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MAC COSMETICS REVIEW

MAC Cosmetics – who has not heard of this brand. For me, I’ve heard of this brand since I was in high school – a very long time ago. We didn’t have MAC stores on where I come from in the Philippines (Iloilo City) but I was surrounded by amazing makeup artists (while doing modelling and beauty pageants) and I have an aunt who was living in NYC to send me some MAC makeup. I remember having my first Studio Fix Plus foundation – it was a gem!

I am feeling so generously blessed having to try most if not all of MAC cosmetics products by now – thanks to Estee Lauder and MAC Cosmetics Nordics. Here are my top favourites – and YOU MUST TRY TOO!

STUDIO FIX FLUID SPF 15 – an oil controlling foundation with matte finish and medium to full coverage. Clearly a buildable coverage and it lasts for 24 hours – no kidding! Plus it has SPF 15 protection.

STUDIO FIX 24-HOUR SMOOTH WEAR CONCEALER – this lightweight fluid concealer provides seamless coverage, blurs imperfections and all day comfortable wear. It’s naturally matte finish and never feeling dry or looked cake-y!

STUDIO FIX POWDER PLUS FOUNDATION – a powder and foundation that gives the skin an ultra-matte finish with medium to full coverage. Also, it is available in so many ranges of colours.

BRONZING POWDER – MATTE BRONZE – a powder that gives skin sheer, neutral colour and bronzes the skin – providing a natural, sun-kissed look or accentuating a tan.

MINERALIZE SKINFINISH NATURAL – this powder provides a natural, dimensional finish to the face. It can be used to set foundation and to touch up makeup throughout the day.

MINERALIZE SKINFINISH – SOFT & GENTLE – a luxurious powder that adds highlights to the face and body. Add this highlight to the high points of the face or blend it all over for a sheer luminous polish to the skin.

STROBE CREAM – PINKLIGHT – a moisturiser that boosts the look of a dull skin. It’s an ultimate quick fix for skin – it boosts the look of dull, flat or tired-looking face. If you want glow, this will definitely add the softest glow to your skin in sunlight to spotlight!

Have you tried any of these products? What are your favourite MAC cosmetics products? If you are new to the brand and are curious of what shade or products you may need, just go to your nearest MAC cosmetics stores and they will be very happy to assist you of your needs!

xo, Win

BRIDAL MAKEUP

Wedding makeup is my most favourite job in the world! I love personalising my services based on what my client needs and how I could make it as comfortable and easy for my brides.

As a professional makeup artist and a woman who loves to be pampered and has planned her own wedding, I know how stressful it could be thinking little details and got no one to rely on – I am here for you! Here are my packages:

Basic Package – 3000 NOK

Premium Package – 5000 NOK

Available add on: Bridal Nails / Waxing services / Eyebrows Grooming

You can reach me through email at hellowinlove@gmail.com / 40515011

AUTUMN NAIL INSPO

Hello lovelies! I recently got my proper nails training from the best nail masters here in Norway and so my huge love for nails and all other beauty talk just grew even bigger!

I’ve also started updating my beauty instagram account, if you’d like to follow me there along with some of my makeup and other works:

IG: @beautybywin

Here’s my personal IG as well, if you’d like a daily dose of my updates and stories 🙂

IG: @winlovelarsen

Here’s for you – some of the most beautiful nail designs I’ve ever seen in social media recently:

SUMMER IN NORWAY 2021

Sun, oh.. lots of sun! This year has been the best summer I’ve ever had in Norway! The weather made a huge impact this time. In the few years I’ve visited Stavanger, I could still remember the number of times I had to wear layers of clothing because of the wind and rain NOT THIS TIME! I’ve finally experienced the typical Norwegian summer.

Mandal

Going to the summer hytte (cabin) almost every weekend (or every other) is the most normal thing to do for Norwegians and this has been our normal case since my husband took me to Norway for the first time.

This year despite the very busy time we had with moving houses, settling, new work for Einar and taking care of the little one, we still managed to escape a couple of weekends in the cabin.

We were spoiled by my parents-in-law this summer – they have prepared amazing food for us, drinks and super “hygge” days and nights in the cabin.

There were fresh seafood – fish and crabs for one day, delicious BBQ dinner the next day, some pasta salad and left overs on a beach day and lots and lots of wine and champagne!

It was a very memorable, relaxing and a much needed holiday for all of us! I couldn’t wait for more summer and hopefully Julian and Sebastian could join us next time!

Victoria is 1

Can you even imagine that it’s been a year already since I gave birth to my lovely little daughter?? I can’t.

Time is so fast and every single day, I can’t help but to just feel so incredibly blessed and happy to be this little angels Mum. I know its sooo cheesy and super common lines like there’s nothing new there but that’s what I feel and I will always be proud of being a Mum – of being my children’s Mum.

This time, we are celebrating Victoria. She turned O-N-E and we celebrated her very first birthday in Mandal – that’s where my parents-in-law’s summer cabin is.

