March 30, 2012

Viva Irish: La Bougie Luxury Candles

A couple of weeks ago we were contacted by a new luxury candle company based in West Cork and asked if we would like to try some of their products. La Bougie only launched its first candle on Valentine's Day this year and, due to the overwhelming response, followed up rapidly with a further two scents in March.

What sets La Bougie from the standard high-street candles is that all of their perfumes are created from scratch while the glass tumblers used to house the candles are hand-carved and painted in the company's Chandlery on the coast near Bandon. By the time a La Bougie candle arrives with you, it will have been through over thirty individual processes to ensure that it is of high quality and standard.

March 29, 2012

Beauty Serums: The Good, The Bad and the Wallpaper Paste

A Post by Dee’s Mam…..

When you reach a certain age, (no, sorry, I’m not telling) you need to
marshal the forces of technology to fight the ageing process. Or else, head
down to Boots to explore the wide range of skin renewing serums and see if
they live up to their promises.

There’s been a wave of these products hitting the shelves in the past eighteen
months. As well as the collagen boosting and wrinkle reducing benefits that they promise, their skin
smoothing effects act as a good base for moisturiser and foundation My
finding has been that the priciest is not always the greatest, and some serums
have more motion than lotion. Here’s what I’ve tried, to help roll back the

March 28, 2012

Tom Ford Cheek Colour in Flush

It's rare these days that a new beauty collection causes a literal stampede to the counters, let alone the launch of an entire make-up brand. However, when the delectable Tom Ford launched his cosmetics line in late 2011, the beauty community was chomping at the bit for more information. When promo pics and, later, product visuals started slowly seeping out of the Estée Lauder press offices, the beauty community seemed to heave a collective sigh. We were all in "The Love". 

As expected, price points were set sky high and, if I'm honest, that's what turned me off buying anything for such a long time. I'm a huge fan of Tom Ford, the man and the brand but, I could not get on-board with shelling out €75 for an eyeshadow quad or similar for a foundation. No matter how pretty the packaging or how scrumptious its creator, I have to draw the line somewhere!

Long story short, I decided to wait it out and see what the verdict was from my trusty fellow bloggers. Other than the lipsticks, the ultimate standout product was the line's Cheek Colours (blushes to us mere mortals!). So, in the run-up to my birthday earlier this month, I decided to treat myself to one absolutely beautiful piece of kit. 

March 26, 2012

Orange Light District

As you may know, I went to Amsterdam last weekend with Kev. I didn't actually pick up anything in the city itself but, being the self-confessed Duty Free junkie that I am, I snapped up two make-up items; one on the way over and one on the way back! A few of you were asking me what I bought on my trip so, here they are! 

Coincidentally, they are both bright orange and, now that I think about it, I have been kind of obsessed with the shade over the last few weeks. I don’t really know why but, when I see it, it makes me feel summery and fresh and energetic.

March 24, 2012

I Bought Some Brushes...

Some of you will know that I headed to the beauty show in the RDS the other week, accompanied by my mam and a shopping list the length of my arm. Mother wasn't so keen on the beauty haulin' side of things, and took one look at the crowds at the Crown Brush stand and headed for the café. I was left to shop alone, which was a tad dangerous but also easier due to the crowds! 

March 23, 2012

Veet EasyWax: Tried, Tested and Reviewed

When an email plopped into my inbox about two weeks ago my interest was piqued by the subject-line alone. Not because I had been dying for the info on this product, as so often is the case but, because my mam had literally just been telling me about it the day before.

The product in question, as you may have gleaned from the title of this post and accompanying pictures is the Veet EasyWax Electrical Roll-On Kit (€37.49 RRP); the hair removal giant's foray into a home warm-waxing kit. I was sent a press sample of the kit to trial so, being the total genius I am, I passed it along to my mam to try as she has used Veet on-and-off for years when between salon waxes and I thought she could give us all a decent idea of how it stacks up against the more traditional Veet products and the costly salon experience.

