Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Advent Calendars

It's my favourite time of the year again - Christmas! I've pulled together a few gift guides for beauty nuts - these are just few of the things on my Christmas wishlist. This here post is my advent calendar picks (yes, they are such a thing now that they merit a post all of their own), but I'm also pulling together a stocking filler gift guide and a round up of my favourite luxury beauty gifts this year also. I love Christmas beauty gifting - new limited edition packaging, a chance to try products you might not have ordinarily picked out for yourself and the potential to find new favourites. I know these lists are subjective - because I would not mind receiving any of these advent calendars - but these are just some of this year's offerings that have called out to me.

NYX Kiss and Tell Advent Calendar

The lip product fanatics amongst us would only be delighted to get this advent calendar this year - it's jam packed with an assortment of NYX mini lip products including matte lipsticks, butter lipglosses and lipsticks and some of the lip lingerie line. €60 from Feelunique / €65 from Arnotts - one for every day of advent! 

Look Fantastic Calendar

This advent calendar from Look Fantastic has gotten more hype than any other advent calendar this year I think - so many people have said to me that this is the only one they are getting this festive season. I guess the reason why is not only the very fancy, reusable packaging (with a built in mirror) but the array of products - 9 full sized, 16 deluxe samples and a worth value of £300. I won't give away what is in the box exactly for those of you who got this and want to be surprised but it contains a nice mix of haircare, skincare and beauty products. €98 from the LookFantastic website.

L'Occitane Advent Calendar

Of all the advent calendars on the market this year, this l'Occitane one might be up there at the very top of my wishlist. I'm not hugely familiar with L'Occitane, I've tried a few products over the years, but I think this calendar which contains 24 bodycare treats would be a perfect dive into the brand. Also, at €59 I think it's pretty good value. Available from L'Occitane directly or Debenhams website.

M&S Beauty Advent Calendar

This advent calendar is outrageously popular every year and I can see why! This contains 25 treats, some full size, some samples, spanning across skincare, bodycare, makeup and haircare. Brands include Stila, Nuxe, Emma Hardie, Ren, Alpha H. This calendar has a worth value of €339 and costs just €40 when you spend €40 on womenswear. Good value indeed but I can't help but think the design and packaging of this one could be a bit less cumbersome and more environmentally friendly. 

The Body Shop 24 Days of Beauty Advent Calendar

The Body Shop can always be relied upon every year to deliver a decent advent calendar and this year, they've brought us three! This one is the 24 Days of Beauty calendar or the most budget friendly of all the offerings - I haven't been able to find this on the Irish Body Shop website but it's £45 on the UK website (which means it will probably be €70 here given the usual exchange rate The Body Shop applies). Edit I have since found it on the Body Shop Ireland website and it was in fact €70 - not impressed TBS

Clarins Advent Calendar

Clarins is another of those brands that I feel like I do not pay enough attention to (though in my defence it's hard to give equal attention to all the brands!) but this advent calendar containing 24 products seems like a brilliant introduction, especially as it contains full sizes of Beauty Flash Balm, Mascara Supra Volume and Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, along with travel sizes of many of their other most popular products. I think this would be especially popular with mothers, aunties and grandmothers this advent season. Also, at €120 from Brown Thomas, I think it's a pretty good deal for what you get.

Charlotte Tilbury Naughty & Nice Advent Calendar

Now y'all know I'm going to qualify this by saying that I think practically all Charlotte Tilbury products are completely overpriced and overhyped (all style and no substance) and I don't think this box will be much different - however, if you handed this to a die hard Charlotte Tilbury fan, they would probably snap the hands off you! At €185 it's pretty pricey, especially considering it contains just 12 products, four of which are full size (Colour Chameleon pencil, Eyes to Mesmerise Cream Eyeshadow, Lustre Lip Gloss and Matte Revolution lipstick). Most of the sample sizes are skincare which I think is a little bit of a cop out unless you love Charlotte Tilbury skincare. I personally don't have much time for beauty brand skincare offerings so I would have hoped to see a little more makeup in this for the €185 this will set you back in Brown Thomas.

Lancome 24 Days in a Parisian Wonderland

This is another contender in the beauty advent calendar stakes this year. It's €130 from the Boots website and contains 24 treats include makeup, skincare and fragrance from the L'Oreal Luxe brands we all know and love including YSL, Viktor & Rolf, Lancome and Ralph Lauren. Again, there is a lot of Lancome skincare included in this one.

