Monday, 14 December 2015

The One Eyeshadow Lookbook.

If you follow me on Instagram, it would probably seem that the aim of my FOTD posts is to put as many eyeshadows onto my eyelid as possible. While that is great fun altogether, truth be told ain't nobody got time for that - certainly not me on a daily basis. The "one eyeshadow look" is a personal favourite of mine and is so easy to achieve given the right products. These are just some my favourite things to use when I want to achieve a quick and easy smokey eye that looks like I put tonnes of effort in but secretly spent 5 minutes sloppily applying. I think this is perfect for a lazy student like me who would prefer an extra 20 minutes in bed, someone who isn't super confident in their makeup application skills/simply doesn't like fussing around with loads of different eyeshadows or, for those moments when you get a text planning a last minute night out with your gal pals. You can easily take one or even two of these products (if you're really feeling extra fancy) instead of an entire eyeshadow palette. I'd suggest adding a wing/smudging some kohl pencil around the eyes, tonnes of mascara and maybe even lashes and you've got a really well put together eye look in no time. 

Monday, 7 December 2015

Lush Christmas | Fairy Dust.

It feels like it has been ages since I mentioned anything Lush related on my blog. Their Christmas 2015 products have been out for quite a while, but I'm really only getting around to playing with some of them that I picked up last time I was at home. Something that I'm pretty sure is new to their lineup this year is Fairy Dust; a cute dusting powder with the famous Snow Fairy scent. I'm a massive fan of the Snow Fairy shower gel ("we've seen your empty posts, Grace, we know" I can hear you all saying) so if you like sweet candyfloss-esque products and haven't tried Snow Fairy yet I suggest you run to your nearest Lush and buy in bulk. Being such a big fan of SF, I'm only delighted to see more products with the same scent, especially post-shower products. Last year they had a little massage bar in the scent of Snow Fairy and it was deeeee-lish. Anyway, back to Fairy Dust.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

NEW | Kiko Cosmetics.

Moving to France and having two Kiko stores 5 minutes away from me is a dangerous thing. In my recent trip I saw they had quite a few new bits; their 2015 holiday collection was released, along with an expansion into their permanent lipstick and liner range. I picked up one thing from each bit... all for blogging purposes, of course. 


Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Empties | November 2015.

Time for another empties post! I've had a lot of these empty for quite a while but only got around to photographing them whilst I was home 2 weeks ago for midterm. Since being in France I've used up a couple of other bits that will warrant another empties post soon - my bedroom is currently a shrine to empty packages. Sigh. 

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Gotta Glow.

Is it socially acceptable to start talking about Christmas makeup yet? No? Good thing I'm a highlighter freak all year round then, so. However, I did feel it apt to chat to ye about some of my recent favourite highlighters that I've accumulated in my collection since tis the season to shine bright like a diamond and be seen from space... at least that's how I like my highlight, anyway. I don't think I've spoken about any of these products on my blog before, although I've featured them all briefly on my Instagram and have been really enjoying these since I got them. Of course, I still love my Soft and Gentle and Lightscapade, the usual suspects, but it's nice to see some other highlights from other price ranges every once in a while, right?!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Urban Decay Vice 4 | Review/3 Looks, 1 Palette.

Guys... GUYS. Where do I start? It's no secret Urban Decay are one of my favourite brands, and I always look forward to seeing what they come out with for the holla'dazeee (Book of Shadows, Vice Palettes etc.) and this year was no different. I already own Vice 1 and 3, with the latter being my favourite of all the palettes they'd released... until now. I didn't think they could top the stunning jewel tone and burgundies in Vice 3 but I was wrong. Let's just say I'm VERY excited about Vice 4 and I think a lot of you guys will be too. I will say overall this is not a neutral only wearers palette, if that's more your thing then I'd look to the Naked Palettes (with their latest offering being Naked Smoky) but if you like a bit of colour to mix in with your neutrals, like some glittery jewel tones, duochromes (hurray!) and overall colour then this will make a beautiful palette for Christmas time. 

Starting off with the packaging - it's absolutely stunning. You don't have to be a makeup lover to appreciate that a lot of thought and effort went into this design which mimics an oil slick and looks almost holographic, shifting colour as you move the palette in different lights. I love the layered detail and shattered glass effect, it's just overall super aesthetically pleasing. It also comes with a little pouch to keep the palette/makeup bits in which and a synthetic duo-ended brush which are nice additions... but it's what's inside that counts, right? 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Clarisonic Mia 2 | Review, Experience, Recommendations.

I’m sitting writing this blog post in Frankfurt airport, having just come out of Duty Free. I’ve had the Clarisonic Mia for about 5 months now and was reluctant to write this review for a few reasons; all culminating around the fact that I wasn’t even sure if I liked the feckin’ thing or not. I think it’s important for me to state that this was sent to me for review consideration, and you all know that regardless of whether I’m sent a product or not, I like to review everything as if I had bought it myself, sure in the knowledge that that’s potentially what someone reading this might do. The reason it’s taken me so long to write this is because it was very hard for me to recommend something that was €100+ when I hadn’t fully formed my opinion on it, and I wanted this review to be as detailed as possible, because gurl, das esssspensive. Now, the reason I mention Duty Free (and what made me want to write about this) is because I just bought myself a brand new brush head for my Clarisonic (they’re €24 and need to be replaced every 3-4 months, by the way) and I felt that if I was going out of my way to buy a replacement brush head, then it’s a pretty good sign that I do actually love the thing.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Everyday Face | Urban Decay Naked Skin.

