Saturday, 29 November 2014

My first ever Swap!

A few weeks ago myself and the lovely Shireen fron Reflection of Sanity decided we were going to do a swap. After emailing a few preferences and foundation shades it happened, and here's what i recieved:

Covo Foundation
This foundation is housed in one of the most beautiful bottes I've ever owned. Heavy glass and with a pump-what's not to like? The finish is beautiful and the shade is spot on.The lasting power is fantastic as well, I can easily wear this all day at work with no sign of wear. Covo was a brand I really wanted to try as it all looked so good in Shireens posts, but it's only available in Malaysia at the minute, so you can guess how happy I was to receive this and thee most beautiful lipstick in the swap. There may a been a little dance...
 There will be a full review coming up on this and all the other products over the next few weeks so keep an eye out if you'd like to know more.

Prestige Primed and Ready Face Primer
I had never heard of Prestige before but this primer has definitly piqued my interest.
This reminds me so much of Benefits The Porefessional. It has the same  silicone-y texture to Benefits offering and I've been using it everyday.It makes my skin feel so smooth and any foundation I apply over it just glides on. Love.

Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Blush
Physicians formula has recently become availible in Ireland but I've yet to see a stand, I also think it's quite pricey over here for a drugstore brand so I never really went out of my way to find any. This and the liners I received has changed my stance on that though, I'll be doing a bit of travelling to see if the rest of the line is as good a quality as this and the shimmer liners.
The packaging of this made me squeal a little when I saw it. It's just so cute and the actual product itself is lovely. It gives a beautiful flush to my face that just looks so natural and alive.

Almay Smart Shade Skintone Adapting Makeup

This has taken the place of my beloved but discontinued Catrice BB Cream. The finish is natural and it just looks like you have great skin all by yourself, When this one runs out I'll be hitting up Ebay or Amazon for a replacement. It doesn't go a hideous  shade of orange lke other brands tone adapting makeup has and lasts really well.

ELF's Little Black Beauty Book:Warm

Elf was the brand I had said i'd love to try and a Beauy Book like this was the perfect thing to recieve. I love neautrals and warm colours and this little guy has all that and then some:
I've tried every shade in this palette except fot the blue and green, and over essence's eye primer they are gorgeous. I found some of them had more fallout than others but that's easily solved with some powder under the eyes or doing my eye makeup first- which is my normal way of doing it anyway.
This appear every so often in TK Maxx apparently and if you see one you should get it.
There are so many ways to mix and match and they all blend out really well. They blend really well with other brands of eyeshadows too.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips
These are absolutely gorgeous. There's a black shimmer, a bronze shimmer and a gold shimmer. These glide on my eyes and the shimmer isn't gritty at all. I love having them heavier at my lash line and then blending them up to my crease for a "low key but still made an effort" look.

Covo Lipstick

This is absolutely gorgeous. It's the most vivid hot pink I own and the shine for the first half an hour is like there's a lip gloss on top. It wears away to leave a hot pink stain on my lips and I've been wearing this an awful lot. This will be my everyday lipstick next summer for sure. And as you can hopefully see in the picture, there's even a mirror built into the case.

NYX Creamy Lipsticks

The shades Shireen chose are just beautiful. There's Eros-a coral red and Louisiana- a dusky pink.
I much prefer this formula to the matte lipsticks from NYX and I'm excited to try all the other colours from this line. they are not the most long wearing of lipsticks but as it's getting colder and my lips are getting dryer these are still comfortable and don't show up any chapped bits I may have.

L'Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Intenza Mascara

This is firmly in my rotation of mascaras. I have to rotate them as I have so many! This gives long voluminous black lashes with no clumping. I'm enjoying it even more as it dries out a little as that's just my preference but it's goood.
I also love the packaging as you can see the wand straight away and it's much more hygienic I think.

These earrings were such a cute extra in my beautifully packaged box, and I love wearing them with a smoky eye a black casual dress and my hair up. 

This was such a fun thing to do and doing it with Shireen made it even better! I got my box the day I posted hers as I am woefully unorganised and she was so understanding. I really enjoyed picking things that I thought she would love and suit her the most and her choices for me were phenominal. I couldn't of been happier with all the items she chose.
Like I said earlier full reviews will be coming up on the blog of all these products if you'd like a more in depth review of them so keep an eye out or follow me on Bloglovin here.

A huge thank you to Shireen for giving me the opportunity to do a swap, It was so much fun and it felt a little like christmas opening up the package to see what was inside. If you're thinking of doing a swap then definitely do it. It's even better if you can do it wih someone in a different county as they'll have so many different things they love and could send and you can do likewise.

Don't forget to check out Shireen's blog Reflection Of Sanity  ,I can truthfully say you won't regret it. She has an amazing way of writing that really draws you in and she is so funny. Amazing reviews with mouth watering recipes as well-the Butter Chicken recipe is my favourite and so easy to do.

