Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Stila - Some Bad News followed by Good

I have some good news and some bad news, being a positive kinda girl we will start with the bad news and get that out of the way. 

One particular Stila product that has come into my life recently has changed it for the better - Stila's Set and Bronze is amazing and I am obsessed by it (read about my obsession with it here).  I am so obsessed that when I was away recently for a Hens weekend I had the magical bronzer out at a time in the morning that nobody has a right to be applying bronzer - after some light refreshment (ahem) I was telling all about the virtues of the product and while gesticulating wildly it launched its way across the room (across two rooms actually - there should be a Olympic event on accidentally throwing makeup - I would get Bronze).    Although the packaging was slightly damaged - its in two parts - the product itself is perfect and shall continue to bronze me for a long time (the mirror didn't even break).  Having OCS (Obsessive Compulsive Stila) I am a bit sad about the packaging. Sad Face.


I know I talk about Stila a lot ....If only there was a place in Ireland, Dublin specifically that people could visit and see the whole Stila range...hmmmm if only there was a Stila Counter in an "Absolutely Fabulous" shop where I could hang around and annoy the staff, it would be like my version of Cheers (where everybody knows my name cause I am a stalker).  If only this counter were opening soon, and what if the time was when children had gone back to school.  Imagine a Stila Counter with the full range of products and new collections at our fingertips.  (Seriously people there are some hints here - Its not exactly the DA Vinci Code).
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Karora - Gradual Bronzing Moisturiser

After my recent spray tan experiment I decided that I looked good tanned, I thought that most self tanners were just asking for me to muck them up so I would start with something simple like Karora Gradual Bronzing Moisturiser.  I have trouble pronouncing the brands name and constantly call it Kia-Ora (you will be singing the song from the add before the end of the post - GUARANTEED).  I dont like a really "fake" fake tan look and I hate the smell of fake tan - so lets see how Karoa meets the challenge. 

Kia- Ora's Gradual Bronzing Moisturiser is a daily moisturiser that gradually builds a glow.  The product has an organic tanner along with natural botanics.  What I am really impressed by is the moisturiser has an SPF of 15 which is very clever  addition to the product.  As well as giving the skin a natural looking glow it also contains sweet orange extract, jojoba, vitamin E and argan oil leaving the skin beautifully moisturised.
I was after a natural looking tan and am delighted with Karora - Kia- Ora don't let my mispronunciation fool you, the tan your left with is a beautiful natural glow.   The tan is not mega dark - if you want to be tangoed go somewhere else. The cream comes out white and has a gentle citrus fragrance.  Because the tan is gradual your not going to have messy knees or hands (or the curse of the fake tanners as I like to call it).  I wouldn't use it every day - I find that if I use it for more than 3 days running the citrus fragrance is replaced by one of false tan which I cant stand, also the gradual tan can get a bit patchy.  I tend to use the cream every other day and I find that this works best with the product.
I love the moisturiser has a SPF - its perfect for us pale skinned ladies who can protect the skin while giving it a natural golden glow.   Karora is not only an Irish brand but they are also cruelty free (it is cruel for us Irish ladies to look milk bottle white) and the product contents no parabens or chemicals. 

I cant talk about Karora without mentioning the packaging - I love the purple and gold packaging - it looks regal is so pretty, I do have a bit of an issue with the pump which dispenses the product, as you can see from above when I pump a tiny little swoosh of product comes out (each little dollop above represents a pump of product) you have to pump the product a few times to get enough to cover your leg or arm - which is really my only fault with the product.

You can buy Karora from most chemists (keep an eye out for special offers) and from Karora (here) or one of our favourite online shops Cloud 10 (here) where you can get a very substantial 200mls for €19.99. 
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Brill Budget Bronzers from NYC

Don't you just love finding budget beauty buys that are actually brilliant products too? That's the case with these NYC bronzers which cost a teeny €3.49 each. 

