Hugs & Kisses: A Flying Visit to Smashbox

Back in January, on a wander through the East End of London whilst visiting a pal, we came upon Boxpark, a clever pop-up set-up in Shoreditch. I related my Urban Ears PR horror story {back when I used to review gadgets, I was asked to return the headphones I was reviewing. Yuck} and we moved on. Just a few weeks ago, I spent a morning in the Smashbox pop up; considering the constraints of the ‘box’, they more than managed to make the space their own.

SMASHUP

Mood board; Da gang; Janine demonstrates hugs + kisses on Heather; new shades of Be Legendary lipstick

Above, a mash-up — indeed, a Smash-up — of some of the highlights of MUA and National Makeup Coach Janine Bird‘s masterclass. The highlight of the morning was the contouring lesson using the brand’s Step By Step Contour Stick Trio, three softer-than-soft pencils for highlighting, contouring and bronzing. Here’s an introductory video from Lori Taylor Davis, Global Pro Lead Artist for the brand {who did my makeup once!}; Janine applied contour beneath the cheekbone in Xs, and highlight on the cheekbone in Os, and blended them flawlessly together, what she called using ‘hugs and kisses’. It worked amazingly well, it’s easy to remember — and cute! — and it prevents one from drawing on one’s face like a child drawing on a wall and making a mess.

05 MIIIINE

Miiiiiiine!

The clutch of lippys in the collage are all new shades in the Be Legendary line; above is Fireball Matte, that literally has my name on it. Now, this is definitely at the warm, orange-y end of the spectrum, the end I generally avoid. I’m glad I didn’t and availed of the expertise of MUA Heather Jackson, because:

06 FIREBALL

As seen in the wild {the back of the number 8 bus to Tottenham Court Road Station}

It’s not all that orange-y, and it lasted until the burger I had at Stanstead on the way home! That’s me off on a jaunt on the number 8 bus to the National Portrait Gallery, where the John Singer Sargeant show was slightly disappointing, but the view from the rooftop café was boss.

Fog + Rain + Big Ben = London

Fog + Rain + Big Ben = London

I’ve got a few things to take for a spin:

Smashbox collection

That’s a new face right there

There’s the pencils, along with two of the new LA Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color. Also: the Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner is in purrrrrrple, and the upside down thing is a bronzer {d’oh!}

Do call in to your local Smashbox counter and get your face did — you’ll learn something new and end up being able to use whatever you purchase to their best effect!

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Smashbox are in Arnotts in Henry Street, Dublin and in good pharmacies nationwide. Check the store locator at smashbox.com.

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I Try Before You Buy: Lipgloss

If you want the light texture of a gloss with the deep pigment of a lipstick, then have I got a bunch of reviews for you.

REVLON ColorBurst Lacquer Balm in Demure {€10.99}
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These pigments are so intense, they seemed too bold to be balms. They are super hydrating, though, and so they remain. Go for a lighter hue like Demure (pictured below), a mauvy pink, if you can’t be bothered with high maintenance. You’ll get good coverage without too much fuss.

MAC COSMETICS Mineralise Glass Lip Gloss in Vibrant Vibe {€22}
*****
I had always wanted to love the brand’s Lip Glasses, but they were sticky, and thick, and you’d never want to find yourself lobbing the gob unexpectedly when wearing it. This new version is basically perfect: light and shiny and full of pigment — snog away!

LIPGLOSSES

YVES SAINT LAURENT Gloss Volupté in Prune Organdi {€25}
****
Well, you’re not going to be putting this on with your eyes closed (this shade is dark), but the innovation as regards the applicator is genius. The doe-foot pad at the end of the wand is bent just enough to perfectly follow the mouth’s contour when your lips are closed over it. It’s made to fit the way we use it. The melon-y scent is lovely, and the texture is weightless.

SMASHBOX Be Legendary Long-wear Lip Lacquer in Legendary {€24}
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Holy moly! This is like pure lipstick in liquid form, meaning it has the punchy pigment of a lippy, but it glides on like a gloss. You’ll need a steady hand with this one, which is red as red gets. Maybe lay in a lipliner just in case you need help. It’s light as a feather, and is as long-wearing as promised in the name. However, it is the highest of maintenance — you’re really going to have to want this.

BURT’S BEES Lipgloss in Starry Night {€11.95}
****
I have been going-to this for well over a month, so much so that I’ve just about worn off all the copy printed on the tube. This is lush and dark, and yet I’ve managed the tricky business of touching this up with no mirror to hand — but then I cheat and check up in the nearest reflective surface, so I don’t know who I’m fooling. It fades down to a darkish pink, which is okay, but I’d prefer it to stay strong.

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Make Up Mathematics: Smashbox (bumble+bumble) + Davis Factor = WOW

Oh, hello, bus face!
01 46A AS USUAL
Here’s me, at the official start of my 2014, on 12 January. I’m on my way to get done by a squad of beauty experts, in Smock Alley in Dublin 2, thanks to Smashbox UK, bumble+bumble, and American photographer Davis Factor, who also happens to be the great-grandson of Max Factor, the actual Hollywood beauty legend. A legend in his own right, Davis and his brother Dean founded Smashbox Studios in LA, in 1990; our beloved line of cosmetics came along in 1996. Ooh, a twenty year anniversary is imminent!

