Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stila Stay All Day MATTEificent Lipstick (Soiree and Papillon)

Stila recently launched a new range of lipsticks.  Lipsticks and Stila are two of my happiest things in the world so a perfect makeup combo (the delay in this post will give you a little indication of how busy I have been of late).  The lipsticks are called Stay All Day MATTEificent and as the name suggests they are a long wearing Matte lipstick.  There are 12 lipsticks in the range and they cost £15.00 (sorry I cant remember the Euro pricing).
The lipsticks are housed in a long slim very pretty golden bullet.  We are seeing Stila re-brand the whole collection in matching golden goddess style which I like very much (it looks modern yet classic). 

To match the lipsticks there is finally a range of Stila Stay All Day Lip Liners.  Stila used to have amazing lip liners (which in my mind were like the Charlotte Tilbury ones) unfortunately due to much upheaval with the brand they were no longer on the menu.  As the brand becomes more recognised and established I think will see the development and return of some great products.  I picked up the shade Sangria.  The liners are twist up and they are firm but soft liners - if that makes sense- they are soft on the lips but if you wind up too much product the pencil will break.  
I of course picked the brightest pink lipstick out of the collection of 12 and that is Soiree.  While I wouldn't say they "Stay All Day" as the name implies they are a long lasting COMFORTABLE matte lipstick.  I think we expect too much from lipsticks, liquid lipsticks (especially Stila's Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks) have brilliant staying power but lipsticks will only stay a certain amount of time and I think if you get to drink a cup of tea and your lipstick is still there your onto a winner. 

Left to Right : Papillon and Soiree

Left to Right : Papillon and Soiree
As you might know I am a massive fan of bright pink lips but in the interest of perspective, science and the fact that I was unable to leave the counter without buying two lipsticks I decided to pick up a pinky neutral the shade "Papillon".  Again this is a long lasting, COMFORTABLE, matte lipstick (and for some reason I find it creamier on the lips than Soiree).  Although its a million miles away from my usual bright and loud lipsticks (I like to call them Slag Pinks) Papillon is such a flattering shade it has found its way into my handbag so its there at all times, which is saying a lot cause at the moment I am carrying a small crossbody bag. 


I spy with my little eye that Stila have a Matte Metal collection of MATTEIFICENT lipsticks launching soon and there is a shade "Flambant" which is described as a metallic bright pink.... which sound like it could be my new signature shade.  

Stila is available from Harvey Nichols Dundrum and of course at Stila.co.uk where their Christmas Collection Transcendence is also available (I have picked up the highlighting trio so there will be a post soon). 
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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday 2016 (The Body Shop, Stila, Chupi and Boots)

So Black Friday is a thing in Ireland and I am delighted.  Who doesn't love a bargain? The Body Shop were one of the first brands to treat us to Black Friday offers a couple of years ago and this year they are giving you 30% off which is fantastic.  You can pick up some of their lovely Christmas gifts (a post on them coming soon) I like to stock up on body butters especially in the Christmas ranges.  

Lots of shops and online shops will be offering deals.  My beloved Stila.co.uk will have some offers as well as Chupi (last year they gave a free ring with every order) and Boots have us spoiled with deals (see a selection below).

Best of luck with your Black Friday shopping.

Boots Offers 
SensatioNail - Limited Edition Ultimate Gel Starter Kit €45 (worth €96)

Smashboox Studio on the go Shadow and Mascara €10.33 (was €15.50)

Oral B Pro 6500 Black Smart Series Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth €99.99 (was €274.99)
Boots have many more offers including perfume offers and online exclusives.  

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Clarins The Essentials Palette 2016 and some Christmas Set Picks

I love Clarins, I love their foundations, their skincare is amazing and the lip products.... well the lip products are delish.  I have a strong and dedicated relationship with the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils.  I have one beside my makeup.  I have one in my handbag.  I would quite happily wear one around my neck close to my heart if I could get away with it (that would be both weird and awesome).

I have never been the biggest fan of Clarins eye shadows, they are soft and pretty and give a watercolour wash of colour to the eyes but for some reason I have found them a bit MEH.  For the past few Christmases Clarins have released a eye shadow palette "The Essentials".  The previous palettes were very pretty but neutral.  This year The Essentials* palette is ready to let its hair down and go a little bit funky.  

The packaging is sturdy cardboard and the eye shadows can be removed if you wish to use the box for keepsakes.  There is a brush included with the palette, its a nice functional brush but the size is quite small but its an improvement on previous years.  The sparkle on the palette might call for precise placement so maybe the reason for the small brush.

The packaging is similar to previous years except this years has a beautiful flower design on the front.  Clairns have a tree planing project and when you go to the website and enter the code "Planttree" a tree will be planted. 

