Sunday, 21 December 2014

#irishbbloggersSS14 Reveal

It's here! I'm late to post, I know and I'm sorry... but better late than never! Massive thanks to Aisling (Total Makeup Addict) to organising it again this year.

I was asked to buy for Audrey from The Nail Affair, and I hope she got her pressies, I haven't heard from her yet...


When my own pressie arrived, I laughed when I opened it. And then I cried. I cried some more when I read the card. Sharon you Legend. With a CAPITAL L! I love everything! Everything was wrapped up so beautifully I was loathe to open anything... but I did.

She picked out things that I would have picked for myself. And Sharon went to the trouble of making sure my all time Man-crush was wrapped up snug and safe with some gold glitter polish up his bum. Yup, Sharon got me DAVE GROHL!!! And in this house Dave Grohl poops gold glitter. I love it. I love him. I love him so much he sits on the shelf above my chair so he is always watching over me.

Roger & Gallet Cedrat is my most favourite scent ever. Fresh and clean with a soft bitterness that is a proper lemon scent, this sits next to my chair and I use it through the day as my hand cream and to revive me when I'm feeling a bit flat. This is something I always pick up, but put back on the shelf because I struggle to spend money on creams for myself (kids could use new clothes/markers/toys I call it parental guilt), so I really, really appreciate this!

The kids also say "Thanks Very Much Aunty Shazza!!!". The reindeer noses didn't last very long, but the kids loved that they also got a treat out of Mommy's box of pressies :) I'll be honest and say that Green&Blacks isn't a brand I would normally choose, but I have since picked up a few more of the burned toffee variety to hide in my bedside table for nights when I am reading and need a bit of something to satisfy the sweet tooth.

Tomorrow is my birthday, so I will be wearing the earrings and the polish when the family come over for coffee and cake in the evening.

Again, big thanks to Aisling  for organising Secret Santa again this year!

I hope that you all have a fantastically merry festive season and that 2015 is easier on all of us!

Seasons Greetings!

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Surya Brasil : A gift idea for the Himself in your life

Looking for a present for himself that is vegan, natural, and good for his skin (and the Environment)? Then you need to check out Surya Brasil Sapien Men. A distinctive hair and body range with a clean, masculine scent of citrus, spice and woody notes, the formulations are made up of gluten free amaranth proteins and mild cleansing agents. And they smell yummy.

"Made by Surya Brasil, the Sapien Men range has been blended from natural ingredients that are ethically and sustainably harvested to support the local economy and indigenous population. Organic certified by Ecocert and formulated for a man’s tougher skin, these products are vegan and free from any synthetic fragrance, sulfates, petroleum by-products, silicone and gluten." The packaging is sleek and unassuming and looks good on the shelf, or in himself's gym wash-bag.

We have had these in the house for about a year now and its only now that I am finding that Himself is only starting to get to the end of these two tubes now... making them seriously great value for money. Your Tonic are the exclusive stockists of the Surya Brasil products in Ireland and their service is brilliant, I can't recommend them enough.

He was sent two products from the Sapien Men range and we both had a go at them. I leave him to use the products for a week and then I trial them for a week: so that I can flesh out his answers a bit more. When I ask him how he liked a product I normally get very brief answers. So I need to make sure I know what he is talking about... the fact that he uses them until they are pretty much done is rather telling, as he has a good variation of brands to choose from.

Shave Cream €19.55/£17.00
A massive 200ml, easy to squeeze tube, which allows you to dispense the product easily and the flip-top (oh how I love me a flip-top) means no fussing. A formula rich in organic vegetable extracts give you a smooth shave that is comfortable and allows the blade to glide over the skin. It contains organic cupuassu and macadamia extracts that soften the skin to prevent against irritation and organic aloe vera and acerola cherry extracts means that skin feels well hydrated when you are finished.

I got a fabulously close shave on my legs when I used the Shave cream and I loved that the blade rinsed easily, even though the water wasn't super hot. I used a minuscule amount of product and it lathered up nicely so that you can see where you are shaving, which means you won't inadvertently go over shaved skin again, thus avoiding the chance of irritating the skin.