I have only one snap of Smock Alley, because there was too much craic to be had. It looked amazing in there, like, NYC loft-style fabulousness, and I think I was either homesick for NY home {as I’d only been back a wet week to Ireland home} and/or the setting was so familiar to me — in my own personal NYC loft-style fabulousness {LOL— no so much} that I felt perfectly comfortable.
00 SMOCK ALLEY
Sure, and you wouldn’t know you were in Dublin a’tall.

The vibe was all Irish, or what I’ve come to equate with being an Irish beauty bird: we all know each other, if we don’t, we soon do, and everyone is cool and nice and, and, everything. I always feel so proud of us whenever we get together. *Sniffle*

Let’s get to it!
02 BUMBLE VOLUME
My hair came under the comb of KT from Sobe Brown, Cork, known for their expert use of bumble+bumble products. I haven’t been well acquainted with the brand, TBH. I tried their deeep hair mask years ago, and was impressed, but haven’t found a shampoo & conditioner duo that I like.

03 HAIR
I very much liked what KT did with my hair though, a style in which the Bb thickening hair spray figured largely. Lashed on the roots, it managed to lift the hair but stay light and non-sticky. Above, the moment I realised this very fact. Huh!

My cut and colour was thanks to Aileen Fennessey of Joseph Kramer Studio, Stillorgan — it is still receiving compliments, and the highlights are still going strong.

No sooner was I coiffed but I was whisked into the chair of Lori Taylor, the brand’s Global Pro Lead Artist. I apologised for being American; from California, I was certain Lori wasn’t expecting to have a Jersey Girl in front of her mirror. We did not let any coastal bias effect our time together, and had a great chat about all sorts. I was able to recommend an Irish single malt to bring home to her husband; she gave me a fab flicky, smokey look.
04 FLICKY!
Here’s the flicky! For me, the whole point of getting my make up done by a professional is having them do the things that I am crap at, like flicky eyeliner. I was the extreme opposite of disappointed.
05 SHADOWY!
And here’s the smokey! All the MUAs were availing of the excellence that is the Full Exposure Palette: with fourteen shades to take you from day to evening, from matte to sparkle, there is nothing that this can’t do. Well, okay, it won’t put it on you itself.
06 BLUSH!
Blushy! I haven’t been bothering with blush much these days, but was inspired to change that, by this. Lori used Halo Long Wear Blush, and when I say ‘used’, she barely tapped the brush into the miniscule bit she’d produced, using the grinder. It is serious pigment, and it really did wear long, too.
07 VOILA!
Lippy! Which is not actually lippy, but a secret thing — hang on — okay, looks like it’s not launched yet. Secret thing is still a secret. Check back in the summertime. Moving right along.

My time under the lights came up directly I was done with Lori {or rather, she was done with me…} I found it to be fun, throwing shapes in front of the seamless, and there was a wind machine. THERE WAS A WIND MACHINE: this is exactly what has been missing all my life! It is completely and utterly awesome and hilarious to be in front of a wind machine, getting your portrait taken. It went too fast!

I ended up hanging out, chatting with the PR team over from London, and then going out for cocktails with a couple of my blogger pals, and then swanning around the house trying to defer the dreaded hour when I’d have to take it all off.

Off I took it, because you should always, always take your make up off before you go to bed, right? Right!

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Weeks went by, and we all checked in with one another: did you get your picture? We were to receive one portrait retouched, and printed properly, and a USB with all the frames from the shoot.

People started getting theirs, and I still hadn’t, and I lost the actual run of myself. When it did appear, it was all I could do not to open the envelope right then and there, with my teeth.
Susan Conely_1064
As chosen by Davis himself!

And as chosen by me:
SBX select 01 RT

SBX select 04 RT

SBX select 02 RT
Haaaaahahahahaha I love this last one, as I said to a pal on Facebook, it’s my ‘look of irritated compassion before I lower the boom.’ Watch out, mortals!

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So, what’s the point of a post like this? Just showing off the fancy pictures of myself? If I didn’t routinely show unflattering snaps of my gob, I suppose you could draw that conclusion.

For me, it’s worth showing the entire experience of getting done up for the camera, how it changes step by step, to the end result, which is entirely different from any of the stops along the way. It’s like math — you show how everything adds up to the result — only it’s fun.

It’s also demonstrating how flattering a good face from a MUA is, and how well the Smashbox make up comes across digitally. The brand are so active when it comes to offering deals at their counters; maybe this will inspire you to give them a go the next time they have an event, especially if you haven’t tried them before.

I was surprised by the lack of colour, but damn, I would love to live in a B&W world!

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Make up? Make-up? Makeup? I was making myself cray trying to decide. I went with what turns out to be house style, unbeknownst to the only person in the house. ‘Make up’ it is!

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Your BFF + You + Smashbox = Glamourous Fun

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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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!
BUS STOP FACE
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.
CLINIQUE PALETTE
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

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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

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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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