Monday, February 27, 2017

Eyeballs by Catrice! Ft Rock Couture Extreme Volume Mascara, Slimatic Ultra Precise Brow Pencil & The Precious Copper Palette

Sample

Catrice, in all seriousness, how are you kicking ass with pretty much every new release?  I'm not expecting an answer on the blog or anything, I just wanted to say bravo and keep doing what you're doing.  A couple of weeks ago, I was sent some new products from budget brand Catrice to test out and of course, I started with the mascara and brow pencil. They've now proven their worth to me, came to London and are in use every morning as I try to get ready against the clock.


Mascara first.  Just when I thought Catrice wouldn't be able to top their Glam & Doll False Lashes mascara, they big fat did with this gem.  The Catrice Rock Couture Extreme Volume Mascara just does more, gives more, is more and I'm all about more is more when it comes to lashes.  The wand is only massive, like properly huge so if you don't mind something big coming close to your eyes, then you'll be grand.  I find it deposits enough product to give lots of volume to the lashes, but without weighing them down or clumping.  There are little spikes on the domed tip of the wand which helps add a bit of extra somethin' somethin' to the outer lashes along with coating the lower lashes.

It doesn't flake on me, it doesn't smudge and it keeps the curl all day, so when I'm going home from work boggle eyed, I still look relatively awake!  And hello, I totally forgot to mention the price.  It's €4.50.  Four actual fifty.  Would you be well?


Eyebrows next.  I've been trying out brow pencil after brow pencil for ages now and have found some brilliant products over the months.  The Catrice Slimatic Ultra Precise Brow Pencil has stolen my heart and helped my brows look relatively normal!

This has a twist up mechanism and a spooly at the end.  The pencil itself is teeny tiny meaning I can be really precise and do proper looking brow hairs and get a nice sharp edge.  It's a softer pencil than any of the other brow pencils I've used in the past and I thought it meant I was going to go overboard, but that wasn't the case.  And while I like to think it's because I know what I'm doing, it really isn't.  The product is just really easy to use.  Another worry I had with the product being so soft was that it might wear off during the day.  Usually waxier pencils stay put for longer but after testing it out, I can attest that it doesn't move for the whole work day and longer and it didn't come off when I was walking around London in the snow for the day.  It comes in three shades and I've got the lightest.  And here's the clincher.  It's €3.50.  I know!  I'll 100% be purchasing this myself because it's not often a whopper product comes along like this and is under a fiver.

It's worth noting that because the formula is softer than most other brow pencils I've tried, I have to twist up the pencil part a couple of times with each use.  Because of that, I actually finished this one after about 3 weeks' use.   That's the fastest I've ever gone through a product and I'm glad I waited on posting this so I could let you know that.  Now as I said earlier, it's €3.50 so I don't mind going through it quickly.  But let's say I got a month out of each pencil, that's €42 a year.  I get about 3-4 months out of the likes of NYX's Micro Brow pencil and Urban Decay's Brow Beater pencil.  They're €11 and €18 each, so do your sums and see what works best for you.


Finally we have The Precious Copper palette.  This is an aul beaut of a palette and if you like your shimmery metallic shadows, then you're going to love this.  I generally go for warm bronzes in the summer, but I can start early, it's ok.  The shadows are buttery soft and can be applied dry or wet, if you want a really foiled metallic look.  They blend easily and once you tap off the excess and I haven't had an issue with fall out when lashing it on.  I always use primers with every eyeshadow I use as I've oily eyelids and everything creases on me and once I prime the lids, I'm good to go for the day with these shadows.


Something that I've found when using these shadows is that they need a topper upper if you've done a bit of blending.  What I mean is, I generally apply shadows like these with a flat eyeshadow brush as they pick up lots of colour.  The shadow goes on with a grand hit of pigmentation and it looks properly metallic and shimmery on.  But if I go to blend it out at all, it's like the top layer of shimmer gets brushed away and I'm left with a satin finish, which is still lovely and wearable for work.  But if I want to go a bit wild, I pat on a second coat and try not to blend it too much.  For €5.50, it's a gorgeous palette that would be great for summer holliers.

I'm totally impressed with these three products and the fact that they're bargain-tastic makes it all the better!  I've had so many snaps from people who've picked some of these up and this makes me happy because I'm totally confident that they're going to love them.  These products are on Catrice stands now nationwide and in Penneys and if you don't see them yet, keep checking because some stands can be slow to stock new bits.


Think you'll be trying any of these products?  And FIY, I'll be showing you this look in an upcoming video!
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Monday, February 20, 2017

Video! February favourites!

