Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat palette - do you need it?

When I first saw photos of the Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat palette, my first thought was "Ah it's fierce similar to the Naked Heat, and yet I must have it" and added it to my wish list of things I was going to buy in the airport when I go away because the terms and conditions of a spending ban is that you're allowed to buy things in duty free.  I don't make the rules.  Then they very generously sent it to me and I have a free space on my list now so any duty free recommendations are greatly appreciated!

I wanted this post to be a review/comparison of the Petite Heat and the Naked Heat and show you exactly what you're getting for your €32.  This is the palette in all its glory.  Isn't she cute?

It houses six new shades inspired by the Naked Heat and a grand sized mirror with no wasted space on a brush I'd most likely lose.  There are five mattes and one demi-matte, and shade wise, there's not a dud in the bunch.  There's minimal fall out when I stick a fluffy brush into the shades and on application itself, there's not a speck of fall out.  The shades are buttery soft, they blend easily and as you'll see in the swatches below, pack a punch in terms of colour pay off.

But how does it compare to its Mammy, the Naked Heat?

I swatched each shade in the Petite Heat palette and picked out the closest shade I could find in the Naked Heat, so you can decide for yourself as to whether its different enough or not.

On the left we have Inhale (Petite Heat) vs Ounce (Naked Heat) and you can see they're pretty close, but not identical.  Inhale is ever so slightly peachier and warmer compared to Ounce, but if truth be told, if nobody told me they were different swatches I don't think I'd be able to tell the difference.

Next up is Vibrate (Petite Heat) vs Chaser (Naked Heat).  These are slightly different and you should be able to see that Vibrate is warmer and peachier than Chaser, can you see a theme developing?  Vibrate also seems to be a bit more pigmented too.

Third on the hit list is Hot Spell (Petite Heat) vs Sauced (Naked Heat) and while they're identical in colour payoff, Hot Spell is warmer and peachier, but only slightly. Both are buttery soft and make a lovely transition shade in the crease, but I'd be hard pressed to see an obvious difference between them to be honest.

On to my favourite shade of the Petite Heat palette, Wild Thing and the closest shade to it in the Naked Heat Palette is He Devil, but you can see that the colours are completely different.  Wild thing is bright and in your face and I love it!

Next up is Heist (Petite Heat) vs Cayenne and once again, you'll see that Heist is warmer and peachier than Cayenne, but only slightly.   They've the same colour payoff and the same formula and I love them both.  Probably because they're so similar!

And finally we're comparing Strike (Petite Heat) to Ashes (Naked Heat).  Ashes is definitely cooler than Strike but has a near identical formula.  I prefer Strike as I'm fond of all things warm.

Next I wanted to see if I could use some of the colours in each palette to create a similar look on both of my eyes, so in the photos below, I used the Petite Heat on the left and the Naked Heat on the right.  I think the only obvious difference is the use of the orange shade Wild Thing on the left, but everything else is pretty similar!  Which is your favourite look, the right or the left?

Finally I wanted to try out a smokier look using only the Petite Heat palette and if you have a look at the step by step tutorial in my blog post on the Naked Heat palette, you'll see the finished look is pretty similar again!  This is what I was wearing on Instastories on Saturday and I love how green it makes my eyes look.

These are my finally thoughts on the Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat palette and I really do feel like I've written an absolute thesis!

1. I prefer it to the Naked Heat palette.  I know I'll use every single shade in the palette and because it's so small but still has full sized shadows, I can pop it in my bag easily.

2. It really is very similar to the Naked Heat palette, with the exception of Wild Thing.

3. If you already have the Naked Heat palette, I don't think you need this.  Unless you want slightly warmer shades and Wild Thing.  That shade is just beautiful.

4. If you owned neither and were being forced to choose between Petite Heat and Naked Heat, I'd go with Petite Heat.  You don't need both.  Unless you wanted to have shimmers too, then you'd have to go with Naked Heat.  I'm not really helping your decision am I?

The Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat palette is out now, is €32 and is coming on holidays with me because I love it a lot.  It's me in palette form and my green eyes are very happy with it!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Luna By Lisa Liquid Eyeshadows - Party Edition review, swatches, photos!

