March 31, 2015

The Smashbox Double Exposure Palette

The hype for new eyeshadow palettes never stops, does it?! When we started blogging, the first Naked palette hadn’t even been released. Now, even the most basic of makeup kits seems incomplete without a decent neutral eyeshadow palette. So many brands have hopped onto the bandwagon - in fact, this is Smashbox's second 'big' neutral offering.

I really wasn’t interested in last year’s Full Exposure palette – the glitters were a little full-on and it was a bit too cool-toned for me overall. If you’re like me and far prefer warmer shades, Double Exposure* is a far safer bet. There's still a line of mattes and a line of shimmers, but not a whiff of chunky glitter in sight.

I’d actually liken a lot of the tones in this to the NARS NARSissist palette – they’re not actually all warm, but very wearable for most skintones. Even the more mauvey shades are really flattering and I've used every shade bar the blue!

The texture of these shadows is something that I was concerned about when I received the palette – Smashbox say they can be used either wet or dry. I was concerned about using them damp and honestly originally thought this was an easy way for Smashbox to get around the fact that these shadows don’t all swatch very strongly on the first pass. When you get down to using them properly with a brush, though, pigmentation honestly isn't an issue and there is almost zero fallout. I didn't feel that I had to dampen these to get the most out of them as they perform really well on their own.

My absolute favourite shades in this palette are the warm browns - not a surprise as they're colours I always gravitate towards, but these four are particularly lovely and work really well together. I used them in the look below for a brown smokey eye last month and a lot of you seemed to like the look!

A photo posted by Dee (@deirdro) on

Overall, I actually really do like this a lot and would totally recommend Double Exposure to any of you that are interested in it. It comes with a really lovely double-ended brush - I think that plus fourteen lovely shades is decent value at under €50!

The Smashbox Double Exposure Palette is €44 from Arnotts and bigger Boots stores nationwide.

March 30, 2015

Shakshuka For Brunch

Move over pancakes. Take a back seat green eggs. See ya later pulled pork. There's a new brunch dish du jour and it goes by the name of Shakshuka. Hailing from North Africa by way of Israel, Shakshuka is a dish that is as impressive as it is simple; eggs poached in a fragrant, flavourful tomato sauce. For brunch (or lunch...or dinner), it doesn't get much better than this.

March 23, 2015

Esqido Lashes

Who doesn't love a bit of falsies action?! I remember hearing LisaLisaD1 talk about Esqido lashes early in 2014 and thought they looked beautiful with their padded white and rose gold boxes and the soft, fluttery fullness that comes thanks to the fact that these are crafted from (naturally shed) mink hairs.

March 22, 2015

French Pharmacy - Our Picks

If you read Viva Adonis with any kind of regularity, you'll know of our grá for all things skincare, especially French pharmacy! Brands from across the pond have proved themselves time and time again for us, and have helped with a ton of woes - from Dee's spots to Sinéad's dryness.

We have a ton of favourites, but as a lot of the best French brands are currently whittled down price-wise with up to 30% off here, we thought it'd be a great time to showcase just a few of them. As always, this post is fully shoppable so hopefully you discover something that works brilliantly for you!

Bioderma has to be the brand associated most strongly with the French pharmacy craze; even now that micellars are widely available in the Irish market, the original is not, and it is really quite nice. Dee especially rates the blue version as one of the best for oily skin - and if you're looking for something extra to keep oil at bay, try using their excellent Pore Refiner (reviewed here) as a primer.

La Roche-Posay Serozinc is one of the hottest skincare products out there right now; it's rolling into Irish pharmacies as I type (but more on that soon), and is also readily available for us to pick up online. If you want something to soothe and calm irritated skin and prevent future blemishes, look no further. La Roche-Posay Redermic R is another brilliant product it you're blemish-prone - just a tiny bit each night can help with even the worst under-the-skin spots.

