July 31, 2012

Disappointing Products

Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Eternal Gold, Avon Ideal Flawless Foundation*, Boots Eye Make-Up Remover Gel, Vichy Normaderm Nuit*, Lily Cole for the Body Shop Liquid Eyeliner*, Revlon Watermelon Scented Nail Polish
There's nothing worse than picking up a product and being left horribly disappointed (not to mention poorer!) Because I spend a lot of time (too much) online reading zillions of beauty blogs, I usually have my  homework done before I buy new make-up and beauty items. Nevertheless, I still have a few that I really do regret buying. I've also received a few items that I just haven't got on with and wouldn't recommend - this post is going to be about all of them!

July 30, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Long Lasting Summer Make-Up

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! 

While we haven't had much of a summer here in Ireland in recent weeks, it has definitely been uncomfortably humid. Sleeping at night has been quite unbearable and it seems next-to-impossible to do anything during the day without dissolving into a pool of perspiration. So sexy..!

While this Sweaty Betty-ness may not pose to much of a problem if you aren't actually going anywhere, it is a right pain in the arse when make-up starts to slip and slide on your face en route to work or some other social event. So, having been caught out one time too many in recent weeks and finding myself having to do a haphazard touch-up when I arrive into work, I decided it was time to revamp my make-up routine to ensure a finish that is long wearing while still looking light, natural and summer-appropriate.

July 28, 2012

Viva Irish: KARORA Tan


We're always delighted to give Irish brands the exposure and preference that they deserve. KARORA is already  a great Irish success story, having already achieved quite a bit of popularity and exposure in Ireland.

All KARORA products are made using only organic and natural extracts and contain no parabens, artificial fragrances, synthetic colours or harsh chemical ingredients. All packaging is recyclable, and no animal testing is ever undertaken on any KARORA product. These products claim to be moisturising, which, for fake tan, is quite the statement. I was sent their Instant Tan and Self Tan Mist to try out, and, having used them for a while now, can tell you what I think of them.

July 27, 2012

1: My Clarisonic Journey

If I was to count back, I have probably been watching YouTube beauty videos for close to four years now. It was here that I learned what an "outer-V" was, discovered how to remove glitter polish and perfected the art of contouring. It was also here that I had my first introduction to the Clarisonic Sonic Skin Cleansing System and, since day one, I have wanted one, vowing to pick one up when the opportunity presented itself.

However, and I feel most people do this, I score my wants and needs based on how much I actually want or need that thing at the time and the Clarisonic always seemed to get passed over in favour of some more pressing desire or responsibility. Now, with my current (and growing!) obsession with skincare conveniently coinciding with my upcoming trip to the USA, I decided to take the plunge while abroad and snap up a Clarisonic Mia for a big saving. However, my good blogging buddy Simone very kindly shared a 35% off code* for LookFantastic and, with the Clarisonic Mia working out roughly the same price as it would in NYC, I, somewhat impulsively, ordered one about three weeks ago and have been giving it a thorough trial for the past fortnight.

Having spoken about the Clarisonic on Twitter a number of times since I got it, a few people suggested that I do a series of posts based on my journey with the skin cleansing tool. It would seem that everyone's skin reacts differently to such a deep clean and I thought it would make for interesting and informed reading to document my own experiences and thoughts, namely whether it is worth the significant cash outlay. So, I will be posting updates every two weeks or so until my skin settles into a level of consistency and comfort with the Mia and this post will be a recap of my first two weeks of trialling.


July 26, 2012

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel

Elemis is a brand that I'm only becoming familiar with now, but by all accounts their products are excellent and are used in spas and salons all over the UK and Ireland. I was sent this peel a while back to try, and have waited a few weeks to ensure that it agreed with my skin and so on!

So, down to business: the Papaya Enzyme Peel is one of Elemis' best selling products. It's been repackaged as a special limited edition to celebrate it's tenth birthday - the tropical-themed box and tube was created by British designed Laura Oakes. For every product sold Elemis will provide a 5-in-1 Pentavalent vaccine to immunise a child in Africa against five leading diseases, and hope to donate 50,000 vaccines through this programme, making this a really smart buy in more ways than one.

July 25, 2012

Topshop Nails

Let me just say, it was beyond hard to capture the beautiful duochrome and iridescent particles which make these nail polishes so incredibly special! A few dozen snaps later, however, I think and hope I did them justice!

As you can probably tell from the title and massive image above, these are some of the nail polishes from the Topshop Make Up collection. I'm not overly familiar with the brand, having just one blush to my name so, when these turned up on my doorstep, I was understandably intrigued to see what they were like. 