First we have the Color Wheel Mosaic Face Powder which is intended to give an 'all over bronze glow'. All of these colours swirled together give a really natural bronze to the skin that it would be really difficult to go over board with, even if you build it up. Not one for fans of the tanorexic look then, but great for the rest of us. The powder looks matte in the pan but as you can see, when it's applied to the skin there is a very slight sheen to it, but it's not glittery or shimmery in any way. 

If it's shimmer you're after, then look no further than Sun 2 Sun Bronzing Powder which I have in the shade 'Terracotta Tan'. This is actually two powders in one which can obviously be used separately or blended together, depending on the intensity of the shade you're after. As I said, there is some shimmer in them but not a massive amount, they're still very wearable. The swatches above are very heavy swatches of the lighter shade on the left, darker on the right and a LOT of the two colours swirled together with a brush on the back of my hand. Again, the colour is very buildable - you can go from Lily Cole to Kat Slater or stop anywhere in between, whatever your preference may be. 

I'm genuinely impressed with these bronzers. Ok, so you're not gettting a posh compact for your €3.49, but the actual product is great. Top marks NYC!

*PR Samples Pin It

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Ikea Helmer for Make Up and Nail Polish Storage

I was in Ikea a few weeks ago on one of my 'just having a look' visits (that usually see me dropping at least €100 on stuff I don't need) and saw the Helmer unit on sale for €20. Needless to say, it came home with me. These six drawer units are much beloved of beauty bloggers for cosmetics, and especially nail polish, storage. They're cheap, compact and hold a LOAD of stuff. I'm using it to store the make up that I'm not using on a daily basis, and all of my nail polish, plus other random beauty bits and bobs. 

I also picked up three of the Antonius plastic inserts (€2 each!) which fit the drawers perfectly. They divide the drawer up into five compartments of varying sizes. It means you get less in the drawer but makes everything a lot more organised and tidy. Little tip: the Antonius inserts are in the warehouse section at the end where you pick up your flat pack furniture - not in the market place section where I spent an absolute age looking for them.

Almost all of my nail polish fits in one drawer which makes me think it's ok/necessary to buy more :-) 

To give it some context, this is how much space the Helmer takes up. It comes with castors which I didn't bother putting on (if I'm honest, mainly because I couldn't screw the fecking things in but the rest of it was really easy to put together). I'm really happy with it and will probably get another to stack on top of this one for skin and hair care stuff. They're back up to their regular price of €30 which is still pretty good I think. 

How do you store your make up? If you've blogged about it, link me up! 

For more Ikea make up storage ideas, see this post.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stila Custom Colour Self Adjusting Bronze

When I first saw Stila's Summer Illuminating Collection there were two things that I definitely wanted, one of which was the Passion Fruit Lip and Cheek Stain (read about it here) and the other was the Self Adjusting Bronze.

I know I spoke about Stila's Set and Bronze last week (read it here) and it's going to look like I am addicted to bronzer - which mmmm might be a little true but could you blame me when Stila produce such amazing products.  When I got a sneak preview of this a couple of months ago I swatched it and then promptly forgot and moved onto swatching the other products.   I thought it was just another bronzer.  It wasn't until I got home that I couldn't take my eyes off my hand.  It was bronzed to perfection.

The powder is a natural bronze with a hint of shimmer (so little shimmer I thought it was matte). As the product says, it's self adjusting. I thought this was a bit of a gimmick but the powder reacts to each person's skin PH to give a custom bronze. 

To be honest I am not sure if it looks different on everybody and I don't really mind if that is a gimmick because the result of the powder on me is beautiful luminous bronze skin.  The packaging is an adorable little black case with stars on the outside and a handy mirror inside. 

Although there is a slight shimmer in the product it doesn't really transfer onto the face and as you can see from the swatch below it warms the skin without leaving a ruddy or mucky look on the skin.

Ok so I might be wearing a little too much make up but I was going to pretend Oxegen, so trust me, I looked very pared down towards most of the others there.

