Exciting News !


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To start things off I just wanted to say a big thank you for baring with me during the change of my website! As you might have noticed WillowJolie underwent a few exciting changes at the beginning of the week, and some things are still being twerked as we go on, to create a more user friendly blog whilst still remaining as minimalistic as possible. My blog is a work in progress, so if you happen to experience any issues with the website, please let me know as I want you to have a pleasant experience while visiting my blog! Having said that I’ll move on to another exciting thing : My Youtube Channel!  This has been going on for a while now, and though I’m very new at this, I’m loving every moment I get to edit videos, come up with new ideas and put them into reality. The first video will be up next Wednesday and I’m very happy to share this with you. Lastly, I’ve finally ditched the ombré’d hair and settled for a deep warm chocolate. Its interesting how something as simple as changing your hair color can affect the way you feel about yourself, and although I’ve enjoyed my dalliance with hair colour I feel much more like myself in a one wash dark chocolate!

A November favourites video coming your way !

 

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I would love it if you told me what sort of videos you would like to see. I’ve got so many ideas myself but if there is something special  you would like to request, just comment below.

Be Smart With Your Finances – Christmas

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Christmas happens every single year and although we are all aware of this, its common knowledge that January is a month where a lot of people struggle financially. This is the reason why I wanted to share some of my top tips on how not to overspend during the Holiday season. I promise you, that although budgeting sounds about as much fun as doing the dishes on Christmas Eve, a little bit of financial planning now, can save you a lot of stress and sleepless nights comes the New Year!

I’m one of those annoying people that start getting excited about Christmas in October, and by the time November comes- I’m all about baking, Christmas music, decorating and since two years back, I’ve even been very organised with my Christmas spendings and gift shopping! I was so thankful for my effort once the holiday season was over and I still had money left over for fun stuff like eating out, cinema and a few things at the sales. Last year I had all my gifts bought and organised in November – so when everyone else had to shop with the masses, queue for hours whilst the Christmas songs ran on repeat ( You know, leave Liberty’s/Bloomingdales just in time to walk into Selfridges/Macy’s and hear the exact same song you ran away from in the first place), desperately trying to find that one particular book that’s been topping lists for the last 2 months ( aka- the book that’s impossible to find because its on everyone’s Christmas lists!) whilst receiving texts from your brother asking you to pick up something for him to give to his new girlfriend that you haven’t even met yet- I had time to sit back with a warm cup of tea, reading “Lean In” whilst patting myself on the back and colouring in a gold star into my notebook…

Here are my top tips for not overspending during the Holiday season, and I promise you that though budgeting sounds about as much fun as doing the dishes on Christmas Eve, a little bit of financial planning now, can save you a lot of stress and sleepless nights comes the New Year!

1.   Decide on a total Christmas budget. This should include everything from stocking stuffers, wrapping paper, postage costs, christmas cards, holiday meals out, parties, decorations, Christmas tree and any travel expenses. Be realistic when doing this because you’re only fooling yourself when setting your budget at 1000 Euro when your bank account shows 900.

2.  How much can you spend on each person you want to buy/make a gift for? Keep your total budget in mind,  set a limit and stick to it.

3.   Are you invited to Christmas parties? If so, decide on how much you can put into the gift you bring and plan it so you don’t end up spending 50Euros, when you could be saving half by simply searching online for smart deals! I will do a separate post on gift ideas that won’t break the bank as we get closer to Christmas.

4.  Don’t leave the gift-shopping to the last minute. Take advantage of online deals and be sure to get it delivered in time, browse for options and have a list ready in time for cyber Monday (December 2nd). If you happen to find the perfect gift for your mother in April whilst browsing the beauty aisles, who cares if its more than 7 months until Christmas? Buy it then and save it- one less gift to stress over. Something to keep in mind for next year maybe?

5. Sales are just around the corner! We’re all aware by now that once Christmas is over, the beautiful jacket you bought your mother is down 50% and so is the DVD box-set you got your brother, so why not make a voucher for whatever it is you want to give away, and make a day out of going out for the sales and getting the gift together? Maybe even treat whoever you’re with for a cozy lunch together, it will probably still be less expensive than buying the gift alone whilst its full priced.

