Monday, 30 April 2012

Penneys/Primark Accessories Haul

hi again everybody!

i promised I would diversify and today I am coming good on that promise. I went to Penneys today and stocked up on a few summer accessories- you know the way it is, I went in for some new socks and came out with more than I anticipated or needed. Today was quite a refined haul as far as Penneys hauls go, but planned or not, I love everything I picked up.

Grey Shopper Bag w/Padlock detail, €13

I absolutely loved this when I saw it. It actually caught my eye a few weeks back but I didn't give into the evil voices in my head but I was weak today and succumbed. I love large boxy bags, i love bags with long straps and handles and I love this colour, so it seemed like a wise purchase to me. I like the way it is so simple and I think the padlock detail on it is cute and good value for €13. The label says the colour is grey but I think it is more of a beige/stone colour. As you can see from second pic, it's absolutely huge, love this, it's office appropriate which is a big plus for me. I didn't see any other colours in store but if they had a black one also I would definitely pick one up for work. If anybody else has seen these in any other colours, please let me know :)

Cream Floral Purse, €3.50

I also picked up a little summer purse to match my new bag and this little beauty was just €3.50. I don't change my purse as often as I change my handbag and often I just put some items from my normal purse into my new purse, and I think that will be the case here. It's cute and summery but it's not nearly large enough to cart around the various bits and pieces I insist on bringing everywhere with me -after all I'm sure we've all had those days where you get to the counter in Boots and realised you left your Advantage Card at home! It'll do nicely, I love matching items.

Coral Scarf, €4

Anybody who knows me will tell you I absolutely love the colour coral and I love scarves, so when I saw this baby, my only thought was 'WANT'! I love pink and red, and I find coral is one of those middle colours which matches both. I like this scarf because it's nice and light, not chunky or heavy for the summer months, and it's got these cute little baubles along, and, most importantly, it's coral, and I love coral. 

Black Sunglasses, €3

Even though I must own about ten pairs of sunglasses, I picked up these for €3 and I intend to leave them in my car because I never have a pair of sunglasses in the car when I need them. I am blind as a bat but I wear contact lenses every day, so I like to have the biggest, blackest sunglasses for driving. These aren't hugely dissimilar to my Guess or Aldo sunglasses and even though they will prob spend more time on top of my head than actually shielding my eyes, I thought they were quite the find.

White Canvas Shoes, €3, Black Pumps €3, Purple Pumps €3

I picked up three pairs of summer shoes too. I love bows- i go crazy when I see a bow on anything so I picked up a purple and black pair of pumps and also I picked up a pair of white canvas shoes- I usually veer so far away from white anythings, nevermind white shoes, but I reckon I'll surely get one sunny day over the summer where I can wear these without destroying them on their maiden voyage. I love Penneys shoes because almost every single shoe comes in a size 3.

5pk Socks, €3

Then, the reason I called into Penneys in the first place was to pick up some new socks because as soon as a pair of socks gets baubly, i won't wear them anymore. I love new socks, and at €3 for five pairs, it's hardly an expensive indulgence! I love Penneys socks, cheap and cheerful, but the only little issue I have is that Penneys socks come in standard size 4-7 and my foot is a ridiculously small size 3 which means the colourful heel of the sock is usually half way up my legs!

So that was my little Penneys/Primark haul today, I think I deserve credit for having enough willpower to keep away from the Essence and Catrice display units today!
Hope you enjoyed

Sunday, 29 April 2012

NOTD- Catrice 'Pimp my Shrimp'- Review and Swatches

Hola chicas, 

I have another NOTD for you today, this time it's 'Pimp my Shrimp' by Catrice. It's a beautiful red-coral shade, a little darker in colour than another Catrice favourite of mine 'Meet me at Coral Island'. I usually classify corals as red/pink/orange coral, and this colour is most definitely a red coral- kind of a mixture between coral and tomato red.

Like almost all Catrice nail polishes, it only took two coats to make this look opaque. I never top any Catrice polishes with a top coat and they almost always last a few days with no chippage so I really rate them for staying power. Apparently, this boasts new improved formula and a wider brush but I can't say I have really noticed any major difference all that much- I have never had any issues with the brush or formula of any of the Catrice nail polishes I have.

