Friday, February 28, 2014

The results of my Smashbox photoshoot!

It's not considered narcissistic to sit and look at a photo of yourself for ages sure it's not?  Not when you've had hair done by the talented Bea Watson using Bumble and Bumble products, makeup is done by the extremely amazing Janine Bird using Smashbox goodies and the photographer is Davis Factor, co-founder of Smashbox Cosmetics.

That's me!

I wish I looked like this all the time!  But I bet I could.  I just need a hairstylist, makeup artist, retoucher, photographer and wind machine.  Easy peasy!  You can read about my afternoon with Smashbox here and I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences of my life.  I'm now going to dedicate the weekend to making my face and hair look like that!

Thanks a million to all of the Smashbox team who made me look like this for a few hours!  It doesn't get much better than this.

Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream review

Well how do ya like them apples, sure haven't I only gone and fallen in love with a cream cleanser!  More specifically, the Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream.  Back in the day I used to use cream cleansers and used to find it such a faff to have to take it all off with cotton wool pads and I ended up going through so many packets of cotton wool, I stopped using them.

But now I feel like I've gone back to basics with this new cleansing cream aimed at both detoxifying the skin with moringa seed extract while nourishing it and cleansing it of course.  

The tube is massive and will last you for ages and the cream itself is rich and luxurious.  It has shea and mango butter which makes it feel even more unctuous that a regular cream cleanser and feels like it's doing something extra for your skin rather than just cleaning it.

I apply a walnut sized amount into my hands and warm it up a bit before massaging it all over my skin.  Then I do the Clarins cleansing technique which involves placing your hands flat against your skin and then moving your hands away your face quickly, creating a mini suction effect which is meant to help lift dirt and makeup out of your pores.  I just like the noise it makes and it sounds like what the word "moist" would sound like.  Nice, I know.  I then use a wet facecloth to remove it all and it leaves my skin feeling soft, smooth, nourished and clean.

It's great for taking makeup off but because I've little delicate eyeballs, I haven't let it near them, so I can't say how it works on mascara.

It's a reasonable €30 which might sound like a lot but the tube is nearly the size of a bottle of body lotion.  So girlie maths means you're allowed to get it and use it and love it.  It's a proper treat for the visage and I feel like I'm pampering myself every time I use it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I finished a piece of makeup!

Look!!! I did it!!! I achieved the impossible and finished a lip product!  In all my years on this earth, I don't think I've ever finished a lipstick or lipgloss.  I go through lip balms quickly enough, so they don't count but the pride I have that I've finished a piece of makeup is brilliant (and a little sad).  I've had this Carmex Moisture Plus lippie for ages now and it's a hybrid of a lip balm and a lipstick, so I'm totally allowing it as a piece of makeup that is finished.  It has great pigmentation and moisturises my lips beautifully, but I mainly use it for the colour rather than the good it does my lips.  Hence it's makeup in my book.

And a little secret, I'm just about to finish another lip product!  I actually thought it was done, but then realised I hadn't turned the end of it up enough so there's another centimeter that'll do me for the next couple of weeks.

I don't do Empties videos or posts because all you'd be seeing is bottles of conditioners and cleansers.  I've never finished a foundation, eyeshadow or anything else other than a MAC powder, so you can see my excitement!

So my question today is have you ever finished a lip product or a piece of makeup?  If so, did you have a sense of weird pride like me or do you fly through your makeup at warp speed and finishing makeup is the norm?

Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana review

Ok lads, I think it's happening.  I think spring is springing because we've had a few days where we've seen blue skies and I'm telling you, I must be solar powered because I've had a pep in my step and feel that warmer and brighter days are coming.

On gorgeous spring days, I'm obsessed with light, airy fragrances.  I want to embrace all things floral, especially white florals.  Enter Dolce by Dolce & Gabana.  Lads, this is true love.  Or should I say True Love.

Can we just take a moment and look at the bottle and more specifically, the lid?  It's made to portray the marzipan sculptures seen in traditional Sicilian confectioners and really is a piece of art.  I thought it was made of plastic the first time I saw it but it feels like hard resin, so no worries about it going all grotty.

