MY MAKPEUP BRUSH COLLECTION

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I recently cleaned all my brushes and figured it would be a good time to take some photos of them so I can tell you what I have and how I use them. I have a lot of brushes, and buying more and more in an effort to avoid cleaning the dirty ones has proven to be a stupid thing to do because, eventually they all need to be cleaned. I have more brushed that didn’t make the cut but for today’s post I just want to tell you about the ones I use regularly and leave out the ones that only get used when everything else is manky dirty.
So let’s start with the foundation brushes (L-R):

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Having such a sharp eye for detail as I do, I thought the Real Techniques Retractable Bronzer Brush was a stippling brush and began using it for applying foundation. I didn’t see that it says Bronzer Brush on the side until after I decided that it is my favourite brush for applying foundation.
The Real Techniques Buffing Brush is also lovely for applying foundation but I find that because it’s so densely packed, it sheers out foundation a bit. I use this when I want a lighter coverage so its handy if you like the lasting power of a full coverage foundation but don’t want to look like you have much makeup on.
The MAC 187 used to be my favourite foundation brush until I discovered the RT Bronzer Brush. It’s pretty much the same application wise but the MAC one sheds so much; I hate seeing those black hairs stuck to my face and all over my cream dressing table.

Powder Brushes:

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The MAC 134 is a lovely big soft fluffy brush for applying finishing powder; it does my whole face in seconds.
The Benefit Angled Blush brush does what it says on the tin. Again it’s soft and fluffy.
I use The MAC 109 and RT Contour Brush for contouring.
I know loads of people think The RT Expert Face Brush is great for applying foundation but it’s what I use for blending highlighter. I think it’s VERY important to blend highlighter properly. The amount of women I see with a creamy streak of sparkles on the top of their cheeks makes me want to lick my hand and rub the side of their face (would that be weird?). Whoever said you could whack Benefit Highbeam on and pat it with your finger and go was lying, it needs to be blended!

Concealer Brushes:

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MAC 193 Angled Foundation Brush and RT Pointed Foundation Brush. I use these both to pat concealer in, I find buffing concealer with a soft brush sheers it out too much so I like to pat it under my eyes to cover dark circles and then blend out any lines.

Eyes (liners):

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I use the MAC 242 to pat on cream eye shadows all over the lid or I dip the tip into the cream shadow and use it to line my eyes because this brush is firm and flat. The MAC 219 is perfect for lining or smudging liner and defining the crease. I also use the Ruby and Mills and the Gosh angled brushes for lining my eyes. I reserve one of the Gosh angled brushes for filing in my eyebrows.

Eyes (buffing and blending):

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I mostly use the MAC 286 with a skin colour eye shadow to blend out harsh lines or dark shadows from the crease towards the brow as it’s really soft. As you can see I have two 217s because they are so handy. They can be used to apply shadow all over the lid and or crease, to blend the crease shadow and soften and blend harsh lines and so on. The pink one is a Vita Libreta brush which I think I got on a two for one offer. I use the pointed one here to apply highlighter in the inner corner.

Eyes (Lid):

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These are all used for packing shadow on the lid. I find the first one, the MAC 275, the handiest as the angled shape lets me get the colour right into the inner corner without getting any on the side of my socket. The two Gosh ones are actually slightly different sizes, I have had them for ages and they are really good brushes. The Vita Libreta, Benefit, and Elf are all fine, they do the job when the other ones are dirty; the Vita Libreta one is probably better than the Benefit and Elf ones.
Do you have many of the same brushes? Do you use any of your brushes for anything other than their intended use?

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FRIDAY STYLE: RIVER ISLAND ERIN HIGH WAIST SCULPTING JEGGING

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Today’s outfit is not an entirely new idea, I think I have done something more or less the same a while back but today’s post is not really about the outfit, it’s about the jeans. Let’s start with a quick rundown of the other items, before we get to the jeans, for anyone who might be interested.

