Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Clarins The Essentials Eye Make Up Palette

Clarins The Essentials Eye Makeup Palette*:

Clarins always reminds me of Christmas.  The brands signature shades of red and gold set me off away with a festive feel but its also my memories of Clarins that make me feel full of Christmas cheer.   There was always Clarins in my house at Christmas, my mam always got a Clarins gift set for Christmas (they have fantastic value Christmas gift sets) and the very first year I was working full time I went into Brown Thomas and spent my Christmas Bonus on a Clarins gift set.  I suppose Clarins was the brand that thought me good skin is the best makeup a girl can have, so my first proper grown up skin care was from Clarins.

This Christmas Clarins have released an eyeshadow palette - which is quite similar to last years palette - I am calling it a Naked Palette for grown ups.  Think of a beautiful selection of neutral shades but without the "naked" name being tagged onto the packaging.  Oh Clarins your such a classy brand.

The palette is housed in sturdy cardboard packaging and the actual palette of shades can be removed.  Personally I love the traditional Clarins gold metallic packaging in red pouch so I am not majorly excited by the packaging of the palette. 

The palette contains a double ended brush, the brush itself is good quality but it is quite small so takes some time to go over the eye area (and I have quite small eyes), so although its not the perfect eye brush it would work well enough when travelling.

There are 10 shadows in the palette all neutral and one stand out golden beacon in the middle.  I found the two shades to the far right of the palette a little patchy to swatch and to apply.  The central 6 shades of the palette are simply beautiful.  The gold metallic shade in the middle is stunning.  I found it best to apply this shade with your finger and pat it on the lid as a finishing touch.  The overlay gives you a makeup guide for both a day and a night look (I like that your given a guide but not overwhelmed by makeup looks). 

The very pretty central shades - would you look at that gold.

The Essentials palette is very pretty, it manages to be neutral without being boring, the gold shade is obviously the stand out shade and is just beautiful.  I know that this palette will be on many Christmas lists.  Part of me would have preferred if Clarins had of made a smaller palette containing the 6 central shades and left it in their signature gold packaging.  There are things I love about the palette (the 6 central shades) and a couple of things I would change (the packaging and the brush) but overall I give the palette a big thumbs up.  The Palette costs €43.00 and is out now. 

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Beauty Gifts 2014

Are you in a Christmas panic?  Have you some last minute gifts to buy? I always think I am finished but then realise I am missing something.  Here are some of the products I picked up as gifts this Christmas.

Glamglow - Gift Sexy.  I love Glamglow this kit contains a full size Thirsty mud along with a sample size Youth Mud and Super Mud.  I have tried the Super Mud and really loved it.  This is a perfect gift for the skin care lover in your life although be warned the pots are tiny (but effective).

This Works Sleeping Partners Set:  This Works could possibly be a really cocky name for a brand except that the products really do work, they are simply packaged, no frills.  This Works dont need fancy or frills its simple ...their products work.  Fans of the brand include Victoria Beckham and if its OK for the Beckham household its OK for me.
The Sleeping Partners Set contains a full size Deep Sleep Night Oil and a full sized Deep Sleep Pillow Spray - since I haven't been sleeping that well lately I am very tempted to keep this for myself. 
I picked up the Too Faced Everything Nice Palette in Debenhams Belfast - we used to have a Too Faced counter in Boots Liffey Valley but that is no more - I found a treasure trove of unusual brands like Too Faced and Cargo tucked away at the back of the makeup hall.  I have been eyeing the Everything Nice Palette online and I wasn't even aware it was available this side of the Atlantic so I did a very happy dance when I saw it.  The Palette is a beauty lovers dream, it contains 20 eye shadows, 2 blush, 1 bronzer, 1 highlighter a mini mascara and a pink sparkly makeup bag.