July 24, 2012

Oils for Combination Skin from Clarins and Liz Earle

Long before the current trend for hair oils started, it became popular for us to slather our skin in oil. Not just any auld oil of course, but a concoction of ingredients that promise to hydrate, calm and inject the skin with good stuff. Much like a serum, the main benefits of a facial oil are deep hydration and a plumping effect. They are suitable for all ages, but I think they're particularly useful if, like me, you are in your twenties (I was 23 this week, ew) and are looking for pre-emptive steps to prevent your skin from ageing.

As these products are so potent and moisturising, you would surely think that they aren't suited to an oily skin type, but some are! I have two to talk about today and will run through the pros and cons of both - so if you're thinking of investing in one, keep reading!

July 23, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Travelling Light

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 presume I'm not the only person who is a chronic over-packer? No matter if I am going on an overnight trip to a friends or away for two weeks in the sun, I always pack way too much. While I set out with the best of intentions, only to bring one pair of shorts and mix and match tops or to rotate dresses for evening time, a little voice always pipes up in the back of my mind and chirps annoyances like; "But, what if you need it? What if your trip is ruined by the crippling regret that you chose to leave it at home?" and so it goes, into the suitcase! 

Because we are going on a cruise this year, however, packing is quite a bit different. There are dress codes you see. Evening wear ranges from semi-formal on most nights to cocktail wear once-a-week, while daytime, either lounging by the pool or hopping off the ship at the various islands, is all about shorts, tees and light summer dresses. I've practically been ordered to pack heavy for this trip so, I can fully embrace the worried little voice in my head for once! 

However, the downside to this is that (a) I plan on doing some (Read: A Lot!) of shopping in New York prior to the actual cruise so, I will need space for this and (b) room for cosmetics is vastly reduced and, since we're all beauty lovers here, I know you all understand how tough this can be to deal with! However, I've taken matters into my own hands and come up with a few space saving tips, tricks and purchases that will ensure that we all travel light this summer; beauty-wise at least!

July 22, 2012

Blogs I Love Right Now

Bloveo It's been an age since I properly talked about other blogs that I love and admire. This post is just going to be a quick summation of a few blogs that I am particularly loving right now - there are tons more that I check almost daily! I just thought I'd talk about a few (any more and this post would be ridiculously long), that I'm really enjoying - in other words, the girls that make me want to go shopping!

Heather Does Makeup 
This girl is absolutely stunning, and a seriously talented makeup artist to book. Her blending skills are amazing, and I want pretty much everything she uses!

Makeup Over Mind
Orla is another stunner - her makeup looks are really well put-together and flawless, and I really love how she uses a mix of high street and high end products.

Life's Pretty Visions
Zara's hauls are amazing, she has fabulous taste and the girl knows how to shop ;) She makes me want to buy everything from the Laura Mercier counter!

Tar Mar Tales
Tara is just gorgeous, and I love watching her videos because she is so genuine, chatty and easy to watch. She's really inspiring as she's always customising stuff, and has a great video about how to thread your own eyebrows!

Sarah's a good chum of ours, which may make me a little biased, but her blog is seriously great. She takes gorgeous pictures and has an eye for good quality products. She also shares our nail polish problem...never change, Sarah! :)

Emerald Eyeliner
Síle and Mags are a blogging duo that really pack a punch - they have some great, detailed reviews with plenty of laughs thrown in, and Mags is another dedicated shopper! She makes me want everything from Stila....some day, I will own some!

Simone Loves Makeup
Simone is an Irish make-up artist currently based in Bahrain. I'm a massive fan of both her blog and videos, as we seem to share the same taste. Her eyeshadow obsession is infectious and I love the simple looks that she creates. Also, check out this video where she shows all of the skincare brands that are available in her local Boots - heaven!

Beauty Never Fades MUA
Dani is a Dublin-based make-up artist, and I'm a huge fan of her style. She's not afraid to play with really bold colours, and her videos are fun to watch, as she's totally herself and not afraid to speak her mind. She also has me wanting an Inglot lipstick palette badly!

Sparkly Vodka
Caroline is an English fashion and beauty blogger with a really individual sense of style and amazing taste in products. Anything that is in her monthly favourites is always worth trying, and her makeup never fails to be flawless. Oh, and I love her hair!

Getting Cheeky
Jessica is an American blogger who really knows her products. She has a great style of writing and impeccable taste. Her makeup is never OTT and I love her Inspired by Literature posts, it just goes to show that you don't have to be braindead to be a make-up obsessive!

So, there you have it - a selection of blogs that I've been loving over the last while. If you have any suggestions for blogs I should read, link me! I'm always on the look-out for more!

