Benefit Galifornia

If I had wanted to this could have been the shortest blog post I’ve ever written because four words sum up my feelings on this product…..I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!
So yah there you go, see you later…on to the next post, but no seriously let me tell you why I love it so you can decide for yourself whether it’s something you might like to try.

On Thursday the 9th of March I bought a ticket for a Benefit Masterclass in Brown Thomas Cork. The Masterclass was with the wonderful Benefit Makeup artist Mike Standen and it was to help show us exactly how gorgeous and versatile Galifornia actually is.

After that I was hooked, Mike created such a stunning Summertime look, using Galifornia on both the eyes and the cheeks. Now I’m no stranger to the concept of using Benefit cheek products on my eyes and in case you don’t know this, Hoola Bronzer makes the most gorgeous transition colour ever so go and try it ASAP!! So unsurprisingly on the night I bought myself a Galifornia of my own.

Used Galifornia along with the Shaaanxo palette on my eyes

On top of being the most gorgeous coral pink shade it has a gold iridescent overlay which adds the tiniest amount of highlight to the product, not so much that you look like a disco ball but a gentle amount that makes your skin look healthy and fresh. This blusher also smells absolutely incredible, I know that that might sound funny but from the moment you open the box it smells like sunshine, it’s so uplifting.

Galifornia is the most beautiful shade of blusher

At the risk of sounding ridiculously cheesy here, this product just makes me happy!! It is so much fun, it’s a stunning colour, it smells beautiful, the packaging is to die for, I think it’s my most favourite Benefit boxed blusher release since Dandelion.

On the left Galifornia swatched no flash, on the right Galifornia swatched with flash

Priced at €34 it’s an excellent investment in my opinion, it’s a very versatile product and I know from having Benefit boxed blushers over the years they last for yonks…happy days!!

Will you be purchasing Galifornia? Do you have any other favourite Benefit blushers?

L.O.V Cosmetics

Back at the start of February I was very kindly sent out some new make up to try from L.O.V Cosmetics, a relatively new brand to Ireland but one that I have been dying to try if I’m honest.
The first thing that struck me about L.O.V. Cosmetics as a brand is how high end all of their products look. Their packaging is sleek and sophisticated and when I saw the price point of the products I was really, really surprised as I expected them to be a lot pricier than they actually are.

Here is a breakdown of some of the products that I’ve tried and how I found them.

LOVtime 18hr Long Lasting Foundation €12.95

Now I’m going to start this by saying that whoever chose this colour for me couldn’t have done a better job, it is almost an exact match for my skin tone which obviously makes my job a lot easier when trying it out. This foundation is marketed as a long lasting, medium to high coverage foundation and I for one absolutely agree with that. The coverage is completely buildable and the finish is beautiful, it’s a Velvet Matte finish which I have never experienced before but it feels lovely, matte without feeling like it’s taking moisture out of your skin. I have combination skin so this foundation suits me perfectly. It is long lasting and covered any blemishes or redness in my skin exactly how I wanted it to. I apply mine using a flat head Kabuki brush and I find this distributes the product perfectly giving me the finish that I want using minimal product.

I haven’t really put another foundation on my face since I was sent this one, I’m over the moon with it and I will definitely be buying it once I’m finished with this one.


COVERStory Serum Concealer €11.95

Well now, this concealer…. It might sound like I’m massively exaggerating BUT…I think it might just be the best concealer I have ever tried. It does exactly what I need it to do for me. Now at this point I’m going to put my hand up and say that I don’t have incredibly dark circles under my eyes (thankfully) but I do still like to brighten that area up. My biggest issue in this area is being 37 most concealers tend to sink into the fine lines under my eyes and get “craggy” as soon as I start to move my face which draws even more attention to the area in a negative way. This concealer didn’t do that, it lasted all day without seeping into the fine lines at all, I was absolutely thrilled with the results. I will say though that I didn’t apply the product using the dispenser on top because it confused me!! I just pumped some on to my hand and applied it under my eye using a concealer brush and then buffed it in using a slightly damp Beauty Blender and this worked perfectly for me.

