I Try Before You Buy: Maybelline New York, Bourjois, Garnier, Skinceuticals, Origins

Rather a mixed bag this week! It’s all very face-y, though, so there is something of a defining principle.

MAYBELLINE NEW YORK The Nudes Eyeshadow Palette, €14.99
*****
This is seriously amazing. The range covers everything from day to night, and is organised so that you can easily pair them {use a top hue with the one directly beneath it, and 01 MAYBELLINEthere’s your duo} or even quad them. I decided to give it a try as I was going to be out all day working in an office, and when I got home, it was as if no time had passed. this is like Back To The Future for your eyelids… or something time-travelly like that. From matte to shimmer, this has got you covered, and I was so seriously impressed by its staying power — without eyelid primer! — that I can’t recommend this enough. This is also perfect for those among us who fear attempting the black smokey eye at home. You can get as sexy a result with shades of brown!

BOURJOIS PARIS 12hr Aqua Blush, €12.49
***
The less powder on the face during a heatwave the better, but do you really need a blusher when rosiness in the cheeks is reaching critical 04 BOURJOISmass? I’m loving this addition to the Bourjois line, and yes, it’s nice to add a pop of colour, especially this lightweight wash — there’s a big difference between a heat flush and blush! Dispensing it is tricky as a full pump is enough for three faces; I’ve fine-tuned an action to a 1/4 of a pump that manages to release the tiniest dab, which still gives good coverage. Wait until your foundation is fully set, though, otherwise this tends to melt it a bit and move it around. Comes in Ingenude, CocoRicorial, Pink Twice and Berry Nice {self-explanatory, I would think.}

GARNIER PureActive Matte Control Anti-Shine03 GARNIER Anti-Blemish Moisturiser, €14.99
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I wasn’t really sure what this was trying to be: is just a moisturiser, or is it a primer, too? That anti-shine element felt like it applied to the latter, but my first usage felt like it was falling down on the side of moisturising — that is, I used way too much. This too is a great thing for the days of heat, if you can call them to mind at all: a little bit goes a long way under a BB cream, allowing for some blurred lines but not blocked pores, and for your BB to stay in place. Still, I wasn’t overly wowed, due to its neither-here-nor-there texture.

04 SKINCEUTICALSSKINCEUTICALS AOX Lip Complex, €40
****
A restorative concentrate for damaged/ageing lips, this is a creme, which created a moment of cognitive dissonance; it is also a pump, which created a moment of ‘How much of this product am I going to waste?’ I’ve tried lip creams in the past, and the texture has always given me the shivers; here, though, it absorbs at just the correct speed, so it’s not like there’s this gross layer of goop on your mouth. I am not cray about the pump, and I don’t think this will make it into my handbag, but I’ve got it to hand at the keyboard, and I’ve been going to it for the last week. In fact, I’ve just popped some on because I was trying out a lippy that was so drying it was all I could do to actually get it off my mouth. This is replenishing much needed moisture, even as I type. This is perfect for an intensive treatment that’s a treat!

ORIGINS Original Skin Re05 ORIGINStexturizing Mask with Rose Clay, €35
*****
Clay? Yay! I love a good clay mask! This is practically an express mask, it dries so quickly — and yet, it does not dry out the skin. When removing, the addition of water turns it into a gentle exfoliation experience. I was worried about the beads that were so clearly acting as the exfoliating agent, but upon research have discovered that they are jojoba beads and are biodegradable, which I take to mean that they will disintegrate naturally and not poison our planet. This now shares room in my heart with their Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask — oh, and their Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask! I am in love with Origin masks, clearly.

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Dr Rescue to the… Rescue

I make no secret of the fact that my nails are manky: my nail beds are shallow, my cuticles grow like weeds, and now that splitting has entered to repertoire, they are simply hopeless. Can this new line of nail product from Maybelline make a difference?
DR RESCUE balm
I love the idea of a ‘lip’ balm for my cuticles and SOS Balm Nail + Cuticle Care is new one on me, and the promise to moisture brittle nails is one that I’m going to hold it to.
DR RESCUE the balm
The actual application is slightly awkward given the flat surface, which doesn’t glide as well as it ought. Applying some to a finger and transferring it to another finger is a fair enough solution, if slightly messy. After one round, though, my cuticles were shiny with health, so that makes up for the awk.
DR RESCUE all in one
There is a separate Gel Effect Base Coat which provides the look of lacquer and a CC Top Coat which helps to whiten and brighten the nails, but if I can do something All-In-One, that is always going to be my choice. This is a base, top and treatment and it’s the way I’m going to go.