Rituals The Ritual of Advent Calendar

I love Rituals as a brand and I was delighted to see that they have brought out an advent calendar this year containing sample sizes of their candles, bath and shower gels, shampoos, serums, shower oils. If you know someone who loves luxurious baths and showers, this is the advent calendar for them. €71 from Debenhams.

ASOS Beauty Advent Calendar 2017

Not surprisingly Asos have jumped on the beauty advent calendar bandwagon and this year they have brought us 25 treats of "beauty goodness" with brands including The Ordinary, Caudalie, Korres, Nip and Fab, Ren, Rodial, NYX, Pureology, Smashbox and more. The 25th present is a 20% discount code so if you find yourself in the mood for some shopping after your turkey and ham, hit this one up. £55 from ASOS.

The Estée Lauder Companies Advent Calendar 2017

This, in my mind, is the creme de la creme of advent calendars this year. I'm not sure if this one is even available to purchase anymore as I haven't been able to find any online - it's been out a few weeks now so is probably almost guaranteed to be sold out. This one contains 25 treats from across the Estee Lauder brands including MAC, Smashbox, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bumble and Bumble, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Aveda, Glamglow and Michael Kors. It has a mixture of skincare, haircare, fragrance and cosmetics, a worth value of £200 and costs (if you can still get your hands on it) £125.

Lush 12 Days of Christmas

Lush are bringing a 12 piece advent calendar to us this year - containing 12 limited edition festive holiday treats including Golden Wonder, Never Mind the Ballistics and Christmas Sweater bath bombs, Snow Fairy, Bubbly and Twilight Shower Gels, and other soaps and bath time treats. Folks really love to bathe around the Christmas period so this is definitely worth picking up for the Lush fanatic in your life. £67.50 from Lush UK website.

I know there are loads more of calendars available this year (is it me or does it seem like every single brand jumped onto the advent calendar bandwagon this year?) but these are the ones that stuck out to me. I've only a few weeks to decide which one to pick up so I can enjoy some advent self gifting! Which one of these stuck out to you and would you be tempted to purchase any of them?

Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Stocking Fillers

It's my favourite time of the year again - Christmas! I've pulled together a few gift guides for beauty nuts - these are just few of the things on my Christmas wishlist. This here post is my stocking filler beauty gifts picks, but I'm also pulling together a luxury beauty gift guide and a round up of my favourite advent calendars of the season also. I love Christmas beauty gifting - new limited edition packaging I know these lists are subjective - because I would not mind waking up to any of these lovely presents on Christmas day - but these are just some of this year's offerings that have called out to me. Also - when I refer to these as stocking fillers, I am quite aware that your usual stocking filler would not set you back more than €30, so I mean smaller, less expensive beauty gifts than what is included in my luxury beauty gift guide.

This Works Sleep Tight Set

Is there a greater gift you can give to someone who has trouble sleeping than the gift of sleep? I think not. I'm a long time fan of the This Works Deep Pillow Spray and this set contains a miniature of that, a miniature of the Stress Check rollerball and a miniature of the Sleep Plus + pillow spray. I am going to buy a couple of these for some folks I know who struggle to fall asleep at nighttime. €17 from Boots.

MAC Mini Lipstick Kit 

Three mini MAC lipsticks in a little sequin bag - what's not to love. There is a warm, cool and pink variety of these so you're sure to find something to suit your designated gift recipient. €30 from Brown Thomas.

Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes

These palettes are something special (I should know, I ordered two!) and they are perfect for makeup lovers looking to dip their toes into the world of Huda Beauty, which has only just been made easily available to us here in Ireland. From my experience of using these so far - yes they are small (think palm of your hand) but the actual shadows themselves are about the same size as the shadows in the Rose Gold or Desert Dusk palettes. £25 from Cult Beauty / €28 from Brown Thomas.

Meet Matt(e) Hughes Mini Lip Kit

I've long time loved the Meet Matt(e) Hughes liquid lipsticks - they are so longwearing and comfortable on the lips that I find them perfect for long days in the office or nights out. This is the newest incarnation of these lipstick sets - volume 3 - and you get 6 mini liquid lipsticks in an assortment of colours to try out. What I love about this kit in particular is that is has a little bit of everything - nude, pink, red and berry tones - a perfect little travel set or introduction to the brand. €29 from Cloud 10 Beauty.

