24
Jan
2015

Too Faced The Return Of Sexy Eyeshadow Palette

Categories:

Over the last few months, having had the opportunity to try out a few Too Faced products, I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the variety and quality they have to offer.  In particular, their eyeshadows are just beautiful and they really do stand up to the likes of Urban Decay – who are widely considered to be the palette aficionados. But with the popularity of the eyeshadow palette really rocketing over the last couple of years, other brands are beginning to nail it as well in terms of pigmentation, shade selection and all the little extras that come with a good palette.

I was recently sent the Too Faced The Return of Sexy Eyeshadow Palette (£38.50) and I have to say that’s I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it. Let me tell you why…

sexy1

“Celebrate the return of bold beauty with fifteen must-have shades inspired by our favorite timeless beauty looks from past to present: The Ingénue, The Icon and The Bombshell. From sexy neutrals to passionate purples and gorgeous grays, this palette provides timeless eye looks for both day and night. The Return of Sexy comes with a full size Perfect Eyes Eyeliner in Perfect Black and a deluxe size Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer.”

sexy2

First of all, I couldn’t have chosen the three colour stories better if I’d made the palette myself.  It has a nice mix of warm and cool tones, with some genius colour combinations. Note how each section has a coordinating nude shade to act as a base.  Great for those of us who want to create a neutral eye transitioning into just a little bit of colour on the outer eye.  The purple section especially gives you the full range from subtle to the more intense.  The palette works for both day and night looks and although every shade but one is a shimmer, they’re so finely milled that they translate as a lovely sheen on the eyes without any annoying fallout. The only shade which has a more glittery look to it is the black and I only use that on my lash line so I don’t have a problem with it transferring to my cheeks.

sexy3

The horizontal bars of highlight shades that top each section range from a subtle radiant ivory, to a silky matte nude, to an all out intense champagne shade which is perfect for the inner corner of the eyes.  Pretty much everything you could ask for really. The pigmentation of all the eyeshadows is intense and they have a lovely smooth, blendable texture that makes them so easy to work with. It took so little effort to blend the shades into each other with a fluffy brush.

sexy4

The palette comes with three makeup look tutorials displayed on cards which are hidden behind the mirror.  These are great for when you are looking for some inspiration and want to try something new.  It’s too easy to become stuck in a rut and just use the same techniques every time you apply your makeup so these can encourage you to create different shapes or effects.

sexy5

sexy10

You also get a full sized Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner in Perfect Black which is great for tight-lining  something which I hate doing personally because it just feels plain weird! But it does make your top lash line look fuller so needs must…

Once you apply this eyeliner, it doesn’t budge! It has a nice creamy texture and glides onto the lash line without any pulling or dragging.  It lasted really well throughout the night and had a nice dense pigment to it.  You also get a deluxe size Shadow Insurance Eye Shadow Primer which is one of the original and best eyeshadow primers.

sexy7

These warm brown, bronze and gold shades will look amazing in the summer set against golden skin!

sexy8

The purple shades look great against any eye colour and can be a nice alternative to the usual grey or brown toned smokey eye looks.

sexy9

The last colour story in the palette on the right hand side was the one that I chose to wear on a recent night out and I absolutely loved the result. The combination of the taupe neutral with the blue-toned greys was just stunning. I use the pale blue-silver as a base, blended in the taupe shade in the crease and outer half of the lid, added the darker grey to the very outer crease and on the outer lower lash line, softening my black eyeliner with the black shade and finished off by using the pale highlight on the inner corners.  These eyeshadows created the most gorgeous sheen on my lids when the light hit them. Sometimes blue toned greys can look a bit off on blue eyes but the addition of the taupe slightly warms the look and it just works!

sexy11

This palette isn’t ideal for anyone who is partial to their matte eyeshadows in the daytime but if you like a sheen and a bit of shimmer then this eyeshadow palette is just dreamy!

*PR Sample

23
Jan
2015

Conor’s 7 Month Update

Categories:

It’s only when I look back at younger photos of Conor that I realise how much he’s changed. His face changes every single week and the only way to track it is to look at photographs I’ve taken previously – sometimes he looks 100% like Chris and then other times, I can see myself in him. His personality certainly hasn’t changed and he remains the happy, smiley little boy he has been since birth.  I really do feel like the luckiest person because he’s just so easy.  He rarely cries, I think the last time he properly cried was before Christmas. He’s just so placid and laid back and just the coolest little dude ever!

