Friday, April 26, 2013

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum Review

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum

I'm a big fan of La Roche Posay - I love they way they have such a wide range of products targeting specific skin concerns. I would say my skin is classic combination - oily in parts and dehydrated in others. I have to be careful with the products I use, as even though my skin can feel dry, heavy moisturisers clog things up fairly quickly and I end up in that horrible dry and flaky, yet still spotty, situation. Hate that! If you feel like your moisturiser just isn't cutting it, but are wary of using something too heavy, you should definitely try introducing a serum into your routine. Containing that magic ingredient, hyaluronic acid, Hydraphase Intense Serum* is a really light gel that sinks into the skin immediately. 

I'm usually skeptical of the claims of skincare products, but I was so impressed by this. It made such a difference from the very first application - my skin was smoother, more even, and felt more comfortable. The only complaint I would have about this is that I wish it came in a larger bottle - I seemed to fly through the 30mls. I basically just need a big vat of this stuff. At €23, however, it's a lot more affordable than similar serums on the market. This is something I'll definitely be purchasing myself to get my mug in shape for summer.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Clarins - Splendours Summer 2013

The Mayan calendar may not have marked the end of the the world as we know it but it certainly has inspired Clarins to create their Summer Collection "Splendours"* which is simple and beautiful like the world it has taken its inspiration from.  (Warning this post will contain every cliche known to man about holidays and exotic places).

Many (many many) years ago I went on a great adventure to Mexico. It was so long ago that I think I just missed the Mayan civilisation (their kettle was still on the boil).  The trip was one of my favourites I have ever taken, part Indiana Jones and part Spring Breakers, there is more culture and history in that part of the world than you can shake a tanned arm at. It also happens to be nestled in paradise so it's the perfect inspiration for a summer makeup collection. 

I got to visit Chichen Itza (a World Heritage Site) and if I am being honest I only managed to climb halfway up the steep pyramid (it was very high and the steps were tiny).  I am not the kind of person that has many pictures of myself floating around my house but the picture of me in front of this ancient wonder has pride of place.  

I eagerly await summer makeup collections (my favourite collections tend to be the summer collections) and Clarins Splendours is exactly what you would expect from a Summer makeup collection or what you would wish for in a Summer Holiday, bronze and golds intermixed with some exotic and mysterious etchings from an ancient time.  This collection transports you to an exotic and beautiful place, just looking at the collection almost makes you feel the sun on your face and a gentle breeze on your skin.

Splendours Colour Quartet* €39.00 (pictured with my own little Mayan calendar disk) gives us a trio of subtle metallics; a copper, gold, a pink gold along with a brown powder liner and a plum eyeliner to create bright eyes or more mysterious lined eyes for those sultry summer nights (we can dream about sultry summer nights even if for most of us the simple dream is a barbecue in the back garden - we can still look the part).  When I first saw the colours, besides the beautiful etching in the shadow I thought that perhaps the colours could be duped, and perhaps they can but the consistency and colours are stunning.  The copper shade has stolen my heart.  The shadows can also be used wet (with a damp brush) for a more intense look. There are two "looks" included with the palette but I have been simply using the light gold as a highlight and the copper on the lids and under the eye for every day - and look the results have brought the sun out from behind the clouds.

Splendours Shimmer Body Oil* is a light body oil which looks like some kind of Mayan treasure  in a bottle.  The oil suspends tiny specks of gold which looks lovely on your arm and will look simply stunning over a tan (fake or otherwise).  The oil smells delicious and its light fragrance of ylang ylang and tonka bean is the perfect summer fragrance.  The oil contains essential oils of tangerine, grapefruit and Hazelnut which softens the skin and although its an oil your skin is left radiant and not greasy.  I applied the Shimmer Body Oil on one arm to see what it was like - at €37.00 I wouldn't be using it every day - and then went to the cinema, I spent the whole time in the cinema stroking my moisturised and soft arm (it had nothing to do with Ryan Gosling being on the screen cause that is making me sound a little weird - but I was stroking my arm like a Bond villain would stroke a cat). I was obsessed at how soft my arm felt and that was in the dark without being able to see the gentle glimmer the gold gave to my arm.  This is admittedly an expensive buy but a little goes a long way.

