Monday, March 31, 2014

Shiseido Lips Perfect Rouge RD553 Showgirl and RS452 Tulip

Last year I fell a little in love with Shiseido Perfect Rouge lipsticks (€27.00). When I first swatched them on my hand I was amazed at how soft and buttery they were while still having amazing pigment.  Who does not want wow pigmentation while your lips feel balmy soft ?  They are definitely a luxury purchase with a high price tag but you can feel the quality of the lipstick on your lips.  

The packaging is a sleek black container which instead of being round is actually shaped like a lotus blossom (Shiseido's logo).  Although Shiseido name the colour of their lipsticks the bottom just shows the numbers (RE553 Showgirl - RED and RS452 Tulip - PINK).

You can see from the swatches on my hand how creamy and moisturising the Perfect Rouge lipsticks are.   They really feel fantastic on the lips but also look fantastic.  Although the formula is ultra moisturising I don't find Perfect Rouge bleeds out of my lips - like the perfect lipstick it claims to be it doesn't go wandering off.

I could look at these colours all day, I think they are stunning - although of course Shiseido also have more natural colours in their Perfect Rouge range.  They really are the perfect lipstick (especially Tulip, isn't it the perfect "Mags" colour).

Shiseido is a brand that I have overlooked for years, but every Shiseido product I try blows me away. Pin It

Friday, March 28, 2014

Benefit Gimme Brow - it's a bit of a WOW

Eyebrows - I know some people are mad about them but personally I let them get on with their day to day business of keeping sweat out of my eyes without paying any attention to them (I am not really sweaty so my eyebrows have an easy time).  Don't get me wrong I have tried the odd brow product before (even other people's holy grail like MAC Lingering) but generally my brows have a naturally good shape and with brow products there is a lot of faffing about.  First you draw in the brows - then there is toning down what you have drawn, then you have to brush and set the brows generally using different products or brushes .  I don't know about you but that's a whole lot of time in the morning that I just don't have.

When I first saw Benefit Gimme Brow* I thought  ... Meh, as I said I don't really do anything to my brows at all so I am not interested in brow products.  Even when I heard the blurb about Gimme Brow I was disinterested.  

Gimme Brow is hardly Benefit's first foray into the brow world - on my very first visit to a Benefit counter in the late 90s, the first thing the girl did was "fix" my brows with one of their brow products.  At the time I was less knowledgeable about makeup (and knew nothing about brows) but I did know that the end result had me looking a little more like Groucho Marx than any woman (or man) should ever look.  While this end result caused my friend great amusement it also meant that I was never keen on letting anybody near my brows.

A long time has passed since the late 90s (I am old, so very old), times have changed, Benefit has changed... I have not changed (I am like Peter Pan and so are my eyebrows).  So along comes Gimme Brow and I thought - "This product holds no place in my life" but I am holding my hands straight up to say I WAS WRONG.  Gimme Brow (€24.50) comes in 2 shades Light/Medium and Medium/Dark, I have Light/Medium to show you today.  The product is like a baby mascara even down to a baby mascara type wand which applies the product.  The product itself is tinted, with tiny little fibers to help build up the brown (don't worry I was totally creeped out by this at first but you can't really see or feel any fibers).  You basically run the product through your brows and you're left with brows that are long wearing, water resistant and more importantly very natural looking.  When I use Gimme Brow it takes seconds, it's a no muss, no fuss product.

Can you see any tiny fibers?  I can't so don't be creeped out.

As I mentioned before my brows naturally have a good shape so I thought I would use my Mam for the before and after shot.  While Benefit might be quite a young brand I think that Gimme Brow is an ideal product for all ages but especially the more mature lady.  As we get older our brows go grey (how depressing is that?) but they are not an even tone or shade of grey - more like 50 shades of grey - the brow hairs can also get a little coarser and wilder.  While a lot of women get their brows tinted, my Mam has quite allergic skin and breaks out from Stress Dermatitis (you can see a bit of dry skin below her brow) so tinting her brows when her skin is raw is out of the question.  



Excuse the surprised looking arch - it's cause she was literally surprised it took such a short time to apply. There is literally 10 seconds between the before and after pictures.  I used one quick sweep of the wand to define, shape and tame the brows.  That is why I love Gimme Brow, it's so quick and easy to use.  

A Side by Side Before and After:

If you have the time you can of course spend time building up the product and your brows.  I am very impressed by Gimme Brow - it's such an easy product to use and leaves your brows looking groomed but natural looking.

P.S. If you see my Mam don't tell her I have pictures of her on the blog.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shiseido The Makeup Lacquer Gloss - RD305

Shiseido The Makeup range shows that not all makeup is made equal, not only are they colour cosmetics but some of the range have skincare benefits which improves the texture and condition of skin.  Shiseido Lacquer Gloss* is not only a beautiful gloss it also over time improves the condition of lips. MIND BLOWN.

