Thursday, October 29, 2015

Stila Modern Goddess Autumn 2015

Stila's Autumn Collection is deliciously titled "Modern Goddess" which could really describe the makeover/update the brand has been going through.  Gone are the cardboard boxes (they did that back in the day to be environmentally friendly), gone are the illustrated Stila Girls (personally I'm hoping they make the odd reappearance) the brand has been transformed into a collection of Golden Goddess products for the Modern Gal.

 The summer collection was all about beautifully bright lips and produced my favourite product of the year so far Aqua Glow Blush so I was quite excited to see a similar product in the Modern Goddess Collection. 

First up is the Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector - Basically its a compact BB Cream without the ridiculous name (snort).  OK so the name is ridiculous but it is a perfector of pores which has the consistency of a putty and I think they just added the extra P for their own entertainment.  You can use Poreless Perfector on its own as a foundation or over your foundation for an airbrushed look.  I'm not somebody with a whole lot of time at the moment (turns out babies don't enjoy watching you apply elaborate makeup) so I have mostly been using Poreless Perfector as my base,  I find that it works really well to cover my flaws but sometimes I feel (depending on what moisturiser I use) it can feel a little drying on my skin (that could be due to my skin being completely bonkers at the moment - dry on some parts, spotty on others).  I find Poreless Perfector works much better for me to top up my foundation when out and about (it has a great mirror) and to perfect my makeup look.  You can also use a slightly darker shade as a contour but by now you are probably all up to your eyebrows in contour products.   If you like a quick and easy product like a BB Cream but the convenience of on the go application (it has a sponge and a mirror) try Poreless Perfector but I dare you to say the full name 5 times in a row. Perfectly Poreless Putty Perfector costs €38.00 so its quite expensive for a finishing product, Stila has some other amazing foundations that I would recommend instead like the Stay all Day Foundation and my personal favourite The Illuminating Liquid Foundation which is beautiful.  I recently spied Sarah Lucero talk about Aqua Glow Foundation which is a very exciting prospect that I hope we see next year.  

Next we have a bit of a super duo the Huge Extreme Lash Mascara (€23.50) and Lash Stunner Extreme Last Primer.   We all know that I am a massive Stila fan (perhaps the biggest) and I feel such love for the brand its pretty much like my child but I have never really loved a Stila Mascara (I did like the MAJOR MAJOR Mascara but I would apply it saying Major in a Victoria Beckham -another Stila fan- accent and that amused me greatly).
Ill be first to admit I have crap lashes, I am openly jealous of my 8 month old baby who has long and full lashes.  Mascara has though job when working on my lashes.  Huge Extreme Lash Mascara is a great mascara ...simple as that.  It gives you volume, curl and length.   Its brush has lots of bristles close together for maximum length (if your a fan of Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara you will Love this one).  I have been loving the effect that it gives to my lashes and have been using it every day along with its partner in crime the Lash Stunner Extreme Lash Primer.  Please don't part me from them. 
I have come to the conclusion that I need a primer - I have no lashes and lash primers help with that, but they are usually white and then you have to try and cover the white and you invariably miss a bit and look like you have snowflakes on the end of your lashes even though it hasn't snowed since 2010.  Stila are clever little Kittens and created their primer in a natural brown colour so even if you miss a bit your covered.  Lash Stunner has two different types of fibers to help maximise the length  and look of your lashes.  We could talk science but who cares cause it actually works and leaves me with fab long lashes.  What I love most about this combo is your lashes last all day, I have used other primers where I have looked amazing walking out the door but gradually during the day the mascara crumbles and smudges leaving sad flat lashes and black flakes on my cheeks.  I love how open and bright it makes my eyes look when the reality is I am mostly feeling sleepy and dim.  Well done Stila this is a fabulous mascara.

I have saved the best for last the Got Inked Cushion Eye Liner (€26.00) I am not a Makeup Artist I am simply a makeup lover and even for the most experienced Makeup Artists lining eyes can be tricky, as I am getting a little older (I could say I'm getting more "Mature" but who am I kidding) my eye lids have lost the smooth surface and are making eye liner application a bit of a bumpy ride.  I have stayed away from any kind of gel or liquid liner for some time preferring instead to tight line my lids or use shadow as a smudged liner. 

Got Inked hold the product in a sponge which you dip your brush, its a really lightweight liquid that glides across your eyelid.  When I have used gel liners in the past I have found the consistency can leave blobs of product (which means you have to thicken the line and pretty soon you look like you are doing your best Amy Winehouse impression).  Got Inked is highly pigmented liquid liner that just applies magically - no joke its like I woke to to be able to magically apply perfect liner.  Stila recommend using their very fancy La Quill Precision Eye Liner Brush (which is really cute and looks like an old fashioned writing quill) but if your like me you probably have a few liner brushes floating about.  I have tried a few different brushes (thinking these magic new skills might be down to the brush/product combo) and Got Inked works wonderfully on all of them, I would recommend using a synthetic brush if you can and cleaning your brush straight after use (if the liquid dries it could damage a natural haired brush).  I still have bumpy creepy lids but somehow Got Inked glides smoothly and evenly over them.

