Thursday, January 29, 2015

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - a holy grail lip product if ever there was one

In my years as a beauty blogger and years before that, I've pretty much tried all the lip balms in the history of life.  I'm sure if I emptied my handbag right now, I'd have at least a couple.  I say couple, what I really mean is five.  I'm demented like that.  I've found some lovely lip balms and treatments along the way, but Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask is something else.

I'd read some great things about this before we went to New York and due to having a million wish lists ready to go, I was mighty organised and picked one up over there.

Ah two week old Aldi flowers make the perfect prop
It has one of those openings where you need to pierce the foil with the pointy thing inside the cap.  So when I first got it, I did that and then attempted to squeeze some out.  This stuff is rock feckin solid people.  Well, at room temperature it is.  You might burst a vessel or let out a little fart trying to squeeze it out of the tube.  I've since learned it needs to be warmed up before using and have a couple of methods, but more about that in a second.  Because this is so thick, it really is a proper mask for the lips and once you get it out of the tube and apply it, it leaves a lovely thick layer of nourishment and you know you're on to something good.  I haven't bothered trying it during the day because with eating and drinking, it'd come off pretty quickly, so I use it pretty much every night before going to bed.  As unglamorous as it sounds, I warm it up in my armpit and in a few minutes, it's a bit softer and less pressure needs to be used to get it out.   It's not sticky at all and my lips instantly feel soothed.  Come the morning, my lips are transformed!

The only negative thing I can say about this is the packaging.  I can foresee the tube cracking at some point soon and I think it might've been better to come in a plastic tube rather than a foil one.  Either way, I'll be purchasing this again when I run out and that won't be anytime soon because a little goes a long way.  I've had it for two months now and I've barely made a dent in it.  They have this mask in a tinted form, presumably for day time use, but I don't think that'd work for me.  Could you imagine me at my desk at work warming it up in my armpit?  Not at all!

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask - you are a dry lipped bridie's dream and long may we be completely inappropriate with each other - you in my armpits while we're in bed together.   This will set you back $26 from Sephora and I can't get enough of this stuff!


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow review, photos

Little did I know that Joanne stalked my Twitter feed before Christmas seeing if there was anything I was coveting and sure enough, I was wishing my heart away for Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow.  And here it is thanks to my lovely generous sister!

In the words of Stevie Wonder, "Isn't she lovely, isn't she wonderful?"  As it is with the whole range from Charlotte Tilbury, the packaging is beautiful.  Art deco, rose gold - pure beauty, luxury and indulgence.  I'll never tire of whipping this or anything else I own from Charlotte (yes, I'm on a first name basis with her as we are pretty much besties after spending an hour with her *ahem) out of my makeup bag.  Inside you've a grand big mirror so you can see what you're working with.  In my case, we're working with no cheekbones whatsoever and I need something to sculpt and highlight like a mofo.

The sculpt shade is quite warm, something we've been told to shy away from when it comes to contouring.  And wait until you hear that it has really soft shimmer in it too!  Wait, shimmer in contour?  Yes, big fat yes and it's only recently that I've learned that having shimmer in contour isn't a bad thing.  But more on that next week.  The highlight shade is very shimmery indeed.  A bit too shimmery for me to wear during the day, but wearing it at night is a whole different story.  It gives a golden candlelit, lit from within, airbrushed glow to my cheekbones and for that reason, I lash it on when I'm out and about at night.  I can't wait to try it with a tan too.  I bet I'd be able to pack more on which is always a good thing.

So how does one use this I hear you ask?

1 - 2: Using an angled cheek brush, I start at my hairline and sweep down my cheekbone so that most of the product sits at the back of the cheekbone.  That's where you want most of the intensity and that's where you should lay your brush down first.

3: I blend back into my hair to make sure I don't have a scaldy white line right at the hairline which will give your secret away - that you don't indeed have mighty fine cheekbones.  For me, blending is key and I like to make sure all of my edges are soft.  Any powder brush will do the job and I like this angled one from Pink Avenue brushes.  If you're feeling particularly bored and like to wash makeup brushes, then go ahead and apply the contour with one brush and blend with a clean fluffy face brush.  That means everything will be seamless and you're halfway there to pretending you have cheekbones from the heavens.