The only negative I can see with this product is that it only comes in two shades, I really think that they should add some more because it is outstanding.


TheFORBIDDEN Dramatic Volume Mascara €9.95

I love Volumising mascaras, they’re always my go to type of mascara when I’m choosing one. I prefer larger, fluffier mascara wands versus thin, prickly plastic ones every time. The wand in this particular mascara is intriguing. It’s an hourglass shape, something I have never seen before myself but it works!! The shape of the wand is excellent for helping to curl the lashes but you don’t get any spidery effect from it. When I’m using it I would definitely apply two coats but that’s because I like to try and get as much volume and pigment into my lash as possible. Speaking of pigment, this is right up my street because it was sent to me in the Extra Black Provocation shade and when it comes to me with mascara and liquid eyeliner, the blacker the better. Fear not though if super black lashes aren’t your thing then it also comes in Provocation Black and Provocation Black Waterproof too.

This brand boasts an extensive range of mascaras though, so if this one isn’t ticking all of your boxes then I’m sure one of the other five available in the range will.


Confidentialiner Eyeliner Pen €7.95

Now if you ever watch my makeup tutorials on Snapchat “lipsticknleopo” or see my selfies on Instagram then you will know that I love a good winged liner. Although I have my “go to” liquid liners of course, I’m always on the look out to try something new. I’m going to be like a broken record here because what I look for most of all when it comes to liquid liner is pigment. Nothing makes me fume more than applying your wing and getting a wishy washy dirty grey colour instead of black….not cool!!

I’m a really big advocate of using eyeliner pens when you don’t have the steadiest hand in the world or you’re not too confident applying it. I think they give you more control over the application and it can be a little bit easier to get the colour to disperse evenly. This is a fantastic all round liner, pigment is spot on and it is incredibly easy to apply. Once again I’m blown away by the price of it considering the quality, big huge thumbs up.

BROWttitude Eyebrow Contouring Palette €12.95

This is such a handy portable palette for eyebrows on the go. It comes with three different powder shades and a fixing wax along with a double ended brush with an angled brow brush on one side and a spoolie on the other. It also has a really decent sized mirror in the palette (like it’s €12.95!!!)

This palette comes in two shades, Blonde Attitude and Brunette Attitude, now I was sent the Blonde Attitude palette and  unfortunately it was a bit too pale for my brows but I loved the feel of the product itself, I especially love the correcting powder that comes in the palette that you use to tidy up around the brows with once you’re finished shaping them, it’s incredibly good for lifting the appearance of the eye and bringing more definition to the brow shape. There’s a fab sticker that comes attached to the mirror that goes through step by step how to use the product so I think that’s brilliant for anybody who is a bit of a brow novice. As I say this shade didn’t suit me but I’d happily buy the Brunette Attitude shade now having used this one, it has everything you could possible need for creating perfect brows.

So overall my experience with L.O.V Cosmetics was fantastic, in fact I can’t remember a time when a brand has impressed me as much on a first try. Just to clarify again, these products were sent to me to try, I was never asked to write a blog post on them but I really wanted to because I ended up having such a positive experience. 

All of the opinions above are my own and trust me when I live test a product over on my Snapchat for the first time and don’t like it, you’ll know all about it, my face is incapable of lying!!

 

 

Love Me Beauty Subscription

So I’ve recently signed up to a 3 month subscription with Love Me Beauty. I would never have known about this brand of subscription boxes only for Little Miss Beauty Box Twitter account. 
They are different to most of the other brands simply because you chose the items that you receive yourself. Every month you get 60 credits to spend on products in The Edit although you also have the option of adding on extra credits for an additional charge.

The thing that really appealed to me about this one first and foremost was the brands that were involved. All I saw were Kat Von D Beauty miniatures and I was sold if I’m honest!! They also have Charlotte Tilbury kiss pockets included in the options which are one use only but still a great way of trying colours before you buy. 

Other brands I’ve seen included so far are Nuxe, Make up Forever and Aromatherapy Associates. As I said I signed up to a 3 month subscription which costs £9 a month plus £3.95 for postage. Herein lies the only catch I can see, Love Me Beauty currently don’t offer their service outside of the UK so if you are signing up then you need to do it with a Parcel Motel or equivalent address. 

