Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Clarins Spring 2018 - Including SOS Primers

We all NEED it to be Spring (what an understatement) even though its still very cold we can dream of Spring with the pretty new collection from Clarins. 

The trend of warm eye shadow's doesn't look like its going anywhere and Clarins have put their own stamp on the trend with the Lovely Rose 4 colour palette* €43.00. 
Clarins are taking the trend of warm shadows and mixing it with pretty Spring shades, its such a pretty looking quad which totally moves away from Clarins comfort zone of classic "safe"shades.  I always describe Clarins eye shadows as giving a watercolour effect to the lids, the shadows are not as intensely pigmented as some brands but that will be much more flattering on eyes that might be more mature and have more texture.  The lighter watercolour like shadows will be perfect for people who are a little scared of colour but really want to try the warm eye shadow trend.  The quad consists of a classic ballet pink, a coral pink, purple pink and a deep burgundy.   Clarins eye shadows Clarins eye shadows can be used dry for a wash of colour or wet for a more intense effect.                         

Lovely Rose quad swatched dry (you can use wet for more intense look)
My favourite Clarins products (besides skincare swoon) are lip products, they are fantastic.  Clarins make magic lip products because not only are they very pretty and wearable shades, they are skin care for your lips. The products are treating the lips as you wear them and you can FEEL the benefit of the products.  I love the Clarins Instant Light and Spring 2018 has the addition of Lip Balm Perfector in the shade #07 Hot Pink* and #08 Plum* €20.00
Left is Hot Pink (which is a definitely more a Coral than a hot pink shade) and right is Plum.  These are fantastic for your lips (especially with the effects of the cold and central heating) I have very dry lips and they are now in such good condition.  I love that they are fancy lip balms but they have a really good amount of colour to them so with one swipe you look "done" and more put together.  Clarins lip products are amazing we are in a very committed relationship and I will never stop singing their praises. 
Clarins can put a big happy tick beside flattering bright Spring makeup but Clarins are a skincare brand (an amazing skin care brand) so they have created a range of primers which target specific skincare concerns. 

Let me introduce you to SOS Primers a collection of 6 targeted primers which help to hydrate, prepare and target specific concerns. 

00 Universal Light -  radiance boosting primer which subtly brightens the skin
01 Rose - brightens dull and tired skin 
02 Peach - blurring primer for flawless skin 
03 Coral - dark spots and events skin irregularities

04 Green - minimizes redness 
05 Lavender - helps sallow or yellow skin tones.

Chances are you are not going to need all 6 primers but the great thing about SOS Primers are you can mix and match on different parts of your face.  I am a big fan of using 04 Green on the red parts of my face and then using 00 Universal light on my forehead and cheekbones for radiant cheeks.  Unlike some colour correcting products they blend really easily, for example the green shade blends really easily and smoothly onto the skin leaving no green caste on the face.  My favourite (and to use the word favourite is a massive understatement because im quite giddy about how wonderful it leaves my skin)  is 02 Peach the blurring primer, the peach tint covers the skin and leaves a perfect base.  But why do I need a primer ? I hear you cry.  I have found that using SOS Primers mean that not only does the foundation last longer on my skin I dont have to use as much foundation.   I have also found that even if some foundation wears off,  my skin has the added colour correction of the primer so my red chin doesn't look as red.   SOS Primers give you a perfected but very natural looking base.  I used to be very lucky with my skin but as I am getting older I have much more redness and dullness and my skin needs ALL the help it can get.  SOS Primers are answering my calls for help.

Left to right 00 - 05

00 Universal Light, 01 Rose, 02 Peach, 03 Coral, 04 Green, 05 Lavender
00 Universal Light, 01 Rose, 02 Peach, 03 Coral, 04 Green, 05 Lavender

SOS Primers cost €31.00 each and unless you have specific skin concerns I think most people would be quite happy with the beautiful effects of 02 Peach.
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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

TOO FACED - Under the Kissletoe Christmas 2017

Too Faced know how to put together a holiday collection, they take their excellent products, throw in some tongue n cheek (or should I say cheeky) puns and some very festive packaging and off we go all set with a gift that is too pretty to wrap.  The "Under the Kissetoe" €26 is a lip lovers dream and the perfect way to dip your toe into the Too Faced world of melted lipsticks. 

The set contains 4 mini but descent sized products all in different formulas which will give you a great mix of shades to play with and also lets you see if you like a formula before committing to a full sized product. 