After Shave Cream €16.10/£14.00
"Soothes, regenerates and protects the skin. Contains Açai, Aloe, Macadamia and Cupuaçu, anti-irritants that promote natural softness and hydration, leaving the skin reinvigorated and healthy. Enhanced with a perfect combination of natural minerals, the face is left feeling invigorated, moisturized and radiantly healthy." While his Highness liked this, he didn't Love it.

You get the same no-fuss-flip-top tube but just 100ml of product, which is still impressive. It is a thick-ish cream that feels slightly greasy and this is what he didn't like. He said it felt a bit cloying on his skin, but he does have combination/oily skin. I think gents with dry skin would get on with this much better. I didn't mind this on my legs, it didn't absorb as quickly as an ordinary moisturiser might and I could still feel it a few hours after I had applied it.

Between the 2 of us we experimented with how much/little product was the perfect amount, but Himself just didn't like the way it felt like it was still sitting on his skin after 30 minutes and I don't think I would like that either, but both of us have skin that tends towards the oily side of the scale. As I said I do think this would suit dry skins better.

If you are looking for a pressie for an eco-conscious man-friend, then you can't go far wrong with Surya Brasil Sapien Men products as there are other products in the range:

Shower Gel €19.55/£17.00
Deep and effective cleansing with perfect moisturizing for the demanding needs of men’s skin.

2 in1 Shampoo and Conditioner Price €16.10/ £14.00
Provides a gentle and intense cleansing and conditioning experience for the hair without leaving a residue, this combo shampoo/conditioner has a minty natural scent.

Hair Styling Gel Price €11.50/£10.00
Provides a medium hold without using synthetic fasteners (which promote a ‘false dandruff’ effect) keeping the hair naturally shiny and bright. Excellent for all hair types.

Facial Scrub €13.80/£12.00
Removes impurities from the skin’s surface and deeply cleans the pores, leaving the skin fresh and soft.

Sapien Men Stockists:
Available from Your Tonic, the online and distribution market specialists for natural hair colour, natural beauty cosmetics and complementary healthcare products.

** Post contains samples gratefully received for review, but opinions are my own

Friday, 28 November 2014

NYX: Sparkles for the festive season

Silly season is well and truly upon us so its time to haul out anything that sparkles or shimmers. I'll be honest and say I like glitter... but I prefer it on my cards and decorations. Oh and on my nails... I love me some lots of glitter on my nails. However, these little babies from NYX are on the right side of sparkle without out going full on Gary Glitter....

NYX BORN TO GLOW LIQUID ILLUMINATOR (€9.49 per 18ml) comes in 2 variants:
Gleam (golden peach pearl) and Sunbeam (pale pink pearl). Similar but different, these two little bottles are highlighting gems. Gleam is perfect for warmer toned complexions, while Sunbeam will suit cooler skin tones. Mid tones can rejoice as you can use both!

First off: this is a beeeg tube for just 18ml of product, but the nozzle and the formulation means that the cream comes out easily, but precisely and there is no danger of dispensing too much and wasting it. But this also means that there will be loads left in the tube when you think its finished, so I would recommend cutting the tube open to get the last bit of product out.

NYX Born To Glow Liquid Illuminator is a light weight cream, that NYX say can be used as a moisturiser, but unless you are going for the glitterball look, I would stick to using this on points of your face that you wish to highlight, because this is what it does really really well.

As this is a cream this sits better over cream and liquid foundation, but it will work if you blend this into your skin well before you go in with a powder foundation. It does blend easily though there is a chance you can use too much... so go easy with it: its easier to add a touch more... its near impossible to un-sparkler-ify your self...

In the summer months a small dot of Gleam blended with your foundation/bb cream will give the most gorgeous glow to your skin.

For the festive season either Gleam or Sunbeam is perfect for adding a bit of pretty sparkle to cheekbones, collarbones, cupids bow and if you are going bare legged: a very slim line of shimmer down the shinbone gives the illusion of longer leg...

well blended swatches...

If I had to choose just one of these opalescent beauties I would go with gleam, its adds a bit of warmth to skin while catching the light really nicely and for me its not as sparkly as as sunbeam is.

