Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 - Makeup, Skincare and Fragrance Loves!

You know it’s a favorite when you reach for it immediately - over shiny new things, over expensive treasures. When I started planing this post it only took me a minute or two to gather these products. Some of them I’ve already reviewed on the blog while the others deserve much more attention. I think I have a good mix of skincare, makeup and fragrance here - including new and older products. Enjoy!

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Makeup

I was kindly gifted Rouge Bunny Rouge Light Corrective Eye Primer*, but I didn’t do a separate review as it took me months to decide do I dislike or love it. I find out it’s the latter, but it took me several tries to get it work for me. This primer doesn’t blend too easily and sets immediately: if you don’t work fast it may look patchy. For me this creates a perfect canvas for eyeshadow and corrects any eyelid discoloration. For under the eyes I’ve been testing the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer*, which is worth its legendary status. You need a miniscule amount and the coverage is very good - for me this works also as a spot concealer.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

For eyes I’ve been loving Chanel’s Ombre Premier cream eyeshadows (814 Silver Pink and 838 Ultra Flesh (LE)). I do love the old formula as well (don’t see too much difference there), but I think they have discontinued Illusion d’Ombre line, sadly. Tweezerman Lash Curlers* for Round Eyes have been life-changing. I can use the regular ones as well, but Round Eyes seem more comfortable. The curl and hold they give is excellent! Trust me.

Finally I gotta mention Kora Organics Rose Quartz Luminizer* and Clear Luminizer* for highlight. I’ve done two posts on Kora’s Luminizers: Rose Quartz is reviewed here and new shades here. So easy to use, perfect consistency. To finish my makeup I’m liking the Kicks Setting Spray* (matte). Kicks’ house brand is pretty good and I find I prefer this setting spray to Urban Decay All-Nighter.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog
Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Skincare

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum* is like a better, less expensive version of the Clinique Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. It’s packed with sodium hyaluronate and natto gum to hydrate, plump and quenches thirsty skin. The formula has some floral and fruit peel oils, so if you’re very sensitive you might check the INCI or patch test before applying.

Summer is coming (hopefully soon) in Finland and I’m testing body products for reviews. So far my favorites have been quite inexpensive finds, which is great. Skin Treat is a KICKS exclusive brand and they have expanded from their body scubs to Bright Renewal AHA & PHA Exfoliating Treatment*, which is a light mousse that you can apply your acne-prone body areas, such as back, tights etc. Skin Treat Instant Firming Body Serum* is a very light moisturizer that supposedly firms, but I like it as a décolleté and arm moisturizer as it sinks in so quickly and I can dress right away. Before I go to bed I slather on some Flow Cosmetics Refreshing Peppermint Food Butter* on my feet, give them a little massage and put on wooly socks. The peppermint scent is so fresh and invigorating, but doesn’t disturb my evening routine.

Spring Beauty Favorites 2019 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog

Fragrance

I’ve been a fan of Jo Malone’s scents for a good couple of years and she finally launched in Finland last Autumn. English Pear and Freesia cologne is my original favorite from her. This bottle of mine is rather old and almost empty, but since it hasn’t turned I’m trying to use it up. Spring weather and English Pear and Freesia go well together, even on cloudy days it brightens up my mood without being sickly sweet. I find colognes very subtle on me, but I’ve still received compliments while wearing this perfume.

What have you been loving lately?

*Products marked with asterisk(*) have been gifted for consideration.
My opinions are honest and my own. This page utilizes ad links to support this blog.

End of Year Beauty Favourites 2018

Eek I can’t believe I’m typing this - it’s time for my yearly roundup of favourite products. Everyone and their dog has probably typed how they can’t believe it’s already 2019, but my mind is still orientated it’s September or October. Past two to three months has just flashed by.

I’m trying to list you only new products I’ve discovered (or/and reviewed) in 2018. Not all of these items are brand new, but they are new to me. My initial list was massive, so I’m trying to list only crème de la crème, best of the best, non-negotiable items. This doesn’t mean I’m not standing by my other recommendations, they’re still good, but the items in this post deserve the extra attention. Enjoy!

Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina
Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina

Brushes

Sonia G (aka Sweet Makeup Temptations) smashed 2018 with Beautylish. Her brushes are so gorgeous, designed and manufactured with absolute finesse. I skipped the first set, but decided to pick up some individuals and later her PRO Eye Set, which was even more to my liking than her first eye brushes I purchased! It solved one design issue I had with a smaller eye brush (review here). In 2019 I’m dying to pick up more face brushes from her.

I also loved Hakuhodo’s G511 “salt and pepper” brush, which became my most used contour brush in 2018. It’s much cheaper than Surratt’s contour brush, which is also lovely, but I think for most people I’d recommend the more affordable Hakuhodo. This brush is also less dense, and gives nicely diffused edges for cheek and neck contour.

Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina
Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina

Perfume

This Fall I wrote about my obsession with Atelier Cologne and Mimosa Indigo* (review), which instantly became my signature scent. It’s unique, light and elegant and perfectly balanced with floral and leathery tones. Atelier Cologne also has such attention to detail in their packaging and service, so I’d recommend them for anyone looking for a luxe gift.

..Then came Black Friday and I made some perfume investments and purchased a couple of perfumes from Tom Ford, including his Tobacco Vanille, which will get a post of its own. I love how Tom Ford’s perfumes last very well on me, I can even smell them on my clothes. I think one of the best (free) gestures of affection is borrowing your scarf with your scent and perfume on it.. Hehee, perfect during cold Finnish Winters.

Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina

Skincare

Gosh, it was a great year for skincare in 2018. I discovered and loved so many, especially wash-off masks, but they were mainly old favorites (Mahalo, Max and Me). My best new discoveries are exfoliation related, both acid, powder-to-paste and cleansers with beads (non-plastic of course!).

I especially fell in love with de Mamiel’s Cleanse and Exfoliate that works great both as a quick brightening mask and an exfoliant. I also tried the iconic Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 in mini size and purchased a full size bottle once I ran out. I can agree it’s worth all the hype and every penny, but certainly not for sensitive skin.

Then there is Tata Harper. I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting her this Summer in Naturelle’s event and her product made such a lasting impression me: luxury and efficacy meet eco beauty. Her Regenerating Cleanser* (also available on Cult Beauty*) quickly became favorite to me, you’ll notice its refreshing effect right away. The bottle in my hand looks almost full, but I’ve gone through a couple of minis. 

Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina

I also tried a bunch of good hydrating serums and ampoules this year, but the one that was above others is Esse’s R6 Serum*. Not only Esse products are packed with probiotics, but also this serum plumps and hydrates in instant - contesting my old fav Kypris Antioxidant Dew (review).

Another hydrating product I’ve been reaching are the Kicks sheet masks*. Although I’ve seen Korean sheet masks with better ingredients list and cheaper price tag, Kicks’ bio-cellulose sheet masks are pretty easy for us Nordic/Scandi people to access. I’ve never really liked jelly or gel masks before, but the Kicks ones stick to the skin without slipping and sliding. They’re thin, thin, comfortable, cooling and packed with moisture. They also come with a generous amount of serum and I use the excess for my arms and décolleté.

Last but not least - Ben and Anna deodorants (review)*. To this day, I’ve used up almost 4 tubes of them in various scents. I love it the packaging is recycleable, scents are not overpowering, but above all - these deodorants keep me odour free and feeling dry! Naturally baking soda and shea butter based, formulated without any aluminum. The only con is I go through these pretty quickly.

Hair

I tried and tested some very good hair products this year, but I can’t choose one shampoo or conditioner over the others as I tend to mix and match them according to my hair’s needs. My most “mind blowing” hair experience was meeting Mark Birch and learning about proper scalp health. Since then I’ve been washing my hair and scalp almost daily! Unfortunately I’m not the biggest fan of the tar-like scent of his products, so I do rotate them with others.

The Maria Nila Schist fibre cream* is certainly my most reached for styling product this year, I much prefer it to the OUAI matte pomade. I like how Maria Nila’s matte texture hard-to-detect; as if I had woken up with my hair styled nicely. I use it to add some nice texture, hold and add that piece-y look to my short hair.

Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina
Best of Beauty 2018 | Laura Loukola Beauty Blog / Laurantaina

Makeup

I think this was the easiest category for me to choose from. I’ve tried a good amount of very nice makeup this year, including cream blushes, new shades from firm favorites (Tom Ford and SUQQU), but what raised above everything else were SUQQU’s Glow Touch Eyes (review), creamy liquid eyeshadows. Not as opaque as my other favorite Rouge Bunny Rouge Cream shadows, but still very lovely and perfect for easy eye looks. Just a quick swipe with the applicator and blend with a fluffy brush and you’re done!

Honorable mention goes to Lumene’s Invisible Illumination Instant Luminizer*. It can be doubled as a glowy primer and a highlighter, but personally I prefer the former method. I apply a couple of drops on my cheeks and blend with my fingers before applying a tinted moisturizer. The result is less flashy than RBR liquid highlighter so you can wear it on its own too.

Then I have two mascaras that are outstanding: Lancome’s Monsieur Big (not pictured - review here, available at Kicks.fi*) and MAC’s classic Extended Play Gigablack mascara (available at Kicks.fi* and MAC counters). Monsieur Big gives the perfect doll like fat lashes while MAC’s Extended Play Gigablack mascara has the perfect dryness from the first application, holds a curl and won’t smudge during the day. I rarely purchase high-end mascaras, but these are total repeat items!

Speaking of lashes, I love Tweezerman’s lash curlers*. Who knew this classic tweezer brand made eyelash curlers (or “Hell Machine” as my gf says) as well? I’ve tried both the regular and round eye version and they both create an amazing, long-lasting curl and won’t pinch my eyelids!

Last but not least there’s Bobbi Brown Crushed Lipstick in Ruby (mentioned here). Gorgeous everyday muted red shade that wears like a stain without drying the lips. I’m eyeing more shades from the Crushed range..

Final word

THERE WE HAVE IT! Best of the best 2018! I need to know what’s your favorite product(s) from last year! Please chat with me in the comments. xx

* Products marked with an asterisk (*) were kindly offered for review.
My thoughts are honest and my own.

Laurantaina Best of Makeup 2017

Happy New Year! This NYE I have a get-together at my friends' place, enjoying Japanese shabu-shabu. I won't be doing a full glam look for the evening, but I'll rock a glittery eye whenever I have the chance! 

The Best of 2017 saga continues: today I'll be showing you my best makeup discoveries. These are items I first tried in 2017, but everything didn't necessarily launch this year. I noticed I didn't choose an eye quad to feature - my reasoning for this is because I rotated my eyeshadow palettes a lot, so there wasn't just one (or two) all above the others.

Best of Makeup 2017

Best of Makeup 2017

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation

I loved this light-weight cushion foundation so much I used it up in a couple of months. To my heartbreak, Chanel doesn't seem to sell refills for this cushion. The shade was perfect for my pale skin instead of being ashy (like many Asian cushions) and lasted long during the day. The only con was I ran out of it too soon!

Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyes Wide Open Brightening Duos*

I love me some inner corner highlight, but many palettes I use lack the perfect pale shimmer shade I like to use. These pen duos have been a life saviour as they're quick and effortless to use thanks to the fat nib. I can toss them into a makeup bag and easily accompany with any palette I'm using. One nib is a highlighter while the other end of the duo is a perfect brightening khol for the waterline.

Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen

To my knowledge this particular one has been discontinued and replaced by a pen slightly different brush. I'm somewhat pale and my dark circles tend to look quite prominent and purple, so I like adding a corrector shade before going in with a concealer. This Dior one is incredibly light and not only cancels out purple under eyes, but also brightens the area. I've used this a ton, so it has to be mentioned!

SUQQU Volume Eyebrow Mascara

Final find for 2017. I don't think this eyebrow mascara increases the volume of your brow hairs, but it keeps them combed in place, giving the brows a voluminous look. The khaki shade is perfect for my natural medium brown hair, not too warm and I find the wand size and length easy to use, which makes me to prefer this over L'oreal for example.

