The January Skincare

We’re deep in to the month of January now, which lets be honest, is a perpetual month long hangover after the buzz of the festive season. You’ve overindulged in a tad too much alcohol (or in my case, a shameful amount), eaten your weight in chocolate and cheese, exchanged gifts and been merry, and done little else. Then bam. It hits. All of a sudden you’re back at work/school. It’s dark when you get up and dark when you get home, but there’s no pretty Christmas lights or the promise of a break to get you through. It’s just cold, and you’re probably half a stone heavier. Before starting, thank you Sarah for giving me ideas to write articles in January. Let’s visit her latest review – best indoor & outdoor rabbit hutch

Space Mermaid Nails

 

 

This is a super impromptu post, but my nails looked so cool that I thought they ought to have a post dedicated to them! I wanted something extra-funky for festival-ing (lets be honest, I’d wear these anytime anyway), so I experimented a bit and came up with these badboys. They took about an hour to finish and it was overnight before they FULLY dried, but I adore the effect! It is kind of like some sort of futuristic mermaid tail, and I’m all about that life. There’s a mixture of chunky silver glitter and small flecks of holographic glitter, and the effect it gives when you look at them under them light is just too cool. How I did it…

5 Nail Colours for Summer


I must admit, as I type this I have khaki nails, and the week before I had deep, berry red talons. So clearly, I kind of ignore the rules of summer. However, I’m a big fan of bright nails too. I love colour, and summer time is a great excuse to crack out the brightness. I thought I’d share my top 5 nail colours that evoke thoughts of beachy, music festival & cocktail days..

My Festival Essentials

This isn’t your glossy magazine “festival essentials”. I’m not about to tell you that you need to be drinking kale smoothies and using body lotion daily, or telling you about some fringed handbag. Frankly, thats the biggest load of bullshit. This is the actualessentials for a festival, in all their drunken, dirty glory. I’m not about to pay for showers and the luxury of a flushing toilet, and I’m sleeping in a field with 70,000 others for 3 nights. Some level of creature comfort is required, so here’s what I feel like you require in order to not feel absolutely disgusting..

June 2015 Favourites

These photos look like I’ve saturated them within an inch of their life – not so. That’s the June sunshine for you!

This month has been a lot about being lazy and convenient. As the summer season has hit, I’ve been rushing around from place to place – to various parties, sessions, friends houses, a weekend away – so my usually very high maintenance routine has slackened a bit, I just can’t keep up that level of prissiness when I’m all over the place wearing the same t-shirt for 3 days in a row. Even so, I still have a few bits I’ve been loving throughout the month.

Before continuing, please visit friend’s blog. She’s mom now and just published a review on kids outdoor playhouse.

The 2nd Best Kind of Mojito You’ll Ever Try

These photos aren’t the best.. I’ve been having trouble getting photos to look how I want lately, go figure! I’ll get there.

The reason it’s titled the 2nd best mojito you’ll ever try, is because I’m not gonna get sickly sweet here. The real thing is unbeatable. However, The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Collection is one of my favourite from them in a long time. It’s something I haven’t seen before, and it’s perfect, refreshing and sweet for summer. They sent me out two products from the range, here’s how I got on..

Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette

 

 

 

It’s rare I do a post on a specific product (although I seem to be doing this more regularly lately!), but the Sugarpill Sparkle Baby Palette deserved a post all to itself.. It’s just so beautiful! Obviously, this really isn’t going to be everyones cup of tea, but I’m so in love. I can’t stop staring at it.
I won the Galaxy Chocolate x Frock Advisor #GalaxyStyle competition back in May, giving me a €250 voucher to spend online. I mainly bought new threads, renewed my domain and bought my new design.. I restrained on makeup. However, I couldn’t resist picking this up. It was pricey, at €40 (with shipping) from Love Makeup, but I’d wanted it ever since it was released.. It’s a bit extravagant and the kind of thing I’d never usually buy myself, so a voucher was a perfect excuse. It’s so gorgeous, I’m so glad I did!

