Tag Archives: review

2011 Spring/Summer Trends: Bright Makeup

20 Mar

Love how this most eye-popping shades are made wearable due to the refined application tricks. Can wait to try this out!

Lips are equally dramatic


MAC’s PeaCocky range which launched in February has everything you’ll be looking for to pull off the 2011 trends.

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Nars helps us brighten up the Valentines blues.

15 Feb

For Spring’s bright, playful look, Nars introduces a Tainted Love limited-edition gift set.

The Tainted Love set contains:
Angelika Lip Gloss
Angelika Multiple
Schiap Nail Polish.

In true NARS fashion, the set is housed in vibrant packaging that makes them as exciting on the outside as they are on the inside.

Angelka is a cotton candy hue with gold particles – *lust*.

 

Are sulphate shampoos causing your hair loss? Why I’m saying Yes To Carrots!

11 Feb

I’m constantly searching for hair products that do not contain sulfates or silicon. My reasons are as follows:

Sulfates, which are very common in shampoo and skin care products, strip your hair (or skin) of natural oils causing it to dry out. In fact, they even aggravate the problem of hair loss. And silicone shampoos or conditioners can weigh your hair down and make it look flat and greasy, especially if you’ve naturally curly hair.

Sometimes with natural shampoos and conditioners you only get a day or so out of your hair before you need to wash it again, however when I used Yes To Carrots Nourishing Carrot Shampoo I found I got up to four days (I know, I’m scummy, but believe me with hair as long as mine you don’t want wash it every other day.) I apply the shampoo, massage my scalp and leave it there for a couple of more minutes almost like a mask for my scalp.


I also use the conditioner from this line which I adore, though it might be a little light for my very thick hair, or perhaps I should leave it on for longer.

Overall I’ve been so impressed with this line that I’ve repurchased their body wash twice and image I will purchase it again. The smell is absolutely gorgeous, one of the nicest, cleanest scents I’ve ever come across.

Yes to Carrots Eye and Makeup Remover is next on my ‘wish list’!

To buy try amazon or click here for Irish retailers

If you think Blondes have more fun it’s only because you’ve never been a Redhead.

26 Nov

Throughout history, redheads have been feared and revered, loathed and adored, degraded and exalted. It’s one hair colour which provokes such a definite response.

For many years I hated being a redhead. As a child I would search the shelves in toy stores for a doll with my hair colour, to no avail. As a teenager I’d flick through Vogue and Elle in search of a runway model with red hair. Neither were there any redheaded newsreaders, celebrities or movie stars. It was as if red hair was still seen as something ugly, something which people didn’t want to see or emulate.

And then in the late eighties Pretty Woman and Julia Roberts came along, at last, someone with red hair who was deemed beautiful. I wanted to be just like her (albeit not a hooker). So I permed my hair, bought knee-length boots and waited for my Richard Gere.


Yet it was the 90s before I saw red-haired dolls in the shops, and even today they’re still uncommon.

Redheaded Barbie

However, there are many beautiful redheads who are now celebrated and adored, from Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and to natural redheads like Juliane Moore and Debra Messing who never faltered from their roots…


And those we wish had stayed red, like Lindsay Lohan…

…to new flaming redheads like Rihanna.

We’re slowly beginning to realise that what makes us different is what makes us beautiful.

Becoming a redhead has never been easier as at last there’s an incredible range to choose from, I’m particularly excited by John Frieda Precision Foam Colour, a new range which offers an extensive colour chart of reds.

Detailed review of this new ‘easy to use product’ which promises ‘salon results’ to follow in the coming weeks.

Voya – helping us start the day over.

23 Nov

You know how sometimes changing your outfit can make you feel better. There’s nothing like a pink tulle skirt to lift my spirits. Or my wanna-be cashmere jumper with the red heart. Or a pair of shoes so gloriously high they almost tilt me over the edge I’m already teetering on.

In the same way the perfect yin to the yang of a bad day (and today was one of those days) is to shed my skin, or at least the top layer. It almost feels like starting over. Washing away the day. Hence, I’m a big fan of exfoliators.