The range of 8 strong colours don't feel like glosses - more like a treatment.  In fact, better than most treatments that I have tried.  Your lips feel amazing, moisturised and well, a bit sexy. 

The gloss is not sticky and not overly scented which is a welcome relief when it comes to lip products.  The gloss is shinny with full coverage.   The skincare benefits of the gloss re-hydrate and leave the lips feeling fantastic.

I am giving Shiseido Lacquer Gloss extra points for not being overly scented - while there have been a few lip products that I have loved recently they tend to be heavily fragranced which is not something I thought I was bothered by but I find the lack of scent refreshing.  I find Lacquer Gloss so easy and comfortable to wear. 

Shiseido The Makeup Lacquer Gloss are out now and cost €25.00 Pin It

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette

The first time you look at the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette you think wow that is flipping beautiful and you would not be mistaken.  The palette which consists of 7 shimmery shades on the top row and 7 matt shades on the bottom row is kinda the perfect neutral palette although I have had to grow to love some of the shades (more about that later).  Along with the eye shadows your €43.00 gets you a double ended brush and a trial size of the Full Exposure Mascara so already you're only paying about €3.00 per shadow with a free brush and mascara (that's makeup maths).

The outside of the box is a sleek heavy cardboard type material - lightweight and durable its subtly hides the glimmer that is inside

Smashbox brushes are known as the Louboutin of makeup brushes because of their distinctive red handle. I have a few from kits over the years (they really stand the test of time) they are great quality brushes and this one is no exception.  The matt end is my favorite side by far (similar to a MAC 217 blending brush), it picks up and deposits product beautifully.

The shimmer end of the brush is similar to a MAC 239 Shader Brush but this little fella is a bit different as the picture below shows both sides of the brush are different fibers.  When I first went to use the brush with the shimmer shades - as instructed - I found it difficult to get any product on the brush but that is more to do with the shimmer shadows that the brush itself.

Most makeup palettes these days come with instruction leaflets helping the user to make the most from their palette but I have to give huge props to Smashbox who have taken their own spin on this by giving looks depending on the users eye shape.  I think this is a genius idea - I am forever seeing looks with cat eyes but my eye shape doesn't lend itself to cat eyes so with this leaflet gives your eye shape 3 different options. Excellent idea Smashbox, the product suits your eyes rather than you having to suit the product.  

Now I think its time to take a closer look at the colours - cause they are very pretty.

Swatches of the first 4 shades top and bottom

Swatches of the last 3 shades top and bottom

When I looked at this palette I thought - this is the perfect neutral palette - it has a fantastic range of shades BUT what about the quality of the shadows? Do they hold up to the high standards to which I hold Smashbox?     I am a massive fan of Smashbox eye shadows in fact they are my holy grail shadows.  Often when you buy a palette or a set the quality of the eye shadows is not the same as when you buy an individual shade from the brand - Smashbox don't play that way.  The quality of the products in the set is just as amazing although I have had a couple of issues. 

The matts:
I don't really like matt shadows, for the most part they are chalky and bitty to use and honestly I just don't have the makeup skills to make them work - this is not the case with Smashbox matt shadows. So even though I don't like matt shades I had to see what Smashbox could do.  They did not let me down I AM IN LOVE. Honestly I have been using the matt shades ALL THE TIME.

The shimmers:
When I first swatched the shimmery shades I was in love - I mean shimmers are my thing.  However when I went to apply the shimmery shades using the shimmer side of the brush hardly any product went onto the brush??? I used another brush, same thing.  The colours were pretty but I couldn't work with them, they are mega shimmery.  I went along with my life thinking I will use the darker shimmery shades wet as a liner and sure €43.00 for 7 shades is still only €6.00 per shade.   I had resigned myself to the fact that I would not be using the light shimmery shades (the colours I would normally use every day) out of the Full Exposure Palette.  I was having a chat to my pal Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits (go and say hello to her here) and she was asking how I was finding the Full Exposure palette - I explained I loved the matts but couldn't get the shimmers to work, Karen the genius said "Look Bridie forget about the brush and press those shimmers onto your eyeballs" (they were not her actual words but if you know Karen, you will know it's not far off).  Well did you ever have a Hallelujah moment?  I took Karen's advice and low and behold the light shimmery shades pressed onto my lids work fantastic. HALLELUJAH.  Shimmer at last

I wish Smashbox hadn't confused me with the brush and had of just said - "Yo makeup lover, press those shimmery shades into your eye, you can use either side of the brush on the matt shades, that is our present to you".

 Dark shade used damp as a liner over Matt shadows

I have pretty much been wearing the look below every day - I use a brown Matt shadow all over the lid, with a darker brown shade in the crease and I press the light shimmery shade onto the centre of the lid.  I think its pretty, natural and more importantly a very easy look.

Smashbox Full Exposure costs €43.00 and is out now - (it's a great purchase once you know to press the shimmery shades).