The palette costs €43 and has 10 shadows (which breaks down to €4.30 per shadow).  Unlike previous years this year has more shimmer and more colour.  The vibe is more purple jewel tones and definitely ready for a sparkly Christmas.

The first few shades are more subtle (although the second shade is probably my favourite in the palette with a beautiful iridescence).
You can use the second half of the palette for a sophisticates but shimmery night look.  The shade at the end is a beautiful black with ruby sparkles.  There are some really shimmer shades that you can push onto the middle of the eye lid for a beautiful look.  There can be some fall out during the evening but a little glitter on the top of cheekbones makes for a nice highlight.  Its the nature of glittery shadows to have a touch of fallout,  if you use a primer that wont happen.

To go along with The Essentials eye palette there is a limited edition Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil* with the same flower motif.  Its so pretty I could hang it around my neck.

Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils are €21.00

I always associate Clarins with Christmas, it might be the signature red packaging, it might be because my first Clarins purchase was one of their Christmas sets many (many) moons ago.  Clarins Christmas gifts are a great way to grab your favourite product and try a few new ones all at a great price.  

Some of our favourite Clarins gifts this year are Sparkling Lips Collection €45 (which contains 3,5g Joli Rouge Lipstick #705 Soft berry,  5ml Instant Light Lip Perfector #06, 5ml Instant Light Lip Perfector #01, 7ml Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil honey #01 and a makeup bag).  Clarins lip products not only feel amazing but they are also beneficial and have treatment and anti aging properties for the lips.                                                          

Due to my love ot the Lip Comfort Oils I have to mention Sweet Lips Collection    €39  (which contains 7ml Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Honey #01, 7ml Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Raspberry #02, 7ml Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Redberry #03 alll in a bag).

We cant mention Clarins without talking about one of their skincare sets.  We are huge fans of Double Serum (I try quite a bit of skincare "for the blog" and Double Serum is one of those product that I used to the very end, then turned the bottle upside down praying to the Clarins gods for more.  Its a beautiful product and your skin will love it).  The Double Serum Anti Ageing and Radiance Essentials set costs €70 and contains a Double Serum also sample sizes of  Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch and Gentle Refiner Exfoliating Cream in a festive makeup bag.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

O'Keeffe's Working Hands - a Tool Bag Must Have

Its not often I have a must have for the Tool Bag as well as the Makeup Bag but today I have just that.  My lovely brother with the sensitive but working hands discovered an essential to heal his dry and cracked hands.  Unfortunately it was when he was in Canada.  O'Keeffe's Working Hands*was pretty popular where he worked, it was found beside soap at every skin in the place.  When he came home we searched everywhere for it.  Who knew a man could be so specific about hand care.

My brother suffers with cracked skin, which isn't helped by the harsh cleaners he uses on building sites which exacerbates if not causes the condition.   O'Keeffe's is oil free and fragrance free which means its fantastic for sensitive or irritable skin.  The formula is easily absorbed into the skin.  
I brought a hand cream into work which smelled like sweets, most of the women loved it (not the lady with sensitive skin) and the men felt left out.  Turns out using harsh cleansers and hand sanitisers really dry up your skin.  O'Keeffe's is the perfect cream for absorbing quickly and not causing irritation and keeping everybody in your office, hospital even building site happy.

Its not often we can get great beauty stocking stuffers for men but this hand cream might be a nice addition. 

O'Keeffe's Working Hands is available now from Boots and costs €9.99.
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Thursday, November 3, 2016

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics

I am a magpie when it comes to makeup, the brighter, more sparkly the better.  Urban Decay is a perfect brand to feed the craving.  Urban Decay were doing bright loud eye shadows and unusual lipsticks way before anybody else, let alone a main stream company, they also changed the shape of the neutral or naked eye shadow palette.   I get very excited when I hear Urban Decay are launching a new palette (or new products) and I was intrigued by the NAKED Ultimate Basics*.
So colour and shimmer are my thing, even though as I am getting older I know its more flattering for my aging eyes (they are laughter lines OK) to wear neutral Mattes and all the cool kids are wearing Matte shadows (I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never be a cool kid, I know 80 year olds cooler than me).   The world is trying to sell me on Matte shadows and if anybody can it would be Urban Decay.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics is a square palette (its hip to be square) which contains 12 All new Matte eye shadows (with the exception of Blow which is Matte with a pearl pigment - so basically it has a shimmer).

So does the world need to get more Naked?  When I saw the palette my heart skipped a beat, the packaging is definitely the best packaging we have seen from a Naked palette.  Its sleek, sturdy plastic (not metal so no clunky noise) in a rose gold that looks like a sun burst.  Its impossible not to OOOOO at it when you see it.  It is a dam fine looking palette. 

