Face of the Yesterday: Eyes! Because: Brushes!

Not my usual spot at the back of the 46A; here, I am waiting for the 7. So: out-of-doors, environmental, natural lighting — always trying to mix it up here at Bright and Beautyfull!
Lots of Rimmel London on the face: their Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation has become my go-to for days in which I’m going to be out and about for hours; I gave their Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara a spin, and was happy with the result, but find the brush to be awfully massive. Given that I routinely get mascara alll over my lid {I cop to operator error}, I don’t know that it will go into regular rotation. But! I am loving loving loving the brand’s Colour Rush line. The Long Lasting Intense Colour Balms are in fact long lasting and balmy, and intensely pigmented. I am wearing Rumour Has It — love love love it!

Brows are the ever-reliable HD Brows via Carter Beauty.

Eyeliner! Ooh, the eyeliner! I’ve gone a bit 80s lately and been drawing on the waterline, and Smashbox‘s new Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eye Liner is just fab. Here, in Navy, I used it all round the inner eye, and like it says on the tin, it stays sharp, thanks to having a sharpening thingie in the lid {Lid? Top? Closey thing?} You just twist it a couple of times to the left, and there you are, pointy and ready to go.

The thing that made me happiest, however, is Clinique‘s all about shadow 8-pan palette in neutral territory 2.
In the past, I was intimidated by palettes — what to use where, and how much? I’ve gotten over it, and just use my common sense; I do feel that I tend to do the same thing over and over, and hope to go wild some day and try something different. Here, even though I did my samey thing {light on the lid, medium in the crease, dark at the outside edge} I was really happy with the way it came out.

Also, I know this is so obvs, but using proper eye makeup brushes helps loads. My current faves are the definer and blender brushes from Dr Hauschka‘s Dear Eyes line. These are limited edition, and if there are any to be had, have at ’em, they are great. They hold the shadow really well, and don’t drag on your skin. Plus: super soft!

Forgot to put on blush. Scarla’! {LOL}

Also, due to brushes and the superiority of the product, the shadow didn’t move, and saw me through the eventual bus journey, two longish walks, and two launches, with no touch up. A total of five hours — that seems pretty good? And I was gutted to have to remove it, because it held up so well, the eyeliner included.

And just for fun:

World's Largest Forehead

World’s Largest Forehead


RIMMEL LONDON Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation, €7.95; Scandaleyes Lycra Flex Mascara, €8.95; Colur Rush Long Lasting Intense Colour Balm, €7.95

SMASHBOX Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Eye Liner, €19

CLINIQUE all about shadow 8-pan palette in neutral territory 2, €39

DR HAUSCHKA Limited Edition Dear Eyes Brushes: Definer, €22; Blender, €26.50


Bonjour, Les Sourcils! {Cue Something Triumphant; 1812 Overture, Maybe}

I rather dramatically bid buh-bye to the eyelash extensions* I got in mid-January — in French, who knows why.

So in the same vein, let’s say bonjour to the freshly HD’d brows:


Carter Beauty take such good care of them! I was about to spin off into how sourcils is so similar to souris, which means mouse, and both so similar to sourire, which means smile — is it just the sou– part? Do I really know what I’m talking about? Am I going to start calling my eyebrows ‘my smiling mice’?

Is it entymology or eytmology? Words or bugs, or vice versa?

I ran out of coffee yesterday without realising it, can you tell?


Carter Beauty HD Brows is €50 for the initial treatment.
Carter Beauty is based at 40 Main Street, Blackrock, Co. Dublin.
For more information, see wwwcarterbeauty.ie or ring them on  01-210 3624.


*Here are the eyelash extensions, in all their glory.


Face of the Day: *Not* Photographed on the 46A

FOTD 23 01 2013Hmmm: I always seem to do this on days that I am wearing Hourglass Cosmetics Veil Fluid Makeup SPF 15 in  Sand, along with the Mineral Veil Primer. Well, that tells you all you need to know, I reckon. I always feel like I need to show off my face when I am wearing that primer/foundation combo.

