March 31, 2014

Garnier Oil Beauty

I'm very particular about what body products I use as my skin is quite sensitive and I don't like overly scented stuff. So, when this Garnier Oil Beauty* duo arrived, I wasn't too enthused about the idea of trying it as budget body care brands don't always have the best ingredients and they tend to be quite heavily scented. However, after casting my eye over the back of the bottle, I figured they seemed pretty alright and once I smelled them I was sold. These, ladies and gentlemen, smell like Tom Ford Violet Blonde, my all-time favourite perfumes.

March 30, 2014

This Week...#3

This week has been a bit up and down for me. Nothing major happened (or didn't happen) but, I've felt like I've misplaced my blogging mojo and the creativity juices are just not flowing at the moment and that's definitely been affecting my mood! After almost 4 years in the game, I know that this happens so, hopefully that spark comes back soon. Of course, there were things that made this week enjoyable so, here they are!

Perfect Presents...It was my birthday the week before last and I got some lovely gifts but, one of my favourites was from Dee because (a) I had been really wanting to try the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray and (b) it shows how much she "gets" me and knows what I would like. That coaster though...hilarious because it's true!

Hannah Maggs...I spoke about my love of mommy vlogs in my last This Week post but, since then I have discovered Hannah Maggs and have watched almost all of her videos! She is around the same age as Dee and I and has just had the cutest little baby. Her videos are so professional and a pleasure to watch, especially as she is so honest about the ups and downs of life as a mother.

NARS...It's too early to call it but, NARS is definitely doing everything right to be my brand of the year. Release after release is so on point and this delivery this week put a smile on my face. The Contour Blush in Olympia is perfect for my fair complexion and I further added to my Velvet Matte Lip Pencil obsession with Dragon Girl, a great, raspberry red.

Meryl Streep...When I grow up, I want to be Meryl Streep. She is everything a woman should be in my eyes; classy, elegant, sexy, refined all topped off with a down-to-earth demeanour and a wicked sense of humour. I saw this photo on Facebook during the week and just loved how it showed all those sides to her; both as she was in 1979 and how she is now. And yes, that is the same dress 30 years apart! Now I feel like watching It's Complicated!

Getting it together...I've tried a million times to write a post about health/weightloss/food as many people have asked for it. However, I'm no expert and it's hard to write it without feeling preachy. This week I finally found a way of eating that works for me; I eat high fat, low carb and feel amazing for it. Oodles of energy, great quality sleep night after night and, yes, I am losing weight! I feel super pumped and motivated!

I'd love to hear what has made you smile this week!

March 28, 2014

Video ¦ Get Ready With Me

I know, I know. Another GRWM video! Hopefully you all don't mind as I quite like having random make-up chats to camera while I get ready. Anyway, this is the look from my last couple of videos as I bulk filmed a few on my birthday and I really liked how it turned out - I'm already looking for excuses to wear MAC Golden Gaze again soon! Hope you like!

March 27, 2014

Sleek Eyebrow Stylist ¦ Review & Pictures

At the moment I am all about quick, out-the-door make-up and so have reverted back to eyebrow pencils in a big way. Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow is still my number one, holy grail brow product, but this nifty crayon just might be my new favourite for everyday.

March 26, 2014

Budget Beauty Favourites 2.0

I make no secret of the fact that I spend a lot of money on make-up; it is my vice! While I generally prefer to buy one or two more expensive items less frequently, I do have some mainstays in my collection that are definitely on the budget end of the scale. I think budget brands have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years and where once I didn't have even one drugstore products, I now have many that I reach for on a regular, if not daily, basis. This will be the second instalment of my Budget Beauty Favourites and you can check out the first part from 2013 here!

March 25, 2014

Video ¦ TMI Tag

Jumping on the bandwagon with the TMI Tag! It's 50 questions long so, grab a cuppa and enjoy a Tuesday evening ramble getting to know all (well, not quite!) about me! Oh and I tag you all to do it so, blog post, video, whatever, link them up below!

Top 5: Bright MAC Lipsticks

Bright lipstick is something we just don't shut up about, ever, but I know a lot of you love it too so, I thought it might be fun to pick my favourite five bright MAC lipsticks. These are all from the permanent line - I have a bit of a weakness when it comes to limited edition MAC lipsticks so a lot of my collection is actually made up of shades that aren't available anymore - for example my favourite MAC red of all time would have to be Heartless from the Venemous Villains collection, which came out before we even started blogging - it's the perfect vampy red.

