1. 6. Grayburn: December 2008 7.



Wishing you a beautiful and cheerful 2009.


Credit: photographed by David Vasiljevic for Vogue.com


New Campaign Images H & M Cosmetics

Thought you might like to see some fresh new campaign images from H & M's cosmetics line. They are always priced right and have a fun vibe. Maybe they will be a source of inspiration for your New Years do?

I have both the eyeshadow palette (6.90 eur) and the blusher (4.90 eur) above. Both items are well worth the price and are easy-to-use colors that I reach for more often as I would like to admit.

Wow! Those eyes are so exotic.

Hello Kitty craze is in H&M stores now and will be with MAC cosmetics in February 2009.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), hm.com


Thank You Santa

Santa Claus visited us this year and told us that we have been mighty nice!
So he pulled out his red sack of goodies
And before we were able to take a peak inside
And before he took a sip of the low-fat, lactose-free milk laid out before him
He gave us our presents as a reward for being good this year!

Since some of the presents have quickly become my favorites and will be appearing on my Favorite Things 2008 (on January 10th), I won't be able to share with you what Santa gave me for x'mas just yet!

Hope everyone had a happy holidays and got everything that they had wished for!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), gearthblog.com


Merry Christmas!

That time of the year is here again when we are thankful for everything merry and bright. May this Christmas be a delight! Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), youtube.com



It is that time of the year again when we think back to all the fortunate and beautiful things a year of blogging has brought us. The team at Grayburn (with a modest number of members of 1!) is working around the clock, searching high and low in drawers and goodie bags to bring you Issue 2008 of FAVORITE THINGS! The issue will be published here on the 10th of January, 2009 and will contain a list of Grayburn's Favorite Things of 2008. This is what Issue 2007 looked like if you are eager to get warmed up for the upcoming issue on the 10th!

I would like to extend an invitation to all Bloggers of any genre, who happened upon this, to join in on the fun of reflecting upon year 2008. Please let me know if you would like to participate!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), Dior from Vogue magazine issue Dec 2008


Christmas Is Coming

It will likely be a personal challenge for our Christmas dinner this year. Not only will I be responsible for the turkey (which I have never made before), I will have to look presentable after having been cooking for the entire day. I have never figured out how other people do it. How do they manage to cook an entire meal for their guests and come out of the kitchen with every hair in place and not a single spot of oil on their skin? I wish I knew their secret.

If all goes well, the following will be make up my festive look. I pray for no first-timer diasters and that I will have enough time to pull this together. Knowing my luck though, I will likely walk out of the kitchen with parsley in my hair and makeup migrated half way down my face.

Bobbi Brown Mauve Face Palette

This is an elegant palette that is easy to use. I know that it will be hard to mess up with its colors so beautifully combined. The texture of each of the colors makes it even more foolproof to use.

And look, it has a great big mirror and the blush is large enough to dip a brush in without messing up other colors!

Makeup Forever Glitter in Black

I will be creating a line along the upper lashes with this beautiful glitter with very fine dusty texture. It will instantly glam up any makeup look.

Bobbi Brown Beige Shimmer Brick Compact

Because I will be wearing stronger colors on the eyes, a pale color with a bit of glow on my cheeks is called for. This one is really lovely and possibly one of the best glow-getter I have tried. It gives a believable glow that does not go glittery, greasy and stays where you put it. This is the perfect universal compact that is the secret to that 'candle-lit' glow which is so flattering.

Tip: Use your brush to pick up either the darkest parts, lightest parts, or all mixed together to vary the depth of glow on your skin.

So I am anxious to find out what you will be doing for Christmas. Please do tell!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), photo of Barbara Stanwyck from style.com


A Small Pre-New Year's Resolution

Something has been bothering me for what seems to be ages. The makeup obsessed in me has been hoarding heaps of pigments and loose mineral powders and are now accumulating into an irritating mess.

Last week, I finally found time to make use of the empty palettes I had purchased from Coastal Scents. The point is that I would press my pigments into these empty palettes so that they will be organized and easy to travel with. The goal is to have them all finished by the new year. But pigments just seem to be appearing left and right and out of nowhere and now I think that it is an unrealistic goal.

On the day of the deed, I filled the house with the sound of Lykke Li. I rolled up my sleeves, got ready to get my hands dirty and experienced for myself the love/hate that is pressing pigments.

The process went something like this (a very brief history). Tried to find the right bowl suitable for mixing pigment & liquid, realized quickly that plastic was no good (as the mixed pigment would stick to the sides like crazy), dropped and broke a few small glass bowls.

Screamed, picked up the broken pieces of glass, vacuumed. A few deep breaths in, mixed my first batch, poured into clean metal pan. Waited for it to become dry enough to press, picked up a clean shiny coin, found a piece of cloth, made a sandwich with pigment, cloth, shiny coin and a heavy hard cover book.

