CHRISTMAS WITH GWEN STEFANI

 
 
Gwen Stefani has been this year's main woman when it comes to OPI and their nail polish collections. We were introduced to her first 6 shades in the beginning of the year which cintained the colours we might associate her with  and now, just like the Mariah Carey Christmas collection last year, OPI & Gwen are giving us another 18(!) shades of Christmas.

I have 3 of them to show you here today. The absolutely gorgeous red and gold shimmery Red Fingers & Mistletoes, the metallic silver Unfrost My Heart and the shiny, slightly shimmery purple I Carol About You (which to me is even more beautiful with a matte top coat).  Take a look at the full collection in a store near you or get a quick peek here.


WITH A TOUCH OF GREY

 

I am completely crushing on these really cool-toned lip colours like grey, taupe and greyish mauve lilac. I've been spotting them on counters, online and in stores of various makeup brands during the past months and I thought I'd share some of the products I've found that can help you achieve this look if you're as into this icy, goth chic, dash-of-90's lip as I am.

♦ Lime Crime Chinchilla lipstick (as seen on my lips here).
♦ OCC Sebastian Lip Tar.
♦ Melt Space Cake lipstick.
♦ Illamasqua Posture lipstick.
♦ KIKO Luscious Cream lipstick 524 Taupe.
♦ Make Up Store Taupe Lip Liner.
♦ Any matte taupe, grey or lilac cosmetic pencil.



HALLOWEEN | CREEPY CLOWN


Here's one of the makeup looks I made for Halloween this year.  I've been so into SFX that I wanted to go back to basics and try something with paint and makeup only. This has no SFX apart from covering her eyebrows. Playing around with colour, shading, highlighting and just a touch of pop-art painting technique gave me what I'm going to call my Creepy Clown (yes, even without the typical nose). My flash-photos always takes away a little depth but I hope you enjoy the pictures and had a wonderfully spooky Halloween.

VIP LAUNCH: MAKE-UP STUDIO IN SWEDEN



I am thoroughly happy about the Dutch brand Make-Up Studio launching in Sweden since it seems I still haven't been able to forget about the highly pigmented eyeshadow palettes and the sparkly pigments which the brilliant NikkieTutorials used in a couple of her YouTube videos a couple of years ago.

Last week I was invited to the VIP launch along with other make-up artists, beauty bloggers etc.  Two of our swedish talents showed us 12 individual looks on their models as well as two looks step by step live on stage. After the presentation we were finally able to look at, feel and swatch a nice selection of their product range. It was mostly beauty makeup but their catalogue contains 64 pages of different products - everything from SFX wax, aquapaint and tweezers to make-up bags, toolbelts and portable workstations.

I always love to go to these kind of events to see if I can find new products, tools and even ideas for my makeup kit and for my artistry and so many of these products seem to have great potential - I'm excited to start trying some of them.  I've got my eyes on the foundations, powders, lashes, brushes and the brilliant eyeshadow palettes - not just the eyeshadows itself but the actual palettes that are double-sided so you'll fit twice as many shadows than standard palettes without it taking up more room which is always something a Make Up Artist is looking for. Super excited!


Make-UpStudio.se is now up and running!

PEANUTS by OPI FOR HALLOWEEN 2014



Many beauty bloggers and enthusiasts may be used to getting every single nail polish and makeup collection available in stores around them but Sweden is not one of these countries - we haven't seen a Halloween collection from OPI for many, many years so no surprise we are now quite excited.  Apparently the most common halloween nail polish collections (a dark safire blue, a bright orange, a black and a glow-in-the-dark top coat for example) doesn't sell very well up here so let's keep our fingers crossed that this one does so we can keep on seeing fun lacquers every Oktober from now on, okay?

Peanuts is (a comic strip and) not something I personally associate with this spooky holiday but my mind is ususally locked on the same vampy colours year after year so I think it's fun to see something a bit more unexpected but still suitable - a bit more playful.  I do definitely like that we get a good quality black polish so that if you don't have one and are about to get one for autumn/winter, this is a good option.

The confetti ones are fun for any age and in the photos above you can see the black, orange and yellow confetti polish Where's My Blanket??? on top of the yellow Good Grief!, the multi-coloured confetti polish To Be Or Not To Beagle on top of the shiny black Who Are You Calling Bossy?!?  and an extra swatch showing an alternative combination/base using the orange Can't Afjörd Not To from their main fall collection - Nordic (which you can still find in stores). You'll find them in stores now.

My favourite combo? Last photo!

VIVA GLAM RIHANNA II



First off, let me just say I haven't been this excited about a lipgloss.. well, ever! And I am surprised myself, because it hasn't really got a whole lot of colour...

