HIGHLIGHTS #2 2017

Urban Decay is notorious for tactless product names, and now they and Sephora are under fire for it.

Michaela Coel’s “Chewing Gum” comedy series is my favourite right now – season one is on netflix if you’re inclined to binge!

A look inside Sephoras retail success and brand catalog.

The Maquillage x Sailor Moon base products.

I’m a HUGE fan of Sailor Moon (it was a formative childhood influence to say the least) so seeing the Sailor Moon makeup line expand in 2017 is a thrill – there’s even a collab with Shiseido’s daughter brand Maquillage. Being Japanese, the shade range is however kind of depressing.

Marcia Kilgore claims her company Beauty Pie is liberating women…the concept is nice, but I don’t think makeup is about to liberate anybody, to be honest.

Connie Fisher on makeup is an interesting half-hour investigation about why women wear makeup – as always, take it with a grain of salt. There’s an evolutionary psychologist whose analysis made me want to rip my hair out, but Dr. Yan Wu’s perspective really resonated with me. The full episode can be found on youtube.

image from ili cosmetics

PopSugar proposes green as the statement lip colour of 2017…I hope they’re right!

Several brands vow to expand shade ranges in the coming year.

On a note unrelated to beauty, I started reading Lundy Bancroft’s “Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry and abusive men” and it’s been a real eye-opener. It’s an invaluable resource for abuse survivors, and available as a free pdf download here.

Inspo: Pink & Red (this is one of my favourite combos – I have a pinterest board for it here)

Dansk magazine spring 2014 editorial
Kenzo ss17
from wanyvelyy on instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 months ago

Modernist Valentine Nails

I’m not exactly proficient at nail art, but after seeing so many cute designs I thought I could at least attempt something. I’m really obsessed with red and pink, it’s been my favourite colour combo for years now and luckily it’s very on-trend! Valentine’s day is coming up, and while the holiday itself is an off-putting celebration of the prison that is heterosexual romance, I do adore the cute aesthetic.

I used three H&M nail polishes, which I quite like – the colour range and quality is great, especially at the price point. I like the smaller bottles since I tend to switch colours a lot and bigger bottles always dry out before I can finish them. For the base, I used ‘Ice Cold Milk’ which is a milky white as the name suggests. It’s not the best white polish on the market by any means, you need a LOT of layers to make it look somewhat opaque.

Incidentally, milky white nails are hot right now so a colour like this on its own looks chic enough. Once the white base had dried completely, I free-handed strokes and blobs of red (You Say Tomato) and pink (Sweetheart) for a modern art-vibe. I don’t want to get too fussy or intricate with nails – I don’t have the skills, the patience or the taste for it. The topcoat is Essie’s Gel Setter. I hope I’ll be seeing more if this colour scheme!

3 months ago

Daisy Beauty Expo 2017 – Day 2

[DISCLAIMER: All products in this post were received as press samples.]

Day two of Daisy Beauty expo was dedicated to exhibitors and PR representatives from various beauty brands, offering everything from facials and skin analyses to hand massages and manicures. I only had a skin analysis done, which was fun since I love tech gadgets and statistics (the final chart looked like a weave draft, which goes to show how damaged I am), but aside from that I was too PMS-y and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of exhibitors and samples to sit down and have a treatment done – in retrospect it might actually have helped me calm down a little. It was a wonderful way to be overwhelmed, though – being surrounded by people who have the same passion in life as you!

The venue was so beautifully decorated with different rooms and booths in a labyrinth-like funhouse of beauty. It was a little like falling through the rabbit hole and going on a treasure hunt all at once. My favourite rooms were Garnier, who had somehow got an olive tree through the door, and L’Oreal had built a fake apartment complete with a bathroom and view of paris. There was even a model lounging about in a robe drinking champagne – so glamorous! Dior was another favourite, with a beautiful “backstage area”-like setup with the best selfie lighting in the building.

In terms of sheer human contact, Akademikliniken were informative and serene as they introduced themselves and their products, and the representative for Ellos and Makiash really took the time to chat about ingredients and favourite products. I did my skin analysis with Eucerin and had a really nice conversation with them about cosmetic chemistry (am I a nerd?) and Palina impressed with their passion for their work and down-to-earth attitude. (I told them my face produced enough oil to run a fast food franchise and they mercifully laughed along, even though I wasn’t funny at all!)