I just love this colour (but I am a bit coral biased!), I think it's such a great shade for summer.

I can see myself using this over and over again all summer long. I love it. And a special word must go out to Catrice for their weird and wacky names of their various products- a trip to the Catrice is guaranteed to make you smile. 'Pimp my Shrimp'- where does one get the inspiration! It costs just €2.79.

Hope you enjoyed this quick little nail of the day :) x

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Make up Collection Insight # 5- Face

Hi again everybody,

So I have another little insight into my make up collection for you guys today, and it's an area that's very dear to my heart- foundations, primers, concealers, highlighters etc. I love putting foundation on, I know some people are perfectly happy to skip foundation, but I like to have that canvas on which I like to apply other make-up. I don't really have problem skin- i get a break out every so often- for the last 18 months or so, I have found that I now have dry patches, particularly on  my forehead and cheeks.  

Concealers are a bit of a hit and miss for me, somedays I use it and some days I don't- depends on lots of things like trying to cover blemishes or concealing dark undereye circles (i have spent years studying law which required a lot of late nighters and some pretty gruesome under eye circles!). My fave at the mo is the Catrice Allround Concealer- I've hit pan on a couple of colours already so a repurchase is due- i reviewed it in detail here.

I'm not really a huge fan of mineral make up, it's not that I dislike it per se, I just never seen myself reaching for it. I have the E.L.F. Mineral Foundation and Concealer (in my eyes these are practically the same!). I love MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation though, I think this is great as both setting powder and a really light foundation- defo a HG product. I also use Catrice Skin Finish in 010 Translucent as a setting powder and I love this over foundation.

Highlighting is another hit and miss practice for me tbh. On night where I want to look all dewy and misty, I reach for Benefit's High Beam and place a bit on apples of my cheeks and just under my brows. My all time fave highlighter though is cult fave Yves St.Laurent's Touche Eclat- this is an amazing product, I love the little brush applicator and how easy it is to apply and blend, dream product and a must have for your cosmetics collection!

I only really use primer when I am going out for a long day or on a night out just to make sure my foundation will last the night- at the moment I am loving Revlon Photoready Primer but Smashbox Photo Primer is a long time favourite of mine. The ELF version is also quite good, not my favourite, but I do find myself reaching for it from time to time, and I think it does the job nicely if you use it very, very sparingly. I also like Laura Mercier's offering.
As far as setting powders go, my favourites are MAC and Catrice, but ELF have four versions that to appeal to me and I use these intermittently- the Mineral Booster in Sheer, the Mineral Glow in Shimmer, the HD powder and the Studio Pressed Powder in Porcelain. This Makeup Lock and Seal was sent to me as a free gift by ELF last Christmas and I haven't had the chance to even take it out of the packaging yet- one of these days, I'm gonna be inspired!
My prep before I put on foundation is usually quite simple- I use Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream under my eyes to hydrate any under eye puffiness, and in recent months, I have been using Simple Moisturiser on my forehead to alleviate the dryness. I'm actually currently on the prowl for a regime that will work better for me. I've been using anti-wrinkle creams since I was about 20- seriously I am always getting stopped for ID still so I must look under 18, but SPF etc is really important to me in foundation or moisturiser or whatever I wear.

I'm really hard to please when it comes to foundations- I mean really, really hard. I look for so much from every little bottle, and if I do not like it, I cannot lie. My HG foundation is prob MAC's Studio Fix Fluid Foundation- I have this in NW20/NW15 and NC20- and sometimes I mix these colours to give me the effect I want. I am very iffy about this foundations though. I have very fair skin, and used NW20 for years, but found recently enough that it was looking very dark against my own skin, so I purchased NW15 to lighten it up a bit, but I don't find that much of a difference between NW15 and 20 to be honest. If I used NC 20 all over my face, I would look completely jaundiced, but I find it's useful to mix in the tiniest squirt of this to combat any redness. I don't often suffer from redness to be honest, and I don't use it very much. In terms of quality- the coverage is great and it doesn't break me out the way some other foundations do, it lasts quite a while too.I always pick up MAC foundation when I go to the States because at €30 odd quid a bottle here, it's significant- in the US it's only $25 ish (cannot remember exactly) but when you convert to euros, it was a substantial saving. I always buy a new pump every time I get a new bottle aswell, I just like the idea of it being fresh. I do love MAC Studio Fix dearly but I still feel like it hasn't quite hit the nail on the head in terms of colouring for me yet but I'm optimistic as always!