There are two Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Gels* €20.00. These are ultra glossy ultra moisturising lip glosses which leave your lips looking like you were eating fresh fruits or perhaps had cooled yourself down with an ice pop.  These feel lovely on the lips and have a tasty blackcurrant flavour.  Although for me they are not a "miss" product however if I was saving my money somewhere in the collection it would be here, simply because the other products are so stunning and the chemist brands are producing such great quality lip products at the moment.  

The collection also includes Instant Smooth Crystal Lip Balm which comes in 4 colours and costs €22.00 - these are very interesting looking and look like cool pops in the form of a lipstick.

My must haves for Clarins Splendours Summer Collection? Sometimes when a collection that I like comes out I will pick up one little thing just to sooth and quieten the makeup addict voice that talks to me.  With the Splendours Collection I could definitely hold out and go for the heavy hitters of the collection,  The Splendours Colour Quartet €39.00 is universally flattering - the shadows are soft and pigmented with looks that can range from a simple summer eye to a more dramatic evening look.  The Shimmer Body Oil €37.00 is one of those products that is going to last you a number of summers.  A number of years ago I fell in love with the rather similar Nars Body Glow and although I prefer the smell of Nars, it's a whopping €65.00 and I would definitely repurchase Clarins first - although as I said a little goes a long way and you will have this Shimmer Body Oil for a long time.  The stand out product for me of the collection is the stunning Bronzing Summer Compact €38.00 - the packaging like the product itself reflects the look of the round Mayan Calendar.  The colours of the bronzer are a brown (handy for a bronzer), a terracotta and a gentle gold in the middle.  This means you can use the bronzer as a matte or a shimmer bronzer.  I will be ducking and rolling into the shops in May a la Indiana Jones when the collection is released to rescue this treasure from the shops.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

CND Shellac Romantique & Zillionaire

Shellac Romantique Zillionaire

Shellac Romantique Zillionaire

Shellac Romantique Zillionaire

I was bridesmaid for my friend last weekend, and not being a French manicure girl, I wanted to do something different, but still bridal-y with my nails. Shellac, or a similar gel manicure, was a must as I didn't want to be faffing around with nail polish or worrying about chipping on the day.  I did a bit of research and decided on Shellac Romantique, a gorgeous creme pinkish white colour, with two layers of Zillionaire, a multi-coloured flakey glitter on top. When I told the girl in the salon that I wanted Zillionaire, she nearly had an attack at the thought of glitter nails on a bridesmaid and tried to talk me out of it (even tried to get the bride to stop me!) but I stuck to my guns and I love how it turned out. It's a little bit different but still subtle enough to be bridesmaid (even bride) appropriate. 

Whatcha think? 
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Friday, April 12, 2013

Bourjois So Laque Rendez-Vous a Paris

Bourjois have launched some gorgeous new colours in their So Laque nail polish range for Spring Summer. There are eight new shades available from classy neutrals, to pretty pastels, to a gorgeous bright coral red. They are (above, from left to right, top to bottom), Oh So Rose, Amande Defile, Coton Sur Ton, Prepp-hibiscus, Taupe Modele, Peach and Love, BC Beige and Adorea Bleu. 

We got two shades to try out, which just so happened to be my favourite two shades of the bunch, Adorea Blue* and Peach and Love*. 

These have a really nice formula - they're not at all streaky which is usually a problem with pastel polishes. The polish goes on easily in a thick layer but dries quickly to a high shine, glossy finish. Wear time isn't great for me, that may be more to do with the condition of my nails than the polish, but you can definitely take the 'up to ten days wear' claim with a pinch of salt.

Adorea Bleu is really the most gorgeous bright I-can't-stop-looking-at-my-nails colour that reminds me a lot of Essie's Bikini So Teeny. Definitely recommend! Priced at €7.99, these are available now. 

Bourjois are celebrating 150 years in business this year so expect some exciting launches from the brand in 2013. They're also having a look back at the evolution of their manicure products. I love stuff like this! 