I have a handful of foundations that I absolutely love and will always go back to, and that handful is very hard to infiltrate... So, when Urban Decay's Naked Skin foundation made it into that handful I knew it was a big deal. I thought I'd share my current everyday face routine with ye since it's all coming from the UD range (something that rarely happens with me and base routines - I generally mix and match everything) and the foundation/concealer duo is particularly lovely. I've been using this combo for the last month and a half and I am in luuuurv. These products have been hyped up online for so long, I can't believe I only got around to buying them this summer but, alas. This is my routine for a polished and put together "every day" face that covers a multitude but still looks like "skin" - I hate to use such a wishy washy term, but Urban Decay did a seriously amazing job on these products and the whole "skin-like" finish.  


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Overview | H&M Beauty.

I have always seen a few nail polishes and lip glosses pop up in H&M but up until recently it was never something I would call a "beauty collection"... That is, until I wandered into a H&M in city centre Strasbourg and was amazed at the massive section dedicated to all things makeup, skincare, hair care and beauty. I decided to pick up a few bits from across the collection to see what they had to offer. I'm not sure how readily available all this stuff is across H&M stores worldwide, but I heard tales of their beauty section popping up in Dublin so it might be worth having a goo if anything here interests you!
Although I only picked up a handful of things from the makeup section; don't be fooled. The H&M Beauty Collection has foundations, concealers, an array of powders and blushes (cream formula, too), eyeshadows, cream eyeshadows, glitters, lipsticks, lipliners... you name it! It also has plenty of palettes, makeup brushes and bags, body creams and hair products.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Crème Eyeshadows.

Remember me? Okay, I'm sure no one noticed I was gone, but if by some miracle you did then... sorry. I really am sorry, because I've missed blogging so much and it's been too long since I've sat down to write about makeup or things that make me as happy as a pig in shite. If you were wondering why I was gone for so long, it's because I kind of sort of moved to France (Strasbourg, to be precise) and was a bit occupied with leaving my job, saying goodbye to friends and family, setting up French bank accounts and finding my way around this amazing new city/weird supermarkets. With all that out of the way, I thought I'd chat a little about cream shadows today (or crème since, yano, France and all that jazz). This is honestly probably a boring topic for most, but gaaaaat damn I love me some cream shadows. Since I don't have even a smidgen (an actual scientific term for measuring things, I'm sure...) of my makeup collection here with me in France, I thought I would just do a small post on some of my favourite cream shadows - in addition to some new ones.
Most of these I brought with me when narrowing down my travel makeup bag, so you can guarantee these are my tried and true. Most of these have also been working pretty well with the crazy humid weather too, so bonus points for that. I don't really talk about cream shadows on my Instagram or blog too too much, but I would say 99% of the FOTD posts you see of mine on Instagram have some sort of cream shadow underneath the lid colour. Cream eyeshadows work great as a quick lazy girl eye look (a.k.a my makeup on a day to day basis) or used underneath eyeshadows to help the colour stand out or prolong the powder shadow. So now that you all know where I've been for the last few weeks and how to use a cream eyeshadow, let's get into some of my favourites!

Friday, 18 September 2015

Urban Decay | Matte Bad Blood Revolution Lipstick.

If you've been reading my blog/Instagram for a while, you probably know that the Urban Decay Revolution lipstick range is one of my top 3 lipstick formulas ever made. Not the cheapest in the world, but I think they're 100% worth it and I love treating myself to one on a special occasion. They feel so so luxurious (packaging and formula wise) and come in lots of fab shades so there's something for everyone. Urban Decay recently came out with 9 new Revolution lipsticks - this time, in a matte formula. The Urban Decay Matte Revolution formula isn't as creamy looking on the lips as their original Revolution formula, but isn't as drying as a typical matte. They're met somewhere in the middle and created such a beautiful lipstick formula that the lipstick gods could do nothing but praise. Completely useless information, but the packaging is equally as fab in the new matte lipsticks, just with black casing instead of the gunmetal. 

Thursday, 20 August 2015

The Nudes You Need.

I think the (makeup) world is made up of two different kinds of people; people who only feel comfortable wearing nude lipsticks or neutral eyeshadows and then those who hate nude lipsticks and fear the "concealer" lip look. I hope this post will have a little something for everyone. These are the nudes you "need" ...but then again, who really needs lipstick and blush? For the nude lovers; I hope you'll get some new  recommendations to add to your collection and for the nude-phobes; maybe these products will change your mind about disliking nude lips or cheeks. I love a good nude lip (and have definitely come around to a more flattering, deeper nude nowadays compared to 13 year old me rocking MAC Myth and concealer all over my lips... we all make mistakes, right?) and while I adore brights and colour, I think neutral makeup is just more practical for most people on a daily basis!

The Nudes You Need.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Empties | Skincare Products I've Used Up.

