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April 30, 2012

Revlon ColourBurst Lip Butters


I'm a bit late to the party on this one! As a matter of principle I was trying to hold off on buying Revlon Lip Butters until I was in NYC in August. You see, they retail for a whopping €10-€12 here as opposed to the equivalent of €5 in the States. However, Boots had a recent 3-for-2 offer across all cosmetics so, I relented a picked one up to satisfy my curiosity and to see what all the hype was about.

April 27, 2012

DIY The Perfect Pale Foundation

It's a funny thing that, in this beauty-obsessed day-and-age, cosmetics companies can't better cater to their markets. It's not a myth that the majority of Irish people are so pale, we are almost translucent. We are, in truth, a rather ghostly race.

Yet, companies, big and small, high-end and low-end, all insist on plaguing us with multiple foundation shades which would better suit those who are lucky enough to live in sunnier climes. I understand that display space is limited and they can't feasibly roll out a zillion shades to suit every single skin tone and colour. However, a bit of market research wouldn't go amiss and plying us with ten different shades of "tanned" isn't going to sit well with the pale-skinned consumers.

I have at least five foundations in my collection that, while being the palest offered by the brand, are just that half shade too dark. I end up having to either concentrate the coverage on the centre of my face, blending outwards to nothingness or else extend the coverage all the way down my neck to avoid the dreaded tangoed effect! I hate the effort that goes into using these foundations, even though some of them are among my all-time favourites but, I also hate leaving them to go to waste in a drawer.

With money being tighter for a lot of us these days, I got to thinking a few weeks ago about how us pale folk could make even the darkest of our foundations work for us, without having to spend a fortune in the ongoing search for the perfect shade. Enter Face Atelier Pro Ultra Foundation in Zero Minus.


April 25, 2012

5 of the Best Neutral Eye Liners

I am a complete and utter sucker for a neutral eyeliner. Whether it is flesh-toned, peach or white, I love how they can brighten the eye area and make my eyes appear wider. I was tidying up my make-up stash the other day when I realised just how many of these pale liners I have in my collection so, I thought I would pick my five favourites and do a "5 of the Best..." post on them for you!


April 24, 2012

Viva Irish: Orla Kiely EDP

Orla Kiely has to be one of Ireland's biggest success stories in terms of design in recent years. Her prints are instantly recognisable and have donned shopping bags, biscuit tins and even buses! Orla is now based in Clapham, London, where her designs have been met with continued success - remember the furore last February when Kate Middleton donned a Kiely coat? It sold out within minutes online, and put even more spotlight on the brand.


Orla Kiely fragrance has actually been around since 2010, and she's also recently launched a second one, Rosie. When I was sent the original EDP purse spray, I knew that my mam would love it ten times more than I ever could, so passed it on to her to review. Here's how she got on...

April 23, 2012

I've Been Very Loyal Lately...

I've been a bit of a loyalist lately. No, I wasn't making any kind of political statement but, for the past week-and-a-half or so, I have been wholly loyal to one make-up brand and one make-up brand only.

That may not seem like such an incredible feat to anyone who isn't cosmetic obsessed but, when you have a ridiculous amount of unnecessary make-up, quite often you will use a myriad of different brands to complete your face. However, recently, my go-to daytime make-up has all come courtesy of one brand; Benefit.

I've mentioned before that I was never the biggest Benefit fan. I wasn't sucked in by their quirky aesthetic and their sky-high prices coupled with a questionable conversion rate were decidedly off-putting. However, over the months of writing this blog, I have come to have an appreciation for the products themselves. Yes, I still think they are overpriced but, at least now I can recommend them for their quality, cost aside.


April 22, 2012

Dotty Spring Nails!



Myself and nail art have kind of fallen out of favour in recent times, and I'm not really sure why. I'm going to put it down to simply having far too many nail polishes to use and get through, which makes me want to change my manicure practically every second day, leading me to stick solely to block colours!

Anyhow, what led me to this spring manicure was simply seeing the two colours that I used sitting beside each other on my shelf. They looked so pretty together that I knew I had to do something that would incorporate them both! I created the dots using a hair grip, as shown here, and used my current favourite top and base coats, Orly Ridgefiller and Won't Chip. I'm mad about Orly at the moment, actually, and find their polishes to be really long-lasting and vibrant. The Ridgefiller base coat is particularly great if you, like me, have flaky, uneven nails. It does exactly what it claims to do, creating a smooth, even base to work with.

