Thursday, September 20, 2018

Benefit Brow Contour Pro, before & after photos!

I have scaldy brows.  There.  I said it.  Not that I had to say it because one look at them would show you exactly that.  And so I've been making it my mission to try out all the brow products on the market because I'm good like that you know.  The latest offering from Benefit, The Brow Contour Pro, launched recently and I've been getting to grips with it!  Ps I've a demo video at the bottom of this post, so have a read and then have a watch!

First of all, the packaging is fierce retro.  Ok it's retro if you're a bridie of a certain age, shurrup yew.  

It has four tabs that you press down one by one allowing you to define, contour and highlight your brows.

After pressing down a tab, you twist the top half of the tube to release some product.  Don't release too much or it'll be all over the shop and you won't have as much control.

In terms of the formula, this definitely feels more like a cream than a pencil to me and when I first swatched it, I thought it was going to be hard to work with, just because I'm a micro pencil lover through and through.  The swatches below show Blonde Light on the left and Brown Medium on the right and you can see that what they've done is match the brow shades with skin tones shades.  I'd love to swatch the rest of the pencils to see if all skin colours and hair colours are being accommodated.  I've been using the Blonde Light pencil as I'm a taupe brow lover.

The idea is that you use the lighter shade from the inner part of the brow to the arch, then the deeper shade goes from the arch to the outer tip of the brow.  The definer shade goes above and below the brow before using the highlighter under the arch.  It took me a few uses to get used to not having a spoolie at the end of the pencil, but I'm grand now.

In the before and after photo below, I'm not wearing any foundation so the outline of the definer shade is more obvious.  There's an accompanying Brow Blender that has a spoolie on one end and a sponge on the other end to blend the definer and highlighter shades out properly.

Below shows the brows done and dusted, everything blended out and me wearing foundation.   My brows stay in place all day and it's mad, I've been able to achieve really defined brows with this, more defined than my usual brow pencils which I wasn't expecting at all to be honest.  I'll let you know how long it lasts and at least the two brow shades are similar enough that I'll be able to get away with wearing one over the whole brow if the other is used up quicker.

The Brow Contour Pro is €35 and is on counters now.  Are you tempted?!


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Fuschia Paradise Palette review, photos, look!

Over the summer, I was verdy fond of all things yellow.  The tray in the photo below?  I couldn't be without it after seeing it in Maison Du Monde in Spain.  I wore yellow like I was walking around trying to get people to call me Big Bird, but that yellow shade in Fuschia's Paradise Palette?  That shook me to my core because I am a bridie of a certain age!  But sure listen, the rest of the shades in the palette called to me and I listened.  I listened and I filmed a video showing it in action that you can see over on my Instagram.

But let's chat about the Paradise Palette.  It's a very reasonable €27.50 and houses seven matte eyeshadows, perfect for summer and autumn.  Ooh I'm just imagining what I could've done with photos if I'd been able to bring it to Spain...

The packaging is lightweight, colourful and has a slim mirror.  Grand job.  The swatches below show the shades in action and while I haven't used the white one yet, it would be a good one for setting a concealer when cutting the crease, if you were so inclined.  I don't know the last time I used a white shadow, but this has inspired me to give it a go.  The yellow swatches really well on my arm, but I was playing with it, patting it onto the lid and it didn't have the same colour payoff.  But in saying that, it works beautifully when blended out in the crease.

The rest of the shades are just fab.  The warm brown, third from the left applies better than it swatched and is easily buildable.  The orange and red are perfection and are the stars of the show. The plum shade, second from the right, applied well onto my lid, but did require building up for the look I wanted.  Two layers did the job and it blended easily into the crease too.  I tried using the brown on the right in a different look and it was a bit patchy on me and didn't blend out as easily as the other shades, but it made a lovely powder liner on the top lashes.

I think this is one of my favourite looks ever in life!  I used the medium soft brown, the orange, red and plum and ended up with a bit of a sunset happening on the eyes!  You can see that the blend is seamless and while the shadows looked a bit scary going on, they were so blendable and were a doddle to apply.  I wanted to amp it up a bit so applied black liner to the waterline to tie it all together, giving me a whopper autumnal look!

Make sure to watch my video on Instagram showing this palette in action!   You can pick up the palette here!  Will you be trying it out?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Skincare products that work while you sleep!