Liz Earle The Winter Revival

Every Christmas, Liz Earle bring out a limited edition version of their Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser and this year they have re-released the Sweet Orange and Mint version. I picked this up two years ago and was obsessed with it - not only was it as gentle and effective as the regular Cleanse and Polish, it smells incredible. €27.30 from Feelunique.

The Body Shop Mask Sampler Set 

This set contains nine sachets of different masks from the Body Shop line up (Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask and Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask) as well as an adorable bunny headband and will set you back €15 in The Body Shop. Everybody I know loves a bit of masking so I'm sure this would make a very welcome gift in anybody's Christmas stocking.

Sleek Matte Me Must Haves

Sleek is one of my favourite budget beauty brands and this set which contains four mini Matte Me liquid lipsticks is just €8 from Boots and contains four of my favourite shades of the Matte Me Liquid Lipsticks - Birthday Suit, Rioja Red, Velvet Slipper and Old Hollywood. This is a lovely kit for a makeup lover - I've already picked one up for my sister! 

Stila Written in the Stars Liquid Eyeshadow Set

The Stila Glitter & Glow Liquid Eyeshadows took the world by storm earlier this year when they were released so it was a no brainer that Stila would release some sort of Christmas set this year. This contains the shades Kitten Karma (my personal fave), Smoky Storm and Diamond Dust. Perfect for the festive season I'm sure you will agree and only €27.95 for the set from Cloud 10 Beauty.

Pixi Best of Bright Kit

Pixi Skincare is one of the hottest brands on the skincare market now and people have been losing their lives over the Pixi Glow Tonic in particular. This set contains a mask, cleanser and miniature bottle of the toner so it's a perfect introduction to the brand. £20 from Cult Beauty.

Frankie Chatome Brush 

This brush comes in two varieties - hard bristles and soft bristles - I picked up one of each from Pelo Hair Design in Newbridge the last time I got my hair done. Between the two, I much prefer the soft bristle brush as it just glides through my hair after a shower - I don't have extensions in but I do have long, tangly hair and this hairbrush is a pleasure to use and would make a great gift. The soft brush is ideally suited to hair extensions and the hard brush is suited to blowdrying. At €18 a piece from Pelo Hairdressing, they won't break the bank.

I could spend days talking about all the lovely beauty gifts on the market this year but I don't have the time and I'm sure you don't have the time to read it - this summary of my fave picks will have to do instead. Do any of these picks appeal to you? What are you hoping Santa will leave in your stocking for you this year?


Christmas Gift Guide 2017 - Beauty Gifts

It's my favourite time of the year again - Christmas! I've pulled together a few gift guides for beauty nuts - these are just few of the things on my Christmas wishlist. This here post is my luxury beauty gifts picks,  but I'm also pulling together a stocking filler gift guide and a round up of my favourite beauty advent calendars this year also. I love Christmas beauty gifting - new limited edition packaging, a chance to try products you might not have ordinarily picked out for yourself and the potential to find new favourites. I know these lists are subjective - because I would not mind waking up to any of these lovely presents on Christmas day - but these are just some of this year's offerings that have called out to me.

Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette

Long time readers of this here blog will know that I am not Charlotte's no 1 fan, and I certainly don't think her eyeshadow palettes are anything to rave home about, but I can't deny that the Instant Eye palette, with it's four trios of colour combinations, looks rather lovely. Like all Charlotte Tilbury products, it's steep and, dare I say it, overpriced at €75, but it would make a lovely Christmas gift. Available directly from the Charlotte Tilbury website or Brown Thomas.

MAC Snowball Mini Lipstick Kit

This is potentially at the top of my Christmas wishlist this year and it's probably the only thing from the MAC Snowball Christmas collection that jumped out at me this year. 12 mini lipsticks - all with colour co-ordinated packaging - in 12 shades including some of their most iconic shades like Velvet Teddy, Whirl, Stone, Rebel, Flat Out Fabulous, Diva and Ruby Woo. This is the perfect kit for MAC lovers or lipstick lovers and at €95, I don't think it's bad value at all. It's currently sold out on the Brown Thomas website but is available from LookFantastic.

