April 30, 2013

Cocoa Brown Night & Day Tan Mousse

We've reviewed a ton of Irish tanning brands on this site (Rockstar, Tan Organic, Karora Tan), and I have to confess, when Marissa Carter came out with Cocoa Brown last year, I was a little sceptical and wondered what she could possibly bring to the table that wasn't already there. We are spoiled for choice in terms of tanning here in Ireland, and I honestly believe that all of the Irish tans I have tried are just as good as, and often better than, massive tan powerhouses like Xen-Tan and Fake Bake. I think this is because a) Irish companies are working with the typical ghostly Celtic skin in mind, and b) we're great entrepreneurs!

April 29, 2013

Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm

It's no secret that we're skincare fanatics so, when a press release landed in my inbox a few weeks ago proclaiming to hold information on a new product that already has a massive waiting list, I knew I had to try it. New from Elemis is the Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm*, a powerful treatment that dissolves all trace of make-up and grime that builds up on the skin throughout the day. It is marketed as an anti-aging product but, hey, it's never too early to start, right?!

April 27, 2013

Garnier Perfect Blur vs. Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch

Make-up primers have blown up in the beauty market over the last year or so. This is great news for me as a primer junkie - there are plenty of affordable ones out there now, meaning that the days of shelling out €40 for Smashbox Photofinish Light are well and truly over. Having said that, both Sinéad and myself have an all-time favourite primer which, at €27, still isn't exactly cheap.

April 26, 2013

Interview: Emma Farrell

Continuing with our MUA interview series, we've asked the lovely Emma Farrell a few questions. Emma is a seriously talented lady - if you don't believe me, just check out her body painting skills! You can check out more about Emma's work and her own blog over on

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne

I'm really not a scentsy person. It's not that I don't like perfume, because I do, but, I'm very picky as to what scents I wear and I am also hypersensitive to how they smell after settling on my skin, often finding that they can make me feel nauseous throughout the day. However, when I won this bottle of Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir Cologne at a recent event, I was thrilled as I have never tried a Jo Malone product before and, also, I had heard that this scent is quite strong which is right up my street!

April 24, 2013

Sally Hansen Exotica Collection

It's no secret that Sally Hansen is one of our favourite nail brands. So, it's unsurprising that we were like two kids in a candy store last week when we went along to the launch of the new Exotica (RRP €8.95) collection for summer 2013. To me, the collection is quite Moroccan-inspired; the burnt orange of the buildings and pottery, the sandy beige tones, the bright blue of the sky and the green of the lush palm trees, it's all very tropical and, well, exotic!

April 22, 2013

MAC Fashion Sets

Following on from the runaway success of the 2012 Fashion Sets collection, MAC are back with a limited edition edit of four Fashion Sets, each featuring five products. From pale to bright pink, coral to violet purple, MAC Fashion Sets for 2013 set the tone for a season of bright, sophisticated and brilliant colourways. We have a couple of the products to show you and got to peek at the whole collection last week so, let us take you inside MAC Fashion Sets for summer 2013!

April 20, 2013

Viva Adonis in Print!

So, we have a little announcement to make, one we have been sitting on and keeping quiet forever it seems!

We have made the giant leap from screen to page and are now the contributing beauty editors for OohLaLa magazine, Ireland's first glossy aimed at girls aged 15+! Think Teen Vogue with an Irish edge; "fashion forward and trend driven," as one MAC PR described it to us earlier this week!

The first issue is out TODAY in stores nationwide and we would love if you would check it out and let us know what you think! If you like our blog and you'd like to support an Irish magazine, we'd love for you to pick it up.

This is such a huge thrill for us and, considering it is a direct offshoot of this blog, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to share our beauty ramblings in print if it wasn't for you, the readers, checking in with us everyday! Genuinely, we really appreciate it!

April 18, 2013

Nude Nail 101

Nude nails, just like a red lip or a flick of black eyeliner, never seem to go out of style. I know that some people are very wary and sceptical of this trend, but just like lipstick, there is a shade of nude polish to suit everyone. In this post, I'm going to break it down and talk about the best way to apply and wear nude nail polishes, as well as how to find a colour that suits you. The polishes I'm featuring here are from my current top three nail polish brands, so they are all great quality and pretty long-lasting.

