Ecco Bella Lipstick – Merlot, Rosewood Review

Nowadays I definitely see more and more vegan lipstick options coming out. But I am a picky girl. It’s gotta be cruelty-free, vegan and with nice natural ingredients. Then my choices would become limited again. The good news is that it’s not a big deal for a minimalist. I estimate I probably need only 3 to 4 lipsticks per year even if I make up every single day, and lipstick’s shelf life is about 1 to 2 years anyway.

This time I decided to give Ecco Bella a try. Unfortunately not all of their lipsticks are vegan. Some pretty shades (such as this REDvelation that I would love to try) are formulated with carmine, which is a non-vegetarian ingredients.

Ingredients: Castor oil, isopropyl palmitate (from coconut), candelilla wax, 100iu Vitamin E, organic calendula oil, organic chamomile oil, organic jojoba oil, flower wax coated iron oxides.
Cruelty-Free. Vegan. (Except certain shades such as Pink Rose, Mauve Rose, Claret Rose, Tuscany Rose and REDvelation, but the ones I picked are vegan.)

The package is made in black matte plastic material, with their logo in shiny film. I found it simple and elegant., definitely my type of package. Compared to other lipsticks it might be a bit small, but I somehow prefer smaller lipsticks, which means we could try more colors at the same time before they run out of their prime (If you’re one of those girls who don’t like to waste things!). The smell is not very attractive, as many of those fragrance-free products, although they’re not noticeable once you apply it. The texture feels a bit dry first, but I don’t particularly feel it dries out my lips. The advantage is that the color stays and doesn’t really bleed, which is tricky for a lot of red lipsticks. The layer could be built on, so you can have a more sheer shade or fuller shade.

Merlot – this is a cold toned, purplish plum color. It’s a perfect color for the fall season. I imagine it goes well with gothic style too. Although I found it works better with cool toned skin as it’s a bit too much on the purple side, which makes warm toned skin a bit sick if the rest of make up isn’t well matched. It has slight shimmer.

Rosewood – this is a neutral red tone in a slightly darker shade. It’s a rather conservative shade of red that is not flaunting. I definitely love the color. It is matte.

Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Blush – Natural Review

When I wanted to try a new blush I got recommendation from a friend in the US, so here it is. Physician’s Formula is one of the popular drugstore brands in the US, which uses comparatively nice ingredients in their products at affordable price. They do have a lot of blush lines to choose from, so it could be a bit difficult, lol. In the end I picked one blush – Natural from the Happy Booster line.

Talc. Zea Mays (Corn) Starch. Dimethicone. Octyldodecyl Stearoyl Stearate. Zinc Stearate. Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate. Astrocaryum Murumuru Seed Butter. Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil. Lecithin. Phytosteryl Canolate. Plukenetia Volubilis Seed Oil. Rhodiola Rosea Root Extract. Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract. Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter. Schinus Terebinthifolius Seed Extract. Palm Alcohol. Phenoxyethanol. Potassium Sorbate. Fragrance. May Contain: Carmine. Iron Oxides. Manganese Violet. Mica. Red 6. Red 7 Lake. Red 28 Lake. Red 30 Lake. Titanium Dioxide. Ultramarines. Yellow 5 Lake.
Cruelty-free. NOT VEGETARIAN. (Unfortunately I only found the product might contain carmine after I purchased it. I have written to inquire whether all Happy Booster line products contain it, or only some of the shades do, but nobody replied so far by the time of writing. Therefore, to err on the side of caution, I mark it as NOT VEGETARIAN. )

The package is super girly in its shiny fuchsia color. It’s not my type of package as I like minimal and professional looking ones. It comes with a small round mirror in the bottom of the blush tray, and a small brush. Since I usually don’t take blush with me when I go out, I don’t think it’s useful, although for people who do want to have a bit touch up, this might be of a bit help. Just a bit touch up, don’t expect too much. I eventually decided to use it as a cleaning brush in my Z-palette since I still have some space there lol.

