Summertime Foundation tips

Summertime is here and incredibly we’ve even had some sunny weather so far!! At this time of the year our thoughts turn to sun tans whether they be real or from a bottle, we yearn to have a beautiful sunkissed glow but this in itself causes issues with our everyday foundation.

So a few days ago I got asked what is the best way to change up your foundation routine once you have a suntan to avoid your face being paler than your body, so I said I’d write up a few tips.

Change of Foundation

Well this is the first very obvious one, a lot of people do buy the next shade up in their regular foundation so they can use this during the time that they have a tan, especially if they’re already happy with the everyday foundation that they use. This makes sense if you love the finish and coverage of your regular foundation and it’ll be very handy even while your tan is fading because you’ll be able to mix the two colours together until you get back to your original colour.

Gradual Face Tanners

In my opinion these work best if you just get a light tan on your body because you never really get very deep colour from them. These are generally clear when you apply them and develop overnight and stay on for a few days depending on what products you use on your face while you have it on. Of course you can always re-apply these for a few days in a row to deepen the colour. You can use these on their own with some bronzing powder or you can use them as a base for your regular foundation because having the gradual tanner as a base will naturally deepen the colour of your foundation anyway. There are some great ones on the market and I can certainly recommend the No.7 Gradual Facial Tanner as this also has an SPF 15 too. Best way to apply this is to exfoliate the face first, even using something like the Nip n Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Pads and apply a very light layer of moisturiser to the face. Apply the Gradual Face tanner either using your fingers or a clean foundation brush and apply as you would your foundation normally but make sure to avoid your eyebrows and your hairline.

Self Tan

In addition to using a separate face tanner many of the self tan products available these days are also suitable to be used on the face. Because I don’t really tan much naturally myself, fake tan is my best friend come Summertime and to be honest since it came out I haven’t used anything other than Cocoa Brown for my tanning needs. I love the 1 hour tan for when I want a tan for a few days and the Instant Tan Matte Bronzing Gel for when I need a tan in a hurry. All of the tans from Cocoa Brown are non-comedogenic which means they won’t block your pores and are as suitable for the face as they are for the body. The Gentle Bronze product in this range is probably the most suitable one for dry skin. When I tan my body I always tan my face as well so I have a base to work with when I’m applying my foundation.  As with the gradual tanner for the face, these tans will work best if your skin is prepped properly. I use Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff as my exfoliater but please note that this is not suitable for the face.

Foundation drops

I couldn’t write this post without mentioning these products from The Body Shop. Launched at the end of last year The Body Shop released Shade Adjusting Drops in two shades, Lightening and Darkening. Now because I haven’t used these products first hand myself all I can tell you is what I’ve read about them and it seems that they do exactly what they say on the tin, the Lightening ones lighten up a foundation that’s too dark for you and the Darkening ones darken up a foundation that isn’t dark enough!! In theory these sound like a brilliant idea but as I say I haven’t used them myself so can’t vouch for them as of yet but they have the potential to be the solution to all our shade adjusting problems!!

Well I hope this has been of some use to any of you who are struggling to get their foundation shade just right this summer, if you have any more suggestions on how to solve this dilemma please feel free to post a comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas.

No.7 products available in Boots and Boots online

Cocoa Brown products available in selected pharmacies and online at Cloud 10

Shade Adjusting Drops available in The Body Shop or online

Urban Decay Vice Lipsticks

Woo hoo they’re finally here, it felt like the day would never come as I had known about this launch since early May and I was just beyond excited to see the new range in the flesh!! 100 new lipstick shades….Yup you read that right, 100 new shades, along with 50 new lip pencils, it would be almost impossible not to find at least one you liked amongst them but from my point of view it was always going to be narrowing my likes down to an “acceptable “amount that would be the biggest challenge!!!

So I headed into Debenhams in Patrick Street to spend some quality time with the gorgeous Kate as she walked me through the new range and very kindly gave me the opportunity to try on any of the lipsticks that took my fancy…..oooohhh don’t mind if I do!!