For the second round of being the Viva Glam spokesperson, Rihanna went for a mauve lipstick with silver frost  and a matching mauve lipgloss with red frost. I've been seeing a lot of these cool toned grey-brown-mauve-ish kind of lip products lately (and I absolutely love it) so it feels right in time but still unique.

Since it's a lipgloss, you have the freedom to simply put it on top of any lipcolour you might want and that's one of the things I like about this - it slightly changes the colour underneath. A co-worker tried it on top of Illamasqua's Posture lipstick and it looked amazing. I love the cool grey-ish, mauve colour it gives to a beige nude lip pencil or how its red frost particles turned MAC Amorous to a slightly more pink, lovely berry shade.
 
It's a fun duo (this and the matching Viva Glam Rihanna 2 lipstick) and don't forget that 100% of the cost of the product goes directly to MAC Cosmetics' own AIDS Fund.


The A/W 2014 Viva Glam products are available now.

MAC x THE SIMPSONS



 

The Simpsons are taking over! Now, with a little help from MAC, we can even have these yellow little figures on our makeup packagings. In honour of The Simpsons' 25 year anniversary we're treated to a collection featuring two eyeshadow quads, two blushes, four lipglosses and - my favourite part - nail stickers.  Check out this bright fuchsia lipgloss named Red Blazer. Lovely on its own or to enhance a lipstick/lip pecil of the same colour.

UPDATE: I just got one of the palettes sent to me and I'm loving these colours! It's called Marge's Extra Ungredients Quad and from left we have Harpooned Heart (light baby pink), Sexy PB & J (midtone bright violet), Beehive Blue (midtone bright blue) and Vivacious Vacuum Cleaner Bag (neep navy). Haha!  The palette reminds me of one of my first favourite makeup looks by fafinettex3 where she used purple, pink and blue plus a dark colour (that funnily enough looked exaclty like the one on the far right) to darken the outer edges. Looks like I'll be recreating old favourites tonight!

The collection is out tomorrow!

SWATCHES: OPI NORDIC COLLECTION


OPI With A Nice Finn-ish


Going My Way Or Norway?


Ice-bergers & Fries


Can't aFjörd Not To


Suzi's Got A Swede Tooth


My Voice Is A Little Norse

My Dogsled Is A Hybrid
 
Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm?
 
Thank Glogg It's Friday!

How Great Is Your Dane?

Viking In A Vinter Vonderland

Skating On Thin Ice-land


I'm honestly surprised at how much this collection and its colours has been inspiring me since I got it a few months back. I have a story and scene for each and every one of these and I'm so excited for fall and to wear them on suitable occasions.  Will I be picking up Thank Glogg it's Friday for an evening where I know I'll be having Glögg? You bet. Will I be nerdy enough to wear Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm on a shopping day? Most likely.  My Voice Is A Little Norse will definitely be seen sparkling on my fingertips on a starry winters night, Going My Way Or Norway while warming up with a cup of hot chocolate in one of the cozy cafes in the Old Town part of Stockholm on a winters afternoon  and How Great Is Your Dane? to match the trees on an autumn day in the woods.  Magical.
 
When presenting the collection at Grand Hotel Stockholm spring 2014, Suzi explained how the colours are inspired by popular northern phenomenons and locations; The brown ones are inspired by cinnamon buns, the pink and orange by the colourful houses in Copenhagen and the green and holo glitter both inspired by the northern lights.

My favourites from this collection includes the dark purple Viking In A Vinter Vonderland which brings my mind to Ragnar Lothbrok of the TV series Vikings and the general style of the show, braided hair, cool winds and that purple colour you get under your nail if you accidentally clamp it badly. It's got everything I want for fall: it's dark, it's cold and absolutely gorgeous.


All of my swatches shown above have two coats of nailpolish and no top coat. The Nordic collection is out in stores now.

SNEAK PEEK: OPI NORDIC COLLECTION

 
I've had the Nordic collection standing here on top of my desk looking pretty for a few months now and even used some of them during the summer but for once I wanted to save the taking photos and swatching part until we got closer to autumn to not diminish the feeling of excitement for the summer and its vivid colours.

Summer is still in the air, the evenings doesn't require much more fabric than they did last month and most of us are probably still filling our work-free days with aquatic activity and outdoor adventures..  but in the cities  every store is filling up quickly with the new autumn range  and what's left of the crop tops, summer dresses and flower hairbands  are already squished together on sale racks...  So I guess it's time to give those of you who haven't already seen it, a sneak peek of this year's main fall collection from OPI;  the Nordic collection.


How Great Is Your Dane?, Ice-bergers Or Fries?, Going My Way Or Norway?, OPI With A Nice Finn-ish, Skating On Thin Ice-land, Viking In A Vinter Vonderland

Thank Glogg It's Friday!, Do You Have This Color In Stock-holm?, My Voice Is A Little Norse, My Dogsled Is A Hybrid, Can't Afjörd Not To, Suzi Has A Swede Tooth


Are you as excited as I am?  The collection will be in stores this week. Swatches and more info coming soon.


