Saturday, 30 August 2014

My first ever BLOG SALE! MAC, Urban Decay, Benefit, Stila, Inglot, NARS and more!

So as you may know, I engaged in a little spot of makeup organisation and decluttering a few weeks back when I was on my holliers, and I decided today that it's time to let a few bits and pieces go to homes where they will be more loved and appreciated (and also enable me to buy more makeup!). Needless to say all makeup is genuine and in perfect condition and most have at least 95% of product left. 

The rules of my blog sale are simple. 

1. Please comment below or send a message to me ( with what you would like to take off my hands. Make sure to leave your email address.
2. I will email you back with a postage quote (I am not looking to make money on postage and will use the An Post website as a basis for posting). 
3. I will not hold items for more than 24 hours.
4. Paypal payment as a gift only. 
5. At the moment, this blog sale is only open to readers in Ireland and the UK. Requests from other countries will be dealt with on a case by case basis. 
6. Postage is via standard post unless you would prefer to pay extra for registered post. I always obtain proof of postage from the post office and I accept no liability for items going missing in the post. 
7. All sales are final. 
8. When an item is sold and I have received payment for it, I will strike it through like this.
9. First come, first served, and if you don't pay within 24 hours, you lose your right of priority.
10. I will post next day and confirm once I have popped items in the post.

Benefit Big Easy in Shade 04 Medium – BNIB – RRP €37, sell for €20
L’Oreal True Match N1 Ivory- 90% full- RRP €15.29, sell for €7
L’Oreal True Match R2/C2 Rose Vanilla- 95% full- RRP €15..29, sell for €7

Nars Sheer Glow in ‘Deauville’- 90% full- pump included- RRP €44, sell for €20
Nars Sheer Matte in ‘Deauville’ – 95% full- RRP €40, sell for €20
Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser in ‘Alaska’- 99% full (swatched once) RRP €38 , sell for €20
MAC Studio Sculpt in NW15-90% full- RRP €36.50, sell for €20
MAC Face and Body in C1- 95% left- RRP €31.50, sell for €20

Bourjois BB Bronzing Cream €7
NYX Liquid Illuminator- brand new- €7
Kiko Bronzer Powder in 104 (only swatched) €7
The Balm Cindy Lou Manizer- 99% left- RRP €19, sell for €10

Benefit High Flyin' Glosses Gift Set (brand new, never used) €10

Benefit Go TropiCoral Gift Set (brand new, never used) €20

Benefit Rockateur- used twice- RRP €34, sell for €20
Benefit Hervana- used once- RRP €34, sell for €20

Clarins the Essentials Eye Palette, comes with box and brush- €20

Stila in the Light Eyeshadow Palette- €20

Smashbox Full Exposure Palette €20

Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette- swatched only- RRP €44, sell for €30

MAC LE 'Riri Loves MAC' Eyeshadow Palette in Her Cocoa (comes with box), RRP €44, sell for €25

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in 'Flush'- €15
MAC 'Riri Loves MAC' Cream Colour Base in Diamonds- only swatched-RRP €22- €15
MAC LE 'Archie's Girls' blush in Prom Princess- €15

Illamasqua Neutral Eyeshadow Palette in 'Neutral'- RRP €40- sell for €20

Inglot Eyeshadow Palette 1- Purples- €15
Inglot Eyeshadow Palette 2- Colours- €15

China Glaze nail polishes (L-R: Naked, Mediterranean Charm, Under the Boardwalk, Bing Cherry and Put a Bow on It)- never used- €4 each

OPI Fly, Can’t Find my Czechbook, Essie Maximilian Strasse Her - €4 each

Sally Hansen Pennies From Heaven, Pedal to the Metal, Haute Chocolate, Plum's the Word, Greige €4 each

Kiko LE Colour Party Palette in 02 Generous Earth €10

Friday, 29 August 2014

An iHerb haul, bargain busting AND a $10 discount code!