Back to the colours at hand, these are all fairly popular shades from the permanent line so, they're something that MAC will usually have in stock if you're looking to pick one up, or maybe even back to MAC for one!

March 24, 2014

My Face #13

You might remember last week when I owned up to some great make-up products I had abandoned. One of those product was the coveted and gorgeous MAC Golden Gaze so, I dug it out and created this look for my birthday dinner based around it. I also used (and have been using every day since!) the Tom Ford blush I also mentioned in that post so, I'm definitely making up for lost time with the products! 

March 23, 2014

This Week... #2

After returning from a great trip last week, this one has been fairly uneventful IRL for me. I'm working away on my thesis and, if I am honest, struggling to keep up with everything else; the blog, videos, my inbox and my personal social life have all taken a bit of a back seat. I've also been sad about turning down a lot of invites to events and so on - I don't usually have a lot of time to go to most of them anyway but, it's just that bit more difficult at the moment! Despite all of this I do have a few nice things to share from the last week or so, so let's get cracking!

March 22, 2014

Video ¦ Get Ready With Me

Two weeks ago, Dee and I went to see Beyoncé in concert (again!) and I filmed a little Get Ready With Me video before I went out. The eye look was highly requested in prior videos so, I took the opportunity to demonstrate it, pairing it with a bold, statement lip. As always, all products used are listed in the description of the video and in the widget below - enjoy!

March 21, 2014

Formula X For Sephora

Eeeeek! Look, look, American beauty products...oooh! Honestly, that was not too far off my reaction when I opened these babies on my birthday earlier this week. My aunt, Clare, got me two of the Formula X For Sephora nail polishes and I couldn't be more thrilled. I also couldn't be more angry that we haven't a hope in hell of getting the brand here anytime soon because, boy oh boy, are these two special little bottles.

March 20, 2014

Beauty Shopping: Edinburgh Edition

Last week myself and my boyfriend headed off on a short but seriously enjoyable trip to Edinburgh. I had the best time I've had away in ages - we saw (and ate) loads! In short, if you do go, we of course loved the castle and the War Museum and Crown Jewels within, the Camera Obscura, St. Giles Cathedral and Space NK... well, maybe the last part was just me. For grub, Papii and Urban Angel do inexpensive, gorgeous brunch. We had a fancy meal at The Witchery (aka Hogwarts in restaurant form), and a more casual but seriously delicious burger at Bar Kohl. I was sad to have missed out on one of the underground tours but, at least I've an excuse to go back!

March 19, 2014

Forgotten Products

I was going to approach this post as a follow-up to my 'Overrated' posts last year but, then I realised that these products weren't overrated, rather they were underused and that was my fault. There's nothing wrong with these products but, it's an inevitability when you are so into make-up as many of us are that some things get pushed aside and easily forgotten. It's my hope that, by sharing this post with you, it will encourage me to dig deeper into my beauty drawer and not just stick with the same products day in and day out.

March 18, 2014

Video ¦ Beauty Shopping

I've been doing some beauty shopping over the last few weeks and wanted to share what I bought! For the most part, it consisted of stocking up on boring necessities but, there are a few fun bits and bobs in there too! Enjoy!

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ Review

Skincare has been my top priority over the last few months. After a horrific breakout in December (probably one of the worst I've had in a few years), I was a woman on a major mission to improve my skin. I did mention in my last Skincare Routine video that a retinol cream from La Roche-Posay - Redermic R - had worked wonders for me. I still stand by this product but when Effaclar Duo +* arrived, I was beyond excited and decided to ditch the retinol for a while in order to give this a fair trial.

March 17, 2014

Brand Focus: Kiko

I wouldn't usually do a brand focus on a brand that is not available in Ireland. However, I figure that, with summer coming up and Kiko being so widely available throughout Europe, it's worth sharing what I consider to be the best of the brand. Just to kick this off, let me start by saying that, if you see and Kiko store and don't go in, you are missing out. It's pretty much the same quality as Inglot and definitely not a far cry from MAC standards but, happily, without the high price points. If only, if only they would bring it this side of the Irish Sea! 

March 16, 2014

This Week...

