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!
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.
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..
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!
I did a post about sharing the blogging love a while ago and gave a list of some of my favourite bloggers, but they were all beauty/fashion based. The beauty and fashion blogging industry is huge, so there’s a saturated market of lots of amazing bloggers. As I’m getting more and more in to lifestyle blogging myself, I’m getting more and more in to reading a diverse range of blogs. My personal favourites are blogs that have a mix of fashion, beauty and general life, much like my own! I thought I’d share my favourite 10 lifestyle/recipe/travel etc blogs, for you to check out when you’re getting a bit sick of the same fashion/beauty reads!
February has been a bit of a crazy month for me. The beginning of the month I was really unwell, which rendered me totally out of action for a good week or so. I’m not the sort of person who’s happy to just sit back and recover, so it was really hard for me to let go of all responsibilities and commitments in order to get better. Then, once I was better, I was so intensely busy, it was a bit insane! As with last month, this post gives me a chance to share everything I’ve been up to with you, as well as everything else I’ve been loving this month!
Welcome to my new monthly series, Bits of Life! I have to confess the concept for this was entirely stolen from Karis, who did a similar style of post back in May. I wanted to do this alongside my monthly beauty favourites to illustrate what else I’ve been doing and loving this month – Stuff I’ve been up to, my favourite books/songs/tv etc. Let me know what you think of this feature, I’m really excited to include it!
Bits I’ve Done //
Weekend in Dublin: Last weekend, me and Aran took a trip up to Dublin to visit Karis and Rachel, as you can see in this picture with me at the most unflattering angle. We had a very relaxed time, apart from my inappropriate footwear choices meaning I hobbled around the place like a freak. I love how busy and energetic Dublin is, it’s such a change from my regular quiet country life, and makes it quite therapeutic to return home afterwards. I’ll be up and down fairly constantly over the next month or so for events and some other things I have coming up, which is very exciting, although once you’ve done enough 10 hour round trips in a month, you grow slightly sick of the sight of a coach.
Bits I’ve Read //
Bits I’ve Watched //
Bits I’ve Listened To //
Other Bits I’ve Been Loving //
I welcome the end of this month with open arms. I’ve spoken in depth about my hatred of January, it’s definitely my least favourite month of the year, and one I’m looking forward to seeing the back of. Like many bloggers, January has been less of a month of beauty discovery, and more a month of using things up. I have a backlog of half finished things, so I’m working to try and use them up to clear some space in my insane collection. I’ve been using a lot of things and discovering old and new loves, so this is my favourite “favourites” post in a while.. If that makes sense!
Sleek Blush in Antique is a blush I bought from Cloud 10 Beauty in late 2013, when the Vintage Romance collection had just been released. When it arrived it was full of chunky silver glitter that I hadn’t anticipated, so it got left at the bottom of the blush compartment for some time. Early in January I was doing my makeup and needed a corresponding blush colour, and this was the only one I could find that would work. It’s the most beautiful muted mauve-taupe that gives the cheeks a dusky flush, whilst giving a contoured effect. The silver glitter doesn’t transfer as strongly as I’d expected,
I spoke about the Boots Simply Sensitive Deep Cleansing Mask in my post The January Skincare, and my opinions are still very much favourable. It’s under €4 so perfect for those on a budget, but it leaves my skin feeling totally clean. I’ve worked using this once a week in to my skincare routine and it’s left me with brighter, clearer, more even skin.
MACs Fluidline in Blacktrack was actually in my January Favourites last year as well. I switch between this and Physicians Formula 2-in-1 liner to compete for the top spot as my favourite, but this month, this has been the favoured item. I’m very aware that gel liners have a shelf life, and I love this so much that I want to use as much of it as possible before it dries up! With my Pixel Point Liner Brush from Real Techniques, winged liner has been a staple in my makeup routine.
I rarely speak about mascara as a favourite, but the Rimmel Kate Moss Rockin Curves Mascara* definitely deserves a mention. It has a really interesting “curvy” brush, which actually makes it really easy to curl around the lashes, and I feel like it gives a really nice balance of length and volume. My only issue would be that it’s so black that getting it off can be a little messy, but that isn’t really a problem with a good cleanser.
Last, but by no means least, is the Pixy Naturals Honey Lip Balm*. I have this weird OCD thing with mascaras, hand creams, and lip balms: I’ll only use one at a time, and leave the others unopened until they’re finished. I’ve just got through the backlog of stuff that meant I could finally crack in to this lip balm that I got in July! It’s all natural ingredients, with cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, honey oil and shea butter. I love products where I can actually understand what the ingredients are! This has quite a waxy texture as far as lip balms go, but applies smoothly to the lips and definitely does nourish them beneath just the surface level of skin, an issue with lip balms I often have.
