October 31, 2011

Lancôme 2011 Holiday Collection Created by Abassadress Kate Winslet

Lancôme's collection for the 2011 Holiday season has been created by the brand's Ambassadress, Kate Winslet. The collection is in support of Winslet's charity, the Golden Hat Foundation which aims to "better the lives of autistic children by removing or limiting the barriers they face." The charity works to educate autistic children on how to communicate more clearly as well as providing other aids like job training and recreational activities.

The collection features five shades of L'Absolu Rouge lipstick (RRP €25.00), five shades of Le Vernis nail polish (RRP €20.50) and a face powder (RRP €45.00). Each of the products featured for Holiday 2011 have been embossed with the foundation's logo and feature Kate's signature. In creating this limited edition make-up collection alongside Kate, Lancôme have pledged to donate €150,000 to the Golden Hat Foundation. 

We have the powder, Poudre Golden Hat, to show to you all and we've included swatches and first impressions!

Nip + Fab: Perfectly Primed (But, Not What It Says On The Tin)

Nip + Fab seem to market themselves as the ultimate “Jim’ll Fix It” brand. Almost every product in the range has “Fix” in the name and, in my mind, this is something we should all take with a grain of salt. 

When I set about trialling these products, I didn't expect them to plump my frown lines into oblivion or magically zap any under eye darkness. That’s just not realistic. However, I did give them a good bash to see what they do do (Giggles!) as opposed to what they claim to do and the results were a pleasant surprise.

October 30, 2011

FOTD using The Body Shop Silver Black Quad

Today was a fairly crappy Sunday which consisted of procrastinating a lot of college work. Of course, I ended up playing with make-up! I'm going to show you what The Body Shop Silver Black quad looks like on my mug.
Sinéad's already done an overview of it here, and I think it's a great deal for €23.95 - for example, the extremely popular Benefit Smokin' Eyes kit retails for €39.50, and I really feel that the Body Shop offering is just as good. I loved playing with the shadows and will definitely be using them plenty for nights out - here's what I came up with!

 Sorry about my mingin' red eye...

Clarins Beauty Flash Balm
MAC Studio Finish Concealer
Face Atelier Ultra Foundation
MAC Harmony as contour
MAC Pinch 'o' Peach blush
MAC MSFN in Light
Dior Amber Diamond

HD Brows palette
Natural Collection Clear Mascara

MAC Painterly Paint Pot
The Body Shop Silver Black Quad
Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner in Black on waterline
Essence Liquid Liner on upper lash line
Essence I Love Extreme Volume Mascara

Inglot #417 Lipstick
Barry M Toffee Lipgloss

What do you think of the shadows?

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream

We all have our comforts. Comfort foods, comfort clothes, comfort places. But, do you have a comfort product? I didn’t until recently. In fact, I didn’t even know there could be such a thing until I started trialling Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream.

In celebration of 160 years of service, Kiehl’s has launched the limited edition New York Heritage Collection, comprising of four historical formulas originally developed at the brands East Village apothecary. With special black and gold packaging, Kiehl’s wants to bring customers the magic of their old-world formulas including Ultra Facial Lotion (Early 1960s - €20.00 for 118ml), Ultra Facial Cream (2005* - €28.00 for 50ml), Calendula Toner (Late 1960s - €40.00 for 248ml) and Original Musk Oil (1921 - €25.00 for 50ml).

So, why, you’re probably wondering, is the Ultra Facial Cream such a comfort to me? It’s a hark back to my childhood, to my nana’s dressing table. It’s a nostalgic trip to a time where products were simple and fit for the purpose intended. Yes, I know, 2005 wasn’t exactly my childhood but, the Ultra Facial Cream is effectively* a reformulated, richer version of the 1960s Ultra Facial Lotion and, so, it exudes the same aura and the same simplicity as its predecessor.

October 29, 2011

Soap & Glory Showertime Treats

This might surprise you but, these two Soap & Glory products are the first I have ever used. Sure, I have smelled, touched, swatched and pondered over the quirkily packaged products but, I have never needed anything at the time  and they have never come to mind at times I do need something.

So, when a few products landed with us, I seized the opportunity to see what all the fuss was about and incorporated the Sugar Crush body scrub and Butter Yourself body butter into my shower routine.

October 28, 2011

Facial Oils, Oh How I Love Thee!

