Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New from Catrice this spring 2016!

I'm such a traditionalist (total boring makeup junkie) when it comes to seasonal makeup and I've been dying for spring to finally arrive so I can start playing with makeup again.  I always feel like the first couple of months of the year can be very blah in terms of beauty, but it's March and I'm ready to start experimenting again!  Catrice sent me a load of products to test out recently and while I'm still making my way through them, I wanted to highlight some instant favourites and one not so favourite.

Catrice's makeup is cheap as actual chips and while you might think that you'll end up saving money because the products are so affordable, the reality is you'll spend even more buying a few products.  I mean who actually goes to a makeup stand and buys one thing?  Crazy talk!

Catrice Blush Shading Palette - CorALL I need
Catrice's Blush Shading Palette in CorAll I need was an instant hit with me and not just because of that absolutely perfect shade in the middle...  That does my heart good seeing colours like this and what's better is the formula is so lightweight, soft, blendable and I am hooked.  That pink shade on the end is infused with gold shimmer and is very spring time appropriate, but it's the middle coral shade that has my heart.  And I like to use the highlight shade on the end to add more dimension to my cheeks and cheekbones.

The swatches below are in the opposite order to the photo above, just to confuse you.  But look at the coral shade, second from the left... Isn't it perfection?  The swatch on the very right is the coral and highlight shade layered FYI.  While the swatches on my arms are quite strong, the pigmentation level is on the medium end of the scale, so if you tend to go overboard with blush like me, this makes application a bit easier.  And if you do like to go wild on the cheeks, the shades are easily buildable.  I loved this so much that I went out and bought a different trio to test out so I'll report back on that.

The absolute star of the show and the product that has knocked my Hourglass highlight out of rotation is the Catrice High Glow Mineral Highlighting Powder.  It only comes in one shade but hopefully they'll bring out more because the formula is second to none and I would like a gold version and maybe a rose gold one too thanks very much.  We're talking finely milled, no chalkiness, easy application and the most gorgeous glow ever to adorn your cheekbones!

They say you can apply a light layer all over the face and I can't see myself doing that to be honest, but as a regular highlight, it is stunning and I can see it selling out big time.

There was just one disappointment in this bunch and it was the Nude Sands palette.  At first look, it reminded me of something along the lines of Bobbi Brown with the shades and I thought it was going to be a no brainer, but the colours didn't translate to my eyeballs unfortunately.

If barely there eyeshadow is your thing then you might love this but I like more pigmentation when it comes to my shadows.

Finally is the Catrice Ultimate Colours lipstick in the shade 440 Hugs and Hibis-Kisses.  I am obsessed with this shade and yes, it totally matched the jumper I was wearing that day.  It reminds me of a flamingo and has the perfect balance of pink and coral that I love.  I've worn it dabbed into my lips as a stain, or lashed on for full on glam and this is going to be a firm favourite of mine long into the summer!  It feels nice and moisturising on the lips, has pigmentation to knock your eyeballs out of your head and works really well with my skin tone.  I am hooked!

So three out of four ain't bad sure it's not?  These are all under the €5 mark, so proper bargains and as soon as you see them on counters, I'd get swatching.  Now Catrice stands can be slow to be updated with new products, so visit them often.  Any excuse to make you go visit chemists eh!

Now I'm off to play with more bargain beauty bits from Catrice and shall report back with my findings!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Seventeen Long Lash Mascara review, before & after photos

I have to give props to Seventeen because not only are their mascaras really affordable, but they do them really well. Long time readers might remember my review of the Seventeen Doll'd Up mascara and so I had high hopes for the Seventeen Long Lash Mascara.

The packaging is pretty standard but it's the brush that does all the talking.  Because it's so thin, it means I can truly get every single lash with it and not poke the eyeball out of myself in the meantime.  And it makes light work of the lower lashes too without making a mess.  See, poking of the eyes and messing things up is a pretty standard thing for me first thing in the morning, so anything that helps avoid this is always gets 10 points for Griffindor.

For me, this is a lovely every day mascara, giving me a decent amount of volume, length, curl and separation.  It doesn't quite hit my lashy requirements for night time wear because when I've packed on the eye makeup, I want it to look like I've got falsies on.  But on mornings where I haven't given myself enough time to apply eye makeup (most mornings ahem), Long Lash hits the spot.  If I'm being picky, I'd love a bit of extra length with this, just because of the name.  But while I generally find that lengthening mascaras have a really thin formula and add length and nothing else, Long Lash gives me a bit of everything and I like the thicker formula.

