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Wednesday 28 January 2015

What's In My Trash #3!

It's that time again! The time for me to save up my empty beauty containers and show you all my trash. A time honoured beauty blogging tradition.

Vichy Idealia Serum. I really liked this during the summer, it's a nice light serum with an illuminating finish so it sits well under make up. I've scraped every last bit out of this one but I'm using Vichy Aqualia Life serum at the minute so I probably won't get this again.

J'adore L'Or perfume by Dior. Himself buys me this as an anniversary present every year, which is great for him as it means he's sorted for life for a gift idea and it's great for me as I'm a little bit obsessed with this perfume. It still has undertones of the original J'adore (my wedding perfume) but is much stronger and perfect for the whole year round. Love, love, love it. I already have a new, unopened bottle, ready to go! Read a full review with base notes and all that jazz HERE

Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze is one of my favourite products and I'm already on to a new bottle. I use this throughout the week for a tan top-up, it gives a natural looking glow without the need for full-on tan application and has a built-in moisturiser, plus it's great value. Such a good product.

Garnier Ultimate Blends 7-in-1 Dry Shampoo. I got this last year to try out when I found it on special offer and because I was wearying of the chalky white after-effects of Batiste. Low and behold, I love this one. It smells strongly of vanilla and won't do much by way of adding volume but it really will give you another day out of your unwashed hair, without leaving a powdery residue on your scalp. Already onto a second can. Review HERE.

YSL Shocking Mascara. My go-to mascara, I generally wait to pick this up on offer in the duty free cause it is rather spend for a mascara but it is also worth it. I've talked about it before HERE

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer. I love this concealer, it's my all time favourite but I'm trying to hold off on a new one for the moment, in favour of a cheaper high-street brand, namely Maybelline's the Eraser. Unfortunately, I can't find that in my shade anywhere so I may have to bite the bullet and cough up for the Nars again. Eep. Full review HERE.

This sample of Benefit's "That Gal" lasted me for ages as you only need a small amount each time. This is a primer that has a glowy finish but also leaves a smooth base, ready for foundation. I had a full size of this before and really liked it, I would definitely repurchase this but the price is putting me off.

Eve Lom cleanser (review HERE). I had been rationing the end of this but was afraid it would go off so I made concerted effort to finish it over the last couple of months. I love this cleanser and would definitely buy a new one if that didn't involve me being stoney broke afterwards.

Bumble & Bumble thickening hairspray. I got this free with a magazine last year and although I like it, I'm not 100% sure it's the best out there for adding volume, so onwards and upwards now it's empty!

This sample of L'ancômes La Vie Est Belle has also lasted me a really long time, even though there was only about 5mls in it. I feel like this has some similarities to Victor & Rolf's Flowerbomb (one of my all time favourites) and I'm not alone as several people have asked me if that's what I'm wearing when I have this on. I would definitely buy a full size of this, it's a beautiful scent.

And that's my lot. Have you tried any of these? Any of your own favourites in there?

Monday 26 January 2015

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Captivating | Review

I first wrote about this blush in a Sephora haul post from last year (HERE) but due to my overwhelming blush addiction I only really got around to using it properly in the last two months. I'm kicking myself that it took me that long because this fella is now one of my Holy Grail products. That's a big claim to make but this has everything I look for in a good blush; excellent and long lasting pigmentation (I put this on in the morning and I'm still wearing it at the end of a 13 hour day in work), it's easy to apply and blend, with a flattering and soft-focus finish so it doesn't look like I'm caked in the stuff, Bosco-stylee. 

If you're new to Tarte, they're a US based brand that believe in "eco-chic" cosmetics, using a cruelty-free ethos and naturally-derived ingredients. Their 24 hour Amazonian Clay blushes are amongst their best-sellers, along with beautiful eyeshadow palettes, Amazonian Clay foundation and their popular lip tints. You can find out more from their American website HERE (one to remember if you're going stateside any time soon) or you can find them closer to home on the UK QVC site HERE

Also, the packaging looks like a Polly Pocket:


Captivating was a re-release for the brand last Summer but I'm not sure if it's now part of the permanent line or not. This is a warm, peach toned matte in a very natural hue that can be lightly applied for those with paler skin tones or built up for darker skin tones. I think it would work equally well for both. 