Stila Custom Colour Bronze costs £13.00 which is amazing value for a quality bronzer.  I bought mine from ASOS (here) but it's also available from Stila.co.uk (here) where they have free Ireland and UK shipping and they also have a range of Custom Colour Blush (a pink and a coral).
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Illamasqua Nomad NOTD

Today's NOTD is a beautiful turquoise from Illamasqua.  I am a big fan of Illamasqua - and I particularly love the nail varnish. In fact it's the only higher end nail polish I have bought.  I was delighted when I got a present of Nomad which is a deeper take on the ever popular Tiffany Blue colour.

The varnish is opaque in two coats but I think it looks nicer with a glossy topcoat like I have used in the pictures.  My index finger chipped after one day (but it was longer so I was chewing on it a bit).

Illamasqua is available from Debenhams.ie (here) and from Illamasqua.com.  Have you tried any of Illamasqua's nail polish?
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Friday, July 20, 2012

New Collection from Clarins for Autumn 2012

Last week Clarins' International Make Up Artist, Claude Defrense was in Dublin to launch Clarins' Autumn collection, and très heureux cailiní that we are, we were there too. You can always rely on Clarins to produce luxe, covetable items, and this collection is no different. Let's have a look at some of the products with a couple of mini reviews along the way!

Ombre Minérale Eyeshadows (€18.50) - there are 16 new mineral eyeshadows in mainly soft, neutral colours with a few darker intense shades including that stand out purple (Vibrant Violet) above which Claude used to create a gorgeous smokey eye on the model. These can be used wet and dry, which we think is the mark of a good shadow. 

Intense Plum Instant Definition Mascara (€25.42) has a cool brush - the bottom section delivers volume while the top part allows you to coat every single little lash. The colour makes a very flattering change from black as well.

The 3-Dot Liner (€24.00) has been causing a lot of buzz and for good reason. I love this! As the name suggests, this is a marker style liner that has three tips, allowing you to place dots along the lash line, which you can then go over to join up in to a line.  I've been pressing it into my lash line and it does a great job of making my lashes look a lot fuller in a natural way. You can also use it in a more full on cat eye liner way. Great product. 

Skin Illusion Loose Powder Foundation is in gorgeous perfume bottle style packaging that hides a little kabuki brush in the lid. Very clever! First impressions of this light weight powder are good. 

The prettiest product of the collection, packaged in a gorgeous gold compact, is the Colour Accents Face and Blush Powder (€37.00) which can be used as an all over brightening powder, or as a blusher. Also in the collection are four new shades of Rouge Prodige Lipstick (€20.44) and a black kohl eye pencil (€15.00).

Watch out for further reviews and looks with these lovely products. 

Everything will be available in mid-August. What do you think? See anything you fancy? 
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bare Minerals Ready Eyeshadow Quad - The Soundtrack

What do you think of when you hear Bare Minerals?  Well for me it's those starter kits - one of which I picked up a few years ago in America.  Bare Minerals is really just making itself known on this side of the Atlantic and although they are known for their containers of loose mineral powder - enough to make clumsy gobshites like myself run for the hills - they have some really interesting products.

One day recently I was punishing himself and he said he would buy me some make up (I am easily bought) and take me to the cinema and a slap up meal of two scoops of Ben and Jerry's, so I found myself in Boots Liffey Valley (the happiest place on earth) beside Bare Minerals. Before you ask, yes, I have literally bought all the Stila.

I was absent mindedly swatching some new fancy eyeshadow quads when I stopped in my tracks - they were soft, creamy, buttery, velvety soft.  I asked could they be used wet and dry (it's my new test - if you can't use wet and dry, I will stick with Stila) while himself huffed and puffed beside me. Myself and the Bare Minerals girls set about experimenting with some water and eyeshadow. You will all be delighted to know that you can use them wet and dry.

