Your BFF + You + Smashbox = Glamourous Fun

4 Mar

Oh, so much to share about Smashbox this week, but must get this out there: the brand’s UK team, headed by Janine Bird, Smashbox’s National Makeup Coach, are in town at the weekend to do both you and your best pal.

Well, you know what I mean. Complimentary appointments are available now, for either Friday the 7th or Saturday the 8th, in which you and your friend get a full makeover, with helpful tips along the way, and then get to have a go in the super-fantastic photo booth. Now, what makes a photo booth super-fantastic? A perfectly balanced lighting set up, that’s what.

Any excuse:
00Smash_Boxphoto_grid

Fun! Also fun: hanging out with your bud, and then going out looking gorgeous. And also: quality time with your bestie, and also also, so much is made of, like, doing nice stuff with your significant other, how about doing a nice thing with a friend?

If any of Smashbox’s previous events are anything to go by, maybe go back in time to yesterday and book your appointment then. Failing that, call them now now NOW on {01} 805 0400!

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Next up: another equation that adds up to glam, via Smashbox, later in the week!

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Once More, with Even More Feeling! Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter

26 Feb

So, I’m back in the offices of TV Now Magazine, this time on the editorial maternity cover side {as opposed to the design maternity cover side} and as I was leaving this morning, I was wondering what lipstick I would take with me, and I looked in the box that is next to my soundsystem — an insane assortment which I’ll have to show you sometime — and I gasped! Because I remembered my beloved Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake!
THAT LIP BUTTER!
… which I actually forgot all about! Which will make sense when you see the range of choice that confronts me every day.

But still: I am stupid with adoration of this little tube of buttery pink cuteness, and there it is, in its place of honour, by the keyboard. It is clearly to go-to choice of all TV Now subeditors {me.}

I’m going to use it all up! I can feel in it me waters!

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SRSLY: here, here, and here.

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€11.20/£7.99/$7.49 << Huh! The internet says that’s the $ price, at least at Walgreens. So I can’t give out too much re: price point disparity any more. Also! it’s $8.29 at CVS! Soz, America, if my complaints have resulted in that adjustment.

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Roll Up, Roll Up: Benefit Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector and Gimme Brows

24 Feb

Ah sure, how hard could that be?
BENEFIT BALANCE
Pretty hard, I am guessing.

How easy is it to have to perfect skin? Eh, that depends. Benefit are making a new contribution to the flawless face-stakes with Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector, a liquid-to-powder that is balancing {see what they did there?}, self-adjusting and perfecting. Below, please see Mark Dixon, Irish BeneFit ambassador, making that last point:

BENEFIT Mark

Also: mini-burgers and delicious, delicious chips

I’ve given it a go, under a variety of circumstances, and I find that even though it is not technically a foundation — because the coverage is light-to-medium — when I treat it like a foundation, it works better. That means a good going over the face with PoreFessional and application with a brush.

I am not one hundred per cent sure that this product is meant to merit the full welly, but it got it anyway, because it did indeed feel light, yet comprehensively covering. When I used it on its own, I wasn’t as happy with the result. I mean, you can build it and build it, but that seems to run counter to claims that you’re done in one — coat, that is.

I did find the result to be as impressive as our featured acrobatettes, though: a healthy look with just the correct amount of glow, not shine; and even with the primer, it didn’t feel like I had anything on my face.

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At the same launch, I was introduced to something that I fell in love with instantly. I am always on the lookout for new brow-defining products, and am stupid impressed with Gimme Brow:
GIMME BROW 1
A vast improvement on their Speed Brow, they took its sensible feature — a wand with a brush that is like a mascara brush — made it smaller, and infused the product with volumizing fibres. There’s pigment, too, either light/medium or medium/deep; this is the light version, which I never would have chosen, always going for the Academy Awards calibre Anne Hathaway brow, but seriously, those fibres fill things out, and even extend, naturally:
GIMME BROW 2
This last is dead handy, and as I am having to re-grow the lengths of my brows {what a life! I know, I know…}, this is helping get the look back without looking like something out of a Fellini film.

Speaking of, once more, with feeling:
BENEFIT Fit!

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Big Easy Multi-Balancing Complexion Perfector: €37/£32.50/$38

Gimme Brow: €24/£17.50/$22

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Kardashian Beauty Joystick in Babydoll Pink: Is Cute

19 Feb

It is, and I love it, I love it as much, maybe more than Shocking Pink.
KARDASHIAN Baby Doll Joystick
> Because it is lighter, it’s easy to reapply without looking.
> Sometimes a nude lip with a smoky eye just gets so boring, right? This is a little pop of colour, but not too much. Not that you can’t do a smoky with colour, I’ve certainly done so in the past, but I do find the best impact is made with a not-bright gob.
> Staying power is spectac.

I will say, though:

> The pointy doesn’t last, because of obvious reasons. It’s still skinny enough, though, so that’s something.
> I got the Retro Red because it looked like the perfect, blue-toned Hollywood rouge, but it’s not — at least not on me. It went all warm, and that simply doesn’t suit me a’tall.

