Friday, January 30, 2015

Smashbox Double Exposure Palette

Oh Smashbox Eye Shadows I do love you, I love you a lot.  Smashbox Eye Shadows are one of my favourite's in fact I would go as far to say they are my Holy Grail.  I love that they are soft, pigmented and easily blended.  Last year Smashbox released the Full Exposure Palette (read about it here) which was a neutral palette with one row of Matt's and one row of glitters.  This year Smashbox are treating us to the Double Exposure Palette.

The Full Exposure palette was very much based in the brown shades and the Double Exposure delivers neutral shades with a delicious amount of colour. 

Most brands provide a look book with palettes, Smashbox like to do things a little differently and have created a look book which cleverly flatters eye shape.  Each eye shade is provided with 3 different looks (Day, Dramatic and Defined) making it even easier to make the most of your eyes. 

The big selling point on the palette is that each shadow transforms when used with a wet brush, inside the palette a description of each shade is given and how they transform - some shades deepen in colour, some turn metallic, some have more sparkle -.  I love eye shadows that you can use wet/dry I think they add versatility and make it easy to create different looks, mostly I find it brilliant for creating a liner out of darker shades.

I love the shade selection in the Double Exposure Palette, they range from beautiful purple/blues to neutral shades.  If you find the selection a little overwhelming (14 shades is a little overwhelming) and your not finding any inspiration from the look book I like to use the palette like a group of eye shadow duos pairing the top shade as an all over colour and the shade underneath it for the crease or as a liner creating 7 eye shadow duo sets. 

The palette also includes a Smashbox double ended brush.  I like to call Smashbox brushes the Louboutin of makeup brushes, the easily distinguishable red handles make them easy to spot.  One end of the brush is a short haired fluffy brush making it perfect for applying all over colour (especially for small eyes like my own) and the other end is angled helping created a great crease or to line the lid.  Its not often that you get a good brush in a palette but Smashbox have included a brush you can actually use.

As I mentioned the shadows can be used dry or wet to up the intensity (be that colour or sparkle).  Lets look at the top row swatched.  Dry and then wet.

The Bottom row, first dry then wet.
If I am being honest with you I don't see a massive change when I swatched the shadows wet, most of the time when shadows can be used wet the colour naturally intensifies or deepens and while this is the case there is not a dramatic change with most of the shades.  While this "Double Exposure" seems to be the selling point for Smashbox I personally don't see a massive difference, that being said I think the shadows are absolutely stunning when used dry.  As you can see each shade is beautifully pigmented, they are also soft and easy to use.  I think the palette is simply stunning without the mention of a damp or wet brush. 

I have been using this palette every day - its hard to part me from it.  I cant fault any of the shades.  I LOVE using the Double Exposure Palette, I love the shades, the effect they create, how they blend.    The Full Exposure Palette was a neutral lovers dream but I think the shades in the Double Exposure palette bring the eyes to life, without being overbearing or OTT.    I think Smashbox have created a wonderful palette that will suit a lot of people, the shadows are simply stunning and the shade selection is gorgeous, each day I am finding and creating a new combination.  Its a wonderful palette which I highly recommend.

When I was buying the palette I was given a sample of Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer which I have been using and loving, when I use the sample up Ill be buying a full size as its stopped shadow gathering in my oily lids. 
Smashbox Double Exposure Palette is out now and costs €44.00.  I give the palette a massive thumbs up. Pin It

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Stila Convertible Color Lotus

We all know that I am Stila's No.1 Fan, I just love the brand and the products and I have a particularly big place in my heart for Stila's award winning Convertible Color's.  My Stila obsession means that I really had to collect all the available shades of Convertible Colour the last on my list was the shade Lotus. 
For many years Convertible Color's have been a standout Stila product and have won many awards, there is a reason they are beauty editors favourite product.  THEY ARE FANTASTIC.  Convertible Colors are a dual lip and cheek cream.... and they do exactly what is said on the box.  You can use the product on your lips and on your cheeks.  All the shades are named after flowers and the outside packaging reflects the shade of the product (making it really easy to grab the shade your after, in addition to them looking adorable). 