  • Melted Lipsticks in shades Chihuahua 
  • Melted Matte in Chocolate Honey 
  • Melted Latex in Hopeless Romantic 
  • Melted Matte in Drop Dead Red 

  • The Melted Lipsticks and Melted Chocolates come with a sponge tip applicator (which is very satisfying to squeeze out) and the Melted Latex and Melted Matte have doe foot applicators. 

    Left to Right : Melted Lipsticks in shades Chihuahua, Melted Matte in Chocolate Honey, Melted Latex in Hopeless Romantic, Melted Matte in Drop Dead Red 
    As you can see the set contains three nude or neutral tones and a bright bold red (perfect for Christmas).  Although I am not generally a fan of nudes I think Too Faced make exceptional nudes that I find really flattering. 

    Shade and formula breakdown:
    Chihuahua is exceptionally flattering (if your a fan of Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk this will be perfect for you).
    Chocolate Honey is delicious (yes it smells and tastes like chocolate) and very wearable
    Melted Latex in Hopeless Romantic is a very pretty nude, its a sticky full shine gloss
    Melted Matte are my favourite formula long wear lipsticks, I would have preferred the classic red shade Lady Balls but a mini vampy shade like Drop Dead Red is a lovely addition to my collection.

     Melted Lipsticks in shades Chihuahua
    • Melted Matte in Chocolate Honey 
      Melted Latex in Hopeless Romantic

     Melted Matte in Drop Dead Red

    Too Faced have a selection of Christmas gifts that are available now from Too and Debenhams.  
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    Friday, October 13, 2017

    Laura Geller - Gilded Honey is worth the hype

    SPACKLE - a word that will make you sit up and take notice especially when its said with enthusiasm and passion and thats exactly what happened one rainy afternoon watching QVC.  I Loved Laura Geller's knowledge and passion for her brand.  Unfortunately Laura Geller wasn't a brand that was available in Ireland so I stored the information in the back of my beauty brain.  Fast forward to 2017 and I was one happy bunny to discover that Laura Geller is now available at and in 6 Debenhams stores in Ireland. 

    Laura Geller is a New York based makeup artist with decades of experience and a New York attitude which will make you fall in love with her immediately, if not the attitude its her passion towards beauty and making women look and feel wonderful.  

    Although SPACKLE (which by the way is a primer and I like to say it while doing Jazz Hands) sucked me in the product from Laura Geller that I most wanted to try was the Baked Gelato Vivid Swirl Illuminator in Gilded Honey* 

     Pictured Left to Right: Gilded Honey and Peach Glow
    I had heard You Tubers in America rave about Gilded Honey... the name alone gives the impression that your going to look like J Lo.  I was very excited to try it not just because I have a a bit of a addiction with highlighters but also cause its one of Laura Geller's products that has reached Cult Status.  I was sent two highlighters from the range to try Peach Glow (it was pretty) and Gilded Honey SWOON.  But a highlighter is just a highlighter Right?  I am beginning to think that Gilded Honey is not so much a highlighter and more of a way of life.  At first I looked and thought mmm pretty but Gilded Honey is that flattering hue which makes the skin radiant and look like its glowing.  I was recently at a skincare event and a woman from the brand commented on how radiant my skin was.... her first reaction was not that I was wearing highlighter but that I was glowing.  Thats the magic of Gilded Honey, you look radiant and glowing. YOU not your highlighter looks glowing.  You can of course ramp up the glow (I enjoy being spotted from space as much as the next makeup lover) but as somebody who is getting more mature (ahem) Gilded Honey doesnt catch in laughter lines, wrinkles or skin blemishes.    So rather than looking like 90ies JLo (which is probably a bit dated) you look like J Lo now, radiant, glowing and DAM how does she look so amazing. 

    To demonstrate how smitten I am with Gilded Honey it was first into my makeup bag when I was going on holidays (thats a big commitment because I pretty much only wear lipstick, mascara and highlighter on holiday).  I had been on the hunt for Estee Lauder Modern Mercury highlighter (its reborn as part of the Victoria Beckham line) for years and finally picked it up when the VB range was released and  I am a little disappointed, it looks gaudy and crass beside the classy and glowing Gilded Honey.    I have been using Gilded Honey hard (I feel like I have missed something if I dont use it) and it still has the Gelato swirl shape which magically stays til you finish the product.   You might look at it and say.... "its a golden highlighter" that was my first impression but I urge you to try it on your skin.   Gilded Honey was the product I wanted to try from Laura Geller and it lived up to the hype (in fact I dont think I hyped it up enough).  
    Gilded Honey = Swoon
    A pretty heavy swatch of Gilded Honey - you can wear lighter or go to town
    If I had my own makeup brand I would start with Lipsticks, I love how they can change your face and even your attitude (nothing like a red lip to make you feel sassy and confident).  Whenever I am dipping my toe in a new brand I like to try out their lip products.  As we all know liquid lipsticks have been ruling the lipstick roost for some time now and Laura Geller's version are called Fifty Kisses.  