God I love getting a bargain, and I love telling you all where to get bargains, and I think you all love hearing where to get bargains too. This time I've been iHerb shopping, and there was one clear item on my agenda- a Physician's Formula bronzer. Hot on the heels of my introduction to Physician's Formula post, I've another few PF products to show you today, and I simply cannot wait to try them out. Unfortunately, PF is not stocked anywhere near me yet and I'm not willing to head all the way out to Santry for it yet. It was far more convenient for me to go online and order a few bits and pieces from iHerb and have them delivered to me. Not only did I grab some lovely products, I got some for an absolute steal, and international shipping starts at just $4- about the price you would pay for a cup of coffee! *Enough of the chit chat* I hear you say, and here are the goods!

I originally wanted to get the Super BB Pressed Powder but I saw this Mineral Wear Flawless Airbrushing Kit and decided to pick this up instead. I read alot of favourable reviews about this before I purchased it and the fact that the pressed powder, blush AND bronzer were only a couple of dollars more than the powder would be on it's own, I decided to pick this up. I went for the shade Light. This was €16.34 for the kit or around the $21 dollar mark- absolute BARGAIN! Also comes in Medium and Dark varieties for those of you more sallow than I!

I love the Happy Booster Glow and Mood Boosting Blushes so much that I wanted to pick up the highlighter in the Happy Boosting range, and I picked up the shade 'Translucent'. This is an absolutely gorgeous, incredibly finely milled powder and I absolutely love it. The packaging is darling! This would set you back $13.89 or €10.16. 

I'm saving the best til last and oh boy is this a beaut! I've lusted after a PF bronzer for the longest time and the one I had my eye on was their infamous Bronzer Booster in Light-Medium. The packaging of this is so luxurious, the powder swatches so silkily and it looks alot more expensive than the $14.35/ €10.89 that I paid for it. There has to be a reason why Physician's Formula is the no.1 top selling bronzer in the US after all!

So that concludes my little iHerb haul, I just couldn't resist showing and telling the amazing bargains and lovely loot that are to be had on iHerb. The shipping is incredible value- a mere $4 for ordinary post and $8 for courier delivery. I just chose the order to come via ordinary ground shipping and it arrived within 6 working days- not too shabby at all! To further add to the bargain, I have a referral code which will give you $10 off your first order and $5 off every subsequent order- the code is GMT341 so click HERE to go straight to the iHerb website and have a browse! You can also pick yourself up some E.L.F. Cosmetics for WAY less than they would be buying them from the UK site (and the shipping is actually cheaper too), Real Techniques brushes for about half the price that they are in Boots, Eco Tools and MyChelle. 

So particularly for those of us that are waiting impatiently for Physician's Formula to become more readily available in Ireland, get thee to the iHerb website for a peruse and if you end up spending a couple o' dollas, what's the harm! 

Have you purchased anything from iHerb before? Do you have any iHerb recommendations?


Thursday, 28 August 2014

An Introduction to Physician's Formula

I'm sure makeup addicts all over Ireland will agree that this has been an amazing year for Ireland in terms of new makeup brands that have hit our shores. Back in January, Wet n Wild made an appearance, followed by Physician's Formula, NYX and Sleek. I personally squealed a happy squeal when I heard each and every one of them were arriving. I've long time loved Physician's Formula since my first visit to the States way back when, and ever since I've just been lusting after their products. If you don't already know, this brand was created by a man tending to the cosmetical needs of his sensitive skinned wife, and now Physician's Formula is America's #1 bronzer/ face powder/ mineral and natural organic brand. Every single one of the products have added skincare benefits. With all that goodness and all those promises, how could you not try out something from the brand? What I purport to do today is just run you quickly through some of things that I have bought/ received and loved over the past few years and months. 

Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow 

PF do a couple of these Shimmer Strips palettes where they pack 9 eyeshadows into one tiny compact. I have the Smoky palette to show you. As you can see from the swatches, these are incredibly pigmented and can be applied wet or dry. These are the handiest little palettes for travel because they pack alot of colour in and give you lots of options. I got mine from the States but I do believe that these will be available in Ireland for €15.90.

Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin FakeOut Mascara

I really like PF mascaras and I've had a couple of them throughout the years. The one that I have currently on rotation is the FakeOut mascara. Now, whilst I wouldn't say this gives you the thickest, fakest lashes, something about the composition of the wand is excellent at separating them. Also, I have sensitive eyes and this has never caused me to tear up. It's good for definition and really getting into the roots of your lashes to fan them out. This is available in Irish pharmacies for €14.90.

Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Blush

Possibly some of my favourite PF products to date, I am obsessed with these Happy Boosting powders. They do boost my inner happy because they are so pretty to look at, a dream to apply, and make you look lit from within. The two shades I have are Natural and Pink, and I love them dearly. A little of these goes a long way! The pink packaging is adorable and all PF powder products come with a little brush applicator and mirror in the compact for on the go, top-up situations. These are €15.90 each.

Powder Palette Mineral Glow Pearls Blush

This is one of my newest additions to my PF lineup because I received it in last month's Chic Treat Club box. I received the shade Rose Pearl and it is most definitely a pearly rose colour. Speaking of pearls, isn't the pearl touch just darling? This formula in particular gives the most gorgeous luminosity to the cheeks but because it is incredibly pink, I need to apply it with a light hand or else I will look like I've been sunburned! Again, the compact comes with a little mirror and a brush for convenience and this would set you back €17.90.

Shimmer StripsCustom Eye Enhancing Kohl Kajal Eyeliner 

The lovely PR crew for Physician's Formula sent me on these amazing eyeliners a few months back, and I absolutely love them. I love PF for their powder products, I make no bones about that- they do some of the best blushes, bronzers and face powders out there- but these Kohl Kajal Eyeliners have really REALLY impressed me. They are soft enough to not drag or hurt the eye on application but not so soft that they just bleed and transfer all over your face after application. The color payoff is phenomenal as you can see from the swatches above. Again, I have sensitive eyes, and these did not aggravate them in the slightest, and I have used the shades on both my tightline and waterline successfully without tears or stings! These come in packs of three and are packaged according to your eye colour- the picture in the top left hand corner is the set for blue eyes and contains a black, a navy and a dark gold colour- all very appropriate for blue eyed folk like myself. The set of three is only €16.90 and I am most definitely going to pick up another set once I can get to a stand and have a swatchfest!

pH Matchmaker pH Powered Blush

The last product I have to show and tell today is the pH Matchmaker pH Powered Blush. This is one seriously smart blush because on application it senses the pH level of your skin and adjusts within 60 seconds to create your perfect blushing glow- personalised anything get major brownie points from me. Not only that, it contains light adjusting pigments adapt to your environment so colour looks the same indoors & outside. This truly is a magic product. I admit, I was highly skeptical of this but at the PF launch night back in May, a few bloggers friends and I all tested this blush out on our hands and we all ended up with different colour results- despite us all using the exact same blush! I like it because on me, it's a very natural, healthy sheen in day time and night time, on my palest, greyest days it injects some life into my pasty face. This blush is €16.90 if you're curious too! Also- whilst I know the packaging is a little bit cumbersome looking, as you can see from the pic on the top-right, there are two little inbuilt lights that you can flick on to assist with application in dim-lighting situations! Personalised colour AND inbuilt lighting = WINNER!

So those are the Physician's Formula products that I have been using and loving for the last few years, some of them even before PF decided to set up shop here in Ireland. On that subject, the list of stockists is regularly updated to account for the new additions. As far as I am aware, the only Dublin stockist to date is Neighbourhood Pharmacy in Northwood, Santry. I'm only waiting for a stockist to land in Dublin city centre or southside. I'm awaiting on an order of some other Physician's Formula products to arrive from the US of A so when they do, I will report back- until then, I hope I've given you enough of a taste of what Physician's Formula have to offer and I hope I've whet your appetites!

