Sunday, June 3, 2018

Glossier Lash Slick

Well, it's been a while since I've written a blog post. No real excuse, not that most of you would be looking for one. I just haven't felt like posting anything. I've had plenty of ideas but just none that I've followed through on. I've also been working on a new project. Myself and some talented women led by fellow Irish blogger Colette (Wide-Eyed and Blind) have started a website, Bean Magazine

I'm the Beauty/Film and Tv Editor so I've been working on articles for the website over the past while which has taken up the time I would have spent blogging. However now that we've launched and I've gotten used to writing different kinds of articles I feel like I can differentiate between what I write for the blog and what I write for Bean. It's been so much fun and so inspiring working with a group of like-minded women who all have different interests, passions and areas of expertise. I hope you have time to check out the website (which is a work in progress), we'd love any feedback you have to give and we're also always looking for contributors so if you or anyone you know is looking for a creative outlet or has anything they'd like to write about that doesn't fit anywhere else please don't hesitate to get in contact with us. You can also keep up with us on Instagram

Now, let's get into the review. This is a product that has been in the making for the past few years. It's something every Glossier fan was waiting for so it already had high expectations to live up to- Lash Slick mascara.

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It's the product that was missing from my full face of Glossier post last year and now the wait is over and I've been using it for the past few weeks after kindly being sent one by the lovely ladies at Glossier (who I was lucky enough to meet recently).

I knew that any mascara launch from Glossier wasn't going to be like other brands. It would be something that enhanced your natural lashes. Nothing clumpy, no big brushes, nothing too volumising- and I was right. Emily Weiss wanted it be like lash extensions without the extensions. It took them 248 formulations to make "the perfect everyday mascara". But is it the perfect everyday mascara?

Let's begin with what Glossier claims the mascara will do. Curl, sculpt, lengthen and enhance your natural lashes without clumps. It contains tiny one and two millimetre curved fibers that create that extended look and film-forming polymers that lock the fibers in place. It also contains vegan biotin (a vitamin that helps to keep skin and hair healthy among other things) that conditions and strengthens the lashes over time. The natural shine polymers make the lashes shiny and sleek. It's suitable for anyone with sensitive eyes or those who wear contact lenses. It's water resistant but not waterproof so it can be removed with warm water (or Milky Jelly Cleanser). The tapered wand has tiered bristles that separate the lashes and give an even application. 

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Did Lash Slick live up to my expectations? I'm happy to say it's a resounding yes! The first time I tried it, I loved it. That doesn't happen with all mascaras and obviously there are many more aspects to a great mascara than just first application and appearance. Wear time, smudging and flaking and removal all heavily factor into my opinion. I've used mascaras that have applied beautifully and looked incredible (MAC Upward Lash) but have flaked so much that it wasn't worth the hassle for me despite how amazing my lashes looked. 

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Lash Slick gave my lashes length and definition and a small amount of volume, enough for me personally for an everyday mascara. The tapered brush meant that every tiny lash was coated and there was zero clumping even with a second coat. My lashes were fanned out and it held the curl from my eyelash curler which I use every day regardless of what mascara I follow up with. There was no flaking or smudging on me despite using it on my bottom lashes too. I have seen the odd rogue fiber but not enough to bother me at all. It wears perfectly throughout the day and I've tried removing it with a cleansing balm, warm water and MJC and I've never had a problem with any removal method.

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As you can see it comes in the signature Glossier Pink packaging, I've only been using it for a few weeks so I don't know how long it will last before drying out but I always throw away my mascaras after three months anyway for hygiene reasons. One of the things I love most about it is the brush, the size and shape means I don't get any mascara on my eyelid which seems to happen to be all the time even when I'm being careful. At the moment it only comes in black but I could imagine there would be a demand for a brown shade too. 

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Being completely honest, this mascara will not be for everyone. Most people are looking volume, length and definition when it comes to mascara and although I can't fault it for length and definition, it doesn't give as much volume as other mascaras I've tried. But that is exactly how it was intended, as a mascara that gives you 'your lashes but better'. It doesn't look like I'm wearing mascara, just that I have great eyelashes which I can't say I've gotten from any other mascara. But like I said, most people like to look like they're wearing makeup and have thick lashes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If I was going on a night out or wearing darker eyeshadow I would definitely wear a different mascara that's more volumising. But for everyday, to fit in with the kind of makeup I like to wear, Lash Slick is absolutely perfect for me.

As you can in the photo above, my lashes aren't naturally that long, but most mascaras tend to make them look good. That doesn't necessarily mean I like most mascaras, it's probably one of the makeup products I'm the most picky about, especially considering you can get such great inexpensive mascaras nowadays. It takes a lot for me to buy a mascara twice because I do like to try different ones each time. This is one I will 100% be repurchasing. 

And just in case you hadn't heard yet, Glossier now deliver to Ireland which makes me so happy! Lash Slick is priced at €16 which I think is a great price point considering some "drugstore" mascaras are the same price and even more expensive. I'm delighted that the long-awaited Glossier mascara hasn't disappointed me.

What do you think? Does this kind of mascara interest you or do you prefer thicker lashes?

