Tuesday, March 3, 2015

CND Vinylux Flora & Fauna collection ft Field Fox

It's March and spring is supposed to have sprung by now.  We'll ignore the snow we've been having for the past few days now shall we?  I'm ready to hide away my darker polishes and bring out the lighter, brighter pastel shades.  Finally!

I got given three of the eight shades available from CND's Flora and Fauna collection to judge in the Image Beauty Awards last month and instantly fell in love with the middle shade.  I know!  You'd have thought I'd have picked the peachy shade, but it was the nude Field Fox that grabbed my heart and was plonked on my nails quick smart.

 L-R: CND Vinylux Salmon Run, Field Fox, Creekside
I have tried out the other two shades and would give the peachy shade a miss.  Even with three coats it was really streaky, but that baby blue is only beautiful on and is a close second to Field Fox.  Pastel nails are always a winner in spring.

I've reviewed CND Vinylux polishes in the past so will make this little overview nice and quick.  You're supposed to apply a couple of coats of the polish on clean, dry nails before applying the top coat which activates with UV light to "cure" giving you a seven day manicure.  I've never gotten seven days out of any manicure as I'm really hard on my nails and I get about four days out of these guys.  Usually by then I'm bored with my nail colour anyway, so it suits me grand!  FYI, Joanne used a CND shade for her wedding last year and two weeks later, her manicure was still flawless.

Fans of Nails Inc's Porchester Square will love Field Fox and it's one of those nude polishes that takes on different hues depending on the light you're in.  It can look grey toned, purple toned, and even blue toned on me.  No matter what though, it's an absolute winner in my book and I'll be rocking this a lot in the coming months.

You can buy CND polishes online from Beauty Couture for €12.  Don't forget that the topcoat is €12 too.  

Have you tried CND polishes in the past?  How long have you gotten out of them?

Monday, March 2, 2015

What's on my face - wedding guest style!

I'm not going to lie, I'm exhausted this Sunday as I recover from a fantastic wedding down in Clonmel!  My friend Una got married to Aidan on Friday and we ate, drank, laughed and danced ourselves silly!

Timing was crucial for the hair and makeup for me, Eadaoin and Pili who were travelling from Dublin together and thankfully we were able to check in early to complete the process.  I'd curled my hair back in Dublin first thing in the morning using the Babyliss Perfect Curl and I had forgotten just how much I loved it.  It's foolproof and even though I only got my hair caught in it twice, I managed to keep a head full of curls for the entire day!  I might do a more in depth tutorial on YouTube as to what I used on my hair because seriously, my hair is so soft and shiny that no style ever stays in it for more than a couple of hours.   PS The Clonmel Park Hotel has the biggest windows ever, making it great for front camera selfies!

When it came to the makeup, I used some old and new favourites.  On my face I wore my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear, Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes in Lavish Mauve and Nude Mauve, Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow, Clarins Instant Concealer and Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light.  I wanted my face to stay put all day and I only had to touch up the powder as it was roasting in the hotel.

On my eyes I used the purple shades from the Smashbox Double Exposure palette and lads, I love this palette.  I'll have a proper review on the blog this week but it's love.  A bit of Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes mascara to finish the eyes and that was it.  I used a Smashbox Be Legendary lipgloss in Disco Rose to complete the look.  I got a mini sample of it recently and absolutely love it for carrying around in my handbag.

I bought my dress in New York and love it.  It was so comfy and that's very important when you're throwing shapes on the dance floor!  I teamed it with this purple/cobalt blue jacket from Penneys, a clutch from Aldo that mam bought years ago and never used and my beloved Zara statement necklace.  That's me and Ashling above there.  Doesn't she look gorgeous?  We both did the prayers of the faithful and managed not to stumble over our words, not to fall going up to the alter and remembered to bow when we were supposed it.  

But let's take a look at the stunning Una....  Her makeup was absolutely flawless and stayed that way for the whole day.  She looked like a princess that day and we were all so happy to be there to celebrate it with her!

Happy wedding day Una and Aidan!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes, photos, swatches, review!

It's been a long time since an affordable brand has come out with a blush collection that has made me sit up and take notice.  Enter Max Factor.  They've launched six shades of their Creme Puff blushes - they're in chemists now and I know this to be true because despite being given three to test out, I went and bought a fourth.  I probably would have bought a fifth and sixth but both the Boots and Superdrug I went to only had four shades in stock.  So we know what that means... I'll have to keep looking!