The lipsticks come in six different finishes, Mega Matte, Comfort Matte, Cream, Metallized, Sheer and Sheer Shimmer. They’re each matched to their own most suitable lip pencil so it makes picking a complete lip set beyond simple. So I searched through the shade chart and picked out 10 or 11 shades that I wanted to try, I had made a deal with myself before I went in there that I was to stay away from bright pink and coral shades as these are always my  “Go To”shades and I wanted to be adventurous and try colours I wouldn’t normally buy now I had the opportunity to. Below is a selection of some of what I tried.

Out of what I tried on I ended up buying Unicorn (Comfort Matte), Backtalk (Comfort Matte) and Conspiracy (Metallized) but I absolutely fell in love with Mrs Mia Wallace and it’s definitely on my must have list for Autumn/Winter, this is a re-released colour having proved to be incredibly popular when it was released as a limited edition shade in 2014. I was also brave enough to try Peversion which is black and although the texture of the lipstick was beautiful on I’m afraid the colour did nothing for me but loved having the opportunity to try it.

Since buying them I have to say I’m absolutely obsessed with Backtalk its by far the most unique colour I’ve ever owned and I would highly recommend the Comfort Matte finish, it feels beautiful on the lips, it moves so well and isn’t drying at all plus I’m very impressed with its lasting power, it has withstood cups of coffee and full meals so far without having to be topped up!!

Overall it’s another big thumbs up for these, as anybody who follows my blog or my social media pages will know I am a huge, huge fan of Urban Decay anyway but these did not disappoint. Be sure and head in to Patrick Street where the lovely girls will be only too happy to go through the full range with you and help you find your perfect match!!

Lipsticks are priced at €18 each and lip liners are €17.50 each




Pamper Day in The Kingdom

When I was invited to have a mini facial and a makeover in CH Chemists during my time in Tralee at the start of June I was absolutely chuffed. It’s a place that holds a lot of memories for me as my then boyfriend ( now husband ) spent our first two New Years Eve’s together in The Brandon Hotel in Tralee many moons ago and that’s when I discovered CH Chemists for the first time. CH Chemists is a beauty lovers dream, it boasts a combination of your beautiful high end cosmetic counters such as Chanel, Estee Lauder and Clinique while also incorporating high street brands like Sleek, Catrice and Makeup Revolution. They also have a photo bar, a Beauty Salon, a Pharmacy and an Opticians on site, talk about a one stop shop!!
I was invited to the Benefit counter to spend the morning with the wonderful Aoife, I was excited because I don’t know too much about Benefit to be honest apart from being obsessed with their blushers and brow products like every body else but other than that I was fairly clueless.  Aoife cleansed my skin using the Remove It makeup remover followed by the Moisture Prep toning lotion. Both products felt and smelt absolutely beautiful and they were so refreshing because it was such a sunny day outside it was well needed. She then applied Triple Performance facial emulsion as my moisturiser, this is an oil free moisturiser with an SPF 15 included, it felt really hydrating but was very lightweight at the same time which I personally prefer. Then came my personal favourite skin care product that she used, the It’s Potent eye cream. What a beautiful product this is, she applied it on one eye first and then showed me my face in the mirror and I couldn’t believe the difference between both eyes, the eye she applied it on looked brighter instantly, I couldn’t have believed there’d be as much of a difference. I definitely have this product on my list of must buys in the future. She then gave me a spritz of the Ultra Radiance Mist which is a hydrating mist that you can use after cleansing or throughout the day to give your skin a boost. This felt gorgeous, so refreshing and hydrating and again it smelt absolutely glorious. After this mini facial I think I’ve well and truly been converted to try Benefit as a brand for skin care, something that I don’t think I would have said before.

Now onto my mug, she started as I would have myself with my brows, something Benefit Babes are renowned for making flawless, she used a combination of Brow Zings in Medium on the brows themselves and high brow eyebrow highlighter to accentuate the arches to make the eye look brighter, and more defined and Boing concealer in 01 around the brow area to conceal and shape the brows and the results were just fab. My eyes looked lifted and my brows looked full and shaped to perfection, nothing less than I would have expected.