But the scent.... Oh it's spring time perfume-ified.  It's feminine, fresh, slightly sweet for the first few minutes thanks to the neroli leaves and papaya flower, but once that fades, the white florals come into their own and just lifts everything.  I don't get much of the musky base notes but I'm ok with that because it gives me plenty of the delicate and gorgeous white amaryllis, white daffodil and white water lily which elevates my mood and spirit like nothing else!

When I sprayed Dolce by Dolce & Gabana on myself for the first time on a bright, sunny, blue skied Wednesday morning, I had to take a moment because it was all too much for me.  The universe had made it so that I smelled gorgeous on a beautiful morning.  And it's times like these I feel a bit bad for my coworkers because when I love something as much as this, I make them all put it on whether they want to or not.  Nine times out of ten, they love it but yes, I make everyone try it as they came to visit me in the office.  They love it.  Phew.

Usually when I love a fragrance this much, I keep it at home rather than in The Drawer at work, but I love it so much, that I want everyone to smell like this.  This scent genuinely puts me in good form as soon as I spray it and has shot to the top of my favourite spring time perfume hands down.  It lasts a good three hours or so before I need to apply it again and it's completely the reason I've been in a great mood for the last week!  If you meet me anytime soon, I'll have this in my bag so please make sure I give you a spritz or seven because you need to smell this.


Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana will be available nationwide from March 6th and I urge you to go smell it.  Prices start at €62 for 30mls.

If you have a nose and wrists, you need to try this.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I changed my mind! - Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion

Ok ok I changed my mind.  After my first impressions post on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion, I've continued to use it every day since because I paid good money for it!

Then in one of Orla from Makeup Over Mind's recent videos, she mentioned that she thought Hourglass would most likely use the same amount of blush and powder pigment in each compact and because they're all handmade, yes they'd look different but ultimately contain the same ratio as all the other Dim Infusions out there.  Orla is wise beyond her years and for the record, when writing this, I had to look up her last name because in my mind First name = Orla, Last name = Makeup Over Mind.

So yes, I've changed my mind and I'll be updating my original first impressions post, linking it to this one.  It definitely gives off more pigment now than those first few days and when I wear this when I'm filming, my cheeks look amazing.  I'm talking Jennifer Lawrence needs to watch out because the sheen and flush of colour I get is flawless.

Now it's still not as pigmented as I'd hoped for, but I really have embraced the more natural look on my cheeks and have decided that I love how it makes it look like my skin is naturally gorgeous, when in fact I'm caked in makeup.  Working my way into it for the past couple of weeks has unleashed some more of the coral pigment and it's inspired me to film a video but more on that next week.

So let me pose le question.  Have you tried a product and not been too keen on it, only to change your mind and love it?  Or has the opposite happened?  Have you loved sommat, then wondered why you let it on your face as you hate it? 

Tell me all!  What made you change your mind?

Wet n Wild Coverall Cream foundation review, before & after photos

Ok, hold on to your knickers ladies, I've got a good one to show ye today!  As we know, the arrival of US brand Wet n Wild had us all in a bother but now that the dust has settled and I've had a chance to try out some of the bits, I'm ready to tell you about them.

Now, I picked up some eyeshadow trios as I was most excited about those, but at the launch was given the Coverall Cream foundation in shade medium.  I had a go of it in the comfort of my boudoir and while it was too dark for me, I went out and bought the lightest shade, fair/light, because I was so impressed with the coverage and finish.

Coming in a little plastic squeezy tube, care needs to be taken when squeezing it out on to the back of your hand as it's easy to squirt out too much.  But in saying that, being in a squeezy tube means it's lightweight and perfect for carrying around in your makeup bag or when you're travelling.  It's quite a thick foundation, but smooths easily over the skin.  I use my Real Techniques Buffing Brush to work it into the skin and I'm telling you, for a foundation that's under a fiver, it's fantastic!