You know the old saying "glitters aren't just for Christmas"?  No?  Just me?  Well if you're someone who keeps the glitter and the glam to those festive months, you're missing out lads!  I was sent the Luna by Lisa Liquid Eyeshadows recently and my inner magpie did a little squeal!  I'd seen people using them online, but I wanted to get my paws on them myself and like the non MUA that I am, see how us normal folk would get on with them!

These two liquid eyeshadows make up the Party Edition, one light, one dark, both fierce sparkly.  You can see from the tube the amount of glitter that's packed into them and I was hoping that would translate onto the swatches and they did.  Oooooh they did!  I'd seen Lisa mentioning before that she likes to layer them on top of shadows, so for the purpose of swatches, the top row shows them on my bare hand with nowt underneath it and the bottom row shows the shades applied over shadows.

Midnight Onyx has a semi sheer black base with loads of gold glitter running through it.  Rose Quartz has a slightly more opaque warm peachy base with gold glitter.  Both feel cool on the skin when applied, go on easily without patchiness and they dry quickly.  What I've found is that when applied on my eyes, there's zero fall out, not a single bit.  But applied to the back of my hand, if I rub the product when dried, there's some fall out.  But I don't rub my eyes when I've makeup on, so it's not a problem.  I just wanted to highlight that if you were going to make a decision on whether to buy them or not based on a hand swatch.  I had Rose Quartz on for 10 hours the other day and it stayed put the whole time and came off easily with my usual makeup remover.

Now as I've been laying low and haven't had a night out on the town in a while, I've not been able to test out Midnight Onyx properly yet, but Rose Quartz.... Well she's absolutely gorgeous....

I used my Huda Beauty Warm Obsessions palette to create a soft warm look and applied a brown liner on the waterline and packed on some mascara too.  Then using the applicator which helped apply the product and create a sharp edge too, I lashed on Rose Quartz and used my finger to pat where it faded into the outer corner, just to soften the edges.  I absolutely love it!

The Luna by Lisa Liquid Eyeshadows Party Edition are €25 for the set of two and are available online!  I hope she brings out more of these because they're gorgeous!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Lancome Skin Feels Good Foundation review, before & after photos

Things that I love: When products do extra bits without me even asking them.  Enter Lancome's Skin Feels Good - a skincare makeup hybrid.  And not only does it have skincare in the makeup itself, that skincare promises to benefit the skin the more you use it.  Fans of a lightweight, light to medium coverage foundation and those who love a natural glow are going to want to check this out!

Containing vegetable glycerine which replumps the skin, hyaluronic acid to help keep the skin's moisture levels high and moringa, an antioxidant which helps protect the skin, topped off with SPF23, Lancome say that after just five days of continuous use, you'll achieve a radiant healthy glow with skin 50% more moisturised.  In the interest of full disclosure, I haven't tried it out for five days straight thanks to the long weekend and a couple of makeup free days, but I'll keep you updated!

The lightweight texture blends into my skin in seconds and even when I applied it to the back of my hand after first being sent it, I could tell it was going to look amazing on my skin.  It had that glow without feeling wet or sticky.

The finish is beautiful.  If you're a fan of foundations that looks like skin, you're going to love this.  It gives me a light to medium coverage and I can build it to a fuller coverage on my more troublesome bits, but for the purpose of the photos below, they all show what one layer looks like, buffed into the skin with a buffing brush.  They haven't been set with powder or have any other product on top of them.  I was sent two shades, so thought I'd show them both to you, sure why not?

Lancome Skin Feels Good Shade 010C Cool Porcelaine
Cool Porcelaine is one of the lightest of the eight shades available and while I haven't tried out all the other shades, it's a really close match to my super pale neck.

Lancome Skin Feels Good Shade 010C Cool Porcelaine
With both of these shades, I find that they sit like a second skin on me and don't gather in my fine lines and wrinkles.  You can see the natural radiance they give and as I've been embracing my skin over the past few years and am loving looking like I'm not wearing makeup, this foundation was made for me!

