November 30, 2011

Lancôme Roseraie des Delices Collection for Spring 2012

While we were at the event for Lancôme’s new TeintIdole Ultra 24 Hour foundation yesterday, we were given a sneak peak at the brand’s collection for Spring 2012. The prettily named Roseraie des Delices, created by Aaron De Mey, is a stunning confection of pinks, golds, greens and peaches that was inspired by garden tea parties and Laudurée macaroons.

Available in February 2012, the collection is an extremely tight edit. Everything ties in beautifully together and will work well as separate pieces or mixed and matched in one look. The packaging is gorgeous and continues the garden party theme with rings of roses bedecking the exterior of the compacts and vintage-inspired lipstick bullets that would not look out of place on a 1950s dressing table. However, while the packaging is a veritable treat in itself, the real wow-factor comes, happily, from the products within.

1st Birthday Giveaway #12: La Roche-Posay Respectissime Volumizing Mascara

We can't quite believe it but, our birthday month has come to an end! We've had an absolute blast hosting all of our birthday giveaways for you and we owe all of the brands a huge thank you for contributing such amazing prizes! We'll announce all the winners once this final giveaway ends on December 7th so, stay tuned for that. 

In the meantime, we saved one of the best prizes for last as it is something we absolutely adore. La Roche-Posay Respectissime Volumizing Mascara is one of our favourite products of 2011 and we have one tube to giveaway to one lucky person! We have a really detailed post on the mascara here if you'd like to check it out!

To enter, fill in the form after the jump and be sure to check out all our other birthday giveaways here to be in with a chance to win!

November 29, 2011

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour (€35.00) is the new foundation on the block. Hitting counters countrywide in February 2012, it is sure to be a massive hit if the popularity of its predecessor Teint Idole Ultra is anything to go by. Our very own Dee rates the latter among her Top 3 foundations of all time so, you can probably imagine her excitement when we walked into the Solomon Fine Art Gallery on Dublin’s Balfe Street to be greeted with the brand’s newest offering.

Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour has undergone a number of changes, both cosmetically and formulation-wise, to differentiate it from the original Teint Idole Ultra and, it would seem, that they are all changes for the better.

Firstly, the line has a whopping 18 different shades, separated into those for warm, cool and neutral toned skins. Cosmetics counters in Ireland don’t always receive the full range of shades but, Lancôme counters here will be receiving the full range, ensuring there is a perfect match for most everyone. The line was expanded based on the results of a study undertaken by the Women of Colour association of  all different skintypes, skintones, colourings and ethnicities which recorded 15,000 complexion colour points in over 1000 women.

Catrice After Eight

For the first time in a while, my nails are behaving themselves. I cut them down and filed them last night, and am now kind of resigned to the fact that long nails and I simply are not meant to be.They look better and seem to stay stronger and healthier if I keep them at this length.

A dark shade is always chic and smart-looking on shorter nails, so I went for Catrice After Eight. I said before that it reminded me of a box of After Eights (duh), but it's also a great dupe for Chanel Black Pearl! The shimmer in it is super-fine, making this polish look a lot dearer than it actually is. I've found the staying power of Catrice polishes to be a bit hit and miss so far, but this one is a good one!

What's your favourite Catrice nail polish?

Top 5: Lipsticks

This was not an easy Top 5 post for me to do. I have tonnes of lipsticks, more than I care to count, and I love them all! So, while I couldn't whittle it down to my ultimate 5 favourite lipsticks, I did manage to pick my current favourites so, they are rather dark and wintery but, I can do an updated Top 5 come springtime!

I mentioned in my last Top 5 that the majority of my favourite lipsticks are MAC so, you will have to bear with me on that aspect. Overall, I do think MAC have the best lipsticks overall on the market in terms of choice of colour, texture, longevity and price. 

MAC Rebel: This is only a recent acquisition but, one I grab constantly at the moment whether it's for day or night. Rebel is a deep pinked berry shade that is altogether perfect for the Christmas season. Just the right mix of sultry and sweet!

Spoiler Alert: November Carmine Box

Beauty subscription boxes seem to have taken over the blogosphere in recent times. On a monthly basis, UK companies like GlossyBox, Boudoir Privé, Carmine and Feel Unique deliver beautifully packaged boxes containing generous sample and full-sized products to thousands of beauty fiends. GlossyBox had, up until recently, been the only such company to extend its service to Ireland but, as of November 23rd, Carmine has officially entered the Irish market!

