Thursday, September 27, 2012

NYC Autumn/Winter Nail Polish Pics and Swatches

There's no doubt. Winter is well and truly here, mes amies. I've switched from Weetabix to porridge, salads to soups, and the boots are back on. Another seasonal change I enjoy is switching bright nail polishes for the dark and vampy ones which for some reason just don't look right to me during the summer months but I love them in autumn/winter. NYC have a fab range of berry shades to update your nail wardrobe for the upcoming season at unbelievable prices. 

L-R City Blackout, Boundless Berry, Fine Red Wine, Chelsea Cherry, Chelsea, Rock Muse Smoky Top Coat, Demon Glow Top Coat.
L-R City Blackout, Boundless Berry, Fine Red Wine, Chelsea Cherry
L-R Chelsea, Demon Glow Top Coat, Rock Muse Smoky Top Coat

The Expert Last Nail Polishes retail at €1.99 each while the In a New York Minute Polish and the Rock Muse Smoky Top coat are an amazing €1.29 each. The Rock Muse Smoky Top Coat also works great as a polish in its own right. 

The Demon Glow Top Coat (€2.49) is a deadly sounding product that is designed to glow under UV light - it would be brilliant down the dishco. The other day I made it my business to go to a public toilet that I knew had one of those blue lights in it to see if it would work under that (the things I do for this blog etc.) but unfortunately it didn't, boo.

Despite the price, the quality of these polishes is not lacking. The formula is great, they apply without dragging or streaking and the lasting power is as good as any of the more expensive brands I've used. 

Do you change your nail polish with the seasons too?
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Goodies from Avon

We're coming up to October which can only mean one thing... Halloween! But also Breast Cancer Awareness Month of course, and Avon have launched three lovely and affordable products as part of their Breast Cancer Crusade which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. 

On offer is a Magenta Crusade Pin (€2.25), Crusade Nail File (€2) and Crusade Photo Clip Holder as modelled by Miss Piggy there (€3). In Ireland the proceeds from these products go to the Arc Cancer Support Centres in Dublin and Cork. I don't think there's a single family in Ireland who hasn't been affected in some way by cancer, if not breast cancer, and I know this is a major reason why so many people donate so generously to cancer charities, and ultimately why companies like Avon get behind campaigns like this. This is a great way of supporting a cancer charity and getting yourself something nice to boot! 

All available now from your local Avon representative

Magenta Crusade Pin in action

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser

My skin is being treated very well at the moment and as opposed to it having its normal breakouts, happy healthy skin is having a bit of a break through and it's all thanks to Vichy Normaderm 3 in 1.  This 3 in 1 is a cleanser, a scrub and a mask.   

When you use this 3 in 1 as a cleanser it helps to reduce sebum production and also removes impurities while the small exfoliating beads help to unclog pores and remove dead skin cells and when used as a mask it helps mattify the skin and give your face a clean and clear complexion.  

This convenient little tube contains kaolin which increases localised circulation and fights against imperfections, salicylic acid a well know anti-inflammatory, and also contains 25% clay which  stimulates blood circulation and draws toxins and superfluous oil from the skin.  The powers of Vichy have created a multi use product which is suitable for sensitive skin, is hypoallergenic while also being paraben free,  soap free and alcohol free.

I like to use this in the mornings when I am in a bit of a rush for a quick cleanse and in the mornings where I have a little more time I put it on and leave it as a mask.  I have been using this every morning along with my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish in the evenings and my skin has been reaping the awards.  I love the feeling that Cleanse and Polish gives me at night but Vichy's 3 in 1 leaves the skin fresh and awake in the morning with a gentle clean fragrance.  The scrubby beads in 3 in 1 are not too harsh on the skin but you still feel like they are doing their job (I find if scrubby beads are too harsh they can damage the skin). 

My only bit of advice with this product is make sure you rinse off all the product thoroughly otherwise you could have some of the scrubby beads left as residue on your cheeks or some of the white cream can get trapped around the crevices of your face.

My system of using the 3 in 1 Cleanser to wake up my skin in the mornings and Cleanse and Polish at night has given me a run of spot free skin which is pretty amazing on my oily skin and apart from the single chipper induced spot (my own fault - what can I say, the smell of chips gets to me) I have been spot free since I have started using the cleanser.

The 3 in 1 cleanser is perfect for a no fuss morning routine and would also be perfect for travel.

