I Try Before You Buy: Palettes of the Eyeshadow Persuasion

01 YSL couture
YVES SAINT LAURENT Couture Variations 10-color Eye Palette in Tuxedo €70
*****
This is an almost unbelievable world of combinations here, in a wealth of textures — although they do err on the side of sparkly, a side I have been known to err on lo these many years. It’s suits its name as it does feel very formal, but don’t be put off by strength of the pigments: the key matte shades are there for day, and the deeply rich ones (love the navy) are there to transition you into the evening. The lightest touch has you covered, and the colours stay strong.

02 ISADORA eye bar
ISADORA Eye Color Bar in Nude Essentials €17.50
***
These are not rich in pigment, but they are long-lasting, the perfect sort of non-dramatic hue and intensity for a day at the office. This is not damning with faint praise: most of us can’t rock up to the office like we’re ready to go clubbing at the drop of a mouse. If you want to enhance your peepers and still look professional, you won’t do any better than this — but when you are ready to drop that mouse and go out to play on a school night, you may find yourself caught short. The Surf & Sun Eye Color bar is like a Caribbean holiday in a palette, complete with yellow and green, so if you’re more adventurous, you’ll have a blast playing with it. I personally love that purple and teal…

03 NO7 mini palette
NO 7 Mini Eye Palette €14.25
***
Not just for mini eyes, ha ha. Actually, this palette isn’t at all mini, but it is slim. The ‘mini’ designation is, I think, due to the palette’s being comprised of the top shades from No7’s line of eyeshadows. These are surprisingly hefty in terms of pigment, and I’m starting to feel a little bit misled by the whole ‘mini’ designation. I like the container, it’s sleek and looks expensive, which it is so not. I’d pop this in the carry-on and go travelling with it.

04 CLARINS garden escape
CLARINS PARIS Garden Escape 6-Colour Eye Palette €41
**
Love these colours in theory, and as ever, the shades are long-lasting and rich, but that green. I don’t even know what to do with that. I played around with it, and it became apparent fairly quickly that I needed a professional to show me how to do this. If your skillz are up to it, then there’s lots to like here. If you have The Fear of mad colours, go with a classic Clarins palette.

FUSCHIA
FUSCHIA MAKE-UP The Pro Collection €45
***
This is fun! You too can walk in the footsteps of many a make-up artist, thanks to Fuschia, by personally selecting each and every color you put in your palette. You can buy a Pro Palette Senoir {€18} or Junior {€18}, and fill it repsectively woth large pans {€7.50} or small ones {€5.50}. Nothing I love better than playing with colour, so once you’ve decided to go big or go small, you can start choosing your hues. Choosing colour online, however, has inherent drawbacks. If you’ve got a good eye and decisive mind, then you are laughing. If you can’t picture the colours on your face — which is totally understandable — this may be seem daunting. I received many compliments recently when I used this, and the look lasted the whole night long.
fuschia.ie

SLEEK Vintage Romance
SLEEK MAKE-UP I-Divine Eyeshadow Palette in Vintage Romance €10
****
These mineral eye shadows have more pigment in one little pan than many palettes have in their entirety. These are very very smokey, and may be hard to manage — but practice, and you’ll get a long-lasting, dramatic look rather than a panda-bearish vibe. For a tenner, this is going to last an age and a half — perhaps even an aeon. There are 13 palettes to choose from, so for the price of many of the above, you can have the eyeshadow department of your beauty regime completely sorted for months to come. See http://www.sleekmakeup.com for the full line.

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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}
****
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}
***
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.

***

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!

***

YSL Le Teint Encre de Peau Is Very OMG

TBH, I don’t know that I’ve ever felt like demanding ink-like coverage from a foundation. Yves Saint Laurent seems to think I have, insisting that their new innovation is the result of such a demand. Ink, like tats? I don’t know… I put off trying this just because I couldn’t imagine. Ink.

Well. Maybe paint is more like it. I wouldn’t mind the richness of Windsor Newton on my gob, minus the oil. I think maybe it’s the airbrush effect they’re talking about? Anyway, I finally cracked open my sample of Le Teint Encre de Peau — or Fusion Ink Foundation — and was stupid with happiness from the first touch of it on my face.

There are 21 shades in the complete palette, but only (only!) 16 to choose from in Ireland*; there’s a doe-foot applicator attached to the cap, which will get you going, but I went back over my face lightly a second time with a foundation brush. The eyes aren’t as sleepy as they ought to be, at the time of the morning these no-filter selfies were taken — I was so delighted with the result, it was better for my awake-ness than two cups coffee.

YSL ENCRE 1

YSL ENCRE 2

The thing that this does: when it dries, it doesn’t get that cakey look that some foundations unfortunately do. It looks coherent and smooth, yet nuanced — meaning that your face looks all one tone, without looking flat.