6.  Give away your time and talent!  Are you a good cook? Why not give away a beautiful and creative voucher for a home cooked dinner to a friend? Or do you happen to be fluent in French? Swedish? Spanish? Offer a few hours of your time to teach someone the basics! Learning how to say “Voulez vous coucher avec moi?” can be very useful, trust me! Time spent together with people that you love is the best gift you can give to someone, and if you think about it, in a way its also a gift to yourself.

 

There will be more Christmas-related posts coming up- everything from DIY-Christmas beauty gifts, gift guides for people on a tight budget, ideas on what to get your mother/sister and so on.

I hope this guide will be useful and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions !

The One Where I’m Out Of My Comfort Zone- Bobbi Brown, Gunmetal

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I’m a taupe, bronze, MAC Omega- kind of gal, but there comes a time in every nude-lover’s life ( this sounded way better in my head) when it’s healthy to step out of the comfort-zone and try something more adventurous and in steps Bobbi Brown Shimmer Shadow, ‘Gunmetal’. A strong dark grey,  that once applied to my lids, makes me feel like the most badass character from a Bond-movie ( if my boyfriend heard me comparing makeup to anything Bond-related, I fear I would be full on single and not so ready to mingle). I think the best way to describe it is that it’s a blue-tinged-dark gray metallic, and though I often feel a bit confused with how Bobbi Brown labels eyeshadows with ‘shimmer’ and ‘metallic’, to me, this is a straight up metallic, which is a very popular makeup trend this autumn and winter. Though I have slightly oily eyelids, if worn with primer underneath I’ve never had any issues with creasing, and the result has been very long-lasting. One thing I found to be a tad peculiar was that by the end of the day the blue tone had turned into more of a black, which I personally loved! I felt even more of a bad ass wearing the Jenny Humphrey grunge look for my “Oh so wild night in with the latest episode of Modern Family”!  

 

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The Nosey One #1

 

Sure, I enjoy going for walks, reading a good bok, cooking, spending time with my better half and traveling, but nothing excites me as much as going through my friends makeup bags to see what products they absolutely cannot live without. I envy  people who can fit all their makeup in one little beauty bag, which is why I find it so intriguing to go through them while interviewing the poor victim- who simply wanted to come over for coffee and cake- about why they chose exactly that mascara and that concealer. I know that I’m not alone here, everyone’s a little nosey at heart, which is why I want to bring you guys with me to see what the women in my life are putting on their faces! Sounds like a good idea?

This Luxembourg-born, Dutch freckled beauty is a real stunner! She’s very tall ( when taking her photo I had to ask her to sit down or stand on my tiptoes, and I’m not that short myself) and always looks like she’s fallen out of the latest issue of Vogue, but in a very effortless and elegant way. It will come to nobody’s surprise that Valerie models when she’s not working as an assistant at a communication and PR agency in Amsterdam- where she’s responsible for keeping the company’s social media channels updated. This means that she gets to attend lots of fun events, openings and fashion shows around the city – yes, she’s definitely my ‘cool’ friend …

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When I ask her why she has chosen the YSL ‘Anti Cernes’ as her concealer she laughs and says:  “I use because it because I find it looks very natural on my fair skin, and hides the bags under my eyes whenever I haven’t had a very good nights sleep. It makes me feel fresh and awake, which is why I love it”. I’ve only recently started using something on my brows to give them a bit more color , and the product I’m using is from MAC, and its the Brow Set in the shade Beguile-  it sets the hairs and gives them a hint of color without being “too much”. My favourite winter/fall lipstick this year is also from MAC, from the Mineralise Rich lipstick range, in the shade ‘Lush Life. I love the dark berry color and the lasting power is incredible! If I apply it in the morning before going to work it will last for a good couple of hours before any retouch is needed. The blush from Dior, in ‘Rose Vintage’ I’ve repurchased after falling in love with it, and nothing else seems to look as natural on me as this.  Since my skin is very light, I feel that I need a bit more of a pinker blush to make my skin look young and fresh, so this one fits me perfectly. Whenever I travel I bring my Chanel Mademoiselle 35ml perfume with me as its under 100ml and doesn’t take up much space, but my real perfume-love is Chanel Chance, I don’t think I’ll ever stop using it! The mascara I’m trying right now is the ‘Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara’ from Estee Lauder, my mother gave me it after one of her face cream shopping sprees, where she was given lots of samples, and to be honest- I love it so much that I’m going to buy the full size. It lengthens and separates my lashes in a very natural way, just the way I want a mascara to do!