I have become somewhat of a skincare obsessive over the last few months. I'm not sure whether it's from having this blog or the handy realisation that taking care of skin when you’re young will benefit you in later life but, I've found myself leaving my make-up on for the least amount of time possible and being absolutely meticulous about cleansing and caring for my skin.

One of my favourite skincare products that I have discovered since joining the beauty blogosphere are facial oils. These multipurpose oils can be used to treat pretty much any skin ailment, including the likes of eczema, and make for an intense and nourishing deep moisturising treatment. I like to apply a facial oil as my moisturiser before going to bed. I don’t rub it in, rather let it sit like a mask and let it soak in slowly throughout the night. The result of this come morning time is soft, smooth, rehydrated skin that looks radiant and plump! Allow me to introduce you to my Top 3.

October 27, 2011

Review & Rave: Face Atelier Ultra Foundation

Foundation is my obsession. Like many of you guys, I'm constantly on the hunt for the very best one that is out there. We get a lot of questions about good foundations for oily skin, and you can read more about that, in a very old post here

I have a few foundations that I love and trust to last me the entire day, but that doesn't mean that I'm not willing to try something new...all in the name of blogging (ahem).

The Body Shop 4-Step Smokey Eye Palette for Christmas 2011: First Look and Swatches

Yesterday we gave you the lowdown on The Body Shop’s Christmas collection and also the brilliant tips International Make-Up ArtistKarim Sattar shared. One of the most exciting releases we saw from the highstreet giant this year is the 4-Step Smokey Eye Palette, available in Silver Blackand Golden Brown.

These eyeshadow quads are a real gem andperfect for the Christmas party season. Small and compact with two cream shadesand two powders, you can create a myriad of different smokey eye looks. But, ifyou are one who equates a “smokey eye” with spending too much time fieldingmisdirected plumes in the smoking area of a pub, then worry not as there is astep-by-step guide on the back of each box to help you on your way!

Each quad comes with a mirror,  a smudge penciland a mini brush. Karim assured us that, after much feedback, the mini brushesare now made using the same quality materials as the larger brushes from the permanent line. I have the quad in Silver Black to show you so, read on for swatchesand first impressions.

October 26, 2011

Boots' Star Gift: Ted Baker Make It Bag

This week's Star Gift from Boots' is a particularly good 'un and perfect for any sisters, aunts or mothers who like to indulge in a bit of self-pampering!

The Ted Baker Make It Bag includes a Ted Baker Bath Foam, Body Wash, Body Lotion, two Body Sprays, a Body Scrub and a Body Soufflé, all of which come packaged in a gorgeous butterfly motif cosmetics bag. From 28th October until 3rd November you can get this whole set from Boots stores nationwide for €25 down from €54.  

Make-Up Tips from The Body Shop's Karim Sattar

Last night we attended The Body Shop’sChristmas Launch with Karim Sattar who took us through Winter Trend 2011. While he demonstrated the look for the season; smokey eye and toned down lip and cheek, Karim imparted more than a few pearls of beauty wisdom on his ever-captive audience. We took special note to pay it forward and share them especially with you!
  • When planning on wearing a smokey eye or bold lip, always do your blush first and get this to the intensity you would usually wear with a natural look. This will stop you overdoing it to compensate for heavy eyes or lips and keep you looking young and fresh with a natural flush.

October 25, 2011

Christmas @ The Body Shop

Tonight we had the wonderful opportunity to attend the launch of The Body Shop's Christmas collection with the always wonderful and charming Karim Sattar (That's him with us!). Greeted with mulled wine the scent of potpourri in the air, we got to mingle with old friends and meet new ones before Karim talked us through the make-up trends for the new season. We'll have a post up in the next few days with some of the best tips we gleaned from Karim!

A smokey eye is the call of the season and, whether your choice is a sultry warm brown or a charcoal black, The Body Shop have you covered with their 4-Step Smokey Eyes palettes. There are also cute lipgloss tree decorations which I really want to get as stocking stuffers for certain people!  For those of you who love hand creams, body butters, body scrubs and lip balms, the three signature scents for Christmas 2011 are Candied Ginger, Cranberry Joy and Spiced Vanilla. We each got a beautiful gift basket to take away with us which contains an item from each scent as well as a smokey eye palette so, we'll be sure to report back to you on these once we've had the chance to try them.

