Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stila Sun, Sea and Splash - Summer 2015

I love summer makeup collections and I LOVE Stila so its safe to say I'm most excited about Stila's summer makeup collections and this years collection is AMAZING.  I feel over the last number of years Stila have had their main colour collections in Summer and Winter and Spring and Autumn are about perfecting the rest of your face/makeup collection. I love this idea because Summer and Winter are the seasons your makeup changes the most and the seasons I have most fun with makeup.

Stila Summer 2015 collection is called Sun, Sea and Splash and its all about having a beautiful dewy glow on your cheeks with a pop of colour on your lips.  Basically its the kind of makeup I love to wear (ideally my skin would be lovely and perfect and I wouldn't need a base).  If you think of a Californian girl on the beach with the warm flush of the sun on her cheeks with a pop of cheeky lip colour.  I was so excited about this collection I took about 765 pictures .... never fear I have managed to narrow it down to about 701.

The product I am most excited about is the revolutionary (I am not exaggerating its flipping amazing) Aqua Glow Watercolor Blush*.  Aqua Glow blushes are a water based gel formula blush - so basically really lightweight - which come in a unique netted pot.

Although I was intrigued when I first saw Aqua Glow I was a little scared because liquid blushes can be a little messy and sometimes tricky to apply.  Stila recommend using their #33 foundation brush.  Basically you can use any of those flat foundation brushes that nobody seems to use for foundation anymore or alternatively you can use your finger.  

Basically you shake the pot (I like to sing "Put the lime in the coconut" but that is optional) and the net allows a small amount of the product to go onto the lid.  This is all you need to cover your cheeks (more than you need and I have big cheeks).   Fear not you don't need to put the net on your face or catch anything with the net its simply a nifty delivery system inspired by Asian beauty houses. Aqua Glow is said to be long wearing and waterproof which they mean you can sweat through not that if you go scuba diving you will still have it on your cheeks.

 Water Lily
The little glow pots have a slight shimmer, I hadn't noticed the shimmer in Water Poppy until it caught in the light. 

Water Poppy and Water Lily
Water Poppy and Water Lily blended out on my hand.

You know the look you see in magazines when somebody has been sitting on the beach, their cheeks are naturally flushed and they are glowing - (not the look I have on the beach when my top lip is sweating and my cheeks are ruddy and I have sweat in my eyes)  That aspirational look, glowing radiant skin with a delicate sheen - that's the look Aqua Glows give.  Natural looking and easy to use. I would describe them as sheer colour but that's not really accurate because that implies you don't get a lot of colour.  You get colour but you can also see the skin underneath.  You get a radiance from them, a (nicer) than natural flush.

Remember its very important to apply blush especially when using a bronzer or your face can look very flat.

Stila are of course famous for their Convertible Color, its won countless beauty awards including being my favourite Stila product so its easy to think they would rest on their laurels and think "well we have cheeks covered".  Aqua Glow show just how innovative Stila are and how they are always creating new and exciting products.  When I was talking to the very lovely Sue (Stila Makeup Artist at Dublin Harvey Nicks) she said she likes to use the Aqua Glow blush along with the Convertible Colors, she even likes to pat a small amount on the eye lid for a simple eye look.  I love getting tips from makeup artists who work with the brand all day, they experiment with the products in ways I would never think about.  If you like makeup/love cheek products or have cheeks you have to try and Aqua Glow.

The Aqua Glow blushes come in 5 colours and cost €25 (or £20).  Aqua Glow describe the product perfectly, they are one of my favourite Stila launches since their return.  I love them so much that I have just picked up another 2 colours. 

As part of the Sun, Sea and Splash collection Stila have released 5 new bright vibrant shades of their Stay All Day Liquid Lipsticks (€20 or £15) in the shades Amalfi (a bright coral pink), Bella (a bright pink), Como (a bright purple) Rosa (a light pink) and Venezia (a bright Coral/red shade).  Its such a bright and fun collection of colours and most of them were made for me.  TWO BRIGHT PINKS.. your spoiling me Stila.
I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick.  I love the colours, how opaque they are, how they don't transfer and how long they last but if I'm being honest sometimes I hate them on my lips.  Its a "Its not you, its my lips" hate, all long lasting lip products show every little flaw on your lips especially if they are dry so your lips need to be in tip top condition to wear them.  My lips tend to be on the dry side so sometimes we don't get on that great.  I have been trying to keep my lips in good condition (the eternal struggle but is not as bad in the summer) and have been using Stila's Lush Lips Water Plumping Primer* (pictured below) Lush Lips is a bit of a weird product and one that I didn't understand to begin with.  Usually when I'm doing my makeup I prep my lips with a lip balm these are usually made of basically Vaseline which sits on the lips, it doesn't sink in and doesn't really moisturise because the skin on the lips doesn't absorb.  Lush Lips felt almost dry when I applied it (but it was the lack of Vaseline in the product), its a very different consistency to what I was used to.  The water in the product evaporates when it hits the lips but the product evens out the lines left by dry lips leaving a perfect base to apply a long lasting lip product.  Ill hold my hands up and say I didn't understand the product for ages but once I got my hands on the new Stay All Day Shades they are the perfect pairing. 

