Benefit Cheek Parade Palette

Thursday, 30 March 2017

When it comes to blushes, very few brands do them quite like Benefit. Between the quirky packaging,  the sugary scent and the colour selection, Benefit have got blushes down to a tee. The beauty world is going bananas for their latest launch, Galifornia, but Benefit has another trick up their sleeves - meet the brand new Cheek Parade palette!

The Cheek Parade contains three of Benefit's best selling blushes and bronzers as well as two brand new launches - Galifornia, and Hoola Lite - which actually doesn't launch in Ireland until June. Needless to say the quality of this palette is incredible - the powders are soft and buttery, blending into the skin so seamlessly. I adore Benefit's blushes, and the only powder I'd tried in this palette is Dandelion, which is one of my all time favourite blushes.
Usually I hate when brands include a brush in their palettes as I just find them annoying and I tend to lose them in about five minutes of opening the palette, but I really like the little brushes Benefit give you. It's a perfect shape to use for contouring or for sweeping blush across the cheeks.

 All five powders are full sized too, so you're getting a huge amount of product in this little guy. That's the most incredible thing about this palette - it's only €63. Essentially, you're getting five full sized powders for the price of two. I honestly don't know how Benefit are doing it - you're getting €170 worth of product for €63. No wonder it's limited edition, it's actually one of the best value palettes I've ever come across!

(L-R) Hoola, Galifornia, Rockateur, Hoola Lite, Dandelion
The Cheek Parade palette is on Benefit counters now, and as I said it's limited edition so make sure you snap one up before they're all gone! 

New In: Charlotte Tilbury Goodies!

Monday, 6 March 2017

My famous last words - I'm only going for a look. This is what I kept telling myself when I recently visited Brown Thomas' incredible Charlotte Tilbury counter. Twenty minutes and a whole lot of money spent later, I left with my little bag, delighted with my new purchases. I feel like when it comes to luxury beauty, Charlotte Tilbury just cannot be beat. Her packaging, the quality of her products, her brand is iconic.

Although she has a few new releases coming this month, nothing I picked up is new to her range. They're some of her most well-known products that I finally decided to treat myself too and so far I'm absolutely loving them. I know the product on the inside is what you should be buying for, but can we just look at that packaging?! 

First up is the Kissing Fallen From The Lipstick Tree (what a mouthful!) in the shade Hepburn Honey. My all time favourite lipstick is Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution lipstick in the shade Very Victoria, and I'm nearly finished it so I thought I'd branch out and try something from one of her other ranges. Hepburn Honey is a brownish-nude, with a hint of peach. It's the perfect everyday wear shade that compliments every makeup look. It's incredibly long-wearing and so comfortable on the lips. It's a satin finish which is a nice break for my lips as I'm normally all about the matte lips! My two favourite lip pencils to pair with this shade are MAC's Stripdown or Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude. This will set you back €32.

Next up is the Eyes To Mesmerise cream eyeshadow. There's no in-between with me when it comes to eyes - I either want full on glam, glitter and lashes, or I just want a simple, no-fuss wash of colour over the lids as I hate not wearing eye shadow. So many people rave about these shadows so I thought it was about time I added one to my collection. All the colours are so beautiful, it was an ordeal for me to settle on just one! I went with Mona Lisa, which is a stunning bronze shade. It's so easy to work with - I just pop it on the lids with my finger then blend it out with a Morphe blending brush. It doesn't crease and it stays put all day, I feel like it's going to be a staple in my everyday makeup bag! The Eyes To Mesmerise pots are €26 each.

I'm a self-confessed blush addict, so I've always wanted a Charlotte Tilbury Cheek To Chic blush, but at €39 a pop, I had to be sure I was picking a shade that I was going to wear to death to justify the price tag. I decided to get Ecstasy, a warm coral-orange with a beautiful shimmery centre. The idea of these blushes is that you swirl your brush on the outer colour first, then use the centre shade on the apples of your cheeks to provide a youthful glow. The shade is absolutely stunning, the product is really finely milled and applies so smoothly.