At €5.99 for each, you can DIY your manicure for about the same price as you would in salon, if not cheaper. We’ll see how my manky nails and I get on!

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I Try Before You Buy: Comb v Brush Mascara

The battle is on. In my own head, at least. I remember being afraid of the first spiky-ended mascara applicator I encountered, fearing putting said spikes anywhere near my eye balls. Now? They are my favourite mascara-conveying device.

On the other hand, there were a couple of new, and new-to-me mascaras that I wanted to try, but came with brushes at the business end. Would they sway me back to the old fashioned mode of application.

Em: no.

SPIKY applicators
MAYBELLINE NEW YORK Lash Sensation Lash Multiplying Mascara {€12.99} is my fave at ***** and it is to this I turn when I want super spiky, perfectly defined lashes. Everybody asks me if I’ve had extensions when I wear this. Use a primer beneath and just knock it out of the park.

CLINIQUE High Lengths Mascara {€21.50} and RIMMEL LONDON Scandaleyes XX-Treme {€8.99} both get ****. The Clinique applicator has a helpful curve, and low-level spikes for those who still have the fear. I find that I need to get as much on in the first round as possible, because the second round gets very, very clumpy. The Rimmel is a close second the Maybelline, but I’m not finding it to be as dependable. It’s the bargain of the lot, though, and if Boots are having a 3-for-1 Rimmel sale (not that I know of, just pondering) then go for it.

BRUSHY applicators
All of these are **, sad to report. CHARLOTTE TILBURY Full Fat Lashes 5 Star Mascara {€29} disappointed me in the extreme because I actually bought it with my own money (gasp!) The counter woman, who applied it over my existing mascara, very generously gave me a flicky eyeliner treatment as well; I suspect this was cover up the fact that the mascara got allll over my eyelids, even though it was professionally applied. Same goes for the ELIZABETH ARDEN Beautiful Color Maximum Volume Mascara {€26} and the YVES SAINT LAURENT Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils {€31}: no matter how slowly I went, nor how far back I tipped my head (really far), the mascara made a mess of my lids.

I will be sticking with the comb, thanks!

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Snap! Judgement: Maybelline New York Master Graphic Eyeliner

The most basic criteria as regards choosing a Snap! Judgement object is that it has to make me express myself verbally almost on contact. So I knew this was a goer when I drew a wee line on my hand and went ‘OH YEAH!’
SNAP! MASTER GRAPHIC
Maybelline New York presents Master Graphic Eyeliner. Graphic designer-y types will recognise its similarity — rightly, given the ‘graphic’ in the title — to a Sharpie, surely the best marker pen ever invented. Going back even further into The Wayback Machine, there was a brand of chisel-tipped markers that smelled completely and deliciously toxic and had black and white branding… ach, can’t remember the name*, but the rich opacity of that black was spectac.

This black looks pretty spectac, too, and yet it feels light as a feather. Will this give me the perfect eye line?

Once again, I scupper the whole point of this category of post.
MASTER GRAPHIC in the wild
I was a tiny bit wimpy, and only did a thin line close to the lash, but this went on without me making all the usual mistakes. It flowed just like a magic marker, and lasted for about seven hours in high winds and rain (srlsy.) I may play around with it, to get more of a Cleopatra vibe — I have confidence that I can manage it, and that it will last and last!

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€8.29

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*HEY INTERNET YOU HAVE NO PICTURES OF THIS THING? #FAIL

Tried & Tested @ The Herald: Foundation

This week, I worked with several different brand’s foundations. How’d they do? Here’s the link!

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HELLO! WOW!Speaking of which, I recently revisited BeneFit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Brightening Foundation. I hadn’t liked it a’atall when I first tried it, but now? I love it loads! Will get back to ye with a proper review, but I mention it as a case, which happens occasionally, in which I revisited a product and liked it better. Pro Tip™: using a foundation brush really, truly does make a dif. A true life case of ‘do what I say, not what I do,’ unfortch — I even remember the brand’s lead make up artist, LIsa Eldridge, showing us at the launch that using a brush is best. Tcha! Have I finally learned my lesson?!? Stay tuned…

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Brow Round Up Over at The Herald

My Tried & Tested Column seems to be making a regular appearance these days over at herald.ie, which is great news for those who’d like a quick blast of info as regards a weekly category of beauty and skincare products!

This week: brow enhancing make up. See here, m’dears!