Let me set the scene.  You've had a long day, you've only had one coffee all day, you fought the urge to lamp the head off everyone and now that you're home, you're ready to face plant the bed.  Alas your face is scaldy.  You wonder whether you could get away with leaving your makeup on in an experiment to see if that 25 hour foundation really can last that long, but no.  You know that your face will be uber scaldy if you don't remove your makeup, but you compromise by not doing your full skincare routine and rather reach for products that will do the hard work for you while you're flaked out overnight.

I've got five products that kick ass overnight, leaving you fresh faced in the morning, ready to tackle the day ahead.  I'm presuming you're NOT using wipes to remove your makeup and if you are, I can't even.  DM me on Instagram and we'll have the chats!  While your skin is working hard overnight to repair itself, these will help it along the way.

E.L.F Moisturising Sleeping Mask €13.80

I tried the E.L.F Moisturising Sleeping Mask months ago when the skincare range first launched and it was my favourite of the whole lot.  This is infused with purified water, aloe, vitamin E and jojoba, and is one of the best budget skincare products I've tried in ages.  It gives the skin tonnes of hydration, it absorbs quickly and my skin feels so soft and smooth in the morning.

I'd been dying to try out the Luna Sleeping Night Oil from Sunday Riley for ages and was delighted to be given it to test out.  This is a mad looking blue retinoid oil that targets the visible signs of aging overnight while plumping and hydrating the skin.  My pal Jen swears by this and since she looks 16, I've been lashing this on like a good thing.  She goes to town with it as she has dry skin, and as I've oily, I definitely use less.  It encourages your skin cells to repair and renew overnight, and works at repairing the damage done to your skin during the day.  The blue tansy gives it that vivid blue colour that disappears when worked into the skin, so don't worry, you won't be going to bed looking like the Cookie Monster!  The blue tansy soothes the skin and acts as an anti-inflammatory for your skin, helping to counteract the stresses that your skin has been under for the day.  It's spendy at £45 and I want to use it for a while longer before saying if I'd repurchase again, but so far, so fab!

I've spoken about this masque in detail before, but had to include it in this post because it's just gorgeous.  I'd happily repurchase this myself but that won't be for a while as I'm rationing it like a good thing!  It contains blue-green algae complex which is a natural retinoid alternative, along with hematite and malakite to give radiance to stressed skin.  I like to apply a layer after washing my face at night and let my skin drink it up and I know when I use it, I'm going to wake up to soft, smooth skin that's ready for another day of stress ahead!

Anything that promises me rested, fresh, radiant skin has my vote and the Overnight Reset Serum from L'Occitane has done just that.  Containing Acmella Oleracea Extract which relaxes muscle tension under the skin, Marjoram Extract which has the ability to restart gene expression functions and the famous Immortelle Essential Oil which gives it that familiar smell I know and love when it comes to L'Occitane, along with helping boost collagen production and double the rate of micro-circulation in the skin.  The Immortelle oil is suspended in the little bubbles that burst when being dispensed out of the tube, and when massaged into the skin, it absorbs quickly without feeling oily or greasy.  I definitely feel and see the difference in my skin when I don't use this, so it's become part of my nightly routine and I love it!  My pal Catherine loves it too and I'm so thankful that she's not using hand cream on her face anymore.... I know...

Shiseido Ibuki Beauty Sleeping Mask €45

Described as a full night's sleep in a jar, the Ibuki Sleeping Mask contains vitamin capsules in a gel base along with Vitamins C and E to help tired looking skin fake the fact that you're wrecked.  I've been sleeping badly in recent months and this helps my scaldy face look alive, alive I tell you!  If hydrated dewy skin is your thing, definitely check this one out.  Layer it on before you hit the sack and let your skin soak it up, ready for the day ahead.

And these are the products I've been reaching for when the stress of being a freelance bridie takes its toll on my face.  So basically every day ok bye.

Do you have any nighttime favourites that I should check out?  Let me know!

Monday, September 17, 2018

YSL All Hours Stick Foundation review, swatches, before & after photos

The mere sight of a foundation stick brings me back to the good old days when blending out your makeup wasn't invented.  Nope.  We used our foundation sticks liberally, making sure to not take it down the neck because again, not invented.  Having your face a different shade and texture to your neck most definitely was invented and it's gas just how things have changed.... For the better!

YSL recently sent me their new All Hours Stick Foundation to test out and I've been doing just that.  I was sent shade BR30 and BR40 and BR30 is the best match for me, even if it is slightly pinky peach toned.  BR40 is slightly darker but once I blend it down my neck, it's a winner too.