I will definitely be picking up more of these if and when I visit New York again, they're just an excellent product overall and definitely one of the best blushes I own. 

They're £23.50 with a brush from QVC and around $26 in the US

Have you tried any of the Amazonian Clay blushes? Apart from Tipsy, what other shades do I need to try?

Wednesday 21 January 2015

New! No7 Spring Eye & Nail Collection

You may remember from this Penney's Haul that I'm very eagerly anticipating the arrival of Spring so I was thrilled to see this gorgeous new palette and accompanying nail polishes pop through my letterbox, as they herald the start of brighter days, slightly warmer temperatures and overall, more colour! 

First up is the new No7 Mini Eye Palette*, a beautiful rose gold case housing eight of the brand's most popular eye shadows, ranging from light shades to the darkest of metallics. 

No7 Spring Eye & Nail Collection

This is a serious piece of eye candy and rivals any of the top selling higher end brands for its lust-worthy packaging. It's a slim palette that would be perfect for your bag; taking with you on a night out or a weekend away or even into work to touch up your make-up for an office-to-dancefloor scenario (I wouldn't know about that as I generally stumble out of work after a 13 hour shift and fall directly into bed. Mmm, bed). 
Inside, there's a large mirror and a double ended eye-shadow brush, which is more useful than most brushes you'll find in similar palettes. Again, the muted pink tones inside add an element of sophistication to this that completely belies its €14.25 price tag. That's right, €14.25!!!

No7 Spring Eye & Nail Collection

The idea is that you can create a natural daytime look or a smokey eye for night time, so it's a more versatile selection of nudes, basically. 
In case you're a No7 eye shadow buff, here's what each one is:
Top, left to right: The first shade there is a pearlescent pale pink from the Good Earth Trio. It's quite pigmented and would make a good inner eye/brow bone highlighter. 
Next is the Mink shade from No7 Mono. This was a bit of a let down for me, it looks great in the pan but doesn't translate that well on the skin. It takes a fair bit to make an impact and really only provides more of a light shimmer.
I really like the matte taupe shade next to it however. This fella was originally in the In The Navy trio and is a perfect base shade.
Although the last on the top right looks similar to the second shade, it's actually much darker, more pigmented and a very flattering bronze/grey shade. The one is buttery soft and needs little to create a great look. One of my favourites in there. This is from the Good Earth trio.
Bottom, left to right: Again, from the Good Earth Trio is this chocolate brown shade. This is also super soft and super blendable. A dream to work with.
The shade beside it is from the Chocolate Fondant Quad and is a dark grey with some subtle glitter. A great shade for blue eyes.
Also from the Chocolate Fondant Quad is this dark brown with again, subtle glitter pieces and lastly, from the Moonlight Shadows duo is that black matte with yet again, subtle glitter. 

No7 Spring Eye & Nail Collection
Apologies for the wrinkles in my hand, I took the photo outside and was kneeling on my hands to warm them up before taking the photos! The things we do for make-up, eh?!

Here's the top four shades, I had to swatch these a couple of times to get that level of build up. Out of all four, the last on the right definitely has the most pigmentation and would be quite pretty on its own with some smudged brown liner and lots of mascara.

No7 Spring Eye & Nail Collection

The first two shades of the bottom four require only one swipe and that's the colour payoff. Good, eh? The last two needed an extra swipe but that's still quite good for darker matte shades like that. 

Overall, I think this palette is excellent value for what you get- its aesthetically pleasing packaging and flattering nude shades will appeal to many, so if you like this, pick it up as it's limited edition!

Next up, are the two new nail polishes* to the brand's already excellent Gel-Look Shine Collection. I was really excited to see these as I have a cobalt blue from this range that I LOVE plus pastels are my favourite shades to wear for most of the year round. 

No7 Spring Eye & Nail Collection

Here we have Sweet Lilac and Coral Crush. These are €9 each and provide that great glossy gel finish that you would pay double the same amount for in a nail salon. 
I already have an image of that coral on my toes with my feet in the sand..cannot wait!
The lilac will be firmly on my fingernails- it's one of my all time favourite hues for nails.