Last week, Minted.com asked if I’d be interested in reviewing their website. I’d never heard of them before, but as soon as I’d done a bit of research, I knew that this was probably the brand collaboration I’d been most excited about, ever! Minted is an online marketplace of independent designers with a range of personalised gifts, stationary and wedding/event products – ranging from monogrammed gift wrap, business cards, ribbon, stickers, fabric, art prints, greetings cards, wedding invites.. and of course, the thing that got me hooked, the journals and planners. Ahh!! Pretty personalised stationary!! By independent designers!! This is essentially my dream, as if you weren’t aware, I’m a notebook and organisation addict. They have a huge range of designs for each product and they make it so easy to personalise your items, and everything is at such a great price point. I’ve put together a list of my top 3 items that Minted stocks, in my favourite designs (but if these aren’t for you, do check their website out – you’re bound to find something you adore!).
|Libra / Nice Work / Pining for Pineapple|
|Not Your Mama’s Paisley / Arrowhead / Tri Tri Again
Something that I believe was passed on to me from my mother is my adoration of fabric. We’re quite a crafty household, there has been many a trip to IKEA where as much of the clearance fabric is put in a bag as possible, we have a whole cupboard filled with the stuff, and it just makes me excited to think up projects to use it for! Much like the art prints, the range of fabrics is absolutely huge, you’re bound to find something you like! If you’re looking for a specific colour, most of the fabrics can be personalised to suit your own needs/wants, each one I’ve picked above as my favourites has a range of at least 5 colours that you can choose from.
Journals & Planners
|Holy Guacamole / A Year In My Life / To Color or Not To Color
I thought I’d save the thing I was most excited about until last. Personalised notebooks and planners… Oh my. They have over 400 designs to choose from, so you’re bound to find something you like! I may or may not have spent several hours settling on the one I wanted the most! You can choose spiral or grommet binding, most designs offer a range of colours, some offering your photos incorporated into the design (as illustrated in my centre mockup above), and you can choose whether the inlay is lined/blank/gridded, an address book, a weekly planner or a monthly planner. Each one also contains two sheets of stickers to mark special events/reminders, and you can personalise the cover inlay with a photo, monogram, and/or text with a range of inside cover designs to choose from as well. I’ve created my own planner to order and I loved how easy the whole process was. Best part? The most expensive it will be is $26 (or €22 for the Europeans!). Below is the preview of the planner I have designed inside and out to give you an idea of how it can look:
I’ve opted for a weekly planner with my blog name on the front, as well as my favourite picture of me and Aran, my name, a J.K. Rowling quote, and my blog url on the inside. It’s so personal and perfect for someone like me who’s obsessed with notes!
As well as this, Minted has a huge range of wedding items, from invitations, printed envelopes, cheap accent chairs & table decor, place names, activity timing books and so much more, they’ve recently expanded their range to save-the-date cards. They have a huge range of once again, totally personalisable designs, which are absolutely gorgeous. I’m a long way off getting married, but I can honestly say, I would choose Minted to put together my designs if I was.
Do you like any of these Minted items?
*I was compensated with a gift voucher for Minted in exchange for writing this post. All opinions, words and post idea/format are my own.
Ahh, emotional post time! This is essentially my blog coming full circle to my first ever post, which was my favourite products of 2013. I’m not going to link it here as frankly it is shocking, but if you are so inclined, feel free to browse my archive and take a trip down memory lane.
The way I decided my favourites were the products that consistently continued to impress me over all others. These are the ones that I continued to reach for, and that I spoke about regularly and highly recommended. Obviously this isn’t the be all and end all of my favourite products as I love many more, but I’m changeable and they switch up a lot. These, on the other hand, have remained constant.
The LUSH Ultrabland Cleanser* is probably the newest to make my must-have status, but I love it. I got this at a meetup I went to in July, and didn’t use it until I’d finished up my Garnier Micellar Water, which lasted forever. As winter hit I decided it was the best time to start on a balm cleanser and man, I am in love. This is so gentle but simply melts makeup right off and leaves the skin feeling soft and clean. It’s a weird experience when you first start using it, using oil to rub all of your makeup around your face, but once I got the hang of it I realised I may just be loyal to this forever.
Dream Dots* took the beauty world by storm this year. This is actually my second box, and I adore them so much! You just pop the little patch on a spot overnight and bam, it’s gone. My mum steals them constantly as she totally swears by them as well. These are one of the best beauty products I’ve ever come across! I did a full post on these back in August, so if you want more details, you can read that here.
