has a brush on the end. I’m not sure exactly why but I really love this type of concealers. They’re somehow easy to use and as if the formula is always lightweight but with very good coverage and brightening effect;
Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil – My favourite eyebrow pencil! It’s precise, the shade is great for me, it’s not too dry or too creamy, it’s just perfect;
Essence Make Me Brow Gel – I have 5-6 of these in my beauty stash because the darker shade always seems to be out of stock and I think it’s a really nice setting gel for brows. It doesn’t make my brow hairs too crispy, it leaves them natural-looking and the tiny wand doesn’t pick up too much product;
Catrice All Matt Powder – There’s still a little bit left in the pan but it’s getting harder and harder to use the product. This is a finely-milled powder that mattifies my skin but also gives it a bit of a glow, I feel like it’s impossible to overdo it and now I really want to try more of the brand’s powders;
Catrice Beautifying Lip Smoother – This has been staying at the bottom of one of my bags for ages and I just wanted to say a few words about it because I got it thinking it might be similar to the Instant Light Lip Perfectors from Clarins. I don’t want to say it’s a horrible product but first of all, I don’t like the scent, it’s a sweet one but as if the product has expired and then it does make my lips look smooth and shiny without being too glossy but on the next day, they’re pretty dry. I used to keep it in my handbag trying to make myself use it during the day but it’s just not my favourite lip product;

Body Products

Balance Me Super Moisturising Hand Cream – Incredibly moisturising and soothing hand cream enriched with Shea Butter and Lanolin. The scent is similar to This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray;
Himalaya Herbals Baby Lotion – The best thing about this lotion is that it absorbs almost instantly without leaving any residue which makes it perfect for summer. The formula contains Almond Oil and Olive Oil and I really liked using it;
The Body Shop Mango Body Mist – Body mists are great in the summer, they don’t last that long on the skin but feel refreshing and smell sweet. Unfortunately, the top of this one broke, so it’s been really hard to use it up but the scent is very nice and not too overpowering.

Hope you’re having a great start to the new month!

June Favourites

Waking up in Rome on a special date for me and my family, feeling incredibly tired and excited at the same time, makes me wonder if some days are indeed real.
But when it comes to beauty, I can’t wait for Sephora, KIKO and all the charming little shops they have around here. I’m looking forward to trying new products in July, especially skincare because summer is the time to find items that keep the shine away from my T-zone but without drying out my skin.

However, it’s still June and this is what I’ve been loving the most in the past few weeks.
Last month, I shared with you how much I love spritzing the La Roche-Posay thermal water before applying Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I’ve used up the mini of the water I had and went back to an old favourite, Avène Thermal Spring Water. I have several at home and one in my handbag, it’s a must-have in the summer for me. It’s very gentle and feels incredibly soothing, I love how cooling it is after sun exposure and how hydrated my skin feels afterwards. The mist is so fine and a true pleasure to use. The thermal water can be used on irritations, rashes, sunburn and it’s great to have a bottle of it. I don’t use it as a toner but just to freshen up and hydrate the skin throughout the day or before applying facial oils so that they spread evenly and work their magic even better.

The Eucerin DermoPURIFYER Active Concentrate is not a new product for me and I’ve featured it several times in favourites posts. I’ve gone through so many bottles of it and I will keep repurchasing. If there is one product that can keep my combination skin blemish-free in the summer, leaving it hydrated, soft and luminous, it must be this lightweight milky serum. It absorbs almost instantly and you don’t really feel it but you start seeing results a few days later. I don’t hear people talking about it but it’s worth having a look at it if you have similar skin type.

The last few weeks have been time for trying to find a good face or face and body sunscreen in a spray form. But they’re just too oily for my face. Bioderma MAX SPF 50+ aerosol spray is supposed to be completely transparent and without the need to be applied with hands and patted onto the skin. First of all, the spray has visible yellow tint and second, you can’t just spray it on the skin and leave it there, you need to spread it evenly using hands. I don’t really think these are negatives, just the promises aren’t true to what the product is.
The spray can be used on face and body, I’m not so brave to apply it on my face because the product is very oily but my mum likes to top up her SPF when she is in the garden and applies Bioderma MAX SPF 50+ on her face and arms and her skin looks amazing with it. I use it mostly on my arms because I don’t sunbathe anyway but need the protection when I’m at home where we have proper summer and the yellow tint I mentioned makes my skin look so glowy and kind of tanned. I’m adding this product to my favourites because it’s easy to use throughout the day when you have to reapply your sunscreen, it makes the skin look very pretty and I have to say, mum’s skin looks better and better each day after using it. I still don’t think I’d try it on my face but the results on her make me consider doing it.

