Monday, August 31, 2015

August favourites!

Another month over lads!  August really did fly by and I really enjoyed it!  Doing monthly favourites videos really makes me take stock of all the things I did, the products I tried, the people I met and August was one of my favourite months of the year so far!

I got to test out some really fantastic products, meet some amazing ladies and have the absolute craic altogether!  So have a squizz at this week's video and if there's anything you'd like more information on, just leave me an aul comment!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Liz Earle is now available in Arnotts

Just when I think they can't squish anything else into Arnotts' beauty hall, they go and find space for Liz Earle!  This is one of my favourite skincare brands ever and now I don't have to hoof it out to Liffey Valley to get my fix.  And even better that I can use my Wonder Card to save up points when I go shopping!

This is what it looks like at the moment and after Christmas I believe they'll be moving somewhere else in the Beauty Hall.  Brand new fully stocked shelves make me happy like nowt else!

Over the years I've tried out lots of Liz Earle products and you can read more about them here because there are a lot!  But basically, my skin loves every single product I've tried.  The Superskin Concentrate is my go to facial oil in the colder months and they're bringing out a bigger version so I won't have to scrimp on it anymore!  But I wanted to quickly talk you through some of my favourite products and introduce you to some new ones too so you won't get too overwhelmed when you visit the counter in Arnotts.  I'm very good aren't I?

If you've not tried their famous Cleanse and Polish then you're missing out because it's a little gem.  It not only removes all traces of makeup, but also cleanses the skin and once buffed off with the muslin cloth, your skin is exfoliated, smooth, soft and ready for the next step.

This is my third bottle of the Instant Boost Skin Tonic and I'll continue to buy many more!  If you're in the market for a soothing toner that refreshes the skin leaving it looking alive and radiant, then get this.  And can we take a second to talk about the Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion?  It pretty much does what it says on the bottle and if you wake up in the morning with puffy eyes, a bit of this on cotton pads while you lounge back in bed or on the couch and your peepers will be looking alive and you'll look like a human being again which is always nice.  This is my weekend treat as ain't nobody got time for soothing eyeballs during the week!

The Superskin Moisturiser is thick, unctuous and completely luxurious and is one of my favourites to slather on in the winter.  If you like having nourished, hydrated skin, then definitely check it out and when you apply some to the back of your hand, you'll be hooked.  Guaranteed.

One of the new products out is the Superskin Face Serum which promises to help dry or mature skin to look very amazing.  Those are my words.  Liz Earle uses words like firm, lifted, even and radiant skin.  So basically the same thing.  I've only used the serum a couple of times so far and so I can't report back on my findings yet, but with ingredients like Persian silk which enhances radiance, pomegranate flower to boost collagen and rhubarb extract to help hydration, I have high hopes for this and fully expect to have the skin of a 25 year old in a couple of months.

Finally they've a new fragrance coming out in October, the Botanical Essence No. 20 Eau De Parfum.  This gorgeously feminine scent has notes of pink pepper and bergamot when first spritzed followed by a subtle dry down of jasmine (my favourite) and turkish rose before the base notes including sandalwood and vanilla bean round it out beautifully.

This is a really delicate, refined perfume that isn't overpowering and is one that I can see myself wearing when I want to pretend that I'm a lady.

This is just the tip of the Liz Earle shaped iceberg because they have haircare and body care too, so do yourself a favour and hit up Arnotts!

What's your favourite Liz Earle product and what do I need to try?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's ok... Blogger edition

This post is for the bloggers out there, be ye beauty bloggers or otherwise.  So if you're here for something beauty related, I'll be back tomorrow with something very fabulous!

The blogging world has literally exploded in recent years and has completely changed in the five years I've been doing it.  I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to blog every day, sometimes twice a day and last year when I was the busiest and most tired I've ever been with everything, I cut myself some slack.  And that freedom took a long while to get used to.  See, I have blogger's guilt a lot.  When I'm watching TV in the evening, I think "Hmm, I could be getting ahead of things now", or if I'm lazing about on the couch, it's generally on my mind that I should be getting stuff done.  But I'm getting there and find that the need to switch off and go easier on myself is much needed.

