Monday, January 31, 2011

January Favourites

This is my first monthly favourites blog post and I think that it's something I will do every month as it is one of my favourite type of posts on other peoples blogs as it gives me ideas about new things I want to try (it's not always good for the purse though lol!)

I can't believe that January is over already, it has absolutely flown!

My favourites for the month are mostly beauty related with the odd random item thrown in for good measure :)

Foldable Shoes

These were an absolute lifesaver over Christmas/New Years. I had seen flimsy, rollable pumps for sale a few times in the shops but I never bothered getting them. I saw these ones in Dunnes Stores a few weeks before Christmas for €10.
They have a really thick sole that is cut halfway in the middle allowing them to fold. They are black with a satiny finish and even have pretty little gems on the front of the toe! I wouldn't have cared if they were just plain but the little gems give it that little bit extra. I didn't see them in any other colours other than black.They also come in a pouch for easy storage in your handbag.

                                                                      The shoe

                                                        Close up of the gems/stones 

                                                                   The shoe folded

The shoes in their little pouch
On the package it says that they are not suitable for everyday wear, which is fair enough but they are incredibly comfortable, surprisingly. The sides of them are ruched so when you put your feet into them they just envelope your feet keeping them secure. The only thing I did notice was one that of the nights  I was wearing tights and they were slipping off my feet a bit but still a hell of a lot more comfortable than my heels had been.
I saw them in 3 sizes - Small, Medium and Large. As they have ruched sides, there is a size that will fit everyone albeit maybe not perfectly.
A huge bonus was the strong rubber sole. It protects well against broken glass etc. as well as the wet Irish weather lol!
For €10 they'll get you from the club to the chipper and the taxi rank and after a long night in high heels there is nothing like sinking your feet into a cosy pair of flats!
What sealed it for me was that they are foldable and not bulky like a normal pair of pumps so they are a lot more discreet in your handbag and will fit into most small handbags
I was in Dunnes during the week and I saw a few knocking around, so if you spy a pair definitely pick them up, your feet will thank you!

Urban Decay Primer Potion

There's not a lot that I can say about this that I didn't mention in my recent post about it. I still love it! It still works, I'm so glad I got it and I suspect that it will be a firm favourite for months and months! And I haven't forgotten about the comparison pictures I said I'd take, with and without the primer potion.

Victor and Rolf Flowerbomb Perfume

I tend to stick with the one perfume, I don't like changing fragrances too often. Generally I have a heavier one for autumn/winter and a lighter one for spring/summer and a day and night one. I wouldn't change fragrances every week or every day. For years my staple perfume has been Flower by Kenzo. I love it. I got so many compliments on it and the smell of it just makes me so happy.
When I ran out of my last bottle of it, I had a stack of perfumes from birthday/christmas presents that I had accumulated over the years and just wanted to use up. So I've been working through those all year(2010!) and for christmas I was going to ask for a new bottle of Kenzo. But then I discovered Flowerbomb. I swear, I sprayed it on one of the testing strips in the pharmacy, brought it home and just smelt it the entire evening!
So I got that for Christmas instead of my beloved Kenzo and I've worn it every day since. It is obviously a floral scent, quite fresh but it also has a slightly sweet scent, but not overpoweringly so and it's funny I feel that I can wear it a/w and s/s as well as day and night. It really works on all levels, which is fantastic.

Cuticle Care 

This month I've been trying really hard to improve my nails and the big thing for me has been my cuticles. I hate them, and I want to improve them. I've been using Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream at night and sometimes during the day. At night I rub a generous amount into my cuticles, lather on a pile of thick hand cream and put on a pair of those white cotton moisturising gloves. As well as softening my cuticles, it has really strengthened my actual nails which I was not expecting. The only thing that I did not like about this was the scent. I like lemons but the smell of this is quite strong and if it wasn't as good as it was, I would be reluctant to use it. So if you can't handle strong smells, this may not be the best cuticle cream for you.

Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream

I bought Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover a couple of weeks ago. I've used it about 4 times so far,  before I do my night time hand cream regime and I definitely think it's working.
Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle Remover

Bring on the beautiful nails!

Lemon and Ginger Tea

I love herbal teas. I discovered this particular one just before Christmas and it is one of the tastiest herbal teas I've drank.  There is such a zing from it with the ginger, freshness with the lemon and just an overall boost from it. If you're sick of the fruitiness of some teas and fed up of the blandness of green tea, this one is nice neutral ground.

That's my favourites for this month, I think I might include my favourite herbal tea of the month in every month's favourite post:)

What has been your favourites for the month of January?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Urban Decay Primer Potion

A cult favourite among a lot of the members of the beauty community on youtube. You rarely see a makeup tutorial with out it being used (too faced shadow insurance is also very popular).

Before I became more interested in makeup I knew what primer was but I never really saw the point of it. About two years ago I gave in and got a face primer and found the benefit of that but to be honest the thoughts of spending around €18+ on an eye primer was just daft to me.

A couple of months before Christmas, a local pharmacy had loads of Urban Decay products on sale. One was like a little gift set with 2 eyeshadows, a glitter eyeliner and a mini bottle of primer potion - at €10 I couldn't not try it!
And the primer potion was amazing! It definitely lived up to the hype, it goes on really smooth with a nice consistency. The staying power is incredible. I can wear my eyeshadows from 8am until 11pm and it does.not.shift.
For Christmas, I got a full sized bottle of it which I am delighted with!

Word of warning though, from what I've read here on the internet it appears that even when you think that the bottle is empty there is actually loads of product left. I think they've changed the doefoot applicator on newer bottles though, it has a little slant on it as you can see from my photos, enabling you to scoop out more product from the sides....but I think I'll still be cutting the bottle up when I think it's finished. I cut up the mini sized one when I thought it was finsihed and there was loads left so don't throw it out until you're certain its empty!

Actually what I think I'll do is take photos of the same makeup look, with and without the primer, am and pm, to show the difference.

Do you use UDPP? What do you think?

Monday, January 24, 2011

IsaDora Graffiti

I was aware that Barry M used to/still do a crackle/shatter coat, as well as OPI and China Glazes upcoming collection but when I saw these 'Graffiti' ones by IsaDora, in all different colours, I just had to buy one!

There wasn't too many left in the pharmacy where I bought them, so I had the choice between green, yellow and white. I went with the green, called Subway Green, simply because I liked it more. They also had some base coats for sale in a decent variety of colours including a very pretty powder blue.

It said on the label that came with the graffiti topcoat, to use it over one of their base coats but I took a chance that it would work over any nail varnish and purchased it on it's own.

I decided to apply it over OPI's Alpine Snow, just to help it stand out. And I love the way they work together. The application was okay. I've never used a crackle/shatter/graffiti topcoat before so maybe I was applying it wrong but it took me two coats to get this effect. The first coat didn't shatter too well and pretty much just left swipe marks. Possibly the alpine snow wasn't dry enough?

Overall though I loved it. I didn't mind having to put on the two coats of it and what I love is that it comes in different colours compared to the black shatter by OPI, which is obviously just black.

If you want a shatter topcoat that's a bit livelier, definitely check the Graffiti topcoats out! (Even my cat likes it!)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Make up Haul

This may not be considered a huge haul to a lot of people but it is to me! I bought all of this last week, after finishing my college exams:-)

I'll start with the stuff I got from MAC.

I got the chromgraphic multi-purpose pencil in NC15/NW20 from the Cham Pale collection. I'll probably mostly use it on the waterline but I think it could be used as a highlight and on the inner corners as well.

I got a mineralised skin finish natural, mostly because I had heard so so much about how amazing it is supposed to be. I got it in Light Medium and it really does help to give that flawless and finished look over your foundation.