FIVE SHADES OF SPRING

 
5 beautiful favourite pastel nailpolish colours for Spring and Summer 2014:

Pale yellow beige:  L'Oreal - Lemon Meringue
Baby pink:  OPI - I Love Applause
Light mint:  L'Oreal - Pistachio Drage
Sheer peach:  OPI - Chillin Like A Villain
Lilac:  L'Oreal - Nouvelle Vague



ALLURING AQUATIC




Luminous cheeks, glistening nails, shiny lips and radiant eyes are what MAC was aiming for with their new Alluring Aquatic collection that just flushed ashore and is now lying here on the beach with the water splashing around it in the beautiful afternoon sun. Well, I did get a bit carried away just now but at least that's the scenario that plays in my mind when I see the tiny water droplets that perfectly decorates the beautyfully shiny, teal, limited edition packaging. It makes me think of mermaids and life under water in a magical, glistening, beautiful and dreamy way - and that is even though I am actually quite scared of the ocean. I'd say that is to have succeded with your presentation of a product/collection, don't you think?

The collection is filled with shades like tarnished olive, seafoam, plum, violets, and pearlized nudes and although I only used one product from the collection, I wanted to let the ocean, my imaginary mermaids, beaches and the number one most popular summer night party look that is coming back every single year; the dewy, smokey eye, inspire the entire makeup look, showing you one way to wear the Legendary Lure Extra Dimension Eyeshadow.


 

With the recent explosions of new makeup brands with their great quality eyeshadows and lipsticks, brands like MAC and the more high-end brands do get a bit of competition in my mind. My clients often tell me that they "don't really use the high-end fancy brands" and almost look ashamed to admit it, to which I always say that just because a product is more expensive doesn't mean it's going to be of better quality, sadly. (Or, really, is it not better for our wallets? Haha)
I am always open to try new brands no matter if the price is $5, $15 or $50 because my experience is that a makeup or beauty product does not need a big name to be absolutely amazing and I think that's where a lot of people go wrong. "The higher the price, the better the quality" is not always true - I'd say it's more like 50/50. I've tried great lipsticks for $5 and horrible ones for $40. And why should you have to spend $25 on a lip pencil if you know there are great ones for $8? It's simple really.

And since there are a lot of brands on the market right now and a lot of great makeup products - many of them acutally made by beauty gurus/beauty bloggers who have actively tried a lot of what is out there, I think it's important for the older make-up companies to really "know their products"; their strenghts and limits and when and when not to make changes. If the prices go up, the brand needs to have improved the quality of the product as well or else the buyers will likely move on to these newer, cheaper but high quality brands which are run by these intense beauty enthusiasts who knows what works and doesn't work, what makeup artists and beauty lovers crave for and demands of the products they're paying for...

Having these newer brands in mind, with the eyeshadow palettes, blush palettes and more, 200 SEK (which is also $30 or £18) now seems quite a lot for 1 single eyeshadow and 205 SEK a bit juicy for a lipgloss.
With that said, the Legendary Lure eyeshadow is both pretty and of good quality and may therefore be worth the 200 SEK if it's a colour of your liking. If you are interested in the Alluring Aquatic collection that is out now, be sure to check out the Sea Worship and Fathoms Deep eyeshadows, Submerged nail lacquer and - of course - the lipsticks!



IN MY KIT | SKINDINAVIA

 

"Your makeup looks exactly like when we left the house", a friend of mine said with a slightly bothered voice and a sigh on our way home from the nightclub.  "Skindinavia!", I shouted from the backseat.  Have you heard about it? Or have you got your own favourite setting spray? If so, please do leave a comment and tell me about it!


Let's talk about Skindinavia. I had been hearing and reading about it from makeup artists and beauty lovers around the globe - from beauty bloggers to an artist loving to use in on Lady Gaga for her shows. So, as I was searching for a great setting spray for my clients, naturally, I had to try it.  I purchased the original, the one for oil control and the bridal. Do I notice any difference between the three?  They're all cruelty, oil, paraben and sulfate-free  and all three photograh well  but the main difference and the one tip I have is that if you already have dry or combinated skin then (judging from my own experience) don't go for the Oil Control spray simply because you might get warm on the dancefloor or it feel it's better to go "all in" and buy the strongest one right away.  I have combinated skin and noticed my skin was mysteriously getting dryer and remembered I had used the spray for oily skin the last 3 times I used any of them (for that dance floor reason I mentioned) and even though it did keep the shine away, my skin did not appreciate it. When using the original one though, my skin have no complaints. But if you do have very oily skin then I strongly recommend trying the setting spray for oil control as it really does help to absorb and reduce the oil reaching the surface.

