Thursday, 28 November 2013

No 7 Instant Radiance Highlighter- Review and Swatches

I like a bit of a glow at the best of times, never mind at Christmas time. I usually use  There is nothing like a little touch of highlighter to make you look more healthy and radiant, particularly when we will all be busy merrymaking and celebrating over the festive period. I have lots of powder highlighters but I spotted this No 7 Instant Radiance Highlighter in Boots 2 weeks back, I had to pick it up and give it a whirl. It cost €12.95 and is available in store now. 


I loved the No7 Instant Radiance foundation- I blogged about it almost a year ago and I said then that I was not expecting to love it as much as I did and I almost couldn't help myself. My expectations from No7 products from that time onwards escalated, and so I had high hopes. Generally, I think No7 is way overpriced for what it is, and I am never surprised by the billions of €6.50/€4 off vouchers that they always seem to be distributing. I've already spoken about this in my review of the Instant Radiance foundation so I won't repeat myself.

The highlighter comes in a wind up stick format, similar to a cream blush. It's quite small and chubby and definitely easily portable. The formula is neither greasy not gritty, it applies easily with minimal tugging and effort and is easily blendable.


There is not a huge amount of product as you can see but for under 13 quid (and less if you use a No7 voucher)- it's respectable. I would rather have a little of a great product than a lot of a bad product. So the question is, is this a decent product?


I have to say, I am pleasantly impressed by this, but not blown away. The colour is a gorgeous candlelit ivory  shade which makes a change from my usual pink or gold highlighters. There is no chunky glitter in this formula which makes it that bit easier to work with in my opinion. The product in the stick format is easy to apply and it is easily blended with your fingers or a brush. I have used a synthetic brush to apply this to my browbone/ inner corner and cupids bow with no problems (the actually surface area of the product is a little too wide to get into these areas neatly all by itself. I would have to deduct points for lasting power however, because I don't feel it lasted all that long on my skin, maybe 3/4 hours,.before just fading away to oblivion. And even though this product is in stick form, it's not necessary the easiest thing to apply on the go without a blending brush or the likes.


So the bottom line- I love this product when it is applied but I wish it would last longer once applied because it is not the easiest thing to reapply on the go. I love the candlelit glow colour and I will definitely be using this over the Christmas period.


Has the No7 line impressed any of you in recent months?

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

NEW PRODUCT ALERT- Blank Canvas Cosmetics Purple F22 + Comparison of Old and New


So when I was on Facebook the other night, I noticed that Blank Canvas Cosmetics had a new product alert, and like a fly to a pot of honey, I took myself to their website in a fairly lively manner and ordered myself the new purple F22. Now I already had their black F22, and I blogged about it a year ago (if you can't remember, click this link) and I conveyed how much I love the Blank Canvas HD Kabuki collection- I still use these brushes every single day and I have FOUR F20s on the go at any one time... and no, I'm not joking. In fact, I will insert pictorial evidence to support my claim!


Anyways, back to the brush at hand- the F22. I didn't even stop to think about whether I need this or not because I will always have space in my life for another Blank Canvas Cosmetics kabuki brush. I LOVE purple, it's my second favourite colour after pink, and it's a dang nice purple too.


Now I thought that the brushes would be the exact same (similar to the black F20 and the pink F20) but I think there are actually a few slight differences (this made me feel good about my purchase because I feel I can justify owning it that little bit more!). The handles are the exact same in every manner apart from the colour and the new branding. They are the same length, the same width and they have the same ferrules. I feel like the new purple F22 might be a little bit denser than the black F22, but this could be down to the fact that I haven't used or washed it yet, and brushes do tend to fluff out a bit after their maiden washing. 


The density of the new purple F22 actually reminds me an awful lot of the density of the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, so I think I will try out my new brush when applying my foundation and see how I fare with that. If I use this even half as much as I use my black F22, or even one twentieth as much as I use any one of my F20 fleet, then it will be a smart purchase. 


I'm delighted to have this in my collection and I urge all you fellow brush fiends to get yourself onto the Blank Canvas Cosmetics website and pick up one of these brushes for €14.02 (or €13.32 if you are a returning customer) and for a limited time only, BCC are offering free shipping. 

