Saturday, 29 November 2014

NARS Audacious Lipsticks- Collection, Review and Swatches



I've made no secret of that fact that I have a new lipstick obsession in my life at the minute and that is the marvel that is the Nars Audacious Lipstick. Never before has my head been turned so sharply towards any lipsticks, and I am not exaggerating or lying when I make the hugely sweeping statement that these lipsticks are my favourite formula of lipsticks EVER. Sorry MAC. I've now got nine, but I am by no means finished yet, I would trade all my other lipsticks just so I could devote more time to these, and if my apartment caught fire in the morning, these would be the first makeup items that I would grab before I jump out the window. So as you can probably tell, I'm obsessed. At €30/£24 a piece, they are not the cheapest lipsticks, but honestly I think you would be hard pressed to find better bang for your buck. 


As you can probably tell from the wear, Anna is my favourite of all the NARS Audacious lipsticks because it is truly such a unique colour- I know the website calls it a mere smoky rose but it is much more than that. Sometimes pink, sometimes leaning grey, sometimes leaning lilac, this is such a gorgeous demure colour and I love wearing it to work and my work colleagues have actually asked me what lipstick I am wearing. I will definitely be keeping this on rotation and I will definitely repurchase.

Next up is Anita which I would consider to be a true pink nude and it's not a million miles apart from my natural lip colour so it's a MLBB colour for me. This is lovely for days when you want a subtle lip look without looking like you have nothing on- it's rosey but not too pink, and the beautiful formula on these lipsticks is extremely forgiving on even chapped and tattered winter lips. I feel like this lipstick allows me to fake better looking natural lips when they are looking a little worse for wear.

Brigitte was one that surprised me because I expected it to be a lot pinker than it actually is but in mind a more coral pink shade than rosey pink. This one is selling like hot cakes, and it is a very universally flattering colour so I can see why. I like these against my blue eyes when I am wearing Charlotte Tilbury's Cheek Swish n Pop in Love Glow.


Claudia is an extremely cool pink that is a little alarming in the bullet and not as alarming in the flesh, but still very pink all the same. I fell for this when I swatched it in store and I don't have anything else exactly like this. 

Angela is probably my second favourite shade because it is a gorgeous blue toned fuschia pink and it's a stunning colour, and somehow, some way this is kind of smoky and muted in the same way Anna is and it's just gorgeous.

Greta is a deep hot pink that leans more red than cool and again, in the 300 odd lipsticks that I own, I don't actually have anything quite like this.  


Audrey is a warm red toned plum that is just darling for this time of the year and is a nice alternative to a traditional red lip, whereas Fanny is a more traditional berry shade. 

I couldn't get my hands on Rita for the longest time because it was out of stock in Brown Thomas both times I tried to purchase so I ended up ordering it from HQ Hair and I'm glad I did because this is one epic red shade by anyone's standards and it screams Hollywood to me.


What I love most about these lipsticks is that they are so non-fuss, no need for liner because they don't bleed, one swipe gives perfect colour payoff AND the lasting power is incredible and it doesn't fade off in patches. The formula feels nice and balmy on the lips and it's easy to forget about these when you have them on, and they haven't exacerbate my lip dryness over the last few cold, frosty weeks. 

This lipsticks are WINNERS and I highly highly suggest you pick up one and try it out for yourself because in my opinion, there is NOTHING else on the market quite like these. 

What do you think? Are there any shades that have caught your eye?
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Friday, 28 November 2014

Catrice NEW PRODUCT Alert- sneak peek at the brand new display! (pic heavy)


Catrice is a drugstore brand that I really rate and one that I turn to time and time again. Unlike some other drugstore brands, I find the quality of Catrice cosmetics to be head and shoulders above their competitors. Not quite as girly girly as Essence and slightly harder on your purse (but still bargainous as you will find out), Catrice offers absolutely everything you need to get your face and nails in order. I kid you not. Now imagine my surprise when I stumbled into a pharmacy to pick up cold medicine and anti-histamines to be confronted by a new GIANT display (twice the size of a normal Catrice stand) and ALL the new goodies on it- it was almost too much for my little sick heart to handle, but I did manage to take some pics with my trusty iPhone to let you all know what to expect. I am very very impressed with the new display and product selection- so stay tuned for a whirlwind tour!