You can pick up Normaderm 3 in 1 Cleanser in most pharmacies where it costs €13.25 which is a fantastic price for a cleanser let alone a cleanser, scrub and mask.

PR Sample Pin It

Monday, September 24, 2012

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick - Tesoro

Part of Stila's new collection features some pretty mind blowing liquid lipsticks - they are not just any old liquid lipsticks they are long lasting (the name "Stay all Day" being a bit of a giveaway). 

These babies apply like a cream and then dry down to a matte, almost velvet looking finish. They come in ten different colours and today I have Tesoro to show you. 

The liquid lipsticks are light on the lips - you can only lightly feel that you are wearing something on your lips.  They contain Vitamin E and Avocado Oil to hydrate the lips which is so important in a long wearing lip product.  I have very dry lips and unless I am having a particularly bad lip day it doesn't dry out my lips at all - quite an achievement for a long wear lip product. 
The colour Tesoro is an intense red/orange. It pretty much looks like your lips are on fire - to say it's a show stopper would be an understatement.  When I was wearing this colour it actually made people do a double take - even when I was sitting in my car somebody crossing in front of me did a double take.  Victoria Beckham who is a huge Stila fan would say the colour is Major.

Since Stila say these Stay all Day Liquid Lipsicks last up to six hours - my dry lips really test lip products as they tend to wear off quicker - I thought that I would test this theory myself and what is a better way to test a long wear lipstick than a trip to Avoca with the girls.  For family birthdays we like to take a girls trip to Avoca where all us ladies pick out a selection of cakes and share.  Between the different types of cake and hours of chat I was convinced that the lipstick would have worn off  - Tesoro was still in place helping me to look perfectly groomed (except for that dollop of cream on my chin and my jeans becoming a good deal tighter).

Stila have a brilliant new stand in Harvey Nichols, Dundrum where you can pick up the Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks for €19.90. It's also a great place to go if you want to explore the brand or get a make over, the lovely Sue will help you pick out the perfect Stila products for you (which for me is pretty much the whole range).

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Avène Lotion Micellaire

I think we're all fairly au fait with micellar lotions/waters these days, non? If not, basically they're fancy (usually French) waters that remove your make-up in a jiffy. The most hyped of them all is Bioderma's Sensibo H2o Solution Micellaire which has acquired somewhat of a cult status, possibly because it's not easily available to us in Ireland or in the UK. There are, however, some great ones that are easily accessible on our shores. Mags wrote about one of La Roche Posay's offerings here and I've also tried one from Vichy

The one I'm using at the moment is Avène's Lotion Micellaire. This has been developed for sensitive skin prone to redness, contains Avène Thermal Spring Water, and is free from preservatives, soap, oil and alcohol. 

I'm getting on very well with this. It removes make-up with no problem and it does it gently without stripping the skin. My skin feels comfortable after using it - there's no feeling of tightness or dryness. It also passed the mascara test with flying colours, removing my current favourite, Maybelline The Falsies (Waterproof!)

My bottle got damaged in transit, resulting in the top coming off and some of the product leaking, so I transferred it into one of those pump dispenser bottles that are used in nail salons. You can get them in salon supply shops and ebay. It is actually perfect for micellar waters, it allows you to dispense just the right amount and there's no mess or waste. I'm doing this with all of them from now on. In fact all micellar waters should come packaged like this!

Avène Lotion Micellaire is €15.26 for 200mls.

*PR Sample
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Kate Moss Lilabelle Truly Adorable

Lilabelle Truly Adorable is Kate Moss' latest perfume, named for and inspired by her daughter Lila. 

Firstly, I LOVE the bottle - it's a lovely faceted, kind of minimalist art deco style bottle that will look gorgeous on your dressing table or very chic when you whip it out of your bag in public. The only gripe I have is that the perfume's logo is a sticker rather than being etched onto the bottle. I mentioned this to my mother and she said 'jeepers, you're very fussy'. Maybe I am. The box is cute and reminiscent of Kate's style with flowers on a black background.

To the actual perfume: this is a fruity floral with top notes of candy apple, ivy leaves and redcurrant; heart notes of Sweet Pea, Lily of the valley and hawthorn and basenotes of sandalwood, almond wood and cashmere musk. This is really very floral on first spray and Sweet Pea is the definite stand out note for me but it dries down to a  nice musky wearable scent. 