March 20, 2012

MAC Chen Man & Shop MAC, Cook MAC Lipsticks

I think that MAC lipsticks have to be one of my favourite beauty products of all time. The range of shades and finishes is phenomenal, and the amount of gorgeous limited edition lipsticks that they put out every year just spurs me on even further! This spring MAC have been knocking out some seriously good shades. I could have bought more but stuck to just two because I am a saint, etc etc. 

March 19, 2012

"It's still all about the clothes" - Elle Collections SS12

While predominately a beauty blog, we here at Viva Adonis like to branch regularly into the lifestyle spectrum. Celebrities, books, fashion and music, we don't discriminate. Fashion is my particular raison d'être though and, while I don't live a lifestyle (or earn a living) that allows me to work Mugler, Hardy, Karl and Tom (Thierry, Tom, Lagerfeld and Ford, respectively) on a daily basis, I can still appreciate, desire and inhale the fashion world and make the odd investment purchase along the way. 

Never have I ever been a magazine person. I think that they are extortionately priced and, though I do make an exception and fork out for the Elle Collections tome each season, I am a by-product of the new media world and, so, my fashion fix comes from the online sphere, namely fashion blogs. 

March 16, 2012

Amsterdam for the Weekend

The only thing better than it being Friday is it being Friday and knowing that you're going away the next day! Kev and I are going to Amsterdam tomorrow for the long weekend and I'm so excited as (a) I've never been to Amsterdam before and (b) it's my birthday on Sunday so, I'll, no doubt, have a memorable 22nd!

While my mind is mainly filled with thoughts of Anne Frank's house, leaning buildings along winding canals and traditional Dutch pancakes, it's also slightly apprehensive as this will be the first time I have gone properly away with solely hand-luggage!

I've had to scale down my make-up and clothes big-time so as not to overpack and also to leave room in case I make a sneaky birthday purchase along the way! I wanted to bring make-up that didn't require much in the way of brushes. I think in total I will only be bringing two; the MAC 182 and the Sigma P80! Here's my pared down toiletries and make-up that fit, quite neatly if I do say so myself, into my clear Zip-loc Baggie!

March 14, 2012

New From Avon: Nailwear Pro+ and Superextend Extreme Mascara

This evening saw the launch of two new lines for spring from Avon, a brand that we have both really come to admire for their fantastic quality at a great price point - not to mention their good ethics and support for breast cancer and domestic violence worldwide. I was there to check out the goods courtesy of the gorgeous MUA Jackie Tyson. We had a great chat and she informed me that she is currently doing makeup for Steps' new tour - don't say that I never find out anything for you guys ;) The girls put on a great spread - there were even nail polish and mascara-shaped cookies...delish!

Almost everything I have tried from Avon is something that I would repurchase again, with the exception of the Ideal Flawless foundation (my oily skin melted it) and the eyeshadow quads (not pigmented enough for me!). The brand definitely has something for everyone, and at a great price to boot.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5: The Ultimate Wonder Product

At this point, you've probably seen a whole host of blog posts explaining about La Roche-Posay's new launch Cicaplast Baume B5 (€12.50 RRP). However, instead of adding to the deluge of overview posts, I wanted to hold off and show you what Cicaplast Baume B5 is actuallu like in action.

Marketed as a universal skin product, Cicaplast BB5  is an all-in-one product that can be used to soothe and repair irritated and altered skin. It is safe for use on the body, face and lips and can be used once the affected skin is not weeping or bleeding.

One of the recommended uses for Cicaplast BB5 was on eczema and, as we all know, I do have a bit of the annoying skin condition on my lower legs. So, with that in mind, I wanted to trial this product for you, using it twice a day for two weeks and demonstrating its effectiveness with the help of before and after pictures.

Now, as any blogger will know, capturing the subtle nuances of skin texture, foundation finishes and hair sleekness on camera is very difficult so, you'll have to trust my observations as an aide to the pictures if the difference in the scarring is not entirely obvious.