 The palette has a lovely mix of neutrals and along the bottom has a row of jewel tones - I will hold my hands up this is a self gift.
 Smashbox On the Rocks - Oh Smashbox eye shadows how I love you, you are soft, buttery and pigmented and probably my favourite eye shadows of all.  Smashbox On the Rocks is a perfect mix of 12 neutral and jewel tones.  Sometimes big kits like the Too Faced Everything Nice can be a bit intimidating so smaller kits can make a perfect option.  As I have said before Smashbox are my Holy Grail eye shadows their are amazing quality - any Smashbox palette is a wonderful addition to any makeup collection.

 Nars Digital World Lip Pencil Coffret: The only reason I hadn't picked up Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Yu is because you have to sharpen it - funny I know but I think sharpening uses up products. 
The Digital World set contains the shades
  • Satin Lip Pencil Torres Del Paine
  • Satin Lip Pencil Descanso
  • Satin Lip Pencil Yu
  • Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Iberico
  • Velvet Matte Lip Pencil Cruella 
  • You could give the whole set as a gift or you could break the set up (maybe keeping one or two for yourself).  The Digital World lip set is exclusive to Space NK.

    Stila have some fantastic gift sets this Christmas, they have teamed up with US jewellery company Baublebar to create gifts which contain the best of Stila products as well as jewellery and accessories.  As you know I love Stila so my only self gifting problem is I already have a lot of the products, I suppose this will make parting with the gifts easier (Stila products are like my children).
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    Monday, December 22, 2014

    Katy Perry Royal Revolution

    I recently read that celebrity fragrances are outselling other fragrances 3 to 1.  Could it be the recession making us save our pennies with a more affordable alternative or is it more likely that celebrity fragrances are getting better?  Personally I think it's a bit of both.  I think celebrity fragrances are not as long lasting as perfumes from the main perfume houses but then again they generally cost less than a third of the price.  While Celebrity fragrances have generally been aimed towards the teens they are currently taking on a more mature and sophisticated nose.  

    One of our favourite recent Celebrity Perfume releases has been Katy Perry Royal Revolution.  I will hold my hands up and say I LOVE KATY PERRY she just seems like she could be your friend, a friend who would always have lipstick (and quite possibly be an expert at applying false eye lashes).  

    While a lot of Pop Star fragrances tend to smack you in the face with sugary sweetness Royal Revolution is a scent that is a little different.  Its not a fragrance that you would immediately think "CELEBRITY FRAGRANCE" its unusual while also being very wearable.  

    Top Notes: Pink Freesia, Pomegranate

    Middle Notes: Sandalwood, Orange Flower, Jasmine Petals

    Base Notes: Black Thorn, Skin Musk, Vanilla Orchid

    As I mentioned earlier I as is the case with most celebrity fragrances it is not the most long lasting scent but the bottle  (which is designed to look like a sapphire) is a great talking piece if your a fan of whipping out your perfume to reapply during the day.

    Royal Revolution would make a wonderful Christmas gift and because its not overly sweet you have more gifting options.  Christmas is a great time to pick up fragrances as you tend to be able to get them on special offer or in gift sets.

    Are you a fan of the Celebrity Fragrance? Pin It

    Christmas Gifts - Bath and Body

    If I am being honest a few years ago I would turn my nose up at Bath and Body Christmas gifts, I am not sure if the quality has improved over the years or because I have to buy my own shower gels etc I am beginning to appreciate what a handy gift they are.

    My favourite bath and body brand is Philosophy.  Philosophy is a brand that has both classic fragrances like Amazing Grace - it such a clean and classic scent, in fact I love it so much I keep a bottle of it in my locker in work.  It light and easily mixes if your wearing other scents but it is also clean and refreshing for a refreshing spritz during the day.  While I love the classic scent offerings from Philosophy I am more than a little obsessed with their quirky fun seasonal fragrances.  Philosophy are the Willy Wonka of Bath brands.  They come up with amazing fun and delicious scents.  Best of all Cinnamon Buns actually smell like Cinnamon Buns, Christmas Cookies actually smell like Christmas Cookies.  You can use Philosophy's 3 in 1 products as bubble bath, shower gel and shampoo GENIUS.  To add to the cuteness Philosophy have added recipes to the side of the bottles (so the bottle for Cinnamon Buns has the recipe for Cinnamon Buns on the side) adorable and delicious.  Philosophy always make Christmas SMELL like the most wonderful time of the year. 