4: This is where I stand back and assess the situation.  I look at see if I need to shade another stone off my face or leave it be.  Applying and blending in light layers is the way to go or else you'll just look dirty and mightily uncontoured.

I use a smaller brush to apply the highlight at the top of my cheekbones.  I applied really thin layer but you can see how it reflects the light, making my cheeks appear higher.  Just call me Jennifer Lawrence why don't you.

Used lightly, the Filmstar Bronze and Glow gives a wonderful soft glow to the face, both in the contour department and highlight department.

Do you absolutely need it?  Well, if you have a spare €65 knocking around the place, then by all means go out and buy it because you will most likely love it like I do.  But it is dupable though like so many of the great products out there.  In saying that, I know for an absolute fact that if I'd all the dupes for this, I'd still want to go out and buy it because it's Charlotte Tilbury, she makes fantastic products and it's the perfect contour and highlight compact for me when I'm heading out.

Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow is available from Brown Thomas and online.  So tell me, which film star do I look like other than the very obvious comparison to J Law?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Video - Budget beauty haul!

Spending ban, schmending ban.  I wanted to shop for makeup so hoofed my way to all the chemists to see what was new and feed my beauty habit while being on a budget.  Boots points were spent, other money was spent, but I got some great deals and as it's the end of January and we're all broke, it's nice to treat oneself while not spending a bomb.

I hit up Boots, Deals, and Northwood Pharmacy before I realised what had actually happened and how many bits I picked up, but I love them all and am enjoying testing them out this week!  They were for the blog *ahem*


Monday, January 26, 2015

IsaDora Nude Essentials palette, photos, makeup look, review

Last week I told you all about the Twist-Up Matt Lips from IsaDora and I'm starting off the blogging this week with IsaDora's Nude Essentials palette.  This little palette (€17.50) properly knocked me upside the head when I used it and to be honest, I didn't think it was going to bowl me over as much as it did!  Lesson learned - don't judge an eyeshadow palette without actually trying it out first!

Inside the Nude Essentials palette are six shadows, varying in shade from light to dark as you can very well see yourself here.  It has a mix of shimmers and mattes and can be applied as a wash of colour or packed on.   When applying the swatches to my arm, I knew we were on to something good because there wasn't much fall out and they felt silky and soft.  I couldn't wait to get playing with them on my eyeballs.

Because I'm incapable of doing a soft and gentle look when playing with makeup, I went for the full blown soft yet powerful brown smokey eye.  I can't even cope with how much I love this look and I wore it in my most recent video where I talked a little about it too.

In this look I have the darkest shade on my eyelid, the second darkest shade in the crease, the lightest shade on the brow bone and one of the two middle shades in the inner corner - I can't remember which one!  To deepen the look a bit more for filming, I used a brown liner on the waterline and smudged a black eyeliner along the outer half of the upper lash line and patted more of the darkest shadow on top to soften it.  

The two darkest broke shades blended like an absolute dream and I was able to pack on the colour too using a flat eyeshadow brush.  There wasn't a smidge of fall out for me and I did this look in about five minutes.  It would've taken shorter but I kept admiring my eyes and kept applying more and more makeup.  The struggle is real.

A look like this is definitely one I'd wear with a nude lip like above, or with a stronger lip like this one which is Rio Red, one of IsaDora's lip crayons that will be getting it's own post, so stay tuned for that.

Like last week, I sat in my pyjamas with this full face of makeup because I loved it too much to take off and I've already planned to wear it to a few events coming up.  It required minimal effort (my favourite kind of effort) and I feel like it's something Keira Knightley would have on her eyes.  I wore it for a good six hours before having to take it off because it was bed time and there was no creasing at all, but I'll try them on a full work day and update this post.

I think this is going to become one of my staple palettes because it's one that can be used for a light, work appropriate make up look and can be used for something more dramatic like this look.  It's a small, lightweight palette and has a little mirror in the lid which is handy, so I'll be adding this to my makeup bag for days where I'm heading out after work and am going from desk to disco.  Ok, I don't go to discos, but I like alliteration and couldn't think of anything else to get my point across.  Desk to dinner?  Anyways, this is definitely one to check out lads and I think the photos speak for themselves!