The Shades Amalfi* which is a beautiful bright pink and Rosa* which is so pale its almost a white with a touch of pink mixed in.  When you have your lips prepped and ready Stay All Day are fantastic lip products,  I can wear my favourite bright shades and not worry about them fading or coming off.  They last through snacks and drinks - perhaps not a greasy dinner but they really do last a long time.  More importantly for me I can kiss my cuddly little baby without fear of them coming off, smudging or fading.  If I go a little overboard blowing raspberries there might be slight transfer but nothing to worry about.  These new bright shades of Stay All Day have allowed me to feel like myself (the lover of bright lips) and not just a new mammy.  See I'm still Mags. I'm wearing bright lips AND I can kiss the baby.  I am winning at life.

Rosa is my least favourite shade and I find it most difficult to wear as it seems to show the lips faults.  I'm not quite sure who this shade would suit?  I am not a fan of nude or pale shades so I am perhaps not the best judge.  All pics are were taken without prepping the lips to give a good idea how they look on normal lips.

 Amalfi is a bright and wonderful shade that brightens the face.

I loved the bright new shades so much I also picked up the shade Bella (a blue based pink) and Venezia a Red/Coral shade.

Venezia is the perfect bright and happy shade to wear with lots of bronzer - its the perfect mix red/coral mix. 

Oh Bella you should have been called Mags - your amazing, vibrant and happy and my perfect shade.  I have big love for Bella

Its impossible for me to pick a favourite shade out of Amalfi, Bella and Venezia they all add such life and vitality to the face and they have been a constant part of my summer face. When I am wearing them I feel like myself and when I apply these wonderful shades they make me smile.

Aqua Glow add well needed radiance to my very tired face,  the glowing skin looks very natural and is perfect for an easy summer look.

Stila Sun, Sea and Splash is the perfect Summer Makeup Collection.  If I had to recommend one product it would definitely be the Aqua Glow they are beautiful. If I am wearing Aqua Glow, a stay all day lip shade and a pair of sunglasses (for the dark circles) you would never imagine that I haven't slept since 2014.

The new Stila products are in their new slick golden packaging which is really pretty and reflects what a quality brand Stila is.  I really like the new look of the packaging although I miss the Stila Girl a little so lets hope they give us a throw back to her at some stage.

There are a few other products in the Sun, Sea and Splash range including Stay all Day Bronzer for Face and Body (this comes in 3 shades, Stila have always made amazing bronzers and this Matt one is no exception and will last a lifetime),  Aqua Glow Perfecting Primer  (an amazing cooling stick primer which cools the skin while adding moisture and reducing redness - perfect for warm days and beach holidays.  The stick form makes it perfect for on the go application). Aqua Glow Perfecting Bronzer (a liquid bronzer which you can mix with foundation or wear alone).

Stila is available in Ireland from Harvey Nichols Dundrum,  Sam McCauleys Fairgreen Carlow,  Sam McCauleys Redmond Square Wexford, Sam McCauleys Tralee Manor West Shopping Centre, Cara Pharmacy Quayside Shopping Centre Sligo and Marks & Spencer Mary St Dublin.  You can also pick up Stila from Stila.co.uk.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Essence Gel Nail Polish

Nail Polish is not something I like to spend a lot of money on.  I want pretty nails I just don't want to spend a fortune on them.  I have bought the odd expensive polish and over the years have discovered they are not worth the money.  Sure they might come in pretty colours but they don't last any longer than drugstore/chemist nail polishes and in some cases they chip much easier (Chanel I am looking at you).  

Essence is a brand that I often identify with a much younger person than myself (I am an old lady).  The stand does shout "teen" and my local stand is always surrounded by teenagers.  I have recently been trying out some of Essences products and I am really impressed (blown away by The Lash Princess False Lash Mascara).  I am always impressed by the shade range in Essence Nail polishes which are always like a pretty frame around the stand.  Essence have recently stepped up their game by launching a range of gel nail polishes*.