The closer the shade is to your hands' skintone, the shorter your nails should be. The 'mannequin hands' look is one to be avoided, but I think it looks even stranger when you have very long nails that match your skin - like skin-coloured claws! Short, squared-off nails look great with a nude colour, plus they're super low-maintenance, so great if you're a mum or just short on time in general.

Be patient when applying nudes! Go for a few thin coats rather than lobbing it on haphazardly. If you want a really quick fix, you could do one sheer coat but in my experience, it is difficult to apply these colours quickly without ending up with streaky nails. A good base coat will do wonders to avoid the streaky look as it'll smooth out the surface of your nails - especially if they are ridged - I'm currently using and worshipping OPI Nail Envy. Likewise, a good quality top coat will smooth everything out when you're done and leave you streak-free. Seche Vite is now my holy grail. You can read more about my nail routine here.

L-R: Rimmel Salon Pro by Kate Moss in New Romantic, Essie Ballet Slippers, Essie Fiji, Sally Hansen Naked Ambition

April 17, 2013

L'Oréal Paris Nude Magique CC Cream

With all these BB and CC creams on the market, I find myself singing that old playground rhyme "AA, BB, CC, My Playmate..." everytime I walk into Boots! The market is definitely reaching the point of saturation but, L'Oréal Paris have released a budget alternative to the more expensive offerings. Joining their runaway success Nude Magique BB Cream is the, ahem, imaginatively titled Nude Magique CC Cream (RRP €14.99)!
Now, in case you're confused, BB creams, or Beauty Balms, are for evening skintone and perfecting the colour and appearance of the skin, CC creams, or Colour Correctors, are for visibly correcting pigments in the skin. L'Oreal have released a trio of Nude Magique CC Creams, one each to deal with dullness, fatigue and redness, while also providing skincare benefits like hydration and a smoother skin surface. We were sent the Anti-Dullness* and Anti-Fatigue* formulas to try and give you some feedback on.

April 15, 2013

Eight Reds

I spent the longest time running scared of the brightest of red lipsticks. I think it was because I assumed that, being a redhead, I couldn't get away with any shade brighter than a burgundy. However, after asking a MAC  make-up artist to suggest a bright, true red lipstick for me a few years ago, I haven't looked back! My red lipstick collection has grown exponentially since that day and I wanted to share my top picks with you. It wasn't easy editing them down but, I think I have selected a good mix!

April 13, 2013

1: Beauty Noise

We get upwards of 100 emails per week that are solely information on upcoming releases, news on beauty collaborations and general industry updates. We would never have the time to cover every bit of beauty gossip we receive (and, in general, we like to actually try products before dedicating a whole post to them) so, we decided to do a fortnightly post on some of the more exciting bits of info we've received. Enter the first installment of Beauty Noise!

1. In case you have been living under a rock, Avon announced this week that they have ceased trading in Ireland, effective immediately. The move, as part of measures to cut costs by $400million by 2016, has seen at least 400 representatives left without that revenue. You can read the full announcement here.

2. After the runaway success of his first three fragrances; Daisy, Lola and Daisy Eau So Fresh, Marc Jacobs announced that his new fragrance will be called Honey and will hit shelves in the US in August so, we should expect it here soon after. The main notes include pear, honey, honeysuckle and vanilla. Oh, and how cute is that bottle!

3. Straight from the horses mouth, Samantha Chapman of Pixiwoo fame announced that three new and limited edition make-up brushes will join her Real Techniques brush line. The duo-fibre brushes will be available from usual stockists for one year from May 1st!

4. A bit of super sleuthing from our own Dee has found that new and amazing Sally Hansen stands are being rolled out across all stockists. According to Dee, the stands are absolutely huge, fully stocked and a nail polish junkies dream!

5. Chanel's newest wonder powder, Les Beiges, has been on counters for less than a month and we're calling it now that this product will be huge. RRP €48.00

6. For springtime, LUSH have teamed up with artist Roman Klonek to release their Spring Tin, a limited edition box packed full of uplifting and invigorating scents. Contains Avobath and Secret Garden bath ballistics; Carrot re-usable bubble bar; Bright Side bubble bar; Happy Hippy shower gel; Sugar Scrub; Bohemian soap. RRP €39.95

7. Parisian beauty powerhouse Clarins has released details of their upcoming summer collection and, boy, is it a beauty! Splendours is a inspired by the sun and opulent shades of ancient worlds including jade, sapphire, gold and ruby. Available on counter from May 2013.

