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.
VIVA GLAM RIHANNA
And can we please talk about the packaging? Are you seeing the beauty of this thing? No, probably not, because it can not really be captured in a photo - at least I can't. It has kind of a velvet look and has to be the absolute most gorgeous lipstick bullet MAC has ever created. So even if you're not buying this, please just go to your nearest MAC counter/MAC store and just LOOK at it. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. (Yes, I get too damn excited about these things.)
The lipstick will be available from January 21 in the US (maccosmetics.com) and February 8 here in Skandinavia (maccosmetics.se). Go to your local counter/store to find out the exact date for Your country.
SWATCHES | OPI GWEN STEFANI COLLECTION
OPI is rapidly becoming known as the number one brand for introducing us to new formulas, always pushing forward to set a new trend. One of their latest hits were the Liquid Sand nail polish which, naturally, many brands have been copying since the launch, and since then OPI have been releasing a couple of Liquid Sand shades with almost every collection. This collections has none but a good variety of formulas nonetheless - and naturally a brand new one!
During my early teen years Gwen Stefani was always "that cool chick" - always a bit different from the other artists at that time (well, at least to me), always unique and fun. I am therefore quite excited about her teaming up with OPI for a collection of seven limited edition nail lacquers. The signature red and a trace of her pink hair are two of the six shades I have here to show you today.
Despite my imprinted memories of the pink haired Gwen singing about how "I kind of always knew I'd end up your ex-girlfriend", most people probably think of red lips and matching nails when they hear her name. Her signature red OPI polish is called Over & Over A-Gwen and will be available in a special box including black swarowski crystals and different shaped gold, silver and pewter studs along with nail glue to make your own unique nail design. Click here to see a photo of it.
The collection includes another two glossy cremes and one is I Sing In Color - a dark chocolate cherry shade. Yeah, you guessed it.. of course the vampy one is my favourite! It doesn't matter how many dupes there might be or how many I already have in my stash - I'll always love a rich burgundy, dark eggplant, dark wine and the like.
The third creme is called Hey Baby and she's a glossy medium pink. Feel like you've seen it before? Well, if you already own OPI I'm India Mood For Love or Nicole By OPI Spring Break then it seems you already have a dupe.
The collection also features two semi-matte satin finish designed to be worn without topcoat. 4 in the Morning is a charcoal black that doesn't look so harsh because of the finish. I might actually replace this swatch since it seems it had not dried completely when I took the photo and just noticed it is supposed to look more matte than this - a bit like leather actually. Click here to see more photos of the satin finish.
The second satin polish is Love. Angel. Music. Baby - a golden hue that brings my mind to the music video of The Sweet Escape which I currently wish I could live in because of my obsessing with gold for the past couple of months. It's a gold with a silvery shimmer and very, very similar in colour to Honey Ryder from the Bond Girls (Liquid Sand) collection - the finish being the difference.
Push And Shove is the name of the seventh lacquer in the collection (which I unfortunately don't have to show you) and also the lacquer that has the NEW formula. I don't know if I can say that it is the star of the collection since I haven't tried it yet, but I would guess it's the most discussed.
Push and Shove is a chome hue but requires a special base coat - Lay Down That Base - to get into its full glory. Apparently one thin coat of this + two thin coats of Push And Shove will give a mirrored finish similar to what we have so far only been able to get using MINX nail foil. Judging by swatch photos like this one, this one and this one I feel like the limit of what you can achieve with nailpolish alone has been reached. It makes me think of the silvery 90's fashion and the accessories being sold today inspired by it such as backpacks, shoes etc and that makes the nostalgia-loving, materialistic little part of my heart in a shopping mood.
All of the swatches has 2 coats. The collection will be out in stores mid January.
With the hopes of you all having a wonderful Christmas holiday I wanted to share a few of my favourites and treats for the family gatherings, New Years Eve and other upcoming highlights in your schedule during these winter months.
I dont know about you but I for one am not tired of glitter for New Years Eve and very much doubt I will ever join those who year after year tries their best to stear away from the typical things like sparkling dresses, tops or accessories on this night. And growing up with a grandmother who was the absolute queen of glitter and sequins I now love anything that sparkles and therefore very much like adorn myself with something glimmering for NYE. As you know I am also a complete lipstick lover - inherited from the same woman I might add - and to not over-do it a matte lipstick is always my first choice. The Retro Matte lipsticks from MAC have been a personal favourite since the release in October and will suit anyone who's up for celebrating this past year and the beginning of a new with a bright lip. Check them out if you haven't!
Prefer to keep the focus on your eyes? Give them that snow-y sparkle with some glitter, a frosty eyeshadow or perhaps a Pro Longwear Paint Pot. I'm liking the silver-white shade called Chrome Angel.