I really wanted to try the subscription out so I opted to do it through my Parcel Motel account so that adds an extra €3.95 to each month’s delivery so just be aware of this. 

Now onto the products!! Out of my 60 credits I chose the following;

KVD Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red

Back in the summer of last year I invested in the Kat Von D Limited Edition “London Calling” set in Debenhams. Included in the set was another one of these Studded Lipsticks in “Lolita”. Now to be honest I wasn’t blown away by that particular lipstick but I absolutely loved the look of this colour so I decided to give them another try. 

The beautiful make up bag in the background was also included in my order

KVD Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw

I love, love, love the texture of these lipsticks. They’re not one bit drying considering that they dry matte. They also last for ages. The Holy Grail when it comes to matte liquid lipsticks, long lasting and non drying… What’s not to love and this is the ultimate Hollywood Red shade. I would buy one of these lipsticks in every shade if I could afford them!! 

KVD Ink Liner in Trooper 

Having not had the greatest experience in the world with the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner I decided to try this one instead. I’m not going to lie, I’m still not overly impressed with this one either but I do think it’s slightly better than the Tattoo Liner. Maybe I’m expecting too much from both of these liners but I just thought considering they’re made by Kat Von D that A- they’d be super pigmented and B-they’d glide on!! Not the worst liner I’ve used but I definitely won’t be purchasing the full size product because you can get so much better for a fraction of the price!! 

Nuxe Reve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream 

Probably the item I was the least interested in to be honest, I chose it simply because I had 5 credits left to spend and that was one of the few 5 credit products available. Nuxe is a lovely brand if not a little bit on the boring side but you can never go wrong with a miniature hand cream for your bag!! 

Make Up Forever HD Deluxe Compact Powder

I love this idea, a teeny tiny translucent pressed powder to pop into your handbag. It has a little mirror inside the compact too so it’s just ideal. This is the first product I’ve used from Make up Forever and I hope they’ll have more options from this brand available over the next few months. 

So after my first months subscription I have to say that I’m relatively impressed so far. I think as Beauty Subscription boxes go this one is a very unique one, I’m interested to see what other brands come on board in the coming months. 
UPDATE: So just as I was about to post this blog post my 2nd months credits were due to be added to my account. There were big problems with this. The credits were due to be updated on the 1st of March, that’s the day that all of the new products were added to The Edit. I waited all day for my credits to be added, it never happened, they landed in my account at about 10.30am the next day instead after LOTS of interaction on Twitter and by email with their customer service department. Unfortunately by the time I had my credits a few of the products that I wanted to choose were sold out and there really wasn’t a great selection of products left to chose from at all. 

At that point I did place an order because I was afraid that nothing at all would be left by the time I heard anything back from their customer service team so I’ve now ended up with an order that I’m far from enthusiastic about and unfortunately they added beautiful Laura Mercier products after my order was placed that I would have loved instead so that was an even bigger pity. 

Customer service did reply to me and “as a gesture of goodwill” they have added an extra product to my order. Better than nothing but not ideal obviously. 

Hopefully they’ll have the issue sorted by the time next months credits are due to be added to my account but I’ll come back and let you know how that goes, so for the moment I’m very much on the fence about the Love Me Beauty subscription box.  

Timeless Truth Bee Venom &Royal Jelly Miracle Mask

A few weeks ago I saw a company that I follow on social media, Beauty Belle were looking for bloggers over the age of 35 who were concerned about aging to review a course of one of their anti aging sheet masks. I contacted them and they thought that I would be a good fit so they sent me out three of the Bio Cellulose Bee Venom & Royal Jelly Miracle Masks to try. I was to use one a week for three weeks and report back after the course had finished.

The details of the company I worked with Beauty Belle

If I’m 100% honest I was a little bit nervous trying these masks out at first as they aren’t suitable for anybody who is allergic to bee stings and even though I was sure I was stung by a bee as a child I kept fretting in case I was wrong (mind you it didn’t stop me going ahead!!) 
Apparently Bee Venom is now hailed as “Nature’s alternative to Botox” which I didn’t know and coupled with Royal Jelly they help to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, which help the skin to become plumper and less saggy.