I kind of felt like the blog needed a bit more of a personal touch. It's all very easy to get caught up in the wonderful world of beauty but, there's lots more we can share too! If you guys like this post, we can see about filling our usually blog-free Sundays with a round-up of five things we've been loving each week; products, food, videos, blogs - everything goes!

Friends...The internet is a funny wee place. Five years ago, I never would have thought that some of my closest friends would be those I met via the internet - in fact, I would have run a mile at the very notion! However, this week, Dee and I met up with one of our oldest "internet friends", Simone, while she was home from Dubai and it reminded me how nice it is to be a part of a community that is so likeminded. The three of us could have sat nattering all night over food and wine in Rustic was a truly lovely evening!

Time Offline... As much as I love the internet, a book and a TV show this week have made me fall back in love with offline entertainment. Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty was the first book in awhile that has been unputdownable (yes, that's a real word!). The characters, though scantily developed, are intriguing and the plot is one you become invested in from the first chapter. It's a bit gritty, a bit shocking and entirely worth the read. The same could be said for True Detective. This chilling cop thriller is entirely captivating and with Matthew McConaghey and Woody Harrelson at the helm, the acting is spot on but, the real star is the writing. TD has reminded me of how good television can actually be.

Mummy Blogs... I'm not a mummy, nor do I have plans to become one any time soon but, after Simone mentioned something about them, I realised that a good percentage of my Bloglovin' feed and YouTube subscriptions is given over to this genre. Call it wanting to be fully informed or whatever you will but, I genuinely love these daily vlogs and a peek into life with kids. Love Taza is one you should all check out (her kids are just the cutest and her life in NYC is enviable) and major props to ItsJudysLife for the recent vlog of the birth of her twin girls...Dee and I both agree she is our hero!

Hilarious Tweets...I actually can't get enough of these "stating the obvious" accounts. I frequently find myself cackling out loud...alone...and retweeting some of the best ones. My favourite accounts are the totally deadpan, ironic ones and this week I've been loving @RelatableQuote, @tinatbh and @girlposts for some much-needed laughs!

Snapchat... I know, I know; I'm about two years two late with this one but, after rediscovering the app this past week (I forgot I even had it), I've been loving Snapchatting some of my friends. I still think it's surplus to requirements but, there is something so exciting when you see that you have a Snapchat waiting in the wings!

The Perfect Palette

I don't actually believe that the perfect palette is out there for me, but I do enjoy trying to find it nonetheless. In filming this tag video, I did try to leave out old 'limited edition' palettes, although the NARS NARSissist palette did get a mention as it is something that I am genuinely still loving and using on a daily basis. Hope you enjoy!

March 15, 2014

Video ¦ My Brow Story

After once being the beauty "thing" I struggled with most, my eyebrows have now become my pet project. I love to play with the shape and intensity and, with the help of my brow girl, I am finally able to get to grips with my eyebrows. As a few of you have been asking about my brows and for a tutorial, I decided to put together a video, including before and after clips of the last time I got my brows done so you can see my natural colour and shape. In the tutorial, I use Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow as it is the most dramatic and obvious (I was prepping for Beyoncé the day I was filming this!) but, I wouldn't wear this everyday. Hope you enjoy!

March 14, 2014

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

I know I have mentioned this product before in videos and posts but, I was using it the other night and I realised I had never given it a full review which is inexcusable because this is the absolute bomb. Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm is a light, solid-to-oil cleanser that dissolves all make-up, including waterproof and SPF-based. Dee reviewed this late last year and I wanted to give you a perspective on how it works for normal/dehydrated skintypes. You can check out her review here.

March 13, 2014

Bobbi Brown Nectar & Nude Collection

I love corals. Nudes, I'm not always sold on, but corals are my jam. Even just going by tones and shade selection, this is such a visually appealing collection. The colours just scream 'spring', and it's fitting that these products landed just as we're all experiencing that little lift that the first sunny weather of the year always brings! The collection definitely something you might stop and look at on counter, but are the products any use?

March 12, 2014

Work-Appropriate Makeup ¦ Look + Video

I work in an office and, by choice, I like to keep my make-up quite understated and fresh. Monday through Friday, I am a far cry from the smokey eyes and bold lips I love and, I wanted to share that kind of look with you today  for a change. There's both a video and a post to talk you through what I conceive to be a work-appropriate look and I hope you like it!

