Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Battle of the Eyeliners

If you have read my post from the other day you know that I love a bit of tight lining (to clarify, on my eyes not just randomly drawing lines). I thought I would show you some of the products that I use.

Mac Feline Kohl Power (top)
Urban Decay 24/7 Liner in Zero (middle)
Avon Super shock (bottom).
I decided to give each liner one swipe (like Eminem gets one shot... its like a rap competition but for eyeliners each had one shot/swipe to impress us with their blackness and lasting power).

Avon, Urban Decay and Mac.
As you can see Avon is the most pigmented and blackest followed by Urban Decay and MAC's cult favourite Feline is lagging far behind. 

I decided to let the liners sit for a minute and see how much they would smudge (its great to be able to smudge a liner when you're initially working with it but after a while smudging is just smudging and its going to end up all over your face).  As you can see there is not that much smudging with Avon, the most is with Urban Decay and MAC's smudge is as dense as the initial line.  
This is what is left after I went and scrubbed my arm with a muslin cloth and water (no cleanser) - you can probably see the red marks from scrubbing.  Urban Decay lasts the longest.
So what do I think the results of the challenge?
MAC's Feline is often touted as a must-have product that sells out the minute its limited edition bum is back on the shelf but for me it doesn't cut the mustard. It always smudges on me and manages to fall down (onto my already dark circles I mean its not as if they need any help) and as we have seen above it's not even that pigmented. This is a product that is languishing mostly unused in my collection.

Urban Decay's Zero is a brilliant liner - it's pigmented and long lasting for me, in fact it can be a little too long lasting and I often wake up in the morning with residue still on my eyes (after removing it the night before).  I love a long lasting product but I don't want to literally scrub my eyes to remove the product.

The clear winner for me is Avon Supershock. It's pigmented, long lasting and affordable.  I reach for it everyday and it's a staple in my makeup bag.

Avon is available from your local representative or online from Avonshoponline.

What is your favourite liner?
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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sally Hansen Autumn Nails

It was bloody freezing last night. I was so tempted to put on the heating but it's still August, I'm my father's daughter and there's just no way I can put on the heating in August. So I sat on the settee with a hot water bottle instead. Sadly, winter is approaching and I think the time is nearing to put away all my bright pink, pastel, neon and coral nail polishes and break out the darker shades instead. 

The colours I favour in winter are deep purples, dark reds, greys, but also nudes and taupes, which is why I thought I would love Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in Café Au Lait, which came in my Awards goodie bag. But I'm not crazy about it. 

It really is a true nude - exactly the same colour as my skin. It would be a good colour for work if  you work somewhere where you need to have work-appropriate nails (I don't thank God) or if you want to lengthen the  appearance of your fingers, it could work in the same way as nude shoes work for your legs (am I clutching at straws here?!). It could also be a good base for glitter.

Anyway, I really like the formula and wear of these polishes - as we all know by now, they combine a base coat and top coat with colour (although I still like to add a top coat), and promise up to ten days wear. I also really like the expensive looking bottles and the tapered brush. There are some great colour options for winter that are right up my street and I'll definitely be picking some of these up: 

Plum Luck
Red Zin
Commander in Chic 
My top coat of choice these days is also Sally Hansen, and I don't know what I ever did without it - this stuff is DEADLY. You just put on your nail polish, wait a minute or two, apply this & voila - completely dry nails in 30 seconds.

Do you change your nail colours up to suit the seasons? Or are you happy to wear brights in winter? Pin It

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Magic of Tightlining

I have tiny eyes, its OK I can admit it they are small and I realise that with a little floofing around I can make them look bigger.  Eyeliner can both be a friend and an enemy of the tiny eyed folk. I am always a little scared of looking like a Mulhall Sister if I go mad with the eyeliner.  This is a look we must all avoid.
(Picture from the Sunday World Website)
So while I have to go easy with the eyeliner on the top of my eyes, I have discovered that by tight lining my eyes it can add definition, open my eyes and also make the three stumpy eyelashes that I have look longer.  Lovelygirlybits has a brill tutorial on how to tight line with gel eyeliner but I tend to use a pencil.  I used to be a bit creeped out by tight lining, I didn't like the idea of messing with my eyeball and as my eyes tend to water at the drop of a hat I thought, whats the point? My trick is to use a long lasting pencil.   Below is a before picture with just a smidgen of shadow on my eyes.
As you can see just a smidgen of pencil on the upper waterline defines my eye (without the Mulhall look). Its easy to do and adds a small amount of definition and defines my lashes.
Here is the eye with a flash of liquid liner (Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Liner in Siren - my current obsession) and mascara (Avon Super Shock, another current obsession)