I have a few Bobbi Brown foundations also which are almost gone now and I don't think I will be repurchasing. I love the smell, the texture, the way the foundations melt into the skin and provide great coverage- the only thing I have never really been happy with is, you guessed it, the colour! I always find they are a little yellowy- and it was only when I was reading Aisling McDermott's (of book 'Gorgeous to Go' did it become clear- allegedly all Bobbi Brown foundations have yellow undertones and are more suitable for warmer skinned folks- and suddenly it all became clear! I visited the Bobbi Borwn counters both here in BTs and in stores like Bloomingdales and this was not pointed out to me once. I was colour matched at this counters with Moisture Rich Foundation in  Shade 1 or 'Warm Ivory' and in the Skin Foundation I was matched as Shade 2 or 'Sand'. I only ever use these when I have fake tan on- and even though I loved the mechanics of it, I just cannot wear something which makes me look like I need a liver transplant. I have Bobbi Brown concealers in Pale Yellow/ Ivory and a corrector in Light Bisque and these work ok for me- the former is particularly handy in the event of redness.

Which brings me on to my next point- drugstore foundations. There are just not enough words in the English language to convey how completely dismal the selection of pale foundations in high street branded foundations. I mean,  I am very pale, paler than most probably, but why these brands carry so many dark colours just confuses me so profoundly- I wish they would just cater to the market. I actually could rant and rave about this for hours so I am going to nip myself in the bud now and just go through what I have and what I have found has worked or not worked for me. I have two ELF Studio Flawless Finish Foundations in Porcelain and Sand, and I really like the colouring of these actually. Porcelain is a good match to my skin colour- it is very pale, and the coverage is very full. I purchased a 'Sand' which is a shade darker just in case I have fake tan on, and I'll mic the two of these and apply bronzer to match up, and it's a system that works for me. The coverage of these is really heavy, which I don't mind because sometimes I prefer fuller coverage, and I quite like the smell of the product too, the packaging and the way it comes with a little pump. If you like full coverage, this is a good starting point. 

Other drugstore foundations I have include Catrice in Shade 101 (Sand Beige) which was a tad too dark for me even though I got the lightest shade possible, I like the way this product applies, I think it is easy to blend, I hate the smell of it but I know some others love it, and again this comes with a pump. I wish Catrice had a lighter shade. I tried the Maybelline Dream Satin Liquid in Light Porcelain and Ivory but now that my skin is now a bit dry, I am trying to veer away from whipped, airy foundations. L'oreal True Match foundation in Ivory is a great colour match for my skin, and I would absolutely love it only the formula really makes me skin around my forehead look very dry, such a pity- but might try other L'oreal foundations in same colour to see if they sit a bit better on my face. Revlon Photoready foundation in 003 Shell is quite nice and I have a few NYC/Rimmel foundations which are okay but not the exactly perfect foundation specimen that I am seeking. I know my foundation soulmate is out there waiting for me, somewhere!

And finally, onto tinted moisturisers. I mean- summer is fast approaching and I don't want to wear foundation all the time, and I don't feel right leaving the house with no baselayer, so tinted moisturiser seems like the sensible option right? But again. it's so incredibly hard to find one for me- I absolutely hate and curse the day I wasted money on the Nivea and No 7 tinted moisurisers- they oxidise terribly on my skin- just bad, bad, bad. The E.L.F. Studio tinted moisturiser is a strong competitor, only i find that sometimes it looks a little yellowish on my skin, it's not really a natural look. My HG tinted moisturiser without a shadow of a doubt is  Smashbox Sheer Focus in Fair- this is just precious- the way it applies, the way it lasts, light natural coverage, inoffensive colour, it leaves you healthy and glowy looking, it doesn't feel greasy or clog your pores, like enough for a sunny day, is oil free and has SPF 15. I'll keep repurchasing this to the death, I just love it.