I bought the 239 brush as well. I already have the 217 and 219 so I felt this should be the next one to add to my collection. It's good for use on the lid.

The main items that I wanted to buy were some eyeshadows. After looking through a lot of blogs and specktra etc. I decided that the easiest way to keep eyeshadows is in palette form. I already have 6 MAC eyeshadows but I depotted them for the palette. (I broke my beautiful Club on my first attempt at it but I managed to repair it thanks to YouTube!).
So I bought an empty 15 pan palette and 4 eyeshadows in Shimmermoss, Humid, Sumptuous Olive and Antiqued.
All so pretty!

From top to bottom - Sumptuous Olive, Humid, Shimmermoss and Antiqued.

Next is what I got from NARS. Just 2 items, both 'cult' buys I believe

Bronzer in Laguna

Lipgloss in Turkish Delight.

Some other beauty items I got included Sally Hansen Gel Cuticle (no picture) and a deadly IsaDora nail varnish thats part of their 'Graffiti' Collection. Its the same idea as the OPI Shattercoat I believe but it comes in a variety of colours, I bought it in 'Subway Green'. I'll do a review on it when I try it out:-)

So that's my haul, there probably won't be another one for quite a while but this should keep me going!:-)

The Next Colours in the OPI Grand Slam Collection?

I just checked OPI's twitter page and they just tweeted this picture of Serena Williams signing a tennis ball at OPI headquarters. "Owly

If you look at the bottles of nail varnish on the table can we presume that these are the colours in the rest of the collection? I spy a red and a purple for definite. A few light colours - possibly a gray? I like the look of that purple already!

Oh and I've ordered the Shattercoat and the Simply Smashing colour, so I'll review them when I get them:-)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

OPI Absolutely Alice

So I bought Absolutely Alice by OPI (Part of the Alice in Wonderland Spring 2010 Collection) during the week. It's beautiful. Its's a bright blue with gold sparkles in it.
To be honest this is what I was hoping Last Friday Night from the Katy Perry Collection would be like, except with silver sparkles instead of gold.

This applied really well, decent coverage with one coat but what you see in the pictures is two coats which I feel was needed to make it really pop.

They really aren't the best of pictures. In real life it's a deeper blue, not quite as light.
(I'm working on better pictures/getting the hang of lighting!)

The worst part was trying to get it off! It's a glitter polish so I think thats a problem with all of them? I'm working on trying to find an easier solution to taking off glitter polish as it really puts me off putting them on as I know it will take ages to get them off!

Overall though , Absolutely Alice is a winner!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

New OPI Collections - Grand Slam and Katy Perry

Yep this is definitely old news but I'm still so excited!

I'm not that long into OPI so these are the first collections that I've been waiting for to come out.

Black Shatter that's part of both the Grand Slam with Serena Williams and Katy Perry Collections looks fabulous. I can't wait to try it out over all my nail varnishes!lol! I just hope it's not going to be letdown but somehow I think it will be as good as it is being advertised. Oh and on the OPI website, you know where you can try the colours on on the hand? You can now add the Black Shatter to that as well!I like it.

Black Shatter comes in a duo with Simply Smash-ing, which is the first colour being released in the Grand Slam Collection. It's a kind of greeny yellow in the promo pictures, but hey at least it's bright.
There's four colours being released in the Katy Perry Collection, Teenage Dream (light sparkly pink), Not Like The Movies (a grey-green?), Last Friday Night (a sparkly blue) and The One That Got Away (a gorgeous bright fuchsia style pink). I thought these looked amazing in the promo pictures especially Last Friday Night, but so far the pictures I've seen on other blogs has being very disappointing. The colours, with the exception of The One That Got Away, appear to be very sheer. So I'm undecided, which, if any, I'll purchase. If I do get any I'll be sure to swatch them. It will be a while yet because I usually try and source them online as the only place I can get them near where I live is sorely overpriced.

Did you get any of these collections? What did you think?