Will any of you join me and take the purple plunge? 
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Ziaja Natural Olive Body Lotion- Review


I loathe to say it, but I have a terrible tendency on skimping on body lotions and body moisturisers. I just never seem to have enough time after a shower- I'm either rushing out to work in the morning or collapsing in a heap in the evening. All summer long during our heatwave, I couldn't bear the thought of putting anything on my skin after a shower (I did not cope well!) but I do at least try  to make a concerted effort to moisturise more in winter months. I have been using fake tan alot more regularly since the introduction of Cocoa Brown to my life, and with that, I feel more compelled also to make sure that my skin is nicely moisturised and prepped for tanning. I received this Ziaja Natural Olive Body Lotion in a goody bag at the SBBC wrap up party and I have been using it since.

Now I must admit I hate olives- the taste, the smell. I would rather eat a bug than eat an olive. I use olive oil for cooking but that is the extent of my relationship with those little black horrors, and I was more than a little nervous to unscrew the pump and have a sniff of the product even before pumping it out onto my hand. I am pleased to annouce that this body lotion does not even remotely smell like olives OR olive oil. In fact, it smells rather nice. like some sort of face cream my nana must have had, but certainly not offensive at all, and my nose is VERY easily offended!

Now this product does contain olive oil and is loaded with vitamins (E, C, B6) and vitamin B5/ Panthenol which makes it not only delicious for your skin, it also makes it penetrate your skin to provide optimum moisturisation. That could be why this body lotion is recommended for those with normal to dry skin. 

Let me tell you a bit about my skin. I have combination skin on my face with dry patches on my cheeks, jaw and forehead. My skin on the rest of my body is quite dry- particularly my elbows, upper arms and knees. I have quite sensitive skin on my legs which can get a little aggravated when I shave my legs. I also have very sensitive skin and cannot use certain highly perfumed shower gels or creams in case they make my skin tight and red.I do like applying body creams, lotions and butters but one thing I cannot abide is oily residue on my skin, or I just don't have time to be sitting still waiting for creams to sink in. I'm always looking for something quick and effective.

And all of these reasons are why I LOVE the Ziaja Natural Olive Body Lotion. It's not heavily perfumed but it has a nice pleasant scent that fades after a while. It does not smell like the little black beads from hell that people like to call "olives". It has quite a milky cream consistency, it's not too thick, and it's very easy to spread on your skin. But the real star feature of this product in my eyes is that it just melts into your skin so easily and so quickly, my elbows, arms, knees- they just suck this stuff up so there is no sitting around waiting for your moisturiser to be absorbed, or worse, waiting for it to dry. It doesn't feel greasy or slimy, it doesn't leave my skin all shiny looking. My skin feels softer and more moisturised, the little red bumps that I get on the top of my arms in the winter are far less visible and my Cocoa Brown tan applies fantastically over this body lotion. This is the best body lotion I have tried in a long time and my opinion of Ziaja Skincare continues to soar high.

Oh, and did I mention that this product costs just €5.99 from Original Beauty? :)




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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Top 10 Budget Neutral Eyeshadow Palettes


I am always raving on and on about how much I love neutral eyeshadows, and I am quite simply obsessed. I must have about 40 neutral eyeshadow palettes in my collection now, and I keep going back for more. There is something so endearing about a variety of browns, golds, creams and chocolate colours in a little palette form, and no, you can never have too many shades of brown. I feel like I was a bit of a late comer when it comes to neutral eyeshadows but I've only really worn neutral eyeshadows in the last two years. Maybe it's a sign of my age (now WELL into my mid twenties), maybe it's a byproduct of my conservative day job, or maybe it's just because I favour a more subtle eye and a stronger lip colour. I am going to share with you all my top 10 budget neutral palettes and my top 10 high-end/luxury neutral palettes. So in no particular order, I'll get started.


MUA Palettes in Undress Me Too (top) and Undressed

These palettes are the much hyped dupes for the Urban Decay Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes, and whilst I don't think they are in the same league as the Urban Decay offerings, for a mere 1/10 of the price (or less even if you pick it up during one of the many special promotions on the MUA website), these are fantastic eyeshadows. They have a texture similar to Stila eyeshadows in my opinion, very soft, a little metallic, the lighter colours are extremely blendable and the darker colours a little less so. In terms of dupe factor, they are very very decent- the finishes are a little off skew compared to Urban Decay but the colour spectrum is sufficiently similar.