So I know this was another exceptionally long post- I'm nearing the end of my make up collection insights. I love collection posts and I hope you are enjoying these. 
Thanks for reading

Friday, 27 April 2012

NOTD- Essence 'A Lovely Secret'- Review and Swatches

Hi everybody,

Now I'm not really one for 'Nail of the Day' posts as such. I have really short nailbeds and i don't wear my nails very long so I don't really have the greatest canvas for nail colours. As I have said before in other posts on this blog, nails kind of come way down my list of priorities- after haircare, make-up, skincare, etc., but at the same time, I almost always have some colour on my nails. Juxtaposition much!

Anywhoo, enough with the blurb and on to the polish- and my god, what a polish it is! This is the Essence Colour & Go nail polish in No.86 (a lovely secret). Lovely in name and lovely on the nails I say. As we know, the summer is upon is and pastels are a big theme this summer, as is colour blocking etc etc. I have a lilac nail polish by Catrice but I have long been searching for a lavender colour- so I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted this Essence one today!

The colour itself is a purple toned lavender (as opposed to blue toned lavender) and there are the tiniest flecks of purple glitter in it (but it's not glittery per se). It took just two coats to build the colour perfectly, as is the case with most Essence nail polishes in my experience, and I love both the shape and size of the brush and the handle of the brush/cap of the polish which is nice and small and almost pen like instead of the more awkward brushes from other brands. It's not matte, but not too shiny, it actually has the exact matte finish that I like, and I haven't put a top coat on it yet.

I cannot even emphasise how pretty the colour is- I mean it is without a doubt one of my fave nail colours of all time and I think I'll purchase a few more of these just so I have lots of back ups and I never say that about any nail varnish I own. It's on trend, and best of all, only €1.29. Yeah. I know. 

You need this in your nail varnish collection- this is absolute Spring/Summer 2012 gold, i'm gonna give it a whacking 5 big stars. Invade Penneys and Dunnes and wherever else you can get your paws on this because I have a sneaking suspicion that this is gonna fly off the shelves.

Verdict- LOVE.

Hope you liked this quick little NOTD.


Make up insight collection #4- Nail Polishes

Hi everybody,

This is the most part of my nail polish collection- I have somewhere in the region of 110 bottles of nail polish- which is uncanny really because I'm not really a nails person- I mean I almost always have some colour on my nails, and I have gotten my nails done professionally a few times (even though the last time I got gel nails done, the technician said my nail bed was too small and they ended up looking more french manicure-esque- i did like it but it made me feel like a bit of a nail oddball). I have small hands and I never wear my nails very long, I like them to be neat, and I prefer simple bright colours over intricate nail art designs. I don't bite my nails, never have done thankfully, but I find they can be quite brittle from time to time so I file them regularly enough to try to keep them strong. In the grand scheme of things though, nails fall way down my list of priorities after hair care, cosmetics and skin care, but slightly above fake tanning because I don't fake tan all that often.

(I'll start at the top left corner and just give a little overview working left to right and then down along the rows.)

The red in the corner is by Christian Dior and I think it was a free sample when I bought J'adore perfume a while back. I adore this red, the formula, everything about this polish. 

I have some Barry M nail paints and crackle colours but to be honest, I am not the world's biggest fan of either. The nail paints are ok, not awful, just not great in my opinion, and the crackles are troublesome to say the least. When I picked these up for first time in Superdrug in Belfaast, I bought the light purple colour with a darker purple crackle and planned to top it off with Sally Hensen's 'Tough as Nails' top coat. I bounced back to the hotel that night, complete eager beaver to jump on crackling trend, and as soon as I opened it, I knew something was very wrong, the mixture was gloopy, thick and lumpy (despite it being 'brand new') and I brought it back next day and picked out another. Now I am always giving out about the ton of sellotape that places like Boots place on their products to stop people sampling them- there is nothing worse that tying to fight your way through a mound of sellotape trying to open your new purchase, but in this instance where the product had clearly been opened many a time, I actually had a moment of appreciation for the lovely sales assistants who take time to ensure that the product that reaches their end consumer is of merchantable quality. BUT since I have found both the black and purple have gotten increasingly gloopy as time has passed and I have not used either of these more than three times each. I don't think I would repurchase a Barry M crackle, my experience with them to date has just not been good, it hasn't really left a lasting impression. 