     Philosophy's Classic 3 in 1 in a selection of fragrances cost €17.80

     Philosophy Classics €27.90

    Cocoa Brown - What an amazing brand, not only do they produce wonderful products they are also wildly affordable.  So much so this Bronzed and Beautiful Kit *costs €9.99 from Penney's.

    Cocoa Brown also have a Luxury Gift Set Available from Tesco's which is now only €13.33.  You can pick it up along with your Christmas Turkey, convenient and affordable.

    These gift sets are great value if your picking it up for yourself to top up your Christmas Glow.  For the past couple of years (hard to believe that Cocoa Brown is only 2 years old) I have been picking up Cocoa Brown products and sending them to my Cousin in America who is also obsessed.  Cocoa Brown will be launching soon in Rickys in America but if you need your hit of Cocoa Brown sooner rather than later  Cloud 10 Beauty ship internationally.

    I adore the scent range of Philosophy but I can appreciate that some people might prefer a more classic scent and Nivea Gorgeous Beautiful Skin  €12.50* is a perfect gift.  Housed in a beautiful pink bag the kit contains a Roll On Deodorant (not sexy but it is an essential), a shower puff, a moisturising cream, and a delicious sounding Waterlily and Oil shower gel.

    Of course if you want to inject a little festive cheer into somebody's life you cant go wrong with something from Yankee Candle, I find it impossible to choose a favourite scent so this mini selection is perfect.

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    Sunday, December 21, 2014

    Jimmy Choo Man - Jimmy Choo for Men

    Jimmy Choo's fragrance for women has been a great success over the last number of years, women have loved a taste of Jimmy Choo in their lives without the hefty price tag of the shoes (we can dream).  Jimmy Choo Woman is a very popular mass market fragrance which is sweet enough to capture a young audience but also classic enough to be appreciated and lusted after by all ages.  It has even spawned a number of seasonal limited editions.

    Its a bit of a no brainer for Jimmy Choo to release a male fragrance - simply called Jimmy Choo Man*

    Notes: Pink Pepper, Pineapple Leaf, Melon, Lavender, Suede and Patchouli

    As you can see from the notes it has a lot of fresh and fruity ingredients as well as musky notes.  The mix of notes mean that like its female counterpart it will be a very popular fragrance for men of all ages, not particularly suiting a specific age.  The fragrance will have mass appeal and I can see it being a big seller this Christmas.  Jimmy Choo Man is a scent of mass appeal, if your looking for a gift for a man in your life, be it a father, husband, brother or nephew it will be perfect. 

    The "Face" of Jimmy Choo Man is Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington better known as John Snow.  I think he is the perfect face of the fragrance, like the scent Game of Thrones has a wide and varied fan base.  If your a fan of the show you will know that John Snow/Kit Harrington is the moral compass of the show but is also manly and very hot (although if reports are to be believed he is a little short)  so you can understand the vibe the scent is going for manly yet sensitive. 

    Jimmy Choo Man is our now and would make a perfect Christmas Gift 50ml €55.00 100ml €77

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    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Stila - Eyes are the Window Palette - Spirit (and Stila Holiday 2014 gifts)

    I know it might seem like I have been cheating on my beloved Stila with Charlotte Tilbury lately, fear not we are still very happy with each other (think of it like me going to see the film "The Drop" with himself and looking in wonder at Tom Hardy, looking as his fab lips and then Tom Hardy with a puppy ......what was that film about again?)

    Since Stila are 20 years old this year and they are spoiling us with a selection of new eye shadow palettes.  I kinda knew I wouldn't be able to pass by the Harvey Nicks Dublin counter without picking one up.