Although it's called Coverall, it gives medium coverage but is buildable, without looking cakey.  It evens out my skin, covers redness, gives a satin-matte finish with a hint of a glow and stays put until after lunch time without powder, but if I set it with powder, it stays put for the whole work day.  Of all of the higher coverage foundations I've tried in the past, and I've tried a lot, this one is leaps and bounds ahead of them because as heavy as it is coverage and texture wise, it doesn't look like I'm wearing foundation and it doesn't collect in pores or fine lines.

I love it when a product I know nothing about surprises me like this!  I've been wearing it every day for the past two weeks and even wore it out last weekend.  A measly €4.59 is all this costs and this gets two thumbs up from me!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What's in my handbag - lip products only!

So it's happened again.  I switched handbags early this month and despite promising myself that I'd keep my handbag light and free from millions of lip products, I've managed to amass a ridiculous collection that are threatening to damage my back from the weight and the last thing I want is a bandy back.  But yet I love them all and it pains me when I leave one behind at home.  What if I need it?  It could be the perfect lip product for my look and I could potentially leave it at home, festering, forgotten.  That's not nice now is it?

I know.  I actually know.... And they're all bloody nudes.... FML... RIP...

Bourjois Rouge Edition in shade 04 is a gorgeous dusty pink shade that I love blending into my lips with my finger to give a really natural look.  This is creamy and one of my favourite formulas in lippies.

Maybelline Color Sensational in Tantalizing Taupe is one of my recent purchases and is a wonderful nude lipstick with slight pinky undertones to it.  This feels slippy and moisturising on the lips and is a joy to slather on.

Smashbox lipgloss in Radiant.  This is one of my favourite glosses because it adds a my lips but better colour but with extra sparkle and we do know I like a bit of sparkle.

Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector Shade 04 is a light milky pink gloss that does wonders for my lips and feels like a treatment.  I have it in a more coral shade which is perfect for summer and feel that I need the caramel shade too.

Rimmel Notting Hill Nude is a warm light brown nude which sounds manky but trust me, it's lovely on.  I like to apply it from the bullet and then blend it in with my finger to give a natural finsh.

Dior Addict Extreme in Gri Gri.  This shade is perfect.  It's a light peachy nude that's perfect for spring and feels really moisturising on.

L'Oreal Color Riche L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick. I can't remember the shade name and it has no label, but stay tuned this week for a review of this and another coral one too.  This is L'Oreal's answer to the YSL Glossy Stain and I'm loving it.

Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker in Nudist.  This is my favourite nudie lip product ever and I'm so close to finishing it and will have to repurchase!  It's thick, not sticky and is pretty dang perfect.

The Body Shop Honeymania Lip Balm was found in the bottom of an old handbag and I rejoyced because I thought I'd lost it!  I love the whole range and the lip balm is thick, smells gorgeous and works wonders on the lips.

NYX Butter Gloss in Tiramisu is a pigmented, deliciously scented pinky nude that makes me happy and gets me excited that NYX will be available nationwide in Ireland soon.  

Carmex Moisture Plus.  There's no shade on the tube but this is a peachy coral shade that adds colour and hydration to the lips with a bit of a tingle too.  I'm nearly at the end of this and will purchase again because it was my first foray into the world of Carmex and now I want more.

Lanolips in Rhubarb.  If you like the thought of sheep juice on the lips then this is a good option.  Made with lanolin and with a hint of pink to it, this injects moisture into the lips but you need to have a wet wipe handy because it's sticky.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Levres.  I wasn't happy having just one.  No, I needed two.  I must have been worried about one being nearly finished and popped a second into my bag.  If your lips are in anyway bad shape, then this will sort them out promtly.  A must have.

So what lip products are you carrying around with you at the moment?  What do I need to try and what's your absolute favourite nudie?

Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting lipsticks - Dominant, photos, review, swatches

When you're greeted by an army of brand new lipsticks like this:

Your first thought might be "Wow, these are beautiful".  Mine was "Karen, don't knock them over or it'll be like dominos and you'll be shot and never asked to anything again by Estee Lauder".  I managed to keep my poise when seeing these beauts, the Pure Colour Envy Sculpting lipsticks from Estee Lauder which are on counters now.

The 20 shade strong collection are broken down into four categories, nudes to browns, pinks to berries, corals to reds and mauves to plums so no matter what skin tone you have or favourite shades you like, they've something for everyone.

The formula is simply gorgeous.  Creamy yet lightweight, pigmented, not sticky or tacky, moisturising thanks to hyaluronic acid and the longevity is fantastic.

I was given the shade Dominant to play with which is a wearable mid toned pink.  But before we get on to that, can we talk about the packaging?  Sleek and sexy and get this, it has a magnetic closure that adds even more luxury to the product and I guarantee you that you'll use the lipstick, close it, then open it again just to close it again.  Having not changed lipstick packaging since 1992, they did well and picked a good 'un.

Dominant feels lightweight on the lips yet packs a whopper of a punch in terms of pigmentation.  The swatch on my hand above shows one swipe from the bullet.  With strong shades like this, I like to apply it from the bullet to the lips and then use a lip brush to tidy the edges.  It lasts a good 4-5 hours on me, fading away nicely leaving a light stain on the lips.

I can't fault this lippie at all and at €29, it's on the spendy side, but when you're talking about a product that looks fab, feels fab and is fab, I'd happily hand over my cash to get more.  And when I say more, we all know I'm talking a nude and a coral shade.

The Estee Lauder Pure Colour Envy Sculpting Lipsticks are on counters now.  Will you be partaking in one (or five)?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Models Own HyperGel polishes - photos, swatches, review

I blame Nic of Strawberry Blonde Beauty for this purchase, she made me do it.  After reading her post recently showing the new Models Own HyperGel polishes, I hoofed myself over to their website and picked up five beauties.  There was a half price sale going on and I decided to use Parcel Motel for the first time as shipping to Ireland is an eye-watering €12!

Look at them....

Don't they just make you happy?  Isn't it nice to see colour back again?

I bought five of them because when you spent a minimum of £25, you got them for half price.  So I did it.  I'm not even sorry I bought five new polishes that I don't even need but love.  Each shade I picked up is spring time polish-ified.  Bright, cheery shades that make me smile just by looking at them.  Don't tell anybody I said that.  Sounds weird.

So if you haven't already copped, the HyperGel polishes are a 10 strong collection of beautiful polishes that give a gel-like finish nails but without the whole curing process.  Shiny nails make me happy and with pastel shades like these, I'm extra happy.  The polishes themselves have a thicker consistency than other Models Own shades I've tried in the past, so be careful not to load the brush up with too much polish.  Each of the photos below show just two coats compared to the usual three I'd use for photographs.

Turquoise Gloss is less turquoise and more green, but still beautiful and will look fab with a tan when the summer decides to arrive.

Models Own HyperGel polish- Turquoise Gloss
Models Own HyperGel polish - Turquoise Gloss
Blue Glint hurt my heart trying to photograph because no matter what light I used or how I positioned my hand, it wouldn't show up properly on camera.  In the photos it looks blue but in real life it looks almost teal it has that much green to it.  It's a stunner nonetheless and one you should see in person.  Also, make sure to use a base coat with blue shades like this because they tend to stain the nails.

Models Own HyperGel polish - Blue Glint
Models Own HyperGel polish - Blue Glint
Cornflower Gleam is the most beautiful dusky cornflower blue shade that I can't get enough of.  It was the first one I applied when they all arrived and then I promptly lost it.  I searched the place and ended up buying a replacement last week and yesterday found the original in a bag I looked in 5 times for it!  So Joanne has inherited this beaut of a shade that is perfect for spring.

Models Own HyperGel polish - Cornflower Gleam
Models Own HyperGel polish - Cornflower Gleam
If Easter was a nail polish, it would be Lilac Sheen.  It's light, bright and a very pretty pastel polish.