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Kit

Laura Mercier's Ambre Vanille scent is the stuff that dreams are made of in my mind - I'm obsessed with the stuff and I don't know how many pots of the body cream that I have gone through and how many times I've been asked what perfume I'm wearing and I'm not actually wearing any perfume at all but body cream. This set is incredibly luxe and contains the whole Ambre Vanille family. £55 from Space NK or €72 from Brown Thomas.

Viktor&Rolf Flowerbomb Candle

Flowerbomb is one of my favourite perfumes - I'm not mad into floral scents but there is something about Flowerbomb that is just iconic. I'm also a candle nut so the opportunity to get one of my favourite perfumes in candle format would be very welcome indeed. There is also a version available in the other infamous Viktor & Rolf scent, Bonbon. €45 from Debenhams.

Dyson Hairdryer

Let's call a spade a spade, I would never ever voluntarily part with €400 of my hard earned money for a mere hairdryer, even if it does boast Dyson technology. I've heard so many good things about this hairdryer but I just can't but feel that after spending €400 on a hairdryer that you would be absolutely convinced no matter what that your hair looks better. That said, I've recently bought a cordless Dyson hoover and you wouldn't believe how much I have been enjoying it. Whilst I wouldn't buy one, I wouldn't be put out to see one under the Christmas tree. €399 from Boots.

Becca Cosmetics Eye Lights Palette Apres Ski Glow Collection

I'm a huge fan of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector highlighters and I've amassed quite a few over the years, and one of the Becca Christmas offerings this year is a neat little palette containing seven shades of Shimmering Skin Perfector, including the already famous Pearl, Moonstone, Opal and Rose Quartz. As an eyeshadow palette on it's own, it's lacking a few matte shades for me as I like the mixture, but I do think this would be a deadly palette to give as a gift because it would be so useful for travelling as the shadows could double as highlighters. £40 from Cult Beauty.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Volume 3

I love Hourglass, and much and all as I love Hourglass, the last few limited edition palettes haven't really appealed to me. I'm not sure whether it is the rose gold packaging on this one or the fact that all of the colours look dreamy, but this has piqued my interest in Hourglass again and I love the rose gold compact. £69 from Space NK.

Nima Brush - the Naughty or Nice Gift Set

This brush set is one of the best starter level brush sets on the market this year and would make a perfect gift for someone looking to either start or build their brush collection. It has all you need to apply your full face of makeup from perfecting your foundation to doing some detailed eye work, along with a Nima Mitt, Nima Egg and Nima nets all for €105 - check out the Nima Brush website.

Inglot Holographic Rose Gold Mini Case

I'm not a pro MUA but I love makeup storage and the minute I first clapped my eyes on this holograph, rose gold loveliness, it gave me so much joy. €65 from the Inglot Ireland website.

Nars Les Amoureux Mini Audacious Lipstick Coffret

I've said it before and I will say it again - the Nars Audacious lipsticks are my all time favourite lipsticks ever - other lipsticks come close but nothing has captured my heart like these bad boys. This lovely little set is available from Brown Thomas and contains two limited edition shades and two shades from the permanent line, all in miniature sizes, for €49.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick Set

The Stila Stay All Day liquid lipsticks are amongst my all time favourite liquid lipsticks for longevity without drying the bejaysus out of your lips, so I would be only delighted to receive this set for Christmas. This set contains three of my favourite shades - Patina, Perla and Aria - as well as some exclusive shades. They are not full sizes but the whole set is just €49.95 from Cloud 10 Beauty.

I could spend days talking about all the lovely beauty gifts on the market this year but I don't have the time and I'm sure you don't have the time to read it - this summary of my fave picks will have to do instead. Do any of these picks appeal to you? What are you hoping Santa will drop under the Christmas tree for you this year?