The majority of us blog as a hobby.  We do it for free.  People think we get free stuff and it must be great and yes, that's an amazing perk from blogging.  What they might not realise is the time that goes into taking and editing the photos along with writing the blog post.  I often wonder if companies and brands would do what we do for free.  And that thought made me take a step back and give myself a break and any blogger out there in a bit of a rut should too!

Today, I want to tell me fellow bloggers that it's ok.  

It's ok if you want to take a blogging break.  Recharging the batteries from time to time is necessary and more often than not you'll come back all guns blazing.

It's ok if you can't post every day.  Sometimes real life gets in the way.  Sometimes you're tired.  Sometimes you want to watch trashy TV or a film instead of blog and that's ok!

It's ok if you find inspiration in someone else's blog and it's ok to credit that inspiration by means of a mention, a link or a shout out.  It won't take away from your blog or your post!

It's ok if you see someone constantly talking about blog stats and you feel like yours isn't even close to those numbers.   Take them with a pinch of salt and know that stats aren't everything.  Content is king and if you're proud of every post you put out there, you're grand.  (More often than not, those stats are being massaged so be proud of your numbers).

It's ok if you have blogger's block.  It happens to the best of us.  With the sheer number of blogs that are out there and samples being sent out, trying to find a different angle all the time.

It's ok if you can't go to every event.  Sometimes real life, family life or work life gets in the way.  Maybe you want to have a cosy night in or maybe once you came home and put your pyjamas on, there was no going back!

It's ok to say no to some "opportunities".  Go with your gut.  Working with brands should be mutually beneficial.  It's up to you do negotiate or decide what you're happy with.

It's ok if you're not making money from your blog.  This is extremely difficult to do and doesn't make you any less of an amazing blogger.

It's ok if you feel like your life isn't Instagram worthy.  Real life isn't that perfect or stylised.  Snapchat has shown us that!

It's ok if you've just started blogging and are finding it hard to navigate your way and build an audience.  This takes time, patience, hard work and luck.  There's no magic formula.

It's ok if you can't keep up to date on all forms of social media.  If you're working full time, chances are you can't be on your phone at work and tweeting or Facebooking ain't going to pay the bills!

It's ok if you get a bit overwhelmed with everything.  You're only one bridie and can only do so much!

I hope that this helped someone out there and if not, it totally helped me!  It's not all doom and gloom though and that's not what this post was about.  Blogging is brilliant and I can't see myself stopping it anytime soon!  For the most part it's a completely positive experience and sometimes it's not.  But it's ok.  The good things far outweigh the bad and it's ok to feel any of those things mentioned above!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clarins Ombre Matte eyeshadows Heather & Carbon review, photos!

Remember when matte eyeshadows were a thing to be scared of?  They were the products only to be touched and used by the professionals because they were notoriously difficult to use, especially by us mere mortals.  Those days are gone my friends and now there are some really fantastic matte shadows on the market that even the most cack handed of us can get to grips with!  Today we're going to have the chats about two new shades from Clarins' Ombre Matte collection - Heather and Carbon.

Hands up, I did a full blown squeak of happiness when Heather arrived because I fell in love with it at the launch a few weeks ago.  This soft purple with grey undertones to it is eyeball perfection and for someone with green eyes, it was made for me.  I've tried the Ombre Matte shadows in the past and they do not disappoint one bit.  We're talking creamy, smooth, pigmented, so easy to apply and blend and they stay put all day.  As always, I have to apply an eyeshadow base no matter what I use and once I do that, I get the full work day out of these.

Check out Heather in all it's glory...

Now you know me, I'm in the more is more camp when it comes to makeup, so had to pack on a bit more!  I applied Carbon into the outer corner and took it under the lower lashes to add a bit of smokiness to the look.  And I always like to line the waterline when doing something smoky, so I lashed on a bit of Clarins Crayon Kohl in Carbon Black for the craic.