Everybody loves the look of a gel manicure and Essence are putting the gel manicure at every body's fingertips by releasing a massive range of 46 gel polish shades.  They literally have every shade you can imagine and cost (wait for it) €1.79.... I know ONE SEVENTY NINE.   They are literally cheaper than chips.

Instead of having to book into a salon you simply pick up one of Essence Gel base coat and top coat (€3.09 each) and one of the many shades.  There is no need for a UV lamp, no sitting around.  Simply apply the base coat, your chosen colour and your gel top coat.  The simplest and most affordable gel nails you could imagine.

The finished look is beautiful, when I was wearing the mint shade I was complemented on my shellac and asked what salon had I got it done in.  What I love even more is you can easily remove the polish with any nail polish remover.  Come on hands up who has picked off a gel manicure  ruining your nail bed? 
 At €3.09 the base coat and top coat are also an amazing price and I'm sure you can use these with your existing nail polish collection.

I am blown away by Essence Gel Nail polishes.  Super Shiny, long lasting (not as long as a salon gel manicure but they lasted a good 6 days on me and I am very hard on my nails), easy to apply and very affordable.  Whats not to love?  Even if Essence is not a stand you would usually visit at €1.79 you would be crazy not to pick up some fashion nail polish shades. 
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

YSL Aquatic Revolution Spring Summer 2015 - Full Metal Shadows, ROUGE PUR COUTURE VERNIS À LÈVRES POP WATER and Nails Oh My

I am quite partial to some YSL beauty.  The packaging is very grown up and glamorous, I just love a fancy lipstick and YSL manage to have wonderful lip products in fancy pants packaging.  DING DING DING IM SOLD.  For Spring Summer they have some very interesting products 2 of which I am in love with and the last I am a bit Meh.  As they say 2 outta 3 ain't bad and since I have such big huge love for 2 I can forgive the 3rd item.  (Spoiler alert the disappointing product is the nail polish and that's mostly cause I don't get that excited about nail polish).
First up is the Full Metal Shadow* in No.6 Pink Cascade.  Full Metal Shadows are a collection of 10 liquid eye shadows €29.00 with 16 hour lasting power.  Liquid eye shadows are all the rage this summer (Armani having recently released a similar product).  Its the perfect easy kinda summer product and the metallic shine from the YSL products definitely give a glamorous San Tropez vibe rather than a walk along the seafront at Bray (not that doesn't have its own bit of glamour - Bray has an Aquarium don't ya know).  I was a little sceptical about this mostly because I have oily lids and shadows tend to crease especially anything liquid so for years I have avoided anything liquid or cream on my eyes.  Pink Cascade was a wonderful discovery, a light and airy Champagne colour with a tint of pink. One swipe with the applicator covers the lid with a beautiful subtle sparkle.  I have been loving using this alone and blending it out with my finger above the crease (don't you love easy makeup in the summer), if you like add a slick of liner for a polished wide eyed look.  I have also been LOVING using Pink Cascade as a base (blending it up the eye) and adding one of my new stunning Urban Decay shadows (read about them here) on top.  Pink Cascade amps up the shades of the eye shadows and also acts as an all over base colour.  A word of warning don't apply too much product or you will get creases but that's a bit of a no brainer - its a liquid, apply too much it will not get a chance to set and it will stay liquid.  While there are a selection of shades in the range Pink Cascade is a perfect Pink Champagne shade,  I am always a bit terrified of pink or similar shades around my eyes but this is simply beautiful.
Here is a heavy swatch of Pink Cascade.  It reminds me of my beloved Stila Kitten with a hint more warmth in it.  
 A blended out Pink Cascade  - when set the liquid shadow doesn't look wet, or so metallic you look like a robot.  Im not sure if it last the whole 16 hours like it claims but it definitely lasts a long time and doesn't crease on me.
 I love a good lip product and I have fallen pretty hard for the Rouge Pur Couture Vernis A Levres Pop Water (phew) in Dewy Red*.  Can I start by saying Holy cow what a long name.  There are 12 shades of Pop Water glosses.  They leave the looks looking like you have been sucking on a Ice pop from heaven.  Your lips feel moisturised and heavenly.   The gloss manges to look both watery and full of colour at the same time with no sticky mess.  To put it simply its Divine to apply and wear and the colour is simply stunning.  They stay glossy for a while leaving a slight stain on the lips but they are definitely not a lip stain in the traditional sense.  They cost €33.00 but I am so in love I am contemplating my next shade.  I am blown away at how Dewy Red achieves both intense AND sheer colour.  The dichotomy of this really excites my Gemini personality not to mention that it feels beautiful on the lips. Its like a jelly has been melted and put on your lips (in a good way).

