January 31, 2015

Best in Beauty: January

You all seemed to love the Best in Beauty 2014 series we pushed out in late December and we equally loved curating it - it's always fun to revisit favourites and make the tough decisions about what will make the cut! So, for 2015, we've decided to introduce a monthly Best in Beauty post. This will be a collaborative effort where we spill on what we've been loving during the month that may or may not have made it onto the blog. As always, the post is shoppable for your convenience!

January 28, 2015

5 Affordable Favourites

It's still January. *slow exhale*. 

Even if you've been paid at this stage, chances are you're not shopping too much in an effort to save for holidays or just play financial catch-up - am I right?!! 

An affordable treat may well be in order, so hopefully one of these classic 'drugstore' gems is something you've yet to try. (And kudos if you have 'em all!!) 
The bulk of these products are around the same price as a large Starbucks drink - I know what I'd prefer!

Real Techniques Buffing Brush

I have pretty much tried them all at this stage, and this remains one of my most-reached-for brushes ever - I actually have two. I'm sure most of you will have heard about how good this is but it's worth emphasising - if you want seamless, flawless-looking foundation, this is your best bet. Currently only available as part of the Core Collection, it's worth picking up the set just for this.

Rimmel x Kate Moss 107 Lipstick

I'm still not over this shade - in fact, I probably won't ever be. It is the perfect vampy dark red with an excellent formula, to boot - matte but not drying, with a decent amount of slip. 

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer

I have one of these in each handbag, and probably a few more knocking around my room. It remains one of my all-time favourite concealers purely because of how much it can do; I use it under the eyes, on spots and even as a subtle matte highlight. 

Rimmel East End Snob Lipliner

I love a good lipliner and my collection of nudes is out of control at this stage. This shade has been enduringly popular for years and I particularly love the newer stick formula; it's creamy and lasts a long time. The shade suits so many people and can be used with a multitude of nude and mid-tone lipsticks! 

NYX Taupe Blush

I think that this is one of the only true 'contour' shades on the more affordable end of the market. It's almost grey, making it perfect for us pale people - used in the right crevices of the face, it creates a convincing shadow to give way to a more chiselled look. Foolproof! 

Cauliflower Fried Rice with Prawns

Fellow bloggers will know the struggle of dealing with poor winter lighting. In other words, you have a Golden Hour for blog pictures, usually mid-morning, and outside of that everything is grey tinged and bathed in unflattering shadows. This is basically me saying sorry for the crap pictures in this post but, the recipe is so damn good that I wanted to share it anyway! Say hello, dear readers, to the dish that will help you stick to your "no takeaways" resolution just that little bit longer - Egg Fried Cauliflower Rice with Prawns.

January 26, 2015

5 Brushes You Never Knew You Needed

If you have been floating around the internet for a while now, you'll most likely have heard of the MAC 217, the Real Techniques Buffing Brush and the Sigma E45. These are all amazing brushes, well deserving of the copious accolades they have received. However, I'm here today to tell you about some often overlooked but, equally amazing brushes that you never knew you needed (but, most definitely do). Credit cards at the ready, ladies, things are about to get spendy!

January 21, 2015

The Lipstick List

Luxury lipsticks are among some of my most frivolous interests. I'll happily natter on about different brands, formulas and shades to the point where others get alarmed. I don't think it's completely ridiculous, though, to enjoy a good lipstick. It's my absolute favourite item of make-up for a good reason - it makes me feel put-together and confident like nothing else can.

This might give some way to a rational explanation as to why I am so obsessed with luxe lip products. I've picked some of my favourite formulas over €30 - so in case you're thinking of treating yourself at the end of the most miserable month of the year, here's what I recommend! It goes without saying that all of these have amazing packaging and formulas - it was pretty hard to whittle it down to a top four...

Kale Pesto

I'm still on my cooking buzz and loving being back in the kitchen and eating a wider variety of foods. This kale pesto recipe is also one from the I Quit Sugar book (see last week's sugar-free bread recipe here) and is something I make every weekend for the week ahead. I stir it through eggs, add it to salads, use it as a dip for raw veggies and spread it on cheese. It's really delicious - everyone who has tried it loves it -, incredibly easy, cheap and quick to make and freezes well so, you can always stay stocked up.

January 20, 2015

If You Buy One Thing This Month...

...make it one of these two gems from Maybelline. January is a fairly sombre month at best (though it's more than halfway over at this point!), and at this time of year, the smallest things can make a difference.

I'm close to smashed myself but picked up a small treat last week in the form of two Maybelline gems - there was a brand offer in Boots to buy one item and get a second half price, which only sweetened the deal.

January 19, 2015

Take 3: Cleansers

2014 was the year I became obsessed with skincare. Sure, I was always into skincare but, last year was when I developed routines and developed a real love taking the time to care for my skin. I discovered three cleansers over the course of the year that are just incredible and I thought I would round them up for you today. There is one here for every skin requirement and every budget.

January 15, 2015

The Micro Nail: Worth It?

The Micro Nail is almost like a Clarisonic for your talons; it buffs away ridges and discolouration to healthier, shinier nails. It's a great solution for those days when you just don't have time to do your nails properly but still want them to appear clean, neat and groomed.

