Thursday, January 31, 2013

Philosophy Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser review

For those of you who know me, via this blog, you'll know I am allergic to face wipes.  I'm not actually allergic, I just hate them.  Since ditching the wipes, I'm telling you, my skin has changed dramatically and because of that, I'll never ever go back to them, no matter how cheap they are.

I've been trying out cleansers to beat the band since Operation Ditch The Make Up Wipes commenced and recently we were sent the Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser from the brand to much happiness on my part.  Joanne will leave her make up on for days at a time and is oft found sporting two day old mascara....  I know... The shame of being her sis...

Anyway, the Purity Made Simple 3-in-1 Cleanser is just the type of cleanser I go for in that it's multi functional.  It removes make up, cleanses, tones and lightly hydrates the skin and the best part is, it's gentle enough to use on the eyes.  It has a light citrus scent that reminds me of the moist towelettes you get on planes.  (I have the ultimate goosebumps at having written that m-word.  Moist...)

I apply a dollop into my hands and add a bit of water to loosen it up and start massaging it into my skin.  As you know, I've had my issues with some eye make up removers leaving me with pink, irritated eyeballs.  This cleanser is so gentle on my little eyes and removes every last bit of mascara and eyeshadow.  As for the rest of my face, it removes my make up quickly and doesn't dry out my skin.  If I'm using it in the shower, I rinse it off with water but if I'm in a rush, I like to use my Emma Hardie face cloth to cleanse in a jiffy.

The only thing I'd change about this cleanser is the packaging.  I'd love a pump dispenser to save me from having to squeeze the living daylights out of the bottle.  I imagine that as I get down towards the end of the bottle, I'll either have to store it upside down or decant it out.

Now, at €22.50, it's on the spendy side but it'll last you for ages and you can decant some into a smaller bottle to bring away with you if you're travelling.  I'd definitely give this the thumbs up if you're looking for something gentle but effective and multifunctional.

You can buy this in Arnotts, Boots Liffey Valley or on

Rimmel Scandal Eyes waterproof kohl kajal liners - Nude & Taupe, photos, swatches

While perusing the aisles of Boots recently, I caught sight of the Scandal Eyes eyeshadow sticks (find out name) but they didn't speak to me like I'd hoped they would.  I went mad on the Rimmel stand, buying three of the Apocalips liquid lipsticks.  But after further investigation, I saw the Scandal Eyes waterproof kohl liners and decided I needed to try them having not read much about them at all online.

I was proud of myself with my decisions and picked up two shades that I don't have in my collection already.  (Technical note, I do in fact own Stila's Eye Kajal in Topaz but cannot find it so am therefore saying it's gone forever and thus was allowed to buy the nude shade).

My poor eyes are so tired these days and I think it's a combination of the flourescent lights at work, looking at computer screens for ages and fatigue because it's still January.  So I picked up the shade Nude to see if it would help my beady eyes look bigger and more awake.  Then I saw the shade Taupe and I snapped it up as I do love a good taupe-y eye.

Below you can see Nude on the waterline there on the left.  The pencil is soft and creamy and doesn't irritate my eyeball.  On the right I have Taupe smudged along the upper lashline and on the outer corner of the lower lashline.  This is my favourite thing to do with Taupe as it defines my eyes subtly without the need of eyeshadow.

I'm loving the consistency of these pencils.  The creaminess means there's no pulling or tugging against the skin.  From a price point, they're great value at €5.49 and are a welcome addition to my eyeliner collection.

One more side by side shot.  Left = awake eyeball.  Right = defined eyeball.

Have you tried these yet?  And do I need any other shades?

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint - Blueberry, photos

Over the past few weeks, I haven't been too inspired in the nail polish department and hadn't bought any in ages.  That all changed the other day when I decided to treat myself after a rough week and this polish was one of five I picked up and now all is restored in the land of nail polish loving.

Barry M's Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint in Blueberry is the most gorgeous periwinkle blue shade and is perfect for spring time.  It's bright and cheery and completely worth the €5.99 price tag.