(Images from OPI promotional pictures)

EDIT: Scrangie has some swatches of both collections up:-D

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Salon Vs. Supermarket Shampoo

I didn't know what to call shampoo that wasn't from a salon - I didn't know whether to go with chemist or pharmacy but neither of them sounded right! So supermarket it was.

I've always been one of those girls who changes shampoo after every bottle. I don't know whether thats a good thing to do or not but I found that if I used more than one bottle of the same shampoo in a row, it kind of lost it's 'thing' (Making your hair soft/light/bright/non-greasy etc.) Besides there is such a selection of shampoos out there, I always wanted to change and try something new, hence I never bothered buying any of the salon shampoos. What was the point of spending €14+ extra on a shampoo when I wasn't going to repurchase anyway? Could they really be that much better?

So a few months ago when I was getting my hair done, they gave me some sample sachets of Joico's Moisture Recovery shampoo,conditioner and treatment balm. It was free so I didn't mind trying it out. The shampoo and conditioner were good, they left my hair nice and soft, it smelt like I had just left the hairdressers, so it was all good. I tried the treatment balm and it was unbelievable! I fell in love with it there and then.

A couple of days later, when my mum was going into the hairdressers, I asked her to pick me up a full-size bottle of the treatment balm. Her being my mum she went and got the whole set.

Now that I've had the chance to try them all out numerous times, has my opinion of salon shampoo changed? No. As I said earlier, it's just shampoo to me, there is no amazing change in my hair from it. What has made the difference is the treatment balm. That I would repurchase without a doubt. I only use it once a week and it is a substantial sized bottle so it will last me for ages.

My advice? If you're considering getting a salon shampoo, ask the hairdresser for a sample first, before you shell out your money for a product that you may not like as much as you hoped you would.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The First Post!

Hi everyone!

So after thinking about it for a while, I've finally decided to start writing my own blog. I have read so many blogs the last few months and I just love the whole idea of it.

So whats this blog going to be about? In short, a little bit of everything!:-D
Predominantly though, it's going to be make-up/nails/fashion. Quite possibly with a bit of cooking/recipes and scenery photos thrown in for good measure!

I've always liked make-up etc. and have always worn it to some extent since I was about 12/13. However, it's just in the last few months that I've gotten that excitement back. You know what I mean - that pure and utter joy when you start experimenting with make-up, it's all so new and fresh and amazing! After that initial phase, it just became bland and routine. I did the same thing every day more or less, with not too much experiment with colour ( thick black rings under the eyes in the mid-teens anyone?)I suppose for years it was just what it was - foundation to even out skin tone, mascara and black eyeliner to emphaise the eyes, sometimes with the addition of an eyeshadow.
No blush, no bronzer, no highlight, no primer, no concealer, no setting powder, no defined eyebrows, no differing eyeshadow colours and certainly no use of more than one eyeshadow at the time!
I suppose in some ways it was good. I was lucky that I had clear skin, albeit quite dry, so I didn't feel the need to be caked in make-up, and the less make-up that I wore meant less room for mortifying mistakes!
Once I started college, I got drawn in to the enticing world of make-up a lot more and began having fun with it. I learnt about blending eyeshadows etc., and basically just branched out a bit more. Now I'm in final year college and am getting even more into make-up. Trying out different eye looks, using lipstick more etc. I don't really know why it's quite suddenly changed for me but I suspect it may be because I'm looking for a distraction from final year college projects (not really a good idea lol!). The same thing has happened with nail varnish - how the hell have I never noticed all the beautiful colours? I've suddenly turned into a magpie:-D

I am by no means amazingly skilled at make-up artistry, nail tech or fashion design, I'm not studying any of them in college and I don't have any plans to do so, I'm just a normal girl who has discovered how dazzling and spectacular the world of beauty is and wants to share her opinions on it.

Thanks for reading, I should have my next 'proper' post up soon:-)
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