Let’s start with the packaging.. Garish, tacky, kawaii and damn adorable. This is going to be a real love it or hate it kind of thing. I personally adore it. It’s in a cardboard casing which is quite big, so it’s not ideal for travelling. To be honest, this isn’t really the kind of thing I’d bring travelling with me. It’s a bit out-there for average travelling!
The shadow pans themselves are absolutely huge. Like, way bigger than anything else. For a bit of product comparison, your average MAC Eyeshadow is 1.5g a pan, Urban Decay Naked Palettes are 1.3g, and the Sugarpill Sparkle Baby has 3.5g. So that’s an awful lot of bang for my buck, I can’t see myself ever hitting pan on any of these shades!

Kitten Parade is the first shade in the palette. It’s a gorgeous peach with a pink undertone and gold shimmer. It’s probably the most accessible/neutral of the whole palette and has probably become my new favourite shadow. This would look gorgeous just all over the lid with a bit of winged liner. It would also make a gorgeous blush, which I will definitely use it as! The texture is lovely and soft, and the pigmentation is very good – better with a primer of course, and I didn’t have any issue with creasing.

Frostine is a satin finish lilac colour. This is the most impressive pastel shade I’ve ever come across, I don’t think there’s many brands that could pull of a matte (generally sheerer anyway) pastel (aka, translucent) shade this well. It’s slightly drier in texture than Kitten Parade, but not anything major. There’s no shimmer, and this looks lovely in the crease with CandyCrush all over the lid. The wear time wasn’t as good as the rest of the shades, but it fades evenly rather than creasing/getting patchy and still lasts for 6+ hours.

CandyCrush is a shimmery light blue. This has a similar texture and colour intensity to Kitten Parade, with virtually no fall out. Blues don’t have to be reminiscent of bad 80’s makeup – this can be worked into a smoky eye, made fun or colourful, or even toned down for a neutral look all over the lid with a taupe colour through the crease and a winged liner. It lasts 8+ hours, I haven’t tested it for longer than that!

Hotsy Totsy is my (and many others, from the reviews I’ve read) least favourite shade. I like it, but it will definitely be my least used. The other colours are all very pastel princess, this is a bit much, I feel it sticks out a bit. Especially considering Sugarpill already carry a similar shade! I think a mint green would have completed this palette perfectly instead.. But that’s just me! It’s a hot pink with flecks of pink glitter. It’s the driest shade in the palette, with quite a bit of fallout. Hardest to work with and blend, but still able to be used without any issue.

Sugarpill are totally cruelty free and the majority of the products are vegan, too, so they’re a really fantastic brand. This palette has been a great introduction to them and has kind of given me the bug.. Their loose pigments are calling me, and I’m praying they start doing lip colours one day soon!

Would you use this, or is it a bit much for you?

The Unexpected Lime Crime Cashmere Dupe

I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but sometimes, I get obsessed with finding the perfect product. About two years ago, it was the perfect champagne eyeshadow. Cue me researching and buying about 20. A year or so ago, it was the perfect shade of green eyeshadow. A few months ago, it was the perfect nude lip… Which has transformed in to an all-out hunt to find a dupe for Lime Crime’s Cashmere Velvetine, a grey/brown/purple nude that has stolen my heart.
“Oh, Zoë, if you love it so much, why don’t you just buy it!” I hear you shout at your computer screen. Well, my friends, that would be because I hate Lime Crime as a company and every lie they stand for. For a bit more on why I’ll never buy from Lime Crime, google “Lime Crime Scandal” or “Lime Crime Controversy”. They’re a morally bankrupt, lying and generally deplorable corporation. It’s a shame their makeup is so pretty.

Because of this, I am forced to scour the internet for dupes of their products. This is one solution I’ve found (but not seen written about elsewhere!) for duping Lime Crime’s Cashmere Velvetine. It’s way cheaper, you’ll get a lot more product, and it’s available throughout Ireland, the UK, the US and Europe..

That is the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Permanent Taupe. Yep, a cream eyeshadow as a lipstick! I find this is best applied with a mauve/dusty purple lip liner underneath (I use Fuschia’s Passion*, NYX Mauve would be another great option). Then I use a lip brush to put the eyeshadow colour all over my lips! This dries to a very matte finish, so I would recommend prepping your lips with a balm and applying a little balm over the top. It’s long lasting, and I think looks beautiful!

This is the first of two “Lime Crime cashmere dupe” posts, I am going to be testing another very affordable product to see how they compare, too!

Would you wear Permanent Taupe as a Lipstick?