Beauty UK Posh Palette in Eden

I bought this in Superdrug in Belfast over the summer on a bit of a whim without ever really having tried anything from the brand before. If I recall correctly, I think it was about £5. I really like this palette overall but I do feel it's lacking in darker colours to cut the crease. It has some matte shades which are decently pigmented. The colour in the bottom right hand corner alone makes the palette for me- it is a gorgeous rose gold colour and quite unlike anything else I have. The colours are soft and blendable, and the pans are bigger than MUA or Sleek offerings.


Physician's Formula, Inc. Matte Eyeshadow Quad in Canyon Classics and Physican's Formula, Inc. Shimmer Strips Nude Eyes Palette

When my lovely friend Heather who loves in Massachusetts gifted me the amazing Physician's Formula, Inc. Matte Eyeshadow Quad in 'Canyon Classics'- I thought I had died and gone to neutral matte eyeshadow heaven. I might love this palette more than my Naked Basics. The colours are gorgeous- matte but not too powdery, fantastic pigmentation (you would not believe it) and the colours last the whole day on the lid over MAC Paint Pot in Painterly. I cannot tell you where she got it (though I know she is a huge fan of Ulta) but I definitely will try some other PF matte quads in the future. Thanks again Heather! I heard alot about the PF Shimmer Strips Nude Eyes Palette so I purchased it on Iherb a few months back. This palette is tiny so I don't use it very often but I do like it. I would say you definitely need a primer under these because they are all very shimmery shades but there are some gorgeous taupe shadows and champagne colours which I like to use as highlights either on my brow bone or inner eye corners.


Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Palettes in Vanity and Nude Awakening

I adore Wet n Wild eyeshadows and it breaks my heart that they are not available easily in Ireland or the UK yet. The pigmentation is absolutely outstanding and they are so so inexpensive for what you get (unless you buy them on ebay like we have to here in Ireland). The palette on the left is being discontinued but I have still been able to find it online- it is from the Color Icon 6 pan line- and comes with three matte shadows and three shimmer eyeshadows. I love love love this palette- I'm almost afraid to use it because if I use it all up, I might find it hard to get my hands on another. This was one of my first WnW purchases, and even though I have all the other palettes in this collection, I am obsessed with this one. Also from the Limited Edition Spring 2013 collection, Nude Awakening, has some gorgeous dupes for the Urban Decay Naked Palette and a mixture of different finishes. Honorable WnW neutral eyeshadow palette mentions include Trio in Walking on Eggshells and the Color Icon 8 Pan Palette in Comfort Zone. 


Revlon Quad in Addictive and Soap & Glory Lid Stuff in What's Nude

Both of these palettes are pretty similar I believe in that they are both leaning towards the cafe latté matte tones  These are both very wearable daytime appropriate neutrals and are equal in terms of blendability. They are both part of permanent collections so you need not worry about the products disappearing- in fact, you could pick up both in Boots quite easily! 


Sleek Palette in Oh So Natural

I also picked this up on a trip to Belfast over the summer. Unlike a lot of the neutral palettes that I have shown you, this one has a lot of darker browns which are helpful for cutting the crease. There is also a mix of matte and shimmer shades and unfortunately, I find the matte shades are a bit disappointing in terms of pigmentation when compared to their shimmery sisters. This makes my top 10 because of the colour spectrum and the inclusion of darker shades for more smokey eye make up looks. 


Blank Canvas Cosmetics 28pc Nude Palette

Last but not least, I had to include one of my favourite online budget neutral palettes, and this one is from Blank Canvas Cosmetics. I've already written a full review on this palette and included pictures of swatches which you can read by CLICKING HERE. There are so many dupes in this palette, and even though it contains 28 colours, the pans are all the same size as MAC pans and the palette is quite lightweight and sturdy. This costs €11 from the Blank Canvas Cosmetics website and I couldn't not include this when talking about budget neutral eyeshadow palettes. 

So those are my top 10 budget picks? Are they are palettes that you would have put in this list? What is your favourite budget eyeshadow palette? And please tell me I am not the only neutral eyeshadow addict amongst us?! 
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Monday, 25 November 2013

NIMA Brush- Sunshine Yellow Collection and BARGAIN ALERT!


I was first introduced to new Irish brush company, Nima Brush, last December at a blogger Christmas event in Dublin. Brainchild of makeup mistress extraordinare Niamh Martin, the brand has moved from strength to strength since, and now not only are there a variety of different products available online, there are also plenty more up and coming in the pipeline, catering to every brush need that us ladies might have. 