Last week, the stars aligned and I was finally able to film a video!  To get myself back into the swing of it, I filmed one of my favourite types of videos - a monthly favourites.  I love waffling about things I love and I managed to cut it down to the core favourites that haven't left my face, that I've tormented you with and can't live without (until I try new stuff obvs)...  Have an aul squiz at the video and let me know what you've been loving lately so I can add it to The List Of Things Wot I Want To Try Ok Thanks Bye.



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Thursday, February 16, 2017

MAC Lip Scrubtious review!

Sample

I'm doing my best to live a sugar free life right now.  Ok, maybe sugar reduced... Girlfriend still needs a cuppa tea and a biccie in the evenings, but when it comes to beauty products that have sugar in them and are required to put on one's lips before licking it off, well listen, I just have to do what's required of me.  For the blog and all.  MAC have launched five new lip scrubs called Lip Scrubtious, which I can never remember.  I keep calling them Scrubalicious.  Sang to the tune of Bootylicious.  Not the right name Karen.  But look, isn't this one super cute?


There are five in the collection and I was sent Candied Nectar, the shade I totally would've picked out myself.  With ingredients including jojoba seed oil, shea butter and grape seed oil to help condition and nourish the lips after scrubbing them with the sugar, this is the only scrub I've used and haven't had to apply a lip balm immediately after because it leaves behind a slightly tinted oily sheen that helps keep my lips softer for longer.


Now I've used (eaten) many a pot of Lush's lip scrubs and they're grand and all.  They slough off dead skin but definitely have more sugar in them than the Scrubtious ones.  Both do a great job of getting rid of dry flaky bits, but MAC's offering clinches it just because it treats the lips afterwards.  I had to dig into the scrub to get to the sugary bits as there wasn't much on the top layer and it was weirdly satisfying to get stuck in!




Of course you could totally make your own lip scrub, but I'm not gonna lie, I'm a lazy oaf and the effort of life and all.  This is MAC, it comes in a cute pot, has helped keep my lips in the best condition they've been in for a long period of time and I wonder if the pot can be used for Back To MAC actually because this is one thing I'd definitely finish!

The Lip Scrubtious are €15.50 and while they're not a necessity, if you're on the hunt for a pimped up lip scrub that will also mind your lips, then they're worth checking out.  I'm loving using mine and am enjoying the sugar hit I get each time I use it and lick the sugar off!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ultimate chats #2 - a few goals for this year!

People, we're halfway through February already!   True to form, January was the longest month ever in life, went on for a good 2 years, but we got here in one piece.  Usually in January I do an aul new year's resolutions post, but just wasn't feeling it this time.  I like setting goals for myself throughout the year, but there's nothing like a fresh start with to get your motivational juices flowing!  Here are a few things I want to achieve in 2017 and won't be the end of the world if I don't.


I want to find the blog/life balance


Lots of you will already know that I work full time and the blogging, filming and social media stuff is all done in my free time.  Last year was a mad one in terms of deadly things I was able to do, but I used up a lot of annual leave on blogging things.  This was grand and all because I was having fun, but it felt like I'd not much time off for myself just to relax.  I felt like I was on the go all the time.  This year I'm going to be very careful about what I use my annual leave for.  If I'm doing bloggy things and have to take days off work for them, they have to be super cool, be a deadly campaign I'm working on or help benefit the blog in some way.


I want to read more books

I got a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and am loving it.  I always said I'd never get one because Dad used to be a bookbinder and instilled in me a love of proper real books.  But with Mam moving in, I'm low on space, so I thought this would be a great way to read more and not take up precious space in the house.  I absolutely love it and can't wait to bring it away with me when I travel and not have to take up precious suitcase space with books!  I spend so much time on computers at work and at home and the same goes for my phone.  You know yourself how hard it is to get out of the cycle of checking Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, so this is a nice way for me to unwind in the evenings.


I want to learn more things

I've a couple of things in mind, but I love learning new stuff.  I started brush lettering last year and want to continue that.  I'd love to do a flower arranging course as my idea of arranging flowers is cutting off the plastic from a bouquet and plonking them in the vase.  There are a couple of computery related courses I'd like to do as well, so the plan is to find some that fit into my schedule and get cracking.  Maybe I'll even do a Spanish course!  You never know what can come out of learning something new!  I'm off to the Dublin Tech Summit and can't wait to come away inspired and ready to put what I learn into action.