One of the most popular products from the drugstore brand Catrice is their Camouflage Cream Concealer in a pot. I’ve been meaning to try their Liquid Camouflage for so long but whenever I’m near a Catrice counter, it’s sold out. I have very dark circles under my eyes and I’m always on the hunt for the best concealer that can hide them. The Liquid Camouflage has great coverage, in fact, much better than many of the highend concealers, it stays on for hours, it’s creamy and dries to a matte finish.
The downside is definitely the shade range, I often find myself mixing the shades. Also, the applicator picks up a lot of product and in my opinion, it’s better to apply thin layers of this concealer, as it can look heavy, cakey and even dry.
But I haven’t used another concealer since I got this one and I really like it, I’d recommend it to anyone, not only if you’re on a budget, it’s just a great concealer and the secret is to find the best way for yourself to apply it.

Recently, I dear friend of mine sent to me amazing goodies that I’ve been using ever since. Lumene is one of the most popular Finnish brands and their Nordic Chic range is meant to have all the staples you’d need to put in your makeup bag. I love the classic look of this Moisturising Lipstick and the shade 3 Spring Beauty is the perfect everyday colour but with a twist. I’m not sure what the finish of the rest of the lipsticks is but this one has a slight metallic sheen to it, it’s not too out there, it’s definitely visible but not too metallic and looks quite interesting but still wearable at the same time. I really like it, I don’t have anything like this in my collection and I’ve been using it almost every day since I got it. The formula contains Argan Oil, so the lipstick feels moisturising indeed and smells almost like a MAC lipstick.
Another great beauty item that came from my lovely friend is this Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Sunset Blvd. This satin golden bronze beauty is fantastic for the summer months and as you probably already know, the texture is a dream to work with. Although I don’t wear eyeshadows on a daily basis, now I feel like I need all the Colourpop eyeshadows.

The fragrance I always seem to be repurchasing is definitely Lancôme La Vie Est Belle. It reminds me of a special trip with my better half and because of this memory, I keep getting the EDT version. But a few weeks ago, I decided to pick up the EDP and the scent took me back to wonderful days. This one is slightly more intense and longwearing on me and although I still prefer the EDT version a bit more, I’m simply in love with this sweet, feminine, powdery scent. It’s beautiful and lovely to use in the summer.

These are my favourite beauty bits for the month of June and I can’t wait for skincare and makeup shopping in July!

KICKS Beauty | Summer 2016

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with beauty in Scandinavia, KICKS is a chain of beauty boutiques where you can find mainly high-end brands (in Norway we don’t have Sephora, for example), they also have an online shop and their own range of products. I’ve tried some of their products before, I love their blushes and a few brushes from them, they also have fantastic body products that smell divine. Actually, me and my boyfriend shop there all the time, so I was really excited when they sent over their summer collection for me to test.

I’ve been using the products for a few weeks now but I’ll still wait a bit longer for some of the skincare reviews and will update you on them later. The collection consists of face masks, moisturiser with SPF, primer, foundation, illuminator, contour kit and lip glosses.

All of these products are part of their S.H.A.R.E. initiative where 1 krone from each KICKS product sold goes to Mental Helse Ungdom, an organisation working for better mental health of young people. You can read more about S.H.A.R.E. here.