I make no secret of the fact that I’m not exactly the skinniest of ladies. I have a very chubby face, a curse kindly passed on to me by my father, along with my tiny eyes and stubborn nature. While there’s not much I can do about the eyes and being stubborn, the NYX Blush in Taupe helps to disguise the chubby-ness. It’s the perfect contour for a girl as pale as me as the ashy grey tones look like the natural shadow, and it’s light enough that it isn’t glaringly obvious. I use this product almost daily and absolutely adore it, it’s a total staple in my collection and as soon as I hit pan I’ll be picking up another.
I’m not big on foundation, generally I’ll only wear a concealer and a light dusting of powder, but when my skin needs a little extra help, it’s The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream* I’ll be wearing. It provides that little extra coverage that sometimes we all need, without being too heavy. Plus, the fair shade suits my skin really well.
I am still in love with MAC’s Cyber Lipstick. It’s pretty much the most beautiful thing in existence. I lusted after this for so long that I’m just so happy to finally own it! It’s a gorgeous dark purple, almost black shade that is ideal for my goth days. I also did a full post with swatches, so check that out here.
The Fuschia Brow Kit in Taupe* deserves an honourable mention, as it’s actually the first product I used on my brows. Crazy, right? This totally transforms my eyebrows from weird blonde shapeless things, to a slightly darker, more defined colour. I know people say always use a brow powder slightly lighter than your actual brow, but in my case, that’s literally impossible, plus I quite like the slightly darker effect against my bleached white hair. This is a really nice product, I use it daily and no signs of hitting pan yet!
Finally, I saved my favourite until last. The Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Liner* is the best thing I’ve ever found. I’m a huge fan of winged liner, and this helps me achieve the perfect wing. I talk about it constantly and recommend it to every friend I have. So much so that their PR kindly gifted me one to give to my best friend. (Spoiler: She also loves it and agrees it is a revolution in easy lining). Dark, pigmented, black, stays all day, and so easy to control. As soon as I see a Physicians Formula stand I will probably buy a job lot of these just in case it ever gets discontinued or I can’t find it, because I can’t imagine a world without it.
December, probably like a rather large chunk of the population, is one of my favourite months of the year. Festivity, spending time with my favourite people, glitter and excess food – It’s ultimately all of the best things in life. December has also been a great month of beauty discovery for me. Christmas gifts often include beauty stuff, naturally, so I’m excited to test out a lot of new stuff in the new year! The last of this years monthly favourites, it’s almost a little emotional. Sniff.
Some like to save the best until last, but in this case, I genuinely couldn’t wait. The LUSH Ultrabland Cleanser* is a thing of absolute beauty. I gabble excitedly to everyone, including my mum, best friend, and boyfriend, all of whom feigned interest with a mild disbelief that anyone could be that excited about a cleanser. It’s a cleansing balm, the first one that I’ve used, but I decided to crack it open over other cleansers I’m waiting to try as I thought it would be good for this time of year when the skin tends to be that little bit drier. You take a little bit and apply it all over the face, essentially making yourself look like a greasy panda, and then use a hot cloth or cotton pad to remove it, leaving your skin clean and soft. It smells like beeswax, unsurprisingly seeing as it is one of the main ingredients, and it’s incredibly gentle on your skin. If you find it hard to use even the most gentle of skincare, I’d really give this a go.
One of those products that was seriously hyped up for a while was the Invisibobble*. Every blogger had one and raved about them as the best thing since sliced bread. I thought they looked a bit like telephone chord, personally! However my mum bought some recently which I promptly stole until I was gifted these bright pink ones by Wayne Lloyd Hair. They’re genuinely amazing! They hold my hair in place much better than traditional bands which tend to loosen, and while I wouldn’t necessarily agree that they leave no kink in your hair, they do significantly reduce kinkage. Good job.
I go through phases with eyeshadow, and makeup in general, where I’m super experimental, and then other times I just get totally uninspired. Something I’ve been reaching for a lot again lately is theMaybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze. With so much going on I haven’t had the time to be meticulously blending colour after colour, so a messy blend/sweep of this across the lid and under the eye is enough to make me look presentable with the least effort on the go. Doesn’t crease and lasts forever, this is the ultimate in simple makeup.
December, as I mentioned, is a time for glitter. Enter the Wet n’ Wild Colour Icon Mono Glitter Eyeshadow in Bleached. It’s a holographic glitter (which is my favourite quality in an item at the moment), and it’s just so interesting and cool. I love it all over my lid with a dramatic liner flick and a lavender lip, or on the tops of my cheeks and over lipstick for the more dressed-up of festive parties. It’s great for the festival season too, but at less than €2 a pop, I can use it to my hearts content and simply pick up another without too much worry.