It's been quite a while since I've done an empties post... My little box that I keep used products in has been overflowing so I said I'd do this one dedicated to 5 skincare products I've tried and most importantly... if I'd repurchase any of them!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Lancome Hypnose Volume-à-porter Mascara | #SayItWithYourEyes

Remember how a few months back I had a good aul bitch about high end mascaras and said I never thought they were really worth the money? I am now a changed woman. What has changed my opinion, you ask? Lancome Hypnose Volume-à-porter mascara*. Mascara is not something I have any loyalties too - even among drugstore or budget brands, it's very rare that I repurchase one because I'm constantly looking for something new... Something that will give me curlier, thicker, longer lashes than the previous. 3 months ago if you had asked me my favourite mascara, I would probably just say "oh I'm using _____ at the minute and it's really good" but would never be able to give you a definite favourite. Now, I am just a little bit in love with this thing, which is something I wasn't ever expecting to happen.

In case you were curious, I had tried the regular Lancome Hypnose several times in the past (bought by myself, sent as a press sample, received as a gift etc) and never really understood the hype. Yeah, it was nice for length but I could generally get that from any other mascara. Lancome's latest mascara offering is the first high end mascara that I've tried that I can truly say I feel is worth the money - and one which I will absolutely be buying again in the future.

The packaging is fab, the formula is nice and black and most importantly, doesn't flake which is something I encounter quite a bit with mascaras. The wand is a plastic (which I LOVE!), slightly fatter at the base and thins out towards the tip. The bristles are quite short and thin at the base and are almost non-existent at the tip, making it so easy to coat the lash with product and precisely comb through and get to every single lash. Seriously, lashes I didn't even know I had were popping up after I used this.
The name would suggest it's purely a volumizing mascara, and it definitely does do that. However, I found it was great for giving length and holding a curl so that my lashes looked super "swoooooshy" and pretty all day long. I can curl my lashes to the highest degree, apply my mascara and by the time I'm finished layering it my lashes are straight as a ruler again. This kept the curl amazingly (especially for a non-waterproof mascara) and I think that is to do with the feather-light formula not weighing the lashes down. Because the formula is so light, it means you can very, very easily layer it up even hours after you've first applied it and my eyelashes never felt crunchy or dry, always feathery and soft to touch but still dramatic and defined. 
I feel like comparing a mascara'd eye to a bare lash is completely useless because you could put any mascara on one eye to show how good it is in a photograph and any mascara would look amazing next to your base lashes... yano? So, pictured below is 2 coats of the Lancome Hypnose on the left eye and 2 coats of the Rimmel Kate Moss Rockin' Curves on the right - both with no lash curler. The difference is insaaaane to me. I definitely go for a clumpy lash look but you can very easily achieve soft, "pretty" lashes with the Lancome mascara in one coat, too. 

Lancome (left), Rimmel (right)
€27.50 definitely isn't the cheapest for a mascara, but I know a lot of people who will only buy high end mascaras and really feel they're worth the money so if you are one to spend a little more on a mascara, then this is one I would highly recommend. On the other hand, if you haven't tried a higher end mascara and were looking to pick one up, this could be the one to go for. After all, it converted me! x

Friday, 7 August 2015

Review/FOTD | Urban Decay Naked Smoky.

Another year another Naked palette to grace (geddit?) our shelves and Instagram feeds. This time around Urban Decay took their Naked train to the smoky side (minus the 'e'... but we'll forgive them for that) and I was lucky enough to receive a press sample to play around with and let ye all know my thoughts on it. Now, I have to admit, when I first saw photos of this online my opinion was completely split. Shade wise, because it is a largely cool toned palette (with taupes, greys and blacks) the warm toned lover in me was like "meh". Equally, however, the Urban Decay obsessed Naked palette collector in my head was happy dancing and doing my best Godfather "Welcome to da fah-muh-leeeee" impression. I'm not sane. I know this.
There was so much hype around this palette - over 8,000 people on the waiting list in Ireland alone. Urban Decay don't mess around. I won't be comparing the Naked palettes in this post (Temptalia has lots of comparison posts to check out) but I will say that the original is warmer, number 2 is cool in tone so probably closest to Naked Smoky but definitely not identical (though I will say straight out that if you only own the second one then you probably don't need this) and the third is nothing like Naked Smoky because it's all pink and rose gold in tone. 

With all that boring stuff out of the way, let's look at the palette. The packaging is a huge step up from the original flimsy cardboard that attracted dust from all corners of your room. It's definitely my favourite casing and I love the smoke detail across the front. It has a magnetic closure and overall feels streamlined and sturdy. It comes with 4 "how to" lookbooks which, for once, aren't completely crap (hurray!) and a beautiful synthetic double ended brush. I'm always a fan of the Naked palette brushes but I think this might be my favourite one yet. The soft yet slightly tapered blending/crease brush and the detail smudger are perfect for smokey eye beginners and make it easy to create a pretty seamless look. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Parisian Summer | Bronzing with Bourjois.

A few weeks ago I was sent a super lovely package from Bourjois filled with some of their newest products. Their summer collection was something I really wanted to share with ye (even though I'm a little late to the party posting this in August)... Nonetheless, I present to you... the perfect threesome of bronzing products from Bourjois!

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Review/Swatches | Wet n Wild Venice Beach Collection.