No7 Spring Eye & Nail Collection


The NO7 Spring collection will be in Boots stores and on from the 28th of January, just in time for payday! 

Anything catching your eye?
Go on, you deserve a treat for surviving the horror that is January!

*Indicates that products were provided for review. All opinions my own, as always. 

Monday 19 January 2015

What's In My Bag Featuring Kate Spade

When I heard towards the end of last year that Kate Spade was coming to the Kildare Outlet Centre I made a noise only dogs can hear, such is my love for the quirky accessories brand we had long been denied on this side of the water. 
Given that, Himself and I went and picked up my Christmas present there and I've been lovingly stroking the gorgeous aqua green leather bag and bright pink purse ever since. So I thought now was as good a time as any to do a "what's in my bag" post. If you're unfamiliar with this type of blog post, it's basically where one arranges the contents of ones bag in a somewhat organised fashion, minus dirty tissues, Luas tickets and old sweet wrappers, photographs it and shares it with the world. Strange, eh?
On that note:

What's In My Bag

Pretty standard really; glass nail file (comes with me everywhere as I'm incapable of not breaking a nail), romantic wedding photo keys, headphones because I walk everywhere and listen to audio books on my way, the aforementioned beautiful pink purse, Nars concealer (always with me, review HERE), Burts Bees lip balm stick (love this, super moisturising with a nice natural pink sheen), novelty cat mittens (or kitten mittens to be even more sickeningly adorable), Soap & Glory Hand Maid gel (kill ALL the germs), Paperchase super sparkly green glitter 2015 diary, Laura Mercier Almond & Coconut hand cream (smells so freakin good) and lastly, Lollibalm (review HERE). I'm surprised there's only two lip products in there actually, that's unusual for me. 

And a better look at that bag:

kate spade bag
kate spade bag
kate spade bag

The bag is made of super soft leather in a mint/aqua/turquoise hue with gold details and is just swoon-worthy. Inside there's a zipped pocket and striped material and outside there's a long strap to wear across your body or handles for the crook of your arm. It's also quite light which is nice as some bags would break your shoulder before there's anything even in them.

kate spade purse

The purse has the usual slots for cards, space for notes and zipped section for coins. There's a good selection of purses and wallets in the KS store, with a big variety of colours. I was tempted by a larger orange one but I know what I'm like- I need a small purse for work and I'd just end up taking the money and cards out and never using a bigger one so this suits me perfectly. 

I'm going to need another trip out to the Kildare Outlet Centre soon to have another look around; there was a very small selection of jewellery that I wouldn't mind having a better ogle at!

Thursday 15 January 2015

Penneys Haul

So you know how it is, I went into Penneys (Primark to those outside of Éire) the other day for some new Pilates gear and left with a Cocoa Brown tanning mitt, two pairs of extra thick tights (with a fleece lining..snug FTW), a lip balm with SPF (covering all weather conditions, clearly), the aforementioned Pilates clothing and the few items below. I basically saw the colours and went a bit mad. Colours and florals mean only one thing. SPRING. That's right, people, time to break out the fun clothes and throw off the shackles of Winter. No need to look like 40 Coats anymore because Spring is coming! Well, Spring is a good bit away yet but it is coming. Oh yes. 

Penneys Haul

First up, is this rather cool neon tweed print shift dress. Made of a lightweight material with sheer sleeves and a woven collar, this would need a chunky cardigan for now but will be fine on its own for Spring/Summer

Penneys Haul

I'm planning on wearing this with those thick tights in navy, ankle boots and a chunky necklace (possibly one of the new ones in the photo). This was €10. 

Penneys Haul

Next up is this tropical floral print on a vibrant orange-red background. I love the detail on the sleeves here, it makes it that bit more interesting. 

Penneys Haul

I'm mostly planning on wearing this just with jeans but for some reason I have a strange hankering to try it out tucked into a striped pencil skirt..hmm. This was €9.

Penneys Haul

I'm obsessed with yellow and my favourite way to wear it is with a casual shirt like this. Featuring rolled up sleeves, some gold detailing on the shoulder and tiny yellow polka dots throughout, there's a lot going on here for just €13. Again, this is probably a jeans kinda top. I'm thinking tucked into flares with gold wedges and a big old hat for when the better weather comes (really thinking ahead here!).