Have you or would you do a swap? Would you be as delighted as I am to receive these products?

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 14 November 2014

A Christmas Party Look

So Christmas is fast approaching,bringing with it the parties and of course, the glittery looks. If Christmas isn't an excuse to go mad with the sparkle then I  don't know what is.
This is a similar look to one I wore for New Years last year and I really liked how it turned out so I thought I'd recreate again as I'll probably be doing it again this season.
Just to disclose- I am in no way a MUA, I just enjoy playing about with it and me blending skills are pretty much non-existent as you will soon see.

These are all the products I used to create this look so it doesn't take too many really.

I started by putting a strip of sellotape in the place I wanted the shadow to end. This leaves you with a very crisp line-especially if you don't leave a little gap like I've done! You can achieve the same effect by wiping it with a face wipe when your finished but the sellotape comes in handy in a little while too. Just make sure if you are using sellotape stick it on your hand a few times first to get rid of some of the stickiness as it can pull at the delicate skin around your eyes if you don't.
I then put an eyeshadow primer on and then a brown cream shadow in and above my crease to help blend the black a little later on.

I used a black gel eyeliner as I didn't have a black cream shadow on my eyelid and blended it into to brown a little. While this was still a little tacky a pressed a black slightly multi-coloured pigment on top.

To give it more dimension and sparkle I pressed a gold pigment on top with a damp brush-if you have MAC Fix Plus I think it would work great. 
I then removed the sellotape and was left with a crisp line and stuck it on the back of my hand to use again later.
I also brought the gold into my inner corner and under my eye and blended it with a tiny bit of black on the outer corner. 
I added a thin line of eyeliner - I didn't want to wing it out in case I ruined the shape as I'm a bit shaky with it still.
I cleaned up the edges near my brows with cotton buds dipped in makeup remover and blended again using a matte cream shade mixed with a tiny bit of highlighter.
Before I started on my base I used the bits of sellotape to pick up any bits of rogue glitter that had fallen down. I applied my foundation and contoured a little bit. I chose a pinky nude lip to go with my eyes as they are quite strong but a red would look nice too,I think. I then filled in my brows and that was me done.

Not the most blended eye look I've ever done but I'm putting bending blushes on my Chrismas wish-list so hopefully it will be rectified soon. I hope you can get the genera idea of it though and when the light hits it it's a lot more sparkly, just like the cropped photo above when I applied the gold pigment.
I hope you like it!
Are you all about the sparkle at Christmas? What's your go to look?

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Battle of the Eyeliners-Essence vs Benefit

About two weeks ago I happened to see that ELLE magazine had a sample of the Benefits "They're Real Push Up Liner". Now while I would rarely spend over €6 for a magazine that's mostly adverts, I did want to try out the eyeliner as I knew I wouldn't be paying full price for one anytime soon.

I thought I would try it out against an Essence one as the differences in price are major, just to see what the outcome was.
The Essence one was €3.09 and a full size Benefit one is €25 so quite a difference.

The "Accuflex" tip on the Benefit eyeliner took me a few attempts to figure it out but once you do it's very simple to apply. The only problem I have with it is that it dries very quickly. With the sample size you have the squeeze it out instead of twisting the bottom like the full size one. I also found that when I would go over my line again it would start to gather together into little clumps and if I made a mistake with this I was screwed as it's so difficult to get off. It does hug the lashes really well though and doesn't leave an empty line.

The Essence one was very easy to apply,but that could be because I'm more used to it, but it also seemed to be more pigmented than the Benefit one.

Wear time was the same with no fading or cracking from either. The Essence one came off easily with eye makeup remover but the Benefit one was tougher. I used coconut and olive oil to dissolve it but still had a bit of panda eyes the next morning.

Benefits "They're Real Push Up Liner" - Essences "Stays No Matter What"

So, if you don't want to shell out €25 on an eyeliner I think the Essence one is just as good, if not better.Benefit's seems to be a real marmite product-you either love it or hate it- but I don't feel that strongly either way about it to be honest. I don't think I'll be buying a full size one though as it's so expensive. 
Have you tried the Benefit one? What did you think?
Are you just as happy with more affordable ones?

Thursday, 6 November 2014

What I've Been Loving Lately

Catrice BB Cream

This is so handy in the mornings when I want to look presentable but not spend half an hour trying o fix my face. I can apply it without a mirror if I have to and it looks great every time. It's a staple for the mornings when I have to drag myself out of bed with 15 minutes until I have to catch a bus( this is somewhat of a regular occurrence these days). Full review here

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils
Rust and French Fries
Again another easy and quick option for when I'm running out the door. I just apply ,blend them out with my finger and set them with a translucent powder. Simple but effective. Full review here

Essence Long lasting Lipstick in Natural Beauty
L'Oreal Paris lipstick in 461 Scarlett Creme
Essence Natural Beauty, L'Oreal Scarlett Creme, mixed together
I love both of these on their own but I'm really liking them layered for just a hint of redness on my lips. Both formula's are creamy, they mix really well together and love the finished colour.

