Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gingembre Roger & Gallet

She knows me so well ...that's what I keep singing about the very lovely Karen from Lovely Girly Bits.  Let me explain this a little bit myself and Karen.... we have a great old laugh when we get together, our chats can be quite bold and always result in a giggle (sometimes she climbs into my brain) and we can even manage that in under 140 characters on the twitter and on one such occasion she was telling me how much I would love Gingembre from them lovely peeps at Roger & Gallet - she knows I love the smell of ginger but Gingembre manages to be fresh and zesty while having a hint of ginger mmm (read Karen's post here). 

The last time I saw Karen she surprised me with a wonderful treat - one of the new 30ml Travel Editions of Gingembre which I promptly whipped open and have been wearing since.  

The Fragranced water (I have to be honest this term "Fragrant Water" kinda freaked me out at first because it just didn't sound as fancy as perfume - but what is perfume other than fancy water? and don't get technical on me).

Gingembre doesn't give you a heady burst of ginger as you would expect, its much more subtle than that here is how Roger and Gallet describe it

Head: It all starts with zing of Janpanese ginger; essence of neroli adds its fruity vigour, while bergamot, soft and delicate, swathes them with its roundness.
Heart: Jamaican ginger and the oriental sweetness of ambrette adds sensuality to the fragrance.
Base: Finally, the round, hot notes of benzoin balm appear with a magnificent blend of musk.

This pretty fragrance addition has been in my bag since I got it (it is not as heavy as lugging around a bottle of perfume) in fact it has its own pocket in my bag. The 30ml Travel Edition costs €17.75 and because the fragrances have been demagogically tested you can wear them in the sun - travel friendly or what?  (I am mentioning this because sometimes fragrance can react with the sun when on holidays and it can also stain your skin when exposed to the sun, luckily or unluckily enough we don't have to worry about that too much in the lovely Emerald Isle).

I have to admit what I love most about Roger & Gallet is the fact that the fragrances are a little bit unusual and not everybody is going to be wearing them, your not going to be wearing the same fragrance as your friend......except if your friends with me and Karen.
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Friday, February 22, 2013

Katy Perry - Grammys Look by Rimmel London

I have to be honest, I have a bit of a girl crush on Katy Perry. She seems girly while at the same time being down to earth and fun.   I feel like we have some things in common (get your minds out of the gutter, I have not shagged Russell Brand - although I did see his act live and I have to be honest I was pretty shocked at how blatantly women were throwing themselves at him FROM THE AUDIENCE).  I mean she was quite a tom boy during her early years but when she started wearing makeup she LOVED it and is known for fun and fab makeup looks - believe it or not I didn't wear makeup at all until I was about 18 or 19.  When I was on a plane last year I decided to watch her movie Part of Me - I thought I would be singing along obnoxiously with my headphones on but instead I found myself holding back the blubs when she broke up with Russell Brand - it was emotional (but she didn't make a big drama out of it - God I love that girl).  Katy like myself tends to vere towards the loud and fun makeup, at the Grammys Last week Katy went for a different look altogether by wearing very neutral eyes and neutral lips.  It was a beautifully simple look that she paired with a mint green dress which, ahem, put her best front forward.

I love the look, it's so simple and pretty and was even more impressed with Katy when I learned that her makeup artist Jake Bailey created the look using products from Rimmel London.  So we can all create the look.   How freaking cool is it that she used affordable makeup ?

I recreated the look below following Jake's instructions.  Jake started by mixing Rimmel BB Cream in light with Rimmel's Match Perfection (I just used Perfect Match Foundation)  I was really impressed at how long lasting Match Perfection was on me - I have an oily t-zone and this stayed on with a nice finish all day.  On the eyes Rimmel's new ScandalEyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner in Black was used along the lash line  - this is an amazing liner which you could be fooled into thinking came from a high end brand, it's pigmented and soft and very long lasting - the Glameyes Eye Shadow Trio in Orion was then used to contour the eyes creating a very natural look.  To complete the look Scandaleyes Mascara was used and Katy used some of her signature lashes (it wouldn't be Katy without some flash lashes - I didn't apply lashes).  I think it's interesting that Jake applied the liner before applying the eye shadow - I always apply the liner last but this seems to allow you to perfect the liner and the placement of the shadow.

