Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ellis Faas Lights E302 Green Gold photos, swatches, review!

Ok shut up but gold on my eyelids makes me yearn for Christmas.  I know.  I'm a madser.  Now this wasn't the reason why I bought the Ellis Faas Lights back in June when I was on a trip to London.  I'm not that mad!  But it was love at first swatch.  Shade E302 Green Gold stole my heart (and my money) while having a browse in a little shop down a side street of London and I love when little gems like this just appear in your life.  I bought this without any research or reading any reviews and while that's always a gamble for me, it paid off this time!  Metallic gold liquid eyeshadow anyone?


I remember first learning about Ellis Faas years ago in one of the Pixiwoo videos and was intrigued at the shape of the tube and then promptly forgot all about them until now.  The tube itself is nice and weighty and it would want to be at £26.  The end part twists around, allowing the product to come out through the brush at the top, like the YSL Touche Eclat.


Now, it takes a good amount of twisting for the product to come out to begin with.  We're talking a fair few rotations and a touch of carpel tunnel syndrome.  Then the inevitable happens each time where a boatload of product comes out of the top, way too much for my beady little eyes and I end up wasting loads of this liquid gold.  I could go slowly with twisting the end of the tube, but then it takes ages to get any product out.  I'm still trying to get the knack of it, but I usually forget all about it once I start applying it and then all is forgiven...


There is no coping for how much I love this stuff.  The intensity of the gold is insane with not one bit of patchiness and while there's a good bit of playtime with it before it sets, allowing the edges to be blended, when this dries, it does not budge.  It can be sheered out using a blending brush or packed on, increasing the colour payoff even more.  When I lash on a decent layer of it, I find I have to either keep my eyes closed or keep looking down until it dries, just to stop any transfer above the crease.  It sounds a bit faffy but ohhhh it's worth it.  It dries to a really smooth finish with no stickiness or tackiness and stays put for hours and hours.


This will 100% be used up by Christmas, mainly because I love it loads and it'll make for a really easy festive eye, but also because of the wasting of the product when trying to get it out of the tube.  But I'm going to work on that.  I don't think it's available in Ireland at the moment, but if you're feeling fancy, it's £26 on the Selfridges website and I kind of want the bronze one too.... I know..  I'm thinking it would be fierce autumnal wouldn't it?

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Shine Lipstick review, swatches, photos!

In a sea of matte liquid lips, I'm all over the new Ecstasy Shine Lipsticks from Giorgio Armani!  It's a welcome addition to the lipstick world this year and the formula is tres moi.  No more withered lips that are crying out for a bit of moisture!  These have the colour payoff of a lip cream, the high shine of a gloss, they moisturise like a balm and aren't greasy or sticky.  In the words of Ms Chanandler Bong, could these BE any more me?

I was sent three to test out a few weeks ago and have already decided I need to see what the nude shades are like because you know me.  All about them nudes.



Now, first up, let's have uno momento for the packaging.  Each tube is weighty, solid and has a magnetic closing, not to mention the fact that the tube is red means it's easier to fish out of the bottom of a handbag.  Here comes the obligatory swatch on the back of the hand photo:


Each of the three shades have the most balmy texture, feeling like they almost melt onto the lips.  Despite feeling like a lip balm, they still pack a punch in terms of colour payoff and you can build layers up making them even more pigmented on.


Shade 201 is a summery orangey red and instantly warms up my complexion.  It's the most sheer of the three shades but only by a little and it was the one I knew I'd get the most wear out of.  Shades like this are right up my street and are smack bang in my comfort zone.  Love it.


Shade 505 is a vibrant fuchsia pink that terrifies me and yet I love it too.  Maybe I'll wear it outside the house some day!  It's the most opaque of the three shades and if you like your bright glossy pinks, you'll love this.


Shade 601 was a total surprise for me and while it's not one I'd usually reach for, this is autumn perfection!  It looks much darker in the bullet and I thought it was going to be really vampy but instead it's wearable and tres flattering.  I love that it has almost cool grey undertones to it and I think it's going to be in rotation over the next few months.