I’d been warned beforehand to bring along a suitcase to carry samples, and let’s just say I vastly underestimated the volume of product I ended up taking home. My bag was too small, so I got quite a workout carrying bags of beauty products – a great way of working up a sweat in my opinion! Perhaps someone can develop a beauty-based workout regime, I’d sign up immediately. I’ll be reviewing much of the loot I received at the expo over the coming weeks (or months, if I’m being honest). Overall, the big trends in products being promoted were;

Oils
Many brands have been pushing oils for face, hair and body over the past few years, and this trend shows no sign of stopping. Oils for the body and face dominated the skincare category at the expo, from the M Picaut lemon myrtle-scented dry body oil (spoiler alert: I really like it), Eucerin’s Elasticity+ Filler face oil, Akademikliniken’s exciting new Glow Oil (packed with Vitamin C, which incidentally has a very distinct metallic smell that I actually love), Rosenserien’s Body Oil (pitched not only as a body oil..but as a “love” oil – no comment!) and Anne Marie Börlind’s Orange Blossom Energizer – to only mention a few.

Masks
The masking trend is undeniable, and I must admit I love me a good mask. New skincare launch Palina (previously only selling colour cosmetics) sent along two masks in their sample bag, and Dior included a miniscule mask in theirs. Anne Marie Börlind’s anti-aging cream mask is offered in a very postmodern-looking sphere-within-a-cube jar, and M Picaut’s new Malachite mask tapped into both the copper and gemstone trends in skincare.

Hands
In the winter months, our hands suffer a chapped and cracked fate thanks to the cold weather, so it was unsurprising to see so many hand treatments on offer. Many booths offered hand massages and treatments – Garnier, Cinq Mondes, Rosenserien and L’Occitane, for example – and many added hand creams to their sample bags.

Natural & Organic
The “green” beauty trend shows no sign of stopping, especially not here in the eco-obsessed north. Anne Marie Börlind, Rosenserien and M Picaut are all outright marketed as natural and organic, but the heavy hitting L’Oreal and Garnier both introduced products as eco-conscious and naturally-sourced. Apoteket introduced their new makeup line as hypoallergenic and I appreciated their stance on microplastics during their earlier presentation.

As I said I was PMS-ing pretty badly so I think I was probably both rude and strange all day (I don’t know about you, but that time of the month turns my brain into goo!) but I had a great time and didn’t get any restraining orders filed against me so overall, it’s a win. I wish I could do this every weekend!

3 months ago

Review: Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil

Luna is one of those products that’s been hyped to hell and back on social media. It’s got a cute name, pretty bottle, it looks like a magical potion and supposedly is a miracle worker for your skin. Oh, Luna. Our relationship has been full of ups and downs… passion and despair. They’ll make a movie about us someday.

I was a skeptic. I know the formula contains some ingredients I’m not crazy about, notably rosemary oil which has a very strong scent that can be irritating. Regardless, I got a 15ml bottle of Luna out of morbid curiosity and started using it last spring. The bottle is tinted to protect the active ingredients from light damage but I keep mine in a black velvet pouch just to be safe.

My first impression of her wasn’t great. I was already using a retinol product so maybe this didn’t do as much as it would for “virgin” skin, but I really saw no results whatsoever despite claims of overnight improvement. After a few weeks of testing, I got a weird breakout of closed comedones all over my cheeks so I cut down my routine to the bare bones to calm my skin down. It’s not until now that I decided to give Luna another chance.

I started to reintroduce the Luna oil as my last skincare step around Christmas, adding 3-4 drops to my face each night. I didn’t see immediate results, because immediate results are near impossible to achieve. But I have to say, after a few weeks of use, my skin looks radiant, even and smooth. Now, I reintroduced a vitamin c booster around the same time so I may be seeing that effect as well, but I have to say that I’m a believer now. Luna works for me, despite how much I’ve trash-talked her (yes she is a her. a beautiful lady.).

It’s a mild retinoid, so suitable for those of us who don’t need or want the strongest stuff, but it may agitate sensitive skin since it contains a lot of essential oils. Despite this, CosDNA gives the ingredients a pretty mild rating. I recommend starting with a sample or mini size (this is a good rule of thumb in general). A lot of people dislike the smell, I find it pleasant enough (it’s very herbal) but I’d prefer if it didn’t have the fragrant oils in the formula.

I’m actually a little mad about liking this. I wish I didn’t, because I’d love to think I’m that edgy girl who doesn’t fall for the hype, but I am not.

THE RUNDOWN
Price: $105/98EUR
Size: 30ml/1oz
Pros: Light texture, Looks beautiful, promotes radiance and smoothness
Cons: Extremely expensive. Contains potentially irritating essential oils.
Repurchase? I’d love to, but it’s not in the cards for me and my student budget. Maybe once this runs out that will have changed.

