June 29, 2012

L'Oréal Miss Candy Collection

Never has a beauty release seemed more aptly titled than L'Oréal's Miss Candy Collection for summer 2012. This launch is, quite literally, a confection of sugary sweet pastels with some sour-hued brights thrown in for good measure. Lips, eyes and nails are all catered for and, with the exception of the nail polishes that I've seen, the entire collection is quite shimmer-heavy. Usually this would be an instant foul for me, a die-hard matte lover but, in this case, it just adds to the overall girlie, pretty feel of the collection!


June 28, 2012

Essie Tart Deco

I am a total sucker for; a) nail polishes, b) instant gratification and c) coral shades. Hence, this purchase ticks all of my boxes! Since the arrival of the beautiful Essie stand in my local Boots, I have spent a lot of time oohing and aahing over the pretty colours, and then balking at the ridiculous price - about €12. This process continued until, one day, I broke and bought one. When I got home, I felt pretty bad, as I've picked up Essie polishes at a fraction of that price before at beauty shows, and they're also available for cheaper online.

However, all was not lost. The Essie polishes that have come into Boots are part of their diffusion line - meaning an improved formula and a user-friendly brush. I LOVED applying this, it was an absolute doddle, as the brush is very similar to the one that the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure polishes have. I'm obsessed with the shade - a light coral-orange that is unlike anything else I own. It applied evenly and dried to a glossy finish without a top coat.

So, although they are overpriced, these are fantastic polishes and I will inevitably be picking up a couple more. The new range of Revlon Colourstay polishes is also calling my name...when will I learn?!

June 27, 2012

Max Factor False Lash Effect 24

It's a well-known fact that I am an absolute mascara junkie. Lengthening, thickening, volumising, separating, I love them all and this new one from Max Factor is topping my list of current favourites. False Lash Effect 24 (or is it 24 from False Lash Effect? I never know!) is a volumising, intensely black mascara that claims to be smudge-proof, flake-proof, rub-proof and water-resistant for up to 24 hours. 

June 26, 2012

Liquid Highlighters: Benefit vs St Tropez


It took me a long time to discover the merits of a good highlighter. For far too long, I thought that I should skip on them as I have combination/oily skin, meaning that it is fairly shiny on its own! I couldn't have been more wrong, though. Highlighter can impart a subtle, super-flattering glow that foundation and blush alone just cannot do. For powder highlighters, my all-time favourite would be the now discontinued Dior Amber Diamond, but I also love MAC MSFs, TheBalm Mary-Loumanizer and the highlighter in the Sleek Contour Kit.

Now, in terms of liquid highlighters, I'd only ever tried one before, yonks ago, from MeMeMe. I loved how it applied and also how you could mix it in with your foundation for an all-over glow. So, when I was given these two products over the last couple of months, I was really happy to give them a good testing.

June 25, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Flawless False Tan

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

I've always been a big proponent of embracing the pale. I know all too well how hard it is to find a fake tan that doesn't look too orange or too yellow on fair skin and I've done my damnedest on this site to let you know that it's okay to shun the trend for beautifully tangoed bronzed skin in favour of your natural milky colour.

However, while an advocate, I'm not a total pale crusader. I am still human and I do understand the confidence boost that comes with a healthy golden glow. So, over the last few months, I've been trying out various fake tans to see which best work on my milk bottle skin for a natural glow that will boost my confidence during the summer months* where skin-baring clothes seem almost unavoidable at times and where a hint of a suntan can do wonders for your overall appearance! 

June 22, 2012

The Perfect Base.


It's a commonly accepted fact in the beauty world that flawless make-up hinges on two important factors; a good skincare regime and a perfect base. Quite recently I let you in on my skincare routine (though I feel an updated one coming on already!) so, today I thought I would show you all how I have been achieving a base that is as close to perfect as I can master.