The blush has a natural pink color to the cheek with a bit shiny glow. The powder is very fine and silky. The Natural shade is not super pigmented, so don’t worry about getting too much. The color is lovely and makes you feel young. The smell is rather pleasant, although I don’t think it really has therapeutic power to make you feel happier as they claim, lol. Like all PF products, the surface of the blush is pressed in cute pink hearts in different shades. When you use it, simply swipe the brush over it, then apply to your cheek.

Although I don’t like the product package, the problem can be solved by moving it to my Z-palette. However, the most disappointing point is that it contains carmine, which is a non-vegetarian ingredient that I prefer not to use. So unfortunately this would be my last purchase unless the formula changes one day and it becomes vegan. If this doesn’t bother you, this blush is definitely worth its price.

Z-palette: How to Depot Makeup and Review

I had heard of Z-palette long before I even purchased my first piece of makeup product. I loved the idea immediately, although I never thought I would use it as I thought I probably wouldn’t have that many products, lol. Now I did start to have a bit more, get a bit annoying at some packaging so I wanted to give Z-palette a try.

I chose the most popular large size. I think this is a perfect one to take when you’re traveling or use it daily. I decided to depot all the current ones I have to fit into this one.

Tools: makeup mixing palette’s spatula, tweezer, hand sanitizer, q-tips, tissue

How to depot makeup:
1. First inspect the product packaging. Some products aren’t solidly glued, you can simply use the metal spatula to dig the tray out. I did that to ELF St.Lucia blush and bronzer and they both came out easily. Some products are heavily glued, then this might not work. I tried on Physician’s Formula blush and ended up breaking it while trying to get it out. 🙁
2. When it’s difficult to depot using only spatula, consider the oven method. Preheat the oven at 100 C. Place a piece of baking paper, then lay out the makeup and bake for 4-6 minutes. Note if it’s a plastic tray inside the makeup case (such as ELF Mad for Matte eyeshadow palette), dig out the ultimate plastic tray containing only your eyeshadow first.
3. After baking, carefully take them out. At this time the glue is melted so it should be easier to dig the trays out. Some trays (such as the ELF eyeshadow I mentioned) requires you to push a bit through the two holes on the bottom.
4. Drip hand sanitizer with q tip and clean the bottoms of trays.
5. If the trays aren’t magnetic, stick one metal piece that comes with Z-palette on the bottom.
6. To keep the Z-palette relatively clean I also cut out a piece of baking paper to line the inside.
7. The whole process could be messy, so make sure you have a piece of tissue under.

Now it’s finished. I can say goodbye to all the other cases and mirrors! (I took out the mirrors so they could be recycled properly. Although this could be tricky, if you want to do that, be extremely careful removing the mirrors). I also kept the mini brush I got from Physician’s Formula blush as a cleaning brush as the broken ones turn to shed a bit power here and there.

Z-palette is indeed very neat and space-saving. It’s also minimal, professional looking and easy to travel with. If you can be patient depotting your make up, I definitely recommend it!

Estelle and Thild All in One Tinted Moisturizer Review

Estelle and Thild is one of the best brands that feature organic, natural, non-toxic ingredients in their skincare products. And it’s from Sweden. While a small country, in recent few years I definitely see that Sweden is following the organic food and skincare trends. There are more and more imported products available here, although not as varied as those in the USA when it comes to brands and budgets, it’s still better than nothing. However, Estelle and Thild is a local brand from Stockholm, which you can easily order online, or buy in local pharmacies or makeup stores if you live in Sweden.

The first one I decided to try is the All in One Tinted Moisturizer. I don’t have particular skin problems so I don’t always want to wear full coverage foundation. (Not to mention I still haven’t found the right shade for myself yet). This moisturizer with a bit sheer coverage is just perfect for me.