Leighton Denny Babydoll, Essence You Belong to Me, Orly Won't Chip & Ridgefiller

What's your favourite type of manicure for spring?



April 20, 2012

Updated Skincare Routine

It's been awhile since I've done a comprehensive skincare routine post. Sure, I've been moaning here and there about my unusually reactive skin of late but, I haven't really let you all in on my current day and night routines.

As always, I try to keep it as simple as possible though, to some of you, I'm sure this seems like a mountain of product. However, my nana and my mam always told me to mind my skin and that it will stand to me in later life so, minding it I am!

Morning Routine


I admit to being a bit lax in the mornings when it comes to my face. Usually it takes me so long to roll out of bed that there's only time for a helping of moisturiser and then all my slap piled on top. Of course, I know, this is naughty. You're supposed to wash all the grime of sleep away, as well as any residue of your night time routine so that your day products can penetrate the skin and work as they should. Woops.


April 18, 2012

Avon SuperExtend Extreme Mascara

I've made no secret of the fact that I am an absolute fiend for mascara. I'm not naturally blessed with the most incredible lashes so, I rely on some excellent products to get them looking long, luscious and thick. 

As you know, Dee and I are both huge fans of Avon's SuperSHOCK and SuperSHOCK MAX mascaras so, I was really interested to see whether the brands newest offering, SuperExtend Extreme Mascara, promising longer looking lashes, could live up to its incredible predecessors.


April 17, 2012

Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow! Review

 
Foundation is an absolute essential for me, with zero exceptions. My worst nightmare would be leaving the gaff with a naked face - I literally can't do it! I've tried a ton over the years, and even more since we started this blog. I've always been a medium to full-coverage girl, as even when my skin is clear, I have acne scarring and redness that, well, I'd rather not show off.

Most of you will have heard about this foundation by now - Benefit don't scrimp when it comes to promoting a new product, and this is everywhere right now! I've given it a really thorough testing over the last three weeks, and feel like I'm ready to give my honest opinion on it and how it fared on my oily/combination visage.

April 16, 2012

Concealaholic

I've been having a bit of a rough time lately with concealer. It's a step that came relatively late to my make-up routine and, as a result I never really knew what to use or how best to use it.

However, my particular problem was more along the lines of how the concealer sat on my skin. No matter which concealer I tried, from the most expensive to the very bottom of the barrel, it would appear to separate on my skin and look like "scales" after a few hours of wear, exposing whatever horrors that lay beneath.

I tried everything I could think of; primer, no primer, powder, no powder. The result was always the same. However, a recent video by MUA extraordinaire Wayne Goss on the different methods of concealing sparked an idea with me and, after much trial and error, I think I've found my ultimate concealer and the best way to apply it!

April 15, 2012

She Said Beauty Box

Never has a trend taken off as quickly as beauty boxes. Joining the ranks of Glossybox and the likes is She Said Beauty. I hadn't heard of this particular box until we got an email to say that it was now available in Ireland. We were sent the first Irish box to review so, here goes!


April 14, 2012

3 Bright Spring Polishes from Models Own and Bourjois



Nail polish and bright colours are both extremely close to my heart. I'm just after doing my nails and now, as I write this, I have about 25 tabs on my browser open with various items from ASOS that I'm lusting after, the majority of which are bright summer skirts and dresses. It's official - I'm in spring/summer mode, and what better way to celebrate than with some pretty polishes?

April 13, 2012

Gillette Venus Pro Skin Sensitive

When the Gillette Venus Pro Skin Sensitive razor landed at my door, I was genuinely intrigued. As you're all probably sick of hearing by now, I have eczema scarring on my legs and the newest razor to join the Gillette Venus family is designed specially for women who need to protect their skin as they shave. It aims to reduce the feeling of irritation, even on the most sensitive of skins, while still giving a close shave and a smooth result.

As any of you who have sensitive skin will know, shaving over it or even near it can be fairly excruciating. The likelihood of razor burn is increased, as is the possibility of a nick or cut on the uneven skin surface. In my case, the scarring is slightly raised and, more than once, I have caught it at the wrong angle with a razor blade and have torn myself to shreds so, anything to help prevent such occurrences is a welcome advancement as far as I am concerned!