And finally… Unofficially named the Zoë Palette, is my INGLOT Freedom System 2-Pan Palette, with theLipstick Pans in shades 94, a dark purple, and 95, a sky blue. This is so unapologetically me, I love this palette with all of my tiny heart. I wear both of the colours on their own a lot, but I find they’re great (especially the blue!) for blending with other colours to create my own. Shade 95 with MAC’s Up The Amp creates the most perfect lilac! They’re not my most long lasting lipsticks by any means, but they’re more of a novelty fun factor than anything else. I’m quite happy to have to top up more regularly if it means I can have blue lips!
Oh God. I’m doing it again. How is November over already?! I remember this time last year like it was yesterday. Argh. I’m such a cliché.
November was the month that my makeup routine changed quite a lot. After 2 or 3 months of being in a bit of a rut with the products I was using, I went and got all Autumn-y on it. I’m not gonna spend forever rambling, but get straight to the products!
First and foremost, the Naked Basics Palette. I bought this on a bit of a whim last November on the plane home from Germany, as they were only €21 and it seemed like a fair price to pay for such a gorgeous palette. I barely touched it for a year, until November when mattes, muted colours became what I gravitated towards. This has been coming everywhere with me when I travel and become a bit of staple in the routine! I adore it, it’s everything you’d expect from Urban Decay in a pretty little rubberised palette.
My skin has been absolutely abysmal this month, it’s been patchy, blotchy, blemished.. And everything else no-one wants their skin to be. I dug through my drawer of skincare to try and find a solution.. Enter theNeoStrata Illuminating Serum*. I’m usually absolutely awful for any kind of routine, but this has become a staple. I apply it before my makeup in the morning, and after I take it off at night. It really has helped to even out my skintone, and makes my skin look so much brighter! Winter months can really dull the complexion, but this has totally helped me counteract that. I love it!
Yep, I’m talking about it again.. MAC Lipstick in Viva Glam II is the best nude lipstick. I’ve never found a nude that works for me before now! It’s like a more pink version of Velvet Teddy, another MAC Classic. I have been wearing this so much, it’s totally become my staple nude. I want to try so many more nudes from MAC now!
I think this is the first time a nail polish has featured in my monthly favourites, but with good reason! It’s the Nail Paint by Barry M in Cappucicno. I love this polish to death, it’s absolutely beautiful at this time of year. It’s essentially a taupe, a grey/brown/purple shade that looks sophisticated and subtle on. Usually the sort of thing I’d run a mile from, but it’s been on my nails a lot this month!
Once again on the theme of brightening my skin and saving it from the awful winter dullness is Benefits Ooh La Lift Undereye Brightener. Does what it says on the tin really, you apply it over concealer and under the eyes and it brightens up your whole face and makes it look so much more awake. School has been intense this month with end of term exams, so this has been greatly appreciated to prevent me looking like too much of a zombie.
Last, but not least, is the Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Eye Care Liner. I know, I go on about this stuff endlessly but I promise, it’s with good cause! It’s such a fabulous liner. It’s a pen-style liner but with a brush-like tip instead of a stiff felt tip one, so it’s incredibly easy to use. This one is actually in the colourDark Brown, as I’ve been using that a lot this month to create a more subtle flick. Seriously, if you’re a fan of a flick or find it impossible, get this liner asap. It’s one of my holy grail products for sure.
I don’t think I need to tell you that I have an absolute abundance of makeup. It’s my passion, my thing. Inadvertently, it’s also kinda my job. I buy more than I should and I’m very luckily gifted stuff to try out pretty much on the daily. Staring at my insane collection, wondering where to start tackling the overflowing drawer for a bit of a clear out, something occurred to me – What would I keep if I could only have one of every type of product? What are the absolute stand-outs for me, that I reach for more than any other? I thought this would be a pretty good post to write – If I’m picking that blush out of my 30 others, it must be pretty good.
Obviously, this changes quite a lot. The stuff I picked is probably totally different to what I would have chosen last year, and what I’ll choose next year. For now, here are the products that would stay if I could only keep one..
Primer – The GOSH Velvet Touch Foundation Primer* is such an on-point product, they got everything right here. A gorgeous mattifying primer with the most lovely texture! It fills in all visible lines and smoothes the skin out, making a flawless base to apply your base product on to. It keeps my makeup on all day, and works when my skin is dry or when it’s oily. The pump also disperses the perfect amount of product for my whole face! Not bad for those on a budget, either.
