Thursday, 27 February 2014

NOTD: AWOL by Topshop.

So I am back in my comfort zone - blue nail varnish! I think this is one of my favourite shades of blue, in fact. Above is two coats and look how vibrant it is, I think it is gorgeous! I have reverted back to my old reliable and am using Sally Hansen Insta Dri as my top-coat. I know everybody raves about Seche Vite but I found that my manicures were not as long lasting with it.

I really do think that the nail polishes by Topshop are good quality and worth purchasing. Not much more to say about this, I just love it and I think it is a fantastic dupe for Butler Please by Essie.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Physicians Formula Haul.

Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker Powered powder
Physicians Formula pH Matchmaker Powered lip-gloss in Pink
Physicians Formula Super CC+ Color Correction CC Cream
Physicians Formula BB All-in-1 Make Up Kit
Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Spotless foundation in Light
Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Youth Boosting concealer
Physicians Formula Organic Wear Fakeout mascara
Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting blush in Pink

I really like the Physicians Formula range and it makes me sad that they don't sell it in Ireland. Of course when I was in the US last month I stocked up. This little haul is me being restrained at Walmart. If left to my own devices, I would've bought one of everything!

I think Physicians Formula packaging is really cute. The powder and lip-gloss I have above from the pH matchmaker range both light up. I think that is so cool! I mean it's a total novelty but I imagine myself whipping these out of my bag at night and being able to perfectly touch up my make up! How sad am I, seriously!? The CC cream is pretty nice. I have only used it twice but I am quite happy with it thus far. I think it will be better in the summer as the coverage is very light.

I was OVER-JOYED when I saw the All-in-1 Beauty Balm Makeup Kit. How amazing! Three products all together and they were discounted. Frankly, I was drawn in by the shimmery and sleek packaging. Mostly I just wanted the powder but I figured I'd try out the BB cream because I've never used one before. The Youthful Wear Spotless foundation - I LOVE! I will say that the shade range overall is limited and I bought this in Light and still find it rather dark but it does look beautiful. I will say that this product will be appearing in my monthly favourites.

I haven't actually tried the concealer, mascara or blush yet but just look at them!!! So gorgeous. I don't like to have too many similar products open at the same time which is why the concealer and mascara are still sealed but it's getting harder and harder to resist. I wish I'd grabbed more from the Happy Booser line because I think it is adorable.

If you are in the US, I think Physicians Formula is up there with the best of the drug-store brands so you are very lucky to have easy access to it. If you are going to be visiting the US, check it out!

Monday, 17 February 2014

NOTD: Mint Candy Apple by Essie.

I haven't been having the greatest nail time over these last few weeks. I broke the nail on my middle finger pretty badly whilst trying to open my car door in some serious winds! I then had to file all of my nails down so I didn't have one oddly short one. Also, I have been using Seche Vite as a top-coat instead of my beloved Insta-Dri by Sally Hansen and I simply do not think that it is as good. I'm hoping to take some extra good care of my hands this weekend so my cuticles should be looking better soon.

Anyway, on to the good stuff! I am so happy to have this colour on my nails right now! I am back into my comfort zone as far as nail polish shades go! This is a beautiful (as the name suggests) mint green coloured nail varnish and I adore it. I think it is pure perfection for Spring and I like how it looks a lot.

Overall I find lighter colours more difficult to apply. I don't know why! I just think every little flaw is highlighted but this is okay. I'd prefer a thicker brush but I am used to Essie at this stage. This colour is definitely not opaque after one coat and in my opinion, needs at least two.

I think this is an Essie 'must-have' shade because everybody seems to have it and I can now understand why. Worth picking up.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Sephora Haul.

I feel like I have been saying, "So I was in America!" in all of my blog posts lately but yes, I was there last month and I did a little bit of shopping at Sephora. It is like heaven to me, I love that place so much. I thought I would share with you guys what I bought and perhaps I will review some of these products in the future. I did also buy the Glam Glow face mash which I reviewed recently so that is why I don't have it featured. I could not wait to use it! My haul includes:

Smashbox Photofinish primer
Make Up For Ever High Definition powder
Make Up For Ever High Definition foundation
Marc Jacobs foundation
Benefit The Porefessional powder
Tarte Amazonian Clay blusher
Urban Decay eye-liner
Anastasia Brow Wiz

I have used the Smashbox primer before and I love it. This is also my second purchase of the Anastasia Brow Wiz so I am really looking forward to using it again. I sneakily wore the Marc Jacobs foundation before this post so I did open and re-seal the box and my first impression is slightly disappointing - I don't think it's that good. The packaging is nice though, so I suppose that somewhat answers for the crazy price tag - pretty sure it was around $50. 