My nails are healthy-ish; I decided to pass this on to a friend who'd had one to many manicures and was really interested to see what the Micro Nail could do for her. Here's what Sarah had to say...

January 14, 2015

Dior Star: It's Love

I know I'm not really adding anything to the discussion by further reviewing this foundation but, honestly, I love it so much I just really wanted to chat about it for a few minutes. Dior Star is, as you probably already know, the foundation du jour that promises to be weightless on the skin while still being extremely longwearing and glowy.

Dior Star is a special breed of foundation. It combines the fluidity of Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua with the longevity of something like Make Up For Ever HD with the glow of a tinted moisturiser (I actually think the luminosity of Dior Star is not unlike that imparted by my HG Diorskin Nude tinted moisturiser). There is so much going on here, so many promises made, that it shouldn't work but, by god it does.

When first applied, you get that gorgeous, Barbie-like skin that just looks too perfect for words but, as the foundation wears into the skin over the course of the day, it looks more natural - not in a bad way. Pores stay minimised, imperfections remain blurred and, fear not, it won't have slipped on the skin no matter how hot and sweaty your commute is. Even after a full day of wear, I find that my skin looks radiant and healthy.

Speaking of application, Dior say that there are a few ways you can use this foundation, depending on the coverage and finish you want. I ignored all of their suggestions and have settled on a dense, flat top kabuki brush as being the best for a medium coverage, flawless finish. I find that the formula is too thin and runny for use with a Beauty Blender and a looser buffing brush soaks up too much of the product but, something like the Sigma F80 delivers an amazing result with little-to-no effort.

Now, I have normal skin (Shade 010 Ivory btw) but, this is also a favourite of oily skin gals so, if that's you, be sure to check out Dee's review here. Hint: She loves it too! 

January 12, 2015

Sugar-Free Bread Recipe (and an update!)

You might have seen a little post I put up last week, promising to be kinder to myself. Part of that is loosening the reigns on how I eat and just allowing myself to enjoy food again because food, especially cooking, is a huge part of who I am. This recipe reawakened that spark in me and I wanted to share it with you as it really is delicious. But, first I thought I would incorporate a little health update here as it's relevant and many of you seem to enjoy those types of posts.

January 10, 2015

5 Ways to Up Your Beauty Game in 2015

We're a little more settled into the New Year at this stage (though I, for one, am still fully resenting having to get up at a normal time every morning this week), and we've heard a lot of chat about resolutions. Sinead's already touched on the importance of self-care during the week, and I suppose this post is quite in keeping with that. 

This is not a piece strictly to do with resolutions; in looser terms, I'd say that there are things on our beauty to-do list that we've always been meaning to do, find or try in order to look that little bit more put-together - and now might be a good time to attempt one of them. Here's a checklist of sorts...  

January 09, 2015

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil

We've already featured them in our round-up of 2015 beauty launches but, I felt the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils* (€19.00) deserved their own post - they are just that good!

January 07, 2015

On Being Kinder

I haven't made a New Years resolution in a good 15 years but, this year I will. In 2015, I resolve to be kinder.

To other people.

To myself.

Especially to myself.

January 06, 2015

Morning Skincare: Oily/Dehydrated

Despite the fact that skincare is, well, kind of a huge deal to me, I haven't actually touched on my routine in absolutely ages. You can read my last bumper skincare routine post here - I still like and stand by everything there, but I've switched up products and trailed a few gems since then, so I thought my latest routine might be worth sharing. 

January 05, 2015

Hidden Gems

A few weeks ago I wrote about my 'meh' products. These were products that, while weren't bad, were uninspiring and I didn't find myself reaching for them. Today, I wanted to balance things out a little bit and chat about some hidden gems; products that I didn't expect much from but, have since become mainstays in my collection, most of which I reach for daily.

January 04, 2015

Makeup Mania

I go through phases. I know this sounds silly because, well, obviously I am quite fond of cosmetics in general, but since having more time to ogle at YouTube and blogs over the Christmas break, I am a woman posessed. My makeup 'habit' is spiralling again, and I've a list longer than my arm of things I want to try and looks I want to create.

The Sunday Link-Up

Welcome to the first Link-Up of 2015! After enjoying a break over the Christmas period, we are feeling super motivated to get back into the swing of blogging and are crossing our fingers that 2015 is our best year yet! There were some lovely posts on the blog this week (and a lot of 90s nude lips!) so, grab a coffee and enjoy! Oh, and there are some major beauty deals and steals included too!

January 02, 2015

Crabby Jo's, Howth

Most of you are probably familiar with Howth, the well-to-do little fishing village nestled into a rocky peninsula on the coast of North Dublin. Long has it been the go-to for great seafood but, over the last three or so years, it's become a rather cool player on the foodie scene. 

Crabby Jo's is a new venture by the folks at Wrights of Howth and is tacked onto their famous fish shop on the village's West Pier. With time on our side for once and a hankering for some top quality fish, Kev and I met in Howth one afternoon for a little lunch date.

January 01, 2015

2015: What We're Excited for

So, we've rang out 2014 and are now looking straight into a new year. Neither of us are too hot on resolutions or anything of the like - but new beauty launches never fail to excite and delight! Read on for our top picks for 2015...

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