Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Current Skincare Loves - Shiseido and Kiehl's

I have been trying to get my skincare act together,  I love my makeup but have been woefully neglectful of my skin lately.  I have been blaming tiredness and lack of time but putting makeup over neglected skin is like eating beautiful cake off a dirty plate. 

Cleansing your skin is the TV character equivalent of Father Paul Stone (Father Ted fans) not to sound mean but cleansing the skin is a bit of a snoozefest and generally cleansing products are the least exciting in any skin care routine.  I normally take my makeup off using a micellar water and then go on to cleanse my skin properly.  Double cleanse is an necessity especially if you wear makeup and while cleansing is a snoozefest its essential for healthy and glowing skin. 

I was recently re introduced to the brand Shiseido, I didn't know a lot about the brand (apart from the fact my friend gets a set every Christmas from her mam and its her "good" skincare). Shiseido is the oldest cosmetic house in the world and while they own large brands such as Laura Mercier and Nars they also have an amazing makeup and skincare collection.  I have been using the Creamy Cleansing Emulsion* for the last couple of weeks now and it has made me enjoy cleansing (which in itself is weird).  I use micellar water to remove most of my makeup and then message the Creamy Cleansing Emulsion onto my skin.  Its a lovey product which isn't too fragranced or heavy.  You can see how Shiseido have used the traditional Japanese cleansing ritual when creating the Emulsion and it makes me take my time and really message the product into my skin and have a relaxing couple of minutes. As the Creamy Cleansing Emulsion is a premium priced (€50.00) skincare product (or "good" skincare as my friend would put it) I only use it in the evenings after I have taken my makeup off.  Its also good to point out that a little goes a long way so while its a steep investment the bottle will last you a long time.
After I have properly cleansed and am feeling relaxed (well as relaxed as hiding in the bathroom for a few minutes while cleansing and looking at Snapchat will make you) I move on to apply Kiehls Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate* (€48.00) which is a product which speeds up skin cell turnover quicker, making you look younger, fresher and clearing up skin irregularities (ie spots). Simply put this peel improves your bad skin and perfects your normal skin.  


My current mask of choice is Kiehls (can you tell I'm on a bit of a Kiehls Buzz at the moment) Tumeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque (€34.00).  As the name suggests (whats with Kiehls having exceptionally long product names?) this is a brightening mask which treats imperfections and the cranberry seeds gently exfoliate.  When I first used the mask I was genuinely surprised at the noticeable difference to my skin I did indeed look radiant (and not like the mother of a toddler who likes to sleep on her head, who then has to go into work and pretend they are normal) and like the peel my normal skin looked perfected and the bad skin was improved.  I am trying to use this once a week, but you know yourself best intentions don't always come to pass.  


Well if its good enough for Kim Kardashian the Kiehls Super Multi Corrective Eye Cream (€44.00) is good enough for me.  This cream claims to have 5 in 1 properties lift, firm, smooth, hydrates and restores youthful shape to the eye.  In addition to dark circles I have very puffy eyes, its not from bad habits its 100% (well maybe 80%) genetic (my dad has puffy eyes, his mam had puffy eyes) add to this lack of sleep and the fact that I sleep on my face it doesn't exactly encourage the most taut and youthful appearance.   The eye cream has a slight iridescence to it which immediately helps with dark circles,  To be honest I hadn't been paying that much attention to my eyes (the baby had been sick so I really didn't have time to be worrying about my eyes) but to my surprise my eyes looked a lot less puffy than before.  It doesn't completely undo every genetic code (you cant change City Hall) but it does improve the very puffy look I tend to get on my eyes.

These are my current skincare favourites of course for the best skin you have to drink lots of water and eat well (I cant say I have been eating the best so must try harder).  Pin It

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Too Faced - Born This Way

The expression goes "Don't judge a book by its cover" and you could easily judge the brand Too Faced for being too cute or fun.  Don't let the cuteness fool you.  Too Faced creates amazing products that not only have brilliant packaging but also have innovative formula's. 

I have recently been reintroduced to the brand and my face has been loving their new foundation Born This Way*. 