This takes three coats for full opacity and dries to a high gloss shine.  Because I'm allergic to dents of any kind on my nails, I still apply Seche Vite on top but that's just me.  The shine is just as good without it, I'm just OCD with my nails and want them all perfectamundo.

I love this shade so much and will be wearing it lots over the coming months!

Have you tried any of the Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paints from Barry M?  I picked up another one too so stay tuned for that soon!

No7 Ballerina Beauty Collection - photos, swatches

Lisa Eldridge has been at it again.  As the Creative Director for No7, she's managed to take inspiration from the Spring 2013 catwalks and has brought us this beautiful collection; No7 Ballerina Beauty Collection.  Inspired by legendary ballerina Margot Fonteyn, the collection has soft pinks that work perfectly together with muted nudes and those lashes add instant drama!

Lisa says "This look is all about understated dainty glamour and I just love how the dewy complexion, paired with subtle lips, contrasts against the classic 60s fluttering lashes".

I was sent some bits from the collection and play with them I did!  Each product is wearable, office friendly (maybe not the lashes!) and suitable for all skin tones.  I can't wait to create some looks to make me look like a ballerina!

No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream (€16.95) promises to even and enhance skin tone, hide imperfections and banish blemishes.  It looks thick when you first apply it but it gives a sheer wash of colour that has a dewy radiant finish.

Two shadows, No7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadows in Innocence and Wheatsheaf (€9.25 each), ensure that you keep your eyes looking natural but with a hint of shimmer.  Innocence makes a perfect brow or inner corner highlight whereas Wheatsheaf adds a little of colour.

Next it's time to add some colour to the lips with No7 Moisture Drench Lipstick in Waterlily (€12.25).  This creamy, pigmented shade is perfect for the Spring season and adds some interest to your otherwise neutral look.  Waterlily feels comfortable on the lips and doesn't leave them feeling dry.  This shade is right up my street at is really wearable, even for work.

How pretty is the No7 Ballerina Beauty Blusher Palette (€15.50)?  It hurt me a little to mess up the tutu inspired motif but I bit the bullet and got swatching.  On my arm it didn't show up too strongly, but once I swirled my blush brush around and applied it to my cheeks, that's when the magic happened and I was left with a flushed cheek, as if I'd just finished pirouetting around my living room.  If I can't be graceful and dainty in real life then at least I can look like I am via the medium of make up!

Now, after all of this subtly and daintiness, we need to add some drama and that's where the No7 Stay Precise Felt Tip Liner (€10.50) comes in.  The nib on this is a decent size but more importantly for me who finds it hard to get even lines, it's completely solid.  I did that winged eyeliner below in under a minute, no word of a lie.  I used the length of the nib to line the upper lashline and used the tip to create the point and I think this liner will now make me wear winged flicks much more!  I'll do a full post on it if anyone's interested.

Two nail polishes make up the rest of the collection.  Stay tuned for a post featuring an entire look using all of the products.  I need to get those lashes on my eyes stat!

So did anything here tickle your pickle?


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

January favourites from Pixy, Lancome, Emma Hardie, Origins, Korres and Real Techniques

Oh January, what a pain in the hoop you were.  You were long, grey, miserable and most of us were broke before you even started. 

But it was also the month where I had some proper favourites.  Because I try so many things every month, it's hard for products to really stand out, so when I find myself reaching for things time and time again, I know I'm on to a good thing.

Origins Plantscription foundation (€36.00)

I can't fault this foundation one single bit.  It gives me the perfect level of coverage, gives a luminosity to my skin without feeling sticky or looking shiny and I really look forward to using it every day.  Click here to read my full review.  If I could, my review would have consisted of this "Love it love it try it love it".

Real Techniques Blush Brush (€12.99) 

This is a recent acquisition to my brush collection and I love it.  It's so full and soft, picks up just the right amount of product and feels gorgeous on my face.  I may take an extra few seconds to make sure my blush is well blended just because it feels so nice.