Because of the glossy finish, they won't last through a meal or anything, but I've found that when the shine starts to fade, the pigment lightly stains my lips meaning the wear off is nice with no patchiness.  These are out now, they come in 18 shades, will set you back €33 and if you want to treat yourself and love a birra shine on your lips, definitely check them out!
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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Skincare I'm loving right now!

A few months ago, my skin started acting the ultimate maggot with me reacting to products left and right.  I ended up being too nervous to try anything too for fear that I'd wake up in the morning looking like Sloth from The Goonies.  Slowly but surely I introduced new products into my routine and have managed to keep my face in tact!

I've found a bunch of products that I'm really enjoying using and I think my skin is the best it's looked in a long time.  And as always, I like to use skincare for a good month before reporting back on them with the exception of things like masks and cleansers.  It ain't a skincare routine if you're not in a routine with the products!  Anyway, want to see what I use my skin at the moment?


Ok you might think this is a lot of products and by all means you can absolutely streamline your skincare routine more than I have.  I had a lot of products that I wanted to test out and report back to you on, hence all of the things!

Morning





I'm always pushed for time in the morning during the week so I try to keep things simple.

To wash my mush and feel all fresh, I've been using L'Occitane's Divine Foaming Cleansing Cream (€30).  Usually I tend to steer clear of foaming cleansers, but this one is gorgeous and doesn't bubble up too much.  It doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or tight after using it and that's most likely to do with it being enriched with the immortelle essential oil.  It's described as being a makeup remover and full disclosure, I haven't tried it for that purpose yet, but if I do, I'll keep you posted.  I've been a massive fan of the Immortelle range for years now and this is a lovely addition to it.  It's totally worth checking out if you're looking for a gentle and effective cleanser.

The very generous Jennifer Rock (aka The Skin Nerd) sent me some yummy skincare products recently to celebrate the launch of her online skin consultations, one of which was the Image Skincare Vital C Serum (€71).  This was on my wish list and having used it, I'll 100% be purchasing it myself once I run out.  This helps rejuvenate dull, dry and tired skin and that couldn't have been a more apt description of my skin before I started using it.  There are days where I don't use every product listed in this post, but this is a no brainer.  It sinks into my skin quickly and I can instantly feel the difference once I use it thanks to the Vitamin A, C and antioxidants.  It's only available to buy in salons or if you've had a consultation with the Skin Nerd team!

This Janssen Cosmetics Vitaforce C cream (€48.50) is aimed towards "demanding skin" and again, it's a great description for my mush!  As you might have guessed from the name, this is packed full of Vitamin C along with Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, promising youthful, smooth and more even skin and I have to add that it makes me skin look and feel plumped and hydrated.  I've been using this since June, before getting stuck into this routine and it was really impressed with how it improved the texture and feel of my skin immediately after first using it.  It's why I've kept using it every day and night since June and will happily finish out the tub!  Also, it absorbs quickly into my skin and I don't have to wait for ages before putting my makeup on over it.  I'd never heard of this brand before being sent a few products but it's on my radar lads.  I'd totally buy this myself.

Evening



I always start with using a micellar water to remove my eye makeup.  It's the simplest and most effective way to get rid of all of the mascara without irritating my sensitive eyes and at the moment I'm enjoying the Botanics All Bright Micellar Cleansing Solution (€6.99).  I don't have to rub my eyes at all when using it and makes quick work of the smokiest of eyes.  I'm not really loyal to micellars and if they remove my eye makeup and don't irritate my eyes then I'm happy out.  I would buy this again and Botanics often have special offers going on and I'd be happy to stock up.

To remove the makeup I lashed on in the morning, I love using cleansing oils.  I don't really like using them on my eyes just because they're so sensitive, but on the rest of my face, they're fab.  I like oils that are lighter in texture and that emulsify so I can really break down all of the makeup and that's where the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil (€35) comes in.  I apply a couple of pumps into my hands and massage it into my face before adding a bit of water, turning it into a milk before rinsing it off with a facecloth.   It's enriched with squalene, evening primrose oil and lavender essential oil and leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh with no residue behind.  If you're on the hunt for a cleansing oil, this gets two thumbs up from me.