July 21, 2012

Recent Buys

So...I've been shopping. You'd think that with the amount of stuff that Sinéad and I get to try (no boasting intended here), we'd lay off the beauty shopping. Sadly, that is just not the case. I always have my eye out for stuff to try and review, plus I've a shopping list longer than my arm most of the time! 
I was in Terrisales recently picking up one of my favourite hair products, Revlon Nutri Colour Creme, and noticed that they'd got in these ''snooze rollers'', a cheaper take on those damn sleep-in rollers than everyone and their mother are talking about.
Now, I honestly don't get how so many people have given in to the sleep-in roller trend. They seem good, but they're ridiculously overpriced, and I would never be able to sleep in a full head of them! I wasn't really even considering these ones until I saw the price - €2.95 for six big ones! For that amount, I decided that I could afford to experiment, and picked up twelve. 

July 20, 2012

Updated Skincare Routine (Again!)

I have never been that into my skincare but, in recent times, I have developed and all-out obsession with maintaining and improving the quality and appearance of my skin. It was only in April that I posted an updated skincare routine and, yet, here we are again with a whole host of new products and an entirely different regime!

Just as a bit of background so that these products are in context for you; I'm 22 years old with normal skin for the most part. In winter, it can dry out a bit but, only in certain patches. The texture is quite even and generally blemish-free. I have never suffered with acne but, am prone to eczema and, so, have to be careful what I apply around my eyes as this is where it flares up intermittently.


July 19, 2012

NYC Water Street Blue


Is there actually a Water Street in NYC? If so, I wanna go there! This colour is just, well...very, very blue, and I love it. It's so vibrant that it has almost a neon quality to it, and the polish is opaque in one coat, which is almost unheard of from a budget brand. I had only tried a couple of NYC polishes before this one, and will definitely be looking out for more based on how good this was. It did chip on the second day, but I think that was almost inevitable for this kind of flat shade - every other flat blue or purple that I own has been the same (OPI Ogre-the-Top Blue is particularly terrible!).

I used Sally Hansen Complete Care as a topcoat, which made it super shiny and really set off the colour. This would also be gorgeous on toes with a tan...I only wish I was going somewhere hot!

July 18, 2012

Paul & Joe "A Mid Summers Night" Collection

Paul & Joe isn't a brand that we tend to be overly familiar with here in Ireland. It isn't readily available, with Asos being one of the only places I can recall seeing it being sold with any frequency. However, the avid blog reader will be at least aware of the brand as UK bloggers fawn over the kitsh packaging and cutesy motifs as well as hold the products themselves to a high standard. So, you can probably imagine that Dee and I were quite excited to get hold of some products from the brand's new summer collection A Mid Summers Night. 

July 17, 2012

Super Simple Makeup

Revlon Lip Butter in Lollipop
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
L'Oréál Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara
Sleek Brow Kit in Dark*
MAC MSF in Blonde (LE)
MAC MSFN in Light
Clarins Bronzing Duo in 02 Medium*
Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze
Benefit Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation*
Real Techniques Blush Brush
Crown Synthetic Contour Brush
Ecotools Angled Brush

July 16, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Beach Bag Essentials

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 been a few years since I've been on a beach holiday (or to a beach in general!) and, being the total lounge lizard/water baby that I am, I can't wait to flop down on the warm white sands of the Caribbean and dip my toes in the crystal clear ocean.

Now, with my holiday fast approaching, I can feel myself getting more and more excited by the day! Try as I might to contain myself, this holiday has been so long in the planning/savings process that I can scarcely believe it's now a reality! So, true to form, I'm already planning what to bring in terms of outfits, cosmetics and accessories and thought a post on my beach bag beauty essentials would be appropriate!

July 14, 2012

Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balm

Another day, another lip product! I'm really not a lip gloss girl at all, so I've been taken by surprise with this one. I got this in a goodie bag a while back, and having heard good things about this line of balms/glosses, said I'd do my best to give it a shot. 
The shade of this gloss (Sweet Papaya) is gorgeous, a really orangey coral with a beautiful golden sparkle. You'd want to load the product onto your lips for the shade to truly show up, but it is possible - or you could team it with a coral lip liner. On that thought, what's a good coral lip liner people?! Are there even that many around?

July 13, 2012

Weekend Skincare Essentials


Last Satuday, I took off to spend a long weekend with my family in the glamourous setting of Achill Island, off the coast of County Mayo. Whilst Ibiza would ideally be my island of preference, I did still have a great, relaxing few days away. Now, I am an over-packer by nature. I didn't really have to worry about how much stuff I brought with me anyhow, as we were driving down. So, naturally, I brought a ton of makeup, which I'm not going to show you as it was just plain ridiculous - I'm talking half of my collection, but I still managed to forget eyeshadow! 