Got Inked comes in 6 fantastic colours including traditional black and Copper. 
You can see the unique sponge which holds the liquid - no more heartbreak as your gel product dries out and separates from the side of the jar

Here are swatches of Amethyst Ink and Blue Sapphire Ink, they are simply stunning shades which reflect beautifully.  I tend to wear a very small liner and these shades add a sparkle of interest and brighten the eye.  If your feeling slightly more adventurous you could use these over the lids as an eyeshadow/eyeshadow base.  How beautiful are these shades?
One of my favourite shades is Smoky Quartz Ink which is a blackened gold, its such a wearable colour and brings out flecks of gold that I never realised were in my eyes. 

Smoky Quartz on my eye and I am just delighted about it.  Lining your eye really does add definition, I have been keeping the eyes really simple with just a swipe of a Got Inked line.

Stila are creating amazing new products and putting them in magic little pots, Got Inked has joined Aqua Blush as my favourite products so far of the year.

The Modern Goddess Collection is out now at the very least you need to check out the Got Inked Cushion Eye Liners.  Pin It

Monday, October 19, 2015

Current Favourite Nails #Manimonday Sally Hansen Miracle Gel & Essence The Gel

I am the first to hold my raggedy hands up and say "I'm a bit crap with nail polish".  I am quite hard on my hands and in my job basically if you see somebody with un-chipped nail polish you know they are not doing any work.  I find it heart breaking to paint your nails wait AGES for them to dry only for them to chip really quickly.  Then you have to take the polish off and I tend to not have the time or the patience for changing my nail polish every other day.
I used to be one of those people who would keep on top of nail polish trends like the "must have" Chanel shade or basically copy which every Essie or OPI shade Laura from Buy Now Blog Later (back when she was Lollipop26 although I still worship at her beauty loving feet). Recently I have been using two brands of nail polish fairly exclusively and they are Essence and Sally Hansen.
Essence has become a bit of a lifesaver for me when it comes to nails they have a massive (and I mean MASSIVE) selection of shades which is constantly being updated.  I find it so handy that the stands indicate when there is a new shade with a bright and happy NEW in front of the polish.  I have been using Essence The Gel* polishes which cost €2.29 literally as cheep as chips (or 9 cent more than my local chipper).  Essence The Gel range is basically like applying any nail varnish.  First you apply The Gel base coat then you apply the colour (I usually apply 2 thin coats) then you apply The Gel top coat.  You don't need a lamp or any special equipment. You purchase the base and top coat separately and they cost €3.09 each.

As the name gel indicates you get a very shiny finish to the nails and although it doesn't last me 2 weeks (usually about 5 days which is long for me) it is long lasting and I have been asked where I got my shellac.   Essence always have great seasonal and fashion tones, this winter its all about the dark shades (well it is Winter) and nudes.   They are such a bargain, for me they are guilt free shopping. I have another post on essence nails here.

My other go to nail brand is Sally Hansen Miracle Gel*, again you can get a great range of colours along with seasonal releases.  The Miracle Gel polishes cost €9.99 and you buy the top coat separately also for €9.99 (although you can pick up nifty little kits with a colour and a topcoat and they work out at better value if your picking up the topcoat for the first time).  The Miracle Gel topcoat doesn't require a lamp or any special gadgets in fact the sun cures the top coat so the longer your in the sun the more resilient the topcoat becomes. Don't fear Irish ladies who haven't seen the sun this year, the topcoat dries just fine if your sitting on your couch watching Eastenders with a cup of tea.   Again your getting a super shiny finish but more importantly its long (longer) lasting.  

Last week I wore an Orly nail polish and a Sephora Formula X polish and I was horrified at how quickly they chipped.  I will be sticking to my Essence and Sally Hansen polishes.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

Gucci Bamboo - #FragranceFriday

Its that time of year, some people get excited about winter clothes I get excited about new fragrance launches.  I predict one of the big launches this Autumn is going to be Gucci Bamboo*.  People are crazy about Gucci fragrances but unfortunately my first and only (until now) Gucci fragrance was Gucci by Gucci a gift.  Himself was in a panic one Christmas and bought the bestselling fragrance.  It is a heady and strong scent, I found it so overpowering. Not for me at all.  

To say I was a little cautious about Gucci Bamboo is an understatement.  I shouldn't have worried everything about Gucci Bamboo is softer from the delicate pink box to the modern and sleek (with a nod to the historic bamboo handle).