Vero Moda Lace Breton Top
The top is old and it’s from Vero Moda. Breton style tops always make a come-back for spring. I like that this one isn’t just a normal Breton; for starters it’s black and white instead of navy and the added strip of lace makes it a bit more interesting.

New Look Biker Jacket
The biker jacket is also old and it’s from New Look. The Biker Jacket is another trend that pops up year after year, especially in the early spring.

New Look Black Slouchy Ankle Boots
The boots are a more recent purchase and they are also from New Look. Ankle boots are a great transition option; it’s getting milder so knee boots are a bit too heavy but it’s not quite warm enough to be out and about in ballet pumps just yet.

River Island Black Erin Jegging
Now the jeans! Many of us spend a lot of time and money looking for the perfect fitting jeans. I like skinny jeans but I tend to have the same problem with most skinny jeans that I try. If they fit nicely across the arse and hips they tend to be too big on the waist, which means I need a belt or else run the risk of exposing a full cracking moon every time I sit down or bend over. Belts are great but if you are wearing a fitted top that you don’t want to tuck in then the belt buckle looks bulky underneath. I was looking for a high rise jean in the hope that they would sit better on the waist. High waisted jeans were not on my radar because I think I am too short and don’t want the Simon Cowell look. However, when I saw the Erin High Waist Sculpting Jegging on the River Island website, I decided to order them anyway. It was the word sculpting that sold me. I have to say, I love them. The waist is really high so I won’t be tucking anything in to them but the high waist means no muffin top pudges out when I sit down. Also I don’t have to hike them back up every time I get up because they don’t move or slid down. They really do sculpt, they are the Spanx of jeans (I know Spanx do jeans but they are over a €100 and these are €50 and you never want to admit to wearing Spanx). Last but not least they are really soft and stretchy (I love how tiny they look on the hanger); I could nearly wear these exercising. I can’t say enough good things about them; they need to come in more colours and denim washes.
What are your favourite jeans?

CLARINS INSTANT CONCEALER: REVIEW AND PICTURES

Clarins Instant Concealer

I’ve been meaning to try this concealer for ages now. It’s been around for a while and bloggers have raved and raved about how amazing it is. I usually use the Collection Lasting Perfection concealer for everyday use and reserve a more expensive one for nights out and special occasions. The high end ones that I have been using are MAC Prolongwear and the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer but I am scraping the last dregs out of the NARS at the moment so instead of repurchasing it I decided to give the Clarins Instant Concealer a go. I bought it last weekend and I have been using it every day since. I bought shade 1, I had intended in getting no 2 but when I swatched them, 2 was just too dark.

Clarins Instant Concealer
The dark circles under my eyes are my main area of concern when applying concealer. I also like a bit extra coverage at the sides of my nose as some foundations don’t always cover the redness there. As a bit of a habit I use a tiny bit in my cupids bow and on the centre of my chin, more as a subtle highlight than anything.

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Clarins Instant Concealer’s “skin-smoothing formula visibly conceals dark circles for a brighter even and refreshed look throughout the day” or so it says on the box. I would say the formula of this is lovely and creamy and a little goes a long way, so this 15ml tube should last me for ages, which is why I am happy to use it every day over the cheaper Collection concealer. It does definitely conceal my dark circles as you can see in the pictures below. You can also see in the bottom left corner of the pictures that it covers the red vein at the side of my nose. It brightens and highlights the area really well. I don’t find it drying at all and it lasts all day with little to no creasing depending on the foundation I used, Este Lauder Double Wear Light tends not to crease at all but I am wearing the Laura Mercier Smooth Finish Flawless Finish in the pictures below. If it does crease it’s easy to smooth out the creases with my finger and it looks fine again.

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(L-R) 1st: Before – no products at all; 2nd: After – just concealer; 3rd: Full makeup – foundation, powder, & highlighter; 4th: 6 hours later.
There you have it, it’s a really great concealer and I probably will repurchase it even though its €25 but I won’t have to for a long time. Have you tried this yet? What is your favourite concealer?

