GIORGIO ARMANI MAESTRO LIQUID SUMMER: REVIEW AND PICTURES

Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer

It just figures that the minute I get my grubby little hands on a product like this that the weather turns. All the sunshine had me lusting after all the summer makeup launches and then I was sent the Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer from the summer 2015 collection to try and winter comes back, hail stones and all. Anyways I’m keeping the faith, the sunshine will be back and I will be prepared with my go to summer look.

Giorgio Armani Maestro Liquid Summer

Hail stones or not, I’ve been playing with Maestro Liquid Summer since I got it and I have to say I really like it. This is the first time I have used a liquid bronzer, being an oily skinned gal, I tend to favour powder products but makeup has moved on so much that you don’t need to be caked in powder to keep shine at bay anymore. I’ve mostly been wearing a sheer layer under my normal foundation (MAC Pro Longwear at the moment).

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I find this adds a subtle warmth to my complexion without looking darker than my bare neck. The formula of Maestro Liquid Summer is a bit dry and needs to be blended quickly, I tend to do my face in sections and find one drop is enough for each area. My foundation sits nicely on top and I don’t need as much setting powder, I probably don’t need any but it’s a habit.

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(L-R: Maestro Sun as contour before foundation, and two after foundation pictures)

I’ve also used it under my foundation to contour like Kim K, as you can see in the pictures above its perfect for this.

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Here are the (top) before and (bottom) after pictures of Maestro Sun on its own.

Funnily enough, chatting all things makeup with my hairdresser, I hadn’t mentioned that I had this, when she was saying that recently she prefers the way her skin looks with just some bronzer and concealer and NO foundation. I wasn’t feeling it, I don’t even like BB creams because I prefer more coverage. But while testing this for the blog I figured I should use it as a base since that’s the way it’s supposed to be used. The coverage is sheer and yet it really does make my skin look great. The skin perfecting claims are real. It makes my skin look even and radiant. In the look below, I have no foundation on. I may be converted.

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I love how natural this look is and it feels so good to cut back on the amount of products I usually use. It feels light and fresh for summer. I used Maestro Liquid Summer all over and then went back with a bit more to contour. I am wearing Clarins Instant concealer, which I forgot to put in the photo. I used the Max Factor Crème Puff Blush in Lovely Pink and the highlighter from the Isadora Palette. I filled in my brows with MAC Omega and lined my eyes with Rimmel Scandaleyes in Taupe. Then finished it all off with Smashbox Full Exposure Mascara and Max Factor Colour Elixir Gloss in Enchanting Coral. I purposely didn’t blend it down my neck so you could see it compared to my neck and see that it adds warmth without being too dark or orange. It would be perfect with a gradual tan like Dove Summer Glow or the new Sally Hansen gradual tan. I think a light or gradual tan and Maestro Liquid Summer is going to be my go to look for summer.

Maestro Liquid Summer comes in three shades and I have the lightest one, N90. The price is €48 but a little goes a long way and I think I will get a lot of use out of it because I can also add it to my normal foundation to darken it when I am wearing fake tan. There are also three Fluid Sheers in the range that can be used as blushers or highlighters and I imagine the two together would equal summer goddess.

Have you tried Maestro Liquid Summer yet? What will be your go to summer look?

MAX FACTOR CREME PUFF BLUSHES LOVELY PINK AND SEDUCTIVE PINK: REVIEW AND PICTURES

Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes

You may have noticed just about everyone has gone mad for Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes. Occasionally I get sent some products from Max Factor to try but these were handed out to bloggers at the launch, which I didn’t go to and of course sods law meant that these beauties were not sent to me. I had to endure all the hype while searching every local Max Factor retailer searching for the shades I liked the most when looking at all the other bloggers’ swatches (sad face). There are six shades in the range and while agonising over which ones I wanted I finally purchased these two. I had actually wanted Lavish Mauve and Nude Mauve but there was no sign of them around and I couldn’t wait to try them any longer so I bought Lovely Pink and Seductive Pink (Alluring Rose and Gorgeous Berries are the other two in the range and they retail at about €11.50).
I won’t go on too much about them because there have been so many blog posts about them already but I just want to give a quick run-down of what makes them so special before we get to the photos. They are like a finely milled highlighter and blush in one. There is no sparkle or shimmer but when you apply these on the skin, you are left with a radian lit from within look. It’s a “yes I am naturally radiant and fabulous with perfect skin” look. They don’t look powdery on, they glide on leaving the skin looking flawless and airbrushed. You can see the glow in the swatches below, the left is a heavy swatch and right is very light so you can go as heavy or sheer as you like. You can keep it really sheer to create a “I’m not wearing makeup, I’m  just naturally radiant” look.

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Lovely Pink is a bright peachy pink that really lifts my complexion. This shade looks really great with a bit of tan. I think my summer look will involve Lovely Pink and peachy lips like Dior Addict lipstick in Jet Set.

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Seductive Pink is slightly warmer and more toned down in comparison. It has a slight rose gold hue to it and I quite like this with MAC Brave lipstick. (Too bad I only though about the lipsticks when writing this post instead of when I was taking the pictures.)
Have you tried any of the Creme Puff Blushes yet? Which is your favourite?