Nuxe is a brand we're both really fond of - everything they do smells delicious, and works wonders on the skin, too. One of the nicest basic moisturisers we've ever had the pleasure of using is their Creme Fraiche de Beauté, which also comes in a lighter version for if you're oily. The Reve de Miel lip balm needs no introduction, really - though you can read Sinéad's rave about it here if you're not convinced!

Klorane is kind of the odd-one-out here as it's actually a haircare brand - but hear us out. They do some of the most gentle, nourishing shampoos and conditioners out there, so if your hair is overprocessed or your scalp is dry, give this stuff a go.

Avène is another French thermal water breed of skincare - their products are brilliant especially if you're very sensitive. We've tried a legion of hydrating masks at this stage, but their version remains a firm favourite for restoring moisture and plumpness.

And finally, we couldn't talk skincare without including a good hydrating serum. Vichy's Aqualia Thermal is one of the most basic and affordable but really works a treat. If your skin is a bit dull or you don't find that just moisturiser is cutting it any more, try adding this to your routine for an instant hydration hit.

March 21, 2015

Stella EDT

Spring really is the time for scents, it seems - last week, Sinéad raved about her new signature perfume from Giorgio Armani, and now, I'm here to sing Stella's praises.

March 19, 2015

Pho Viet, Dublin 1

I think it's only correct for me to write my first ever 'proper' restaurant review on this blog about somewhere that I am quite loyal to, and have introduced quite a few people to over the last year or so.

Almost exactly on the corner of Parnell Street and Cavendish Row, you'll see Pho Viet as soon as you hit the top of O'Connell Street. It's a really handy spot for a pre-theatre or cinema bite to eat, and as a Northsider I find myself around here quite a bit.

I'd never had proper Vietnamese before Pho Viet, and now, I'm constantly looking out for it! I've had the pho (tasty, hearty noodle broth with a meat of your choice, served in a bucket-sized bowl) more times than I can count and totally recommend it, especially on colder days. I know that a lot of people love Pho Viet's curries, too, though on my last visit I opted to try something different, one of their Bun dishes - grilled prawns and pork served with light rice noodles and a fresh salad. This is brilliant value - the portion was generous and the meat and prawns were fresh and beautifully cooked. A really nice, light main that won't leave you feeling like you could have picked something 'better'! What a lot of the mains here have in common is that they're fresh, zesty and rely mostly on herbs and chilli to lend a natural flavour to the dish - not a whiff of MSG.

I totally forgot to mention starters. I think that Pho Viet do some of the best spring rolls in Dublin - and I do take my spring rolls quite seriously! I love their 'ordinary' cooked spring rolls, they're crispy, light and just the right size - but I've also become equally fond of the cold kind, or Goi Cuon. They're gorgeous, translucent little parcels made up of cooked prawns, vegetables and vermicelli noodles, served with a peanut dipping sauce. Absolutely gorgeous and totally moreish.

For drinks, one draw for this place is that you can bring your own for a corkage fee of €5 per bottle. They also serve a few good wines for a decent price. What I love most about coming here, though, is the lack of guilt - it's inexpensive (literally the same price as an Eddie Rockets, and far, far better). The food is relatively clean and healthy, especially if you order carefully. I have never had a disappointing meal here - the staff are always lovely and it's as good for a night out as it is for a quick lunch. 

I should also tell you that I ate here the other week after a really lovely tour of Glasnevin Cemetery, which had been specially curated by one of their amazing guides (Bridget Sheerin), for International Women's Day. Irish history, especially that of our lesser known women, is a total passion of mine and I only wish that I could devote more time to it. Bridget did an amazing job of balancing the tour with some famous and some unknowns. Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington will always be my personal hero, but I also loved hearing all about Maura Laverty, Margaret Skinnider and Anne Devlin. It was hard not to come away feeling inspired!

Whether you're well-versed or a total newbie to Irish history, I think that Glasnevin offers one of the best days out in Dublin. With over a million and a half people buried here, it's hard not to find something (or someone) of interest, and the museum is great, too. Don't forget to pop into the Gravediggers pub on Prospect Square after for a drink!