My new favourite product is Rimmel's Lasting Finish Blush in Pink Rose - the colour didn't make me excited when I first swatched it but on the face it creates a beautiful natural and warm glow.  It's my new obsession.  

On the lips Katy continues the natural trend by using Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss in 003 (I used Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Tint in Nothing But Nude to line and create a base). I am a big fan of the Kate Moss collection of lipsticks for Rimmel,  they are pigmented and high quality with a smell of sweeties.  Normally  I love bright vibrant lips and you never really catch me in the nude, so to speak.  I really like how this lipstick feels and looks on the lips - it's not corpse like, it is naturally pretty.

What do you think of Katy Perry Grammy look?  I think it's beautiful and I am quite enjoying the nude lips on myself (although I will always have a hot pink lipstick in my bag).

Disclaimer: PR SAMPLES 

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Khroma Beauty - That's the Kardashian Beauty Line to You and Me

OK I have something to admit - I watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians (and ALL the spin offs). It's my guilty pleasure.  This is hard for me to admit because I generally don't watch any reality tv - but that's what I love about Keeping up K family, it's not reality, well not as I know it.  They live in a world that is quite frankly a fantasy world full of big fancy houses, fast cars, fancy heels, pouting and quite a few family squabbles.  Myself and himself used to watch it as a guilty pleasure, until Kourtney had her baby - if you haven't seen it, the tiny woman literally pulls the baby out herself - after that he can't really watch and still gets freaked out around pregnant women or women with babies (I think it's like a 'Nam flashback for him).

This beautiful but very melodramatic family are taking over the world and they always look immaculate. While I couldn't wear those heels all day, I love how well groomed they all are.  The Kardashian sisters have recently launched a makeup line called Khroma Beauty (well it had to start with a K didn't it).  The line is a capsule line and, surprisingly enough, is very affordable.  My favourite family member by far is Khloe (least favourite is Kim, I love that her family call her boring). Khloe is funny and brash and doesn't suffer fools gladly, she also seems a little more down to earth.  Khloe's palette just happens to be my favourite look from the collection.

The kit is called Khloe's Kardazzle - be warned for those that are expecting a huge big palette, these palettes are credit card size. I love the idea that they are this size because they fit everything you need and it's handbag friendly.  They are similar in size to the Too Faced Glamour to Go sets.

The outside is a hardened plastic with snake print design.  When I first showed the kit to Sile she looked at the shadows and said she loved the shades and how compact the set is, this was before she realised that it housed blush and highlighters on the bottom layer - when she realised this it deserved an OOOOOOOOO.

I love the fact that there are no poky applicators that you're never going to use included in the kit, it's compact and sleek.  As you can see there are 8 shadows (including a handy mirror), the top four shades are matte and the bottom four have a shimmer.  The layer underneath has all you need to perfect the chiseled Kardashian cheekbones.

If you read this blog you may know that matte shades are not my favourite formulation to work with - makeup trends and brands are slowing bringing me around with their better quality matte shades which are easier to use and blend and Khroma are no different.  If I am being honest I expected the shadows to be chalky and gritty and I was really surprised and impressed by the quality.  The matte shades are smooth and pigmented and the shimmer shades are simply to die for.  As you can see below the top left colour barely shows up  on my ruddy arm but on my eye lid it's a perfect base colour.  There are no makeup guides with this kit, you really don't need them. They are pretty shades that you can pick and choose from, creating a range of looks.

While I was really impressed with the eyeshadow shades when I applied the cheek colours that's when I got a bit excited.  The kit includes two cheek colours which hug onto a golden white highlighter.  The peachy/pink shade is simple and pretty on the cheeks which is a perfect contrast to the matte bronzer.  The three colours help create the perfect cheek contour.

