Friday, July 21, 2017

Too Faced Love Lights Highlighter - Blinded by the Light

We all get a bit giddy for highlighter, what if the highlighter was shaped like a heart?  I KNOW giddy overload.  What else would expect from Too Faced? (or the most Adorable Makeup Brand).  The Love Lights Highlighters join the already heart shaped and adorable Love Flush blush range from Too Faced which has stunning and brilliantly named colours like Justify My Love and How Deep Is Your Love.  See what they did there?  The blushers which reflect the flush of love are all named after love songs (clever right?).   In keeping with that (clever) theme the Love Lights Highlighters are also named after songs, but songs with light in the title (really clever).  The three in the collection are Ray of Light, You Light up My Life and Blinded by the Light.  
Here is Blinded by the Light* €30.00.  Firstly I am a massive Bruce Springsteen fan so I was pretty much already SOLD on this the moment I heard about it.  It is pretty much impossible for me not to sing Blinded by the Light (loudly and out of tune) ever time I apply it.  The packaging is stunning a reflective heart in heavy duty plastic which has a great mirror (it reminds me of a MARC JACOBS mirror I had years ago but Too Faced is sturdier and better quality).  Inside the product is poured like a prism, like many of Too Faced products almost too pretty to use.  

The idea of the highlighter is you can go from a subtle "Lit by Angels" highlight to "Full on Drag queen" depending on your preference.   I have seen more and more brands creating this kind of highlighter Stila's Heavenly Hue being one of them.  I suppose most of us can find highlighters a little intimidating,  I am scared it will show off my laughter lines or any skin issues I have.  Makeup life can be intimidating especially when we are seeing Instagram perfection all the time.  To achieve a soft natural glow apply the highlighter with a brush, for a more intense look use a denser brush or your fingers (that will give a real POW).  
When you swatch the highlighter with your fingers you get a pop of colour, this translates onto the skin from a brush very naturally, you know that kind of highlight where you turn your head and the light catches your cheek bones, makes the skin look less flat and you look glowing and pretty.  

At first I thought the highlighter was not pigmented or showing up on my skin until I realised that the brush application gives a naturally radiant look.  So instead of getting an intensely pigmented look from applying with a brush your getting a softer look.  The more I use Blinded by the Light (and sing as I apply) I appreciate the nature of the highlighter more, I can be quite heavy handed with products so I have on occasion looked like I have two glowing airstrips along my face.  I want to look glowing like Jennifer Aniston but I end up looking like Ru Pauls Drag Race version.  

If your looking for an intense one swipe highlighter the Love Lights range might not be for you, if your interested in trying highlighters or want a softer more natural look then check out the Love Lights range.  
Swatches are with one swipe which shows with finger application the more intense look you can achieve.
Too Faced are becoming one of my favourite brands,  I get happy endorphin's just from lifting the happy and adorable packaging, its really a brand that makes makeup fun and enjoyable while creating top quality products.  I get giddy to see what products and packaging they will create and your guaranteed it will be unlike any other brand.

Too Faced is available from Debenhams and the Henry Street branch has a pink and adorable makeup counter with every Too Faced product you can imagine (Melted Matte in Mrs Roper is next on my list.
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Dermalogica IonActive Power Treatment at NuEssence

Dermalogica IonActive Power Treatment

Its probably weird for a beauty lover to admit but it had been over 6 years since I had a facial.  I could say I didnt have the time but since I now have a toddler, work and (try to) blog my mind boggles at what I used to do with my time (I can only think I was lying on the couch eating chocolates...uninterrupted)  

The past year I have had less time to indulge in skincare, even at home facial and honestly my skin was starting to show the stress.  I have generally always been lucky with my skin but as we get older we definitely need to treat it with a little more TLC.  I have had spots on my chin and redness on my cheeks and around my nose- things that were never a worry before.

I used to love facials and my brand of choice was always Dermalogica which really treat any skin issues you have but the facials feel like pure luxury.  Dermalogica is a salon brand so they are more effective at targeting skin complaints than any cream or product that you pick off the beauty shelves.


I was very lucky to be invited to Nuessence and enjoy the New IonActive Power Treatment* from Dermalogica.  It would be wrong to describe Nuessence as a hidden gem as the well established salon has been indulging Irish faces since its opening in 2006.  Nestled on South Anne Street (just off Grafton Street) Nuessence offers both a central location but also a sense of calm.  The treatment rooms are calm and relaxing with only the slightest hint that you are in the center of Dublin.  (I absolutely hate those rooms that are so so quite and remote that you keep asking yourself "am I relaxed now?  "am I calm yet?" and all you can think about is your inner dialogue roaring).