Catrice Better than False Lashes Mascara-Ultra Black

Yes I know, another mascara. But ever since my beloved The Giant mascara died a sad death a few weeks ago I've been reaching for this. It is Ultra Black but I'm still not sold on the "Better than False Lashes" yet. However it is a fantastic mascara.

Soap and Glory Archery

Another quick solution to doing my brows in the morning. The pencil helps keep my brows in place a day and the pen helps me fill them in so quickly and easily. Full review here

Essence "Stay No Matter What" eyeliner
It's not lying when it says stay no matter what. This lasts through lashing rain and boiling hot kitchens. It's also easy-peasy to apply and achieve either a super fine line or a thick one. It boasts 16hr wear and it has lasted that and a bit more on me. Thoroughly recommend it. 

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5
Possibly the most grubby but well loved one you'll see on the internet. This comes everywhere with me now as the weather has started to get colder and my eczema has decided to rear it's ugly head.
It also brought my cuticles back from the dead after an awful experience with a nail strenghener.
It has proved itself to be a Holy Grail Item and is also very affordable.

Penny's mirror

How cute is this thing? I picked it up when I went into Penney's "for a look" but it's come in very handy over the past few weeks. One half of it is normal and the other is magnified. To make it even sweeter, it was only €1.50!

Penney's Change Purse

I love this purse. It makes it a lot easier when you're running for a bus to have all your change in one place (haven't got around to getting a leap card yet). My cards fit inside it easily too so whenever I don't feel like taking my big one it all fits nicely in here.This was less than €3.

Amazon Kindle

Another well loved item. Now that I have an idea of where my stop is I can relax on the bus so this has been getting a lot of love these past few weeks. I love reading and having this means I don't have to carry around a book or spend a small fortune on a magazine. It's a handbag staple for me now.

I picked these up in Lidl about a week ago and they are they nicest sweets I've tried in a long time. I love how they're packaged in a little tub and the strawberry cheesecake ones are just amazing. If you happen to see these on your weekly shop-pick them up!They were only a euro and I'm going back tomorrow to grab another one.

So there you have it. 
What have you been loving lately?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

imPress Nails: The Halloween Edition

In the past few years as I've gotten more into makeup, I've enjoyed Halloween more and more as I can do something totally crazy and out of the box with my makeup. This year however I'm not sure what I'm doing yet but I know I want to make a effort in some way leading up to it.
This is where imPress Nails* come in. 

For someone like me who is hopeless at nail art these nails come in so handy. There's no faffing about with glue or anything, just use the prep pad that comes with it, peel off the back and stick them on.

I received three sets and I love them all.

Total Witch


After Midnight

The detail that they have is something I really like.
They claim to last up to a week and as long as you're careful they will. I applied the Supernatural set on Friday night and they lasted through packing and unpacking over the weekend until Monday night so I think that's very decent.

There are 6 designs in total which include
 Midnight Black- black block colour
Hot Blooded- Black Background with yellow cobwebs and skulls
Rager-A Neon Orange set

These are retailing for €4.99 (half price) as they are limited edition for Halloween.
They can be found in Dunnes Stores and the majority of pharmacies.
Will you be giving these a go for Halloween?

*These were sent for review to me-however that has not affected my judgement or review of them.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Catrice Longlasting Lipliners

In the past, I never used lip liners at all. I never seen the point of them and didn't want to waste my money on things I'd never use.
That changed when a Catrice stand came to my local chemist and I was trying out things I'd never tried as I was able to afford them because of the inexpensiveness of all the products. 
I ended up picking up a lip liner and I've been using them ever since.

I have four of the shades at the minute and two of them are repurchases.

The one I picked up most recently is Hey Macadamia Ahey! as I thought it might be an easy way to try out the 90's lip that seems to be everywhere these days. I don't think this suits me at all though. It's just very..brown. It could be perfect for someone else though, just not me. It was on sale though for €0.99 so I can't complain about the price. It is however the driest formula out of the ones I have, so just be aware of that. It does tug slightly and it's quite hard to get a crisp finish with it.
 Hey Macadamia Ahey!

The second one I Got You Babe! It's the first one I ever picked up and I've very recently repurchased. . It's a nice pinky nude that would suit almost everybody and goes well with any nude lipstick I own.
I Got You Babe!

