Friday, December 23, 2016

The Body Shop - Perfect Last Minute Gifting

Hello last minute shoppers - never fear The Body Shop is here.  Dont let the panic get to you, you can do this.  I am quite partial to The Body Shop not just because I have fond memories of my lovely mammy in law picking me up a Body Shop gift every Christmas mainly its because I adore their seasonal bath fragrances.  

Of course The Body Shop source their ingredients ethically and their packing help fund schools in underprivileged areas of the world - the main reason your going to be loving The Body Shop this Christmas is you wont have to wrap the gifts (they look that fab).  Just think your basically becoming a saint by shopping in the Body Shop - maybe not an "actual saint" but you can rest assured your purchases are doing good work.
I am particularly fond of the Vanilla Chai* which smells like amazing Christmas biscuits mmmm- if that is a little too sweet for you there is also Spiced Apple and Frosted Berries fragrances.

The Body Shop have a huge selection of Christmas gifts from their traditional bath range to their Spa of the World Collection and Skin Care Gift Sets, basically they have something for the very young to the very old and even the hipster in-between (try the Spa of the World for the hipster in your life).  

Reggie the Monkey is the Face of The Body Shop Christmas Collection (he is also a sponge)
The Body Shop is also great if you want to grab some stocking stuffers - I love The Body Butters (I love the Vanilla Chai, nearly as much as I loved the Ginger scent they released a number of years ago).
How adorable is this Christmas Babule (containing Strawberry Body Butter 50ml and Strawberry Lip Butter 10ml) housed in a reusable Christmas Bauble all for €13.50.

Good luck shoppers - go forth and conquer the crowds. Pin It

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Coach The Fragrance

Its the most wonderful time of the year, especially if your a fan of fragrance, not only are there tons of new fragrance launches (including the Coach one I am about to tell you about), even more exciting you can pick up a fragrance gift set (or coffret as the fragrance peeps call them) which is normally the same price as the fragrance. This is a wonderful way of layering fragrance and also makes a gift a little more special.  

Coach as a accessory brand is relatively new to Ireland, it was a brand that I first came across on a trip to New York (in Chinatown, if your bags are being copied in Chinatown your kinda a big deal).  To me the brand is very American and will always remind me of New York.

Coach are having a bit of a youthful face lift with new bag designs, a new face of the brand Chloë Grace Moretz and a new fragrance.
When I first smelled the fragrance I immediately dismissed it as a youthful fragrance, you can tell from the advertising campaign and with Chloë Grace Moretz as the face Coach are definitely trying to target a younger market.  As we know fragrances develop and I was delighted to find that Coach developed into a interesting fragrance.

Top Notes:  Raspberry Leaf, Pink Pepper, Pear
Heart Notes: Turkish Rose, Gardenia, Cyclamen
Base Notes: Suede, Musk, Sandalwood, Cashmeran

The first notes are the youthful and sweet but the rose develops nicely making it more complex than the youthful fragrance I had dismissed it as. The fragrance develops from a sweet fruity scent to a rose -musk fragrance.  The brand describe the fragrance as a "floriental fruity scent" which is a perfect description.  If you like the idea of a rose fragrance but would like something deeper than a floral Coach would be a good pick.  While its defiantly a mass market fragrance (the sweetness for the younger women, the musk for some sexy sophistication and classic rose) this idea of the changeable woman is the idea behind the fragrance which is inspired by "the spontaneous energy and chic downtown style of New York City".  The fragrance is supposed to be sweet, sexy and sophisticated, as women we are rarely one or the other. 

The bottle is well thought out - the design is simple yet sophisticated, the logo on the front mirroring Coach's classic design.  Instead of a lid, the spray cap is shaped like a gold turnlock (which turns to open and close the fragrance- an excellent touch) emulating the closures on Coach's bags.  There is also a leather tag on the bottle, again a nod to the brands bag designs. 

Couch is out now and costs 30ML €45, 50ML €70 and 90ML €90

If your looking to treat yourself to fragrance over the Christmas period, hold off until the sales and you might be able to nab yourself a half priced gift set..... sure you would have to buy 2.

Bonus Bit: I am really interested in fragrance, alas my knowledge is severely lacking but I am willing to learn and I love to discover more about fragrance and notes.   I recently discovered The Perfume Pros  who really are the perfume experts.  They are so knowledgeable and friendly, they make fragrance relatable.  They are my must see You Tube video every week.

