It's the end of January (Praise Jesus!!!) and nearly the weekend and I bet you would love to be able to treat yourself to something lovely after another tough week at work.
BUT the bills are starting to fly in through your letter box including the massive credit card bill you ran up at Christmas. Well panic not my lovelies...here are my top five beauty treats under €5 (or there about). So go on spoil yourself a little...You deserve it after surviving the worst month of the year.
First up is the Botanics All Bright Radiance Balm. I read about this last week over on Beaut.ie and picked it up Boots after the "glowing" review they gave it. This really is a star buy guys. The light fluid just melts onto your skin leaving you with a soft healthy glow. You can wear it on it's own to brighten up tired dull skin or under your makeup. I have been wearing it under my makeup and it gives a lovely luminescent finish to the skin. I would compare it a little to the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm and will definitely have a permanent place in my makeup kit.
Also the ladies over at Beaut.ie have been using it as a liquid highlight.
(Read their review here http://beaut.ie/2015/boots-botanics-radiance-balm-we-spy-a-dupe)
It is currently on offer in Boots for €3.99 (regular RRP €7.99).
This is one of my all time favourite treats. A bath bomb from Lush! cosmetics. When you drop one of these little gems into your bath water it instantly turns your bathroom into a haven of peace. As it starts to fizz away it releases all its beautiful fragrances, turns your bath into the most beautiful pool of coloured H2o and you start to relax immediately. Light a few candles, put on your favourite music, have your PJ's warming on the radiator and then just slip into your blissful bath with a nice glass of wine in hand....HEAVEN!!!!
There are 100's to choose from...the only problem is which one to pick. Available in Lush Dublin & Cork
The Nivea Lip Butters are a great little treat as they are so easy to get your hands on. They leave your lips super soft - perfect for this time of the year when we are all suffering with chapped sore lips. They come in 5 different flavours and you can pick them up in most pharmacies for about €3.
Why not treat your sore chapped hands or poor tired feet. These brilliant little packs contain a pair of gloves (hands) or socks (feet) which you just slip on for 20mins. Then rinse off any excess product and you are left with beautifully soft hands & feet. You can pick them up in pharmacies, Penny's and I think some Euro stores nationwide. There are also different varieties available - I have seen Argan Oil ones aswell.
If you fancy a little makeup treat then head to your nearest Catrice stand. This really is a fantastic brand and these lip glosses are just gorgeous. I saw Charlene Flanagan (http://www.charleneflanaganmakeup.com/) who is an amazing makeup artist recommending no. 30 Rose, Would You...? (a beautiful nude) to a friend so I thought to myself well if Charlene likes it then maybe so would I. Of course I cannot just buy one product so I picked up no. 20 Best Seller, Trust Teller (A Rose shade kinda "your lips but better") aswell . These are great glosses, non sticky and long wearing. I will definitely be picking up more. I cannot remember the proper price but I am nearly 100% sure they are around the €5 mark.
And that's it. See you can treat yourself without breaking the bank. Now go buy yourself some pretty!
I hope you all have a fantastic weekend.
Ok here is part 2 of my long overdue makeup brush series.
These are my eye & concealer brushes. I know it might look like there are alot but I will explain each one to you.
First up is my all time favourite blending brushes. On the left is the Blank Canvas E26 and on the right is MAC 217. These are the exact same brush as far as I am concerned. The only difference is the price.
The Blank Canvas brush is €6.99 whilst the MAC one is €25. Wow!!!
I use these brushes every day. They are perfect for running a wash of colour all over the eye but are also brilliant for applying colour to the crease area. Super soft and fluffy these take all the hard work out of blending.
Next up is another MAC brush (on the right). The 239 is the perfect size for packing shadow on the lid or blending colour underneath the eye. I have had this brush for years (it was one of my first MAC brushes) and use it daily. It washes really well and keeps it's it shape perfectly. It is €28 so a little on the pricey side.
(A more affordable equivalent is the Blank Canvas E35 which is €6.99)
Beside the 239 is the Mint Brush 20 Blending Brush. Mint brushes were created by one of my all time favourite makeup artist Eman. I have followed her videos on Youtube for years and she is one of the main reasons I decided to train as a makeup artist. (https://www.youtube.com/user/makeupbyeman). Anyway the Mint Brush 20 is brush is perfect for applying eyeshadow in your crease area and is so soft it blends the shadow out perfectly. It has a pointed tip which allows you to achieve great precision with shadow application. I also use this brush for applying highlight to the inner corner of the eye and along my check bones. It is available from http://www.mintbrushes.com for $15.
