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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

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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

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Flormar Makeup Review

I was recently introduced to a new cosmetic line in Ireland called “Flormar”.  The owner of The Cosmetic Outlet, Paul, told me all about the brand and kindly gave me a big bag of makeup to test and review (thanks Paul! 😉 ) I had never heard of them before but I’m always open to trying new cosmetics and I was excited to get testing!

Flormar is originally an Italian brand which produces their cosmetics in Turkey where they are very popular and have a big following.  They’ve been around for over 40 years and started out producing Nail polishes (which they’re very well known for in other countries) and then they expanded to a full range of cosmetics.  So, now to see if the products are any good….

Illuminating Primer Makeup Base

Flormar Primer

This foundation primer contains Acacia and Green Tea and creates a moisturising base for makeup.  It also smooths over any lines and brightens the skin creating a smooth even base which dries to a matte finish.  I tested this with various foundations throughout the week and it did a good job of making them last. I have combination skin so it didn’t necessarily stop shine from coming through but it hydrated the dry parts of my face really well.  This is definitely the best foundation primer for dry skinned girls.

Perfect Coverage Foundation

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This is a rich cream foundation with a more full coverage which claims to last for 12 hours.  I tested it on myself and it is such a lovely consistancy and really does give a full flawless finish.  Also, once it’s set with powder, it lasts all day.  It’s quite heavy so if you’re not used to, or don’t like wearing lots of makeup this may not be for you.  Having said that, it’s very moisturising and doesn’t look cakey or settle in lines due to its cream formula so this would be lovely for going out or any makeup that requires a flawless finish like, for your wedding or for photography.  Great for dry skin but can also be used on oilier skin if well powdered. I’m going to get more of these for my kit as I really like them.  I never expected to find a pharmacy brand foundation that would be good enough for a professional makeup artist’s kit but this is definitely a must-have, I’m really impressed!

Perfect Coverage Liquid Concealer

Perf cov Concealer

This creamy concealer is perfect for use under the eyes and does a super job of covering under eye bags and darkness without highlighting any lines or wrinkles.  You can also use this to prime your eyelids and set with powder to give a perfect base for your eyeshadow.  I really liked this but found that it wasn’t really needed when used with the foundation as this gives good enough coverage by itself but you could use this with BB cream or a lighter foundation and it would cover any areas of concern perfectly.

Loose Powder

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I’m in love with this powder!  It comes with a really cool little puff and you apply it after foundation to set everything into place. When I opened this, some of the powder puffed up in a fine haze that almost looked like smoke and that’s how I knew this was a good quality powder which has been really finely milled.  The finer the powder the less likely it is to settle into lines on your face and the more it gives a stunningly flawless finish.  You can see in the second pic above, it disappears to nothing on the skin on my hand and doesn’t cake (there’s also a pic of me wearing the full base on my face below).  Absolutely perfect in my opinion.  I also photographed it to see if it caused whiteness (flashback) on the face and it doesn’t so, yay! 🙂  It also made my makeup last all day and my oiliness didn’t come through at all!  This bad boy is going straight into my kit!!

Face & Body Bronzing Powder

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Check out the size of this!!  It’s about the same size as a CD, so will last forever!  It’s quite similar to the IsaDora one that I reviewed before only it’s cheaper which is great.  This doesn’t mean it’s not as good though, it’s really fantastic actually.  It’s a matte bronzer that you can use on the face or body or for contouring which it is absolutely made for.  I love the big mirror in the lid as well.  It comes in other shades too with more shimmer to them if you prefer that.

Long Wearing Lipstick

Lipstick

I got two shades to try, L07 which is a pink shade and L02 which is a browny wine colour.  Both were extremely moisturising for a long lasting lipstick and applied more like a gloss than a lipstick.  They didn’t last all day and I had to top up a few times but when they wore off they left a stain of the colour there which was good.  I also loved how they didn’t accentuate any dryness on your lips.  There’s a huge range of colours which is great too.

Long Wearing Lipgloss

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This is a light feeling lipgloss with 3D glitter that really shimmers.  The one I got was a bright pink and really sparkled.  It wasn’t thick or gloopy and felt like lipstick on my lips.  It also lasted for ages which was brilliant.

Max Lift Mascara

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I also really liked this mascara, it has a nice consistancy, not too wet and gives good length to your lashes. Flormar claims Max Lift Mascara “creates perfectly separated eye lashes and creates a perfect look with volume but without any lumps” and I have to say it wasn’t clumpy at all and lasted well.  This is a nice everyday mascara.

Neon Colours Nail Enamel

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These gorgeous nail enamels come in a wide range of colours & types and last really well.  Now, I’m not the worlds best nail painter but I gave this a bash using the two colours, a neon pink shade (N003) and a red shade (N010), both of which I loved.  As you can see they had a really high shine finish and they lasted very well – 3 days chip free – good result!

Overall View

I really like this makeup brand, you can see from their website that they have a huge range and the makeup really is of excellent quality.  All of the above cost around the €10 and under mark which is very reasonable so you can afford to get a few things in different colours.  These would be especially good for is someone who is starting out as a Makeup Artist and trying to build up their kit as they are affordable, they do a great job and you’d literally have everything covered as the range is huge.  For everyday wear they are great also, I really don’t know why I’d never heard of them before, but now that they are being stocked in The Cosmetic Outlet, I will be adding to my collection!

The only negative I’d say about Flormar is that the packaging is a bit cheap looking for some of the items.  I like the packaging on the lipsticks but the other stuff doesn’t appear very slick and the white font printed on the packaging just doesn’t look right.  That could turn you off looking twice at these and you’d never get to know how good the quality of the products actually is!  Image is everything, so sort it out Flormar!

