Saturday, 28 December 2013

Best Of 2013: Ultimate Make Up Picks Of The Year

For me personally, I think 2013 has been a really great year for finding new products that I love! I discovered a ton of things this year that I can't live without. Some of my choices may not be new to the beauty world, just new to me but they have none the less become firm favourites in my beauty stash this year!

Like every beauty blogger I have so many favourite make up, skincare and hair care items. So the way I'm approaching this to avoid a post as long as my arm is to break the list down into individual categories. For example there'll be categories for favourite foundation, favourite palette and so on, and I'm going to pick one stand out favourite for each category, so this will be sort of an ultimate favourites list for the whole year! Which is pretty tough to put together when you have so many things you enjoy using so much!

I'll also be doing other individual posts for other favourites, including hair, skincare and just other general favourites. I'm trying to break the different categories down as much as possible so you'll only see the things that you're interested in. So if you like the sound of any of the other posts I'll be doing keep an eye out for those in the next week!

Best Foundation

If you've seen any of my FOTD posts, it'll be obvious that the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum is my favourite foundation.I can't say enough good things about it. It evens, it covers, it brightens and feels and looks like your own skin. What's not to love?

Best BB Cream

I don't claim to be an expert on BB creams, having only tried 2 or 3. I did however fall in love with Vichy's Idealia BB Cream. It covers fairly well without feeling heavy, and it leaves your skin looking radiant and all done in a natural way that makes it look like you have nothing on your skin.

Best Concealer (Under eye)

Maybelline's The Eraser concealer is a godsend. It doesn't completely get rid of the look of my under eye bags, but it does a great job of hiding the blue discolouration I get in my under eye area. Really easy to use, only takes a small amount to cover an area well, if I could only use this concealer for my under eye area for the rest of my life, I'd be happy to do so.

Best Concealer (Redness/Blemishes)

No brainer here! Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. Amazing, holy grail concealer. I know all bloggers sing this concealers praises and I'm going to be no different. It really deserves all the praise it gets. Works on everything, under eye area, blemishes, scars, redness. I don't know what I'd do if they ever stopped making this stuff!

Best Powder

Powder is a weird thing for me, I choose it based on how my skin is behaving. However looking through the ones I have the best all rounder and the one i reach for the most (as you can see from how little is left!)is MAC's MSF Natural in Light. It keeps oil at bay, provided you're not really oily, and just leaves a nice matte, soft focus look to the skin.

 Best Bronzer

My choice for bronzer isn't actually a bronzer - it's a blush!
 I use Dainty Doll's Money Talks blush as a bronzer, it's ideal for contouring and just as a general bronzer for us pale faced girls. It's not muddy or orange and is just perfect in my opinion!

Best Highlight (Cream)

Benefit's high beam is such a gorgeous highlighter, and I don't use it as much as my powder highlighters but it is hands down the best and most beautiful cream/liquid highlight ever!

Best Highlight (Powder)

MAC's Soft and Gentle wins it for me in the powder highlighter category. It looks scary but is actually really subtle and flattering when applied. You can see swatches here.

Best Blush (Powder)

You're all probably sick of hearing me mention Benefit's Rockateur by now, I pretty much mention it in every post! Its beautiful and I posted about it here if you would like to see it!

Best Blush (Cream)

This one was difficult to pick because I prefer powder blushes over cream formulas but Dainty Doll's cream blush Orange County Girl is a stand out one here for me. It's absolutely stunning! It's coming off as being pink in the photo above, but it's actually pretty orange toned in real life. Sounds scary right? It isn't, its beautiful and actually really wearable.

Best Eyeshadow Primer

Urban Decay Eye shadow Primer Potion is the only eye shadow primer I use, and I love it! I can't see myself ever using anything else as this works so well for me, also I have a full size tube of this along with about 3 of the smaller tubes that come with palettes so thankfully I'm set up with primer for a while! 

Best Eye shadow Palette

This is the category I struggled the most with. I have a lot of palettes, and I love them all! I ultimately had to go with my Naked palette. I have Naked 2 also, and if I had Naked 3 that may have surpassed it but for now, the original Naked palette is still my favourite of all the palettes I own.

Best Eye shadow (Cream)

Maybelline's 24 Hour Colour Tattoo in Pink Gold is a clear winner here. I like all the colour Tattoos that I own, but this is just beautiful. You can see swatches here if you'd like to.

Best Mascara

Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes is my holy grail mascara. It's one of those mascaras that gets better with age too, so I'm still loving it more each time I use it! I just wish this mascara wasn't so expensive as it leaves me with serious buyers remorse after purchasing it!

Best Eyeliner 

I have pretty much strayed away from liquid and gel liners this year, and I now reach for my Stila Smudgestick in Damsel whenever I want an eyeliner. It's easy to use, and doesn't budge from the upper lash line or the water line, and I now swear by it.

