Archive | February 2014

Best of Beauty – Makeup Must-Haves

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So here we are at week 3 of the #BOBBlogChallenge and we are moving onto a subject that’s very close to my heart, my Makeup Must-Haves!

I love every type of makeup so it was hard to narrow them down but I’ve broken them  into my favourites – the ones I reach for time and time again for each stage of makeup application and just can’t do without.

Foundation: Chanel Vitalumiere

Chanel Vitalumiere

This is a foundation I use a lot, particularly on clients when I’m doing bridal makeup.  It suits people with dry or mature skin best and it gives the most perfect coverage while still managing to look dewy and healthy looking and it lasts all day on that type of skin.  Sure, it is expensive but well worth it and no makeup artist should be without this in their kit in my opinion 🙂

MAC Studio Fix Powder

Mac Studio Fix Powder

This is my favourite powder foundation.  Used very lightly over liquid foundation it gives the most flawless finish to your skin as well as a gorgeous airbrushed look.  If you are using it by itself, you need to use a cream concealer underneath to hide any blemishes or dark circles but it has fantastic coverage for a powder product.  Loving it!

MAC Eyeshadow in Satin Taupe

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This is one of the first MAC Shadows I owned so it has a special place in my heart! It’s a satin finish and is a taupey brown with a purple/grey metalic fleck to it.  It just looks gorgeous on any colour eyes, but is particularly nice on Blue eyed girls.  If I’m in a hurry I apply this on my lid and in my crease, throw on some black liner and it looks amazing.

Maybelline Lasting Drama Black Gel Liner

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This liner is fantastic, it lasts really well and comes with the best little liner brush ever so as long as you are confident and practice, you really can’t go wrong with it.  It comes in lots of different colours as well which is great.

Lancome Hypnose Drama

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This is my favourite mascara, it gives lots of volume as well as length to the lashes and I’ve often been asked if I’m wearing false lashes when I have this on.

MAC 217 Blending Brush

brushes-mac-217If I had no other eyeshadow brush but this, I could get by and create gorgeous, well blended eye makeup!  It really is the best brush I’ve used.  You can use it to apply eyeshadow all over the lid and blended in the crease.  It also works to soften and blend colour in the crease.  It is amazing as a concealer brush for under the eyes too and really blends everything in seamlessly.  My must-have makeup brush for sure.

MeMeMe Arch Angel Brow Mascara/Browbone highlighter

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Since I think that well defined eyebrows are an absolute must, I am in love with this!  On one end you have a brow colour and the wand is just the right size to apply without it going everywhere.  It really gives your brows definition and fills them in for a natural look.  And on the other side there’s a gorgeous highlighter for your browbone to really highlight the area and make your eyebrows look even more defined and polished.  Genius!

MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty

MAC Dainty

I have recently used this blush up totally and need to buy another one so I thought it deserved to be included here as one of my faves.  It’s the most perfect corally pink and I find it looks good on all skintones.  You can really make it sheer or build up the colour slightly and it has a gentle shimmer to it so it highlights your cheekbones too.

No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick in Love Red 

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Everyone needs a good red lipstick and if you find the right one for you it will just make you look fantastic!  For me it’s this lipstick from N07.  I’d never be without it, it’s AMAZING!!

MAC Lipglass in Nymphette

Nymphette

This is without a doubt, my favourite lipgloss.  It’s a gorgeous rose gold/pink colour and is shot through with gold shimmer particles that really show up on your lips.  You can wear it alone or over a similar coloured lipstick.

Ardell Demi Wispies False Lashes & Duo Adhesive

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Finally, no makeup look is complete without a fab set of lashes and these are my favourites.  They give just the right amount of volume and look really natural but glam without being over the top!  I also love my Duo Lash Adhesive and couldn’t be without it.  I always throw away the glue I get with boxes of false lashes and use this instead.  It doesn’t smell very nice now, but it does a brilliant job and I just wouldn’t use anything else 🙂

So they are my absolute faves 🙂 I know some are quite expensive but for some makeup I really believe it’s worth forking out the extra for the quality and effect you get from the product whereas, there is some pharmacy branded makeup that really gives the higher end brands a run for their money, it’s just a matter of finding what works for you and maybe signing up to my blog so I can tell you all about them 😉

Don’t forget to check out the Twitter hashtag #BOBBlogChallenge to see what other bloggers are loving and also check out Samantha’s blog on All The Buzz

Revlon Colourstay Foundation Oily/Combination Skin – Review

I have been loving this foundation lately so thought I’d do a review on it.  Revlon Colourstay is a full coverage liquid foundation (so quite heavy on) with a similar feel and coverage to MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid, so if you like that, this would be a good one to try.