I bought two of the 'Sephora Favorites' as well. I thought that they were incredible value and I couldn't resist - a limited edition collection of nine best-selling products (sample sizes, but not super small!) for only $45. I will probably do a post on these separately so that I can mention the products included and what I think of them. 

Excited to start using these products now!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

What Is In My Airplane Beauty Bag?

Lately, (and when I say 'lately' I mean in the last year), I have been taking quite a lot of long-haul flights. Due to this fact, I am pretty happy with what I choose to take in my carry-on bag now and I have a routine which works for me.

On my last long-haul flight which was last month, I had everything inside this cute bag by Ted Baker. I bought it from the Ted Baker website on sale in December. Of course I had all of my liquids inside a clear plastic bag inside and I simply pulled it out for security checks at the airport. The picture does not do this bag justice - it is a beautiful orangey coral colour with a light pink bow and rose gold detailing.

Inside the bag:
Nail file
Carmex lip-balm
Dove deodorant
Origins Checks & Balances face wash
Origins Drink Up Intensive over-night mask
Origins No Puffery cooling eye gel
Soap & Glory Hand Maid hand sanitiser
Soap & Glory One Hell of a Blot powder
Sephora blotting papers
Max Factor False Lash Effect mascara
Collection Lasting Perfection concealer
Urban Decay Naked Skin beauty balm
Rimmel Scandal Eyes eye-liner
Hand bands and clips

My flights have generally been super early in the morning so I've missed out on sleep and therefore feel tired. For this reason, I like to take off my make up and try to catch some Zzz's. Also, my skin feels so gross after 10+ hours of recycled air so I try to keep it as clean as possible.

Firstly, I remove my make up with a wipe. (I carry a packet of wipes in my handbag at all times). I then cleanse my face using Origins Checks & Balances. I smother my skin in Origins Drink Up Intensive over-night mask to try to combat the dehydrating effects of the on-board air conditioning. I keep my lips mositurised using Carmex. 

I may repeat this process again during the flight, depending on how I am feeling.

When it is coming up to time to land, I once again cleanse and apply some Origins No Puffery cooling eye gel around the eye area. This is great for waking me up and making me look more alert. It also feels really good! I moisturise using Weleda Skin Food (this is not pictured because I finished the tube and binned it, oops!). I apply Urban Decay Naked Skin beauty balm (thank you Sephora freebies!) and use Collection Lasting Perfection concealer under my eyes and on any blemishes I may have. Rimmel Scandal Eyes eye-liner also helps to brighten my eyes and I use A LOT of mascara, Max Factor False Lash Effect. To combat shine, I apply Soap & Glory One Hell of a Blot to my t-zone. 

I did actually have a blusher with me in this bag but I've been home for a while now so it has made its way back into my daily routine. I always choose a really bright, high impact blush to bring some colour to my face and perk up my complexion!

A quick spritz of deodorant is great for helping me to freshen up and hand sanitiser is just so important! I have a nail file for any nail emergencies and the hair band and clips are in case I want to get my hair off my face or if it starts to look limp and lifeless, I can simply pop it up into a bun.

I carry a mini toothbrush and toothpaste in a separate pouch in my bag in case anybody is interested. Brushing your teeth just makes me feel more human at the end of a long flight. So that is how I survive these journeys overall!

Sunday, 9 February 2014

NOTD: Candy Fox by Topshop.

I know I featured a pink nail varnish in my January Favourites and now my nails are pink again but seriously, I am not a lover of this colour at all. In fact, up until recently I don't think I even owned a pink nail polish. I have been trying to deviate from my usual comfort zone and just experiment a little more. I also figured that I could do a subtle nod to Valentine's Day with these nails!

