Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Urban Decay - Moondust Shadows (Ether and Solstice) and Sheer Revolution Lipstick (Ladyflower)

Its been quite some time since I bought anything from Urban Decay which is funny cause its one of those brands I have a long history with.  I was all on board until about the Naked 2 palette and then in my opinion they went a little Naked too far.  

I remember buying my first Urban Decay products about 15 years ago (I am a very old woman)  I was going into town to visit a museum (see I can be cultured) and I had to stop off and have a look at the new Urban Decay counter (diluted culture).  The counter was in BT2 in Grafton Street and I bought 2 eye shadows and a lip gloss - which were called Lip Gunk and they smelled amazing.  Urban Decay were the first and only brand at the time that embraced colour wholeheartedly, no wishy washy pastels for Urban Decay BOOM full on pigmented colour like you have never seen before.  So I arrived at the museum all ready for culture with 2 purple eye shadows and a hot pink (of course) glittery lip gunk in the shade Big Bang (I went through a few of them in my day).  So I have been a longtime fan of Urban Decay, the fact that they get to bring their dogs to work is reason alone to love them.

Roll on 15 years or so and I am overdue my baby and I decide a makeup treat is in order.  What do new mothers buy? Sensible stuff right?  Wrong I bought two freaking amazing glittery duo chrome pots of glory.  Urban Decay had a number of moondust shadows out (in different packaging - oh look here is one of our posts from 2010 eek  -here-) and this Spring they have added 4 new shades.  
I love a bit of purple Urban Decay eye shadow so I had to pick up Ether (light purple with pink blue 3 D sparkle and shift) but while I was there Solstice (metallic pink-red with green 3D Sparkle and Shift) jumped out at me and refused to let me leave it in the shop.

Ether is my sensible (ahem) option its a truly beautiful dark purple.  Nobody does purple like Urban Decay.   You can wear these shadows with a very light wash of colour or really pack them on.  When I am going for my grown up glitter look I will use a light wash which makes the lids almost sparkle.   As these are glittery and sparkly and basically like pixi dust you need to pat or push these shadows on either with a brush or your finger or you will get fallout.  If you want a deeper effect use a wet brush and again push the moondust on your lid.  I have been using them over a primer or cream shadow which intensifies the look.  

You can use the shadows dry (below left) or with a damp brush or finger (below right) for a more intense look.
 Solstice was just too pretty for me to leave behind and although the description sounds a bit nuts (metallic pink-red with green 3D Sparkle and Shift) a light wash is really pretty on the eyes and a deeper application really enhances the colour of my eyes.  
  Below left is a dry swatch and below right is a wet swatch.

To be honest with you no swatches in the world are going to do these shadows justice (especially Solstice) you really have to go in and swatch them and look at them in all their glory.  They are gloriously fun and pretty shadows.  

Moondust shadows are out now and cost €18.50

I couldn't really walk away from the counter without looking at the lip products after all lips are my thing.  I hadn't managed to pick up any of the Revolution Lipsticks which is a little crazy cause some of those shades are screaming my name.  New to the counter were the Sheer Revolution lipsticks (€20) which as the name suggests are sheerer than the Revolution lipsticks (but still pretty pigmented) and are filled with nourishing ingredients to hydrate and make your lips look and feel fantastic.  Basically they are like a coloured lip balm on steroids.  I decided to go with the shade Ladyflower - mostly it has to be said cause it made me giggle and there is nothing funnier than an overdue preggers lady asking for a lipstick in the shade Ladyflower (yes I am a 12 year old trapped in the body of an old lady).  

The packaging of the Sheer Revolution Lipsticks are just stunning, they are housed in a purple metallic bullet which is both chic and edgy.

The name says sheer but you get really good colour pay off.  Ladyflower is a pretty rose pink shade, while I would consider it a "sensible" shade they would be a great way to dip your toe in bold colour.  The lipsticks feel brilliant on your lips, very moisturising.  They are filled with nourishing ingredients like Shea butter and jojoba, olive oil and some antioxidants thrown in for good measure.  They don't last all day (nothing that nourishing does) but as they are quite the joy to apply its not something I mind.