Emma x


Friday, February 2, 2018

First Impressions Of Fenty Beauty- Bomb Baby Mini Lip And Face Set

When I saw my fellow Irish blogger Gemma (from Beautynook) mention this Fenty Beauty set on her Instagram, I got very excited because I figured it was a great way to try out the brand without spending too much money. I'm not usually one to give in to hype straight away and this was the case when Rihanna launched her makeup brand Fenty Beauty. Obviously being a lover of makeup I'm always curious when a new brand comes on the market. I found this launch particularly interesting because it was from someone who I would never have considered to have much experience in the beauty industry. When I actually thought about it though, there are plenty of celebrities who have come out with their own makeup and skincare lines like Drew Barrymore (Flower), Jessica Alba (The Honest Company), Kat Von D,Victoria Beckham and many of the Kardashians etc. 

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I guess it makes sense, if you work in the entertainment industry you've probably worked with a lot of different makeup artists and therefore picked up lots of tips as well as having every brand under the sun applied to your skin which would give a great insight into products that work and products that don't. Rihanna has said that she saw a void in the beauty industry for a brand that would make women  of all skin tones and types feel included, which is why she has launched with a foundation that has 40 shades, an incredible feat for any new brand. As someone who has found it difficult to find a shade pale enough to match my skin perfectly over the years I'm so impressed that Rihanna has decided to focus on "a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones". This kind of inclusivity puts other established brands to shame and hopefully it will encourage them to follow suit so that women of all skin tones will see themselves represented in the beauty industry.

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I also love Rihanna's ethos for the brand, wanting the foundation to look like "perfect skin, not makeup on skin". This is clear in the imagery for Fenty Beauty which I love because the makeup is very understated with glowing natural looking skin. The more I researched the brand and the more videos I watched including those of Rihanna speaking about the process of creating her brand, the more interested I became in wanting to try it for myself.

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I've had this set for a while now and after using the products for the past few weeks I couldn't be happier with my purchase.  It contains mini versions of the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminzer (universal rose nude shade) and the Killawat Freestyle highlighter in Hu$tla Baby (a peachy champagne shimmer). I was unsure of both products at first. The gloss isn't something I would usually go for but several people I follow and trust raved about it and I loved how it looked any time I saw someone wearing it in a photo. I needn't have worried because it was love from the first application! I love everything about it, the packaging, the scent, the texture, the shade, the hint of sparkle. I love matte lips, don't get me wrong, but there's nothing as flattering on the lips as a gloss. Sometimes I line my lips a little first with the No7 Nude Precision Lips Pencil but mostly I just apply it on top of some balm. Obviously you could use it on top of any lipstick either. I'm so surprised by how much I've been wearing this. I don't think I've heard anyone say that they don't like it but as always check it out yourself in person if you're interested in buying it. Just don't wear it when it's windy out! 

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I was unsure about the highlighter too because I had seen some of them being applied and they seemed quite intense which isn't something I look for in a highlighter at all. I've been playing around with this for the past few weeks and I've tried it a few different ways. The first time I used it as a highlighter I applied way too much. You only need a tiny amount, applied with a light hand and blended out with a fluffy brush and it gives a beautiful sheen. It's definitely a pigmented highlighter and I probably wouldn't really wear it much during the day as I tend to keep things a bit more natural. I have worn it like in the photos below as the main focus of the makeup with no eye makeup, just the highlighter, Gloss Bomb and a little Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk on my cheeks and I love what a fresh and natural look it gives me. I've also used it on my eyelids as you can see above. I blended it lightly on my lids and then applied some bronze pencil liner and blended it out for an easy golden smokey eye. It definitely leans more gold toned on my skin which is something to keep in mind if you prefer a more rosy toned highlighter. 

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My first impressions of Fenty Beauty are great. I like everything, the packaging, the shades, the price point and the ideas behind the creation of the brand. I definitely want to try more products, the Mattemoiselle lipstick in Ma'damn is going to be mine. I'd love to try the primer and foundation too so I'll probably get shade matched next time I'm out in Dundrum. I've read mixed thing about the foundation but I would like to try it out for myself as there seems to be some great pale shades that might work for me. 

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The Bomb Baby set is available from Harvey Nichols online and in store or on FentyBeauty.com and from Sephora for £19/€20/$23.

Have you tried anything from Fenty Beauty yet or would you like to? Are there any newer beauty brands that you've really liked recently?

Emma x

*Fenty Beauty is also 100% Cruelty Free

Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Favourite And Most Used Products Of 2017

I hadn't planned on writing any round ups of the year but after reading everyones favourites posts over the past few weeks I started to think about my own favourites and realised there were so many products I discovered and loved last year so I thought I'd share my favourite and most used products of 2017 with you all.

I had to put some sort of limit on it so I've made a list of twenty makeup, skincare, body care and fragrance favourites both new last year and new to me. Once I started writing the list I realised there were some products that I immediately knew I had to include as I'd repurchased them or had solely used that product over any other in my collection for most of the year. This is going to be a long one so let's just get straight into it with makeup favourites.

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L'Oréal Miss Baby Roll

I've only really used a few mascaras this year, most of which I have loved. MAC Upward Lash was given to me by my sister for my birthday and it is probably the best mascara I've used in a long time. However it falls down and smudges on me which is the only reason it hasn't made it onto the list. It's so frustrating because it makes my lashes look incredible but it's just so annoying having to clean it up throughout the day. I know a lot of people love this and it doesn't fall down on them so I'd be inclined to purchase it again just to see if it was a bad tube I got. The mascara I'm currently using is Lancôme Monsieur Big which is amazing too and doesn't fall down on me so I highly recommend that if you don't mind spending a bit more on your mascaras. The ones I wasn't all that impressed by were Benefit Roller Lash which was a sample I got in a goody bag at an event (not blog related) and Urban Decay Troublemaker* which just didn't blow me away although again, I know a lot of people loved it. The most inexpensive of all the ones I've tried this year and the only one I repurchased was the L'Oréal Miss Baby Roll. It's just such a great mascara especially at only €10.49, I'd gladly pay more for it but I just think because of the price it's the best option of all the ones I've tried this year. I wrote a full review of it which you can read here.