Please do bear in mind that I am no make-up artist and, so, I don't possess the skills required for creating an absolutely flawless face. However, I think I do an okay job and, if you're looking for something easy and foolproof, this post may be of help to you!

June 21, 2012

Revlon Photoready Perfecting Primer

Primer seems to be one of those beauty products that has exploded in recent years. When I was in my teens, I don't think I even knew what it was, let alone thought of using one! Although previously primers may have been more of a trade secret of make-up artists and the like, there are so many on the market for us regular folk to choose from, that there really is something for everyone.

June 20, 2012

Max Factor Colour Effect Flipsticks

Last week I brought you up-to-speed on Max Factor's new and enlarged Max Effects nail polish range and today I wanted to talk about another stand-out product from the brand; Colour Effect Flipsticks.

Honestly, I didn't expect to like these at all. Double-ended products really don't entice me. I usually find them to be sub-par in quality and cumbersome to use which means I don't reach for them as much as I do my other products. However, Flipsticks are the exact opposite of this. They are great lipsticks in a good, non-annoying packaging. Let's look a little closer, shall we?

June 19, 2012

Have to Have It


Being a complete and utter product junkie, I'm sure that many of you will be surprised to hear that there are actually quite a few products that I'm very loyal to. I suppose that, having tried a lot of things at this stage, I know what I like and, for the most part, I stick to it. These are all products that I have repurchased for at least the last year, and honestly couldn't be without.

June 18, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Bronzed Goddess

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

Having a pallor that is somewhat akin to freshly fallen snow, it takes a lot of effort on my part to get any kind of golden glow. Add that to the fact that we live in a perpetually grey climate, that glow is almost always faux. So, what's a gal to do when she doesn't have the energy to glove up and slather on the good stuff? Why, she's just gotta whip out her favourite bronzing product of course!

Now, I don't know whether it is because I am such a ghost or because I have an  unhealthy obsession with make-up but, I have rather a lot of products in my collection that work to warm up my complexion and give a healthy glow. I generally only use these during summer as I totally embrace the pale during winter so, what better time to give you a breakdown of my favourite bronzers than in my summer series!

June 15, 2012

Contingency Plan.

I'm very fortunate that I get to attend a lot of events through this here blog. Given that I work during the day, I often find myself literally sprinting through the streets of Dublin after work so as not to be late. I can't abide being late!

However, more than once I have found myself up the creek without a paddle or, in beauty terms, en route to a launch with no real make-up in my bag. This situation causes my heart to race, my pulse to quicken and sweat to dampen my brow. It definitely takes some of the enjoyment out of a fun event when I know I look tired and bedraggled!

The above scenario has played out one time too many at this point so, I have put a contingency plan in place to avoid it ever happening again. My not-so-genius-or-inventive plan is to keep a well-stocked, streamlined bag of necessities in my handbag at all times. Not only will this enable me to inject a bit of lustre into my generally lacklustre post-work appearance but, it also means I'm covered in the event of something entirely catastrophic, like, say, a blister or a paper cut, happening on a normal day.

June 14, 2012

Cheap Tricks: Beauty Tips that Won't Break the Bank

As a beauty blogger, it can be easy to get caught up with all of the latest releases from big brands such as YSL, Chanel, MAC, Laura Mercier and their ilk. While I am obsessed with observing trends and predicting the next big things beauty-wise, a lot of what we see launch-wise is simply unrealistic and unattainable for the average Irish woman.

I get a lot of stuff for free, which I am seriously grateful for, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to tell all of you guys to rush out and buy everything that I try. It's not all fantastic, and I'd be doing a terrible job if I didn't review things honestly and impartially. If you can't afford to run out and grab everything from the newest MAC collection, that shouldn't mean that you can't still look and feel great. So, in light of how broke most of us are these days, here are a few tips and tricks that cost very little.

A quick warning: These are fairly haphazard and I in no way claim to have come up with all of these myself, in fact, some are fairly obvious. The following tips are simply things that I've picked up over the years from friends, family and other bloggers, that work well for moi!