Korres Lip Butter (€9.90) 

I bought this ages ago, I can't remember where and thought I'd lost it, but recently found it at the bottom of a bag and that made my day!  This lip butter is the business in terms of moisturisation thanks to the shea butter and rice wax along with natural oils to condition the lips.  This one isn't tinted and is really thick so it looks like I haven't rubbed cream into my lips properly, so  I use it when I'm at home, in the car, anytime where people aren't going to see me and say "You've a little somethin' somethin' on your lips"!  I'm going to be good and wait until I finish this one but I have my sights on the Mango or Quince shade next.

Lancome Le Crayon Kohl - Jazzy Taupe (€17.28)

This liner was from the Christmas collection from Lancome and it's still in constant rotation in my make up repertoire.  Sometimes I apply it along the upper lash line for a bit of interest when I'm not wearing any eye shadow.  Or I apply it on the waterline to add definition to my eyes without going the whole hog and putting black liner on which can make the eyes look smaller.  Go and see if they still have this on your Lancome counter as it's a gorgeous metallic that's really wearable and I love it.

Emma Hardie Professional Cloths (€12.00/3 pack)

I use these every single day.  I've written about them before here, but lads, one side is a muslin cloth and the other side is a microfibre cloth.  I apply my Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil most nights to loosen my make up.  Then I wet the cloth and use it to remove the war paint.  It's such a gentle but effective way of removing make up and for someone who loves to exfoliate, I haven't done so in weeks.  The little fibres in the cloth remove any rough skin and my skin is always baby bum smooth in the evening. 

Pixy Rose Cleansing Mud (€9.50)

I wrote about this back in October and buying a pot of it at one of the trade shows here.  It took me a few goes to really get into this cleanser but now I love it!  It smells like brownies, 10 points.  It cleanses my skin beautifully, 10 points.  It doesn't look the best when you're smearing it on your visage (I can't look at myself in the mirror when applying it, try it and you'll see why), - 5 points.  But if you've got oily skin and are looking for something that'll help cleanse and regulate things, then this is definitely worth a shot.  It has Rhassoul Clay and Red Clay which gets rid of impurities and I've been using this every weekend for ages.  I don't use it to remove my make up, just to give my face a deep clean.  Love it.

So what were you loving this month?

Max Factor Clump Defy Mascara review, before and after photos

You know I love my mascaras and they're my favourite posts to read and write because the before and after photos speak volumes.  Max Factor have a new mascara out and I was waiting until payday to buy it but it ended up being sent to me last week.  It was like the universe just wanted us to be together.

So it's called Clump Defy mascara and it's put on this earth to separate, define and volumise lashes without clumping.  After seeing the curved wand, I was immediately intrigued as I do love a good wand and am a big fan of plastic bristles.

Now, when you're talking about a mascara that promises not to clump, the formula is going to be on the thinner side.  It means that the bristles won't get loaded up with too much product and give you four giant pointy lashes as they clump together.  You can't mess up the application and because it's a drier formula, it means you can really work at the lashes, taking time to comb through them.

Before and after photos?  I thought you'd never ask.  

Clump Defy gives me the most beautiful soft and fluttery lashes.  The wand not only lifts and curls each lash, but separates them and fans them out easily.  It covers each lash evenly and the thinner wand means you can get at the teeny weeny lashes you mightn't normally be able to reach without poking yourself in the eyeball.

It also adds so much length and you can see in the photo below just how fanned out and separated my lashes are.  It doesn't add a huge amount of volume though, so if you're looking for more drama, then you should try out the False Lash Effect mascara from Max Factor.  

I've loved wearing Clump and Defy on days where I'm not wearing any eyeshadow as it gives a more natural, but gorgeously fluttery lash that makes me feel all girlie.  I'm all about the fresh faced look at the moment and am hoping that by sporting a look with bright eyes and pink cheeks that I'll single handedly help Spring get here sooner rather than later.  When I come home from work, my lashes look exactly the same as they did at 7am and it is removed easy peasy with your regular eye make up remover.

Clump Defy is on sale now €13.99 and is well worth checking out in my humble, mascara loving opinion.

Monday, January 28, 2013

My Favourite Five post of the week from my fellow bloggers - week 4!

This is slightly late this week as it was a busy but lovely weekend!  We're nearly at February and payday, so we can rejoice in the knowledge that we'll be rich for a day this week!