What is the best way to perk up a dull day? Some new palettes from Wet n Wild based on the theme of Venice Beach, obviously. When these came through my post box I honestly let out a little "squeeeee!" - only Judy can judge me, okay?! Wet n Wild have released 3 limited edition eight pan eyeshadow palettes (€6.49 each) from their new collection and I'm here to shade all 3 with ye today! These are all brights, vibants and neons with a range of shimmers and mattes which I absolutely love to see, particularly from such an inexpensive brand. 

I'm a huge fan of the Wet n Wild eyeshadows (especially their 8 pan palettes which I've previously reviewed here) so I was delighted to see such bright colours for the summer time. As with all their palettes, I've found there to be some (but very few) misses, with most palettes having 6 out of 8 hits or really great shades. Each palette was of course slightly different in terms of pigmentation/shades which I'll touch on individually below but overall, I couldn't recommend them enough if you were looking to spend just a couple of euro on a shade you aren't going to be wearing every day (and if you are about neon blue eyelids every day, then they're still a great option!). Once you wear a good primer and sticky base underneath these, you are golden! There are definitely a couple of Urban Decay Electric Palette dupes among these, too, and you could easily pick up all 3 of the Wet n Wild palettes for a fraction of the price of the UD one. I am still head over heels in laaaav with my Electric Palette, but I understand not everyone is going to see it as being worth the money when they won't use it every day, so these ones are a fantastic option, despite the few "bleh" shadows. These do kick up a bit of powder when you swirl your brush in the pan/swatch them/apply them to the lid but like I said, a sticky base and Bob is your uncle... or something. And, for reference, these swatches are sans primer!

Venice Beach Collection: Boardwalk Boozing (left), High Flying Colours (top right), Hemporary Solutions (bottom right)

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Review | SOSU Nail Polish.

I had read a couple of reviews on the SOSU polishes when they first launched, which were equally split between the general idea that they were either absolutely amazing or very so-so. When I got an email asking if I'd like to try them, I gratefully accepted and decided I'd put them to the test myself and maybe add in my own two cents on the polishes. I do think it's absolutely amazing to see an Irish blogger and young business woman be given the opportunity to launch her own range of nail polishes, and is definitely something that should be celebrated.

I received four colours from the line which I'll review individually below. There are 25 polishes altogether so you're bound to find a shade that interests you, ranging from creams to shimmers, pastels to darks and everything in between. Available from pharmacies across the country and Penneys, retailing at €7.99 each. They're marketed as a "gel" nail polish with its selling point being it's "chip resistant" for "up to 5 days" and, as a reference, I used a Sally Hansen base coat and top coat on all the polishes, as I would with any nail polish from my collection. With all that said, let's get onto the individual polishes I was sent to try!

SOSU Nail Polish 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Makeup Organization/Storage Part 1 | Vanity & Dressing Table Space.

I have to admit, makeup organization brings me almost as much joy as kittens and Netflix... maybe even more than Netflix. I personally love watching organization videos and reading blog posts because I'm always looking for inspiration on how to store my makeup in ways that are both practical and aesthetically pleasing, particularly when it's sitting on top of my dresser. I have gotten so many fantastic ideas from YouTubers, bloggers and just generally thinking up DIY ideas myself that I thought I would share them with you all.
 Functionality but also neatness (for the most part... I must admit my organization is a bit of an organized chaos but it works for me!) and something that fits in with my room is key for me. I recently got my room done up and changed a lot of my makeup storage. Now I'm finally happy with it and thought I could show you some ideas for how to store your makeup items, regardless of whether your collection is little or large! 

While my collection at home is pretty, ehm, extensive (unnecessary and ridiculous), I had to downsize and carefully choose what I brought with me to my house in college last year. Most importantly, I had to organize and store it in the most efficient way considering the space wasn't as big so I feel like I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way on how to store things for all kinds of spaces and on a budget. Some of these things are a little more expensive than others, but a lot of it can be found in most homeware stores at a pretty low cost. Part one is going to be looking specifically at the acrylic storage and things that I keep on my dresser, or outside of my IKEA Alex (which I'll go into more detail on in part 2!) I won't be doing a full disclaimer because a) no one should have to, despite a lot of stick they get for uploading "storage/collection/organization" videos/blog posts and b) I'm simply giving you a look into some of my collection, and I'd rather people took from it the organization tips rather than "LOOK AT THESE LIPSTICKS I HAVE". As I said before, I have gotten so many fantastic ideas from others and their storage videos/posts, so I'm just trying to pass on what works for me - and might for you! This is definitely going to be a long post so grab some tea and biscuits and join me in my obsession with all things acrylic. Makeup organization is something I feel very strongly about - and world peace, too, obviously. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

Face Mask Friday | Lush Cosmetics Cupcake.

The next installment of Face Mask Friday is Cupcake! One of their more popular face masks, and if you have oily skin it's definitely something I would suggest. First off, it smells like real chocolate so, 10/10 would recommend on smell alone and it also contains a tonne of great ingredients for treating oily or acne prone skin. Something to note about all face masks from Lush is that they contain super fresh ingredients and only have a shelf life of a few weeks so you need to keep them in the fridge, and toss them when they're ready to go to the face mask graveyard in the sky. Don't forget to bring back 5 empty black pots to get any free fresh face masks cause snaps for recycling programmes. I feel like I also have to put a disclaimer something along the lines of, eh, please don't eat it! Pssssst... you can check out my last Face Mask Friday post here if you missed it ;)

Lush Cupcake

Friday, 3 July 2015

Brand Focus | Wet n Wild - Eyes.

