Wednesday 20 January 2016

More Lip Service: Makeup Revolution Sale picks

My birthday is at the end of December, so I generally always wait for the sales so that I can get a whole lot of bang for any buck I may have received. I have ordered from Makeup Revolution before so I wasn't afraid of the quality, but sometimes the swatches can be a little off colour on the site, so its always worth going to google to check the actual colour of the products, although their instagram account is full of great pictures of swatches taken by their fans. I picked up a few bits but so far the lip products are getting the most wear:

There is a lip cream missing in this pic... it rolled under the couch and I didn't notice!

I chose 5 Makeup Revolution Ultra Velour Lip Creams and they cost a whopping £1 (down from £3) and one Makeup Revolution Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer £1.50 (down from £3).

The formulation of the Lip creams are very, VERY similar to the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams, but these are definitely not as pigmented and as a result: a bit more sheer, they also feel a bit more balm-like. They don't really dry either, so they are a bit more difficult to layer to build the colour.

The MUR Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer is a COMPLETELY different animal by miles. Highly pigmented, feels a little sticky to start with, but once its dry it is not going to budge. I mean... its on there for good or bad. So you need to work quickly with this range, Apply with the doe foot applicator only if you have a super steady hand, But its way easier to apply with a good lip brush, just have a few cotton buds on hand in case you go out of the lines because if you mess up you need to correct it quick.

Above is Makeup Revolution Salvation Velvet Lip Lacquer in Vamp. A proper blackened purple. And even though I have nowhere to wear it I still love it! You can't just dab a bit of this on, its go big or go home. It can look patchy, so you need to make sure you apply an even layer. It is a bit drying on the lips, so I would keep lip balm handy to apply over it to keep your lips supple. But there is no fading or wearing off with this. You HAVE to use an oil based makeup remover to get this off properly. So I am keen to try the other colours of these!

Next up is Makeup Revolution Ultra Velour Lip Cream - What will it take to make you love me. A blue toned bubblegum pink that is the least pigmented of the lot I got. I got it for my kit, so I won't be wearing it (My skin tone is too warm). It tends to be patchy and wears off quickly, so you would need to keep this handy for top-ups.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Velour Lip Cream - Don't bring me down is a pretty coral-y pink. Also more sheer than I'd like, and tends to wear off to leave a ring around your lip line. But popping a fine layer of translucent powder of the first layer and carefully applying a 2nd layer does help. I like it, but its not my favourite favourite.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Velour Lip Cream - Say yes, its what we do best is a warm brown based red. Very grown up and posh. Also more sheer than I'd like, but this isn't patchy and actually layers up quite well if you allow the first layer to dry down for a few minutes before applying the 2nd layer. This also wears off quickly in the middle of the lips... so keep it on hand for top ups.

Makeup Revolution Ultra Velour Lip Cream - Can't we just make love instead is a peachy nude. Quite well pigmented, nearly as good as the NYX SMLC in Cannes. It covers my own lip colour quite well and wears off reasonably evenly. It won't last all day, but you won't be topping up nearly as often as you'd think. I am loving this for my handbag and its perfect with a good dark smokey eye!

My favourite favourite is Makeup Revolution Ultra Velour Lip Cream- All I think about is you. A Mauvey pink that is nicely pigmented, leaves a bit of a stain behind as it wears off and mostly feels like lip balm on my lips. This just lifts things, makes you look like you've made an effort even when you really haven't. And for a measly "pahnd" you can't go wrong.

 Delivery is reasonable at £4.95 and my package arrived securely packed (I ordered powders and pigments too) after about 5 working days, and they currently have a massive sale on so it is well worth checking out and placing a sneaky end-of-January-treat-yo-self order.

Makeup Revolution is also available in Super Drug stores.

Monday 18 January 2016

Learning to love my lips: NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams

I am having a massive love affair with the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. I liked the NYX Butter Gloss... BUT these Soft Matte Lip Creams: Oh My* (*say that in a George Takei voice)

I bought three. A nude, a pink and a red. Each is quite different from the other, all different tones, but they all look good. Which is strange, because pinks don't normally suit me. But I think the velvety texture, highly pigmented formulation, the fact that these have fab staying power and that they fade relatively evenly makes even the pink work for me. 