Onto my eye make up, she prepped my eyelids with Stay Don’t Stray primer in 01 and then used a combination of Hoola bronzer with the Big Beautiful Eyes palette as my eye shadow. I would never have thought of using Hoola on my eyes ever but its gorgeous and I’ll definitely be doing it again in the future. The Big Beautiful Eyes palette is an excellent all rounder of a palette, incorporating Boing concealer in 02 along with 3 beautiful eyeshadow colours, Alabaster Pink, Cocoa Shimmer and Rich Chocolate Brown. With these colours Aoife created a lovely natural day time look but it’s easy to see how this could be upgraded to a night time look very, very easily. She finished off the eye look using They’re Real push up liner, now this is a product I’ve had problems using myself previously as it kept breaking off on me but Aoife showed me a few tips on the best way to use it so I now feel a bit more confident about trying it again. She then gave my lashes a coat of Roller Lash mascara and voila my eyes were complete.


Finally on to my face, Aoife used Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation in Believe in Me Ivory. Again this is a product I had never used before and I really liked it. Firstly it has an SPF25 which is fantastic for a foundation, secondly this lightweight buildable foundation manages to give you great coverage while also brightening up the skin. She set it using Hello Flawless powder in Gee I’m Swell giving it a bit more coverage without being overly matte. Blusher was courtesy of Rockateur, one of my very faves, if you haven’t used this yet you need it in your life pronto. It’s a divine rose gold colour blush that has the littlest amount of shimmer running through it, it just goes with everything!! Dew the Hoola liquid bronzer from the new bronzing range was my contouring product and the beautiful Dandelion Shy Beam was my highlighter. What a beautiful product this is, now anybody who follows my blog or my social media pages will know how much I love my highlighter but this one is a litte bit special, it’s a beautiful, liquid, soft matte pink shade that complemented the soft dewy finish of my make up perfectly. It’s another one for the must have list I think!!

Now with all the good must inevitably come some bad, the one and only product I didn’t like from the day was the lipstick. Aoife used Hydra Smooth lip colour in Wing Woman on me, a really gorgeous rose pink colour that I loved but it was honestly nearly gone by the time I left the shop, I didn’t find any lasting power in it whatsoever. Disappointing as I loved the colour and I was so happy with everything else. Oh well, you can’t win them all!!


Overall my experience was so incredibly enjoyable, Aoife is a truly lovely girl, passionate about the beauty industry and her brand in particular and it’s very obvious that she loves her job but having spent time in the store I could really see why. If you’re ever travelling to Tralee I would make it my business to call into CH Chemists because I’m sure you’ll find something you’ll love. And be sure to call to call to Aoife on the Benefit counter and tell her I sent you.

All products are available to buy online with free delivery on all orders over €40 within Ireland.

My top 5 budget buys for May

This month I’ve used a lot of new cheap and cheerful alternatives to my usual brands just to mix things up a bit and here are 5 of the best that I’ve tried!!!

1. Seventeen Wow Skin Concealer

I’m so impressed with this product honestly, it’s a really excellent product with an equally impressive price tag. It’s an under eye liquid concealer that comes in a handy pen style a la Touche Eclat. It comes in two colours, Fair and Medium, I used Fair which matched my skin tone perfectly. It blends beautifully and I found it really luminous and lightweight. There were no issues with it sitting in my “crows feet” even after being on for a number of hours. To be fair I wasn’t expecting too much from it considering the price but I’ve since replaced the concealer I normally use (Naked Skin from Urban Decay ) for my daytime makeup every day since I’ve discovered this one, high praise indeed trust me!!!! My opinion is it’s such an impressive product that I would comfortably use this as an every day concealer but probably stick to my more high end product for a night out or on a day where I needed to be guaranteed of it staying put.

Currently on sale in Boots for €6.99 and on 3 for 2 on selected 17 products too, absolutely worth a try!!!


