February 27, 2015

Concealer: Two Cheap Favourites

Since I realised that multiple layers of foundation do me absolutely no favours, I've been all about the concealer, my consumption of which has pretty much doubled. I still have a couple of high-end favourites, of course (saving that for another post), but yesterday I ran into Boots after work to replace my two cheap favourites, so figured I might as well show you. 

February 24, 2015

Lip Lacquer Love

I've said it many times before and I'm sure I'll be saying this again, but meet my new favourite red lippy. We've been seeing a lot of oil-hybrid lip products over the last couple of seasons, and I have to say this is my favourite so far. 

February 23, 2015

Evening Skincare (Oily/Combination)

It's been a while since I updated you on my morning skincare - which you can read about here. I am largely very happy with my routine at the moment, but as I'd been trying a lot over the past couple of months, it took me a while to stop and whittle down the products to what I really dig. I don't show products for the sake of it - everything here is stuff that I totally recommend. Let's begin...

February 19, 2015

Foundation Maths

I have been meaning to do this post for the longest time because in truth, it's quite rare these days that I only wear one foundation. It might seem excessive but I love mixing my own concoctions in order to achieve the perfect finish and shade. I think it's a great way to get through what you have rather than buying yet another - so don't knock it 'till you've tried it!

Now, here's a sentence I never thought I'd be typing. Keep reading for some of my favourite equations...

February 18, 2015

Wishing For...

I'm in the process of moving out. Which is great but, it's consuming all of my time (hence the lack of blog posts - apologies) and money. It's an easy sacrifice to make but, why is it that as soon as you lay out your cards and commit to not buying frivolously, you suddenly see a million things you want, nay, need? I decided I'd share what I'm currently wishing for beauty-wise so that I can refer back to it in a few month's time as a shopping list.

MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadow in Uninterrupted This shadow has been on my radar since Sam from Pixiwoo used it and it alone to create the most amazing eye look. Since then, Dee has raved about it and it's always been in the back of my mind to get. MAC Texture is one of my favourite eyeshadows ever and Uninterrupted seems like an even warmer, more pigmented version of that.

Anastasia Contour Kit Does this little palette even need an introduction? Famed online for its mix of cool-toned contour shades and brightening highlights, the Anastasia Contour Palette seems like it would be right up my street. I'm actually even more intrigued by the Kat Von D Shadow and Light palette but, seeing as we can't get it here, Anastasia is the one for me.

Beauty Blender and Beauty Blender Solid These are rather boring replacements but, because they aren't vital I won't be repurchasing any time soon. You all know I love my Beauty Blender so, I would really like a second one and as for the Beauty Blender Solid Soap; this is the best cleanser ever for brushes as well as the Beauty Blender. Highly recommend.

Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Stick in Amethyst Another favourite eyeshadow of mine is Mauve from the Lorac PRO palette and I have been after a cream shadow in a similar shade to use on the lower lash line as I do with LM Cocoa. Amethyst seems like the perfect brightening taupe and I can't wait to get my hands on it.

NARS All Day Luminous Foundation This foundation has had the interwebs all abuzz and it sounds right up my alley; medium coverage with a luminous finish. I have vowed to finish another foundation before I indulge so, I'll be awhile waiting to buy this!

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder I love doing my undereye concealer. I don't know why, I just get some serious satisfaction out of making that area look super perfected. At the moment, I am using the highlight shade in the NARS Contour Blush in Olympia duo to set and brighten the undereyes but, that's going to run out soon so, I think the LM Secret Brightening Powder will be a good replacement for that.

Oribe Dry Texturising Spray Sigh. I have been without this special, special product for far too long now and I really would like to repurchase it in the full size. However, €50 at the moment on a hair oompher just seems ridiculous and I would rather spend that in IKEA so, yeah, we will be reunited someday Oribe but, not someday soon.

February 17, 2015

A Primer... Water?!

A primer in the form of water isn't really as bizarre as it might initially sound. In fact, it's a concept with which we're already quite familiar, so I can't really call this a gimmick. The original Photo Finish primer was created back in 2000, and although it's still something of a cult product, it's not quite an original one these days. Competitors have caught up big time and there are dozens of primers out there. 