I am so impressed by the kit, I could quite happily take this on holiday and only use these products.  The palette offers great range and quality all for an affordable price.   Besides the quality and the portability of the palette I think I am most impressed by the selection of colours in the kit, they are so well thought out and flattering.  As this is an affordable celebrity brand I can see it becoming quite popular with younger people. Don't let the celebrity name put you off, the colours are really flattering and I had to swipe it out of my mother's hands who was really impressed with it (get your own mam) and she actually thought the Kardashians were from Star Trek (do they have the bumpy heads she asked).

Khroma Beauty is available from Cloud 10 Beauty (click here to look at the Khroma Beauty range) and costs €16.95 - yeah I told you it was affordable. In addition to this amazing price the lovely people at Cloud 10 Beauty are offering a introductory 15% discount if you use the promo code KHROMA15OFF.  If you want to recreate Kim's signature Smokey eyes have a look at Kim's Palette  but I am eyeing up Kourtney's palette which has beautiful rose gold eyeshadow. 

P.S.  If you're anything like me you will be mentally unable to purchase just one thing online - I don't know if it's internet shopping OCD or simply greed but if you are looking to buy something else from Cloud 10 Beauty I couldn't recommend the Tigi Catwalk Curlesque kit enough (click here to check it out).  This kit contains a curling wand and Curls Amplifier (which I gave to the naturally curly Redser),  if you're looking to recreate Victoria's Secret hair this is the wand to use, I am always complemented on my hair when I use this (the rest of the time my hair generally looks like a hot mess).  It's easy, but more than that, quick to use (what can I say I have a lot of hair and get distracted easily).  It's quite literally one of my favourite beauty products I have ever purchased.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

NYC Expert Last Collection

NYC Cosmetics happens to be one of our favourite budget ranges, and how could it not be with everything costing under four euro.  The brand have some exciting launches coming up one of which is the Expert Last Lipsticks.  The Expert Last Collection* contains 14 different Lipsticks ranging from neutral to bright pops of colour - and every possible shade in between. 

The lipsticks are long lasting but are very comfortable on the lips. They don't last all day but they do put up a good fight. They survive a cup of tea but fail to last through porridge (my sticky test) but the interesting thing about these lipsticks for me is they fade evenly on your lips.  Normally with long lasting lip products (especially vibrant colours) I am left with a line of vibrant colour and the inside of the lips fade - not the case with Expert Last, these fade naturally from the lips.  They smell like sweets mmmm and if that's not enough they cost €2.49.  YUP that's right €2.49. 

I have six shades to show you, so let's get started cause there are a lot of pictures.

Sugar Plum

Traffic Jam

 Red Rapture


Purple Crush

 Air Kiss

Phew that was a lot of pictures - thanks for sticking with me. 
I have to admit I wasn't expecting the lipsticks to be comfortable on the lips, the fact that they are a budget brand and also a long lasting lipstick. I was very wrong - the lipsticks are very comfortable on the lips and a pleasure to wear.  If you read the blog you know that I am a fan of bright lipsticks - its somewhat a signature look for me, but Sile never wears brights lipsticks - until she tried Air Kiss which is her current favourite lip product (she likes to blot down the lipstick so its not as intense).   Expert Last are a great product in a amazing range of colours at an affordable price - what's not to love about that?
At €2.49 what an amazing way to try out new shades?

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Giveaway! Diamond Designs Protective Apron

This giveaway might only be of interest to the beauty professionals amongst you - or if you're a non-professional like me but you're still roped into doing hair colouring and fake tan and all sorts for family and friends, it could also come in handy! 

Diamond Designs, an Irish company based in Co. Monaghan,  have been making uniforms for beauty professionals throughout Ireland and the UK  for 24 years.   They have been in touch to offer one of you the chance to win a Protective ApronProtect your clothes from oils, tans and make-up with this apron from Diamond Designs Beauty Uniforms. The apron has a stylish cross over back and front pockets where you can store the tools of your trade.  

The giveaway is open internationally - to enter just follow the instructions below. Good luck! 