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Thank you Valerie for making an appearance here ! If you would like to read more about her exciting trips, city-guides and hot spots,- you should visit her blog, its a good one!

The Sunday Scone

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There is one day of the week where I would never skip breakfast, and that is on Sundays. Apart from pancakes, scones is my favourite thing to eat and since I can’t expect my better half to always do them for me, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally perfected my own recipe. Ok, thats a lie- well, though its true that I’ve twerked the recipe slightly, the one thing that makes my man-friends scones the best in the world, I’ve cheekily copied. And I’m not even ashamed to admit it because they’re so incredibly tasty!

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This is what you’ll need: 

350 g flour, 1 tsp salt, 88g soft butter cut into small cubes, 175ml full fat milk, 1tsp vanilla extract, lemon juice from half a lemon, 1 egg for glazing before baking and salt flakes.

This is what you do: 

Heat up the oven to 220C and prepare a baking tray. Tip the flour into a large bowl with the salt and baking powder, then mix. Add the butter, then rub in with your fingers until the mix looks like fine crumbs. Heat the milk in the microwave for about 30 secs until warm, not hot, and add the vanilla with lemon juice. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and mix them all together by folding the dough a couple of times, until its smooth. Spread some flour onto your working space,  tip the dough out and shape  it into one long roll.Now, cut the dough into the size you would like your scones to be and take each individual piece of dough into your hand and flatten it slightly, before folding it over itself once. This will make it easier to cut it in two later on when you want to eat with with jam! Brush the tops with beaten egg and sprinkle a few salt flakes onto each scone. I like adding a bit of oats and raisins to mine, but this is optional. Bake for 10 minutes until they’re golden, and serve with fresh whipped cream and jam. During the summer I love having mine with strawberries, but jam is equally tasty!

Let me know if you try this recipe and if you would like me to do more of these posts in the future!

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KIKO – Water Eyeshadow Review

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Although I’ve come across a few KIKO product-reviews scattered on the web in the past, I get the feeling that Kiko Cosmetics Milano is the beauty worlds equivalent of what Century21 used to be in fashion – “New Yorks the best kept secret ” . This brand doesn’t only make the most gorgeous products, they also manage to keep the price of their eyeshadows, lipsticks and mascaras remarkably low for the quality they deliver. Today I want to talk to you about the KIKO Water Eyeshadows, ‘Instant Colour Eyeshadow For Wet And Dry Use’ as I think they are perfect for all the holiday parties coming our way. I’ve tried the shades above, both wet and dry and frankly, they rock! The texture is light and creamy which makes it ideal when blending in with a different shade, the pigmentation is out of this world and when applied wet, the finish is metallic. This is a true New Year’s Eve babe! As you might know, I’m not one to be too daring with my eyeshadow, which is why the blue shade shown above, Dark Slate Green 213 is a tad out of my comfort zone- nevertheless, its a beautiful peacock blue/green that will turn heads at the holiday party – even if you happen to be wearing an all black outfit. The green shade, Olive Green, 209  looks amazing on dark/hazel eyes, its a light khaki which was one of the biggest beauty trends 2014- and one that I hope will stay for Spring15. The chocolate/cranberry mix she is my personal favourite out of the four and one I’ve keep reaching for whenever I’ve got something special going on. Its a perfect mix between Tom Ford’s Cream Colour for Eyes in ‘Spice’ and my all-time favorite paint pot, Éclair and gives the same effect as a cream shadow. Finally the lilac shade, ‘Taupe 228′ is a cold grey/taupy- shade with a hint of lavender that suits green eyed-babes as well as very dark women in the style of Lupita Nyong – can you imagine that beautiful shade on her? The only thing I feel I have to mention is that the packaging is a little bit tricky to open and I would prefer it if I could see which color is in each pot without having to open every single one to find out. For 8.9Euro this shadow is a true winner!

Why not treat your friend to one of these shadows next time you’re invited over for dinner?

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The Beauty Read #1 – Blogs

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Beauty magazines, beauty blogs, interviews with founders of cosmetic companies, perfume books,the chemistry behind beauty products, the chemistry of perfume – well I think its safe to say that 80% of things I read have some connection to beauty, which is why I want to share some of my favourites with you. Today we will talk about beauty blogs, and then next time it will be beauty books, and the time after that… well you will have to come back and see, won’t you?