This is a very pretty perfume that brings to mind summer gardens and girly floral dresses. I like :-)

€23.95 for 30ml (but I have seen this on special offer in several places)

What is your favourite celebrity perfume?

*PR sample

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Cargo - Coral Beach

Every once in a while I go through my make up collection - I clear some of it out (give to friends or the bin if necessary) and when I am lucky I find some gems that I have been keeping hidden from myself.   

Cargo isn't readily available in Ireland and I picked this up when I was in America a number of years ago (no doubt part of one of the value packs I love so much).  I was obviously keeping this for "good" use but I decided the time is nigh for beautifully bronzed cheeks.

Coral Beach is like a blusher and bronzer got married and then decided to invite a highlighter along to spice things up.  As the name describes, the Coral Beach gives a coral bronze effect (insert sayings like - right up my street, just my cup of tea, etc. here).  These little metal tins are described as beach blush and they give that ruddy glow that you would naturally get from the sun.  One swipe gives you coloured pretty cheeks - and temples, or wherever you choose to place your bronzer.  It's an easy to use product which makes me question my sanity - why did I keep it from myself?  The product is housed in a little tin -  while it's cute, I am not mad about it, I wouldn't feel comfortable bringing this out in my makeup bag but you get a ton of product (9g is a ton... right?) so its all about product with minimal packaging. 

The product provides a subtle gleam to the skin - so you don't need a highlighter.  Above I added YSL's dare to glow illuminator (read about it here) cause if I am going to glow I am going to Glow Worm glow.  I have been reaching for this constantly for the past couple of weeks since I rediscovered it. I love the effect it gives even if I am not mad on the packaging.

Beauty Bay have a very limited selction of Cargo products (they also stock my beloved Stila) and offer free shipping. They don't currently have Coral Beach in stock but check out their other beach bronzers here where they cost €20.60 - quite possibly the most randomly priced product ever.

I also discoverd a bronzer and lip gloss I was keeping for "good" - I'll let you know how I get on. Have you tried any Cargo? Pin It

Friday, September 14, 2012

TV - What can I say I Love it

Here is something you might not know about me: I LOVE TV.  I don't really understand people who don't like TV, recently when talking to a pseudo intellectual they told me they don't have a TV - later in the conversation they mentioned how they were watching something on the Internet... now hang on a second that's the same thing buddy. 

To me not liking TV is like not liking music, it just confuses me, I mean our hearts beat... that means we literally need music to stay alive.  I am not a snob about TV. I watch a wide range of shows (far too many) but don't tend to watch reality TV - yeah that's right I am one of the people who will be out of the loop of conversation from now until Christmas as I don't watch X Factor.

Its a weird time of year - our summer TV programmes have finished (True Blood, Pretty Little Liars, Burn Notice, Suits) and we are waiting for the new seasons to start.  Last week I was a bit sick (thank god I had a bit of weight on me for illness -- well I actually have enough weight on me for a couple of people's illnesses but the less we say about that the better) and when I started to feel better I took to the Internet to see did I miss any good TV programmes.

To start I watched Alcatraz made by J. J. Abrams (the evil genius behind Lost) and it's basically Lost on the island of Alcatraz.  Prisoners who mysteriously vanished in 1963 are re appearing, each episode features a different prisoner and their story.  I really liked Alcatraz but if you're looking for answers you won't get them, it will leave you as flummoxed as Lost did.  Alcatraz was cancelled so some of you might not want to waste your time watching it.  I have visited Alcatraz (it smells like pee) and I really enjoyed how each week you would see a different story.


Another programme I have to talk about is Hell on Wheels, it's based on the building of the transcontinental railroad in 1865 and it is GOOOOD.  Hell on Wheels is made by AMC which also brought us Mad Men and The Walking Dead.  AMC where men are men and women are ....well basically whores.  While Mad Men gave us Don Draper, Hell on Wheels gives us Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier and big ride who is out to avenge the men who killed his wife, while looking moody and gorgeous and man can he wear a gun belt.   Rather hilariously Cullen Bohannon is played by Britney's love interest from her critically acclaimed (ahem) movie Crossroads... sure isn't life gas altogether.  The man has dimples so deep you could swim in them.... oh yeah it's set in the wild west and there is shooting and fighting and Colm Meaney as the business man trying to build the railroad.  This is one of those programmes that men will love and women will love it too (if you ignore the fact that besides whores there are not many female characters) - check it out and let me know what you think.