My long time blogging friend Andreea (formerly of Artdonatella) has relaunched her blog as Andreea Makeup Scent she is the most passionate person I know about fragrance so if your looking for a fragrance related read check out Makeup Scent.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Beyonce Heat Seduction

Its safe to say that Beyonce can do no wrong.  She is quite literally a goddess on earth.  I remember seeing her perform and hadn't been a huge fan but she literally took my breath away.   She was like an amazonian angel performing on the stage in front of me.  Funnily enough I think Beyonce is adored more by women than men (who of course appreciate her) but women love her.   

Its safe to say when your a cultural phenomena like Beyonce you have your fingers in plenty of pies.   Heat Seduction* is Beyonce's latest fragrance release which is said to be inspired by her sensual and seductive side.

Heat seduction isn't as heady and heavy as a fragrance "inspired by sensual and seduction" would suggest, its also not an overly sweet fragrance which celebrity fragrances can rely on.  Heat Seduction is a pleasant almost modest fragrance that will translate well on most people, its not a particularly "young" fragrance as is the case with celebrity fragrances.  Its an easy to wear fragrance.  Its said that it could be worn day or night but would probably more suitable for easy daytime wear.  

Top Notes: Exotic Spices, Dewberry, Mandarin Orange
Middle Notes; Orchid, Ginger Flower, Freesia
Base Notes: Amber, Musk, Labdanum

The amber and musk come through the fragrance at the end but its never too heavy.

The bottle is the same shape as the original Heat fragrance but it is in an amber bottle to reflect the amber base note.

Boots have a gift set of Heat Seduction which costs €30 and contains 30ml of the fragrance as well as a shower gel and a body lotion. Pin It

Monday, December 19, 2016

Katy Perry Mad Love Eau De Parfum

When I first laid eyes on Katy Perry's latest fragrance release Mad Love* I thought it looked very sophisticated.  The box as well as the lid of the perfume had a marble effect (which everybody loves these days) and the pink pastel bottle was very cute.  

Of course people thought at the time thought it was in reference to Bad Blood by Taylor Swift "You know it used to be mad love"and the rumored feud between the two superstars.  Personally if I was releasing a fragrance I wouldn't use it as an opportunity to get a dig at somebody so I reckon its just a reference to Mad, intoxicating, crazy, uncontrollable LOVE.
When I first smelled the fragrance I was hit by an intense sweetness which is not unusual for a celebrity fragrance.  Mad Love is a young fragrance, with the musk and sandalwood it does deepen but there is no getting away from the fact its aimed at a younger audience.  

Top Notes: Apple, Sorbet, Strawberry, Pink Grapefruit
Middle Notes: Peony, Jasmine
Base Notes: Musk, Sandalwood, Coconut

As we can see the base notes of musk and sandalwood create a deeper base but its still sweetened up with Coconut.

Katy Perry Mad Love would be a wonderful Christmas gift for a younger woman or teenager and luckily this time of year we are spoiled with fragrances coming in gift sets.  McCabes have a 30ml bottle with shower gel and body lotion for €19.95 which would make a wonderful gift.  

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Lidl Cien Makeup Collection

I am very late to the party in telling you about Lidl's Cien Makeup Collection which I am sure by now you have all seen.  I wanted to show you some of the products because I think they would make amazing stocking stuffers without breaking the bank.  I am a huge fan of the idea brought to us by British Beauty Blogger (read the post here) of using a Christmas Bauble from Tiger and filling it with a festive treat. These beauties from Lidl would fit perfectly inside a bauble and better yet you can pick them up when your doing your weekly shop.

First up are the Cien Nail Polish* €1.99 - sure where would you be going for less a bag of chips.  Cien have a small range of classic shades, who doesn't like a red nail at Christmas. Perfect for everybody.

Next we have the Cien Eyeshadow* again at €1.99 each - the blue and pink are a little frosty and perhaps a makeup aficionado may not appreciate them but they would be perfect for a younger girl starting out with makeup.  The brown shade is the nicest in the range.  Perfect for younger girls starting out with makeup.