As the name implies, these are soft lip creams that don't exactly dry... but they do lose their immediate slippiness (on application) after a few minutes. This just makes them more comfortable. These aren't at all drying on lips, but they're not hydrating either, so I would suggest applying a thin layer of lip balm when you start putting your foundation on if your lips are very dry.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (SMLC19) Cannes is the Nude. The my-lips-but-better nude. Its a creamy mauve-y nude, with a hint of peach that warms this up just a touch to make it gorgeously wearable. I'm pretty much scraping this tube to get the last of it out... I'm wearing it most days and I'll need another tube very very soon.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (SMLC08) San Paulo is a dusty pink. Some blue undertones keep this from going bubblegum pink as it wears off. This is more of a fun shade. When I feel like I need a bit of colour I reach for this one, its not MAD in your face colour, but it is brighter than I would normally wear.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream (SMLC10) Monte Carlo looks like a deep blue toned red in the tube, but it isn't as deep as you'd think and its also the least pigmented of the three. This one need building to ensure a good rich colour: in the pic above I'm wearing a single coat and you can see in the closeup that it is a bit patchy. Two coats fixes that though... and if you want a good sharp line around the lips you will need to wear a lipliner with this. But then its perfect with luminous skin, thick black flicks and lots of black mascara. Oh yes.

I need more of the colours. The fact that they cost €7.75 (  and in most pharmacies around the country) means that they wont break the bank and I can build up a collection by getting one or two new ones every month.

I can't wait to get more!

Monday 16 November 2015

REN Moroccan Rose Shower Gel & Lotion

I was thrilled when these two mini's from REN popped thru the door. It was just the thing to lift my mood and because rose is one of those scents that invokes memories it brought back some great ones. REN Morocco Rose Otto Shower Gel and Body Lotion smells just like the Tea Roses my mom grows in her front garden, the ones  I would pick and display in my room, like true rose, with that bitter note that smells just like crushed petals... I adore it!

The packaging is beautiful, like the kind of thing you would expect with the Moroccan tag. And it looks great in the bathroom, either in Mini form (as pictured above) or as the full sized 200ml bottle. These minis are great for a SPA break as a treat...

The bottles are soft enough to squeeze easily and the nozzles on the top allow the product out easily. REN Moroccan Rose Otto Shower gel foams easily, and cleanses gently without drying. I like to keep the body lotion in the shower too and use it while my skin is still damp, to lock in extra hydration.

REN is a fab brand just generally: they don't test on animals and their products are free from mineral oils/petrolatum, which is what sets off my daughter's eczema. And for the most part, the products are all well priced and fantastic value as they last so long.

REN Moroccan Rose Otto smells richer and more indulgent that any of the Rosa Centifolia cleansers, but they would still make a lovely little set if you were treating someone special this year... Cloud10 Beauty has two sets available: REN Moroccan Rose Trio Gift Set €30 or REN Moroccan Rose Duo Gift Set €40, either would make a lovely set for that person who loves the smell of roses...

**Samples gratefully received, opinions my own.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

er uh yeah

oh yeah Hi... so...

Its been a busy few weeks. But I can see from posts across the blogosphere that October hit most folks hard and a whole lot of us are just now starting to recover our equilibrium again. I have even seen it in the kids and in my friends and their families, October is a bit of a "stall" month, folks are feeling that tired end-of-year slump but it's just a bit too early to get excited for the festive season.

But we are pretty much half way into November and in OUR house we can't really get excited for Christmas until after Liam has had his birthday at the end of November... but that feels like it will be next week. I can't believe how quickly the time is going past!

I've started makeup classes (so I'm getting a qualification!!!) and I am LOVING IT and the kids are back to school properly now too so we seemed to have found a rhythm that suits us all.. although I am still surprised at how much I am struggling to get thru my homework and additional research and trying to get my case studies done! But its fun and I am loving it so I'll make it work.

I have had a few great additions to my stash while I have been awol (I am always so thankful) but it has made me realise how much money I am going to have to spend to stock a kit with products that I would use on someone else's skin. And don't even talk to me about brushes... but hey... my birthday and Christmas fall within a few days of one another!

For now though I am organising and trying to keep my ducks in a row while getting set for a visit from my mom (who I haven't properly held for nearly 3 years)!