Carbon is just as soft and pigmented as Heather so I made sure to apply it lightly so as not to take over the whole look and make me look like I'd panda eyes.  The finish on them though is absolutely gorgeous.  Matte, soft, almost velvety and are eyeshadows that are suited to all ages.  As we get older, we're told that shimmer can highlight dry, crepey lids and while I won't be retiring my shimmers or glitters anytime soon, I'll be rocking a matte lid lots this autumn and winter.

The Ombre Matte eyeshadows are €22.50 and if you're looking for some beautiful shadows to ease you into autumn, then definitely check these out.  I'm totally obsessed with Heather and predict that'll sell out quickly!  Get yourself to your nearest Clarins counter now and check these out along with the rest of the autumn collection which I'll be showing you soon!

If you're not near a Clarins counter or like a bit of online shopping (don't we all), then they're available on Debenhams website!


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lush Shampoo Bars - Jumping Juniper & Montalbano review

I love going into Lush "just for a look", famous last words and a few weeks ago I found myself in the Henry Street branch seeing what tickled my pickle.  I'd a goo on me to pick up one of the shampoo bars as I'm a huge fan of them and have tried a few over the years.  I'm obsessed with the Godiva and the New shampoo bars and have gone through a couple of them each over the years.  But you know me, I needed to try something new.  So I got sniffing and picked out two beauts.

The Jumping Juniper shampoo bar is the purple number there and is apparently only grand for hair that needs a deep clean.  So if you're one who uses lots of products in your hair, this might be the one for you.  I have greasy hair all the time and nothing pleases me more than to have nice squeaky hair at the end of my shower.  It contains juniper berry to help regulate oil production along with lavender and rosemary to help calm and soothe the scalp.  And despite leaving my hair feeling squeaky clean, it doesn't make it go all fluffy when I use it thanks to the lemon and lime oil which help smooth out the hair cuticle.  It smells really clean, fresh, zingy and uplifting.  All the things that make me happy!

The bright neon yellow Montalbano shampoo bar screams summer while filling my bathroom with the most uplifting citrus scent thanks to Sicilian lemon oil and lemon juice which must add up to one of my five a day!  Again, this bar leaves my hair feeling squeaky clean with incredible shine, two of my favourite things when it comes to my locks.

I can't pick a favourite between these two, hence why I treat them evenly and take turns using them.  Neither of them irritate or dry out my scalp and I shall continue to use them every day until they disintegrate.  Oh, and if you're heading away anytime soon, these are perfect for popping into your carry on!

Have you tried any of Lush's shampoo bars?  Which is your favourite?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rimmel Match Perfection foundation review, before & after photos!

Rimmel are relaunching their Match Perfection foundation in September and having loved the original version in the past, I was excited to slap this on my face when six of the seven shades available arrived to test out.

Despite it's glass bottle which isn't great for travelling with or lugging around in your makeup bag, I've been enjoying using it over the past week or so.  Boasting an SPF20, it promises to hydrate, perfect and protect the skin.  It has a slightly thicker texture to a regular liquid foundation, but blends into the skin easily and feels really lightweight once given a couple of minutes to set.  One pump generally does my face and if I need a bit more coverage on my cheeks to cover my redness, I stipple a bit more on and I'm good to go.

What I'm left with is really natural looking skin despite it's medium level of coverage and it leaves a lovely soft glow to the skin.  Oily skinned bridies like me will need to set their t-zones with powder because it tends to break down on those parts of my face by lunch time.  I learned that the hard way the first day I used it, so be warned.

But I love the finish it gives.  It evens out my complexion only lovely, covering the redness on my nose and cheeks but without looking cakey.  And once I set it with powder, I get the whole work day out of it.  I think this is a foundation that'll work really well on dryer skin because it really does leave the skin feeling moisturised, but as I've already said, oilier skinned people will need to either prime their oily bits or powder them.

I enjoy how it doesn't sit in my pores, that it gives me the natural radiance of a 21 year old and that it gives me lovely before and after photos like these!  I use the lightest shade, 100 Ivory but can also get away with the second lightest shade, 103 True Ivory, but for anyone paler than me, you'll have to look elsewhere for something that'll match you.