Models Own HyperGel polish - Lilac Sheen
Models Own HyperGel polish - Lilac Sheen
You knew I was going to get the coral one didn't you?   Coral Glaze is the most perfect peachy coral shade and I think it's the one I'll end up wearing the most.  Depending on the light it can look softer or brighter and this will take me well into summer along with the other eleven million corals I have, but there's something about this shade that makes it different!  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Models Own HyperGel polish - Coral Glaze
Models Own HyperGel polish - Coral Glaze
Because the formula is thicker, it gives the illusion of plump gel nails but it also takes longer to dry, so if you're in a rush, a top coat will be necessary but even without one, the shine that comes off these guys is amazing.   I found with the exception of my favourites, Coral Glaze and Cornflower Gleam, the other shades applied beautifully with just the one coat.  And as I applied the second coat of each shade, I could see it evening out over the nail leaving a perfectly smooth set of talons!

The Models Own HyperGel polishes are now available in Boots and will set you back €6.49.  The fact that they exist is half the reason why I won't let myself have a peruse in Boots.  I hope they bring out more shades this summer!

Which shade is calling to you?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Slimming World #8 - Our week in food!

Over the past couple of weeks, both Joanne and I have gotten a little lax in following the aul Slimming World plan.  So in an effort to stay motivated and keep ourselves accountable, we decided to take photos of everything that goes in our gobs between Tuesday and Friday as it turned out because we both forgot to take photos of what we ate yesterday.  I always forget to take photos of what I eat, so it was a challenge to remember to whip out the phone and snap before munching my food!  But I actually really enjoyed doing it and if you guys like posts like these, let us know because we can do this at the end of each Slimming World post if you like?

So here's what we ate for the last few days!  In each collage, my meals are in the top row and Joanne's are in the bottom.  I didn't snap photos of snacks I had which were mainly fat free yogurts and fruit.  I'm cutting back on the sweets again because it's so easy to get into the habit of having something bold every day, even if it's included in my syns and I find if I start eating sweets often, I lose the run of myself.  So it's back to basics with moi.

Karen: Brekkie - Fruit salad with Muller Light yogurt / Lunch - Salad / Dinner - Burrito bowl from El Gringo in Stephen's Green Centre
Joanne: Brekkie - Bran Flakes with milk / Lunch - Brown roll with corned beef & coleslaw, fruit salad / Dinner - Chicken fajitas with no wrap, just rice

Karen: Brekkie - 2 Weetabix with milk & banana & coffee / Lunch - Salad, 2 Ryvita with Philadelphia Light  / Dinner - Chinese takeaway! Chicken in oyster sauce & 4 chips!
Joanne: Brekkie - Bran Flakes with milk & 2 mandarins / Lunch - Leftover chicken fajitas with rice / Dinner - Chinese takeaway! Chicken in oyster sauce, chips & curry sauce

Karen: Brekkie - 2 Weetabix with milk, fruit salad & coffee / Lunch - Salad, tuna & sweetcor, 2 Ryvita & Philadelphia Light / Dinner - Mexican chicken with veggies & rice
Joanne: Brekkie - Beans, bacon & boiled egg, fruit salad / Lunch - Brown roll with ham, tomato & onion, Snack bar / Dinner - Forgot to photograph, chicken diddy with potato & broccoli

Karen: Brekkie - Fruit salad with Muller Light yogurt & coffee / Lunch - Leftover chicken & veggies & rice
Joanne: Brekkie - Beans, bacon, boiled egg, fruit salad / Lunch - Brown roll with ham, tomato & onion & Tayto Treble Crunch 

Friday dinner!

Because it was mam's birthday this week, we took her to Shanahans on the Green for a special dinner.  We went for the early bird and sweet baby J, it was gorgeous.  From the table, to the room, to the music, to the craic, to the food, it was fantastic and the week had all led up to those few hours!  Joanne and I had the same meal, hence one set of photos.  We started off with the salmon on a bellini which was light and delicious.  We had the petit fillet for our main with onion relish, mashed potato, creamed spinach and their famous onion rings.  Oh God, the steak was the best I've ever had and it took me ages to eat it as I savoured every bite!  The desert was a cookie cheesecake and we could barely eat half of it because we were so stuffed.  