Now I have used sheet masks in the past but when I opened this one for the first time I immediately noticed a few differences.  Firstly this one was a lot wetter than any other sheet mask I had ever used before and secondly it was protected with gauze on both sides which threw me a little at first trying to figure out what way to actually put it on!! The second I applied it to my face though any niggling worries that I had about it being harsh went straight out the window. In fact it turned out to be quite the opposite, my skin felt instantly cooled and soothed. I found the mask itself a lot easier to apply to the skin than others I’ve tried and most importantly once you applied it it stayed adhered to the face, there was no fiddling around with it.

The mask in action

After the 20 minutes were up I removed the mask and rubbed the excess product into my face and neck area and went to have a look in the mirror. I was so pleasantly surprised that I could actually see a visible difference. My skin looked really refreshed and less red than it did, in fact I think my after picture looks like I’ve had a full nights peaceful sleep instead of 20 minutes with a face mask on. I was genuinely impressed. I had used the mask “live” on my Snapchat that day and showed the viewers step by step what I had been doing and I got several messages afterwards from followers saying how much they thought it had improved the overall look of my skin.

The before and after

After using it twice more since I think I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a really ideal mask to use if you have an event or a special occasion coming up. It really lifts and brightens the skin, I would even go so far as to say that you should do it the morning of an event (once you had already tried it and had no adverse effects) because your skin will be glowing and radiant and will be a perfect base for any make up that you put on it.
All in all I’ve had a really positive experience with this mask and I would definitely recommend it to anybody who is concerned about dullness or slackness in their skin or if your skin is tired looking and in need of a pick me up. You can purchase them singly or in a box of 5 and are available on the Beauty Belle website here.

Have you tried sheet masks before? What are your thoughts?

 

These products were sent to me to try but all opinions are my own.

 

 

Nima Brush Basics Set

Back in December I finally bit the bullet and decided to buy myself a set of Nima Brushes. I had heard only incredible things about this brand from MUA’s, Bloggers and Snapchatters that I admire greatly such as Diane Everett MUA, Jeanette Cronin MUA, Sinead from The Beautiful Truth and Yvonne from Putting It Out There.
Nima is an Irish brand and is the brain child of the very gorgeous and very talented Niamh Martin. Niamh is a professional makeup artist with over a decade of experience working both here and in the UK and her aim is to provide excellent quality but reasonably priced brushes and accessories to the masses!!

I decided it would make the most sense for me to choose The Basics Set as my first purchase and considering that you get 7 brushes and a beautiful pouch for €45  it seemed like an absolute no brainer. In this set you get a mixture of both face and eye brushes both of which have slightly shorter handles so make the brushes easier to bring with you when you’re on the go, although on saying that, they come in the most beautiful quilted white pouch with a black trim which folds over into such a tidy size you won’t have to worry about them taking up room in your bag.

The set consists of

Medium Powder Brush 
Flat Head Kabuki Brush
Concealer Brush
Tapered Crease Blender Brush
Pencil Smudge Brush
Large Shader Brush
Angled Brow/Liner Brush

One of the first things that I noticed about the brushes is how soft they are and how incredibly easy they are to work with. I have used so many brushes throughout my career so I have a lot to compare them with and these just blew my mind from the very first use. I’m a very big fan of all of the brushes in the set but I want to give a special shout out to the Flat Head Kabuki Brush, I am in love with this brush. I really don’t want to ever use a different brush for applying foundation again in my life, there is actually no point because this one has completely stolen my heart. It helps to decrease the amount of product needed and it buffs it in so effortlessly leaving your skin looking completely flawless.

On to the eye brushes, I think my favourite of these is the Pencil Smudge Brush, it is so ideal for smudging colour on the lower lash line for the ultimate smokey eye but I also love it for adding really dark colours into the crease bit by bit. It is so small that you can get detail right in there without overdoing it….Love, love, love it!! Also the Angled Brow Brush (which can also be used for liner BTW) is phenomenal it is so solid and really holds it’s shape, it’s exactly what you need when applying gel or powder product to the brows.