NYX is starting to win me over with their well priced products that perform really well. And with new stands popping up every week they are gaining in popularity. I know that the girls from Viva Adonis are fans of the  NYX Butt Naked Eyes palette (€29.99) so you would be crazy not to find a stand and have a little play with the products, I already reviewed the NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil and Butter Gloss and its safe to say the Jumbo Lip Pencil is one of my favourites

*this post contains PR Samples, but my opinions are my own.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

La Roche Posay REDERMIC [R] : so far

Generally, I like to trial skin care bits for at least 8 weeks so that I can get a proper feel for how the product reacts on my skin and if it actually does the things that they claim. La Roche Posay is a favourite brand of mine and I was already researching their Redermic range when the New Intensive Bits slipped through my post box like somebody had been checking my google search history (I initially called Paula psychic).

La Roche Posay REDERMIC [R] is targeted to wrinkles, uneven skin tone and dark spots. Everything I am either starting to get or have been battling for at least 10 years, the dark spots being the worst of my issues so I was super excited to get started with this.

There are 2 new additions to the REDERMIC range, both of which are followed with the [R], which stands for Retinol. Retinol is one of the most widely used ingredients in anti-aging solutions as its efficacy has been proven to be effective. Now LRP has combined Retinol with an "exclusive Retinol booster complex" to enhance the formula while keeping it suitable for sensitive skin.

First impressions are good. I started using in once a day (at night) every second day for a week and had no issues so I went to using it every night. Its only bloody lovely.

REDERMIC [R] EYES Dermatological Anti-Ageing Concentrate - Intensive is pretty good. The formulation is light and sinks in really easily, you don't need very much for it to overwhelm the whole area, so little is best with this one. I don't have anything bad to say about this. It is light, but still manages to be intensely moisturising and spreads like a dream so you won't be pulling at your eyes to get it to absorb. Its still early days to give proper feedback about wrinkles, but I do think that my peeper area is tighter and less papery. The lines are still there, but as I said, it still early days. Even though this is rather pricey (RRP €27.50 for 15ml), you need so little to do both eyes, this is going to last at least 6 months.

REDERMIC [R] Dermatological  Corrective Concentrate - Intensive is the one I am not so sure of. We started off great friends. We really did. I have used retinol treatments before and they have always left my skin feeling extremely dry and tight. This didn't. It glided onto my skin and absorbed really quickly. I had no sensitivity, no tightness, no dryness, no cracking (yes, the area around my lips cracked, peeled and bled when I used other retinols). I was in love. My skin felt really good and looked really good. And then.

Ahem. Now honestly I am not sure it is actually REDERMIC's fault, I really suspect my hormones. Because the volcanoes that have erupted on my jaw look like a hormonal break out to me. And they are Not. Bloody. Budging. Urgh.
I had thought that after 5 weeks the REDERMIC would have helped shift the buggers (I have been sooo freaking good about not touching them or squeezing them and keeping my face clean and hydrated and I haven't even binged on the halloween candy), but they aren't moving and they aren't any smaller. Sob.

REDERMIC [R] serum (the full name is too long) costs €34 for a 30ml tube. It smells really clean and fresh and I love that it hasn't made my skin dry and tight and sore and the fact that this tube has lasted me 7 weeks of daily use and there is still a good 3/4 of the tube left. LRP know exactly how to deliver value for money.

But for now I have had to put this in my drawer for testing at a later date. I need to find something to shift the Vesuvi (Vesuvius-es Vesuvius-s) off my face. Suggestions in the comments please!!!

Overall I really like the idea of this range. It is something that I have been looking into for a while, my pigmentation (the dark spots that look like a thousand freckles all decided to appear RIGHT next to each other) is an issue for me, and I will always be looking for something that will help me. The fact that this targets deep wrinkles, sun damage, uneven skin tone and uneven texture, all at the same time makes it cool.

I look forward to testing this properly as soon as my skin has stopped freaking out.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Luscious Lush Autumn Winter Goodies (pic heavy)

A few weeks ago I was invited to have a play with the new bits that Lush have got for Autumn Winter 2014. There is just so much new, seriously fun stuff, along with a few seasonal favourites, that I found it difficult to choose just one (or 2 or 10) favourites. And I seriously wish we had smell-o-vision already! You will just need to pop into a Lush store and decide for yourself.

Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb (€4.50) is a new take on an old favourite. Smells the same but looks much more festive: its gorgeous. Tonka, Ylang ylang and Lavender make this lovely before bed.