Having a New Years party? Place the jar of Johan Bülow's golden liquorice balls among your tasty treats [Haha I'm sorry - been trying to make this sentence sound less dirty for 15 minutes now, I give up.] and you'll be sure to have the guests talking. Or perhaps my favourite from the range, jar number 2 with salty pieces made out of pure Iranian liquorice if you prefer. Decorative and delicious. Yum!
Still the mascara I recommend most to my clients. Love it!
No, red lips might not be the most surprising thing this time of year but it sure is beautiful. "Stalker" is the brilliant name of my most used red OCC Lip Tar this December.
Yes, I agree, it does look misplaced among all the goodies but since this is a post on treats I just couldn't skip something that is so important this time of year. A treat for your skin, keeps the winter dryness away. If you tend to get dry knuckles or small wounds on your hands then try this if you have the opportunity. I'm buying it at the pharmacy here in Sweden but I know stores like Boots, Ulta and drugstore.com are selling it as well.
I'm not usually the one to go for a light pink lip but I've fallen in love with a pink gloss from IDUN called Irma. My favourite match is with the Sweet Angel lipliner from Kicks. Such a pretty combo!
This year I noticed a lot of people have been giving away donations to different people- or animal-helping organisations as a Christmas gift in the name of a friend or family member which I think is absolutely brilliant. If you didn't but still want to feel like you've done something - and on top of it is a make-up lover who wouldn't mind actually having more of a reason to spend your money on lip products - then one way to help is to purchase any lipstick or gloss from MAC's VIVA GLAM range. For those of you who don't know, MAC Cosmetics has got their very own AIDS fund which gets 100% of the proceeds from their VIVA GLAM products in order to help women, men and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS and the initiative has already raised over $250 million. 1 HIV test, 23 female condoms or 233 male condoms and 37 delivered meals are a few of the things the cost of only 1 lipstick will cover so trust that your beauty buys will make a difference. In the photo above you can see my favourite nude - VIVA GLAM II. Guilt-free lipstick shopping? Every time!
Lots of Love & Happy New Year wishes!
THE RETURN OF HEROINE
MAKE UP FOR EVER AQUA ROUGE
HOW-TO | HALLOWEEN '13 | SHHH...
After posting this photo slash video on my Instagram I recieved questions about how I did it so I thought I'd take you through the steps even though Halloween has passed for most people now. What you'll need is sewing thread, fake blood, skin glue and cream makeup for bruising.
Before starting working on the threads I used cream makeup to make a slightly bruised look around the mouth. As you can tell I went for the look of a very mild and fresh (-as in recent) kind of bruising instead of the blue-ish, purple, red colours you would have if the bruise would be a couple of hours or a day older. Choose the look you prefer.
Cut some sewing thread into small pieces - approx. 8 cm. Apply small dots of glue along your upper lip where you want your thread to go in and out and attach the ends of the thread to the glue. Let it dry for a while, then measure how long you'll need your pieces of thread to be (depending on the size of your lips), cut them off at the lenght you need and repeat the glue step along your lower lip. Make sure you think about the direction of the thread and the natural round movements when sewing; where the thread would go in and out so that you'll know if to put the end on the upper or lower side of your mouth.
Now it's time for blood and that natural round movement of the thread that I mentioned is something you can work with here as well. Just think about where the thread is coming out and where it's going in - personally I put a bit more blood where it was going OUT so that it looks like the thread was dragging some of the blood out, which may not be needed for the spots where the needle would be going IN, in case you don't prefer to do the other way around or to add blood all over the thread which is also an alternative - it all depends on what you like and how bloody you want it. I added a small amount of a thicker kind of blood - a blood paste - to the spots where the thread was going out and a thinner, "regular", fluid blood to the other areas. And that's it, really!
CHRISTMAS WITH RIHANNA
Two of the items in this collection are a sparkly rose gold eyeliner named Cockiness and a matte, hot pink lipstick called Pleasure Bomb. The packaging is a mix of white and rose gold, kind of Christmas-y and nicely suitable for a holiday collection. The inside is just as pretty, the lipstick having a lovely velvet-y formula and the liner being beautiful both on it's own on the upper lashline or as a nice detail to the lower - or why not as a twist to a matte black smokey eye.
The collection is available in stores and online now. maccosmetics.com // maccosmetics.se or kicks.se for Swedish customers.
KIT ESSENTIALS | REAL TECHNIQUES
I am loving the multi-tasking qualities of the eye brushes as well as most of the face brushes and my favourites of the later are the Powder Brush and the Expert Face Brush. The Powder Brush really is one of the softest face brushes I've ever used and effortlessly blends your powder, bronzer and blush. The Expert Face Brush has become my favourite multi-tasking brush of all time and is absolutely essential to my makeup kit. Foundation (whether liquid, creamy or compact), cream- or powder contouring, cream- or liquid blush, powder- or liquid highlighting - it works for all of it!