I have a bee in my bonnet now so I wanted to say thanks for sticking with me (if you have) and things will be back to normal now I'm all excited again!

Wednesday 4 November 2015

CATRICE Autumn Winter additions to the permanent line

Budget brands are seriously stepping up their game this year. I have already blogged about a few new essence bits, but today it is CATRICE's turn. All of these products are on stands now, and while they aren't limited edition... I would get the bits that interest you sooner rather than later as the good stuff tends to sell off quickly and some stands are slow to be re-stocked (especially if you live in the country).

There are three new kinds of Lip products, and I was sent 2: The new CATRICE Pure Brilliants Colour Lip Balm (€5.49) which comes in 5 different colours, and the CATRICE Shine Appeal Fluid Lipstick (€4.49) which is available in 12 colours.

Above is Pure Brilliants Colour Lip Balm in 010 Sparkle Sparkle Little Star, it is a lovely little twist up lip balm that feels really nice when you smoosh it on your lips. It isn't coloured, but it is pearlised. And the pearl can look very odd if you lash it on willy-nilly, so as much as I like to smear this on liberally, I end up looking like something out of a Halloween catalogue... if you are using this when you go out you need to use this sparingly. Sparingly. Like pat it on to the middle of your lips lightly with your finger sparingly. I do like that it has a pointy point and not a blunt one and that it twists up and my lips are in fantastic condition so I will continue my Sparkly Casper Lip affair. In Private.

Shine Appeal Fluid Lipstick is nice.... but its not mind blowing. More of a highly pigmented lipgloss than a liquid lipstick. This is no OCC Lip Tar. but as a lipgloss its pretty awesome. Comfy on the lips with good slip but no stickiness, I like how it looks on my lips and its pretty fool proof to apply even without a mirror, just don't overload your lips with product... as tempting as it it because it feels great... but you WILL end up with Overdrawn Lips and not in the good way. The thing I didn't like about this is that the lid doesn't click closed properly and its all loosey-goosey and makes me worried that it will open in my handbag.

These trio's are the one thing I highly recommend you pick up. At €5.39 CATRICE Deluxe Trio Eyeshadow sets come in three colourways, but Rose Vintouch is aubergine magic. 3 baked eyeshadows in a handy little palette that you can just throw in your bag when you need to go from work to a night out. Pigmentation is fabulous and you can use these as-is for a toned down look or use them wet for a way more dramatic look. Pick this up: its gorgeous.

My favourite favourite polishes are budget ones. And I'd say a good 70% of my collection is made up of CATRICE and Essence polishes. There are 12 new colours that have been added to the permanent collection so there are a total of 35 colours that you can choose from over an above their limited edition additions AND 8 Luxury Nudes (€3.29)

Catrice Ultimate Nail Laquer (€2.99) in 94 It's A Very Berry Bash is going to be my December polish. Pretty much opaque in a single coat, a second coat just intensifies the colour and really makes it look Posh. A gorgeous, grown up Red. I really like it, it makes me feel cosy and warm and ready for wine by the fire.

As I said, Catrice do some really lovely Limited Edition collections that ALWAYS have a few bits that are so worth picking up (for next to nothing) to update your makeup for the season. The Alluring Reds collection is currently on most Catrice stands and is perfect for the festive season.

**Post contains PR Samples gratefully received, Opinions my own

Monday 19 October 2015

Essence: All About loveliness

I am a big fan of essence products. For the most part they are fantastic little products especially considering their prices. While they aren't PRO products, they do perform really well and are a great way to treat yourself to the new fads that come in with the seasons. The new All About palettes are gems for the brad are are so worth picking up!

I picked up two colour ways that I knew I would love and use. Each palette contains 8 colours and costs €4.99. FOUR NINETY NINE! For 8 buttery colours. And they are ALL buttery, glittery goodness. There is usually a dud colour or two in a palette that tends to chalky or dry, but not in these.

I normally don't go for the essence eyeshadows as I did find it hard to get a decent pay off. You won't have that problem with these palettes. I ran my finger over the shadows lightly twice and then swiped them onto my arm. Eh: Wow. Soft and creamy powders with fabulous pigmentation. They only thing I struggle with is fallout. So do watch out for that when you apply the darker colours and make sure to clean up under the eyes to avoid a glitter halo around the eyes.