    There are 4 different palettes - each palette has 12 eye shadows and costs €38.00 (makeup maths means that each shadow costs just over €3.00).  Stila eyeshadows cost £12.00 to purchase individually, I love to pick up palettes because they are better value for money and you get a good shade range.  Each palette has a different theme - Mind, Body, Soul and Spirit.  I went for the Spirit Palette because it has Stila's best selling shades over the past 20 years.  Some of the shadows are old favourites (like Golightly) and some are new shades to me.  Spirit has a very classic shade range, nothing too out there or over the top.  With many palettes there are usually one or two shades that are used consistently and a few that are ignored (if ever used) I can see most people using all of the shades in the Spirit Palette. 

    All of the shadows are soft, buttery and pigmented as you would expect from Stila Shadows.  I have read (on the internet where I like to stalk all things Stila) that some of the shades in the other palettes are not as pigmented as the Spirit Palette.  As I dont have the other palettes I cant speak for how pigmented or soft the shadows are, I can say if your looking for a classic eye shadow palette with soft, buttery and pigmented shades the Spirit Palette is a brilliant option.  There are 2 shades that are matt and are not as pigmented as the other shades in the palette. 

    The palette is a move away from the heavy cardboard packaging on other Stila palettes.  It is a shiny plastic with a magnetic closure, it get covered in fingerprints but its also sturdy and feels like it would travel well - as well as looking a bit fancier than traditional Stila palettes.
    Stila always have a inspirational quote on the inside of their packaging (usually from inspirational women) this time its a quote about the spirit from Leonardo Da Vinci.

    As you can see the palette will suite everybody from the makeup novice to the makeup lover, there are basic shades of amazing quality for everybody.  

    If your a fan of Stila you will see some very well known shades.  Lets have a look at some swatches, I will swatch them on my finger and then show you how they transfer onto my arm (mostly cause they were so buttery soft and pretty). 

    Top Row : Kitten, Puppy, Pigalle

    The very famous Kitten which is a fabulous champagne gold
    Puppy a classic brown - a more matt shade - not as pigmented but a great transitional shade
    Pigalle another famous Stila shade and something a little bit different 

    Swatched on the arm you can see that puppy doesnt show up as well as Kitten and Pigalle.

    Second Row: Oasis, Jezebel, Barefoot

                                                                     Oasis, Jezebel, Barefoot

    Wheat, Golightly, Espresso 

    Wheat - back in the day What was more of a favourite to me than Kitten, it has less of a chunky shimmer to it.   
    Golightly is one of my all time favourite brown shades and all time favourite Stila shades - as a bronze/brown it really makes my grey eyes stand out.  Back in the day when I favored crazy eye makeup Golightly was still a favourite of mine because it was so flattering on the eye.   

     Espresso - a matt brown (sorry for the blurry shot)

    Wheat, Golightly, Espresso on the arm - as you can see Espresso doesn't transfer as well but it builds up nicely when applied to the lid with a brush.  
    Bottom Row : Cassis, Slate, Pewter

                                                                      Cassis a milky matt shade
    Slate -  a beautiful almost purple grey
                                                                 Pewter - a silvery grey

    On the arm : Cassis, Slate, Pewter

    The top row of the palette has Pigalle which is perhaps is the most extreme shade of the palette, the middle rows offer you a great variation on classic neutral eyes and the bottom eye allows you to create a great smokey eye.  

    I think the Spirit palette would make a wonderful Christmas gift for somebody its neutral shades means it would suit most age groups and the sturdier packaging makes it seem like an extra special gift.  

    Stila have some wonderful Christmas gifts at amazing value, they have teamed up with US Jewellery brand Baublebar to make the ultimate Christmas presents.  Each set contains various classic Stila products along with a piece from Baublebar.  With each set (which are great value) your getting some beautiful makeup along with an accessory.  They really are the perfect Christmas present and are also phenomenal value. Who wouldn't love that?  

    Stila Bejewelled €31 
    Best of Black €61 

    Best of Kitten €57

    Glow and Behold €26

    Merry and Bright €26

    New Years Eve Glam €52

    You can pick up the Spirit Palette and Christmas sets from Stila  (although you will have missed shipping), from Harvey Nicks and Stila Counters. Pin It
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