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Butter London Sweetie Shop

Ok Ok I know this collection is called Sweetie Shop but I can 't get the song Candy Shop out of my noggin.  Butter London is one of those cult brands that I have always been interested in trying, after all who wouldn't want to try something from a brand that has brought us a lip gloss in the shade "Trout Pout".  How brilliant is that.  I have seen the range in Avoca and I have been a little overwhelmed at what shade to try, they are all so pretty.  

For Spring 2013 - which is now fact fans - Butter London have released Sweetie Shop, a collection of six sweet pastel shades as the name would suggest.  If you imagine Betty Draper became a time traveller who decided she would create a nail polish range, this is what she would create (although if you created time travel you might want to do other things than create a polish collection, like visit Madonna when she worked in Dunk in Donuts and laugh at her in the uniform - although travelling in time to create a nail polish collection sounds perfectly reasonable to me).  So Betty the time travelling nail polish creator - are you still with me? - decided that we should all have classic lady like pretty nails this spring, and gosh darn it (Betty is a lady and does not swear) it might be cold outside but we are going to have bright and pretty nails NOW.

The range has 6 shades
Cuppa - a tan colour (I think this might depend on your skin tone how it would suit you)
Fruit Machine - a creme bright pink
Jasper - pastel yellow
Kerfuffle - coral peach

On my nails today (they are so pretty I couldn't just choose one now could I) are Fiver*, a mint  and Molly Coddled*, a lavender shade.  The polishes apply pretty opaque but as they are light pastel colours I did need to apply two shades of Molly Coddled (the purple) and to get a smooth coating of Fiver I had to apply three coats.  The coats were easy to apply and although Fiver took three coats - a less picky person could have gotten away with two - the polish applied beautifully.

I am in love with the shades of this collection and it seems other people are too because a few people have commented on my nails.  The colours really have cheered me up during this dull and dreary weather.  Butter London nail polishes cost €15.00 and are available from lots of places including Avoca (get some cake to go with your nail polish), Dylan Bradshaw, Harvey Nichols, Beauty, Millies and The Loop (for those of you doing a bit of travelling). 

And seriously how cool is the name Trout Pout for a lip gloss.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Yes Nurse - Protect Your Lovely Hands, Handbag Must Have


 Have you ever had a product that is quietly working away, not throwing glitter around or being all showy, just doing its job?  For me Yes Nurse - Protect your Lovely Hands has been working away keeping my hands safe all winter and I almost forgot to tell you about it.
I use quite a bit of hand sanitiser during the day which as we all know dries out your hands, between the hand sanitiser and the cold my hands are usually looking pretty bad this time of the year.
 A lot of hand creams are either in a large size perfect for your desk in work - perfect if you have a desk but we don't all have desks - or in teeny tiny sizes where you're almost scared to use it in case you run out on the first application.  Yes Nurse is the perfect size - it fits in your hand so fits in your bag perfectly and doesn't weight your bag down. 
What I love about this is it's absorbed so easily into the skin - no greasy residue.  It has a pleasant light fragrance but nothing that is overly flowery and girly, its smells fresh and kinda like honey. It has gotten to the stage that every time I take this out the guys I work with hold out their hands for some.  It's surprising that something so nourishing can be absorbed so easily into the skin. 

As you can see my container has been well used and well worn and is still working away - never leaving my handbag.  Yes Nurse contains Manuka Honey - honey of course has its own anti bacterial properties. The cream which was created by a Nurse also contains pomegranate, passion fruit oil, wheat germ and sweet almond oil.    Yes Nurse costs €6.99 which is great value especially since you don't need a lot of product.  The effectiveness of this product and the fact that it is so affordable makes it a Hand Bag Must Have.  Now I am off to put this back in my bag because I would be lost without it.