March 11, 2015

Giorgio Armani Sí EDT - Springtime in a Bottle!

You all know I am quite picky about scents. I hate anything overly floral or that makes me smell like a cupcake. My last two favourite perfumes have been by Estée Lauder; Modern Muse, followed by Modern Muse Chic, and with my bottle of Chic running perilously close to empty, I had been wondering what my next fragrance would be. Something spring-like, I was sure but, how to marry the lighter notes associated with the season with my own affinity for something heavier, more musky? Enter Giorgio Armani Sí Eau de Toilette* or, as I have dubbed it, springtime in a bottle!

March 10, 2015

NYX Revisited

My initial post about NYX (including a full list of Irish stockists) is enduringly popular on this site; with this in mind, I thought it might be interesting for you to see how I'm getting on with the brand almost a year since it launched into Ireland. To be honest, not a lot has changed, there's just more products to love...

NYX Lipliners - Natural, Peekaboo Neutral and Mauve

My absolute favourite product by NYX, hands down, would be the lipliners - just look how short and stubby mine are at this stage! I love the creamy formula and the selection of shades is really vast, but the neutrals are particularly great. I use one of these almost daily and the quality is absolutely on a par with MAC. Natural is a great mid-toned nude with a slight hint of peach, Peekaboo Neutral is Natural's pinker cousin, and Mauve is what could be called 'contour for lips' - it adds shape and dimension, and can be used with a multitude of nudes, but I love it best with Charlotte Tilbury's Nude Kate.

NYX Wonder Pencil*

This arrived at a great time for me as I'd just been nearing the end of my favourite nude liner, the Rimmel Scandaleyes one. I'd rate this one as just as good, and it's made a perfect replacement. The pale colour is great for opening up the eyes and making me look awake and alert, even on my very worst days. It also makes for a great matte highlight under the brow or on the cupid's bow.

NYX Blush - Taupe

I've mentioned this before in a couple of posts and I still think this is the best affordable contour shade out there, especially if you're pale like me. It is pigmented but not ridiculously so, which is actually a bonus as it's easy to blend and apply. The shade is perfect for creating a believable shadow in the hollows of the cheeks, rather than the orange stripes I'm seeing far too much of my my Instagram feed!

NYX Lipstick - Indie Flick

Another little gem. I really rate the matte lipsticks from NYX - they're comfortable, creamy, super-pigmented and not overly drying. You might remember it from this post, as I've found it to be a pretty great dupe for NARS Heat Wave.

Swatched (R-L): NYX Wonder Pencil in Light, NYX Natural, NYX Peekaboo Neutral, NYX Mauve, NYX Indie Flick.

Let me know what your favourite NYX product is - and is there anything else you'd like to see reviewed? Don't forget we have a full list of stockists here. Oh, and we're actually running an NYX giveaway over on our Facebook page, which will be closing in the next couple of days. Don't forget to enter below!

March 09, 2015

Roasted Cauliflower, Red Pepper & Goat's Cheese Soup

This recipe is adapted from one by TheDomesticGeek on YouTube and, I confess, I didn't anticipate turning out so well and being worth sharing so, there is a distinct lack of pictures in this post - apologies! However, this soup is so hearty, rich and incredibly satisfying that I would encourage you all to whip up a batch while the air still has a chill in it!

March 06, 2015

The Body Shop Wonderblur Primer

We're both pretty short on time of late but I thought it might be nice to check in with a short, snappy review to round out the week. You've been warned - this is gonna be brief...

The Body Shop Wonderblur* is another one of those clear, silicone-y primers that leaves the skin feeling hyper-smooth and uber-ready for foundation. Although it's silicone-rich, I don't find that this gets bitty or anything, and isn't drying, either. 

Like I've said, this creates the perfect canvas for foundation, filling in every single line and pore. It also definitely helps my base go the extra mile and stick around that bit longer. 

