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2016 Beauty Favourites

20161230_115800postHappy New Year! I really hope 2017 will be much much better, happier and healthier than 2016! Wish all of you and your families a wonderful year filled with joy and love!

It is now time to start talking about some annual beauty favourites. This year, I decided to form only two categories: skincare and makeup.

20161230_120420postSkincare Products

There are two cleansers I’ve been really loving, both were released in the second half of the year, one is my morning cleanser and then the one that I like using in the evening. Bioderma Sensibio Gel Moussant is a really gentle face wash suitable even for sensitive skin. It feels refreshing and soothing at the same time. You can read my full review on it here. This is a mini of my Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam and you can see what the original size looks like here. I wouldn’t say it’s a foam, it’s more of a cleansing cream that has milky texture once it’s in contact with the skin. I love the calming scent and how delicate it feels on my skin, it’s just so moisturising but purifying at the same time.
My love for toners and face mists is no secret and it was really hard for me to choose which one to include here, so I decided to mention two of my favourite mists. I’ve already used up a few bottles of the REN Flash Defence Anti-Pollution Mist (review here) because it’s refreshing and can be used before or after putting makeup but also, it protects against environmental aggressors with Zinc and Manganese Amino Acids to track down free radicals and protect skin from oxidative stress. La Roche-Posay Serozinc is my choice when it comes to taking care of my combination skin. It mattifies it without being drying and heals blemishes quicker than usual. I always stock up on this mist whenever I’m in London.
The Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask is still my number 1 hydrating mask, it’s just the best!
L’Oréal Pure-Clay Masks* are my absolute favourites when it comes to purifying face masks. Not only they are easy to get because you can find them at the drugstore but they are incredibly good. You can read all about my experience here because I just can’t pick one to talk about.
Another great find from the drugstore is this Balea Aqua Hydrating Serum. It’s my second bottle of it, it comes with a pump, the formula contains hydrating and soothing ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E and leaves my skin moisturised without feeling sticky or greasy.
My morning and evening moisturising duo must be from Clinique. I’m sure everybody knows about their Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief* but I don’t see many people talking about the Clinique Superdefense Night Recovery Moisturiser (review here). This is my second pot of the cream after I was sent one when it launched at the beginning of the year and I can’t recommend it enough. I remember how dry and irritated my skin was in the winter in Norway and this moisturiser completely transformed it.
I had to mention La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo [+] Unifiant which I reviewed here because it has the same properties like Duo [+] but with a tint and provides pretty good coverage that evens out my complexion and makes me look a bit more healthy.
Last but not least in this skincare category is my favourite multi-purpose moisturiser. Weleda Skin Food is a gem and the whole family loves it. It’s soothing, it’s moisturising, the formula contains plant oils and extracts, it smells clean and it’s simply lovely.

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Makeup Products

This category has to start with my favourite foundation, Dior DIORSKIN Forever Perfect Skin-Perfecting Foundation SPF 35 (review here). It has great coverage but looks natural, it mattifies my skin but also makes it radiant, it lasts all day and I haven’t found a better foundation since I first tried it.
The best concealer I found in 2016 is a drugstore one. It’s from Aura and it’s called Correct Me! Concealer. I use it under the eyes and around the face because it’s pigmented and creamy, the shade range is really good for an affordable brand but the downside is, it can’t be found in many countries.
The new Tom Ford Fiber Brow Gel* is my favourite brow product for last year although I’ve been using for just about a month. It creates full and natural-looking brows, fills in the sparse areas and lasts all day.
Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in the shade 10 Nude Mauve is a lovely blush that can be used as a bronzer, as well or just to add this healthy pop of colour to the complexion that we always need. It’s luminous and finely-milled, it’s simply beautiful.
My favourite highlighter for 2016 is without a doubt the Urban Decay Afterglow 8-hour Powder Highlighter in the shade Sin* from their summer collection. It’s a gorgeous champagne shade, you can see it swatched here and it’s quite a strong one but the texture is so creamy that you can control the intensity.
There are three palettes I’ve been loving in 2016: an eyeshadow palette, a face palette and a lip one. The We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette is from a Finnish brand and it’s my most-used one maybe because I don’t wear that much eye makeup in my everyday life but these eyeshadows just add a little something to the whole look. You can read my post on the palette here.
I know that this Estée Lauder Summer Glow Multi-Palette* (review and swatches here) was a limited edition for the summer season but it’s still available on some places, so it’s not impossible to find it. The texture of all three products is soft and fine, the shades look natural on the skin and I loved using the palette in the summer on my face but also, on my eyes.
Travel-friendly products are something I always appreciate and that’s one of the reasons why I love L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche La Palette Lips in Nudeso much. It’s elegant, it has a mirror, the shade selection is brilliant and I often end up mixing shades to create a custom one.
Speaking of lip products, I knew they would take the biggest part of my makeup favourites but I couldn’t help it. Dior Addict Lip Glow in 005 Lilac (review here) has been the one colour I really wanted and they finally launched it at the beginning of the year. Unfortunately, it was a limited edition but I see they will be soon releasing a Berry shade!
The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector family welcomed two new members in the spring, 07 Toffee Pink Shimmer, a beautiful dusky rose colour and 08 Plum Shimmer, a muted berry shade. I’ve mentioned multiple times how much I love these balms and the new shades are just perfect to have in your handbag.
I remember how excited I was when I learned about the Lancôme Juicy Shakers. I love the brand’s products, I adore Lisa Eldridge and I wasn’t disappointed by these tinted lip oils. I have a whole post dedicated to them here.
NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita (review here) is the most beautiful vintage rose shade I’ve ever seen. It’s flattering, it’s sophisticated, feels comfortable on the lips and will always remind me of the most wonderful holiday in Rome me and my boyfriend had.
There are some amazing shades in the Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Lip Colour range. I love that the colour is buildable and you can control how intense you want it to be, the formula is lightweight and luminous and the scent is beautiful.
One of the latest and best lipstick releases in 2016 came from MAC and their Liptensity* range. The colours are bold, saturated and unique, the formula is creamy and long-lasting and I love how the packaging is colour-coded.
I also wanted to mention the cute L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Solid Perfume that I always have in my handbag even if it’s winter because it makes me think of sunny days, the scent is beautiful and it’s easy to top up your fragrance with it.

