Monday, February 9, 2015

Isa Dora - Nude Essentials - Spring 2015

Isa Dora is a brand I am not very familiar with, recently I was introduced to the brand and I was excited to learn that although they are an affordable brand they have some very exciting products.  I was introduced to the Spring 2015 range with is called Nude Essentials*. 

First up is probably my favourite product the Isa Dora Face Sculptor (€25.50).  Contouring is BIG news for 2015 and Isa Dora make it very easy creating a palette which has a bronzer, blusher and highlighter in one.   The back of the palette shows exactly where each shade goes (easy for beginners) and the shades are very flattering.  I love that it has a blusher because contouring can be very stark on the face and a bit of blusher really helps the face to look alive (my new rule for 2015 is NEVER forget blush).  The blush in this palette is a perfect peachy gold not a million miles away from Nars Orgasm.  When I went to stay in my parents over Christmas this little kit came with me instead of Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow - for 2 reasons, firstly because this kit had contour, highlight and blush all in one - no separate blush required - and secondly because Charlotte was under an avalanche of makeup.  The contour shade in Isa Dora's palette is a little bit darker than Charlotte Tilbury's palette but not so dark that you need a light hand.   Its a fantastic palette and would be my first pick from the Isa Dora line.
Next up are Twist - Up Matt Lips €13.25.  I know at this stage every brand has released a chubby stick style lip product, Isa Dora have taken it one step further by making the product lipstick shaped.  Its such a simple idea but makes it so much easier to apply.  There are three shades in the range, Naked, Candy Store and Posh Peach.  My favourite by far is Naked which is very weird cause am a lover of a bold lip but I love how Naked looks on my lips.  While these are Matt shades they are not drying at all and are flattering on the lips.  My lips get incredibly dry during the winter and if I am being honest are not in the best of shape at the moment so I will have to wait until they are not so dry for the more vibrant shades to look good.   

I know its a simple thing but the shape of the product makes it easy to apply.






Lip products are my favourite kind of beauty products and I have fallen in love with the shade Naked.

Next up is Posh Peach



Candy Store is a perfect pop of bubblegum pink - as you can see this shows off my dry lips but its more of a case of "its not the lip product, its me"
If your looking for a glossier look Isa Dora have you covered with Moisturizing Lip Filler €13.25
Nude Sensation (€23.25) is one of those new foundations taking the beauty world by storm its described as "Liquid as Water - Light as Air".  Like YSL Fluid Ink Foundation I find this suites certain parts of my face.  It has great coverage while being light and letting the skin breath but if your skin is acting up it will show.  My nose is quite dry at the moment (I don't know how my nose is dry... dam you winter) and although it covers any redness it does show up a bit patchy on the nose.  The rest of my face however Nude Sensation creates a beautiful base which lasts hours and looks natural.  My main complaint with Nude Sensation is it only comes in 6 shades.  I have the lightest 10 Nude Porcelain and I thin this will be too dark for a lot of Irish gals.



Isa Dora also have a number of Color Correcting Concealer Palettes, like the Face Sculptor palettes they contain a number of products - no need for a separate under eye or face concealer.  The Palettes also contain a cream highlighter if your like me and can never have enough highlighter.  These are easily blendable and have been covering my horrific dark circles with ease. 

The back of the palette's also show you where to apply the product - another simple but clever idea from Isa Dora.

If the Face Sculptor palette doesn't contain enough bronzer (FYI it contains enough bronzer) you could pick up the MASSIVE Bronzing Powder which has a massive mirror and could quite happily bronze your whole body.


The shade Golden Tan is the perfect natural shade of (duh) Golden Tan.  It creates a beautiful and natural shade of tan... did I mention its MASSIVE?  It will last you for a long time.

I have to be honest when I first saw The Eye Color Bar (€17.50) I thought Meh.  I am a bit over the whole naked eye, even if it is the most flattering look for the eyes.  I initially thought the light colours in this palette were a bit samey.  When I swatched the shadows I was a little more impressed.  They are soft, buttery, bendable and pigmented - basically everything you could want in an eye shadow palette.

The palette has a mirror on the inside making it perfect for travel.  While its easy to be impressed by swatches the shadows apply beautifully onto the eyes. 







I am really impressed with Isa Dora, it will definitely be a brand that I will be paying more attention to from now on.  If your ready to dip your toe into Isa Dora I would recommend starting with the Face Sculptor Palette, not only is it wonderful its on trend for 2015.  For more information on Isa Dora including Irish Stockists follow them on Facebook (here).
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Friday, February 6, 2015