The top row is kind of comprised of random bits and pieces- 2 NYX polishes that were given to me by free when I purchased some products (I have yet to try these actually- my bad), a Nails Inc red polish which I got free with a magazine but cannot get open for the life of me, a Sally Hensen 'Tough as Nails' topcoat (love this- will defo repurchase- definitely reduces chippage), a No.7 polish (I got this using a €7.50 voucher- I'm not a huge fan of No.7 and I just used the voucher and contributed a euro or two and got a nail polish, a GILT navy polish with gold flecks which was gifted to me, some 17 polishes and a Rimmel French Manicure set. 

The second row consists of most of my Catrice polishes- these I absolutely love- €2.79 each- great colour payoff after two coats, they last a decent amount of time and they have really unusual shades. Also Catrice release special edition nail polishes very regularly and I almost always love all of these but then miss the boat. I've seen pics of the new 'Revoltaire' collection and I love the colours of those too! Dagnammit! I have six NYC nail polishes in total but for some reason cannot locate two of them- I like these, you might need two or three coats but overall they are good quality, not too bad for chippage when topped with a good coat. I have a few Rimmel ones and these are pretty reliable too, good colour payoff and good lasting power for the most part.

On the third row I have MUA polishes which may take up to 2 or 3 coats to build the colour but look pretty good afterwards and are not the worst culprits for chipping imo. I also have my selection of Essence polishes which I've only really gotten into in the last few weeks- i am not a huge fan of Essence overall the way I would be with Catrice- I love bits of pieces of Essence- their mascaras are great, their eyeshadows are really pigmented- but the stand out Essence product for me is their nail polishes which come in a vast array of colours, take approx 2 coats for great colour payoff and come  in little 5 ml bottles which means there is a good chance you will use up your nail polishes before they go all hard and gloopy and unshiny. Best bit of all- the price- at €1.29 each they are a bargain- they're pretty much the same price as a bar of chocolate from the tills. I think these are great value, they are so adorable- on trend because Essence are constantly releasing new colours (i'm currently wearing shade no. 86 in 'a lovely secret' which is a lovely pastel lavender colour- I am loving it- it might be my fave all time Essence polish :)

Next onto my E.L.F. polishes which form the bulk of my collection. Where to begin with these- i like them but i don't really like them at the same time. I like them because there are loads of colours, i picked most of them up for 85c each during a 50% off sale last year so they were cheap as chips, but they really really need a good topcoat to stop them chipping. Once you have the topcoat on, you're sorted. I have 42 E.L.F. polishes in total- I love the array of colours- some of my particular favourites are Coral, Gum Pink, Sunset, Fire Coral, Fuschia, Burgundy, Cranberry, Passion Pink, Purple Dream and Teal Blue. For the most part, two coats will suffice, but 9/10 out of 10 i always manage to smudge one nail before they dry fully. The reason I love these is that, for €1.70 each they are a bargain, nevermind the mere 85c I parted with, the range of colours is great, only without a top coat, I find these chip like crazy. I probably wouldn't repurchase any of the shades that I have, but there are loads of reasons for that- i'm not hugely into nails and nail polishes anyway to begin with, my nail drawer is prob the most neglected of all my drawers! But if E.L.F. released new shades soon, I prob would purchase, would love a pastel set for the summer, some nicer blues and greens maybe, and a crackle line would be a nice treat too. 

So that's just a little insight into my nail polish collection, I hope you've enjoyed it. I really like make up collection posts because I like getting to know a person through their array of products at a glance- and from a review perspective, I think it's helpful to put similar products in similar categories up against their competitors in a general overview type post. 

What do you guys think? Do you like make up collection posts too?

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Little haul and special delivery :)

hi everybody, 

i just said I would share with you my little hauls of the day. Today started off with a bang when the postman woke me up to hand me my brand new Blank Canvas Cosmetics brush set and airbrush blender sponge- many thanks to Una in Blank Canvas Cosmetics for these-I love good customer service and I am 100 times more likely to repurchase from a seller if I have been treated well. I haven't had a chance to test these out yet, I'm still kind of tormented because they are so new and shiny, but I will eventually get around to using them, and I'll report back in due course with my findings! Here are some pics as a taster 

I also was out and about the town today doing some shopping and I picked up some other bits and bobs too. It's quite a mixed bundle today.