    Firstly my lips are kinda over liquid lipsticks, I have dry lips and they feel a little punished by long wearing liquid lipsticks.  We all can safely say that the joy of not having to reapply lipstick in work, after coffee or can safely give our little angels a non sticky kiss is usually worth the dryness.  There are generally two formulas of liquid lipsticks, a thicker mousse formula or a thin watery formula.  Fifty Kisses is the latter, it is light, it is pigmented and it isnt drying.   I was shocked, not at how nice it felt (almost like a matte lipstick rather than a liquid lipstick) but at other brands that are still launching rubbish, painfully drying and cracking formulas.  Laura Geller has cracked the liquid lipstick formula by making a comfortable liquid lipstick that DOESN'T CRACK.  No more lines down your lips, or lips that look like cracked plaster.  Fifty Kisses looks like a velvet lipstick, very flattering.  

    Top to bottom Pink Pucker, Makeout Merlot
    Pink Pucker (what a me shade- it has become a staple in my handbag) it instantly brightens and lifts the face and what can I say bright pink is my signature shade. 

    Makeout Merlot
    Makeout Merlot a vampy and sultry shade which is perfect for autumn and winter.

    I love the velvet finish Fifty Kisses gives to the lips (they stay looking that way) and how they feel. 

    I have been really impressed by the Laura Geller products that I have tried and I look forward to trying more from the range.  Whats really exciting about the Laura Geller range is the fact they produce gift sets throughout the year which allow you to sample different products and get a feel for the brand without breaking the bank.

    Laura Geller is available from and has counters in 6 Irish Stores.

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    Thursday, September 28, 2017

    Too Faced Melted Latex - Hopeless Romantic, But First, Lipstick and Im Bossy

    You could be forgiven for thinking Too Faced is all style and no substance, after all the brand does kitsch and cute like no other and is always creating new and adorable products  I have branded them the most adorable makeup brand (I want to live in Too Faced world) but they are in fact very innovative and clever with their products and not for a minute to be underestimate.
    Liquid Lipsticks are dead.... well at the very least our lips are pretty dam tired from wearing them so its time we moved on to gloss or combined our liquid lips with a glossy top.  Too Faced Melted Matte lipsticks are one of my favouites and definitely one of the least drying formulas that I have tried, always looking towards the next trend Too Faced have launched Melted Latex which is a high pigmented, super shiny and long wearing lip gloss.  The gloss, which can be worn on its own or combined with your favourite liquid lipstick, has a really thick honey consistency.  One swipe will cover the lips in thick opaque shine.  As I said Latex has the consistency of honey so it is sticky but this allows the gloss stick to your lips.  You have to be careful not to apply too much around the inner rim of your lips as the gloss can gather.    While you can wear these over a liquid lipstick I think the full colour coverage is wonderful.  
    I was wearing the pink shade But First, Lipstick out and about and a woman stopped me and asked me what I was wearing on my lips.  She said she was sick of matte lipsticks and the lipgloss made my lips look full and fabulous.  I whipped out Melted Latex and told her you could get Too Faced in Debenhams..... embarrassingly we had a Too Faced love fest while standing at an Urban Decay counter oops.

    I find that Melted Latex feels so comfortable on the lips its like a lip treatment, you free to move your lips without that dreaded crack of matte lipsticks.  The colour is intense and opaque and it wears really well, in fact the colour looks just as good after a couple of hours wear.  The formula is such that it will last through coffee (the cup will have smudges but your lips will still look fabulous).  

    Too Faced Melted Latex comes in 16 shades including the shade Unicorn Tears, I have three colours to show you today Hopeless Romantic* (a nude) , But First, Lipstick* (hot pink and my signature shade and Im Bossy* (a classic red).   A brand might be able to do cute, it might have fancy packaging but when a brand can create classic shades perfectly they are a good makeup brand brand.   I love the shades that Too Faced creates (their Melted Matte in Sell Out is my favourite nude shade) in addition to having fashion fun shades, they nail classic shades.  Too Faced do really good reds, reds so good they give Chanel a run for their money.