Base – The Body Shop Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream* is ideal for me. Firstly, it’s a great shade match for me, and matches my skin pretty much exactly. It’s a matte finish, which is often too much for my skin when it’s dry, but I think this looks absolutely great. The coverage is light-medium, but that’s all I’d ever really need. It also doesn’t require a finishing powder. The only thing I’d say about this is there is quite a strong tea tree scent, so if you’re not into that, this is probably gonna offend you. It does fade very quickly after application to the face, though!
Concealer – The NYX HD Photogenic Concealer is great. It’s pretty much on a par with the Collection Lasting perfection (in fact, I did a whole post comparing the two), but you’ve all heard enough about that by now. This concealer is everything that the lasting perfection is hailed for, but is slightly less thick and more blendable, as well as having a better shade range. The price is on point too, can’t go far wrong when it’s only €6.99.
Powder – GOSH Prime ‘n Set Loose Powder*.. What can I say, GOSH know their base products! This can be used as a primer before foundation, or a HD-Style finishing powder afterwards. This is personally what I use it for, and it is absolute perfection. One sweep and my pores disappear. It’s like some kind of wizardry. This is new in from GOSH, so grab your coat and leg it to the nearest pharmacy. I have a feel this is gonna be a hit.
Blush – I don’t think this will come as any big shock! The Benefit Rockateur Boxed Blush is my absolute holy grail blush. I’m really not a big Benefit fan at all, and bejaysis do I hate the packaging, but the beautiful rose gold powder within makes up for these sins. It suits my complexion down to the ground, and there is very few looks I wear that it doesn’t complement. Not only that, but considering it’s such a staple, I’m nowhere near even hitting pan yet!
Highlighter – This is fairly new in, and has pushed everything else aside! The MeMeMe Beat the Blues Liquid Highlighter in Oyster Gold* is a beautiful rose gold-toned liquid highlighter. A few dots of this will totally wake up my complexion! It’s not too frosty, too warm or too cool, but hits the mark dead on. It’s definitely my most reached for highlighting product.
Contour – If you’d ask me a year ago, it would have been my beloved Sleek Contour Kit. Since then, theNYX Blush in Taupe has swept in and stolen the show. An ashy grey-brown matte “blush” this is a pale girls contouring holy grail. Gives me cheekbones where there were none before! It’s also a gorgeous shadow shade and matches my brows well, so great a multi-purpose piece if you’re in a pinch. I’ve swatched it against the Kevin Acoin Sculpting Powder and it’s a fairly close dupe for a fraction of the dolla’.
Lipstick – This was actually the hardest one for me to choose out of everything! I’m a big lipstick guy, everything from nudes to blues, so to only pick one was pretty tough. I went sensible here, and picked a nude colour out of my favourite formulation. This is the Rimmel x Kate Moss Matte Lipstick in 101. A gorgeous slightly blue-toned matte pink-nude lip colour. Looks stunning with any combo of makeup and I’d imagine it’s a winner on most skin tones. It’s not a far cry from MAC’s Creme Cup, if that was matte.
Lipgloss – Once again, this is no shock. One of my friends recently said to me “You may as well rename your blog the ‘NYX Butter Gloss appreciation Page'”. This is 100% true. I do love the things. Balmy, pigmented, long-lasting, the look of a gloss with none of the hassle. Plus, it tastes like vanilla goodness. I picked the shade Meringue, a pretty blue-toned pink.
Originally, I was gonna do single shadows/duos/quads/palettes/cream shadows etc – but we’d be here all day. Really, there’s only one true winner in this whole collection. The Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, adored by many, is my absolute number one. I am a fan of the crazier colours and weirder looks, but I always come back to this, there isn’t a week that goes by when I don’t use this at least once. I’m close to hitting pan on a few shades now (sob), but I’d genuinely consider repurchasing when I finished this up, something I never thought I’d do with any eyeshadow. Owning over 250 of the things, that’s saying something.
Brows, Liner, Mascara
Brows – I’ve never really bothered with filling in my brows – Until recently, that is. The Fuschia Brow Kit in Taupe* was a game changer in my routine, and now not a day goes by where my eyebrows are left bare. It’s a great match for my ashy-blonde brows, and the wax helps to perfectly set them in place. This will absolutely be repurchased when I run out, and I’ve already made a serious dent after only a month of use!
Mascara – I rave about this more than most other things. Out of all the mascaras I’ve tried, high street and high end alike (trust me, that’s a lot), the Natural Collection Lash Build Mascara wins out every time. I don’t know, this just does something to my lashes that no other mascara does, they look magical. Not only this, but it’s hardly gonna set you back at €3.09 a tube. I’ve been through more of these than any other product, and there’s a good reason for that!
