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.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Ziaja Sensitive: Must have it ALL THE TIME!

I have shared my love for Polish budget brand Ziaja, especially their Cocoa Butter Scrub (I would happily drown in that stuff), but I had to rescue the Sensitive Range out of the shower before it was finished so I could write about it, because it has very quietly moved into Prime Position in my shower and I tend to reach for it over any other the other thing in my shower.

I was sent 2 products out of the Sensitive range to try, The Shower Gel and the Day Cream. And I am very impressed. I am always looking for bits that I can fit into our household that we can all use: My daughter has eczema and we have to be careful what we use. But I am quite happy to declare:

Ziaja Sentitive Creamy Wash Gel for face and body wins at everything in the shower. It is soap free, contains no silicones or parabens and it safe to use on Hannah. And everyone else too. It smells faintly of coconut (coconut derivatives are the main ingredient), but it isn't over powering at all, I love it. This gel foams gently into something that is surprisingly gentle and incredibly moisturising. Ziaja have managed to make a foaming gel that feels like an oil when you wash it off.

It is perfect for shaving, perfect for washing bodies and if I am wearing a massive amount of makeup, I have used this as my first step cleanser too (before I go in with a proper cleanser). And I have also used it as a shampoo, and not suffered any adverse effects on the hair too. I even tried it on my make up brushes: it worked, but I had to really work it to get the fibres properly clean.

It is fab because it isn't at all drying and my skin isn't gasping for cream the moment I step out of the shower.... I love it. So does Hannah. Want to know why I think it wins at everything in the shower: It costs €4.99 for a massive 400ml bottle that comes with a pump and you can use it on EVERYTHING!

I passed the Ziaja Sensitive Skin Soothing Day Cream on to Hannah as soon as it arrived. She likes it because it doesn't sting and she doesn't need a separate coat of SPF before she goes out the door. Her skin hasn't reacted to it at all and her skin looks amazing. Even on her eyelids where she has notoriously-difficult-to-get-rid-of dry patches, her skin looks smooth and young and hydrated. Like it should.

I gave it a go a good few times too, especially when I was in a hurry and needed to just lash something on my face. I haven't actually got a bad word to say about this. Apart from the fact that the lid is a screw top. I prefer a flip top.

It does EVERYTHING it says on the box.

 I have convinced the Husbag that we need to have the shower gel in the house at all times. AT ALL TIMES. I love the stuff.

I am keen to try the Enzyme Peel and the Night Cream out of the Sensitive skin range too and I have added them to the order without Himself knowing... what he doesn't know... find yours online at or in Pharmacys around the country.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Morning Skin Routine : October 2014

Its been a while since I posted any thing remotely like a proper routine for my skin care, but I assure you, I follow this routine every single morning, even on my gym mornings.

Its all French!

I have been hitting the gym 4 or 5 days out of 7 lately, so on a gym morning I get up, use warm water and a facecloth to remove any excess oil from the night before, slap on a tiny bit of Rooibos Cream my mom sent me, get the kids to school and get straight to the gym to get it over with.

When I'm done with the sweating, I get stuck in, starting in the shower. I start with a pump of La Roche Posay Rosaliac Micellar Makeup Remover Gel (€15.99). I really do like this as a post-workout-cleanser. It is extremely cooling and refreshing on hot, sweaty skin and rinses off easily and cleanly which is exactly what I like, but still gives a really good clean feeling. I absolutely love how refreshing this is on my face and neck. This 200ml bottle has lasted me almost 6 months, you only really need a single pump to do a morning cleanse, so this makes it great value.

Toner is next and I picked up this L'Oréal Paris Age Perfect Refreshing Toner on Caroline Hirons recommendation (her Budget Buys video). If memory serves, this 200ml bottle cost me around the €4 mark (it was on special too: score) and its lasted a little more than 3 months but I use it like its free. I decanted half into a spray bottle to mist on my visage before I go to bed, or when ever I feel like I need to " Freshen Up". In my gym bag it is in an even smaller spray bottle, and I mist this over my face and neck after toweling off even before I get out of the cubicle.

Yes, I understand that I am not quite in the "Mature" skin care category just yet, but I have notices the crinkles are getting deeper and I figure I could use a bit of extra help. Age Perfect Refreshing Toner smells lovely and also feels fabulously cooling on my face.

 And if Caroline Hirons says it is ok and she is happy with the ingredients, then who am I to argue. I already use Pixi Glow Tonic for my night tone but I will often spritz this on after I have put on my serum to add a bit of extra hydration before I put on my moisturiser.

A bit of a new kid on the block, This Vichy Idealia Eyes is the latest addition to the Idéalia range and so far so good. It is a bit pricy at €27.99, but you are getting 15ml of cutting edge technology and you only need a little bit!