So what TV programmes have you been watching? and more importantly what programmes will you be watching when they return?
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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Reviver

The Vitamin C Skin Reviver (€21) was recommended to me by Donna in The Body Shop in Liffey Valley (seriously, go see her for great skincare advice!). She said that this would be a good for adding extra moisture to the dry areas on my skin, which can sometimes feel tight, even after moisturising. This is kind of half serum/half primer. You apply it after moisturiser and before make up. There is some silicone in the ingredients and it feels quite like a silicone primer on the skin. It gives a kind of luminous effect to the skin and it feels unbelievably light and silky and smooth - the perfect base for foundation. Donna explained that they don't claim that the product actually adds moisture to the skin by penetrating it, rather it leaves a veil on top of the skin.

Well, I have used this every day since I got it. It is perfect to add on top of a moisturiser that is not quite rich enough, or under a foundation that is a little too drying for your skin (you know the ones, they cling to all your dry patches). I have also used it over makeup if I'm reapplying concealer on top of existing make-up in the evening. In this case, it does what it says on the bottle - it revives the skin. Oh and it smells SO GOOD. This is definitely a product I'll be purchasing myself when it runs out.

PR Sample

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Stila Stay all day Foundation

Its officially Stila day today - are you all excited?  Today Stila open their counter in Harvey Nichols Dublin and I wanted to show you their new fancy foundation that will take prime position on the counter.  

Stila are well known for their foundation - they are all about creating perfect glowing skin.  Stay all day foundation is everything that you need to create perfect skin, and when I mean everything I mean everything, the foundation is not just a foundation, it also has a brush to apply the foundation AND a concealer all in one handy pack.

 Instead of a pump, the foundation is dispensed using a spatula.  I think this is a handy way to dispense foundation but I know that some people hate anything that could get contaminated with germs.

The foundation is very different from the recent foundation releases that we have seen - a lot of the new foundation releases have been thin and watery with Stay all Day Stila have gone in the opposite direction with a thicker cream/moose consistency.  The foundation, like the rest of Stila's autumn collection, has a matte finish but it doesn't create a drying or cakey consistency, in fact the foundation uses the Chinese healing powers of ginseng and gynoslemma to help nourish dry skin and to help the skin to breathe.

The foundation has medium coverage but is buildable and as it says on the box, long wearing.  What I noticed most about the foundation is how it feels on the skin - it feels like my own skin except better.  I don't like heavy foundation and from looking at Stay all Day I thought the coverage would feel too heavy - but it creates a beautiful finish but even more beautiful is the light feeling that it leaves on the skin. 

The foundation probably feels so light because it uses an oxygenating formula to help the skin breath  and is also oil free, hypoallergenic, fragrance free and paraben free.  But that's not all - the foundation also includes a concealer which is an ultra creamy formulation with added skin care benefits. Vitamins A, C provide antioxidant benefits, while Vitamin E acts to prevent premature ageing - I love you Stila for helping keep me young.

Above on one side of my face I have applied the shade Hue - which as you can see is too dark for me, but the colour blends so well that when you see it on my whole face it looks lovely (except for around my nose where I forgot to apply concealer).

Stila Stay all Day Foundation costs £29.50 and for that you're getting a foundation, concealer and a makeup brush.   The foundation comes in 16 shades which you can check out at or of course at Stila's new counter in Harvey Nichols.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Bare Minerals - Pretty Amazing Ambition

I am an equal opportunist bright lippy lover - I will try any brand as long as the colour catches my eye.  A little while ago I was at the Bare Minerals counter when the colour Ambition caught my eye.

Bare Minerals Pretty Amazing Lip colours are a liquid lipstick that give the shine of a gloss with none of the stickiness.

The applicators are flexible so they mould to the shape of your lips.

Pretty Amazing lip colours are easy to wear, easy to apply and all in all a great product for €18.00.   Have you tried any Pretty Amazing lip colours? Pin It

Monday, September 10, 2012

Holiday Make Up Bag (and what I actually used)

I'm a bit late with this post, seeing as my holiday seems like a distant memory at this point and everyone is in  September, Autumn, back-to-school, opaque tights, sure-it's-nearly-Christmas mode. However, I always like these kind of 'what's in my holiday make-up bag' posts cause I think it gives an indication of what the person considers to be essential, can't be without, products. So here it is!

