Friday, December 23, 2011

Favourite Christmas Nail Polishes!

These are the chosen polishes that I'll be wearing all over my nails for the next ten days or so. I don't need Christmas as an excuse to wear glitter but it does seem even more appropriate at this time of year - think a 'skittles' style mani using a combination of these would be too much?!

The only one of these that I wear exclusively at Christmas is OPI's Dear Santa - because of the uber Christmassy name, really, but also because it has become one of those rare, really-expensive-to-buy-on-eBay OPIs. As you can see above though Catrice's Marilyn & Me is a fairly decent dupe - the glitter in Marilyn & Me is bigger and grittier and it takes more layers to achieve opaqueness but it's not bad, not bad at all. 

What are you wearing on your nails this Christmas?
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nars - Lets Multiply

I have been trying to be good and not spend money on makeup when Nars Christmas collection came out I decided to see what Nars products I had at home and did I "need" anything (OK so we all know that my make up shopping has more to do with greed than need).  This is how I discovered that I have multiple Nars Multiples - (see what I did there?).  If your not familiar with Nars Multiples they are creamy sticks that you can use in on multiple places (see what they did there?). 

So here is what Nars have to say:
The original multi-purpose stick for eyes, cheeks, lips and body. Its unique, creamy formula blends effortlessly to provide sheer color for creating shimmering accents, contours or dynamic highlights on all skin tones. Creates perfect, glowing complexions and is conveniently designed for failproof application.

So what do I think?
Nars do not lie the Multiples are flipping brilliant.  I really love using the multiples they are easy to use, so creamy, smooth and bendable (draw a line across your face and blend), usually come in beautiful colours and are convenient to use.  I primarily use mine as face colour, I don't tend to use it on my lips and have so far never used it on my eyes.  They leave beautiful colour and also can give a sheen to your skin. They are versatile, easy to use and fantastic.  I happen to love the shades that can be used as a bronzer as they give a natural pretty effect.

I have two minor gripes with this product the first is that the packaging can get very grubby (this is not really a big deal - but mine have not been anywhere exciting and they are durty), the second and major gripe is the price... they cost €41.00... that's right 41 flipping euro.  While the product has great staying power and the stick lasts ages its still not worth €41.00 especially since they are £29.00 - unfair euro pricing once again.
Here are the Multiples that I have: The names will be in picture above and swatch picture in the picture underneath.

Turks & Caicos was a limited edition summer colour (perfect for summer) its sheer and gives almost a translucent veil of colour - its looking a bit dodgy in the swatch because I haven't used it in a while.

I do love the multiples they are €39.00 on ASOS (if you purchase through Stirling it works out at better value).  If your looking into buying a creme stick blush and are on a budget  I would look into buying one of the NYC Blush able Creme Sticks first
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

I LOVE: Holy Grail Foundation Brush Stila #33 One Step Complexion Brush - and a Dupe

They say that a bad workman blames his tools and luckily for me I have never claimed to be a good workman/woooman but I have blamed my tools on many an occasion.  I have quite a fetish for makeup brushes (I don't do anything weird with them, I just like to buy them and then use them to apply makeup - minds out of the gutter please -) I am always on the hunt for the perfect brush.  I may have found my holy grail foundation brush....  Its the Stila #33 One Step Complexion Brush.
I bought the brush from HQHair and it costs £21.00 (check it out here).  While I was waiting (the two weeks) for this to come into stock and be delivered I discovered that it had just won 2011 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner for Best Concealer Brush, pretty impressive considering there was not a whole lot of hype or beauty blog talk about the brush.
Here's what Stila have to say:
This dual-ended foundation and concealer brush allows you to blend both liquid and powder products seamlessly for effortless makeup application and a flawless finish.
One side beautifully blends liquid, creams and powder foundation into your skin, while the other delivers precision concealing for a perfected, polished complexion.
The synthetic bristles are shaped to imitate application with your fingertips, but are firmer and more flexible for quicker, easier makeup application.
•The tapered brush tip can burrow into tiny, hard-to-reach crevice
•Synthetic bristles eliminate the transfer of oils and bacteria
•Can also be used to apply eye shadow and cheek color

I have tried the traditional flat foundation brush (too streaky) and the fluffy brushes as favoured by You Tube Guru's (hungry brush's) but this brush combines the two (just right)... and it is GENIUS.  The brush applies the product and buffs it in all at the same time.  It makes it easy peasy to apply product and the curved shape gets into all the corners of your face while the size covers my big puddin cheeks.
On the other end is the same but smaller - perfect for concealing.  I think this brush is feckin deadly but some people will have problems storing the double ended brush, also sometimes when applying the product the bristles all swoosh to one side which means you have a little less control.