Lancome Skin Feels Good Shade 02C Natural Blonde
Shade 02C Natural Blonde is slightly darker than Cool Porcelaine and despite it not being a match for my neck, I think it looks better on me, giving me a bit of warmth.  So once I blend it down the neck and into the hairline, it looks fabulous!

Lancome Skin Feels Good Shade 02C Natural Blonde
Because I've the aul oily t-zone, I do like to set that part of my face no matter what foundation I'm using and my powder sits beautifully on top of it.   But if you've dryer skin, I think your skin will love it too.  Maybe even more so!

The Lancome Skin Feels Good Foundation comes in eight shades, will set you back €34 and will be available from this month.  I'm getting good juju from this foundation lads and unless something drastic happens, I'll be purchasing this again when I run out which will be soon!  It's truly gorgeous!


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

L'Oreal Professional Rebel Push-Up Review!

You might've noticed that I don't do a lot of haircare on my blog and that's mainly because I'm crap at hair.  Actually, let me correct myself, I can do a mean hun bun and can burn plastic bobbins into my hair like nobody's business.  Proper hair profesh.

Let me start with a bit of background on hair before we get stuck in.  I have really silky hair that generally goes flat about an hour after washing.  It refuses to hold a style without a load of product and a lot of the time, when I do use all of the products, they weigh my hair down, and again, it ends up looking limp and blah.  I got sent the L'Oreal Professional Tecni.Art Rebel Push Up to try and if you've been following me on Instagram and Instastories, you'll probably know what this review is going to say, but I've got more thoughts which is why I didn't want to review it after using it once!

The Rebel Push-Up is a texturising powder-in-mousse and I love texturisers in my hair because it needs that grit to stop things from being too silky and shiny.  And the idea is that this gives the softness and manageability of a mousse and the texture and durability of a powder.  Those are their words and I'd have to agree!

What I've been doing is washing the hair and when I apply a medium sized baked potato amount (scientific measurement) into the roots of my hair.  And I have a method with that too.  I flip my hair over and start with the majority of the product at the back of my head at the roots and then apply approximately half of it there before applying the other half to the roots at the front and sides of my hair so I don't apply too much there.  If I've any extra left over, I apply it to the lengths of the hair and if not, I get a bit more because there's no point having bouncy roots and flat ends am I right?  I brush it all through and then with my hair still flipped upside down, I blow dry it.

Now, the more I've used this, I've found that it's important to brush or comb through the hair when drying because the lengths of my hair can get tangled as the texturising part gets to work.  So dry a bit and brush/comb and you'll thank me later.  I use my Dyson hairdryer which takes about two minutes to completely dry my hair and when I flip it back over, I'm left with fluffy, bouncy hair, ready to be tamed!

The photo above is from the first time I used the Rebel Push Up and you can see the root lift already after the first use!  And I've found that the lift stays all day and if I think it's starting to flatten slightly, I brush my hair upside down again and boom, the lift is back.  It doesn't weigh down my hair or make it greasy, but it's worth noting that I usually wash my hair every day anyway.  I don't find there to be any sticky residue or chalkiness, it just feels like I've a light powder in my hair, but it still looks shiny and I can run my fingers through it easily.  This is important if one needs to jujj the hair you know.

I wanted to try the Rebel Push-Up in dry hair as well after curling to see how it turned out so over the weekend I got busy.

This is me with freshly washed hair and a medium sized baked potato worth of product lashed in there.

I used my L'Oreal Steam Pod to do a few loose waves and then flipped the hair upside down again and you guessed it.  A medium sized baked potato worth of product went into the hair, this time focusing on the lengths and I brushed out the waves slightly.

Now, it gave me tousled wavy hair alright and I loved how it looked, but I think I used too much product in my hair this time.

It didn't seem to dry into my hair as invisibly as it does when I use it wet and you can see in the photo below that the ends of my hair look a bit damp, but they weren't.  It didn't seem to give my hair any extra oomph, so while I'll try it out again and see if I can make it work, for now, I'm going to stick to using it on wet hair!