Now, when I first showed these on Instagram (where you'll find me pretty much every day), so many people turned back time and remembered the Pan Stick days of yore.  All Hours Stick Foundation is completely different to any other one I've tried over the years.  It's got a cream to powder finish, so I don't have to worry about looking shiny, sweaty, slippy and caked in makeup.  We're talking a satin matte finish with radiance and that's the type of finish I love these days.

Yes it hurt my heart to mess up the gorgeous Y at the top of each stick but sure listen.  In the swatch below, you'll see BR30 on the left and BR40 on the right.  As I'm fierce pale, I went for 30 but I probably could have gone lighter still.  When I take it down my paler than pale neck, it looks so dark initially but it blends out easily.

If you watch this video, you'll see the foundation in action.  You'll see how easily it glides over my face and how quickly it blends into my skin.  I've tried it with a couple of makeup brushes and makeup sponges and for me, the method that gives me the most flawless finish is to pat it into the skin with my Beauty Blender/Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge.  

The All Hours Stick Foundation evens out my complexion, covers the redness on my nose and if there are areas where I need extra coverage, it builds easily without moving the layer underneath.  And the part I love the most is that it dries!  This is a revelation because I can use cream or powder products over it whereas with foundation sticks with more slip, I used to be limited to applying cream products on to them or else the powders would stick to the sticky base and not blend.

With some foundations, they can tend to gather in my smile lines and frown lines, enhancing both so I never know if I look annoyed or delighted with life.  Not so with this beaut.

The finish is natural, perfect for every day wear and I find that if I haven't powdered my oily bits, by about 4pm the shine starts to show which is pretty good for me.  Usually I get as far as lunch time if I haven't powdered, but getting to nearly the end of the work day without powdering is something. The formula has oil absorbing particles, so that definitely helps me but I'd say if anyone was really oily, you might need to powder a bit earlier.  Those with normal and dry skins will get along with this really well I think.

Sometimes though if I know I'm going to be out all day and know I won't remember to top up, I'll powder my bits first thing in the morning and I'm good to go.  I think it's one of those foundations that looks better on me as the hours go, it's like as the natural oils in my skin mix with it, it just sits nicer.

If you're looking for an oil-free stick foundation that feels so lightweight on the skin, that gives a natural finish and that's so handy to pop into your makeup bag or for travelling, then you have to check this out.  I think darker or lighter shades would be lovely to highlight and contour with and suspect they'd blend just as easily as these shades.

Now before being sent this, I'd watched Tati from Glam Life Guru on YouTube who said that this made her pores stand out even more and it broke down on her skin, but I genuinely didn't have these issues at all at all.  But as with every purchase you're going to make, it's worth checking out a few reviews from different bloggers/influencers to get a general feel for the product.

The YSL All Hours Stick Foundation is on counters now, comes in 20 shades and is €39.50.

**Post contains affiliate links**

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

L'Oreal Unlimited Mascara review, before & after photos

I'm sure you're probably sick to the teeth of me going on about the Unlimited Mascara from L'Oreal, but it's the best mascara they've ever brought out (so far).  I'm a mascara fiend and while I mightn't know much (or a lot), I know mascaras.  I pity the poor girls in the office when I rock in not wearing any because my lashes are so fair that they look non existent.  But thanks to this little gem, I'm sorted!

Now I thought this was going to be a total gimmick, what with having a bendy wand and all, and to be honest, I don't use it bent.  That sounds weird.  But never let a bend in a wand stop you ladies.  You can do great things with a bendy one.

The idea is that you can reach all of your lashes, even the teeny tiny ones, giving you precise application.  Maybe it's old age and I've been using mascaras for millions of years, but I've been doing a grand job without bendy wands all these years, so I haven't been using it that way.  I feel a bit unsure when I attempt to use it like this because I'm not used to it, but apart from that and gimmick aside, it's a whopper little mascara altogether.

It has one of those plastic brushes that's tapered at the tip meaning I can pack on the product to the outer edges because I love making my eyes look wider by having longer outer lashes.

The formula is perfect, not too thin, not too thick, gives lots of volume without clumping and does a great job of defining the lower lashes too.  As always, the photos below shows one coat.  I love an aul one coater so I do because who has the time to be faffing out with a second coat all the time?

I love a before and after photo that shows the product in action and this speaks for itself.