I went to Marbella for a week at the end of July/beginning of August and it was hot hot hot. I had the luxury of an Aer Lingus 20kg luggage limit but was still determined not to over pack. Here's what I brought with me:

Estée Lauder bronzer, Avene Tinted Compact*,  Mac Studio Finish Concealer, Benefit Watt's Up highlighter, Mac Blot powder (in Heatherette compact), Bobbi Brown cream eyeshadow, Catrice eyeshadow (that I use to fill in brows), random brow brush, Maybelline cream eyeshadow, Hawaiian Tropic SPF lipgloss, Benefit High Beam & Posie Tint, Touche Eclat, Illamasqua lip pencil, Clarins 3 Dot liner*, Mac Kohl in Teddy, Clinique Chubby Stick, Top Shop lipstick, Maybelline waterproof mascara, Collection 2000 concealer, Avon mascara, YSL Touche Eclat foundation, Revlon Lip Butter, Real Techniques blusher brush and Tarte Amazonian Clay blusher. 

So not too bad, eh? Except this is what I actually ended up using:

I know. The Avène SPF50 Tinted Compact* was a Godsend. That, the Maybelline The Falsies waterproof mascara and the Hawaiian Tropic lipgloss (which I got free with a razor!) were all I needed for day time and at night I just added eyeliner, concealer and the Topshop lipstick. Someone please remind me of this post before I go on holidays next year.

Considering I spent my days doing this, I should've known.

I also brought a few nail polishes with me that got no use because nail polish was literally melting off me! Has anyone tried Shellac in hot weather? And do you wear a lot less make-up in hot climates/on holidays? 
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Friday, September 7, 2012

Guest Post by Ella of

Today we have a bit of a treat - a guest post by Ella.  Ella has been a beauty blogger since her university days and she now is editor at, a site dedicated to advice and information about surgical and non-surgical treatments. So if your thinking of having a bit of Botox, or changing the shape of your profile, make sure you pop on by and find out the facts.

Since we are having a delayed summer Ella is going to give us some summer tips for a radiant complexion

Summer beauty tips: How to perfect your skin
Do you suffer from spots, acne and blemishes? Is your skin looking dull, dry and lifeless? If so, it’s time to revamp your appearance and revitalise your complexion – here’s how:

Exfoliate on a regular basis
Exfoliation is an ancient beauty technique that can improve the top surface of the skin – so get hold of an exfoliating shower gel and start scrubbing. Simply rub your body from head-to-toe (using small, circular movements) and wash the bubbles away using lukewarm water. This will get rid of all the dead skin cells blocking your pores and will leave you feeling fresh, vibrant and energised.

Use a decent moisturiser
Dry, flaky skin can become tight and irritable, so keep it well-hydrated at all times. Buy a decent moisturiser from your local beauty store and massage it into your skin after a bath or shower. Reapply the product several times a day and make sure all scaly, cracked or red areas are nice and soft. If you have eczema or psoriasis, you may need a steroid cream or a more intensive moisturiser, but speak to your health care provider to see what they recommend. If you’re looking for a long term lip enhancement you could try lip injections that will plump your lips leaving a youthful finish.

Keep your body hydrated
According to the NHS Choices website, water makes up over two-thirds of the healthy human body – so it’s important to drink around two litres of water a day. This will keep your body healthy and will help all your organs (including your skin) stay in the best condition possible. Avoid fizzy, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks if you can and stick to water, milk, diluted squash or fruit juices.

Wear sun cream
The sun’s UV rays can cause cancer, sun spots and wrinkles – so apply a decent sun cream throughout the year. Choose a product with an SPF of at least 30 and rub it into all exposed areas of skin, including your nose, ears and toes (as these areas burn easily). Remember, the sun can shine through the clouds and catch you out, so wear sun cream all year round – even on a grey, rainy day.

Eat your five a day
Vitamins A, B, C and E are all crucial for keeping the skin cells healthy, so get your five a day. Munch on a delicious apple or a juicy peach and eat several vegetables as part of your evening meal. If you don’t like fruit and veg on their own, try making a tangy fruit smoothie or knock up a mouth-watering vegetable soup for lunch. Vary the foods you eat on a day-to-day basis and you should get the vitamins and nutrients your need to look (and feel) great.