Shooting Star bath bomb (4.50) smells the same as Honey I Washed The Kids soap and it looks a bit like a shooting star as it fizzes in the water. It leaves the water a soft blue after its finished fizzing... but it also has epic silver sparkle!

The solid soaps are great! The fairy house toadstool is made with shitake mushrooms and skin conditioning ingredients and apart from looking so cool as a whole (you only get a part unless you are feeling rich and buy the whole thing) it smells wonderfully woody.

Working from the small pic on the top in the middle and working clockwise : Snowcake soap (€4.50 per 100g) smells like marzipan. Rose Absolute and Cassie Absolute combine to leave skin soft and smelling yum.

Baked Alaska is a massive round white ball, until its cut open and the fresh citrus scent bursts forth and you see the amazing colours hidden inside. Perfect for waking you up in the morning the zingy Lemon Myrtle, Grapefruit and Ylang ylang work together to enliven fresh-from-bed corpses.

Reindeer Rock Soap (€3.95 per 100g) is based on ancient Scandinavian rock carvings. This smells a bit like the comforter bubble bar, calming and comforting after rotten winter days.

Yog Nog is my favourite of the solid soaps though, (€4.50 for 100g), made from soya yoghurt, clove bud oil & ylang ylang, its finished with nutmeg and cocoa powder and it smells so fricking yummy. I will be investing in a big block of this for my bathroom to last me the whole winter because for me it is the perfect winter scent. I could sniff it ALL DAY. And Kelly (Big Fashionista) is a fan of this too.

The return of Magic Wand Bubble Bar (€6.75) made my daughter very happy, you can get about 5 or 6 really decent bubble-filled baths from this one wand and she adores the vanilla scent. And just below that is the Drummers Drumming bubble bar (€6.75) is positively yummy. It has bells on it. Bells. Perfect for kiddies.

Candy Mountain (€3.50) is super sweet and smells like Rock Star. Crumble about a quarter of the bar into running water and the whole house smells lush. and you have loads of bubbles.

The Christmas Hedgehog (€4.25) is just too cute to crumble, but when you do shea and cocoa butter soothe the skin and rose and ylang ylang take care of miserable-molly-moody-cow. And sets up the kids for bedtime nicely.

Holly Go Lightly (€5.95) turns the bath BRIGHT GREEN if you use the whole thing all at once. And the silver sparkle settles beautifully onto your skin and leaves you glistening. But in the interest of getting my money's worth I would cut this into chunks and get 5 or 6 baths out of it.

The Bath Bombs are next up.

Butter Bear (€2.50) is Butter Ball re-invented. He is smaller than the ball, but this is also reflected in the price. I do love how it makes my skin feel after a bath in its rich cocoa buttery goodness.

Father Christmas (€4.50) returns this year, he starts all red and then in a twist he goes green and that is the colour of the water! He smells like Snow Fairy.

Dashing Santa (€3.75) has gold feet which fizz faster than his body so it looks like he is running around the bath as he fizzes. Mandarin, Bergamot and Orange Flower uplift everything and just leave you refreshed.

Golden Wonder (€4.75) is back too, and the present inside is bigger this year... Again, I like to break this up and get a few yummy baths out of it.

Lush Bath Melts are some of my most favourite things: they smell absolutely DIVINE, and they are proper packed with good-quality skin-loving moisturising lushness that is great for my daughter. It means she gets a lovely fun bath without the need to rinse off the "fun stuff " and then put cream on. The melts let her have the bath and I don't need to make her stand like a star while I put body cream on. Once again, we get out moneys worth by chopping these up and getting at least 3 or 4 baths out of them:

Snow Angel (€4.95) is just so gorgeous. She doesn't just melt... she fizzes gently while releasing her fair-trade cocoa butter and Rose Absolute. And her glitter isn't glitter, No sir... its Lustre. And its just so freaking pretty.

Melting Snowman (€2.95) is back too this year, packed with cocoa butter and almond oil. He smells like a hot toddy this year with cinnamon leaf oil, clove leaf, lime oil and sweet orange oil chasing away winter shivers and warming you from the outside in.