As with all of the mascaras I recommend on here, it doesn't smudge or flake, it keeps the curl all day. In terms of price, it's middle of the road at €14.99, but I'd happily pay that myself and I've had so many messages on Instagram from people who've bought it and loved it too.  And it's one of those products where I don't get worried when I recommend it!

L'Oreal's Unlimited Mascara is on stands now and is €14.99.  Is this speaking to you?  If you want to see it in action in a video, head to my Instagram and in the highlights I've a little mini review if you want to have a look!

L'Oreal, nice one on the best mascara to date!


Monday, September 10, 2018

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Eyeshadow palette & blush review, photos, swatches

There were four words that came out of my face when I first laid eyes on the two new products from Charlotte Tilbury - "Can't cope, won't cope".

Say hello to the Pillow Talk Eyeshadow Palette and Pillow Talk Blush.  Are you able?  Because I'm not.  See I've loved the Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk, along with the Pillow Talk lipstick and now, well now I get to Pillow Talk my whole face!  This duo is available exclusively on the Charlotte Tilbury website now and I've no information on it coming to shops soon, so my mission in this post and in my Instagram video is to show them to you in action so you can make an informed decision on whether they're worth picking up for yourself.

I'm not even going to apologise for the slightly Christmassy photo above.  I felt like twinkles were the way to go with these.  I own three of Charlotte's Luxury Eye Palettes already and one of her blushes (along with many other bits which I've bought with my own money) and while these were sent to me, there is no doubt in my mind that I'd have bought them myself as soon as they launched.

Let me show them to you in detail.  When I was playing with them over the weekend, I was like a giddy child because these shades are me.  So me.  The Pillow Talk Eyeshadow palette (£39) is quite pink toned in the palette, but on my eyes, it definitely leans more peachy taupe and makes for the perfect every day palette, one that I'll get loads of wear out of.  (This is the best kind of justification when it comes to luxury makeup isn't it?)

Inside the palette is the shimmery champagne shadow that Charlotte calls the Prime shade and recommends using it all over the lid up to the brow bone.  I did not do this in the look below.  Call me a rebel, but I didn't want it to add shimmer to the darker shades when I layered them over it.  But it's a beautiful colour to add brightness to my lids and is definitely a great shade as a wash of colour if you didn't have time to do anything else.  Bit of mascara and you'd be out the door.

The Enhance and Smoke shades are both velvety soft and have an almost satin finish to them.  Not shimmery but not matte.  And as for the Pop shade, Charlotte says that's for night-time drama but I'll be rocking that all day Char.  Allllll actuallllll dayyyyyy.  It works best applied with a finger, as with all of the Pop shades I've tried in her palettes and while there's no fall out initially, as the hours pass, it does fall onto my cheeks a bit.  But I ain't mad at that.  I'm still left with loads on the lids and I think it looks better on my eyes as the hours go on, kind of like a sparkly sheen.

Swatch time!

For those that want a soft, easy to wear look, this palette is perfect.  For the look below, I applied the Enhance shade into the crease (thats the second swatch from the top), then I took the Smoke shade into the outer corner, applied the Prime shade on the lid and then pressed the Pop shade all over the lid.  And I love the finished look.

It's easy to do, takes minutes with minimal blending and gives a polished finished look.  If I was going out and wanted a bit more drama, I'd smoke out a liner along the upper lashes and be good to go.

Let's have the chats about the Pillow Talk Blush (£30).  I own one other Cheek to Chic blush in First Love, a more neutral shade, but Pillow Talk has my heart.  The concept is that you swirl your brush around the outer darker part of the blush and sweep that up along your cheeks before dipping your brush back into the centre part of the blush and applying it to the apples of your cheeks.

From what I can see of the other blushes, the outer ring seems to be lighter in colour than the centre of the blushes, but in Pillow Talk, it's the opposite.  That centre part gives quite possibly the most gorgeous sheen to my skin that looks seamless, flawless and I'm just not able for my own face.  The outer ring doesn't have a huge amount of colour payoff, so I won't have to worry about being too heavy handed (something I do pretty much every day of my life!), but what it does do is give me cheekbones, definition and glow.  Oh the glow.  N'able for the glow.

I'm not wearing highlight in the photo below, just the blush.  I've used it since with a smaller brush to focus more of the darker shade on my cheeks and it just looks beautiful.  If you love neutral taupe-y blushes, you're going to love this.