Born This Way foundation is proof of the quality of products Too Faced make. Born This Way is a beautiful looking foundation that is medium to full coverage.   You can definitely built the foundation without a cakey mask like effect.  

The foundation is oil free and one of those amazing foundations that makes your skin look radiant.  I love the glowy look (we all want to look like J Lo) and Born This Way is the perfect foundation for this kind of skin.  It covers flaws without masking them.  The foundation contains Coconut Water for radiant skin, Alpine Rose to promote elasticity and Hyaluronic Acid for smoother, youthful skin.  So while an adorable and cute brand they have a powerful foundation that makes the skin radiate youth and fights signs of ageing. 

There are 12 shades to pick from,  I have been wearing the shade Warm nude which is a wonderful match (slightly too tanned, what can I say I lived in hope of us getting sunshine).  I always suggest with foundations trying to get a sample (much easier if you live close to a counter) to see if it suits your skin.

Apologies my before and after pictures look more like mug shots.  If you would like a normal looking person doing before and after pictures please check out my pal Karen at Lovely Girlie Bits.  Possibly hard to see in these pictures (because I look like I am auditioning for Orange is the New Black) but my skin has been evened out, reducing the redness around my nose and on my chin and really impressively helping with my dark circles (really impressive considering I have a 1 1/2 year old who likes to sleep on my head).  This makes me very excited for the Born This Way concealer which is coming out to match the foundation.  

I have been enjoying Born This Way so much that I have been using this every day even instead of my beloved Stila (GASP)  I know, I like it that much.  If you have been reading this blog you will know I am Stila's NO 1 fan (yes in an obsessive weird way), they make amazing foundations..... and I have been reaching for Born This Way instead of Stila.

At €35.00 its one of the more affordable premium foundations and definitely worth checking out.  You might not be a fan of Too Faced packaging (and if your not, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? its fricking adorable) but Born This Way foundation should prove to you that the brand is more than adorable products.

You can buy Too Faced Born This Way Foundation now for €35.00 at Debenhams

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland

You might have missed the Urban Decay Alice in Wonderland palette which was recently released, I got this palette back in June and have only recently started to play with it and love it.

The back of the palette states that looks can be created by using the shadows in rows from top to bottom to create looks based on each character from the film.

Urban Decay have created a beautiful palette filled with brilliant and bold shades.  As with all Urban Decay products the details in the packaging are simply beautiful, like the checkerboard appearance of the inside of the palette and the bright and vibrant cover. 

Sometimes bright and wonderful palettes can intimidate me, I am not sure of which combinations to use.  I have been loving the shade Dutchess and have been wearing it a lot for a bright summery look. The shade Salazen Grum is such a rich beautiful shade.  Some of the matte shades like Bandersnatch and Metamorphosis are not quite as pigmented and buttery as the other shades in the palette. 

 I have the shadows swatched left to right.

Top Row
Left to Right: Looking Glass, Hatter, Lilly, Heads Will Roll, Time
Second Row
Left to Right: Reflection, Gone Mad, Dutchess, Bandersnatch, Dream On
Third Row
Left to Right: Doormouse, Paradox, Kingdom, Salazen Grum, Chronosphere
Last Row
Left to Right: Metamorphosis, Cake  Cheeseboard, Royal Flush,  Mirror


If you spot the Alice in Wonderland palette its a really nice edition to you makeup collection and makes a brilliant collectors piece.

Urban Decay are spoiling us at the moment with eye shadow palettes and have released the Limited Edition Vice XX palette to celebrate 20 years of Urban Decay.  The palette is exclusive to Debenhams and costs €49.00 (find it here).

If your looking for more of a sparkly glow you could pick up a Moondust palette - I love the moondust shadows which are packed full of shimmery sparkle.  You can use them dry for a more subtle look or wet for intense sparkle.  The Moondust palette is out now from House of Fraser and Debehnams and costs €40.00.