June 13, 2012

Max Factor Max Effect Mini Nail Polish

It's more than stating the obvious to say that Dee and I are a wee bit nail polish crazy! We love trying out different formulas, special brushes, new brands and are quite obsessed with painting our nails. So, when the lovely folk at Max Factor sent us over some of the new polishes from their Max Effect Mini Nail Polish line, there were all kinds of excited squeals from us over the pretty shade selection and the itsy bitsy bottles!

June 12, 2012

No7 Lift & Luminate Day & Night Serum Review

A month or so ago, I attended a fancy-pants No7 launch. We were promised that this was going to be a big reveal of the brand's Next Big Thing. Unsurprisingly, the product was a heavy duty anti-ageing serum, with a ton of science and research behind it. The product claims to tackle lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness and uneven pigmentation. Although, as a total skincare freak, I found the product interesting, I'm not in the market for it myself yet. And so, I'll hand you over to my Mam now!

Boots recently launched the weapon of mass destruction in their serum
series. This one is aimed at the over 45s, and for some weird reason, Dee
asked me to review it for her.

As a continuation of the Protect and Perfect range, there’s a lot of science
behind the product. It’s being advertised on TV, showing a woman of this
demographic catching a glimpse of herself in the mirror, and reassuring
herself that “It’s working”. The serum, that is.

So, promise in hand, I opened the box and got to using it. There are two
15ml tubes in the pack, one each for day and for night. Fairly confusing for
people of my age, especially late at night. The night time tube lasted me a
lot longer, probably because - I won't lie - I forgot to differentiate between them.

The serums apply easily, straight from the tube, and Boots suggest they
should last six weeks. I found I just made it to four weeks...perhaps
my face is too big?! Each serum applies well, and this particular version
targets age spots as well. Not having any of those, I can’t comment on its
efficacy there, I’m afraid.

Using this, or any decent serum, gives a much smoother skin and improved skin
texture. Once you’ve been using it for a fortnight, you will notice
that skin feels stronger and more refined. Applying moisturiser afterwards is
easier, it glides on and you will need far less.

Performance wise, I didn’t find this in any way different to any other serum
in the same price range. It’s grand, but did not show any outstanding
outcomes over my four week trial. I much prefer the simplicity of
one tube. 

On a value for money basis (€34 for 2x15ml), it’s not great, because unless you
are ruthlessly efficient, you will use up the day tube more quickly than the
night one. And for simplicity’s sake, this mammy is sticking with a single
serum policy in order to avoid tubular confusion.

Edel x

PS: You can read more skincare reviews from my mental mother here and here!

June 11, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Sun Protection

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites!

Ahhh summer. Long evenings, warmer weather, BBQs and, if we're lucky, blazing sunshine. The weather here in Ireland has been quite enjoyable in recent weeks. Usually we're plagued by rain and the country always seems consumed by a generally grey and miserable aura but, lately, we've had some great periods of genuinely hot weather with bright blue skies and a scorching sun!

I've always maintained I should have been born closer to the equator as I love hot, sunny weather and my massive boost in energy and general productivity these last few weeks just further compounds that theory! However, I am from Ireland and I am quite fair-skinned so, I do need to be careful that I don't get burnt! I've rounded up some new sun care releases and put them to the test so we can all enjoy the sunshine safely!

June 09, 2012

Angelica Be Mine

I should really stop buying nail polish, but when there are so many pretty colours out there, and for so cheap, why would I?! Angelica has been a firm favourite of mine ever since they landed here last year. The colours are bang on-trend, and I love their new range of pastels. 

This is a really interesting pastel blue-turquoise - kind of a pale sea green. To get the best effect, I used two coats of Orly's Ridgefiller under this. As it's white, it really makes the pastel colour pop, and makes it much easier to apply. For a glossy finish, I stuck OPI Top Coat on. I've had this for ages but never really got around to using it, and have been really impressed with how it increases the longevity of my manicure. 