Here be my Favourite Five posts of the week from my fellow bloggers.

1.  Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter is one of my favourite Youtubers and bloggers and I spoke recently about only discovering her a few weeks ago.  I loved this post from Monday where she gave us little tips to get through Blue Monday.  I've been using them to get through the last week, so thanks Louise!

2.  From one funny bridie to another and it's my good pal CherrySue.  I love her Monday Moments posts (that's mad, two of my favourite posts this week about Mondays!) and her one from last week made me trollollol with the laughter when I saw the photo in her 5th Monday Moment.  So much so that I saved it onto my phone and have shown it to everyone I know and have looked at it over the week when I needed an aul giggle.  Too funny!

3.  Seriously, how gorgeous is Orla?  She's showing us how to create a look inspired by the 90s/grunge era and I'm telling you, the 90s would have been a lot better if my make up looked like this!  Girlfriend has some killer cheekbones and I'd love to be able to pull off a vampy lip like this!

4.  I can't stop thinking about this stunning manicure from The Nailasaurus.  It has everything I'm loving right now.  Striping tape, glitter, pale shades.  Le sigh.  I want to try something like this soon but until then, I'll just fawn over this post.

5. Last year my bloggy pal Lee got married and we were all so excited to see the photos, see the dress and hear about every detail!  I met her at an event at The Body Shop where she had just come from finding The Dress and she was so cute and giddy!  Anyway, she's been telling us over on about the wedding details and last week she showed us her gorgeous pink shoes.  Go take a looksee here and I want those pink wedgies from Aldo now!

Those are my Favourite Five.  Feel free to leave your link below or a link of a post you enjoyed last week!

Rimmel Apocalips - Celestial, Luna and Nova - photos, swatches!

When I first heard about these new lip lacquers from Rimmel a few weeks ago, I was immediately intrigued.  Having fallen in love with Chanel's Rouge Allure Laque last year, the fact that these guys are a fraction of the price made it a given that I was going to try them.  And of course when I found myself in Boots and saw they were on sale for 3 for 2, who in their right mind wouldn't pick up three?

First of all, I love the name.  Apocalips.  It's cute, catching and every single time I've thought about these, looked at them, used them, photographed them, I've been humming this song in my head.  Products need theme tunes, even if they're from a war film that I've never seen but know the music.  Out of the eight shades available, I picked what I thought would be the the most wearable ones and if they had the nude one in stock, I would have probably picked that up instead of the middle peach shade, Luna.  If you're someone who loves red lips then they've a couple of stunners that I loved but knew I wouldn't wear.

Each of the Apocalips comes with a doe foot applicator with a little dent on the tip that holds just enough product to do your lips easily without having to double dip.

Swatch time.  Aren't they gorgeous?  Supremely pigmented, fabulously creamy, these guys are one of my favourite make up purchases in ages.  They feel so comfortable on the lips and even after an hour or so, there's still lots of slip when you press your lips together.

It's still early days in our Apocalip-tic relationship so I'm still testing out durability and the like, but so far, I haven't found any bleeding or drying of the lips after two hours of wear.  They leave your lips lightly stained with the product and they're one of the most comfortable things I've worn that aren't solely a gloss.  I think liquid lipsticks like these and I are going to be very happy together.

Celestial is a dusty blue toned pink that is really wearable for everyday life.  This shade is so opaque and probably my favourite of the three.

Luna spoke to me when I first saw the display.  I love me some peachy lip products but I was a bit disappointed with it on the lips.  It looks gorgeous on my arm as you can see above, but on the lips, it just doesn't sit right.  It isn't fully opaque and I think if they'd put a bit of shimmer into it, I'd be totally sold.  I'm going to try exfoliating my lips next time I try this shade and see if it makes any difference.  I want to love it so badly!

Nova is a bright bubblegum pink that shows up lighter on the lips than on my arm.  Again, this was creamy, opaque and a cinch to use.  

I am seriously impressed with these guys so far.  And yes, I'm totally going to pick up the nudie one and the more plum coloured one, Celestial I think it's called.  They're €7.65 in Boots at the moment and they're running a 3 for 2 offer, so get thyself to thine local Boots stat and have a good aul swatch of these!