For my face I have long favoured chemical exfoliators (such as skin brighteners containing salicylic acid), and for my body I’ve use various physical exfoliators (including exfoliating gloves, towels and scrubs). These products help shed old dead cells leaving skin dewy and smooth. Or at least that’s the idea.

However, of late, I’ve found the physical exfoliator I was using left my skin dry, so I’d reduced how often I used it and ultimately tried a new brand – Voya Body Buff (Time to Shine). I wasn’t familiar with this brand but I liked the fact that the ingredients were organic – made from hand-harvested seaweed.

The scent is certainly natural, almost sea-like but very light, and the consistency is creamy with moderate grains.

When I first lathered it on my skin I thought it was fairly similar to other exfoliators I’d used so my expectations weren’t particularly high. But after I showered and dried I noticed something which made me very happy. My skin was silk to touch without even the slightest hint of dryness. In fact I was so impressed I also used this body product on my face which yielded similar results. I’m looking forward to trying products from the rest of their range.

Price: €10

For full range see: www.voya.ie

One-hundred years old and looking good!

20 Nov

Elizabeth Arden is 100 years old and to celebrate the skin care giant have launched a limited edition Eight Hour Cream in a vintage-meets-5th-Avenue pots, which I think you’ll agree will make the perfect stocking filler this Christmas.

This little pot of cream can be used for everything from chapped lips, dry cuticles, unruly eyebrows, cracked feet, glossy eyelids (i.e mix with dark eye shadow to achieve a sexy smoky eye effect) and is great to keep your skin hydrated on long flights.

Inside Katherine Heigl’s make-up bag

12 Nov
Katherine Heigl's Favorites

Yves Saint Laurent Anti-Cernes Concealer No. 1 in Ivory Beige, $28.50; amazon.com.

Pout Flush Blush in Pink, $22; victoriassecret.com.
Shu Uemura Velvet Perfect Adjusting Powdery Foundation in No. 754, $32.50; shuuemura.com.
Stila Convertible Eye Color in Berry, $18; sephora.com
Hylexin Eye Cream, $95; hylexin.com

Stila Lip Polish in Shimmer, $20; sephora.com
Pout Eyesheer in Calypso, $20; pout.co.uk
Tarte Dual Gloss in Lois & Clark, $19; tartecosmetics.com
L’Oreal Feather-Lash Mascara in Black, $8; drugstore.com

(See InStyle for more)

Take the shine off.

11 Nov


There’s a big difference between sporting a ‘healthy dewy glow’ and looking like your face has underground oil rigs that have just sprung some leaks – namely on your nose, forehead and chin. We’re all familiar with that unattractive sheen which makes us glow in photos, and which always occurs at the most inopportune times like during your first date with Mr Right, or as you sit in the waiting room before your big interview or on your wedding day.  Instead arm yourself with the ‘shiny girl’s saviours’ which promise to take the shine off your face (in the best possible way).

After your make-up application is complete fix it in place with a light spritz of Urban Decay All-Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray (Available from Boots).

When the sheen strikes the last thing you want to do is apply more face powder as it just gives a chalky finish which can end up leaving your make-up looking blotchy and heavy, instead try Paul and Joe miniature Blotting Paper (asos.com)

Or The Body Shop Tea Tree Facial Blotting Tissues (also comes in Camomile for sensitive skin) or Dior Blotting papers, one sheet is enough to blot the whole face during touch-ups or when humidity hits.


The Miracle Mask, my best find for 2010, refines pores – incredible.

17 Oct

Every night I generously lather on anti-aging creams and each morning I slap on copious amounts of sunblock, in between there are face masks, eye creams and high-tech facials, all doing their little bit to help slow down the aging process, but in reality I won’t know if these products are really working until many years down the road.  I hope my face won’t be blueprint of the late hours, excess wine drinking, hangovers and ten years of smoking  which were my twenties (I know, insert much eye rolling) –  instead I hope the healthy eating, expensive face creams, fitness and moderate wine drinking of my thirties will pay dividend – but we’ll have to wait and see.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found a product which worked instantly.  Let me introduce The Miracle Mask (NUDE skincare) which dramatically refined my pores after only one use.