Part 2 in the Wet n Wild brand focus posts is all dedicated to their eye products! If you haven't seen part 1, you can check it out here and it's all about their complexion/face/cheek products. On a whole, I think Wet n Wild do some amazing eye products, particularly their eyeshadows which you'll see plenty of in this post. I've found they have very, very few disappointing products and even the mediocre ones are either good for the price, workable, or have some redeeming values that make me still enjoy them which is exactly what I like in such an affordable brand.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Summer Skin | Lush, Tan Organics, Waxperts.

I'm a big advocate of looking after your skin any time of the year, but I really like to make more of an effort to exfoliate and moisturize like a mad yoke in the summer when I know my arms and legs are probably going to be on show a bit more. I say probably, because since I'm in Ireland, the word summer doesn't mean a whole lot except ice cream in the cloud or rain, but I thought I'd still show you some of the things I used in my holiday beauty prep routine; some new loves, some firm favourites and recent rediscoveries. 


Friday, 19 June 2015

Face Mask Friday | Lush Cosmetics BB Seaweed.

I'm starting off a series here on Long Hair and Lashes - Face Mask Friday, where (hopefully) each Friday I'll have a small review of a different fresh face mask by Lush. I LOVE the Lush masks, and have been using them for years. They have about 9 in the range so no matter what your skin type or skin concerns, they have something for you. I think they're such a lovely product to use as a twice a week treatment, but you do need to keep them in the fridge! Hugely important (but boring) to reiterate it throughout these posts that because they're made with such fresh ingredients, they only last a couple of weeks and need to be kept chilled. Be sure to keep your black tubs and bring 5 back for a brand new fresh face mask. 

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Review | Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow.

I've had this review written up and saved in my drafts for ages, but I wanted to bring in the help of my friend and her fancy Canon camera because there was no way my camera could do this even an inch of justice! That being said, I hope my fellow "oooh look tinfoil is shiny!" magpies enjoy the review.
When most people hear the word "glitter" they generally wince at the thought. The herpes of cosmetics, right? Spill a pinch of it on your dresser and you'll be seeing stars for weeks after, picking it out of your hair and god knows where else. I personally love glitter, but I definitely understand that it can be a pain, and sometimes I want sparkle without huge chunks of sparkle on my eye lids. This is where Urban Decay come in. They have a range of pressed "Moondust eyeshadows" which gives sparkle, reflects and dimension but without the hassle and mess of pots of glitter. The shade I bought about 3 months ago is in the colour "Solstice" and I thought I'd show you all how absolutely stunning it is - seriously, I could stare at this thing all day.

Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow

Monday, 1 June 2015

Brand Focus | Wet n Wild Beauty - Face/Complexion.

Hi guys, I hope you're all well! With Wet n Wild officially launching in Ireland and popping up in more and more places, (Penneys and Dunnes being your best bet to finding them) I thought it would be a good idea to do a brand focus post showing you all the products that I've tried from the brand so far. I had intended on originally doing an overall brand focus (obviously, Grace.. that's what a brand focus post is!) but it was only when I piled all my Wet n Wild products together that I figured it would be way too long of a post to show ye everything in one go. So, I thought I'd split them up into different parts; face/complexion, eyes, lips and nails and I'd link the previous posts as I went along if you wanted to see more.
I will say that I'm overall impressed with Wet n Wild as a brand, particularly since it is so affordable. They have a really broad range of products from all categories at such an amazing price. Of course with most brands, particularly budget ones, there are doing to be duds along the way (which Wet n Wild are not without!) but having tried an array of products I can safely say that they have more gems than duds which I'm very happy about. Gone are the days when we'd write a Wet n Wild list for our family going stateside - Wet n Wild are here and here to stay!

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Finds from the Emerald Isle | Nía Natural Beauty.

When Lisa Eldridge says you need a cleansing balm, you best be believin' you need a cleansing balm. So, when Lisa Eldridge says you need a cleansing balm, of course I'm all about supporting Irish beauty brands. When Nía reached out to me a while back and asked me to try out one of their best selling products I was all about it. I try and keep my skincare routine as natural and gentle as possible, and after having used their cleansing balm for most of April and all of May I knew I had to feature this in a Finds from the Emerald Isle! 
Before I get into the product itself, Nía specialize in natural beauty and skincare products for all different needs. They're also 100% Irish, so it feels so nice putting something on my mug at the end of the day that was made practically down the road. P.S. if you're like me, and were curious (but equally was crap at Irish in secondary school) Nía means "Radiance" #TheMoreYouKnow

Nía Natural Beauty.