Sunday, January 27, 2013

The pit of my week and the peak of my week - week 4

Hey ladies, so tell moi, how was your week?

The pit of my week was Monday.  The whole day.  Sweet Lord it was one of those days where everything went wrong from work issues to bloggy issues to laptop issues.  You know when you just want to go into work and do your bits and have no hassle and the exact opposite happens?  Then you come home and just want to get stuff done on your laptop but it's running so slowly and it takes 30 seconds to open up anything.  At one point I was going to fire it out the window I was so irritated!  The bloggy issues annoyed me so much that it made me want to give it all up, just for a minute.  Then I copped on, knew I was having a bad day anyway and went to bed.  Thankfully Monday ended and the rest of the week was slightly better.  I'm so glad it's over and am ready for February to start because it's been a crappy January!

The peak of my week.  Ah lads, the peak was something else this week.  One of my best pals moved back to Spain last July and that was one of the hardest goodbyes I've ever had to do because she was there for me through everything over the past four years, from the end of my marriage, to my dad's death and my house issues.  She's been living the life back home but is back in Ireland this week, so the girls from work and I met her for dinner and it was like that episode from Sex and The City when Carrie came back from Paris.  We were there at the restaurant waiting for her.  She came in and we all started screaming and hugging and it was like she'd never left!  Much chats and laughs were had and it was like the good old times.  We have her tormented asking her when she's back next so I think we might have to make a trip to Spain ourselves!

So what was the pit of your week and the peak of your week?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Dove Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner

The Year Of The Hair saga continues where I make my way through all the hair products I can.  I am a divil for buying shampoos and conditioners and going through the latter way before I finish the shampoos.  This means that I have millions (slight exaggeration) of half empty bottles of shampoos littering my shower.  From time to time I go on a mad condtioner shopping spree so that I can finish up the shampoos and a few weeks ago I repurchased this Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner from one of my favourite brands Dove.  I've gone through countless tubes of this conditioner and will continue to buy it forever.

I love using hair treatments on my gruaig but don't always have the time to wait the usual 15 minutes or so.  I have a routine in the shower and it goes a little something like this.

  1. Try not to slip as stepping into shower.
  2. Wet hair and let water go into eyes causing mascara to sting eyeballs.
  3. Wipe eyes and wonder if I've a big panda head on me.
  4. Shampoo hair once.
  5. Apply conditioner.
  6. Wash lovely girlie bits etc.
  7. Rinse conditioner.
  8. Freeze lovely girlie bits getting out of the shower.
  9. The end.

So I really only give myself as long as it takes to wash for the conditioner to do it's job.  This Intensive Repair Express Treatment Conditioner works in as little as one minute but I'm not that fast at doing everything else in the shower.  It's slightly thicker than a regular conditioner and I like to slather it on everywhere except for the roots.

For those who love the science-y bits, it contains Fibre Actives technology that penetrates inside the hair fibre to help rebind damaged proteins.  It also promises to help prevent split ends and breakage.

After I dry my hair, it's seriously smooth and swishy but doesn't feel weighed down at all.  It feels healthy and I'm all about that.  I don't think the length of my hair will ever be actually healthy but if it feels nice, I'm happy with that.  And if I use my Babyliss Big Hair after using this conditioner then it gives me hair ad worthy locks!

I know this is touted as a daily treatment and there are times where I do use it every day but most of the time I use it two or three times a week.  I think it's around the €4 mark but I always stock up when it's on offer in Tescos and now that I think of it, I can't remember the last time I bought shampoos or conditioners at full price.

If you've dry, damaged hair or if you just want to be extra nice to your locks during your busy week, then you need to check this out.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

NYC Skin Matching Foundation review - photos, swatches

Last week I showed you NYC's Natural Matte foundation and this week it's the turn of their Skin Matching Foundation (€3.99).  I often wonder how products like this match your skin tone and it's thanks to the tone-to-tone shade adjusting technology that adapts to the skin's colour and texture.

