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December 31, 2011

Dee's Top Products of 2011

I'm not a massive New Years person. The night is always over-hyped, and I really don't see how the start of another calendar year is supposed to make us all resolve to improve ourselves dramatically! However, I am a massive beauty person, and will take any excuse to blather on about what I love.
I'm just going to state one product from each category, so this will be tough! Bear with me...

Foundation


This is so, so hard for me. I'm a a major foundation junkie and I adore trying new ones, at both ends of the spectrum. For this reason, I'm going to have to give two favourites - one 'drugstore' and one high-end.
My favourite cheap foundation is probably one of the products that surprised me the most this year. Rimmel Lasting Finish has been around for yonks, but when it was relaunched earlier in the year with a ''25 Hour'' tagline, bloggers everywhere went mad for it. I was sceptical but picked it up to try when it was reduced in Boots, and had to eat my words immediately. If you have oily skin, are on a budget and are a fan of the likes of MAC Studio Fix Fluid, this is your cheaper friend.

December 29, 2011

Michael Kors Rose Gold Watch


If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook you will have probably seen me celebrating this recent purchase!

I have wanted a Michael Kors watch since, well, it seems like forever but, I could never justify spending €350-€400 (depending on where you buy) on what is essentially a fashion item that is only gold-plated and not solid.

However, recently Net-A-Porter had their Secret Sale and the Michael Kors Rose Gold watch, the one I'd always wanted, was 50% off!



It cost €172 including shipping which I think is a much better price for what it is!

The watch is rose gold plated with a rose gold face. I know this type of watch isn't for everyone as it is very big and chunky but, I love men's watches on women (though this is a woman's watch!) and, eventually I would love a Rolex but, for now, and until I have a spare 5K floating around, I am thrilled with my MK bargain!

Let me know if you got anything from the Secret Sale, I know a few girls on Twitter also picked up this watch!


December 28, 2011

Christmas Day Nails


And, we're back! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! We both had a great holiday and a nice, relaxing break which was much appreciated!

Now, say hello to my tacky, kitsch and very predictable Christmas Day nails! I went with two coats of Barry M Nail Paint in Red Glitter and used GOSH Nail Glitter in Gold to create an accent nail on my ring finger!


 It was revoltingly bling and I loved it! I'll have a full review and step-by-step of the GOSH Nail Glitter up in the next few days so, stay tuned for that! 



December 24, 2011

Santa Claus is Comin' To Town


This is just a super quick post to let you all know that we're taking a little break over Christmas!

We've had the most amazing, full-on year with the blog and have had experiences and opportunities that we could never have imagined. We appreciate every single one of you for reading, commenting and sticking with us through the year and making this so much fun to do!

We're looking forward to sitting back, relaxing, eating and watching Christmas TV so, from today, Christmas Eve, until December 27th we'll be doing just that! Normal service will resume on December 28th!

If you celebrate, we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and we'll be back very soon!

Happy Christmas!


December 21, 2011

Make-Up Storage Ideas

This is a scheduled post as I am away in London until Thursday! I'll respond to any comments when I get back! Hope you're all having a lovely Christmas week! S x


It's no secret that I am a make-up addict. I have never done a room tour because it is, quite literally, overflowing with a mixture of clothes, shoes and cosmetics and no matter what I do it never looks tidy (Needless to say, it drives my mam mad! And me too if I am entirely honest!).

With that said, I have been working to put together some kind of decent storage system for my beauty products so that they aren't cluttering up every surface in my room. I thought I would just show you what I have bought and how inexpensively you can source suitable storage in case any of you are in a similar situation!

Any of the make-up I wear on a day-to-day basis as well as high-end brands are stored in this 6-drawer wooden unit from IKEA. Now, my godmother brought this back to me from Holland years ago (as in 12 years or more!) when IKEA was but a distant dream for us here in Ireland so, don't expect to find a similar one there today. That being said, IKEA have some great storage solutions and I know a lot of bloggers have invested in this drawer unit to contain their collections!


December 20, 2011

Hairstyles for the Party Season!

I'm not usually one to go for different hairdos all the time. I kind of know what suits me (and what's easy) and stick to it. My hair is almost always wavy or curly, either in its natural state or with the help of a curling iron/GHD. However, seeing as my hair is so long, I've been trying to make the most of it recently, and attempting to switch things up a little while I'm at it. 