    Top to Bottom
    Hopeless Romantic, 
    But First, Lipstick 
    Im Bossy
    Hopeless Romantic,
    Hopeless Romantic,
     But First, Lipstick
    But First, Lipstick
    Im Bossy
    Im Bossy

    Too Faced Melted Latex Lipsticks are available now from Debenhams counters and   If you want to see the full Too Faced collection visit the pretty and pink counter at Debenhams Henry Street.  Imagine if you will a makeup vanity designed by Cher from Clueless and thats the Too Faced counter.
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    Tuesday, September 26, 2017

    Clarins Double Serum 20 + 1

    I am a huge fan of Clarins, their products are classy and luxurious but more importantly they work.  Clarins cream was my first high end skincare so I always have a nostalgic love for the brand (at the time I was probably using the wrong cream and way too much of it).  One of my favourite skincare products (of all brands) has just been relaunched and that is the iconic Double Serum*.

    The Clarins Double Serum story began in 1985 and while a lot of people would think that you cant improve on perfection Clarins are pretty determined do do just that.  Here we are 8 generations later  and each generation has given us small but significant and exciting improvements.  Welcome to Clarins Double Serum 20 + 1 a complete anti ageing product which the skin adores.

    If your already a fan of Double Serum this will be a no brainer, a tweak to the already excellent and award winning ingredients with the addition of turmeric (that would be the +1) and Boom here we are the 8th Generation of Double Serum.  Turmeric is an excellent anti inflammatory (in fact himself is taking Turmeric for pain) and in India woman use turmeric in facials (please dont use it directly on the skin as it will stain the skin.... as it did my table) and it has been proven to also target fine lines.

    The "Double" in Double Serum refers to the product being 2 phase a hydra or water and a lipid or oil.  The snazzy new bottle has perfected storage and houses the oil and water separately but in the same bottle (a double vial).  The bottle also has a wonderful customisable button which allows you to select if you want a small or larger pump of product.  Pretty clever.  One pump (I use the smaller option) will cover your face and neck (and I rub the residue on the back of my hands to combat ageing on my hands).  Clarins are striving to use natural ingredients and Double Serum has 9 organic ingredients and 3 fair trade making you feel as well as look good. 
    I have oily yet dehydrated skin and it absolutely adores Double Serum, the unique mix of oil and water means it absorbs quickly into the skin without feeling heavy or oily.  Oily skinned women are often afraid of using an oil but Double Serum balances the skin so it feels less oily yet targets my dehydrated parts (which make fine lines appear larger).  A serum is an extra skincare step which quite frankly I dont have the time or the memory for, but Double Serum (as is Clarins way) is enjoyable to apply with a wonderful texture and light fragrance.  As I mentioned the serum absorbs quickly and your skin feels hydrated and not oily.  Me and my skin, we are big fans of Double Serum.
    Double Serum has a long list of awards behind it and no doubt this new incarnation will also be an award winner.  Some the people I trust most in the beauty industry adore Double Serum (from magazine editors to makeup artists).    Clarins is a luxury brand but they are also aware that people like value for money and they have a specific way to apply creams and serums to ensure you are not using too much product (the skin can only absorb a certain amount of product the rest is waste).  You dot the product around your face and then you press or push (DO NOT RUB) the product into your skin, this spreads more product around (and rubbing can damage the skin) and it also means you use less product meaning your bottle lasts longer.   If your in doubt how to do this ask at any Clarins Counter.  

    I am a huge fan of buying a big investment like this when there is a gift with purchase or in a Christmas set which allows you to try other products from the brand.

    The New and improved Double Serum is out now  and costs €72 for 30ml and €92 for 50ml.

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    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    The Body Shop Hair Care Collection

    This is going to sound a bit daft but when I think of The Body Shop, I think of stuff for my body like lotion and shower gel.  This is possibly because I am somewhat obsessed with their Body Butters (then again who isn't ?).  I vaguely remember trying a shampoo years ago but I am somewhat clouded by time.  

    We are somewhat fussy in our house with regard to shampoo and when I mean "We" I mean "Himself". A few years ago I had a Kerastase shampoo and conditioner and as we all know they are very very expensive so I left them in the bathroom for "good" use, somewhat safe in the knowledge that the pink bottle would be off putting to a manly grease monkey like himself.  I got worried when out of the blue he said "that shampoo is really nice" hmmm.  I decided that shag it I would use the "good" shampoo only to find an empty bottle in the bathroom (left for display purposes or as some kind of decoy).  As you can imagine we had a warm and loving conversation about this.  Ever since then whenever we have a new shampoo himself judges them and let me tell you he is the Simon Cowell of Shampoos (he doesn't even have masses of hair, regular bloke haircut).  Mostly his comment is "its no Kerastase" (after our shampoo row he will not forget the brand Kerastase quickly, nor will he ever shell out the money for it).