Take care of your skin this summer and enjoy a radiant complexion.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Body Shop Treatments

Did you know you can have a wide range of beauty treatments done at your local branch of The Body Shop? They kindly offered to have us try out some of these treats at their Liffey Valley branch recently.  

First of all, we got our eyebrows threaded - it was my first time and yes, threading is a weird sensation (kind of like having velcro ripped off your eyebrow if that makes sense) and slightly eye watering but it's no more painful than plucking really, and it's over in a flash. I was so impressed with the results, I'll definitely be going back. It gives such a tidy and sharp result. Behold Mags' before and after pics:

Eyebrow threading costs €12 and you can also have a host of other related treatments done such as eyelash and eyebrow tinting, and threading on other areas of the face. What I love about it is that it's a walk in service and you can just pop in while you're doing your shopping - you don't have to bother making out-of-your-way salon appointments.

We were then treated to a mini-facial by Donna, who was probably the most informative facialist we've ever been to. She really knows her stuff and is full of skincare tips and advice. She also had the knack of making you forget you were having a facial in the middle of a shop! These facials cost €15 which is redeemable against the purchase of any skincare products. If you are looking for new skincare, I would definitely recommend trying some products out by way of one of these facials. The Body Shop are also generous with samples so you can try stuff out at home too. We were introduced to some stand out products such as Vitamin C Microdermabrasion - reviews coming up.

Lastly, we were given a makeover by the lovely Tara, who used some of the Body Shop products we know and love such as their legendary Shimmer Cubes. Again makeovers are €15 redeemable against purchase and again, are a great way of trying out some new products.

We left the shop looking like absolute rides and sashayed around Liffey Valley lunching and shopping for the afternoon :-) I would highly recommend popping in to The Body Shop and 'treat'ing yourself next time you're out shopping.
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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Stila In The Know

Autumn is here, I know some people are delighted but that would be people that live in an area where the sun also resides - alas in Ireland the sun hasnt really shown its face, or perhaps that hat the sun sometimes wears is just covering us in shade (damn you sun hat).  I love summer but since I like to look on the bright side I am always happy to see new season's makeup collections.   

This Autumn Stila have a cracking collection which is centred around long wearing matte products. Matte makeup seems to be a big trend across makeup lines this autumn but I think if you're looking for matte eyeshadow Stila has you covered.  Stila have added to their already impressive range of colour palettes by introducing a matte eye shadow palette called "In the Know".

When you receive an order from they dont just thow the makeup in a bag, it's presented in beautiful pink packaging - it almost makes you not want to open it.

In the Know palette is a beautiful turquoise/teal colour and comes with a look book which contains 6 different looks in case you need a bit of inspiration.

 The palette has a mirror which is an improvement on the previous versions.  As you can see one of the shadows got broken in transit but the poor package had to be sent three times because An Post had decided my address did not exist - both my address and myself do exist, we are not figments of your imagination.  Of course when the package finally arrived I danced around the house with it - seriously at this stage the palette could apply for some sort of makeup asylum after all it's been through.

This palette has 10 shades which are all matte

•air - matte beige

•driftwood - mid tone brown

•wind - soft matte peach

•fire - matte brick

•desert - soft matte tan w/warm undertones

•rain -matte brown

•clay - matte warm light brown

•smoke - matte charcoal grey

•earth - deep matte chocolate brown

•ebony - matte black

Stila shadows can be used wet and dry and the matte shadows are no exception (the wet swatch was scientifically done using a finger dampened with a wet wipe).  What I found interesting about this palette was the shadows were really pigmented when swatched dry so the wet swatches slightly intensified the pigment.  (Excuse the wonky arm, its not at a good angle).
As always these palettes include a smudge stick, to me this just adds to the value. I love smudge sticks, they're so soft but also really pigmented and are a staple in my makeup bag.  The shade that is included in the In the Know palette is Halfmoon which is a matte charcoal grey.  Some might question a grey liner but this colour is pure genius, it accentuates the eye without being as harsh as black.  A number of years ago Stila had a grey mascara out. My friend who has very long but fair lashes became obsessed by it.  The grey mascara, although it seems like an odd choice was naturally flattering and defining. I am obsessed with Half moon it makes my lash line look really thick and full.
The look book talks you through 6 different looks (two of which picured below) but with 10 shadows the options are endless.
Above: simple smokey eye using clay and ebony
Below:  air and fire

What do I think of the palette?  If you have read this blog for any amount of time you will know that I have a love/hate relationship with matte shadows... I love to hate them.  Generally I find matte shadows hard to work with as they are either chalky or don't blend well. For the most part I just avoid them.   In the Know palette has really changed my opinion of matte shadows, Stila have infused their award winning shadow secrets into this matte palette and it is simply stunning.  The shadows are really pigmented and easy to blend.  As I have small eyes I always use a bit of shimmer to open them up - I have been using air to neutralise any redness on my eyelid. 