Star Light Star Bright (€4.50) Le sigh... Cocoa butter, shea butter and coconut oil leave skin soft and supple, while ginger and lime oil pep up tired minds. While Snow Angel leaves you gold leafed, SLSB dusts its silver lustre all over your body while you soak in turquoise waters.

Snow Fairy Sparkle (€6.50) isn't strictly a bath melt, technically, its a body lotion with a lovely irridescent shimmer. It smells just like Snow Fairy shower gel, so it is the cult classic with a twist. You can use this as a bath melt though and enjoy the sweet snow fairy fragrance while getting the wonderful moisture boost from the mix of oils and butters. I am not overly fond of very sweet smells, but this will be a hit with the younger crowd and lovers of Snow Fairy.

Snowman FUN (€6.50) is the gift to get for frozen fans: you can make OLAF in your bath! FUN is fun, you can mould it into anything you like. It foams when you run it under the water: bubble bath. Its fun and gentle enough to use as shampoo for littlees, and the conditioning ingredients mean you don't need to do conditioner. Use it in the shower as a semi solid shower gel. And its mouldable: giving you 20 minutes of peace while the kids play in the bath and get clean while you sit by the door and take cool pictures of their intense concentration. This also comes in a gold version.

I spotted Snowman Jelly (€4.50) on the shelf... he wasn't even mentioned on the night, but I fell in love with him. He comes ready formed in a tub, you tip him out, rub him all over and then put him back in the tub till next time. Or tip him out of the tub, break a small bit off, tip the rest into the tub, lather the small bit and moosh it all over your self. He keeps his form, smells gorgeous (sicilian lemon oil, bergamot oil) and made from Carrageenan Powder (a seaweed extract) which is a great skin conditioner. Snowman Jelly is cool, he will last you aages just like Sweetie Pie.

And like all good brands, Lush have a Advent Calendar this year too. Its pricey, but not as pricey as others coming in at €64.95 for a mix of Xmas favorites. Or you could go in and make up your own box and get the fab folk who work at lush to pack and wrap it all for you.

This is my favourite Youtuber Kat with The Night Before Christmas gift set (€15.95)! This is my favourite seasonal story, so I will have to get the box, just because.

Seriously, the kids attacked me the morning after I got home from the event. Hannah grabbed the PR information and started pouring over the list of products marking the things she wants. Liam dove straight into the lovely presents that we were gifted and made it "Snow" with the new packing peanuts that are made from potato starch and are 100% bio-degradable. He also wanted to have a shower with all the Rose Jam Shower gel that smells like sweets. I had to direct his attention to getting ready for school and then I hid that sucker. I'll have a review up later in the week.

I'd love to get everything that I listed here, but damnit I have a budget to stick to. So I will get a few choice bits (the bubble wands and the Snowman FUN are already in my shopping cart) for the advent calendar that I do for them every year.

Is there anything that catches your fancy? Are you like me and just want everything? Or does lush just give you a headache?

Friday, 24 October 2014

Cloud10 Beauty: Behind the Scenes...

When the invitation arrived in my mailbox to come and have a peek "behind the scenes" of my favourite online beauty sites I couldn't say no. I have been chatting to Blanaid (the owner) over email since Cloud10 Beauty launched, and I couldn't wait to actually meet the lady and her team in person. Of course the fact that they had invited Caroline Hirons was a total bonus.

The Cloud10 Beauty website has had a little over-haul. And I like it a lot more now. You can now right click on a product and open it in a new window. Know why I like this feature? Because I like to browse the whole website, or the new additions and pick out bits that I like and then revisit them and choose which ones I actually want. And because I keep getting distracted and then I forget what I was looking for in the first place. Look at some of the gift sets they have for Xmas...

Anyways... Cloud10 Beauty had a few or their brands on display, and I fell in love with the new stuff for men from Bed Head specialists Tigi. Just look at the manly manliness..... Hubba hubba. And it smells anazing.

We also got a schnakey peek at the new Tigi Bed Head additions. I fell Head over Hair in love with the new Blow Out Shine Cream (€17.95). I will look like a wierdo when I get this, becuase I will be sniffing my hair all the time. yum. 

You can still find your favourite brands such as Nuxe and REN, in addition to a few new brands.

