Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Too Faced - Love Flush and Sweethearts Blush ( I Heart Too Faced)

Part of me believes Valentines Day was invented to inject a bit of oomph into February a month which lets be honest is January's shorter sister.  So Valentines is here promising to be full of love happiness and romance.  I had my little boy on Valentines Day so it will always be a day full of love and happiness.

Too Faced is the most adorable makeup brand and just looking at the products makes me smile. Although these blushes are not a new release they are perfect for a little Valentines Love (what a lovely gift or self gift).
There is nothing like the rush of love to bring a blush to our cheeks, some of us need a little help with that radiant glow and so we have Love Flush - Long Lasting blush* €30.00.  There are six shades to this cheeky little blush with names like Justify my Love, I will Always Love you, Baby Love, Love Hangover (you guessed it all with song names).  

I have I will Always Love You which is a perfect peachy blush.  The blushes promise to be fade proof, smudge proof and promise to last 16 hours.  While I dont know why you would need your blush to last for 16 hours, I can say that the blush is in an adorable heart shaped compact (we expect nothing less from Too Faced) with even more adorable bunnies embossed onto the blush.

 There is a slight sparkle to the blush which transfers beautifully onto the skin.  I love that you can take the compact out on the go and its so adorable its bound to be a conversation starter as well as a perfect apricot blush.  
 What could be cuter than the Love Flush compacts?  (pretty much nothing could be cuter - have you seen those bunnies, actual bunnies)  Sweethearts blush* €29.00 is a baked blush in a cute heart shape each with 3 different colours which can be used alone or mixed.  The Sweetheart Blush comes in four shades Something About Berry, Candy Glow, Peach Beach and Sparking Bellini.

 
  I have the shade Sparkling Bellini* which adds a stunning natural glow to the cheeks.

 


I am fast becoming a huge Too Faced fan (they won my Brand of the year 2016) not only are their products completely adorable (bunnies actual bunnies in a heart) the products are fantastic quality.  I love how the brand has outrageously cute packaging but the products themselves are so flattering on the skin. 

I Heart Too Faced 

Too Faced is  available at exclusively at Debenhams, www.debenhams.ie

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Jimmy Choo Illicit Flower

Every woman would love something in a box with the words "Jimmy Choo" emblazoned across the top.  Unfortunately most of us the shoes are but a dream but the brand offer us all something more attainable and just as delicious.  

Jimmy Choo just get fragrance, they manage to capture a fragrance which is wearable and has great mass market appeal.  Even if we forget about the brand name on the bottle the fragrances are really wearable and instantly recognisable.  

Jimmy Choo Illicit Flower* is one of the latest launches from the brand and while I wasnt a fan of the original Illicit I am loving the ladylike chic of Illicit Flower. 

The bottle is art deco inspired and for me it manages to be both simple and decadent.  You couple picture this on the makeup table of Zelda Fitzgerald or on a modern Instagramable Ikea desk.

Lets explore the fragrance

The notes

Top: Apricot, Mandarin and Freesia

Heart: Rose, Grapefruit Flower and Jasmine

Bottom: Musk, Sandalwood and Cashmeran

The Rose has been a very trendy ingredient in fragrances, while it has never gone out of fashion it has made a definite resurgence.   The fragrance opens fresh and fruity giving a youthful vibe but as it develops the rose emerges and you get much more feminine and ladylike feel, as the fragrance develops further you smell the musk and without it overpowering or loosing the rose.

Jimmy Choo have taken a traditional ingredient and created a fragrance which is both classic and modern.  Illicit Flower is one of those perfumes that when I smell it on a jumper or scarf it makes me inhale deeply, the more I wear it, the more I love it.  The more the fragrance develops the more I love it.


I love Illicit Flower from the decedent but simple bottle to the ladylike but modern fragrance.

Illicit flower is out now and costs 40ML- €43, 60ml - €65 and 100ml €95.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Best of 2016

OK so Im a little (a lot) late to post my favourite products of 2016 but I thought you might be a little interested to know what was floating my boat in 2016 as a lot of these are my current favourites.   Some of these products I have been meaning to write about for ages but time got away from me.  