April 12, 2012

Avène Cold Cream Body Lotion



As a girl with relatively normal skin (on my body that is, my face is a whole other story!), I was never majorly into body lotions and creams growing up. I thought that, as my skin wasn't visibly dry, I could skip them most of the time. How wrong I was...you can really never have enough products in your life, it seems!

So of course, over the last couple of years I've gotten into moisturising straight after a shower and most nights as well, rather than slapping on a body butter whenever I remember to. This has definitely made a difference and it's a step I just cannot skip these days - my skin is softer, more supple and radiant as a result.  Keeping my skin really moisturised also means that I can usually lash on fake tan with minimal preparation, and it comes out streak-free.

 I don't necessarily think that you have to use a super-fancy body lotion in order to achieve results, Vaseline's Essential range, for example, is fantastic and really cheap. I usually have a few lotions on the go at the same time (I like to have options), but one that I have been favouring above all others lately is this one from Avène which was sent to me a few weeks back. Now, it's no secret that I am a freak for all French pharmacy products (say that ten times fast!). I trust them and can credit them with clearing up my acne. However, I've not really delved into many non-facial products from these brands. After a good trial, I think it's safe to say that I am surprised at just how much I love this stuff.

The lotion comes in a nice, big simple bottle, with an easy-to-use pump. If you're a bit lazy with lotion, this is great as you can slap it on really quick - it soaks in fast and leaves the skin feeling refreshed and moist (why do we all hate that word?! Ugh). After using this for a day or two, I noticed that it had noticeably softened my skin, which spurred me on to keep using it. It smells really fresh, and is suitable for dry to very dry or sensitive skin. For me, this is a product almost reminiscent of baby lotion, but with better moisturising capabilities. I bloody love it and will happily recommend this as the best body lotion I've tried in the last year.

Avène Cold Cream body lotion costs €22.66 for 400ml, which is a really decent size for the price, and will last you for ages. Better yet, all Avène products are on buy one, get the second half price for the month of April in participating pharmacies, so now is a good time if you are thinking of investing!




April 11, 2012

NeoStrata Facial Cleanser

As you may be aware, due to my frequent moans and rants, my skin has been playing up over the last few months. It hasn't been particularly spotty but, it has felt quite congested and the texture has ranged from dry in parts to oily in others. This has been quite hard to deal with as, for the majority of my life, my skin has always been normal and very clear. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not averse to a few spots and don't think I am an exception to the rule but, it has definitely been tough to deal with as I genuinely didn't know how best to approach such a variety of skin problems. Firstly, I decided to identify the cause and try to remedy that. The change (heehee no, not THAT change) seemed to coincide with changes in the weather and, after some research, it seemed that central heating could play a large part in blocking up and drying out skin. 

I remedied this as best I could by turning down my radiator in work and upping my water intake (though I drank at least 3 litres per day as it was) and then I set about unclogging my skin. The best approach I found was to use a stringent exfoliator and finish off with a hydrating facial oil, used neat on the skin. Now it was onto cleanser. I wanted something strong but that would not irritate my already volatile skin. After some more research #shouldhavebeenascientist, I settled on trying out the NeoStrata Facial Cleanser (€23.00 RRP) I'd received as a sample a few weeks prior. 




April 09, 2012

Avon Nailwear Pro+: The Verdict


I've made no secret of the fact that I love to have full collections of things; book series', DVDs, the lot. It niggles at me when I'm missing one or two of something and, over the months of writing this blog, I found out that I'm not alone and that a lot of you have the same odd compulsion! So, you can probably imagine my sheer delight when a bag bearing the full and complete collection of Avon's new Nailwear Pro+ line landed with me! Utter heaven!

Dee gave you a sneak peak of the range when she attended the launch last month and now, having taken the time to try them thoroughly, I'm here with a full and comprehensive review to prepare you for the launch in May.

The Nailwear Pro+ line has undergone a transformation and has been reformulated and expanded to include 13 core shades with more expected to join them over the course of the year. There's a great mix of creams, metallics, pastels, brights and darks as well as a clear thrown in for good measure and each 12ml polish will retail for €8.

April 06, 2012

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs: New and Improved

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs is to the new generation what Rimmel Sunshimmer was to those of us now in our twenties and thirties. Both are instant tans, easy and quick to apply with generally flawless finishes. Both also wash off at the mere hint of a droplet of liquid. This may explain why, once we reach a certain age, we tend to progress and advance to more resistant false tans which, while requiring a lot more in the way of preparation and skill, won't run us the risk of looking like a creature from the deep should we be unfortunate enough to be caught in a downpour (and, by downpour, I mean rain and/or alcohol!).