Do you tight line? Or do you have any tips on how to enhance tiny eyes? Pin It

Friday, August 26, 2011

NOTD Barry M Blueberry Ice cream

You gotta love a bit of Barry M - affordable, easy to get your hands on and always on trend. What's not to love?  I am not a great girl for wearing nail polish. In my line of work as an international spy it tends to chip too easily (I may in fact not be an international spy I might just have been watching the box set of Burn Notice and want to be a spy, it's kinda like after I watched Water for Elephants and wanted an elephant... don't worry it will pass). Anyway where was I ? Oh yes I don't like applying nail polish every other day so I tend to go naked (on my nails, after all it wouldn't be good for a spy to be naked) but here is my recent NOTD - Barry M Blueberry Ice Cream.

You Likey?
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Garnier BB Cream

So there is big fuss over BB creams right now. If you're a YouTube fan you will see that everybody is trying them out.  What are BB creams? Well they were developed to aid women who have just had plastic surgery so they are filled with goodness that heals skin, have high SPFs to prevent damage and a tint which gives some coverage.  Some creams have a whitening aspect to them which I was initially a bit concerned over but I think it is to lighten scars as opposed to whitening your whole face.  When I picked this up I gave it to Sile and she thought it was very light coverage and that you would need great skin for it. Simone from Simonelovesmakeup thinks it's high coverage. Sile is currently using Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation which pretty much makes everything else look light and Simone is a makeup artist with tons of experience. So who is right?
The cream is thick, really thick and it is fragranced, really fragranced, so much so that I when I smelled my hand I wasn't sure if it was the perfume I had sprayed or the cream.  When you apply the product to your face you don't really notice the fragrance that much but if you hate fragranced products AVOID.

When I first applied the cream I thought that it was like a thick tinted moisturiser.  Despite the thickness the product feels light.  I have been wearing it for a couple of weeks now and to be honest I am not loving it.  I love when you can't feel a product on your skin and it feels like your skin is breathing and your skin looks like skin. On a good day my skin can cope with a tinted moisturiser and concealer for the odd spot and my epic dark circles - that is why I thought this would be perfect.  Unfortunately for me it is far from perfect.  The product seems to wear off well before the end of the day it doesn't really blend easily and you can't build it up.  Although the cream doesn't feel heavy and you initially can't feel the product on your skin, I find that on me it leaves a greasy residue and I look like I am a greasy shiny mess.  Since I don't have oily skin and if anything my skin can be dehydrated (not dry or flaky) this product would be a nightmare for those with oily skin (it's horrible on dehydrated skin). I love dewy skin but I don't like dip your head in a fryer skin.  I have also developed a few whopper spots on my chin, I am not saying that they are specifically from this product (perhaps they are from the Domino's Pizza I had on Saturday with cookies for afters mmmm).
Forehead (looks like a five head from here) with nothing on it, I promise I have washed and moisturised it and as you can see a few (ahem) blemishes.
As you can see it does cover the blemishes and the major shine has not arrived yet.
There is a little chart on the back indicating the age for which the product is suited,  BB creams were invented for women who have just had plastic surgery so would this not be an slightly older market? I find it funny because my mam for example has very good skin and doesn't like to wear anything heavy and I think this product would be suited to her skin, older skin tends to be slightly dryer so it might benefit from any oiliness so have they missed a target audience? Also the picture is funny and perhaps a little ageist Garnier ... does one burst into flames when you reach 60?
This gets a thumbs down from me. Have you tried it? What do you think of BB creams?  I have the Illamasqua Skin Base - a review is coming soon. Pin It

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Stila Convertible Eye Colour

Here is another one of Stila's "clever cosmetics", the Convertible Eye Colour.  Do not be fooled into thinking that they are just an eyeliner; they are in fact all you need for a quick and pretty eye.  On one end there is a eyeliner and in the other there is a smudger which inserts into a powder in a complementing shade.  Handy or what?  Now here is the down low, personally if I was going for any eyeliner this would not be the first one that I would reach for. I would probably go with the Urban Decay 24/7 liner or Avon's Super shock or even one of Stila's Kajal liners.  I like to line the waterline and these are not as creamy. They are however perfect for throwing in your handbag and they're great for holidays (please remind me what holidays are).  I do think they are very nifty idea and they line the eyes easily (not as easily as the others I mentioned) but I don't reach for them.