The essence All About Bronze palette has 8 warm browns, golds and bronzes. I love this palette. But go easy on the blending as it can tend to blend all into one colour if you aren't careful.

even though I over blended I still love the colours

The other really lovely product that is very underrated is the new Matt Touch Blush (less than €3). I picked up the shade 20 Berry Me Up!. It's a pretty matte coral colour that blends easily and isn't at all powdery. I think the pigmentation is perfect.

I am afraid of highly pigmented blushers. I am always scared that I pick up too much colour on my brush, and even after tapping off as much of the excess as I can, I am afraid of ending up with Dolly Cheeks. But not with this as it has been very firmly packed into the pan so there is not going to be "blush dust". It is build-able, blends easily and looks wonderfully natural without too much effort. I really like it.

Perfect for a day look, this isn't going last a 16 hour day, but will do a standard 8 hour work day quite nicely. The other shade is called Peach Me Up! and is a warmer peach based colour. I'll be getting that too.

Essence has been reformulating their products and re-releasing them and they are very, very lovely. So far I am really impressed and I can't wait to see what else they are going to do...

**No samples... and Opinions are my own!

Monday 12 October 2015

Lovely Lush Bits for Autumn Winter 2015

I'm late getting this post up as I was in denial that it is actually Autumn... but Lush have you covered if you are looking for warming, comforting bathing bits, from your hair to the tip of your toes.

There are over 60 new products, so lots of new things to try, I took photos of a few bits at the launch in the Grafton Street store... but you really need to pop in and check out the new bits... they all smell gorgeous.

There are loads of new hair bits. From toning shampoos and new solid shampoo bars to these lovely Hot Oil Treatment hair masks. You basically melt them in hot water, apply to dry hair, wait and then rinse. They are pricey (€8.95), but you should only have to treat your hair once every 6 - 8 weeks. They are Intense. Also... That is what a full size Trichomania shampoo bar looks like and it reminds me of Coconut Ice!

Lush Bubbleroons are super concentrated bubblebars with amped up hydrations levels. And they aren't just shaped like macarons anymore... now they look like shells or roses. Dissolve the whole thing in the bath for a super lush treat or if like me you are needing to tempt the kids into the bath, break this into quarters (4 baths) and get your moneys worth!

Lush Shower Smoothies are Divine. Turkish Delight Roulade (Rose), Coconut Scrubby Roulade and Dreamwash Roulade are my picks. Use it like a scrubby soap, but the oils and butters stay on the skin and if you rinse and dry carefully there is no need to apply lotion. Well not unless you have a handsome bearded man who is going to apply it for you.

The new Lush Shades of Earl Grey Massage bar is better than a cup of the actual stuff. It smells exactly like a freshly brewed cup of Earl Grey (one of my favourites) and the bergamot is warming and calming and exactly what I need when I'm PMSing. The massage action helps too. I need this.

There are loads and loads of new bath bombs, some of which I mentioned in my post here. My pick of the new ones for winter sniffles is Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb. The peppermint is invigorating and will help to clear heads to get ready for the day ahead. Not a sleepy time bath bomb, this is a wake up the dead bath bomb. Its good.

There are also 3 new Lush Shower gels and 2 brand spanking new Shower creams. Yuzu And Cocoa and The Comforter are the shower creams. The 1st best thing about them is that their foam is coloured. The bubbles are Yellow or Pink. the 2nd best thing is that the scent is INTENSE and lingers on the skin until morning. If you had a love affair with The Comforter Bubble bar and wished that they would make it into a shower gel your prayers have been answered. Its bloody Gorgeous. And Imma need a big bottle of this to see me through the winter nights.  Its my favourite.

There are also a whole load of new Lush gift boxes. The nicest one that I saw (and the one that would be perfect for pretty much anyone) is the Lush Spa box. The products are lovely and when they are gone the box would be perfect for jewelry or makeup storage.