Like the blush? It’s IsaDora Glow Stick in Rose Bud, a tiny wee cream-blush-in-a-twist-up-tube that I am {is}adoring at the moment. It is very soft, and applied on the apple of the cheek, it makes you look like a Victorian Valentine. as

As if my cheeks weren’t entirely apples!

Brows are my usual HD Brows, for which Carter Beauty can take credit. I have defined them with my favvvvourite new brow thing, Smashbox Brow Tech To Go. Google it now, ladiez, it is so good: it comes with a brush-in-gel to set them up, and then an angled pencil to fill ’em in. Proper review to come — hey, haven’t done a Haiku Review in yonks. There’s a plan!

Eyelashes are via VenusLash by Venus Medical. Oh, there will be updates there.

A bit of Clinique eyeshadow, the fabbalis Black Honey, which never, ever goes wrong.

Lips = a combo of Lush Liquid Lipstick in Confidence, with some Clinique Chubby in Chunkiest Chilli on top. This solves two problems I have, one with each: the Lush is too dry, and the Clinique doesn’t have the staying power I’ll ned today. Together, they are perfect.

Okay! Ready to face the day with the #FOTD!


Top Twelve of 2012: The One About The HD Brows

The one? How about the million? Of the many excellent things that I experienced in 2012, HD Brows have turned out to be revolutionary for my overall look. My go-to salon is Carter Beauty in Blackrock, and I leave happy — nay, delighted — every single time.

They are particularly great when I don’t feel like putting on a lot of makeup. Like today. Here I am with my lovely dad, and my lovely brows:

POPSTARI have intervened only slightly with the colour and shape, and my favourite brow-shaping-cosmetic thingie has been AVON Glimmerstick Brow Definer. I try and test so many things in the course of a year, much less a week, that when I use something up entirely, it is highly significant.

I used this up entirely. Will use again. And again.


This is the account of my first session of HD Brows; click the HD Brows category for allllll the posts.


B&B! Q&A: Marissa Carter, of the Beauty of the Same Name

Welcome to the inaugural B&B! QnA. I keep wanting to write in the editorial ‘we’ voice, because that’s my background, but seriously, this is only ‘me’ here, Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter - 1 Hour Tan web picso: Marissa Carter, of Carter Beauty, kindly A’d the following Qs, talking about her new product, Cocoa Brown self tan, and gives us — you! — some tips about starting your own beauty business.

How you did you get into the beauty game?
Beauty was always my thing. I was ‘the friend’ that held you down with my knee while I plucked your eyebrows; the one sneaking into the bathroom in school to put makeup on, and the go-to-person if you needed advice on beauty products.

After school, I went to DIT Aungier Street to study Management & Marketing. Like most of my friends I took a year out to travel, but I never did go, in the end: I got offered a job in a beauty college. As part of my salary remuneration I could study Beauty Therapy and that was it really! I was like a duck to water and have never looked back.

Can you talk about how you came to make the decision to start your own salon, and where it all began?
Carter Beauty had humble beginnings operating out of a little room in the back of a house that I was renting, and has grown organically into the success it is today. I was very happy in my job in the beauty college, working as the Course Co-Ordinator and also teaching Beauty Therapy, but I am a very driven person, and one day I woke up and decided I wanted to run my own business. There was no convincing me otherwise.

I had very little money and no one to give me any, so it was on a wing and a prayer that I opened Carter Beauty! Luckily, it worked out but it took me a few years to be able to take the same salary that I had been earning in my job. That’s the risk you take when you go out on your own though, I suppose.

What advice would you have for anyone looking to start up their own salon?
Three things:
First of all, you need to be the best at what you do. If you stand in the middle of road, you get knocked down. I made sure that whatever beauty services I was offering were the best, and I took every class and course I could to further my skills and education. I still do. And I make sure my staff are as passionate about being the best as I am.

Second bit of advice is to ask yourself honestly why you want to be your own boss, because you’ll never work harder than you do as your own boss. Never. The buck stops with you and you’ll never again take a holiday where you can switch off 100%, so you must be prepared to make that commitment.