What pastel shades have you been loving so far this summer? There's always room in my collection for more!

June 08, 2012

My Origins

I've been a bit slow to jump on-board the Origins bandwagon. I have always found it quite expensive and didn't really get the hype surrounding it. I also have skincare products coming out my ears at the moment so, there was little that I could justify needing just yet. However, after a very unfortunate encounter at a beauty counter in Brown Thomas, I took my custom online to House of Fraser and, after adding what I needed to my bag, I found myself casually perusing the Origins section and contemplating some of their famed products. 

Before I knew it, I had added two different products to my online shopping bag and quickly checked out before I could change my mind, justifyng it to myself that I didn't want to pay for delivery (A measly £3. I know, my maths/logic doesn't make any sense!). The two items I chose were the Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask and, the much-lauded, VitaZing moisturiser. Now that I've had them a few weeks and have had time to use them, I thought I would update you on how I'm finding the beloved brand!

June 07, 2012

Pale Girl Tanning: St Tropez Bronzing Mousse

Sinéad and I often joke about how pale we are. Like many Irish girls, we are both always the palest shade in any foundation range, and we also find it hard to bronze without looking like, well, mutton dressed as lamb. Both of us are so naturally fair that we don't want to overdo it.

June 06, 2012

Summer Giveaway feat. Clarins

We are incredibly fortunate to get to work with some amazing brands and test and review some incredible products. However, this wouldn't be possible without you, the readers. So, we decided to say thank you by giving away some of the products from Clarins' new Enchanted Summer Collection! One lucky winner will receive our current obsession, the Bronzing Duo in Medium as well as the Wonder Waterproof Mascara in the shade Wonder Mint from the new collection.

Just click the button on the form below and leave a comment with your email address/Twitter handle so we can contact you if you're the winner! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2: Current Favourites

Recently, I have felt like I've rekindled my love for all things beauty. I've found myself getting up a little earlier in the mornings to play with make-up and I have become quite obsessed with skincare which has never happened before! I don't know whether it's been the good weather or just a general desire to take care of myself but, I've felt really inspired and have enjoyed discovering loads of new products.

Now, as any beauty junkie will know, favourite products are hard to pin down as they chop and change quite a lot! Because of this, it's been a good while since my last post of this type but, I finally feel like I have enough new favourites to justify an update so, here we go!

June 05, 2012

L'Oréal 3 for 2!

I'm a shopaholic at the best of times, but a good deal seems to suck me in like no other! I went a bit mad when Boots had all cosmetics on 3 for 2 a couple of months back, and now they have a special offer just for L'Oréal. 

Now, I have to say that L'Oréal has never really been top of my list of 'drugstore' brands. To me, they're kind of bland, and overpriced for a non-luxury brand. However, they've launched some really great stuff of late; I love their Rouge Caresse lipsticks and Colour Infallible eyeshadows. I picked up two other new products, as well as an old classic, as part of this offer.

June 04, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Lip Products

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

It's no secret that I'm a massive fan of lipstick. The more extreme the better and it has to be opaque or I'm not interested. However, there is something about summer that makes me want to shun the heavy cream formulas in favour of something lighter, more delicate and pretty. Here are some of my top picks for a dainty summer lip!

June 01, 2012

Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch

One of the biggest benefits of being a beauty blogger is being constantly introduced to brands that I may have previously been closed off to. Clarins is one such brand. I always associated it with older women, perhaps because my mam, aunties and granny all use it but, ever since the brand made contact in the early days of the blog, it has consistently topped my list of all-round amazing brands.

A few of my current favourite products (which I must do an updated post on soon!) are from the French cosmetics house and one of these is the Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch base; a "second skin" like product that aims to smooth and mask fine lines, pores and wrinkles and create an overall flawless surface on which to apply foundation.

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