Subscription from Ireland costs, depending on exchange rates, around €15 (£10 for the box plus £2.75 p+p) which, isn't really a lot for 5 products monthly, many of which are full size. Beauty boxes like Carmine are a brilliant way to try new products or, if you are someone who impulse buys cosmetics, knowing this is coming every 30 days may save you a lot of wasted product and money!

We have a November Carmine box to share with you all and to show you what you can expect from the brand. If you have signed up and don't want your surprise ruined, you can stop reading here and I will just summarise by saying that this Carmine box is extremely impressive. Some other brands of boxes have come under fire for setting expectations too high with their first box and subsequent boxes being somewhat of a disappointment in comparison but, in Carmine's case, this is their second ever box and it is still of a very high standard.

November 28, 2011

An Old Favourite: Vichy Purete Thermale 3 in 1 Cleanser

There's nothing like a good old reliable product that you can come back to time and time again. Every time I revisit this cleanser, I am reminded of just how much I love it and enjoy using it.

Vichy has to be one of my all-time favourite brands: my Mam introduced me to it when I first got into skincare as a teenager, and since then, we've got along nicely. I love them for their fair (not extremely cheap, mind you) prices, accessibility, and finally, for the fact that the products do what they say. I'm pretty sure that if I could pick just one skincare brand to use for the rest of my life, this would be it. Their Normaderm Tri-Activ moisturiser is a hero product of mine, and this cleanser is my second favourite.

Enough raving, why do I like this stuff so much? If you're not a fan of cream cleansers, look away now. However, before I discovered hot cloth cleansers, creamy ones were my preference, and I still like them the odd time. Last week, I had no water in my bathroom sink and so ended up using this cleanser again. 

It claims to cleanse, tone and moisturise in one step, but I definitely wouldn't go that far. If I'm wearing a ton of eye make-up, I will use a separate remover, and occasionally like to tone afterwards too (many people are debating as to the efficacy of toner these days, but I just love how refreshing it is!). 

Nonetheless, this is still a great cleanser which will remove the majority of grime from your face in one quick step, leaving your skin feeling smooth, clean and soft.. It's perfect for when you're feeling lazy, and much better for your skin than face wipes, in my humble opinion! I've used this cleanser on and off for years, and would happily recommend it to anyone.

Have you any old favourite products?

Dee's New Boots

I love purchases like this: substantial winter staples that you know you will wear over and over again. Sadly, winter coats and boots are the items that I am most fussy over, and, consequentially, are the hardest for me to shop for.

I love a good pair of boots, and am planning on wearing these all winter on rotation with my Docs and Henry Holland lace-up boots from last year. I thought I'd left Buffalo behind with my teenage years, but their section in Arnotts is actually really impressive. I got 20% off these on Saturday (the discount applied to everything instore that day), so they came in at €74 - decent!

They're a tough-wearing pair of ankle boots with a plethora of studs and straps - just what I love! They go with pretty much all of my clothes, and cut off at just the right part of the leg for me. I often find it hard to find a pair of boots that don't make my legs look super-stumpy, so am really happy with these!

LUSH Friends With Benefits Massage Bar

I’m a long-time fan of LUSH’s massage bars. Not really having a decent bath to speak of in my house, I can’t make use of the brand’s famous Bubble Bars, Bath Melts and Bombs so, I have always tried to sample products that are off the beaten track and not widely talked about in the online sphere. So, I was chuffed to say the least when some new products from the brand landed with us and the new massage bar, Friends With Benefits (€8.70), was included in the bunch.

One of two new massage bars- the other being Peace which Dee has and I’m sure she’ll update you all on soon, Friends With Benefits contains healing essential oils from African marigolds and Fair Trade Cocoa Butter which combine to create an extremely nourishing bar that smells remarkably and deliciously like chocolate orange.

November 27, 2011

1st Birthday Giveaway #11: Carter Beauty All White Teeth Whitening Pen

Perfect for the Christmas party season, Carter Beauty All White Teeth Whitening Pen provides instant results with a click n' glide style brush. Carter Beauty, the Blackrock salon favoured by Irish A-listers, has developed a formula which includes carbamide peroxide. This ingredient gently whitens and brightens teeth without causing any added sensitivity. The All White pen will not damage teeth or gums and so, is safe to use every day!

Usually retailing for €19.95, Carter Beauty have kindly given us one to give away to one lucky reader to brighten their smile in preparation for Christmas!

To enter, fill in the form after the jump and be sure to check out all our other birthday giveaways here to be in with a chance to win!

November 26, 2011

Stuff It! Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Am I the only one who thinks the contents of a Christmas stocking is more exciting than the presents under the tree? I don't know whether this is because Christmas stockings only became a tradition in my house about five years ago and, so, the novelty hasn't yet worn off or, because, I nearly always know what my "under the tree" presents are so, it's the little wrapped parcels in my stocking that have my imagination running wild!