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If you’d like to mooch around the archives over there, best to search ‘Sue Conley’…

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The Eyes Have It! And Boy, Do They Need It: New Fave Mascaras

Just for the sake of argument, here’s my naked lashes.
BYE BYE EYELASH EXTs 2

And so:

CLARINS Length & Curve Mascara, €26
They look pretty clumpy in the first photo, which they really weren’t. The second image shows them to better advantage. That is Intense Brown, which you may not have thought. They look nice and black to me!
CLARINS 3
CLARINS 1

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RIMMEL LONDON Scandaleyes Retro Glam, €8.99
So fake looking, in the best possible sense!
RIMMEL 1
RIMMEL 3

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BOURJOIS Volume Clubbing Blackjack Mascara, €10.49
I heart this a lot because it is so seriously thickening.
BOURJOIS 1
BOURJOIS 2

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LANCÔME Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara, €28
We’ve seen this one before; in this case, I only had time to do one coat, and I think it looks pretty substantial.
LANCOME doll eyes

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Finally, here’s a reminder about the Electric Blue stuff via Maybelline Colossal Color Shock Mascara, €10.75; I wore it out into the world, and it was noticeable in ‘Ohh, like yer blue lashes’ way.
MAYBELLINE COLOR SHOCK 1

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Finally, finally, a shot I like to call Daft Noir Selfie.
DAFT NOIR SELFIE
I am especially proud of the daft shadow of my phone, and my hands holding it.

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Bitchface of the Yesterday: What is On It.

This looked bitchier in my phone, but nevertheless: onward!
FotYD> I started using, rather casually, Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer by Benefit {€35.50} — by casually, I mean: it’s a little twisty-up tube, like a big fat lipstick, and I draw it all over my face randomly. It looks ivory-coloured in the tube, but it is in fact sans colour. I am liking it loads, and considering my deep and abiding adoration for the brand’s PoreFessional, that is significant. If you feel like using primer is one step too many, this makes it super easy, and it keeps the foundation fresh.

> Continuing in the same vein, I decided on FIT MAYBELLINE fit me in 130me! anti-shine foundation stick from Maybelline New York, in Buff Beige/Praline {€13.79} The ethos behind the doubling of shades is that the inner core contains lightweight, anti-shine powders. Well, mainly. I still needed a wafting of pressed powder, as we will see. I did like the texture: while I am attracted to the idea of a mess-free foundation stick, in practice I often feel like I’m pulling my skin all over my skull trying to get a decent layer on. This has more ‘give’ than many of the sticks I’ve tried.

> Concealer — which I put on before the foundation, I’m not a complete eejit; the editorial, it flowed better going from one stick to the next — is via Clarins Paris and is new. Instant Concealer {€24} is light and fluid, and though the tube is only 15mls, I’d say it would see you through autumn and winter, easily.

> Pressed powder! Haven’t used that in an age. Oddly, I didn’t feel like illuminating yesterday, and went with a fave of old, Clinique superpowder: double face powder in Matte Ivory {€30}. I used to go through this like a Hollywood A-lister goes through Restalyne. I also used to use the pad that’s included, but no more of those amateur antics, thanks! Applied with a kabuki brush, this lasted for six hours straight, and allowed some natural shine to show through, but not the shiny-shine I was fighting in the first place.

> Brows and eyeshadow via smashbox. Still loving my Brow Tech To Go {€23.50} very muchly. The shadow is a trio that I was too afraid to try myself, because I never manage to make the make up look as well as it did when applied by a make up artist. Anyway! Photo Op Eyeshadow Trio {€26.50} in Aperture is really quite terrific. The colours — Alabaster, Sky, and Truffle — are perfect for a day to night look, the texture of the shadows is super light yet buildable for intensity, and just looked amazing on, even via my less-than artistically wielded brushes << which make allll the difference. You know the way I, and other journos and bloggers, are constantly nagging you to invest in proper make up brushes? Invest in proper make up brushes. It really does matter.

> Lashes: Lancôme Hypnôse Doll Lashes Mascara {€28}, and Hourglass Calligraphy Liquid Liner {€26.65}, both of which I have written about before, and continue to make an appearance when I feel moved to take a selfie on — you guessed it! — the 46A.

> Da lips: NYC Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm in Applelicious Pink {€2.49}I heart this colour, a delightful combination of light texture and deep pigment. It did bleed somewhat as the night wore on, and the words kept coming out of my  mouth, so that is an ish. Nothing that lip liner won’t solve, but have I said about how much I hate lip liner?