These next three brushes have been in my makeup bag pretty much since I started to use makeup. I cannot remember where I bought them and the names have long worn off the handles. On the left is my spoolie. I use this for brushing through my brows before applying any product and again after to keep my brows looking as natural as possible. In the centre in my pencil brush which I use for smudging shadow & liner and on the right is a small angled brush perfect for apply gel liner or shadow along the lashline/waterline. You will pick up similar brushes from any good brush company.
This is my big fluffy MAC 224 tapered blending brush. This is a great brush for beginners as it is brilliant for blending out shadows and fits perfectly into the crease. It is available from Brown Thomas for €32.50
And last but not least are two eyeshadow brushes but I actually use them for concealer. The brush on the left was just a generic blending brush I picked up in my local pharmacy for €6. It blends out concealer perfectly leaving you with a beautiful airbrushed finish. On the right is the Real Techniques Dome Shadow Brush. This is brilliant for getting into the inner corner of my eye where it is the darkest. I push/press on my concealer for better coverage. You can pick up all the Real Techniques Brushes from pharmacies nationwide.
And that's it. My essential makeup brushes.
If you are just starting out I would recommend the Real Techniques brushes and the Blank Canvas Cosmetic Brushes. Both companies make fantastic quality brushes and very affordable. You will pick up the Real Techniques brushes in pharmacies nationwide or on http://iherb.com (best value) and Blank Canvas from http://blankcanvascosmetics.com.
What are your favourite brushes?
Let me know in the comments below.
Until next time...Be Happy!!!
So on my never ending quest to find the perfect affordable/drugstore foundation I bought the
Catrice Photo Finish 18h Liquid foundation.
I am just going to do a quick review for you to give my first impressions.
So overall this is a keeper. I cannot believe I have only discovered this now.
Have any of your tried this or any of the other Catrice foundations?
Let me know in the comments below
Until next time....
P.S. I am omitting my usual closing words of Be Happy! as someone pointed out to me
"What if I don't want to be happy"...
So I asked on my Facebook page last week what would you like to read about next in my blog and I got a huge response requesting my favourite brushes. I am a massive brush fan - some people like to use there fingers to apply makeup, some only use a one or two brushes but me....
well I have one for everything.
Obviously I have a full makeup brush belt that is bursting at the seems with every type (and price) of brush for work but these are the ones I use everyday to apply my own makeup.
And because I use so many I have broken it down into 2 separate blogs...
This one is all about my base brushes and the next one will be my favourite eye & concealer brushes.
Hope you enjoy!!!
I have tested so many brushes over the past 15 years but these are definitely my all time favourite.
There are so many different brushes out there it can be difficult to know what to use. My collection consists of some highend brushes but mainly more affordable brands such as Real Techniques (which I love because they were designed by makeup artists Sam & Nic Chapman) and Blank Canvas which is a brilliant Irish company. Anyhoo on to the brushes!!!!
The first two I use for applying foundation and both of them I have bought in the 18 months.
First up is the Hot Pink F20 Flat Buffer Brush (HD Face Collection) from Blank Canvas. I picked these up at the last beauty show and have used pretty much nothing else to apply my own and my clients foundation since. This can be used with all liquid, cream and powder products and has the softest bristles of any brush I have used. I simply buff the foundation all over my skin and it leaves me with a beautiful flawless HD finish. And the best bit...Not only is it made by an Irish company but it only costs €13. Bargain for such an amazing brush. Check out their website here http://www.blankcanvascosmetics.com
My other favourite foundation brush is this Stipple Brush from E.L.F cosmetics. I have had this for about 18 months and use it when I want a airbrushed finish to my makeup. To explain it a little better I generally use this for tinted moisturiser or lighter foundations such as my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum. My "No Makeup" makeup days!!! And like the Blank Cosmetics brush above it washes brilliantly, never sheds its bristles and dries perfectly back into it's original shape.
I got it on iHerb.com for an AMAZING €2.58. Check out the website http://www.iherb.com.