I absolutely love this stuff and have been using it each and every time I wash my hair which is unheard of for me!  Usually I get bored with products but not so with this.  I just have to perfect using it with my curls!

The Rebel Push Up is €18 and is available now at L'Oreal Professional salons nationwide.  It's currently on sale on Look Fantastic (affiliate link) at €12.45!

Monday, April 2, 2018

Wet n Wild Pro Brush Line review!

Very few things make me as happy as when a budget brand ups their game.  And Wet n Wild, you've played a blinder with the new Pro Brush Line!  Not only are they vegan and cruelty-free, but they won't break the bank and to top it off, they're beautiful... Lookit!

The range has four face brushes and four eye brushes, all with really sleek metallic rose gold handles and super soft grey bristles fading into white.  They're truly Instagrammable and are the types of brushes you'd want out on display on your desk.  Except you'll probably be too busy using them.  I've been using them for a few days now and have made sure to both spot clean them and have washed them too, and they clean up like a dream.  Oh, and have I mentioned the ergonomic handles?  What am I talking about I hear you ask?  Well each of the brushes have a little intent for your thumb to sit in, making them really comfortable to hold and to use.  I love little touches like that so I do.

For the face, there's a Flat Contour Brush which picks up loads of product and also blends it out easily too.  The bristles are short and stubby, with enough movement to buff your contour into your skin.  The Precision Foundation Brush is angled and has a little well in the centre for you to apply the product and again, buffs the product into the skin easily.  It's smaller than the brushes I typically use for my foundation, and I think I'll get more use out of it for applying cream blushes.  There's a Blush Brush too which I've used for blush and also for foundation as I'm partial to a rounded brush to work my base into my skin quickly.  And finally, there's a Large Powder Brush which I've been using to set my foundation and also with blush.  I'm wild.  I don't follow the brush rules.  These are all €7.95 each and are well worth it.

With the four face brushes comes four eye brushes.  There's a Dome Pencil Eye Brush which is great for smudging liner and shadow under the lower lashes, a Tapered Blending Brush which both blends and packs colour onto my eyelids.  The Precision Flat Face Brush is the one I'll probably get the least use out of but would be good for applying concealer onto blemishes or if you wanted to dot cream contour along the cheekbones without packing on too much product.  And finally we have the Tapered Highlighting Brush which is fantastic for both applying highlight on the cheekbones and for applying a wash of colour on the lids. These are all €5.95 and again, they're great value.

These brushes are absolutely brilliant and if you're on a budget but don't want to compromise on quality, get yourself to your local Wet n Wild stockist soon because these are limited edition and I predict they're going to sell out fast!  If you're not sure where your local stockist is, make sure to message the Wet n Wild facebook page with the county you're living in and they'll be able to let you know where you can get them!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

My Dermalogica skincare routine!

**Sponsored content - Brought to you by Dermalogica**

As you might have realised by now, I love switching up my skincare regime to keep things interesting, both for my face and for the blog.  Sometimes that can cause things to go pear shaped in the skinular department, but most times, it's grand.  With a brand like Dermalogica though, I called in the big guns to help me figure out what products to test out, because when you're talking about products with active ingredients, a consultation with an expert therapist is a good place to start and I wanted to only try out products that were targeted to my skin and what I wanted to fix on my skin.  I met with Margaret from Nu Essence who I met millions of years ago when I first started the blog and if it's possible, she knows even more about skincare than she did then and looks even younger, which made me very excited to get stuck in.

We did a detailed Face Map where Margaret went through my skin concerns and recommended products suited to tackle 'em.  Now, it's fierce high tech these days and they email you the list of products to use along with when to use them and how often.  See?  And see that photo of me?  That was taken by me on the tablet and I couldn't figure out which end had the camera and I kept turning it off.  Yes.  That's supposed to be a photo of my face for the before shot...

I've had to refer to this a few times over the last month while getting to grips with it all but this is what I've been using!  I know... This kind of routine is a proper commitment and I've loved getting to grips with everything.  For the record, I'm 41, my skin is in decent shape and I've an oily t-zone.  I want brighter, firmer, healthier skin.  These products mightn't be what your skin needs, but I'll run through them anyway and if you're unsure as to what products you should try, your best bet is to meet with a therapist who can go through the products for your own skin type.