One of first things that caught my eye was the new makeup blending sponge which is very reminiscent of the Blank Canvas Cosmetics Blending Sponge. I know so many people rave about applying flawless foundation with a sponge so it's definitely something I want to try out for myself. Catrice also have new All Matt Anti-Shine paper to replace the mattifying sheets that they discontinued over the summer and you might also be able to spy a little kabuki brush in the corner too. 


Sticking with the new brush theme, They have also released a new foundation brush- one of those paint brush style ones and a concealer and camouflage brush. Love to see drugstore brands bring out new brushes and I've not yet been disappointed with any of the Catrice brushes that I have tried. 


I blogged about the Catrice Nude Illusion Foundation a few months' back when I first spied it on the shelves and I was mucho impressed with it because it's the closest high street alternative that I have found to Giorgio Armani's Luminous Silk foundation. Holla! 


I've also noticed that along with their Absolute Nude and Absolute Bright palette, Catrice have also released a new Absolute Matt palette packed with neutral shades. 


A new feature of the new, improved display units was this little Lash Bar section which includes not only a variety of lashes but also a dinky little applicator and lash glue. Will definitely try these over the Christmas season if I can wean myself off my beloved Eylure lashes!


I loved this giant double tiered nail wheel also with the different samples of the various nail lacquers on offer- I love that Catrice do these because not many brands do and it's great to give you a feel for a colour against your skin tone instead of just holding the bottle in your hand. Winner!


The Liquid Metal Gel Eye Pencils are another new addition to the Catrice line up this season and they have a very impressive eight shade selection in a variety of metallic tones up for grabs. I've my eye on the copper one!


I've also reviewed these new Velvet Matt eyeshadows and I loved them- happy to see all 6 shades are now in stock, and looking forward to seeing the new shade releases every season. The quality and texture of these is JUST... and you should really put these on your list if you struggle to find a decent matte eyeshadow like I do! 



Another new feature of the Catrice new and improved display stand is the Eyebrow Bar packed to the rafters with goodies for people who like to do things with their brows- including the new Longlasting Brow Definers which are little finely nibbed felt tip markers for popping on your brows. 


The Catrice Gel Liner was one of my faves and I was very disappointed when it was discontinued a while back. I am delighted to see a new Waterproof version on the shelves and if it performs half as well as the other one did, I will be happy. There is also a new Cake Eyeliner which can be applied wet or dry and I bought one of these to try it out because I was curious about it!


There is a new range of lipsticks out also called the Stay Ultimate Lipstick which are meant to be, presumably, a longer lasting version of the original Ultimate lipsticks which I do love. I picked up a few of these to try out and I also laid my hands on some of the new Ultimate Stay Lip Liners which are retractable (my favourite kind) and have a pretty impressive colour selection. I will of course report back!


Two of the new specials released included the Vitamin Lip Treatment which is a lip cream infused with Vitamin E and also the Volumizing Lip Booster which has packed in the menthol for tingly, lip plumping goodness. 


Catrice fans may be sick of looking at the Prime and Fine Bases but there is a new player on the scene, the enticing sounding Healthy Look Primer if you don't mind. When you are feeling as poorly as I have been this last week, anything that even remote hints or suggests that it can make you look like you are in better health even if you feel like crap is a very lucrative prospect indeed. 


Catrice also released a new blush line- the Illuminating Blush- if you don't mind, and it comes in three different shades- a peach, a coral and a pink. These have a lovely sheen when swatched and I am definitely going to make one of these my own on my next visit to the Catrice stand. 


Bearing in mind how impressed I was with the Nude Illusion foundation, I was very excited to see the new Velvet Finish Foundation. This is formulated with hyaluron which according to the signage promises a repair complex and to be longlasting. I picked up one of these to try out so expect a full review on that one I have gotten the feels for how it works for me!



Also in the same Velvet Finish line are a Velvet Finish Powder and a Velvet Finish Concealer- again both laced with Hyaluron. I picked up the concealer in the lightest shade which was 010 Velvet Ivory so I will report back on this in due course also.