Bare Minerals use Sea Nutritive Mineral Complex along with antioxidants (cold-pressed borage oil, caffeine and cucumber ingredients) which give the eyeshadow anti-aging benefits which claim to reduce the look of puffiness and offer antioxidant protection for a softer, smoother, revitalized eye area.

I picked up (well, himself got it for me on the promise that we made a quick exit from Boots) The Soundtrack quad which has four colours
Rhythm - buttercream (probably the least impressive of the four colours but it's a matte - you know yourself how temperamental matte shadows are)
Louder - burnished copper
Remix - burnished gold
Speaker Box  - shimmering gunmetal

The shadows are powder but they feel so creamy and apply beautiful intense vivid colour.

You can of course create a myriad of looks with this quad and what I love about wet/dry shadows is that each shadow can make two different shades.

Bare Minerals Ready - Eyeshadow Quads cost €35.00 and are available from anywhere Bare Minerals are sold.

Next time you're walking by a Bare Minerals stand go and swatch some of these amazing shadows - you will not believe how soft and pigmented they are - just don't knock over any of those pots of loose powder.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Human + Kind Family Remedy Cream

Being a busy mammy to the cutest little hurricane this side of hurricane alley, I barely have time to brush my hair let alone contribute to this blog but every once in a while I get to try a product that works well for me and Human + Kind Family Remedy Cream is one of these products. 

Human + Kind's miracle product has been developed to remedy the A to Z of family skin problems, from acne to zinc deficiency (I might be using artistic license here) and pretty much everything in between including minor burns, cuts and grazes, nappy rash, eczema, psoriasis, itching, nettle rash, athlete’s foot, dermatitis, insect bites and stings, sunburn, cracked skin, cold sores and razor burn (we have to include the men in this beauty business otherwise they will feel left out).

Luckily enough I have yet to encounter some of these ailments and if I am being honest I am very hesitant to put anything onto Baby Redser's extremely delicate skin (after all he has broken out from even the most sensitive baby sunscreens) so I always test creams on myself first.  Of course Baby Redser didn't lick his sensitive skin up up off a stone. I am liable to react to the simplest of products - yes, even the brand Simple.  I first tested the Human + Kind cream on a nasty rash that had broken out on the backs of my arms (I am not sure which part of A - Z it was but I thought I would chance my arm - literally).  I applied the cream and was delighted to see that (a) I didn't react to the cream and (b) it cleared up the rash in a couple of days.

After I knew the cream would be safe to use on me I tested a small amount of cream on the back of Baby Redser's leg (its where I test to see if he is allergic) to see was he allergic and if I could use it on him.  He didn't react at all from the cream so I was safe to put it into his baby bag (why does he get a whole bag when increasingly my space is smaller - at this stage I just put a Clinique Chubby Stick in my back pocket and go).

Even before Baby Redser came on the scene I was a great advocate of natural healing (just call me a hippy, no a white witch, - just not a yummy mummy). I have an Aloe Vera plant in my kitchen (although since the little man's arrival it has been put under a lot of stress) and love to use Arnica cream for bruises.    The Human and Kind Family Remedy Cream is full of natural ingredients and essential oils such as : Broccoli Extract  which protects the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation  (who knew ?), Aloe Vera  (already a favourite of mine), Marshmallow (not just a yummy treat it also soothes and calms with active anti-inflammatory properties), Rosehip Oil  (source of vitamin A, has a strong regenerative action reducing dermatitis, acne and eczema and sun burn),  Centella (never heard of it but it heals and treats scars and blemishes), White Lily (heals burns and wounds).  The cream also contains a natural anaesthetic which sooths and reduces the risk of infection.  

The cream itself is errr very creamy (what can I say it's a lovely bendable cream), it is paraben free and has no harmful chemicals - all natural goodness.  The cream does have a strong scent which will be off putting to some - I racked my brains trying to think what the scent was and all I can tell you is it reminds me of Witch Hazel - a natural herbal scent.   All you need is a light film of cream onto the affected area.  Human + Kind say the cream is suitable for all skin types, even sensitive skin. The product is dermatologically tested and allergy screened - since I did that too I can assure you its suitable for sensitive skin.                                    