The Nude Essentials palette should be on stands soon if it isn't already.  Would you be interested in seeing a tutorial using it along with some of the other IsaDora products I've been testing out recently?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

NARS Audacious Lipstick - Anita, photos, swatches, review

I think I've found The Perfect Dusky Pink lipstick!  When perusing (running around like a lunatic screaming "I'm here, I'm finally here!" in my mind) the aisles of Sephora during our trip to New York, I came across the NARS stand more specifically, the Audacious lipsticks.  I remembered coveting all of them after reading Temptalia's post and then the panic set in.  Which one to pick?  We all know that you're allowed to buy whatever you want when on holiday and more specifically, in Sephora, but at this stage of the trip, I'd already done a lot of damage in there.   Trying to be restrained in Sephora is extremely difficult as you well know, but I was very strict and picked up just one of the lipsticks.  One!  And it wasn't even a coral one!  Say hello to Anita.  Isn't she lovely? 

The formula of these lipsticks are luxurious, creamy, smooth and any of the shades I swatched on the back of my hand were super pigmented.  I knew I wanted an everyday shade and Anita with her muted rosy pinkness was the one for me.  I'm a sucker for the little details and with the NARS logo etched into the side of the bullet and the magnetic cap, it's a lipstick I enjoy playing with.  I say playing because you know yourself, a magnetic cap means that you can't close it just once.  No, I close it a good 5-6 times before it goes back in my bag.  You know you do the same thing too.

But back to the shade.  Anita is one of those shades that makes me feel and look put together when I haven't made a huge effort with my makeup.  And also, when it comes to buying high end lipsticks like this, I like to pick shades I know I'll get a lot of wear out of.  It's never the time to brave and pick something wild when I'm shelling out €30 on a lipstick!

As I mentioned above, the pigmentation is fantastic and there's no need at all for layering this baby because a quick slick and I'm good to go.  It feels really comfortable on the lips and the creamy texture feels like it's keeping my lips nice and hydrated - something that's very important altogether during these winter months.

We have them in 30 shades available from Brown Thomas.  Yes, they're spendy at €30, but if you're on the market for a high end lipstick that you'll get a lot of wear out of, then the Audacious range is definitely worth checking out.  I totally have my eyeballs on the corals and will pick one up in the summer no doubt!

Have you tried the Audacious lipsticks yet?  Which shade do I need to try next?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2014 favourites - Perfume, skincare & bodycare!

One of my biggest fears when I started doing YouTube videos was the waffle factor.  Would I be able to talk about things to a camera?  What if there was a lot of silence and my videos were really short?  Yeah, I totally didn't need to worry about that.  Case in point, behold part 2 of my 2014 favourites which is 17 minutes and 35 seconds long!  You can watch part 1 here where I waffled about all things makeup.  Today I'm talking fragrances, skincare and body care and really and truly love each and every item I talk about.  I want you all to try them and smell like them, such is my love.

Granted, I have a lot of favourite scents, but perfumes are my thing and I love 'em all.  And we won't get me started on the skincare.  I have waffled long and hard about my picks and really believe that I've found my perfect skincare cocktail!  So grab a cuppa and see what I loved last year!

Click here to subscribe to our channel and to see a list of the products mentioned and to be honest, there aren't that many compared to part 1!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New! L'Occitane Shea Butter Facial Care Range is here to help crispy face!

You'll know by now that L'Occitane features heavily in my skincare routine and now they've only gone and released the Shea Butter Skincare collection, right in the middle of winter.  Talk about good timing eh?

Winter has set up camp and between it being freezing outside and having the heating on all the time, now is the time when our skin can go haywire.  We need to combat this as best we can because having a crispy face isn't cute.

L'Occitane's Shea Butter Skincare collection contains fair trade shea butter from Burkina Faso that helps soften and nourish the skin - things I enjoy as I fight the flaky face syndrome during these colder months.  I was sent a couple of products to try and I thought I'd give you my first impressions today.