The third one is probably my favourite out of the bunch
It's That's What Rose Wood Do! I've been using it mostly with MAC's Creme Cup as I don't like wearing the lipstick by itself, but by pairing it with this lip liner I'm able to get a lot more wear out of it. But I also love wearing it by itself with just a little balm over the top as it's such a pretty peachy nude. It's the creamiest one and I love this one the most-I'm on my third. It's also the easiest one to apply.
This one is very close to my natural lip shade so I can pair it with any lipstick really
That's What Rose Wood Do!

The Last shade is Berryson Ford. This is a gorgeous red that has a blue undertone to it so it matches the majority of my red lipsticks-I love how they make my teeth look whiter. It's not the creamiest of them but it's nowhere near as dry as Hey Macadamia Ahey!, it's somewhere in the middle of them if that makes sense? It does last around 7 hours-as do all of them- even through eating(as long as it'd not too greasy) and drinking so I think They are well worth the €2.30 and they can be found in Penney's and the majority of chemists.
Berryson Ford

Catrice say on their website that they are "The ideal preparation for fashion lips: the Long lasting Lip Pencil sets colour limits and prevents lipstick as well as gloss from streaking. Its waterproof texture guarantees ultra long lasting contours. And the creamy tip softly glides over your lips to ensure an accurate application."
And I would agree with this-apart from Hey Macademia Ahey! being quite dry, the rest are all creamy. They do help my lipstick last longer and they don't fade during the day.
L-R Hey Macadamia Ahey!, I Got You Babe!, That's What Rose Wood Do! and Berryson Ford.
If you were to try any of these I would recommend That's what Rose Wood Do! as it's beautifully creamy and ridiculously easy to apply.

Do you wear lip liner? Do you use it with nudes and darker colours?

Monday, 13 October 2014

The Foundation That Converted Me To Matte

If you have read a few of my previous posts, you'll know I'm a sucker for a dewy finish. Having dry skin makes it easier for me to achieve a nicer finish with a dewy foundation than a matte one so obviously it's the one I'm going to go for on a day to day basis. That was until I picked this one up.

Catrice Nude Illusion Foundation

This is quite a thick consistency but it glides on to a light to medium coverage, depending how much you use. It takes two and a half pumps for my face and a little down my neck and I get a medium coverage. I apply it using the Real Techniques blending sponge but using my fingers works just a well.

The thing I love about this is that it's not a flat matte finish as it contains light reflecting pigments in it, which makes my skin look alive and still has a tiny little bit of a glow.
 I do still consider it a matte finish though.
 It doesn't cling to any dry patches that I have on my skin, which was my issue with other matte foundations I've tried
It's almost un-noticable on my skin after I apply it so I think they named it accurately.

The bottle is a glass one with a black plastic pump that gives out a nice amount of product.
There are five shades available so not the best selection unfortunately. I was lucky that the lightest shade 010 Nude Ivory  matches me perfectly so hopefully you'll find a shade that suits you.
This is €8.49 which I'm fairly sure is the most expensive item on Catrice stands at the minute.
This is well worth the money and if your looking for a new foundation I would highly recommend it.

Have you tried this foundation? Do you prefer dewy or matte finishes?

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Boots Time Delay Oil Cleanser and Daily Brightening Toner

These two products are something I picked up around a month ago when i was searching for a new skincare routine. It was the fact that the Boots own brand were having a sale on that got my attention first and then I seen the brightening toner and remembered that I was wanting to try it out.

 Cleansing oil was also something I has been wanting to try out as well but I never came across one that wasn't quite expensive. These two products together came to €9 and change, so I was pretty pleased with that.

The Cleansing oil is a really nice cleanser. Maybe not the most luxurious out there but still not bad. It breaks down and removes all of my makeup nicely and as long as you give your face another go with a warm facecloth after there's no residue left on your face. I have yet to try it with Benefit's "They're Real" mascara to see if it can remove that as not many cleansers I've tried can.
The only problem I have with this is the packaging. It's just a normal bottle that you pour the oil out of and I find I waste a lot of it this way. If it had a pump it would be a lot easier and there would be less oil all over my bathroom floor.

The brightening toner I had heard Caroline Hirons (I think) say it was a good gentle daily exfoliator and with having dry skin I know how much better my skin looks after I've exfoliated. This is so easy to use and it's one of a few toners I've tried that doesn't leave my skin feeling tight and dry. In the month using it I have to say that I have noticed a difference in my skin. I need to use a physical exfoliator a lot less than I used to before I started this. It does state on the bottle that your sensitivity to the sun may be heightened so be sure to wear sunscreen while using this.
These two products together are working out very well on my skin and I'm pretty sure that when  they're normal price they're €15 together. I think it's an accepatable price for good skincare that will last a few months (unless I spill the whole bottle of cleansing oil everywhere, it could happen)

What are your favourite skincare items? Do you always notice a difference when you switch products?