The whole family was there including her Grandparents, Aunt, Uncle and cousins. Sadly, both her brothers Julian and Sebastian still couldn’t make it because of the travel restrictions and difficulty getting out of Malaysia but we are very much looking forward to having them with us soon and we will have another reason to have another celebration!

I made her a banana cake with some frosting which she loved so much – its probably from the sweetness of the banana (LOL!) and I made a ready mix chocolate cupcakes for everyone with our afternoon coffee.

It wasn’t as grand and festive as what my culture has been used to but it was very intimate, relaxing and full of love and memories – just like all the first birthdays of all my kids – just how I like it!

Apartment SOLD!

Hello darlings!

As most of you know (if you have been following me on any of my social media or has been my family here in my blog since the beginning, you would have been aware that later last year, we moved in, into a small apartment at the city centre of Stavanger that my husband owns and has been renting it out while living abroad.

We have renovated some parts of the apartment and made it feel like a home. Most of our stuff are still in a storage facility and most of the things/furniture that we are using in the apartment are the ones that belong here.

Here’s what the apartment looks like when we moved in..

Here’s what it looks right now!

Aside from the renovations and finally feeling at home and settled, we have SOLD the apartment as well!!! SURPRISE!!!

Another great, great news from us too is that WE ARE NEW HOUSE OWNERS NOW! Yes, we are finally home owners! Can you believe that??

We are sooooo all over the moon right now. We are very much excited even though we both know that this is some kind of a real grown up stuff to do and we’ve not done it full-time before! This is so amazing and exciting and we can’t wait to share more details with you soon!!!

Winter holiday 2021

Hi darlings!

It’s been awhile since my last update here – my little daughter has been taking a lot of me and I’ve spending every bits of my energy on her and whenever I got some extra energy left, I tried to spend it doing my errands and gym time aka my me time these days.

This past few weeks, just before spring officially started, we have been going to Sirdal for some short winter holidays. Einar has been so excited to try out his new skis and I am just so thrilled to be taking Victoria to the mountains for her first winter holiday.

We were so lucky with the weather – the beautiful fresh snow during the evening and some sun during the day was just exceptional. We also had the chance to meet up for some outdoor hotdog bbq and coffee with some cousins and aunt and uncle.

Winter is now over and we had a great time but we are now ready for spring and summer! See you at the end of the year, beautiful winter!

WALKING ON ICE IN STAVANGER

Hello my darlings! Glad to have you here! (or again! if you’re super awesome fam to me now)

Today, I want to talk about the weather since I live in Norway now.

I have been in different winter conditions when we used to live in Bucharest and some winter holidays here in Norway in the past but in the last week here in Stavanger, it’s been relatively icy cold and literally streets have become one huge skating ring! It was fun when the first snow came but when cold weather, more rain, a bit of sun and then more snow and icy cold days began, the city turns into one big refrigerator. LOL!

What you see is not soft fluffy snow but hard ice. Hard ice that you will fall – hard ice that will hurt so much when you actually fall. And also not to mention, Stavanger is quite hilly – so yeah you will slide.

But today, I’m here to share with you what I didn’t know before living in this kind of weather (I’m from the Philippines, and we only have sun or rain).

  1. First of all, make sure you have proper clothings. Proper thermal underwear, wool clothings, wind / water proof outerwear and layers!
  2. When you are driving, make sure you have switched your tyres into winter tyres or studded ones.
  3. Check weather forecast ALL THE TIME or weather warnings so you are always prepared what are the present dangers on the road and how to avoid it.
  4. Last but not the least, MAKE SURE YOU GET YOURSELF A “BRODDER” for your shoes or studs that will help you walk on the ice.
Photo from Google
Credit to the owner of this photo

But despite all these weather surprises that come my way, I am still grateful to be living in this beautiful country. No matter what time of the day it is, it never cease to amaze me. Stavanger is beautiful and I’m glad to be calling it my new home!

Photo I took during our evening walk.

Winter Skin Care Routine and Most Recommended Products

Hello my darlings! Welcome back! Today, I’ll be sharing with you my winter skin care routine – targeting mainly on the face and body and my top most favourite products these days!

Are you ready? Here we go..

So, it all started when we moved in Bucharest when I started taking my skin care routine seriously and by seriously I mean, not being lazy in taking care of it because going into spas and facials here in Europe especially in Norway is not cheap unlike in Asia where there are so many options and cold weather dryness and sun burning from the snow isn’t a problem.