Bourjois Eye Shadow Quads

Bourjois are without doubt my favourite brand from the chemist/drugstore, they never let me down and always have something new to look forward too.  Bourjois celebrated 150 years last year so all that expertise is easily seen in their products.  Bourjois are one of the only brands that hold their own against higher end companies. 
Today we are talking about their new (ish) (sorry for the delay in writing about these) eye shadow quads.  There are 8 quads to choose from (I have 4 to show you today) and each quad costs €10.49.  The quads contain 3 shadows and one shimmer/glitter/pop shade.  The shadows themselves are cream to powder bases so they apply really smoothly with beautiful colour.  These quads have the perfect colour combinations to make the perfect eye look, you can leave out the pop/glitter shade or apply it to amp up your look.  I would recommend applying the pop/glitter shade with a finger and as its quite sparkly don't go too bonkers - if you over apply you will get fall out, if you stay classy you will look like perfection.  Its impossible to talk about an eye shadow quad which has a pop of glitter/shimmer without comparing them to Charlotte Tilbury eye shadow quads.  I adore the Charlotte Tilbury quads but at €50 they are definitely a luxury purchase.  You could pick up 5 of the Bourjois quads for more or less the same price.  The shade selection in each Bourjois quad make them very user friendly.
As the shadows are cream to powder you can easily apply them with your fingers for a no fuss easy look.  I recently went away for a week and the only eye makeup I took with me was the Upside Brown quad.  It was eye shadow perfection. 



As you can see the packaging is slightly curved and the colour of the packaging is similar to that in the quad making it perfect for easy storage. 







Lets look at the colours - I have swatched each of these lightly, you can apply them with either a light wash or with more intensity.  First up is Upside Brown.





Light touch is a perfect brown




Ocean Obsession - I love to use the darkest shade as a liner over a neutral eye.



The last shade I have is Rock This Khaki



Remember I have swatched these very lightly so you can see what a wash of colour looks like but you can also get a much more intense look from the shades.  I can always rely on Bourjois for exciting new products. 
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Friday, January 30, 2015

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette


Oh Smashbox Eye Shadows I do love you, I love you a lot.  Smashbox Eye Shadows are one of my favourite's in fact I would go as far to say they are my Holy Grail.  I love that they are soft, pigmented and easily blended.  Last year Smashbox released the Full Exposure Palette (read about it here) which was a neutral palette with one row of Matt's and one row of glitters.  This year Smashbox are treating us to the Double Exposure Palette.

The Full Exposure palette was very much based in the brown shades and the Double Exposure delivers neutral shades with a delicious amount of colour. 

Most brands provide a look book with palettes, Smashbox like to do things a little differently and have created a look book which cleverly flatters eye shape.  Each eye shade is provided with 3 different looks (Day, Dramatic and Defined) making it even easier to make the most of your eyes. 





The big selling point on the palette is that each shadow transforms when used with a wet brush, inside the palette a description of each shade is given and how they transform - some shades deepen in colour, some turn metallic, some have more sparkle -.  I love eye shadows that you can use wet/dry I think they add versatility and make it easy to create different looks, mostly I find it brilliant for creating a liner out of darker shades.

I love the shade selection in the Double Exposure Palette, they range from beautiful purple/blues to neutral shades.  If you find the selection a little overwhelming (14 shades is a little overwhelming) and your not finding any inspiration from the look book I like to use the palette like a group of eye shadow duos pairing the top shade as an all over colour and the shade underneath it for the crease or as a liner creating 7 eye shadow duo sets. 

The palette also includes a Smashbox double ended brush.  I like to call Smashbox brushes the Louboutin of makeup brushes, the easily distinguishable red handles make them easy to spot.  One end of the brush is a short haired fluffy brush making it perfect for applying all over colour (especially for small eyes like my own) and the other end is angled helping created a great crease or to line the lid.  Its not often that you get a good brush in a palette but Smashbox have included a brush you can actually use.

As I mentioned the shadows can be used dry or wet to up the intensity (be that colour or sparkle).  Lets look at the top row swatched.  Dry and then wet.


The Bottom row, first dry then wet.
If I am being honest with you I don't see a massive change when I swatched the shadows wet, most of the time when shadows can be used wet the colour naturally intensifies or deepens and while this is the case there is not a dramatic change with most of the shades.  While this "Double Exposure" seems to be the selling point for Smashbox I personally don't see a massive difference, that being said I think the shadows are absolutely stunning when used dry.  As you can see each shade is beautifully pigmented, they are also soft and easy to use.  I think the palette is simply stunning without the mention of a damp or wet brush. 

I have been using this palette every day - its hard to part me from it.  I cant fault any of the shades.  I LOVE using the Double Exposure Palette, I love the shades, the effect they create, how they blend.    The Full Exposure Palette was a neutral lovers dream but I think the shades in the Double Exposure palette bring the eyes to life, without being overbearing or OTT.    I think Smashbox have created a wonderful palette that will suit a lot of people, the shadows are simply stunning and the shade selection is gorgeous, each day I am finding and creating a new combination.  Its a wonderful palette which I highly recommend.

When I was buying the palette I was given a sample of Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer which I have been using and loving, when I use the sample up Ill be buying a full size as its stopped shadow gathering in my oily lids. 
Smashbox Double Exposure Palette is out now and costs €44.00.  I give the palette a massive thumbs up. Pin It
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