These are most of my favourite products for last year but before I leave, I would like to wish you to be safe, happy, loved and may the new year bring us all amazing days!

*PR Samples

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July Favourites

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July has been the first proper summer month for me this year with temperatures up to 40 degrees! I’m not really good at dealing with such hot weather but I admit, I needed a bit of warmth to take me away from the rain in Norway.
I did quite a bit of travelling in the past few weeks, I’m spending the summer with my family and my make-up and skincare bags are pretty small at the moment but containing just what I need.

However, I couldn’t leave without my favourite evening cleanser at the moment, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Micro Cleansing Foam*. It’s a very delicate cleanser that doesn’t actually foam up too much and feels luxurious on the skin, almost like an oil. I’ve done a full review on the product here and I’m very happy with how soft and clean my skin gets after using it.

My favourite summer body wash this year must be the Lancôme Bocage Shower Gel. It contains AHAs, has a lovely scent and the skin gets softer and smoother with each use. It’s a treat but definitely worth it.

There are two make-up products that I’ve been loving a lot in the past few weeks, they are real essentials for me and they’re perfect for travelling. I’m in love with the Dior Addict Milky Tint gloss in the shade 286 Milky Plum  which is a pretty pastel lilac colour. These glosses are very moisturising, they have a milky finish, as the name would suggest and they make the lips look smoother and plumper. You can see review and swatches here.
A cute little palette made me fall in love with eyeshadows again, thanks to my dear friend who surprised me with it. I love how compact the We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette (review and swatches here) is and how it has all the shades I need for a presentable but still everyday-appropriate look. The texture of the shadows is amazing, you get both, matte and shimmery shades and it has the tiniest packaging. I have to say, this is the only palette I took away with me and I don’t even need another one.

The adorable pink tin from L’Occitane contains their Cherry Blossom solid perfume that doesn’t leave my handbag. It’s perfect for touch-ups throughout the day, it’s very feminine and fresh and it’s alcohol-free. I tried to get the rose-scented one while I was in Germany a couple of weeks ago but they were all sold out…now I know why, they are simply amazing!

How has you summer been so far and what are your July favourites?

*PR Sample

Beauty Picks | Summer 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*PR Samples

We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette

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A couple of weeks ago, a special friend surprised me with a package full of goodies, trying to cheer me up and indeed, it worked! There’s one particular item that I haven’t stopped using since then and I wanted to talk about it a bit more.

First of all, because it’s an eyeshadow palette and I don’t really use eyeshadows on a daily basis but this one is just so beautiful that I reach for it every single day. Second, the brand is new to me, it’s called We Care Icon, it’s a Finnish brand and they try to make their products as environment-friendly as possible. There isn’t much information about the brand or the product and my Finnish isn’t very good… actually, it doesn’t exist, at all but I tried to do a bit of a research. They have minimised the packaging, the products are sold without cardboard boxes, the materials are biodegradable and they don’t use any ingredients of animal origin.
I believe 5 cents from each product goes to the Finnish WWF and 1 euro from each I Love Tigers palette sold, to the tiger protection, as tigers are in big danger at the moment and they’re trying to help double their number and protect them better.
Also, their products are fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin, too.

It looks like they have a great selection of products, my friend told me they have hits and misses which of course, is normal but the one today is definitely a hit for me. There are two I Love Tigers palettes, I have the Nude one. As you can see, it’s inspired by the Urban Decay Naked Basics palettes which for me, are some of the best travel-friendly ones out there, considering how portable they are but also including amazing shades.

The colours in the We Care Icon I Love Tigers Nude Palette don’t have names but what’s more important is the formula. And the formula is beautiful, these eyeshadows are soft, smooth, buttery, blendable and pigmented.
The shades are perfect for a neutral make-up look, there are two matte shades and four shimmery ones. The first one is a matte cream colour, I love using it as a base on my lids, the one next to it is a pretty light beige, the third one is a gorgeous rosey champagne shade, then there are a matte taupe, a shimmery brown and a warm dark brown shade.

The downside is that you can find this palette only in Finland but it’s a beautiful one, the cause idea is another plus and the brand cares about the nature, so if you find yourself in Finland, be sure to check it out. I’m really happy that my friend sent it to me because it’s now a great addition to my everyday make-up bag!