 Pink Cascade and Dewy Red have been my dream team of make up products lately.  I haven't had that much time to apply makeup and I have been loving how simple they are to use but I am still feeling more than a little glamorous when wearing them (except if I forget concealer- then I look like the Walking Dead).  They look so pretty on and the packaging looks so pretty.

I am not a huge nail polish fan, its one of my least favourite beauty products simply because I am hard on my nails (last week I tiled behind the bathroom sink and put together some shelving units) so my hands never quite manage to stay perfectly manicured.  I would happily spend €33.00 on a Water Pop gloss (because they are amazing) but the idea of spending €24.00 on a nail polish doesn't appeal to me at all especially when there are so many amazing drug store nail brands.  What can I say I spend my money on my completion and my lips.  There are lots of nail polish addicts out there with ladylike hands (I will hide my nails when I see you) who will love La Laque Couture Pop Water.  I have the shade Fuchsia Rain* which is a sheer pink shade.  It makes the nails look very healthy and would be lovely in a work environment.

As you can see you get a very very sheer wash of colour from Fuchsia Rain.  If I am being honest this shade kinda reminds me of a nail polish my nana used to have for fixing ladders in her tights so I might be having a mental block on this one. 

I am in love with Pink Cascade and Dewy Red, I am excited to apply them and delighted at the results (delira and excira).

YSL Aquatic Revolution Collection is out on counters now and Im going to have to check out more Pop Water lips?

This makes me curious, what area of makeup do you spend the most money on?  Are you a lipstick junkie like myself, are you a mascara expert? Every makeup lover has their vice (or two). Pin It

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Clarins Summer 2015 - Aquatic Treasures Summer Bronzing Compact.

Its June outside - no seriously.  June and November haven't switched around in some kind of freaky Friday swap.  ITS JUNE.  ITS COLD but its Ireland so we are used to this kinda wacky lack of sunshine.  Chances are we will get scurvy quicker than a natural glowing tan in Ireland but that's where Summer makeup comes in.  I LOVE summer makeup collections.  Its the most wonderful time of the year (I know that's a Christmas thing but seriously there have been hail stones so if the weather wants to be weird so can I).   Clarins summer collections are always exciting and this year is no different.

This summer Clarins collection is called Aquatic Treasures and its beautiful and also quite simple and not overloaded with products.  Sometimes we can be a bit overwhelmed by a makeup collection and the whole vibe of Aquatic Treasures is bronzed glowing skin with a pop of teal (aquatic duh) on the eyes.  Its simple, its tropical and its glamorous.
The stand out product every year of Clarins Summer collection is the bronzing compact* (this year the eye liner also looks like an amazing colour but I am not a huge fan of Clarins eye liners).  The bronzer costs €38.00 and is fairly massive, it will last you a LONG TIME.

The packaging is beautiful - its simple and classic in an amber shade that has "I'm about to have a classy summer" written all over it.

As you can see the bronzer is pretty much the size of the palm of my hand - huge.

The bronzer consists of 4 shades of brown starting with a light shade and move round clockwise to darker shades.  This allows you to use all the shades together or each individual shade.  Since it is the beginning of summer I have been using the top 2 shades (the lightest) blended together to create a gentle bronzed look.  I have also been using these shades above my eye lid crease to bring the shades into my eye look (mostly its cause I'm pretending I am a makeup artist and this is something I have seen makeup artists do).  This is not really just a bronzer, this bronzer is a collection of bronzers.  They are Matt shades but they don't leave the skin looking flat or more importantly they don't leave the face looking dirty like some bronzers can (admittedly that might be my slap dash application). 

Its a beautifully pigmented bronzer without being overpoweringly so.  You know how some bronzers can pick up too much product and you end up looking like a tropical version of Adam Ant?  (Is that reference too old?  for you young folk he had stripes on his face) this gives just the right amount of product.  I have been using this bronzer for a few weeks now and I can still see the design in the powder (it will last forever). 

I have to admit I love bronzers and this one is particularly lovely and easy to apply.  For now I will stick with the lighter shades on my face and since the compact is so big I wont feel guilty about using the darker shades on my chest and shoulders. What are you looking forward to from summer makeup? 
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