 

3 months ago

Daisy Beauty Expo 2017 – Day 1

This past weekend, I had the privilege to be invited to Daisy Beauty Expo, a major conference arranged by Daisy Beauty Magazine, currently the only domestic publication focused solely on beauty.

Now, I’ve been to many conferences but none like this – my experience is with the depressing charity conferences that are important but not very cheerful. Daisy Beauty Expo was like a hug. A hug with great skin. Despite having been an active blogger for less than a year, I was welcomed with the exemplary grace and community, and had a wonderful time. Big thanks to Kicki Norman and Sam Bergenstråhle for being such gracious hosts, and a special shout out to Linnea Öst for her kind words when we spoke. I’d also like to thank Valerie for being wonderful.

It was a two-day affair, split into one day for presentations and lectures, the other for the actual exhibition. Day one featured two presentations by L’Oreal, one by Mette Picaut of M Picaut, L.Y.X Cosmetics and finally Apoteket, the formerly state-owned pharmacy.

L’Oreal Paris started the day with a somewhat self-congratulatory presentation on their sustainability program. While I appreciate their initiatives for eco-conscious production and sustainable staff policies, I wish they’d left us a little space to ask questions. I really prefer to ask in a way that lets everyone hear the answer! And that a multi-national conglomerate can be truly ethical seems unlikely to me. It’s a little odd to see a company that manufactures skin-bleaching products claim to be inclusive of all races. Not to sound political or anything.

The sustainability presentation was followed by some new releases for the coming few weeks, from the colour cosmetics, skincare and haircare lines. Most interesting was the fiber mascara, cleansing cream and brow pencils launching january and glossy lip paints and blush palettes launching february. Most disappointing was the concealer palette that only comes in one colour – so much for covering “every ethnicity” (this was, rightly, questioned by Karin who is in general a beautiful being with brains in abundance)

After L’Oreal’s presentation, L.Y.X cosmetics took the floor to present their new product, Lacqua. L.Y.X is a nail product brand that is known for their Lackryl and ONE STEP hypoallergenic at-home LED-set gel polish systems. Lacqua is their water-based polish system, which looks very promising for those of us who want to avoid solvent fumes. Interestingly, this is also a peel-off polish, so you don’t need to use any nail polish remover either! I’m very curious to try it out. Beauty editor of Femina, Jessica Blockström, sat next to me during the lecture and she showed me her nails that had been done with Lacqua and they looked great! She gave them a review on her blog (in Swedish, but google translate isn’t half bad these days!). Lacqua is available for purchase already!

This was followed by Mette Picaut who was a true energizer, a really funny and approachable lady who runs eco-skincare brand M Picaut. She’s picked up on the gemstones in beauty trend by launching a mask containing malachite. Now, malachite is gorgeous but also notoriously toxic, so there were some questions raised about the choice to include it in the formula – but I have no fears about testing the product on my skin – EWG, known to be extremely alarmist, only rate malachite low-hazard. Plus, the rest of the ingredient list is filled with things I love – niacinamide, squalene, hyaluronic acid… it’s a buffet of skincare delicacies. Eco-beauty isn’t usually my cup of tea, but for this I make exceptions.

The final presentation of the day was Apoteket, a pharmacy chain known for their strict criteria for stocking products. They’re revamping their colour cosmetic line under the Apoliva brand, featuring hypoallergenic ingredients and no preservatives (except for the mascaras). Toxicologist Winta Woldai was concise and precise as she took us through the ingredient lists.

Unfortunately, this line is not shade-inclusive either, which is pretty underwhelming. However, they are launching a series of complexion products specifically for dark skin during the coming year!

Apoteket finished their presentation with a lecture by Pär Svanberg, a doctor of chemistry who’s committed to debunking myths about cosmetic ingredients. This time, he clarified whether us beauty junkies were actually to blame for microplastic pollution – spoiler alert, the cosmetics industry accounts for 0.1% of ocean microplastic contamination.

To finish this long and very info-dense day, I got to spend some time with a really wonderful gang of beauty influencers (including the queen of the swedish beauty blogosphere, Annahita Yazdi, who by the way is an angel in person) who I’d never met before in my life, but if you get a group of girls together and introduce backstreet boys and wine, good things are bound to come out of it. I’m more or less ready to live in an all-girl skincare commune.

Stay tuned for day 2!

 

3 months ago

Hall of fame: My favourite products of 2016

This post is a little overdue, but I had to take some time to consider what I actually wanted to put on this list! Here are my favourite products of the year.