To apply the product I like to tap onto my cheeks and lips using my ring finger - although you can use a brush or makeup sponge.  The product leaves a pretty sheen to your cheeks, I tend to use it more during the summer (but that's generally because my skin behaves itself better during the spring/summer).  For many years I only used Convertible Colors on my cheeks but I have started to use them on my lips too (I don't know why I forgot to use them on my lips).  If I want an added bit of sheen I add some Stila Lip Glaze on top. 

Lotus is the perfect shade if your looking for that 90ies lip - you can use the product lightly on the lips patting on with your ring finger for a light wash of colour, or you can go in with a lip brush for more intense lip.

As you can see the product applies beautifully to the lips and is not drying - I find products that are supposed to work on the lips and cheeks tend to only work on one area, Convertible Colors work happily on the cheeks and the lips.

Convertible Colors are one of my handbag must haves, they are such a clever product.  You can just bring out a Convertible Color and have your makeup for your lips and cheeks along with a handy mirror (in adorable packaging) to apply it.  Convertible Colors are one of the reasons I love Stila,  I might love makeup but at heart I am a very low maintenance kinda gal and Stila allows me to look put together very easily.  Laid back and low maintenance beauty. 

You can buy Stila from the counter in Harvey Nicks Dublin, Cara Pharmacy, M & S Beauty Hall Mary Street.  For a full collection of products you can visit  of course if you wanted to visit a museum of Stila you could visit my house where I like to collect all things Stila.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Clarins Garden Escape Spring 2015

I for one am always very excited at the prospect of Spring and Summer, as much as I like red lipstick I love the bright lightness that Spring promises.  Spring Collections are of course brighter and fresher and I love fresh glowing makeup.  Garden Escape* is Clarins Spring Collection for 2015 and its incredibly pretty. 

Lets begin with the centre of the Garden Escape Collection which is the very pretty 6 Colour Eye Palette ( €41).  Clarins Collections usually have an eyeshadow quad so its really nice to see them step away from their standard offering and bring us a really pretty palette.  The outside of the palette is beautiful but its the inside which really stands out. 

The six shadows are a beautiful mix from a pale iridescent white, moving along to garden greens, a peach and pink and finishing off with a perfect brown/taupe shade.  Clarins eye palettes usually comprise very classic neutral shades so this burst of wearable colour is a great surprise.  In addition to this the shadows can be worn wet or dry so you can intensify any look you create.  When I was shown this palette the white shade was used as an overall face highlighter in addition to being an eyeshadow.  Personally I try to stay away from the pink/peach shade because I have very tired eyes at the moment.  I love the brown/taupe shade - proof that Clarins do classic makeup like nobody else. 
I think these shades create a beautiful soft look for the eyes, almost a watercolour wash over the eyes (which of course you could intensify if you were to use the shadows wet).  The palette is really the centerpiece of the collection and I love that Clarins have changed things up a little for spring.
I just had to show you the brown/taupe shade a little closer - its so pretty.

Next up is Blush Prodige: €33 in the shade 08 Sweet Rose - Clarins couldn't have come up with a more accurate name for this blush, the combination of the main shade which you can mix with the smaller lighter pink creates a soft natural flush on the cheeks (as I mentioned you can use the white shadow from the Garden Escape eye shadow palette to highlight the cheek bones).  The look of the collection is soft and pretty and the blush is no different.  I tend to gravitate towards peachy blushes as I have some red in my cheeks, but this creates a beautiful soft pretty flush.

To complement the Garden Escape eye shadow palette the collection has Crayon Khôl Eye Pencil: €18 in the shade 09 Intense Green.  Again its a bit of a move away from the norm for Clarins as the liner is a green shade.  Honestly I am not a big fan of Clarins Eye Pencils and although this is a pretty shade its one of my least favourite products from the collection. 