This little spree has gotten me excited about Urban Decay.  I had thought I was getting to old for their products (pift) but they really do have shades and textures for all ages (OK perhaps not purple glittery eyeshadow but I hope when I am 80 Ill be rocking some sparkles).  I have been trying out the Urban Decay Naked Complete Coverage Concealer and I have been loving it so I am quite excited to see how their skin products preform because Urban Decay are not a brand I think of when I am thinking about foundations.    

Urban Decay can be found at House of Fraser and Debenhams.
Have you tried any Urban Decay lately? 
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Thursday, May 7, 2015

Benefit Roller Lash

Benefit are well known for their downright adorable packaging but you could be forgiven in thinking that they are all show and no substance.  They're Real is Ireland's best selling mascara and for a reason they make lashes look incredible.  Whenever I see my friends wearing it their lashes look amazing and they do make you ask "Are they real?".  Unfortunately for me I have desperate lashes.  My eyes are quite small and my lashes are short so their real with its big wand (why is it so hard to talk about mascaras without descending into innuendo?) are not a match made in heaven.  I just cant use it.  Since I have about 5 eye lashes and They're Real is notoriously difficult to remove (Benefit released a specific makeup remover just for the mascara) my precious few lashes want to stay attached to my face.  If you have used They're Real and LOVE it you will forgive it for the fact its difficult to remove and continue with you life and your impressive swooshy lashes.  Unfortunately for us smaller eyed girls with very short lashes needed a a little lash magic and Benefit kindly created Roller Lash*.
Firstly how could I not insert this picture of a dog at a beauty salon (this is reason alone to love Benefit).  Having the best selling mascara on the market would make most brands sit on their mascara laurels but not Benefit.  Benefit knew that They're Real is not for everybody and every lash so lets make another amazing mascara.  

They're Real added length like nobodies business but Roller Lash works on the curl.  When you curl your lashes it immediately opens up your eyes (that's why makeup artists are always telling us to curl our lashes).  Benefit used the technology of the little old Nana's hair rollers as inspiration for Roller Lash.  The wand (which is pink under the mascara) has little hooks that grab each lash curling and adding product.  Grabbing lashes sounds terrifying and scary and plastic wands usually scare me a little bit too (I imagine they are going to scrape my eyeball) but Roller Lash is easy to use.  The wand is also one of those two sided fandangos which usually frighten the life out of me but it makes my lashes look fantastic with very little effort.
Initially I thought this is not the mascara for me, after all I have a curl in my lashes I NEED EVERYTHING ELSE, I need length and volume.  My eyes are so small that fake lashes tend to be too big for my eyes even the short length individual lashes reach for my eyebrows.  The wand works perfectly with my small eyes and manages to grab every tiny little lash.  It evens out the curl in my mascara and keeps the lashes lifted all day.  As it coats and lifts every lash it immediately makes my lashes look longer and fuller and opens up my eyes. 
Benefit Roller Lash's cute packaging - my only let down of the product is the pink handle could get a bit grubby if you carry your mascara around in your makeup bag.  This is me kinda forcing a complaint about the product. 

My tiny little eyes are a bit of a mascara conundrum, the first time I use ANY mascara it ends up on my lid (like a messed up eye liner) I have to get used to the wand and how to use it (again mascara innuendo) Roller Lash is one of the only mascaras I have used that this hasn't happened. 

As you can see from my before picture my lashes are very short and sad, one side has a curl but they are not even.  They need help but a lot of mascara wands are the size of my eyeballs.
After my lashes are perfectly coated even the small ones (which are basically invisible) I have added length and volume.  I also love that I can apply another coat of this mascara later in the day without clumping.

I give Benefit Roller Lash a big thumbs up.  Well done Benefit why have just the best selling mascara on the market when you can DOMINATE the Mascara market.

Benefit Roller Lash is out now and costs €26.00.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Littlewoods 20% off

Who fancies a quick update to their Spring Wardrobe?  EVERYBODY

Fancy that spring update with 20% off?
I love Spring and Summer clothes, I always feel a bit of freedom shedding the winter layers and putting on bright clothes.  Littlewoods are offering 20% off when you spend €50.00 or more.  Very tempting.  Its still a bit chill out there so I have been loving this Kimono Sleeved Edge Cardi (€35).  Its light but cosy and stylish and easy to throw on.  I have been wearing it with khaki trousers and a plain black top.