I will be honest - not liking matte nails one bit! This is the only shade from the Topshop Matte Nails collection I picked up and in all likelihood I will not buy any more. As you can probably tell, I did use a top-coat (Seche Vite) over this because I disliked the matte appearance so much. I don't even know how to describe it - it looked kind of chalky to me and I simply wouldn't have been happy to leave it on my nails like that.

I found the application fine. I applied two coats as I tend to do with any nail colour or brand. After it dried, I thought it looked somewhat streaky and uneven, I'd go so far as to say bumpy (and I had buffed my nails beforehand so it wasn't their texture!). Therefore I wasn't impressed with the formulation and generally I like Topshop nail varnishes.

I guess it is personal preference and I seem to be a lover of a glossy nail than a matte one. Funnily enough, while I was original iffy about the colour, I do really like it and imagine I will use it a lot, just topped with something shiny!

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Empties #3.

I always love seeing 'Empties' posts or watching similar videos on YouTube. I like to see the products people actually use up. My post this time is mostly orientated around shower products with only a little bit of make up included.

First up, I have a travel sized Softsoap moisturising body wash in the scent Juicy Pomegranate and Mango. I bought this at Walmart in the US. I was in America for a while last month and my favourite Original Source shower gel ran out towards the end of my trip. I decided to just pick up a mini replacement because I was only there for a day or two longer. I had been planning on using whatever it was and leaving it behind but I adored the smell of this! I wish I could buy Softsoap here in Ireland. So good!

I finished a bottle of L'Oreal Micellar Water. Not much to say about this really. It gently but effectively removes make up and does not sting my eyes at all. I re-purchased this before I had even finished this bottle. It is great.

I am not at all fussy when it comes to shampoo and conditioner. I buy whatever is on offer wherever I am. I bought L'Oreal Elvive for colour treated hair because L'Oreal hair products were half price at the time. I thought they were both fine and I would buy them again if they were on offer but I didn't notice anything special about my hair after use. Just run of the mill as far as shampoo and conditioner go, in my opinion!

Original Source shower gels are my favourite. I should really have two empty bottles in this picture because I finished a mint one while in the States but I didn't feel like lugging it home with me. Above is the lemon one. I really like the zingy scent - super refreshing and great for the morning. These are always on special offer at Boots too so amazing value.

I have an empty travel sized Modern Friction by Origins. I cannot get enough of this facial exfoliator. It leaves my skin feeling unbelievably smooth but it is not really gritty and hard on the skin when you are using it. I have a full-size in my shower already.

I go through La Roche Posay Toleraine Riche so quickly! It is my facial mosituriser of choice during the winter and it is the only thing that stops my skin becoming dry and flaky in places. I only wish that the tube was bigger because I feel like I am constantly re-purchasing it! I am nearly done with the tube I bought after this one already! I like it a lot though.

Yes, three mascaras! Volum'Express The Rocket by Maybelline, Volum'Express The Falsies also by Maybelline and Maybelline Great Lash. I know that the first two mascaras were really hyped in the beauty world but I didn't particularly like them and won't buy them again. I do like Great Lash for a natural, day-time look though and I'll probably grab it when I am back in the US because it is ridiculously cheap there and I feel like it's a nice addition to my collection.

Finally, a powder - Rimmel Clear Complexion in translucent. This powder compact still has product left on half of the pan but for some reason, after I use it a few days in a row, the top of the powder goes hard and when I dust a brush over it, none transfers from the pan to the brush. I am tired of scraping that hard top layer off so I am just going to bin it. Aside from that, good powder and I might buy it again sometime.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Review: Glam Glow Mud Mask.

I had read a lot about Glam Glow Mud Mask and had seen it feature in so many Favourites videos on YouTube so I was really excited to try it out. It was one of a few products which I had on a "Must-Have!" list, despite its hefty price tag. This little jar set me back $69, but it wasn't one of those purchases where I umm-ed and ahh-ed about buying it, I simply knew that I had to have it. Boy, am I glad I bought it! Just so you know, I picked up a special edition Glam Glow with proceeds going to breast cancer so that is why it is pink but it is generally seen in black packaging. (There is also a white jar, though I believe it to be a hydrating treatement.)