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Glossier Boy Brow (Cruelty Free)

I've written a blog post dedicated to Boy Brow so I won't go into too much detail except to say there's a reason everyone raves about this, it's just such a great product. It's a thick pomade textured formula and a small brush so it really grabs each hair and holds it in place but without getting any product on the skin around the brows. I've tried lots of these kinds of products and apart from the Lancôme one which I wrote about here, this is the only other one I've tried that has worked as well but Boy Brow is less expensive at $16/£14. It's the only brow product I use most days when I'm getting ready for work and I'm on my second tube and definitely not my last. This is one I'm going to be repurchasing for a long time.

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Glossier Cloud Paint  (Cruelty Free)

The second of three Glossier products that made my list. Again I've just recently written about these here, so I won't repeat myself but all you really need to know is that these are the only blush products I've used since April. My tube of Puff is running dangerously low so I'll have to repurchase that soon and I've been loving Dusk since I bought it in October. They are just such easy to use, natural and effortless blushes, I don't even want to use powder blush anymore. I'll definitely be completing my collection and picking up Beam and Haze at some point. At only $18/£15 you really get value for money.

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Glossier Haloscope (Cruelty Free)

I've written in more depth about Haloscope in this post but once again, like with all other Glossier products this is one for those who want a natural, effortless look. I wasn't too impressed by these when I quickly swatched them in the showroom but after seeing them in action on other people I was converted. They are not the most pigmented of highlighting products but it's more about the texture and sheen. I've found the best way to use it is to rub my middle and forefinger on the bullet (easy now) and then tap it onto my cheeks etc. It's quite a stiff product so once you warm it up it's much easier to apply. If you apply directly from the tube onto your skin it could move your base underneath. I just adore the glow I get from this, I will 100% be buying a back up of this and trying out the shade Moonstone too.

NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner (Cruelty Free)

I saw a few people recommend this throughout the year and so once my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ran out I decided to give it a try as at €12 it's almost half the price of the KVD one. I loved the Tattoo Liner but I find this better. It's smoother, easier to use and it's waterproof too but not difficult to remove. I don't wear liquid liner as much as I used to so this has lasted me quite a while without drying out. I'll definitely be repurchasing it once it's used up.

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NYX Professional Makeup Dark Circle Concealer (Cruelty Free)

I've used this every day since I bought it earlier this year. It's the same idea as any colour correcting/brightening product. It's a peachy shade so it works really well at cancelling out my purple dark circles. I use this as a corrector by applying a light layer with my finger and patting it on and then using a concealer on top. I would make sure under your eyes is sufficiently hydrated before using this, however it does contain coconut oil to prevent it from looking cakey. If you only need a little colour correcting you might be able yo get away with using this on its own. Definitely one to try if you're self conscious about your dark circles like I am as it's only €9 so it's a lot more inexpensive than the likes of the Urban Decay or Bobbi Brown products that are similar.

Collection Precision Contouring Stick (Cruelty Free)

Another cheap and cheerful product from Boots. At only €5.49 (currently €3.99) this is one of the best value for money products I've bought all year. I've been using this every day since I got it and there's still so much of it left in the tube. It's the perfect lazy girls contouring product as it's a twist up cream contour stick that you just sweep on and blend in in seconds. I use the shade Light which is perfect for my fair skin, it's just pigmented enough that it gives a nice shaded effect without being too much. I think the fact that it's a cream products makes it easier to use as there's no way to really overdo it and if you apply too much you can always fix it  by blending it out with your foundation brush. I wanted to try the new Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand but at more than eight times the price of this one I don't think I could justify it when I'm so happy with how this works.


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YSL All Hours Foundation*/ IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (Cruelty Free)

I'm counting these as one because they're two different base products I use depending on what I'm doing. I use the CC Cream during the day when I know I'll be outside as it contains SPF50, the All Hours has SPF20 but I like to wear at least 30 during the day so I tend to save this for evenings or when I'm going out. I've written a full review of the IT Cosmetics CC Cream here so you can read about it in more detail. I bought it in New York in May and I've been trying to use it sparingly since because it's a bit more difficult to get hold of in Ireland, although you can buy it from Selfridges or QVC. It's such a great base that offers coverage, sun protection and skincare ingredients all in one. This is one I'll be repurchasing soon so I don't run out. The YSL is a more recent favourite. It's long wearing, matte finish, medium to full coverage, waterproof, transfer proof and oil free. I love this for when my skin is acting up and I want more coverage, but what I really love is that it doesn't look or feel heavy on my skin and it gives more of a glowing matte finish than a dry looking matte finish. Perhaps if you had dry skin it could look more matte. It's so easy to blend in and if you need or want to, you can apply a light layer and blend it out and then build it up for extra coverage. It's quite pricey at €42, but  like with most YSL products you get what you pay for. If you have more oily/combination skin and like a more medium to full coverage foundation that won't budge, this is definitely worth trying out. The shade range is also great for anyone who finds it difficult to find a foundation to suit their skin tone.