Estelle and Thild All in One Tinted Moisturizer – LIGHT
Ingredients: aqua, titanium dioxide, aloe barbadensis leaf juice*, rosa damascena flower water*, glycerin**, prunus armeniaca kernel oil*, coco-caprylate/caprate, simmondsia chinensis seed oil*, butyrospermum parkii butter*, glyceryl stearate citrate, lecithin*, gluconolactone, sodium hyaluronate, glyceryl caprylate, tocopherol, cetearyl olivate, sclerotium gum, xanthan gum, sorbitan olivate, parfum, limonene, linalool, sodium gluconate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sorbic acid, CI 77491,CI 77492, CI 77499.* Ingredient from Organic Farming **Made using organic ingredients.
99,87% of the total ingredients are from natural origin. 24,976% of the total ingredients are from Organic Farming. Natural and Organic Cosmetic certified by ECOCERT Greenlife according to ECOCERT Standard available at

Although I normally prefer glass bottle to plastic one, I found this one light and convenient to travel with. It’s not slippery so it’s easy to hold and apply. The pump works perfectly so the liquid has less contact with the air to keep it fresh longer. It is also easy to control the amount you apply on your face.

It feels silky and light on my skin. I usually feel a bit heavy when I use foundation. It’s available in two shades: light and medium. I used the light shade and it works alright. It’s only sheer coverage, so my skin color is not altered but skin texture is smoother. It also smells nice from the rose water. I normally try to use fragrance-free products, but those usually smell a bit weird. So recently I started to use some products that add natural fragrance such as from essential oil or floral water as the flavor. Believe me, that makes your skin care or make up routine more enjoyable. 😉

It’s the first product from Estelle&Thild I tried, and I definitely fell in love with it. I think it would be perfect for summer when you absolutely need something lighter on your face. If you need a sheer coverage for your face, and can find it online or in your local health store, I urge you to try it!

Pacifica Devocean Vegan Lipsticks Review

When I found Pacifica I was so excited! This is one brand that devotes themselves to create beautiful vegan, cruelty-free and natural products. The price might be more expensive than you expected from “drugstore” stuff but they do use high quality natural ingredients, which is worth paying a bit more. After all, we need to really take care of our skin.

If you live in the US then you are lucky. There are so many to choose from. For me I can only try some products my local vegan store happens to carry as currently the Pacifica online store does’t ship worldwide yet. The first ones I tried are the lipsticks – Devocean line. Those are highly pigmented, so it would mostly cover the original color of your lips. At the beginning I was really not used to that, especially when it was just applied, as it feels like plastic layer on my lips, however, upon drying up it becomes more natural. The formula is moisturizing, but definitely not as the same as lip balm, so if you have extremely dry lips, prime it with a layer of lip balm. I like the slim design of the tube as it makes it easy to glide over the lips, especially for thin lips. I found traditional lipstick tubes more challenging and I might need help from lip brush, but this one is small enough to apply in a finely way. Not to mention it takes less space in the purse or bag, which is important for us petites who usually carry smaller bags.

Below are color swatch that I took under daylight outside and inside.
Oleic/linoleic/linolenic polyglycerides (from sunflower oil), butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter, diiostearyl malate, caprylic/capric triglyceride (from coconut oil), simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) esters, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, euphorbia chinensis (candelilla) wax, cetyl alcohol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, flavor oil (all natural), tocopherol (vitamin E). May contain: Melia azadirachta fruit extract, mica, titanium dioxide, iron oxides, tin oxide, vaccinium macrocarpon fruit (cranberry) extract, coccinia indica flower extract, daucus carota sativa root (carrot) extract, lycopersicum fruit (tomato) extract, and beta vulgaris (beetroot) extract.
XOX – very sweet and pretty pink color
Tenderness – pink color with coral tone
Rebel sol – medium red color with orange tone
Firebird – bright red color
Natural mystic – deeper shade of Tenderness
I feel Rebel sol and Firebird are slightly less pigmented than other three shades, but it could be different on different lips.

Which color will you pick? 😉