I love using a cleansing oil to both take off my makeup and cleanse my skin and the Cleansing Oil (€20) feels thick and luxurious on my skin.  It's enriched with 5% Shea Butter and does a stellar job at both taking my makeup off and cleansing my skin without stripping it, leaving it nice and hydrated and nourished.  The bottle says it can be used on the eyes and I gave it a go a couple of times despite having sensitive eyes as we all know.  It removed my mascara after about 30 seconds of massaging it into my lashes and after wiping my eyes clean with a facecloth, I was good to go.  It didn't sting my eyes at all when I was using it but I did find they were a bit watery when I went to bed.  So just because I have delicate little eyeballs like nobody else on the planet, I'll use my micellar cleansing water on my them and use this cleansing oil on my face.

One pump dispenses enough oil to do my whole face. I learned this the hard way the first time I tried it and pumped a good 2-3 pump fulls into my hand before realising what I'd done and I could've cleansed my whole body with the amount I had!  So one pump will do you and it'll mean this bottle will last for ages.

If you're more of a cleansing milk kind of person, then there's one in the collection (€20) as well as a gentle toner (€18).

In terms of moisturisers, there's a Light Comforting Cream (€32) and an Ultra Rich Comforting Cream (€34), depending on your skin type.

The Light Comforting Cream contains 5% Shea butter and is for those with normal or combination skin.  When I tell you the scent of this is gorgeous, you have to believe me.  It smells really soft and soothing and I've been applying this before bed, so it has all night to do it's business on my skin.  For those with dry and sensitive skin, then the Ultra Rich Comforting Cream with it's massive 25% Shea butter will take care of any dry scaldy skin beautifully, leaving it feeling moisturised and soothed like nobody's business.

Are you currently stuck in a battle against the elements with your face this weather?  Will you be giving any of these products a go?  The collection is in shops now, so go forth and test it out and see why I can't wait to go to bed and slather my face with my Light Comforting Cream tonight!

Monday, January 19, 2015

IsaDora Twist-Up Matt Lips review, photos, swatches

Last week I got to have a look at what IsaDora has coming for Spring 2015 and all weekend I was playing with everything, taking photos and then panicking at what to tell you about first because there are some serious gems coming peeps!  So over the next couple of weeks, be prepared to hear a lot about the brand because I'm very excited.  So much so, I'm now sitting on the couch in my pyjamas with a full face of IsaDora makeup on.  Standard weekend shenanigans here at Lovely Girlie Bits.

Ok, I need to tell you about the Twist-Up Matt Lips first.  As you know, the matte lip revolution went into overdrive last year and we tried to find the next big thing that didn't dry our lips out while giving that soft matte look.  Spoiler alert for the rest of this post, but these are bloody brilliant.

IsaDora Twist-Up Matt Lips 
There are three of these twist up matte lipsticks on offer and I'm hoping they bring out more because it's love.  At €13.25, they're slightly on the spendy side for a pharmacy lipstick, but here's why they're worth the extra few bob.

No sharpener is required.  This makes it perfect for carrying around in one's handbag.  The formula is like nothing else I've tried and we know I've tried a lot of lippies in my bloggy life.  They don't dry out my lips at all.  Not a single bit.  And it's cold as hell outside and my lips are in bits!  They feel like velvet when I apply them and make my lips look pillowy soft.  The formula though, let me go back to that.  On the lips, they give a satiny velvety finish, but if you press your lips together, there's still a bit of slip to it, so no drying out at all.  They last for a good 4 hours on me before I need to reapply.

I love the packaging with the coloured caps and ends to make life a bit easier.  I already have two of them in my handbag for daily use and you probably already know which ones.  Can you guess which one is my favourite?!

Left - Right: IsaDora Twist-Up Matt Lips Posh Peach, Naked, Candy Store

Posh Peach

Posh Peach is positively gorgeous and is my absolute favourite.  It's bright but not glaringly so and is the perfect shade for me and my skin tone.  I've been wanting a pastel peachy shade like this for ages and any lip products that I've tried in this colour before have either been too creamy or milky and settle in lip lines, or too chalky and drying, but Posh Peach is perfect.  This is a coral peachy lover's dream for spring and summer and I know I'll fly through this one.


Naked is a peachy rose gold shade that is the most wearable of the three for everyday use.  I say that because I work in an office and generally keep my makeup on the neutral end of the scale.  It looks more frosty in the photos than in real life where it's a natural nude shade with a subtle sheen which will make a lovely accompaniment to a smokey eye.