I was sent home with a few of the new bits too. But my pick of the bunch, of All of the new bits actually, is the Lush Life's A Beach Body Scrub (£12.50 I don't have a euro price). Lush say this is supposed to foam on contact with water. Mine doesn't. But I will forgive them that because this scrub is the nicest, scrubby scrub I have EVER used. Now. It is NOT for sensitive skins and DON'T use it after shaving. The salt will sting like a sumbitch if used in broken skin, and you can scrub too hard if you get enthusiastic (its beach sand duh), but my skin feels like it is brand new after going over it with Life's A Beach. The Vanilla, Jasmine and tonka combine to create a scent that is grown up vanilla musk. Nothing sweet about it. Just gorgeously sensuous. I LOVE IT.

   And so does himself. Its not just for her.

 If you are going to treat yourself to only a few things, then my recommendation is The Comforter Shower Cream and Life's A Beach scrub. There are a whole host of new Limited Edition things for Halloween that are out already and they look amazing, and You just KNOW that the xmas drop is going to be amazing. But if you can't wait until then... get the shower cream and the scrub. You won't regret it!

**Post contains samples Gratefully received, Opinions my own

Thursday 8 October 2015

its all about MeMeMe... again

I popped along to Kieran's Avenue Pharmacy (Avenue Rd, Dundalk) the other day to see the lovely Deborah Hogan doing make overs with the new stand of MeMeMe cosmetics. Having already tried Arch Angel I was interested to see what the rest of the products were like.

Debbie did 2 makeovers on the day, one day time look and a darker more intense look for a lady who was popping out for dinner that evening.  My Pictures aren't fantastic as I was standing chatting to Kayliegh ( about how impressed we were with the coverage of the MeMeMe Flawless Cream Foundation (I think its around €20).

What I really liked is how Debbie used the Bronze Shimmer Stack (€11.95 ) as eye shadow to really bring out Julie's eyes. And even though MeMeMe Blush Me in Rouge (€10.99) looks scary in the pan, it really warms up the cheeks when used lightly and looks so gorgeous!

I was sent home with a few bits to play with and I am mighty impressed.

The MeMeMe Blush Me (€10.99) blush boxes look rather a lot like Benefit blushes, but at literally a third of the price. Pigmentation on these is great and a light dusting gives a gorgeous wash of colour that is easy to blend. The swatches below are two passes on the pan then a single swipe on the back of my hand.
Coral is more peachy than coral and Rouge is more coral than I'd imagine a rouge to be. Even so these blushes are beauties that I am happy to add into my daily routine.

Right - left: Coral, Rouge
 MeMeMe The Ultimate Eye Palette Rich Plum (€18) contains 18 colours perfect for creating any combination of earthy and purple smokey eyes. The brush included isn't fantastic,  but the eyeshadows themselves are lovely. Swatches are a double pass over the pan and a single swipe on my hairy arm. My favourite is that middle purple: Its like a dark grey with a purple foil finish... Ahhhh its flipping gorgeous.

But the winner for me is the Long Wear Satin Lip Creams (€12.50). Now Persian Pink is the most gorgeous creamy pinky nude that will look great on pretty much anyone. But as the cooler months are closing in, Thalia (or Morello Silk) is the one you need for berry lips.

 This feels gorgeous on my lips, balmy with good slip, but no stickiness. I really really like this. One slick across the lips gives a lovely sheer berry stain that sticks around for around 3 hours, unless you are going heavy duty on the coffee. Build up the layers and you amp up the intensity of the colour and increase the longevity.

The one thing I would say is not to go by the little swatch sticker on the back of the testers... Morello Silk has a brown sticker on the base... And as you can see its anything but brown. These are so lovely and are definitely worth checking out.

I am very impressed with this mid budget ranged. Products are incredibly pigmented and apply well. And I am definitely going to pick up the Persian Pink lipstick the next time I am in town. Keiran's Avenue Pharmacy doesn't just stock MeMeMe, they also have a decent Sleek Stand, Voya and This Works products... I'm so Happy!

If you are looking for stockists check out their Facebook page...

