Favourite beauty products of 2016 ♥

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I haven’t really shared my favourites during 2016, so here’s one post which covers the whole year.  Even if I wrote a few separate posts, I don’t think my favourites would be any different since I wasn’t using that many products and I was mostly sticking to products which I already liked OR which I purchased after I read good reviews and I figured I would like them.

As you can see, most of these products are actually skincare products, and that’s nothing strange because I was quite focused on skincare in 2016. I discovered some really good brands and I’m looking forward to exploring the rest of their range (as soon as I need a new products, that is; my ‘buy less’ decision from previous post covers skincare, too).

Well, let me tell you more about my favourites and why just these products stood out for me :)

MAKEUP

IsaDora Wonder Nail Quick Dry Nail Polish, shade 540 Purple Paisley (5 ml / 79 SEK / €8.25) – this shade was part of their fall collection and I grabbed it as soon as I saw it in store. I know there are many purple(ish) shades out there, but I really liked this one, and not only that the shade is pretty, but it is more than great when it comes to quality. I generally like IsaDora’s nail polishes, so this one is no exception. It comes with a wide brush which might be a bit tricky for narrow nail plates, but I have wider nail plates so it suits me quite well (I did need a bit of time to get used to it, but now I can’t imagine using any other nail brush!). Anyway, this shade is perfect for all seasons if you ask me, but I do prefer it during fall / winter times. Here’s my NOTD post with this shade – link.

Idun Minerals Akvamarin Nail Polish (11 ml / 89 SEK / €9.30) – I haven’t posted it on the blog, but I did show you on my Instagram how this shade looks on my nails – link – and I still love it as the first day! It’s the most perfect winter shade that is out there and I love how it screams cold and winter.  It has to be applied with 2 coats, because the first coat is streaky, but I still like it and use it at least once a week! Idun nail polishes have wide brush, too. Love!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, shade Ash Brown* (4 g / 255 SEK / €26) – even though I purchased this product not so long ago (after months of debating with myself weather I should purchase it or not, LOL!), I have to say this is one of my favourite purchases last year! It’s so worth every cent and I regret not buying it a long, long time ago. I dare to say that my brows have never looked better! It goes on so smoothly, it can be applied lightly or heavily, depending on how you like it, and once you apply it – it stays there. I will be reviewing it next week, just need to take some before / after photos. Until then, you can see HERE how it looks on my brows.

Catrice Illuminating Blush, shade Kiss Me Ken, limited edition (4,5 g / 35 SEK / €3.60) – last year I couldn’t get enough of this blush! I tried using other cheek products, but I kept reaching for this one. It’s a shame this is no longer available since it is a limited edition product, and I’m sure there is something similar out there, but I still think this product is such a steal considering the quality you get for such a tiny price. Again, you can see it in the same post as the ABH Dipbrow Pomade – HERE – but this was taken in the evening, and I did apply my make up many hours earlier. ;)

Rouge Bunny Rouge Aqua Primer* (30 ml / 500 SEK / €53) – I’ve mentioned this product more than once so I won’t be repeating myself once again, but you’re more than welcome to read my review – link – where I tell you all you need to know about this primer.

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SKINCARE

LUSH Cup O’ Coffee Face Mask* (150 g / 99 SEK / €10.30) – not sure when exactly I got this mask, but I think somewhere in October, and since then it has been something I’m using on a weekly basis. I may not be a true coffee lover, but I love the smell of it and I think I could walk around smelling like coffee! I love how this is a 2in1 product – scrub and mask for your face and body, but I do think it’s a bit pricey to be used on the body, so I’ve been saving it for my face exclusively. Not that I don’t mind that since my face loves it! I have combination skin, so this mask really suits my skin since it cleans it and scrubs well, and it is in no way harsh for it. But it might be a bit too much for someone with dry skin. Even though the effect of using it is only temporary, I do like using it regularly since I do like the feeling of fresh skin.