Revlon Colourstay Foundation

It comes in two formulations, one for Oily/Combo skin and one for Normal/Dry skin so be sure to pick the one that suits your skintype best.  What I really love about these foundations are that they come in a wide range of colours and there are great pale shades to suit Irish skintones perfectly, not something you get with all cosmetic brands, particularly the “pharmacy” brands.

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Below is a before and after of me wearing the foundation, you can really see how it evens out my skintone and hides redness

Before After 2

This gets a big thumbs up from me but I think it is more suited to wearing at the weekend or nights out when you want a heavier coverage that lasts.  Once you set this with powder, it doesn’t budge for the day.  Also it’s at the higher end of the price scale for a “pharmacy brand” at €18 so you wouldn’t want to be going through too much of it!  It’s available from Boots and Superdrug and Superdrug often have it on offer for much cheaper than normal so just look out for that.

Have you tried Revlon Colourstay?  If not will you be giving it a go?

Best of Beauty – Hair Heroes

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So as you might know, I signed up to a Beauty Blogging Challenge with All The Buzz.  Last week I told you all about my Skincare Saviours (if you missed that, check it out HERE).  This week, we’re talking hair and I’m sharing my Hair Heroes with you!

My hair has been through A LOT in the last couple of years.  I was blonde for years until my hair got really thin and brittle and just broke away.  Nothing I did made it stronger and it just never grew so I had to admit defeat, give my hair a break from the bleach and go back to my brunette roots!  I did a lot to get it back into good condition and now it all seems to have paid off, so I’m going to share the hair products that I think really made a difference.

Microbead Hair Extensions:

As I said, my hair was broken and ravaged from the effects of years of bleaching it so when I heard of a new type of hair extension called Microbeads, I decided to try it out in the hope that I’d have lovely long thick locks again.  The hairstylist took tiny individual bunches of hair which were glued together at the top and attached it to a small section of my own hair, securing both together with the “Microbead” which is a tiny round bead which is then clamped onto the hair with a plyers and forms a strong grip.  The beads are tiny and you can barely notice them when your hair is down as they are matched to your own hair colour but if you tie your hair up, they can be quite noticeable.

Micro-Bead-Hair-Extensions

I got up to 4 months each time out of mine and then I had to go back and have them replaced with new hair.

Before & After pics

In all, I kept getting them in for 2 years and I just recently got them taken out.  I was sooo scared to do this as I had really gotten used to my thicker fuller hair from the extensions but I needn’t have worried as my own hair has been growing well underneath.  Although it felt a lot thinner when I got them out, it was much stronger and had grown below shoulder length so I was delighted about that and I really think the Microbead extensions were good for my own hair and protected it while it grew underneath.  Unlike extensions that are bonded to your own hair with glue, Microbead Extensions are easy to take out and won’t wreck your own hair provided you look after them and follow the aftercare guide.

Kerastase Hair Treatments

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These really transform your hair and I have used them a lot over the years with great results.  Last time was just before my wedding when I was still blonde and my hair was really dry and damaged so I got the “Nutritive” pack which included the Shampoo, Conditioner and Intense Treatment Mask which totally revived my hair and made it stronger.  You can get this from Peter Marks but I find it much cheaper to buy online so I get mine from www.gorgeousshop.co.uk and they have all types of different packs to suit all hair types.