Candy Store

Finally!  A bright pink I'm not scared of!  Candy Store is both vivid and soft at the same time.  This shade makes my lips look like lovely pink pillows and like the two before it, is a dream to wear.  Mags, I think this one has converted me to the pink side!  I love how this looks with just a slick of mascara and a healthy glow to the cheeks.

These will be on counters soon and I'll try to find out an exact date and let you know because they need to be investigated if you're looking for something matte but not drying, something that feels really comfortable on the lips and shades that are perfect for spring.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to take off Naked and apply Posh Peach as it goes with my pyjamas better!

Stay tuned for more IsaDora news and tell me, which one is your favourite?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2014 beauty favourites - makeup!

We're only a couple of weeks into the new year, but it feels like Christmas was ages ago!  2014 was a great year for finding some real gems in the beauty world and I wanted to make sure I didn't forget anything, so I went through my entire stash and picked out the products that really stood out to me last year.  I also made a lot of weird faces and held things up to my head as per usual.

The video is a big 'un and I ended up having to split it up into two videos.  This one is all things makeup and the next one will feature perfumes, skincare, bodycare and tan.

Going through my stash is very cathartic and also scary.  It made me realise that I really do need to do a cull, but it also reminded me of things I loved earlier in 2014 and now I want to wear all the makeup all the time.  I may become a drag queen in 2015!


Did I miss anything major?  What were your favourites in 2014 and stand by for part 2 later in the week!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's happened to the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponges?

Back in my December favourites, and possibly another video before that, I professed my love for the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.  It changed my opinion completely on Estee Lauder's Double Wear foundation which just didn't work on me at all using a brush or my fingers and because of the Miracle Complexion Sponge, it turned Double Wear into one of my holy grail foundations.  I used it most days with all of my foundations because it helped give the most natural, skin like finish and was a pleasure to use.

I waffled on and on about this sponge to anyone who would listen to me and so a few months ago, I decided to buy a second one because I figured, hey, I'm using this one all the time, I need a spare one to keep me going while this first one is drying.  I got home and opened the packing and thought "Hmm, this one doesn't feel like the other one"...  It seemed a lot rougher, more porous and I figured it was probably because it was dry and needed to wet it to see if it smoothed out.

No.  After running it under water and squeezing it out in a towel, it still felt really wet, and wetting it didn't seem to change the size texture of it either.  It didn't get smoother or feel like it absorbed much water despite having so many massive pores to sop up moisture.  My first Real Techniques sponge swells like a big leech with the amount of water it takes in, but once I squeeze it in a dry towel, the moisture on the outside is gone and I'm left with a perfectly damp sponge.  Why wasn't this new kid playing ball?

But I still wasn't ready to give up on this newbie, especially not having tried it yet.  So I gave it a go with my Double Wear and realised my first impressions were right.  It wasn't the same as my first sponge.  Despite having not absorbed much water inside the sponge itself, it seemed to absorb a lot of my foundation.  It left my face looking and feeling wet and that's not what I'm after when I'm heading to work in the morning.

So just let the record show, if you ever hear me talking about the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge, I'm talking about this one.  It's smooth as a baby's bum.  Excoosy the makeup on it, it's a hoor to clean.

Did they make a wonky batch?  I know when Lisa watched my video recently she said she'd the same problem with her new one, so tell me if you've had the same issue.  If you've gotten a more porous sponge, is there a way of making it work for you?

All I'm happy about is that I got a smooth sponge first because if I'd picked this thing up first I wouldn't have raved about it at all.

So when you're in your local chemist looking for one of these, try to get the smoothest one.  It'll be worth it!

Update: Real Techniques saw me and Lisa chatting on Twitter and tweeted mes last night to their customer support here if we notice any different in quality, so I'll be filling that out today and if you too have bought a porous sponge, let's unite and bring the smooth ones back!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Staying organised in 2015 - Or how much stationary does one human person need?

In the second half of last year, life got so busy that I felt completely overwhelmed, both in real life and in bloggy life.  I used to be quite organised with the blog, having photos taken and posts scheduled in advance and for a long time, I felt like I was playing catch up and I hated it.  I couldn't get ahead of myself and keeping up with everything was hard enough, never mind planning in advance.  Now that work is back to normal (kind of, I'm still up extra early but not covering for anyone anymore), and paired with a lot of sleep and relaxation over Christmas, I feel like I'm back in business.  My brain is back to being able to think of ideas for posts and videos and it's like the good old days!