Smasbhox Photo Finish Primer Water*, as a reworking is again, perhaps not a 100% original product when setting sprays are now so enduringly popular, but that's kind of just where the beauty market is these days. I really appreciate how Smashbox have taken their Photo Finish concept and modernised it a little. The trend for 'hyper-real' skin means that we're all obsessed with making our foundation look as natural and non-powdery as possible, and this spray totally does that job.

This can be used both before and after applying make-up; I tend to do both. You could do the same with almost any setting spray - especially the likes of MAC's Fix+. Urban Decay even do a spray specifically for underneath makeup, B6, which I blogged about here. The Smashbox Photofinish Primer Water claims to give hydration and radiance when used on bare skin - it's also free from silicones, oils and alcohol, which makes me far more willing to employ this for regular use and not just heavy-duty situations.

I don't find that spraying this before my foundation makes my face too slippy or anything. The bottle gives off a really fine mist and you don't need a lot. Similarly, it works really well at taking down that powdery look as a final step. It makes me look radiant and my foundation looks far better teamed with this. I am naturally quite oily so am always looking to balance my 'radiance' with, well, greasiness, and this stuff is actually a brilliant tool if you've a similar skin type to me. It definitely prolongs the wear time of my makeup and it doesn't oxidise when set in this manner. If you're dry or dehydrated, I think you'd also get on well with the Primer Water because of the hydrating ingredients.

A lot of you might be wondering about how this compares to the Urban Decay range of setting sprays. They're around the same price (Urban Decay is €28, this is €30). I still love my All Nighter spray but have definitely been reaching for the Smashbox more of late. This is partially just because I wanted to test it rigorously before writing this review, but I really enjoy how it hydrates and sets my make-up all at once. Overall, I'd say this is a serious competitor to the Urban Decay range and I totally recommend it, but it also won't stop me from trying more of the Urban Decay sprays in the future.

February 16, 2015

How to Grow Your Nails (And Why I Stopped)

Shitty nails run in my family. With the exception of my sister, we all have very weak nails that are prone to splitting and that are most polished looking when they are kept filed to the natural nail line and allowed to grow no further. Between the lot of us, we have tried every conceivable treatment and old wive's tale (raw jelly, anyone?!) to try and get them long and strong but, to no avail. However, over Christmas, Kev's mam encouraged me to try once again to get some length into my nails by following her own preferred regimen and, as is the case with most things she suggests, she was right.

February 14, 2015

Brand Focus: Tom Ford

Mr. Ford has a lot of my money, and I don't regret it.

The range is notoriously high-end and though I will ususally use vouchers towards any purchase from his line, the fact remains that the prices are premium. I'm not blogging about Tom Ford simply to show off a load of swag - I want to discuss why I think the products are insanely good and totally worth the splurge for a special occasion - it is Valentine's Day today, after all!

February 08, 2015

This Week, I’ve Been…

Reading… or rather, flicking through Pretty Honest. My book post was something a lot of you seemed to enjoy, so I will do another as soon as I've ploughed through enough books to warrant one!  I'm always sifting through plenty of articles, both on and offline. Here’s a few of the most memorable ones from this week…

Fifty Shades of Grey and the Anti-Feminist Critique

‘From the day Christian and Ana meet, he seeks total control over her, from asking her to sign a highly-detailed sex contract (the terms of which are discussed as he plies Ana with alcohol), to deciding which gynecologist she will see (under his supervision, in his home) and what birth control method she will use.’

'He said his daughter “was a victim of the cruelty of nature - nothing else - the cruelty of nature, something that she could not control”.'

Bronx Beauty: Struggling with addiction, my friend still made it home 

'For the next three years, as my project deepened, I looked forward to my time with Beauty. Mostly it was late-night conversations on empty streets, but being her friend also meant spending time in hospitals, prisons and other sad institutions.'


I’ve been following Wolf Hall on TV as I’m a big Hilary Mantel fan. Oh, and I'm close to finishing Marco Polo on Netflix... it's fine, a good filler show but nothing amazing. It was a slow burner for me as I'd been watching it on and off since December, I'm terrible for doing that! 

Over on YouTube, Sam Chapman's Michelle Visage tutorial was my absolute favourite of the week, and MAC Stone lipliner has now been added to my ever-growing list!