For now, however, we'll let the super-Christmassy pictures do the talking! 

MAC Lovin'

We all enjoy a bit of MAC, right? These are a some things that I've picked up over the last few weeks and have really been loving.

Clarins Natural Lip Perfector

It's no secret that both Dee and I kinda-sorta-really hate lipgloss. There are many reasons why but, the crux of the matter is that we just prefer how lipstick looks and feels. So, with that said, it may come as something of a shock to find that I am blogging about a lipgloss for, I'm pretty sure, the first time in almost 600 posts!

However, this is no ordinary lipgloss. No, Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector is more of a gloss-cum-balm product that is honestly so wonderful I'm altogether questioning my decision to retire my lipgloss collection!

October 24, 2011

Eyeliner Dupe: Stila vs Catrice

 We all love a decent dupe, right? There's nothing more satisfying than finding a product that is essentially as good as a 'high-end' one, and at a better price.

I realised that these two eyeliners were good dupes of each other completely by accident - I had been wearing the Stila and when I went to reapply, reached for the Catrice without thinking!

Read on for a closer comparison of the two.

Salt Therapy at Lemons Beauty Salon, Clontarf.

Last Friday after work, I hotfooted it to my local beauty salon, Lemons in Clontarf. Established in 1986, this is one of the longest standing beauty havens in the area and, under new management, the five treatment rooms have recently been revamped to give the whole salon a modern, luxurious and welcoming feel.

So, what took me to Lemons on a rainy Friday evening? Well, recently my mam has been raving about their Salt Treatment. Usually €35 for 60 minutes, she took advantage of their October special offer of three 45 minute sessions for €39. She loved the treatment so much that she bought a second set of three and, when she heard that Lemons were offering 45 minutes as part of their Fiver Friday deals, she signed me up straight away so I could try it too!

The staging is simple with Salt Treatment. You enter a darkened room with twinkly lights on the ceiling and salt strewn on the floor, settle yourself in one of six recliners with a fluffy blanket, pop your feet up and close your eyes. That’s it. There is no rubbing, man-handling, chitchat or pain. It’s the least invasive beauty treatment I have ever had and one of the most beneficial.

Facebook Giveaway Winner!

And the winner is...

More Glittery Nails

I was so obsessed with my blue glittery nails from last week that, when I took that off, I put a purple version straight back on! This is two coats of Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Plum Luck as a base and one coat of W7 Purple Dazzle glitter!

What do you have on your nails today?

October 23, 2011

Tutorial: Grey Smokey Eye

This week's tutorial is a traditional grey smokey eye. Doing a smokey eye, regardless of colours used, is easy once you remember to blend, blend, blend. Blending takes time, patience and practice but, once you master the art it will transform any smokey eye and you'll look like you've just spent the afternoon having your make-up done by a trained professional!

Most people, myself included, are quite scared of dark grey and black eyeshadow because it is so easy to go wrong with them and make a mess. However, if you want to go all dark and smokey for a night out, take the time to start your make-up early in the day and be meticulous with it for a flawless effect.

Sinéad's New Winter Boots

Since the end of August, I've been thinking about and looking for my perfect pair of winter boots. I've never really invested in any shoes for winter other than my annual pair of Ugg boots and, while I still love these for slouchy comfort, now that I am working I've wanted to invest in a pair of "proper" flat boots that will last forever, keep me warm and get better with age.

While out running errands with my mam yesterday, we popped into a local boutique called Pace because she was on the hunt for some high wedged ankle boots. She didn't find any that she was mad about but, I finally found my perfect winter boot, so perfect that it was nearly precisely what was in my head!

I knew I wanted black, real leather flat boots. They had to be riding-style as opposed to biker-style (This trend will date.), hit just above the knee and with no unnecessary embellishment. I've seen loads of celebrities over the last year wearing boots just like the ones I had in mind but, I sadly couldn't afford the thousands Kourtney Kardashian's Chanel boots (Picture after the jump!) would cost and, no high street shops seemed to tick all of the boxes. I'm picky, I know!

The boots I bought are by Marika and are made of Italian leather that is so unbelievably soft. They have a good heel, just enough so you don't look like a flat-footed duck and the only embellishment is two distressed silver chains running the length of the inside and outside of each boot.