2. PS Felt Eye Liner

Well I’ve raved about this on my Facebook page from the very first time I’ve tried it and I haven’t changed my mind since. It is absolutely awesome and is so so easy to use, in fact I would go so far as to say that it’s possibly the best product I’ve used yet to perfect a thin line and flick when doing winged liner. It is an absolute bargain but difficult to get your hands on because it’s swooped up as quick as it lands in stores and now having used it I understand why. This has also replaced my favourite liquid liner (Rimmel Exaggerate liquid liner) ever since the first time I’ve used it!! If I was to nit pick the only negative I can see about this product is that it is difficult to remove which could also be construed as a positive as you know it’s going to last but yah you do need a little bit of extra welly when you’re removing it to make sure it’s all gone.

On sale in Penneys  (if you can get your hands on it) for €2.00


3. Wet n Wild Coverall foundation

This is one of two products that I’ve used for longer than a month but I wanted to include them both because they’re both fantastic products and they’re both absolute bargains that deserve a mention!! I love this foundation so much,  I chanced my arm one day when I saw it in Penneys on the WetnWild stand and I needed a new foundation and boy am I glad I did!! Billed as a medium to full coverage foundation which I totally agree with, medium to begin with but absolutely buildable and I’m picky about coverage so if I say it covers, it covers but without being cakey and mask-like!! My skin is dry combination these days and I definitely think this foundation is more so for a drier skin as it does have a “satin finish” which I’m not sure a person with oilier skin would appreciate to be honest. I find it to be long lasting and feels lightweight on the skin, the only thing it doesn’t have is an SPF but to be fair considering the price of it that would be a lot to expect. Such fantastic value for money and I would highly recommend picking this up if you see it because I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you do.

I bought mine from the WetnWild stand in Penneys for €4.69


4. Catrice Glamourdoll Macara Ultra Back & Curl

At the end of last year I found out that the mascara I had used every day for the previous six years was going to be discontinued at the end of that December, cue me being absolutely disgusted and a little bit frantic as to what I was going to use now because I had loved that one so so much (It was Revlon’s Grow Luscious Mascara by the way for anyone who’s interested!!). I thought it would take me ages to find something I liked as much and began looking around to see what my options were. I’m not even joking when I say that the very first mascara I tried as a replacement was this Glamourdoll mascara from Catrice. I was stalking the make up stands in Penneys as per usual when I saw it, I was already a big fan of their liquid lipsticks so that’s what drew me to the stand to begin with but when I saw the brush on this mascara I knew I had to give it a go. I’m a huge fan of a curved brush as I love volume and curl because my eyelashes are already a decent length so lengthening isn’t something I’m all that interested in. Also the fact that it’s an extra black mascara was also a big thumbs up as I love my lashes to be as dark as possible. Just look at the curl on that wand…absolutely dreamy!! Long lasting and durable this mascara absolutely ticks all of the boxes for me, an absolute gem.

I bought mine in Penneys for €4.99


5. Collection Work the Colour Eyeshadow Pencil

Last but by no means least is this fab eyeshadow pencil that I picked up in Boots a few weeks ago in the shade Vanilla Sky. When I saw these pencils on the stand there were just two colours in stock that day, Vanilla Sky which I bought and a beautiful dusky pink colour called Vintage Blush but I’ve since found out that they come in six different colours in total. I really went back and forth between the Vanilla and the Blush colours as they were both so beautiful but Vanilla won out as I specifically wanted it for highlighting under the brow bone. Now I do love the gorgeous shimmery finish of this pencil but I don’t know if I’d use it all over the eye if I’m honest but it is absolutely stunning as a highlighter applied directly with your finger. I’d also give it a go on the cheeks as a highlighter or in the tear duct to brighten up the eye too. The reason I wouldn’t use it all over the eye is it would almost certainly crease on me but then again at 36 I’d love if you could show me a cream eyeshadow that wouldn’t!! Great value for money and a really handy one to keep in your makeup bag to add highlight to pretty much any eye look you can think of!!

I bought mine in Boots for €4.49