    This is a pretty long winded way of telling you about The Body Shop Hair Care Collection which has been put to the test in our house.  For the first time (since the said Kerastase incident) the Simon Cowell of judging shampoos proclaimed "Thats good Shampoo" after using The Body Shop Banana Shampoo and Conditioner.  Thats like being signed for a record contract.

    My hands down favourite from the line is the Banana Shampoo* and Conditioner*.  This magical duo is simply wonderful for your hair. Your hair is left super soft, nourished and with a delicious sent.  There is a lovely light and natural scent (not overpowering or too sweet) which even lasts after you have been caught in the rain.   I have been caught sniffing my hair because of the delightful scent,  I also enthusiastically bounded up to my friend in work and asked her to "sniff my hair"... she looked at me weirdly (I get that a lot) but sniffed it and said "OOO its lovely".   I have been using this duo (when I can rip it out of his hands) all summer and its wonderful for the frizzy, dried out mess that summer can leave your hair in.  I think the Banana shampoo particularly suits blondes as I felt my hair was shiny and bright (blond hair is so difficult to get a shine from).  There is also a treatment mask in the Banana range and considering how well the shampoo and conditioner performed its going straight on my list.   The last time I was in The Body Shop they had a special offer "Buy any Shampoo or Conditioner and get a Mask half price" - I love a deal especially when it comes to everyday essentials.

    SHAMPOO - Banana Truly Nourishing Shampoo RRP €9.95 - 250ml RRP €14.50 - 400ml
    CONDITION - Banana Truly Nourishing Conditioner RRP €9.95 - 250ml
    TREAT MASK – Banana Truly Nourishing Hair Mask RRP €24.95 250 ml

    Did you know there was a Ginger Anti-Dandruff Shampoo* (RRP €9.95 - 250ml RRP €14.50 - 400m) sold every 5 seconds?  The Ginger Anti Dandruff Shampoo is make with Community Trade honey blended with potent Sri Lankan ginger, I dont currently suffer with dandruff so I cant speak to how efficient it is at being anti -dandruff but it is a lovely shampoo.  Probably my least favourite but thats because I dont have dandruff and the Banana is so impressive (seriously if you have blonde, dry/damaged or treated hair give it a go or even buy the conditioner which is wonderful to use on its own).  

    Here is where The Body Shop get all innovative and interesting with the Fuji Green Tea Cleansing Hair Scrub*  Thats right an actual manual scrub for your hair and scalp, with scrubby pieces of salt (dont ask me how I tasted know there is salt in it).  You know in the muggy warm weather when your scalp gets heavy and greasy (I have greasy roots and dry lengths) this scrub cleans, but importantly doesn't strip your hair and scalp.  I love the sensation of using it, the scrub foams on wet hair and there is a slight menthol which leaves your scalp zinging (I then follow on with the Banana Conditioner for complete hair swishyness).  I would use the scrub once a week on build up (especially good if you use a lot of products in your hair) and the rest of the time use the very wonderful and lovely Banana Shampoo.  Himself likes to use the scrub if he gets a lot of dirt in his hair from work again its refreshing and leave you feeling clean and fresh.  

    The Fuji Green Tea Shampoo is a nice shampoo but doesn't give that zingy fresh feel that the scrub does.  
    SCRUB SHAMPOO - Fuji Green Tea™ Refreshingly Purifying Cleansing Hair Scrub, RRP €24.95, 240ml
    SHAMPOO - Fuji Green Tea™ Refreshingly Purifying Shampoo RRP €9.95 - 250ml RRP €14.50 - 400ml
    CONDITIONER - Fuji Green Tea™ Refreshingly Hydrating Conditioner RRP €9.95 - 250ml

    Hits and Misses:  I absolutely adore the Banana Shampoo and Conditioner, they leave my hair unbelievably soft and my highlights brightened massive winner to me (I will also try the mask and report back).  I love the Fuji Green Tea Scrub its one of the most innovative and interesting products I have seen for hair and it actually works.  My only con to these is the price, as its a natural product its quite expensive for the size so its not going to work well for you if your using this as a family shampoo to last a family of 5, but if you can hide it away and use it yourself... BIG THUMBS UP.

    I thought I would mention that The Body Shop has recently been sold by L'Oreal to the brand Natura which is a Brazilian all natural brand. The Body Shop being owned by L'Oreal didnt sit well with many people who believe in the Body Shops original ethos of fair trade, natural and cruelty free products so the sale to a brand who has the same beliefs and interests as The Body Shop can only help it become an even bigger force in beauty.

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