Alpha H, First Aid Beauty (yes, the Facial Radiance Pads are already on the site!) and Teen-Skin Actives are just some of the new skin care ranges available on Cloud10 Beauty.

 I had a great time chatting to Stephanie O'Quigley (the marketing manager for Cocoa Brown) and some of the other ladies who work behind the scenes to make sure that the magic happens.

Blanaid is one of the few folks who understands what customer service means to the customer and she has worked her butt off to make sure that we are satisfied. And I think she has done a pretty good job so far.

For free delivery to Irish Customers when you spend €15 (€50 for internatonal customers), free samples, a fab range of offers, gift sets and many, many reasons to self-gift, head to and treat yourself...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Revolutionary FOTD with Makeup Revolution

I took these pics in August this year (2014) and I have only actually gotten round to cropping them properly and getting them "ready**" for yiz.

** I never photoshop out wrinkles or alter the colours unless my camera completely freaks out and fudges the colours. 

These are the bits I used: all firm favourites, and bits I would use everyday.

So, I used this insanely cheap palette by Makeup Revolution. This is the Iconic 3, a dupe for the Urban Decay Naked 3. Except this palette only costs £4. FOUR POUNDS. And while it seems they might be skimping on the price, I promise, they didn't skimp on pigmentation.

In the past I have generally steered away from warm oranges and copper colours on my skin, or around my eyes and I hae always been worries about looking like I have gone out of my way to get red, sore-looking hay-fever eyes. Not a good look when you already have hay-fever.

BUT in the name of experimenting, I used that colours I was most scared of and I don't think it turned out too mad. I used the colours marked with a tick in the picture below.

And this is a quick pass of my finger over the length of the colour in the pan and then rubbed onto my hairy-blagger-arm. That coppery shade is so buttery... and the darkest shade blends like a dream to a gorgeous duo-tone finish, it looks great all on its own.

I also used the new NYX Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Gleam, a golden peach pearl ( €9.49 ) on my cheekbones. This is a highlighter I can stand behind, its not overly glittery, it just gives a lovely sheen to skin.

This specific look took me all of 15 minutes to get right, and I did my eyes first before I went in with Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in True Ivory, I used an ELF small stipple brush to apply it. Then I did my brows with an old Avon Eye-brow crayon in Slate, and I lined my eyes with an Avon Glimmerstick in Brown. Mascara is one my bestie gave me when I was in South Africa (its finished now and it was awesome and I can't get it here :((((   ). I used the same stipple brish to stipple the NYX Iluminator onto my cheekbones. You don't see the Youngblood Mineral Rice Powder that I used to set my foundation, but you do see the Blank Canvas F14 brush that I used to push it into my skin.

I also need to mention that this is before I coloured my hair, so you can see a good few Silvers making their presence known in a few of the pictures. Sorry.

Do you recon I can carry off Copper? Or should I leave it to those of the blue-eyed persuasion...

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Not so new kids on the blog: NYX

NYX has been in Ireland for a good few months now and overall the general concensus is that it is good. For me, NYX fits very nicely into the gap between CATRICE and Revlon. I'm talking price brackets here, becaue their pigmentation is on par with Revlon. And NYX lip glosses are way nicer than Revlons ever were.

I pretty much sprinted over to my local Bradleys Pharmacy when an Insta-Pal (Giovanna: you Rock!) informed me that a new stand had landed and it was a NYX one. I was extremely restrained, but I think I was just totally overwhelmed and couldn't decide exactly which palette I wanted and I decided to wait. I did fall in love with the Jumbo Lip Pencil in Soft Fuchsia (€4.99) and I picked up the iconic NYX Butter Gloss in Créme Brulee (€6.49)

I love, love, love this NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil! Soft Fuchsia is my perfect lip colour. It really is my actual lip colour, but Better. Its how my lips look after I've given them a scrub with my toothbrush. Soft and plump. The formulation is pretty good too. It goes on without dragging and pulling and I have touched up without the need for a mirror: it smooshes over lips nicely, giving a little bit of slip and moisture. It is basically a Lipstick in a pencil. Nothing chubby-stick about it, despite having Jumbo in the name.

I only need to top up the colour after 3 or 4 hours. AND I only need to sharpen it after 5 or 6 uses, which means about once a week. I really like this guy and I will be getting it a few siblings... at €4.99 I can get one each week with my "groceries" until I have the whole collection.