In my opinion the stars of the show are the Cien Lipsticks* €2.49  there are 6 shades in the range (there is also a range of 6 Lip Gloses €1.99).   I am kinda amazed that these lipsticks are so good.    Again Cien have gone for a classic range of colours including a festive red and an oh so popular 90ies brown.  Perfect for EVERYBODY

Left to Right: Cosy Rose, Fuchsia Pink, Berry Passion, Velvety Ruby, Nude Brown

Left to Right: Cosy Rose, Fuchsia Pink, Berry Passion, Velvety Ruby, Nude Brown

Cosy Rose

Fuchsia Pink

Berry Passion

Velvety Ruby

Nude Brown

Lidl's Cien Makeup Collection also contains a BB Cream €2.99, Cien Volume Mascara €2.49 and Cien Waterproof Mascara also €2.49. 

So should you Take it or Leave it?  I would leave the eye shadows and take the nail polishes but if I had to recommend one thing from the range it would be the lipsticks. 

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Stila Christmas 2016 - Star light, star bright highlighting palette

Stila is my favourite brand so it would be slightly remiss of me not to talk about their Christmas 2016 Collection which is called Transcendence.  The collection has a couple of lip sets in addition to the Star light, star bright highlighting palette. 

While we are talking Stila lets have a little throw back to the time I met Sarah Lucaro and got her to sign my Stila Vault (aka my Ikea storage box that my friend made into a history of Stila.... see how she did it here).  She called me the Ultimate Stila Girl.  OK I admit I had a fan girl moment. 

Back to the palette:  The Star light, star bright highlighting palette is housed in the new and very pretty golden goddess (as I describe it) packaging.

The palette contains three highlighers which feel bouncy to the touch.

  • Transcendence: an opalescent pink for a bold, ethereal glow
  • Kitten: Stila’s iconic shimmering nude pink brightens and illuminates
  • Bronze: creates a radiant, sun-kissed glow

Left to Right:  Transcendence, Kitten and Bronze.
The highlighters are not quite powders and not quite a cream,  this unusual consistency feels very light and smooth on the skin.  If your a fan of highlighters that you can see from space this is not the palette for you.  These highlighters give a softer more natural glow which would be perfect for somebody who is a little scared of highlighter.

Stila recommend using your fingers or the mini wonder brush (which I dont have so I have just used my fingers).  I found that a regular brush does not pick up a lot of product so I would recommend using your fingers.  I found I could use the bronze to create a healthy glow.  With this palette your not going to look overly highlighted or made up. Its a highligher which catches the light rather than one which blares light into the sky. The Star Light palette is not one I reach for immediately, I think during winter months you can get away with heavier makeup looks including bolder highlighter (preferably that you can see from space).   I am thinking that during Summer months when your skin needs less coverage we will be able to appreciate how this palette gives the look of natural glowing skin.

The Star light, star bright highlighting palette costs €39.00 and can be found at and Harvey Nicks Dundrum.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Too Faced Christmas in New York - Merry Macarons

I have never experienced Christmas in New York but there is something about the two which go together perfectly.  When I think about Christmas I think about  Miracle on 34th Street, the Tree at the Rockerfeller Center and Home Alone 2.  I have visions of myself all snuggled up drinking hot chocolate looking at these iconic New York and Christmas sights.  I have said it before that Too Faced are the most adorable Makeup brand and in my opinion this year they have created the cutest Christmas collection.                                                
The Merry Macarons* makeup palette is Vanilla Scented... it actually smells like vanilla macarons mmmmm.  Thats reason alone to pick up the palette The palette also comes with a deluxe sample size Better than Sex mascara.  
The packaging is all you can imagine from Too Faced... totally adorable and cute with scenes from New York.  Too Faced have the best packing,  they are the most imaginative makeup brand and there is no way you can look at the products without a smile being brought to your face.  In addition to this the products looking really good they are amazing quality.  I am fast becoming a huge fan.

The palette contains 12 vanilla scented eye shadows which are as I have come to expect from Too Faced wonderful.  They are smooth, buttery and pigmented.  The palette has a wonderful selection of shades, its a neutral palette with pops of colour and sparkle for a perfect party looks.  The palette contains matte shadows, shimmer and glitters.  What more could a girl want at Christmas.  

Now for swatches
Left to Right : Coconut, Dulce De Leche Banana Cream Almond Mocha
Left to Right: Champagne Rose, Mint Chocolate, Tiramisu, Chocolate Raspberry
Left to Right: Praline, Honey Lavender, Violet Cassis, Cookies & Cream
I have been loving wearing a neutral eye and using Violet Cassis as an intense almost ultraviolet liner.