So you would think that's the end of the post wouldn't you?  Holy Grail found ... move along now...  except I found a dupe.  I recently discovered Cloud 10 Beauty a new Irish online retailer who not only stock hard to find brands but also give free samples and have a loyalty scheme (how deadly is that? a beauty trinity ... its basically like Ireland's answer to Sephora).  While on Cloud 10 I spied the Sigma Tapered Kabuki F86 which costs €14.95 check it out here.
Stila on the left and Sigma on the right.

The brushes work in a similar way (application and blending in one swoop) although the Sigma is slightly bigger but also has more of a tip, I actually prefer using the Sigma brush controversial coming from the Stila Freak.  

What do you use to apply your foundation? 
Have you checked out the flippin brilliant Clout 10 (check it out here... ahhh go on go on)
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

NOTD Models Own - Golden Green - Beetle juice

Its time for a Montage.........
Golden Green is part of Models Own Beetle Juice collection, this is the kind of colour that my mother would hate .. chartreuse, in your face, obnoxious....whatever you want to call it I LOVE IT.  The fact that its kinda obnoxious and would bring a tear to the mammy's eye makes me love it more. 
Would you give it the thumbs up or thumbs down?
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stila- Christmas Sets 2011

When I did my post on Stila's Dream in Full Colour Palette (read about it here) did you honestly think that was all that I bought from the Christmas Collection?  I know that Christmas Collections are generally used as gifts I have just chosen to self gift (which I seem to do quite a lot).
Here are all the sets together on the left is the Dream in Full Colour review here  on the right is the Holiday Lip Glaze Collection which includes 8 lip glaze's the colours are
- Apricot
- Kitten
- Starfruit
- Grapefruit
- Believe - rosey wine with gold shimmer
- Dreamy - creamy, beige amaretto with subtle shimmer
- Fantasy - warm pink with gold shimmer
- Kaleidoscope - sheer apricot with multi-pearl shimmer

(each lip glaze is .05oz.regular size glazes are .08oz.) all this for £16.00.  I Love Lip Glaze they are a bit sticky but they are sheer but the bright colours are pigmented they also have a flavour (the Apricot tastes like Apricot the Kitten tastes like toasted Kitten- OK maybe not).

Next up is the Daydream Palette (pictured above on top of the Dream in Full Colour Palette so you can get an idea of size).  The palette has 22 shadows (including Kitten) and makes a freakin adorable Christmas present, did I mention that this costs £11.50?  Who in their right might would not be delighted with this?
Above is the palette beside an eyeliner so you can imagine the size, some of the shadow are only ikle but sure you would never get thought the whole lot of them.

I bought my sets on ASOS but they seem to be sold out here and on HQHair but they are also available on where they also have an amazing Makeup Brush Set for £18.00 check out the collection here because I imagine they will sell out here soon. Pin It

Thursday, November 24, 2011

MAC Show Orchid Dupe - for less than €2.50

MAC Show Orchid is one of those coveted Limited Edition colours that rolls out every couple of years, it is a beautiful and vibrant blue toned pink.  Show Orchid is most definitely not everybody's cup of tea and €17.50 is quite expensive to shell out for a colour that may not suit you.  Drum Roll please..... Here I have found a dupe for €2.49.   Ladies and Gentlemen let me show you NYC's Blue Rose (no 405).

 Left is NYC and right is MAC.  The NYC shows a little more of the blue tone in the bullet.

NYC on the left and MAC on the right
There is a slight more shimmer in NYC's colour but they are very close.  So save yourself fifteen quid and go buy NYC's Blue Rose. Pin It

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Illamasqua Skin Base Foundation Review

My usual foundation of choice is Estée Lauder Double Wear, for two reasons - it's the only foundation that stays put on my face all day, and I like its full coverage. I think this new(ish) foundation from Illamasqua is quite similar to Double Wear in a lot of ways, but I actually prefer it. 

Here's what Illamasqua have to say about it: 

Inspired by the cult Asian market Beauty Balm creams, Skin Base Foundation is a brand new, refined formula unlike anything on the UK market. Easily blendable, it effortlessly creates a perfect complexion, and like the entire Illamasqua foundation range, is undetectable in a professional HD environment. Suitable for all skin types, it smoothes, softens and conditions your skin whilst providing natural, buildable coverage.