Oddly, this product’s label didn’t make any claims about refining pores, however, it did promise to ‘dramatically improve skin’, but they all seem to promise that so I didn’t take much notice. In truth I just carelessly dabbed some of this mask onto my face, vacuumed my bedroom while I waited for it to ‘work’, and then washed it off some minutes later.  In the time it took me to clean my bedroom floor I was, unknown to me, getting a new skin.  My opened pores were reduced by at least seventy per cent and my skin felt taut and new without the dehydrated tightness that often accompanies products like this which contain AHAs, though these AHAs are from milk, which means they’re natural and this may have made all the difference.

Lots of products have the word ‘miracle’ in the name but few have earned the title.

What it is: A facial mask for instant radiance and skin-brightening results.

What it is formulated to do: Nude Miracle Mask exfoliates and stimulates skin for a revitalised complexion. It contains natural alpha hydroxyl acids, which benefit the skin with their light exfoliating and moisturising properties, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, skin lightening and firming, and increased collagen production.

What it is formulated WITHOUT:– Parabens- Sulfates- Synthetic Fragrances- Synthetic Dyes- Petro-Chemicals- Phthalates

What else you need to know:The perfect pre-party mask, this incredible treatment is recommended for all skin types except the very sensitive.

(Sephora.com)

Here’s a link to Space NK’s Miracle Mask http://bit.ly/bJnJZu if anyone knows somewhere in Ireland to purchase this please let me know and I’ll add it here.

Link to Miracle Mask site http://bit.ly/9LAuZw

For more independent reviews: http://bit.ly/9LanfG

Frownies – patches that reduce wrinkles while you sleep

7 Oct

The Promise

  • Frownies are a simple method to reverse deep expression lines Frownies repair wrinkle-damaged skin without dangers of injections or toxic chemicals
  • Dramatically reduce lines and wrinkles safely and naturally
  • Trains the underlying facial muscles to regain the strength and tone they have lost
  • Use daily or nightly; leave on for a minimum of three hours

The Results

There are many things I’d do for beauty and going around with tape stuck on my face is one of them. Yes, no shame, no gain.

Now that I’m in my 30s  I’ve started to notice frown lines so I gladly stuck on these frownies every night for a week. They may not do much for one’s sex kitten status but  they do  smooth out brow furrows to such an extent that you can’t even see see the lines anymore. With consistent use you will see results but don’t expect to see a dramatic change after one use.

A sleek solution – one simple hair product which conditions, styles and protects.

27 Sep

Moroccanoil.

Imagine taking a Troll doll and scrubbing its hair with Daz, then tumble drying it on full speed. The result? An electrified, back-combed afro of hair, which is a fairly accurate description of what my hair looks like when I let it dry naturally.

If, like me, you have a not quite straight, not quite curly mane of hair otherwise known as frizz then you’ll be excited by what I’m about tell you. There is a cure and it’s called Moroccanoil – a bottle of sweet smelling magic that will turn the untamed beast that lives on top of your head into a bundle of silky, shiny, easily managed gorgeousness. So gorgeous, in fact, that it would make Cheryl Cole swoon with envy.

Multi-functional

Moroccanoil works with all hair types but is especially effective on naturally wavy tresses, hair which easily frizzes, or reacts badly to drizzly Irish rain. It can be used as a styling, finishing or conditioning product and if that wasn’t enough, it also protects against sun damage, humidity and other harsh environmental factors. The perfect rehydration treatment for colour damaged hair or for those of us with an addiction to ceramic straightening tongs.

How I use it

I apply a little to my split ends before I wash my hair and then I apply some more before I untangle my mop and blow-dry it straight – the result is sleek healthy looking hair. Or if I’m in a rush – which is most of the time – I apply a generous amount of this product to my towel dried hair and then on my way to work turn up the car heater to high, by the time I arrive I’ve a head of salon curls. Though be careful to keep it away from your roots or you’ll end up looking like Mrs Doyle from Father Ted. And in the words of Mrs Doyle, “Go on, go on, go on…” and treat yourself to this oil which was also included in this year’s Oscar goodie bags.

Price: 35 euros, available from www.cdwow.ie

LiLash Purified Eyelash Stimulator works, but at what cost.

23 Sep

The good news is this product works, in only two and half weeks I was seeing results – longer, glossier thicker lashes.

The bad news.