In the late nineteenth century, Bourjois entered the Hand Beauty market, launching powders and creams to polish the nails, and Emailline, the ancestor of coloured enamel.
From their 1897 catalogue, Emailline, a pink-red transparent liquid presented in a bottle to be applied with a brush to colour the nails.
The first Bourjois nail enamel was born under the name Vernis Luxus. In 1927 it was available in 3 shades (white, pink and red) in the form of two bottle, an enamel and a solvent.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector Candy Shimmer

While I am a fan of the more obnoxious shades of lip colour, they do require your lips to be in tip top condition. I have recently been loving Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in No 5 Candy Shimmer*.  Although the name is a bit of a mouthful the product itself leaves my lips in ecstasy.  The product has a almost gel type texture which conditions and soothes the lips helping them not only become healthier but also fuller and pretty darn kissable.  The gel formula means it doesn't feel like a product that just sits on top of the lips (don't you just hate that, the minute it's wiped off, you're back to dry dehydrated lips), it hydrates the lips which naturally gives them the appearance of looking fuller.

I have loved using Candy shimmer to gently brighten up my face, but I have also used it underneath some of my more unforgiving lip products as it immediately hydrates the lips and make them feel and look fuller and healthier.  As Sile is a fan of natural lips she has been loving using Candy Shimmer alone to bring a healthy and pretty look to the lips. 

Instant Light Natural lip Perfectors are available in three shades (Petal Shimmer, Candy Shimmer and Rosewood Shimmer) and cost €17.00.
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Monday, April 8, 2013

David Beckham Urban Homme

Ah David even though you're a man who should be looked at rather than listened to, it has to be said you are belting out the men's fragrances and they are GOOOOD.  The latest in Mr. Beckham's line is David Beckham Urban Homme* which is a new limited edition fragrance. 

Urban Homme is said to represent David's own unique style (but no sarong here folks) and it is a decidedly more every day scent for the fashionable man. It has base notes of suede which makes it very masculine.

Top Notes:  Crunch Green Apple, Mandarin, Thyme
Heart Notes: Lavender, Violet Leaves, Pineapple
Base Notes: Vibrant Amber, Suede, Cedar wood

The packaging is bright and clean which suits the fresh scent.  My brother used to be quite the aftershave snob (it's ok, he would agree with this statement) but has been quite the fan of Mr. Beckham's aftershaves (he is also an ABU football fans so it's not like he has a man crush) he simply likes the smell and although he would have gravitated towards the higher end aftershaves, you can't beat Mr. Beckham for affordable and delicious scents.  If you don't trust me or my bro I suggest you take a whiff and see how tasty it smells.

David Beckham Urban Homme costs €23.95 - £19.95. Pin It

Friday, April 5, 2013

NYC Expert Last Lipsticks - we have more to show you

We are great fans of NYC Cosmetics and especially their new Expert Last Lipsticks which cost an amazing €2.49 for a pigmented and pretty amazing range of lipsticks.  We have already posted on some other shades we have from the 14 strong range (read about them here) and we have four more to show you today.

NYC Cosmetics are a great affordable range that always have something new to spoil us with. Did I mention they smell like sweets?

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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Rimmel Apocalips - Flippin Amazing

All hail Rimmel.  I think it's pretty impressive that Rimmel have created a lip product that can do battle with premium brands and kick their arse.  Unless you have been living under a rock you will now have heard of Rimmel Apocalips and if you have passed by a Boots 3 for 2 offer you will probably have picked up one or two.  These lip lacquers are a pretty amazing mix between a lipstick and a lip gloss,  they start out on your lips with a beautiful glossy sheen and stay on your lips as a lipstick.  They are comfortable to wear and surprisingly long lasting, when the sheen wears away you're left with a lip stain, so Apocalips are a 3 in 1 lip product.

Between myself and Sile we have picked up 6 shades and I am loving most of them, below are swatches of all the shades we have.

Although I love the texture of Apocalips I am not a fan of nude lips. If you are, Nude Eclipse is a great nude to add to your collection.
Luna is a pretty spring Coral.
Nova is one of my favourite colours and it's great as an everyday shade. It's a bright pure pink.
Stellar is a red/pink shade
Apocaliptic is a bright lively pink.