As a salon brand Dermalogica are a step above "over the counter" skincare and treatments while not being as aggressive or invasive as a cosmetic surgery procedure. While the IonActive Power is a powerful treatment its felt relaxing and soothing like a facial.  

Dermalogia always start with a double cleanse which really ensures the skin is fresh and free of makeup, oils and dirt.  To analyse the skin Dermalogia use "Face Mapping" which basically means your Dermalogia expert will "read" the skin and see what type of skin you have and if your experiencing any issues with your skin.


Ion Active is a personalised treatment which targets issues such as dehydration, hyper pigmentation, ageing and acne.  You can ask for a specific treatment and your therapist can advice which your skin would find most beneficial.  There are four treatments that your therapist can choose which will suit your skin (Retinol 1% IonActive - skin ageing, Hyaluronic acid IonActive - dehydration/sensitive skin, Oligopeptide Ion Active- hyperpigmentation, and Niacinamide Ion Active - Adult Acne).  

As I said this is a intensive treatment for your skin but I was so relaxed it felt like a facial, there was a mask and relaxing.... possibly a little too much as I am fuzzy on the steps.  When the therapist (by the way at NuEssence they are amazing, the perfect balance between friendly and helpful without being intrusive or taking away from the relaxing quality of the treatment) applied the Ion Active (I got the Hualuronic for dehydration/sensitive skin) she used a small metal wand which had a slight current to apply the treatment.  Basically it felt like a cooling wand.  

After the treatment the therapist applies a gelloid to your skin depending on your skin type (Exo Thermal gelliod self heating and Endo Thermal gelloid cooling sensation).  As my skin was sensitive and a little red she used the cooling gelloid.  The whole treatment takes about 45 minutes and course of 6 treatments every two to four weeks is recommended.

I floated down Grafton Street, you have possibly never seen a more relaxed person on such a busy street.  The treatment alone was lovely, really relaxing and my skin felt lovely however the results is where the magic happened.  Almost instantly people were saying I was glowing, that my skin looked amazing.  MY SKIN DID LOOK AMAZING.  Whats more I only had one treatment and it gave my skin such a boost, that boost lasted me months.  My skin looked glowing, it responded better to the creams I used at home and the effects lasted.  
I am definitely going to return to Nu Essence for another Ion Active Treatment (in fact if life hadn't gotten in the way I would have returned sooner.  I was so delighted with the results and how my skin responded (so much so that people were commenting and complementing my skin).  NuEssence Is a great salon and the staff are Dermalogica Experts, so they can really recommend which products suit your skin.  I have begun to worship at the alter of Dermalogica, the packaging doesn't have bells and whistles but the products work and leave your skin feeling amazing.    
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Thursday, July 13, 2017

TOO FACED Natural Love Palette

I have a real soft spot for Too Faced Cosmetics, in my opinion they are "The Most Adorable Makeup Brand" but they also have a lot of substance behind an adorable and fluffy packaging.  I have been reaching for and relying on my Too Faced eye shadows more and more (OK so the fact that the Chocolate Bar Palettes smell amazing is a contributing factor) so I was really intrigued my the Natural Love Palette*.  

Guess what I need more eye shadows like a hole in the head (or as I brilliantly heard described recently like I need another bum) but the Natural Love Palette has 30 natural toned eye shadows.  For many many years I have been a riot of colour with eye shadows... purple (hell yeah)  green (pile them on) blue (sure they will look great) chartreuse (sure why not) but as I am getting older I am thinking if I continue with the bold lip and the mental eye shadow people might begin to worry about me.  Also I have a toddler so I am tired about 90% of the time and the other 10% I am asleep so its probably best to start using flattering eye shadows so you might actually be able to make out my actual eye colour.
The Natural Love palette features 30 shades, some of these shades come from the best selling Natural palettes (including Natural Eyes, Natural Matte, Natural At Night) as well as a selection of new shades.  This might be a bit of a bummer for hard core Too Faced fans but in Ireland we didn't really have that much access to the brand so its a wonderful opportunity to delve into the wonderful world of Too Faced.   My first bits of makeup from Too Faced were bought in America a long time ago on a tiny counter in Macys which looked like a pink dressing table (as far as I can remember) 