Orifluido Hair Oil

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This is hair oil that you massage into your locks when wet and then blowdry as normal.  It’s similar to the Argan Oils that are everywhere at the moment.  You can also use it on dry hair to  smooth it and tame frizzies.  I love the smell of this, it’s so nice and when you apply it, your hair doesn’t become oily or greasy at all.  Plus it leaves your hair looking super shiny.   Since using this my hair has been in great condition, I use it every single time I blowdry my hair. You can buy this in all good hair salons or on Feelunique.com

Home Treatment: Bay Rum and Olive Oil

Bay Rum and Olive Oil

If you have very thin hair that won’t grow, this is the home treatment for you.  My mother has always sworn by this little concoction and often used it on my hair as a child to thicken it and help it grow long. I also used it after having my daughter when tons of my hair fell out!  It really helped it grow back thick & strong.  Bay Rum is actually a hair tonic for men with thinning hair that can be bought at pharmacies like Boots, some men also use it as a cologne as it has a very masculine “aftershave” type smell but don’t let that put you off.  The kind of Olive Oil you need here is not the one you get in the Supermarket for cooking with, but the Pharmacy brand.  You lightly heat the Olive Oil and mix equal parts of that and the Bay Rum together and apply to your hair, particularly your scalp, before bed and then wash the next morning as normal.  For extra hair growth/thickness you can pop the Bay Rum into a spray bottle and apply to your roots before bedtime most night.  It will dry normally and really help accelerate hair growth.

Schwarzkopf OSIS Dust It Mattifying Powder

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A styling product I really swear by to give great volume to your hair and give it a “big hair” look is this fab texturizing powder from Schwarzkopf.  You just tap it into the roots of your hair and it gives a backcombed effect that’s great for getting height at the crown or giving texture and volume if you want to attempt your own updo.  It does make your hair  feel slightly knotted and matted but your hair won’t budge and you can easily wash it out and it doesn’t leave tangles. You can buy this from Salons or Salon service type stores and it’s fantastic stuff all together!

Hask Keratin Protein Shampoo, Conditioner & Treatment

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Ok, so some of the products I’ve mentioned above are quite expensive and not everyone has money to spend on this stuff, so if you’d rather save your money, get yourself down to Penneys and pick up these fantastic Shampoo and Conditioners from Hask which nourish your hair and leave it soft and shiny.  Plus they are only €2 a bottle!  They also have little vials and packs of deep conditioners available and their version of Argan Oil is fantastic and cheap as chips.  I always stock up on these.

If you are on Twitter or Facebook and looking to check out the other bloggers participating to see what favourites they have, just search the hashtag #BOBBlogChallenge

Will you be trying any of these?  Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Wet n Wild Irish Launch & Review

So you may have heard of American makeup brand Wet n Wild?  Black Eyed Peas singer, Fergie is their poster girl and they are HUGE in The States, known as one of the leading “Drugstore” brands.  All for good reason too, the makeup is brilliant quality and are extremely low priced.  Wet n Wild are now branching out and have chosen us lucky Irish girls to be next to buy their fab products!  That’s even before the UK get a look in, how fab is that?!

Stand

I attended their Irish launch recently and really enjoyed trying out all the products on show and chatting to the Makeup Artists who were there on the night to showcase the brand and demonstrate some amazing looks.  We were also treated to some fab cupcakes and Cakepops by Monaco Cupcakes which were only delish!

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Shadows

I was also very kindly given some makeup to try for myself (They were given to me in a Wet n Wild bag which I carried home on the Luas and I got some strange looks I can tell you, the name is a bit cringe in all fairness!) and I also bought a few additional bits  which I couldn’t wait to try and review for you 🙂

All Makeup

Coverall Cream Foundation 

Foundation

This cream foundation goes on like a dream!  It gives a medium to full coverage with a satin-matte finish and is really long lasting.  Cream foundation is fantastic on mature or dry skin but this worked well on my oily/combo skin also and made my skin look really dewy and glowing.  It seemed to even out imperfections and I got lots of compliments on my makeup when I wore it.  The only things I disliked about this was the smell which isn’t great and the shade range which doesn’t really cover us pale Irish girls, the colour I got was in Light/Medium but I can only really wear it if I’ve been fake tanning.  Still, it’s well worth the €4.49 cost and I would highly recommend it.

ColorIcon Bronzer 

Bronzer

This was a lovely matte bronzer and looked very natural on and not too orange looking.  Lovely for contouring the face or warming up the neck/chest area.

MegaGlo Illuminating Powder

Highlighter

I love this powder illuminater which can be swirled together and swept over the high points of your face for a lovely glow to your skin or the individual colours can be used as a highlighter or eyeshadow.  Very versatile product and comes in plenty of different colours.