Here is my routine and favourite products these days:

FACE SCRUB

Wishful Yo Glow Enzyme Scrub – this is my absolute face scrub since February 2020. This exfoliating scrub is infused with pineapples and papaya enzymes. It is so light and it gently buffs away dead skin and dullness in my face and it always gives me that healthy glow after. Price: $39

Ole Henriksen Pore Balance Facial Sauna Scrub – I’ve only started using this scrub few months ago and I love everything about it! It is formulated with volcanic sand, green fusion complex – green tea, eucalyptus, algae and Irish moss extracts. It leaves my skin sooooo minty fresh and smooth! Price: $28

TONER

FRESH Rose Deep Dehydration Facial Toner – my absolute favourite toner and the prettiest too! It is alcohol free and jam-packed with real rose petals and it is laced with toning rose fruit extracts, rose water, and so much more to help retain the moisture levels and enhance suppleness in skin. My super favourite! Price: $45

SERUM

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum this is my never miss a day without this product serum! This is my daily multivitamin for my face. This little bottle of vitamin C is what helps me with my skin hydration, fight against early signs of aging and firmness. It is super silky and absorbs quickly into the skin – so you don’t have to worry about having to deal with oiliness in your skin after. Price: $50

The Ordinary. “Buffet” – this is my alternate serum on days that I want extra hydration on my skin. This multi-technology peptide serum is alcohol free, silicon-free, nut-free, vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free. This formula also targets multiple signs of aging. This is my ultimate choice among all in their brand as this offers almost everything that your skin needs from a serum! Price: $28

EYE CREAM

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Creme since I turned 30, I have always been so scared not using eye cream. I am actually not very sure if it has an effect – but maybe there is. LOL! I usually just use a cold cold spoon or roller in my under eye but I really don’t want to regret not looking after my under eye – so I jumped on the wagon and religiously apply this cream on my eye every single day. I love that it’s not too thick or thin but its quick to absorb and it smells nice. Price: $39

MOISTURIZER

Ole Henriksen C-Rush Brightening Gel Creme – I have been using this delightful jar of cream for about 16 months now and I have been asking myself why did I only start using it now and not earlier. LOL! But I am so glad that I have started using this and loving it every day! Living in a four season country – which my skin wasn’t used to, I have always struggle in finding the right moisturiser for my skin. It’s either too thick that it makes my face too oily and doesn’t have a very good reaction with makeup, too thin that it doesn’t give me enough moisture and leaves my skin dry and dull – but not this one. This one delivers it promise of 24 hours hydration and brightening. I can’t imagine finding another one again. This is so perfect for me! Price: $46

SUMMER FRIDAYS Jet Lag Mask – this is my all time to-go moisturiser for almost two years now. This has been my best friend everytime I travel especially on a long flight! This tube of goodies is made of chestnut extract to polish away the dullness and make you look so radiant; its jammed with vitamin c and niacinamide – the ingredient that visibly reduces pores and uneven tones. I love the smell of this mask and at home, I would use this whenever I needed as nice pamper and extra plump on my skin 🙂 Price: $48

GLOW AND PROTECTION

Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily UV Defence – this is my oldest – all time favourite sunscreen and have been using it for more than five years already. This one is so lightweight on the skin and absorbs very quickly! Price: $40

Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen SPF50 – this is another one of my all time favourite . I am super obsessed with this one too because it feels so light on the skin, not sticky, absorbs so quickly and most especially it gives me a nice glow in my skin – its super ideal when you just want to go out without wearing any makeup or foundation but just want to show off a nice skin day and your natural glow! Price: $10

GLOSSIER Futuredewahhhh! I can’t imagine life when I ran out of this one. Bought this gem the last time Glossier had a pop-up in London and unfortunately they are no where to be found here in Norway! Anyway, this oil serum hybrid is the ultimate shortcut to have the best dewy, glowing, cared for looking skin – in one product! It has nourishing oils that doesn’t feel greasy and it gives you a gleamy, well-moisturised look that lasts up to 12 hours. I use this as a last step in my skin care routine and this doesn’t interfere with makeup – just make it dewier. Price: $24

SK-II Mid Day Miracle Essence Mist – this is my special treat for my skin whenever it needs special attention – like when its extra dry, requires more hydration or whenever I am travelling. This hydrating mist penetrates through makeup and locks in moisture for refreshed, dewy skin anytime, anywhere! Price: $69

BODY SCRUB

RITUALS Sakura – my super favourite sugar body scrub. I don’t even know how to give justice on the actual smell of this scrub! But I know it leaves my skin the softest and smelling soooooo amazing whenever I use this scrub. Price: $16.50

NALA Ginger Body Salt Scrub – when I lived in Romania, I would only go to Nala Cosmetics for all of my body care supplies. They are extremely very good when it comes to taking care of my skin. They are 100% made of natural ingredients and they always leave my skin so soft and hydrated! I got a few of my favourites before I left Romania and this is my last one! Price: RON 39.90

BODY CREAM/OIL

Rituals of Ayurveda Balancing Body Cream – this is by far my most favourite winter body cream. I use this whenever I feel like I needed a pamper to my skin. This body cream leaves my skin super hydrated and it smells so amazing too ! Price: NOK 195

OMMIA Organic Body Butter Mother and Child – this is one of my top favourite especially during winter. It is made with natural ingredients – Shea Butter, Virgin Coconut Butter and Sweet Almond Oil. It deeply nourishes my skin and it quickly absorbs to my skin. Its a must have for me and maybe for you too if you like silky smooth and velvety feels on your skin! 🙂 Price: RON 100