For powder, bronzer and blush I use both of these brushes equally (which ever my hands lands on first). The top picture is the Real Techniques Blush Brush. This have a beautiful tapered head and super soft bristles. It washes brilliantly and I have 3 of these in my kit. It is a great all rounder brush. You can pick them up in pharmacies nationwide and it costs €12.99
The second one is from Lancome and I have had this since I worked in my first full time job back in 2000. I don't think they make it anymore but I still had to include it in my all time favourites.
It has lasted the test of time even after all the washing and years of use - it just goes to show that if you pay for quality it will last you a lifetime.
Another fairly new brush to my collection is the Blank Canvas F15 Small Tapered Brush. This is THE PERFECT brush for contouring as it fits beautifully into the hollows of your cheeks and I also use it for selective powdering i.e. under the eyes, around the nose etc. I don't know what I done without it. It is available from Blank Canvas and is €13.99
Actually before my Blank Canvas F15 I used the MAC 168. This is a beautiful angled contour brush and I still use it most days for apply blush/contour. It is available from all MAC stores for €37.50.
So that's pretty much it for my foundation/powder/contour/blush brushes. Stay tuned for my next blog which will be all about my favourite eye & concealer brushes.
Until next time...Be Happy!!!!
God it seems like I have a lot of favourites this year but in my defense I discovered quite a few new brands in the past 12 months. If I had to choose a favourite standout brand it would the Charlotte Tilbury range. Her shadows are beautifully pigmented and super blendable and I am completely in love with her contour palette. If you follow me on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram then you will probably have seen me post some of these already but stay tuned because I will give you a little more detail on each product.
So here goes in not particular order:
Foundations have pretty much stayed the same as last year. No matter what other bases I have in my kit I always seem to return to the Estee Lauder Double Wear for its coverage and staying power. And for everyday beautiful glowy healthy skin I alternate between Bourjois Healthy Mix, Healthy Mix Serum or Happy Lights.
I have been using the Dior Star foundation since mid December but I want to try it out for a while longer before giving a full review on it.
In my never ending quest to find a concealer to cover my dark circles I happened upon two this year. At one of our ITWBN meet ups this year the lovely Siobhan from Dreaming in Sequins (http://www.dreaminginsequins.com) told me about the Maybelline Eraser Eye concealer. I use it everyday, it lasts brilliantly and doesn't sit in my fine line.
The second one is Clarins Instant Concealer. This is such a beautiful creamy concealer that covers my dark circles perfectly. It instantly brightens the under eye area, doesn't flake and lasts all day.
As I mentioned above I love the Charlotte Tilbury range and this is such a super product. It's the Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze. I use it for a quick all over colour when I am in a rush or as a eye shadow base if I want a more intense longlasting look. I also love the Charlotte Tilbury eye shadow palette in Dolce Vita and have pretty much used it everyday since I got it.
The Maybelline Brow Satin has been a real stand out product for me in 2014. I always used shadow and an angled brush to fill in my brows but I picked this up on impulse in my local pharmacy one day and it has been a staple in my bag ever since. It has a waxy pencil at one end perfect for filling in and shaping your brows and the other end has a finely milled powder to set them in place. And it's a steal at only €8.99
I love love love mascaras and am always trying out new one. There was 2 stand out ones for me this year. For volume, length and curl it has to be the Maybelline Colossal Go Extreme Leather Black. This gives big bold lashes perfect for night time. And for definition and length it has to be Seventeen Falsifeye HD Mascara. It doesn't clump or flake and I cannot believe it is only €8.89
I love to contour but not the extreme like Kim K and mostly just use a matte bronzer. However since discovering The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow it has become my number one product of 2014. Not because of the pretty packaging or the famous name attached to it but because it is the perfect contouring kit for me.
The Bronze shade in the CT palette is a gorgeous warm colour which won't leave you looking tangoed or ashy. Perfect for pale Irish skin and because the powder is really fine you can build up the intensity to suit you without it looking too heavy. The highlight is a beautiful golden champagne colour and leaves a fabulous satiny sheen on the skin which is very flattering on all skintones.
I generally keep my blush fairly simply and love both of these colours. MAC Warm Soul is the most beautiful warm peachy colour that suits every skin tone. It gives a sheer wash of colour to the skin and is THE perfect everyday shade. If I had to choose a drugstore brand of the year then it would definitely be NYX. There blushes are amazing with my favourite been Mauve (weird name).This is a soft natural warm pinky colour and leaves a lovely glow to the skin. A perfect every day shade.