It has Vitamin A, C and E and promises to nourish and hydrate the skin all day long.  It's a thick foundation so again, like the Natural Matte foundation, I thought it was going to sit on my skin.

Instead, it buffed beautifully into my skin, giving me medium coverage but still allowed my skin to show through.  Despite it's thick texture, it felt lovely and light on my face.  It dried to a matte finish but didn't cake on the usual spots like around my schnozz.  I was sent shade 685 Fair which is the perfect colour for me.  I think thicker foundations like this one go on better with a buffing brush over a flat foundation brush, so I used my Real Techniques buffing brush and it gave the ideal level of coverage for me where it just looked like my skin looked so much even and not that I was wearing foundation.

Towards the end of the day, it starts to fade but I get a good six hours of wear before that starts to happen.  But a little buffing action with a bit more product tops it up easily.

This is one of the best, if not the best budget foundations I've tried to date.  And for under a fiver?  Get in!

You can find NYC products in chemists nationwide and in Penneys.  Definitely worth checking this one out!

My name is Karen and I carry 15 lip products in my handbag...

Yesterday I wrote about what it's like to be a beauty junkie mostly for myself to see how many of us are out there and it turns out there are lots of us!  One of my points was how we carry around so many products in our handbags and and are probably giving ourselves scoliosis with the sheer weight of it all.

For yesterday's post, I wanted to take a photo of what's in my bag at this very moment in time and this is what I pulled out, no word of a lie.  In fairness, I do wear most of them and have them in a constant rotation but where am I going with 15 lip products?

And to make matters worse, I was organising my desk at work and realised I have seven lip balms.  Seven.  And again, in fairness, I gave the Rosebud lip salve to my bestie at work who insists I keep it on my desk so she can come say hi and moisturise at the same time.  Still.  It's a bit mad isn't it?  Now that I look at it, that's the same EOS lip balm, the big pink ball, in the photos but the Pixy balms are different.  I often wonder what it would be like to carry just one lip product around with me... How weird would it be to put your hand into your bag and be able to find what you wanted immediately....

Now, after tweeting this picture of my desk collection, my good pal Sue Conley over at tweeted me a photo of her desk collection.  We are quite obviously sisters from another mister because look at what was on her desk!

So now I'm wondering what's on your desk or in your handbag!  Feel free to email me a photo of what you're carrying around like a nomad at karen@lovelygirliebits or tweet me your photo @lovelygirlybits with hashtag #beautyjunkie and let's compare our stashes!

Empty your handbags!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

You know you're a beauty junkie Volume 4

I'm back with more examples of beauty junkie-ness today and I'll be honest, the more of these I do, the more fear I get that you'll read them and think "What is this one on about?!"  But this is moi ladies.  I do all of these things below and all of the things in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

My name is Karen and I'm a beauty junkie.  So here goes. 

You know you're a beauty junkie when....

1. You can ream off every product you're wearing on your face and nails like you're saying your name and address.  
I'm talking brand and shade if you please.  Friend - "Oh that's a lovely colour on your nails".  You - "Why thank you friend, sure isn't it only Sally Hansen 4 in 1 Complete Care as a base coat, then two coats of Essie's Bermuda Shorts followed by a coat of Seche Vite".  Friend thinks "Note to self, don't say nothin' about nail polish in the future."

2. You can't stay faithful no matter how much you want to.  
You've found the most amazing product ever in life.  Let's say it's a mascara for example.  It's your Holy Grail and you are in The Love with it.  Your lashes have never looked longer, fuller, thicker and everywhere you go, people are asking you what you're wearing on them.  You smugly tell them the name of it and revel in the joy that they're all buying it because of you.  You know you're going to purchase it again and again due to Holy Grail status and when you're at the beauty counter ready to buy, what do you do?  You of course buy a different one.  What if there's a better one out there and you just haven't tried it yet?  And the cycle continues.

3. You use the phrase "Holy Grail" without talking about Indiana Jones.  
You've turned finding the perfect product into religion and now you think about it, make up really is your religion and you are worshipping at the altar.  You tell your friends you've found your Holy Grail foundation.  They look at you and blink.  They look at each other, telepathically saying "Did yer wan just say Holy Grail foundation?  Is she all religious now?" and widen their eyes at each other telepathically replying "Step away slowly".