July 12, 2012

NARS Funny Face Lipstick

Like most make-up freaks, I have a List. This List is partially saved on my Blackberry, while the rest of it is scribbled in my blogging notebook, and also saved somewhere in the back of my brain.
Make-up wise, my List mostly entails products that I've seen great reviews or beautiful pictures of on other blogs. This was certainly the case with this lipstick - I saw this post on Heather Does Makeup and fell in love straight away. It took me ages to actually buy this lipstick, and a lot of, shall we say, 'lady logic' was involved in its purchase. NARS lipsticks are €25, so not exactly an everyday buy.

July 11, 2012

Liz Earle Colour Collection

Liz Earle is one of the biggest names on the beauty block when it comes to skincare. In 2011, the iconic brand released, to great excitement, their first make-up product; Sheer Skin Tint. Now, a few months down the line, the brand has developed its Colour collection to include everything from concealers, powders, blushes and bronzers to glosses, liners, mascaras and brushes. We have a few pieces from Liz Earle Colour to share with you all!

July 10, 2012

2: My Clarisonic Journey

Muji Make-Up Storage

Recently I've been somewhat obsessed with organisation and making my room really orderly and easy to navigate. I did a massive clear out of old clothes and shoes so that all that is left is stuff that (a) fits me and (b) I wear regularly. I also replaced all my hangers with space saving velvet-covered contraptions so that I can hang more items of clothing as folding is not my friend (I'm by no means an expert but, if you'd like a post on wardrobe organisation/space saving just let me know in the comments below)! 

One huge area of issue, as you may be able to guess, is my make-up. No matter what I do, no matter how much pride I take in my collection, it always looks a mess. So, in order to combat this overflow of beauty products,  I have bought a few bits of acrylic storage from Muji. 

July 09, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Radiant Summer Make-Up

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! 

What constitutes "summer make-up" is different for everyone. For some it might be a case of ensuring long-lasting, flawless coverage (more on this later!) while for others it may simply be the mantra that less is more.

Me? I kind of fall between two groups; the less-is-more gang and the dewy/radiant/glowy family. I know from reading a lot of your blogs and chatting on Twitter that the aforementioned glowy look is highly sought after during the summer months so, I thought I would share with you my favourite products for creating a radiant glow that is light and comfortable to wear while still looking natural. I hate photographs of myself so please, be kind!

July 06, 2012

YSL Terre Saharienne Collector Bronzing Powder

I recently posted at length on my favourite bronzers for summertime. However, this YSL beauty was too new to the collection to legitimately include and I wanted to give it a thorough testing before reporting back to you on it. To give it its full name, the YSL Terre Saharienne Collector Poudre de Soleil Bronzing Powder (€55) is the star product of the French powerhouse's summer 2012 collection, Swimming Pool. 

July 05, 2012

Catrice Revoltaire

A while back, we gave you a quick look on Facebook at Catrice's latest collection. From looking at the promo images, I thought that the products looked great, but kind of forgot about them until I saw this post from Orla. Seeing the lipstick from this collection won me over straight away, and I knew that I had to get my hands on it.

The lipsticks were, as usual, on the very top of my shopping list. I picked these up along with a lip brush in a pharmacy in Hamilton Long Pharmacy on O'Connell St in Dublin. I couldn't be happier with them - everything about them, from the pigment to the finish, screams high-end.


July 04, 2012

Kérastase Chroma Thermique: OMG

I haven't blogged about my hair or hair products in an age, just because it's so damn complicated. I have seriously thick, long hair that is quite dry and overprocessed. I go through serums and oils like nobody's business, and have been fighting a lifelong battle with frizz! Because of all this, what suits me may not suit you, which had held me back from writing too much about my hair thus far. However, when I find something this good, I obviously have to share it with you all!

Sally Hansen Cherry, Cherry, Bang, Bang

SH1 You're probably well-aware by now that Sally Hansen is one of my favourite nail polish brands. I am making it somewhat of a mission to own each and every one of them and, while I have a good few to my name, there are many more for me still to collect! However, my collection grew by one recently when the newest addition to the Complete Salon Manicure range, Cherry, Cherry, Bang, Bang (€8.95), arrived at my door.

July 02, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Beautiful Brights

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!

If there is one thing I love about summer it is that I get to pack away the deep reds, plums and purples that dominate my winter make-up in favour of some brighter, more shocking hues. I love bright corals, neon pinks and fiery oranges and tend to couple them together, matching cheeks and eyes or lips and nails, to make the colour stand-out and draw my whole look together. 
While my holiday is still a good few weeks away (8 to be exact, not that I'm counting or anything!), I have already begun thinking about what make-up I'll bring to add an easy, instant dash of colour to my outfits. MAC recently released their Fashion Sets collection; trios of matching lipsticks, lipglosses and nail polishes, which play into the trend of matching aspects of our make-up so, I thought I would group some of my favourite brights together in a similar vein, especially as this is how I will probably wear them! 

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