I tend to be all about the lips (all about the lips) and I have a very special place in my heart for Clarins lip products.  Clarins Lip products feel FANTASTIC on the lips, they also happen to smell delicious so I am always excited to see what they have on offer.  This spring the lip offerings from Clarins are enough to make any makeup junkie very giddy indeed.   There are three different lip products on offer the lipstick Joli Rouge – Brilliant Sheer Shine Lipstick: €21.50,  A lip oil Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil: €19 and finally a coloured lip balm Instant Light Lip Balm Protector: €19.00.

I have Joli Rouge – Brilliant Sheer Shine Lipstick in the shade 22 Coral Dahlia which is a stunning sheer (but not wimpy sheer) moisturising, make your lips feel great lipstick.  I have a little habit of smelling my Clarins Lipsticks before applying them because they smell like sweets mmm delicious.  Coral Dahlia will fit perfectly into the sheer watercolor look the Garden Escape Collection evokes and will happily carry you through Summer. 

Everybody was going absolutely BONKERS about the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil (shown here in the Limited Edition Shade Raspberry) is a cross between a lip gloss and a lip treatment.  It looks like it should be sticky (like putting Raspberry Jam on your lips) but its not, instead its moisturising and plumbing and makes you rub your lips together in delight.  The applicator looks like a platypus tail.  This oil/gel/treatment makes your lips feel fantastic.

Last for lips is the Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector in the shade 06 Rosewood (there are six shades altogether).  I AM OBSESSED.  Its a weird obsession for me because I generally like a more obnoxious shade lip than this and I usually like fuller coverage but this product has blown me away.  I have pretty dry lips and the combination mango, shea and vitamin E leave my lips looking and feeling amazing.  This little beauty has taken up permanent residence in my handbag which is quite a feat considering I had a bit of a resolution to only carry the lip product I am using that day (that is after changing handbags and realizing I was carrying around 14 -FOURTEEN- lip products.  So I carry around my lip of the day and my Rosewood Lip Balm.  Rosewood is a colour I would have initially disregarded but I urge you to check it out, its naturally pretty and I cant oversell how amazing these make my lips feel.


The Garden Escape Collection launched on counters on 19th January and my first choice from the collection would be the Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector followed by the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil and the Garden Escape Eye Shadow palette. 
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Katy Perry Spring Reign

Katy Perry Spring Reign*:  If you told me there was such thing as a "young" floral fragrance I would probably laugh at you.  Truth be known I am not generally a fan of floral fragrances they are not the kind of scent that I am attracted too, added to the fact that floral fragrances then to smell more mature COUNT ME OUT.

I love Katy Perry (in my mind we would be great friends) her fragrances tend to smell a little different than other celebrity fragrances (I find a lot of celebrity fragrances are excessivly sweet and tend to start to smell the same) so I was excited to see a new spring fragrance called Spring Reign.  This new fragrance which is launching in February (a perfect Valentine gift) screams girly and floral the moment you see the box which is pretty and feminine.

You can tell immediately from the pink box and pretty floral pattern that your going to have a feminine and floral fragrance.  The bottle is the same design as Katy's other fragrances with the fragrance itself being pink.  Feminine to the max.

Top Notes: Pink Freesia, Violet Petals, Cassis Buds
Middle Notes: Natural Davana, Gardenia, May Flower Rose
Bottom Notes: Cedarwood Oil, Cashmeran

As you can see from the notes there is a whole lot of floral going on, instead of having a heavy older floral scent the mix is youthful and fresh.  The middle note of the fragrance is held together with the herb Davana which is said to smell differently on everybody.  Spring Reign really surprised me, I was initially drawn in by the pretty packaging (I am a sucker like that) but I really like this unusual youthful floral fragrance.  Spring Reign is a pretty addition to your fragrance wardrobe and being 30mls is easy to pop in your handbag, its not a long lasting fragrance (I don't think there is a celebrity fragrance that is long lasting) but definitely work having a sniff of. I have been wearing Spring Reign for the past couple of weeks what can I say its making me embrace the floral.

Katy Perry Spring Reign will be available from February and 30ml costs €19.95.

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