Not only do I love the palette, I am kind of obsessed by it - even more than I am with Stila's other palettes. I think its the fact that they have managed to master matte shadows and have added such a perfect eyeliner - it's the perfect combination.  I also think this palette shows that Stila is a makeup artist brand.  Since Stila have started to bring out these palettes I rarely use anything else and the In the Know palette has really surprised me - with the other palettes I knew I would like the shades and the consistency and I wasn't sure I would like the In the Know palette and what a wonderful surprise it turned out to be.

Stila will be opening an amazing new counter in Harvey Nichols Dundrum on the 12th September - that's one week from today people, how exciting is that?  You can come and have a look at this wonderful palette which will set you back £25.00 or about €34.00.  Of course if you live too far from Dundrum you can still order on-line from where there is free delivery.  I will do my utmost to try and get as many Stila swatches up on the blog (it will help my obsession and your on-line shopping). 

 PR Sample
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Monday, September 3, 2012

YSL Autumn 2012

For Autumn 2012 YSL have created a stunning look called Contemporary Amazon - to me the look is reminiscent of the 80s with an up to date twist, the big hair, the bold makeup (albeit a lot more tastefully achieved than the 80s managed).  The image condures up a strong powerful woman, with great makeup.
I have an obsession with YSL's packaging - the line is of course a premium makeup line and boy does the packaging let us know.  The lipsticks are held in sleek gold weighty containers - YSL create the type of products that people ask you about when you take them out to reapply - who wouldn't want one of these babies in their bag.  

To create a perfect Autumn - or any glam look every woman should have a classic red lipstick (I say this a lot - what can I say I love a bright vampy lipstick) and this Autumn YSL have introduced Rouge Pur Couture The Mats which are intense shades with matte texture.

Usually I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with mattes,  I love the intense bold colour but my lips are on the dry side most of the time (all of the time - for the most part they are in bits and I have to bring them back to life).  YSL The Mats are a different creation altogether, the pigment is there but the lipstick is so comfortable on the lips and in addition to this the lipstick doesn't appear dry on the lips - there is a pretty sheen.  YSL describe the Mats as giving "Radiant Matteness" - which is exactly what they give- to be honest if I saw them in the shop I would never think they were Matt lipsticks.  There are six different lipsticks released in the Mats range bringing the number of Rouge Pur Couture shades up to 58.  Let me introduce you to this beauty - Rouge Rock  (brilliant name)  Have I mentioned what a joy they are to wear on the lips?  I have?  well I am going to say it again - Rouge Rock both looks and feels fantastic on the lips.  I would advise to mind the lipstick as the packaging can scratch if you just throw it in your handbag - it deserves that special pouch that your phone doesn't fit in.

I love illuminators. I love the effect that they give on the skin although if I am being honest it's a step that I often forget about.  For Autumn YSL have release three Dare to Glow Limited Edition highlighter/enhancers (Tempting Gold, Fatal Red and Naughty Pink).  These are easy to pop into your bag (no excuse for me forgetting to apply them) and unlike many illuminators they have less of a liquid consistency and are a cream/liquid mix.  I have Naughty Pink to show you and  as you can see it is extremely pigmented - you only need a tiny smidgen which I like to use along the top of my cheekbones (yes I have cheek bones discreetly hidden under chipmunk cheeks) and on my cupids bow - as you can see above.

Now for the bad news - the price  Dare to Glow - No3 Naughty Pink Costs €40.00 and Rouge Pur Couture Mat - No 203  Rouge Rock €32.00.  As I have said before YSL are a premium brand and I feel the makeup especially the lipsticks are investment pieces,  because the lipsticks are so beautifully pigmented it means you don't have to apply the product as often - although it's hard to resist whipping out a YSL lipstick because the packaging is simply stunning.   What I like to do is save a few points on my Arnott's or Boots card and then pay that off the lipstick, it hurts the wallet a little less and you're still getting a fancy treat for yourself.

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