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Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (Cruelty Free)

This is a product I had very little interest in buying even though I'd seen it mentioned a lot by bloggers and YouTubers and it always seemed to get great reviews. To be honest I have so many palettes now and although they still excite me, I know I don't need any more so I tend to avoid any hype over new releases. My sister asked me to get it for her when I was in New York and I of course obliged, any excuse to buy makeup, even if it's not for me! After a couple of months I asked her if I could borrow it to play around with and see what I thought as I'd never tried anything from ABH before. The next day I tried it for the first time and I was so impressed. Yes, there is a lot of fallout, but if you're careful you can minimise it. The quality of the eyeshadows is up there with my favourites from Urban Decay. I love the selection of shades, I've used every colour which is rare for me with most palettes. It's one of those palettes that every time I open it I feel spoiled for choice and I'm always torn over what to choose because I love all of the shades so much. Every time I wear it I get so many people asking me what it is because the shades are so beautiful and unusual. I think I would have bought the Urban Decay Naked Heat if it wasn't for this but for now this is the only warm palette I need. See me wearing it in this post (and lots more on my Instagram!)

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Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick*

I was given two shades of these lipsticks at a press event last November and have worn both countless times over the past year. They are definitely my most worn lipsticks of the year. I was given Idôle (a coral red) and Rose Lancôme (a vibrant pink) and although I adore both shades, I am almost finished my tube of Idôle which is another rarity for me because I have so many lipsticks. I think the only other lipsticks I've finished are MAC Ruby Woo and Russian Red. I've written a full review of both lipsticks here if you want to know more about what I think but the reason I loved these so much is not only the gorgeous shades but the formula which is the most comfortable creamy matte that lasts incredibly well without feeling drying. I wear both of these constantly in work and I never have to worry about topping up or feathering. I think both shades would compliment any complexion. Lancôme's Creative Director Lisa Eldridge is responsible for these shades which is why they're so beautiful on, she knows her colours! I will without a doubt be repurchasing Idôle once it runs out which will be very soon, definitely my lipstick of the year and one of my favourites of all time. If you find true reds too intimidating I highly recommend trying Idôle as it's a coral red so it's a lot easier to wear which is helped by the formula. My other most used lip products of last year are the Lancôme Matte Shakers in the shades Energy Peach and Beige Vintage. You can read more about them here.

Molecule 02 by Eccentric Molecules (Cruelty Free)

I think 2017 was the year I rediscovered my love of perfumes. I discovered several amazing scents that have become absolute favourites already. The one I loved the most was Molecule 02. I am already a huge fan of Molecule 01 which I've worn for years now and I had actually never tried any of their other scents. One of the girls I work with wears Molecule 02 and every time she walked past me I loved the scent and had to find out what it was. Coincidentally she also wears 01 but has switched to 02 and I can see why. I definitely prefer it now, it's a scent that's almost impossible to describe because it's completely unique. All I can do is urge you to try it out for yourself. This is one that has quickly made it to my list of favourite perfumes of all time. It's also not too expensive at €38 for the 30ml size.

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Estée Lauder Modern Muse Nuit

This is my evening fragrance of the year. Although I definitely don't save it just for evenings, in fact I wore it a lot last Spring. I'm a big fan of Estée Lauder scents, Sensuous Nude is probably my favourite perfume ever. I'm always curious to try their new fragrances so when I noticed this at a counter one day early last year, or late the year before I had to try it out it. I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did as I normally don't go for these kinds of scents but I bought it a couple of weeks later because I loved it so much. It's got notes of Jasmine, Musk and Amber so it's quite warm, rich and sexy, like my ideal man. Another fragrance I've loved this year is Burberry My Burberry Black which I first tried after getting a sample of it in Sephora New York. It was a gift with purchase kind of thing that I opted for on the recommendation of the sales assistant and I'm so glad I did. I ended up getting it in the airport on the way to Paris back in November and I've been alternating it with Molecule 02 since then. It's similar to Modern Muse Nuit in that it's more of a warm nighttime scent that also has notes of jasmine and amber but also rose and peach nectar so it's a bit sweeter.

Rituals Soothing Night Balm (Cruelty Free)

When I flew to New York in April I wanted to stay hydrated during the flight so I drank a lot of water and therefore needed to pee and subsequently wash my hands A LOT. The soap on airplanes is basically scented foam and dries your skin so much that the next day my hands were so red and  cracked. I brought a hand cream with me but I can't remember which one, all I know is it didn't do much for my hands so when I happened upon a Rituals store in the Oculus on one of our first days there I went straight in to buy my beloved The Ritual of Dao Soothing Night Balm. It completely restored my hands overnight and although I have used it for years I hadn't bought it in a while. Since April I've repurchased it several times as it's one of the only hand creams I've used that does such a good just of keeping my hands hydrated and soft. If you're like me and you suffer with dry hands, especially at this time of year, I can't recommend this enough. It's a thick balm so it's best used at night but you can of course use it during the day too. It smells incredible, as with all Rituals products and it's only €10 for a 70ml tube. While I'm mentioning Rituals I might as well add that I have used so many of their products over the past few years and this year was no different. I tried out more products than ever this year and each one was sublime. If you've never tried anything from Rituals, you absolutely must, the scents of their products are the most invigorating and uplifting of any skincare product I've ever tried. They're so good that my boyfriend, my brother, my sister, my mam and several of my friends are now fans too.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey

My sister and I bought a set of three of the Clarins Lip Oils last Christmas in the sales and took one each (I chose Honey which is clear), giving the third to my mam. I didn't open it for a while as I was using the last of a pot of NUXE Rêve de Miel (still one of my favourites) but after beginning to use it in February, it stayed on my bedside table and I used it every night until I used it up completely in November. I will 100% be repurchasing it once I've used all of my Emile Cordon Cashmere-On Lip Pot (another favourite of last year). There are seven shades or flavours, each with its own star ingredient. Hazelnut is the star ingredient of the Honey shade and it prevents dehydration and provides protection against free radicals. It feels comforting and smooth on my lips and makes them feel super hydrated. This is another product I kept on my bedside table, I preferred using it overnight but I'd love to try some of the tinted shades for wearing during the day. At €21, it's worth every cent.

Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment / Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum

Both of these products have saved my eye area over the past year. I went through a period of suffering with dry patches around my eyes and I couldn't figure out why (probably because my skin wasn't being adequately hydrated). I was recommended both of these products and have bought, used and loved them throughout the year. I have even repurchased the Creamy Eye Treatment and the serum will be repurchased very soon too. The serum contains Sodium Hyaluronate which is one of the ingredients you need to look out for if you need hydration. The Creamy Eye Treatment contains avocado oil and shea butter to hydrate the skin and beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant. I haven't had any dryness around my eyes since using these, I love how hydrated my eye area feels since I started to use them and you only need the smallest amount so they lasted a long time which means you get your money's worth. 



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Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm (Cruelty Free/ Vegan)

I tried the Pixi and Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse earlier this year and although I loved it, I prefer removing my makeup with a micellar water or bi-phase remover first and follow with a cream/balm/oil cleanser. I saw the Nourishing Cleansing Balm when I was stocking up on Glow Tonic and decided to give it a go as it sounded very similar to the solid cleansing oil of the Double Cleanse. NCB is a balm to oil cleanser that removes makeup and deep cleanses the skin but leaves it feeling plump and nourished. I take a small amount and rub it together on my fingers to melt it slightly before massaging it all over my face. I then take a warm face cloth and remove it. I love how comfortable and hydrated my face feels after using this. I don't think I've ever used a cleanser that makes my skin feel so good afterwards. It contains sweet almond oil, cocoa seed butter, shea butter and vitamin E. It lasted me for so long because you only need a small amount to cleanse your entire face and neck. This is another definite repurchase for me an at only €23.50 it won't break the bank. 


Skyn Iceland Nordic Peel Pads (Cruelty Free/ Vegan)

I bought these from the recommendation of glowing skin expert Katie Jane Hughes. I'd seen her use them in her Instagram live videos countless times and she alway raved about what they do for her skin. Obviously I'm not going to go and blindly buy a €52 skincare product so I did my research and read up on the ingredients first. This product has a stellar list of ingredients including Witch Hazel, Lactic Acid, Jojoba Seed Extract, Papaya Fruit Extract and White Willow Bark (a natural form of Salicylic Acid). These ingredients gently exfoliate, improve tone and texture, diminish fine lines, reduce pore size, help prevent breakouts and congestion and the natural antibacterials clear pores of dirt and oil leaving the skin looking fresh, bright and clear. These work in the same way as the likes of the Pixi Glow Tonic. You sweep over your face daily or 3-5 times per week if you have sensitive skin. I tend to only use them every second or third say even though I don't have sensitive skin, or when my skin is looking dull or I'm breaking out. This is one of those products that immediately makes a difference to my skin, it looks fresh and glowing and feels smother after using one of these. I'm completely hooked and will definitely be buying another tub before this one runs out.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (Cruelty Free/ Vegan)

I think anyone who has any interest in skincare has noticed the hype over The Ordinary throughout the past year. I think the main reason is the low price point and the ingredients list of the products. Of course I couldn't help but order a few things. At such affordable prices I figured it wouldn't be much of a loss if the products didn't work for me. I really liked the first few products I tried (Advanced Retinoid 2%, Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA, Salicylic Acid 2% Solution and the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5) so I bought a couple more when Arnott started stocking them. I got the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG and the aforementioned Peeling Solution which has definitely been my favourite product so far, in fact it seems to be a favourite for a lot of people. It contains both AHAs (
Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid etc.) and Salicylic Acid so it exfoliates while helping to clear pore congestion. It fights visible blemishes, improves the skins texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use. I love this product and the noticeable difference it makes to my skin straight away. You just have to be very careful when using a product like this with acids in it, the directions are to use it no more than twice per week and leave it on for no monger than ten minutes. You also need to be vigilant with sun protection after using a product like this and don't use it if you have sensitive or peeling skin. I tend to use it once a week or every two weeks as I already use acids in my skincare and I don't want to damage my skin. I always wear an SPF of at least 30 if I'm going out during the daytime after using acids. If you're thinking about trying this, I highly recommend reading more on The Ordinary website just to make sure it will suit your skin.

Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream

This is another KJH recommendation and I can see why. I bought this cream in Paris in November and it has quickly become my favourite daytime moisturiser of the year as it works particularly well as a base before makeup. If you haven't heard of Too Cool For School, they are a Korean brand and Egg Mellow Cream is a part of their range of products that contain egg extracts. The egg yolk and egg white extracts help to purify, tighten and nourish the skin. It also has niacinamide to brighten and collagen fiber to firm the skin. I love the scent and texture of this, although it feels rich it absorbs into  my skin quickly and easily. I love the instant tightening and brightening feel it gives my skin too. It's got easy to use plastic pump packaging and at €31.50 it isn't extortionate. The only thing I don't like is that you can't see how much product is left but it's something I can overlook because I love the product so much.
 Obviously we don't have Sephora here but if you're in Ireland or the UK you can get it from Selfridges and Beauty Bay. I'm already planning on buying a backup of this so I don't run out.