I am a huge fan of jumpsuits and Littlewoods have brilliant selection for all shapes and sizes.  How can I pick just one? 

I'm not quite ready to get  my toes out but want to tuck my boots away for another year so I have been finding these two toned shoes a quirky take on ballet shoes a great spring addition. 

Littlewoods have plenty of brands to choose from and you can also pick up some makeup (although its not part of the discount).  Let me know what you pick up. Pin It

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Stila Spring 2015 Its all about the contour and the brows #Stilabombshell #Stilaireland

Sorry for being missing for so long, on Valentines Day I had the cutest baby boy and I have been having grand old sleepless nights and wonderful days snuggling and cuddling him.  Don't worry this is a beauty blog and plans to stay that way.  I thought that it would be quite fitting that my first post back would be about my other baby my "makeup baby" STILA. 

Makeup trends change season to season and this Spring its all about the brows and the contours.  I'm not sure how brands work out whats the hot new thing (do they have a big makeup meeting?  do they vote?) I do love to follow makeup artists on Instragram and you can get a feeling about whats to come by looking at the makeup that's used at Fashion Weeks.  If your interested in Stila makeup I highly recommend you following Sarah Lucero Global Director of Education for Stila and spy on what products she is using backstage and on people like Victoria Beckham. 

Stila Spring 2015 is all about the brows and contour if I am being totally honest with you brows and contour are not makeup trends that rock my boat.  I am 100% positive that we will look back in a couple of years at those really high definition brows/scouse brows and laugh our ass off, they will make 1980ies makeup look amazing.  Brows are the one part of my face that I actually forget to apply...I do the opposite of HD brows I forget I have brows.  As for contour I am all for looking a little more defined but I think that overly contoured Kim Kardashian look is not one that most people will have time for or will be able to pull off every day.  That is a look that is ok if your highly photographed.... not so much for popping down for a pint of milk (in my opinion). I first read about contouring years ago in Kevyn Aucoin's books, so for me they seem right at home in a photo shoot and a skilled artist can change the shape of the face.  The downside to this is unskilled can tend to look a little like a drag queen or dirty on the face. I love makeup but I am not a skilled makeup artist so this is another reason why contouring scares me.

Although these are trends I am not crazy about I love Stila's take on them.  Stila have created products that scream Stila's ethos of enhancing your natural look, however you can also amp these products up if you like a bolder look.
Stila's Contour product is called Shape & Shade Custom Contour Duo*.  It comes in 3 shades and I have the shade Light.  As the name suggests its a contour duo, so it has a dark shade and a light shade.  Shape and shade is a cream to powder product making it very easy to blend.  Its a very very pigmented product, almost scarily pigmented.  Tthe first time I used it I lashed a good amount of product under my cheek bones using the whole Custom Contour Brush (more on the brush later)  BIG MISTAKE.  I looked like Frank n Furter from Rocky Horror.  As the product is so pigmented you only need a tiny amount.  Be not afraid it might be so pigmented its a bit scary but fortunately it blends out like a dream.

I have started to use the very edge of the Custom Contour Brush to apply some of the darker shade under my razor sharp cheek bones ... I am of course kidding because I have the cheeks of a chipmunk which I suppose is why people contour in the first place.  I also use some of the darker shade around my forehead and blend out with the Custom Contour Brush.  The lighter shade is a true contour shade its not a glittery highlighter (although I am partial to a glittery highlighter although with my laughter lines I should probably start to avoid them).  If your a bit confused about what your shape is or how to contour Stila have included a guide in the packaging if you prefer some step by step help check out Stila's Youtube chanel.

 When you look at the Stila videos you can see that they use just a small amount of product and gently use it to create a very subtle and soft contour (much more my kinda style) but if your into the Kim Kardashian look you can also use Shape and Shade to achieve that look.  The product really does blend out to create a soft and natural look (if that's the look your after) and I have used it on a bare face (with no foundation) and it looked wonderfully natural.  Above you can see a swatch of the product and below you can see how its blended out.  I know a lot of people will be really excited to have a lighter contour shade which is not shimmery. 
 I use a small amount of the product under my chipmunk cheeks and a small amount around my forehead and blend blend blend.
 As you can see it leave a very natural look to the face (again if you want to go mad contouring you can). The shades give a natural warmth to the face.  The product is cream to powder so its easy to apply and blend but is long lasting.