1. First up is a great hairdo for if you're in a rush but still need to look as though you've put a ton of effort in. I wore my hair this way to a Christmas dinner party last week - I'd been busy making a cake for dessert and ran out of time to do anything too time-consuming. 


December 19, 2011

Essence Liquid Eyeliner: Good News!


    

It's safe to say that I've ranted and raved on this blog about about how great the Essence liquid eyeliners are. I love them for the amazing quality, staying power, and, up until recently, the super-precise applicator. Then, much to my dismay, we learned back in August that the applicator was going to change to a sponge-tip.

I was pretty confused as to why Essence would mess with such a hero product that so many people love, but then again, sponge-tip applicators are often favoured by liquid eyeliner newbies, so perhaps that was the method to their madness? Who knows. 

I gave the new packaging a go when a sample was sent to us, and just found it harder to work with. The sponge-tip was a bit wonky to begin with, which obviously resulted in a less-than-perfect flick. I tried my hardest to get used to it, but ended up dipping the old applicator into my new tube - clever or wha'? This is still a messy operation though, so I decided to do a bit of investigation.

One quick query to Essence's PR later, and I'm really happy to tell you guys that from March, the Essence liquid eyeliner (normal and waterproof) will have the fine brush applicator again. Hooray! Will you be stocking up this springtime?


December 17, 2011

OPI Glitzerland


We're all mad for festive nails right now, and this is quite a toned-down version - great for if you're afraid of glitter! The gold is very pale and flattering to my skintone, without a chunk of glitter in sight. Very ladylike!



Are you rocking Christmas-y nails this week?


Spoiler Alert! December Glossybox

'Tis the time you either love or hate, the monthly beauty box run down! Glossybox have really outdone themselves in spirit of it being the season of goodwill and giving! The December Glossybox is a veritable feast of beauty products and is worth well over the amount they charge for it!

Before we get into what has been included in this month's festive red box, we just want to address something that has recently come to our attention. There seems to be some confusion over why we (and other bloggers) review monthly beauty boxes or what we get for doing so. 

We can only speak for ourselves but, we review them for two reasons; to give readers an idea of the standard of what you receive if you are considering signing up and, also, because we personally love having a nose inside the various beauty boxes bloggers and vloggers receive so, we assume that some of you do too!

In terms of what we get for posting on the monthly boxes (we currently review Glossybox and Carmine), the simple answer is nothing other than the box itself. The brands send us boxes to show you all, if we so choose but, we don't get money or products in return and have never been offered anything like that. We know some UK bloggers work with the brands to produce videos and to create custom boxes etc. but, we have nothing to do with that. Similarly, we are not aware of any surveys or promotions that we could do in order to capitalise on receiving beauty boxes to review!

So, with all that addressed, let's get on with the December Glossybox spoiler for those of you who are interested!


December 16, 2011

Sinéad's Travel Make-Up Bag

I'm heading to London on Monday for four days with Kev so, I thought I would show you what I am packing make-up-wise! When Dee and I went during the summer, we may have slightly, sort of, kind of over-estimated how much make-up we'd need so, I'm limiting myself this time!


December 15, 2011

Festive Favourites: Eyes, Lips, Face and Nails

I think it is fair to say that I have a relatively large and well-rounded make-up collection. I have something at my disposal for every conceivable occasion. That being said, every Christmas there are a handful of products that I bring out, use to death and then they rarely see the light of day again until the following December!



December 14, 2011

Revlon Nutri Colour Creme


Some of you already know that I changed my hair colour recently, going from a blackish brown to a very dark reddish colour (It all depends on the light!). Now, red hair is notoriously hard to keep. Every time I have a shower I see a bit of my hair colour going down the drain, which is depressing to say the least. I've had this shade before, though, and am prepared to work at keeping it looking well!

December 13, 2011

Penneys Purchases

Apologies for the lame title of this post, but I'm sick of the H-word! Penneys is (kinda) on my way home from college, which has resulted in a few visits of late. Here's what I've picked up:


December 12, 2011

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 V



You’re all probably sick of me prattling on about how my skin has been acting the maggot lately. It seems to be really congested and, as a result, it’s been looking uneven and just generally gross. I have found some success with steaming, changing up my routine and using a deep moisturiser but, one product in particular has really worked wonders with my temperamental. The product in question is Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 V.