The Calendula and Orange Blossom Cleansing Balm is a solid cleanser/balm free of parabens, synthetic fragrance, mineral oil... that kinda thing. The packaging is simple but super cute and has a little "you're amazing" on the box which I thought was lovely - it's all about the little details, guys. It comes with 3 cleansing cloths (100% bio-degradable) and a little wooden spatula for scooping out the product. I found the cleansing cloths a bit too thin and flimsy to use, but others might find them nice to have. I personally prefer to use this cleanser just with a warm thick face cloth from good aul' Penneys. 

Friday, 15 May 2015

Pastel Locks | Schwarzkopf Pearlescence 2015.

Pastel hair is something I've been a fan of for years. Something I'm not a fan of, though? The price and the upkeep! Anyone with colourful hair will tell you that dyes from Crazy Colour, Directions and Bleach London are great to experiment with, but costs definitely add up if you want to keep the colour long term. Schwarzkopf have got you covered with their stunning new Pearlescence range; 8 shades with a shimmering texture and iridescent finish. Although I'm a fan of pastel hair in general, I have to say I think these shades are seriously sophisticated whilst still being striking and fun. The idea of the range is that they are permanent (well, as permanent as pastels and bright metallics can be!) colours which I think is so innovative and right up my street. Schwarzkopf were so generous and sent me all 8 colours for me to play with - safe to say I'm in My Little Pony hair heaven. For this post, I thought I would briefly go through all the shades with you and share some of the amazing promo images which have seriously inspired me!

Over the next few weeks I'll be posting plenty of blog posts with photos and reviews of the colours as I use them. Be sure to follow me on Bloglovin' if you want to keep updated on my Pearlescence pastel hair journey with Schwarzkopf! Alternatively, you can follow my blog and updates via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - the latter is probably best for sneak peak hair photos! :)

Monday, 4 May 2015

Empties #3 - Mini Reviews.

I know it seems so boring, but I really love a good empties post. I never knew looking through people's rubbish could be so fun - it's probably the easiest way to do it without getting a restraining order. I thought I'd share with ye 5 products I've used up completely, what I thought of them and most importantly; if I would repurchase them in the future!

Empties #3

Sunday, 26 April 2015

New | Urban Decay Summer 2015.

When it comes to new releases, Urban Decay do not mess about. Summer 2015 is no exception with a mix of completely brand new products, textures, formulas and an expansion to their mucho mucho loved eyeshadows (The deluxe shadow palette was my first ever big makeup purchase at the age of 13. I wore Fishnet shadow all over my eyes and thought I was only gorgeous). Embarrassing makeup stories aside, when this bag of goodies landed in my letterbox last week I knew I had to share them with you, because I am all heart eyes emoji'd out looking at these products in my makeup bag.

Urban Decay Summer Nights 2015
I'd also like to take a minute to say that I feel like Urban Decay are really listening to their customers with striking a balance between the Naked neutral lovers, and the Electric colour fanatics. I love both aspects of the brand, but I got a bit bored of the whole Naked train for a while. The 2015 range (which by the way isn't limited edition, just expanding on their current collection) has the perfect mix of summer brights and gorgeous but never boring neutrals with amazing formulas, so I think there's something for everyone! These new brights, though? That's the Urban Decay I fell in love with at 13... Did I mention I used the sponge tip applicators to apply that Fishnet shadow? Why didn't the makeup poh poh shut me down?!

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Review | W7 Cream Contour Kit.

I've been really into bargain beauty finds lately, particularly after finding a Benefit's They're Real Mascara dupe for €2.50 (link is here if you're interested!). Another W7 product that I had been trying to track down was this baby; their cream contour duo. (Cream) contour kits are being produced like they're going out of style (I'm actually surprised my granny doesn't own one at this stage) but W7 is one of the only budget brands I know of that have really caught on. This is supposedly a dupe for the Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate. Having only swatched that product at a counter and gazed lovingly at it from afar, I can't really call this a "Save or Splurge" post because I don't own the higher-end counterpart. That being said, they seem to look and apply very similar when on the skin/back of the hand in Tom Ford's case. I have heard Siobhan from LetzMakeup say that they are very very close dupes - so there you go, something to keep in mind!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Finds from the Emerald Isle | Nima Brush.

You can never have too many makeup brushes, right? If you're as lazy as my when cleaning them then that is 100% the case. When Nima Brushes asked me if I'd like to try some of their collection I jumped at the chance - with my buy Irish based series, and so many of my favourite beauty bloggers talking about Nima brushes, I knew it was something I'd want to test out and tell ye all about. Also, when a good friend of mine (who is working for MAC and owns about 234235643 makeup brushes... yano, roughly) said she loves them too I knew I needed some! This is gonna be a photo and word heavy blog post, but if you're interested in buying some great quality (and Irish!) brushes then stay with meeeee.