This 'Youthmud Tinglexfoliate' supposedly works with the natural collagen of the body to gently resurface the skin and leave it smoother. It claims to tighten pores and remove impurities without interfering with natural oils. It is a grey-ish mud/clay and has noticeable chunks in it which you can feel on your face when applied. It hardens quickly and is then pale blue in colour. You can actually see it working on your pores which I love! I have rather visible pores on my forehead between my eyebrows and this masks seems to just target that area.

As you can see, it is a pretty thick consistency. I have seen it suggested to apply this product with a foundation brush and that is what I do and what I would recommend. It is kind of difficult to get an even layer otherwise, and also you don't want to use more of this stuff than you have to, due to the price tag! 

I find that it washes off easily with warm water and doesn't pull on the skin at all like some face masks can. It leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth and there is a NOTICEABLE difference in the size of my pores. I am super impressed with this face mask, to the point that I want to use it every single night! (I don't though!). I am definitely definitely going to buy it again when I am back in the US so if anybody is thinking of investing, it comes thoroughly recommended and I can't see anyone being disappointed. If you have an issue with enlarged pores, check this out! 

If you don't want to commit to spending so much without knowing if you'll like the mask, you can buy smaller sizes to test first. I picked up two mini tubes for traveling - that is how obsessed I am!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

January Favourites.

So I spent quite a lot of the month of January in the USA with my boyfriend which is why there has been so little action on my blog. I had been planning on bringing my laptop but I literally did not have enough space in my suitcase to cram it in! I am back now (sob!) and have quite a few posts planned for the upcoming days and weeks. Due to traveling, I also did not have access to my large collection of make up and skincare last month so my favourites are items which I have used a lot.

First up is a night-cream by Origins. It is High Potency Night-A-Mins. My skin is hellish in that it is combination but it can get so dry during winter. This moisturiser is perfect for targeting my dry patches but yet I don't wake up with a super shiny t-zone. It also smells amazing. It reminds me of freshly squeezed orange juice, but not in a zingy 'wake me up' way - in a way that is so soothing. I loved using it before bed.

Featured in a haul of mine lately - Mint Juleps lip scrub by Lush. Just like my skin, my lips get dry and flaky in cold weather. I have been suffering so badly with chapped lips but this stuff is definitely helping. I picked up a few new lip products while I was in America which I was eager to try out, so having this to slather on and buff off dead skin was a godsend! It reminds me of After Eights - minty chocolate, mmm! I believe that you can eat it after you use it but personally I prefer to just wipe it off. I guess it's nice to have the option!

A mascara I did NOT like to begin with - Lancome Hypnose Star. This mascara was an impulse buy for me. I picked it up when I was returning from my last US trip and waiting for a connecting flight at Chicago airport. Quite frankly, I bought it for its glittery packaging. I tossed it into my make up bag for traveling last month though because I figured I'd rarely used it and I, surprisingly, fell in love with it. I like a dramatic, black lash and I don't really differentiate between day and night time mascaras so this works well for me for both. I might even re-purchase it some day!

Sleek Blush By 3 palette in Lace. I have liked this palette since I bought it but I noticed in January when my blush selection was narrowed down to only this and my NARS Foreplay palette, that I choose this the majority of the time. It looks crazy bright in the pan but it lights my face up so beautifully and with a light-hand, gives a natural looking flush. I am so impressed by the pigmentation and I know I am going to buy another one of these guys soon!

Still winter but I felt like having a colour injection in my life! When I went for a manicure before I left, I decided to go with Watermelon by Essie. I loved how it looked and I am not a pink girl at all! I liked it so much that I bought it at Target and it is what I have on my nails currently. I never really stick with the same shade on my nails so that's how I know that this is a keeper.

Last but by no means least is No Puffery Cooling Eye Gel by Origins. My mum picked me up some Origins bits and pieces for Christmas and this is one I actually requested. I fly long-haul a lot (travel times of 22+ hours) and who looks good getting off such a flight! This product was a saviour for me! I applied it all around my tired eyes and not only does it feel cooling and refreshing, but it makes my eyes and eye area look less puffy and awful. I've introduced it to my skincare routine in general.

I feel like I should give the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette an honourable mention. Again, this is something I chucked into my make up bag and brought away with me. I did (sneakily) also bring the original Naked palette but I used my newest edition over and over. I think it is gorgeous and while I was a little hesitant about it in the beginning, it is safe to say now that I adore it.