Human + Kind Family Remedy cream costs €22.95 which I think will be off putting to some but since the cream  treats a myriad of ailments and a little goes a long way it ends up  being good value for money.  Human + Kind are an Irish brand which is a big bonus for me, the products are available online at http://www.humanandkind.com/ and from pharmacies and health stores nationwide.


Disclaimer: PR Sample and it's Actionmags hand above - what can I say, I was too busy for pictures.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Stila Set and Bronze Baked Powder Trio

We know I love Stila but I am currently in the middle of a major addiction with one of their products - it literally is all over my face at all times.  The product that has brought so much joy to my life is Stila Set and Bronze Baked Powder Trio.

Set and Bronze is in similar sleek black packaging to Set and Correct which I have already spoken about (read that here) except this time Stila has created a trio of powders that not only set your makeup but also apply a beautiful bronze glow to the skin.


The set contains three different lightweight baked powders 

  • Matte bronze – which bronzes and warms the skin
  • Kitten shimmer – (Special Guest Star) to brighten and illuminate
  • Bronze shimmer – enhances skintone

  • You can use the powder alone if you're lucky enough to have great skin but I use it over my foundation - the powder not only gives a beautiful glowing bronze to the skin, it also sets your foundation.  I find when I use it over foundation the makeup lasts all day.  The powder contains Vitamin E and jojoba oils so as well as cleverly setting your makeup it also bronzes and helps to moisturize and condition skin.

    Just one turn of the (rather good fun) shaver provides enough product to cover the face and if you're in a pinch you could use the powders as eyeshadow (I have done this and you can separate the colours to create a simple bronze eye).  I really like the packaging. The sleek black case is not only stylish but its also has a mirror so you can use it on the go. 

    You can see above left a slightly blended swatch and on the right a thick swatch.  If you have fair skin you can use a very light dusting but for those with darker skin the product is buildable.  Although there are shimmers in the product (it does feature Kitten after all) you are not left with a glitter ball effect, Stila has created a product which gives beautiful natural glowing skin.

    On the left you can see I am only wearing foundation and I have a Sad Face but on the right after I apply my Stila Set and Bronze I am so happy with myself I can't help having a bit of a smug face.  I adore the effect that it gives and to be honest the fact that it sets my foundation is an added bonus.  Although summer hasn't really started we have had some humidity (lucky aren't we - humidity and no sun) but Set and Bronze keeps my greasy skin in check and I haven't had to reapply it during the day (which is lucky because I never remember to reapply makeup).

    Stila Set and Bronze costs £24.00 and it will last for a very long time, I bought mine from ASOS (here) but it is also available from Stila.co.uk (click here) where there is free shipping to Ireland and the UK. 

    What do you think of Set and Bronze?
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    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain - Lovesick

    They are finally here - Revlon's bargain answer to Clinique's Chubby Sticks have arrived. When Sue (go say Hi here) showed me hers (durty) I dashed into Boots - luckily I was standing right outside Boots at the time or else that would have been very rude-.  I picked up the Just Bitten Kissable  Balm Stain in Lovesick which I think you will agree is my kinda colour - Its also the colour that Emma Stone is wearing in the advertisement.

    The product is in pencil form but no messy paring is needed, you simply wind up the product.  The balm has a minty flavour although to me it's not an intense minty flavour - more like that chewing gum that has come out of the wrapper and is floating around the bottom of your handbag - so still minty but not as refreshing as it could be.

    When you apply the product it applies like a colourful gloss but as the gloss wears away you're left with a stain of the colour.  I noticed that as the day went on and I applied more product (it's perfect for putting in your pocket) during the day the intensity of the pigment grows so the colour was darker.

    Revlon Just Bitten Balm Stain does exactly what it says on the tube and they are currently on special offer for €8.20 (they will normally be €11.00).
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