Are there any PF products you are dying to get your hands on? 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Fuschia Make-Up and my two cents on private labelling

I can't speak for you but my newsfeed has been clogged for the last week with reviews from Irish beauty bloggers who have been giving mixed reviews over the products from Irish make-up brand Fuschia Cosmetics. Now, I for one, would not wilfully accept products for review from a company and then go and slate the company ruthlessly, that said- I will always be honest and you can rest assured everything and every opinion I write on this blog is the truth based on my own experience and understanding.  I've used most of the products that were sent along to me and I'm just going to let you all know how I have gotten on with them. I feel like I also want to address the issue of private labelling that has arisen in conversations that I have had with fellow Irish bloggers.

First out, to address the private labelling elephant in the room. For those of you who do not know what private labelling is- it is essentially where one company (Company A) engages with another company (Company B) to produce, manufacture and label products with Company A's logo and then Company A will undertake to sell those same products as their own. So if Company A wanted to set up a cosmetics company, they could engage a Company B like Pinnacle Cosmetics to put Company A's name on makeup palettes or whatever, and then sell them off as their own product. There is nothing illegal about private labelling- it's similar to buying own brand products in supermarkets. 

Private labelling has many advantages- it saves small companies massive research and development costs, gives control on marketing, production and cost etc. As a business person working in a commercial environment every day, I can see how it would make sense. A cosmetics company is perfectly entitled to source their products from wherever they want, as long as they abide by the plethora of regulations and requirements that apply to the sale of cosmetics that are required by law. If companies can buy such products in for one price and sell for a greater price, that's good business. If there is a market there willing to pay, more power to them. The disadvantages of private labelling are also clear and quality can often be compromised. If you think about it, Company B just want to sell as many units to Company A as possible, and the extent to which Company A is aware of the ingredients and composition of the products might not be as clear as if Company A developed those products and had a role in the manufacturing. 

I personally have no problem with private labelled products where they are good quality and reasonably priced. I generally have quite expensive taste in makeup and I don't mind forking out money for decent products, but I am not going to pay hand over fist for mediocre quality cosmetics from anyone- nevermind companies that source all their products for private labelled companies. The vast majority of cosmetics we use are made in China anyway. Many companies have made a fortune from selling private labelled products- Crown Brush, BH Cosmetics and Coastal Scents being the top examples to spring to mind. I don't think the selling of private label cosmetics is deceitful and as long as it is a quality product that does not contain any harmful ingredients, I am willing to give it a try.

Which brings me back to Fuschia Cosmetics. A little bit of research on the brand informs me the brand is owned by an Irish company based in County Louth, and indeed the flagship Fuschia store is located in Scotch Hall in Drogheda. Fuschia Make-Up pride themselves on being an Award Winning Irish Make-Up Company. I love to see Irish businesses doing well for themselves, particularly young entrepreneurs, and Fuschia seem to be doing well for themselves with a steady following. I received a pack of products almost two weeks ago and, like I said, I've been trying them out. Now, as I said before, I am not going to slate any brand that gave me products in consideration of review- but I will be honest in my review because my readers deserve nothing less. Please bear in mind that when I review cosmetics, I often compare them with other similar products in my collection or similarly priced items for comparison purposes.

The first product I am going to talk about is the 5 pan eyeshadow palette. I didn't have any hand in picking out the shades but they are all lovely neutral shades and colours that I would pick out myself given half the chance. I quite like the Fuschia branding and the black and pink packaging, the little flowers on the inside are cute. The eyeshadows themselves are powdery but the pigmentation is decent but they are not the easiest to work with on the eye and also lack in longevity in my opinion, even with an eyeshadow primer on. This palette would cost €40 if you were to pop instore to fill it, and to be honest, I think that is incredibly overpriced for what you get. These are not dupes for MAC eyeshadows, they are just colours in the same sized pans. In my mind, €40 is the price you would pay for a top notch palette- the Urban Decay palettes are just €44- and this comes nowhere near the quality of those eyeshadows. It's nice, but it ain't worth forty bucks. 