March 13, 2012

Everyday Makeup

I just thought I'd show you what I've been wearing on my face for daytime looks of late. I have a ton of makeup at this stage, so whatever actually gets incorporated into my look is usually worthy of praise! I'd recommend all of the products listed below, especially the Laura Mercier ones, but I'll say more about them in another post! 

Honourable mentions also have to go to two recent rediscoveries - the Healthy Mix Concealer (makes you look so alive!) and the MUFE lipstick (a dupe for Viva Glam Nicki perhaps?) Also, please ignore how orange my hair's red in real life! 

March 12, 2012

China Glaze Ruby Pumps

I don't really know where to start with this polish, other than saying that I am so glad that it is finally mine. Ruby Pumps came out with the Wizard of Oz collection a while back, and isn't that easy to find in shops. I was in Newcastle the other week with some of my college friends, and there was a Sally's right beside my hostel. Fate, right?! Of course I had a good nose and picked up some polishes, including the last Ruby Pumps in the shop...yay!

How pretty is it?! A lot of people reserve this for Christmas but I'd wear it year-round, no problem. Red and glitter are two of my very favourite things, so the pair combined just make me, well, salivate.
It applies really well but chips pretty easily. I wasn't delighted with the wear, but I change my polish so often that it's not really a massive problem either.

Are you a fan of Ruby Pumps? Any other super-rare polishes that I should look out for?

Is Long-Lasting Foundation a Long-Shot?

Testing. Testing 1, 2. 

Over the past number of weeks I've been on a wee testing mission. This mission was self-imposed and all in the name of the blog. This mission was designed to verify or refute the claims made by a recent influx of foundations; foundations which proclaimed themselves to be long-lasting and well-wearing for lengthy periods of time. 

Taking four foundations from four different price points, I have been wearing them in all manner of situations; work, exercise (naughty!), shopping, socialising, and trialling the veracity of their many, many claims. I thought it would make for interesting reading to see whether a foundation that promises 12-hours of wear does, in fact wear for 12 hours or whether, at the end of the day, it was long-since departed from my face. 

The foundations I tested were Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 Hour, Rimmel Wake Me Up, Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation and NYC All Day Long. Each claim to provide long-lasting coverage for a varying number of hours as well as a whole host of other attributes; comfortable wear, radiant glow, flawless finish and smooth skin, to name but a few.

Over the course of 3-ish weeks, I put these four foundations to the test and took note of how they wore as well as any other obvious benefits or negatives I could see. I've broken each down for you below so, read on to see how I fared!

March 10, 2012

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake

I've mentioned before that Kev's mam is an absolutely amazing cook. It's not hard to be in awe of her abilities in the kitchen and it's certainly not difficult to feel more than a bit inadequate. So, when Kev asks me to make him something, I take it as a real compliment!

This weekend, he asked for lemon cheesecake. Now, I don't like cheesecake at all but, I was happy to oblige and sent him off to get the ingredients. This cheesecake is, once again, an amalgamation of recipes I found online. I wanted the base to be crunchy and solid and to contrast this with a light, frothy filling. As the title suggests, this is a "no bake" cheesecake. I think this is more commonplace over this side of the pond but, the main difference is that there is no eggs involved and so, no meringue like texture on the inside.

Click here for the rest of the recipe!

March 09, 2012

The Best Shampoo Ever?!

This product is probably one of the strangest I've written about in the history of this blog. Mind you, it's only strange because I don't need to use it but, the results are so phenomenal that I can't help but rave about it! 

I first came across Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Classic Clean in the shower at my dad's house. There was no other shampoo so, I just slathered this on without giving it a second thought. 

March 07, 2012

"My Skin Was Drier Than A..."

...feel free to finish that sentence with your favourite rudie joke!

I've always been lucky with my skin. It's generally normal in type so, no extremes of oiliness or dryness to contend with. However, the downside to this skintype is that it's blatantly obvious when I have dry/oily patches because I don't have the first notion of how to deal with them.

