Kusmi Tea: Wellness teas gift set

20161201_230403

I’m down with the flu at the moment. Luckily I have a huge assortment of teas, a couple of which I will review in this post. Enjoy because I am certainly enjoying drinking tea from this large mug my boyfriend bought me.

kusmi

Kusmi as a brand don’t need an in depth introduction as they are known for their high quality and gourmet blends, it also helps that they have been around for quite some time.

So you can guess what my reaction was when I received this gift set from my aunt for my birthday. I had known about this brand for some time and had always wanted to test some of their teas.

Kusmi wellness.png

 

The set contains five tins that each contain ca 25 g of product and also a tea infuser.

In other words this set holds an incredible value and you do get to try out different teas. One thing to mention is that the wellness series is very fond of liquorice root and I know not everyone likes that ingredient.

Kusmi has other sets like this one but with different collections.

 

But the important question are if they do hold up to the reputation that Kusmi has.

One note before I go into the review that I feel is worth mentioning, I never sweeten my tea as I feel that it ruins the freshness that I like about tea.

Enjoy!

 

BB Detox

Ingredients: Green tea, mate, rooibos, guarana, dandelion and scent of grapefruit.

Preparation time: 3-4 minutes at 85-90 celsius.

This can be used for making ice tea.

 

 

The first thing you notice about this tea is how fresh and “green” it smells. It is a tea that I prefer to drink during the morning as it is both refreshing and energising, since it does contain guarana it means that this tea contains more caffeine than other green teas.

Fun fact is that guarana contains 4-8% more caffeine than coffee beans. Therefore I am very careful to only drink this during morningtimes and sparingly as I am sensitive to caffeine.

It is one of my favourites though as it tastes great and does cure sleepiness like no other.

One thing to notice for me is that teas with rooibos rarely are a hit with me, I find them nauseating but with BB Detox I found it to instead adding a base in which the other ingredients could build themselves higher upon. It is so fully integrated in the blend that although I can taste it, I find myself loving it in this blend.

This tea tastes even better than how it smells, fresh, greenish with a hint of citrus. It does not have the “heaviness” of a black tea, but is light, agile and fragrant.

It will definetitely be rebought.

 

Sweet love

Ingredients: Black china tea, liquorice roots, spices, guarana seeds, pink pepper and flavours.

Preparation time: 3-4 minutes at 85-90 celsius.

This can be used for making ice tea.

 

 

This one smells like my wholesale indian chai but I thought at first  that it were the spices that had taken over and that the other ingredients would show up once it was brewed.

I was especially excited for the liquorice root and the pink pepper.

But upon my first taste I was initially dissappointed, it tastes almost just like my indian chai. I tried to search for the pink pepper and liquorice root but got only a hint before they faded away.

Please don’t misunderstand me, this is a very warming and good blend but it is just too similar to my indian chai which I am so bored of. Spicy teas have also never been my favourites but if you love them I will highly reccomend you Sweet Love as it is good and leaves a very nice after taste.

I tried it with milk once and it was spectacular.

 

Boost

Ingredients: Blend of mate green tea, cinnamon bark, ginger, cardamon and scents of spices.

Preparation time: 4-5 minutes at 75-80 celsius.

This can be used for making ice tea.

 

 

This was a huge letdown. Usually I love anything with cinnamon or ginger but these ingredients were barely there and honestly this tea tasted very old, almost like tea dust.

It has a bitterness that is sickening rather than enjoyable. This is a rare case of a tea being near undrinkable for me as it is very flat and the after taste is not great.

It’s  incredibly boring and this might sound snobbish, but when a brand claims they offer quality, gourmet blends and exclusivity, I will judge them accordingly. Boost would never have been a favourite of mine but if it had been a blend bought from the grocery store, I would have left it as it is: average and uninteresting. But  Kusmi is cosidered a luxury brand and a long time favourite among tea lovers. Therefore I do put them to a higher standard than for example Lipton.

 

Be Cool

Ingredients: Rosehipseed, apple, verbena leaves, peppermint, anis seeds and liquorice root.

Preparation time: 5-8 minutes at 95-100 celsius.

Can be used to make ice tea.

Is caffeine free!

 

 

This is a pure herbal tea and just like BB Detox it has a very fragrant, refreshing and pleasant smell and taste, the only difference is that Be Cool is more “cooling” compared to BB Detox.