March 11, 2014

Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk UV Foundation ¦ Review & Video

My obsession with foundation knows no bounds. In my quest for the perfect base, I was really interested in Luminous Silk after both Sinéad and Sarah's positive experiences, but somehow, I was sidetracked by that foundation's slightly neglected older sister, Lasting Silk. I thought that maybe my oily, temperamental skin would get on better with a foundation that is specifically billed as 'long-wearing', and overall, it has been a gamble that paid off. I've a quick video review of this foundation below, but I'm also going to include a few extra points at the end of this post in order to give a fairly comprehensive run-down of what I make of Lasting Silk.

March 10, 2014

Spring Nails

I don't mean to alarm anyone but, it was actually warm at the weekend! After months and months of rain and wind and terrible storms, it was nice to be able to step out of the house in a lighter jacket and not freeze to death! The change in weather really made me yearn for some more spring-like make-up and, when deciding on a nail polish, these are the shades I gravitated towards and chose from so, I thought I would brighten up your Monday (even if it's a sunny one, Monday's always need some brightening!) with my spring nail picks!

March 08, 2014

Wet 'n' Wild: The Good & Bad

Wet 'n' Wild arrived in Ireland with a flurry of excitement this year. In case you've been sleeping under a rock, stands carrying the brand have cropped up all over the country in Dunnes, Penneys, pharmacies and other outlets, and happily, the prices are still very low on this side of the Atlantic. Whilst I was definitely delighted to see an American "drugstore" brand wing its way to the Emerald Isle, I didn't go mad picking bits up as soon as they got here, as I was lucky enough to own a few of their best items already. Since then, I've received a few products from the launch and also picked up a random lipstick, so here's my take on what's hit and what's miss...

Eyeshadow Palettes

I guess this is what Wet 'n' Wild are best known for - their incredibly pigmented eyeshadow palettes. Their shadows are just the best ones I've ever used from a pharmacy brand, and pretty much the only "cheap" ones that I do genuinely use. I'm huge on warm browns and ivory shades, so the Walking on Eggshells trio is a favourite of mine. The Comfort Zone palette is brilliant value even if you don't end up using all of the colours - I'm mad about the deep, dark shimmery brown in it, and the shade down on the bottom right-hand corner is a pretty excellent dupe for MAC's Club eyeshadow.

Lip Color - Rose Bud

I picked this up in a bit of a rush in Penneys last week (there's a Wet and Wild stand in the Mary Street branch in Dublin, FYI), and I absolutely love it. I've become obsessed with these rosy, mid-toned pink shades of lipstick because they aren't quite a nude, but do fit the bill for a toned-down daytime shade. I love this colour and the formula lasts really well on me without being drying; the packaging isn't great but when I'm getting change from a fiver, I'm not going to argue!

Mega Protein Mascara*

This is a decidedly average mascara. It's reliable in that it does not clump at all on me - I also enjoy the little hedgehog brush. It's pretty black, lasts fine, separates my lashes, looks good for day wear, but there is no oomph or volume-building here whatsoever.  A decent mascara to have on hand or pick up in a squeeze - just don't expect miracles!

Mega Last Nail Polish*

I love bright lavenders and purples on my nails and so, was dying to apply this shade (On A Trip). I appreciate the fan brush but the bristles on my one are a bit too splayed; a normal thin one would actually have been better. The formula's good but not fantastic - it was hard to apply in thin coats due to to poor quality of the brush. Maybe mine's a dud but I don't think I'll be picking up another of these.

Color Icon Brow & Eye Liner*

First off, I think that brow and eyeliner pencils are completely different beasts, so will have to disagree with even the name of this product! You'll see from the below swatch that this pencil is very well pigmented, but that's kind of where the party ends. It smeared and ran on me like no other - and usually pencil will stay quite well on my eyes, even kohls. It's a no from me on this one - but kudos for the extremely long pencil. I might try a lipliner next and see are they any better!

Swatched: Rose Bud lipstick, bottom 3 left shades from the Comfort Zone palette, Color Icon Brow & Eye Liner in black

March 07, 2014

Bedtime Beauty

When you're a kid, bedtimes are the worst time of day. Routines often consist of the dreaded bath, a constant struggle over teeth brushing and a pre-bed fight with siblings over what story mum/dad will read. As an adult, however, bedtimes are easily the highlight of any given day and we come to associate them more with switching off and relaxing and less with temper tantrums and being dragged away from the TV. As such, bedtime routines evolve too and mine is completed with the aim of aiding and expediting the relaxation process. Of course, it's pretty much laden down with beauty products so, I thought I would take you through my bedtime beauty routine.