This kinda looks like I photo shopped my face (I promise I didn't, honestly I wouldn't know how) I like this soft look, its not the high definition contouring but a soft warm look to the face.  It doesnt cling or lodge in pores. I find powder contours can make the face look a bit dirty or muddy looking but Shape and Shade makes it easy for me to blend and control.
 Stila Shape and Shade costs €41.00 and is available from Harvey Nicks Dublin, Sam McCauleys Fairgreen Carlow,  Sam McCauleys Redmond Square Wexford,  Sam McCauleys Tralee Manor West Shopping Centre,  Cara Pharmacy Quayside Shopping Centre Sligo,  Marks & Spencer Mary St Dublin and of course

I am a little obsessed with makeup brushes - specifically face brushes - so I was very excited to see the Custom Contour Brush* €43.00, this double ended brush is perfect for contouring and blending out face products. Stila brushes are great quality, I have some that are 15 years old and still going strong.  This is a new design with a metallic handle.  I know this is going to sound weird but this brush makes me want to contour just so I can use the brush.  It works perfectly with Shape and Shade but also with other products. 

 The larger side is slim enough to carve out cheek bones and fluffy enough to buff out any mistakes, the smaller side is perfect for smaller concentrated work and I have used it to blend out concealer.  I am in love.

 To tie in with brow mania Stila have launched 3 brow products Stila Stay All Day Brow Gel and Brush (5 shades €37), Stila Stay all day Precision Glide Brown Pencil (5 shades €21.50) and Stila Stay all day Waterproof Brow Colour (3 shades €21.50).  I think the important thing to note is all these products are STAY ALL DAY.  No matter what kind of brows you want (soft and natural or full on Scouse) its important they stay where they are supposed to.
  Stay all day Waterproof Brow Colour* (I have the shade medium) defines and creates brows, the applicator looks like a marker but is actually a brush.  This helps create the look of actual eyebrow hairs and also happens to be one of Sarah Lucero's favourite products.
  The tiny hairs help to create brows that look like brows and not 2 caterpillars across your forehead.
 You can build up the colour and start of quite soft (don't be freaked out by me comparing the nib to a marker).
I have quite naturally defined brows which helps because I tend to forget to use any brow products. My brows are also slightly darker than my own dark blond hair but I have noticed some very blond hairs (THEY ARE NOT GRAY, I REPEAT THEY ARE NOT GRAY, THEY ARE JUST VERY VERY VERY BLOND.  OK).  I have been using the Stay All day Precision Glide Brown Pencil* in
Medium Brown.
 This is a skinny little double ended pencil which I use to brush and shape my brow hairs and fill in.  The inside of my brows is a little sparser than the tail so I concentrate on there.  I brush my brows with the spoolie, fill in and then brush to blend.  Simples.  Again I go for the natural look.  
I prefer the more natural Cara than full on Grouch look so I take it easy with my brows.  As you can see below I gently fill in the brows because I think they should be something that frames the face rather than the first thing you see.  I find I feel slightly more groomed when I use the brow pencil, the brush controls my Wolverine brows and the pencil part fills in any bald/sparce spots.

 I think I create a soft and natural contour and brow look with these products - I know people like a more defined look and they do allow you to use both the soft and full on approach.  (I would say if your looking for "full on" brows give Stila Stay All Day Brow Gel and Brush a go.)

Stila my makeup baby is available from Harvey Nicks Dublin, Sam McCauleys Fairgreen Carlow,  Sam McCauleys Redmond Square Wexford,  Sam McCauleys Tralee Manor West Shopping Centre,  Cara Pharmacy Quayside Shopping Centre Sligo,  Marks & Spencer Mary St Dublin and

Stila Spring is all about perfecting your face shape and brow shape, personally I am always more excited by colour makeup.  Stila have a amazingly bright and colourful Summer collection heading our way soon (it looks like it was created for me).  Stay tuned. 
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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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