Lastly: hire people who are better than you in areas of the business where you might be weak. If you always want to be the smartest person in the room you’ll never reach your full potential because you’ll have no one to learn from!

Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter €8.00You’ve recently launched your own brand of tan. Can you lay out the nuts and bolts of that process?
Creating a beauty product from scratch has always been a dream of mine. I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in March this year, and while on maternity leave I had bought some new box-sets and books, and thought I would finally have the time to indulge and not do any work.

I don’t know why I thought that my drive would turn off and that I’d change once I had a baby. Yes, my priorities have shifted and being a mummy is my most important job but I’m still me! I soon found myself working with a product formulator, graphic designer and distributor all at once to bring Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter – 1 HOUR TAN to life.

There are so many different aspects involved in building a brand, but at the end of the day it comes back to business basics: work with people you trust and like and fill in any gaps in your skill set with talented people. I was introduced to Gordon and Fran in Sundrelle, a pharmacy distributor and we hit it off instantly. They are the exclusive distributor for Cocoa Brown and have rolled out the product into 150 pharmacies across the country.

What makes Cocoa Brown different from other tans?
When you apply fake tan, you usually have to leave it on overnight, or wait for about eight hours for it to sink into the skin and develop; Cocoa Brown contains accelerating ingredients which carry the tan into the skin and speed up the development time. You can actually wash the product off after as little as one hour, and the tan will continue to develop into a rich cocoa brown colour. If you want a deeper, darker tan you can leave the product on the skin for up to three hours.

The tan has a fresh scent which is ‘Tahitian Gardenia’, a light floral that’s not too sweet. The ‘biscuit smell’ you sometimes get in fake tans occurs when DHA (the active tanning agent in tan) comes into contact with air on the surface layers of the skin. The accelerating ingredients in Cocoa Brown carries the product into the skin so no DHA is left to linger on the surface getting smelly!

And! The tan comes in a 150ml mousse can and retails at an incredible €8.00. Carter Beauty is renowned for giving customers excellent value for money so it makes sense that my new brand Cocoa Brown, does too.

At the moment if you want to get a professional Spray Tan with Cocoa Brown you can get it for €20 in Carter Beauty. In the near future, select salons nationwide will also offer the service.

I am interested in issues around self esteem and beauty processes. I suppose there is an argument that women seek this stuff out because they feel bad about their appearance — I myself had to learn that my bare face is beautiful too! In your opinion, what’s the good argument for tending to one’s appearance?
Last year, for Lent, I gave up wearing makeup for the 40 days. It was an eye-opening experience for me and forced me to become comfortable bare-faced. I had acne as a teenager, and I think that I used makeup as a mask — and the association of feeling more confident with makeup stayed with me long after my skin cleared up.

I like to take care of my skin so that I feel radiant without makeup but I also enjoy getting dolled up. I enjoy the ritual of applying makeup and tan, of painting my nails and doing anything that beautifies me. I think even if I woke up looking like Jessica Alba and didn’t need a stitch of makeup, I would still apply it now and then, because beauty is an experience to me, so much more than the end result.


Cocoa Brown by Marissa Carter – 1 HOUR TAN 150ml Mousse (€8.00) is available in pharmacies nationwide. 

Follow the brand on Twitter @CocoaBrownTan and Facebook facebook.com/cocoabrowntan

HD Brows: Must to Maintain

My eyebrows were in great shape, I thought. Sure, I had to jazz ’em up somewhat extra, with the auld eyebrow palette, but they looked fine, yeah?


Before and after, obvs. Yes, the use-of-dye aspect of the HD Brows process helps loads, even if I do feel like Groucho Marx for the first two days, but the whole shaping technique, using waxing and threading and measuring, is simply non-pareil.

Between the tanning and the HD Brows, I need almost zero make up, which lowers the maintenance in other areas.

Look, I let them go so long that I resorted to the tweezers myself. I am so bad at tweezing, even when I’m only after yanking the really obvious wigglers. Plus, I feel the pain, and can only manage like two hairs and hour.