Over the past 12 months I haven't really had a stand out lipstick. I have however been loving the NYX Butter Glosses. These Butter Glosses are creamy, highly pigmented and comfortable to wear leaving you semi-opaque colour coverage that last well throughout the day.
The Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector is the the perfect mix of a balm, tint and a gloss all rolled into one. I have the shade Rosewood but will definitely be adding more of these to my collection. It is basically your lips but better in one little tube.
So that's it - My 2014 favourites.
Let me know in the comments below what was your stand out products from last year.
Until next time...Be Happy!!!
Happy New Year everyone!!!.
Did you all miss me?
I took a break from blogging over the Christmas simply to wind down and enjoy the holidays with my
family & friends and let me tell you I had a ball. Of course I ate and drank far too much but it was all worth it.
I hope you all had a fantastic time also and that Santa was very good!!!
I love reading other people's blogs and watching YouTube videos on what people got for Christmas so I thought for my first blog of 2015 I would share with you what I received.
(Disclaimer: I'm not trying to show off here peeps. I am very grateful for all the gifts I got. I simply love reading these type of blogs (cause I'm so nosy) and I hope you do too so if you get easily offended then stop reading now).
I was very lucky this year and not only received one but two bottles of Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede perfume thanks to my bestie Annmarie & my fab hubbie Paul. This has been on my wish list for ages and I fell madly in love the first time I smelt it.
It's quite a difficult fragrance to describe so maybe I will just do a separate blog post reviewing it.
I have a weird obsession with stationary especially notebooks and diaries so what thrilled to get these from my friends at work. The red one is a beautiful notebook which I am currently using for my blog ideas and the floral one is a brilliant diary. It has recipes, room for notes, contacts, Christmas card lists and of course a full calendar. Love Love Love them!!!! Thanks Shona & Ev.
Another gift from my hubbie was this brilliant Makeup Case. I have one already but its a little battered so I promised to take much better care of this one. It has 6 drawers, loads of side pockets and loads of room at the top for all your makeup/nail/beauty products.
At home we do Secret Santa and this year my brother John was buying for me. He was super with the gifts and got my 2 tickets to go and see the Coronas in February and of course no Christmas would be complete without a voucher for Brown Thomas.
Most amazing makeup range of 2014 has to be Charlotte Tilbury.
My sister Breda and bestest cousin Sinead both got me eyeshadow palettes from the range. Breda got me The Vintage Vamp (on the right) whilst Sinead got me The Dolce Vita (on the left). I love them both so much. The shadows are so easy to apply and blending is a dream. I will definitely be adding more of these to my kit.
I got a new bit of bling for my Mi Moneda chain.
Another gift I got two of!!!! People know me so well!!!
I think the every house in Ireland received a coffee machine this year. They are hugely popular and I love mine.
Oh I gave the second one to my brother and his girlfriend because they just had a new baby so will need plenty of coffee for the sleepless nights :-)
I got this gorgeous jewellery holder from another friend of mine. It is so pretty - I actually had it full of Lindt Lindor chocolates all Christmas but alas they are all gone now.
Michael Kors must have made a fortune this Christmas!!!
Everyone I met out over Christmas had a bag, purse or some piece of jewellery from the designer. His stuff is fabulous though.
I got this beautiful black purse from my husband to match my shoulder bag. Love!
We do Secret Santa at work also and I was buying this No7 in the Black Friday sales so my work SS bought it for me as my present.
I love it. One side is a standard mirror whilst the other side is a 5x magnification mirror. Great for tweezing!!! It lights up also and you can tilt the top to get the perfect angle.
My last gift is from another Secret Santa group. We have a cousins Viber chat and decided to do SS for the fun as we had arranged to meet up for a girly night out over the Christmas. I happened to get my sister and she bought me this gorgeous Charlotte Tilbury makeup bag. Cheers Bridie you are just the best.
So you can see I wasn't exaggerating when I said I was pretty spoilt this year with presents. A huge thank you to my family and friends for everything. You are simply amazing and I love you all very much.
Until next time
Lover of all things beauty, Makeup Artist, Blogger & Wife . I am always on the look out for the perfect makeup or the best beauty product so keep reading to follow my never ending quest!