Liner – Like a really smart guy, I totally forgot to include this in the photographs, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s not a firm favourite! The Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Eye Booster Liner* is the best liner I have ever used, hands down. The day that runs out is the day I cry and run into the nearest stockist. It’s a pen-style liner with a brush end, so it’s less stiff than the felt tip equivalents, making it easier to work with. It goes on jet black and lasts all day. I’ve never found a product so easy to create a perfect line with, it makes winged liner a task that now takes about 30 seconds, and doesn’t fill me with the fear of Jesus. This is quite a feat.
I can’t believe that this year is drawing to a close already.. One more monthly favourites before my round-up of my favourite products of 2014. That’s going to be quite a nostalgic and special post to me, coming full circle to the very first post on this blog which was my 2013 favourites! Perhaps a dumb thing to get emotional about, but you should know at this stage. I’m pretty constantly unnecessarily emotional. October has been a pretty experimental makeup month for me, I’ve been wearing different look pretty much every day and mixing up the sort of stuff I’ve been wearing. However, these are the things I’ve been consistently drawn to over the month.
Gosh Prime n’ Set Primer and Mattifying Setting Powder* I did a guest review on the GOSH website about this product (which you can read here), so I’ve already described how much I love it! It can be used as a priming base or as an HD style setting powder, which is personally what I use it for. It blurs every imperfection and gives a real airbrushed effect, as well as setting my foundation in to place beautifully. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a loose HD powder.
NYX Blush in Dusty Rose is a gorgeous matte dusky peach blush. It’s quite seasonally appropriate, I always find myself drawn to more matte colours at this time of year. It’s incredibly pigmented, silk, and blends really well. You genuinely have to just touch the blush with your brush in order to achieve more than enough pigment. I find it just adds a gorgeous glow to my skin without being shimmery, and looks like a really natural flush.
Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow in Fawn was kindly gifted to me by my cousin Amy who was cleaning out her makeup collection, thank you so much Amy! It’s sadly discontinued, but a gorgeous shade. It’s a shimmery taupe with grey/purple/silver undertones. I love to wear it washed all over the lid and under the eye. My eyes change colour from blue to green, and this makes them look a bright emerald colour! It lasts all day with no creasing, and looks as fresh as first application.
Oriflame The One Colour Impact in Olive Green* is such an interesting product, unlike anything else I have in my collection. It’s a sort of “bouncy” texture that can be pushed down in the pot, which is quite fun! Unlike traditional cream shadows. It also applies with a sort of powdery finish. It looks gorgeous underneath a green smokey eye to add that extra bit of oomph and saturation of colour to a look!
ELF Matte Lip Colour in Tea Rose is a mauve matte lip colour. It’s so subtle and absolutely gorgeous, I’m really in to muted matte 90’s-style lips at the moment. My German teacher asks me what it is I’m wearing every time I have it on, so it’s a hit with her at least! It lasts really well and considering it’s matte, I don’t find it very drying. I love the design of the packaging too, as it makes it really easy to apply it neatly on the lips as the bullet is so small.
MeMeMe Beat the Blues in Oyster Gold* is the most beautiful liquid highlighter. It’s a pale gold with a pink undertone that looks beautiful on the tops of my cheekbones. It’s not too shimmery, but just gives an absolutely beautiful glow to wake up my skin in the depressing grey weather and light. It’s honestly just as good as the Benefit counterparts, you should definitely have a look at these if you’re looking for a good budget highlighter.
Comin’ atcha again with another “Top 5” post! The title is quite self-explanatory, but these are my 5 favourites from the US cult brand Wet n’ Wild. I have such an intense love for this brand, the products are of a superior quality to some high-end counterparts I have used, but they are so affordable, you could easily buy a whole makeup bags worth with change from €25. Great for younger girls looking to build up their collection on a budget, but don’t snub them as a childish brand because they’re cheap! If you’re looking for some of the gems of the brand, pop in to Penneys and check these out..
The ColourIcon Blush in Heather Silk is a matte blue-toned mauve blush. I haven’t seen anything like this before and it’s a really unique addition to my collection. Trust me, that’s saying something! I find high street brands can seriously mess up their matte products, but this is right on the money. It’s really finely milled and soft, and applies like a dream. If anything it’s a little over-pigmented, you only have to touch the pan to pick up enough colour! It’s gonna become my staple A/W blush. If the colour isn’t your thing, check out their other options. I don’t own either blush, but Pearlescent Pink is hotly tipped as a NARS Orgasm dupe.