If you managed to read this far I'd love to know what your favourite and most used products of last year are and if you've tried nay of the ones I mentioned.

As you can see I decided to add whether a product was cruelty free or vegan too as I feel like it's such an important factor for so many people, if there are any changes to any of these please do let me know. The information can be quite vague in the case of some brands.

A belated Happy New Year to you all, thank you for reading my little blog, it means so much to me!

Emma x

Disclaimer- These are just some of the products I tried and loved last year, there are a lot more I tried, some I loved but couldn't include because I was already writng so much and there was some that I didn't like that much. Just because something worked for me, doesn't mean it will for someone else. I'd encourage anyone looking to spend their hard earned money on any product to read about it and do their research first, especially when it comes to skincare. I'm just an average person who happens to love beauty and skincare products and writes a blog and I get sent some products but most of these I have bought with my own money or they were gifts from family and friends. My thoughts and opinions are as always 100% my own.





Thursday, December 14, 2017

A Full (Almost) Face Of Glossier

I've been wanting to write this post since I came back from New York seven months ago but several things put me off until now. The primary reason I haven't written about most of the Glossier products I bought yet is that until recently it was unavailable (or should I say difficult to access) for the majority of people who read my blog. Now that the brand has launched in the UK I feel like it's okay for me to write about the products because, although they still don't ship to Ireland, it has become a lot more accessible through third party delivery services such as Parcel Motel and Address Pal

Another reason is that I wanted to order a few more products to try out so that I could do a full (almost) face of Glossier products. They don't have a mascara yet, so I had to use my Benefit Rollerball. Everything I used was bought in New York with the exception of Haloscope in Quartz, Cloud Paint in Dusk and a repurchase of Boy Brow (which I have already reviewed in full here). 

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The first product I used is the Perfecting Skin Tint in Light. I wasn't actually going to buy this when I first visited the showroom but I tried it out on my hand and was intrigued by the concept so I decided to get it. Glossier claims that the Skin Tint is an "imperceptible wash of colour...evens out discolouration and leaves your face looking toned, smooth and dewy". The formula is thin and breathable and as easy to use as a moisturiser. They say that it won't "hide your freckles, spackle your pores, or erase any evidence that you are, in fact, human". I must admit that I was sceptical at first, I wasn't sure if I'd like it despite being a big fan of light coverage foundations. But I love that the intention with this product is to give just a tint of colour and even everything out but still allowing the skin's texture to shine through. You can see below my bare skin on the left and two thin layers of skin tint on the right and just how little difference there is. However there is a difference. It still looks like my skin, but just a little more even toned. I happened to be having a good skin day when I took these photos and I have to admit, if I was suffering with breakouts I would probably opt for slightly more coverage. I completely understand that a lot of people are quite self conscious about their skin and I know when I have breakouts, all I want to do is cover them up. But on a daily basis when I'm happy with my skin, this is really all the coverage I want and need.

GF Collage

The formula is very thin and water based so you have to shake the bottle before application. The texture allows for multiple layers and that will give some extra coverage but without feeling in any way heavy. I went for the lightest shade, there is five in total so not a great selection, however I think that because the formula is so sheer, they could adapt to several shades lighter or darker. If you want to buy it but aren't sure of your shade, there is a shade finder option on the Glossier site so that if you upload a photo they will shade match you as best they can. The packaging is plastic and travel friendly and it really is as easy to use as a moisturiser. It's dark every morning when I get ready for work at the moment and when I wear this I don't have to worry about messing it up because it's so fool proof once the shade you're using isn't too far off your skin tone.

I honestly love the Perfecting Skin Tint, however the word "perfecting" is misleading because I think with this light of a coverage you're never going to perfect your skin. But perfection is subjective and although my skin isn't perfect by most peoples standards, I'm really happy with it and it'll never look as good as it does right now so why cover it up with heavy foundations that hide my pores and the texture of my skin. It's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, you'll either love this or hate it, I know a lot of people don't like it but for the very reason I love it. It's £20/$26 so it's not very expensive but it's not cheap either so if you aren't happy with your skin and prefer medium to full coverage, this is definitely not going to be for you. 

GF7

To finish off my complexion, I used the Stretch Concealer under my eyes and anywhere I felt I needed a little more coverage which actually wasn't anywhere on this particular day as my skin was behaving itself. This seems to be another polarising product. Personally, I love it. The texture is unlike any other potted concealer I've used. It's been developed with micro waxes so that it doesn't look dry or cakey. It contains avocado and jojoba oils and cocoa butter to nourish the skin and promote elasticity and give a dewy finish. It also contains adaptable mineral pigments so although it only comes in five shades, they are very easily adaptable to many different skin tones. 

I know a lot of people use this in lieu of a foundation because it's so creamy and easy to apply and blend and gives such a beautiful, natural finish to the skin but offers a bit more coverage than the Perfecting Skin Tint. I'm so self conscious about my dark circles and although this doesn't cover them completely, which you'll be able to see in the photos below, I use it in conjunction with a corrector and it works so well under my eyes because of the flexible formula. If you have dry skin, this would be a great option to try out. It's definitely not a heavy duty concealer for covering angry red blemishes but if you don't need too much coverage it works beautifully as a base and as a concealer and again the formula is thin and buildable. If you tend to get oily throughout the day like me, you'll definitely need to set it with powder as it can move around but it gives such a fresh and dewy finish to the skin that I love. 