Top Row: Left to Right Blow, Nudie, Commando, Tempted, Instinct, Lethal
Bottom Row Left to Right:  Pre-Game, Extra Bitter, Faith, Lockout, Magnet, Blackjack
My initial thoughts (apart from the standout shades) was MEH.  I thought the top row, in particular Nudie, Commando, Tempted were very samey.  Then I started to use the palette.  I have been using the palette every day for the past couple of weeks and I am so impressed with it.  The eye shadows are buttery soft and what I am most surprised about is how bendable they are.  Sometimes with Matte shadows you get streaks or drag marks but with the Urban Decay mattes they blend and buff out easily. They help me (and trust me I am no great shakes with the makeup skills) create beautiful eye "LOOKS" - this is a big deal, I have actual eye looks (sure I will be thinking I am Pixiwoo).

I have gone from thinking the palette is a bit MEH (keep in mind I tend to like a palette that has a rainbow springing out of a Unicorns bum in sparkle and colour) to absolutely loving the Naked Ultimate Basics.  The palette has changed the way I look at Matte shadows - they are now my friend. 
The shadows are buttery and I cant get over how bendable they are.  The palette is perfect if your like me and don't have a lot of time to apply your make up.  I have been using the shades Extra Bitter and Lockout a lot, they are bold but really flattering shades especially for those of us with light coloured eyes.    To mix it up I have been using the gray shade Magnet all over the lid with the shade Blackjack as a liner for the easiest (and laziest) smoky eye know to womankind.

Oh the power of social media.  Urban Decay creator Wendy created the palettes standout shade Extra Bitter because of the demand and love the shade Bitter from the Vice 4 palette received, and the shade Lethal is in homage to a beloved shade from the Gwen Stefani palette.  Urban Decay listen to their Urban Junkies.  
As you can see Extra Bitter has a bit more oomph to it

I have been seriously won over by the Naked Ultimate Basics palette but do you need it?  Its a fantastic palette for everyone from beginners (the shadows are easy to use and blend and the colours have complementary tones so you don't have to have a degree in colour auras to work out which shades go together) to the more mature person (OK I admit it Matte shadows are very flattering on the more mature lid)  although people like my mam would need some convincing to use the shade Extra Bitter (it would be fab on her).  Good news is the palette is going to be a permanent part of the Naked Collection so fear not if your broke right this second.  I think the Naked Ultimate Basics palette with make a brilliant gift this Christmas, sure you might as well put it on your list.  

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics is out now and costs €47.00
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Monday, October 31, 2016

Newbridge Silverware - What do Marilyn Monroe and Amy Huberman have in common ? (Luna Collection)

When most people call in sick to work they can be found on the couch in comfortable PJ's sipping 7up not Marilyn Monroe, one her (many) sick days called for her to to be sewn into a skin tight flesh coloured gown with over 2,500 hand stitched crystals giving the illusion of her body being naked and shimmering and to perform possibly the most famous rendition of Happy Birthday the world has ever heard.  Go big or go home, not a Marilyn quote but certainly a sentiment to which she lived up to.  If you have ever visited the Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons you will know every week is is exciting, but this week is rather special.  For a very limited time (Saturday 29th October – Sunday 6th November) the sheer gown worn my Marilyn on that infamous night will be on display. 
Newbridge Silverware are working again with Julian's Auctioneers to bring this Iconic dress to Ireland with its only European viewing before it goes up for Auction on November 17th.  

The dresses significance before more poignant if you think that in less than a year after Marilyn performed Happy Birthday to JFK in 1962 both the star and the President had passed away.  

Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons is really a treat which transports you directly to old Hollywood, encompassing pieces from Audrey Hepburn, Princess Diana, Elvis, The Beatles even Kim Kardashian,  The museum frequently has different exhibitions showcasing rare and iconic memorabilia.  Did I mention the Museum is FREE?  

I like to keep an eye on Newbridge Silverware's website to see what exhibitions they have coming up because there are some collections that you simply cant miss.  

While your visiting Newbridge Silverware you can also browse the showroom, look at the Christmas shop and even stop for a spot of lunch or afternoon tea.  Of course its hard not to do a bit of shopping (also check out the bargains at the till area) and during my visit I had to check out the new jewellery collection designed by Amy Huberman.  

The Luna Collection (designed by Amy) is a contemporary jewellery collection which would make delightful gifts for anyone this Christmas.  The collection which outshines other contemporary designers and includes intricate elements like an adorable elephant, the sun, moon, stars.  I love that you can layer the pieces or wear the more intricate pieces on their own.  The range is all gold plated and very affordable (ranging from €20 - €45.00).

My absolute favourite piece and one that is going to the top of my Christmas list is the Sun, Moon and Stars pendant (€45.00) which gives the illusion of jewellery layering (without the multiple knotted chains).  