I’ve never use the words ‘coherent’ and ‘nuanced’ in a beauty review, ever. I am inspired to flights of fancy and creativity by this stuff. YSL The ENCRE ITSELF

Most importantly: later in the day, it pretty much looked the way it looked when I’d first put it on. Now, my world is not hermetically sealed. I don’t go from taxi to wherever to taxi to home, shuttled around like a hothouse flower. I walk, I take public transport, I move around, exposed to the elements. This was as close to element-proof as I’ve come across.

In fact, the other day for old times sake, I used what once was my go-to foundation, and I think it’s been replaced. The difference between the state of my complexion at the end of the day was stunning. Old Fave had gone all greasy and shiny; New Fave had a tiny bit of shine, but was predominately as matte as the moment it was applied.

I’m not saying that you won’t need to take some shine off at some stage during the day, if your day is a long one — you probs will. The thing is, you won’t be doing excessive damage control: I found the usual T-bar area (forehead and nose) needed an auld blot, but otherwise? It stayed true to its first impression — and that is truly impressive.

***

€40/£30.50/$60

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* That’s the impression I get from t’internet: there are 21 in Amurrica, probs due to a greater range in skin tones than we have here.

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

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.

***

€24/£18/$27

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*Any recs?

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Lucky Thirteen of 2013: Lippy, and the View From Below My Nose

WARNING: clicking through these links may result in PTND*.

I was into lipstick this year! I say that like it is news, like I haven’t posted this picture:
ALL THE LIPPYs
These were just the ones that were by the place where I keep my going-out-the-door stuff: my purse, the thingie with my Leap Card in it, my sunglasses.

Lots of lippys — thirteen, in fact — lots of pictures of my nose from an… interesting angle.

I reviewed eight shades of lipp-ay here, which alerted me to the proboscis problem — and then I clearly just chose to ignore it because: here I went again, and again, and… yeah. Um, and this one. And then also.

Sheesh.

The main issue I see is that I have not been wearing nearly enough purple/mauve lipstick.

There’s my new year’s resolution sorted!

***

*Post Traumatic Nostril Disorder

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Yippy! Lippy! A/W 2013: An Assortment

Let’s just get right to it, shall we?
CLARINS joli rouge
CLARINS PARIS Joli Rouge in Pink Camellia, €21
This is light and yet brimming with pigment. I likey much, except for the part where I’ve eaten and it has bled all over the place. God, I hate lipliner, but there may be nothing for it…

***

YSL Rouge Neon
YVES SAINT LAURENT Rouge Pur Couture Pur Colour Satiny Radiance in Rouge Neon, €31
The orangey-red doesn’t suit me particularly, but the texture of this is pure luxe.

***

ARMANI Lip Maestro
GIORGIO ARMANI Lip Maestro Intense Velvet Colour in 505, €28.50
This is amazzzzze. It is much poppier and neon pink in real life, and the compliments! They flooded in! Not so great to be wearing unless you are nil by mouth: I got some on my *nose* because I was drinking champagne and kept moving the glass around. Do people drink from the same spot on a champagne glass? Have I got some class of disorder? Don’t answer that.

This is indeed velvety, and super intense, and I adore it.

***

BUFF sex on heels
BUFF MAKE UP Lipstick in sex on heels, €18
Like this one, too. The pigment is autumnal café au lait, and it is the sort of lippy I can apply like a gloss: swiftly, without looking, because it’s neutral. Which I like… I feel like this needs more make up surrounding it, to really work well.

***

LANCOME l'absolu velours peche?
LANCÔME L’Absolu Velours Matte Effect in Velours de Pêche, €25
Loving matte texture as a general vibe, and liking it here espêche. Ahhhhh, see what I did there.

***

BENEFIT wing woman
BENEFIT Hydra-Smooth Lip Color, Full Finish in wing woman, €22
Hmmm. There’s a new lippy in town, via our pals from San Fran, and this is meant to be the full finish version, as opposed to the mediums and sheers on offer. More to come re: this line, but I was not wowed by this coverage.

***

DR HAUSCHKA novum
DR HAUSCHKA Lipstick Novum in 09, Miraculous Rose €16.50
Waa! Also feeling ‘meh’ about this, too, and I had such love for the oldum Novums, as demonstrated here. This is light, if you want light, and reflective, if you want reflective.

***

REVLON Lip Butter
REVLON Colorburst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake, €9.60
Not terribly autumnal, but the texture! of! this! lippy! It is the perfect mid-point between gloss and stick, and the shine is terrific. I am sure that they must have suitably deep colours for the time of year that is almost in it; until I find out more about them, this will do me just fine, thanks.

***

Soz, probably should have posted a ‘nostril alert’. Hope no one is scarred for life…

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