Instead of waffling on, I'm just gonna get to it and bullet point Skin Base's pros and cons: 

  • I'll start with the packaging - I forgot to photograph it but this has a thin nozzle which is perfect for squeezing out the right amount of foundation. 
  • The coverage - I would say the coverage is medium but very buildable, and offers the same coverage as Double Wear - ie. lots! The consistency of the foundation when you squeeze it out of the bottle, is quite thick, almost like a cream, which means that a little goes a long way - you only need a tiny bit of product to cover your face. As it's so thick I find that the best method of application is fingers - the heat in your hands makes it easier to blend.
  • The finish - despite the heavy coverage and thick consistency, it doesn't feel cakey or heavy on the skin at all, and gives a satin, glowy, almost dewy finish.
  • Its longevity - like DW, this stays on my mug for the day. 
  • There's no SPF, so as Illamasqua say, it's "undetectable in a professional HD environment". Sure you never know when you'll find yourself in a professional HD type situation. Best be prepared. 
  • The shade range is good, so there should be one to suit everyone. 
  • I've read reviews where people have said that this has actually improved the condition of their skin - I suppose it's the BB cream aspect of it - I haven't experienced that, but I do find that it helps to keep my skin hydrated all day. 

  • The only major con (if you're in Ireland) is that there is no Illamasqua counter in Dublin anymore :-(, so unless you have the opportunity to go to an Illamasqua counter in the UK (our nearest is obviously Debenhams, Belfast), you'll have to take your chances with ordering online which is never easy where foundation is concerned. Illamasqua do have a shade comparison chart, where you can compare Skin Base shades against those from MAC, Bobbi Brown, Nars, and YSL. However, I'm not totally convinced of its accuracy. I inherited shade 7 from Mags as it was too light for her, and it's actually a tad too light for me too, although it's wearable once blended. Shade 7 is supposed to equate to MAC NW25 whereas I would normally be NW15 in MAC, which would mean that according to Illamasqua, I should be going for an even lighter shade in Skin Base...hmm...if you like the sound of this, I would say you'd be better off going to a counter if at all possible. 
Illamasqua Skin Base costs £25 or €30 and is available online from Illamasqua, ASOS, and Debenhams.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

NOTD Models Own Pinky Brown - Beetle Juice

Todays NOTD is part of Models Own Beetle Juice Collection, the colour is Pinky Brown.  The colour changes in the light from pink to guessed it... brown.

I picked mine up here (asos) in a set of three.  Have you picked up any of the Beetle Juice collection? Pin It

Monday, November 21, 2011

MAC Mattene Lipstick Rare Exotic - Almost a religious purchase

OK so I am on a shopping why do I have a new lipstick?  I failed (don't judge) but in my defence it wasn't my fault.  Let's go back a couple of weeks shall we?  During my daily perusal of (read the exact post here), I saw a beautiful vibrant pink lipstick called Rare Exotic, it was exactly my kinda thing so I saved the info.  I was in town with Claire (as my witness) and I asked the girl in MAC for Rare Exotic Mattene Lipstick - they had never heard of that colour.
Where did you hear about it? - says MAC girl
Beaut - says I
Is that a Beauty Blog? MAC girl 
(Cue myself and Claire looking at MAC girl as if she had 25 perfectly made up heads)

Now this whole episode taught me a couple of important things (a) I have an unhealthy interest in makeup and (b)  I shall never be intimidated in MAC again.

MAC claimed they never heard of that shade before.  They never got it/must be American or something.  Did I let that stop me?  Oh no, like a girl on a mission the next time I was in town (getting my Nars makeover which you can read about here), I asked again for Rare Exotic (rare indeed)... no joy again, they had never heard of the shade but they had similar (of course they have similar I have about 5 of them sitting at home).

Last Thursday myself and Sile went to Dundrum for the Shop 'N Rock (which I hate by the way and the lack of manners in the car park turns Sile from mild mannered into "you wouldn't like me when I'm angry") and I thought sure I am here I will look in MAC.  Like a ray from heaven sucking me in was Rare (very flipping rare) Exotic sitting in the display.  I whipped it out quicker than the girl could ask "can I help you" swatched it against its closest neighbour (Girl About Town) testament to my dedication they had it in stock and it was mine before I even thought about my shopping ban.  It was the lipstick version of "if you build it, they will come"... "if you ask three times, they will know what the bloody hell you're talking about".
I'll shut up and show you the lipstick shall I?  It is a beautiful lipstick, don't be fooled by matte in the name - it's smooth and velvety and doesn't leave your lips dry.