The Weekend Away Makeup Bag

 

Over a year ago, back when this blog was a mere little baby, I did a post about my travel makeup bag (there’s a trip down memory lane!). Since then, this has changed a lot! This year I’ve started doing frequent 1/2 night away stays, but I’m usually going to things that require a full face of makeup. This might seem excessive for short stays, but I couldn’t pick something I’d be happy to leave behind! Since when this post is going up I’ll be going away to the UK for a few days, I thought I’d share with you the items that come with me frequently – the most loved, easiest, most versatile pieces that I can’t bear to leave out of my routine..

My Summer Bodycare Routine

 

One thing that just doesn’t really get talked about enough on beauty blogs (at least I find anyway), is bodycare. It’s only this year that I’ve become very in to looking after my skin, on my face, and everywhere else! I’ve really noticed a difference in the texture of my skin since I’ve begun moisturising it every time I wash. I was very eczema prone as a child, meaning I’ve always had dry skin, but I’ve been effectively combating that. I’ve seen a HUGE improvement in those awful teenage stretchmarks every girl suffers with, as well as less of the “chicken leg” syndrome.. I’ve also noticed my susceptibility to tanning improving, rather than just burning straight away.. It’s all coming up Millhouse. It’s definitely worth taking care of yourself, and it is something you’ll notice a huge difference with. I thought I’d take you through my summer routine for keeping myself together!

First thing’s first (I’m the realest), SPF. YOU NEED TO BE WEARING AN SPF DAILY. I don’t care if you “don’t burn”, that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t doing an obscene amount of damage. Unless you fancy looking like a vintage leather handbag with a melanoma scar (if you’re lucky enough to catch it in time) by the time you’re 60, wear SPF. In all seriousness, preaching over.

My best friend this summer is the Bioderma Photoderm Brume Invisible SPF 50+*. This is specifically designed for very fair skin, perfect for a translucent lady such as myself. It’s like a suncream and then some. It’s an oil, but it doesn’t feel greasy – it sinks in to the skin very quickly and just feels lovely and moisturising. It can also be applied to wet skin, so you can use it instead of body lotion after a morning shower and know you’re protected. It’s water resistant, smells fantastic (sort of like chamomile tea) and has an SPF of 50, so it’s ideal for anyone prone to burning. This is honestly the best sunscreen I have ever tried – Bioderma have just launched nationwide, so head to your nearest pharmacy and grab some! It’s not the cheapest at €30 a bottle, but a little goes a very long way, and sunscreen is generally quite expensive, and you are getting that little bit extra for the bit of extra cash.

I want to keep my body moisturised, but don’t particularly want a thick and heavy body butter when it’s sunny/warm at night, it can be too greasy. The Body Shop Body Sorbet in Pink Grapefruit* is perfect for this. It’s a gel-like consistency which applies smoothly, so it’s moisturising without being overwhelming. It also smells really sharp and fruity, so it’s perfect for summer! I also love that it’s a squeezy tube, as I find body butters can get a bit manky looking/feel unhygenic.. Digging your fingers in to the cream.. Not great. They have a huge range of scents so these are worth checking out if you’re looking for something a little lighter. I love this in the evenings as a sort of “After Sun”.

Something else I find important is exfoliating.. It removes all of the dead skin leaving me feeling all soft and lovely, and if you’re in to your tanning, this will help keep it more even. I’m loving the Shiseido Body Exfoliator* at the minute. It’s coarse enough that it feels like it’s doing something, without being way too harsh. I tend to wash my body, exfoliate and then moisturise and adding the extra step to my routine has upped my bodycare game to the next level. Bet you didn’t even know there was such a thing as a bodycare game, huh.

What are your summer body care essentials? Or do you even have any, and am I just a bit of a freak?

My Favourite Brands for “Alt” Beauty Products

 

I think it’s pretty clear, if you’re a regular reader, that I’m a fan of alternative makeup. It wouldn’t be unusual to see me out and about with a bright blue lip or an eye coated in glitter, and that’s the way I like it.
In the photo above is a collection of some of my favourite slightly “whacky” beauty products, so I thought I’d do a post highlighting some of my favourite brands that do the slightly more out-there stuff, both high-street and high-end, for anyone interested in experimenting a bit more with their look!

