I’ve realised that making our apartment as cozy and practical as possible doesn’t necessarily have much to do with the fact that I love interior design, but because we end up spending a lot of time inside due to the cold weather here in Sweden! Both Paul (the boyfriend) and myself function better in a clutter-free zone (him especially) and one with beautiful details thoughtfully placed around the rooms (me especially as he doesn’t understand the point of beautiful boxes that don’t really have a purpose apart from decoration). We’ve already spoken about my candle and room scent obsession before, so today I wanted to share with you some of the things that make our apartment feel like a home we want to spend as much time in as possible with friends and family! To me, photos are very important which is why we have a full wall with cutouts from magazines, photos from our past, postcards and souvenirs from our travels! One of my favourite things in the living room, apart from the overload of candles is the large wooden HAY hand that stands on top of our bookshelf and holds some of my rings (most of the time I forget they’re there and end up losing lots of time looking for them around our bedroom). When we first moved in a couple of months ago I went through a rose-gold phase and that’s when I picked up the copper watering can at a design shop in the city. Jokes were on me when I tried filling it up to water our flowers because that’s when I realised it was only ever meant for decoration. *Water everywhere*. The cup in the last photo is from Marimekko and every morning I’ll have to finish a full cup of freshly brewed coffee before my brain can start functioning. I bought a full set of these beautiful cups with my first proper salary so they mean so much more to me than just simple cups!
What turns your house/apartment into a home? Is it photos of your friends and family? Candles? Flowers? Paintings? I would love to hear about how you personalise your own space, and hopefully I can get some inspiration!
I love myself a red matte lips so I’ve tried my fair share of brands and formulas- some good, some not so good but this one in particular was out of this world! Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in the shade “Always Red” is long lasting like nothing else I’ve tried, the formula is creamy, easy to apply and the best thing is that you don’t feel the product on your lips which makes this the ideal lip color for a makeup noob who’s still getting used to wearing lipstick. On the website it’s described as a stain but to my surprise the consistency is thick and creamy and reminds me of Bourgois Rouge Edition Velvet’s texture however this one is much more long lasting and it wont leave a stain on your champagne glass! It doesn’t dry out the lips like many other matte products do, it doesn’t fade or bleed and this particular shade is a proper red-red- no orange, pink or blue undertones- just simple and vibrant red! I wore this wicked lip stain last week when I had an event on in the evening- I applied it at 10am and didn’t need any retouching until 7pm which says a lot as I may have consumed one or two Swedish cinnamon buns on the go…oooups!
Now – I couldn’t possibly keep this gem to myself could I? I’ve got such wonderful people reading and supporting this blog so as a thank you I want to give away two of these lip stains in the beautiful and Christmas-appropriated shade, Always Red. The giveaway will be done on Instagram so all you have to do is follow me there, regram the photo and tag @willowjolie. Two people will be selected at random on Sunday and your package containing this product as well a a little surprise will be shipped first thing on Monday morning!
I don’t believe in mascara being used without first getting some eyelash curling-action in. I know it’s a bold statement but until this day I’ve never found a mascara that can give a beautiful and even curl on it’s own and let’s be honest here- we all need a little bit of help to perform well in life- so let’s not throw evils at the mascaras because it needs a buddy to get the initial curl going! After all, a good mascara is what will hold the curl for the rest of the day so without each other they’re a tad useless! But with so many eyelash curlers on the market how do you know which one to chose?