 The Luna Collection is out now and I think I can safely say that I will be picking up a few pieces as gifts for my friends and family.  The range is so pretty and almost unexpected from Newbridge Silverware who I associate with larger chunkier pieces.  The company of course has a huge range of jewellery from its more traditional designs to newer fashion pieces, there really is something for all the family.  

Sure lets look at Marilyn's dress one more time....

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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Cocoa Brown New Products - Kind Shampoo, Kind Conditioner, Self Tanning Wipes, Rose Gold Goddess, The Goddess Collection

Marissa Carter and Cocoa Brown have changed the face (and body) of false tanning in Ireland.   With the original One Hour Tan Marissa has created an effective and affordable product which is a beauty staple for most Irish women (and beyond).

Marissa (as you can see from her snapchat) is not one to sit on her laurels and decided to expand what is now becoming a Cocoa Brown Empire. 

Marissa gave us a glimpse of what was to come with the Cocoa Brown Travel Set* €8.00 which contains a travel size Kind Shampoo, Conditioner shower gel and a packet of Self Tanning Wipes. 

If your as old as I am (as old as the hills) the idea of Self Tanning Wipes give you the shivers, back in the day the only tanning products available were either very very expensive or tanning wipes which basically seemed like they were coffee stained sheets of misery.    I haven't tried the Cocoa Brown Wipes (I cant sorry, it will cause flashbacks) but Sinead from the Beautiful Truth has and thought they were lovely (high praise from the trusted Sinead).  

After the success of the Travel Set Cocoa Brown released full size (200ml) of both the Kind Shampoo* and Kind Conditioner* (€3.50).  As the name suggests the Kind range is good to both the hair and the scalp (and even gentle on hair extensions).  The formula is free from Parabens, Alcohol and Formaldehyde and has a very light fragrance (Cocoa Browns signature Tahitian Gardenia).

So is it any good?  I am lucky enough to have good hair, I have lots (and lots) of it, it takes well to a style and is strong.  Unfortunately after I had the baby some I my hair grew back different, the hair around my ears grew back frizzy and rough (weird I know).  Just when I have no time to style or treat my hair it starts acting the maggot.  Left to its own devices the sides stuck out like Krusty The Klown.  Kind Shampoo and Conditioner is a rich but light duo which I found miraculously helped with the frizz.  Kind leaves your hair so soft and manageable.  It is a rich shampoo and I found during the really warm days (remember those very humid days with absolutely no sun in September) I got greasy roots quicker. This was probably a combination of the heat and the conditioning nature of the shampoo,  if you have very oily hair the shampoo might not agree with you (but I have a solution for you below).  

I gave the smaller size Shampoo and Conditioner to my friend to try, she has finer hair than me and she got on really well with the duo.  Her hair looked bright, soft and conditioned.  Recently I have been using a different shampoo (mostly because himself has used up the end of the Kind Shampoo on his delicate scalp - he noticed the difference) and the Kind Conditioner and my hair feels lovely and soft and without frizz.   So if you have oily hair try using your regular shampoo and the Kind conditioner.   Cocoa Brown Kind Shampoo and Conditioner are a great duo if you have frizzy hair and at €3.50 each are an excellent price.  I would love if Cocoa Brown released a deep conditioner or treatment.  Think of the possibilities.  
Here I am my hair has been washed by Cocoa Brown Kind Shampoo and Conditioner and styled with Bumble & Bumble products.  My hair looks shiny and healthy and I dare you to spot some of the Krusty the Klown frizz.
ROSE GOLD - just mention Rose Gold anything and it sells out in a flash.  Who doesn't Love Rose Gold?   Especially when Rose Gold is particularly flattering to the Irish complexion.    Recently Cocoa Brown released a Limited Edition Rose Gold Goddess* and it sold out in a flash (I asked in Penneys in Dundrum and it sold out in an hour).  I love the original Golden Goddess which is so pretty on the skin (on holidays, during party season or just on a Tuesday to brighten your world).  The oil absorbs easily into the skin leaving you with a radiant pretty glow.  I was away in March and cause I have a baby I saw absolutely no sun but Golden Goddess on my legs gives such a radiant glow I looked like a Golden Goddess.  You can use the Goddess oils on the face but I love to use them on the body, the fact that they are so affordable means you wont feel guilty for smothering your body with it.  
Cocoa Brown couldn't really leave a nation crying out in need for more of the limited edition wonder which was Rose Gold Goddess so this Christmas (from the 8th November) Cocoa Brown are releasing the Goddess Collection which contains the original Golden, Rose Gold and a new Ice Goddess all for an amazing €17.99.
So whats next for Cocoa Brown?  Who knows with the wonderful Marissa but we know she has plenty more tricks up her sleeve.  
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