To actually cleanse my skin in the evening I've been using the Janssen Cosmetics Brightening Face Cleanser (€25.50) and I'm obsessed.  Again, I've been using this since June and I love how gentle and mild it is and it leaves my skin feeling so soft and plump.  Ok I already have a plump face but shurrup yew, you know what I mean!  It has White Mulberry Tea Root Extract which helps brighten the skin and I do enjoy looking bright in the mush, even if it's at night time.  I like massaging it into my skin and using a soft face cloth to remove it all leaving me ready for the next phase.  My toner.

I'm still a big fan of the Pixi Glow Tonic (€23.50) and I've been using it for years, repurchasing it every time it's on sale on Asos or Cloud 10.  I even have Joanne loving it and recently gave her my backup bottle because she'd run out.  This is a mild glycolic toner that chomps away at any dead skin cells, so I haven't had to worry about dry patches in ages.  It doesn't sting my skin and because my skin can be a bit delicate, it's not in any way harsh.  I tried the Alpha H Liquid Gold which gave me sores on my skin, so Pixi Glow Tonic all the way!


I feel like I have mad notions every time I use the Image Skincare I Beauty Flawless Rejuvenating Eye Pads (€39.50).  Word on the street (and the packaging) is that you can use these to remove eye makeup and as an eye treatment.  Now, because these are spendy, I felt like any goodness was taken away from them when I used them to remove my mascara and if you've watched any of my demo videos, you'll know I like a lorra lorra mascara, I felt I was just smearing it all over my eyes.  So once I've removed my mascara with the micellar water, I feel like I can use these as a treatment and allow the hyaluronic acid plump out the fine lines, the chamomile soothes and helps with puffiness and guarana helps energise the eyes.  These feel really cooling when I apply them initially and I like to hold them to my eyes for a few seconds before wiping them over the area.  I haven't seen or felt an obvious improvement in the skin around my eyes with these but I'm going to keep using them and see how I get on.

I use the Image Skincare Vital C serum again before using the same Janssen moisturiser with the next product.  Now very recently I was given a bottle of this YonKa Nutri+ Booster (€49.50) and this was love at first use.   This is formerly the YonKa serum FYI.  This is aimed at those of us with dull, tired skin, who have weakened skin due to cold or treatments and for those who suffer with uncomfortable tight skin.  It's advised to use one to two pumps mixed in with your moisturiser and I found two pumps to be too rich for my skin at the moment.  Maybe I'll need more in the winter, but one pump mixed in with a bit of my Janssen moisturiser before I get into bed, letting it soak in means that when I wake up in the morning, my skin is soft to the touch, it feels plumped, hydrated and ready for the day ahead!

Because I've an oily disposition when it comes to the face, I don't use the booster in the morning unless I'm not wearing makeup because it takes a while to sink in but if you've dry skin, your face will most likely drink this up and you'll be able to use it in the morning. When I use it at night though, my skin is instantly bouncier, and I know Jennifer Rock will kill me for saying this, but it smells gorgeous!  Really light and delicate and I know she says smells don't change cells, but Jen, smells make me want to use it even more ok bye!  Seriously though, it smells like being in a spa, feels like a luxury and I'm going to get Mam and Joanne to try it out as well because it's pretty special.  This has fast become a product I can't be without and will purchase it myself when I've finished it up and that's going to be sooner rather than later.  I'm obsessed and this is one of my favourite skincare discoveries of the year so far.

And that's it!  Hopefully this post was helpful if you're thinking about trying some new products and I can say that my skin hasn't looked or felt this good in ages.  It'd want to be considering everything that I'm using!!


Points to note:
1. I'm fierce jammy to have been sent the majority of these products.
2. I've listed a lot of products in this one post and if you'd like to know about anything in more detail, just holler.
3. You don't need all of these.  This is a post that will hopefully highlight products you mightn't have heard of before and you can pick and choose what tickles your pickle.
4. You might have noticed that I haven't listed an eye cream.  I have 5 in my stash ready to be tested out and keep forgetting.  I am a wally.
5. I know some of the products are expensive and it's definitely worth investing in skincare.  That's very easy for me to say having been sent them, so I'm going to test out more affordable skincare over the next while and
6. Some of the links above are affiliate links and you're in no way obligated to click on 'em.  Go wild on Google to find where else you can buy the products.
7. In terms of the products, these are my experiences with them and yours might be different.  I'll have different skin to you, so do more research if you're thinking about investing in skincare.
8. In terms of my skin, I'm 40, have an oily t-zone and normal cheeks and can have bouts of dehydration from time to time.
9. Well done if you've gotten to the end of this mammoth blog post!  It's been a long time coming and I hope it was helpful!
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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

4 products that help me unwind and relax!