Be Cool is very calming and is a good blend to drink before going to sleep. It is soothing thanks to the anis, rosehipseed and verbena leaves. The peppermint is good for alleviating nausea and the apple does round out the other ingredients and adds a bit of sweetness. The rest of the ingredients add hints and complexity making this one a true joy to drink.

This will be rebought when I run out of it.

 

Detox

Ingredients: Blend of mate, green tea, scent of lemon, lemongrass.

Preparation time: 3-4 minutes at 85-90 celsius.

Can be used to make ice tea.

 

 

Lemon grass is one of my least favourite smells, as it is too sweet and sugary but it does work well in this blend. I use this tea during cold months as it capable of helping a sore throat.

Of all the Kusmi teas I own, this one is the sweetest and as mentioned earlier in this review, I don’t sweeten my tea usually and this one here definitely does not need anything added. I don’t think that a lot of people would do that with this one. There is also a note of smokyness in this one.

It is however not my favourite of the bunch as I sometimes find it a bit nauseating at times. Another thing is that it feels like it should have had something added to it, it does feel that Detox is missing something vital.

 

Conclusion

To be honest I feel that this gift set was a mixed experience, which might sound drastic but I’m just being truthful about this one. I enjoy tea and  have tasted a great deal of varieties before these ones, from the really exclusive ones such as pure silver needle to the more easy to find such as the ones you find at your local grocery store.

But what I see in my notes is eventually that there is no way that I can give this the highest grade. These were really a hit-or-miss in my book.

The quality on these blends are great but I do miss some more complexity and balance in the blends Sweet Love and Boost. Both of these two are dominated by the spices who overpower the other ingredients leaving them at the bottom at my list.

Detox for me ends up as a below average blend with the misfortune of making me sometimes nausious.

The two blends who wins my heart is BB Detox and Be Cool. These two have the qualities I always look for in a tea: freshness, great taste, complexity and a good after taste. It did surprise me that BB Detox became a favourite of mine since it contains a lot of caffeine, Be Cool on the other hand is much more understandable and I do feel that it helps me getting sleepy.

One thing I really enjoyed about this set was the tin packaging which provides a perfect container for the blends and also makes them stackable. I’d really wish more companies had packaging like this.

 

Have you tried any of these?

 

 

 

Advertisements

Viva La Diva: Glam eyes eyeshadow kit

Disclaimer: I need to say that these swatches did not come out right, the pictures I choose are the best ones that do resemble the shades to the best degree. The reason is the lightening, my apartment is badly lit and it is a very warm light thanks to the saving lightbulbs. Since I live in northern Norway we don’t have much daylight during autumn/winter, basically we’re having a reversed midnight sun 🙂

I do sincerely hope that this is not a huge issue.

Thank you.

 

Viva La Diva is a swedish low budget brand that is relatively unknown outside of scandinavia, they have been around in Norway since around 2010 if I remember correctly and during that time I have tried out a few of their products. I have mixed experiences with them and it is partly due to the constant changes they do and discontinuation of my favourite eyeliner.

That last part does hurt a bit.

But Viva La Diva is probably the cheapest makeup brand alongside H&Ms beauty line in Norway at the moment and they do have their fans and I can see why.

The eyeshadows in this review are not the only eyeshadows from this brand that I have tried and I will review my other palette, this palette however is a newer addition to Viva La Diva. I bought this in february 2016 and it has not collected dust.

In fact when I was at Karlsøy festival this summer, I managed to crack the mirror it had and some of the lettering got ruined.

This tin box contains nine eyeshadows, booklet and mirror. The packaging is very similar to Too Faced palettes but with minor differences such as the placement of the eyeshadows. The highlighters are placed in the middle, the definers on the right and the inter colours on the left. The booklet describes how to achieve the looks this kit bases itself on.

I also love that the packaging has a magnetic closing and the tin is sturdy.

20161216_013806

How it looks like from the top.

20161216_014305

View of booklet and eyeshadow contents.

 

There are three looks in this kit.

 

The first one is called Soft and it is an everyday neutral day look.

20161216_014509

20161216_015624

From left to right: Golden Gaze, Chocolate and Smooth.

The highlighter is called Smooth and it is a sheer, shimmery neutral beige. It is a good base colour and it applies nicely. It is easily dupable but is still one of my favourites in this palette as it is extremely subtle and just gives a shimmery effect, which means it is a shade you can get so much out of. If you have a dark skin tone however I’m not sure if it would show up because it is very subtle on my skin.