Regardless: loving the Joysticks! Still have my eye on Love Hangover. Clearly can’t get enough of these — am positively cross-eyes with adoration.

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Available from sammccauley.com and cloud10 beauty, €13.99.

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Lots of Love from LUSH: Literally

10 Feb

Yay! A cute box with things inside! LUSH are a prime purveyor of such containers, and as V Day looms, this goes both ways {ha, ha}: you can share the contents, or use them in anticipation of sharing their benefits, or encourage someone significant and otherly to purchase this for you, or you can treat your gorgeous self, as the case may be. Either way, you’ll come up smelling like a rose, with overtones of jasmine.

Bright, and beautyfull!
01 LOL BOX

Knot is knotty.
02 KNOTTY!
Thank God I wasn’t videoing this reveal, it took me ages to get that thing undone. The ribbon seems rather robust, for use in whatever way you may wish after all the bathing.

Is it me, or has it gotten smutty in here?

Time to clean things up!
03 LOTS INDEED
Now: these samples are excellently sized, which does matter. You’re going to want all the mileage you can get out of the Tender is the Night Massage Bar, which is the yellow thing with the pink flower on. The brand have improved the manufacture of their massage bars: in the past, it used to take about an eternity to get them to soften up. Aeration has made these more malleable from the off, and the scent is a blend of ylang ylang oil, Fair Trade vanilla absolute, and jasmine absolute.

Going counterclockwise, just for the craic:
> Neon Love Soap, made from soya yoghurt, is infused with the fragrance of fresh figs and passionfruit juice

> The invigorating scent of Prince Charming Shower Gel is down to its blend of grapefruit, sandalwood and geranium oils.

>I can vouch very highly for the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner. It’s an in-shower body lotion, made with argan oil and rose oil > from damask roses, which are really sexy. It’s not rosy, like, you’re eligible-for-your-bus-pass rosy. The resulting super soft skin has to be felt to be believed.

> Sex Bomb Bath Ballistic! Jasmine blends with ylang ylang and clary sage to make your bath a sexy fizz-fest! Look how pretty!

Do with this information what you will. ‘Susan’ is a lovely name, meaning graceful lily, should you be debating same, down the road. Just sayin’.

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€32.50/£26.50/$52.95

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Eau, How Lovely! Yves Saint Laurent La Laque Couture in Eau de Rose

6 Feb

I am once again trying to mind my manicure, and am {once again} at the ‘healing crisis’ stage. So, you know, overlook the rubbishy-looking cuticles, and less-than-perfect application << I got so excited to see this on the World Famous Super Model Thumbnail™ that I rushed my fences. But looooook:
YSL EAU DE ROSEI just love it. Neutral without being invisible or greige! Not that I don’t heart a good greige — I am not a complete heathen — but this delicate little touch of pinkiness is very welcome.

It does go on a bit thick, so make sure that your bottom coat is on and dry as a brick. If only I had taken this advice!

Whatevs, just really love this, and when my nails are sorted once more… well, I’ll probs bring this to a proper manicurist* and get it done right.

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€24/£18/$27

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*Any recs?

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Prodigious Doesn’t Even Begin to Describe It: NUXE Prodigieux Le Parfum

3 Feb

NUXE PRODGIEUSE parfumI die.

In the very first series of posts I did on this blog, NUXE PARIS’ Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Use Body Oil figured largely, and then I wrote about it again when they improved upon perfection by issuing a 20th anniversary spray bottle. And now this!

I had some lovely and atmospheric shots from the launch, but then I upgraded to a 5S, and all the photos I took after I had last backed up disappeared into the ether, so: soz, only a bottle shot. It really does look like that, that lovely gradation from dark to light, and in the way that French attention to detail is so perfect, the scent has that feeling of gradation as well.

In fact! I have just read the press materials and am delighted to have read this quote from ‘nose’ Serge Majoullier, who developed the fragrance:

“I had sexiness in mind with the sun by my side and the sea on the horizon.”

Ha! Got it, even without having swotted up. And fair play to the designers, et al, because the vibe should really transmit without having to read a bunch of words, and so it has.

Equally, all scents ought to gradate, I suppose, what with top notes and dry downs and what have you, but this seems to actually do it according to plan, starting out a little bit light and sweet, and ending up rich and deep.

This is extraordinarily luscious, and of course works best when you’ve covered yourself with the Huile. The EDP is not exactly the same scent as the oil, but they are, of course complimentary. Layering allows both scents to last and last, and there’s a kind of… subtle sexiness to combination, a sophistication that’s not cynical.

Inspired to flights of fancy, me! That was some proper perfume-writing-style right there. I do wish there was a course on perfumery, or something? I would love to study this biz in more detail… Until then, I’ll just make it up as I go along.

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Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum (50mls) is €48.50, and available at Arnotts from 13th February, and in chemists nationwide from 3rd March.

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I Used It All Up: Clarins Paris Instant Eye Make-up Remover

29 Jan

All up, all the way, not a dribble left:
IUIAU CLARINS EYE MAKE-UP REMOVER

And it used to be so blue! CLARINS INSTANT EYE full Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover is one of those mixey-uppy, bi-phase concoctions, and once upon a time, I held that sort of thing in low regard.