It doesn't flake or smudge on me throughout the work day and has survived many bouts of sneezing over the past few weeks.  And it looks like this:

Seventeen Long Lash mascara will set you back €9.49 and while it hasn't knocked my Bourjois favourite of the top of my list, it's definitely worth checking out if you're in the market for a new mascara!

Check out my review of the Seventeen Falsifeye mascara too and see why I'm a fan of the brand.

*PR sample*

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-stick Shade 44 Shade 47 - they're not the same!

Most of the time when I'm about to purchase expensive products, I do my research and have seen many swatches, have read a few reviews and pretty much know what I'm getting myself into.  I did not do that this time.  Nope.  I watched Amelia Liana's video where she visited the YSL factory in Paris, saw her talking about these two shades and I just went and bought them from Debenhams.  I present to you the YSL Rouge Volupte Shine Oil-in-Stick  in the shade 44 Nude Lavalliere and shade 47 Beige Blouse and they are not the same.  Shut up, they're not....

I opened them on Snapchat the day they were delivered and even me, the one who can detect the slightest difference in shades of anything, nearly had heart failure.  But they're different.  As you know, I'm a big nude lipstick fan and know I'll get loads of wear out of them (here are the justifications about to start and believe me, I have lots because spending €33 per lipstick will do that to a person) but I played it safe.  Some might say too safe and I say to those people, shadappaya face, just look at the subtle difference in the shades...

Now, as you can see in the photo below, these are delightfully shiny and that's thanks to the 60% concentration of oils and combined with pomegranate extract, macadamia butter and hyaluronic acid, this is why I said they were comfy to wear in my snaps!   Anyway, comfort aside, both of my shades coat my lips evenly, have a light to medium level of pigmentation which is always a bit harder to show when we're talking nudes or my lips but better products.  I have my eye on a coral one (obviously) so might have to treat myself next month!

Now, the pure beauty junkies out there will see that these two shades are very different.  Ok, maybe not very different, just different.  Ok, shut up, they're subtly different but this is great because:

1. I shall get millions of use out of them both as they are the same.
2. I can reach into my handbag and pick out one to reapply and it doesn't matter which one as they are the same.
3. They will both go with lots of makeup looks as they are the same.

Ok fine, they're practically identical but this is what happens when there are no swatches online for me to research!  But sure listen, I love them, they smell like mango and nothing else has gotten a look in really since I got them.  Let's get to the swatches though.  They will tell the real truth...

And look!  Shade 44 is definitely more pink toned and Shade 47 is peachier isn't it?  ISN'T IT?!  They both promise eight hours of hydration but I have to reapply them after a couple of hours or whenever I feel like the gloss is gone.  They aren't sticky and feel more like a luxurious lip balm more than anything and my dry lips love them.

For €33, they're definitely on the luxury end of the scale and I've been loving using mine.  I feel very fancy schmancy when I whip out the heavy tube and while I'm currently on a spending ban, what else is new, I think I've found a new (and expensive) lipstick addiction.

You can find them on YSL counters now and from Debemhams online.

To the comments!  Which one is your favourite out of these two completely and utterly different lipsticks?!

*Purchased by moi*
*Affiliate links*

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bourjois City Radiance foundation review, before & after photos

Yes, I have 11,000 foundations, BB creams and tinted moisturisers in my stash but does that stop me from buying more?  Not at all!  Last month on a recent shopping trip in Boots, I bought the new Bourjois City Radiance foundation as I live in a city and I would like to look radiant thank you very much.

Housed in a very travel friendly lightweight squeezy tube, I bought the lightest shade, Ivoire Rose, which would be way too dark for anyone paler than me and it's a shade I tend to bring down my neck just to be sure because as pale as my face is, my neck is ghostly!  It has an SPF of 30 in it which I wish more of my bases would have, along with an anti-pollution screen and as the name of the product suggests, radiance boosting pigments.

Despite it's thick texture, City Radiance blends into my skin easily and just to shake things up a bit, I've been using it with a retractable kabuki brush from Blank Canvas Cosmetics, purely because it was the only clean brush I could find, and it works a treat.  It gives a medium level of coverage on my mush and sits nicely on my cheeks and forehead.  But despite having an oily t-zone, this foundation seems to cling to dry patches I didn't know I had on my nose.  It also generally starts to break down on my nose by lunch time, so I'm left with an odd issue of having a dry looking yet oily looking schnozz.