Best thing I did for my Skin/Myself 
As a beauty lover it was kind of shocking that it had been about 6 years since my last facial.  I had always been a fan of Dermalogica facials and was delighted to get to try the Ion Active Power Treatment* which is a personalised treatment which targets issues such as dehydration, hyper pigmentation, ageing and acne.  Basically it felt like the bad bits of my skin were gone and I was left with glowing, radiant and younger looking skin.  Needless to say I will be going back for another treatment at Nuessence in February.  (I also finally got to try Dermalogica Precleanse and I LOVE IT).
Best Skincare
Shiseido has been a bit of a revelation to me in 2016, its an amazing brand steeped in history and tradition but on the cutting edge when it comes to skincare.  Shiseido has ranges to suite all age types so its probably best to visit your counter and get some advice which range is best suited to your age and skin type.  Shiseido is a luxury brand but a word of warning once you start using the products you will love them.  A good place to introduce you to Shiseido is with the Beauty Sleeping Mask which at €45 isn't as intimidating a price point.  Beauty Sleeping Mask is perfect to use after a night out, a night of no sleep or on generally tired and dehydrated skin.  Beauty Sleeping Mask is perfect to lazy busy people because you just apply and go to sleep (no washing off or removing). You wake up to plumper, hydrated and radiant skin.  I know this is most definitely the wrong way to use the product but if I'm having a bad week I use it every night as a night cream.

Best Mask
Ok I know I just mentioned Shiseido Beauty Sleeping Mask thats for hydration.  My favourite mask to make my skin feel squeeky clean and instantly better has been Turmeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque.  The mask helps troubled skin and perfects normal skin, there is a slight exfoliating effect to the mask and if I have had a few days where my skin feels blurgh this brightens it up instantly.  


Best Foundation
Shiseido Synchro Skin is my jam.  If your looking for a natural looking foundation with enough kick to cover blemishes and discoloration, has a SFP of 20 (but magically doesn't cause flashback in photography) all while making you look radiant and with natural looking skin I cant recommend Synchro Skin enough.   I always recommend getting a sample of a premium foundation (we all have too many orange/red/patchy/weird foundations in our past) and the moment I tried my sample pot (from the lovely girls at Arnotts) I knew I would be back to buy the full size.  I love it, no I REALLY LOVE IT. 
Setting Spray 
I never thought that I would be including a setting spray in favourites but Clarins Fix Make-up* is that good.  It has a fine spray which sets the makeup without moving ore removing any makeup.  Its one of those trustee products you don't appreciate until you run out.  
Best Mascara
I have not tried a Clarins mascara in years and while their skin care and lip products are phenomenal their eye products can be a bit of a disappointment to me.  Clarins Mascara Supra Volume* is fecking deadly,  I have small eyes with about 4 lashes and this mascara makes my lashes look longer and fuller.  Normally for a mascara to do that im left with clunky clotted lashes but Supra Volume makes me look naturally like Bambi (maybe a chubbier, exhausted looking Bambi).  The mascara also contains a serum which helps improve the condition of your lashes as you use it.  


Best Eye Palette
So there is tough competition in this category and if the Anastasia Modern Renaissance Palette had not spent most of the year sold out it would have featured beside Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics*.  As much as I love Urban Decay their rapid fire release of palettes can overwhelm the most dedicated makeup addict.  I think the Naked Ultimate Basics (a matte palette bar one "shimmery matte" shade) is a lovely warm toned addition to every makeup bag.  The matte shades are easy to work with and flattering on all ages, while the colour selection works really well especially on light coloured eyes.
Best Brow Product 
Most of the time I forget about eyebrows.  I am not a fan of the whole HD brows, not only is it too much time and effort I also have an inherent fear of looking like Groucho Marx. So why my friends do I have a brow product in my favourites?  Blame Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits who I trust implicitly.  She said it was brilliant, there was a new NYX counter in Boots Liffey Valley (its massive and I was overwhelmed so this was the only product which stuck in my mind).  The NYX Micro Brow Pencil is a errrrr small brow pencil which lets you fill in the hairs and brush through on the other end.  Quick, simple and easy to use (and not a Marx brother in sight).