GF8

The Balm Dot Com is something again I wasn't too pushed about but I decided to pick one up in New York because who can ever have enough lip balms. I opted for the rose scent which is one of six (I really want the Birthday and Cherry too). Let me begin by telling you the first ingredient listed in this is petrolatum (petroleum jelly), Vaseline anyone? It's an ingredient that seems to get a hard time of it, it's considered a cheap filler ingredient that doesn't do anything except form a barrier on the skin. This can be a good or a bad thing depending on what you're using it for. I don't have a problem with it but if you don't like using Vaseline, you may not like the Balm Dot Com as it does have a similar texture, although it's much more pleasant than Vaseline. It's other ingredients are Castor Seed Oil, Beeswax, Cupuacu Fruit Extract and Rice Bran and Rosemary Leaf Extracts. These ingredients, protect the skin, act as an emollient, give long lasting moisture and are anti-oxidants. As you can see from the tube above, I've used this a lot. I love the texture and the scent and the tube is so handy to bring out in my handbag. I've used it almost every day since I bought it. I like using it before applying lipstick because it locks moisture into my lips. I'd definitely repurchase it, but like I said I want to try some of the other scents even thought I love the light rose scent of this one. 

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Next up was my brows. You already know how much I love Boy Brow, you can read about it in more detail here if you're interested. I'm so happy to have it back in my life, it really is my favourite brow gel/mascara I've ever tried. 

The Cloud Paints are probably my favourite product out of everything I've tried. I have two of the four shades, Puff (a pale bubblegum pink) and Dusk (a warm brown/tan). I bought Puff in New York after agonising over what shade to buy for ages. It's the only blush I've used in the seven months since I got it. So of course I had to order another one. I wasn't sure if Dusk would work on my skin tone but it's actually such a nice neutral once it's blended out. For this look I used it as a kind of contour/bronzer but as you can see it's very light and natural and of course you could build up the intensity of you have a darker skin tone than mine. I used Puff on my cheeks and then I tried it on my eyelids too. I actually really liked the light wash of pale pink on my eyes, I'm sure you could do the same with any of the shades, they could be used on the lips too but I haven't tried it yet. Like with actual tubes of paint, you can mix the shades together too to make your own custom shade. The formula is so light and easy to blend. I usually use my Real Techniques Stippling Brush but you can just as easily use your fingers. They are quite pigmented so a little goes a long way but at the same time it's hard to overdo it. 

I love everything about these, the packaging, the shades, the texture and the finish. I'd love to get the other two shades Beam and Haze. There's currently a Cloud Paint Quad available with all four shades for £45/$55 which would make a lovely Christmas present. 

GF4 GF25

The Haloscope is the one thing I really regretted not buying in New York. I swatched all three shades Moonstone, Quartz and Topaz and I didn't think they were pigmented enough to I left without buying one. However since I got back I've seen them being used several times and they look so beautiful on the skin. With the Haloscopes it's more about texture than pigment. It consists of a solid core enriched with coconut oil, castor seed oil and sweet almond oil to moisturise and vitamin E that hydrates the skin and gives dewy finish. The outer circle contains actual crystals of Rose Quartz or Golden Topaz. I find it works best by rubbing your fingers onto the product and then patting along your skin as this warms it up and makes it easier to blend rather than applying it directly onto the skin which can drag it a bit and move your foundation. I love how this adds such a natural, healthy glow to my skin and again, like most other Glossier products, there's no danger of overdoing it and ending up looking like a disco ball. Having swatched all of them I think Topaz would be too dark for my skin tone but I'd love to get Moonstone.

The Haloscopes are £18/$22 but at the moment there is a Haloscope and Boy Brow duo available for £28/$30

GF5 GF18

The last two products I used are the Generation G Lipstick in Crush and the Lip Gloss. You might have seen me wearing the lip gloss alone in this post. I was so surprised by how much I liked it. After seeing nothing but matte lips everywhere over the past few years it was nice to get back into glossy lips. A glossy finish is so flattering and makes your lips look much more full. You could use a liner all over your lips first if you want to reshape and add fullness. I didn't want to apply it directly from the tube because it would discolour it so I applied it onto the back of my hand and then used a lip brush to apply it on top of the lipstick. You could do this with any lipstick, including a matte to completely change the look of it. There's something so glamorous about glossy lips, particularly for a night out or a party look. The Generation G lipsticks were not something that appealed to me at all at first, which is unusual because with any new brand I'm always drawn to their lip products first. I ended up getting it as part of one of the sets, as I was already buying two of the products in the set, the lipstick only cost me an extra $2 so I figured I might as well try it. 

They are a sheer matte finish and come in six shades. I got the shade Crush which is described as a hot raspberry pink. I was going to get Zip which is the red and probably the most pigmented of all the lipsticks. I wouldn't really be bothered with the three lighter shades because my lips are quite pigmented I don't think they'd show up much on my lips but the three darker shades Crush, Zip and Jam are perfect for anyone who wants fuss free lip products. I definitely still want to get Zip as I think it would be a great everyday low maintenance red that I could wear in work without having to worry about it. I like the sheer matte formula however the only problem is that it's very unforgiving so if your lips are dry at all it will stick to the dry patches and emphasise them. Once your lips are exfoliated and hydrated there is no problem at all applying them. The one negative thing about the one I got and I don't know if all of them are like this but I found the actual bullet to be quite flimsy and mine actually broke so now I can only twist it up slightly to apply it because otherwise it falls out of the tube so that's something to keep in mind when you're applying it. I find the combination of a sheer colour with gloss a lot more wearable for daytime than a full on pigmented gloss so I love the combination of these two but I can't wait to buy Zip and wear that with the gloss.