Minimal Chic Oil-based Make Up Remover** – this lovely oil-based make up remover is my must have when it comes to removing my make up in a gentle, but effective way. It is safe to use around eyes and I love using it to remove my mascara since a gentle massage is all it takes to melt all eye make up. Not to mention that, in the end, I don’t have any oily leftover trace once I wash it off with warm water. All in all, it is affordable and it basically lasts forever! Another thing that I really love about this product is that it’s handmade by a dear friend of mine, and I got this bottle as a gift from her. She has some other lovely products and you can check her range HERE. It’s Croatian based brand, but it can be shipped to other countries. :)

Zoya Goes Pretty Shea & Cocoa Butter* (30 g / 80 SEK / 8.50) – even though this is a multi-use product for face & body, I use it mostly to nourish my lips when I’m at home. I love the combination of shea and cocoa, it smells so delicious and it makes me wanna eat it!  This is a quite easy and effective way to take care of my occasionally dry lips, and when I say ‘effective’, what I mean is – I see results a few minutes after I apply it! No more dry lips thanks to it! At least if I use it regularly (which I try to do).

Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum* (30 ml / 350 SEK / €36) – I got this serum in the beginning of September and I’ve been using it ever since which means I owe you a more detailed review (soon), but let me just tell you how much I love this serum! I love the texture, which is easy to work with and which absorbs quite quickly, but not to mention it does why I purchased it in the first place – it rehydrates my skin amazingly! I literally feel the effect the moment I apply it – my skin feels so supple, fresh and satisfied. The biggest difference is – my skin doesn’t feel like it’s suffering during winter time in Stockholm. I still have 1/3 of it left (I’m in no way sparing, that’s for sure!) and I am getting a new bottle as soon as I get to the last drop of my current one.

Pai Rosehip BioRegenerate Oil* (30 ml / 247 SEK / £22.00) – in the end of November, I wrote a mini-review where I shared my first impressions about this product, and obviously, I haven’t changed my opinion since this product made it to my favourites! If you’re struggling with some scars and skin firmness (or, the lack of it), I would honestly recommend you get this oil, like, yesterday! I raved so much about it to a friend of mine, that she ended up buying it in the end, and today she told me how she’s beyond thrilled with it!

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VARIOUS

Lunette Menstrual Cup* (299 SEK / €31) – some 10 days ago I wrote a detailed review about my Lunette menstrual cup, why I love it and can’t imagine my life without it, but also why you should get it, too. To make the long story short: this tiny cup changed my life in ways I couldn’t even imagine it would happen. I know it might sound silly, but after 20 years of having periods, I can finally say that I am looking forward to them, and I’m not cringing at the thought of walking around while I have a period. My life got so much easier and I don’t even waste my time thinking about my periods any more. If you’ve been considering buying a menstrual cup, be sure to read my review!

Foreo Luna Mini 2 (1295 SEK / €135) – even though skincare products are my top priority when it comes to taking care of my face, I found this face brush to be more than useful when it comes to effective cleansing. The fact is, no matter how much I try, I have the feeling like my skin is much cleaner when I use Luna Mini 2. Of course, It isn’t a must have products, to be honest, especially if you’re expecting new skin and few years less on your face, but I’d say it has been more than useful as part of my skincare regime. My pores are less clogged when I use it, especially those around my chin area because that area is the worst on my face. On top of that, I love the additional level of clean skin. I mean, it is clean either way, but with this brush it does feel like that feeling is stretched a bit further.

Clean Skin EdP* (30 ml / 470 SEK / €50) – I can sum up description of this perfume in one single sentence: my skin but better. It is so subtle, yet so captivating. It completely mesmerizes my senses and the things that cross through my mind when I smell it are – warmth, the touch of skin, sensual. It might not be strong and it might not last for two days, but I love it just the way it is. To be honest, this is the only perfume I need in my collection. ♥

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These were my favourite products. Maybe we share some of them? Or do you have a completely different list? Feel free to share in the comments, would love to know what you’ve been using!