The only Issue I have with this is the lid. I've had my Pencil for about 3 weeks and the lid is cracked, slipt and falling apart. I have taped it up, but it needs a new one.

NYX Butter Gloss in Créme Brulee is the one gloss that nearly every American Beauty Blogger has in their collection. I don't blame them.
- It smells amazing,
- It costs €6.49,
- Its a beautiful colour that looks great on ANY skin tone,
- It smells amazing
- It feels good and smooshy on lips without feeling too sticky and gloopy.

It comes with the standard doe foot applicator, and my only issue with this is you can easily apply too much which just leads to a gloopy mess that will seep outside of your lip line and make its oozing way down to your chin. Or your hair, should you choose to leave your hair loose and apply Butter Glosses with wild abandon, then your hair will get caught in it and become a sticky mess that you can't get your fingers through. Just ask my daughter who robbed this out of my bag and got it in her hair when she decided to LASH this on... so apply with care and enjoy the neutral loveliness that is Créme Brulee.

I have these two lip products in my bag at all times, except when Hannah robs it off me. And for €11.48 this is a perfect lip combo when you are out and need to touch up. It is also a great lip colour for a dark smokey eye, or a neutral eye. Or just to slap on with over BB cream and mascara.

I have my eye on a few other bits other than the Jumbo Lip pencils and the Butter Glosses, and I was fortunate enough to be sent the NYX Highlighters to test so look out out for that!

Have you fallen in love with anything else from NYX? Is there andything I NEED to have in my collection? Lemme know in the comments...

Friday, 17 October 2014

Fuschia Mineral Makeup : my two pence and pics.

I know there was a little hoo-haa over the practice of "Private Labeling**" and I am still unsure exactly how I feel about it. But I have had a good play with the bits that Fuschia Mineral Makeup sent out as part of their Blogger Call and I have formed my own opinions, some good, some bad but most importantly these are my own.

I prefer ingredient transparency, ie I like to know what is in the stuff I may be putting on my face. And so I took the time to email Gillian Moore to ask the question: Do you PL*?

Gillian, who is the owner of the brand, was more than happy to answer my questions, and she was wonderfully frank with me in her reply:

When Fuschia started, Gillian did indeed Privately Label*, she didn't have the means nor the capital to produce her own products, but she knew that is where she wanted to get to at some stage. As soon as she had enough capital, she started producing her own cosmetics, mixing and filling empty containers with her own formulations.
She also confirmed that with certain products, it isn't possible for her to locally produce these products (it is expensive to produce a small batch of product that isn't in high demand: factory floor space costs money) and so she does still engage in a small percentage of PL. Gillian did however say that she is currently in talks with Enterprise Ireland to purchase more machinery to allow her to manufacture (produce) all of her own product and hopes to have everything in place to do so by the end of 2015.

She did say that she thought it a little strange that new companies starting out did seem to all buy from the same manufacturer, but I have to say that after thinking about it, I'm not surprised at all. The products produced for PL are generally of a fairly high standard, and the public recognise the packaging and so are willing to pay for the product having seen favourable reviews.

As it goes, I appreciate Gillian's honesty. The Fuschia Factory is based in Drogheda, which is close to my adoptive home town, and I am willing to support the brand and let you know which of the products floated my boat, and which just didn't. Afterall, we are all entitled to our opinions.

I'll start with the things that I quite liked:

Fuschia Mineral Makeup MYO (Make Your Own) 5 Pan Eye Shadow Palette (€25). While I didn't actually get to choose my own colours, I do quite like the colours the team at Fuschia chose for the press packs, mostly neutrals and warm colours, perfect for easy eye looks for Autumn. The shadows aren't overly buttery, but they apply quite nicely and I found that you do need to work a little bit harder to get the lighter colours to show up as a dry swatch, like you can see on my arm. I don't use eyelid primers, its an extra step I don't often have time for and I was worried that these would be gone by lunch time. But they lasted through me standing around at the kids Rugby practice, an epic hayfever attack, lunch with the inlaws and a trip to the playground (cue another round of streaming eyes). I did have a bit of creasing, but all in all the colour was still there, despite all my rubbing/dabbing at my eyes with a tissue. My eyeliner and mascara were gone though...