I love how Rimmel's prices for foundations are always on the money (fnar fnar) and at €10.29, it's definitely worth checking out when it launches on 7th of September.

Two thumbs up from me!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dare to go bare! Rimmel Nude Collection by Kate Moss

When I think of Kate Moss, I think of four things.

1. She went out with Johnny Depp for yonks and I was uber jealous because I love him.
2. She has the tousled bed hair down to perfection and I am uber jealous because I literally look like I've rolled out of bed when I try it.
3. She can get away with the messy kohl lined eyes, of which I am uber jealous as I just look messy when I try that.
3. She can rock a nude lip better than anyone else and I am not so uber jealous of that because I think I can pull that off.  Thank God for that.  1 out of 4 ain't bad...

So Kate has launched a five strong nude lipstick collection, but we're only getting two of the five shades on offer which is a shame.  But I'll be keeping an eye out just in case the other ones decide to make an appearance on shelves.

Shade 43 is a peachy tan shade which is aimed at those with warm undertones, so the more sallow bridies out there, and for those like me who are cool toned thanks to my pink skin, shade 45 was made for us.

Rimmel Nude Collection by Kate Moss Shade 43 (top), Shade 45 (bottom)
Like previous Kate Moss lippies from Rimmel, these both feel lovely and moisturising on the lips and go on like buttah!  Not that I know what it's like to put butter on my lips, but just be rest assured that even those of us with the driest lips will rest easy when we have these on.

You can see how shade 43 isn't quite a match for my skin tone but I've got a pal with her name on this and it'll be gorgeous with her golden glow.

Shade 45 was made for me with it's mauve undertones and it's one of the most wearable shades on a day to day basis at work, but I can also pile the eye makeup on and it'll go with that too.  You know me, if I've time to put on eyeshadow in the morning that's a bonus, but you know I love me some smokey eyes and nude lips!

These babies are on counters now and will set you back a piddley €6.99!  Will you be checking these out?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

L'Oreal Superliner Superstar Eyeliner review & photos!

I am mortally afraid of eyeliner.  Ah no, not really.  But it's not something I'd generally do when I'm heading out after spending ages with eyeshadows because every single time I'm on the clock and need to be ready to run out the door and have blended five different eyeshadows perfectly and am really happy with the result, I mess it up with a liner.  It's a given.  And so I generally just keep the liner for when I'm filming.  Or sitting in my office in my pyjamas and hun bun/hun hole.

Not anymore.

L'Oreal's Superliner Superstar Eyeliner is by far the best liner I've tried in years and what's more, it's a felt tip liner!

I've never been a fan of felt tip liners in the past because I found they always bled into tiny little creases on my skin immediately after application, but this doesn't and my crepey eyelids thank it.  The long flexible tip makes application really easy and that's coming from someone who knows a thing or two (or five) about messy application.  I use the pointed end to create a really fine line on the inner half of the eyelid, something that's crucial for someone with a hooded eye like me, and then I use the whole side of the tip to create my wing and fill it in.

Pressing lightly on the tip will give a thin line and if you haven't figured it out yet, pressing harder will give a thicker line as demonstrated by my illustration below which might be my next tattoo!  Or not.  But you can see the intense pigmentation and the lack of bleeding into any lines and that's half the battle won for me.

For fans of a more subtle winged look, get a load of my photos below.  This genuinely took me all of five minute to do both eyes and that was with extra faffing about for photos.  It was so easy to use and I had no tidying up to do to make the pointed flick.  The tip did all the work for me.

A subtle winged look like this calls for a red lip and I teamed the liner with Blake's Red from L'Oreal's True Red Collection, named after Blake Lively and I'd say I am the spit of her here.

Now for fans of the more dramatic look, a thick line is easily done by building upon what we created above.  To prevent any tugging on the lid, I like to lie the liner on it's side, right on my skin to create the shape I want and then fill it in with the tip.  I absolutely love the cat eye look below and am dying to wear it out this weekend!  Or tomorrow when I'm lying on the couch watching the Bake Off with a cuppa.