Life can be a pain in the hoop can't it?  A dirty big hairy sweaty ball of stress and sometimes there's nothing we can do about other than holding on for dear life and hoping things calm down.  And while we're waiting for the calming down to happen, we can try to look after ourselves a bit more when we can.  Ok, that's easier said than done and I'll be the first to admit that when I'm stressed or anxious, I feel it in every cell in my body and find it so hard to switch off, especially in the evenings.  That's when my mind starts thinking all the thoughts about everything.  Things I didn't even think I had thoughts about.

The past couple of weeks have been doozies but I've been making a concerted effort to take a few minutes in the evening for me.  Most evenings I can unwind by myself but sometimes I need a little extra help and I've got my favourite calm inducing products on hand to chat about so let's get to it shall we?

Take note, I don't use all of these together, but if things take a turn, I'll be using all the things all together and hoping for the best!  Also, take note that I wanted to title this blog post "Things that help me calm my tits" but I thought that might be a wonky one for the aul SEO.


Waxperts Beautiful Body Oil - €12.95 on Cloud10Beauty



This is what inspired me to write this post!  I've gone through two full bottles of the Waxperts Beautiful Body Oil and broke out my third this week.  I love applying this delicately lavender scented oil over damp skin to help seal in the moisture along with leaving me smelling only gorgeous.  I'm so bad at using body creams and lotions, hating the faff of waiting for them to dry in, but this is great stuff and absorbs quickly into my skin before I launch myself into bed.  And FYI, you can use this right after shaving or waxing to help soothe the aul skin.

L'Occitane Lavender shower gel - €18.50 from Loccitane.ie



This is my second bottle of the L'Occitane Lavender shower gel and when I take a notion to have a pamper sesh, this is my first port of call.  It's enriched with lavender essential oil, gives lots of lovely suds and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated and lightly scented.  The whole lavender collection is stunning and Mam robbed the matching hand cream off me but I'm going to buy myself another one because applying it as I'm getting into bed feels like luxury.  I sleep on my side with my head on my hands so having a scented hand cream helps knock me out and keep me relaxed.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray - €22.00 from Meaghers Pharmacy



I've spoken about this many times before and have gone through loads of bottles over the last few years.  I do try to ration it in case the effects ever wear off me, but when I want to have a really good satisfying deep sleep, I spray some of this on the edges of my pillow and along the top of my duvet and within 10 minutes, I'm fighting to stay awake!  This is packed full of lavender essential oil along with vetivert and chamomile and they all work together at conking me out like nothing else.  With this on my bed clothes and the Headspace app playing, I'm gone in minutes.  There's a baby version of it which I must get for my new nephew Matthew and a stronger version, the Deep Sleep Plus which has capsules that burst as you move during the night.   I'm making it my mission to try out the whole Deep Sleep range so stay tuned!

This Works candles - €16.99 from HomeSense/TK Maxx



Joanne has been raving about the This Works candles for months now having picked one up in TK Maxx a while back.  She claims that if Will is lounging on the couch, all she has to do is light one of these and boom, he's conked out!  On a recent trip to HomeSense, we came across a load of them in the check out aisle and we bought two each.  They usually retail at €33 but for nearly half of that in HomeSense, it would've been a sin not to pick some up.  I have one downstairs in the living room and one in my bedroom and the scent is divine.  In minutes the room is filled up with the scent of calm and when it's burning, I'm just short of walking into the living room and face planting the carpet.  If you see these in HomeSense or TK Maxx, stock up because they'll make brilliant Christmas presents. Yeah I said it.  And I'm not even worried.  Know why?  Because I'm 78% lavender right now and am calm AF!

Even writing about these makes me feel calmer and more relaxed and it's not even bed time!  What do you use to help you unwind in the evenings
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