Do you have a perfume wardrobe?  Do you have certain fragrances that you only wear in the winter and others you only wear in the summer?  Gucci Bamboo is one of those timeless fragrances that you can wear at all times Summer, Winter, Day or Night.

The fragrance is quite unusual as its fresh yet intense but is never overpowering.  Its notes contain floral and amber, if I read this before smelling I would think its a heady strong fragrance.  Gucci Bamboo is described as a Musky White Floral  the main Notes are; Orange Blossom, Ylang Ylang, Casablanca Lily, Vanilla, Sandalwood, Amber accords.

Gucci Bamboo is a wonderful departure from overly sweet fragrances.  Its not too floral and not so musky its heady, the unique mix of scents creates a feminine scent one that I would describe as Womanly as opposed to girly.

The bottle is simple and clean with an Art Deco inspired design (and I don't think there is a woman on earth who doesn't appreciate a bit of Art Deco).  The lid of the fragrance is a reminder of Gucci beginnings as a luggage designer.  Gucci's bags historically had a Bamboo handle and the fragrances has a sleek silver nod to the iconic Gucci bags.

Everything about Gucci Bamboo from the bottle to the scent tells me the fragrance is going to be a modern classic.  Its a beautiful and complex scent that is incredible easy (and flattering) to wear. 

Whats the Damage?  Gucci Bamboo Eau de Parfum:   30ml, €63.00  |  50ml, €87.00  | 75ml, €112.00

(Dont forget Christmas Gift sets which are always better value Christmas Line-up: 30ml & Bodylotion 50ml Coffret €63.00  |  50ml & Bodylotion 100ml coffret €87.00)

P.S.  I have since gone back and had a sniff of Gucci by Gucci and although I still think is a very strong fragrance I think its quite nice, its funny how your "nose" changes and you like and dislike different scents.  
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Thursday, October 8, 2015

Redken One United

I am very lucky with my hair, its thick strong and one of my best assets - which is great cause hopefully it distracts from my wobbly belly.  Lately my hair has been a little bonkers, some of it has been grand, some of it needs to spend some time on the naughty step and some of it has taken great restraint not to shave it off.  Since I had the baby I have had some new hair growth unfortunately a lot of the hair around the hairline has grown back a completely different texture.  I have more or less straight hair but the new hair growth is..... well my hairdresser kindly described it as pubic (and she doesn't know anything about Karen from LovelyGirlieBits and her publicles).  Its best described as frizzy and at worst Krusty the Clown.  The hair from the side just sticks out - which is mental considering the rest of my hair is straight.

Enter Redken One United*  I have been relying heavily on this little beauty to keep my hair in check.  Its a bit of a magic potion in a bottle which claims to have 25 benefits.  I spray this on freshly washed hair and I find it helps smooth and tame my hair.  It calms down the Krusty bits - it doesn't get rid of them altogether but it smooth's them out and makes them manageable and has stopped me from taking a razor out and shaving my head.

My magic potion claims to have 25 Benefits which is a big claim so lets go through them and see if I agree

  1. Conditions - absolutely agree 
  2. Nourishes - absolutely agree 
  3. Improves manageability - absolutely agree before I use it I cant put a brush through ol Krusty 
  4. Helps even porous hair - absolutely agree I have highlighted hair 
  5. Reduced dryness - absolutely agree 
  6. Detangles - absolutely agree and is my lifesaver
  7. Instant results - absolutely agree 
  8. Ideal cutting lotion - ?? its wet so I suppose
  9. Primes hair for styling - agree am not the best for styling my hair
  10. Helps prevent breaking from brushing - absolutely agree 
  11.  Safe for colour treated hair - absolutely agree
  12. Helps prevent heat damage - absolutely agree 
  13. Helps prevent split ends - absolutely agree 
  14. Helps seal in the hair cuticle - not sure haven't examined
  15. Safe for ombre hair - kinda like saying safe if you have a head ?
  16. Helps shield v external aggressors - I have been trying to stay away from aggression :)   
  17. Gives silky touch - oh yeah it does  absolutely agree 
  18. Adds Smoothness - Kinda the same as no 17 isn't it but absolutely agree 
  19. Adds shine - use blondes don't have that much shine but definitely better after I use
  20. Helps control frizz - HELL YEAH IT ROCKS AT IT
  21. Anti - static - I haven't been rubbing baloons on my head to check
  22. Controls fly always - hell if it tames the Krusty bits who cares about fly aways.
  23. Makes blow dry easier - absolutely agree easier and quicker
  24. Style refresher - I hadn't realised - guess what ill be trying tomorrow
  25.  Lightweight results - absolutely agree.
For the most part it does exactly what it claims to do, although 25 claims is stretching it a bit (aren't smooth and silky kind of the same thing).   One United manages to do all these without weighing your hair down and has been a life saver over the last few weeks.