April 12, 2013

Come Follow Us!

With the demise of Google Reader imminent, we have been scrambling to make sure we don't lose sight of our favourite blogs in the changeover. So, we figured it was worth updating you and linking you to all our social platforms in case you want to keep up with our daily updates of all things beauty and beautiful!

Bloglovin' is probably the best replacement for Google Reader. It is easy to follow blogs, keep them organised and see what you have missed out on. If you are an avid blog reader, you need a Bloglovin' profile! Follow us on Bloglovin' here!

Facebook is a great place to follow us for knowing when we update, as soon as we update! We share loads of realtime pictures and news on our Facebook page so, you can always count on the page for your beauty needs! Follow us on Facebook here!

Twitter is a mish mash of everything. Aside from updating our Twitter feed with post updates, we are always getting into lengthy convos with our followers on everything from make-up and beauty to TV and even the wonder of crisp sandwiches! Follow us on Twitter here!

Instagram is our newest baby and we are obsessed! We Insta everything, whether it be beauty or food, pretty landscapes or cute puppies so, if you want an insight into our lives outside the blog, you can follow Dee on @Deirdro and Sinead on @5inead!

The Masked Avengers

I have made no secret of the fact that I love skincare but, masks are a relatively new addition to my regime. I think I must have once considered them to be too confusing to shop for, always stumbling over questions like "Do I need one for dehydration or spots?" "Anti-aging or dryness?" However, once I was introduced to this particular facet of skincare by some of the brands Dee and I work with, I became braver and more able to identify what my skin needed at any one time. Now, I have a tidy little line-up of masks which help my skin repair, recover and look its best. So, I decided to review each one for you and let you know how I use it and for what!

April 10, 2013

The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter

Way back when we started this blog in the winter of 2010, I remember mentioning that I have a fevered obsession with The Body Shop's Coconut Body Butter. However, I don't recall ever explaining why this little tub of goodness is my ultimate go-to body product. So, after finding an unopened pot earlier this week that I must have squirreled away for a rainy day and forgotten about (isn't that always the way!), I cracked it open and instantly fell head over heels for it once again. So, I decided to review it once and for all and and explain what makes me love this product so bloody much! 

April 09, 2013

Viva Irish: Kinvara Skincare

We love a good quality Irish brand here at Viva Adonis, and have been doing our best to support them through these Viva Irish posts for a couple of years now. Kinvara Skincare are based in Galway and headed up by a professional scientist. The products are free of SLS, parabens, artificial colours and perfumes, so when I read all of this, I was pretty sure we were on to a winner already. I was right - I think this is probably the best Irish skincare brand that I've tried to date. 

April 08, 2013

Blog Photography: Tips, Tricks and the Importance of Shooting in Manual!

I really believe that quality photographs can turn a good blog into a great blog. A picture is worth a thousand words and, if the images accompanying your words aren't attractive and inspiring, your expertly written blog post may not get the level of attention it deserves. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not for one second suggesting that you take out a bank loan to buy a fancy camera and lighting equipment. Even with a basic point-and-shoot compact camera (assuming it has manual mode which most do these days!) anyone can compose a well-lit, properly exposed image that showcases the subject in question and looks like a part of your post rather than an afterthought.

Please bear in mind, photography is a relatively new hobby of mine and, by no means, am I any kind of an expert. However, over the course of shooting product pictures for the blog and also growing into a DSLR camera and learning to use it properly, I have discovered some simple tips for composing a decent picture (no matter what camera you have!) that I think are worth sharing. I have read countless posts from other bloggers on their photography tips and tricks so, I decided to throw my hat into the ring and share some of my own, very amateur, discoveries including ideas for set up and picture composition as well as why it is so important to shoot in manual mode!

April 07, 2013

1. InstaSunday

Between all of the beauty news and reviews that Viva Adonis entails, it can be hard to insert much of our own day-to-day events and so on into the blog. We wanted to make sure that you guys all still, well know us, so we've decided to start a regular InstaSunday post of some of our recent Instagram snaps. Instagram posts may be a little clichéd but, they are a fun way of getting a little more personal and a little less beauty-centric, so, here's hoping that you all enjoy!