I want to redecorate my office (again)

A couple of years ago, I went wild in Ikea and bought all the things.  I love the set up of it now, but need to rejig things a bit so it's more functional.  Because we got new windows all through the house, the wallpaper on that wall has been torn down and it looks manky.  I've got my eye on a gorgeous wallpaper that I can't stop thinking about so I think when spring hits and the house isn't freezing, I'm going to fix 'er up.  I've lots of ideas and you know when you don't know what style you're going to settle on and end up with a mix of everything?  Totes gonna happen to me.


I want to experiment with different blog posts and videos


With a saturated market like beauty blogging, it's hard to stand out and be different.  Quite often, I'll try something new on the blog and social media platforms, only to see the same type of thing crop up elsewhere.  Or if I snap about something, the next day it'll appear on someone's blog.  So I'm always trying to think one step ahead.  I get bored seeing the same stuff on everyone's feed, so it's important for me to be different, but still keep my own voice.  I've got some ideas up my sleeve and am going to be trying out new things, seeing if they work, and reevaluate.  I want to have a mix of beauty, lifestyle and funny videos and posts and I'm enjoying writing chatty posts like these ones.  I want to focus on having my social platforms be different.  So Instagram won't have any gas memes anymore even though they always do well and crack me up!  It's going to be a place for my luffly photos and the fun stuff will be over on Facebook.  I don't use Twitter that much anymore so won't be forcing myself to use it.  Snapchat will be a grand mix of beauty chats and craic and the same will go for YouTube.  Trying to keep all of the platforms on the go while working full time and trying to blog as well is hard but sure listen, I'm going to give it a go!


I want to up my game so hard with my photography


With the new member of my camera family, I'm enjoying taking photos again more than ever.  I feel inspired and love being creative when it comes to mixing products, props and flowers of course!  I really want to develop my own style when it comes to my photos and would love for someone to see one and know I took it.  I died and came back from the dead the other day when Lisa Eldridge liked my photo on Instagram and I've had such lovely comments from people saying that they're enjoying my photos and again, I have lots of ideas of what I want to do with it.  Maybe I'll learn how to use all the features on the camera, or maybe I'll just keep plodding along on the auto settings!  I'd love to work with brands in a photography sense, creating images for them, but I've a lot of practicing to do!


I want to be more aware of my spending


I bought this cute budget book before Christmas and got one for Joanne too.  I've been writing down everything I spend into it and it's working out great!  It's kind of like when you do a food tracker and write down everything you eat, except every euro is made note of.  I'm loving it so far and I think it's helped me get through January in one piece financially and is why I was able to buy the two new Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks.  I'm doing little things to help like stopping buying food at work and this helps me save but also not eat bold things at lunch time!  Being more aware of my spending is definitely an eye opener, but hopefully by the end of the year, I'll have my credit card and at least half of my car paid off.  That's the mission.  It's going to be an expensive year with three weddings and a couple of holidays, but it'll be grand.  I have my budget book!

Have you made any goals for the year?
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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Eyes and lips with Kiss New York Professional! Photos, swatches, review!

Sample

One of the rules in life (that I didn't make up) is that the existence of affordable makeup means you can try more products.  Yes, you still spend the same amount as if you were buying more expensive things, but shut up, we can still spend loads but get to try loads... There is logic in there somewhere... Anyway, a while back I was sent some products from Kiss New York Professional to test out and these are the stand out products of the bunch.


The Egoism Matte Velvet lipsticks are ridiculously gorgeous.  They glide over the lips like buttah and really do live up to their velvety description.  On the day of taking photos for this post, my lips were dry, cracked and looked shockin' bad.  But you wouldn't know it from the photos.  Each shade made my lips look and feel pillowy soft and didn't dry them out at all.  These don't set or dry properly meaning there's lots of slip in them long after application and they will transfer but they're really comfortable to wear.

Red Velvet Egoism Matte Velvet Lipstick


Red Velvet is The Actual Physical Business when it comes to a red lip.  It's insanely pigmented, feels super smooth when applying and if you love your blue toned reds, then it's worth checking out.  Despite the squared and pointed shape of the bullet, I need to use a brush with this to get a really crisp lip line, but it's totally worth the effort.  Any time you've see me on Snapchat recently with red lips, I've been wearing this.  Boodyful.

Blush Nude Egoism Matte Velvet Lipstick


While the formula is lovely and all, this shade does nowt for my complexion and is neither blush nor nude.  It's a bit too scuttery a colour for me, but I'm sure it'll suit someone out there!

Cocktail Shrimp Egoism Matte Velvet Lipstick


Cocktail Shrimp says to me "Oh hello, I'm on my holidays and yes I do like Pina Coladas and getting lost in the rain".  It's bright, in your face and perfect for summer!  I love flamingo coloured lipsticks like this and will hold onto it for my holibops later this year.