Last week was a case in point. The skin between my eyebrows was dryer than the Sahara. Without make-up, it was fine; no tightness, no obviously uneven patches but, once a smidgeon of make-up touched that area of my face, BOOM!, I looked like Godzilla on a bad day.

Every conceivable type of make-up; foundation, tinted moisturiser, powder, all settled around the dry patches of my skin and within an hour of application there were visibly delineated scales on my face. Sexy, no?! I tried everything I could think of; primer, no primer, light moisturiser, heavy moisturiser, scrubs, masques, no combination of products would work.

So, in my hour of need and despair, I turned to our loyal Twitter followers, always ready to help and always full of good ideas. Exfoliation was the number one most recommended cure followed closely by the use of a face oil.

March 06, 2012

Review: Lush Dark Angels

Lush is a brand that really seems to polarise people; some are obsessive over their products, whilst others can't bear to even enter the shop due to the (misleading) strong scent that wafts from the entrance. In my opinion, and having tried a lot of their stuff at this stage, I really do think that Lush has something for everyone. I can think of Lush products that would suit my mam, granny, brother...even my Dad, who has a beauty routine that can only be described as Victorian.

Anyways, my point here is that if you haven't tried Lush yet, you should definitely give them a go. Their cleansers are a good place to start, although 'cleanser' is really a misleading name. The vast majority of Lush cleansers won't actually remove your makeup, and should really be labelled as exfoliators.

Dark Angels was my last Lush purchase, and it is an exfoliator that means serious business. If you don't have oily, acne-prone or combination skin, this will not suit you. However, if you do fall into this category, this can be a total lifesaver. The formula is extremely thick, grainy and jet black. It smells of liquorice and, er, charcoal, which I hate but it's well worth putting up with. The best way to use this is to mix a small amount with a little water and rub gently onto your face. There are large grains of sugar in this which leave your skin baby-soft and totally oil-free.

This is a very abrasive product, which should only be used 2-3 times a week. I keep it in the shower and sometimes even use it as a face mask for a couple of minutes. Overall, this is probably my favourite Lush 'cleanser' so far, it has seriously helped my complexion and made my skin feel softer than it had been in years. I think that prolonged use can really help keep oily skin at bay, and my seventeen year old brother who has a little bit of teenage acne also really liked it. It's also awesome value at about €7, as a tub will last you an age. Well worth the mess and smell - go get it!

March 05, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Guide

I’ll be honest, I’m not all that gone on “theme” days. To me, Mother’s Day, like Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day, is a bit of a sorry excuse to give presents, one which has been capitalised on by Hallmark and other opportunistic companies. But sure, don’t we love our Mammies, and if it makes them happy, why not?!

As with Valentine’s, brands pull out the stops every year in the run up to Mothering Sunday (It's the 18th March this year FYI) with pretty gift ideas and treats to lavish upon The Birth Giver. Here’s my edit of the best presents for your mammy!

Yankee Candles

My mam is an eternal fan of Yankee Candles and she receives them, by request, every year for her birthday and Christmas. Usually we go the route of a voucher for her favourite beauty salon for Mother’s Day but, if you’re interested in getting your mammy a Yankee Candle, I strongly recommend ordering from They always have amazing value and great sales and special offers including Fragrances of the Month.

March 01, 2012

What's in a nude...

Now, now, calm yourselves. There will be no nudie pics on this website! 

No, this post is going to be all about what does or doesn't constitute a "nude lip" in my mind. That term or the similar "neutral lip" is bandied around quite a bit in the beauty blogosphere and by YouTube beauty gurus yet, what does it actually mean?

To me, a nude or neutral lip falls into the "my lips but better" colour spectrum. It's a fresh, alive shade that mirrors the general tone of a person's lips but, improves upon it. To me, a nude or neutral lip is not concealer-toned or the colour of skin.

"My lips but, better"(L-R): YSL Rouge Pur Couture Golden Lustre Rose Boréale, MAC Lustering and Avon Colourdisiac Rose Addiction

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