Billed as blushes you can contour with and give a wash of colour over the cheeks, they're something special and you will see why we all went mad for them at the launch a few weeks ago.  Everyone said they were dupes of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes and after testing them out over the past month or so, I can say that they're really close dupes.  The only thing that sets them apart is that the Hourglass version has blush pigment mixed with finishing power pigment, while these guys are made of up two different coloured blush pigments.  I'm going to do a proper comparison post or I'd be here for the day!  But for now, I need to show you my four babies up close and personal.

Lavish Mauve is the spit of Hourglass' Mood Exposure in the pan.  On the cheeks though, Lavish Mauve leans a bit more neutral and gives the most gorgeous glow, but as you'll see in the rest of the post, they all give great glow.  I think this is my favourite of the four I have and while the effect in the photo below is subtle, rest assured that this is easily buildable and brings life to my complexion in seconds.

Seductive pink is the one for fans of the rose gold look.  It's a beautiful shade for spring and has me convinced that I could actually rock a pink cheek as the days get warmer!

Alluring Rose is aimed at those with medium to dark skin tones but I know I can rock this shade myself in all my paleness!  It's peachy bronze-y goodness makes for a perfect contour/cheek shade and it adds instant warmth to my complexion.

Nude Mauve is a close tie for my favourite along with Lavish Mauve.  I've been using this as a subtle contour while bringing it up onto the apples of my cheeks for a neutral wash of colour.

Please scroll back up and look at the absolute sheen and radiant glow on my cheeks.  I have no highlight or any other powder on, just a layer of foundation that was removed and reapplied between swatches!  Each blush is so finely milled that it gives my cheek an airbrushed finish and you can't go wrong with them.

The Max Factor Creme Puff blushes are €11.49 and are worth every penney in my opinion.  I've actually been reaching for them over my other blushes.  Even my Hourglass ones!

Will you be partaking in any of these?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR Nude Foundation review, before & after photos!

Do you ever try a new product and then kick yourself for not picking it up sooner?  This is what happened to me a couple of weeks ago when I went to Boots for deodorant and ended up buying lots of makeup.  C'est la vie.  I picked up the Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 HR Nude Foundation because, well, I'd no reason really.  I was having a browse, one of many since this first launched last year and yet it called to me that day.

Promising 25 hours of wear and a medium coverage, I picked up shade 100 Ivory, the second lightest of the six shades available and it's a great match for my skin.

I tried this out on camera for the first time in my Face Full of First Impressions video and was really impressed with how it looked on the skin.  And after a week and a half of solidly playing with it, I can tell you that it's love.   Let me tell you and show you more though.

This foundation looks so natural on my skin and I am absolutely loving the finish it gives.  We're talking a satin luminous glow while feeling weightless.  I like to apply it with a Beauty Blender for the medium level of coverage in these photos, but if you want something a bit more sheer, then a buffing brush is the way to go.  It's buildable, covers the redness on my schnoz beautifully and despite the soft sheen it gives the skin, it doesn't feel wet or m-word.  You know what that word is.  Don't make me say it.

As for the 25 hour claim, I can't report back on that.  Momma needs her sleep and if I'm ever awake for 25 hours, you can be sure I won't be worrying about whether my foundation is looking good!  Without using powder, which nearly killed me because I love my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light, I get about 6 hours before the shine appears on my nose and forehead, but when I do use powder to set everything in place, I get the whole work day out of it.

For €8.99, this is one of the best purse friendly foundations I've ever tried and I've actually been reaching for it over my beloved Double Wear!  I wanted to wear it out the other night, but knew that there'd be a lot of photos being taken and the SPF 20, while being grand for the aul skin protection, isn't good for flash photography, but hey, this is a fantastic every day foundation!

What else do I need to try that I'm behind the times on?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Get ready with me - Image Beauty Awards judging

Last Tuesday, I totally had one of those "Is this real life?" moments, swiftly followed by "Shit, don't make a dope of yourself" moments when I went to the judging day for the Image Blog Awards.  I know... Mad Ted!

As one of the spa judges, for the past few weeks I'd been testing out lots of lovely products from nail polishes to body care, tans and tools and I had a ball.  It was like what I do for the blog, but amped up big time.  We had a score card and everything, ready to battle it out for the best in beauty this year.  The spa and skincare judges had a table discussion where we chatted about things we loved, things we didn't love, tips, tricks and got to try out even more products and managed to leave there with a wish list of products.

We filmed a little interview where I hope I didn't talk a load of shite and I'm now in the phase where I physically cringe when I think of things I said.  I'm waiting to reach the next phase where I don't remember what I said and can make up memories where I was very articulate and witty.