Buying… not a lot, but I did pick up some new socks and a top in Penneys. I had a voucher with €24 left on it, and the items came to €24. Don’t you just love when that happens?!

Wearing... it's been absolutely freezing yet again this week, so my ASOS Chelsea boots and beanie have practically been my uniform. Love and recommend both, by the way - the hat has been a revelation for me as hardly any suit me, but this one works somehow!


The BeautyBlender and Anastasia Brow Wiz. I ordered both from Cult Beauty last week, and I have to say I'm an immediate convert to the BeautyBlender. I've only used it a couple of times but can't get over how good it is - it's totally changed how I apply and even think about foundation. Deep. See Sinéad's full BeautyBlender review (and comparison with the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge here. As for the Brow Wiz, it's just a total staple for me at this stage. Love.

In terms of eye make-up, I've rediscovered L’Oréal Miss Manga - I didn't love this mascara at first but it seriously just seems to get better and better as it dries out, probably as it is a very wet formula to begin with. MAC Coppering & Amber Lights mixed together have also proved to be a winning combination - I've Jaclyn Hill to thank for the idea!

And finally, lips, A lot of you were interested in the Penneys lipliner I picked up - it's honestly brilliant for the money (almost as good as MAC Pro Longwear liners), and I'll definitely be trying more of them!

Head over to our Facebook to read more about that. Oh, and we might just have a Clarins giveaway running over there too!

February 05, 2015

What's In My (Weekend) Bag

It's Thursday, we're one day away from the weekend and I think that might call for a little peek into my weekend bag. Even though it's kind of a quintessential blog post at this stage, I've never really done a proper What's In My Bag before - mostly because mine is usually messy and full to the brim!

February 04, 2015

Hydrating Eye Creams

I haven't found my Holy Grail eye cream. Part of the problem is that I don't really know what I'm looking for. I don't suffer with excessive puffiness or deep dark circles or crinkly crepiness. I would like to keep it that way however so, until I find The One, I am focusing on keeping the area hydrated and as nourished as possible.

February 03, 2015

Current Reads

I thought I’d try my hand at something different for today’s post. I read as often as I can (honestly, not half as much as I’d like to) and love sharing my favourite books with whoever will listen IRL. Neither myself nor Sinéad would count make-up as our sole interest – I suppose this is just one other way for me to show you guys that we are not, I can assure you, by any means one-dimensional people!

I’ll read anything I can get my hands on but as it was the subject of my degree, I do have a definite passion for history and historical novels – so if that’s your bag, you might like some of these picks. Oh, and anything Irish, especially Irish fiction, although I’m also enjoying Sali Hughes’ Pretty Honest, so keep reading for a review…

February 02, 2015

Green Eggs & Ham

I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am. - Dr Seuss

Well, Sam I am not because I love, love, love green eggs and ham. In fact, it's overtaken The CEO Breakfast as my favourite morning meal.

February 01, 2015

Serozinc in Ireland

We have good news. Very good, in fact - it seems that we can finally order Serozinc to our doorsteps from a reliable source for a semi-decent price. Now, I had previously picked it up from Amazon a couple of times but I was definitely paying over the odds, and sellers were popping up and disappearing faster than I could keep track of.

Escentual has currently got the UK exclusive on Serozinc for a fair £8.50 - currently down to £7.20 - and a can will last quite a while. Now, when this first came to light we both read the fine print and then heaved a sigh - it's UK-only. I've heard from a couple of bloggers and readers since that have had no problem with it arriving safely via Parcel Motel - a parcel forwarding service that works quite well if you want to buy from a retailer that won't normally deliver to Ireland. We use it quite a bit for Space NK, Liberty etc to save on shipping so, if you'd like a post on that and other online shopping hacks, just let us know.

So back to Serozinc and its cult status. Like most skincare trends, this started out with a blog post by Caroline Hirons. Fast-forward a year or so and we're all going mental for the stuff. The ingredients are pretty simple; hermal water, zinc sulphate and sodium chloride combined in a can. The product does absolute wonders to calm and soothe irritated skin - brilliant for breakouts, and for clarifying the skin in general. You can read Sinéad's review of Serozinc here, and also find out more about why it's great for oily skin here. Safe to say it's worth trying out - you won't regret it!

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