To begin with I never thought there could be such a massive difference between curlers but with time, trial and error ( and a few minor burns) I realised that depending on the curler you chose you can either end up looking like Bambi or lose all your lashes in one go. Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we? The first one I ever tried was from H&M and though I had no idea how to use it properly I found it to be amazing; it curled my lashes and gave me Bambi eyes so how could I not love it? This was around the same time as some genius told me to heat the curler up with a hairdryer before using it- resulting in beautiful lashes paired with very red burned eyelids- outch! Bye bye old one and in with the big guns ; MAC eyelash curler ! The fact that it gave me beautiful curled lashes without needing any “hair dryer action” was alone worth 33 euros and until today, 4 years later this little number is still going strong! Then two years ago something magical happened when I was introduced to someone called Shu Uemuraand it was love at first curl. I only needed 1 “pump” and my lashes were beautifully curled and on days where I skipped the mascara the curl lasted all day anyway. Sometimes beauty tools are worth the splurge and from what I’ve seen in the eyelash curler department, this is definitely true with one little exception. Like always KIKO manages to be up there with the legends as their curler is absolutely fantastic, affordable and I can’t recommend it enough. I love finding affordable products that are as good and sometimes better than the original and KIKO is a brand where that happens a lot! Some other brands that do fantastic curlers are Bobbi Brown, Nars, Charlotte Tilbury , Japonesque and Kevyn Aucoin, so now you should have plenty to chose from! If you have any questions, the comment section below has plenty of space and I’m happy to answer anything you want to know.
If you’re a regular in these neck of the woods you might know how much I love a good nail polish and that I change the color displayed on my paws on a weekly basis! You’ll probably also know that glitter isn’t something I use on a regular basis and there are two reasons for that, the first being that I strongly overdid it as a child. Whenever I got hold of anything glitter-related it would result in a big mess, impossible to clean up in time for my mum to return home and see the new carpet covered in silver glitter that was meant for decorating the Christmas cards! The second reason is that it’s a pain in the backside to remove and every single time I want to take it off I swear to myself that I will “never ever wear this darn-polish again” while my boyfriend informs me yet again that glitter nail polish shouldn’t be seen on people over the age of 10 and his 5 year old niece agrees while judging the adult with sparkly nails. Since I don’t give a hoot ‘n’ a half about what other people think when it comes to my choice of nail polish, I’ve recently discovered a new favourite ; Essie – Summit of Style ! It’s not glitter glitter as the glittery bits are much bigger than normal glitter *award for most usage of the word glitter* but the effect is amazing! I’ve used it over a darker and matte shade in the style of “Sole Mate” and “Bahama Mama” but you know what? I think I prefer it on its own! It gives that lovely festive metallic-look whilst looking elegant enough to wear it to your grandmothers house without being asked if you’re going goth (my experience when wearing black polish….). If gold flakes and glitter had a baby it would be ” Summit of Style” and that is as good as I can describe this non glittery, glitter.
Yes, you read right, a candle lady at the age of 22. When I leave my apartment in the morning I imagine the moment of satisfaction when I get to walk back into our warm and cozy home after a day outside in the cold, snap my bra off (too much information?) and light my candles, one by one. Some are scented, some aren’t – nevertheless we have a deep and meaningful relationship going on. I burn so many candles that Paul turned to me the other day and asked if our insurance covers fires. I thought he was being a tad dramatic, but took a look around the living room before reaching for the laptop to check the insurance details. Happy days , I still get to burn my favourite lavender scented candle next to my bed, Jo Malone’s English Pear and Freesia candle in the bathroom and Muji’s Elderflower in the kitchen. This time of the year I love a woody and spicy scent to take over the apartment so I’ll opt for Pomegranate Noir, By Jo Malone, a new-found favourite candle ( and room spray! ). My latest discovery in the candle department are little cinnamon-scented tea lights from Åhlens (Swedish department store) which are the first affordable scented tea lights that don’t smell sickly sweet (Ikea, your’e lucky your Daim cake is good because the smell of your candles melt my brain). A few months ago I bought a beautiful glass box in Maastricht with the intentions of storing my favourite makeup bits in it, but it’s currently housing simple tall white candles instead and I really love the effect! I’ve enjoyed burning candles for as long as I can remember, and though the first ones I ever bought happened to be from IKEA, I’ve tried some good ones throughout the years that don’t give me a headache. Diptyque’sFiguier and Baies will always have a special place in my heart but for the moment I’m trying out other candles in various price ranges to set the mood on cold winter evenings. Aka – 3pm in Sweden.