March 06, 2014

Rimmel Stay Matte Primer ¦ Review

Rimmel is a brand that I am sure has a place in almost everyone's makeup collection. It's one of my top "drugstore" brands and I really favour their eyeliners, lipsticks and nail polishes in particular - and now, this primer. Before I go any further, can we take a moment to appreciate the packaging? It's amazing what a new font and a bit of a general re-vamp can do for a brand, and I really like how sleek and aesthetically pleasing this little tube is. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't look very cheap or flimsy like a lot of budget make-up items can - and for that, Rimmel are getting major brownie points from me.

March 05, 2014

Video ¦ Top 10 Lipsticks

When you're as obsessed with lipsticks as I am, it's no mean feat to try and pick your favourites. However, for today's video I tried to whittle it down to the bare bones and share my Top 10 lipsticks of all time! All lipsticks are listed in the video description. Enjoy!

Wishlist: March

1. Laura Mercier Artist Palette for Eyes Spring 2014 // 2. NARS Matte Multiple in Exumas // 3. Tarte Be Mattenificent Palette // 4. Anastasia Dip Brow // 5. Givenchy Ombre Couture in Rose Illusion

March already! Where does the time go? Usually I struggle to make a monthly wishlist that consists solely of beauty products but, this month, I have my eye on an insane amount of stuff! It's also my birthday month so, with any luck, some of the below will become a reality!

March 04, 2014

Video ¦ Laura Mercier

I am obsessed with Laura Mercier as a brand and have never been let down by one of their products. Their Silk Creme foundation is one of my favourite base products of all time, and the two palettes that I own from the brand are a pair that I am constantly pulling out to use. Sinéad did a Brand Focus post on LM a few months ago, so, I thought it would be interesting for me to do the same in video format as my collection differs from hers somewhat - hope you enjoy!

March 03, 2014

MAC Perfect Topping MSF ¦ Video + Review

MAC was the brand that made me fall in love with make-up. At one point, MAC was the sole make-up brand in my collection and I could recite every eyeshadow I owned by name and tell what year each different collection came out in. Now, my palette has developed and I love many, many make-up brands but, there will always be a soft spot in my heart for a new piece of MAC.

MAC Fantasy of Flowers collection hit counters late last week and I was sent one of the Mineralize Skinfinishes from the collection to try. This is Perfect Topping (€29.50)*, a champagne gold highlight with some mauve and bronze veining baked in. The other MSF in the collection is the famous Stereo Rose which I have had for years and you can see my thoughts on that product here. I filmed a video to accompany this blog post so, hope you like it!

MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes are one of those cult MAC products that every "guru" worth their salt seemed to have five or six years ago. However, as the beauty market surged ahead with new, shiny products to play with, MSFs seemed to fall to the wayside. However, using Perfect Topping for the first time reminded me just how lovely these baked powders are.

MAC describe Perfect Topping as a "pale, pearlised pink". Em, no. It is most definitely a member of the champagne family with, at a push, some rose undertones but, it is categorically not pink. There is a definite pale bronze base with both pale gold and mauve veining. The mauve veining is probably what makes me like this so much on myself as it adds a hint of coolness to an otherwise very warm product.

On my pink-toned skin, it pulls very golden and almost serves to make me look sunkissed which, I assure you, I never am. In the video and these pictures I have paired it with the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure which is a very neutral plummy brown and I find that the gold in Perfect Topping really brings out the depth of Mood Exposure which earns an A+ from me because, I love anything that loves Mood Exposure!

As I mention in the video, Perfect Topping is very finely milled with a subtle shimmer but, crucially, no chunky glitter as some MSFs are prone to having. The one issue I feel some of you may have with Perfect Topping is that it is nothing like the original which was out many moons ago. That was definitely a "pearlised pale pink" with definite cool blue undertones but, this is the complete opposite; warm, subtle and supremely flattering on paler skin.

March 01, 2014

Video ¦ What's in my Makeup Bag?

Today I've a quick video about what's built up in my makeup bag over the last few weeks - it's a bit ridiculous, I promise I did a clearout after the video! All of these make-up bits are products that have been in my rotation quite a lot and are well-loved, so hopefully this makes for an interesting watch...

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