All in all I can’t get over the value for money that you get with this set. For 7 brushes of this quality I would be expecting to be paying an awful lot more, let alone the fact that you’re getting such a beautiful pouch included in the price too!! I was so impressed with these I asked my sister in law to buy me The Build It Up Set as my Kris Kindle present because I wanted all of my brushes to be as awesome. You could safely say now that I’m a fully fledged Nima addict and as soon as you try these brushes I’m sure you will be too.

The Basics Set is available online here priced at €45. There are also several other individual brushes and other brush sets available on the site so be sure and have a look.

 

Makeup Revolution Blush Goddess Blush Palette

So I spent most of October really, really sick, bad times but luckily for me my local Phelans pharmacy in Glanmire had just gotten a brand spanking new Makeup Revolution stand so it really helped to ease the pain!
On one of my many trips to the pharmacy that month I picked up this stunning Blush Goddess Blush Palette. Having never tried any of the Makeup Revolution blush palettes before I chose this one based on swatching the highlighters in it and nearly being blinded by the glow. The palette itself contains four powder blushers ranging from a pale peach to a deep reddish shade and four highlighters. 

Two of the highlighters are semi pearlised so give a very subtle lift and glow to the skin but the other two are full on turn off the lights and I’ll glow highlighters (I really, really love these). I love this palette, in fact I cannot recommend this palette more highly and what incredible value for money!! It cost me €7.79, yup I’m not joking €7.79!!! 

The blushers themselves are highly pigmented, they are so soft and easy to blend and are the type of shades that would suit most skin tones. The more matte highlighters are beautiful and a great alternative to a full on glow just in case that isn’t your thing!! 

The four blusher colours

For me though it’s the two full on highlighters that steal the show here. I absolutely love highlighters and the brighter the better so these do not disappoint. One is a gorgeous frosted baby pink shade and the other is probably one of the brightest golds I’ve ever seen,  this is the one I’ve worn the most since buying the palette and I’m in love!!

The four highlighting shades

As I’ve said already this is my first Makeup Revolution blush palette but it definitely won’t be my last. Makeup Revolution is fast becoming one of the most popular reasonably priced brands in the country and with every new product I try I can really see why. 

Some of the looks I created using the palette

I bought my palette in Phelans Pharmacy Glanmire but Makeup Revolution can be found in selected pharmacies throughout the country or online at Matte to Metallic

Have you tried any other Makeup Revolution products , do you have any recommendations on what to try next? 

 

 

Wet n Wild Autumn ’16

So a few weeks ago I was sent a package from The Publicity Loft full of WetnWild goodies, to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement, WetnWild is one of my favourite makeup brands already so having the opportunity to try some of their newer products excited me greatly!!

Megaglo Contouring Palette €5.95

I’m starting with this one because out of everything that came in the envelope this was the one that excited me the most. I had seen quite a few other bloggers and MUA’s use this including my personal favourite Diane Everett MUA who I have quite a (healthy!!) obsession with!! So firstly it’s a powder product split in two, one side for highlighting the other for contouring . The shade that was sent to me was Dulce de Leche and it was absolutely perfect for my skin tone. This product was everything I hoped it would be, I love it especially the contouring shade it’s so blendable. I’ve used it both on its own and over the Dual-Ended Contour Stick (more about that in a minute) and I loved it both ways. Obviously using it over the cream contouring product intensifies the colour and its perfect if you want a more sculpted look. The only negative I found is the highlighting product didn’t suit me under my eyes but few powder based products do at my age to be honest. It was beautiful on my forehead area and I felt it did a great job brightening me up there. A big thumbs up for this product and I’d have no problem recommending this to anybody.