I find by the end of the work day, it's started to fade from my cheeks, nose and forehead, so it's not the best foundation I've used in terms of longevity, but maybe using a primer might help that.  But for the purpose of reviewing bases, I never use primers so I can compare all of the products evenly.  And also, my skin is having a bit of a mickey fit at the moment and I've been breaking out lots, but I think that's due to factors other than which base I'm using.  So I'll keep using it and if the issues I've mentioned above stop, then I'll update the review.

As you can see in the before and after photos, it evens out my complexion beautifully and does give a nice lift and degree of radiance to my face.  I always find at the start of the year that my skin is always a bit lacklustre so this definitely gives me a nice oomph.

For those with dry skins, or those who are prone to dry patches, you might want to give this a miss and check out something lighter in texture.  And if you've oily skin, you'll want to either prime and/or powder your oily bits.  But for those with normal skin, I'm supremely jealous of you, but you'll also most likely get along beautifully with the Bourjois City Radiance foundation.

It's available now on Bourjois stands for €13.99 and at the time of writing this post, Boots have a 3 for 2 on Bourjois items!

*Purchased by moi* 

Monday, March 7, 2016

L'Oreal Paris Exclusive Pinks Collection review, photos, swatches!

Spring is here, flowers are in full bloom, days are brighter and I'm ready to rock some new lipsticks.  And while I generally reach for corals and nudes most of the times, L'Oreal Paris' Exclusive Pinks Collection has some absolute beauts and I had to give you the heads up.  I was sent these before Christmas, so am very behind the times, but they're still available and I'm quite surprised at which one is my favourite!

Following on from The Nudes collection and The Pure Reds collection, L'Oreal have launched a range of pink lipsticks, and like the previous collections, each shade is named after one of L'Oreal's spokespeople - Helen Mirren, Naomi Watts, Blake Lively and Eva Longoria.

Helen's Pink is aimed towards really fair skin tones.  I think from the bullet you can see that it's very much not my colour at all as it's frosty pale pink, and well, it's frosty pale pink.  The end.  Helen Mirren might be able to pull this shade off and more power to her!  I was scarlet for my mam for having me when taking photos of it and just couldn't bring myself to stick a photo up, but if you want to see it, let me know in the comments and I'll put it on Snapchat so that when you google my name, you won't find my face with frosty pink lips!

Naomi's Pink

L'Oreal Paris Exclusive Pinks Collection - Naomi's Pink
Naomi's pink is a really soft matte peachy pink shade that's quite unforgiving on the lips, so if you've dry patches, you'd need to sort that out before applying it.  But if your lips are in good condition, then you're going to love the soft, velvety formula.  I bet it would look even nicer on tanned skin, so I need to get cracking on that and bronzify my face up fast!

Blake's Pink

L'Oreal Paris Exclusive Pinks Collection - Blake's Pink
Blake's pink is almost neon on me and I'm obsessed with it!  It kind of reminds me of flamingos so I'm all over it.  Again, it has the same velvety matte texture as Naomi's pink, so nourished lips are a must for it as it can highlight dry patches.  But isn't it a shade that would look amazing on a sun holiday?

Eva's Pink

L'Oreal Paris Exclusive Pinks Collection - Eva's Pink
Eva's Pink was my favourite of the four and despite us looking nothing alike and having completely different skin tones, it's the most wearable shade for everyday use.  It's less of a pastel finish than the other two above and has a creamier texture than them too.

The Exclusive Pinks collection is still available and will set you back €10.49.  My advice is to check out Eva's pink if you're looking for something you'll get lots of wear out of and if you're on the hunt for something bright and in your face, then check out Blakes pink.

Which pink is tickling your pickle?

*PR sample*

Friday, March 4, 2016

Michael Kors Coral eau de parfum aka summer in a bottle!

Unless you're new to Lovely Girlie Bits, you'll know that I love all things coral.  Like all the things.  We're talking handbags, wallets, polishes, lipsticks, blushes and nail polishes.  It's my signature colour and people send me photos of coral things all the time!  So when I heard that Michael Kors was bringing out a new fragrance called Coral, I went in to ultimate panic mode...  What if I didn't like it?  What if it was a big disappointment, only to be used as a prop for photos?

I needn't have worried because I am a woman obsessed and it's not just because it's called Coral.  Ok, maybe I'm a good 32% obsessed because of the name, the rest is obsession based on the scent.  And after using it for the last two weeks, I know that I'll have this done and dusted by the end of the summer,  Rationing may have to occur, or maybe I'll just go for broke and enjoy every single drop!

I've already decided I want to bring it away on my holidays because it's got a really bright citrusy fruity floral quality that when I spray it on myself and close my eyes really hard, I'm transported to somewhere, anywhere, with sun, sea, sand and sangria.  So if you ever see me out and about having a special moment with my scarf (which I drown with my scent of the day so I can inhale it for hours), this is why.  I'm on virtual holidays for that brief moment and I'll be with you in a second.