I think if you're going to be bold and indulge yourself, it has to be worth it and this was 100% worth it for us.  Everyone had an amazing meal, mam nearly licked the plate clean and I can't recommend Shanahans enough for a special occasion.  Back on the diet wagon now!

Looking back over the few days, I'm pretty happy with how things panned out.  I really enjoyed the burrito bowl on Tuesday and as for Wednesday with our takeaway for mam's birthday, we chose the best we could, but please take note of my 4 chips compared to Joanne's millions!  Joanne said seeing her meals like this showed her that she needs to up her SuperFree with each meal, so it was a good eye opener for her.

Even if we don't do posts with our meals included, make sure to follow us on Instagram where we'll definitely be posting every day, but do let us know if you enjoyed this post and would like to see more.  If you see any meals that you'd like the recipe for, then again, let us know in the comments! 

If you're struggling with your healthy eating plan, then doing something like this is a great way to hold yourself accountable.  Taking photos is one thing, but publishing them online
adds that extra little bit of awareness and is a great way to keep on track.  We're definitely going to keep doing it and hopefully it'll reflect on the scales.  If not, it'll make for a blog post!

Karen's Instagram @lovelygirliebits
Joanne's Instagram @robo_jojo

Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Favourite Five #8

This week was a grand week of meetings, birthday celebrations and eating healthily, but more on that tomorrow.  It's time to look back at the posts, bloggers and Youtubers that inspired me this week and made me want to buy stuff!

It warms the cockles of my heart when Laura from Buy Now, Blog Later talks about makeup like she did in this makeup ramble post.  It reminds me of back in the day when I used to watch her videos religiously, bought Gosh Darling even though it was horrendous on me and bought Nars Sheer Glow, even though I knew it wouldn't suit my skin tone and despite it breaking me out like a mofo, I tried to love it.  Such is the influence she had on me back in the day but now she's making me want to highlight my cheekbones with eyeshadow.

I'm obsessed with Fee's blog, MakeupSavvy and over the years she's made me spend so much money on beauty products and for that I curse and thank her at the same time because I've found some great bits I still use all the time.  I loved this post she wrote this week talking about 5 products she'd love to love but can't and feel her on the peel off mask and Yankee Candle picks!

If there's one thing that's certain, it's that Adrienne from The Sunday Girl does the most beautiful blog photos.  Her post featuring some new goodies from Tom Ford for spring 2014 made me gasp.  Actual gaspage.  I need both lipstick and nail polish and I don't care how much they are.  Peach and coral anything and I'm hooked.  Damn you Adrienne for having gorgeous photos and making me want to spend a month's worth of grocery money on two things, two beautiful things that I'd probably wear every day right?  Also, the day after reading her post, I was in Brown Thomas and walked by the Tom Ford counter only to see these beauts there.  Looking at me.  Luring me in.  Yes, I might have squeaked when I saw them but making noises I'm not in control of means I need them doesn't it?

I need more nail polishes like a kick in the head but when I saw Andreea of ArtDonatella showing off some matte Barry M polishes, I knew resistance would be futile and I'm not allowing myself into Boots until payday because I know I'll end up getting some of these.  Andreea has the most gorgeous nails on a human being and I know there's no way the shades will look as nice on me as they do on her but lads, could you please check out the shade Vanilla and tell me I don't need it?  I think it's love.

One of my favourite bloggers and YouTubers is Anna from ViviannaDoesMakeup.  Her blog is beautiful and has plenty of gorgeous photos for me to drool over.  Her videos are equally as lovely, packed full of products I want to try and always beautifully shot.  Since the start of the year, my Sunday morning starts off with watching Anna's latest video over breakfast and I love it!  She uploads first thing on a Sunday so I know I'm going to be able to ease my way into the day and take my time while I prepare myself for the day ahead.  If you haven't subscribed to her already, then do it.  She's friendly, chatty and seems like a genuinely lovely person who could be your friend!