The first set in the Nima Brush line was the Sunshine Yellow set, and I picked one up at the Irish Beauty Show in October to play with. Now I have more makeup brushes than I know what to do with but any makeup addict like myself will know that you can never have too many makeup brushes. 

One thing that strikes me straight away about these brushes is the quality of the brush fibres, cylinders, ferrules and handles in the collection. Niamh explained to us that none of her products are private labelled and she has designed all of these brushes based on her own personal makeup brush experiences and preferences across her very glamorous makeup career which involved working as a professional makeup artist, on counters in both London and Dublin and teaching in makeup schools in Dublin also. I have had the privilege of attending a Niamh Martin demonstration on three separate occasions now, and her enthusiasm and love for all things makeup- not just brushes- is infectious. 





 The brushes came in a very handy, sleek Sigma-esque cylinder for safe storage when travelling. The Sunshine Collection's name is attributable to the sunshine yellow cylinders and brush handles that add a splash of sunny yellow to your makeup brush collection. I love the bright yellow bruzh handles- think they make a nice change from the black brushes that comprise 90% of brush collection! There is also a 12 piece Sunshine set available,. These are professional quality brushes for bargain basement prices- on the website a 7 pc set with a cylinder would set you back €65, whilst you can get your hands on the 12 pc set and a cylinder for €90. (I also have come across an *AMAZING* deal that is valid for a limited time only but more about that later!). There are other collections on the website also but I will save these for a later day!

The 7pc Sunshine set contains a duo fibre stippling brush, 2 powder brushes (little and large), a large concealer brush, a blending brush, a pencil brush and a small angled blush. There is pretty muich every brush you need to apply a basic full face of makeup in this set alone, which makes it ideal for travelling. The brush hairs are a mixture of fibres- natural and synthetic, and I can vouch for their wash and wear powers- despite numerous washings with baby shampoo over the last few months, these have not shed as much as a single hair.





Now I did try to take pictures but for some sad reason, light is not my friend. I'm also including a picture from the Nima website (www.nimabrush.com). If you have not been on her website yet, it's really worth a visit. Not only will you be wishlisting every single brush on the website, you can also read up on how to take care of your brushes, a guide on the best brush to use for each product and a description of best uses for makeuo brushes. what to use when washing them, what a NIMA mitt does and what bloggers and media have been saying about the brushes since they tried them and put them to the test. 









Now if you like what you see and think that these 7 full size brushes and the cylinder are great value, you will probably fall off your seat with my next announcement. For just €35, you can get yourself one of these amazing sets, cylinder and all, by clicking the link in this Grabone Daily Deal site (click here to go to the Grabone deals page). You can even pick up a 12 pc set and cylinder for just €55. If you are stuck for Christmas inspiration for a lady or if you need a decent set of makeup brushes or even if you just feel like self-gifting, head over to Grabone now and grab yourself a bargain! 
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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Christmas Gifting with Lancôme

As the song goes, it's the most wonderful time of the year. I cannot speak for you all but I know there is nothing that I appreciate more than delectably decadent Christmas gifts of the cosmetical variety. We can spend the year looking for drugstore bargains but who doesn't want to be blown away with luxurious beauty booty in the festive season? Lancôme have been one of my favourite high end brands this year and I'll be starting 2014 with a Lancôme wishlist that will include, amongst other Lancôme lovelies, DreamTone, Teint Idole Foundation and the gorgeous Blush Subtil 02 Palette. 

In terms of Christmas offerings, Lancôme's selection this Christmas is just exquisite. If you feel like self gifting or dropping big hints for your significant other, check out the limited edition Christmas range. I spied this in McCabes Pharmacy in Dundrum and I swatched a few bits and pieces and I was absolutely blown away with the colour selection and the stunning sparkly packaging! My favourites included:


Top L-R: L'Absolu Rouge Swarovski (I know!) €30, Hypnôse Ultra Dazzling Colours- a gorgeous mousse shadow and comes in a variety of shades €27, Hypnôse Velours Multi-Wear Eyeliner Patches (as somebody who hardly ever gets their winged eyeliner right, this looks like a godsend!) €35 and my absolute favourite of the bunch and must have this Christmas- the Lancôme Highlighter Rose Etincelle- €45. When I swatched this, I actually let out a gasp. It's the most gorgeous gentle ambient glow- it looked quite lilac in the pan but it wasn't lilac when applied and the powder was so finely milled that there was no trace of chunky glitter or excessive sheen. This HAS to be mine this Christmas!
When you spend €35 or more on Lancôme products in any given transaction, you have the option to purchase this amazing set for a mere €55. It includes an exclusive Christmas palette and a full size Blush Subtil 02 and has a retail value of over €200. I mean who wouldn't love this as a Christmas gift? 
As well as Advent Calendars, I have noticed that alot of beauty brands have been bringing out little Christmas treats that you can hang on your tree in the weeks coming up to Christmas and open them up whenever your heart so desires. Lancôme have also come up with a beautiful set of four hanging decorations which contain a mini Rouge In Love lipstick, a mini black Hypnôse Mascara, a lickle Gloss In Love and a beautiful and seasonally appropriate mini nail polish. This set would be a beautiful gift for Christmas or perfect for self gifting and will set you back €46. It's exclusive to Brown Thomas I believe so don't waste your precious time looking in all the wrong places. Lancôme very generously gifted me one of the little hanging decorations and I opened it just for y'all- it contained the mini Rouge in Love lipstick and it is a gorgeous creamy true red which would look good on anyone I'm sure.


Lancôme also have a variety of Christmas sets out- Juicy Tubes, Mini Gloss in Love, Advanced Genefique, Visionnaire, Hypnose Mascara sets, loads of fragrance sets- but one set I definitely have my eye on this year is the Dream Tone set because I have been dying to try this since being wowed with the scientific statistics and made aware of the years of research and development to get this product to market the launch of DreamTone over the summer.

Will any of you ladies be picking up some Lancôme lushness this Christmas? 

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Monday, 18 November 2013

Riri Loves MAC but what about Aisling? #3- Her Cocoa Eyeshadow Palette- Review and Swatches


My final piece from the Riri Loves MAC limited edition collection was the 'Her Cocoa' eyeshadow palette. There were two exclusive eyeshadow palettes in this collection- Her Cocoa (the collection of neutrals) and 'Smoked Cocoa' or a so-called smoky eye in a palette. Being the neutral eyeshadow freak obsessive that I am, I could not resist picking up this palette, particularly when I first clapped eyes on the rose gold packaging. The palette is the exact same size as any normal 4 pan palette that you can get from MAC and I believe it cost somewhere in the region of €42.


The palette contains four exclusive shades though I believe that there are definitely some duplicates for other MAC eyeshadows that I have, From the top left hand corner- shade 1 is a Lustre finish and is a bronsey/gold/coppery colour. I find this colour looks different on your eyelids depending on what you pair is with- another copper, a brown etc etc. I normally do not rate lustre eyeshadows (I am still fuming that I ever paid money over for Honey Lust- probably the worst pigmented MAC eyeshadow I have ever bought). The pigmentation of this lustre offering was better than Honey Lust but I still don't believe that you could wash this colour all over your lid and use it as a standalone colour. 

The next shadow in the top right corner is a soft peach/pink/nude colour with very subtle gold shimmer and a satin finish. Whilst this colour may not float the boats of many, I really like to wash this all over my lid and put a mid tone matte brown in my crease for simplistic day time looks. Buildable and soft, this shadow was easy to work with, and given that it is not frosty, it is probably universally appealing.

The shadow on the bottom left reminds me immensely of MAC Woodwinked when swatched- an almost antique brown- but where Woodwinked would have more of a gold undertone, this Riri shade seems to be more brown based. Still, I don't believe there is much of a difference so if you missed out on the Riri palette and owned Woodwinked, you would not be missing out on much. That said, it is a gorgeous colour and definitely my favourite pick of the bunch. It was the most blendable and lasted the longest out of the bunch. It's a versatile colour, it would suit a multitude of skin tones and eye colours- definitely a winner.

Lastly, the shade in the bottom right hand corner is a warm chocolately brown with red/copper undertones and it reminds me of MAC Mulch which is one of my favourite brown eyeshadows ever. It's slightly frosty in finish IMO- though only very slightly frosty, and it lasts for hours and hours over a base (I used MAC Paint Pots in Painterly, Groundwork and Constructivist when I was wearing these eyeshadows and it lasted well in top of those. What I liked about this is that it's not a cold dark brown but it's not overly warm either. There was also minimal fallout with this when I applied it to my eyelids. 