The Megalast Nail Colour in Tropicana is a gorgeous pink-orange-coral shade. I know that it’s not exactly the season for this sort of colour, but it’s beautiful all the same! The formula is absolutely spot on, two coat opacity and one of those brushes that is the perfect width to do a whole nail. They have a huge shade range, so if you’re in the market for a new nail colour, I’m sure you’ll find one that tickles your fancy.
The MegaLast Matte Lipstick in Mauve Outta Here… Words cannot describe. A cool toned mauve matte, it’s so beautiful. Pretty much my everyday staple lip colour. It lasts beautifully as well, and doesn’t do that awful thing mattes so often do of making my lips dry and flaky. Seriously, I need to pick up more of these myself! If you’re a fan of MAC’s Rebel but you wish it was matte, or you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, check out Sugar Plum Fairy. The colour is absolutely identical.
The ColourIcon Lip Pencil in Plum* is an absolute staple in my makeup arsenal. Being someone who wears purple lipstick like it’s going outta style, a decent purple lip liner is an essential for keepin’ it fresh. Applied all over the lip, it makes such a difference to the lasting power of my lipsticks! It’s also a gorgeous colour just worn alone. It’s much longer than your typical lip pencil, again, think along the lines of MAC pencils, so there’s definitely even more bang for your buck there.
And finally, the pièce de résistance – The ColourIcon 8-Pan Palette in Comfort Zone. I mean.. Are words even necessary? 8 beautiful, neutral-toned eyeshadow shades. They’re some of the softest, most pigmented shadows I’ve ever encountered! I find they don’t really crease on me either. This is the most neutral of the 8-Pan’s, but if the colours aren’t up your street, it’s worth checking out their trios/5-pans/single shadows as well. The best part? This’ll only set you back €6.49. That’s not even half of oneMAC eyeshadow, when you could get 8 that are all hotly tipped dupes.
My Top 5 product posts seem to be fairly popular, and NYX is one of my favourite brands. I’m yet to try everything from them, but I’ve tried quite a few different products from their range. They feature quite regularly here, so most of these will probably come as no surprise to regular readers! If there’s any brands you’d be interested in hearing my favourite products from, do let me know, and if it’s something I feel I use enough, I will!
The Butter Glosses are products that get no shortage of praise here. I’ve said so much about them that I feel like I’m a broken record! Feel like a balm with a gorgeous glossy shine, pigmented, great alone or over lipstick, they last really well. I’m not a huge gloss wearer, but I always find myself coming back to these. The shade pictured is Meringue.
I bought this Love in Rio Trio in Bikini Bottom to test out the formulation of their shadows. I have to say, I absolutely love this, it’s my go-to for travelling! The pink champagne colour all over the lid, the middle gold shade in the crease and the dark chocolate shade in the outer corner with some winged liner creates a really pretty, simple, but defined eye. I don’t have an issue with creasing at all, and they blend beautifully.
The Blush in Taupe is famous for being the holy grail for pale girls in need of a contour – and for good reason. The ashy undertones complement my off-white skin, giving me the sculpted effect without looking like I’ve had a scrap with a bottle of fanta. It’s not the most pigmented, infact, it’s quite poor compared to anything else I’ve tried from their blush range. In this case I find it works in my favour, as it’s virtually impossible to go overboard.
I did a similar post aaaaages ago about my Top 5 Products from ELF Cosmetics (trip down memory lane there!), and I meant to carry it on as a series, but ended up totally forgetting. 6 months on, here’s the next little instalment in my Top 5 Brand Focus posts.
I absolutely love Natural Collection makeup. Granted, there are a few things I’d stay away from (Namely the foundation, lipgloss and eye pencils), but there are some really fantastic little gems that are incredibly affordable. I haven’t actually tried their eyeshadows or their liquid eyeliner, but from swatching their eyeshadows they seem great, I really ought to pick them up. I’ve been recommended their liquid liner from a reader in the past, so have a look at that if you’re looking for a budget eyeliner!
I absolutely love their LashCare Mascara for setting my brows in place. I’m really lazy with my eyebrows since they’re pretty hidden by my glasses frames, so I usually just brush this through them to tame them/fix the shape. Keeps them looking uniform, doesn’t make them go crispy, and is much cheaper than most clear brow gels on the market. Not only that, but it’s pretty conditioning too. I haven’t actually tested it out for it’s actual purpose of a clear mascara, but I’m sure it would work great if you’re looking for a very natural look.