Favourite fragrance: Frederic Malle ‘Monsieur’ EDP

I love perfume, especially scents that are more or less marketed toward men. Frederic Malle Monsieur is my favourite of this year – it’s leathery, a little smoky, warm and absolutely beautiful.

Tom Ford Patent Finish Lip Lacquer in Red Corset

I am a lipstick fanatic of note, so I have to talk about lipsticks. Tom Ford’s lipsticks are a solid favourite, as is the Patent Finish Lip Lacquer that launched early in the year.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder in Light

I’m not a powder girl, but I recently reviewed the new Laura Mercier Candle Glow powder and fell head over heels. It’s a powder for powder haters.

Paula’s Choice RESIST BHA 9

This has been a year of skincare troubles for me, and I managed to get some serious closed comedones over the summer. The only thing that has helped keep them at bay is Paulas Choice BHA9.

KIKO Colour Kajal in “104 Red”

A visit to London led me to visit my first KIKO store, and I fell in love with the coloured eye pencils. My favourite is this red!

Glossier Boy Brow in Blonde

The feathery brow look is a favourite, and the glossier boy brow is the perfect product. The thick texture makes it much easier to control than other brow gels I’ve tried!

ColourPop Ultra Shock Shadow in “Taco”

Blue eyeshadow is a favourite look, and I love the intense colour payoff and creamy texture of this eyeshadow that builds up easy as anything.

Honourable Mentions

The DECIEM Hylamide Boosters impressed me with their price point and effectivity.
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid is everyone’s favourite for a reason.
NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer kept my base looking luminous and smooth.
My Beauty Diary Black Pearl sheet masks were my go-to self care mask.
NYX Vivid Bright Liners were a colourful addition to my everyday makeup look.
& Other Stories Sugar Scrub were a faithful body care product when I needed a pick-me-up.

What were your favourite products this year?

4 months ago

HIGHLIGHTS: #1 2017

Since the concept of “weekend” posts has become rather disconnected from actual weekends, I’m renaming this series HIGHLIGHTS because it’s more descriptive. Same format, different name. Happy new year! I have high hopes for the coming year in beauty.

 

I love these modern art-inspired beauty looks by Violette!

In light of mental illness hero and all-round badass Carrie Fisher’s passing, here’s a piece on Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle

We’ve lost many celebrities who pushed the envelope in terms of who is allowed to be seen and how you can present yourself. 2017 started brutally with the death of John Berger, art critic, writer and generally wonderful mind. There’s no denying the link between art and beauty. You can watch his groundbreaking “Ways of Seeing” series on youtube.

As a fan of science fiction and beauty, this artificial skin product looks like something right up my alley.

I talked about multichromatic highlighters in a recent post, and it looks like NYX is launching several for spring 2017.

Speaking of badass, Kicki Norman of Daisy Beauty wrote this clear-cut and informative post on oils in skincare. It’s in Swedish, but well worth the google translate treatment.

I discussed trends in a recent series of posts – here is ELLE’s take on 2017.

Have you considered a beauty look for your funeral?

Pantone’s colour of the year is Greenery – a beautiful spring green that would look gorgeous on eyes and nails.

Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses her interest in beauty in light of her no.7 partnership

Inspo: Rainbows

4 months ago

Trend wishlist for 2017

After all the negativity in my last post, I feel a little guilty. So what better way to fix it than by being a little more positive! I’ve listed my favourite and least favourite trends, now it’s time to list the trends I’d love to see blossom and bear fruit in the coming year.

Weird 00s vibes

If there’s anything to remember about the millenium era, it’s that it was highly questionable, aesthetically. The future was now, so brands really pushed the envelope and released glitter gels to wear all over your body, blue lip gloss and super-frosty eye products. Mostly, it was ugly. But it was also pretty cool. I’m ready for more ugly-cool – bring on the butterfly clips, silver eyeshadow and lip balm rings with glitter.

Unisex

Fashion is always playing with gender expression, so why shouldn’t beauty? It’s time for men to put down the beard oil and pick up the exfoliants and rouge compacts. It’s time to stop raising eyebrows at men who take an interest in “girl stuff” or don’t conform to the constraining nonsense that is masculinity. If men were more like women, I’d like them a lot better.

Monochrome

While ombre lips, sculpted faces and complex cut crease eye looks all look amazing and are very technically impressive, there’s something charming about wearing solid colours. You can go for a sharp contrast or soft wash of colour that ties in with your whole look – sharp cobalt liner with matching lashes, or a gentle monochrome look with eyes, lips and cheeks all the same delicate shade. Pick a colour and run with it.