Best Brow Product

I've recently become obsessed with filling in my brows, and I'm loving MAC's fling brow pencil, it's just perfect!

Best Lipstick

MAC's Plumful is still my favourite lipstick of all time. Though it was hard to choose between this and Rimmel's Moisture Renew Lipstick in Vintage Pink. To see the post I did with swatches of Plumful, click here.

Best Lip Crayon

Catrice do really great Lip Crayons. Cheap, easy to use and the most moisturising formula of any I've tried yet. My favourite shade is this red that doesn't appear to have a name, but was part of a limited edition collection they had out this summer.

Best Lip Gloss

No7 High Shine gloss in Smile has been a great grab and go lip gloss for me. It's pretty on its own or over any lipstick, especially MAC's Plumful, winning lip combo for me this year!

Best Lip Balm

Nuxe's Reve De Miel is another holy grail product for me that I discovered this year. It's thick, hydrating and smells like Terry's Chocolate Oranges, why wouldn't this be a favourite? I apply this whenever needed and also a thick layer each night before I go to bed and I wake up with really soft, smooth lips!

Best Tool

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge has drastically changed not only how long my foundation application takes, but has also blown me away with how good it makes the finish of any foundation or concealer. It seamlessly blends base products with your skin leaving your skin looking perfectly flawless - even if it isn't!

BBest Over all Brand of 2013

I think that most brands have outdone themselves this year, but for me there's one that stands out the most and I believe they deserve a pat on the back and an honourable mention and that brand is Bourjois. 
Bourjois released so many new products this year and there wasn't one item they released that didn't have me curious and dying to run to the nearest stand to swatch and try things out. There's not one item this year from Bourjois that I purchased and didn't like, which says a lot for me as Bourjois products have always been hit and miss for me in the past. So there you have it! It was tough to narrow it down to just one item per category, but if I hadn't done that this post would turn into a novel! 

What are your stand out Make up favourites of 2013? Are any of yours the same as mine?

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

FOTD #4: Jingle Bells

Merry Christmas! 


Wasn't going to post today, but I did my hair and make up today and thought why wouldn't I post a Christmas FOTD? 
While two face of the day posts in a week may be a bit much, It's the one day of the year where I'm guaranteed to make a bit more of an effort than usual - so why the hell not?

So I'm going to run through this as quick as I can, because I can smell dinner and if I'm called for it, I can't guarantee that I won't fling my laptop onto the floor to make sure I get into the stuffing before anyone else can claim it! 

I did my base, using Revlon Colourstay foundation today because my skin is having serious oil issues. 
I then used my Maybelline The Eraser concealer under my eyes to hide the bags - no actually, the suitcases that I have been carrying around lately!
 Then I covered any blemishes and redness with Collection Lasting Perfection concealer. All stippled on with my Real Techniques complexion sponge. 
I topped all this off with a dusting of Maybelline 24 hour Super stay powder, my go to powder when my skin is acting up oiliness. 

I contoured a little with my Dainty Doll blush in Money Talks, which is a great contour shade if you're of the same milk bottle white complexion as me! Next I popped Benefit's Rockateur on my cheeks, and then I lightly highlighted the tops of my cheekbones with MAC's Soft and Gentle.

For my eyes I broke out my Naked 2 palette, I used Tease in my crease, YDK all over my lid, Busted in my outer corner to darken it up a little, Bootycall as an inner corner highlight and I placed busted on my bottom lash line and lined my upper lash line with my Stila smudgestick in Damsel. To finish it off I then I applied 2 coats of my favourite mascara Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes to my lashes and lightly filled in my brows.

I was going to finish it off with a festive red lip, but I did that yesterday check my Instagram if you want to see that. 
Today I opted for something softer, and choose my No7 Lip Crayon in Delicate Pink. I thought seeing as my eyes are a lot darker than I usually go for that the red may have been too much so this shade balances everything out! 

Also, for an even more festive look - top it all off with a reindeer headband! 

So I may not be leaving the house, and I may not get out of my pyjamas today, but at least my make up is done! ha ha!

I hope you're all having a lovely Christmas!
I'm about to go and eat a lot of turkey and ham and watch Christmas films with my daddy for the rest of the day, looking forward to seeing what you all did today! 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

How I Spend Christmas Tag

First thing's first - Happy Christmas Eve!

So, while scrolling through my reading list today, I came across the "How I Spend Christmas Tag" on Hannah's blog Hannah Heartss
I decided I'd give it a go as there's no harm trying to get yourself into the spirit of things even more!
So if you're not in a festive mood yet - which, let's face it, you should be! It's Christmas eve! Hopefully this will help!

What are you usually up to on Christmas eve?