Indigo, Slate, Forest and Stone (I think this is the name of Forest and Stone sorry but the name has rubbed off)
Stone, Forest
Slate Indigo
The magic powder/shadow
What do you think of the Convertible Eye Colours? Personally I think that Stila has released some cracking new eyeliners including the smudge stick liner that I recently bought (that we can now get our hands on woo hoo) so I would probably give these a miss.  These are not actually available at the stand in Boots Liffey Valley but they are available from ASOS and HQHair
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Tuesday, August 23, 2011


With all my recent excitement over Stila's return to Ireland and TK Maxx bargains I completely forgot that I had picked up some goodies from Catrice. Catrice is a great German make up brand that is brilliant value. It can usually be found in Dunnes Stores and Penneys and yes it is most definitely Penneys prices.  I picked up a cream cheek tint in Tigerlilly for €3.50. This is reminiscent (ie a total copy) of a Nars Multiple.  The product is slightly chunkier and not as smooth as a Nars Multiple but you're not paying Nars prices (which for us in the Eurozone are mad money)

Sure how could I say no to a hot pink for €4.50? That's right, I couldn't, so I got the Ultimate Colour lipstick in 110 Pink Me Up.  I love Catrice lipsticks. They have a slight scent which reminds me of higher end brands but I have noticed that the lipstick's shape is really weird and pointy. Has anybody else noticed this?

Finally a Lip Designer Lip liner in Soft Fuchsia that was €2.50. There has been great talk about these on YouTube. They have a nifty lip brush on the other end. 

Has anybody tried Catrice? What do you think?
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Friday, August 19, 2011

CND Shellac in Hollywood

As I had a couple of events in quick succession last week (the Awards, followed by my friend's hen weekend down in Cork), I decided to go and get my nails Shellacked again. I looked up the nearest, cheapest salon to me on Salon Addict and headed off to get them done last Thursday morning. I opted for the colour 'Hollywood ' this time, a classic red with very subtle shimmer.

CND Shellac 'Hollywood' - no flash.
CND Shellac in 'Hollywood' - with flash - shows the shimmer a bit better.

I love the colour and the shine but I'm really disappointed with the longevity of Shellac this time out, so much so that I'm going to take it off today, just over a week after getting it on. I noticed my first chip at the Awards on Thursday night (I probably obsessively showed it to several people!), just a few hours after application, the chip on my index finger (which can be seen in the first photo above) appeared the next day, and I had tip wear and wear around the edges of some nails after a couple of days. 

It seems the success of Shellac definitely lies in its application. This time, quite thin layers were applied and I would have thought that this would actually increase longevity (as it would do with normal nail polish) but I was wrong. With Shellac, it seems, the thicker it's slathered on, the better. It hasn't put me off getting Shellac again, but I would choose my nail technician carefully. 

Have you tried Shellac? How did you get on with it?

This was my first time using Salon Addict and loved how easy it was to compare prices, and to book online. It includes hairdressers as well as beauty salons. There doesn't seem to be a huge amount of salons on it yet, but they say they are constantly adding more. Have you used the site before? 
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Thursday, August 18, 2011

NOTD Sally Hansen Pink Slip

Here is a wee NOTD from Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure in Pink Slip, I was lucky enough to receive this in my Goodie bag from the Beautie Best in Beaut awards.  I have tried only one other of the Complete Salon Manicure polishes and I love the formula and the finish (really shiny). This is two coats and is really opaque, unfortunately I think this shade looks a little like its some kind of fungal nail treatment and is not for me at all. Sue (CherrySue) suggested that I could use it as a base for other pale nail polishes.  What do you think of this shade?