However, if you're staunchly digging your heels in at the thought of straying too far from your Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs well, fear not, because a new water-resistant formula is hitting the shelves! Available in three shades; Light Glow, Medium Glow and Dark Glow, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs will now withstand the odd drink spillage or rain shower, only coming off with soap and warm water.

April 05, 2012

Clarins Daily Energizer Wake-Up Booster


As far as skincare 'fashions' go, toner seems to have fallen from grace of late. It no longer seems to be a key item in most people's skincare routines - indeed, a lot of beauty bloggers and skincare experts say that it really isn't necessary at all.

Where do I stand on this? Well, in my early teens, before I turned into a complete skincare junkie, my Mam and Granny constantly repeated the 'cleanse, tone and moisturise' mantra to me. This led me to a routine that always included toner, and I've rarely been without it since. I like it for after I've used a cream cleanser, to remove any residue and prep my skin for moisturiser. Also, if I'm in a rush in the morning, I will sometimes just swipe toner over my face rather than doing a full cleanse. I think that toner also really suits my combination skin, as it acts as an astringent and banishes surplus oils.

April 04, 2012

Weleda Skin Food

You might remember, months and months ago, I posted about Victoria Beckham's self-confessed skincare secret. It was cheap, it was cheerful and, because it wasn't readily available here, I promptly forgot about it.

Fast-forward a few months to me getting a package containing a little shiny green tube. I knew it looked familiar but, I couldn't quite place what it was or why I knew it. And, then, I clocked it. This was the Vicky B skin secret and I couldn't wait to try it. It is, of course, Weleda Skin Food (€6.25/30ml or €11.75/75ml) and it's now available from Nourish and other select health and beauty stores around the country.

Along with Posh Spice, household names like Adele, Rihanna, Lara Stone and Helena Christiensen all swear by it and, having trialled it for about a month now, it's easy to see why.


April 03, 2012

Revlon Lip Butters vs. L'Oréal Rouge Caresse


Unless you are some kind of hermit, living in a high-security cell under a mound of rocks in a no-wi-fi zone, you'll have heard about Revlon Lip Butters. They've been on the brain of most beauty bloggers ever since they were released in the States a while back, and now that they've finally landed here, I just had to give them a go.

We've seen an explosion of sheer lipsticks that claim to moisturise and colour your lips at the same time in the last year or so - off the top of my head, I'm thinking Clinique Chubby Sticks, Chanel Rouge Coco Shine, MAC Sheen Supremes, etc. I have to say that even though I'm a total lipstick junkie, I wasnt't gone on spending about €20 or so on such a sheer product that isn't very longlasting. Although they have undoubtedly been the most hyped, the Lip Butters aren't the only product of their kind to have been launched into the more affordable end of the market of late. Rouge Caresse seem to be making an impact too, if a little later than Revlon.

So, I went for the ''cheaper'' versions - two Lip Butters and a L'Oréal Rouge Caresse. That's not to say that they were great value, though, as they are both about €11. So, you're looking at paying more than the price of a MAC lipstick if you want two! All in the name of blogging, I picked these up on a Boots 3 for 2 offer and gave them a shot. I'm going to give my thoughts on the two brands, so if you're thinking of picking one up, keep reading!

April 02, 2012

Benefit Hervana is Heavenly

Would you think ill of me if I told you that this was the first Benefit boxed powder I have ever tried? Sure, I have swatched in-store and inspected those belonging to my sisters but, I have never put one on my mug! 

I think two things turned me off initially; the box and the price. The box, in my mind, isn't the best packaging for ease-of-use. Granted, they look pretty on dressing tables, all stacked up together but, they just aren't conducive to chucking in your handbag on the way out the door. It's because they're made of cardboard, see.

And, the price? Well, we all know I, like most other beauty junkies out there, am not averse to shelling out for make-up; if it warrants the spend. All of the Benefit boxed powders cost €33.50 and I had no reason to believe that they were worth this rather high price. However, at the recent launch of Benefit's liquid foundation, Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow, we were given Hervana in our goody bags and, always one to admit when I'm wrong, I absolutely LOVE it (though I'm still not convinced such a hefty price tag is deserved, more on that later!)!


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