I, along with most of the Irish blogging population, got the lipstick in the shade Vamp to try out also. I like the colour of this one- a nice cranberry red perfect for the autumn months- and at €13.50 it's not completely unreasonable in price. I don't think this is something I will be reaching for over the winter months however. Unfortunately, I have found that this tastes like a waxy crayon on my lips and it feels like a waxy crayon on the lips too. I found that the best way to wear this was to sheer it out with my finger after applying to achieve more of a stain effect. It was an ok lipstick but I still think you could do alot better with your €13.50 in Boots or Superdrug. Even the plastic packaging is a bit boring.

Next up are two products I did like and they are the Lip Lacquers in Love Affair and Party Girl. Again, even though these tasted kind of waxy on application, these guys just lasted for so long, they were pretty much hassle free. My lips did need a good conditioning afterwords because they had dried out quite a bit but in my mind, it was worth it. These are €16.50 a piece though, a price which I find to be quite prohibitive. Long wearing liquid lip lacquers are widely available now for prices far more reasonable.

The next product I got was a lipliner in the shade Eggplant which is a very dark, plummy liner and retails for €12.95. Again, this is just not worth the bones of €13 to me- it feels quite cheap and the product is probably a little too soft for my liking- I feel like this is one that would need to be sharpened after every use.  Similarly, the Eyedust in Bliss which retails for €12.95 was just not special enough for me to recommend you purchase it. 

There are a few products in the bundle that I have not tried yet- the Brow Kit in Taupe- honestly this is something I would never pick out for myself so I don't know what I could say about it. The compact is quite large and the brush underneath the pans feels scratchy on back of my hand. The two pans of colour do not lie flush in the palette so it doesn't look very professional- had I paid for it online, I would have been annoyed. At €15.50 aswell, I also think this is quite a high price point. I also got little samples of the Highlighter and Primer but I am too afraid to try these out on my sensitive skin in case they break me out. I've tried both on the back of my hands and I thought the highlighter looked a little greasy. 

So, it is with a sorry heart that I have to admit that I was not even remotely blown away by Fuschia Make-up. For the most part, I found it to be incredibly overpriced for the quality of the products therein, especially when comparing it to similar products in the marketplace. I couldn't recommend to my readers to go out and buy any of these products because I honestly don't think I would spend my own hard earned wages on any of these, and I only ever recommend products that I have tried and loved, in spite of the price tag. I got a 10 pan blush palette at the Pro Beauty Show in the RDS last year and I really like that, but none of these products have excited me or made me want to go out and buy more. Unfortunately, the designer price tag of these products has not matched up to the actual goods, and no amount of respect for the Fuschia team could lead me to say otherwise. I feel like it would only be fair to Fuschia to point out that they have received several nods and accolades for their products and service over the years, so it definitely is not all bad!

As much as it pains me personally to post this review up, I felt like I had to be honest with my readers, because everything on this blog is my honest opinion. I've seen some favourable reviews from Irish bloggers who have said they love the products, and whilst I cannot argue with their opinions, I was surprised to say the least. I'm not going to disrespect my readers with a favourable review of products I did not enjoy using. Perhaps I am just too critical and my expectations from make-up are too high now, I'm not sure. And I want to make clear that this review was not a simple dismissal of the brand because they engage in private labelling- as I mentioned above, I am quite willing to buy good quality private labelled products at reasonable prices.

So ladies, what are your thoughts on this post? Am I a horrible person for putting this review up? Do you love Fuschia Make-up and want to jump to the defence of the brand? Or like me, have you been unimpressed with Fuschia offerings thus far?


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Chic Treat Club- August Unboxing

July was my first month of Chic Treat Club, and despite my reservations about subscription boxes following questionable experiences from PowderPocket and Glossybox, I was blown away by the contents, and it was a gorgeous, well rounded box appealing to skincare gurus, beauty obsessives and candle lovers no less! I would be lying if I said I didn't have high expectations for the August box. I have come to hate Chic Treat Days because I am like a hen with an egg all day long, I just couldn't sit still today waiting for this to arrive. Arrive it did, and once again we were treated to six products.