Eyeshadow Palette

The Naked Truth

There are numerous Eyeshadow Palettes to choose from and in a wide range of complimentary colours with the instructions printed on the individual pans so even if you’re not a makeup expert, you really can’t go wrong.  I tried this one out in the colour “The Naked Truth” and was very impressed with the colour payoff, buttery texture and blendability of the product.  I also loved how there were matte shades included in each palette also.  They are never going to compare to your MAC’s and Urban Decay’s but they are pretty damn good I have to say.  With the price starting €2.49 for a single shadow to a bargaintastic €6.49 for an 8 pan palette you can well afford to pick up a few of these.

XXL Lash Mascara

Mascara

I wasn’t impressed with this mascara to be honest.  It didn’t give me the volume I expected, it did an okay job but didn’t give the “thickened amplified” lashes it claimed.

H2O Proof Liquid Liner

H2O proof

I had heard great things about this liquid liner but it didn’t quite make the cut for me, mainly due to the applicator which was one of those nib types rather than a thin brush which would have been better.  I found it impossible to apply and you can see in the pic of the look I did below, I couldn’t get it on evenly at all!  Also it seemed to go everywhere it shouldn’t I had to clean up a lot more than I normally would have.  Having said that, this stuff didn’t budge!  My eyes were watering quite a bit that day which would usually mean goodbye to my perfectly drawn flick but not this time, it stayed perfectly, so it definitely is H2O proof!  If I was trying this again, I would probably tip the liquid out onto a palette and use my own brush to apply and I’m sure it would work better that way.

Megalast Lipcolour & Megaslicks Lipstain

Left: Megalast Lipcolour Right: Megaslicks Lipstain

Left: Megalast Lipcolour in Mauve Outta Here                                              Right: Megaslicks Lipstain in Rico Mauve

I love both of these lipcolours, they are really fantastic.  The Megalast Lipcolours come in a wide range of colours and are great dupes for some more expensive  lipsticks and they are really last a long time after applying.  I love this colour (left) which is a beautiful mauvey pink and feels really good on too and they only cost €2.99 so pick up as many as possible!

The Megaslicks Lipstain is a similar pinky colour and girls, this doesn’t BUDGE!  Long after you think it’s worn off your lips, you’re left with a subtle stain of colour which lasts for most of the day so I am loving these.  Again they come in a wide range of colours and cost less than €3 which is a serious bargain.

Here is a look I did with all of the above which will give you an idea of how the makeup looks on, note the messy liner which has transferred all over the place!

PicMonkey Collage

Wet n Wild is available from larger Dunnes Stores and range from €1.49 to €6.49 so you can well afford to slip some of these fab products in your weekly shop!

Below pic of myself and the lovely Sam from All The Buzz blog practicing our best Duckfaces in the photobooth that was at the Wet n Wild launch, we got great craic out of it  🙂

Michelle & Sam 1

 

So what do you think?  Will you be picking up some of these?

Best of Beauty – Skincare Saviours

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So I recently signed up to a “Best of Beauty Blog Challenge” with the lovely Samantha from All The Buzz blog.  All the bloggers participating got a range of fantastic topics which we will cover every week for the next 8 weeks with topics such as “Hair Heros” or “Makeup Must-haves”.  So I’ll basically be sharing my fave products with you all every week.  I’m really looking forward to it 🙂

This weeks topic is “Skincare Saviors” and to be honest, it’s one I could go on and on (and on!) about because I have lots of favourites when it comes to skincare products that really transform my skin but I have managed to whittle them down to my absolute all time faves and here they are:

1.  Elizabeth Arden 8 hour Cream

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I am never without this fantastic product, I have a tube of it everywhere I go – in my bag, in work, beside my bed, in my makeup kit for my makeup clients.  It’s just a wonder product that really saves your skin, particularly in the winter.  It has so many uses but here’s what I like to use it for:

  • As a moisturising lipbalm – just slather on and it will really nourish dry flaky lips.  Also use this on your lips and then blot off before applying a dark or very matte lipstick and it will just glide on
  • As a nail/cuticle nourisher – you just have to massage a tiny bit into the base of each nail and it will help your nails grow strong and take away and hard skin around the nails
  • On any dry patches on your skin, just rub some of this on regularly, especially on knees and elbows, and you will be smooth and free from hard dry skin.
  • If your baby has dry skin or cradle cap, pop a bit of this on and it’ll really help clear it up and moisturise the area.  Plus it’s fragrance free so won’t irritate.
  • Dab a tiny bit through your eyebrows (or use on a clean mascara wand) to groom them and give them a healthy natural look