So what do you have to say about my shopping ban fail?
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

MAC Pro Longwear - Full Speed Ahead

The Lipstick Index is strong at the moment the sales and interest in lipgloss has taken a nose dive (isn't it mad there is an actual economic term that relates to Lipstick) during recessions or difficult economic times the sales of lipstick increase, I can see how people would prefer to buy a long lasting, pigmented lipstick rather than a lipgloss which could wear off in about 10 minutes.  Recently (pre shopping ban) I picked up Mac Pro Longwear Lipglass in Full Speed Ahead which is a vibrant pink.

Here is what MAC have to say:
A longwearing Lipglass that goes on smooth and lasts for up to six hours! Envelops lips with shine and colour and pro-longs the hours between re-application

While it is long wearing its not 6 hours (come on now) it is really pigmented and the colour is opaque and it doesn't seem as sticky as other lipglass.  If we take a little look at the wand its a funky shape that hugs the lips and make it easy to apply to the bottom lip (to me it was a little wonky on the top lip)

Just swatches today (two ronnie shots in the one week would have set you over the edge)
Have you tried any of the MAC Pro Longwear Lipgloss?
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

A little bit of Nars - All over my face

I am on a shopping ban.... there I said it, it's out there.  So why am I bringing you news of Nars goodness?  Loophole. You gotta love a loophole.  Last week I got my make up done at Nars with an International Artist. It cost €40.00 which was redeemable against purchases (you see I was paying for the service not the makeup...loophole).
Nars to me is like the young hip pretender to Chanel's classically chic throne, sometimes they get it right and sometimes... well they don't (the same can be said for all brands though).  When I am getting my make up done at an event I like to look at the other people that are getting their makeup done, after all these events are usually selling a new makeup collection and everybody could come out looking like clones of each other.  When I spoke to my artist we decided to do simple classic eyes and vibrant lips (the last girl he had made up had heavy smokey eyes). Oui I said... slap it on me.

I told the artist that I LOVE the Night Life Shadows (glitter shadows) but they never come out on my eyes like they do on the pan.... you must use a primer and press, press, press the shadow onto the lid.  I  learned that the people who work at Nars have problems learning the names of the colours (they are human just like us), I also learned that Nars foundation is supposed to be applied with your fingers (I didn't tell him that I don't like Sheer Glow- it's almost a makeup sin to admit). 

What I loved about the process: he took his time, he explained all the steps and showed me what he was doing, he used 1 shadow - some brands like to use 372 different shades of shadow meaning you can never really recreate the look (MAC I am looking at you).

What I didn't love about the process: I felt under pressure to buy more products, the big sell was happening and had me in its sights.....
Do you have concealer?
(me) yes...
do you have the right colour concealer?
ehhh feck off...
He did this with every product.

Here is what I bought.. Eye shadow Night Star, Pure Matte Lipstick Vesuvio, Long Wear Eyeliner - Via Appia
The Long Wear Eyeliners wind up (so you don't have to pare them) but they also have a sharpener to help create a sharper line. He used Night Star shadow all over my lid (press, press, press) and a black liner on my lid with a brown liner on the bottom -he explained that the black could be too harsh on the top and the bottom- (nobody wants to look like a Mulhall sister now do they).  I asked how to perfect the winged eye as I sometimes have difficulty and he said that with my eye shape don't go out too far (I have a hungry crease / laughter lines - he didn't say that.

The liner is a complex brown/bronze

Here is where I show you a photo of his artwork..... except well..... I went out to dinner, stuffed my face and forgot..... sorry.. here is my recreation instead.
Can you spot the sparkle?
Ronnie shot.....  This is a matte lipstick but I moisturised my lips before applying. He went around my lips with concealer (which I forgot to do here) which perfects the shape, corrects any mistakes and quite frankly makes your lips look flipping brilliant.
I used MAC Brick to line my lips.
Nars Eyeliner costs €25.00,  Lipstick €26.00, eye shadow €24.00.  And before you add that up and remind me that the total is more than €40.00 ...I know, bold me, I shall go and sit in the bold corner (and play with my makeup). Pin It
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