If you're following me on Snapchat, you'll know that I've used this a good few times over the last week and have fallen in love with it.  Yes, I had a wobble one day where I couldn't get the placement for the wing right, then would remove it, and put it in the exact same place again.  I totally did this about four times but that was my fault and not the liner's!

For €10.49, you need to check this out if you're a newbie to liners or are a pro.  I have become very amazing at doing winged liner and have gotten it right nearly every single time!  Usually I'd luck out one time and go back to being rubbish after that, but this is The One.  It makes me good at lining my eyes!

Have you tried this yet and do tell me about your lining expertise!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

The Lovely Girlie Bits Guide (not FAS course) to Snapchat!

So it's safe to say that Snapchat is my latest obsession.  After only figuring out how to use it back in April, I wonder how I managed without it!  And it has turned into a full blown addiction lads.  I'm not even joking.  I was even on Today FM a few weeks ago talking about how brilliant it is and have been bullying all my chums into trying it out!

I think my favourite aspect of the whole Snapchat thing is the interaction.  Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are grand and all, but people are more willing to ask questions and have the chats on Snapchat.  And from a blogger's perspective, it's great seeing how many eyeballs are seeing your snaps too.  Instagram has become full of spam accounts (middle aged men at the mo) and while you may have X amount of followers, you can't tell how many have actually seen your post.  I follow Joanne on it and unless I go into her profile and see all her photos, I miss so much!  So for me, I like being able to see the eyeballs!

Back before the radio thing, I filmed this wee video to help anyone who might want to start using Snapchat but doesn't know where to start.  That was me.  This is the video I needed back then!  I hope you find it helpful and feel free to leave your Snapchat username in the comments so everyone can follow everyone!

I'm LovelyGirlyBits on it and Joanne is Robo_Jojo, so make sure to follow us for all the chats!


Monday, August 10, 2015

Urban Decay Riff eyeshadow - where have you been all my life?

There I was, watching Rosie Connolly doing her thing on Snapchat a few weeks ago, and in every snap, I thought to myself, what in the name of all that is sacred in this world is on Rosie's eyes and where do I get it.  She told us it was Riff from Urban Decay and I placed that piece of information in the "Obvs Need For Blogging Purposes" section of my brain, only to pick it up a couple of weeks ago with Mags.

There's a time when a product comes into your life and onto your eyeballs and you wonder how you managed without it.  This is one of those products.  The sales assistant on the Urban Decay counter said how she loves this shade so much and wears it in the crease when she's using purple shadows, so I'll definitely be doing that!

Riff is a warm orangey brown shade with the hint of gold sparkle in the pan, but on the eyes, the gold doesn't show up on me at all.  But that makes it all the more wearable for me though.  The formula is so silky when applied and basically blends itself.  And I love that there's hardly any fall out at all too. That makes life a bit easier doesn't it?  I like to pack it onto the lid and take it into the crease before blending any harsh edges away with a fluffy brush.  Because I've hooded eyes, I blend it upwards so that when I open my eyes, you can still see a hint of the colour above the crease.  And as always, I like to take my shadow under the lower lash line to balance it all out.  I have to wear a primer no matter what eyeshadow I use as I've really oily lids and can confirm that this doesn't crease for the whole work day which is good enough for moi.

You can see in the photos that the sparkle is pretty non existent, but that there's the lightest sheen on the lid that stops the colour from looking flat and I am a woman obsessed.  I wore it in my most recent Disappointing Products video if you want to see it in action and when I wore it on Snapchat that day, I'd so many questions asking me what I was wearing on my eyes!  That's always the sign of something special!

For filming, I applied some black liner to add more definition to my eyes and know I'll be wearing Riff with lots of chocolate brown shades and purples in the autumn.  And expect to see me using it in different videos because I am a woman obsessed!  I just wanted to show you the shadow in all it's glory on it's own, but rest assured this won't be the last you'll see of it on the blog or in videos.

I know I'll get so much wear out of Riff and I like to say things like that when justifying a purchase I didn't need, but in this case, it's true!