Note: all products are cruelty free, those marked with * are vegan (not sure about those unmarked, so I just marked the ones I know for sure are vegan)
** this product was given to me for review

Vesna ♥

2017 | plans & goals

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I don’t usually write posts like this one, but this year I’m making an exception. I won’t be making any big plans, I prefer to stay focused and realistic. In order to do that, I needed to set reasonable and achievable goals. I decided to stick to some of the things I’ve already been doing in 2016, but I’m taking that a step further in 2017. In addition to that, I’m starting with some things which have been on my mind for a while now, but I never found the time to sit down and decide how and why I want to do them, but now I know. Anyway, let’s get to my plans & goals in 2017!

DECLUTTER

I’ve spent a big part of 2016 reading about minimalism, how to declutter (your home, life or whatever you need to declutter), how to simplify your life… and I’ve been really good at decluttering one area in my life: my closet. I’m 90% satisfied with how it looks at the moment;  I still need a few statement items, but in general – I’m almost done and I see a bright future in front of me when it comes to my closet. I am so happy I finally got at the point where I like the clothes I have and wear, even though it took me a long time to get here – two years, to be more precise (I started decluttering my closet before I actually knew about ‘decluttering’ / minimalism as a movement).

My plan is to declutter all other areas in my life – craft supply, make up, kitchen, etc. Some areas are easier than others (like kitchen – super easy to declutter), but I’m taking one step at a time since it’s REALLY important not to rush anything. It is difficult to get rid of stuff, especially since it took me years to collect some of it, and it would be unrealistic to expect I can get rid of it in just one afternoon. I mean, it would be great if I could, but it’s just not the way it works. Of course, this is a long-term plan since it will take me a long time to declutter everything, but I feel now that I’m ready since I have experience. Anyway, I will let you know how I’m doing!

BUY LESS / NO NEW MAKE UP IN 2017

This might seem a bit radical, but I don’t think it is. Buying less is something that’s connected to decluttering (at least that’s the case with me). I want to buy less stuff in general (I actually have a list of items I plan to buy in 2017) since that’s how I got in over my head with the clutter in the first place – buying too much without thinking if I really need a new item in my life, and if I even have the space for it. Not to mention the amount of money I wasted on items I didn’t really need. This year will be different and I’ll finally pay more attention to how I spend my money, why I spend it and I’ll be writing everything down because I want to have a clear overview of my finances.

Along with spending less, I decided to quit buying new make up and by that I really mean – NO new make up in 2017! It might seem strange and crazy, but to be honest, all this make up I already have is just suffocating me and I really want to use products I own, and quit being a hoarder. This will also be a way to help me declutter my make up since I’ll be saying goodbye to some products I haven’t used in ages. Further more, I’m looking forward to using up many products in 2017!

As mentioned, I have a list with products I plan to buy this year, and when it comes to make up, this is my list:

  • Maria Nila Cacao Intense (link)
  • liquid foundation (still searching)
  • mixing liquid from Make Up Store (for cake eyeliner)

Definitely satisfied with my list!

BE CREATIVE

I’ve been struggling with my creative side in 2016, and I want to do something about that this year. I miss being creative, so for this year I came up with a plan: every week I have to spend 3 hours doing something creative. It doesn’t matter if I spend this time all at once or if I divide it, but it has to be 3 hours per week (if it’s more, then it’s a plus!). I have so many options like watercolour painting, knitting, making cards… you name it, I just need to let myself go and create.

I would also love to take a course in photography / water colouring / ceramics, but I’m not really sure I have the time since all courses are a few weeks long. For now, I’ll just work on my own and in case I have extra time, I’ll use it wisely!

EXPLORE STOCKHOLM

I’ve been in Stockholm for two years now, but sometimes I feel like I don’t even know this city. To change that, I’ll be exploring Stockholm 2 or 3 times a month in order to get to know it better. I also decided to share my favourite spots in Stockholm so that you can get to know it, too. And who knows, maybe you’ll visit it one day and my posts might help you to explore it easily.