I've been using two cleansers.  Notions or what?  But both do different things, so hear me out.  The Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser is an exfoliating cleanser containing lactic acid which helps slough off dead skin cells, leaving you with smooth, resurfaced skin.  I use this three times a week at night and after every use, I can't get over how smooth my skin feels.  I love it!

I use the Dermalogica Essential Cleansing Solution in the morning as it both cleanses and conditions my skin before the war paint goes on.  I like a more gentle cleanser in the morning but also want something slightly rich so that my skin isn't stripped before my day has begun.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

The Dermalogica Dynamic Skin Recovery with SPF50 is one of my favourite moisturisers containing sun protection that I've ever tried.  I've tried some in the past that haven't quite hit the moisture mark for me, but this gives hydration that lasts all day and sinks into my skin quickly too.  And SPF50?  Thanks very much altogether.  If you're someone who tends to forget to wear an SPF daily, then something like this is most definitely worth checking out and investing in.

Now if you're happy out with your current moisturiser, but want something that gives your skin a bit of a glow, that will smooth fine lines, will help keep your makeup in place all day and has SPF30 to boot, look no further than the Dermalogica Skin Perfect Primer SPF30.  This feels so lightweight on my skin and does a great job at evening out my blotchy complexion!

Before I hit the sack in the evenings, I've been using the Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil.  Ooh I love me some oils, especially at night and when used either on its own or mixed in with moisturiser, it helps to reinforce the skin's protective barrier.  I find that applying the oil on its own directly to my skin is a bit too much for every night, so twice a week I do that.  The rest of the time I mix a couple of drops into my moisturiser and that does the job perfectly.

You'll know I'm partial to a facial mist and the Dermalogica Antioxidant Hydramist is gorgeous.  It can be used under and over makeup, helping to repair any UV damage you might have, but shouldn't have if you've been using your SPF am I right!  I love how fine the mist is because there's nothing worse than getting ready for a soft mist of hydration and preparing yourself for that moment, only for a bottle to spit at you!  This is beautiful and I'm going to keep it in my fridge in the summer for days where I want a nice cool treat for my face.

I think I horrified poor Margaret when I told her I don't use eye cream regularly.... I know... But I've been using the Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm day and night and my fine lines and wrinkles don't know what to be doing with themselves!  The cream itself has a light silicon feel which helps almost fill in the fine lines and it has vitamins A, C and E helps speed up the skin's natural repair process and strengthens elasticity.  I need all of the strengthening because I spend loads of time laughing and I'm not planning on stopping anytime soon.

Finally we have the Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Recovery Masque.  Margaret recommended I use it three times weekly and that's what I've been doing.  I'd love to be that organised to use a mask in the morning, but no, that's never going to happen.  So in the evenings after I've cleansed, I apply a layer of this and have a scroll through Instagram as I let it do its work.  The ingredients help repair the skin's barrier while promoting healthy tissue regeneration and once I rinse it off, my skin feels plump and ready for my oil and moisturiser.  Happy days!

And that's what I've been doing to my skin for the last five weeks!  I've loved starting a whole new regime and am going to continue with everything because my skin is looking and feeling fabulous and that's only a few weeks into it.  I want even better results!

Have you tried any Dermalogica products?  What's your favourite one?

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Things you should know about Jennifer Rock AKA The Skin Nerd

One of my favourite things about my whole blogging journey is the people I meet and I've met some truly amazing and inspirational women over the years.  I've learned so much from them and always feel empowered and motivated after having the chats.  So I thought I'd try something a bit different here on the blog and introduce you to some deadly bridies in my life.

I wanted to kick off this series with my friend Jennifer Rock.  Or Jen Rock.  Or J Rock as I like to call her.  Or The Skin Nerd.  She has a lorra lorra names and will answer to any and all.   Now, as I'm doing this introduction after writing the piece below, I'm going to warn you now.  It's gushy.  Not on purpose.  I just wrote what came into my head but there's gushing.  I'm changing the name of the blog to Lovely Gushy Bits.  Oh wait no.  That sounds weird.  And rude.  Ok bye.