7months

Milestones: As I said in my last update, Conor had his very first flight when we went back to Ireland for Christmas and I’m delighted to report that it went without a hitch. We know Edinburgh airport so well now that we have the whole trip down planned with military precision! We braced ourselves for take off because that’s usually when babies begin to cry.  But as the plane took off Conor started to laugh! I couldn’t believe it, he thought the whole thing was hilarious.  Once we got into the flight he got quite sleepy and just fell asleep in my arms.  What a relief! Another milestone was of course his first Christmas during which he was spoilt with lots of clothes and toys and mainly just showered with affection. He met all of Chris’ relatives and our friends over there which was great because we never know when we’ll be able to make it over again. He’s so good when it comes to being handed around different people as well – he has no problem with new faces.

Sleep: His sleep schedule has stayed very steady over the last 6 weeks. He has his bath at 7pm, bottle and then bed at 7:30pm. I give him another bottle at 11pm and then he sleeps until 7 or 8am.  He rarely wakes up during the night now and if he does, he just chats away to himself for a while and then falls back to sleep again. It was hard to stop getting up when he did make noise but it’s the best thing I ever did because he learnt how to get himself back to sleep.

Best Moment: The best moment this month has been him getting the hang of eating solids! At first he was spitting half of it out because he couldn’t get the hang of how to move it to the back of his mouth without sticking his tongue out. If I had to be anywhere in the morning, I needed at least half an hour contingency to make sure I’d make it out the door on time.  Weaning is time-consuming stuff! But luckily he’s getting the hang of it and it’s smooth sailing now.

7months1

Worst Moment: I know people must just think I’m missing out all the bad times but there really hasn’t been any in the past month. Believe me, if there was any drama with Conor, I’d share it with you because there’s nothing worse than someone pretending that everything is rosy when the reality is something completely different. Maybe I’m just very laid back and don’t get worked up about the same stuff someone else might or maybe he’s just an incredibly easy baby. I don’t know.  All I know is that when I come to this section of the update, I really struggle to think of anything!

Health: Nothing to report here really! He had his 6 month check up the other week and he’s in the 75th percentile so basically in a room of 100 babies, he’d be longer and heavier than 75 of them.  That’s my understanding of how that chart works anyway.  So he’s above average weight and height for his age at the moment which doesn’t surprise me because he’s growing out of his 6-9 month clothes already and has arms that look like over-filled sausage casings! ha ha.

7months2

Eating: He’s still a good eater and now he’s really enjoying his solids now. I’m trying to get him down to 3-4 bottles a day and start giving him 3 servings of solids a day too.  He loves a bottle when he wakes up and the one he gets at 11pm makes him sleep all night long so I won’t be cutting those ones out! I want to start experimenting with giving him different textures and tastes every week but I’ve been advised not to introduce more than 3 new flavours to him in one week as this can put them off. I’ve been told it’s best to get them used to this slowly. Any advice anyone has would be great as I’m pretty much winging it right now!

Things I want to remember: The one thing I really wanted to remember was the look on his face when he was looking at the sky on a winter walk a while ago and luckily I captured a picture of it! The picture in the bottom right of the collage above is probably my favourite photo of him so far because he just looks so angelic. His eyes are just so beautiful and innocent. It came out so well for being taken on an iPhone and I already have it framed in my house.

22
Jan
2015

Urban Decay: New Launches

Categories:

No doubt you’ll have heard about the new products launching from Urban Decay for Spring 2015 and there’s quite a few bits that have piqued my interest! I’m very interested to see how the Mascara Resurrection performs – apparently it’s a clear refreshing serum that’s supposed to bring your mascara back to life. The formula is designed to comb through your lashes to soften mascara and get your lashes ready for another coat. It sounds great for those days when you simply don’t have time to re-do your whole face. There’s also a Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer being launched so I’ll be interested to see what that has to offer!

In the meantime, I can go through a few things that Urban Decay sent over for me to have a play with! Some of the Moondust Eyeshadows (£14) and Sheer Revolution Lipsticks (£15).

urban1

“You’ve never seen a sparkly shadow this sophisticated. Moondust is dazzlingly sparkly but with a super refined, incredibly sophisticated feel (and not a single speck of chunky glitter). Microfine bits of iridescent sparkle collide with intense, dreamy hues and lush, 3-D metallics—for an effect that’s out of this world. 

New technology gives Moondust an amazing effect not found in traditional pressed-powder shadows. It feels like a cream but goes on like a powder to create a smooth, brilliantly reflective look. The result? Sexy, twinkling sparkle with a ton of depth and movement. (And a LOT of questions about what you’re wearing!). We recommend applying Moondust with your fingers. For extra intense colour payout, try it wet.”

urban2

The Moondust eyeshadows are definitely for those of us makeup junkies who like the full on, intensity of metallics and glitter. If you’re a natural makeup kinda gal then these may be just too ‘in your face’.  They pack a mean punch of pigmentation and the reflects give the most gorgeous wet-look appearance on the lids. I would say that Solstice and Ether where marginally smoother and more creamy in texture than Scorpio but they’re all still very impressive. Here’s a quick colour description:

  • Ether is a light purple with pink-blue 3D sparkle and shift
  • Scorpio is a matte black with gold 3D sparkle
  • Solstice is a metallic pink-red with green 3D sparkle and shift

urban3 urban4 urban5

These eyeshadows would look amazing pressed over a smokey eye for incredible impact or applied wet as a metallic eyeliner on the top or bottom lashlines. The base shades to all three give good depth of colour so there’s no problem if you wanted to just pack them on over a good primer and wear them with a flick of black eyeliner. Solstice really reminds me of the Mac Blue Brown pigment that I already own and the Scorpio shade is very similar to one of the Giorgio Armani pressed eyeshadows I have. These are the perfect eyeshadows for a big night out or special occasion when you want to go all out glamour with your makeup look. There is a little bit of fallout with these which is pretty unavoidable with this type of eyeshadow but I’ve found that applying it whilst holding something like a piece of card under my eye catches the majority of it. The rest can be swept away with a little setting powder afterwards.

urban6

L-R: Moondust Eyeshadow in Solstice, Scorpio, Etherurban7

Sometimes you want the bad boy. Others dig the artsy, free-spirited type. But what if you really want the guy that has it ALL? We can’t solve your relationship dilemmas, but we can give you the best of both worlds when it comes to lip color. Urban Decay launches Sheer Revolution Lipstick: creamy, badass luxury meets sheer, pigmented color. It’s everything you love about Revolution Lipstick–with a sheer and shiny finish. Wait until you apply Sheer Revolution lipstick for the first time–it feels amazing! Like our original formula, this sheer version hugs your lips and has a buttery-smooth application without feeling like it’s going to slide off. Available in ten shades, each one has a rich, creamy feel and a gorgeous, high-shine finish.”

urban8

T-B: Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Sheer Slowburn, Sheer Rapture, Sheer Anarchy

I used to feel so conspicuous wearing bold lip colours in the broad daylight but over time I’ve become accustomed to it.  For those of you who like a bit of colour but feel like a matte or satin finish bright lip is just a bit too much then these sheer formulations could be right up your street.  They’re a nice balance between a vibrant lipstick and a balm texture.  They’re creamy and easy to apply although I did find I had to dab them in with my finger just to even out the finish and perfect it.  They come in the same packaging as the gorgeous Revolution lipsticks from Urban Decay which I adore. I think after sampling these, I still prefer the original formulation and I also prefer the dense colour you get from them. I feel like these are a good shout for Spring though if you wanted to just take your makeup down a notch and go for a fresher, more natural appearance.

16
Jan
2015

Concealers For All Occasions

Categories:

If you’ve been a reader of my blog for some time now then you know I’m all about the flawless skin.  If you get the base right then everything else just falls into place.  You can’t get flawless without the right concealers so I thought it would be helpful if I just went through which concealers I prize most in my collection.  I have a concealer for every eventuality and occasion from colour correcting to brightening to blemish covering. I’ve also added in a few of my concealing tips at the end for good measure. So lets get started! concealers

The ‘do-it-all’ concealer

Estee Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Makeup: This wonder product has been a favourite of mine for literally years. It has been formulated to cover scars and heavy discolouration so covering a blemish is child’s play for this baby.  Even though it can be used as a full coverage foundation, I only use it as a concealer. It has an incredibly lightweight consistency considering it’s camouflaging power and that’s exactly what makes it so perfect for concealing. It conceals anything when applied in very thin layers but it’s not obvious on the skin. A must have in your makeup bag if flawless skin is your thing.

The brightening concealer

Clarins Instant Concealer: This is new to my makeup collection and I can see why it’s such a favourite with all the big beauty bloggers. It really brightens and lightens the whole eye area and can hide those bluish shadows under the eyes. The consistency is thinner than a lot of other under-eye concealers so be sure to set it with a good powder. This one blends in really easily, doesn’t settle into fine lines and lasts really well. A fabulous cheaper alternative is the Rimmel Match Perfection Illuminating Concealer.

The barely there concealer

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer: This is a great concealer for those days when you want a no-makeup look and just a little colour correction with a natural finish. It blends into the skin seamlessly and lasts all day with a light dusting of face powder. It covers minor blemishes really well and can brighten the eye area. This isn’t as heavy duty as the Estee Lauder or Clarins concealers, but it’s a lovely product for when you’re in the mood for lighter makeup.

The colour correcting concealer

Bobbi Brown Corrector: This has been a staple in my makeup bag for a long time now and I’ve repurchased it at least 15 times.  That just goes to show how much I rely on it and I do get a little panicky if I run out and don’t have a back up! If you have darkness under your eyes then you NEED this product. It cancels out the blue and purple tones that lurk under eyes and is fantastic when layered underneath a good brightening concealer. I use the Light to Medium Bisque shade which is a pale salmon colour.