Another new addition were the Pure Shine Tinted Colour Lip Balms- fans of Catrice may already be aware of the Pure Shine Colour Lip Balms so this is presumably a longer lasting version of this which will also leave a tint as it fades. I did enjoy the originals but I will be very impressed indeed if these new ones are longer lasting and these are added to my shopping list.


Next up is the Catrice Lash Booster line which promises longer and more voluminous lashes. YES PLEASE! There is a new base coat, a new lash extensions fibres mascara (which unfortunately is not contact lense friendly) and a new overnight growth serum if you don't mind, which I am probably daft enough to try! 


There are also some new mascaras to try out- a waterproof version of the Ultimate Lash Multimizer Volume Mascara and two new Eye Opening Eyeconic mascaras. Historically, I quite like many Catrice mascaras so I am predisposed to be willing to give these a shot. 


I was curious to see that Catrice are now offering Liquid Metal nail polishes with both a shiny and matt finish- now to me, this seems like the impossible achievement because surely matt and shiiny are like black and white in terms of being at opposite ends of the spectrum so that in itself has me curious and gagging to try!


ALL the polishes! 

And finally, just another overview shot of the new double display!

So what new Catrice bits have caught your eye from this lineup? :) 

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Free Makeup at Boots this Christmas- L'Oreal, Bourjois, Rimmel, Max Factor, No 7, Revlon, Collection, Seventeen, Barry M

One of my favourite things about Christmas is gifts- giving gifts more so than receiving granted, but there is nothing quite like a decent gift with purchase to lift the soul. Many makeup companies give free gifts with purchase over the Christmas period and Boots is always one of my hotspots when it comes to picking up some high street, and often high end makeup. The following is just a little guide of what you can get your mitts on this Christmas and what threshold you have to meet for same, along with a few little recommendations of products that I recommend you bear in mind when visiting the counter.

L'Oreal

L'Oreal always offer decent gift sets with full size decent products, and this year they did not disappoint. Free when you spend €20 on any L'Oreal products, you get a full size mascara, red lipstick, red nail polish and pencil. If you're looking for inspiration on how best to spend your €20, why not check out this post on the new L'Oreal Eyeshadow palette released as part of their Christmas collection?




Max Factor

Max Factor also bring it every Christmas with a great selection of products and this year they certainly did not disappoint with a great selection of full size products (lipstick, nail polish, mascara and eyeshadow) all wrapped up in a pretty box for FREE when you spend €20 or more on Max Factor goodies! If you need inspiration on what to buy, why not try out one of their new Excess Shimmer shadow pots or one of my all time favourite drugstore foundations?


Bourjois

I have to admit that the Bourjois gift set is my favourite this year because it is so up my street! Full size Rouge Edition lipstick in 02, full size nail polish, mascara and eyeshadow trio. All yours when you spend €20 or more on products. Why now try out one of the new eyeshadow quads that have been released recently?



Seventeen

Seventeen is a brand that has seriously impressed me in the last two months with their new releases and it's definitely a brand that has piqued my interest. This eyeshadow palette can be yours FREE with purchase of any two Seventeen products! The shade on the bottom right appears to be an eyeliner gel FYI. If you're stuck for inspiration on what to buy, might I recommend the Falsifeye HD Mascara and the Define and Conquer Contour Kit.

Rimmel 

Rimmel are not only offering a free gift with purchase this year (a lovely red Salon Pro shade) BUT they are also offering a 3 for 2. Bargs! If you haven't tried the new Lasting Finish NUDE Foundation yet, I recommend picking it up. I've also been loving the new Provocalips so have a look at that too if you're interested!


Collection

Collection are also getting on on the Christmas feels by giving away a Work the Colour Lip Butter worth €3.99 when you spend €6.50 or more on Collection Cosmetics. Might be a good excuse to top up on your Lasting Perfection concealer!


Barry M

Same as last year, Barry M are gifting you with a super glittery polish if you spend €9 or more on any Barry M Cosmetics. Perfect for the festive season I am sure you will agree!


Revlon

Revlon are offering a free Color Burst balm worth €10.99 when you spend €13 or more on any Revlon cosmetics. You can choose whichever one you like from the Original, Matte or Lacquer lines. I've gone on the record many times to state that the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains are one of my FAVOURITE lip products ever.