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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Eye Shadow Palette

I think that Too Faced might just be the Most Adorable brand ever.  I only have a couple of bits and pieces from the brand, mostly things I have picked up in America like the Retractable Kabuki Brush made with Teddy Bear hair which is quite honestly the softest brush I have ever felt.  I thought Too Faced were a brand we could only get our hands on in America (after they pulled out of Boots Liffey Valley) but was delighted to realise that there is a lovely Too Faced counter in Debenhams Henry Street and smaller stands in other branches nationwide.  

As I am so late to the Too Faced party (and what a happy wonderful party it is) I missed out on the Chocolate Bar palettes - makeup and chocolate.... two of my favourite things EVER so I was overly excited when the Chocolate Bon Bons Palette* arrived on my lap the week of my birthday.


The packaging is going to divide opinion, some may think its tacky.  Pift to them, I happen to think its totally adorable.  Bright happy pink with eye shadow in the shape of hearts.  It is officially the cutest eye shadow palette in the world.  

I am beginning to think that Too Faced headquarters instead of Oompa Loompa's there are Care Bears running the building and as transport they use My Little Pony... yes the brand is just that cute and adorable.  

While it is the Most Adorable Makeup Brand in the World (TM) they are conscious about making quality products with ingredients that are beneficial to you, I have been trying the Born this Way Foundation (review soon) and it has wonderful anti ageing ingredients.  


The eye shadows are stunning colours but they are also brilliant quality, soft buttery and pigmented.   The eye shadows are infused with cocoa powder which is a antioxidant and yes the palette smells of chocolate.  The shadows actually taste like chocolate (I have a completely reasonable explanation for this... there was swatching, I licked my finger.... all above board .... I promise) and while its an adorable finish to the palette its also used because the scent of cocoa is a proven to boost your mood.  Its impossible to use this bright happy palette, with beautiful shadows and your mood not be lifted.
The Chocolate Bon Bons palette costs €47.00 and wile that is a big investment there are 16 shadows (I love the fact they have made the base colours bigger as you would use more of these) so that works out at €2.95 per shadow.   There are both matte shades and shimmer shades in the palette and for you matte lovers the shadows are brilliant to work with.  I am not a huge fan of matte shadows but the Too Faced shadows are easy to use and blend.  I particularly love the shade Satin Sheets which is a surprise burst of flattering butterfly gold and also works wonderfully as a face highlighter.  When I use matte shades like Pecan Praline and Almond Truffle they look like I have used a couple of different shades to create an eye shadow look, when I have simply used one matte eye shadow. 


Lets get on to the swatches
From Left to Right:  Almond Truffle, Satin Sheets, Sprinkles, Molasses Chip, Malted
  From Left to Right: Cashew Chew, Cotton Candy, Cafe Au Lait, Bordeaux, Mocha, Black Currant
 From Left to Right: Dark Truffle, Pecan Praline, Totally Fetch, Earl Gray, Divinity

I had really wanted to get my hands on the Sweet Peach Palette which sold out Worldwide in the blink of an eye but I hear (from Instagram stalking of Too Faced) that it might be re released later in the year.  

You can buy Too Faced Cosmetics from Debenhams (here).

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks - Naked, Rock Steady, Disturbed

If your a lipstick or lip product lover Urban Decay is going to fast become your Disney Land, with 100 new and cult shades to choose from Urban Decay is a makeup lovers Wonderland.

Urban Decay have taken preexisting classic shades and limited edition collection shades (like the Gwen Stefani shades) and streamlined the packaging for a sleek, dramatic yet classic look.  As you can imagine Urban Decays 100 shade range covers everything from the natural, to the bold, to the way out there.  Within the 100 shades there are 6 different finishes to choose from (mega matte, comfort matte, cream, metallized, sheer, sheer shimmer).  
Its all in the details including fab lip prints on the inside of the box and a slick UD embossed on the side of the lipstick. 


I have three shades to show you today (from Left to Right) Naked* Cream Finish, Rock Steady* Cream Finish and Disturbed* Comfort Matt Finish.