This little find was a happy mistake. My all-time favourite mascara was their Lash Build Mascara, so when I ran out I picked up a new one, but got their Lash Definition Mascara instead. Make sure to check the packaging kids, they all look the same apart from the little label at the top! The Lash Build is a great mascara, only I always found it a tiny bit clumpy, being a build mascara intended to add thickness. The Lash Definition is absolutely perfect. It adds volume and length without being clumpy, and really gives that doe-eyed doll look that I love. Other than the Chanel Inimitable mascara, it’s the best mascara I’ve ever used. Unlike the Chanel, it’s also one of the cheapest.
The Blush Pots are fairly popular amongst bloggers. I know that there was a huge craze for Peach Melba a while back. I own Peach Melba, a dusky peach (no way), as well as Pink Cloud (pictured), which is a really pretty dolly pink. Both are matte, soft, easy to blend and create such a pretty natural flush. If I’m going for very subtle makeup, or very intense eyes/lips, these are the first things I reach for.
I know, this is absolutely disgusting and I’m ashamed to put it on my blog. Moral of the story is, these lipsticks do crack and will melt, but as long as you don’t mind using a lip brush and aesthetically disgusting lip products, you’re grand. I particularly love their Lipstick in Rose Bud, a really pretty rose-y pink with subtle gold shimmer. It applies similar to the M.A.C Cremesheen formulation, and lasts an absolute age. I must pick up a few more colours from them, but if I’m honest, their colour selection isn’t too great!
Last but not least is my all-time most repurchased product! The Pressed Powder is absolutely fab. It’s really soft and finely milled, and lasts absolutely ages. I’ve been using this since I first dipped in to the world of makeup age 12, and whilst I’ve strayed to others since, this has always remained a staple I’ve gone back to. It’s perfect for setting everything in to place as it’s so fine that it just creates a matte finish without looking cake-y. It’s great for throwing in your bag for touch-ups as well, as if it breaks, it’s only gonna set you back €3 to replace. Although having said that, I’m yet to have a single in-the-bag breakage with one of these!
I’m thinking of keeping this series up, rummaging through my extensive collection meant I realised how many brands I use and love that I ought to share!
I wasn’t planning on putting together a favourites post for this month, because I’ve been using these products solidly since I got them, for some reason I didn’t feel like they were new. I hope that makes sense! I’ve actually never spoken about any of these bits on my blog before in past favourites or otherwise, we’re really mixing things up around here!
First thing I have been absolutely loving are these Paese Nail Polishes in 344*, 342* and 349*, all from their new summer collection. I got these in the goody bag from the Cork Meetup and have been wearing them all solidly since! The formulation is absolutely spot on, and I couldn’t pick just one colour as my favourite. They’re all unique and unlike anything else in my fairly extensive collection! They’re opaque within two coats and easily last a week with only minor chipping, which is impressive considering I play guitar, which destroys the chance of non-chipped polish. Definitely want to pick up more from the brand after trying these!
The next favourite is a bit of a luxury item, which is rare for me! This is the YSL Glossy Stain in the Shade 30*. I’ve been wanting to try a YSL lip product of some sort for ages, so when Debenhams gave all the girls at the Cork Meetup a €50 voucher and this was half price, I couldn’t say no to that! I’m an absolute sucker for the purples and this does not disappoint. I apply it over a purple Wet n’ Wild lip liner, and I’d confidently leave the house for the day without even needing to bring it with me. I ate a whole meal, had a few drinks, a 2 hour journey and then went to see The National live, and it was still there at the end of it all. Amazing!
Another thing I picked up at the Cork Meetup (last one, I promise!) is the GOSH Classic Velvet Touch Foundation Primer*. I know this is often compared to the Smashbox Photo Ready Primer, which I can’t actually vouch for as I haven’t actually tried the smash box equivalent. However, I do absolutely love this! It really does make your skin feel like velvet and smoothes out any pores, a problem I’m encountering in the humidity of summer. I used this on me and my best friend for the debs (prom), we both have fairly sensitive skin, and it applied like a dream with no mishaps. I’d go as far as to say I prefer it to the ever-famous Porefessional!
I’ve had this palette since Christmas, but lately it’s been getting a lot more love. When you hear ‘Stila Palette’, I know the first thing everyones mind jumps to is In The Light, but I opted for the equally gorgeous/slightly less neutral In The Garden. It’s got beautiful earthy/jewel tones in it that are very unique to my collection. I’m a big fan of a messy, grunge-y smokey eye, and the 4 colours at the right end are perfect for creating that while adding a bit of colour. The shadows are an absolute dream to apply, they look opaque in one swipe, can be applied wet for a foil finish, and blend out/together really well. The palette also comes with a Smudge Stick, but being 100% honest I can’t find it for the life of me!