Me wearing the full base of Foundation, Concealer & Powder & Contour as well as mascara, which looked flawless and lasted all day!

Me wearing the full base of Foundation, Concealer & Powder & Contour as well as mascara, which looked flawless and lasted all day!

What do you think of this?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

IsaDora Large Bronzing Powder Review

I’ve been lusting after this bronzer for a while now but the price at €25.95 kind of put me off so recently, on a post pay day trip to Debenhams, I decided to treat myself.  The Bronzer comes in a huge compact with nice big mirror in the lid and you can choose from 4 different colours, I chose #94 Matte Tan but it also comes in a more shimmery finish if that’s your thing.

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IsaDora states that it is a: “Richly pigmented large bronzing powder for a fresh sun kissed look” and I’d have to agree with that, the colour is natural and goes on flawlessly and even – once you use the right brush.

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My thoughts on it:

I have to say I am very impressed with it, for a number of reasons:

  1. Its size – It’s fecking huge!! There’s a generous 35g of product in the compact – it’s roughly about the same size as a CD so this is going to last you for ages!
  2. The price – For the amount of product you get, it’s well worth it.  A MAC bronzer at €21.50 for 10g of product seems way overpriced in comparison.
  3. The colour – Very nice and natural – you won’t look like you’ve been tango’ed!  This will work well on paler skintones with a light tan. And because it’s a Matte formulation, it can be used for contouring the face. Plus it comes in a good range of colours, from light to dark, to suit everyone.
  4. Can be used all over – Not just for the face, you can use this on your body too if you use a larger brush.
  5. Gives some of the more expensive ones a run for their money – Forget your Guerlain, NARS & Benefit bronzers, this is the one I’ll be sticking to in future.

See the difference before and after below:

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Now to the things I didn’t like:

  1. Its size – It’s my blog and I’m allowed to contradict myself ok?! 😉 No but really, the fact that it’s Ginormous means that you can’t exactly toss it in your bag and go.  Although they also do the smaller regular sized bronzers too which is handy but means you have fork out for another compact.
  2. The fear of dropping it – The risk of having that “NOOOOOOO…..” moment that sees your beautiful bronzer slip from your butter fingers (in slow motion obviously 😉 ) and smash to a million pieces on the floor while you stare in disbelief trying to figure out whether you could salvage the larger pieces and still use it.  It’s a very real possibility, especially for a klutz like me.

That’s it really.  I’m loving this bronzer at the moment and I’d definitely recommend it so go and buy it while the sun is still out!

Tip for Applying Bronzer

I see too many girls going crazy with the bronzer and they end up looking more like they’ve been washing with mud than achieving a sunkissed glow.  Remember bronzer should be applied with a light hand as it’s the one part of your makeup that if you apply it wrong, there’s no going back! So better to use too little than too much.  You should dust it lightly on the temples, nose, under the cheekbones and lightly on the neck/chest for a natural look.  Applying all over the face & neck in a series of swirls is not the most flattering way to wear bronzer.

Blush: How to choose the right shade for your skin tone

Choosing the right shade of blush:

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A lot of women don’t actually know the best way to use blush so they avoid it all together which is a shame because using the right shade and type of blush can really make your complexion appear healthy and bright and give you a beautiful dewy glow.  Generally, it’s good to have a play around with different colours to see what suits you and what doesn’t but here are some guidelines to help you choose;

Fair skin:  If you have pale, cool toned skin (most Irish skins are cool toned) you can go with light to medium pinks/peaches/rose colours such as:

Nars, Orgasm (and yes that’s really the name, try looking the sales assistant in the eye when asking for that one!) This is actually the one blush that suits almost all skin tones and colouring and one of my absolute favourites.  Or you can go with Sleek Makeup blush, in Rose Gold, which is very similar (but much kinder on the pocket!).

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MAC’s Dainty, or Peachykeen

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Benefit, Thrrrob

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Fair skin with Red hair:  Red haired girls look great with corals and dusky terracotta colours. Think Adele & Christina Hendricks (from Mad Men)

Benefit, Coralista

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MAC, Tenderling & Pinch ‘O Peach

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Sallow Skin: Warm toned sallow skin, tans easily and looks great with either vibrant pinks to brighten a sometimes dull complexion or earthy shades in darker peach tones.  A contouring shade of bronzer worn underneath the cheekbones looks fantastic too, think Cheryl Cole or Jessica Alba and you’ve got the right idea.

MAC, Peaches or Dollymix

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Benefit, Hoola Bronzer

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Dark Skin:  Beautiful dark skinned ladies will look amazing with plum, burgandy and hot pink shades.  It can be difficult to get blush to show up on dark skin, cream blush is a good option and can produce a truer colour than powder.

Boots No7 Blushtint Cream Blush in Rosebud

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MAC, Breath of Plum

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If you have problem skin or mature skin, avoid wearing anything too shimmery that will draw attention to skin imperfections, matte textured blushes are best in this case.  Also if you have very oily skin, avoid cream blushes, they will just slide off your skin.  Cream blushers are great for dry skin though and can give your complexion a hydrated, dewy look that you wouldn’t normally get with dull skin.

So there you have it, these colours will look fab on different skin tones but don’t be afraid to experiment.  I only recently discovered coral cream blush looked good on me and I’ve got a ton of different blushers in my kit!  So when you find the right shade that works for you let me know what it is!  I’ll be following this post with another one on how to apply blush so make sure you have a look at that also 🙂