Yes, I understand that there are cheaper alternatives out there, but if you are looking to build a custom mineral eyeshadow palette with colours that YOU like, then €25 isn't too bad.

Fuschia Loose Mineral Eye Dust in Bliss (€12.95) took a little time to win me over. Initially its a gorgeous multi-tonal (bronze-gold-copper-brown) glitter based pigment, but then you try to get it out of the 3 hole shaker thingy. Its nearly impossible. I do know that most pigments mess EVERYWHERE even before you open the lid, not with this. The pigment is really buttery, so buttery its a struggle to get it out of the shaker. But when you do get it out, it is GORGEOUS! It looks best on its own, over a bit of primer to really bring out the warmness. Rich champagne is how I would describe the colour. And I have taken to wearing just Bliss, all over my eyelid, blended into the crease.

Even though this is more buttery than butter, fallout is a bee-otch, and its glittery, so its best to do eyes first and then to your foundation. Its pricey, but it will last you aaaaaaaaaaggges, as a little goes a long, long way...

Bliss all over my eyelid... bliss all up in my mind...
My other favourite is their Lip Liner in Eggplant €12.95 . While it is soft enough that it goes on easily without pulling, it is hard enough to keep its point, making lining lips and getting a clean line much easier than with a super soft formulation. This deep maroony colour is on-trend for Autumn-Winter 2014, and it looks pretty good smooshed into lips with a little slick of LRP Cicaplast Lips over the top. It is a little dearer than I would like, but I have used it 4 times, and I haven't had to sharpen it yet, so this Fuschia Lip Liner will also last a looooooonnnnnggggg time.

Fuschia Classic Matte Lipstick €13.50 in Vamp is a bit of an odd muffin. Billed as a matte fomula, I think this is more of a satin finish, I don't get the matte finish at all. I do love the dark berry-maroon colour though: its very Vamp. Longevity is great (but its is a bit drying nothing a bit of cicaplast can't sort). I'll be using this on Halloween. I kind of like it, but there are cheaper, less drying options out there.

I am on the fence with the Brow Wax Kit €15. I got the shade Taupe, which (according to the website) is the darkest of the 3 available. It comes with a mirror and a little brush (in the compartment under the actual product) and the powder is quite a good colour in that its not red based, so its not too warm. But I am not fond of the wax. Its very odd... I can't get it off the brush and onto my brows. I don't know why.... I don't know how. But I just can't get with the wax. Good thing I don't really use it. This is mostly a miss for me, you can get better brow products for less.

Something else I could take or leave is the Fuschia Lip Lacquer €16.50. Love Affair (bottom swatch) is a cool mauve. And the formulation is OPAQUE. You able to get a light wash of colour if you are careful, but it is really nice when you get a proper slick of colour. Party Girl is a great Bright Pink, the perfect summer colour.

The Fuschia Lip Lacquer doesn't really set and it doesn't really stain and because of this it is very very easy to get this EVERYWHERE. No mooshing together of lips here, because it will go outside of your lipline very quickly. Don't apply this willy-nilly either, because too much will really be a gloopy mess: Less is More with these. While it feels great on your lips when you first apply it but after a while I feel that it is quite drying and I am left looking for my lip balm. And because this doesn't set, you need to re-apply frequently. Its mostly a miss.

Wearing Bliss all over my eyelids and Love Affair on my Lips.

The bits that I just didn't get on with were the Primer and the Highlighter. The Primer goes on like you'd expect, but didn't particularly make a difference to keeping my Foundation on. I have combo skin, and I found that it made me feel like a bit of a greaseball after an hour. The shimmer bits don't help. Dry skin types might get on better with this...

The Candle Glow Highlighter €25 is much loved by some bloggers, but I just couldn't get it to work for me. I struggled to get it blended and I ended up with a streak of glitter (very pretty goldy glitter) on my cheekbones. Its too much faff for me. I have a sneaky its just me though.

Fuschia havae 2 stores (Drogheda and Swords) and are stocked in a good few salons throughout the country. Or if you want to order with no fuss, give the girls a call or order online.

What do you think? Have you tried Fuschia?

**Private Labeling  : products or services are typically those manufactured or provided by one company for offer under another company's brand.
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