This is Jen.  You mightn't recognise her without her onesie and trademark glasses but it's her.  Promise.  She's posing on our good side.  We have the same good side hence why we never take selfies when we're together!

Things you should know about Jen.

She is everywhere.
In the past year or so, every single actual physical time I apply a product on the back of my hand and rub it in, I smell it.  And as my hand gets closer to my nose for the smelling of the stuff, Jen teleports from wherever she is and appears beside me.  She knows I'm smelling the product.  She actually knows and says to me in my earholes "Karen, smells don't change cells" and I know Jen, I know.  And yet I cannot stop the smell of the things.  It's instinct!  And while I now know about the smells and the cells, the smells sometimes encourage me to use a product as it feels like a bit of a treat.  But it's ingrained in my head Jen.  When I write about a product and say it smells lovely, you appear as a hologram and smack me upside the head.

She wants us to feed the skin from within.
Now this is something I struggle with as de temps en temps (I'm feeling French a ce moment), my skin likes to be fed with chocolate and BBQ Hoola Hoops.  What can I say, the skin wants what the skin wants and sometimes a Wispa will only do.  But when I eat well and drink my water (I'm so bad at this right now lads, not gonna lie), I really do see and feel the difference in my skin.  She gave me skin supplements to try out and so I'm getting my act together and I'm going to properly feed the skin from within.

She's gotten me spritzing.
Spritz o'clock is a proper thing now thanks to Jen and while I thought I was only great doing my morning and afternoon routine, little did I know that all day spritzing can help give my skin a little extra somethin' somethin'.  I have a few on the go and love giving myself a spritz (or a soak, depending on how scaldy my skin is) and it gives me an excuse to step away from the computer screen for a bit.  I did a post on the ones I'm loving right now but am always on the hunt for new ones, so let me know what I should try next.

She has no notions.  Not even one.
I just love people who are self deprecating and don't have notions 11 and many a night, Jen and I will chat about which one of us is the biggest dirty looking eejit and I think we're on pretty level pegging right now.  Despite her life changing dramatically from being on her tobler a year ago and now she has a full team working with her and is a boss, she doesn't take it for granted and is always trying to make things better.  Better for the team, better for the clients, better for those who follow her online.  I don't know, it's just really refreshing to meet someone who eats, sleeps and properly breathes what she does, has laser focus and is just a deadly human hooman.

She knows her shit.
Sometimes when I'm watching her snaps or Instastories, I feel like I need to do a FAS course on life because her knowledge is incredible.  Her brain is like a sponge while mine is just spongey.  But what inspires me about her is that she has this need and want to learn all the time.  I always feel so lazy just reading a press release and have been trying to learn more about the things and the stuff, which leads me on to my final point...

She's writing a book!
Precisely seven months ago (I remember this because it was the night Matthew was born) Jen and I went for dinner for proper chats visage a visage and while the chatting and the eating (and the spilling of the food) was happening, I asked her when she was going to write a book.  See, while I do not have my shit together, I love thinking of things that others can do, but she was ahead of me and said it was in the works.  FYI Jen if you're reading this, I have more plans for you, not that you need any guidance or anything but as I am older and wiser, you have to listen to me.  You can preorder her book here and I've gotten mine in the hopes of becoming America's Next Top Skin Nerd Who Isn't Allowed To Talk About Smells Ok Bye.

She's got whopper things in the pipeline and the best part is, she's taking us along for the ride!

Ok, the gushing is over.  I have no gush left in me.  All I have left to say is that if you want a personalised online skin consultation with Jen and her Nerdettes, go to her website and your scaldy face will thank you later.  And then it can thank me for telling you to go there.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review! Real Techniques Brush Crush Collection!

When is a brush almost too beautiful to use?  When it's one of the Real Techniques Brush Crush brushes!  These are very possibly the most gorgeous brushes ever to come through my door and while they're totally Instagrammable, sometimes products can be all glam and no action am I right?  So how did these fare?  Let me fill you in!