1. ViviannaDoesMakeup: I have to put this babe’s blog as number one, though this isn’t in any particular order- Anna’s blog is the first one I visit every morning- before even putting my glasses on. I only need to type “V” into the url bar and my phone does the rest. Squinting, I will read about her newest discoveries and chuckle when she compares buying black vest tops to concealers. -“I’ts not a sexy purchase”. This gal is the girl next door who knows all about beauty, and is by far my worst enabler!

2. Dia de beauté is a beauty blog written in Portuguese, (though little birdie told me the English version will be launched next year), by the lovely Victoria Ceridono, who is also the beauty editor of Brazilian Vogue. Fancy smansshhyy indeed! This girl is currently based in London, but the chick is never in one place for longer than it takes to take two instagram shots! Apart from being one of the people responsible for my ever so growing beauty wish list, she also takes part in these lovely videos on YouTube together with Camila Coutinho, who’s also a very successful Brazilian Blogger. Victoria Ceridono is that lovely, random, spontaneous Brazilian girl, with an incredible talent for writing, which makes her blog a must-read! Just hold on until next year and you will be as addicted as I am.

3. Intothegloss. Need I say more? The most glamorous and professional online magazine-style blog where the most beauty savvy people gather all the information you could possibly want, interviews with the creators of cosmetic companies and peeks into peoples bathrooms. What more could you possibly want!?

4. Essiebutton- If her honest and bubbly beauty rambling doesn’t make you fall in love with her blog straight away, maybe her mesmerising blue eyes will! Based in London, but originally from Canada- this lady also writes about food and cooking, her stunning dog, her love for flea markets/markets and about all the lovely traveling here and her boyfriend do. She’s nothing like any other blogger, she’s like the lost member of the TV-series “Girls”- she’s positive, hilarious and what I love the most about her is how she doesn’t take herself too seriously !

5. Ghostparties is written by the very talented Kate, who is based in Glasgow. Apart from having an amazing taste when it comes to interior design (her apartment is Pinterest worthy!) I love the daily updates. Beautiful photography that makes me want to hit her up for photography lessons! She’s also got the cutest cat I’ve ever seen, always a plus.

 

I’m always looking for new beauty/lifestyle blogs to follow so please let me know if there are any good ones I’m missing out on!

Happy Reading!

Most Beautiful Woman and Lipstick- Heroine

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I’ve got some incredibly beautiful friends, and what makes them that extra little bit special is that they allow me experiment with makeup on them and take photos to use here on the blog. What more could I possibly want?

Nirina is a true babe. A naturally stunning mother to the most beautiful baby boy (who always wears the coolest Scandinavian baby clothes and rocks a huge curly hair do). I remember the first time I ever got talking to her, she was pregnant and I couldn’t get over how beautiful she was . She was charming, with a strong look and captivating smile, and she’s remained just as beautiful post-baby, as she was during the pregnancy. She’s petite with the coolest-yet elegant sense of style, and whenever I browse the shops here in Sweden, I find myself thinking “This would look amazing on Nirina”, followed by “I wish I could be as cool as her and pull this off”.

Nirina normally doesn’t wear any makeup at all, and still looks fab. Don’t ask me how she does it, because with a very active toddler and sleepless nights- I would be pulling a Lynette from Desperate Housewives to stay awake, let alone look as fresh and rested as she does. I wanted to do a strong bright lip, so I chose this purple matte shade from MAC, ‘Heroine’. The formula is long lasting, non drying and highly pigmented so once its on, it won’t budge, making it the perfect lipstick for busy mothers who don’t have the time to do retouches all day long. I wish I had filmed her when she looked herself in the mirror, her reaction was priceless and although the bright lip was very much out of her comfort zone, the photos turned out amazing and Heroine complimented her skin tone and brought lots of light to her face. The name of the lipstick suited this wonder-mama just as perfectly as its shade, because like most mothers out there, Nirina is a true Heroine.

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Eyebrow 101- How to get the perfect brow !