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Ebay Makeup Storage Ideas

It's hard to remember a time before eBay - you would wonder how people sourced things before eBay  and the interwebs were invented! The best thing about eBay is that, at any given time, there are billions of products listed for sale. We all know that when you buy from eBay, you never know whether you are on to the bargain of the century or whether you have wasted your hard cash on cheap Chinese mass manufactured tatt - that's half the fun. I love browsing eBay and I thought I would share some makeup storage ideas with y'all for your viewing pleasure. PSA: I have not bought any of these items myself so cannot attest as to whether they would be treasure or trash or vouch for any of the sellers.
1. Rotating Makeup Storage - I personally wouldn't opt for this in my makeup room because I like most of my makeup storage to be off the surfaces and tucked away neatly but if you like to have your daily essentials to hand, this rotating unit would be a brilliant and inexpensive way of displaying them.
2. Empty Magnetic Palette - I have so much makeup now that I would do anything to consolidate my collection a bit and the easiest way I have found to do that is by depotting products like eyeshadows and blushes into empty magnetic palettes. These are handy for your products that you can buy in pans too - think Inglot freedom system, single MAC eyeshadows, Makeup Geek, Colored Rain, Colour Pop - the possibilities are endless. 
3. Nail Polish Display Unit - I'd never fit my nail polish collection into one of these bad boys but what I would use this for would be foundation/primer rotations - foundations tend to get lost at the back of my drawer so I feel like if I could display them neatly, I'd be more inclined to switch it up.
4. False Eyelash Case - hands up if you like to recycle your false eyelashes but end up damaging or losing them between uses? For less than 2 euro including delivery, you could keep three pairs on the go at the same time.
5. Rotating Lipstick Storage Unit - because sometimes lipsticks are just too pretty to be stored away in drawers. Think about how good your Chanel, YSL, Charlotte Tilbury etc. lipsticks would look if they were on display! 
6. Eyeliner/Lipliner/Makeup Brush Storage - I've a couple of these on the go at my vanity table - they are the handiest storage devices ever for eyeliners, lipliners, small makeup brushes etc.
7. Eyeshadow Palette Storage - I also have one of these because I kept using the same eyeshadow palettes over and over again. About once a fortnight I switch up the palettes I use by rotating what I have currently on the go with what is in my drawers. These are especially handy for smaller palettes.
8. Beauty Blender Holder - you probably glanced at this picture and thought I was crazy for including an egg cup - it's not an egg cup but a little storage cup for dirty beauty blenders! I've ordered one of these - what a genius idea. I love the idea of being able to keep your beauty sponges neatly stored when not in use.
9. Acrylic Blush Storage - I make my own drawer dividers for my Ikea Alex makeup drawers but if you're not a fan of DIY or prefer something acrylic, these little acrylic dividers might be the perfect choice for you. 
10. Transparent Makeup Bags - whether you are a pro makeup artist or just trying to keep your collection neat and tidy, these transparent makeup bags are absolute gifts, especially for travelling. I love these for keeping things like false eyelashes and nail tools organised. These would be perfect for a makeup artist's kit also.
11. Closable Lipstick Storage - If you're afraid of your dearest lipsticks getting dusty, this closable lipstick storage chest might be the solution for you.
12. Ikea-esque makeup brush holder - I keep the vast majority of my makeup brushes in the Ikea plant pots so it would have been remiss of me to talk about makeup storage solutions without finding an eBay alternative and these are only €2ish a piece including delivery!

So there you have it - let me know if you like this format of post i.e. eBay inspiration posts and I can definitely dream up some more!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

All about Benefit - Hoola Light, Hoola Quickie Contour Stick and Dandelion Twinkle

In my opinion, Benefit Cosmetics is one of the brands that creates hype like no other and I have never really bought into the Benefit gimmicks. So many of the latest Benefit releases have not only not appealed to me in the slightest but also turned me completely off the brand for a little while (those ridiculous lipsticks and eyeshadows earlier this year were a real low point IMO). It would take a special release for Benefit to redeem themselves in my eyes after those products and a special release came in the form of new base products during the summer and I'm all about that base. I wasn't originally going to post about these because I feel like Benefit and these products in particular have gotten plenty of online coverage over the last few months, but I have literally used at least one of these products every single day for the last few months. 

I've long time loved the Hoola Bronzer (though I cannot say I am a huge fan of the box packaging) so I was delighted to hear that there was a lighter version incoming called Hoola Lite. The Benefit Dandelion blush is one of my favourites so I was also chuffed to hear that they were releasing a Dandelion inspired highlighter. I was on the fence about the Hoola Quickie Contour Stick as I hated the 'Dew the Hoola' Hoola cream bronzer that was released last year - it shows up way too orange on my skin for my liking and is certainly not as cool as its powder cousin. This had the makings of a very lucrative launch indeed so I tested out all the products in Sephora in May, liked what I saw and I then swiftly ordered all the products as soon as they were released here because I wanted to try and use them myself before the hype took hold. (As an aside - I bought them from the Look Fantastic website and had them delivered to Parcel Motel - I had a discount code that was sent to email subscribers and ended up saving 30%+ plus on Boots prices.)