You can buy it on the Debenhams site for €18, in Debenhams itself, on Feel Unique for about €20,  but be warned, it sells out all the time and that's the Rosie Connolly effect, nothing to do with me!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Disappointing products #3

I'm back with another Disappointing Products video!  A couple of weeks ago, I asked everyone on Snapchat whether they'd like to see a What's New In Beauty video, a Disappointing Products video or something else and everyone requested the Disappointing Products one.  People want to see what to hold back from buying!  And I love watching these videos too.  I have a box where I keep my stash of products that made me go "meh" and so whipped it out to show you the things that didn't work for me, that disappointed me and made me make ridiculous faces in this video!

I hope you enjoy it and feel free to let me know what products didn't work for you because I need all the help I can get to stop me from buying all the things!

Enjoy!  I have two other videos showing you products that failed me, so make sure you watch em all!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Lovely Girlie Bits loves Kate Spade!

Kate Spade is our new obsession folks.  Ever since we came across her stuff last year in New York, we were hooked.  There's an amazing shop in Woodbury Commons that we did some damage in (not too much damage as everything was 60% off with an additional 20% off because of the Black Friday sales) and we hit up her shop on 5th avenue because sure we were there anyway and again, damage was done!

Last month, I was invited to Kildare Village with lots of fellow bloggers on a girlie day out and if you followed me on Snapchat back then, you'd have seen what great craic it was.  We were given a €100 voucher to spend and I knew I'd be spending mine in Kate Spade.  That shop is worth the drive out there alone and after I went on the Wednesday with the girls, Joanne and I went back out that Saturday!

Ok, let me talk to you about my bag first.  It was love at first sight and was on sale.  Those are the two most important things when it comes to shopping!  It's the Beige Cobble Hill Little Minka Cross Body bag and I love it for so many reasons.  It has a long strap for wearing on one's shoulder and a short strap for wearing on one's crook of arm to build the biceps.  I like wearing cross body bags when in town and this fits me perfectly.  It holds lots of crap and while it is beige, I've been able to keep it quite clean so far!

So as I mentioned above, we went back out on the Saturday because Joanne was on the hunt for a black bag.  She'd something specific in mind and when she saw this beaut, the choirs of angels sang and she snapped it up!  The Kate Spade Newbury Lane Loden bag is pure perfection and Joanne assures me she's been bringing it to work, when out and about and is having the ultimate love affair with it.  It's structured, has short straps and a long strap, with two large zipped compartments and an open centre compartment.

When in New York, we picked up a Kate Spade wallet each and were given one for Christmas by our brother Stephen and his girlfriend Claire who know us so well!  These wallets make for perfect gifts and in the outlet in Kildare, they had so many designs and I know I'll be picking up another one this year to add to my collection.  I bought the small navy wallet the same day Joanne bought her bag as I'd been wanting to get something to fit in my smaller bags and clutches.

Don't you love the absolute colour that comes with Kate Spade's boxes?  And her bags for that matter!  The staff in the Kildare Outlet shop are so nice and friendly, giving you all the information you need but without being pushy at all and Mags and I were discussing last week that we'd like to be friends with them!

Let me tell you now that Kate Spade will be taking a lot of my money in the coming months and now her stationary is available in Avoca and newer bags are in Brown Thomas!  But to be honest, I don't mind picking up last season's range in Kildare because I'm all about the savings!  The bags we've shown you in today's post might not be in stock, but do yourself a favour and head out to Kildare Village for a look and I dare you not to pick up something from Kate Spade!

Next time we're heading out in that direction, we'll let you know and we can all go shopping together!  So tell me, are you a Kate Spade lover?  And stay tuned for an updated what's in our bag video next month where we'll show you our bags in lots more detail!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

MAC Burgundy Times Nine palette, photos, swatches, review!

MAC's Burgundy Times Nine palette really should've been called The Palette That Was Made For Karen's Eyeballs.  Lookit.