Biologique Recherche is a fancy pants Parisian brand with, inevitably, fancy pants prices to match. 150ml of P50 V will set you back €45 but, a bottle should last around 4 months so, the cost per use is quite reasonable! As far as I'm aware, the brand is only available from Sanctum Skincare Clinic in Dublin and they sent me a small 50ml bottle to trial when they saw me moaning about my skin on Twitter.

Lotion P50 V is part of a line of Balancing Exfoliators which aim to gently exfoliate and balance the epidermis. P50 V is for sensitive skins and is milder than the original P50 formula. With active ingredients like usnic acid, lactic acid, witch hazel, myrrh extract, onion extract and sage extract, P50 V purifies, hydrates, tones, controls sebum and balances the skin. It works to improve skin conditions including whiteheads, blackheads and symptoms of rosacea. 


I would most liken my uneven, bumpy skin to whiteheads and P50 V has radically improved these. The texture of my skin is much more even, as it used to be and it looks and feels firmer and smoother. My only gripe would be the smell which I know is a deal breaker for a lot of you. It smells quite strongly of apple cider vinegar. I just hold my breath and apply it but, the stench does linger for awhile! 


I apply this after I cleanse. For the first week I used it every night until the bumps started to decrease and now I use it once or twice a week just to maintain. If you can get past the scent, this is a brilliant product to have on standby for sucking the life out of blemishes! 





December 11, 2011

Making Make-Up Work

I'm sure I'm not alone in having products in my collection that I hate or can't use. You buy things in good faith, based on copious reviews and research and, when you get it, you are royally disappointed that the product simply won't work for you.

One such product for me is MAC Studio Sculpt concealer. This is raved about on YouTube along with the Studio Sculpt foundation and, so, many moons ago, I got them both for Christmas. I loved the foundation and still do for it's full-coverage yet non-powdery finish. The concealer, however, was an almighty disaster that I have discussed before in my Products I Regret Buying post.

In short, it is extremely thick with an almost waxy consistency. It just slumps lazily over blemishes, making them appear bigger than they are and does nothing to conceal them. And, don't even think about putting this under your eyes. Ugh.

However, where there is a will there's a way and at 7:30 one morning recently, I was obviously feeling very smart because I finally found a way to make Studio Sculpt concealer work for me!

December 10, 2011

Essence I ♥ Extreme Volume Mascara: A Dupe for Benefit Badgal Lash?

Being a make-up junkie is an expensive habit. Pretty shiny things attract us and, generally, pretty shiny things  come with pretty shiny prices to match!

So, when an affordable dupe rears its head for the cosmetic-obsessed to see, it would be remiss of us not to take stock and shout it from the rooftops to save fellow obsessives a pretty penny!

Today's dupe is a good 'un. Y'know the way loads of you are mad about Benefit Badgal Lash?

Well, Essence I ♥ Extreme Volume Mascara bares a pretty spectacular resemblance to the cult favourite from the colour scheme, packaging and brush right down to the formulation. Sounds good, no?!



December 08, 2011

Counterfeit Make-Up: Be Aware

I'm not one to enforce a point again and again. Once I state my case I feel that whoever is going to take it in has done so and those who haven't won't no matter how much I repeat myself. However, I feel so strongly about this issue that I feel attention needs to be drawn to it once again, especially in the run-up to Christmas.

I'm talking, of course, about counterfeit make-up. A few of us beauty bloggers were directed to a Facebook page proclaiming to be selling MAC make-up. It was, quite obviously, fake and yet, when the issue was raised with the page moderators they were none too pleased, insisting that it was authentic and that we were, in fact, defaming them.

I'm not going to share the page name because I don't want to draw any further attention to them but, I would just like to stress that MAC is not and never will be authentically sold on Facebook or other social networking sites. To do so is highly unethical, illegal and, most of all, unsafe as counterfeit products have been found to contain everything from lead to urine.

I spent a long time a few months ago sourcing, testing and reviewing fake MAC make-up. If you would like to read that post to refresh your memory or to learn how to spot a fake, you can do so here. My skin reacted quite badly to some of the product swatches so, I can't fathom how someone could put these on their faces or near their eyes for the sake of saving a few quid.