It began to irritate my skin, it was only a mild irritation and itch but enough for me to look into the ingredients which is what I should have done before I tried this product. It contains Prostaglandin, the possible side effect from this chemical include eye colour change. What was even more worrying was the fact that it contains a preservative called methylchloroisothiazalinone. In high concentrations this could cause chemical burns and it is a skin and membrane irritant, thus the pigmentation changes.

Would you brush your teeth in public? Well now you can.

21 Sep

Applying make-up at a dining table? No way.  Pluck your eyebrows in public view of anyone? Would prefer not. File your nails in the office? Okay, sometimes, but only if a nail breaks. Brush your teeth while waiting for the bus? WHAT?

That’s right. Apparently it’s just fine to wash your pearly whites on a bus, in the back of a taxi, or where ever the mood takes you. And that’s why Colgate have launched single-use toothbrushes. The blue bead released a minty flavour as the plastic bristles scrub your teeth (no rinsing required) and they’ve apparently come a long way from the little plastic one-use tooth brushes you used be able to buy in public bathrooms of swanky hotels.

Colgate Wish Peppermint Brushes are available from amazon.com and drugstore.com $2.50 for four.

Beauty Boffin’s Bargain Find: Nail Inc. pedicure set reduced from €75 to €31

17 Sep

Sole Patrol, the ultimate treat for beautiful feet.

This fun and fabulous collection includes everything a customer could need for a luxurious at home pedicure.

Full size Mexican lime heel balm – in gorgeous brand new packaging

Mini Eaton exfoliator – gives you super smooth feet in an instant

Harley street ridge filling base coat – perfect for toes

Draycott place bright orange red nail polish

Chelsea park gardens neon coral nail polish – limited edition

The vale pure plum nail polish – limited edition

Toe separators

REDUCED FROM:

€75.80 €31.75

The Beauty Boffin’s review of Nivea ‘Good-bye Celluite – 10 Day Serum’.

16 Sep

I’m not sure how it happened but overnight my legs were hit by a meteor shower of cellulite. So I’m almost glad the Summer is over because I can pull myself away from the impulse to buy every beauty product with the term ‘cellulite treatment’ written on the bottle.

The first product I bought back in June was Nivea ‘Good-bye Celluite’. 10 Day Serum.

I loved the name and also loved the fact that it was a serum. When I first used this product I got very excited because it has the most divine scent, possibly the Lotus extract, it’s both uplifting and luxurious, as is the texture. It goes on easily, almost velvety, thought I found I had to be quite generous with the application to cover my thighs and I’ve got fairy skinny thighs (think Kermit the frog legs).

I used it daily for ten days but I didn’t see any difference whatsoever, bar the fact that I smelled like a very expensive bar of soap. And what really ticked me off was that by day ten the bottle of serum was empty. I know the label says ‘ten day serum’ but I didn’t actually think that meant there was only enough for ten days.

If this product was cheaper I would buy it simply because of the heavenly scent but I certainly wouldn’t purchase it to treat cellulite. Sigh. The search continues.

The Secret behind flawless Hollywood faces

15 Sep

Amazing Cosmetics concealer

Drew Barrymore says she won’t leave the house without Amazing Cosmetics concealer, this statement alone was enough to polevault me to the computer to order some of this magic potion.

The product’s promise: Say “Au revoir” to dark circles, blemishes, sun damage, broken capillaries, redness and more.

Does it work?

It does, but you have to be really careful when applying it.   A little goes a long way and it’s essential to use a make-up/concealer brush.

Apply pin dot amounts of concealer  at the inside corner of each eye. Three dots in the shape of a triangle is all you’ll need to erase under eye circles.

I found it totally covered dark circles and stayed put all day, even in humid conditions. It didn’t create that dry starchy appearance which sometimes happens with concealer but I had applied eye cream first, when I lent it to someone else to try their experiences were different. They found it dried and caked on their under-eye area.  I think this was because the beauty boffin in question applied too much, but she begs to differ, so the jury is still out on this one. I guess I liked it but I don’t think it lived up to the hype to be honest and I also thought it was  over-priced at forty dollars plus postage.