FRIDAY STYLE: ORANGE BLAZER AND AZTEC SKIRT

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We are being teased with hints of warmer weather, one day its lovely and sunny, the next it’s stormy and miserable. It looks promising for tomorrow but I’m not relying on the weather for a bit of sunshine, I’m creating my own by wearing bright orange. With Mother’s Day this weekend, an outfit like this could be good for Sunday lunch. It could also work for St. Patrick’s Day if you don’t want to wear the usual paddywackery.

Dunnes Orange Long Line Waterfall Blazer
I love how bright and summery this long-line, waterfall style orange blazer from Dunnes makes me feel. The material of this is a heavy-ish crepe material, it’ll be ideal for cooler summer nights, but it’s not too light to wear now if you are not going to be outside for too long. I first showed you this blazer with trousers in this post but today I felt like pairing it with this skirt.

New Look Black Crepe Ruffle Sleeve Top
The top is from New Look. It’s a bit more than a basic black t-shirt; it’s crepe material with a slight ruffle sleeve.

New Look Blue and Orange Aztec Print Mini Skirt
The skirt is also from New Look. I’m sure you know by now that I love blue and orange together and think the colours look great in the Aztec pattern of this skirt. If you are afraid of being swamped by the long blazer, you can see this skirt  with a fitted top in this post.

Penneys Slouchy Boots
The boots are my slouchy, faux suede boots from Penneys. I love how these boots can work with dressy or casual outfits.

Carraig Donn Blue Necklace
The necklace is from Carriag Donn. I thought the neckline of the plain top needed a little something and blue ties in with the skirt.
Are you using colour to create your own sunshine?

NO7 PROTECT AND PERFECT NIGHT CREAM AND EYE CREAM: REVIEW

No 7 Protect & Perfect Night Cream & Intense Eye Cream

No 7 Protect and Perfect skincare range is one that always receives rave reviews. The quality of the ingredients is really good for the price points and the clinical studies seem back up the hype every time a new product is launched in the line. The original Protect and Perfect range is aimed at 25-35 and I have to admit that I am clinging on to this age bracket by skin of my teeth. There is an Intense range for 35-45, Lift and Luminate for 45-60 and Restore and Renew for the 60+.

No 7 Protect & Perfect Night Cream
I got a 25ml sample of the Night Cream and a 5ml sample of the Eye Cream in the No 7 Christmas Crackers. On a side note I thought the crackers were really good in comparison to some other beauty brand crackers. There were three skin care products (25ml Day Cream was the one that got away) and three decent sized nail polishes in three different but wearable colours. I didn’t get any of the nail polishes but from what I can remember there was a red, pink and mauve-brown shade.

No 7 Protect & Perfect Eye Cream
Back to the Night Cream and Eye Cream, I have been using these two since the beginning of January, so about 8 ish weeks now. I am really impressed that they have lasted this long and I am still managing to get the last dregs out of them this week. I use a tiny bit of the Eye Cream just in the mornings and a pea size of the Night Cream obviously just at night, a little goes a long way with both of these which is why they have lasted so long. The promise is “protects young skin to delay first signs of ageing, boost radiance & visibly improves fine lines”. I can’t say I noticed any amazing results with them. They do adequately hydrate my skin so I’ve no dehydration lines but I don’t think any real fine lines have been improved so much that I can notice the difference. There may well be improvements that could have been measured under a microscope but noting my eyes can measure, but many far more expensive products make claims that can’t be seen by the bare eye. The improvements you get from topical creams are always going to be minimal. What is important to note is that the products have quality ingredients, they are comfortable on the skin and don’t cause any irritation. They sink in quickly and leave the skin feeling smooth and plumped.
The 50ml Night Cream is €30.50 and the 15ml Eye Cream is €19.50. I think they are really good products for the price and since I am now out of both as well as being out of serum, I may purchase the full sizes as they are good value and Boots have 3 for 2 on No 7 at the moment so that should take the sting out of having to buy three skin care products at once. Although I may have to have a look at the Intense range (sad face).
Have you tired the Protect & Perfect range?