The Christmas in New York Collection seems to be sold out online so you should keep an eye on larger Too Faced counters in Debenhams which exclusively stock the brand in Ireland and the UK.  

Too Faced have lots of exciting things coming in 2017 including the return of the Peach Palette which was such a hit it sold out World Wide during the Spring, I sought high and low for it so I am delighted that Ill be able to get my hands on the palette and a whole Peach Collection in the New Year.   Too Faced have recently been bought by Estee Lauder and I hope that means that they will keep their uniqueness and quirkiness but have access to wider distribution, we all deserve some Too Faced in your life.  Dont go changing Too Faced.

I am going to have lots more Too Faced featured on the blog because its becoming one of my favourite bands.   The ingenuity with products and packing as well as the wonderful quality make them an amazing brand.  

Side Note:  If your loving the idea of Christmas in New York follow LC's Closet who is a festive queen.  You really need to go and follow her on Snapchat where she shows a wonderful mix of the knowledge of living and working in New York mixed with all the excitement and enthusiasm as if she has just arrived (as well as being a lovely sound girl).
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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Smashbox Light It Up Lipstick + Lip Mattifier Set

Smashbox get Christmas - they know that we want lots of nice things to try and they also know we like nice packaging.  For the last number of Christmases Smashbox have collaborated on their holiday packaging with well know or up and coming artists and this year they have collaborated with Californian Neon Artist Meryl Pataky.  Im not sure what a Neon Artist is but I can only imagine its like the light instillation's from Sex and the City.  What does that mean for us?  Basically each Christmas set is housed in a "rad" neon acrylic case which can be used for makeup storage.  (I used the word "rad" cause its kinda the word a Californian Neon Artist would use, dont ya think)

Smashbox have a selection of excellent gift sets this Christmas but my favourite is the Light it Up Lipstick + Lip Mattifier Set.  The set contains 6 smaller (but not tiny) Be Legendary Lipsticks and a sample size of the Lip Mattifier which can be used with any lipstick to (you guessed it) make your lipstick matte.
A couple of months ago I had the great honor to have my hair done by Bumble and Bumble, makeup done by Smashbox and my photograph taken by the one and only Davis Factor (founder of Smashbox and Smashbox Studios and also great grandson to THE Max Factor).  I am not a natural in front of the camera, I am shy and awkward but as nervous as I was it was an amazing experience.   I bring it up now (mostly so I can show you my picture) because the shade of lipstick I am wearing in the shot "Inspiration" is in the Light It Up set.

Light It Up Lipstick + Lip Mattifier Set costs €34 and is basically a fantastic deal that you all need to pick up.  Full size Be Legendary lipsticks cost €23 for 3g of product.  The minis inside the set are 2.4g each and you get 6 for €34... thats simple makeup maths.

The full size verses the mini - the packaging on the full size is a metal bullet whereas the mini is plastic.

I love the range of shades in the set, there are no really "Out There" shades apart from Tabloid which is the purple.  I love that you get a great idea of the quality of Be Legendary lipsticks and also get to try a great selection of shades.

As I mentioned Inspiration is the pink shade I wore during my Smashbox shoot - which I went out and bought immediately - luckily now I also have one smaller one that will fit perfectly into my party handbags (not that Im doing much partying). The lipsticks feel great on the lips and are wonderfully pigmented.  I also love how some of the nuder shades look on me.  Its a really flattering shade selection (it must have been tough to choose just 6 shades as there are a whopping 120 shades in the Be Legendary range).

Shades Left to Right: Famous, Fig, Inspiration, Legendary, Primrose, Tabloid

Shades Left to Right: Famous, Fig, Inspiration, Legendary, Primrose, Tabloid
The Insta - Matte which transforms any lipstick into a matte

Tabloid (sorry about the stray hair in these shots)

Smashbox Light It Up Lipstick + Lip Mattifier Set is a fantastic set to pick up for yourself or as a gift OR you could break up the lipsticks (keep the shades you like) and put others into clear Christmas baubles as stocking fillers (everyone is a winner).

Smashbox Light It Up has a range of fantastic gift sets which are available from Boots and Arnotts
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