It is a celebrity favourite because they need a hundred per cent coverage when they’re being consistently snapped by the paps, for us mere mortals I think the cheaper alternatives are just as good.



Paying for the science is worth the money – Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift

14 Sep

Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift.

In truth I would pay all sorts of ridiculous sums of money or even pull out the big guns in the form of my credit card if I was guaranteed that a beauty product would work, that it really would do what it says on the label.  And I too know the disappointment of spending a vast sum of  money on a product which is about as potent and effective on lines as whipped cream, so I don’t say this lightly –  Perricone MD High Potency Eye Lift works.

What you’re not paying for is an expensive perfume  or fancy packaging, what you are paying for is scientifically proven ingredients.

I saw this product working immediately, after the first application the fine lines around my eyes began to blur and ultimately dissolve.  It also tightened the skin without causing that drying sensation I’ve experienced with other eye products.

I would not hesitate in buying it again, even at this price, it’s worth every penny and it was no surprise to later learn that this product is a best-seller and recommended by dermatologists.

Price €95

An Orgasm in a Tube – The latest from NARS’ famed Orgasm range

13 Sep

Okay, so this has been available in Brown Thomas for a few months but every time I go to buy it it’s sold out.  This of course just makes me want it more and finally I got my hands on the latest in NARS’ famed Orgasm range, the Orgasm Illuminator is a shimmering pinky-peach highlighter that looks super-sensual and is especially  suited to Irish skin tones.

It doesn’t matter any which way you wear it: as a primer, blush or on your arms, legs and décolleté. Its sheer consistency imparts a light shimmery veil of colour that looks amazing. I prefer it for night time than day but if you’re tanned or darker then it would look sensational for daytime wear as well.

How to use it:

Though the Orgasm Illuminator goes on sheer, its colour is buildable. Using your fingertips, simply pat the colour onto your skin to amplify the shimmery peach colour, stopping only when you’ve reached your desired intensity. Try this on your cheeks and temples for an ultra-modern, drop dead sexy look.

Where to buy it:

Now in stock in Brown Thomas

Price:

€29

Update with purple this season

11 Sep

Purple, violet, lavender, lilac are huge on-trend colours for this season. If you’re not bold enough to wear this colour on your lips then consider it as an eye-shadow. It’s incredibly flattery on every skin tone and colouring, particularly redheads. And is the quickest way to update to your make-up.

One Night’s Sleep Away From Wrinkle Free Skin.

8 Sep

Chest-A-Peel

Chest-A-Peel’s pillow pads aim to prevent creasing and reduce wrinkles while you sleep – that’s what the advert promised (insert eye-rolling).

I gasped at the picture of said product and laughed, I mean do they think we’re complete morons or something, but still I couldn’t help myself, I did a quick search for reviews because I thought they’d be hilarious. They weren’t. In fact they were praising this device. Still, I didn’t really believe them.

So I got my hands on a Chest-A-Peel Pillow (even the name is all wrong, isn’t it). After enduring many jokes from husbands – jokes which won’t be repeated here but let’s just say the road to beauty isn’t always pretty or sexy – still, undettered I tried said pillow, which involves cushioning it between one’s boobs.

How it works:

When a woman sleeps on her side, the body’s natural weight distribution causes her skin to fold between her breasts. As skin loses resiliency with age, these folds become unsightly wrinkles and permanent creases on her chest.

The patented design of the heart series pad actually prevents the skin folds that occur during typical side-sleep and also actively works to repair existing wrinkles and creases on the chest. The heart-shaped pad actually absorbs the wrinkles that would otherwise develop on your chest while you sleep and protects your décolletage from further damage.

Just apply the pad at bedtime, and by the next morning, you’ll see a noticeable reduction in both the quality and quantity of wrinkles on your chest. Affordable and durable, Chest-A-Peel is for women of all ages, and can be worn as frequently (or infrequently) as desired.

The results

Okay, so pride is a hard boil to swallow but I had to shove it back down my throat and warn it to stay there because this product works and it works quickly. Creasing disappeared and after a few weeks of use my skin was totally unmarked.

See http://chestapeel.co.uk for before and after pics as there are many humiliations I’d go through for beauty but posting pics of my boobs isn’t one of them.

and also, www.chestapeel.com

Price £34.99