Idealia Eyes is my first eye cream with a very cool flexible silicone applicator. You squeeze a small amount the tinted opalescent product out and use the  applicator to spread it gently onto the under-eye area and gently pat/massage it in. Use your ring finger to gently pat any excess into the skin.

 As you can see from the little swatch below, the pale peachy tint does a peremptory job of covering darkness under the eyes, and the light reflecting particles start doing their job and start brightening up the area and filling out the fine lines. And a little goes a long way...

I'm struggling with hormonal outbreaks all around my jaw. This is where the La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ does its massive job of calming the spots and the bumps and keeping them under control. I have already blogged about its fahbeeeuuuuwlisssniss.

 Then I lash on a pump of the Vichy Idéalia Life Serum all over the rest of my face and give it a little massage and then a bitta Vichy Idéalia Moisturiser (Oily-combo variant) goes on top of that to lock all the goodness in.

 So far my pigmentation is under control and is fading nicely. My hormonal break outs are still hormonal and I'm trying like hell to cut out sugar to help things but dammit man: Chocolate tastes soooo dang good! All in all these products are working fairly well on my skin and I'm quite chuffed with it, apart from the hormonal stuff. I quite like that everything mentioned here goes on quite nicely and doesn't leave me looking too shiny during the day and my makeup goes on nicely.

All in all the whole routine takes me about 4-6 minutes (including faffing with my towel to keep covered). I know I need to add in an acid tone, but I'm using the Pixi Glow Tonic every second morning but my skin seems mostly happy with this combination.

Is there anything I need to try? Is there anything you are thinking of adding to your routine? Lemme know in the comments!

Monday, 6 October 2014

My new favourite shop: Mise Beauty Dundalk

So. Mise Beauty in Dundalk. It is my new favourite place to go shopping either online or in the actual store because it is literally down the road from me. Finally! Something that is in my neck of the woods. Its also the place where I picked up my two new skincare staples: LaidBare DIY! Cleanser and Pixi Glow Tonic.

Laid Bare DIY! 2-in-1 Cleanser Toner (€7.50 for 125mls) is a foaming gel cleanser, but it doesn't foam so much as produce a soft lather that loosens dirt and lifts it off the skin to rinse away easily, but without stripping the skin.

It somehow manages to feel a bit like an oil as opposed to your run-of-the-mill gel cleanser, and I like this as well. It just works, its not faffy, you can use it with or without a face cloth and it does the job.  I'll be honest and say that I don't understand how it "tones" and I have not a clue what "Apple Secrets Extract" is but it does the cleansing part pretty well so I'll forgive it those oversights. I like a separate toner anyways.

I love using this in the morning as it doesn't leave my skin feeling "squeaky clean" and dried out, it is  just clean. I use this at night as my first cleanse too, it works well to get rid of the day's make up before I go in with my 2nd cleanse. But just FYI, use a proper make up remover for waterproof mascara and liners because its rubbish at taking those off.

I like that you don't need too much of the product to get a good result ( I just wish my Hubby & Daughter would realise this...), and it smells quite refreshing to me. It's quite gender neutral: my hubby thought I had originally bought it for him. My daughter also asked if it was for her to use. Harrrrrumph. So I need to get another tube stat: they are going through this at a rate of knots. Thankfully it isn't too expensive and the fact that its lasted through 2+ months of 3 people using it makes it really, really good value.

The ingredients in this Laid Bare Cleanser are quite skin friendly too, no petrochemicals, sulphates or parabens means that this suits my daughters super sensitive eczema skin and its kinder to the environment when it goes down the drain eventually.

Pixi Glow Tonic (€20 for 200mls). Not much to say about this except that for me, it rocks. It's an "Acid" toner, which means it helps to dissolve the bonds between the dead skin cells and the lovely new skin cells hiding underneath to reveal the lovely new skin. Pixi Glow Tonic has also helped my skin to heal faster, especially after a particularly bad hormonal breakout. And I seem to be having far too many of those lately.

 I am only using it once a day, in the evening after cleansing and I find that my serum (I'm using the new La Roche Posay Redermic range: its gooooood) goes on easier and sinks in much quicker. I feel like I am using less of the serum too, because my skin is properly prepped.

As you can see I am just about done with my Pixi GLow Tonic, and as I write this the LaidBare cleanser tube is in the bin... I need MOAR!!! I have a shopping list as long as my leg for things I would LOVE to get in Mise Beauty but my car needs a service and I have three trips to Dublin to pay for this month, so I will just use the other cleansers in my stash until November's paycheque comes in.  Le Sigh.

I highly recommend Mise Beauty in Dundalk, or indeed online. I like going in to the actual store though because its close (yay!!!! no bus trip required to Dublin to get sought after products) and the girls are lovely.

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