The judges from all four categories, makeup, haircare, skincare and spa all assembled like a beauty army in the afternoon and we'd a photo shoot.  So I needed my makeup to look good and to stay put all day.  This was not the time to test out new stuff.  This was a day where I needed to use products that I trusted, that I loved, that would make me feel lovely and would look nice in photos.  And because I was having major pains in my stomach from nerves, I thought I'd film me putting the makeup on to distract me!  So behold my Get Ready With Me video where I put on a natural looking visage, wear pyjamas, have a scarf casually sitting on the chair behind me, but it doesn't matter!  A fab day was had and that was the main thing.  Oh, and my face stayed put all day!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

My favourite eyeshadow brushes!

Here at Lovely Girlie Bits, I have a bit of a gra for all things makeup brushes.  And in particular, eye brushes.  I like to think I'm a collector, but in actual fact, it's probably more that I hate cleaning them with a passion unlike anything else I've ever known, so buy more rather than clean them, meaning that when I do eventually run out of clean brushes and have to wash them, I have millions of them to do, making me loathe the job even more....  Ugh I get annoyed at the mere thought of cleaning them... Anyway, I decided it was high time I talk you through some of my favourite eyeshadow brushes.  These are the ones I use almost daily (when I have time to put eyeshadow on) and they're the ones I don't hate cleaning as much as the others.

Flat eyeshadow brushes - shadow placement

BCC Cosmetics have this absolute dupe for the MAC 239 and it's brilliant, affordable and packs on colour like nobody's business.  It washes well and is one of those must have brushes.  Why do I only have one of them?  I need more.  I have other flat shadow brushes but they're just not as good as this one.  They're either too big or too small and this is the Goldilocks of eyeshadow brushes - just right.  I've had my MAC 227 brush for years, way before I started blogging and it's one of my favourites for applying a wash of colour on the lids when I'm feeling very brave but also very haphazard and I also use it to highlight my brow bone.  You're not going to get any kind of precision with this but for applying a sheer base on the lids, this is a great pick.

Brushes for a bit more detail/precision

Starting from the top, we have the MAC 195.  This is technically a concealer brush but I use it for cream eyeshadows.  I usually use my finger to apply cream products but if you want to be all proper about it, using a synthetic brush will pick up more product than a brush with natural hairs.  The shape of this brush means you can be really precise with placement, something I need to learn more about!

Below that we have the NARS Push Eyeliner #46 which I use all the time for lower lash line.  I bought this one years ago when I was going to New York and my friend Ruth asked me to pick one up for her.  Not wanting to be left out, I also picked one up and love it for packing on colour right under the lower lashes without making a mess.

The E10 from Blank Canvas Cosmetics fantastic for doing crease work.  Would you listen to me and my crease work!  If you want to add proper definition into the socket without making a mess, then this one's a keeper.  I like pretending I'm being all artistic using this while I attempt to do a cut crease!

Finally at the bottom of the photo we have this double ended brush from Catrice.  I think it's about €6 and while the other end (not pictured) has a little domed blending brush, I mainly use it for the angled brush end when filling in my eyebrows, applying colour to the upper lash line and when I want to create a soft wing on the outer corners.  I think if you're new to liners and feline flicks, then a brush like this is much more user friendly than a regular liner brush.  Angled brushes are the best invention because you can use them in a few ways, making them multifunctional, and thus absolutely allowed to be purchased. 

Blending brushes

I have a serious issue when it comes to blending brushes.  No, I mean it.  I have more fluffy brushes than I do sense, and yet I'm drawn to them every time I'm within 5 feet of the makeup tools aisle in Boots.  But I love them.  They do my job for me and as you'll see in my tutorials on YouTube, my mantra in life is to "blend like a mofo" and to do that, you need lots of blending brushes.  Back in the day, it was all about the MAC 217 and to be honest, I don't remember the last time I bought a MAC brush.  Oh actually, I do.  It was about 2007 and I bought a 217 and a 226 on my way to Spain and when the family heard how much they were, I had to tell them they were handmade by blind nuns in Nepal because it was crazy money.  Nowadays, everyone has their version of the 217 and I do love using a fluffy brush to apply a wash of colour all over the lid, to define the crease and to blend out harsh edges.  If you have eyes, you need blending brushes because no matter how rubbish you are at makeup, having one (or five) of these will make you look like a pro.

My favourites from my crazy collection of blending brushes are (starting from the top left) the MAC 217 (L), the Boots version of it (R).  The middle row has the MAC 224 which is much fluffier than the tapered MAC 226 which is great for blending but also keeping shadow where you put it.  At the bottom we have the Real Techniques Base Shadow brush (part of Sam's Picks) which is the smallest of my favourite fluffy brushes and finally we have a crease brush from EcoTools.  I bought this in a set from Boots years ago and it's one of the softest brushes I own and I really do need to try and find more!