The packaging is sturdy cardboard with a slim design and the design looks like a whimsical fairy tale book including peony roses and bunny rabbits (see most adorable makeup brand).  The 30 shades include a mix of matte shadows, satin, shimmer and glittery.
Shades included are:
Heaven, Fairy Tale, Nudie, Tickle Me, Dont Settle, Fingers Crossed
Lace Teddy, Satin Sheets, Push-up, Honey Pot, Chocolate Martini, Undercover
Pink Cheeks, Kittens, Bunny Nose, Moonbeam, Love Bug,  Smokin
Poodle, Cutie Patootie, Dear Diary, Coffee Date, Spoiled, Night Fever
Spotlight, Honey Butter, Honeymoon, Hot & Bothered, Makeup & Chill, Stiletto
And now onto swatches.
Shades from Left to Right Top Row:
Heaven, Fairy Tale, Nudie, Tickle Me, Dont Settle, Fingers Crossed
Shades from Left to Right Second Row:
Lace Teddy, Satin Sheets, Push-up, Honey Pot, Chocolate Martini, Undercover
Shades from Left to Right Third Row:
Pink Cheeks, Kittens, Bunny Nose, Moonbeam, Love Bug,  Smokin
Shades from Left to Right Fourth Row:
Poodle, Cutie Patootie, Dear Diary, Coffee Date, Spoiled, Night Fever
Shades from Left to Right Bottom Row:
Spotlight, Honey Butter, Honeymoon, Hot & Bothered, Makeup & Chill, Stiletto
There is a good mix of shades and shadow types in the palette - at first I thought there were not enough dark matte shades but there is a deep brown and a black - the shadows I used least are the dark glittery ones as I am not a huge fan of glittery fall out and if you want glitter there is no beating the Stila Magnificent Metals glittery eye shadow.  My absolute favourite eye shadows are the almost pearl duo chrome like the shade Satin Sheets (second row) which looks like a pale pearl but shifts to a beautiful champagne shade (bunny nose on the third row is another gentle stunner).  There are so many subtle but stunning shades its hard to pick a favourite. 

I love the formula and consistency of Too Faced eye shadows and for the last couple of months this has been my go to palette that I reach for every day.  To quote Hozier "I fall in love just a little more little bit everyday with someone new"  or with a different eye shadow from the palette.   Everyday I think "OOO what shall I try today" and fall in love with a new shade.  The eye shadows are buttery soft and pigmented.  I haven't been creating complicated eye looks using 20 shades as I find some of the shades are so pretty they are stunning worn by themselves with a bit of liner or tight lining.  
There is a look book which comes with the palette, the looks are pretty and look easy to recreate.  I haven't used it yet (which reminds me to do so immediately).
The Price:  now here is the bad news this beautiful palette is priced at €62.00.. Ouch.  My makeup maths breakdown is each shadow would work out at just over €2.00 each which isnt that scary.   I got sent this palette as a sample but I would purchase it myself (albeit a big treat for myself).  My only fear is that at €62.00 Too Faced are pricing themselves out of the market and out of the range of their target audience (mind you who is their target audience, who doesn't want a palette with bunnies and non hay fever inducing peony's on it) especially when you think you can get a Charlotte Tilbury palette (albeit a quad) for €50.00.

Too Faced eye shadow palettes are definitely something to look out for.  The range of Chocolate Bar palettes cost €47.00 (so change from a fifty for a cup of coffee).  You might decide to skip the Natural Love Palette but Too Faced are a brand that excites me and I get giddy to see what they come up with next (usually something adorable and fabulous).  

Too Faced are available from Debenhams and Debenhams.ie. Debenhams in Henry Street has a new fabulously kitted out counter which looks beautiful.  
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Skincare Saviours - Current Favourites


I have always been very lucky with my skin (and hair) I have kind of taken it for granted if I am honest.  When I was a teenager my worst skin was when I had two spots at the one time and I have probably allowed my skin to be a little neglected over the years.  Since I am aging I have decided to take more care and notice of my skin and really make an effort (for me that means I ALWAYS ALWAYS take my makeup off but I might forget a night cream.  Skincare is very subjective what works for me with my oily and ageing skin might not necessarily work for you but I thought I would share some of the products which have been working very well for me recently.  

I used to think that by ditching wipes and using a micellar water and then cleansing my skin I was actually doing a double cleanse and becoming a skin angel I WAS WRONG.  We were told years ago to ditch the wipes and I am telling you now to ditch the micellar water YOUR SKIN WILL THANK YOU.  I am not a saint it will be grand the odd night or for your holidays but micellar water dries out your skin and doesn't properly clean it.  Imagine you faffed around with a cotton pad and normal water? Would you think your skin was magically clean?  