> The Hair is second day, after having been washed under the taps of the tub because my shower exploded on Friday. I was away in London and no one seemed to be able to coordinate to sort it out, and I will, fingers Xd, be in possession of a new working power shower by midday. I used Kérastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique {€20}; I haven’t used a leave-in conditioner in some time, and ya know what, I may be about to experience a renaissance. This looks nice and swoopy, considering! As ever, Batiste {€2.39} saves the day; hate to think of life without it.

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Maybelline Colossal Color Shock Mascara: Unleash Your Inner 80’s Rock Chick

Or, reawaken, as the case may be.

Also, or: maybe New Wave Chick? Either way, this stuff is fun.

MAYBELLINE COLOR SHOCK 1That’s two coats worth of Electric Blue. What comprises a coat, in fairness? I go over and over the lashes, and then let them set, and consider that a coat. This may be incorrect.

Well, The Internet says, essentially, one swipe of the brush is a coat. I suspected as much — not sure I agree. Shock Mascara openI’m sticking to my personal definition, thanks, and even if by The Internet standards, the above lash look resulted from, like, ten coats, I don’t care. It’s fab, and I wasn’t expecting it to look so well.

I suppose I had low expectations because of my experience with colouredy mascaras during the actual 80s: they either gave no pronounced colour at all, or were of such a low standard that they produced nothing but clumps.

This went on like a proper mascara. The first ‘coat’ was barely discernible, and I felt justified in my prejudice. Then I gave it another go, and was delighted and impressed. Then I went completely cray — because at this time my Inner 80s Rock/New Wave Chick was fully revived – and put some on my lower lashes. I don’t know what’s stopping me lashing on some crazy eyeliner, except I have to go get my laundry out of the dryer and might meet someone on the stair.

MAYBELLINE COLOR SHOCK 2I think there is a purple one*, which I think would be better for blue eyes. If you have brown eyes, I bet this will look amazzzzzzing. Brown-eyed girls, go get it and see, and send me pictures!

Off to listen to The Go-Gos!

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€10.75/£5.99/$7.79**

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*Yes, there is a purple, but we can’t have it here. Were we bad and we didn’t even know it??

**Price point alert! Not good!

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2013: I Don’t Even Know Where to Start. Oh Look, Oscar Noms!

See? Oscar noms! Let’s look! Even though I haven’t notion what half of them are?220px-Amour-poster-french

I did see Lincoln, which = amazeballs, or however Tony Kushner would write that in 19th century American. The balls that do amaze indeed, sir. >?

DDL FTW; also Tommy Lee Jones, whom I adore, in the Best Supporting Actor category, and all other categories.

Also: TLJ as Best Supporting Actor Supporting a Wig.

I started crying just looking at the Amour poster. Anyone seen this movie? Can you be nommed as Best Pic and Best Foreign Film? Apparently you can! BMcC just informed me via Facebook that this is about Alzheimers? Uh, no, thanks but I need my eyes, I can’t risk crying them out.

Also: do not want to ruin the great look I get from Maybelline’s new launch {LOL > wait for it} Volum’ Express: The Rocket, featuring the new, exclusive Elastomer brush, aka the Jet-Glide.rocket Final

The applicator is one of the spikey sort, but the bristles are flexible. Many that fall into this class of wand are not in the least bit flexible, and I must say it makes a difference. It felt like I was combing on the mascara, rather than pasting it on.

JET GLIDE ACTIONIt didn’t prevent the dreaded splotch-on-the-eyelid, which I cop to as operator error, but honestly, I had my head tipped allll the way back.

I had given a lukewarm review to the Colorsport 30 Day Eyelash & Brow Dye Kit. I didn’t get to Sephora when I was in NYC —  I know, I know, it’s a like a priest skipping an audience with the Pope. I had planned to get some super-amazing American brand of eyebrow dye, but having given the Colorsport another chance,  I’ll revise that initial impression a little.

With a caveat: because I completely disregarded the instructions, i.e., I forgot I had it on, and took a phone call and got distracted and started working on something and then WHOOPS — many, many more minutes than directed went by.

They look good! There has been no intervention by a cosmetic enhancement.

But I’m not telling you exactly how longI had it on — what if you do it and don’t like and get all up in my grill? DIY!

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Maybelline New York Volum’ Express The Rocket and Colorsport 30 Day Eyelash & Brow Dye Kit are both available at Boots. The Rocket comes in a waterproof version if you decide to watch that film. Bonne chance!

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