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Sunday, 17 November 2013

NEW! Bourjois Color Edition 24H Cream to Powder Texture Eyeshadow Pots- Review and Swatches


Bourjois is one of those drugstore brands that seem to be knocking new products out at an alarming rate, and whilst I am very grateful for that because I am a longtime Bourjois fan, my visa debit card winces everytime I step into Boots. I picked up three of their new Color Edition 24H Cream to Powder Texture cream eyeshadows on one of my latest trips and I have been trying them out over the last few days. I am a HUGE fan of Maybelline Color Tattoos and MAC Paint Pots, so I had high expectations of these.


One small bug bear I have with these from the get go is that these eyeshadow pots don't have the shade names written anywhere on the pot. Instead, shade names were placed on a sticker on the side of the pot that you have to remove if you want to open it to get to the good stuff inside. I think this is rather silly but if this is the only complaint one has about these products, then it's not doing too bad is it! From left to right I picked are Or Desir, Prune Nocturne and Petale de Glace. These are €8.99 in Boots and are currently on 3 for 2. There are 6 shades available altogether in the Boots that I visited- not pictured are a silver, a khaki green and a charcoal option- and I have definitely seen swatches of a navy blue version which must not be available here yet. There are 5g on product in the pot.


These colours are hyped up by Bourjois as being the most innovative product since the invention of the sliced pan. Bourjois themselves introduce these as " new generation cream-to-powder formula... Fine and silky, this soft cream colour turns into powder upon the contact with the skin leaving you with a luxurious, second-skin feel. In just one sweep Colour Edition gives a metallic sheen and intense colour that last 24 hours." That's a heck of a lot of promise for one little pot.

The texture of these cream eyeshadows is firm- definitely not emollient. They are metallic in finish but on closer inspection, it is clear that this metallic effect comes from the teeny tine fine glitter particles in the formula. With one quick finger swipe of these colours- you can pick up alot of pigment- but how that pigment transfers to the eyes varies quite significantly. In my opinion, the two lighter colours- Or Desir, an peachy gold, and Petale de Glace, a dusky mauvy pink, apply to the eyelid alot more easily than Prune Nocturne (which to my eye looks like a brown base jampacked with very fine cranberry glitter). I always use my fingers to apply cream eyeshadow to my lids and I was a little dismayed with the application of these- they did not apply smoothly to my lids a la Color Tattoos or Paint Pots, and I think this is down to the celebrated 'cream to powder' formula. I like to use cream eyeshadows as bases for powder eyeshadows but I haven't yet used these Bourjois eyeshadows for that purpose because the very second it comes out of the pot, it is powder, even before it gets to your eyelid at all. Because of how quickly it turns to powder, coupled with the fact that the shadows are incredibly densely packed with fine glitter, you have to work very quickly to get these bad boys on your eyes, and it's just more work than any other cream eyeshadows that I use. Once I made my peace with this, I considered was the extra work worth it.


Truthfully- the pigmentation was not as great as I expected- I did expect more intensity which was probably down to the fact that I expected them to be creamy when applied and then dry to a powder finish. They are buildable for sure. I'm not a full blown convert to the innovative cream to powder formula- it's just not my preference. If you do not apply a good primer to your lids, these will crease like a mofo- I don't have oily eyelids and not many eyeshadows and eye products crease on me but the one time I applied these without a primer, I regretted it big time and was creasing up after about 2 hours! With primer (Urban Decay Primer Potion) these lasted about 10 hours before creasing. I have found that topping them with a powder eyeshadow increases the longevity a bit more. It's also worth bearing in mind that these cream eyeshadows contain silicones- in case that's something that you might be sensitive to. 

A pro is that because they do dry to a powder finish, they are alot more blendable amongst themselves that other creamier eyeshadows. Now that Christmas season is amongst us and we are all embracing our inner sparkle, the fact that these are so glittery can save you a job! I also like using them sheered out underneath my brow bone and in my inner corners- something I would never do with the other cream eyeshadows.

Overall, I was not disappointed with these when I didn't compare them to two loves of mine from Maybelline and MAC. When I took these as standalone products, I actually like them alot. They are a bit harder to work with than I would like, but I do believe the results are worth it. These are innovative products and I have learned to accept change. I picked three colours that I think I will get alot of use from so I look forward to trying out some of my party looks with these in the coming weeks. 

If you have tried these, let me know what you think in the comments below.




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Irish Beauty/Fashion Bloggers/Vloggers Secret Santa 2013- All you need to know!