Now from lips to eyeballs.  Eye crayons make life easier.  They can be used as a wash of colour all over the lid, as a liner, or as a base for powder shadows to stick to.  I was sent these three Kiss New York Pro Luxury Eye Crayons to play with and instantly the orange shade stood out to me.


Totally not on purpose and I only realised this when I was editing the photos, but here are the crayons looking like an Irish flag.


Dark Pearl Grey is on the left and looks to me like it should be called Sparkly Forest Green.  Pink Nude is in the middle with not a hint of pink to it and Orange Brown is on the right.  I see orange but I don't see brown!  I think they need to work on their shade names but sure listen, the most important thing is how they perform right?

They apply over the lids easily enough with enough slip to get the product on and enough stickiness to keep the product on.  With eye crayons, I generally apply one layer, pat it into my eyelid and blend the edges out.  That way, there's less of a tendency for them to crease and if I need to, I can go back in with another layer.  They don't set 100% but aren't too sticky where you're aware of them on the lid.  I remember trying a crayon from another brand years ago and had to put actual effort into trying to close my eyes!

For the look on my eyes and in an effort to use all three for one set of photos, I applied Orange Brown all over the lid and blended it into the crease.  Taking Nude Pink, I applied it to the inner corners and then lined the outer edges of the top and lower lash line.




The lipsticks are €7.95 and I want to get a different nude shade that I can have for every day use.  The eye crayons are also €7.95 and you can buy them online on DolledUp.ie.  There's a list of stockists over on the Kiss NY Pro Facebook page and hopefully they'll add more to the list soon!

I'm excited to see what else this brand has up its sleeve because you get a lot of bang for your buck and I'm really impressed so far!


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Friday, February 3, 2017

L'Occitane Shea Butter Foaming Cleanser & L'Occitane Shea Intensive Hand Balm!

Sample

In the winter, there are two parts of my body that see the light of day - my visage and my hands.  Everything else is completely covered in cosy fleece and that will continue until at least the end of March!  Because this is Ireland, it'll be more like April but sure listen.  Until then, I get to look after my face and hands and for the past few weeks, I've been putting a couple of new products from L'Occitane's Shea Butter collection through their paces.  These two arrived to test out and while I've been haring my way through the Shea Foaming Cleanser, Mam put her eye on the Shea Intensive Hand Balm and I can only test it out when she's distracted!


So the reason why Mam put her claim on L'Occitane's Intensive Hand Balm (€25) (and to be honest, I had no choice in the matter as she was like "Ooh what' that?  Oh it's a hand cream from L'Occitane?  They're my favourite... Look at my poor hands now..."  And it promptly got yoinked out of my hands. She suffers with ridiculously dry hands all the time and isn't afraid to tell me if I give her a hand cream to test out and it doesn't work or is too thick or greasy.  When I handed this over to her, I told her to leave it on the side of the couch so when she's watching her programmes at night, she can lather it on.  She has reported back to me that she loves it and isn't handing it back.  The cream itself has 25% shea butter, is rich, luxurious and since she's started using it, her hands are super smooth with not a crack or flaky bit in sight.  The cream can be applied in a light layer which absorbs into the skin quickly or as a hand mask.  So the idea is that you'd lash loads of it on, sit on the couch like a lady of leisure and get people to feed you grapes.  After ten minutes, or as long as you can get people to wait on you, you rub the cream into your hands giving them a whopper hit of moisture and nourishment.

The only thing I'd love is if it came with one of those twisty mechanisms to help push the product down the tube because it can take a bit of effort.  The hand balm itself is super thick, so you need to work on your biceps to get a' squeezin!  But it's totally worth the effort and any time I've been allowed to use it, it's been gorgeous.

The other product I've been using is L'Occitane's Shea Foaming Cleanser (€20),


In the past, I've generally found foaming cleansers to be a bit drying on my little face.  So I was curious to see how this would perform.  It's enriched with 5% shea oil, feels silky smooth when first applied to the skin.  As I add water to it, it turns from a cream into a thick foam and gets to work cleaning my mush.  I don't use it on my eyes and have been using it to remove makeup and as my second cleanse.  My skin feels lovely and clean after using it, but still feels ever so slightly tight.  I think some of that is down to me being bold and washing my face in the shower where the water is way too hot.  But once I apply my serum and moisturiser/facial oil, I'm good to go.  If you're in the market for a foaming cleanser, it's definitely the gentlest and least drying I've tried, but by all means go into a shop and test it out yourself.

These are in shops and online now and are lovely additions to the Shea Butter collection!
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