One of the first products I tried was the Age Defence Turn Back Time Sun Protection SPF 30* that comes in 50 ml tube and costs 169 kr. It has a lovely apple scent to it and feels really hydrating and smoothing. It looks a bit more shiny on my combination skin at first but sits quite nicely underneath make-up. I sometimes use it on top of my regular moisturiser that doesn’t have sun protection and it still works well. It doesn’t leave any white residue and doesn’t feel heavy. I have to say I really enjoy using this cream at the moment, it’s very hot here and I get the protection against sun damage and premature ageing but my skin is nourished, too. Also, a little goes a long way, so you really get a lot at a good price.
Then I’ll apply the KICKS Pore Refining Primer* (30 ml, 159 kr). I can say it keeps the skin matte for a couple of hours and minimises pores but I’m still looking for the best primer out there. The product I’m a huge fan of and I can’t wait to tell you about is the KICKS Flawless Wear Foundation SPF 20 in 02 Light* (28 ml, 229 kr) and that’s also the biggest surprise for me, considering I rarely fall in love with foundations. This product has sheer to medium coverage, it conceals the redness on my cheeks, it’s long-wearing and looks beautiful on the skin. It’s soft and fresh, it’s natural-looking and has a lovely radiant finish without being too shiny even on my oily T-zone. I’m completely in love with this foundation! It doesn’t break me out, the shade is great for me and I’d highly recommend checking it out.
The KICKS Illuminator in Hot Sand* (30 ml, 139 kr) is quite an interesting product, it can be used all over the skin, mixed with foundation or applied just to the high points of the face. However, my favourite way of using this product is by mixing it with my body moisturiser and applying it on my legs or shoulders, for example. It gives a soft glow, feels lightweight and has good lasting power.
The new Lip Fusion glosses feel really moisturising thanks to the Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E in the formula. I have them in my handbags quite often and I just wish they were a bit more pigmented, they look great in the tube but the colour doesn’t really show up on my lips. There are two shades, Candy* and Deliciousand they can be found at the price of 99 kr each.
I’m sad to say that the Contour Kit* (279 kr) must be my least favourite product here but first of all, I’m not the biggest fan of contouring and second, my combination skin doesn’t really get along with cream products. I have to say that there’s a nice mirror inside though. There are 4 shades in this kit, dark shades for shading and defining and lighter shades to sculpt and enhance features. The lightest shade is meant to conceal any flaws and highlight the area under the eyes and that’s the one I can actually use and like, the blush shade looks fresh and pretty but the cream texture just makes the rest of my make-up underneath move a lot and doesn’t look good on me. The two contour shades are a bit too warm for defining, they feel very slippy and I just can’t seem to be able to work with such products.

I’ll be preparing a separate blog post on the face masks* because I’m really impressed with them, so far but I think I need a bit more time to form an informative opinion. The four face masks are suitable for all skin types, there is a mud mask, a moisturising mask, a soothing one and an exfoliating face mask. Keep an eye on the blog because you might find amazing dupes for popular face masks that you love. Plus, all of these masks are travel-friendly, they need only 10 minutes to work and they are really affordable.

Looks like KICKS are having new body products, as well, so I should check them out once I’m back from my holiday but I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised and impressed by most of the products here. Have you tried some of them already?

*PR Samples

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15

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I love lip balms! I have too many lip balms, yet it’s still the first thing that I see in a pharmacy or beauty store and always want to try new ones. For me a lip balm is a skincare product rather than just a beauty product.
I apply lip balm whenever I can and now that is autumn and much colder outside, I decided to share with you one of my most recent purchases.

First of all, I have to say that I avoid using lip balms made by ‘makeup’ brands and usually search for skincare brands’ lip treatments.
However, Bobbi Brown‘s Lip Balm SPF 15 has always seemed interesting to me.

It’s an item pretty tough to be photographed so apologies.

It comes in a white box and when you open it you see a chic metallic tin with a Bobbi Brown crest on the lid – gorgeous!
The product itself is formulated with wheat germ and olive oil, looks pink in the tin but goes clear on the lips. Has a delicate rose scent, it’s a little bit shiny and lasts long…very long. I’m eating, drinking, talking and it’s still on the lips. I also noticed that it extends the wear of my lipstick when I put it underneath. It’s not sticky, non-greasy and feels silky.

You have to warm it with your finger the first time you use it because it feels quite hard and difficult to get.
It’s really moisturising and keeps my lips nourished and soft.

The SPF 15 is a nice addition not only for the hot months but all year round.

It’s on the pricey side but the amount of product that you get is pretty big and you need just a tiny bit per application. I heard many people saying that it lasted 2 years for them which seems almost unreal to me but we shall see.

The only downside is that you have to use your fingers to apply and I keep it at home because I don’t feel comfortable to use my hands and put lip balm like this outside.

Have you tried this product and do you like it?