Christmas is going to be very different for me this year, the last six Christmas eve's I spent with my boyfriend, having a cosy night together watching Christmas films maybe wrapping last minute presents and eating junk food. We broke up back in October so this year I'll be making my own new traditions!

Who do you spend your Christmas day with?

Up until this year, it was with my ex's family and we'd spend New Year with mine, but this year I'll be spending it with my Dad, younger brother and my best friend Donna who is staying with us this year.

Do you enjoy giving or receiving gifts?

I enjoy both equally, I find I love giving gifts a lot more the older I'm getting. 
I don't give to receive gifts, but I love when people think enough of me to spend time picking and wrapping something for me. It makes you feel special. 
I think that's why I put so much time and effort into getting other people's gifts, I want them to know that they're loved and appreciated. There's nothing better than seeing someones face when they open the gift you gave them!

What does your outfit consist of on Christmas day?

Usually I buy new clothes for Christmas, I didn't this year though I did want a Christmas jumper but couldn't find one I loved! So I'm unsure of what I'll be wearing.
 I do make an effort on Christmas day, though I don't leave the house you can guarantee I'll be as dolled up as I can be!

Do you enjoy shopping for your loved ones gifts?

Oops! Kind of answered this already in the second question! But yes - I love doing it! :)

Have you ever received a gift you didn't like but pretended you did?

I can honestly say there's nothing I haven't liked that Ive been given! 
Not even that time my brother wrapped up a packet of Rolo's and gave me them as a Christmas present ha ha! It was all he could afford at the time as he was only 10 or 11 but it was funny and very sweet!

What would your ideal Christmas be?

Spending time with my family, eating Christmas dinner, watching films and eating junk food in front of a fire - heaven!

What is your least favourite thing about Christmas?

How stressed people get over it! I remember people being a lot more relaxed about Christmas when I was younger and it's only in recent years I've noticed how crazy people get. It's a time for relaxing and being happy not a time for making yourself ill with stress!

What is the best gift you have ever received?

There's so many! Most memorable from when I was younger are my Nokia 3310, which was my first phone and probably the most excited i'd ever been about anything because I didn't even ask for it and didn't expect it because I knew it was expensive so I was so surprised!  Other memorable ones are my game boy colour and my big teddy Nelly who is an elephant, my oldest sister got her for me when I was 5 or 6 and I still have her! 
More recently, I'd say last year when someone really surprised me and bought me a lot of the make up I was after, still can't believe he actually went up to an Urban Decay counter and knew what he was looking for! ha ha

If you could choose one person to spend Christmas with who would it be and why? 

I don't really know who I'd choose. I'm more than happy to spend Christmas with my Dad and brother, the only thing that would make it better is if my two sisters and my niece and nephew were living in Ireland too, because I'm sure they'd be there too!

I tag anyone who wants to do this tag! Leave a comment with a link to your tag below if you do it so myself and others can take a look!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! 


Sunday, 22 December 2013

FOTD #3: Fresh Faced

Quick FOTD for you all today! 
This has been my go to daily make up look lately, it's really easy to do and perfect if like me, you're rushing around doing last minute things in preparation for Christmas!
You'll have to forgive me for the not so great photos they were taken in a rush before I headed out the door this morning!

As usual my base consists of Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation, Maybelline the eraser concealer for my undereye area, Collection Lasting perfection concealer for redness/blemishes, topped off by a light dusting of MAC MSF Natural in Light. And Benefit's Rockateur on my cheeks. 
At this point I brushed my brows into place with Catrice's brow gel, then filled them in slightly with MAC's Fling brow pencil.

On busy days where I haven't much time to get ready, I tend to skip eyeshadow, but lately I've been obsessed with one shadow eye looks. Basically where you only use one shadow on your lid and pulled up into your crease. 
I'd usually use a taupe shade for this, but instead I have been reaching for a blush to do this!  Enter Benefit's Rockateur!

A closer look at eyeshadow

 My now all time favourite blush has become a staple for one shadow looks. I don't know what it is, but it just works - it shouldn't but it just does. 
So I've been sweeping Rockateur all over my lid then blending it into my crease. It takes seconds and I think the result is really pretty.

Top that with my Lancome Hynose Doll Eyes mascara and if I have time Stila's Smudgestick in Damsel, and I'm good to go!

I wore this look to a family Christmas party last week as I didn't have much time to get ready and I got tons of compliments on my make up and have pretty much been wearing it this way since, I think it just makes you look really fresh faced and like you've just come in from the cold - but in a good way! 

So what do you think of using Rockateur as an eyeshadow? Do you think it works or is it just me? 
Do you use other products for things they're not intended for? 