Either way, I'm a massive fan of the Christmas stocking and, because there are three girls in my house, ours usually contain an assortment of make-up, vouchers/money, sweets and other girly treats which make Christmas morning just as squeal-filled as it was when Santa used to visit with surprises of bikes and dolls and, err, Meccano and Lego (Yes, I got Meccano alongside my Barbies!)!

With so many great offers on the highstreet and reasonably-priced brands to choose from, stockings have never been so easy to assemble. If it's not for a Christmas morning treat in your house, why not get a stocking personalised with a friends name and fill it with loads of little treats they would like. It's a really cost-effective but, still substantial, gift to give and to receive. Here are some of my picks for stuffing stockings this Christmas!

November 25, 2011

MAC MSFN: Powder of the Gods

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time at all, you'll be aware of my undying love for MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder. I love this powder so much that, if I could save just one product in the entire world from being discontinued, this would be it.

It probably seems a bit ridiculous to be so incredibly attached and protective of a face powder but, I firmly believe that, once you use this, you'll feel the same way! I know I've recommended this to a good few of you over the last year and you've all come back saying how much you like it so, I think that's evidence in itself that it's not just me!

The reasons why this powder tops my list are endless. I'd say you could count on one hand the make-up looks I have posted on here where I have not been wearing this powder. It's a staple in my collection and I always have a back-up ready to go so I don't have to be without it even for a few days when one runs out. Let me tell you why this love affair has lasted the guts of three years.

November 24, 2011

My New Favourite Lip Combo

As I'm a massive fan of bold colours when it comes to make-up, an 'everyday' look is something that I actually struggle with more than a complicated going-out one. I don't do 'muted' very well, and nude lips don't suit me, as mine are naturally very pigmented.

For college, this lip combination is perfect, as there's plenty of colour and the balm looks after my lips so it's not as harsh as wearing a lipstick every single day. I usually put on two layers of the lip and cheek stain (best one out there IMO) and then finish with the balm, which I top up a lot during the day - it's delicious and I love the tin.

I usually pair this with a goldy-brown eye and a slick of mascara and flicked liner if I have time. I'd recommend this pairing to anyone, as I think it'd suit most people.

What's your favourite makeup for everyday?

November GlossyBox & Nail Rock NOTD

Most of you will have seen the contents of this month's GlossyBox already, so I'm going to keep this brief and also show you what the nail wraps look like on me!

  • Monu Recovery Balm: A nice product, and you get a decent amount. I'm planning on using this after facemasks, and I'll definitely use it up.
  • Dead Sea Spa Magik Bath Salts: I'm not mad on bath salts as opposed to bath bombs and the like, and will probably give this to my brother as it's supposed to be good for muscle pain. Again, a nice product, but not one that got me super excited.
  • Arbonne FC5 Ultra Hydrating Hand Crème: As a hand cream freak, this is keeping me happy and has found a home in my handbag. However, it is a really teeny tube and will probably only last me a week or two.
  • Perfume Samples x2: Serge Lutens l'Eau Serge Lutens & Vitriol d'Oeillet: A quick sniff of these left me pleased as I really like unisex scents. However, these are only little samples, and not hugely exciting.
  • Nail Rock Nail Wraps: Originally when I opened the box, I loved these and couldn't wait to give them a go, as I love the design I received. I put them on last night and, sadly couldn't be more disappointed. It's 11.18 AM as I type this, and only four of my nails have remained intact. I followed the instructions perfectly and, well, they just don't stay. I wouldn't even bother with these for a night out as I'd end up getting annoyed and peeling them all off. They did look nice on though:

So, overall verdict? Not the best box, and, although it probably was still technically worth the money, I don't think I'd be thrilled with this box if I was paying for it, especially as the nail wraps have made an appearance for the second time. Nevertheless, I still think GlossyBox is a nice monthly treat, and can't wait to see the Christmas edition!

Lush Moon and Sun Steamer Tabs

I have always been pretty lucky with my skin. I never had acne, never had a massive breakout. I've never even had one of those spots-that-are-so-bad-that-I-can't-possibly-go-out-in-public-until-it's-gone. Nope, I've been lucky with my skin and I appreciate it beyond words could ever explain.

However, lately my skin has been rebelling and seems to be having the strop it never had in my teens. I haven't changed my diet, hair products, make-up or skincare so, all I can assume is that it's reacting to environmental factors like the change in season. The main issue is the explosion of little bumps across my forehead. Some of them do come to fruition as whiteheads (Bleugh!) but, most just reside under the surface, impervious to any treatment and making my skin look uneven and uncared for. A few of the more daring ones have actually become fully-fledged pimples which I am not happy about.