"The makeup looked the same all day and night!", one of the first brides I dolled up after adding the spray to my kit last summer told me.  Now, it's important to remember that how long your makeup wears depends on more than just one factor - the weather, what you're doing that day, the state of your skin that particular day and of course the quality of your makeup. And although using the right makeup products is key to a good bridal makeup - and makeup in general - it turns out a good setting spray like Skindinavia does affect the longetivity by a couple of hours and allows me to do less touch-ups. Needless to say it has become a must-have in my kit. I love it!


Would I repurchase? Definitely!  Who would I recommend it to?  Because of the fact that it is a bit drying I wouldn't use any of them on very dry skin  but I'd say anyone with normal, combinated or oily skin could benefit from these and if you have normal or combinated skin like me, the original makeup saver will be good enough.  You can find the setting sprays here. An extra plus for the great customer service!

SWATCHES | OPI MUPPETS MOST WANTED COLLECTION

 

If you haven't heard already, a new Muppet adventure awaits! "Muppets Most Wanted" premieres by the end of the month  and for this occasion, OPI teamed up with Disney once again  to give us eight new nailpolishes which will also be this year's Soft Shades collection from the brand.

We have a milky peach nude;  a sheer baby pink;  a somewhat olive-toned rosy mauve duocrome; a kind of glowing blue metallic with the slightest hint of duocrome power to it;  an opalescent pearl with pink and blue shimmer that works well as a top coat  along with the three different glitter polishes of the collection;  one with gold, silver and rose gold glitter flakes;  one with small  round pink  and square white  glitters mixed with bigger white square glitters;  and the third having different sized sparkles in white, gold, silver, blue and a purple-y pink colour - all three with a clear base.

I'm quite excited to watch the movie to see if perhaps it gets just a bit more clear where the inspiration for these colours came from. As I mentioned, this is the Soft Shades collection of this year and if you don't know what that is, it's usually exactly what it sounds like:  OPI is releasing a small collection each year containing softer shades, great for the "wedding season" among other things - usually a lot of sheer pinks and nudes. Surprisingly (since I'm ususally instantly stuck on the darker shades or the glitters) the classic Soft Shades hues of I Love Applause and Chillin' Like A Villain is my top two in this collection. I love the freshness and simplicity of them. All of the swatches have two coats but these two I prefer better with three.

I Love Applause is also a perfect base for Let's Do Anything We Want! and beautiful underneath Gaining Mole-mentum, just as Muppets World Tour is lovely on top of Int'l Crime Caper  and Miss Piggy's Big Number. That's one of the plus sides to this slightly different Soft Shades collection; you can mix and match a lot more than usual!



The collection will be out in stores by the end of this month(US)/beginning of April (here in Sweden and internationally).

SWATCHES | OPI BRAZIL COLLECTION



The main spring/summer collection from OPI has arrived in stores and this year they drew inspiration from the colourful carnivals,  warm, sun-soaked beaches, vibrant bikinis, the sun-kissed women, luscious tropical fruits and deep green jungles of Brazil.

Additionally to the 12 shades I have swatched for you above, the collection also includes the Beach Sandies - a box of 4 mini-sized Liquid Sand lacquers. Unlike the Liquid Sands included in previous collections, these will not be available in the original size bottles but exclusively in this set of 4. Click here to see a swatch photo from imabeautygeek.com.

Tell me Your favourites!  I absolutely love the red jelly-like Red Hot Rio. So juicy looking.  Fantastic.  "Next Stop...The Bikini Zone" is a sheer shimmer but I'm thrilled to see that most of these are in my favourite formula - creme - and I am equally excited about the three taupes now as I was back in November when I first saw the collection at the promotion event.  The mix of earthly shades and full-on colour is such a winner and spot-on resembles the colours in the scenarios I get in my head when thinking of Brazil.  Click HERE if you want to see my "Brazil collection mood board" to see what I mean!



TURNING OIL PAINTINGS INTO MAKEUP



Michael Hussar is an American painter and has, since first seeing his work about a year ago, become one of my favourite artists. His dark oil paintings both fascinates and inspires me  and makes me long for halloween all year round.
One of my favourite pieces is "Hans Memling"  and what you see above is my first attempt to turn it into makeup, with the intention to create a look you can actually wear for a masquerade party.  I don't know about you but I most definitely will be picking up halloween inspiration from his work for years and years to come. Take a look at his Facebook page or visit his website too see more of his work.



Make Up Artist Ida, 25, sharing some of her favourite products, tips&tricks and makeup looks in hope to inspire one way or another.

You'll also find her on INSTAGRAM as well as writing for the Swedish music blog LifestyleMusicGroup where she is giving you updates on music, music events, interviews, playlists and more. (The music blog is currently under construction but will be back shortly. In the mean time you can find them on Facebook!)

"Live, learn, share."




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