Finally, my big splurge - the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. This has been on my wishlist for so long, but it was one of those products that I just couldn't justify buying. At €65, I am fully expecting it to transform me into Kim Kardashian herself. Anyway, I finally decided to treat myself to it as I was running out of my current favourite contour which is Harmony blush by MAC. While I'm not quite Kim K when I use it, I am absolutely in love with this kit. It's so pigmented, but it blends so smoothly that it's quite difficult to go overboard with it. The highlight is beautifully subtle and perfect for everyday wear. Although it's very spendy, I couldn't recommend this palette enough - I'm obsessed!

I'm loving my latest Charlotte Tilbury treats - her products never fail to impress. Although they're incredibly expensive the quality is outstanding so you're certainly getting your money's worth. It'll probably be a while before I take another trip to her counter, but for the moment I'll be writing another wishlist of products for my next visit!

SoSu Eyelashes Review!

Monday, 30 January 2017

For as long as I've been into makeup, I've always been obsessed with false eyelashes. I've never been one for the semi-permanent ones as I love being able to change up the style of my lashes to compliment the eye look I'm wearing or the mood I'm in. Finding good lashes for a decent price can be quite a challenge, so here is where Suzanne Jackson comes in. I'm sure you've all heard of Suzanne from her blog, and her brand SoSu has got everything from nail polishes to contour kits, but it's her eyelashes that really caught my attention.

There are three lash collections within the SoSu range - the Premium lashes, the Deluxe lashes and the Luxury lashes. Each range has a different price point, but are all equally beautiful lashes. I genuinely couldn't even choose which range I prefer the most as the quality certainly isn't compromised for the cheaper lashes. 

The Premium range consists of eight styles, and they retail at €5.95. They're human hair lashes and they are by far the most comfortable eyelashes I've ever worn. They're incredibly soft and lightweight, and they have a lovely thin band so that you don't even need to layer eyeliner over them to disguise the lash band. My most worn styles in this range would be Sara and Katie as they're quite natural looking but they add lots of volume and length - love! 
The quality of the lashes is absolutely incredible. One thing I love about them is how you can reuse them so many times. Generally I would only use lashes one or twice before glue starts to harden on them or they just lose their shape, but I've found that I've gotten so much wear out of these are the glue peels off them straight away and they stay in perfect condition. I put them straight back on the lash tray to help them keep their shape but I read that Suzanne is actually releasing a lash case to keep them in soon, so I'm looking forward to picking that up! 
The Luxury lashes are designed for a more dramatic, Kardashian-esque lash look. I picked up two styles in this range, the Kim (pictured), and the Rosie. The Rosie lashes are a little more natural so I've gotten more use out of them, however look how stunning the Kim lashes are! I'm saving these for a special occasion as I feel like they'll be the focal point of my makeup look. These lashes are a little heavier than the Premium ones, which is understandable as they're a fuller lash. These sets of lashes are €19.95, and can be reused up to 20 times. 
To me, the stars of the show has to be her Deluxe range that were designed exclusively for Penneys. These are the Belle lashes, and they're by far my all-time favourite lashes. In any pictures you see on my Instagram page, these are my go-to lashes for a night out! They're absolutely beautiful, and so easy to wear. There are three different styles to choose from in this range, and they're a mere €6 each. I actually have a drawer full of Belle lashes as they sell out so quickly. I always have to stock up when my local Penneys has them! 

None of the lashes come with a lash adhesive, but I personally recommend Duo glue, in my experience it's the best lash adhesive out there. Most pharmacies stock it too, so you'll be able to pick it up when you're shopping for your SoSu lashes! 

I can't recommend these lashes enough, there's really no faulting them. In terms of selection, price and quality, Suzanne has really hit the nail on the head when it comes to the ultimate set of false eyelashes. 

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation Review

Thursday, 26 January 2017

When it comes to base products, Urban Decay have really upped their game recently. Their Naked foundation was my go-to for about a year, but I love a good medium/full coverage foundation and I just felt it needed to be built up too much for the coverage I wanted. The All Nighter Foundation claims to be the answer to your prayers if it's a flawless full coverage base you're after.

Urban Decay describe this foundation as a full coverage foundation with a modern matte finish that never looks overdone. They claim that this 'revolutionary' formula is also comfortable enough for everyday wear. This was the main reason I wanted to try this foundation out - as much as I love a flawless base, I don't like looking like I'm wearing a mask of makeup during the day (even though I usually am, but that's not the point!).