Placed all my weight and pressed down on the book, peeled off cloth to take a peek and adored the pretty pattern that the British coin had left on the now pressed pigment. Let dry.

Yes, it was a frustrating process. But the process began to flow and a sort of assembly line then began to emerge. Little by little, I finished all 15 pigments! Look at them above. It may not be much looking at the palette but it is absolutely lovely to me. I have given it an appropriate name I think; Neutral Palette 1. I am so very proud because every time I take this palette out, I am overcome with relief that I no longer have to dig through piles of little pigments jars.

This particular 15-pan empty palette (7.95 USD) from Coastal Scents is not magnetized. They now have smaller, magnetized palettes that hold either 8 or 4 pigments.

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


The Comforter, my comforter

Christmas is next week! Feeling a mix of nervousness and excitement, I am again unprepared this time around. I am not very good with handling the stress that comes with festivities even if I absolutely love them once they are here. The prepping, planning, counting number of heads, getting to the store in time, ordering the right turkey, getting cards out on time....oops, sorry for stressing you too!

My personal remedy:

You might have noticed that food related bath products have been playing a part in my beauty routine. The story behind this is this and because of this. I have somewhat rediscovered them again after a long time of avoiding them.

The thing is, we eat food everyday. We are very comfortable with the way they taste and smell to us and, we have lots of experience identifying the components that make up our favorite dish. So that is why I find the simplicity of edible scents comforting and unassuming. Given that there is a good concentration of real food ingredients in a bath product, there is usually not a lot of guess work involved when trying to decipher the different components in it.

What I love about The Comforter Bubble Bar from Lush (see picture above) is that the instant you put your nose to it, you know that it contains some sort of edible berry. Upon closer inspection and a few more breaths in, you might identify that the berry is cassis (also known as blackcurrant). Lush has chosen the right berry to use in this bubble bar. While I often find berries such as strawberries or raspberries too 'innocent', the deepness of the cassis is suitable for use when one wants to drift off in a bath. Its bright fuchsia color brings something feminine and fun to bath time as well, while a splash of bergamot oil lends just a hint of maturity and mystery to the formula. This is a great bubble bar to use alone or share with another as it is not overly sweet (BFOG-approved). Plus, I find sitting in a bath full of pink hued water and lots of luxurious bubbles comforting indeed (hence, the name of Lush's bubble bar).

This 7oz. bar will be good for 6 baths and guarantees long-lasting, fluffy bubbles. Lovely!

I am curious what you like in your bath. Which scents do you like when?

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Using Chocolate In Your Beuty Routine

Chocolate fashion show - Model wearing a chocolate wig.

A craving for chocolaty hues and scents seems justified this time of the year. Chocolate is a great mood booster because its scent and properties boosts serotonin levels in our bodies. The fact that the cocoa butter in chocolate melts in our mouths makes chocolate such an addictive and pleasurable thing to eat.

Bourjois Ombres à paupières Boite Ronde - Brun Somptueux

The velvety texture of this cocoa powder shade drew me in at first touch. This is one of 2 shadows (see above) from Bourjois' 2008 f/w collection, Clan Fashion. This one is a smooth operator!

Being one of the more pigmented shadows from Bourjois, the Brun Somptueux has quickly become a favorite of mine.

Bourjois Grains de Beaute Creme de douche - Carrément Chocolat

The first sniff of this 'chocolate square' shower cream from Bourjois was quite intense and sweet. Add some hot water and a shower puff, it becomes something else.

Let me explain.

I grew up in a place where we were able to buy fresh chocolate bread everyday. I don't mean those little pain au chocolate which are tiny and sometimes overly buttery. These ones were the size of a cantaloupe and the chocolate showed up inside the bread in swirls. Every time when I would tear a piece off of the huge round, I would breathe in the warm aroma as if I was having a facial steam. That was the aroma I experienced every single day around the time we were let out of school. And for one time each week, my mother would hand an actual loaf to a pouncing and aniticipating child.

I miss those days and I cannot believe that a simple shower cream can bring back those memories. Thank you Bourjois, because you have just done it (and for only under 4 euros a bottle). For the 15 minutes that I am in the shower with Carrément Chocolat, I am filled once again with the same joy and excitement as I once remember.

Meanwhile, check out this funny commercial featuring a Bourjois body care product for each day of the week.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), smh.com.au, bourjois.com, youtube.com


Go or No Go?

Spotted: Handy holiday purse palettes from Clarins

Question: Go or No Go?

Comes in:
Gold Purse & Palette - "A burnished combination of gold-lit bronze and candy pink for eyes, toned with caramel and rose pink for lips."

Black Purse & Palette - "A sultry mix of smoky plum and glittering greys for eyes, toned with berry red and sugar pink for lips."