So with the start of the new year, I needed new organisation, both for blog life and real life.  Some might call it extreme, but I love stationary and probably keep places like Paperchase in business.  Lists are the only way I can manage life and if I don't write stuff down when I think of them, they go out of my brain, never to return and that sucks ass.

Kate Spade Planner

I first saw this in Macy's in New York, then went to buy it on Black Friday where the sales assistants are super busy and super slow.  It wasn't on sale and I decided I didn't want to potentially queue for 30 minutes for a $36 planner, so left it and thought about it a bit more before going back the following day and it wasn't there.  Cut to us in the Kate Spade shop on 5th avenue a few days later where they had it and it was 30-40% off, I can't remember.  But I love it and it was meant to be!

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the little phrases like this one at the beginning of each month.  So in January, I'm going to lose my head in the clouds.

Inside the planner, we have the month laid out on two pages for me to see what's happening.  I like things laid out like this and at a glance, I can see what's going on.  Pardon the little blurring out of stuff I have coming up this month, keeping a few things under my hat.  But yes, January is shaping up to be an interesting and exciting month!

Then we have the weekly planner where I can keep notes of things, like you do in planners.  I'm hoping to keep this beaut full for the whole year because I'm a hoor for forgetting to keep track of things and after everything I went through to get this, it deserves to be filled with lots of exciting things.


I got this notebook for Christmas from my brother Stephen and his girlfriend Claire and because it's cute and pretty and has Imagine written on the front, I have chosen it as my place to jot down ideas for blog posts and videos.  I blahddy love it and already have a few pages filled with lists, ideas, things that might not make it to the internet, but I'm doing my best and using my imagination!  My brain is constantly ticking over when it comes to blog post and video ideas and there is nothing worse than thinking of something great and forgetting it two minutes later because you didn't write it down.  Soooooo annoyingggggg.

Christian Lacroix

This beaut of a notebook arrived before Christmas from Bourjois and it's just so fancy with it's Christian Lacroix-ness and Parisian designs on the front.  This was too fancy for just anything, so I decided to use it as my gratitude notebook/things that make me happy notebook.  I know this sounds very Oprah, but I'm loving it!  In life, it's so easy to get caught up in the negative stuff, in your own life and in other's lives, so over Christmas, I decided I wanted to take five minutes at the end of each day and list five things that made me happy that day.  The first few days were a bit hard to come up with 5 but when I sat and thought about it, it's the little things that I need to be appreciating along with the big things.  Now I look forward to writing in it every night and I think it'll be something nice to look over when I'm having a bad day or at the end of the year when I want to look back over all the things that made me happy, made me smile and made me appreciate how lucky I am.

To Do

I found this To Do pad in The Container Store and know that it's going to be a lifesaver this year.  Not in the bloggy part of my life, just real life.  As I mentioned before, I can get very overwhelmed when I have a huge amount ahead of me which can send me into a downward spiral so I'm going to be proactive this year and use this bad boy to help me keep on top of everything!  That's the plan anyway!


I bought this weekly calendar mainly because I thought it was cute.  Total honesty there!  But it is and I think it'll be good either for blog post planning or real life planning, or maybe even a weekly meal planner?  I don't know, I just loved it and was so excited to see all the office-y things in The Container Store and I'll find a use for it!  I got the sticky notes in Boots before Christmas and we all need sticky notes in our lives, especially ones with hashtags.  And I bought a load of pens and highlighters in one of those discount shops.  At work, we only ever have black pens, the joys of working in a hospital, so I wanted a bit of colour because I'm 12 on the inside.  I don't have a use yet for the purple Moleskine notebook, but give me time and I'm sure I'll figure something out!

Is it just me or is it very satisfying to get a load of new stationary in the new year?

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Pamela Barsky makeup bags!

I have a habit of collecting makeup bags.  I have lots in my stash and yet when I see something different, pretty and sometimes functional, I hand over my cashola quick smart and get around to packing the bags with makeup.  Might as well put them to use don't ya know to fully justify the purchase of another one.