In the photos here I'm also wearing the Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and Matte Revolution in Pillow Talk.  All Charlotte needs to do is bring out a Pillow Talk gloss and I am sorted!

If you're looking to treat yourself or need a little makeup pick me up, you know what to do! 

The Pillow Talk Palette is £39 on the Charlotte Tilbury website and the Pillow Talk Blush is £30 on the Charlotte Tilbury website.  If I hear about it coming to counters in Ireland, I'll let you know!

**Links in the post are affiliate links.  They don't affect the cost of the product and is like a commission for me.   You totally don't have to use them, just google the bits ok bye**

Monday, September 3, 2018

PS... Pure Collection - what to buy and what to leave!

A couple of months ago I had a preview of what's coming from PS... Primark Beauty, Penneys Beauty, whatever you want to call it and the Pure collection made me sit up and take notice.  Yes, it's very much Fenty inspired, but on that day, I swatched those two big highlights and fell in love and have been waiting for them to launch ever since..

I was in Penneys Mary Street over the weekend and picked this lot up to play with.  There were some loose pigments but they didn't speak to me and I thought I'd get more use out of this lot.

Let's start with the highlights.... Oh these are just beautiful and while that gold shade, Pure Gold, terrifies me, for €4 I'm happy to experiment with something mad like that rather than shelling out more.  No way will I be able to wear it as a highlight as I'm a geriatric and I think this would look better on darker skin, but I'll definitely give it a go as an eyeshadow or an inner corner highlight!

As for the shade on the right, Arctic Ice, that is just STUNNING.... It's a beautiful champagne shade that's creamy, pigmented and depending on how the light hits it, it can look taupe, champagne and even silver.  I'm obsessed and if you're in the market for a new highlight this autumn, get it.

Next on to the lip products.  I bought two of the glossy lipsticks (I'm not sure if there are more in the collection), the same goes for the lipglosses below.  Wisdom and Faith are the two lipstick shades and in terms of formulas, they're everything I love about a lipstick.  Creamy, pigmented, comfortable to wear on the lips, moisturising... It's just a shame that they don't suit me at alllllll at all.  We're talking concealer lips, but maybe with a darker lipliner I'd be able to get away with them.  But I don't think I'll be reaching for them.  They were €3 each.

The lipglosses disappointed me as well because they're super sticky.  Even trying to remove them from the back of my hand proved to be a bit of an ordeal, and when applied, they look metallic on me and they're just not something I'd be reaching for.  So they were a bit of a dud too, but if you like your metallics, they might be for you and I imagine with the stickiness that they'd last a bit longer than a regular gloss.  They just felt too heavy for my lips.

In the photos below, Faithless is on the left, its the more copper shade, and Glory is on the right.  That's a bit pinker, but on the lips they look pretty similar and while I thought one of them might be a dupe for Fenty's Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, they aren't.  The texture is totally different as is the shade and finish.   They were only €3 each too.

Finally we come to the eyeshadow palette and I bought this on a whim really because I wanted to try more than just the lip products and highlights and you know me and eyeshadow palettes, I always lean towards the warm neutrals!

The swatches below were done with my finger and I was disappointed with three of the shades in the palette.  The cream shade in the middle on the left most column and the similar shade at the top middle row both gave little colour payoff, but when I used them in the look below, they had their uses in blending out the darker shades.  The shade in the bottom left corner hadn't much colour payoff either, but I'll try it in a look with a brush and see how I get on.

Now, in action, the warm matte shades are gorgeous!  I filmed the look below for an instagram video so stay tuned for that and the peachy gold metallic shadow is so delicate when applied with the finger.  Applied with a brush didn't work for me at all, so dipping a finger in and patting it on did the job beautifully.  And I'm obsessed.  For €6, the palette is worth it for these shades alone.  There is fall out when I press my brush into the mattes, but once I tap my brush, all is well and they blend like a dream with no patchiness or dragging on the lids.

I'm going to make it my mission to try the cooler shades and see how I get on!  But look at my eyeballs.  LOOK!

So it's a bit of a mixed bag with the bits I bought.  I'd 100% recommend the highlights and the eyeshadow palette and I'd be inclined to give the lip products a miss.  Penneys have nicer lip products in the regular range that I'd pick up over these ones.  But I'm so impressed with the other bits!  I think there are more products in the Pure Collection and now I need you to help me decide if there's anything else worth picking up from it!

The Pure Collection is in stores now.  Will you be trying anything from it?

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