ROSE GOLD AND CAT FLICK EYE LOOK FEATURING MAC, KIKO AND MAX FACTOR

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Anyone who has been following my little blog for a while now will have noticed that I rarely use liquid eye liner. I’m just far too much of a clumsy moo. Noting worse than almost being done doing your makeup and then ruining it all with dodgy liquid eyeliner, pencil is so much easier to tidy up. I know I could do my eyes first but that just feels all wrong. I bought the Real Techniques Silicone Liner brush ages ago and it does make it so much easier but let’s face it, I’m a creature of habit so I hardly ever use it. Today I thought it was time I did something different as I am always lining my eyes with brown or purple pencil or eye shadow. So I broke out the RT Silicone Liner Brush and MAC Fluidline, another thing I have had for ages and hardly ever use. I really like the look of a sharp black liquid eyeliner flick over pale metallic eye shadow, so that’s what I have tried to do here:

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Products Used:

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Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in Golden Beige
Max Factor Wild Shadow Pot in Auburn Envy
MAC All That Glitters Eye Shadow
MAX Factor Wild Shadow Pot in Feral Brown
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack
MAC Eyeliner in Coffee
Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara (not pictured)

Here is how I used them:

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1. I used Kiko Long Lasting Stick in Golden Beige all over the lid and crease as an eyelid primer
2. I then used Max Factor Auburn Envy in the crease
3. Next I applied MAC All That Glitters all over the lid
4. In the outer corner I added MAX Factor Feral Brown for extra definition
5. I used the RT Silicone Brush to line the top lid with MAC Blacktrack
6. I lined both water lines with MAC Coffee, I then lined under Coffee with Feral Brown and went under that with All that Glitters
Finally I applied Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara

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While my line is far from perfect, it’s pretty good for me. Are you a pro with liquid liner or are you a clumsy novice like me?

FRIDAY STYLE: KHAKI AND YELLOW

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Well it’s been another fast week and one of all seasons at that. The outfit I am showing you today is what I wore out last Saturday night for my hubby’s birthday. We went out for dinner and then met up with some friends for a few drinks. It was a wild and stormy night but I still insisted on wearing a blazer instead of a proper coat because I bought the top and blazer to wear together at the end of January and though it was about time they got a night out.

River Island Wrap Drape Blouse
I’ve mentioned before that I want to buy everything in River Island lately so no prizes for guessing this top is from River Island. I fell in love with the print the minute I saw it and the wrap over drape style is a shape I am really liking lately, just check this and this post to see more tops in this style.

River Island Khaki Blazer
The khaki blazer is also from River Island. It’s about the one colour blazer that I didn’t have and I knew it would look great with the top so I bought them online together. Khaki looks like it’s going to be a popular colour for spring and summer and khaki is like navy in that works great with so many other colours. The collar and zips of this blazer give it a dressy feel.

Zara Black Trousers with Zips
The trousers are from Zara. I got them at the end of last summer. You know me and anything with lots of zips. I had intended on wearing a faux leather pencil skirt (I know I’ve done a very similar post but I really like the style of the draped blouse with a leather pencil skirt) but as I said it was so miserable out, I figured trouser would be the safer option.

Pearl Ear Rings and Necklace
The earrings and necklace were a birthday gift from my hubby a few years ago. Pearls are always classy, regardless of current styles and trends, pearls are always fashionable.

New Look Pointed Court
The shoes you have seen loads of times and they are from New Look. The shorter heel makes them comfortable and means I can move quickly in them, which is important when it’s wet and windy out and I’ve spend ages curling my hair.
Are you braving the elements in spring clothes yet?