Best Lip Products
Best Lipstick
When I heard Urban Decay were releasing 100 shades of lipstick (in 6 different finishes) that made me very happy bunny indeed.   I have picked up a few different shades of Vice Lipstick and my favourite is definitely Frenemy which is the brightest pink shade.  For €18.50 your getting a premium lipstick in just about any shade you could imagine.  I really love the texture and feel of the lipsticks as well as the amazing pigmentation.  I really love the creme and comfort matte finishes and I will definitely be picking up more Vice lipsticks.  (I picked up Big Bang which was my very first Urban Decay product and unfortunately the metalised finish requires a little more work to keep on the lips).  

Lip Treatment 
If you know me you will know that I LOVE Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil*  I love it so much I have one in my bag at all times and one where I do my makeup.   I spent most of the summer wearing this over a lip liner.  It leaves the lips feeling amazing and looking fantastic.  I cant be without one. 
Magic Product
I didn't have a single gray hair before I had the baby FACT,  I also could sleep 12 -13 hours no problem.  While babies and children interrupt your sleep (by jumping and sleeping on your head) I find that even when the baby is sleeping like a baby sleeping like a man unable to hear a baby my mind can race and I am unable to switch off and unwind.  This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray* simply put works.  The process of spraying starts my mind to thing "right lads get ready for a good nights sleep".  The delicate fragrance is relaxing but not overpowering.  I am not sure what other magical ingredients are in it but I am on my second bottle.  I use it on the baby (not like chloroform I promise) and unless its a horrible teething night it works on him too.  Another product I cant be without.
Best Place to Buy Makeup
Aren't we living in a wonderful time where there are tons of wonderful places to buy makeup (we can even order from Sephora - a place so wonderful 2 of the men I work with took a picture of themselves outside of it in Vegas to taunt me).  For me the winner of the best place to buy makeup is Debemhams.  Debehnams beauty hall can look quite traditional with some of the older classic brands like Clarins and Chanel, but as you move further they have Benefit and Urban Decay.  Delve a little deeper into the beauty hall (and online) and you hit the beauty jackpot.  Debenhams have Too Faced, Laura Geller, Bagsy, The Balm and least we forget Kat Von D (currently online only but if rumours are true we will be getting a counter soon).  Debenhams are stocking niche brands that have been traditional to find and putting them straight on the high street (or straight to your door if you order online).  As a bonus Debenhams have a loyalty card so your earning money off your next purchases as you spend.  Good work Debenhams.  

Best Brand 
TOO FACED not only win the most adorable makeup brand they also win brand of the year.  I have always known about Too Faced but mostly only bought the products when I was in America.  In 2016 I discovered that Debenhams stocked Too Faced and a love began to blossom.  Its not just that the products are adorable (they are), its not cause they love a theme (they love a theme, chocolate, New York and dam they do it well) the products are good DAM GOOD.

Brand to look out for in 2017
L.O.V. is the fancier big sister of the brands Essence and Catrice.  As beauty junkies we all love Essence and Catrice, there are products in each range that are so good and so affordable its mind blowing (Essence cant be beaten with their nail polishes and Catrice have the affordable highlighter game sewn up) and while its always nice to try new makeup brands its reassuring to know that they are coming from a good family.  While L.O.V. range is a little more expensive you can see the quality in the products and packaging.  The lipstick is the nicest bullet I have seen from an affordable brand (sleek packaging and a magnetic lid).  L.O.V.  should be popping up in pharmacies nationwide and is definitely worth taking a look at.