So, to cut a long moan short, I asked on Twitter if anyone had any ideas or suggestions for how to deal with my out-of-character skin and, while I got a lot of great replies, one of the most popular ones was to steam my face to purge any of the toxins sitting beneath the skin. This seemed a bit like fate I had just received the new LUSH Moon and Sun Steamer Tabs (€3.15) to try out and, so, I set about  creating a mini-spa in my kitchen!

OPI Divine Swine & New Hair

I'm not even going to make any excuses for this purchase. It's pink, it's glittery, it's from The Muppets collection. So, clearly, it had to be mine! Behold:

So, yeah, it's a lot of glitter. If you have the patience to build it up, the effect is amazing. This is essentially a darker pink version of OPI Teenage Dream - I obviously only copped this post-purchase, but I'm still delighted to own both!

In other news, I got my hair done. It's redder than it looks here...well, in certain lights. I really don't know, but I like it. And it's a good thing I do, cos I spent hours getting my hair stripped in order to achieve this on Saturday! (FYI, I got it done in Peter Mark on Mary St). What do you think?

Interesting facial expression here...

November 23, 2011

1st Birthday Giveaway #10: The Body Shop's Sparkler

The Body Shop's Sparkler is one of those products that is synonymous with the brand at Christmastime. It's a little bit of luxury in a very feminine and classy atomiser. We both went slightly crazy playing with this at the recent Christmas press evening and we got our hands on one to give one of you a bit of extra sparkle this Christmas!

To enter, fill in the form after the jump and be sure to check out all our other birthday giveaways here to be in with a chance to win!

November 22, 2011

Guest Post: DIY Dip-Dye

When we found out our friend Jenny was planning to dip-dye the ends of her hair, we thought it would make a great post and asked her to document the process step-by-step for you. Here's how she got on! D&S x

It’s fair to say that I'm a complete coward when it comes to hair. I've had the same hairstlyle with different variations of length since starting secondary school no less than ten years ago and, when you can say you've had the same hair for a decade, you know it’s time for a change!

With this in mind, I’d been keeping an eye on hair trends for a while. Colour seemed to be my only option because, like I said, I’m a wimp and needed something reversible! I wasn't too keen on a whole head of new colour simply because I didn't want the bother of dyeing it back and I did consider ombré hair but there is an issue with that- I knew it would only remind me of my last, and only, travail into the world of hair lightening – highlights at age twelve which I let grow out completely. Trendsetter? Lazy is probably a more apt description, and, sadly, a few photos have survived from that awkward time!

I finally settled on dip-dyeing my tips as there were plenty of pros – if it went horribly wrong I could just have them cut off; as a student it was something I could (hopefully) manage without an expensive trip to the hairdressers; and, finally, it was something which was a bit mad and, sure, wouldn't it truly be a complete disaster if I ended my college career without ever having fluorescent hair at some point? My mother didn't agree on this one...

After I decided what I was going to do, I became borderline obsessive, making myself into what can only be described as a demi-guru on dip dyeing and bleaching in general (funny how I can never do that when it comes to study eh?).

I finally settled on a variation of all the methods I read about, and ordered the supplies online before I could convince myself out of it. The girls were nice enough to give me the little ego boost of asking me to do a step-by-step tutorial for you guys, so here's what I did.

The Importance of Brows

Way backs in the annals of time i.e. last January, my post bemoaning my brow struggles quite quickly became our most popular post ever (It has recently been royally usurped by this post). However, since then, I have become much more comfortable filling in my brows and love how transformative they can be. So, I decided it was time to do an update post on how I fill my brows in and my favourite products!

Brows are probably my favourite make-up to do after lips. Being as fair as I am, filling in my brows totally changes my face and I love being able to shape and sculpt them, whether it be with a light hand for a natural look or with a more definite stroke for a bold, defined look. Read on to see the different looks I like to create and my favourite products!

November 21, 2011

Top 5: Nail Polishes

I was going to do a Top 5 Lipsticks post today but, then I realised that they would mainly be MAC. So, I decided I would do my Top 5 Nail Polishes and you can let me know if you would like to see my choice of lipsticks, even if they are all from the same brand!

Now, I have quite a large nail polish collection so, whittling it down to just 5 favourites was no mean feat but, I think I have a good selection here! I'll include links to any posts I have wearing these shades!