The powder concealer

Ben Nye Banana Luxury Powder: I use this powder to set my underage concealer every single day. It’s super finely-milled and yellow-toned which further cancels out any dark tones. It really perfects the area under the eyes and makes it look flawless. It’s also fabulous for setting concealer over blemishes too.  It may seem expensive but the tub will last you absolutely ages. Some people also use this powder to do Kardashian-esque contouring.

My top concealer tips

- When applying concealer to blemishes, pat it on with a flat concealer brush first, concentrating on the actual spot. By this I mean don’t apply too much product and expand the area. Apply it in very thin layers. The second and third layer can be applied with a small fluffy brush, which will result in a flawless finish.

- I always use the upturned triangle method for under eye concealer. It really works to brighten the whole undereye area and it makes you look more awake. You can see a good example of this method here.

- Always set your concealer with powder and that will ensure it lasts all day for blemishes and doesn’t settle into the fine lines around your eyes.

- I always apply foundation first, then concealer. Your foundation will cover the majority of discolouration and any minor blemishes so you won’t have to use as much concealer.

- If I need to conceal puffy eyes and I’m in a rush, I just mix some depuffing eye cream/eye mask with a good concealer and a little illuminating fluid. It will reflect the light and brighten your eyes whilst dealing with the puffiness.

- I sometimes use concealer to correct/sharpen up my cat eye liner or apply a light layers over my lips to create a good canvas for a bold lip. It will cancel out your natural lip colour and allow the true shade of the lipstick to show.

15
Jan
2015

Spring Makeup Trend: Guerlain

Categories:

Lavender and Lilac eye shadow is going to be huge for Spring 2015 and was seen at loads of shows including Derek Lam and Vera Wang. The hues ranged from the pastel shades of purple to the more intense and dramatic take on the look.  Spring tends to bring the more delicate and fresh tones to the fore, with radiant skin and barely there lips in shades of peach, beige, pink and rose. Whether you place the colour just along the lash line, gently blended out for a soft focus effect or packed into the crease for a defined look – the choice is yours!

lilac

guerlain1

I was recently sent this gorgeous Écrin 4 couleurs long-lasting eyeshadow quad in Les Violines from Guerlain. Guerlain always hits the nail on the head with their packaging. It always feels luxurious, well made and practical – although I do wish they would include better applicators because I don’t know about you, but I hate those useless sponge ones that brands include! With the mid-range palettes containing proper brushes now, the higher end brands really need to start doing this too.

“The secret behind the tailor-made colour of Ecrin 4 Couleurs is a palette of four shades that can be layered and adjusted at will. Colour becomes an accessory, the object of all desires, to play and create your look of the moment to your heart’s desire. Each tone has just the right texture to enhance colour without detracting from it: matt, iridescent, satiny or metallic. The eyeshadows glide over the eyelid, dressing it in a wash of long-lasting colour: harmonies that dare to use colour as an accessory, others to structure the eyes by playing with light and dark effects.”

guerlain2

This particular palette has four gorgeous tones of lilac and lavender, with an extremely buttery and smooth texture.  These shadows have a soft matte finish that makes them perfect for daytime and their super soft texture makes them really easy to blend out. They almost have a creamy texture. Although the shades all look cool in the palette, there is a warmth to the darker shades. The pigmentation of the shadows is great, considering mattes can sometimes fall short in this respect.

guerlain3

guerlain5

I was also sent the KissKiss Shaping Cream Lip Colour in Baby Rose which is the most gorgeous lip colour for spring. It’s a lovely warm pink that adds just the right amount of colour to the lips. It glides onto the lips and has a really hydrating formula.  It lasted pretty well for a paler shade and didn’t separate on the lips over time either. It adds a pretty sheen to the lips without making them sticky or overly shiny.  I absolutely love this shade for a ‘grab and go’ product. One swipe and you’re ready to head out the door with minimal fuss. I love the sleek packaging and the embossed lipstick bullet too – it;s all about the details!

guerlain4

“KissKiss surprises us once again by slipping into a precious and graceful little black dress. Its understated case shows off infinitely elegant curves. A tube transformed into a work of art, a sculptural jewel developed like three sleek cubes. Simply chic! In perfect harmony with feminine curves, lips immediately regain their fullness and softness thanks to a formula enriched with plumping hyaluronic acid spheres. In parallel, Commiphora oil helps smooth the lip surface. The elegance of a timeless essential.”

guerlain6

I know that Guerlain isn’t within everyone’s budget but if you have a birthday coming up or vouchers from Christmas to make use of then this is a fabulous duo to treat yourself to!

*PR Samples