So these were my Favourite Five of the week!  Who are your favourite bloggers and YouTubers?  I'm always on the lookout for more lovely ladies to add to my reading/viewing lists, so leave any in the comments below!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Roger & Gallet hands & nails cream review

Mini things make me so happy.  Not only do they make me feel like a giant as I hold them, but they're super handy for throwing in the bottom of a handbag or keeping at my desk.  As someone who has been known to carry around a lot of beauty related things (I currently have 11 lip products in my bag) I'm making a conscious effort to only carry around what I need.  And obviously I need 11 lip products.

These new hand creams from Roger & Gallet are beautious.  Not only are they small, but the packaging is lovely and bright, making it easy to find them in the depths of my handbag.  Oh and they'd be perfect for travelling too.  Sorry, I really have a goo on me for a holiday so any excuse to start thinking of travel friendly products.

Each of the three hand creams is enhanced with shea butter and the Rose hand cream also has calming rose petal extract and protects skin against irritation.  Fleur d'Osmanthus is enriched with apricot kernel oil which softens and soothes the skin and Creme Sublime has nourishing argan and evening primrose oil and also has SPF15.

I'm a huge fan of the Roger & Gallet scents, having three of them in The Perfume Drawer at work for everyone to use, so these hand creams will a) enhance whichever R&G fragrance I'm using and b) have to be hidden from the girls at work (sorry girdles) as I love them too much.

Yes, you'll most likely be caught smelling your hands like a weirdo when using these but who cares, they'll want to have a go too when they get a whiff of them.  I've definitely noticed that when I apply a hand and nail cream or an oil to my nails, within a few days they're more nourished and don't peel as much as usual but I always forget to use something on them.  Having lovely perfumed creams like this encourages me to make an effort and at €6.50 each, they're cheap as chips!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Origins GinZing Brightening mascara review, before & after photos

As someone who needs to wear mascara no matter what, otherwise my eyes look like dots, I often find myself asking people what mascara they're wearing, especially when they've mahoosive lashes.

Chloe, the PR for Origins has quite possibly the longest lashes I've ever seen on a human being and more often than not, I find myself talking to her lashes instead of to her.  I think she finally realised that I'm a big eyelash watching weirdo after meeting her last month and she sent me the mascara she uses, Origins GinZing Brightening mascara.

The wand is huge.  Massive.  Biggest wand I've ever let near my eyeball.

The formula is one of the Goldilocks variety, not too wet and not too dry, but because the brush is so humungous, it picks up a lot of product, so I generally have to scrape the top off a little bit.  The brush combs through my lashes easily, giving lift and separation.

Now, GinZing gives me fantastic length, one of the biggest things for me when it comes to mascara.  It doesn't give masses of volume compared to other mascaras but as it's not promising to give lots of volume, I ain't mad at it.  Lift and curl generally comes second in terms of importance and with this mascara, I get those in equal measures too.

It's one of those mascaras that make my lashes so lifty and curly that they hit off my upper eyelid and leave weeny dots of product.  Listen girlfriend, I'll completely overlook having to get rid of those weeny dots if it gives me killer lashes and it does.  Ok, maybe not killer.  Nobody is going to die because of my lashes, but you get what I mean.  A quick tip for that is to let it completely dry and then it'll flake right off with a cotton bud.

The only downside is because the brush is so big, I can't do my lower lashes without making a mess.  Things like that don't bother me when I'm doing a darker eye and I've shadow under the lower lashes, but for days where I only have time for mascara on my eyes, it can look like I've done it in the car on the way to work.  If I'm careful, I can apply it without much of a mess and it's not enough of an issue to stop me from using it.  I don't know if it brightens my eyeballs so I can't comment on the brightening aspect of it, but I do know that one coat gives me delicious lashes and two coats gives me proper going out at night lashes.  You mascara fiends know what I mean.