The bullets will hold their own besides other high end brands but at a more affordable €19.00 per lipstick.
The shade Naked has stolen my heart, it will take an exceptionally flattering lipstick to distract me away from the hot pinks or vibrant shades.  Naked is such a pretty and flattering shade, the cream formula makes it a dream to wear.


If the shade Rock Steady is good enough for Gwen Stefani its good enough for me, a classic red in the ultra wearable cream finish will be a winner in every ones lipstick wardrobe. 






Disturbed is a comfort matte - man they are not messing when they say "Comfort" I had to check the finish of the lipstick because I didn't believe it was a matte.  I have dry lips and the Urban Decay comfort matte finish feels better on the lips than most brands regular lipsticks.  The colour a vampy darkened wine (which himself described as very 1920ies looking - should I be impressed or Disturbed like the lipstick suggests?). 


Some of the darker shades really require the use of a liner, luckily enough to partner the new Vice Lipstick range Urban Decay have a choice of 50 lip liners.  I happen to be a huge fan of Urban Decay 24/7 lip liners (I have been known to colour my lips in with my particular favourite shades and put a gloss on top).  The shade selection of both lipsticks and liners is a beauty lovers dream.


I really love the formula or the Urban Decay cream and comfort matte lipsticks, in fact I will go so far as to say for me if I had to pick between Urban Decay or Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks I would pick Urban Decay.  With a fab formula and a shade range of 100 colours Urban Decay are killing it on the lipstick front.  

All this and I haven't even mentioned that Ruby Rose is the face of the Vice Lipstick range.

Vice Lipsticks are out now at Urban Decay Counters (Debenhams and House of Fraser) and cost €19.00.  As you can imagine next on my list is one of my signature hot pink shades. 



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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Stila Spring Summer 2016

Stila are re-branding their whole line, gone are the recycled paper boxes and in their place the brand is a heaven for the golden goddess.  Each collection Stila concentrate on a different part of the face or type of product and for spring Stila are concentrating on complexion.

First up we have the Correct & Perfect All In One Color Correcting Palette* which as the name suggests is a colour correcting face palette with 5 cream correcting colors and 2 powders to set makeup.

The packaging is very pretty with a delicate coloured marbled  design.   We have all had a palette with cream and powder products and we have all decided they don't work together, either the cream drys out or the powder gets all over the cream making it redundant.  Stila have designed a clever clear cover to protect the cream products from any powder, its neat and easy to use and quite frankly I don't know how somebody didn't think of it earlier.   

Cream Correctors
  • Peach – neutralises dark under-eye circles on fair/medium skin tones
  • Pink – brightens eye area and masks fatigue
  • Yellow – neutralises hyper-pigmentation and dark spots
  • Green – counteracts redness (i.e. from rosacea, acne, broken capillaries, and sunburn)
  • Orange – counteracts dark under-eye circles on darker skin tones; also neutralises veins 
Pressed Setting Powders
  • Yellow – sets any correcting cream or can be used all over to even out skin tone
  • Lavender – sets pink correcting cream or can be used all over to brighten sallow/yellow skin

Quite honestly I wasn't very excited about a colour correcting palette, I am not generally very excited about the idea of another beauty step (most days I don't have the time for the basics let alone extra steps like serums and now a colour corrector) but I was willing to give it a try.  I have mostly been using the Peach shade under my eyes and the green shade around my nose and on my chin.  As I get older I am developing more and more redness on my face (the curse of the Celts.... and a spotty chin) and I gave my best effort at doing the artist strokes we see so much of on Instagram.  With a hugely cynical head I went about blending,  I had applied so much green I looked like I was about to audition for Wicked and since I have a One and a bit year old baby I think the only real way to cover my dark circles is to wear sunglasses CONSTANTLY and pretend Im really mysterious.   I thought while I was blending out my green face I would have a lot of time to think about life, science and the true parentage of Jon Snow but I was shocked (and a little disappointed because I didn't get to think at all).  The colours blended like a dream and in a flash and I was left with skin that was like a blank canvas.  

On the left you can see my cynical pre blend face and on the right you can see not a spot of red remains.  