Penneys Haul

Lastly, these chunky ball necklaces caught my eye in the window on a mannequin so I had to have them. These won't be to everyones taste as they're a little bit different but that's why I like them. I debated between which colour to get but in the end I went for both (it also comes in white). I'm into statement necklaces in a big way and tend to accessorise every outfit with one so these are ideal for me. And those colours..swoon!! €6 each.

Penneys Haul

And that's my Spring wardrobe sorted!
Anything catching your eye? Are you as done with Winter as I am?! 


Wednesday 14 January 2015

Current Skincare Regime

In the last month and a half I've unintentionally started an entirely new skincare regime, so I thought now would be a good time to talk through what I'm currently using.
My skin veers on the dry/sensitive side so I've been packing in the serums, oils and super moisturisers of late. Observe:

Oskia London Renaissance Cleansing Gel*. This is unsurprisingly, a gel cleanser in a thick formula that smells faintly of roses. Full of vitamins, minerals and collagen, it's designed to keep skin strong and supple. You apply this to dry skin, adding a little warm water to emulsify and then remove it with a damp muslin cloth. So far I'm really liking this, it doesn't dry out my skin and takes off all of my make up, leaving my skin feeling fresh. I forgo this for removing eye make up though so for that I return to my old faithful, L'ancôme Bi-facil.

My lovely friend Aundrea from Dancing With Disaster gave me this Diptyque Infused Facial Water to try out as she knows I like all things fancy. She's not wrong! There's no alcohol in this and combined with a blend of nine plants and flowers, it feels like pure refreshment for the skin. A word of warning though- it's rather pungent, fragrance-wise and takes a little while to get used to! Worth it though!

In the mornings I've been using Aqualia Thermal serum from Vichy, underneath my moisturiser. Containing Vichy Spa Thermal water, this leaves my skin soft and hydrated without that sticky feeling that you often get with serums of this formula. You can use this at night too but I've replaced that with..

..Clarins Double Serum Complete Anti-Age Concentrate. I've wanted a full size of this for a while now after trying and loving a sample of it last year so I hunted it down in the sales and got it for a bargain price (you'd want to really as it costs about 70 quid otherwise..eep). The bottle is made up of a dual chamber; containing two different anti-ageing serums that you pump to release and then blend together before applying to the face. A couple of things about this; it smells incredible, is super comforting at night and my skin feels smoother every time I use it. Every damn time! Worth all the monies. 

Under my eyes, I've been using Drops of Youth Eye Concentrate* from The Body Shop for a while now and am liking it. This is a cooling roll on with one of those little metal balls so it's particularly effective first thing in the morning. It contains Edelweiss plant stem cells to smooth the appearance of lines, bags and tiredness. I like it the most for underneath my concealer as I think it provides a good base. This is a little bit sticky and needs some help to sink in so I pat mine in with my ring finger and I'm ready to go.

Lastly, my current moisturiser of choice is this fella from La Roche Posay; Nutritic Intense Riche. That's right, I brought out the big guns. If you've got dry skin, this is heralded by many as the moisturiser you need to use, especially in the colder months. It's quite heavy and takes some massaging to be fully absorbed but it's working well so far. The strong fragrance is again slightly off putting (I'm annoyed because when I originally smelt this in the shop, it seems to be fragrance-free. The sealed pot however, was not. Hmm) and I'm not sure yet if it's too thick for use throughout the year but we'll see. 

Have you tried any of these? What's your current skincare go-to?

*Indicates a product was provided by a brand/pr for review. As always, all opinions are my own.

Monday 12 January 2015

New Books!

I was once again lucky enough to receive lots of beautiful books for Christmas this year. I don't want to judge a book by its cover, but some of these are seriously stroke-able and while I already have an insanely long to-be-read list, these are just demanding to be picked up straight away. There's a fabulous mix of genres here, something I love as it means there's no risk of me getting bored any time soon. 

So many books, so little time..

I've wanted to read Pretty Honest for ages now and I've already started flicking through it. The chapter on beauty and illness is so spot on, I can't wait to read the rest.