The only disadvantage or inconvenience - and this is from a makeup artist's point of view - is how they sell these. Some of the brushes are sold in sets and some are sold individually; the ones that come in sets are not sold individually and the ones sold individually can not be found in the sets. Now that might not be a problem for most people but as a makeup artist I would love to buy a couple more of, for example, the Base Shadow Brush to use when working since you rarely have the time to clean the brushes while working on the same face/model. It's just always a good thing to have many copies of your favourite multi-tasking brushes. Not being able to without buying the whole set of 5 (when 3 of them is brushes that I don't feel like I need to have copies of) is kind of a downside since they're really great brushes so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that in the future they will start selling all of the brushes individually as well as in the sets.
You can find the Real Techniques brushes at a good price on iHerb and Love-Makeup. Find more retailers >here<. Svenskar - borstarna finns även på Eleven, Lyko och Brallis men till nästan dubbla priset (och t.o.m. mer på vissa av borstarna). Jag har hört endast bra om iHerb men har själv bara hunnit beställa från Love-Makeup så om ni känner er lite osäkra på att beställa utifrån så kan jag säga att Love-Makeup (som skickar från England) har levererat snabbt och felfritt vid varje order jag lagt.
IDA & LINA'S NOVEMBER LIP TIP
My sister Lina and I have been loving Burt's Bees lip balm during this fall. The brand range includes - among lotions, scrubs, schampoo, different lip products etc - 7 different 100% natural lip balms. We haven't tried all of them, just simply thought we'd share why we love two of them and how they fit our needs.
Lina is all about taking care of her lips and doesn't really have that chapped-lips problem that I tend to have if I'm not careful. If anyone is taking care of ones lips it's her, and her favourite balm is the Rejuvenating lip balm with Acaí Berry.
"I love how it's so soft and creamy", she says - and it really is! In about 15 minutes after applying it I find my lips already softer which is great when you need a quick boost and as it wears off it gives a smooth feeling to your lips.
As for me, nothing makes my winter lips heal like Locobase Repair but since I really only use that during the night or when I'm just at home with no need to explain what the heck is going on on my lips [it's a WHITE paste/cream], naturally I also need something that I can carry with me and apply during the day.
Since I wear lipstick basically everyday and prefer satin and matte formulas, it's important to me that it's a balm that will work as kind of a base to wear underneath my lipstick to at least try to prevent them from drying out. For that purpose my favourite this fall has been the Beeswax lip balm with Vitamin E and Peppermint. Contrary to Lina's favourite, this one gives a much more matte feeling to the lips - a lot like the feeling of the lip primer from MAC when it has settled.
On a side note I want to add that if the state of your lips is really bad - I'm talking cracked winter lips - then I would recommend going for something more healing and thicker to use during the night or - as I mentioned earlier - when you're comfortable looking a bit funny and use a thick cream on your lips for as long as you can as kind of an intense healing mask. Perfect if you're having 2 days off work or over the weekend. If you're able to get it where you live then do try the Locobase Repair, put on a thick layer and reapply as soon as it's worn off for about 1½-2 days depending on how bad it is.
Please tell us! What is your favourite lip balm?
MAC RETRO MATTE LIPSTICK - ALL FIRED UP
This is All Fired Up - a warm, reddish fuchsia. This one surprised me a lot since it was described as a "bright fuchsia matte" to which my reaction when first reading about it was more of a shrugging "meh" than something I'd put on my have-to-have list for private use. That quickly changed when I tried it on! It is a lot more red than I initally thought it would be and gives a stunning matte look to your lips. It is by far one of my favourite lipsticks this year and the best of all; it stays in their permament line!
Find it here: maccosmetics.se // kicks.se // maccosmetics.com
IN MY KIT | MAC CREAM COLOUR BASE
After searching for years I've finally found a highlighter that actually looks like real shiny, dewy skin and not just shimmer - wearable for both night and (most importantly) daytime. My clients love it, I love it - it's just glorious.
I've tried the product before in a different shade and while I did like that one as well, this one is just on a whole other level. The product I'm talking about is "Hush" Cream Colour Base from MAC and I am utterly and completely in love.
The best way to apply this is with your fingers, simply starting off by picking up some product with a spatula and warming it up on your hand or as I prefer; the inside of my hand, since I feel like it gets warm and creamy a lot faster. (Just remember to clean your hands before!) When it's nice and creamy, just "tap and roll" your finger onto your cheekbones. And the result? A fresh, dewy highlight that will keep looking better through the hours of the day. Absolutely stunning!