If you're looking for a glossy true red how beautiful is Big Bang.

Although there is not a huge range of colours I think Rimmel have picked the perfect selection of shades (which is why Boots 3 for 2 comes in great). In fact I think they are the core shades that you should have in your lipstick wardrobe.  So the shades are great but really the quality of these lip products must be tried, they are flippin' amazing.

 As I have said before nude colours aren't my thing but by simply mixing two (or more, it's your own choice) shades you can create your own Apocalips custom colour, Apocalips make it really easy to mix shades.   

Apocalips cost €7.95 each but keep an eye out for special promotions in your chemist.   Apocalips are one of the best lip products to come out this year and that includes high end cosmetics. I highly recommend you check them out.

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Monday, April 1, 2013

March Favourites 2013

For me March was the month of lip products. I don't know if it was the cold or the need to put a spring in my step but I was a little more obsessed with lip products than normal this month and lucky for me the make up gods have been good to us with some amazing new lip products from the amazing budget brand NYC and their Expert Last Lipsticks* (read about them here) and their flipping marvelous Applelicious Glossy Lip Balms* (don't worry we have a post coming up on these amazing products) to the higher end YSL Rouge Volupte Shine* and Clarins Colour Quench Lip Balms*. My lips have been having quite the party in March.  Of course I have to give extra props to my beloved Stila and their Color Balm Lipsticks (read about them here) - everybody needs one of them in their lives.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Sunshine* has been keeping me great company this month, not only does it smell fantastic but the bottle is amazing and a burst of sunshine that we so badly needed during the misery of March.

I have two hair favourites of the month - first up is Living Proof Prime Style Extender. Being a huge fan of Jennifer Aniston I was really interested in the brand Living Proof, a brand that Jennifer loved so much she invested in it.  I was a little sceptical about this hair primer which is supposed to repel dirt (sounds the business right?) well so far its doing great - one week my hair was at a funeral, had head sweat beyond belief and was then rained on multiple times by icy rain and after all that I was complimented on my hair, if that is not Living Proof I don't know what is.  Keeping my hair moisturised and smelling fantastic is Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Shine* I was quite the devotee of 3 Minute Miracle and this new version with Super Shine Boost smells so good that I want to squeeze it out of the container into my mouth, it smells AMAZING and leaves my hair in amazing condition, I have been getting slightly addicted.

Merumaya Melting Cleansing Balm* is staying up there on my favourites list, it is a pleasure and luxury to use although it doesn't remove long lasting mascara I forgive it because it's such a beautiful cleanser.   Although I don't have dry skin  March has been so cold that my skin has been drinking up Clarins Hydra Quench Cream*, the luxurious cream has been a saviour which doesn't clog my skin.

My lips have been so dry - I'm blaming the icy rain, wind and the fact that Spring is refusing to arrive.  I recently got to chat to Leonard Daly - The Master of Makeup and he recommended Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (read what he has to say about it here).  Personally I hate the fragrance but love what it does for my lips, next time I'll get fragrance free.

During a particularly long day I happened to look in the mirror and god my skin looked amazing, it must be the detox I was on during March - it wasn't it was Clarins BB Cream* which has been giving my skin an airbrushed effect, minimising redness, evening out skin tone and generally making me look like a better version of myself.  Although it has given me possibly the best skin I have had for a while, if you have a spot you would need more coverage. I have found my dark circles can use a boost and I have been using Benefit's Fake Up which is the handiest concealer - it's like a lip balm for your under eyes - two swipes and you're done.

Although Spring hasn't arrived we are still bundled up in jumpers and coats with central heating so I have been loving the new compact deodorants from Sure*, the same amount of product but in a smaller portable size. My handbag has a new friend.


Growing up I was a huge Care Bear freak, I was always more of teddy bear kinda kid than one to play with dolls and Care Bears are just about the coolest kind of bears there are, imagine brightly coloured magical bears with little hearts on the bums.  As a grown up I will buy any product that has the Care Bears on it and freaked out when I found these Care Bear PJs in Penneys.  Care Bears are awesome and just looking at them makes me happy - which is exactly what I needed in a month that gave us icy rain and and not much else.

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