Dee - @Deirdro

The Red Stables // Investigating my mam's beauty stash // Rediscovering Revlon's Fire & Ice lippie // China Glaze For Audrey // Weeping over baby sloths // Essie Tart Deco // Rimmel Kate Moss 101 lipstick // Sunny graveyard // Little Superdrug Haul

Sinéad - @5inead

Mini Bagels // Make-Up of the moment // Springtime // Pizza Dinner // My Tech Lab!! // Found in one pocket of my handbag // Snow... // and sunshine a week later! // Tropical Popical Mani

April 05, 2013

#rediscoverhilton: My Stay & A Giveaway

Having this blog has brought both Sinéad and myself an array of opportunities and perks that we had never really imagined when we sat down and created it a couple of years back. Without sounding overly gushy, we are always grateful for ''blogger perks'' and don't ever want to take them for granted. Recently, we were invited for a free stay at the Hilton at Charlemont Place, Dublin 2 as part of a promotional scheme with the idea that we would blog about it and give away a £100 voucher as part of the post. Of course, we leapt at the chance as it would mutually benefit both us and our readers.

As one of the choices of date we were given for our stay fell on myself and my boyfriend's anniversary, Sinéad was nice enough to let us take advantage of that, and I was really grateful because truthfully we wouldn't have been able to afford something like this otherwise. It was a lovely treat -  we had a complimentary overnight stay along with dinner and breakfast, and paid for drinks ourselves.

Some of my favourite places on Grafton St, two Luas stops away from the hotel: Brown Thomas // The Body Shop // BT2 // Gino's Gelato 
The Hilton // Barge on the Grand Canal // Bed // Nice touches!

Gillette Venus & Olay

Nothing gets my warped, beauty-obsessed motor running like two brands unexpectedly collaborating. When said collaboration produces a really nice product well, that's almost too much for me to handle! Gillette Venus have teamed up with Olay to produce a new all-in-one razor combining Olay Moisture Boost shave gel with Venus' five-blade technology.

April 04, 2013

Interview: Siobhán McDonnell

For our second interview in this series, we're talking to Siobhán McDonnell - an extremely talented freelance make-up artist and YouTuber based in Galway. If you haven't already heard of LetzMakeup, I'd urge you to check Siobhán's videos out - her special effects and Halloween make-up looks are unbelievable and she is a mine of information on all things make-up and skincare! Her videos have taught me a lot over the years, from perfecting winged eyeliner to taking proper care of my skin. Oh, and Siobhán - I want your eyebrows!
Dee x

April 03, 2013

Sally Hansen Maximum Strength and Maximum Growth

The sun came out last weekend and I seized the opportunity with both hands to make the most of bright, natural light, hence the "cosmetics in the grass" clichéd shot today! The cosmetics in question are two newbie nail care releases from Sally Hansen; Maximum Strength (RRP €6.25)* and Maximum Growth (RRP €6.25)*. 

April 02, 2013

Skincare: Glycolic Goodness


Skincare is a passion for both of us on this blog and I'm always on the look out for the next best thing to improve my complexion. Just as with make-up, new skincare trends are always popping up, and one that has been hot for quite a while now is anything glycolic. Now, I am no scientist so please don't take my word as gospel, but my understanding of glycolic acid is that it is an ingredient which acts as a chemical exfoliant, which works great for anyone like myself with an uneven, scarred or dull skin texture. Everyone's skin is different and people will tolerate this ingredient at different levels, but, if you've not tried any glycolic skincare before, I would of course advise you to start sparingly and proceed with caution.

April 01, 2013

Wishlist: April

1. By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder // 2. Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow // 3. MAC Mineralize Rich Lipsticks // 4. Zara Flat Sandals // 5. Clarins BB Skin Perfecting Cream

Oof, April. Where did you come from?! I felt a bit topsy turvy this past month as the weather has not been at all reflective of the season (think snow, ice and freezing temperatures) and I am so ready for some decent weather! Hopefully this month will prove to be a bit more spring-like and I think my wishlist for April just proves how much I need it to be spring and summer!

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