Along with exploring new places in Stockholm, I plan to share with you my favourite spots like favourite coffee shops, favourite second hand shops, favourite parks, and so on. I want you to get to know Stockholm through my eyes, and I hope you’ll like that!

I do have some other things on my mind, too, but I think I’d rather keep it real than to push too many plans down my path. I can easily add something if I think I can manage it, but I really don’t want to feel overwhelmed with too many plans. As I said at the beginning, it’s important that my plans are reasonable and achievable, otherwise I might give up if it seems too difficult / too much.

How about you? Have you decided anything for 2017 or that isn’t your cup of tea? Feel free to share in the comment section!

Vesna ♥

2016 | An Overview

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It’s hard to wrap my mind around the fact that 2016 is almost over, and here I am, writing my last post this year. 2016 was more than interesting, so many things happened, and 95% of those things were good ones. Definitely can’t complain about that. Instead of writing a novel about these past 12 months, I thought writing an overview would be a much better idea since I’ll be able to see all important points in an organised way. So, let’s start!

  • another year in Sweden – let’s start with the most obvious thing – it’s almost our 2nd anniversary in Sweden, and I have to admit that this year was much harder when it comes to all those changes which you might encounter after moving to another country. I had (or still have)  my ups and downs when it comes to moving to Sweden, but I think I might leave that for another post since I really could write a novel right now. :D Either way, moving to another country is a huge thing, and I guess it will take me another year or two to get used to the fact that another country is now my home.
  • learned a new language – great thing about Sweden is that you can learn Swedish for free, and I did just that! I went through every possible course that was available, and I’m proud to say that now, I do speak Swedish! It might not be perfect, I might have a terrible accent, but hey, I’ve learned a new language! And it feels so good to speak Swedish! I’m so happy every time I speak Swedish even though I have bad days when I don’t feel like speaking Swedish (in that case, English does the work). Personally, learning Swedish was really important to me, because that’s a way to get to know Sweden and Swedes, their traditions, to understand what they do and why they do it in a certain way, and so many other things. Not to mention I had further plans with my Swedish language, which brings me to my next point…
  • …I applied to university, and… I got in! – this is the weirdest thing ever, I could never imagine I would be studying in Sweden! And not just that, but my classes will be in Swedish! To be honest, I’m totally freaking out about the Swedish part, but if I got this far, I’m pretty sure I’ll manage the rest of it, too. Still, it doesn’t mean it’s less scary haha :D Anyway, wish me luck, I’ll need it!
  • met new friends – the thing that I love the most about moving to Sweden, is the fact that I met so many people from so many different countries, and it’s such a pleasure to learn about other cultures and traditions. At the moment, I have friends from Mexico, South Africa, Syria, Iran, UK, Sweden… just to name a few. I’m so grateful for every person I met here and I guess that’s just the beginning. ♥
  • personal changes – last, but not least, I experienced (and still am) many changes on a personal level. Of course, this was expected, but I don’t think I was actually aware how much it would affect me. A lot of things changed in the past year, and definitely for the better. As you know, last year I decided to go vegetarian and with that came some other changes like supporting only cruelty free brands, thinking more about the impact we have on people and environment around us, what do I want to leave behind me, and more. This inspired me to introduce additional changes into my life, and since 2017 is about to start, I decided to continue what I was already doing, but also to go a step or two further. This is something I’ll be writing in my upcoming post “Plans for 2017″. :)

So, these were my significant points in 2016. How about yours? Or are you relying on 2017? Feel free to share!

Vesna ♥

Rouge Bunny Rouge New In ♥

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I usually don’t order anything during Black Friday sales, but I did order Rouge Bunny Rouge this year and I have to say I won’t be repeating that again. My bitterness has nothing to do with Rouge Bunny Rouge, but rather with PostNord (Swedish post). Long story short: my package was shipped from Germany, and after 2 days it arrived to Malmö (south Sweden) where PostNord took over. Then it took them more than 15 days to deliver my package which I wouldn’t mind if I hadn’t received a daily message from them how my package was out for delivery – every single day?! I had a tracking number and according to their app (where they have daily updates), they kept driving my package around the city, their facility and so on. Not to mention I read so many bad reviews about PostNord that I seriously doubted I’ll get my package in one piece. Well, luckily, it did arrive in one piece and everything was okay, but it wasn’t worth the stress. So, no more Black Friday shopping for me, LOL :D

Anyway, I ordered some very nice products, and I’m looking forward using all of them! One of them isn’t actually ‘new’ since I repurchased it, and I already wrote my review, be sure to read it – Prelude In The Clouds Aqua Primer.