October 22, 2011

DermaBlend: The Ultimate Concealer?

Sigh. I've been reading The Daily Mail again. 

But, as much as it is an absolute pile of utter tripe, I often get good inspiration and beauty news from it and, this piece on DermaBlend concealer has boggled my mind.

You probably recognise the below subject as one of Lady Gaga's closest minions and co-star of her Born This Way video. Zombie Boy, AKA Ricky Genest, is completely covered from the waist up with tattoos that make him look like a skeleton. While it isn't my cup of tea, I do think he looks awesome. 

In an advert for DermaBlend concealer, Zombie Boy has his tattoos covered with the concealer and, honestly, the results are amazing. Mind. Blown.

October 21, 2011

Winter Series: Lip Service

So far in our Winter Series we've touched a lot on skincare and make-up trends for the chilly season so, today we're going to be looking at some products to protect your lips and to treat dry and cracked skin and lips.

Beauty Emporium sent us three top lip products for winter to try out and introduce you to and we also thought that they would be perfect to include in
this series!

Avon Sequinned Turquoise

This is a gorgeous nail polish. Yes, I tend to say that a lot, but this one is truly lovely. I'm especially fond of it because it is glittery without the grit and the difficulty that comes with removing most glitter polishes. The shade is stunning, and the formula is perfect. Not much else to say, really!

New Offerings From LUSH!

The only thing we like more than Lush itself is when Lush launches new products and, judging by the massive reaction to the exclusive preview of this year's Christmas collection we gave you a few weeks back, so do you!

Lush are launching a whopping sixteen new products, one for each cosmetic category ranging from bath treats to body pampering! The collection has only in the last few days been launched in stores nationwide and, while we do have some samples winging their way to us to review for you all, I thought it would be good to introduce you to each of the products so you can start saving/adding to your Christmas lists!

Phoenix Rising Bath Ballistic (€3.70): This one is rather reminiscent of the Vanilla Fountain ballistic but, in a gorgeous purple and gold colour way. Containing shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba oil and essential oils, Lush say that this ballistic will have you rising from your bathwater, renewed and rejuvenated like a, err, phoenix. Geddit'?!

Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear In The Navy and W7 Blue Dazzle

My nails today make me all kinds of happy so, it makes me all kinds of sad that I couldn't quite capture them in all their glory. This is two coats of Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in In The Navy topped with two thin coats of W7 Blue Dazzle, a gowjus electric-y royal blue glitter!

Do we like?

October 20, 2011

Bargain Alert! Boots 3-for-2 Mix n' Match on Skincare and Bath Treats

“Oh the weather outside is frightful…”

Over the last few days, Irish and UK weather has gone down the proverbial toilet with low temperatures, stinging winds and nary a glimpse of sunshine to brighten up our days. So, for me, there is no better excuse than that to indulge in a little post-work pampering, wrapping up in my dressing gown and fluffy socks and embarking on some kind of DIY facial or manicure to relax and chill out.

Boots is clearly on the same page as me (and, I presume, many of you too!) because they are currently running a 3-for-2 mix n’ match offer on all bath and skin products to pamper our weary selves with!

There are any number of products in this offer to take advantage of such as those from Sanctuary, Soap & Glory and Nip + Fab! And, if you have your wits about you, you could be super savvy and use the deal to pick up some Christmas presents on the cheap! Happy Days!

This offer ends on November 1st.

October 19, 2011

Stella McCartney and Snakeskin Love

Meet Stella. Stella is my new love.

No, not seriously. I haven't named my new jacket but, I do love it rather a lot! 

The Outnet, my favourite place ever to shop, had an additional 40% off all "patterned items" last Friday (They do weird sales like that a lot!) and this little number caught my eye straight off the mark! It's a Stella McCartney snakeskin print cropped denim jacket, perfect for autumn/winter.

I got such a serious deal on it that I couldn't leave it behind. The deal was so good, in fact, that I ordered the only size they had, an IT38 or a UK6. Now, ladies, I am not a UK6 by any stretch of the imagination and I spent the last few days fretting that it wouldn't fit and that I would have to go through the hassle and heartbreak of returning it. But, the Fashion Gods were smiling down on me and it fits perfectly. Happy out!