The two are currently available in a duo set for $26/£20. You can buy the lipstick alone for $18/£14 and the lip gloss for $14/£11. 

GF6 GF11
L-R Perfecting Skin Tint in Light, Stretch Concealer in Light, Haloscope in Quartz, Boy Brow in Brown, Cloud Paint in Puff, Cloud Paint in Dusk, Generation G lipstick in Crush, Lip Gloss, Rose Balm Dot Com

GF26


I think this post is a bit more valuable now that the hype has died down somewhat. I didn't want to get caught up in being one of the hundreds of bloggers writing about Glossier just as it launched in the UK despite having most of these products since April. Now that I've owned and used them for a long time I'm definitely still a firm fan of the brand. The way they have marketed themselves and grown as a brand over the last few years is something that has impressed me and I'm happy to support because I feel like it's such a refreshing brand in the beauty world. I don't like all of their products that I've tried, but there isn't any brand in the world that have a range of products that everyone will try and like. I didn't find the Super Glow did much for my skin at all and I thought for 15ml of product it was overpriced. I do however think the other products I've tried are reasonably priced and I was happy to see that the UK conversion was very close to their USD equivalent.

I still want to try the Wowder, the body products, the sunscreen, the priming moisturiser and the masks. I'm also dying to buy their new fragrance Glossier You. I got a sample of it with my last order and I absolutely love it.

I'm very interested to see where they go in the future and what products they decide to release next as they have no mascara or eyeshadows in the range yet.

Have you tried Glossier yet? Would you like to or is the brand just not for you?

Emma x

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Well In The Garden- Cliff At Lyons Hotel

A couple of weeks ago I was very kindly invited to the Cliff at Lyons hotel in Celbridge to have a look at their new wellness spa, The Well in the Garden. The hotel is comprised of a number of historic stone buildings that include a mill, a cookery school, meeting rooms, apartments, cottages, restaurants and the tiniest chapel you've ever seen. Among these buildings is the newly renovated Carriage House which has now been transformed into a beautiful, tranquil space where you can receive a number nourishing and relaxing, botanical inspired treatments.

The photos don't even begin to do this place justice. We arrived in Cliff at Lyons on one of the most dreary days we've had so far this Autumn, it was dull and raining and yet as soon as the bus drove through the gates we were all gasping at the stunning grounds of the hotel. We began with a tour by the lovely hotel staff who told us about the history of the hotel and brought us into all of the buildings and different areas to show us how much there is on offer. The apparently have a lot of weddings throughout the year and I can totally see why as this location is unlike any Irish wedding location I've ever been to. 

CL19 CL20 CL17 CL17-2 CL16 CL15 CL14 CL13 CL12 CL12-2 CL11 CL21 CL10 CL9 CL8 CL7 CL5 CL6 CL4 CL3 CL2 CL1

They offer some one of a kind treatments which include Peat for the Feet, Hug of the Hands Massage and a Hot Towel Head and Scalp Ritual all of which you can read about in the photos below. Something that I really loved and is a unique selling point of The Well in the Garden is that all of the products used in the treatments are made from 100% natural ingredients including Irish peat, carrageen moss and hand-crushed herbs from the garden on the grounds of the hotel. There are also three different combinations of oils to choose from during your massage, the De-Stress with Calendula and Bergamot Serenity Oil, the Deep Tissue with Rosemary and Cedar Muscle Relax Oil and the Mother to be Super Seed Massage Oil, all of which smell incredible.

I had a half hour back massage and exfoliating treatment. This was my first ever massage so I wasn't sure what to expect and didn't have anything to compare it to, but seeing everyone come back from their treatments looking so relaxed got me excited for my turn. The treatment room was so cosy with dim light, candles and relaxing music. My masseuse, Niamh, was so friendly and professional but made me feel completely comfortable. She asked if I had any particular concerns with my back so I told her I suffer with sciatic pain from heavy lifting in work. She also asked what kind of pressure I wanted and I said it was my first massage so I'd leave it up to her and she said if it was too hard to let her know. She used an exfoliating treatment, hot towels and brushes and then massaged my back, shoulders, arms and neck. It was such a completely relaxing experience, I honestly could have fallen asleep. I could have easily stayed there for another half hour (or more).

As the treatments were running late on the day (because the masseuses wanted to give each of us a thorough treatment), we were kindly treated to a meal in the Trellis restaurant. I had the cod which was so delicious and the prices were very reasonable. You can also avail of their Afternoon Tea which is €30 per person midweek and €35 on a Sunday or their Sunday lunch which is €40 for a three course meal, the menus for both had me salivating. Both are served in the Orangery which is pictured above and is the most gorgeous, bright room with beautiful views of the grounds.

As well as the treatments I've already mentioned, you can take part in Yoga and Meditation and there are also wellness treatments for mothers to be and people living with cancer.

I was so blown away by the Cliff at Lyons that I felt compelled to share my experience. I had no idea this place existed and less than an hour outside Dublin. If you're planning a wedding or a party or event I would highly recommend checking out their website to discover more. I definitely want to make a return visit and stay overnight to properly enjoy the gorgeous grounds (and maybe partake in Afternoon Tea). It could also be a really nice gift idea with Christmas coming up to treat someone to Afternoon Tea or a treatment in the spa. I'm all about giving people experiences rather than things (as much as I love makeup) there's nothing more special than giving someone your time and a shared memory, as completely cheesy as that sounds.

So what do you think? Have you visited the Cliff at Lyons or does it appeal to you?

Emma x


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