Perfume of the Year
Ok I have been keeping this to myself because I love it.  Van Cleef & Arpels Moonlight Patchouli is an expensive perfume, it smells expensive, it looks expensive (it even has a fancy dongle with Van Cleef & Arpels).  Van Cleef is a brand more suited to somebody in Gossip Girl than to me but I adore this fragrance.  I love Patchouli but its an ingredient that can sometimes react badly with my skin and just smell wrong (especially in gourmand fragrances).  I adore them on others but they just don't suit my body chemistry.  Moonlight Patchouli is a very easy to wear fragrance,  like a Patchouli fragrance for idiots - fancy posh idiots.  It manages to be rich and earthy while also being light.
Product of the Year
I love a simple product that doesn't require time, effort or skill (three things I have little or none of).  The Aurora Band is like the magic beans of hair products, you think this is going to be a swizz but it really works (on my hair) and for €13.99 its amazing value.  You put the band in your hair and go to sleep (with damp or lightly damp hair), remove in the morning (sometimes that's easier than others) and voila your left with wavy Blake Lively hair.  Sometimes it works better than others (depending on how I put it on the night before)  but I love the effect it gives.  What I love most is its easy to use and you can actually sleep comfortably in it (unlike the laughably named "Sleep in Rollers").    Nearly every time I use it (which is becoming a bit of an addiction at this stage) people ask me did I get my hair done, the reality is I have slept in it and haven't even brushed it that day.  MAGIC... Lazy lazy magic.

The effects of the Aurora Band - I haven't even brushed my hair so you would think I could blend my concealer. 

I probably will not manage a monthly favourite post Ill try a quarterly or half year favourites.  What were you loving in 2016?  Have you tried any of these products?  I would love to know your thoughts.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Stila Convertible Color Palette Sunset Serenade

Convertible Cheek Colors are one of Stila's best loved products.  The multiple award winning cream cheek and lip colour has been around for over 20 years.  I use the Convertible Colors mostly on my cheeks they are perfect to dab on with your finger.  Recently Stila released a Convertible Color Palette in two different colour ways Sunrise Splendor (a cool palette) and Sunset Serenade (a warm palette) which I have to show you today.


The packaging is the sleek and glam golden goddess packaging which also contains a mirror which is perfect for "on the go" application.




The formula is the same great formula which is in the original packaging except you are getting 5 shades.
Left to Right:  Petunia, Peach Blossom, Gerbera, Camellia and Twilight Rose (new shade)


If your a fan of the Convertible Colors this is a great way to have a few in your collection.  Stila Convertible Color Palette Sunset Serenade is out now and costs £29.00.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Smashbox Always on Liquid Lipstick Baja Bound and Stepping Out

Sometimes it seems like beauty brands have a secret conclave to discuss which products will be rocking our world.  2016 was the year every brand released or improved on a formula of liquid lips. Smashbox Always on Liquid Lipsticks are a range of 20 long lasting matte liquid lipsticks.  

I have 2 shades to show you today Baja Bound* and Stepping Out.  I always recommend that your lips are in good condition before you wear any long wear lipstick.   My lips tend to be dry and if your lips are in bad condition it will show up every fault.  

Baja Bound is a bright orange coral shade
Baja Bound

Baja Bound

Baja Bound
If your a fan of the 90ies brown lip trend Stepping Out is the colour for you.  I find that Stepping Out is more flattering on the lips the brighter shades show up every crack and fault in your lips.

Stepping Out 
Stepping Out 

Stepping Out 

 Stepping Out 

Always on Liquid Lipsticks are comfortable to wear and do last on the lips (through drinking and snacks but if your having a meal you will need to reapply).

Smashbox Always on Liquid Lipsticks are currently exclusive to Arnotts but will soon be available at all Smashbox counters.
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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Body Shop - Perfect Last Minute Gifting

Hello last minute shoppers - never fear The Body Shop is here.  Dont let the panic get to you, you can do this.  I am quite partial to The Body Shop not just because I have fond memories of my lovely mammy in law picking me up a Body Shop gift every Christmas mainly its because I adore their seasonal bath fragrances.  