Photofocus Eyeshadow Primer €5.95

So I’ll start off by saying that I am a big, big fan of eyeshadow primers. As a late 30 something that’s partial to a smokey eye they are my Holy Grail. I’ve tried plenty of them in my time my favourite being the original Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion but at €21 for 10mls it’s not always affordable. My personal opinion is to always have a great back up “dupe” on hand anyway so you don’t have to use your “investment” piece everyday. Enter the Photofocus Eyeshadow Primer. Yah the first time I used this product I thought I was going to hate it, even now I’m not quite sure what I did differently on that first day because on day one it felt like I had just put cement on my eyelids. They felt tight and the primer felt like it was cracking but it was all fine as soon as I put eyeshadow on it. In fact the one big positive I took from that day was how it made the pigment in my shadow pop so that encouraged me to keep going with it. I’m glad I did, I haven’t had the experience since so maybe it was just the first bit coming out of tube that caused it, I’m not sure?! Now I’m really impressed with it, I feel it really makes a difference to the pigment of the shadows you apply and my eye makeup has lasted every bit as long with it as it does with the Urban Decay product….happy days because it’s only a fraction of the price!! Another big thumbs up for this one.

Coverall Coverstick €2.99

At this point I’m going to put my hand up and say that when it comes to concealer I’m such a snob. I would never normally buy or even look at a concealer stick if I’m honest, they always remind me of pound shop makeup!! The one thing that did excite me about this one though was it was from the Coverall range and I have an absolute gra for the Coverall foundation. Coverage with this is excellent, I applied it with a concealer brush as opposed to straight from the tube though and it covered really well. There’s a lovely soft texture to it which I didn’t expect from a concealer in this form I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this one I must say. I was sent shade E802 Medium and even though it looked quite dark, it was perfect on.

Max Fanatic Cat Eye Mascara €5.95

I really don’t know where to start with this one if I’m honest. When I opened it I instantly took a dislike to the wand firstly because it’s plastic (shudder!!) and secondly because it’s a bizarre shape!! There’s a curve on one side which obviously is supposed to help curl the lashes and then the other side is like a comb, maybe to go through the lower lashes individually, I’m really not sure!! When I applied it I was delighted to find that it wasn’t uncomfortable on the eyes like every other plastic mascara wand I’ve ever used so that’s a massive plus and it’s really pigmented, another positive. Now onto the negatives, although the shape of the curved side of the brush does give you a great curl to your lashes they dry a bit “crispy” do you know what I mean? I felt my lashes looked a bit spidery and it flaked a bit as well after being on for a few hours. The other thing I didn’t like was the size of the brush, no matter what I tried I managed to get mascara under my eyes, it was a dose. I stand to be corrected if somebody wants to give me a crash course on how to apply the mascara “properly” but for now I definitely wouldn’t recommend this one I’m afraid.

Ultimate Brow Highlighter €4.50

This is a fab little product to keep in your make up bag on days where you need an eye lift!! A similar product to the Benefit High Brow products it’s a highlighter pencil that you apply under the brow line to shape and lift the brows. It has quite a metallic finish to it I found, perfect for a night out but if you’re looking for a more natural finish then just blend it out with a brush after application to soften out the appearance. A product like this really lifts the eye, making it appear bigger and look more awake and I think this one is a great quality version, well worth the money.

Dual Ended Contour Stick €5.99

I was so excited to see this in the envelope too, I’ve never used anything like it before and was dying to give it a go. There are two sides, hence the name, one which looks almost like a concealer but goes on a lot paler and has a glow to it on the skin and the other darker contouring side. There are instructions on the box to help you with correct application which is great for somebody who isn’t confident with cream contouring. I’ve used this product quite a few times now and I’m quite impressed with it but I would say that when using it the first few times less is more with the contour side. I was sent the shade E7511 Light/Medium but even at that the contour colour is quite dark. Start small and work your way up would be my advice. Just to let you know as well that I blended the highlight side with a beauty blender and I buffed out the contour side using a small oval brush. I found that the highlight worked beautifully under my eyes, I looked really refreshed and glowy and I loved the colour of the contour once I got the hang of how much I needed to use!! I’ve used this product on it’s own and in conjunction with the Megaglo Contouring Palette and they compliment each other really well. Another fab product for your make up bag, a quick, easy and compact way to contour and highlight on the go!!

Wet n Wild products can be found nationwide in selected Penneys and Dunnes Stores. These items were sent to me to try but all of my opinions are my own.