So much simpler to go to the professionals…

More info here at http://www.carterbeauty.ie; see here for the first go.

HD Brows: A Reader Writes…

I read your review on HD brows and I’m sold! Would you recommend I get them done? I heard they dye your skin is that true?

In a word, dear reader: no. Even though I just had mine done on Monday, and feel a veritable expert, I googled they dye your skin with HD Brows and came up with no such thing.

You can’t dye skin — wait, hang on — nope, Google says you can’t do that either, but you can of course dye your hair with Kool Aid.

Listen, I was nervous enough getting the brows dyed, so I totally get the query. Anything that smacks of permanency makes me twitchy {Ooh, ‘scuse me, Dr Freud will see me now.}

Here they are, with make up accompaniment:

Must try a smoky eye, and false eyelashes! This is like having a whole new face!

HD Brows: In Which I Get the Eyebrows of My Dreams

‘Open your eyes.’

I opened them, to see two intent faces peering into mine. It was like that shot in a hospital TV show, from the POV of the trolley*: the surgeons are huddled over a patient, a patient that they have maybe just zapped back to life, and they are ensuring said patient’s consciousness. I wasn’t in A&E, and the two intent faces belonged to eyebrow artists; despite the lack of cardio machines or whatever, this was something of a crisis situation, and it was about to be resolved. Categorically.

That brow, there, that’s what I brought before Marissa Carter and Katie Fox at Carter Beauty {the other brow, not pictured, is, you know, the same.} That’s a manageable brow for me. I can lay on the brow enhancer, like Benefit’s Browzings, or Clarins’ Pro Palette, and sculpt a decent shape, and take attention away from the stray hairs.

Why not tweeze those strays, you ask? Because I cannot bear the tweezers, as wielded by me. My nose is itching just thinking about it, and my eyes are tearing up. This reaction is why I have been getting my eyebrows tended to, by professionals, since I was 13 years old.

That’s a lot of years between then and now, and I can say with conviction that nothing has ever approached the shaping of my brows with the focus that the HD Brows system brought to the treatment table.

The procedure is delineated in seven steps: assessment of the client’s face shape in order to design a brow to suit; tinting to even out the colour of the hair; waxing; threading; tweezing; trimming; finishing {< which entails soothing lotion and application of colour to cover any pinkness of skin, but this was the least painful eyebrow treatment I’ve ever gotten, and there was barely any reaction.}

During the assessment part, Katie used a thread to get ratios of distances between my nose and the outside of my brows, between my pupil and what would hopefully be the arch I’d always pined for. She attended to the specificities of my face the way I imagine the people who cleaned the Sistine Chapel attended to its restoration, but with less scaffolding.

It’s not as though the guts of the above are not fairly typical to a brow shaping treatment, but in this case, I’ve never experienced such a comprehensive use of all of the elements. By this I mean, it wasn’t like, slap on the wax and rip out the hair, zip-zip. Or the scrinch-scrinch-scrinch of threading, boom, you’re done. I suppose it’s not like that because the seven steps don’t come in rote order — both Marissa and Katie went back and forth between the steps, waxing, tweezing, threading, re-checking the plumb lines, and yes, peering down at me until they were satisfied that they had crafted the perfect brow for me and my face.

Okay, you’ve gotta see this now: Continue reading

Brightening and Re-Beautyfying, Stage One: HD Brows

What is it about eyebrow hair that makes it grow so silently? I mean, I’ll look down and go, ‘Oh, I better shave my legs,’ but something about the eyebrows always makes me go, ‘Whoa, I have to get my brows done!!!’ It’s not like I don’t see them every day. It’s weird.

Anyway, my brows are completely whoa, and frankly, they were easy to ignore this past week or so, but no more! I am off to go get the HD Brows treatment at Carter Beauty in Blackrock, and this is what they have to work with:

There are seven steps involved, and I’ll get into those when I write up the after post, but can I just say that there is tinting involved? Much excite.

Celebrity brows in 3…2…