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Eat your way to Beautiful skin

I have been thinking about this post for a while and it's like Gemma over at Gemsmaquillage read my mind (read her post far superior and more knowledgeable post here). 
I love makeup but I think that your skin is of vital importance, not only is it the biggest and busiest organ  in our body, it also makes or breaks how we appear to the world.   You could have the most expensive, groundbreaking foundation in the world but unless you have a good base with your skin, it will look bad.   I am turning into a advocate of eating my way to good healthy skin - proof of this would be my skin just after Christmas, my diet which consisted mostly of trifle and cake showed plainly on my greasy and blotchy skin.  Remember when we were teenagers and our parents said if you eat too much rubbish you will get spots.  Ha how we laughed.  When I look back at my teenage self I didn't really suffer from spots at all, at most I had one spot at a time - but sure why would I have spots?  Generally there was only a yellow pack multi pack of crisps that would last the house a week - no gorging on multiple packs of crisps at the one sitting.  There wasn't as much rubbish in the house to eat, no lunches of lattes and scones, no plates full of beige food (I used to be guilty of this).  Take out food was a treat that happened once or twice a year.  

I might be too old for this realisation but having fruit and veg in your diet is great for your skin, it will take a couple of weeks to notice but I guarantee that you will see the results.  The more colour you have in your diet the more vitamins you're getting. Sure you could buy a skin supplement, but it's much better not only for your skin but for your overall health to get your nutrients from food.  Now you would think that I am a skinny Minnie saying all this but I am not, for me it's not about weight, it's about being healthy from the inside out.  I am no saint  - I have my treats at the weekend, but I try and live by the 80% good 20% naughty approach to food.

Another thing that is important is fat and I mean good fat, it is so important for ladies of a certain age (over 30) to have some fat in their diet - not that you should eat 10 McDonald's a day but good fats are great for skin and specifically wrinkles, so don't be afraid of foods that are high in natural fats (like avocados) because they plump the skin.  If you're constantly eating low fat foods not only will it show in your skin - causing Ms Wrinkle face-  these foods also tend to be high in sugar which of course causes havoc with your skin.  So low fat is not always the best option (plus they tend to taste rubbish).

Eating my way to beautiful skin has been a bit of a resolution for me and it's working well.   Do you eat your way to healthy skin?  Full disclaimer: I have a massive spot on my chin but hey nobody's perfect.
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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

January Favourites

This is my first January favourites post. I don't have masses of products cause this month I was struck down with the flu which meant I didn't wear any makeup for the flu portion - there was a lot of tissue used, in fact I might have used up my lifetime tissue quota.

1.  First up is the Lancome Blush in Love - it's a beautiful bright vitality giving blush - stunning and simple, it's a beautiful mix of pink and peach which leaves your cheeks glowing.

2.  and 3. Ill be posting more about these skin saviours later in the month but Nuxe Nuxellence Jeunesse is fast becoming one of my favourite creams of all time. I like to use this in the morning and Clarins Double Serum has been keeping my skin safe at night.  They were really put to the test with my flu face (Like American Horror Story's Bloody face - except snotty).

4. Lancome Kohl in Love is my obsession product of the month - oh how I love you. It's a beautifully creamy liner which glides on and stays put (read more about Lancome's Spring Collection here).

5. Philosophy Lip Gloss has been a bit of a revelation to me. It's a sparkly lip gloss that tastes amazing, is not sticky and is fast becoming a handbag must have.  It's the only lip product that himself has ever made himself go mmmmm rather than wiping his lips like he is a little brat. 

6. Stila Long Wear Lip Colour in Exhilarating (read my post on it here)  dabbed onto my lips with Philosophy lip gloss on top is what I have been wearing for a lot of the month. It's bright and vibrant but you can wear it toned down for a subtle look.

7. Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb - Who are Viktor and Rolf?  Haven't a breeze, they kind of sound like they should be characters from the Muppets rather than the name on this beautiful perfume.  Flowerbomb manages to be sweet smelling but at the same time a strong and kick ass perfume. 

8. Mane 'n Tail Detangler - I am really excited about this, in fact it has taken over from Orifluido as being my must have hair product.  I'll do a more detailed post but basically it makes my kinda crazy hair manageable and detangles like magic.