Appliqué

Many of us have seen interesting alternative materials in beauty – from Lisa Eldridge’s gel patches to the decoupage-esque dried flowers laid against faces and decolletés. Grab some sequins, stickers, confetti, foil, plastic, beads, crystals… and use lash glue to attach them to your pretty little face.

Criticism

Perhaps most importantly, what I would like to see more of than anything else is criticism. Not only of product quality but of the marketing techniques used, the designs, the reasoning behind product development, the way beauty makes us think and feel about ourselves and others, the ethical issues of the industry… it’s a long list. Beauty is a culture, and no culture can survive without internal criticism. Beauty is affected by capitalism, classism, racism, homo- and transphobia, and most of all – sexism. Let’s not forget that. And let’s remember to disclose sponsored content correctly.

What beauty trends would you like to see in the future?

4 months ago

Trends of 2016 – My LEAST favourite beauty trends of the year

I jokingly remarked a few posts back that I’m good at passing judgement. And what better time to do just that, than the end of the year, when we look back and ask ourselves what the hell we were doing in 2016. My least favourite trends, and trends I want to see stay… or begin. Take this, as you should take everything, with a grain of salt.

I want to press the kill switch on:Matte liquid lipstick

This trend has seemed to be eternal. I bought into it. I got those ultra-matte liquid lipsticks in the same shades of nude everyone else wore. I used them maybe five times in total, and moved on. Why? They’re drying as hell, they don’t fade gracefully and the colour range is generally sob-worthy with those taupe, mauve and rose shades we’re all so sick of. End it now.

Social media celeb collabs

How many unimaginative neutral face-and-eye palettes with a big name slapped on the box does the market need? Zero.

Strobing

I love highlighter, I really do. But I don’t love the absolute over-saturation of the market of highlighter products. It seems every brand has the same four shades with the same names (if I see another highlighter named anything ending in -stone or -light i will die!) and every tutorial I see advises heinous over-application – let’s end it.

Nudes

Unsurprisingly, I’m also very much over nudes. Firstly, the term “nude” generally means “tired range of shades that only suit white people”. Furthermore, it’s a dreadful bore. Let’s bring on the colour.

don’t be this lady. image via kale university (which is indeed a real thing)

“Natural” beauty

When I say natural, I’m referring to products and brands that claim their products are superior because of their “natural” ingredients. It’s all cowardly fearmongering and obviously a cash grab hopping on the organic trend bandwagon. Never mind the fact that natural ingredients are often more volatile, allergy-inducing and downright toxic than their synthetic counterparts. And don’t get me started on the coconut oil cult. I’ll take chemicals any day, thank you.

 

4 months ago

Trends of 2016 – My favourite beauty trends of the year

The year is finally coming to an end – it’s been a big year in beauty with many strange trends emerging (or, well, things that are called trends even though it’s only one or two people doing it) so I thought I’d round up the trends I loved, the trends I hated, and the trends I’d like to see realized in 2017. Here’s my first list: Trends that should stay. Forever.

Multi-use

We’ve seen a growing interest in multi-use products, with many creative alternative uses for beauty products. One of my favourites is using lipstick for lips, cheeks and eyes! How safe is it to use lipstick on your eyelids? Probably not super safe. But it looks adorable. I’m wearing this look as I’m typing this. Let’s continue experimenting in the coming year.

Soft base

Sheer, light base products with a skin-like finish are increasingly popular, much to my delight. I love the look of minimal skin – you can conceal and even out your complexion where needed, but a full-coverage matte foundation feels terribly heavy and dated. Bring on the tinted moisturizer!

 

Multicolour highlight

I more or less hate strobing, but let me tell you about what kind of highlight I do like: soft, feathered, and suprisingly multi-coloured. More brands are launching highlighters (often creams, which is the best kind) with coloured shifts. Instead of the classic silvers, golds and bronzes, these shift in reds, pinks, greens and blues – resulting in a surprising flash of colour that only shows in certain light. It’s subtle and powerful all at once, and can be dressed down or up.

Low-maintenance eyebrows

When I say “instagram eyebrows”, everyone knows what I mean – anastasia brow pomade, nars radiant creamy concealer two shades too light and a super-sculpted result. However, brands and artists are starting to pare down the brow look – more bushy, only slightly groomed and the pomade is traded for a brush-in wax. The result is an effortless but expressive brow.

REDS

We owe a lot to chanel this year – they didn’t invent this trend, but they sure cemented it with their all-red collection featuring reds from lips to eyes and cheeks. Red eyeshadow is some of the most expressive and impactful, and it’s a bold colour choice that more and more consumers are ready to make. It’s my favourite colour, and it looks good on everyone.

What are your favourite trends in beauty?

4 months ago