4. You carry around a shop with you.  
You're looking around your handbag for that 20 cent you need to make up the rest of your bus fare.  You know it's in there.  You caught a glimpse of it just a second ago.  To speed things up, you start to empty your bag so you can see a bit better.  30 seconds later, your bag is empty, your 20 cent has been found and your desk looks like this. 

So that's where your Chanel gloss was!  You find things you totally forgot you had didn't know you'd been missing but as the song goes, you're "reunited and it feels so good!"

5. You can't do a clear out.  
After the above event, you are overcome with the realisation that you don't need to carry 15 lip products around with you.  No wonder you're getting shoulder pain, carrying what is essentially a lipstick stand on your person.  You decided that it's time to empty out your bag and only carry around the bare essentials.  You feel great.  Your bag has been spring cleaned and you can now run for the bus as you're a stone lighter.  Only thing is, you find yourself checking you have your wallet and phone in your bag.  Your bag feels strangely light and now you find yourself wanting to wear that gloss you wore about 18 months ago and have been carrying around with you in case you wanted to wear it.  And look!  You were right!  You knew that at one point you'd need it some day and be raging you didn't have it and it happened.  It's time to load your handbag back up with your lipstick essentials.  Phew

So tell moi, do you relate to any of these?  Are you a beauty junkie loud and proud?!

Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Excess mascara review, before & after photos

Over the years I've tried a lot of mascaras.  I'm obsessed with them all and have said before that if I lived in a world where I was only allowed to wear one piece of make up (that wouldn't be a world, it would be a hell), then mascara would be my must have product.

Those who have followed me on the blog for a while will know that my favourite mascara at the moment is Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill.  It.  Is.  Amazing.  You can read my full review here if you should be so inclined. 

I said at the time I'd purchase it myself and so when at the Armani counter in New York last year, what did I do?  Decide that I needed to try Eyes to Kill Excess.  I know.  After waiting for months to treat myself to a replacement, I bought a different one.  I have no explanation other than I have this thing deep in my soul that is afraid I could be missing out on an even better product.  Even though I know I'm using a pretty perfect product, what if there's something better?  And this is why I'll die broke but looking fabulous!

Anyway, I bought it blind, not knowing anything about it or having read any reviews or anything.  Brave or what?  But I figured if it was anything like Eyes to Kill, then I'd be grand and the fact that it has the word Excess at the end of it intrigued me and had me stroking my beard and squinting my eyes imagining what it might do to my lashes.  I'm all about excess in terms of lashes baby!

I thought a little comparison might be in order.  Eyes to Kill has the pewter packaging and Intense has sleek black packaging.  Wand-wise Eyes to Kill has a pretty uniform shaped brush whereas the Excess version has a more curvy brush and is slightly wider at the base and tip.

In terms of formula, Eyes to Kill Excess is slightly thicker than it's counterpart and because of that, it gives more volume than Eyes to Kill.  However, it doesn't give the length that my beloved original does and it's the formula of Eyes to Kill that gives more separation and curl to my lashes, giving me a real wide eyed look.

Take a look at my scientific photos. 

And this is where I love the fact that I have close up photos of my eyeballs.  Both of these guys stay put for the day and add so much drama to my lashes.  Do I think Eyes to Kill Excess is better than the original?  No.  But I had to try it and see.  I've been using it all the time and do love it, but Eyes to Kill slightly pips Eyes to Kill Excess to the post in terms of the formula as it gives me the results I love.

I'll be honest, I bet if I hadn't have tried Eyes to Kill first, I'd probably be fawning all over Excess as it is a fantastic mascara.  I just love having more length, lift, curl and separation over volume but that's just my personal preferance. 