Chanel Particuliére: Of all the Chanel polishes I have, this remains the stand out favourite. The colour, a muddy grey-brown, the consistency and the longevity are all spectacular. Most Chanel polishes wear terribly and don't live up to the high price point (Yes, I still buy them regardless!) but, Particuliére is worth the €21.50 and more in my opinion.

November 20, 2011

Models Own Mystic Mauve & Pink Fizz

I love a good nail combo! Glitzy, tacky nails are what I'm all about, and I love these two shades together as the hint of pinky mauve really warms it up, and suits my skintone. Also, the fact that you only need one coat of Pink Fizz is something that you'll thank yourself for later when trying to remove it all!

1st Birthday Giveaway #9: Vichy Goodies

Ooh we love Vichy. It's all science-y and French and the products are a joy to use! So, needless to say, we're very jealous of whoever wins these two goodies! Up for the taking is the Eau Thermale Hydrating facial spray and the Aqualia Thermal Hydrating cream, both perfect for taking care of your skin in the cold winter weather!

To enter, fill in the form after the jump and be sure to check out all our other birthday giveaways here to be in with a chance to win!

November 19, 2011

Liquid Lovin'

It's no secret I am a blush fiend. I have displayed evidence of this here and here. Powder blush makes up the  bulk of my collection with some cream products thrown in for good measure. However, in recent months I have become quite besotted with liquid blushes.

I think it all started back in June with the launch of Benefit's Chachatint, a gorgeous opaque coral orange liquid that makes cheeks look luminous and fresh. Dee and I attended a beauty bloggers breakfast with the Ford Danielson sisters and were heard all about the product and it's worth direct from the horse's mouth.

After that, it was on my cheeks at least once a week, often more, and, only when the season changed did I retire the neon orange hue for some softer, warmer shades, inevitably in powder form.

However, after being introduced to Clarins new collection for spring 2012 a few days ago, I am right back on the liquid lovin' bandwagon. The French beauty powerhouse is launching a liquid cheek product by the name of Instant Light Blush come January and boy is it gorgeous.

November 18, 2011

Essie Carry On

This is perhaps not the most exciting nail polish at first glance, but it's a definite contender for my favourite of this winter. For the last couple of years, 'barely black' shades have been where it's at trend-wise - think OPI We'll Always Have Paris, Lincoln Park After Dark, etc. I love how dark this is without being a flat black - the hint of purple really lifts it and makes it a lot more interesting.

This baby bottle came into my posession when we were sent the Essie Fall 2011 collection courtesy of  Cloud 10 Beauty, and I've been loving it ever since. The pictures here really don't do it justice - it's a lot smoother-looking in person, as the formula is exellent and really easy to work with.

What do you think of vampy, dark shades like this? What's your favourite winter polish?

Totes Trendy

Tote bags are set to be huge next season and Penney's have you covered with three particularly gorgeous options due in store between mid-December and early January.

The blue padlock bag (€13.00) is definitely Hermés-inspired while the contrast trim structured tote (€13.00) is reminiscent of something Grace Kelly or Jackie O carried back in the day.

For me, however, the simple gold metallic tote (€11.00) is the pick of the bunch. It's effortlessly chic, absolutely humongous and will be great for carting changes of shoes and clothes and lunch to and from work.

Don't say you haven't been forewarned! 

November 17, 2011

Clarins Colour Breeze for Spring 2012: First Impressions and Swatches

Tonight we had the opportunity to attend a special preview of Clarins Spring 2012 make-up collection, Colour Breeze. The event was held in the penthouse of the Morgan Hotel in Temple Bar where, it would seem, we are becoming regulars (I wish)!

Suffice to say, it was more than a bit weird to come in from the dark, cold, wet wintery weather and drag our minds from thoughts of Christmas and snow to focus on spring brights but, we did it. All in the name of the blog.

The evening was hosted by Clarins International Make-Up Artist Claude Defresne and features a delicious palette of pink, coral, bronze and teal tones.

November 16, 2011

Knit One, Purl Two...

Gold star for any of you who can remember where the song I used in the title is from!
Hint: 90s TV Show

River Island were having a 20% off student discount today throughout the store and I picked up two gorgeous knits for the winter weather. 

Usually, I can't stand River Island due to their apparent need to embellish everything with sequins, diamantés and studs but, this season it's not all bad and their knitwear section is especially worth a look.

This first piece caught my eye due primarily to the shape but, also for the fact that it's shearling. I love shearling! I also adore the thick cable knit sleeves which make it super cosy. I got this in a small and it fits like a glove and there is also a really cute toggle at the back of the cardigan that can make it more tailored but, open or closed, it's gorgeous!

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