General Makeup, Mascaras, Reviews, Uncategorized

Benefit “They’re Real” Mascara Review

I’ve been trying out this mascara for a while now and I wasn’t sure about it at first but now, I actually like it!  It comes in a box with a free half-size mascara that you can throw in your makeup bag or if you’re a professional makeup artist, this is handy for keeping in your kit.

What I liked:

  • You only need one coat with this mascara and it gives you fabulously long lashes
  • The brush really separates your lashes and makes them look quite natural and not clumped together
  • It will last all day and doesn’t flake off at all
  • I love the little freebie mascara you get in the box, so handy

What I didn’t like:

  • It can make your lashes feel very hard and “set” but that just takes some getting used to
  • The brush can feel a little scratchy when you first apply it because it’s one of those plastic spiky wands
  • If you over apply or apply 2 coats, prepare to get the spider eye effect!  One coat is really all you need
  • It’s a fecker to get off!  Only an oil based eye makeup remover will remove this mascara, nothing else.  Even then I found I still had panda eyes the next morning and needed to remove more.  Not a bad thing if you want your mascara to last though! 🙂

Overall I’d give this a big thumbs up.  It give more length than volume so if that’s what you’re looking for, you’ll love this.

The set above costs €25 from Benefit Cosmetics and can be bought at most big department stores.

Try it and let me know what you think!



Foundation Basics & Reviews, General Makeup, Reviews, Tips, Uncategorized

Oily/Acne Prone Skin – Best Foundations & How to make your base last all day

I’ve been asked this question a few times; Which foundation is the best to use if you have oily/acne prone skin and how do you get it to stay on for the day?

The answer to that is; It’s all in the prep! Basically you need to use a good primer to mop up the oil and give your foundation something to stick to so it doesn’t slide off your face by lunchtime. Then, rather than caking on the foundation to cover spots or redness, you need to put a light layer on and go back with a dry (rather than creamy liquid) concealer and conceal over the spots you want to hide, and set all with powder, lightly applied.

Here are a couple of products from each category that, when used together are great for oily skin:


La Roche Posay, Effaclar Active Mat moisturiser – Although this is technically a moisturiser, it works very well as a primer for oily skin. Just use it where needed (generally the T-Zone) and it will create a great base for your makeup.

Laura Mercier Oil Free Primer – Does what it says on the tin, one of the best primers out there but pricey. This would be worth the investment if it were for a special occasion like your wedding or especially if you were getting married abroad and worrying about your makeup sliding off in the heat.


Basically any foundations that are Oil free (water based) will be suitable for oily skin

Makeup Forever Matt Velvet + Foundation– This is my go-to foundation for oily skin, it works like a dream and keeps any oily areas matt for hours. I use this myself on my combination skin and find it really great.

Revlon Colourstay for Combination/Oily skin– This is a great cheap foundation which again, works really well.


The best concealers for spots are ones with a “dry” consistency to them and contrary to what you might have heard, the colour should not be a shade lighter than your foundation as this will only highlight your spot! The colour should obviously match your foundation to blend everything in.

MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer – you only need a dab and it’s great for covering spots.  Don’t use under the eyes though, you need a concealer with a creamy finish for that.

Vichy Dermablend Stick Foundation – This works great as a concealer and is excellent for covering redness.


Powders will set everything and make sure the foundation, as well as the concealer, stays in place and doesn’t melt off. The trick is to only use on the places you need it so you’re not caked in powder (don’t forget to powder over any areas you used concealer also). Use a velour puff and roll the powder into the skin, then dust off any excess with a large fluffy brush.

MAC Blot Pressed Powder – This is my favourite powder to use, it absorbs all oil and keeps you matt for hours. I get through tons of this between my own use and use on my clients!

Rimmel Stay Matt Powder – This is a good cheap version of Blot powder, while it’s not as good, it does the job if you’re on a budget.

Good loose powders are: Makeup Forever HD Powder or MAC Prep & Prime.

Follow those steps your base will be flawless and shine free for hours.

If you need to control shine during the day use blot papers rather than adding more powder. See my post here on how to touch up your makeup during the day.

Eyeshadow, Lips, MAC, Reviews, Uncategorized

MAC Holiday Collection 2012 Review

I went into MAC yesterday to have a look at the new holiday makeup collections and I can confirm that they really are fabulous!  I have to say that this is, without a doubt, the nicest collection that MAC has  brought out yet.  The packaging is to die for obviously but the colour combos are gorgeous and they’re all very wearable too. I wanted the lot, it was so hard to choose my 2 faves but I managed to do that and here they are:

MAC Guilty Passions Lavish Rose Lipgloss Sets €37

They come in 4 different colours, from top to bottom, below:

  • Demure
  • Going Casual
  • Colour Saturation
  • Boys Go Crazy

And here are the swatches to show what they look like on

These are lovely colours that feel as well as look great on.  I would wear the first two during the day and the second two going out at night.
Fabulousness Smoky Eyes Palette €49

There’s 5 shades in this palette and they are, from left to right in the swatches below:

  • Taupeless
  • Satin Taupe
  • Lovespice
  • Spellcaster
  • Blackslip

These are a mix of pinks and purples, my favourite is the first one, which doesn’t show up too well in this photo but it’s a lovely iridescent pink and the last one which is a lovely smoky purple which is a great alternative to black for a smoky eye.  The second last colour is a matte purple but as you can see in the swatch above it doesn’t blend very well so you have to pack it on or else it would work great as a liner.  Overall though it’s a lovely palette and again has really wearable colours that can be worn in the day or at night.

These are great sets that will make any Friend/Sister/Mother/Daughter/Cousin/Girlfriend/Wife very happy to open on Christmas morning.  They are available  in Brown Thomas stores nationwide, so get down there and treat  yourself to a nice early Christmas Prezzie!