It was originally €685 and was marked down to €240 and, with the extra 40% off, I got it for the princely sum of €118. Now do you see why I couldn't leave it behind?!

There are loads of little details which I really love; from the faded snakeskin effect and the biker-esque elbow patches, to the fabric inserts and little zips on the back. I'll get so much wear out of this because it's black and because it can be dressed up with a dress or leather pants or dressed down with skinny jeans or leggings and flat boots.

All in the Details!

Now, at the request of Claire, I have some pictures of me wearing it but, I am a bit of Headless Horseman in them as I was still in my gym clothes- I was that excited to try it on so, excuse the facelessness and leglessness!

Hope you like!

Benefit Watt's Up: First Look

We told you a few months back that Benefit was to introduce a new highlighting product. Intended as the successor to the extremely popular Moon Beam, Watt's Up is a champagne-coloured, cream-to-powder product that is intended to bring a soft and natural luminescence to skin.

For Watt's Up, Benefit have kept the roll-up, tube-shaped applicator that we associate with the likes of Girl Meets Pearl illuminator and That Gal brightening primer but, have advanced it somewhat through the inclusion of a blending sponge at the opposite end to the product.  Using this lightbulb-esque sponge (Watt's Up, Lightbulb, geddit?!) with the highlighter is intended to give skin a soft, gleaming appearance.

Leighton Denny Babydoll

This creamy baby pink with yellow undertones definitely isn't my usual choice of nail polish but, I do like it when I look down at my hands. That being said I made, to put it bluntly, an absolute balls of it when putting it on. 

The formula is something I'm not accustomed to; creamy, thick and very pigmented. You have to be sure to get the right amount on the brush the first time round otherwise going back with seconds and thirds makes the nail a streaky mess. This was my third try at getting the nail polish to look somewhat presentable and it's still not perfect. Any suggestions for working with polishes like this?

October 18, 2011

Spoiler Alert: October Glossybox

You know those days where everything seems to be against you? The weather is bad, you miss your train and then you miss the gym despite having lugged your kit to and from work with the dedication of a saint. Well, today was one of those days for me and, suffice to say, I was in a fouler of a mood.

Well, in a fouler of a mood until I walked into my house that is. Seeing an October Glossybox waiting for me on the stairs was enough to banish the Tuesday Torments and put a smile on my face. I had completely forgot it was due.

October's Glossybox is a celebration of a highly successful six months for the company and they kindly included a bonus sixth product mark the occasion.

If you haven't received your Glossybox yet this month, look away now. If you are a nosy beggar like I am, keep reading!

October 17, 2011

Facebook Giveaway

Facebook-Only Giveaway! 

This giveaway will solely run on our Facebook page to celebrate us reaching 800 Likes!

The winner will receive a Cosmopolitan Beauty Expert Blend Perfection Sponge and a travel-sized bottle of
our favourite tan, Rockstar Tan Fame!

"Like" the Viva Adonis Facebook page.
Like and comment on THIS photo.
Share this giveaway on your own wall.

Giveaway will close at 12 noon on Monday 24th October and will be used to pick the winners!

We have loads of great giveaways coming up next month to celebrate our FIRST BIRTHDAY so, be sure to follow us via Google Friend Connect over in the right sidebar and on Twitter!

Top 5: Body Scrubs

A commenter on last week’s Top 5 Make-Up Brushes post requested that I do a Top 5 series, covering all  categories of make-up and beauty. I thought this was a great idea and even though for some categories I have one, long-standing Holy Grail product instead of five I sort-of-like-but-don’t-love, for others I have an abundance of products I always reach for!

This week’s Top 5 post will be on Body Scrubs. I’ve mentioned before that I am obsessed with exfoliating, to the point where I have to limit myself to twice a week or else I will scrub my skin raw so, I have tried many different scrubs over the years. These five are in no particular order and are at various price points so, there will hopefully be one to suit everyone’s needs and budgets.

If you have an idea for my next Top 5 post, please let me know in the comments! 

1. Green Angel Sunset Body Smoother: Ahhh. I love this stuff as I have said many, many times before. It looks like nuclear waste in the jar but, it’s the most effective scrub known to man in my opinion! It’s extremely coarse (love!) and is loaded with essential oils which remain on the skin afterwards and provide some serious moisturisation (excellent for winter!). I have a full review of this here and a massive 500g jar costs €24.95!

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