I first got to give Hoola Lite a whirl in a special limited edition palette called Cheek Parade long before it was individually released and I enjoyed it so much that I knew I was going to get the full size version for easier travel and top ups. I didn't want it so much for contouring but for gently warming up my face when I want a more natural bronze look. I'm not the fairest of the fair (MAC NW20 for reference) but I am particular when it comes to my bronzers and so many bronzers flash either too orange or too dark for me so I've taken a penchant for building up lighter bronzers to achieve the desired level of bronze. As you will see from the swatches below, this is a good few shades lighter than the original Hoola. I use a fluffy blush to apply this around the perimeters of my face to make myself look a little more subtle-y sunkissed. If you are not fair/light in skin tone, you might want to skip on this.


I've used the original Hoola bronzer for years - it probably comes second only to my beloved NARS Laguna bronzer and it that perfect shade of brown for contouring against my skin shade- so I was very pleased altogether to hear that Benefit were releasing a Hoola contour stick. I'm more of a powder advocate than a cream product fan but it the summer months, I find myself reaching for the creams more and more to achieve a more natural, glowy look. I already mentioned that I really didn't like the Dew the Hoola liquid bronzer that was released last summer - it was way way too orange on my skin tone for me to pull off - so I had initial reservations about trying this product and wanted to try it in person before committing to purchase. As soon as I clapped eyes on it in Sephora back in May, I knew we would get on famously, and I've been using it so much since, even in the last few weeks where the autumn has finally taken hold. The texture of this is perfect - it applies like a dream, blends so easily and sets down and does not budge once applied. When applying this, I usually apply it straight from the bullet on my forehead, around my hairline and under my cheekbones - I don't put any on my jawline but I would buff any excess product on my brush there instead. It doesn't disturb the foundation underneath and looks completely natural on the skin. You get 8.5g of product in the stick which should last a while as you don't need to use a whole lot of it.


I was sure that this highlighter was going to be pink chunky glitter but to my great surprise, it's a very shiny and not very glittery highlighter that doesn't flash pink on my skin tone at all. This highlighter is possibly the most flattering wet look, sheeny and not glittery highlighting product that I own. Lord knows I love me some highlight and I don't think I have anything else quite like this one already. It doesn't really matter how much you apply - I don't think you can apply too much of this to be honest so I have been applying it liberally. It comes in the same box packaging as the other bronzers and blushes which I am not terribly keen on (I would prefer a simple compact instead of chunky box faff). I apply this with my Zoeva Luxe Highlight brush #105 along my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose and it leaves a gorgeous lit from within glow on the skin with absolutely no traces of glitter. Even though the powder looks pink in the pan, it doesn't apply pink to the face in my opinion - so I don't think you would get away with using this as a blush substitute if you wanted some cheek colour. Speaking of blush, when you pair this highlighter with Dandelion, that's when the real magic happens. I just feel like this highlighter is health in a box - on the most miserable grey days, it makes me feel like I've been sitting out in the sun for hours. If you love a full on metallic glow that can be seen from the International Space Station, this is not the product for you - if you are looking for a more natural, glowy highlight, I honestly believe you would be hard pressed to find a better alternative. This is pretty much the only highlight product I have been using for the last few months. I think this highlight would look great on lots of different skintones - obviously the fair skinned folk like myself but also medium/darker skin tones because the product is not ashy and quite buildable. I've used this so much that I have made a sizeable dent in it and I think I am only a few more uses away from hitting pan. 


If you're looking to purchase these products yourself, have a look at the Look Fantastic website or you can also pick them up from Boots, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Harvey Nichol, Cloud 10 Beauty or in one of the many pharmacies that stock Benefit products. Hoola Lite and Dandelion Twinkle retails for €34 whilst the Hoola Quickie Contour Stick will set you back €30. 

Have you tried any of the new Benefit products yet?