In the run-up to Christmas, counterfeit make-up sellers have doubled their efforts but, I implore you not to support this black market and to save your money and your health and only buy authentic products from authorised sellers. You can report any Facebook page purporting to be selling counterfeit products by clicking "Report this page" at the bottom left of the profile and choosing "Spam or Scam".


Christmas Cheer from Head to Toe

I’m a Christmas maniac. We’re talking tree up at the first opportunity in December, (tasteful) lights everywhere, onesies, mince pies, movie marathons and scented candles. So, it probably comes as no surprise that my festive cheer extends right into my love of cosmetics and pamper products!

As soon as December 1st hit, I whipped out some products I had a been hoarding in anticipation for Christmas. In two of the bathrooms in my house, I've put some Christmas soaps. Upstairs we have LUSH’s Candy Cane soap (€3.45 for 100g), a massive red and white-swirled chunk that smells of sweet peppermint. Downstairs is a bar from The Handmade Soap Co. in Grandma Quigley’s Soap (€4.50) which is an amazing concoction of clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, pine and sweet orange.

December 07, 2011

1st Birthday Giveaway Winners


Our birthday giveaways were a massive success. We loved being able to say thank you for your support over our first year and we hope to continue for many years to come! So, without further ado, the winners of all 17 of our birthday giveaways, Facebook ones included, are;

Topshop Powder Blush in Pop




We all love a nice blusher, and for us pale-faced Irish ladies especially, coral is an enduringly popular shade. I can't get enough of coral blushes myself; Benefit Coralista and theBalm Hot Mama are my joint two favourite blushes, like, ever. 

December 06, 2011

A Pre-emptive Strike for Skin

Aging is inevitable. That is the sad and sorry truth.

Sure, some people age gracefully or get better looking with time yet, for us mere mortals, wrinkles, crinkles and crow's feet are somewhat of a given.

Now, while I don't believe for one second that any amount of expensive lotions and potions will "turn back the clock" or "reduce the signs of aging", I am a major proponent of taking special care of skin as a preventative measure against aging.

I think I might be in the minority with this pre-emptive strike though. My mam doesn't really understand why I want to use some anti-aging products (I am not a fan of the "anti-aging" strapline. I'm not at all "anti-aging", I'm just anti-aging badly!) when I don't have trough-like wrinkles, age spots or dull skin. However, while I don't believe I can stop the aging process - though I'd be a gazillionaire if I could - I do believe that I can nip it in the bud somewhat and, just maybe, slow it down.

I've always been good with my skincare and, as a result, have been blessed with good skin. I wear SPF (in the sun, I'm awful with it on a day-to-day basis!), I cleanse, I moisturise, I exfoliate. So, there is no reason, as far as I can see, why I shouldn't use an eye cream or a rejuvinating serum as part of my skincare routine to keep my skin looking as plump, youthful and firm for as long as possible.

At the moment I have a few anti-aging products in my arsenal though, to be fair, most of them are for use on skin both young and old. My current routine consists of cleansing (Trilogy Face Care), exfoliating every second night (Dermalogica Age Smart) and then applying this trio in this order;


First I apply Lancôme Génifique immediately followed by Lancôme Visionnaire. They are most effective used together according to the brand. Finally, I apply the Rénergie Yeux eye cream. I received these three products in a goody bag at at recent event and the difference they have made to my skin in incredible. It looks plump, smooth and really healthy. I know Dee has also been using them and has experienced similar good results!

Once a week I will do a mask which really does wonders for the surface of my skin. The one I'm loving at the moment is Dermalogica Age Smart Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque that came with October's GlossyBox.


That's about it. I know it seems like a lot of products but, it takes next to no time to incorporate it into my morning and night routines. I have also been using a fan-friggin'-tastic, life changing  product for blemishes but, that's for another post! Even if my pre-emptive strike doesn't work, I haven't lost anything by trying to take extra good care of my skin.

Do you take preventative measures against aging?


December 05, 2011

Roger & Gallet Fleur d'Osmanthus Luxury Candle

Lord knows I love a good candle. My desk is covered with part-burned jars of every shape, size and scent; cinnamon, spices, vanilla cupcake, I have them all!