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All women that I’ve looked at and thought “wow”, have all had two things in common- beautiful smile, and good brows! Everyone can smile so we’re half there. Now- what about those brows? Remember one thing, just like the winged liner, eyebrows are sisters- not twins, so don’t sweat it if they don’t look identical! You may or may not have noticed that my right brow has a more of a rounded shape whereas my left one is more to the squared side of things, and though I’ve have to fight the urge to “fix” this every.single.morning, I simply reach for a couple of my favourite brow products to make the best of the situation. Before I get on to the products, I want to mention the best advice I’ve ever gotten when it comes to my brows- Don’t pluck them! This came from my mum, who was terrified that I would ruin the natural shape of my eyebrows- and until this day, I’m so happy she was so determined to not let me get close to a pair of tweezers. Instead I went for the razor. Yes, I’m not proud, but on one occasion- around the age of 14, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to take away the tiny little hairs between my two brows (nothing worse than being told you’ve got a monobrow at that age ( I didn’t , but kids are cruel, and I believed them)). To make the story short it took about 2 years before the 2 cm of my brows grew back- and you guessed right, its the right brow that got the beating! Moving on from that trip down memory lane…

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I bet you’re not even paying attention to the bright lipstick- my right brow is getting all the attention isn’t it?!

Below are my 5 all-time favourite brow-related products. One isn’t technically a product, but its the brush I use on days where I opt for the MAC eyeshadow ‘Espresso’ to fill in my brows. I’ll start by brushing through my brows with the spooley that comes with my all-time favourite brow product; Brow Wiz from Anastasia Beverly Hills. Once that is done I follow with ‘Espresso’ and apply it where my brows are a bit sparse, before setting everything with Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel. Can we take a moment and appreciate the fact that the brow gel tube isn’t transparent? I remember the first clear eye gel I ever bought where after a couple of uses the “clear” gel was a funky ashy/brown color.   On days where I just want to try correcting the damage from my teens, I reach for the Brow Wiz, because the tiny tiny tip makes it perfect to mimic hairs, and its got that perfect waxy, yet easy to use, texture! Finally Mac Pro, Longer Waterproof Brow Set is the one I use in the warmer months or when I want a strong brow. Its a brush on gel that defines your brows as well as sets them, so there is no clear gel needed after this bad boy. The only thing I would say is that the brush is a tad clumsier than its competitor- Gimme Brows from Benefit ( not shown in photo below) . So if your’e a beginner, maybe opt for the latter as I think its a bit easier to manoeuvre.

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These are my favourite products, and since were sharing- my brow ‘idols’ ( which makes me the un-coolest person in the world) – are Cara Delavigne, Jessica Alba, Eva Mendez and Brooke Shields.

What do you do to your brows? Are you a Cara and just leave them to do their own thing? Which are your favourite products?

Rituals – The Brand Worth More Than One Mention!

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I read a lot about beauty, heck- if I’m not holding the latest issue of ‘Allure’ you’ll find me with my nose deep into ‘Pretty Honest’, the newest beauty bible by Sali Hughes (PS. Christmas Gift 2014 to any woman you know, wether she’s a beauty noob or if she’s got that whole winged liner thing down to a fine art!). What I’m trying to say is that with the amount of beauty- related things I read and watch, I’m surprised to still not have heard anything about the fantastic lifestyle brand; Rituals. I first discovered it last year when I was given one of their body scrubs as a gift. Since then I’ve tried many more of their products, but there is one range in particular that I’ve become addicted to and its Rituals, Hammam Delight. Now, I haven’t been to Turkey in years, but I’m dying to go back- mainly because I want to experience a traditional turkish bath. Last time  I was too young to voluntarily have a bath (I think I was 4, and bath time equalled having my hair washed, which meant shampoo in my eyes-so that would have been a ‘no-no’) Have any of you had one? A Turkish bath that is, not shampoo in your eyes- we’ve all been there, haven’t we? All the products from this range smells like a luxurious SPA, which is exactly the feeling I’m looking for when taking the time for a relaxing bath on a dark winter evening, candles lit whilst indulging in some Valrhona chocolate. If chocolate isn’t joining the ‘partay’, its just a party, and where is the fun in that? I love the Hammam Delight Foaming Shower Gel, it comes out like shaving gel, so a tiny bit goes a long way and it leaves your skin feeling smooth and smelling very fresh. The Hammam Hot Scrub is a true gem, and the perfect product to include in your bath-routine now that the flu season is upon us. Negative-Nancy here talking about flu-season instead of Holiday season…fun times. Honestly though, you will not be disappointed, the Eucalyptus opens up your chest and you will feel a lot more awake and fresh, as well as being able to breathe through your nose again, always a good thing. The entire range reminds me of an old favourite from Molton Brown, the Warming Eucalyptus and Ginger Scrub but I must say that I prefer Rituals take on the Turkish bath!

If you’re interested in the products mentioned in the post, you’ll find them below !