L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil

I've read alot of reviews about this and they seem to be very complimentary. I am incredibly picky when it comes to hair products- I mean really I am so hard to please- but I do quite like L'Oreal hair products (whenever I go on holidays I always get L'Oreal Elvive Colour Protect because it saves hulking my Kerastase regime around with me), and anybody who knows me will tell you that I almost always have my hair in order. I'm definitely not easily pleased when it comes to hair products but I've read enough reviews of this to warrant trying it out. I think it's pretty new on the shelves. I was particularly taken by the heavy glass bottling and gold detailing on the bottle. This brands itself as a Sublime Hair Enhancer, promising versatile use, sumptuous softness, luxurious shine and weightless touch. That's alot of promise for such a small bottle. You get 100 mls of product which I actually think is pretty generous because the oil looks really concentrated- you are only required to rub 'two precious drops' into your tresses to make the magic happen so it should last quite a while. It cost €8.99 which I think is a special introductory price- normal cost is approx €12 I think. I'll give it about a week to try this out and I'll put up another post about how I got on.

Academie Bronz' Express

I have heard so much about this tan too- most recent Sarah (Saz) included it in her April favourites vid. I'm going out on Sat night and I felt like a break from my usual St.Tropez, St. Moriz and L'Oreal Sublime tans, all of which leave me a very peculiar orange shade. I've heard so many great things about this, apparently professional beauticians are using this now. I was very torn today between this and Top Image tan which I have also heard loads about- what attracted me to Top Image was that it is specially formulated for Irish skin- which I presume means it's formulated for the incredibly pale and fairskinned like myself- but I went with this one in the end. I'm very excited to try this at the weekend- hopefully I won't turn out like an oompa loompa. It's normally €19.95 but I picked it up for €14.95 today.

Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory

I don't have alot of Rimmel foundations but I have heard so many good things about this foundation, I finally gave in today and bought the palest colour, Ivory, which swatched really nicely on my hand. I have heard that it is meant to make your skin look dewy, and from swatching it on my hand, I'm excited already. There is also SPF 15 in this which is a necessity for me- any bit of sunshine at all and I get freckles, and I want to protect against sun damage so I don't get all wrinkly before my time. There is 30mls of product and it cost €10.95, and I got a Scandaleyes mascara free with the foundation today which was about €8.50. I wasn't looking for a mascara and I won't open this for a while yet because I don't like to have too many open at any one time because they dry out so quickly. I have high hopes indeed for this foundation- I used to be a hardcore MAC Studio Fix Foundation fan and it's still my HG foundation, I guess I am always looking for a great foundation. Again, I'll review this when I have given it a chance to try and test it out so I can really give a considered opinion.

Even though I really don't need another nail varnish, I picked up two today- Essence no.86 'A Lovely Secret' which is like a pale lavender with just the tiniest flecks, i mean really tiny, of purple glitter. I have some pale purple nail polishes already but this one really caught my eye and for €1.29, how could you go wrong. I also picked up a Catrice nail lacquer in 'Pimp My Shrimp' which is very similar to another colour I have by them called 'Meet Me at Coral Island' which is one of my all time fave nail polishes of all time. I love coral on my nails- I wear alot of pink and red and I think this coral nails are an easy compromise between the two. I also have a really really short nail bed, small hands and tiny nails, so strong bright colours kind of suit my hands better- this was €2.79. I also picked up a little pot of Carmex because I find that this stuff is just like the liquor of the Gods for lips- mine aren't really chapped or sore, it's just I like to wear lipsticks and some lipsticks really highlight dry lips- today this only cost me the princely sum of €1.01 and it'll prob last me another year!

So like I said, I'll get trying all of these out and as soon as I have formed an opinion one way or another, I'll let you all know. 
Thanks for reading 

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Make up collection insight # 3- Lips (pic heavy)

hello again everybody :-)

this is the third instalment of my make up collection series, and now we have gotten to an area very close to my heart indeed- lips! From lipglosses to lip balms to lipsticks and lip pencils, I don't feel complete leaving the house without a little something on my lips. 