A little update this colour was beginning to chip so being a bit of a dirty bee-hatch I decided to just paint on top and the colour came up beautifully with one coat. 
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I am new to this whole TK MAXX buzz. I never really go in there cause if I am being honest I HATE the shop in general, it always seems messy and chaotic.  I don't find it relaxing, although it has to be said when I bought my apartment I did pick up a good few things in the home wares department.  Recently I have been hearing brilliant things about the cosmetic section, namely from the Queen of TK Maxx Art Donatella. She picked up some Stila for some bargain prices.  I headed to TK Maxx in town and was really disappointed that there was only one manky lipliner. That evening on twitter I was saying how I had gotten on and Karen from Lovelygirlybits and Sue from CherrySuedoingthedo basically encouraged/enabled me into trying the TK Maxx in Blanchardstown which from these experts is said to be the best in their experience.
So when I went into Blanchardstown TK Maxx there was quite a decent cosmetic section most of which was in sealed clear containers, the pros to this were nobody had stuck their dirty fingers in the products; the cons, you probably have no idea what the colour is.  So I under one arm I had the plastic containers and in my other hand had my phone out googling colours so I could have some idea about the shades.  When I was going out that day I gave myself a budget of €20.00 hmmm.  I really went for the Stila (Stila Freak) but was only delighted when I saw NARS.  I picked up Nars cream eyeshadow in Decameron (which the internet - Makeup Alley- told me could also be used as a bronzer) and Nars single eye shadow in New York (the name alone sold it but again Makeup Alley told me it made green/blue eyes pop).  These were €9.99 each which is amazing considering I had just picked up Nars single eyeshadow in Outremer a couple of days before for €24.00.
If you can see on the left is Decameron which has tiny bits of white fluff/organic matter/stuff on it, I am not sure what this is,  is is some kind of makeup mould?  I do wonder how TK Maxx get their products. From hearing something on the programme The City (I am well educated by reality TV can't ye tell) the guru that is Kelly Cutrone said when a shop cancels a big order on a brand, the brand is stuck with the stock so they sell it on to discount shops.  I can understand a few Stila products showing up in TK Maxx as it has been discontinued in Ireland for some time, but NARS?  Answers on a post card. 

You could use Decameron as a bronzer I guess but probably not on my skin at the moment.  New York is a Matt shadow, not my favourite type of shadow but it's a unusual shade.
I also picked up Stila Lipstick in Kelly which was €5.99 (yes €5.99) Nars Lipstick in Promiscuous which was €9.99 and Stila Shine Lip Colour for €5.99.  I am not a nude lipstick lover at all but these are quite sheer and not really offensive in any way.  I love the Stila Shine Lip colour which I got in Talia.
How pretty are the Stila lipstick containers (being the Stila Freak I may be slightly biased)
So have you gotten any makeup bargains from TK Maxx? do you think that these bargains are "gone off" makeup?
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stila Convertible Colour

Let me introduce you to a product that I am a little in love with, some catch my fancy more than others and are shown a little more love.  Let me introduce you to Convertible Colours by Stila (I am the Stila Freak after all). These are creamy cheek and lip colours. Personally I have always used them as a cheek colour but in saying that when I first bought them I was all about the lip gloss.
As you can see from the pictures the packaging is just adorable. Each of the compacts is colour coordinated to the product.

Rose, Orchid (which I bought from ebay)
Camila, Lillium/Gerbera
Peony, Marigold
Petunia, Gladiola
Rose, Orchid
Camilia, Lillium/Gerbera
The Swatches Rose, Orchid 
Camilia, Lillium/Gerbera
Peony, Marigold
Petunia, Gladiola
The Swatches Peony, Marigold
Petunia, Gladiola
My favourites have got to be Petunia and Gladiola (swatches below) I know the colour of Gladiola looks a little intimidating but it blends out to a lovely peachy/orange/coral.
How pretty are these?
Here is my newest acquisition Fuchsia. It will be perfect for that doll faced look.

Above is a swipe of Fuchsia and below it's blended out.  Stila Convertible Colours are perfect for those who want a cream blush, if you love Benefit's Cha Cha tint but you need a little more time to work with the product give Gladiola a try.  These are soft, creamy and easy to use, they blend like a dream.
Stila is a available from Boots Liffey Valley (Woo Hoo have I mentioned that before?) HQ Hair and ASOS.  Have you tried any of the Stila Convertible Colours ? Pin It
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