Surratt Eyelash Curlers

Eyelash curlers are such an individual thing (just like mascara), but I got to give a mention to these high quality curlers. They don't pinch my eye, grab every lash and give a nice long-lasting curl to the lashes instead of just pinching them straight up for a fleeting moment. I've used these curlers a ton and they don't feel loose or the gum hasn't fallen off, unlike with some other competitive curlers.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

Everybody raved about this concealer in 2017 - for a good reason. It works wonderfully for both: under the eye area or concealing spots, as the finish is soft matte (thus, the name), feels lightweight and doesn't move around - without being drying. Works well with a brush or fingers, I usually dab the concealer gently with a paddle brush and if my under eyes are extra dark I layer the concealer with my ring finger. If you're all about that heavy full coverage look there might be better alternatives for you.

Best of Makeup 2017
Best of Makeup 2017

Lancome Matte Shaker

I felt Lancome was all over the place with their marketing and honestly I'm not a fan of 80% the matte shaker colors, but I love the applicator and wear of these colors. I've been wearing Pink Power whole year and right after my no-buy ended I ordered another color. I perhaps wouldn't wear these all over my lips, but for the Korean gradation look these are perfect! Light on the lips, long-lasting stain which is kiss-proof and drink-proof! Perfect for a night out or those days when you can't be bothered with touching up. Love.

Heroine Make mascaras

I finally got myself to try the legendary Heroine Make mascaras. Somehow the old Rose of Versailles-style packaging made me feel these wouldn't be any good, but I was so wrong. Even when using the 'volume' mascaras, I feel these give you quite a natural, subtle look, but the wear time is excellent. I won't tolerate any mascara smudging, smearing or transfer and I'm happy to say these wear beautifully. My favorite is the non-waterproof volume one because the wand is best suited for my eye shape and still wears well. The waterproof one has to be removed with an oil-based cleanser but I still found it easy enough to remove.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Pristine Light - Light Corrective Eye Primer*

This primer was an odd one, it took me long time to determine whether I liked it or not. Now I can't bare the thought of doing my makeup without it and I've totally forgotten my old HG eye primer (the Too Faced one) to my drawers. The RBR eye primer is a bit sticky and sets fast, so I like to work one eye at the time, but it gives a nice base to the eye makeup and cancels out any redness or veins I have on my lids. I do think it improves the wear and look of my eyeshadow, but nothing can keep my hooded lids from creasing +8 hours.

Byredo Mojave Ghost

I was obsessed with this perfume, but I couldn't justify splurging on the full size, so I went for the roller-ball oil and couldn't be happier as the perfume wears very long, distinguishably, but the roller-ball is easier to pop into a clutch bag. The scent has light and floral top notes, but the base is very woody, earthy and elegant. I don't feel like I'm getting bored or too used to with the scent, but always enjoying its complexity and intensity.

Cream shadows.. RBR Birdwing Beauteous

This was a difficult battle between Chanel, Tom Ford and Rouge Bunny Rouge. I was going to pick Chanel as the winner, as their shadows made such a good impression on me, especially the shade Silver Pink, but I had to change my mind. It is the Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-lasting Duo Cream Eye Shadow in Birdwing Beauteous (longest name ever). It makes you shine like a sexy robot and it STAYS on my hooded lids, no creasing whatsoever. The only cream shadow type I can actually use to contour my eye socket. RBR please bring out more shades!

Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal

This makeup product is a little cheat, as Bicoastal was released in 2016, but it's been hands down my most reached blush this year. No question. I haven't made up my mind about Tom Ford's baked gelée formula, but Bicoastal is smooth, pigmented - yet not too pigmented to give you clown cheeks. The amount of shimmer makes my cheeks pop with a healthy glow and I love it you can adjust the color and lever of shimmer by mixing the two shades. If you missed out on Bicoastal, the new Lavender Lust is very similar!

Best of Makeup 2017

I want to thank all my readers, blog friends and brands for sharing the love for beauty in 2017. I hope and foresee that 2018 is going to be even more magical and hopefully full of health and happiness to you all. What were your favorite makeup products from the year? Did you spot here anything you liked as well? 

xx Laura

Products marked with * are PR-samples kindly provided for consideration.

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