Lipglosses and Lipstains

i love glosses on their own and glosses layered over lipsticks- particulary pink or peach glosses over a nude lipstick when I am doing a smokey eye look. I have a few lipstains also from E.L.F. but to be honest, the only ones I would say are must haves would be Red Carpet (words simply cannot describe how much i love this) and First Date. 

I love lip gloss sticks (if that makes sense), and I particularly love the NYX round lipglosses for layering, the E.L.F. luscious liquid lipsticks for decent pigmentation from a lipgloss and also the Catrice colour show off range which has, in my opinion, unbelievable staying power and pigmentation. I have two Barry M lipglosses in a pale pink and orange colour and these smell like bubblegum and tutti frutti respectively, they are almost too delish to be purely cosmetic! Usually flavoured/scented lipglosses wouldn't rock my boat- an example would the E.L.F. Studio Minty Lipglosses- i find that these are so packed with glitter that they feel almost gritty on the lips and they have a really strong minty flavour which isn't hugely offensive but is a bit off putting if you're not into that kind of thing. Also, i have already blogged about how the E.L.F. Mineral Lip Glosses are a dupe of the MAC Lipglasses, you can see packaging pretty much identical.

I have loads and loads of tube glosses from ELF, MUA, a Christian Dior set that was gifted to me by a dear friend and a few Lancome Juicy Tubes, but I much prefer lip glosses with doe foot and not little wand applicators. I have shimmery glosses, plain and simple glosses, pretty much every colour I need. I also have the Smashbox O Gloss which is a clear gloss that naturally brings out your lips natural pinkness (and somehow my Smashbox O Glow ended up in this pic too even though it is a cheek product!). 

Lipsticks, balms and pencils

Now lipsticks are my real passion, this picture does not even capture my full collection in all it's glory because I know I have stashed lipsticks away in different places e.g. the car to make sure I always have one on hand. Is it very vain to say I actually really like the shape of my lips? I mean they're quite full without making me look like a duck's beak and i think i have quite a nice defined cupid's bow, so I hope that doesn't sound very vain! I could prob combat it by saying that I have practically no legs cos I am only 4ft11 and a half inches tall, but we won't even go there!! I love strong reds, pinks, pretty much anything blue based I find is very flattering for my pale skin w. cool undertones. I also like peachy/light pinks for summer time looks or I might pair a nude with a gloss if I was attempting a smokey eye. I prefer matte/sheens to frost on my lips- i try to avoid frostiness at all costs, and sometimes if I feel like a Lipstick is not matte enough, I'll matte it up myself using something like E.L.F. Studio Complexion Perfection. I recently picked up two MAC lipsticks from the Amplified range and I love how these apply- smooth, creamy and they don't budge.

As you can see, I am a huge fan  of NYX Round Lipsticks, i have 26 now but I've at least 6 more on my wishlist! I have nudes, light pinks, hot pinks, reds- I'll eventually get around to swatching all these but that's a day's work in itself! I love the round lipsticks- it's easy to understand why they are the top selling product on the NYX UK site- I love the texture, they don't bleed all over your face, and I think the lasting power is great but I don;t mind reapplying after a few hours. Even though I love every single one, stand out colours for me are Summer Love which is a really nice nude, Narcissus which is a crazy bright pink, Fig, Femme, Chaos, Rose, Tea Rose, Gem,  Eros, Louisiana, Paris and Power- i go for these time and time again. I cannot rate this lipsticks enough and I think if you are a lipstick fan and you haven't picked up a few of these yet, your collection is defo missing out! I also have some NYX Jumbo Lip Pencils and these are great too, so incredibly creamy and easy to apply- I love Chaos and Deep Red in particular.

I also cherish Catrice lipsticks and I have 5 to date- 2 from the Ultimate Shine Collection and 3 from the Ultimate Colour Collection. I love everything about these- the packaging which is so sturdy and sleek and simple, to the way these apply, the creamy and not drying feel on lips- they are brilliant imo, and at €4.99 or €4.49 a pop, where would you be going like. I noticed that they now have these stands in Penneys also- I spied one last week- you'll find them pretty much anywhere where you'll find an Essence counter. My local pharmacy stocks a Catrice line which is very handy indeed.