At €24.95 this isn't cheap, but I'm using such a small amount at a time that I'd imagine this tube will last me a really long time. Also, it totally does the exact same thing as Smashbox Photo Finish primer, which is far pricier at €32. If you're on the hunt for a good smoothing and mattifying primer, this is totally one that I'd recommend trying!

March 05, 2015

New Skincare Favourites

I've been making a concerted effort over the last few months to make a dent in my skincare drawer. Honestly, it was getting out of hand and everytime I opened it I would get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stuff that needed to be used up and would slam it shut rather than dig through it. One day I sat down and ether tossed or rehomed a lot of the stuff I knew I wouldn't ever reach for and have been working my way through the remainder ever since. Here are a few things I discovered in the depths of that drawer and a few that have recently come into my life...

March 03, 2015

Rock Lobster @ Harvey Nichols

Dee and I went on a date a couple of weeks ago to see 50 Shades of Pure Shite Grey. We were guests of Glossybox and joined a hundred-odd other ladies (and a few lads) at a private screening in Dundrum where we whooped, laughed, cringed and drooled - but, mostly cringed, for two and half hours.

Since it was a bit of a trek for us to get there after work, we decided to make the most of it and check out Rock Lobster, a second location for the Donnybrook original that is housed in Harvey Nichols.

Infinitely cool with dark and moody decor, concealed uplighting in reds, pinks and purples, plush banquets and lots of industrial-style exposed woodwork and minimalistic pendant light fixtures, it definitely wins points for ambience.

We arrived just in the nick of time to take advantage of the Early Bird which ends at 7pm. €23.50 will get you two courses while €28 sees you adding a third. Not cheap by Early Bird standards but, not terrible either. There's a choice of three starters, three mains and three desserts and with ingredients like Jerusalem artichoke, wild mushrooms and pastrami, there's definitely a lot of creativity and thought gone into the menu.

Dee opted for the Balscadden Crab Cake with Roast Peppers and Fennel while I plumped for the Rare Beef Salad which came with a melange of Jerusalem artichoke, heirloom tomato, basil and torn chunks of fresh burrata and mozzarella.

The crab cake was unlike nothing we have ever seen and, by all accounts, was very, very good. However, according to Dee, the sauces swept around the plate were ill-thought out and didn't marry well with the fresh crab - one was some kind of a mustard and the other we weren't sure about. My beef salad was light and fresh and really enjoyable - it's always nice when restaurants don't come over all stingy with burrata/mozzarella. 

Fish and chips; golden batterd white fish, handcut fries, tartar sauce and pea purée, was Dee's choice of main course while I went for the hake served with celeriac purée, spinach and wild mushrooms. 

The flavours in my dish were good - very warming and the perfect antidote to the blustery Dublin mountain evening. However, the fish was lacklustre; dry, overcooked slightly and not crispy enough on top - I don't expect to go to a seafood restaurant and come away feeling that my own pan-fried hake is better! Dee said similar about her meal and made the point that, perhaps, living where we do, we have been spoiled by the quality of seafood we have access to. She did say that the peas were particularly good though!

Overall, it was a good meal and the HN Malbec we each had a glass of was absolutely divine. That being said, I always feel like if a restaurant is going to so openly align itself with one genre of food, or in this case two (steak and seafood), there is zero room for mistakes, misplaced flavours or over/undercooking. However, we both agreed that we would go back again, not on the Early Bird which, in hindsight, felt like a bit of an afterthought on their part, and try something like the RL Ultimate Surf & Turf which, for €60 sees you and whomever you decide to share with, chow down on a whole lobster sitting atop a Cote de Boeuf. 

Find Rock Lobster here.

March 02, 2015

Face Mask Situation

Face masks are a total addiction for me. 80% of my Snapchats involve one because more often than not, I'm prone to slapping one on when I'm relaxing at home. I am careful not to overdo it, of course, but I really do rely on them to purge my skin and keep it as clear as possible.

Hover to Pin

Designed with ♥ by Nudge Media Design