Of course The Body Shop source their ingredients ethically and their packing help fund schools in underprivileged areas of the world - the main reason your going to be loving The Body Shop this Christmas is you wont have to wrap the gifts (they look that fab).  Just think your basically becoming a saint by shopping in the Body Shop - maybe not an "actual saint" but you can rest assured your purchases are doing good work.
I am particularly fond of the Vanilla Chai* which smells like amazing Christmas biscuits mmmm- if that is a little too sweet for you there is also Spiced Apple and Frosted Berries fragrances.

The Body Shop have a huge selection of Christmas gifts from their traditional bath range to their Spa of the World Collection and Skin Care Gift Sets, basically they have something for the very young to the very old and even the hipster in-between (try the Spa of the World for the hipster in your life).  

Reggie the Monkey is the Face of The Body Shop Christmas Collection (he is also a sponge)
The Body Shop is also great if you want to grab some stocking stuffers - I love The Body Butters (I love the Vanilla Chai, nearly as much as I loved the Ginger scent they released a number of years ago).
How adorable is this Christmas Babule (containing Strawberry Body Butter 50ml and Strawberry Lip Butter 10ml) housed in a reusable Christmas Bauble all for €13.50.

Good luck shoppers - go forth and conquer the crowds. Pin It

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Coach The Fragrance

Its the most wonderful time of the year, especially if your a fan of fragrance, not only are there tons of new fragrance launches (including the Coach one I am about to tell you about), even more exciting you can pick up a fragrance gift set (or coffret as the fragrance peeps call them) which is normally the same price as the fragrance. This is a wonderful way of layering fragrance and also makes a gift a little more special.  

Coach as a accessory brand is relatively new to Ireland, it was a brand that I first came across on a trip to New York (in Chinatown, if your bags are being copied in Chinatown your kinda a big deal).  To me the brand is very American and will always remind me of New York.

Coach are having a bit of a youthful face lift with new bag designs, a new face of the brand Chloë Grace Moretz and a new fragrance.
When I first smelled the fragrance I immediately dismissed it as a youthful fragrance, you can tell from the advertising campaign and with Chloë Grace Moretz as the face Coach are definitely trying to target a younger market.  As we know fragrances develop and I was delighted to find that Coach developed into a interesting fragrance.

Top Notes:  Raspberry Leaf, Pink Pepper, Pear
Heart Notes: Turkish Rose, Gardenia, Cyclamen
Base Notes: Suede, Musk, Sandalwood, Cashmeran

The first notes are the youthful and sweet but the rose develops nicely making it more complex than the youthful fragrance I had dismissed it as. The fragrance develops from a sweet fruity scent to a rose -musk fragrance.  The brand describe the fragrance as a "floriental fruity scent" which is a perfect description.  If you like the idea of a rose fragrance but would like something deeper than a floral Coach would be a good pick.  While its defiantly a mass market fragrance (the sweetness for the younger women, the musk for some sexy sophistication and classic rose) this idea of the changeable woman is the idea behind the fragrance which is inspired by "the spontaneous energy and chic downtown style of New York City".  The fragrance is supposed to be sweet, sexy and sophisticated, as women we are rarely one or the other. 

The bottle is well thought out - the design is simple yet sophisticated, the logo on the front mirroring Coach's classic design.  Instead of a lid, the spray cap is shaped like a gold turnlock (which turns to open and close the fragrance- an excellent touch) emulating the closures on Coach's bags.  There is also a leather tag on the bottle, again a nod to the brands bag designs. 

Couch is out now and costs 30ML €45, 50ML €70 and 90ML €90

If your looking to treat yourself to fragrance over the Christmas period, hold off until the sales and you might be able to nab yourself a half priced gift set..... sure you would have to buy 2.

Bonus Bit: I am really interested in fragrance, alas my knowledge is severely lacking but I am willing to learn and I love to discover more about fragrance and notes.   I recently discovered The Perfume Pros  who really are the perfume experts.  They are so knowledgeable and friendly, they make fragrance relatable.  They are my must see You Tube video every week.

My long time blogging friend Andreea (formerly of Artdonatella) has relaunched her blog as Andreea Makeup Scent she is the most passionate person I know about fragrance so if your looking for a fragrance related read check out Makeup Scent.
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