E.L.F. lipsticks are another love of mine, particularly the Essential range where lipsticks cost $1, £1.50 or €1.70. I picked up quite a few of these for a mere 85c each during the flurry of 50% off sales last year, like there are no words to describe what a bargain this is! When the new range came out last winter, I just had to nab myself some of the new ones also- I have the whole entire range but I have only photographed 10 (the other two are missing :( ) and I like them all bar Voodoo and Fantasy, only because these are a warm spicy red and a brown and I never would pick either of these, I just can't carry them off- Fantasy in particular makes me look like I've got chocolate spread all over my lips- not a good look! I adore and will repurchase to the death the following: Classy, Posh, Charming, Fearless, Sociable, Gypsy, Captivating, Seductive, Nostalgic and Flirtatious. I like the E.L.F. Mineral line lipsticks too but I don't love them the way I love the Essentials line. The staying power of them is great, and they are quite moisturising for lips, but the shades don't wow me the way the other line does. Shades I do love include Runway Pink, Party Pink and Ripe Rose. I also have four Studio Matte Lip Colours- i picked these up for €1 each using a promotion that cropped up last summer- I love Natural and Coral but Tea Rose makes me look like I am dead and Praline is a brown and I don't do browns. There is a new red one on the site which I am lusting after but I will try to restrain myself for another while longer yet. Finally, the E.L.F. Studio Conditioning Lip Balms are great- the pigmentation is brilliant- esp Romantic Rouge- but I find these to be just a little bit messy and a pain to reapply on the go. I love the lighter colours like Peaceful Pink and Mellow Melon, these in particular are great when you want to wear stronger eye make up.

I have a couple of Rimmel colours aswell- my fave red for years was Red Alert in the shiny pink packaging, and recently I was gifted a nude from the Kate Moss range and Soft Coral in the purple shiny packaging and form part of my collection also. I have three Pout Polishes from Sleek which I love also, and I pretty much wear these on low effort days when I want a naturalish look- Peach Perfection is great for these kind of days. I have seven NYC lipsticks and even though I hate the taste of this on the lips, they taste like crayons or something, I like the way these colours are quite sheer and buildable, and they feel quite nice on (apart from the taste which i really really don't like). I love Blue Rose, English Rose and Air Kiss in particular. I have some Barry M pieces too which were gifted to me by a friend I met through blogging, I find it quite hard to find Barry M stalls in the boots that I would go to and she very kindly set me over a lip pencil in bright red (perfect for xmas season) and a bright fuschia lip paint lipstick and I love these also. I have to really impress upon you also my love for MUA lipsticks which are priced at just £1 each and are packaged very similar to the NYX Round Lipsticks. I have seven of these now and probably the only thing I don't like about them is the fact that most of them don't have names, just numbers i.e. Shade 1, Shade 2 etc. I have three shades that have been named- Bare, Juicy and Nectar, and I find myself reaching for Nectar lots these days because it's a really nice summery peachy colour.

I have four MAC lippies in my collection to date including Impassioned, Chatterbox, MAC Red and Ramblas Red, and it goes without saying that these are top notch in terms of colour payoff and pigmentation and staying power, however the €17.50 price tag may be a bit of a put off. I am sure I will gather more of these in my lifetime (my bank a/c is scared!)

A little note on storage...

i am planning on doing a seperate blog post on storage because it took me ages to find a system that worked for me. As you can see from the pic, I have categorised all the lip products by type first i.e. lipglosses or lipsticks, and then by brand, just to make it easier to find the colour I am looking for if I have something particular in mind. If i don't have something particular in mind and just want to open my drawer and see what's there for the taking, I have arranged all my lipsticks in such a way that I can clearly see the minute I open the drawer all the colour options I have , be it stickers on lipsticks i.e. the MAC, E.L.F. and Catrice products or little bursts of colour from the packaging itself i.e. MUA and NYX. It took a long time to perfect and it can get really messy really quickly if i'm not careful but it's a system that works for me! What do you guys think of this system? 

Sorry for bombarding ye with so many pics. Hope you enjoyed this little insight into my lip drawer. I have reviews on many of these built up already but I hope to eventually getting around to swatching rhem all for you because I always consult blogs for swatches when I am purchasing lippies so in the interests of good karma and all that! 

Toodle pip xx :) 
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