There are five brushes in the Brush Crush collecsh (that totally rolls off the tongue doesn't it?), each fluffier and more glittery than the last.  These are me in brush form... Birra gold to go with the pink and purple... Not able!

Right, lets look at them in detail shall we?  In the photo below, I'm going to work from left to right, starting with the Brush Crush Foundation Brush.  I love a really big brush to buff my foundation in and this one is stellar.  It's got tonnes of bristles, is densely packed at the base but there's lots of movement at the top of the brush, allowing the bristles to work the product into my skin quickly and evenly.  I've been reaching for this over my regular round topped kabuki brush and it was my instant favourite of the five.

Second from the left is the Brush Crush Powder Brush which is beautifully soft, has lots of movement in it and makes applying powder a doddle.  I find it both applies and blends in my bronzer quickly and I think that's a common theme with me and brushes.  Do the job well and do it quickly ok bye!

The middle brush is the Brush Crush Blush Brush (I can't even type that without getting tongue tied) and this was the surprise of the bunch for me.  I usually love a bigger blush brush, but this applies the product perfectly to my cheeks without feeling like I have to work at it more because it's a smaller brush.  I feel like Karima McKimmie when I use this and so far, I've not reached for my aul regular blush brushes.  I love it!

Next on the list is the Brush Crush Contour Brush and this is brilliant for carving out those cheekbones.  I have slight cheekbones myself, sometimes they just need a little encouragement to show themselves and that's where this comes in.  The bristles allow me to place the contour product where I want it and also allow me to buff it in too.  I can be precise with it and also diffuse the product out evenly.  This saves time and effort and that's what I need first thing in the morning - cheekbones and to leave the house on time thanks very much.

The final brush is the Brush Crush Fan Brush.  If you're someone who can go overboard with the highlight, then this might be a good addition to your collection because it doesn't pick up too much product at all.  If you're someone who likes a load of highlight, you'll want to give this a miss for the same reason.  I haven't been reaching for this one much at all and I've actually been using the blush brush for highlight over this.

And there we have it - the Blush Blush Blush Blush collection!  Ok that's what I call the collection in my mind because I keep getting tongue tied but it's a beautiful collection and with the exception of the fan brush, I've been using them solidly for the last few weeks.  It's the type of collection I'd like two of everything, one set for looking pretty on my desk and one set to use and get grubby!  Speaking of which, they've all washed well and I know I'm only a few weeks into using them but I've had no issues with losing bristles so far.

The Brush Crush collection is limited edition so if you see them and like the sound of them, pick 'em up.  I just had a google and so far I can see them on the Sam McCauley's website, four of them are on the McCabes website.  Happy shopping!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Pixi Eye Reflections Shadow Palette & Pixi Liquid Fairy Lights!

Last month I met up with the team from Pixi to see what's new for spring 2018 and while spring itself is NOWHERE to be seen, we have makeup to console us with.  They gave me some bit to play with and play with them I have!  I've been tormenting you with my chats of the Pixi LipLift Max in Peony Bloom in my last two videos on Youtube and I still love it so much.  It's a staple in my handbag and it's such an easy colour to wear.  It comes in five shades and I have two more on my list to try... Spending ban?  What spending ban!

The Pixi Eye Reflections Eyeshadow palette was made for fans of shimmers.  I love throwing a matte shade into my crease and then layering a couple of metallics onto the lids for an easy to wear daytime look and then for night time, a bit of liner, loads of mascara and I'm ready for my close up!

The palette houses 12 shades, and for my swatches below, I used my finger and found them to be buttery soft with minimal fall out.  When applying them with a brush though, the pigment didn't adhere to my brushes as much as I'd like so I've had to dampen my brushes or just use my fingers when applying them to get an even coverage.  Either way, that's not a dealbreaker for me because the shades are beautiful on, but it's worth noting.  And that's why I'll never buy a palette based on swatches with a finger and will never review a product based on back of the hand swatches!  You'll see the shadows in action below.  It's available from Marks and Spencer and Asos for around the €33 mark and if you love shimmers, you're going to love this.