Before I get stuck into the actual brushes themselves, Nima Brush was founded by Niamh Martin, an Irish makeup artist. With her job in mind, I think these brushes are equally fantastic for the professional, the makeup fanatic or just a beginner. The brush range is impressively extensive and are both functional and beautiful (blue and gold handles for the Artistic Collection, white and dark Rose Gold for the Elite) - when my mother saw the brushes on my vanity her exact words were "OHMYGOD THEY ARE SO PRETTY WHERE DID YOU GET THEM I NEED ONE THEY LOOK SO NICE" and she is not a makeup-y person at all.
Nima brushes have all grounds covered with an Artistic Collection, the Elite Collection, Starter Collection, custom bundles and travel tubes for your makeup brushes. The Artistic Collection alone has over 20 individual brushes ranging from €10-22 which is insaaaane given the price of MAC brushes (which Nima has some great dupes for!) and even Real Techniques Bold Metals found in Boots. They also do a brush of the month where one brush from the range is half price which is absolutely fantastic if you were looking to try one out! They're also constantly having discounts (with makeup students getting 10% off all year round) so be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with their deals! 
On top of the reasonable prices and beautiful handles, they have such a unique quality whereby Niamh has actually named each brush after someone in her life who has helped her throughout her career. Such a small but beautiful touch, and if you can find your name among the group (which I did!) then its even more lovely. If the names aren't your thing, though, they do have them without tooooo. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Save or Splurge? | Benefit's They're Real! Mascara Dupe.

Yano how people get adrenaline rushes when they jump out of planes and go chasing after twisters and tornadoes? My adrenaline rushes comes from Netflix, kittens and bargain beauty finds. The latter is probably what you're here for, and if you just so happened to be looking for dupe for the Benefit They're Real! mascara, then Gracey gotcha covered. (Sidenote: if you were looking for the former, my twitter is @GraceyOConnell and I am 100% down for chatting about RuPaul's Drag Race or Buffy)

I have to be honest, I can justify spending a lot of money on a makeup brush or a very decent foundation, but when it comes to mascara I wince at spending anything more than 15 euro on it. I go through them so quickly, leave them in my boyfriend's, in my mam's house, in my own house - I'm constantly having to rush into Boots and pick up a new one because I forgot the one I had just opened 2 weeks ago. Best believe I did ordinary level maths for my leaving cert but also best believe that in makeup maths, that's a lot of mascara and if I were to do that with high end mascaras well... that would just be too esssspensive. Also, I'm gonna say what we're all thinking here and declare that I rarely notice a difference in high or low end mascaras. Budget brands (like Rimmel and Maybelline, my FAVEZZZ if you were wonderin') have such great formulas and uniquely innovative wands that I'm happier with a 12 euro mascara than I am with a €30+ one because I'm saving money but getting good lashes out of it... Lancôme Hypnose Drama, I am looking at you, you overrated little heartbreaker.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

The Chic Cheek.

Don't get me wrong, I love my corals and bright blushes, but lately I've been favouring a more "sophisticated", subtle type of cheek. I'm not sure if sophisticated is quite the right word... Something muted, but still brightening and glowy. I've recently discovered 3 products in particular that I think are the epitome of a "chic cheek". Something that would look good on any age and with any makeup look. It makes an already simple face of makeup look complete and put together, but equally won't make you look cray cray when pairing it with a glitter cut crease. I also think these products would look great any time of the year, too... although you know I would werkkk a coral blush in December ;)

Friday, 6 March 2015

Finds from the Emerald Isle | Waxperts Beautiful Body Oil.

I made a small resolution for my blog in 2015, and that was to feature as many great Irish beauty based brands as I could throughout the year. I had intended on doing one a month, starting with January, but I'm a total disaster and in typical Irish fashion I generally get around to things a little later than I'd like. Regardless, now more-so than ever I see such an importance in supporting more local, Irish brands. I probably sound like a Bord Bia ad, but surely shopping Irish should extend to our makeup bags too! Plus, I'm hoping maybe some of my other readers from abroad can find out about some smaller, but fantastic Irish companies.

First up in my "Finds of the Emerald Isle" series is a Dublin based waxing salon that I had heard so much about; specifically, their own brand of skincare products. Waxperts is the brainchild of Ellen Kavanagh and provides both treatments and Waxperts products in their salon. Their newest thing to launch is the Beautiful Body Oil (€9.99 - 100ml). This was kindly sent to me from their PR to try, and I loved it so much it sparked me to finally start my 'Buy Irish' series!

Essentially, it is a lavender based body oil with plenty of uses. I love oils for lots of different things but find that most of them just smell the same. Nothing wrong with that, but this is such a light, unoffensive lavender scent that I think anyone would find soothing. Lavender is a really nostalgic smell to me and always reminds me of sleeping over in my nanny's house, so I knew I'd love the scent straight away.
In true body oil style it is nourishing and soothing but not at all greasy. It sinks right into the skin without leaving a residue or film on the skin (does that make any sense?). Basically, I don't have to stand like an oiled up scarecrow before waiting to put on a pair of jeans... Oiled up scarecrows? This is all getting a bit GQ meets The Wizard of Oz of me... Scratch the previous mental image, please. I actually use the Lush massage bars as a body lotion replacement (although they can be very oily and slow to absorb into the skin, so I reserve them for the very cold winter months!) and I had a feeling I would enjoy using the Waxperts oil.

Waxperts Beautiful Body Oil.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Review | MAC x Miley Cyrus (Viva Glam Miley Lipstick)

Viva Glam is one of my favourite things in the beauty industry. It is at the heart of MAC's ethos and is just such a great charity. It is so rare that a company gives 100% of the proceeds to anything like this, and if you haven't looked up what your Viva Glam money goes to, then please check out :)
Anyway! MAC are always looking for an influential (and sometimes controversial) public figure to front their campaign. This year, they chose Miley Cyrus. Whatever your opinions about Miley or her music, I think it's a great way to spread the word about the charity. You get a nice lipstick and are helping people living with/affected by HIV, so I'm usually not bothered about who is the face of the lipstick. 