Other products:

I also got two foundation samples, I will be testing those to, but not sure how the shades will work for me, but we’ll see. And I haven’t taken any photos of the packaging, but their packaging is STUNNING! I think I might film a video because there is no way you can get the real idea how amazing it actually is! :)

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Anyway, what are you interested in most? I will be posting swatches in a separate post, wasn’t able to take good photos since there isn’t much daylight at the moment here in Stockholm, so it’s a real struggle when it comes to taking photos. :)

Vesna ♥

LH Cosmetics by Linda Hallberg | Photos & Swatches

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Linda Hallberg, a well known Swedish blogger and makeup artist, recently launched her own brand: LH Cosmetics. For now, LH Cosmetics offers only two products: Infinity palette and brushes. I’ve noticed her brand as soon as it was launched, and I was really interested in trying both the palette and brushes, but I wanted to see the products in person. I got the opportunity for that some two weeks ago, when LH Cosmetics hosted an event in collaboration with Bangerhead Studio. They simply announced the event on Facebook, inviting everyone! Of course, I had to see the products for myself, plus I got to meet Linda personally! On top of that, we spoke in SWEDISH! I was quite nervous, but I survived :D I have to admit she’s just as lovely as I’ve imagined her, and I can only wish her all the best in the future, I don’t doubt she’ll be even bigger in the makeup world.

Anyway, at first I wanted to buy only the Infinity palette, but since they offered a good discount, I got the brushes (the basic kit) as well.

Infinity palette

The Infinity palette is definitely an interesting product, but not as if I expected anything less from Linda. It comes in a sleek and thinner cardboard packaging, with a mirror on the inside and a plastic sheet protection. It contains eight different shades, four warm (top row) and four cool (bottom row). All shades can be used both dry and wet, on eyes, lips or face! I have to say I’m really surprised with how multi-functional it is, and I think this is probably one of the best palettes when it comes to price vs. what you get.

Each shade contains 3,5 grams of product = 28 grams in total. Nice amount of product, but it figures since you can use it all over the body. Out of eight shades, six of them are vegan (Andromeda and Pinwheel aren’t vegan, but they’re working on that so I expect this palette to be vegan soon).

All shades are more than well pigmented, and the shade that really got me is the last shade – Fornax – matte black shade. You’d be surprised how difficult it can be to find a proper black matte eyeshadow, but Fornax is just that – amazingly black! You can see all my swatches below!

Regular price: 399 SEK (~ 43$ / €40)

The Basic Kit

This kit contains five makeup brushes – blending brush, angled brush, finishing brush, precision brush, all over brush, and one powder puff. All brushes are made of synthetic hair and they have handmade wooden handles. I will be reviewing these brushes some time in the future.

Regular price: 499 SEK (~ 54$ / €52)

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Swatches

All swatches were applied dry, without primer. Pictures were taken in natural daylight (next to a window and indoors)

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l-r: Virgio, Andromeda, Maffei, Zwicky (top row) / Milky Way, Pinwheel, Cigar, Fornax (bottom row)

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l-r: Virgio, Andromeda, Maffei, Zwicky (top row) / Milky Way, Pinwheel, Cigar, Fornax (bottom row)

Where to buy? LH Cosmetics (worldwide) / Bangerhead.se (Sweden – at the moment they have a good deal: Infinity palette + The Basic Kit for 600 SEK!)
Suitable for vegans: brushes – yes, Infinity palette – no, but they are working on it

How do you like LH Cosmetics? :)

Vesna ♥