I know this palette is meant to be full of shimmers, and it is, but I'd love for it to have had a couple of matte transition shades so I wouldn't have to reach for another palette.  I'm being picky, I know!  But it's a gorgeous palette and once I use my finger to apply the shadows, it's perfection.

They also gave me three of their Pixi Liquid Fairy Lights which are glittertastic!  I have the shades Crystalline (top), Passionlight (middle), and Barebrilliance (bottom) and at €20, they're great value.  They're packed full of shimmer and glitter and with the semi opaque base, I've been layering them on top of shadows rather than wearing them on their own because I don't like seeing skin under products like these.  They feel cool on the skin when first applied and I've been patting them into place with my finger and blending out the edges with a brush.  So far they've stayed in place on me but I want to test them on a night out and see how they fare!

For the look I did in my video, I applied my bronzer into my crease and then I used the gold shade, second row on the left, on the inner half of the lid, then used the shade under it, third row on the left, on the outer half of the lid.  I used the burgundy shade under the lower lashes and then applied Barebrilliance on the outer half of the lid for a bit of extra somethin' somethin'!  I used a black liner to add a bit more drama and lashed on a bit of mascara to complete the look.

I've loved trying out new makeup bits from Pixi after using their Glow Tonic for millions of years now!  I've been trying out some of their new skincare products recently and will report back on them soon, but for now, if you're thinking about trying Pixi makeup, go for it!

**The links in this post are affiliate links.  They don't affect how much you pay for a product and if you don't want to use them, no worries at all!  Just have a Google for the products yourself**

Friday, March 16, 2018

Incoming! L'Occitane Aqua Reotier range!

This morning, I had a very lovely start to my day in the form of meeting up with L'Occitane, one of my favourite brands for years now, to hear about their new skincare line, Aqua Reotier.  As it'll take me a while to trial this out, I thought an introductory post was in order to show you what's in the range, so you what you're looking for when you visit L'Occitane.

So Aqua Reotier, I'm not entirely sure how to pronounce Reotier, but as I butcher it, I like to think I sound very continental and French.  The Reotier spring contains magnesium and is said to be ten times richer in calcium than other French thermal waters.  Calcium helps maintain the skin's barrier and helps it retain its natural moisture.  Now I need all the calcium I can get because this cold weather is playing havoc on my poor scaldy face!

The range has a really good price point and is a great entry to L'Occitane if you're new to the brand.  I know that the cost of their skincare can be a bit eye watering, but this is a good place to start.  Especially if your skin is lacking in moisture and hydration!

The Water Gel Cleanser (€19) transforms from a gel to a lather, promising to leave skin squeaky clean without drying it out.  I'm a big fan of L'Occitane cleansers anyway so this is one I'll be testing out very soon and comparing it to the other ones in my stash.

The range has two moisturisers, the Ultra Thirst-Quenching Gel and Ultra Thirst-Quenching Cream, both €29.  The gel is aimed at those with normal to combination skin, and the cream gives normal to dry skin that extra bit of hydration.  Now I'll be using the gel in the mornings as I tend to go for a lighter moisturiser for day time but like something a bit richer at night.  That's when I'll use the cream.  They contain hyaluronic acid, glycerine and of course the calcium-rich Reotier water, all working together to give our skin all the moisture.  All of it!

Now, if you want to add an extra step to your skincare routine, then the Moisture Prep Essence (€24) is worth checking out.  Essences have become a proper "thing" over the last couple of years and they're a step between cleansing and moisturising, promising to prep the skin and make your moisturiser work even better.

And finally, what skincare range containing thermal spring water would be complete without a mist!  The Fresh Moisturising Mist €14 mixes the Reotier water with hyaluronic acid meaning you can lash it on throughout the day and give your skin a bit of a hydration boost when needed.  I love an aul mist  and can't wait to add this one to the collection!

The range launches in April and by then I'll have tested it out properly.  But for now, this was to whet your appetite and show you what's coming from L'Occitane soon!  Are you intrigued?
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