Silver Purse & Palette - "A pretty collection of vibrant violet and silver greys for eyes, toned with berry pinks for lips."

Each contains:
- Complexion perfecting natural beige compact powder
- 3 eyeshadows
- 2 lip glosses
- 1 mini Black Wonder Volume Mascara
- Large mirror
- Powder sponge, eyeshadow applicator, lip brush

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use), Clarins


Travel & Skincare

Looking at my stash of skincare products, I realized that most of the items are from Japanese or French companies. It is not that I discriminate because I do equally enjoy products from Burt's Bees (started 1984 in Maine), MAC (1985 in Ontario), Neutrogena (1930 in Los Angeles, not in Norway!), and many more. But since Japanese skincare products tend to be light and hydrating, and, French ones tend to be rich and nourishing, it is simple to address different needs of my skin during different times of the year.

I love to take a moment to relax on the couch or lay down for a moment with a facial treatment. I know that I look silly when I do this twice weekly (BFOG tells me so), but I treasure this time to unwind and feel happy that I am feeding my facial skin.

When I get the chance to travel, I opt to bring products that have smart packaging (spillproof, one-time use and not bulky). For my visit in Switzerland, I packed my bags with these hydrating eye patches from Biore. They are very handy because a box comes with 6 packets each containing a pair of patches. They peel back to reveal a sticky gelatine-like side and the patches are shaped to fit the contour of the eyes as well.

Once placed around the eyes the gel patches feel cooling and refreshing on the undereye area. I believe that the patches are even suitable to be worn overnight. I have tested both leaving the patches on for about 20 minutes, and overnight; both yielded the same results. There is no detectable scent to the patches and once removed, they left the undereye area smoother and softer; though the result did not last. Now I have tried many eye patch treatments from different companies. While I do like them for travelling, I generally prefer creamy treatments at home because I feel that the ingredients penetrate better. To sum up, these are pretty good. They are cheaper than others I have tried (such as Chanel or Clinique) and, are equally good.

A Review of Another Biore Product

The Beauty Bowl 2008

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)



It is so good to be home. Oh lovely bed, how I have missed you! I wish I had the luggage space to bring my own pillows and sheets. Unfortunately, the space was filled with personal care necessities such as different colors of blushers.

I had a wonderful time on this trip. There weren't many sunny days but having fondue (and the most fantastic one I have ever tasted) in the beautiful town of Montreux, Switzerland made up for it all. The atmosphere was just stunning. The town itself is surrounded by the Swiss Alps, Lake Geneva, and many vineyards which is why it was the perfect spot for a Christmas market to be located at. The perfect backdrop.

I turn into a little kid every year I go to Christmas markets. I start to hyperventilate and begin to run around the different stalls, playing with sparkly boxes, hand painted wooden figures and ogling colorful pieces of hard candies. The bonus this year was stuffing down exactly 220grams of cheese fondue a l'ail. I have had cheese fondue in the past but none like this.

The day cross over French border at Charmonix, a town situated at the foot of Mont Blanc was another treat this trip. Even when the weather did not cooperate and we were unable to take the cable car further up or see glaciers, the town itself was still beautiful. We had only about six hours in town and had opted not to take a ride with the sleddogs because they smelled well, too natural. The enthusiasm of the dogs were great to see though as they were howling and so eager to get going.

There is something about the crisp cold mountain air. I have been sleeping so well ever since I got back and I certainly feel alot healthier than when I first left for vacation.

So what do you do to feel rejuvenated again? What makes you feel alive and charged up?

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)


Possibilities: Unknown

Day Two

Purpose: Vacation
Destination: Geneva, Switzerland
Possibilities: Unknown

As I write this, I feel a certain lightness surround me. It has been a while since I have had a vacation. It feels very different and so special blogging from an airport wifi cafe. I sit here with my miniature coffee listening to the buzzing of french being spoken around me and I can't help but feel giddy. Feel excited about the prospects of what's to come in the coming week, all of the new discoveries I will make. Discoveries that will likely leave a long lasting impression in my mind. I am in Geneva this week for a short winter getaway. Traveling wakes me up. It injects a new dose of energy back into my mind and my body.

Yesterday I wandered into a shop selling beauty supplies on Rue de la Confederation. The shop was about to close so I had to literally run through it. I am so excited because I spotted beauty brands that I have either wanted to try for a long time, or ones that I have never heard of. I am also elated at the thought of filling up with cheese fondue and Swiss chocolate. And what about seeing the Alps! I will hopefully have the fortune of seeing glacier for the first time in my life. When I am done here, I am crossing over to the French border and who knows what else is in store for me.

Any recommendations for what a newbie should do and see in Geneve?

Credit: Grayburn (Terms of Use)