20161216_020025

Smooth without primer at top and with primer at bottom.

The inter colour is called Golden gaze and is a shimmery medium brown with a golden tinge. It has a warmer tone to it than the other shades in the palette, it is also very dupable but very beautiful and a colour that will suit any eyecolour.

This one has one of the worst swatch pictures. It is much warmer and golden irl than in this picture.

20161216_020009

Golden gaze without primer at top and with primer at bottom.

The definer is called Chocolate and is best described as a milk chocolate brown, it is also the only matte shade in this palette. This one is also not unique and you can find plenty of similar eyeshadows. This one swatches horribly and lighter than it really is but when you apply it it is buttery and darker, just a strange note about this particular colour.

20161216_020017

Chocolate without primer at top and with primer at the bottom. It is crazy how light this swatch is compared to irl.

 

The next look is called Party. Of the three looks in this palette this one is the most colourful and it is described as the party princess in the booklet.

20161216_014528

20161216_020829

From left to right: Buzz, VIP and Champagne.

The highlighter shade is called Champagne and it is a shimmery muted pastel pink with huge glitters in it. This is one of the most unique shades I have dealt with since most glitter shadows have tiny glitters not large ones. But it will not make you look like a disco ball but it gives you more of a gleam.

20161216_020851

Champagne without primer at top and with primer at bottom.

The inter colour is called Buzz and it is a muted dusty pink with shimmer. Very easily found anywhere and this is one I am not that fond of, I just do not like these sorts of pink but in combination with the rest of this look it looks better.

20161216_021018

Buzz without primer at top and with primer at bottom.

The definer is called VIP and it is a dark purple with subtle shimmer. One of my favourites from this palette as it is really gorgeous . It is also an easily dupable shade. The swatch photo does not give this justice.

20161216_021013

VIP without primer at top and with primer at bottom. This shade does not work well with a primer.

 

The last look is called Smokey and is a classical grey smokey eyed look. It was this look that made me want to buy this kit as I felt there had been too long since I played with greys.

20161216_014551

20161216_023606

From left to right: Just grey, Desire and Take it easy.

The highlighter is called Take it easy and it is a shimmery white shade. This is my least favourite shade as it is patchy and chalky. It is also extremely difficult to blend and if you have deep set eyes like me then be careful with shades like this one as they can make your eyes seem more deep set and smaller.

20161216_023738

Take it easy without primer at top and without primer at bottom.

The inter colour is called Just grey and it is a medium grey shimmer shade. Again easily duped but a very versatile shade and one that goes on smooth. I really love this one.

20161216_023749

Just grey without primer at top and with primer at bottom.

The definer is called Desire which is a concrete grey with slight silver shimmer. Among my favourites as it makes my eyes pop and it is easy to work with.

20161216_023743

Desire without primer at top and with primer at bottom. Just as with VIP this one does not work well with primer.

 

Conclusion

Is this the most original thing to get out?

No

Does it contain shades you have not seen a thousand times before?

No most of the shades are easy to find elsewhere.

But the thing is just how ridiculously practical this palette is, you have three different looks and still everything in this palette go well with eachother and you don’t need that much else.

When I went on a weekend trip this summer I found this palette very convenient as it meant less to pack down. I had all the eyeshadows I needed in this palette wether I was going to a resturaunt or just being outside.

Are these shadows of good quality?

Actually they are what I would claim as being average with the exception of Take it easy. Nothing I’ve tried has been as bad as that shade and that says something.

I am very happy with this considering the price and that it did have some shades I haven’t had for a long time.

But I do feel that this is probably more interesting for the beginner since someone more experienced might already have something similar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

H&M Beauty: Precious Glow

Yet again I see that H&M has released a new limited edition collection.

20161010_160522

This one is for fall/winter 2016 and features metallic finishes and shine. Most of these colours will be defined as neutrals but there are also some pops of bright in it. In my view this is a very solid collection with some unique products I’d wish were permanent, colour wise this collection have something for everyone without getting boring or uninteresting.

In other words count me impressed.

I did not buy everything in the collection so this is just small parts of the collection. I did not buy the eyeshadow palette and the liquid eyeshadows, I also missed out on the rhinestones since that’s something I’m just not interested in.

But truly I am in love with this collection.