1. The first product that caught my eye was the BETER Large All Purpose Brush which is a launch exclusive in the box. This has a retail price of €16.99 so we've already made back the cost of the box. First impressions are quite pleasant- it does feel very soft- and I don't have any other big headed, stumpy handled brushes like this in my collection. If you like the look of it and missed out on a Chic Treat Club box this month, these will be available in pharmacies nationwide from September 2014.

2. The second product that I pulled out was the Kubiss London Bronzing Face Powder. This will be available from the Cosmetic Outlet website in September. Have to say, a bit underwhelmed with this face powder- never heard of the brand, the packaging feels a bit cheap which I can't really hold against it because it only costs €2. I've yet to try it out granted, but this is not something I would pick out if I was in a store. Hopefully I will be in for a nice surprise, time will tell on that one!

3. Next thing that jumped out at me was a Kiss Vita Strength Base and Top Coat. I've long lamented my dry, brittle nails and I am always looking for the cure. I'm not sure of the price of this because it was not listed in the booklet that we got but I presume it was in the region of €5. I'm definitely looking forward to giving this one a whirl. 

4. I was happy to see a Montagne Jeunesse Brazilian Mud Fabric Masque in this month's box- I love a face mask and I have not tried a fabric one yet. This one contains real mud, acai berries and avocado and sounds like it will be quite the treat. This one has a retail price of €1.99. 

5. Finally, the last two products are from a brand called Thalgo, a brand I have heard of before but never actually used myself. We were spoiled with not one but two samples- the first being their Soft Hydration Emulsion which is a body moisturiser retailing for €26 full size 250ml (sample worth €3.10) and a Marine Shower Gel which retails for €15 for full size 250mls (sample worth €1.80). I like trying new body products out and I look forward to using these- also will be perfect for travel so I'm quite happy! 

Overall, I'm reasonably happy with this box. It is jam packed with products and brands I have never tried or heard of before and that's why I love the idea of subscription boxes. The total cost of all the products in the box was €30.88 which is almost double what we paid for it. In terms of the actual product selection, there is quite a good range, from tools, cosmetics, nails, bodycare and skincare. Whilst this box might not have the pizazz of July's mammoth offering, I am definitely happy with it.  

What did you think of your Chic Treat club boxes this month ladies? Are you tempted to subscribe if you haven't already? 

Monday, 25 August 2014

NYX Butter Glosses- Collection, Review and Swatches

Even though you won't think it by the time I've finished raving about these babies, I am not a lip gloss person. I prefer the pigmentation of a lipstick, and I can't abide my hair getting stuck to my mouth on windy days. About 18 months ago, my friend Heather sent me over my first Butter Gloss in Cherry Pie and from that moment onwards I was hooked. In fact, one of the first products I checked for when I first heard that NYX were setting up shop in Ireland were the Butter Glosses. I think there are about 12 shades available in Ireland- again not as many as the US- but plenty to keep you ticking over! As you can see from the swatches below, there is not a huge difference in some of the colours (but of course, enough to justify owning them!) 

Now what makes these lip glosses appealing enough to tempt a lipstick fiend to turn to the glossy side? Firstly, these feel great on the lips- soft, balmy, and most importantly, not sticky at all. The little doe foot applicators make applying these in a hurry a doddle. The glosses themselves pack nice pigmentation- from the nude shades like Creme BrulĂ©e and Tiramisu to the more pigmented shades like Merengue and Cherry Pie- there is something to appeal to all. These last well and don't fade terribly- I find that over time, they just tend to lose their shine but a quick swipe of the applicator will put you on the right track again. These also taste completely inoffensive which is important to those with sensitive dispositions like myself. 

Enough chat, clap your eyes on some of the colours that are available:

So tell me, have you tried any of these bad boys yet? Are any of these colours catching your eye?
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