I love that the Color Correcting palette gives your skin a fresh and even base, I love a light glowy complection but because of the redness on my chin and around my nose I need a heavier base (I am still not a fan of heavy foundation).  This allows me to use a light base (even a BB Cream) and the redness is gone.  The long lasting formula means that even if some foundation wears off the redness is still covered.  My red chin makes the longest wearings foundations quiver in their boots and none of them last til the end of the day but the Color Correcting Palette perfects everything and of course I have the setting powders to ensure my base lasts all day.  You don't see redness in the skin or imperfections but you also don't see heavy makeup.  I like to think it gives me mannequin face.  Since I have been using this I have been told my skin looks great and I look radiant.  My skin hasn't changed but this palette is my secret weapon.

I hold my hands up, am surprised at how much I love the Color Correcting Palette.  I cant be without it I use it religiously every day and am so happy with it I have a back up ordered.   My only comment on the palette is I wish the green section was bigger but that's a personal wish cause I have so much redness on my face.  


 Of course you cant have perfected skin without having a perfect foundation so let me introduce Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation and as the name suggests its a Serum foundation.  Stila excel with their foundations, they just cant make a bad one and the Aqua Glow Foundation is quickly becoming one of my favourites.  The Aqua Glow is a lightweight foundation that packs a punch, half a drop from the pipette covers your entire face.  Its lightweight feel is amazing on the skin and jam packed with pigments which gives you beautiful coverage.  Aqua Glow gives a medium coverage which you can build (I used to have to build it around my nose and on my chin before the Color Correcting palette came into my life).  Aqua Glow foundation as the name suggests leaves the skin looking radiant and glowing and that is exactly the kind of foundation I love.  I want my foundation to make me look like I have radiant glowing skin (like a Victoria Secret model but ..eeh chubby).   Like most serum foundations they look amazing on normal and oily skin but can be patchy on dry skin, I have tried samples from a lot of other serum based foundations and none of them suited my skin but the Aqua Glow works really well with my skin (which for the most part is normal/oily).  If you have dry skin Aqua Glow might not be the foundation for you but the good news is Stila have plenty of other amazing foundations to choose from.  I would always recommend asking for a sample of a foundation before forking out your money on an expensive product that might not work for your skin (cause foundations are hella expensive these days).  

To compliment the foundation Stila have also launched the Aqua Glow Serum Concealer which is a pigmented light weight concealer which I have been loving under my eyes, its formula means it doesn't go into my "laughter lines".  The packaging isn't my favourite, it makes you feel like its an empty tube where in fact there is 9g of product (there is 5g in the Urban Decay Naked Concealer) it works well I can easily forgive.  

So we have the skin perfected and looking pretty amazing (something Stila are particularly amazing at) and now we need some colour on the face.  To quote The Devil Wears Prada "Flowers for Spring.. Groundbreaking" so why don't we go with a bold vampy lip?  

On the left we have the raspberry Bacca* and on the right Ricco* 
Bacca 
Bacca
Ricco





I love Bacca but admit Ricco is a bit out there for me, I am much more comfortable in a bright and happy pink but I still love the look of clean perfected skin, simple eyes and WOW lips.



To round up the collection Stila have launched 2 Convertible Cheek Palettes I love convertible colors they are possibly my favourite Stila product and I ALWAYS have one in my purse (if you meet me you can check).  Although you can apply them on your cheeks and lips I almost exclusively use them on my cheeks (If I do use them on my lips I just blot colour onto my lips with my ring finger for a simple easy look).  
When we were at the launch of the new Stila counter in Harvey Nichols Dublin (Oh how I would LOVE Stila mirrors in my room) myself and Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits got up to our usual messing and I decided it would be a wonderful idea to recreate the imagery for the Spring Collection except with a slightly more demented and deranged face.   That radiant glowing skin... that would be the Aqua Glow Foundation, crazed expression ALL MINE. 

My picks for Stila Spring 2016 is (surprisingly) the Color Correcting Palette and the Aqua Glow Foundation (of course if Serum foundations don't suit your skin Stay All Day Foundation is kinda amazing too).  
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