Friday, 20 December 2013

What's In My Make Up Bag #2

It's been a while since I wrote a "What's in my make up bag?" post - so I thought I'd get myself to the laptop and knock up a quick post for you all on what I'm currently using everyday.
If you want to see what was in my first Make up bag post you can do that here.
 From looking at that last post, the contents of my day to day make up bag have changed completely since my last post, except for one item I believe.

Make up bag contents - alot more in here than I originally thought!

Face/Base Products

Left - Right: Real Techniques Complexion Sponge, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in fair for blemishes and redness (HATE that the writing on the tube rubs off!) Maybelline The Eraser Concealer in Light for under eye area, Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation in 51 Vanille clair.

L-R: Benefit Rockateur blush, which I reviewed here. Sleek blush in Antiqued, MAC Soft and Gentle - click here for swatches, MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural in Light, for days where my skin is good, Maybelline Superstay 24hr powder in Ivory for when I need more coverage and when my skin is extra oily which is pretty much all the time now - stupid winter!

Eye shadow

Sleek Vintage Romance Palette

Lately I've been using Benefit's Rockateur on my lids, a light sweep of it looks so pretty don't over do it though or you can look like you've been punched in the face! 
I always like to have a palette in my make up bag though, and at the moment it's Sleek's Vintage Romance Palette - so pretty and has shades perfect for Christmas! So it's in here so that I'll use it more over the festive season!


L-R: Lancome Hypnose Doll Eyes Mascara, this mascara is now holy grail status for me guys! No7 High Shine gloss in Smile, great for looking pulled together quickly! Catrice brow gel, Rimmel Scandaleyes pencil in Nude for my waterline, I'm looking tired lately and this really brightens my eyes up. Stila smudgestick in Damsel, again holy grail peeps, seriously amazing! MAC fling brow pencil, really into filling in my brows lately and this is so easy to use it's fool proof! Lastly, there's my trusty Urban Decay Primer Potion.


I have really only been using these 4 brushes lately, mainly because using the Real Techniques sponge has drastically cut down the amount of brushes I have to use daily. So L-R: Sigma F30 for powder, Sigma F40 for blush, Real Techniques setting brush for highlighting, Sigma E25 for eyeshadow application and blending - best eye brush in the world, really recommend it!

So I really am using a lot more products than I thought I was using, and I really do use everything every day - bar the palette! 
I was thinking of making these posts a more regular feature, let me know what you think! 
What's in your make up bag right now?

Monday, 16 December 2013

Stila In The Light Palette

Stila In The Light Palette

It may have been a long time since you've seen a new post from me, honestly, I have no excuse really. I'm just really lacking in motivation lately for whatever reason.
 Over the last week however, I have  had a few occasions to dig through my make up stash and doll myself up for, and it made me excited and interested in something again, and most of all it made me want to blog again!

I purchased Stila's In the Light palette 6 or 7 months ago, and while I liked it when I bought it, I had so many palettes I loved at the time that it got little use at the time. 
I pulled it out of my palette stash over the weekend and kicked myself for not using it more, as it deserves a lot of love!

Inside the palette, also - hello knees! :)

Stila's palettes are teeny tiny and can fit in a normal sized make up bag with room to spare, so they're good for travel, though the cardboard packaging is a nightmare for attracting finger prints and dust it is sturdy enough and holds up well.
The palette has 10 neutral shadows, with a decent mix of mattes and shimmer finishes. There's a good selection shade wise too, with lighter champagne shades including Stila's famous Kitten eyeshadow which is really stunning, to peachy browns and even a blue/grey shade and an amazing matte black. 
The palette also comes with a Stila Smudge stick in Damsel, which is a brown waterproof liner, which is my go to liner for the last 6 months, its seriously amazing and worth buying the palette for for just the liner!

A Closer look at the shadows

Swatches: Top row, L-R: Bare, (not visible) Kitten, Bliss, Sunset, Sandstone, Bottom row, L-R: Bubbly, Gilded gold, Luster, Night Sky, Ebony and Smudgestick in Damsel.

The shadows are soft, pigmented and easy to work with, with the exception of Gilded gold, which I find to be very dry and badly pigmented but I'm unsure if mine is a dud shadow or not as I've seen swatches on other blogs where it looks very different to mine.
You can get a ton of looks from this palette, from a really soft neutral eye for day time to a deep smoky look with the darker shades in the palette. There are also a few shadows in here like Sunset, that are good for one shadow looks.

I'm really enjoying this palette and how versatile it is, I also think it gives Urban Decay's Naked palettes a run for their money, and its at a good price point too, being between ridiculously expensive (I'm looking at you UD!) and between being dirt cheap, so if you cant afford to splash out on high end for neutrals, but want something better than drugstore this could be the way to go as it's around the €25 mark. I believe I bought mine from Feel Unique but I'm sure you can buy it in other places too.

Hope you're all keeping well! :)

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