The foundation has quite a thick consistency, but it blends very seamlessly onto the skin and really locks in place. My go-to foundation is the Too Faced Born This Way foundation, however I find that it has a tendency to sit on the skin rather than actually blend into it and act like a second skin. As expected, the coverage is absolutely incredible - it's not heavy nor does it look cakey, but you definitely won't be going back in with extra concealer. A little bit also goes a long way, one pump of foundation is more than enough to deliver a flawless base.
In terms of application I like to use my Beauty Blender as I feel it gives the most natural yet flawless coverage. I've tried it with a buffing brush and I found it left my skin looking a bit heavy and that the foundation didn't settle as well on my skin. Using your fingers is also a good way of applying it, I just personally prefer using a sponge rather than using my fingers.

Even without a primer the foundation stayed in place all day with no touch ups needed at all. It doesn't get shiny throughout the day, but it also doesn't give you a flat looking finish like some matte foundations do. It gives a sort of demi-matte finish, which I love. Sometimes if I want a little more of a dewy look I just put a bit of MAC Strobe Cream on before I apply the foundation.

I really can't fault this foundation. The shade range is brilliant (I wear shade 1.5), it's long-wearing and the coverage is perfect. I wouldn't expect any less from Urban Decay though, their complexion range is really excellent. The All Nighter Foundation is on counters now for €34, and it's definitely a foundation you need to have in your stash!

Christian Louboutin Lip Definer: Worth The Splurge?

Friday, 6 January 2017

 When big designer brands launch into the beauty market, I'm always skeptical of it. In a lot of cases, you're getting mediocre product in fancy packaging with an extortionate price tag. Back in 2014 Christian Louboutin launched his Louboutin Beauté range with a collection of stunning nail polishes, which I tried and actually quite liked. (You can find my review of Rouge Louboutin here!) Last year he expanded his line to include lipsticks, lacquers and lip liners. At €85 for a lipstick and €40 for a lip liner, they are definitely a massive splurge, but is it worth the crazy money?

Obviously, in true Louboutin style, the packaging is absolutely stunning. The Lip Definer's packaging was inspired by Middle Eastern antiquities and the Art Deco movement, using a tall, slender body for a calligraphic-style application. I didn't think I would like how this is much more weighted than your standard lip pencil, but it's actually so easy to use and control. My favourite thing about the pencil is that it has a self-sharpening tool hidden in the lid. I initially didn't realise this and spent about twenty minutes giving out that I had just spent a fortune on a lip liner that I couldn't even sharpen!

The Lip Definer comes in five shades, and I settled on Nats, which is a nude-brown that compliments most of my nude lip colours. They have some beautiful shades to choose from but I wanted one that I was going to get a lot of wear out of for the price I was paying. Interestingly, Louboutin's website says that the Lip Definers are designed to be used with any lip colour without interfering with it. I personally only use it either on its own or with shades that I know will compliment it (it looks absolutely beautiful paired with MAC's Kinda Sexy lipstick!). It's actually comfortable enough to wear on its own, and gives a very natural 'your lips but better' sort of look.
In terms of formulation, Mr Louboutin definitely performed. The Lip Definer is soft and creamy, although I found it quite dry the first time I used it. Once I put the cap back on and let it sharpen itself, I didn't have any issue with dryness after that. As you can see from the swatch above, it's highly pigmented and very long-wearing. The website claims that it'll last for about six hours, and I agree with that. Any lip colour that lasts that long on me is an absolute wonder as my lipstick tends to slide off within an hour!
Now, the million dollar question - is it worth it? Although I absolutely love this lip liner and it's fast becoming my most used lip colour, I don't think I can say it's worth €40. If anything, this is a collector's piece that makes a gorgeous addition to your makeup collection, but it's nothing revolutionary. If you wanted to splash out on a high-end lip pencil, MAC and Charlotte Tilbury are just as good and a fraction of the price. The main reason I wanted to get my hands on a Louboutin Lip Definer was because I collect Louboutin shoes and I have a nail polish from his line, so it was purely a case of adding to my Louboutin collection. However, I don't ever think you need to splash out €40 for a high quality lip pencil.