2.  Clarins Extra-Comfort Anti-Pollution Cleansing Cream

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This is a beautiful skin cleanser that feels so gentle and nourishing on your skin and I love using it in the winter-time.  It removes every trace of my makeup, including eye makeup and I find that using the Clarins suction method of removal really works and helps take away all the grime your face might collect during the course of the day (not just makeup!)  You basically rub the lotion together in your hands, apply to your face and cup your hands over your face and quickly remove them in a “suction” action then remove with damp cotton wool and there you go, clean skin!

3. Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic

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I’ve spoken about this gorgeous skin toner on the blog before, I really am in love with it.  It’s alcohol free and removes all the last traces of grime from your skin without drying it out and gets it really clean.  Fantastic product.

4. Bia Beauty – Moisturiser

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Again for winter skin, you can’t beat this moisturiser from natural Irish skincare company Bia Beauty.  It’s super nourishing and really feels like it’s protecting your skin.  Plus I love the size of the jar – 100mls –  which means it lasts ages.

5. Yonka Gommge Exfoliator

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Again, if you’re a regular reader here, you will know this is my “wonder product”.  I just love what this does to my skin, it exfoliates using AHA’s to gently strip your skin of dead skin cells and other impurities without drying it out.  It renews your skin and gives you a fresh smooth base for your moisturiser or serum to really sink in and do it’s work.  Plus you look more radiant and have a perfect base for makeup, what’s not to love there?!

6. Body Shop Shea Butter Bodybutter

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I love a good body butter and The Body Shop is ahead of the pack when it comes to the range and quality of nourishing body butters it has.  They come in all colours and fragrances but my fave by far is the Shea Butter one.  It really moisturises your skin with goodness and helps prevent it from drying out.  If you use this after exfoliating your body (it does have a matching exfoliator) your skin will be so smooth, soft and amazingly well moistursed.  Plus you’ll smell gorgeous 🙂

So there you have it, my Skincare Saviours.  These are more geared towards nourishing your skin in winter but can be used all year round too.  If you are on Twitter and looking to check out the other bloggers participating to see what favourites they have, just search the hashtag #BOBBlogChallenge

Also don’t forget to check out Samantha’s blog over at All The Buzz, it really is a great read and she covers all manner of topics, not just beauty & makeup so have a look 🙂

Which products are your skincare saviours that you absolutely cannot live without?  Let me know in the comments below and see you next week for more 🙂

Nuxe Prodigieux le Parfum – Review

You may be familiar with cult beauty product “Huile Prodigieux” body oil from skincare brand NUXE.  It’s certainly a favourite of mine, not least since you can use it to nourish your skin, hair AND your nails.  Also it has the most amazing fragrance which makes it feel totally luxurious and just reminds you of…holidays!  Well, NUXE have released a perfume with the very same fragrance which captures that same gorgeous smell.

Perfume

I was invited along to the launch of the perfume and was very generously given a bottle for myself.  Ladies, if you’re looking for a new perfume, you have to check this out.  It is absolutely beautiful and I can guarantee you will fall in love at first sniff!

It’s the most perfect summer fragrance with citrusy top notes of Bergamont and Mandarin as well as Orange Blossom.  As it settles down to the heart notes of the fragrance, you can really smell the floral scents of  Rose, Gardenia and Magnolia coming through.  Finally it fades to beautiful base notes of Vanilla and Coconut Milk.  This is one of those perfumes that really lasts, I recently had someone admire the smell on me, long after I thought it had faded.

The smell evokes feelings of being on an exotic beach somewhere with the warm sun on your skin and the feel of sand between your toes.  Hell, if I close my eyes I can even hear the waves softly lapping in the distance 🙂

God….I really need a holiday!!! But in the meantime I have this beautiful perfume to remind me of better days (and weather!) to come 🙂

NUXE Prodigieux le Parfum is available exclusively in Arnotts from 13th February and then nationwide from 3rd March and is priced at €48.60

Will you be trying this?