As you know, we were in New York a couple of months ago and when wandering through the little stalls at Bryant Park, I came across one that stopped me in my tracks.  It was full of makeup bags of all sizes.  I'm saying they're makeup bags, but they were really just pouches.  In my mind though, I could only picture the makeup I'd put into them all, so I'm calling them makeup bags.

I digress though.  Designer Pamela Barsky has pouches galore with witty, sassy phrases on the front and you can see the whole collection here in her Etsy shop.  I wish I'd bought the one about the sisters now that I look through them!  We'd laughed about it at the time but I ended up picking up these two and they're perfect for me.

They're just your run of the mill fabric pouches, but it's the phrases that make them special.  I think I'm a little bit obsessed with these and they're both just under the €15 mark which makes them tres affordable.

Those of you who know me and have seen me without mascara knows why I needed to get this one.  I look like a weirdo without my lashes fully mascara-ed and no matter how busy or late I am, mascara is a must.   Hence this bag...

And again, if you know me, you know I'm obsessed with New York.  I'm already planning on going back next year (if I can stop buying makeup) and I don't think it'll ever lose it's magical effect on me. So I needed this obvs...

I have deemed these my "good" makeup bags and only the best makeup will be allowed to live in there.  Speaking of which, I must do a What's in my makeup bag post or video to show you what I'm testing out at the moment!  I think I love these more than any other makeup bag I've ever bought because they have proper meaning for me.  I smile when I see them and that's always a good thing right?

So tell me, am I alone in my makeup bag hoarding tendencies?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes mascara review, before & after photos

You know I'm a sucker for Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes and over the years have been collecting them in droves.  I might actually do a separate post on them because they're fantastic, but I'm here today to talk about Tarte's Lights, Camera, Flashes mascara which I picked up in New York.

Like the original Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara which came in blue packaging, this gold number is quilted and fancy, but I still wish they'd do without the whole shebang.  A regular mascara tube would do me grand and I'm waiting for the gold bit on the lid to come loose like it did with the original one. I can feel a bit of give already, so I don't think it'll be long before it gives up the ghost.

But packaging aside, let's have a look at the wand.  It claims to have two sides, a denser side with shorter bristles which you use to pack the product onto your lashes and a longer side to comb through your lashes, lengthening and separating them.  It looks comme ci.

I don't see or feel a huge difference in the sides of the wand to be honest and just kind of work away when I'm applying it.  Any time I use a mascara, I always twirl the brush as I'm combing through my lashes, so I must be getting the benefits of the dense and long bits by default.

But let me talk to you about the long bristles.  You can kind of see in the photo above that they're slightly curved upwards and they really are a good bit longer than the shorter bristles.  And I find that getting the wand right to the roots of my lashes, both upper and lower, very ticklish.  Like really ticklish.  I have to fight to stop myself from rubbing my eyes and because the mascara is wet when this is happening, I can't squeeze my eyes shut to make it shop!  And no matter how hard I try, I can't stop myself from smudging the lower lashes every time I use it.  I think the bristles go through my lashes and hit off my skin every time.   Tres annoying.  But let's have a look at it in action shall we?

You can see that the upper lashes have lots of lift and curl with a decent amount of volume.  As always, I've applied just the one coat for the blog post, but it's a buildable mascara so if you want more, just add more.

To be honest, I'm a bit disappointed with it and there are definitely better mascaras out there on the market.  It doesn't give me "enough" and you know me, I love my mascaras and expect all the boxes to be ticked.  I think the itchy wand was a no for me from the get go.  You know how I'm always in a rush in the morning and sometimes don't have time to apply eyeshadow so just rely on a decent mascara to hold it's own without anything else on my eyes.  The constant smudging under my lashes is annoying when I'm wearing it alone, but with some eyeshadow, it doesn't bother me too much.

It didn't break the bank at $23, but I don't think I'll be rushing out to repurchase it again.  As I try more mascaras, it takes a lot for one to stand out and this just isn't special enough unfortunately.  I definitely prefer the original version of this, Lights, Camera Lashes and still wish I'd picked up Tarte's Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara when I was in New York.  Next time!

So tell me, what mascara do I need to try next?  I'm not a makeup snob so all price points will be considered equally!

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