Needless to say I was bloomin’ ecstatic when a candle from Roger & Gallet landed on my desk. We’re huge fans of the Parisian brand with the Bois d’Orange Hand Cream being among my hero products for winter so, to combine the sumptuous scents of the brand with a luxury candle is sheer genius.

This is the candle in Fleur d’Osmanthus (the other scent is Bois d’Orange) and would ya just take a look at the gorgeous packaging. The massive 220g of wax is housed in a heavy frosted glass tumbler with a very tasteful representation of the brands logo on the front in a gorgeous taupe-gold print, no obnoxious splash of full-colour branding here!

December 03, 2011

Viva Irish: Opoko

Opoko is an Irish online store that offers luxurious gifts at affordable prices (As the strapline very succinctly puts it!).

While there is a lot on offer here, from homewares to baby bits 'n' bobs, one of the more unique and intriguing aspects of the Opoko store is the create your own hamper facility.

There are 8 different hampers to choose from, ranging in price from a very reasonable €5.50 to a staggering splurge of €679. Almost every occasion is thought of with the Bump to Baby Hamper and the Housewarming Hamper being among my favourites!

The idea behind these hampers is to create a luxurious and unique gift that is perfectly tailored to the recipient and is packaged and presented with the greatest attention to detail. First of all, you choose which hamper you want and, then, you choose from a selection of products that you want included. All of the products on offer have a really unique, kitsch feel to them and are not your run-of-the-mill, store-bought items.

December 02, 2011

YSL Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre: First Look and Swatches

As lipstick fiends, YSL ranks high up there in our preferences. I am a diehard fan of the original Rouge Pur line and Dee has been coveting a Rouge Volupte for the longest time.

So, when we got word that a new range of Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks would be hitting counters soon, we were hanging on the brand's every word to find out more about the thirteen new Golden Lustres (€31.00).

With a silky smooth texture, the Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre line is formulated around a fusion of gold reflects and colour. A mixture of yellow, white and pink gold pearls give rise to the line's name and are instrumental in delivering the smooth and even wash of colour that makes these lipsticks so, so worth it! 

December 01, 2011

Piercings & Tattoos: My Experiences


Alright, so I'm not going to claim to be an expert in this field. I'm not a massive body mod freak or anything, but I love reading these kind of posts and watching YouTube videos on the subject, so I though I'dshare my experiences.

This is, first and foremost, a beauty blog. We all know that beauty is subjective, and what I consider to be gorgeous may not be your cup of tea. I don't expect everyone that will read this to like or agree with tattoos and piercings, but, y'know, don't hate.

Personally, I (obviously) really like piercings and tattoos, but only up to a certain point. For example, I adore full sleeve tattoos and chest pieces on others, but doubt I'd ever go that far myself. So, here's what I've done to myself so far:

Winter Warriors for Skin, Lips and Hands

Jeez, that cold weather really came out of nowhere didn't it?! When I left my house on Monday morning it was a balmy 13 degrees so, you can imagine my shock of stepping out of work nine hours later to be met with a biting, icy cold wind and a drop in temperature that has only gotten worse as the week has progressed!

Oh well, as a lover of coats, scarves, gloves and boots, I can't say I mind too much! My skin and lips, on the other hand, are finding it hard to cope and have kicked up a fuss in opposition to the harsh cold! However, there are three products which I have found to be nothing short of heroic in helping my extremities make the abrupt transition from autumn to winter. 

My poor face has become as dry as the Sahara in the space of two days. My usually balanced skin had started flaking and feels ridiculously tight. None of my usual hydrating moisturisers or facial oils were giving much relief until I dug this baby out of my (overflowing!) skincare drawer: NUXE Rêve de Miel Ultra Comfortable Face Cream (€27.00).




Guerlain Lingerie de Peau



If you know me, you'll be aware of the fact that I am a foundation freak. I'm slowly building my foundation 'wardrobe', which currently includes MAC Studio Fix, Max Factor Xperience, Face Atelier Ultra, Bourjois Healthy Mix, Avon Ideal Flawless, Rimmel Lasting Finish, Lancome Teint Idole x2 and Chanel Mat Lumière...yes really. I have a problem.

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