To be totally honest, it's no better than my favourite Kylie Lip Kit pencils, or my beloved Charlotte Tilbury ones. You definitely get a fantastic product, but this is really just something of a collector's item or a nice gift idea. It's certainly not a product I think you need to race to your local Louboutin boutique to get!
As I said, this retails at €40 and is available from Brown Thomas' Christian Louboutin Beauté counter in the Beauty Halls.

Catrice HD Liquid Coverage Foundation Review

Monday, 14 November 2016

In the last year or so, the drugstore brands have seriously upped their game and are creating real competition for their high-end counterparts. One brand in particular that has really impressed me recently is Catrice - from their highlighters to their mascaras, they just continually launch excellent products at incredible prices.

Enter their latest launch - the HD Liquid Coverage Foundation. Now, I find that I'm hard to please when it comes to my foundations. I want to look flawless, but without feeling like my face is caked, or that I'm noticeably wearing a mask of makeup. This is a tricky balance to find, and I'm quite picky when it comes to finding that perfect foundation.

Although I'm fussy when it comes to foundations, I'm a marketing team's dream as I love a good gimmick. The Catrice foundation doesn't come with a traditional pump, but a pipette. This is generally a feature you only get with serums or much more expensive foundations, so I think it's a lovely touch to make the foundation feel that little bit more luxurious. 

Starting off with the only fault this foundation has - it's only available in four shades. Hopefully Catrice will expand the colour range soon to cover more skin tones. I have the second lightest shade, 020, which is a little dark on me but it's nothing that can't be sorted once you blend it down the neck.

The foundation has a lovely velvety texture and is extremely lightweight on the skin. It offers flawless yet natural looking coverage and it sets like a second skin. Although it's a mattifying foundation, it doesn't make the skin look flat - I would say it's more of a satin finish than matte. As I have oily skin I generally would always use a primer but this foundation stays flawless on its own without a primer or a setting powder. I would usually find my t-zone would start to get oily a few hours after applying foundation but this really doesn't budge!
In terms of application, I've found that this works really well using a Beauty Blender for high coverage or using a buffing brush (my personal favourite is the Powder 'N' Pout P230) for a softer, light to medium finish.

I couldn't recommend this foundation enough. At €7.99, it's an absolute steal and a serious competitor to much more expensive foundations. I've been finding it pretty difficult to secure a lighter shade of this foundation as it's sold out everywhere, so if you see it be sure to pick it up straight away!

Inglot What A Spice Eyeshadow Collection Review and Swatches!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

In terms of makeup looks, Autumnal makeup is my absolute favourite - I love using dark berries and browns, I really think it's a look you can't go wrong with. When Inglot released their What A Spice collection recently, I was all over it as the shadows are just stunning, and actually very unique. One of the main things that intrigued me about this collection was the fact that I honestly don't own any other shadows like these in my collection.
Inglot have released 10 shadows, 10 lipsticks and 5 lip liners. The lipstick shades are absolutely stunning, but I had to resist them as my lipstick collection is completely and utterly out of control at the minute! 

I settled on 5 shades from the eyeshadow collection and I'm absolutely in love with them. From left to right I got the shades 304, 305, 299, 301 and 303. These are €6 each and the quality of them is phenomenal when you consider the price. They're incredibly smooth and buttery, and blend together so seamlessly. I generally tend to use a transition shade in the crease (normally Beaches and Cream by Makeup Geek) in order to help blend out my eyeshadows a little easier but it's really not necessary with these shadows. My favourite thing about the Inglot Freedom System is that you have control over what shades go in your palette. This will be my go-to shadow palette for the autumn/winter as I have everything I need to create the perfect smokey cranberry look. 

As you can see from the swatches above, the shadows are highly pigmented and the colours really pop, even without a base. In terms of longevity I think Inglot eyeshadows are some of the best on the market - they really stay in place throughout the day. I always use Urban Decay's Primer Potion underneath my shadows but these are actually good to go on their own! 

I love the fact that this is a matte collection as I think matte eye looks are particularly striking in the autumn/winter with dark lips and a good bold eyeliner. I used this palette on a night out last week but to add some sparkle I topped the look with one of Inglot's burgundy pigments, which I'll be showing you in a blog post next week - I'm obsessed! 

As I said, there are 10 shades available in the What A Spice collection, and the 10 shades and your Freedom System palette will set you back €75 if you can't settle on just a few shadows from the collection.