Last week I announced that I would be starting this series on Saturdays where I inform you of any interesting beauty news, take a trip back in the blog archive, show you what I’ve been up to during the week and basically just have a chat ! If you have any requests for videos or posts you’d like to see, may I propose dropping me a line or two in the comment section and I’m sure we can sort something out! So, without rambling on for too long – Weekend Bonanza #2 .
1. Countless cups of coffee have been consumed, black – no sugar and no milk but lots of lipstick stains on the cup. If any baristas happen to read this, don’t sweat it- I always wipe it off before leaving as I know how frustrating (my better half would probably use the word disgusting) it is when women leave a lipstick mark on the cups. A little tip for all women out there who love wearing lipstick as much as I do – give the cup a quick wipe and I guarantee you will get great service and a smile next time you visit the cafe too!
2. Crazy candle lady in da’ house! In Sweden it’s dark at 4pm which I find rather depressing so as soon as I walk into our apartment I take my coat and shoes off and light every single candle in the flat. I counted the other day and there were 32 candles burning at the same time. Yup, I’ve got issues- clearly.
3. In this post I tell you all about the fight my brow had with a razor during my teenage years that resulted in 1cm of lovely baldness. If that’s not enough to tickle your fancy, I also share my favourite products that I reach for when I need a hand sorting those brows out today, which isn’t always easy after the little incident…
4. My inner red lip-geek had a field day when I realised that I’d found the most long lasting lip product I’ve ever tried! It lasted me from 7am to 4pm without any retouch needed with lunch and several cups of coffee in-between. I sense a giveaway coming your way because how could I possibly keep this gem to myself?
5. Stockholm is such a beautiful city and though it was very cold I spent most of the days outside taking photos of my favourite places so that I could share them with you. If you haven’t been to “Europe’s New York” yet, I highly suggest taking a weekend trip over to the capital of Scandinavia for brilliant people watching, tasty saffron buns and b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l beardy men. Need I say more?
I love Christmas for the following reasons; 1. It’s strictly family-time so telling your friend that you can’t make it to her cats 3rd birthday party because you have family dinner can’t ever be held against you. 2. It’s one of the few times of the year where the meal has been prepared through combined efforts, sweat and swearing! 3. You get to give away something you think will make someone you care about happy and wether this is a beautiful coat, a perfume they love or a home-cooked meal “certificate”, it’s the thought that counts!
I’ve already had most of my gifts ready and wrapped since the first week of December but I wanted to share a gift idea that could be cute as a little something to bring when you’re invited for tea/coffee/dinner during the holiday season. I’m sure you’ve heard about Lush and their wonderful cruelty-free products by now? I’ve personally been a huge fan for years and I especially love their creative and colourful soaps that are displayed in big blocks that then get cut into smaller pieces depending on how much you want, so last week when I decided to share this gift idea with you I went to the shop and selected four of my favourites to include in this post.
To make these little gift bags you’ll need a few blocks of soap, a sharp knife, small gift bags of some sort ( I used cellofan bags), ribbon and tags. All you need to do is to cut up the bigger blocks of soap into smaller pieces and divide them into the amount of bags you want to make. Once you’ve done that you just tie a ribbon of your choice around the bag, write a message on the tag and stick it on! It’s such a quick and easy gift but I promise you that whoever gets one of these heavenly scented packages will be a very happy bunny!
What would you say you love the most about Christmas? The food? The gift? The family time?