For Cleansing I have been using Dermalogica in fact I am beginning to worship at the alter of Dermalogica.  Their basic and clinical packaging is all business and no frills but the products inside have become a bit of a wonder to me.  At night I start with PreCleanse* which smells luxurious and pampering, I massage this all over my face including my eyes to remove eye make up,  fragrance (which comes from Apricot oil and Kukui Oil) and lightness of the oil make it easy for a quick and easy massage.  I have never been one for messaging my skin but PreCleanse is quick and easy to use. The oil is very light and watery so much so that the bottle feels quite empty but this light formula means your skin is not left with a residue.    I have tried budget brand cleansing oils and they have not suited my skin, my skin felt oily, heavy and the oil blurred my eyes.  I will not be without Dermalogica PreCleanse.  After I use the PreCleanse I cleanse my skin using Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser*  it doesnt have the divine fragrance of PreCleanse but this powerhouse duo have meant I havent had a single spot or blemish in the 6 months since I have been using them, my skin is clearer and I have less redness around my nose and on my chin.  I have happily used this duo for the past 6 months (using just the Ultra Calming Cleanser in the morning) so while they are expensive they do last a long time.  I am so enamored with the duo that I recently bought a large 500ml of the Ultra Calming Cleanser (unfortunately I could only pick up the Pre Cleanse in normal size).  If I could buy the duo in massive salon size I would in a shot (let me know if you know where I can do this).  Amazing products which have changed my skin with no blemishes, diminished redness and no texture and no milia. 
Ahhh Shiseido how I love thee.  Shiseido is a brand I will use exclusively use when I have my sh*t together.  You know that age or state of mind when you have a capsule wardrobe, have savings in the bank, are a classy kinda bird and use Shiseido skincare.  Shiseido is a brand that is steeped in a wonderful history of over 150 years but it is also groundbreaking and innovative, its products are effective while also being pure luxury.   My skin has been drinking up Ultimune which is a power booster serum which enhances the effectiveness of any product you use over it while also protecting and repairing the skin against ageing and also defending the skin against damage of environment and diet.  I dont have time for extra skincare steps but Ultimune is absorbed easily into the skin.  Shiseido Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask is one of my favourite skincare products and a great way to discover the brand, I use this light almost gel mask as a night cream a couple of times a week - its perfect if your skin is tired or after a tough night (so perfect for people who like to party or mammies of toddlers kept awake).  
I have been using Clarins Hydra - Essentiel* cream for the last number of months with wonderful results for my dehydrated skin.  As I have dehydrated skin I have a tendency to load my skin with product which clogs pores and can build up milia on the top of my cheek bones, Hydra -Essentiel is rich enough to hydrate, restore and plump my skin.  The cream absorbs easily into my skin without building up an milia or clogging the pores.  The wonderful thing about the brand Clairns they are a treat for everybody aged 18 - 80 (and beyond), there is something for every skin condition or concern and there is something delightful about receiving anything from Clarins.  Clarins Gentle Day cream was my first every proper skincare product so its a brand close to my heart and one that I trust.   
Clarins Multi-Active Yeux* is a fantastic iridescent eye cream which brightens dark circles and targets fine lines.  The thing I love most about this eye cream is it has a super cold metal tip that you use to massage the cream around the eye socket, its super cold even on a warm day.  For the last few weeks I have been suffering really badly with hay-fever (I never got it before) and this magical metal tip cooled and calmed my puffy eyes (which were so swollen and painful) for this I will be forever grateful.  Like a weirdo I am going to keep the packaging even after I am finished the cream because my eyes have become quite partial to a massage from the applicator (I have used similar style applicators but none of which had magical cooling and most dragged the skin).  To tag with the Multi Active Yeux is Mission Perfection Yeux* which is a peach colour correcter, at first I thought this would be too light a formula to battle my sometimes horrific dark circles but it neutralised most of the darkness.   Somedays all I need is Mission Perfection with no concealer (especially if I have a BB Cream or light look) other days I need the whole hog but it layers with concealer wonderfully.  

I discovered Nuxe Nuxellence Detox recently in my stash and I had forgotten how wonderful Nuxe products are.  You want to drink in the smell of the product which almost encourages you to gently message and inhale the product.  It smells amazing and leaves the skin feeling amazing (it also has a very nifty bottle) all this for an excellent price point.  

Have you any skincare products you have been loving lately?  
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