Also while we're on the mahoosive brush, because I have to scrape the product off the brush before applying it to the lashes, no two days are the same lash-wise.  I had an amazing day last week where I applied one coat and it was perfect, then added a second coat to the outer corners and it was lash perfection.  On other days I can have just nice lashes, it's all the luck of the draw, but I'm working on a system that I can use every day and will keep you posted.  The joys of being a mascara monster eh?

The Origins GinZing Brightening mascara is €21.50 and is available on Origins counters now.  If you're looking for a blacker than black mascara, that doesn't make your lashes feel crispy or look clumpy and are well able to handle a big wand near your eyeball, then definitely check this one out.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation review, before & after photos

It's times like these I need to give myself a smack upside the head for thinking I wasn't going to get along with a product, only to finally use it and not only did I get along with it, but I blahddy love it!  I was sent the Max Factor Whipped Creme Foundation before Christmas and first thought it would be too dark for me based on the shade name, then after looking inside the pot, thought the consistency would be too thick for me.

I put my hands up and say that I'm guilty Your Honour, guilty of judging a foundation by the pot.  I'll say eight Hail Marys and one Glory Be because I was wrong on all counts.  I thought it was going to be like the Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundations which used to ball up on my face so much that I lost reason with it, but no, this smooths across my visage like silk.

Described as a demi-matte foundation, the whipped texture feels slightly silicon-like on, but doesn't dry out the skin the way some products rich in silicon do.  As you know, I've combination skin, so go through phases of having an oily t-zone with dry patches, normal cheeks that can also run dry and I found that once my skin was properly moisturised, the foundation looked flawless on.  It actually made me say "Wow" at myself in the mirror like a weirdo.  

I had a couple of days where the sides of my nose were really dry along with a weird uber dry patch close to my hairline on my forehead and I found that the product did cling to those areas.  But a quick exfoliation that night and a good moisturiser and I was back to normal.  So if you've really dry skin or tend of have dry patches, I'd test it out first before buying it.  

Beige is the 4th lightest shade of 6, so once I bring it down my neck, I can wear it during the day easily, but come the summer, it'll be on my face a lot more.  This evens out my skin tone beautifully and hides the redness on my schnoz and cheeks while brightening my skin, giving me a wonderful natural glow and airbrushed finish.  We're talking about medium coverage that feels light as air on the skin and nearly lasts the full work day before needing a touch up.

I'm so impressed with this foundation and I think it's because of the issues with the Maybelline one that I steered clear of mousse and cream foundations for the past few years.  But the Whipped Creme foundation has reignited my relationship with them and long may it last!

It's €12.99 and is on Max Factor stands now.  Nice one Mr. Factor!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Smashbox Metallic Eye Makeup Look with the Full Exposure palette

So I've been playing with the Smashbox Full Exposure palette again... And this time I've been attempting to recreate the look that makeup artist Janine Bird did on me last month at the photoshoot I blogged about here.

I absolutely loved this look and it pained me to take it off that night and to be honest, I was afraid to attempt to recreate it myself because what if I couldn't do it.  This was the makeup look that made me pose in front of Davis Factor and a wind machine like I was the Queen of feckin Sheba.  But I bit the bullet and used all of the tips and tricks that Janine's taught me over the past couple of years and voila!  Have a look see at the video below and I've posted some photos too for your viewing pleasure.  The green liner on the waterline is my favourite thing ever in life and teamed with this dark metallic eye, I know what eye makeup I'll be wearing every time I'm heading out!

It's a different take on the usual sexy smoky eye and takes mere minutes to do this yourself.

And look!  I did a little comparison photo of Janine's work and my attempt and it's not half bad!

Left: Eyeball by Janine.  Right: Eyeball by moi
This should be enough for you to see that if I can do this, anyone can, so play with the palette.  Go wild.  Do what I do and do your right eye one way and your left eye another, then forget about it and when the doorbell rings, you look demented, but you're happy because you've got all the makeup on.

Smashbox Full Exposure palette.  In The Ultimate Love with it.
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