If the 25 benefits aren't enough for you Redken One United is sulphate free paraben free and also contains Coconut Oil so its basically hitting all the marks.  I have been using One United religiously when I wash my hair, it helps me comb through my hair and for me is becoming a necessary step even if I am just air-drying my hair.  I give Redken One United a big thumbs up - in fact if I were to spill it I would be like Homer on the ground dipping my hair in the growth serum.

Redken One United is out now and costs €21.80

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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Peter Mark Autumn Discount

We have a little "Heads Up" (snarf snarf) for you - Peter Mark have a wonderful Autumn promotion for you.  Grab €10 off Colour and €15 off Highlights.  Who can argue with that?

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Cocoa Brown Instant Bronzing Gels

Last week the blogs across Ireland melted the Internet with news of a new Cocoa Brown product, I could pretend that I delayed this post on purpose but I'm just not that organised (more on that later).  Cocoa Brown is a brand that is very close to the hearts and tanning routines in Ireland.  I first "met on the Internet" Marissa Carter all the way back in 2012 when I reviewed a spray tan in Carter Beauty (read about it here),  I was delighted when she launched Cocoa Brown and even though I'm not a massive fan of tanning she won me over by creating a quick One Hour Tan (GENIUS) that is not as smelly as other fake tans (EVEN MORE GENIUS). 

Marissa knows what Irish girls want, they want to tan, they don't want the hastle, the smell or the inflated price tag and they want to be able to pick it up in everybody's favourite shop Penneys.  The new Cocoa Brown products are Instant Bronzing Gels* (one a matte shade and one a shimmer).  As with all Cocoa Brown products you can be sure that they are suitable for even the most sensitive skin (Marissa herself has very sensitive skin so to pass the Cocoa Brown test its essential that the products are suitable and gentle on sensitive skin). 

To be honest with you lately tanning hasn't been on my radar at all, I could say its being a new mam that I am so busy I don't have time but that's not true I'm just completely disorganised.  I jump out of the shower and realise I should have put on One Hour Tan before I got in the shower (lets not even talk hair removal or cleaning the house).  In a way I am grateful for our lack of summer.  I didn't really think about a instant wash off tanning product, I didn't think I needed it but Marissa as always  was thinking ahead.

The shimmer gel creates a beautiful shade with a delicate shimmer, the matte shade looks a bit scary but blends easily into a natural looking tan (not too dark).
This is a badly blended (oops) example I think Cocoa Brown products give a wonderfully natural shade which isn't too dark or fake looking.

During my adventure last weekend I went from thinking I didn't need an instant tan to it saving my pale skin.  I was going to one of my best friends weddings (this sounds like a chick flick) and because of me being disorganised (and google maps saying the journey was 30 minutes shorter) we arrived at Farnham Castle (somehow we arrived at the staff entrance) at 3.15 and the wedding was due to start at 3.30.  Luckily we had hair and made up done (kinda) so we quickly checked into our room and myself and my bestie had 4 minutes to get ready.  In those 4 minutes we managed to get dressed and apply Cocoa Brown Instant Bronzing Gel (I needed it on my arms and Orla needed it on her legs).  Instant Gel is a light formula which dries quickly and doesn't come off on clothes.  Honestly most of that 4 minutes were spent trying to put on my hold in knickers.  Cocoa Brown just took a quick wipe and easy blend on my legs.  We might not have been the most calm and composed wedding guests but we were dressed and polished (belly held in) and glowing with Cocoa Brown Shimmer Gel and all in 4 minutes.  

Instant Tan Gels are perfect for when your in a rush (thats me 99% of the time), when the sun appears withough warning and because its so gentle you can use it as a liquid bronzer on your face. 

One of my favourite things about the Cocoa Brown products is the amazing signature scent Tahitian Gardenia.  It transports me to a tropical paradise (that I have never visited).  Cocoa Brown tan does still have the slightest hint of fake tan but the Instant Tan Bronzing Gels are pure Tahitian goodness.  I would absolutely love if Cocoa Brown released a body lotion with their Signature scent.... scrap that I would love if they released a shower gel, body scrub AND a body lotion with Tahitian Gardenia. 
What will Marissa have in store for us next ? (Hopefully a Cocoa Brown scented Shower gel and lotion)  As Marissa is an award winning facialist I would love to see her develop products for the face, she is really going to tontour the world.  Marissa always reminds me a little of Tinkerbell, she is petite and pretty but more than that she is feisty, determined and full of ideas.  Whats lovely about Marissa she uses her position to help and promote others (not to step on people) she really is an inspiration.    Sounds mad but for me Marissa is Ireland's own magical fairy livening up our pale and pasty skins without emptying our purses.  The whole Cocoa Brown team are just lovely and it must be a joy to work there.

Cocoa Brown Instant Tan Bronzing Gels should be coming to a penneys near you soon and cost €6.99.

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