If you're slightly turned off by my tales of shimmer (seriously they are great once you know how to use them) Smashbox have a brilliant Spring Collection out soon which is packed with colour. 
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Tanya Burr Lip Gloss

It is a bit of a no brainer for You Tube sensation Tanya Burr to release a makeup line, she is incredibly pretty, talented and insanely popular.  Instead of releasing a whole makeup line, Tanya has concentrated on 2 products - lip glosses and nail polishes - and created a capsule range.  

Glosses have been on the rise again (perhaps marking the end of the recession- the lipstick index is an "actual" thing you know) and Tanya's range which has been created with the brand Eye Candy (no I haven't heard of it either) is very affordable with lip glosses costing €8.50 and nail varnish €7.50. 

I picked up 2 glosses during a recent spending ban (I know I am a joke) using the excuse that it was "for the blog" (any excuse would do). I picked up the very "me" shade Exotic Island and the very "not me" shade Afternoon Tea (see, for the blog).

Afternoon Tea is a nude lip lovers dream - the shade is a opaque milky nude.  The gloss itself is comfortable on the lips with a delicate scent like sweets (which reminds me a little of sweets that I used to get in Spain as a child).  The gloss is not really sticky which makes it easier to wear.  While nude lips are not my cup of tea (pardon the pun) this is a very pretty shade. 

If you are looking at the shade selection you could probably guess that I would go for Exotic Island which is a super glossy gloss with an almost jelly like finish, a look which I love. 

Tanya Burr glosses are great glosses, especially for the price and well worth checking out - while I am not crazy about Afternoon Tea (the shade is not my style) Exotic Island is a beautiful jelly gloss.

Tanya Burr Lip Gloss and Nail Polish are available from Cloud 10 Beauty now, don't forget to like them on Facebook (here) for special promotions and information on new products.  As you know I am a huge fan of Cloud 10 not only for their great range of products (I always have a wish list) but also because of their super fast shipping.
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Friday, March 21, 2014

Loreal L'Extraordinaire By Color Riche - Fushia Drama, Tangerine Sonate and Molto Mauve.

I have a current lip product obsession and it is L'Extraordinaire By Color Riche by L'Oreal. Ignore the excessively long name (I didn't actually know what they were called until I went to write the post),  once you try these you will be obsessed too.   I can't actually remember the last time I bought a L'Oreal lip product - for me they are definitely on the higher end of drugstore/chemist makeup so I don't gravitate towards the counter - L'Extraordinaire By Color Riche might change this.  These magic little products have the vibrant colour of a lipstick, with the shine of a gloss and the feel of a balm - interested?  I knew you would be. 

So you can probably tell I got these in Boots as part of their 3 for 2 promotion but once I got them home I had to seriously restrain myself from going back for more from the range (which has 9 colours).  The lipstick/gloss/balms are enriched with oils (lotus flower, argan, camelia seed, rose canina fruit) which make the lips feel hydrated and soft - don't worry the oils don't make the product slide off your lips. 

I went for 2 very bright shades; Tangerine Sonate and Fushia Drama (no brainer I would pick the bright pink).  The first thing you notice when you put these on is how amazing they feel on the lips - your lips feel fantastic.  The product is not sticky - it just feels amazing and makes you want to re apply.  Although they are a gloss/balm the colour lasts quite a while and when the initial gloss wears off there is slight colour left behind.  I want to make clear though THESE ARE NOT A STAIN or a long lasting lip product. My one fault with L'Extraordinaire By Color Riche is I find they have a strong fragrance which at first would catch in the back of my throat.  The product itself feels so good that I have quickly gotten over any annoyance I have with the scent (if you're scent sensitive give the tester a quick sniff).

The gold packaging cleverly shows the shade of the gloss/balm on the side and the bottom so no need for endless rooting.  A word of warning - the packaging feels very light, so light that when I was showing a friend she thought I was showing her an empty product.   The product itself is very lightweight on the lips.  Having recently dug out 14 (14 freaking products) lip products from my handbag I don't mind the lightweight packaging.

My stand out shade and my absolute lip obsession surprisingly enough is the neutral shade Molto Mauve - this makes the lips look amazingly natural and I have had so many compliments when I am wearing this.  Because the product leaves the lips looking glossy and conditioned they look bigger and like glossy pillows.   Molto Mauve gives me the Rosie Huntington Whiteley look without the Burberry price and I am willing to bet it feels nicer than a Burberry Lipstick.

I can't stop raving about the L'Extraordinaire By Color Riche - except I call them the lip gloss/balm things.  I have been showing them to everybody and once you try them you're sucked in.  One of my colleagues arrived in the next day with 3 L'Extraordinaire  of her own.  God they really feel amazing on the lips.

I have to give a little shout out to the very nifty applicator.  The applicator is dainty and clever, it has a slight curve on the bottom side which hugs the bottom lip perfectly, the other side applies product to the top lip. 

L'Extraordinaire By Color Riche cost €13.50 approx - as always with chemist brands keep an eye out for special offers. 
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