With top notes of lemon, pink grapefruit, mandarin, blackcurrant and pink pepper, this is what knocks me upside the head and gives me actual visions of blue skies and sea.  Raspberry and tuberose along with my favourite notes of jasmine and orange blossom.  I'm telling you, I can smell an orange blossom a mile away and am eternally a fan of white florals which adds brightness and femininity to the scent.  The base notes of ambrox, cedarwood, sandalwood and musk add depth and creaminess to the fragrance and there's something really comforting about it.

Coral is a scent that puts me in good form by just looking at the bottle, even better form when I spray it on me (drown myself in it) and keeps me uplifted and hopeful that spring and summer is coming!

It's going to be available nationwide from March 30th and prices are €55/30ml, €79/50ml and €109/100ml, so each size is within the hand luggage regulation if you want to bring your summer scent away with you.

Go and smell it when it arrives on counters and tell me where it transports you to!

*PR sample*

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sponsored post - Spoil your Mum this Mother's Day with One4all!

If you were following us on Snapchat over the weekend, you'll know that we brought Mam out for a girlie Mother's Day out thanks to the kind folks at One4All!  Now, a collaboration like this is right up my street because Mam, Joanne and I do stuff together all the time.   In the past we've brought her to New York for her birthday, booked her in for a pampering session in her local salon, brought her to the Strictly show in January and for Mother's Day this year, we've gotten her tickets to see Vincent and Flavia in their final show, The Last Tango.  And the best part is, we've been able to go with her to to a lot of those things, so we can look back at really cool things we've done together.

So, the very generous team at One4All gave us a gift voucher to spend on Mam and we had three main things we wanted to do!

We started off by heading to The Body Shop on Grafton Street where Jill had the chats with Mam about her skin type and picked out the products she was going to use.  As Mam sat back and relaxed, we had the ultimate chats with Jill who is absolute gas and Mam spent the rest of the day, no lie, saying her skin felt so soft and kept asking us to touch her face.

In the meantime, while Mam was getting pampered and I was being the chief photographer for the day, Joanne got her eyebrows threaded and again, if you were following us on Snapchat that day, you'll know I tormented her something fierce with before and after photos while I got all up in her grill.  Sisterly love right there eh!

Facials are €25 in The Body Shop and are redeemable against products, so I picked out a moisturising face mask for Mam so she could keep the pampering going and she's delighted with life and has asked me a good 11 times as to how she should use it.

Next we took her to Marks and Spencer and she found a lovely top and a jumper.  I want the jumper for myself as it's coral and that should be reason enough for you to understand.  Seriously though, is it not very me?

After a spot of shopping, we all went for lunch in Fallon and Byrne who have a New Year Lunch menu that sent us into a deep food coma.

Mam and I got the acorn squash bruscetta (and the waitress loved that I said bruscetta correctly so we were instant best friends), Joanne got the Caesar salad and for our mains, Joanne went for the burger which defeated her about half way through.  Mam opted for the salmon and decided that after tasting the potato salad, she wants to try and create it for the first family BBQ of the season!  I had the spaghetti genovese as I'm pesto obsessed and loved it.  We couldn't eat another bite and so had to make a promise we'd be back to taste the desserts which sounded amazing.  I think they should look into getting some reclining chairs in Fallon and Byrne though.  Total gap in the market there!

We had some money left on the One4all card, so made our way over to Arnotts and hit up Mam's favourite beauty brand, Clarins.  After discussions over lunch as to what her skincare regime was (or lack thereof), it was decided that we would get her a night cream, and she was over the moon with it.  Yes, I have to check with her daily as to whether she's used it or not, but my mission is to get her using a proper skincare routine once and for all!

So basically, we had a glorious day wandering around town together and I'd absolutely do it again!  If you find it hard to buy for your lovely Mam, then something like this might make life so much easier for you!  You won't waste money on something she doesn't want and she gets to use the card in one of the 7,000 outlets nationwide.  She can have a pamper sesh like our Mam, have a meal out and do a bit of shopping, or she can book a holiday, or go surfing, go to the zoo!  The world is her lobster!

You can order a personalised Mother's Day One4all card from their website or from one of their retailers nationwide.  So you can spoil her rotten and earn lots of brownie points too!  It has now been established that Mam was completely and utterly spoiled on Sunday and is going to want this every year, and because we all enjoyed the day, we'll definitely do it again!

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