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Empties #2 | Mini Reviews.

You know the drilllll. Going through my beauty bin and giving ye all mini reviews on products I've completely used up! And, most importantly, would I repurchase them! My first empties post is here if you're interested in reading some more of my smaller reviews :)

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Review | MUA Luxe Velvet Lip Lacquers + Lime Crime Dupes.

Another day another dupe. I'm back with more matte liquid lipsticks (I know, I have a slight problem). This time, from the very affordable brand Make Up Academy. If you missed my last matte liquid lipstick post, I reviewed the Sleek Matte Me colours and found a brilliant dupe for Lime Crime's Utopia Velvetine. I had heard so much about the MUA ones and picked up a few on a trip to Superdrug in the hopes of finding some more Velvetine dupes, and in general, some decent lip products. Here's how I got on!

L-R: Halcyon, Funk, Reckless, Kooky.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Monthly Favourites | January 2015.

I could sit here and type all day about how crap of a month January is, but I'd rather show you all some nice lipsticks and eyeshadows I enjoyed over the last few weeks. With yesterday being the official first day of Spring, it means I can start to bust out all my peaches and pastel shades, even if the weather is still very much in winter. I'm excited for all the peach. PEACH EVERYTHING.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Review | Real Techniques Bold Metals.

Makeup brushes are one of the most important things when it comes to makeup and beauty - what's the point in buying a beautiful foundation if you don't have the right tools to apply it? I'm not saying you need the most expensive brushes *cough eBay bargains here* but having a couple of different ones will definitely perfect your makeup application. So, we all know I'm a fan of makeup brushes... I'm also a fan of rose gold. Everyone and their mammy knows about the Pixiwoo sisters and Real Techniques brushes (yano, those ones... affordable, sold in Boots/Ulta, weird coloured handles?). Now, I actually only own one from their regular line (if you were curious, it's the expert face brush), which I love but have decided to pass up on buying any more because I see so many dupes on eBay which I'll eventually get around to buying.

Before I get into the actual brush I'm reviewing, I thought I'd throw in my 2 cents regarding the range itself, and the prices. If you know of Real Techniques you may also know that the blogging community went into mini cardiac arrest when they saw the release of the beautifully luxurious Bold Metals collection - 7 brushes in total; 2 gold, 2 rose gold, and 3 silver. I can't deny, they are beautiful looking brushes. Then, that mini cardiac arrest went into full blown heart failure when people saw the pricing. I won't get into all of the brushes individually with pricing, because I only have one here to review for ye today, but they are all significantly more expensive than the regular RT range. The Pixiwoo sisters have done a video stating that this is their premium line, understandably not for everyone but a more luxurious and higher quality brush which will of course, cost more to make (and thus buy). I get it, I don't LOVE the pricing but I understand. I was definitely iffy at first when I saw the prices, but I'm of the opinion that if the quality is on par with the price, then I have no problem spending my own money on it. The annoying thing is, and the difference between actual high-end brands and RT's "high-end" brushes is that you can actually feel a MAC brush for yourself and decide if it is worth it. With the Bold Metals, they're trapped in bullet-proof plastic so it's a bit more risky.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Review/Lime Crime Velvetine Dupes | Sleek Matte Me Lip Creams + YouTube Announcement!

Hi guys! Long time no see/blog… as per usual, right? WRONG! (ish). If you don’t follow me on Twitter and Instagram (which you definitely should, just sayin’) I recently ventured into the world of… YouTube! Yes, I know… WHOWHATWHEREWHENWHY?! I have one makeup tutorial uploaded on there already so make sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe while you’re there. If you’d like to see more from me on the Tube of You, simply tell me whatcha wanna seeeee! It’s all baby steps for me, so be patient with me, please and thank you! Now that that’s over and done with… I’m sure you’re all here for the lip products, right?!

Sleek "Matte Me" Ultra smooth matte lip cream. 

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

2014 Makeup Favourites!

I know, I am the worst. Your eyes are not deceiving you. I am, in fact, writing a blog post after another hiatus. Not the best start to 2015 but I want this year to be a good one for my blog. As I'm writing this at midnight, I just reached 100 followers on Bloglovin'... wow! I know that number isn't anything significant to a lot of bloggers, even bloggers who haven't been doing it that long but let me tell you that is huge for me - massive! Of course figures aren't the most important thing to me personally as a blogger, but I never thought more than maybe 2 or 3 people would ever even want to read my blog, let alone comment on them or say they've found them helpful. But, as long as 1 person is reading, I'm happy to write! All I really wanted to say was thank you all so much!
I'm rambling on horribly, I do apologize... HAPPY 2015! Here were the stand out products of 2014 for me, makeup wise (if it were just beauty, I'd be here all year and well into 2016!). These are solely products I discovered in 2014. I'll admit, it was actually hard to find, even remember products I used at the start of the year, most of these are Summer and on wards discoveries but firm favourites nonetheless! It was hard to narrow it down, but I'm pretty happy with this list of game changers.