This book on the life of fashion powerhouse Vivienne Westwood looks incredible and as a big Great British Bake Off fan I'm really looking forward to getting stuck into the recipes in this one.

Lastly, my wonderful husband and sister in law joined forces to get me series nine and the start of series ten of Buffy! If you read the blog last year you'll know I made a concerted effort to read more graphic novels and particularly enjoyed the Buffy books that came out after the final TV series aired. I love these- full of the same Buffy humour, with beautiful drawings and extra big monsters. Swoon. 

Have you read any of these? Did you get any books for Christmas?

Monday 5 January 2015

Benefit Sweet Tintations | Review

When Benefit released their Christmas sets this year I had my eye firmly on this lip and cheek set, Sweet Tintations. I just didn't want to spend the bones of €30 on it is all. So I waited patiently and picked it up in the Arnotts sale for a mere €19 (which is pretty amazing considering one of the lip balms alone will set you back €21 and there's two full sizes in this set). You might still be able to find this on sale if you scout around- definitely worth checking as the saving is brilliant!

Benefit Sweet Tintations

Inside are mini sizes of lip and cheek stains; Benetint and Lollitint and full sizes of tinted lip balms; Benebalm and Lollibalm.

Benefit Sweet Tintations

Look how dinky those mini tints are! Benetint is the original in the range and is one of the brands biggest sellers. It's a rosy shade and I've always found it slightly too watery for my liking so I tend not to use this on my cheeks- it stains and stains hella fast too so be extra careful when using this fella. No one likes a face like a slapped arse, am I right?
Lollitint is one of the newer tints from the brand, along with Posie and Cha-Cha (both of which I've tried and also love) and is creamier in texture. It's a pastel lilac hue and is surprisingly flattering, looking extra lovely on pale cheeks. I used to wear and was a huge fan of the Benefit gloss "kiss me", which was similarly pale lilac in tone and something about the purple in there was very pretty on the lips- it is here too. 

lollitint benetint

The balms came out this year and are basically a glossy wash of the same shades as the accompanying tints but are super moisturising- containing mango butter and sodium hyaluronate (me neither), these provide sheer colour while preventing your lips from drying out (as they may well do from a tint alone). 

benebalm lollibalm

If you're looking for a dramatic lip, you're barking up the wrong tree with these. If, however you want a pretty kiss of colour for daytime, work or going for dinner (I can't be dealing with the hassle of wearing a full-on red lip while trying to eat a meal and somehow avoid looking like the Joker) then these are ideal. 

Left; Lollibalm, Lollitint, Benebalm, Benetint. Right; Lollitint and benetint staining my skin there several hours later.

benebalm lollibalm

I really like these and have been wearing them non stop since I got them. My lips have been dry this Winter but are responding really well to these. That aside, they also smell incredible, like orchids (Lollitint/balm) and Roses (Benetint/balm) and the packaging is gorgeous. Bringing a mini tint and balm out with you like this cuts down on the amount of random lip products floating around in the bottom of your bag and results in a naturally pretty look.

Have you tried any of the Benefit tint/balm combinations?

Friday 2 January 2015

Kindle Book Sale!

Even though I got more than enough books as gifts this Christmas, I still felt the need to pick up some kindle options- I can't resist more books. It's an illness really. Bookaddict-itis. Look it up. 
Anyway, Amazon are doing a 12 days of Christmas sale and it's running only til Monday the 5th, so get on that! Here's what I've picked up already:

These feminist reads have been on my list for a while so I snapped them up. 
We Should All Be Feminists (perfect title right there plus she's amazing)
Unspeakable Things (the sexual counter-revolution discussed by well known feminist activist, Laurie Penny)
 Everyday Sexism (I'm already reading and although bleak, it's really interesting so far). 

Ayoade on Ayoade (love him, this looks super quirky)
Confessions of a Sociopath (looks intriguing!)
The Body Book (this one is probably better in real book format for photographs but I couldn't resist the sale price!)

More options…

You can find plenty more great options HERE (there's 900 books in the sale!) 
Have you read any of these? Are you stocking up in the kindle sale too?