 

Metallic Lip Colour

These are the first lipsticks I’ve bought from H&M and I immensely enjoy these. My experience with metallic lipsticks is that they are drying and usually just exageratted shimmer lipsticks, these on the other hand are an exception as they are creamy, nice to the lips and actually do have a metallic finish.

I bought two of these.

20161010_160803

Burnished Bronze

I bought this in  hope that it would be a dupe for my  Giordani Gold #Midnight mystique lipstick which was part of their limited edition collection called venetian affair. This was for a long time my favourite lipstick since it was immenseley flattering but I have had difficulty finding a dupe.

Burnished bronze is not an excact dupe, it is not sheer and instead of gold there are specks of bronze. In fact when I compared the two I found myself liking burnished bronze more than midnight mystique.

20161203_054410

Burnished Bronze on top and Midnight Mystique below.

I think it might be since it is opaque and instead of the specks of shimmer it is metallic, it makes burnished bronze look more refined and darker.

It is a stunner in my opinion and I think this will suit most people since it is neither too dark or light and have a neutral undertone to it.

Sugar and Spice

Out of all the lipsticks this is the bold bright pop of colour.

20161203_054655

Sugar and Spice above and Burnished Bronze below.

This is a cool toned pink with a silver sheen which initially I feared would resemble the dreaded 80s mother of pearl lipstick. Luckily it still carries a nostalgic vibe but without falling into the tacky territory.

It does in fact more resemble a lipstick colour my aunt used to wear in the 90s which I used to steal.

This is perhaps a colour that I feel will look most flattering on someone with a deeper skin colour than me. I like it but I do think that it has a tendency to look a little bit off on me sometimes.

 

Dazzle lip topper

This is a product type I’d wish were permanent.

20161010_161402

These can be worn alone or over any lipstick, however I found out that it’s best not to use them on top of lipsticks that stains since they will also stain the wand applicator and also won’t last at all. On other lipsticks these will actually help the lipsticks staying power instead of just sliding on top.

In general it is a smart idea to wipe the wands after use or before inserting it in the bottle again as to avoid contamination.

Remember to shake them well before use and not to let them fall since the liquid part can escape the bottle quite easily, I made that mistake and there is still shimmer on my table.

20161203_055517

To Boldly Glow, Glisten Up and Cha-Cha-Cha

Glisten up

This is probably my favourite product of the collection. This one has intense shifts of blue, teal and violet, really beautiful alone or as a top coat.

I especially like this one over red lipstick.

To boldly glow

This one follows more the line of a pale gold. It is intense but more “natural” than Glisten up.

I use this mostly alone or over a more muted colour of lipstick, such as burnished bronze.

Cha-cha-cha

This one dissapointed me.

I’m really a little bit surprised that I did not like this one, but the reason is because it almost don’t have any shifts in it, it’s just a shimmer top coat and a very boring one at that.

It is a fuchsia pink that in the bottle looks like it will have some blue shifts but it does not translate when you put it on your lips. Even though it is the brighter of the three it becomes the muted one out of the bunch when it is on your lips.

Which is frankly strange.

 

Gilded brow tint

These are metallic brow tints. I’m not usually someone to buy brow products as I just brush through my brows with a clean mascara brush and leave it at that. These on the other hand reeled me in and I ended buying all three of them with no regrets.

20161010_161212

Silver Sapphire, Electrum and Spun Gold.

I know that not everyone will like these since they are shimmery, but these do give a very nice effect and I like these better than the average brow product since they don’t give me that harsh look a matte product tends to give me.

Too bad these are not permanent.

The formula of these are great, it has a gel formula with pigments and the spoolie wand is great since it gives more control on how much product gets on your brows and helps you even it out.

Silver sapphire

Now this is something I’ve never seen before. The colour of this one is amazing, such a beautiful silver blue colour.

I understand that this might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I feel this works very well on my complexion and is in fact very wearable.

Electrum

I would have prefered this more if it was more  cool toned but I still like it when I want to dramatize my brows a bit since this is darker than my natural brows. Of all the gilded brow tints this is probably the one that is the most natural and will suit most people.

Spun gold

This is probably the one that comes closest to my natural brow colour only that it is warmer. It makes a subtle golden effect on me but if you have darker eyebrows it will probably get more noticable.

Really beautiful.

 

 

Have any of you bought from this collection?

If so, what is your thoughts on it?