It’s here: 31 days, 31 cities, 31 perspectives. Each day in the month of March, we’re profiling an inspiring woman from across the world and asking her to share her beauty routine, products, and wellness secrets. Consider this your firsthand look into the beauty traditions and cultures of your beauty-obsessed counterparts from Thailand, Nigeria, and more (and don’t forget to check our Instagram for a beauty-themed global takeover each day). Following Amy Lawrenson, Byrdie UK’s drop-dead-gorgeous editorial director, we have content creator and blogger Nnenna Echem, based out of Norway. For starters, she’s extremely fashion-forward, and her knowledge of luxury beauty product knows no bounds.
Name: Nnenna Echem
City and country of residence: Born and raised in Oslo, Norway, but my parents are from Nigeria.
Your beauty icons:
I do love Halle Berry. I think that she is a woman that has had an impact in her decade in terms of beauty, and I admire her for that.
The skincare products you can’t live without:
Clarins Extra Firming Body Cream ($65) is a huge favorite of mine. I can literally go through one container a month. Another favorite is Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair ($98). This is my favorite nighttime serum. You can really see the effect that the serum has on the skin, which is remarkable. Lancôme Advanced Genefique Sensitive ($78) is my daytime serum! I can never go a day without it. A new favorite I have is Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream ($38). You can literally see the puffiness disappear. Ever since I was introduced to this product, it has been in my daily skincare routine. Last but not least is the Clarisonic MIA 2 Facial Brush ($169). If you’re looking for a good facial brush, this is it! My skin has never felt better. I use it when I clean my face at morning and before I go to bed. For the lips, I will forever swear by Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Lip Balm ($24). No other lip balms have made my lips feel healthier and better.
The hair products you can’t live without:
Nioxin Dry Shampoo ($22) is an absolute must-have. This has been my go-to dry shampoo for over a year now. I always bring it with me when I travel. As I wear hair extensions a lot, which can have a tendency of looking brittle, I use Sachajuan Hair Repair ($33), which is great! I also love the Wella Fusion Series collection, which is all about protecting the hair. This is also great if you wear hair extensions. Another product that I love is Björn Axén Organic Hair Oil. This product is everlasting, as you will only need one or two drops for the hair. Last but not least, I could never go a day without my GHD styling hair tools. GHD is my favorite hair tool brand, and I have everything from straighteners to dryers. I use my GHD pink blush hair dryer ($149) every day!
The makeup products you can’t live without:
My foundation from the YSL series Encre de Peau ($65) is one that I really can’t live without. I love that the foundation is not full coverage, which gives me a more natural look. Another one is the Touche Éclat ($51) from YSL! I can’t count how many I’ve used. The Touche Éclat has been in my makeup routine for two years now. I love Dior’s mascara Dior Addict IT-Lash ($30). I don’t have the longest lashes, and this mascara is the only one I have tried that effectively separates and lengthens my eyelashes. I have also recently started to use products from BareMinerals. My foundation powder is from the BarePro series ($30) of BareMinerals (in shade 25, Hazelnut). What I love about BareMinerals is the wide range of colours it has in its assortment. I love brands that are able to see that the world comes in many colours. I couldn’t do my makeup without a good setting spray, and the only one I use is Urban Decay De Slick Oil Control ($32) setting spray. It works great on my oily skin. It really helps with the surface shine.
What countries and cultures do you find most inspirational when it comes to beauty?
I love the French beauty culture. It’s very inspirational. I love the concept of “au natural.” Don’t get me wrong—I do love to use makeup, and I use makeup almost every day, but I also think in regard to makeup, less is more!
The most popular beauty products and brands in your country right now:
Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Eye Cream ($38) is quite popular here, as well as brands such as Filorga, YSL, and Estée Lauder. I think that almost every woman in Norway owns a Touche Éclat ($38) from YSL. It’s a beauty product that always will be popular.
The most popular beauty trends in your country right now:
I guess the natural look is trendy here. It’s all about embracing the natural, which is great! And also sheet masks are so popular. Everyone is wearing sheet masks. I actually also jumped on the sheet mask trend. I love the sheet masks from Shumei.
Favorite traditional beauty secret from your country:
I don’t think that there are any traditional beauty secrets here, but I have heard that you can use Vaseline on the places that you spray your perfume to make the perfume last longer, but I don’t know if that is a Norwegian beauty secret or if this is internationally known to everyone. I haven’t tried this beauty hack yet.
Where you buy beauty products:
I buy most of my beauty products at Vita Exclusive, which is kind of like Norway’s Sephora, I guess. They have all the big exclusive brands, such as Estée Lauder and Clarins. I also buy loads of my beauty products at the airport, as I do travel much, and the prices at the airport are a bit cheaper.
What does “healthy living” mean to you?
For me, healthy living isn’t all about working out, but working out is a part of it. I guess healthy living for me is about what I eat, what energy I put out in the universe, and also the people I surround myself with. Healthy living is all about taking care of my body as well as my mind and my surroundings.
How do you define/practice self-care?
Self-care is all about listening to what your body needs. People do have a tendency to stress and also stress over a longer period of time, which is not good. It’s so important to listen to what your body is saying, and if you need a day off, take that day off.
What’s your favorite way to stay active, and why?
I love a good cardio exercise. There’s nothing like a good run. I especially love to wake up early, around 5 a.m, and run. It gives me the absolute best start in the morning.
What’s your favorite healthy meal?
Açaí bowls! I can never get enough of it! Even though Oslo is a small city, we do have several places that actually sells açaí bowls. I was introduced to Acai bowls when I was in New York in 2013 I think. At that time we didn’t have them in Oslo, so when I got home I ordered all the ingredients and made it myself. Oh, and yeah, everything with matcha is a go for me. I was actually also introduced to matcha in New York. The first time I tried it was at Chalait in West Village. I actually didn’t like it at all the first time, but it has grown on me!
What are the most popular wellness trends in your country right now?
Core Balance, which is a work out method, is very popular here In Norway. I haven’t tried it yet though! Core Balance is all about strengthening your core, which ultimately also gives you a stronger body, as well as a stronger mind and soul.
Check back every day for more beauty and wellness routines from cool women across the world.