No 7

Lastly but not leastly, No 7 are offering a free Shimmer Dust gift box worth €40 when you buy any two No 7 Cosmetics products. They are also giving out Boots No 7 vouchers again so this would also go towards the cost of buying the products in the first place- winning! 


So, what gift sets are catching your eye this Christmas? I kind of want them all, so we'll see how much I crack over the coming month. These are bound to fly off the shelves so I would definitely encourage you to get your mitts on these asap! 

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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

ChicTreat Club - November Unboxing

Another month gone by, another Chic Treat Club package to unbox for you all. No chit chat today, will just get straight into it. This month's box is a collab with The Cosmetic Outlet- a cosmetics outlet shop in Dublin 8- and they've recently opened their online store at thecosmeticoutlet.ie. To mark the collaboration, the inclusion of a navy, star-spangled party themed sleeve on the usual lemon box was a nice personalised touch.


My box contained:


Eylure Brow Stencils RRP €6.49.

W7 Nail Polish in Sheer Blue RRP €2.99.

Academie Bronz' Express- (RRP for the full size stated as €19.99 in Chic Muse but €10 on the new Cosmetic Outlet website- included in box is 50ml sample size.)

Fuschia Loose Eye Dust in Galaxy- RRP €12.95.

Kiss Gel Fantasy Nails- RRP €7.99


What do you guys think??



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Friday, 21 November 2014

The Instyler - Review and Hair Shots


A few months back, I was asked to test out the Instyler as part of a huge promotional push. I was delighted- partly because the Instyler was on my birthday list (and, incidentally, arrived on the DAY of my birthday) and secondly, because I have lost my hair funk over the last year and could do with all the help I can get getting my hair funk back. I used to take such pride in my hair and it was always my thing but I just haven't felt the same about it in over a year. I no longer like wearing my hair poker straight, and the time it takes to blowdry and straighten my hair in the morning is time I would rather spend sleeping. I never curl my hair with my GHD anymore because I favour a more natural curl and I've been feeling uninspired. What is immediately enticing about the Instyler is its impressive claim that it can straighten, curl, add volume and add shine. Tick tick tick tick.


Now I do admit that I had a moment of what the heck do I do with this when I unboxed it because the device itself is like nothing I have ever used before. It doesn't look like a curling tong and does not look like a straightener, and trust me, there is definitely a bit of a knack to using this, but one you have it, you HAVE it, and I find it extremely easy to use. The large silver barrell rotates and is completely non-slip even for the thick, coarse hair that I carry on my head, and I find the little brush side is great for catching the hair so that it can be styled by the barrell but keeping it smooth. There are three heat settings- high, medium and low- so you don't have to subject your hair to as much torture as a GHD because you can opt for the lower heat, but I've only ever used the highest one and a good heat protectant spray and my hair has not incurred any damage. 

For the last few months, I have been favouring a barely styled look- not straight, not curly, but with some soft loose curls in the length of my hair to accentuate the length, balayage and layers that I am currently sporting. I personally love this look for work and for weekends, and I have been asked on at least 100 occasions- NO EXAGGERATION- if I had my hair blowdried before work because of the volume, shine and bounce that the Instyler gives my hair. People in my office that I never normally speak to have come up to me when I get my morning coffee to ask me where I got my hair done.

My method is simple, and the whole process probably takes me 20 mins from start to finish. I usually use the Instyler to straight the under section of my hair to accentuate the length, wrap my hair around the barrel to create some big curly waves and then I use the Instyler to smooth out and straighten the top sections of my hair to finish. Couldn't be any easier and I wouldn't say I am the handiest when it comes to hairstyling. I have alot of hair, it is extremely thick and has gotten quite long, but honestly the Instyler just breezes through it.

I know people are 50/50 about the Instyler and either hate it or love it, but I have to admit, I 100% fall into the latter category- I think it is just the bizniz- and it has become part of my daily routine. It's not the cheapest tool in the market at €120 but in my opinion, it is so worth that. I have the 32mm silver styler, but it also comes in pink and purple and there is a 19mm version of it available also if you are looking for tighter curls. Check out the Instyler website for pics and pricing info. With Christmas fast approaching, I would definitely strongly recommend this for your Santa lists!

Have you tried the Instyler yet or would you like to? 
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