Below is the face I have been sporting for most of the month with Lancome's Kohl in Love on eyes and Blush in Love on cheeks and my lip combo of Stila exhilarating blotted on my lips and topped off with Philosophy.  Its quite a bright spring face.  What have you been loving in January?

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Valentine's Nails from NYC

L-R Times Square, Midtown, Madison Avenue and Full Metal Jacket

We're major fans of NYC's In a NY Minute nail polishes - at €1.29, they're absolutely outstanding for the price. €1.29! As my mother would say, sure what would you be doing without a nail polish? 

If you're in need of a nail polish update for 14th February, or indeed just for, ya know, life... check out this edit of four polishes from the brand for Valentine's Day. 

Swatches from top to bottom (all are two coats) Times Square, Midtown, Madison Avenue, Full Metal Jacket. 

As always, the formula cannot be faulted. I've been wearing Full Metal Jacket and Times Square over the past few days and have gotten loads of compliments on both. Full Metal Jacket is just the most gorgeous metallic gold and it's totally opaque in one coat. It even made it into our 2012 favourites, it's that good.

I'm also loving Times Square, which is a lovely orange-red. It's super bright, and kind of what I think American Apparel's Neon Red should have been. It will look amazing on tanned toes in the summer. 

Have you tried NYC nail polish?

*PR samples
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Lancome In Love - Making Spring Very Easy Indeed

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Lancome have created quite a beautiful and glowing spring collection this year and two of the products that I was most excited to try were the Cheeks In Love blush and the Kohl in Love.  I love the imagery of the campaign, it's simple and vibrant, everything that spring should be. 

There are two blushes in the collection both with pretty pink packaging with bursting flowers on them, and that is what this collection represents to me - flowers bursting with colour and vibrancy. 

I found the blush very hard to get a good swatch of colour from, but it applies beautifully to the face, the mixture of the pink and the peach creates a beautiful flush across the cheeks that can be built up for a more vibrant look.

The star of the show for me is definitely the Khol in Jade Crush - it's simply stunning.  We were big fans of Lancome's Christmas liner in Jazzy Taupe and this shade knocks it out of the park.  I was going to do use this post as a tutorial of this look but really the liner makes life so simple (I applied a neutral colour shadow over my lid and a smudge of brown in the crease for depth and then I used the liner - simples).  The liner is smooth and easy to use, extremely pigmented and dries to a even and budge proof finish.  When I say budge proof I mean it, the swatch on my hand lasted all day. I really need vibrant liners to dry, I don't have massive lids and liners can transfer onto the upper part of my eye.  Lancome's liner stayed in place all day, beautifully.  What's more the colour is matt which I think sets it apart from other bright liners - you get clear, beautiful, vibrant colour.

I didn't have the rest of the collection so I used a bright lip colour to create a stain on the lips and then applied a gloss - the Baume in Loves are sheer colour and with such vibrant liner you have to be careful not to look clownish.  I have used a sample of Lancomes new groundbreaking foundation Teint Visionnaire on my skin (I can't say what the concealer part of the foundation is like but I am really liking the foundation on my skin).  

I have been wearing this look for the past couple of weeks (except when the flu got me - I looked more like the Walking Dead then) I think it's pretty bright but also very wearable.   When I initially saw the liner,although I thought it was beautiful, it might draw attention to my dark circles and eye bags - it doesn't - the shade lifts the area and it's impossible not to smile when wearing it, the shades make you feel lighter and brighter.

 Lancome Cheeks in Love Blush costs €39.00 and Kohl in Love costs €17.28.  For me the must have product from this collection is definitely Khol in Love in Jade crush.  I am not sure if it's a conscious decision on the part of Lancome to have the stand out product be a liner which also happens to be the most affordable part of the collection but if it is..... it's genius.  Normally I love to pick up a piece or two from my favourite brands' new collections but as we all know this recession is kicking our bums so I would only pick up the stand out products - for me without a doubt Khol in Love is a stand out and too pretty to leave behind.

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