So these are the brushes I make sure are clean when I'm filming a tutorial, when I'm getting ready for a night out and they never let me down.  Are there any brushes I'm missing?  What's your must have eyeshadow brush?  Come on, enable me!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape review, photos, swatches

Clarins' Spring 2015 Garden Escape collection means that while spring has yet to show it's face around here, it's on it's way in the form of makeup which will do me just fine!  Looking at the collection makes me want to wear pretty dresses, buy flowers and wait for milder days because it is beautiful.

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Eyeshadow palette - €41

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Eyeshadow palette
You know I've been a big fan of previous palettes from Clarins over the years and was excited to see the new addition in the flesh.  It's so pretty, filled with greens, pinks and a gorgeous neutral taupe shade and we won't even talk about the embossing on the top of each shade.  That's the good.  On to the bad.  Sadly as soon as I swatched it, I was disappointed in the pigmentation of the shadows except for the taupe shade.  But still, I gave them a go on my eyes and attempted to do a green smokey eye, but failed miserably.  Used wet, the colour payoff is slightly better, but everything was left looking really messy and messy, with no definition between the shades, and I ended up removing everything and applying the taupe shade all over the lids for the photos.  For €41, I'd give it a miss, but before you think I've saved you money, you need to read the rest of the post!

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Eyeshadow palette
Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Blush Prodige Sweet Rose - €33

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Blush Prodige Sweet Rose
I love Clarins blushes and this one is no exception.  Finely milled, this blush has a mix of matte and shimmery bits which you can use separately or together to give a soft flush of colour to the cheeks.  As I'm a firm believer in the whole more is more thing when it comes to makeup, I swirled everything in the palette together to give me this healthy glow that looks like I've been out for a walk when all I've been doing is sitting inside playing with makeup and taking eleven thousand photos of myself!

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Blush Prodige Sweet Rose
Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils - €19

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Honey (L), Raspberry (R)
Remember how I told you to hold on to your €41 for the eyeshadow palette?  Yeah, you're going to be spending it on these gems.  These are the stars of the collection and for good reason.  As it's still freezing out these days, a lot of us seem to be suffering with dry lips like nobody's business.  So here are two treatments for the lips which you can wear all day every day.  With mirabelle, hazelnut and jojoba oils, the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils are one of the most nourishing things I've ever used on my lips during the day.

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Honey (L), Raspberry (R)
I've already spoken about these in a previous video, but can you just take a look at the applicators?  They're super smooth and fit onto your lips beautifully, depositing the oil, leaving a fantastic shine without feeling anyway sticky.  The Raspberry shade gives a really subtle pinky sheen to the lips, but in the photos, they look the same on me.  I love these so much and you can see I've been haring my way through the two of them, but I think Honey is only slightly behind Raspberry on the usage scale.

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Honey 
Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil Raspberry
Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Joli Rouge Sheer Shine Lipstick - Rose Petal - €21.50

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Joli Rouge Sheer Shine Lipsick - Rose Petal
There are two lipsticks in the Garden Escape collection; Coral Dahlia and Rose Petal.  You know I'll be checking out Coral Dahlia as soon as I'm in touching distance of a Clarins counter, but today it's all about Rose Petal.  Again, Clarins' lipsticks are one of my favourite ones to wear because they feel really comfortable on and Rose Petal is spring time in lipstick form.  Wearable for every day use, it's the cherry on top of an already fresh faced look!

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Joli Rouge Sheer Shine Lipsick - Rose Petal
Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector - 01 Rose - €19

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector - 01 Rose
Being a massive fan of the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors, I couldn't wait to try the new Instant Light Lip Balm Perfectors and was given the shade Rose to test out.  There are six shades int he collection and you know I'll be checking out the nude and coral one because well, it's me and this is what I do.  These are packed with vitamin E, mango and shea leaving the lips feeling utterly hydrated and nourished while giving a light wash of colour.  I haven't decided if I like them more or less than the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors and need to use the two of the solely for a week or two to fully make my decision.  But the fact that I want to buy two more says it all really!

Clarins Spring 2015 Garden Escape Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector - 01 Rose
And that's it folks!  For me, Clarins have won spring this year with their amazing lip products and chances are if you go check out the Garden Escape collection, you'll come away with at least one of the Instant Light Lip Comfort Oils and an Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector.  Go and investigate, swatch away and tell me what you buy!

See anything that you've put on your wish list?
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