I promise that the next time I go to purchase Eyes to Kill, I'll actually purchase Eyes to Kill and nothing else! Eyes to Kill is €29 and I'll double check the price of Eyes to Kill Excess and update the post.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Origins Drink Up Intensive mask review

As you're reading this, you're probably tucked up either at home, or at work (don't worry, I won't tell), but you're out of the cold and that's the main thing.  I can pretty much guarantee that the heat is on wherever you are which is grand for the hands and tootsies, but isn't so great for the skin.  Winter is the time where our skin has a tendency to go doolally as we totally confuse it by going from hot places to cold outside and torture it with all of the dry air due to constant central heating being on.

I've been dying to try the Origins Drink Up Intensive mask for ages and last year Joanne bought an Origins set from the CCO in Belfast that included a little version of it.  We promptly lost the set but I found it over Christmas and have been making full use of it to help my little face stay calm and nourished.

Drink Up Intensive contains Avocado and Apricot Kernel Oil that helps instantly hydrate the skin and helps keep skin hydrated for longer.  Japanese Seaweed repairs the skin's barrier and stops further dehydration.  It has a nice light texture for a mask, reminding me of a night cream more than anything else.  The scent is gorgeous and brings me back to my first dabble with Origins circa 2000 where I fell in love with A Perfect World Intensely Hydrating Body Cream.

I like to carry out my usual cleansing routine at night which consists of me using Origins Clean Energy Cleansing Oil and an Emma Hardie face cloth.  On nights where I'm using the mask, I apply a layer to clean dry skin before trotting off into bed and letting it sink in a bit before I hit the sack.  I don't apply night cream or anything else with this. I do my best not to smack myself in the face with my iPad as I lay on my back and enjoy the aroma of this gorgeous mask.  The directions say to tissue off the excess but as I'm the ultimate rebel (and ultimately lazy, sure why would I get back out of bed to remove it?) I leave it on overnight.

The next morning, I wake up to super soft skin and do one of those moves from the ads where the girl gets up and strokes her face with the back of her hand as her skin is so soft.  You don't need a huge amount of product to do the job so this tube will get me through the winter months.  The regular tube is 100ml and costs €30.50, so on the spendy side but completely and totally worth it in my opinion.  I'll be repurchasing it when I run out and am convinced that my skin is in fantastic shape this winter because of it.  And all the other Origins products I've been using!

What's your favourite mask at the moment?

Origins is available in Arnotts Dublin and Boots Liffey Valley.

Avon Perfect Kiss Lipsticks, swatches, photos

Avon have some new goodies to start the year off with a bang!  Launching this month are the Perfect Kiss Lipsticks which are available in a massive 24 shades.  Four of them arrived at Casa Girlie Bits last week and I've had a lovely time altogether playing with them like a good little make up junkie!

First up, just look at the packaging.  Silver tubes with a prism detail on the top gets me singing Rihanna's Shine Bright Like a Diamond every time I use one.  The lipsticks contain a blend of avocado and coconut oils to condition and fruit enzymes that nourish the lips, leaving you with a soft lips.

As I mentioned, 24 shades is huge and there really is something for every skin tone.  Want to see some swatches?

Avon Perfect Kiss Lipstick - Coral Connection
Coral Connection is deep copper colour to me rather than a coral shade, with hints of teracotta.  It's a warm shade with red undertones and is superbly creamy, pigmented and will be even more gorgeous when the days get warmer.

Peach Peck is a light shimmery peach shade that looks almost rose gold on my lips.  It was the least creamy out of the four but the most wearable for every day use.

Undressed Brown is not for the faint hearted.  It's so dark on me but would look better on darker skin tones.  Despite that, it felt lovely and smooth on the lips and can be sheered out by patting it onto the lips, rather than applying it directly from the bullet.

Smitten Red is a gorgeous blue toned red shade that applies like a dream.  For someone who is a fan of the nudie lips, this shade knocked me upside the head in terms of pigmentation, comfort and gorgeous-ness.  Poifect for Valentine's Day next month?

These are available now in the Avon catalogue or here on the Avon website.  They're regularly €11 but are on special offer now for €6.50, so get your skates on before that offer ends.

Have you tried the Avon Perfect Kiss Lipsticks?  And do I need to try Natural Glow and Kiss Me Pink?  Yes, I thought so.  To the catalogue!
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