**Products gratefully received for review, opinion always my own.

Monday 5 October 2015

Lovey Jubblies: MIO Boob Tube+

You have to look after your boobs, don't take them for granted. This is the advice my aunt gave me when I first got mine and it has stuck with me. I've never had big boobs, the hubs had never complained, but it is the one part I would seriously consider getting altered if I had the cash to spare. I have had this Mio Boob Tube + for more than a year now and although I use it sporadically (2 or three times a week) I can't say I am 100% sold on the cream, but I like what the message behind it is:

 MIO Boob Tube+ helps you to defy gravity and protect your chest, keeping lines and wrinkles at bay so that this thin skin stays smooth. It is pricey, €37 for 100ml bottle, but it has a handy pump that dispenses the right amount for my jubblies. For luckier (or unluckier) ladies, you might need a 2nd pump to do the chesticles. But using this every day you will be feeling your boobs and getting to know them. This is SO important because: breast cancer. You HAVE to get to know your girls so that if something changes you can go and get it checked out ASAP. The sooner you get unusual lumps and bumps checked out the sooner you can relax or do something about it.

If lumps are caught good and early the prognosis is far more favourable. So if you find something unusual: get it checked out, its probably nothing, but I would rather have you be safe. MIO Boob Tube+ comes with a leaflet to help you check your boobs which is really good as I don't think ladies understand how to do a properly decent job.

This is a lovely moisturiser for the delicate decollete area. It sinks in easily and doesn't leave a film or a heavy scent behind. Boob Tube+ will keep your skin nourished and healthy but you will need to work it in to your everyday skincare routine. I like to use it in the evenings, straight after the shower, after I have completed my nightly face routine.

I can't say that I have noticed a marked improvement in the auld boobage, but then its not that I am looking to reverse any damage, I'm looking to prevent it and as we all know: prevention is better than cure.

I don't know that I will replace this as it is a bit pricey, I think that as a woman in my mid 30's if I moisturise with a decent body lotion, give the girls a good massage and use sunscreen properly, I won't need to use this to repair any damage because I shouldn't have any. But if I was looking to get rid of crepey-ness and loose skin then this is where I would turn to first.

So as MIO say: "use it every day, you will thank us in 20 years"

MIO Boob Tube + can be found on Cloud10 Beauty & if you order in October you will be supporting the #CLOUD10PaintItPink initiative which ensures that €1 from each order is donated to the Irish Cancer Society.

**PR Sample gratefully received, opinions always my own

Friday 2 October 2015

The Book Lover's Tag

A bit of fun on a Friday!! I haven't seen a good tag in a while and this is a rather lovely one! I love books, and although all my new ones are on the kindle, all my favourite actual books are either in a box in the attic, or on the book shelf for the kids.

I was tagged by the lovely Kayleigh from Kayleigh Land, so lets get to it:

1. Do You Have A Specific Place For Reading?
I used to be able to read anywhere. But now with the kids I read in bed before I turn the lights out. Its the way I switch my brain off.

2. Bookmark or A Random Piece Of Paper?
Usually its the latest piece of artwork from the kids. But with a kindle, there is no need.

3. Can You Stop Anywhere In A Book Or Do You Have To Finish The Chapter?
If the book is really good then I will need to read until the book is done. But generally I will read until my eyes start closing, more often than not its the middle of the chapter. When I pick the book up again I will turn back a page or two and skim to refresh and then I'm good.

Image via: here

4. Music Or TV While You Are Reading?
I like it quiet. Very quiet. No distractions.
5. Do You Eat Or Drink While Reading?
Yes. But I try not to. I will eat the whole bag of what ever I decide to eat... its not a good thing.

6. One Book At A Time Or Several?
Many non-fictions... but only one fiction at a time. I like to fully immerse myself in the fantasy world.

7. Reading At Home Or Elsewhere?
I can read anywhere I can get comfy. I like sitting in my house and reading but I can read while I travel or go and sit in a coffee shop with some tea and a good book while I wait to meet people.7

image via: here

8. Read Out Loud Or Silently?
Silently. Unless I am reading with the kids... then we share the pages.

9. Do You Read Ahead Or Skip Pages?
Not always. I generally like to enjoy the whole journey, but if the book is moving slowly I will skim and flick forward to a juicier bit.

10. Breaking The Spine Or Keep It Like New?
I do try to keep it new... but it never stays that way.

11. Do You Write In Your Books?
Unless its my name in a book I am about to lend out or a book meant for notes, no, that is what post-its are for.

Now I tag:

Chloe : NFP
Paula: Cornflake Girls Musings
Nic: Strawberry Blonde Blog

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