As part of a four strong collection of palettes, the others being Navy Times Nine, Purple Times Nine, and the one I'm eyeing next; Amber Times Nine.  These are part of the permanent collection which is great news, so panic not!

Inside you get nine mini eyeshadows with varying textures from mattes, to satins to frosts.  This pleases me because I've been embracing the matte crease with shimmer on the lids, so have been getting great use out of all shades so far.  I sound like the ultimate cliche, but the shades really will take you from day to night and I've been able to play around with them all creating office appropriate neutral eyes and then really vamping it up come evening time.  Or filming time.  You know me, I go all drag queen when it comes to filming!

Now, these are mini palettes, with nine existing shades, so if you're contemplating trying some new MAC shadows, then something like this would be great.  I know some people were disappointed to see these weren't full size shadows, but come on, you'd be paying well over the €40 mark for nine full sized MAC shadows.  Let us get to the swatches and looks shall we?

MAC Burgundy Times Nine - L-R: Honeylust, Poppyseed, Qarry

Of all nine shades, Honeylust had the most fall out and had a tendency to go everywhere in the pan, so I'd advise not to swirl the brush and stick to patting it.  On the eyes though, it's gorgeous and makes for a beautiful wash of colour on the lids.  I'm obsessed with both Poppyseed and Quarry and have an absolute love for matte neutrals like these both in the crease as transition colours and also all over the lids for a softer, more sophisticated look.  That's so me.  Soft and sophisticated.  Ahem...

MAC Burgundy Times Nine - L-R: Antiqued, Embark, Noir
I can't actually cope with the joy that Antiqued brings into my life.  Anything copper or orange makes my eyes pop and it packs a serious punch in the pigmentation department too.  I'd say this will be the first shade to be used up and under the lower lash line with a neutral eye is eyeball perfection.  Embark is one of those staple shades and I've been using it to define the crease and Noir is by far the weakest of all nine shades.  In the pan it looks like a gorgeous mix of blackened gold but when swatched, it's disappointing as the gold shimmer barely shows up.  I use it to add some depth and definition to a look, but it's just alright.

MAC Burgundy Times Nine - L-R: Haux, Starviolet, Sketch

Finally, the bottom line is a green eyed girl's dream.  I absolutely love wearing all three shades together and like to take Haux into the crease first to add definition to the socket and blended out, it makes everything look seamless.  Starviolet is a wonderful metallic pink shade with gold undertones and on the lids, makes my eyes even greener if that's possible!  Sketch is one of those shades I've been meaning to pick up for ages and is the perfect accompaniment to Starviolet.

So now onto the looks!  These are just three I've created with the palette and I think I want to film a video showing it in action because I seriously can't get enough of it!

In the top row I have Antiqued on the lid and under the lower lash line, a mix of Poppyseed and Quarry in the crease and Noir on the outer corner and taken slightly into the crease.  I always think smokey looks like this look better with liner, so I've lined the waterline with a black pencil.  This combination of shades will be perfection for autumn!

In the bottom row we have Haux in the crease, Starviolet on the lid and Embark on the outer corner.  I took both of those shades under the lower lash line too to bring it all together and love how pretty the whole thing looks.

The final look is one I've been wearing to work all the time.  I've taken a mix of Haux, Quarry and Poppyseed into the crease and blended it well before applying Honeylust onto the inner half of the eyelid.  I took Starviolet onto the outer half of the eyelid and used the smallest amount of Embark into the outer corner.  The finished product makes me look alive and that is always a good thing.

As with all eyeshadows I wear, I have to apply a base and can confirm that with said base, these shadows do not crease at all throughout the work day.  It's also worth noting that none of the shades were applied wet in the photos, nor did I use a coloured base to intensify the pigmentation.

Hands up, this is one of my favourite palettes of the year so far.  And I like being able to pop it in my makeup bag for touch ups on the go or if I need an extra bit of slap if I'm heading out after work.

It's available from Brown Thomas now and I can't say enough about it.  Yes, I am getting the Amber Times Nine palette this week and hope it lives up to this one!  But if not, at least I have Burgundy Times Nine.   It is true and actual lurve.
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