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

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NOTD Illamasqua Obsess

It's pink, it's fabulous, it's from Illamasqua (who happen to make fabulous nail polishes) and it was on sale on ASOS.  Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to Obsess.

You likey?
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Stila - Dream in Full Colour

It's November so I can officially say that Christmas is on its way and while it's good to give, it's better to receive. I killed two birds with one purchase and self gifted Stila's Christmas set Dream in Full Colour.  As you know I am a Stila freak so this set was a bit of a no brainer (it's not available in Boots so I had to buy it online). 

The set includes:
27 eye colours
7 cheek colours
full size smudge stick waterproof eyeliner in Stingray (which alone costs £13.00)
a look book

The palette is inspired by a dream catcher and a colour wheel and it is pretty damn fabulous.

The colours are listed on the back and in the centre there is Stila's famous shade/go with everything shade (and included in every set), Kitten.

The colours around the outside are the cheek colours, the pans are just big enough to fit a brush (you may have problems if you have a massive brush).  The eye colours are pigmented, soft and blend able.  The colours are softer in the In the Light Palette (review here) but this palette is pretty fabulous.  Some of the central shades are quite small but lets face it - most of us makeup addicts are not likely to run out of eyeshadow anytime soon.
The look book shows you how to use the colours in the palette to create different looks, you can of course just use the colours where you like or dip your face in the palette like I did.
I just dipped my face in the palette and VOILA - like magic it turns you into a fancy face (Fancy Face is trade mark of Its Cherry Sue check her out here )
In all my excitement I forgot to swatch the liner (it's black) - sorry about that.

Dream in Full Colour makes a brilliant present and at £25.00 it's a bargain.  I bought mine from ASOS (I got the delivery in a couple of days) (here). If I had of had a bit of patience I could have waited for a discount code.... but what can I say I am a bit of a brat.
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

When is a Nail colour not a nail colour ?

So when is a nail colour not a nail colour?  When its flipping 2 nail colours (get ready for a ramble). Way back in 2010 Illamasqua launched a competition where you could design your own nail polish (the winning polish would be made, amazing competition). I of course entered with the following:

The Idea for my colour is for those summer days when the weather decides to change constantly. When you leave the house the sun is shining and your light nails look amazing but by lunch the clouds have set in and you're all dressed up for summer and freezing. Alternatively it's also for those summer days when it starts out cold and you pile on the layers and then suddenly the sun appears and you feel like a misery in summer because of your nail varnish.
So the colour is a duo tone with purple and a golden pink. It changes colour between the purple and the golden pink depending on how the light hits it. This gives the wearer a very versatile look, in essence being two nail polishes in one. It also lets the people who love dark nail colour a change to play around with a lighter look.
So the colour is reminiscent of Laura Mercier eye shadow in African Violet.
It would also be a mix of the Urban Decay eye shadows in Last Call and X.
The name of the Nail polish would be Dublin Summer because of course a Dublin Summer (ha ha if there is such a thing) is constantly changing and it would be brilliant to have a nail polish to wear during that change.

Alas I didn't win (but I did get a email saying I came in the top 50- although I think this was an automated email to entrants). Big mistake Illamasqua as now everybody and their chic mother has released a duo chrome finish varnish.  (The everybody would be Essence & chic mother - Chanel).

So I have always been excited about the idea of two toned nail varnish (I love a duo finish eye shadow as well), so when I saw a post on Dolly Rouge (please check out the site - the girls are great and the blog is brilliant, check out the post here) about Essence varnish in 145 Where is the Party I was straight down to the chemist to count out my €1.29 (yes €1.29 for a nail varnish).  I think that this colour is amazing and well done to the Dollies for finding it.  I love the colours - it ranges from a green to a purple, I think it should be called something like "Dragon Skin" 

Are you loving or hating the duo chrome finish trend?  Is this the longest ramble ever on a NOTD post?
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

New York Trip in Photos

Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline - Magnolia Bakery - Hollister on Fifth Avenue - Yellow Cabs - Empire State Building lit up for Columbus Day - 9/11 Memorial - Occupy Wall Street - Eighties Toys in Balloon Saloon, Tribeca (I would like that shop to be transported to Dublin, please) - Macys Christmas Shop - Times Square

Anyone else remember those 80s-tastic toys?!
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