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips - Review + Swatches

I have never bought into the Charlotte Tilbury hype as I have found most of her products to be middle of the road but the one thing that I really think Charlotte does well is lip products. Her Lip Cheats are perfection (I've gone through several Pillow Talk lip liners by now), her KISSING lipsticks are amongst the smoothiest and creamiest lip products I have ever tried and her Matte Revolution lipsticks are some of my fave lipsticks ever. Charlotte knows lips. When I spied that Charlotte had a new collection of liquid lipsticks coming out, I was on it like a car bonnet, and I ordered three different colours from Selfridges the day they were released and have been trying them out since. 
There are 10 shades of the new Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Lips altogether - ranging from a pale nude to a vampy red. The collection is predominantly a suite of warm nude shades with a cool pink and shimmery coral thrown in for good measure. As the name would suggest, all of the shades are Hollywood inspired (with names like 'Best Actress', 'Screen Siren' and 'Rising Star' to match). Charlotte even named a nude after herself and 'Charlotte Darling' is her signature shade in the collection. The full suite of shades are available from Charlotte Tilbury website, Brown Thomas and BT2, and the Selfridges website. I paid €27.50 a piece from the Selfridges website and they are available for €32 from Brown Thomas or from the Charlotte Tilbury website directly. 

The Hollywood Lips come in standard enough but Tilbury fancy gold tubes, and what Charlotte herself says sets these liquid lipsticks apart from all others is the specially designed 'Lip Hug' applicator - I kid you not. This lip hugging applicator allegedly has a wide part to cover the lower lip, mimicking the natural shape, and the thinner part precisely defining the upper lip. That's an awful lot of promise from one small, inconspicuous looking doe foot applicator.

I was very conservative and only purchased three shades - 'Dolly Bird', 'Show Girl' and 'Too Bad I'm Bad'. 
Dolly Bird is the only cool toned pink shade in the collection. This is my favourite of the three shades that I picked because I'm all about the cool toned pinks. I think this is quite a wearable pink for a bright pink and it looks well against my pale cool toned skin.
Show Girl is described as a natural rose berry but I have to say, the colour appears darker on my lips than the official promo shots on the Charlotte Tilbury website. I don't really mind because I love the shade - it absolutely screams autumn to me and I'm feeling increasingly more autumnal as the cooler temperatures are creeping in. 
Too Bad I'm Bad is described as an alluring warm rosy pink which is pretty bang on. This is probably the least offensive warm pink shade going and I'm sure this will appeal to the masses. For whatever reason, I have oft suffered from "bumhole" lips when I use this colour in particular. 
So - after trying out a few different shades over the course of a week - I have a few thoughts. I do find the Hollywood Lips apply well - in spite of the "innovative wand" (and I will get to that later) because it is a nice thick creamy formula - it feels comfortable on the lips - no stickiness or tackiness and no strong scent. They do not set completely on the lips so you will still get a little transfer if you I have the driest lips going and even though I love liquid lipsticks, they sometimes go flaky on me if I haven't given my lips a good scrub and moisturising, but I was genuinely impressed with how the Hollywood Lips did not dry out my lips. If you have as much as a flake of dryness on your lips, you definitely need to tend to that before you even think of applying this to your lips. All of the Hollywood Lips had a soft matte finish and none of the colours I picked sank into my fine little lip lines.

In terms of lasting power, I found that these lasted pretty well but no longer than her Matte Revolution lipsticks. When reapplying, it was not strictly necessary to remove all of the lipstick and reapply a fresh layer, but it definitely looked better this way - albeit quite impractical for reapplying when you are out and about. Because the formula is a bit thicker than your average liquid lipstick formula, you can't really get away with just swiping some on on the fly.

On the amazing innovative wand - this is a ridiculous concept quite frankly. It does nothing to help application, in fact it hinders an easy application. In my experience, the curve on the applicator (which is meant to swiftly cover your bottom lip) just picks up and gathers loads of product - it sits on the applicator like cement on a shovel waiting to be thrown somewhere. I get what team Tilbury were trying to do but, just, no - in fact, it's a little bit annoying because it means you should take greater care when applying so you don't get product all over your face which kind of defeats the purpose of this super-innovative wand. If it ain't broke...

Conclusion - these are grand lip products but nothing really special. I will for sure happily continue to use these but I wouldn't repurchase any of them because they are not that dear to me, and I very much doubt I'll be enticed by any more of the shades. In summary - another overpriced, middle of the road Charlotte Tilbury product.
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