It’s that time of the year again where Christmas parties with work, friends and family happen on a daily basis, and I bet most of you have already sneakily started celebrating Christmas with the help of gingerbread, mulled wine and minced pies – am I right? I made my first gingerbread-batch over a month ago so I’m definetely guilty of this and I’m not even ashamed to admit it, that’s how good they were. With Christmas comes a lot of expenses so I wanted to show you a quick and easy makeup look suitable for any Christmas-party that may come your way and the best thing about it is that won’t break the bank – it’s basically a “Christmas Look On A Budget”. A classic red lip and..well, the rest you can see for yourself in the video! Please let me know if there are any videos you would like to see before the end of the year, I’m thinking a sparkly NYE makeup look? What do you say?
I get asked a lot of questions from friends and readers about beauty – wether it’s to get my opinion on a product or how to get a certain look – I find it amazing as I get lots of ideas and inspiration for posts that way! Lately I’ve noticed some reoccurring questions and they’re all on primers; Are they necessary? What are they for and which one do you chose? I’ve got a drawer dedicated to primers but when people kept asking me if they should be using them too, I had to stop for a moment and ask myself if I even knew myself why I use them and if my makeup would look much different if I just skipped that rather boring step!
I googled and browsed through magazines hoping to find an answer to what primers actually doand here is what I found out; They’re designed to eliminate redness, minimise pores, soften fine lines and create a smooth and even base for makeup to help it last longer and look as fresh as it did when you first applied it in the morning. But what about all the different formulas that are available now a days, there’s really something available for everyone! There’s the hydrating, illuminating, blemish fighting, pore minimising, anti ageing, waterproofing- kind, but do they all do what primers were initially meant to do- i.e. help your makeup last longer and look fresher? It all sounds too good to be true but can it be possible that primers are as essential to our makeup collection as Spanx are under our LBD’s? To see if using a primer makes a big difference to the lasting power of my makeup, I primed up the right side of my face using Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer and under my eyeshadow I used a budget friendly eyeshadow primer from Rimmel – ‘Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer’ whilst the other half remained bare under my makeup. The result? See for yourself in the photo below !
Though I love the thought of a primer making my makeup last for yonks, especially when I now have a drawer full of them, I have to say that I didn’t notice a massive difference even after having run around a full day from 8am to 9pm in the cold and rainy weather. I was honestly expecting a more dramatic difference, but it looks like my makeup lasted just as well without a primer underneath as it did with! After speaking with friends who have slightly oilier skin than me I’ve been throughly informed that their makeup will not last unless they have primed their skin properly before, so it seems as though it’s really up to each person to see what works for them. I’ve now got an entire drawer full of used and un-used primers – do I have any takers?
Now, I would like to turn the tables and ask you if you find primers to help the lasting power of your makeup and if you use them on a daily basis?
This incredible product has like we would say in Sweden “kammat hem” its own post. Straight translation would be “combed home” but that doesn’t make any sense…What I’m trying to say is that this product is just that good that it deserves to be in the spotlight without any other skincare-buddies around to steal the show. A couple of weeks ago when I realised just how dehydrated my poor skin was since moving to Sweden I decided to bring out the big guns : Origin’s Drink Up-Intensive Overnight Mask To Quench Skin’s Thirst. Last year this was one of my favourite products but as soon as I opened the tube and squeezed out a peanut-size amount before applying it to my face, I remembered the one thing I couldn’t stand about this otherwise wonderful product- the smell! It reminds me of a “perfume” (take the “” very seriously here!!) I once got in a goodie bag at a birthday party as a child- a tutti frutti bomb that would give all adults a headache and nausea, and later on in life I came to realise it had also lead to a “tutti frutti trauma” for me. Oh the drama!
The consistency is that of a thick gel-like cream and I apply a generous layer as the last step in my skincare routine just before going to bed. I tend to do this twice a week right now because as I mentioned, moving to Sweden has lead to my skin becoming extremely dry. I love waking up to glowing and radiant skin, and I couldn’t recommend it enough ( I’m probably the only one that has an issue with the scent ). In fact, it’s so hydrating and lovely that though its currently 2pm, I’m contemplating slapping on some of this and returning to bed with a good book and staying there for the rest of the day. All in the name of good skin of course!