Ok, as promised, I am delivering the results of the first ever #irishbbloggers Secret Santa survey! 48 of you lovely ladies cast your votes and I am delighted today to be able to announce how our Secret Santa swap initiative is going to work. There has been so much interest in this initiative which is absolutely brilliant to see, and it just goes to show what a great community spirit there is amongst us Irish Beauty and Fashion Bloggers and Vloggers! Whether you are a long time blogger or if you are just new on the scene, this is a brilliant way to be involved in something, befriend new people, pick out a surprise present for someone you may or may not know AND have a mystery present delivered to you! 

So without further ado, I will first reveal the results of the survey! 

1. Spending Limit


This question was pretty much neck in neck all week long, and it was a tie between €20 and €25 for a couple of days during the week. Thankfully this morning, the €20 limit has edged ahead slightly and now that is what we are going with- so you have €20 to pick out a Secret Santa present for a fellow blogger. Not too steep in these recessionary times thankfully!

2. Postage


I have specifically limited this SS 2013 mission to Irish bloggers because we will all be incurring similar postage costs. I put it to the people whether you all believed the cost of postage was in addition to the spending limit, or included in the spending limit, and you rather overwhelmingly voted that the cost of postage is not included in the spending limit. 

3. Gift Exchange Date


This basically means the date by which you will be expected to have popped your Secret Santa present in the post, and you have selected Friday 13th December as the date to make sure you have popped your Secret Santa offering in the post. You can post it earlier if you wish but please do not post it any later. If everybody adheres to this guideline, I would expect that all bloggers would have their Secret Santa presents by Wednesday, 18th December (postage in Ireland is usually next day delivery). It is important that everybody gets their gifts in good time because....

4. The Grand Reveal!


I asked you if you were willing to hold off on posting about your Secret Santa experience/haul until a certain set date so that we could all publish on the same date and set Twitter and Facebook on fire with a mass Secret Santa unveiling. I personally think this would be awesome and great fun and it would be cool to see what everybody got on the same day, to see what people picked out for each other, it would be like a team effort. I was delighted when all bar one person thought it would be fun to hold out and post on a given date, and I am delighted to announce that that date has been set at Sunday, 22nd December 2013. You can have your post or vid prepared or filmed in advance of this date but if you could hold off on publishing or uploading until the 22nd, it will feed into the mystery and intrigue! I don't know about you guys but there is nothing I love to do more on a Sunday evening than read haul posts or watch haul videos, so I think this would be a neat little touch.

5. Dedicated Hashtag!


Lastly, I think it's important that we have a hashtag for Twitter so we can drop little hints and scope out the competition and just chat and enjoy the bants about all things related to our Secret Santa mission- so I asked y'all which hashtag you would prefer, and the winning choice was '#irishbbloggerSS'. Simple but to the point and it won't waste too many of those precious 160 characters. 


So, to recap! 

The spending limit is €20 and postage is not included in that spending limit. You need to make sure to have your Secret Santa gift popped in the post by Friday 13th December, in order to make sure that it arrives before the huge reveal on social media on Sunday, 22nd December. When you are talking about this on Twitter, please use #irishbbloggersSS so that we can all follow each other. 

How to get involved?

Simples. You can comment below to let me know you are interested, or chirpy chirpy tweet tweet me at @totalmakeupadd. Please send me the postal address that you would like your present delivered to- whether it is your home address, your work address - whichever is most convenient for you in the weeks coming up to Christmas- to my personal email which is totalmakeupaddict@gmail.com. I will be taking names from today until Wednesday 20 November, and you will have received an email from me by Friday 22nd November with the details of who your Secret Santa subject is! Remember, it's like Cluedo, if we don't let the cats out of the bags, we will all suspect each other and it will make the experience all the more intriguing! I will be picking your Secret Santa and gift subject based on numbers and a Random Number Generator from random.org- it won't be the same person that you are buying for that will be picking out your pressie! I'll be on hand at any point to answer any questions or queries you have so don't be afraid to ask. You might also want to send links to your blogs so I can send them along with your names and address to your Secret Santa so they can use the information to get an idea of what you like (just in case you didn't already know!!) and to link your blog/channel in their post. Again, this is open to all Irish beauty/fashion bloggers/vloggers so get your blogging friends on board, spread the word and spread the love! 

So get your name and preferred postal address and any other relevant info to me asap and I'll take it from there! Hope you are as excited as I am!!

:)
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