As always, though, technology makes advances, and this became {obvs} a clear fave.

This will take off the blackest, thickest, smokiest make up in one swipe. Not a word of a lie. A few dashes of product onto a cotton pad, and your peepers are as clean as whistle, in no time a’tall — so no excuse of being too tired to take off your slap.

And in fairness: the number of women I overhear talking about how they forget to wash their faces at night. Srsly?!?! Ladiez, clean your faces! All the ant-aging, hyaluronic, brightening, pore-reducing products in the entire universe will do NOTHING for clogged, uncared for, unclean* skin.

This has two added benefits: it’s great for those with sensitive eyes, and for contact lens wearers. Three! It is so easy on the very delicate eye area, so no uneccessary wear and tear, there.

Four! No oily residue, if you make sure to go one more swipe – gently! — with a dry cotton pad.

There is probably a five, but that’s enough to be going on with.

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*UNEXFOLIATED skin, but that is a diatribe for another day.

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€22.50/£17/$27

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A Miscellany of Brushes: My Top Ten

27 Jan

MY BRUSHESMake up brushes had always seemed an indulgence to me, and were also an extra bunch of fiddly things that couldn’t stand up on their own — which meant I’d have to find a place to keep them, and in most of the places I’ve lived in the last… yikes, fifteen-point-six years, there’s been minimal bathroom-room.

There was also a thing where I was keeping the sets inviolate? Which is like, what? I got over that. And I was, okay, maybe a tiny bit intimidated by make up brushes — got over that, and haven’t looked back. They really are good for you, and your face.

Got well over that, found a jar to hold ‘em, and got down to putting together, no matter their provenance, my own personal collection of brushes. There are others, for sure, and someday perhaps they will move into the rotation. In fact, I’ve made some changes to this lot already, and I only took this photo a month ago.

From the left!

> The BENEFIT Foundation Brush is the best one I’ve tried. I prefer my fingers, no matter the truth that every MUA routinely lays down — that truth being that you get better coverage with less product. I get annoyed because: one more thing to clean!

> I don’t even know that JO MALONE make brushes anymore, but this big, puff ball of goodness is genius for applying loose powder, and pressed powder that I don’t want to be too matte.

> ISADORA‘s ginormous Kabuki is perfect for bronzer, and blush if I use just the very middle chunk of bristles. Which it is entirely possible to do.

> TRISH McEVOY‘s eyelash comb. I found the metal scary near my eye the first time I used it, but now I am fearless. Should probs clean that too, oops.

> Hmm, where did that come from… MARKS & SPENCER, I think? The eyelash comb, as you can see, did not travel well, and is toothless — but the little wedgey brush at the bottom is flawless when it comes to applying dark pigment at the lash lines.

> BOBBI BROWN is my only woman for smudging. {At the moment, anyway… I’ve just gotten me paws on a SMASHBOX Blending Brush, and it may join the crowd.}

> The SISLEY PARIS brush is okay, and it may lose its spot in the Top Ten. In fact, it already has because:

> The DR HAUSCHKA Dear Eyes Limited Edition brushes are fab. That’s the Definer pictured, and the Blender is fantastic, too, and will be shifting the Sisley out of the way.

> Have no idea where that wee Kabuki came from, but it travels exceptionally well, and is a staple in my daily going-out make up bag.

I’ve also got a REAL TECHNIQUES blush brush, and a BODY SHOP blush brush near to hand, but I notice that I rarely wear blush {Should I?!?}, and one-a them fan-shaped deals, via SMASHBOX, with which to apply that fabulous white stiff, the Photoset Finishing Powder, which I need to post about.

So many brushes, so little time!

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A swipe of brushes? Thinking their might be a better collective noun…

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Danger! Cosmetics to Go: A Q&A with Mira Manga, Author of Lush’s First Book

24 Jan

It’s not so unusual, a beauty brand branching out into the world of publishing — sure, Bobbi Brown’s got several titles to her name. So when the call came to have a chat with Mira Manga, whose book, Danger! Cosmetics To Go is a look at the origin story of the Lush brand, I certainly wasn’t going to say no.

Particularly as another one of my hats is that of books editor for the Herald. I like to mix things up in the column, and especially like having the chats with other* authors. The Q&A with Mira can be found here, along with reviews of some other beautyfull books.

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*Other authors? Yes, indeed! THAT MAGIC MISCHIEF And it occurred to me that I have been talking about my most recently published novel, That Magic Mischief, many times this week. So, here ’tis! Available for download for whatever digital reader you currently own, this is a contemporary romantic comedy set in Brooklyn, but with Irish interest (as in the hero) and a paranormal aspect as well (as in a Pooka).

I’ve also got two more! Drama Queen and The Fidelity Project are also available for purchase from the Ether — and I reckon I was talking about all my titles because: thank God for digital! I’m especially fond of it as regards these two: printed in a short run, they would have disappeared entirely if not for the Advances of Modern Technology.

Something{s} for the weekend, so?

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