May 2015 Favourites

I know what you’re thinking – deodorant? Tablets of some sort? What the HECK kind of Favourites is this??? WHERE IS THE PRETTY EYESHADOW, DAMNIT?! To which I would say, calm yourself friend. You know we don’t do it by the books around here. Disregard the rules of beauty blogging, because these are the “beauty” products that I’ve been using the most. If there’s one thing I’ll never do, it’s fake it for the aesthetic.
Another reason for my slightly odd assortment is, it’s been exam season. I’ve been up and down to Dublin for various events and functions, and, honestly, I just haven’t had time to vary my makeup routine that much. This month, it’s been more functional than fun. Nevertheless, I’ve had a few products that I’ve gravitated towards/enjoyed!

Recent events: Bioderma Launch, Blog Awards and Wet n’ Wild!

Last week I headed up to Dublin for a few different events, so instead of just doing a post on each one, or just neglecting to write about them entirely, I thought I’d just to a post catching you up on what was going on! Going L-R, the first image is from the Beauty Blog Awards, the 2nd two are from Bioderma and the last two from Wet n’ Wild. Got that? Good! Here’s what I got up to..

Summertime Base-ics

More and more lately, I’m obsessed with achieving the perfect base. When I say base, for those not necessarily acquainted with the term, I mean my primer/foundation/powder – the skin part, the basis for all other makeup to be built on. Currently, this means something light coverage that brightens and evens out my skin, covers my dark circles and generally brightens my complexion. I’ve been trying different products for ages (literally since I started wearing makeup!), and I think I finally have a mix of products that suit me down to the ground for the perfect summer base..

Nudes, Glorious Nudes..

 

 

Okay, so, cheesy and perhaps slightly misleading title aside, I frackin’ love nude lips. The whole
Cara-Kylie-90’s grungey nude and smouldering eye look is one I opt for on a regular basis. My skin tone is pretty flexible in terms of shades, I can pull off brown, pink and mauve tones with relative ease, provided they’re not too pale giving me that oh-so-unattractive concealer lips look. I’ve been slowly accumulating more and more, from lipsticks to glosses to pencils. I did a post a while back illustrating what was at the time my perfect nude lip (which you can read here), but now I’ve fallen in love with more, I thought I’d share my go-to products, and how I like to wear them..

Masking the Problem

In my sudden found love for skincare, I have also fallen a little bit in love with face masks. Taking care of my skin has become a big priority this week, and I find masks are so great for taking the cleanse to the next step. I have various masks for various tasks (little rhyme for you there), from just a basic once a week affair that draws out any excess impurities, to the kind where you just sit with a glass of wine feeling a bit more refreshed. I put together a few of my favourites, all of which are great in their own right for doing different jobs, so there’s bound to be one to suit you. They’re also all at varying price points, from under a fiver to about €30, so it spans the budgets, too!

HUGE Empty Products (#6)

 

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My new years resolution of using products up has really worked, huh! I’ve been tearing through stuff, vigilantly using stuff daily in order to properly test it and wade through the absolute sea of stuff that I have (A method that hasn’t been working too well on account of new stuff coming constantly. Not that I’m complaining!). This is what I used up from February-March! I know this isn’t going up until May.. That’s just how organised I am.

Empties #5

 

 

I’m on a bit of a use up everything mission this year. My major goal is to clear the frankly monstrous backlog of products I have, and it was the only new years resolution I have. This means bringing hand cream everywhere with me. No more not being bothered with body lotion. Actually having a skincare routine. I buy and get gifted such an obscene amount of products, I have no excuse but to get through them! I also recently had a bit of a streamline of the ol’ makeup collection, getting rid of things that I ought to have got rid of a long time ago, but that’s for another post.

April 2015 Favourites

 

Once again.. We have the classic blogger phrase. Where did April go? The month has absolutely flown, and to tell you the truth, it’s been a fairly vanilla month in terms of beauty. I’ve been so busy and not really doing much that requires interesting make up, so it’s been a very “natural” month. Nevertheless, as usual there have been a few products I’ve been reaching for a lot this month!

Clinique Age Defense SPF30 BB Cream: This has been my base product all month.. I have a post on my current base routine coming up soon featuring this, so look out for that! It’s quite a thick cream with a matte finish that has very high coverage for a BB Cream, and I really do love it. I also love that it has SPF, as we’re getting in to the time of year when I really need protection to avoid a total face disaster. It’s at the pricier end of the scale, but a little goes such a long way with this!