MAC LIPSTICK BRAVE AND LIP LINER SOAR: REVIEW AND PICTURES

MAC Brave and Soar

Apparently this lip combo is very popular thanks to Kylie Jenner but that’s not why I purchased these two, I bought them because of the Pippa affect. When I saw a picture of Pippa O’Connor on Instagram wearing MAC Brave I fell in love with the colour of the lipstick. In the comments she said she had wanted the lip liner Soar but had to get Edge to Edge because Soar was sold out thanks to Kylie Jenner. However when I went to buy Edge to Edge it was sold out probably because of that picture of Pippa so I got Soar.

MAC Brave Lipstick
Brave is a Satin lipstick, described on the MAC website as “Pink-beige with White Pearl”, if I had read that without seeing a picture of it, I probably wouldn’t have bought it. White pearl sounds like 80s frost to me but luckily its nothing like that; the white pearl gives more of a slight pearlescent shine to it. I would also say the colour is more of a medium mauve toned pink, making it a lovely option for day or night for me. Ironically I’m not very brave with my lipstick colour choices, so this colour is right up my street. Brave is a typical MAC lipstick, I get about three-ish hours of wear if I’m not eating or drinking. It’s comfortable enough, maybe slightly drying like the other MAC satin lipsticks I have tried, but its fine with a balm underneath. Let’s face it, MAC lipsticks aren’t the best lipsticks ever, but we love them all the same. Why, I have no idea, probably just because they are MAC.

MAC Brave and Soar
The only other lip liner from MAC that I have tried is Subculture; in comparison Soar is softer and creamier. The colour is richly pigmented and glides on easily. It lasts fairly well; on a night out I didn’t feel like I needed to keep reapplying the liner, reapplying the lipstick was enough. Described on the MAC website as a “Mid-tone Pinkish Brown”, it’s a good neutral shade that would work with most “nude” lipstick shades and is perfect with Brave.
So here are the pictures (top left – before)

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Have you tried Brave or Soar? What is your favourite lipstick and liner combination?

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?

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?

RIMMEL LASTING FINISH 25 HOUR FOUNDATION: REVIEW AND PICTURES

I’m sure we all know by now how much I love Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24 hour foundation, but lately I’ve been a bit bored with it. It hasn’t done anything wrong, it’s just I’ve been wearing it for years and wanted to try something new. I’ve tried a few different foundations lately and still haven’t found the (new) “one”. Obviously I was happy to discover a free sample of Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation and Lasting Finish Primer in the March issue of Glamour Magazine. I love trying samples.

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Lasting Finish Foundation promises skin perfecting full coverage with comfort serum. You’ll see in the pictures below that my skin is quite blotchy with more redness than usual, but the Lasting Finish covers it all really well. It is full coverage in the sense that I really don’t need to add any concealer but the finish is not as heavy and flat as I found the full coverage of the Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation and Concealer. This alone looks the way a medium coverage foundation looks after I’ve used concealer and powder. I think my skin still looks like skin in this and it feels very comfortable on.

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Surprisingly enough I’ve gotten three wears out of this sample and I wasn’t scrimping. I have no intention of testing the 25 hour claim and the primer reckons it could add up to 8 hours wear so 33 hours, no chance, some days it’s all I can do to get through 8 hours. I’ve tried the foundation alone, with the primer, and then with the primer and with MAC Mineralise Skinfinish Natural as a setting powder. Alone it lasted about six hours before I noticed any shine but the shine wasn’t that bad and I could have lived without powder till about the eight hour mark. With the primer it was about the same. I didn’t think it kept shine at bay any longer but the primer felt hydrating when applied and created a lovely base for applying the foundation. Now with the primer and powder it lasted all day and I thought my makeup still looked perfect after twelve hours.

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Top-Before, Bottom-After, no flash

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(With a few finishing touches, MAC MSFN, Isadora Face Sculptor Palette. Taken indoors with a flash but next to a window)

I’m pretty impressed with this and if I’m honest I am a bit of a foundation snob. I’ll buy budget brands if there is enough hype but I wouldn’t wear a budget foundation on a regular basis and I definitely wouldn’t wear budget foundation to a special occasion or a night out. It’s about €9 and I am thinking about buying it to be my everyday foundation. It has an SPF of 20 so there is flashback when the lighting isn’t great so for that reason I wouldn’t use it for special occasions and nights out but spending only €9 instead of €30 plus on a foundation that I use every day, I will be saving so much so I can afford to spend big on the occasion foundation.

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As for the primer, it creates a nice base but I’m not sure it extends the wear time of the foundation. I will try it with other foundations to see if it makes any improvement on them and report back. It doesn’t have any shimmer through it so I’m not sure it adds any skin improvements either but I’ll give it another go and let you know.

ISADORA FACE SCULPTOR IN WARM PEACH: REVIEW AND PICTURES

Isadora Face Sculptor Warm Peach

The lovely Makeup Monster recently asked if readers feel blog posts where the product has been given to the blogger to review are less credible than posts where the blogger buys the product with their own money. Apparently it doesn’t matter to me because I know bloggers were given the new Isadora Face Sculptor palettes at an event and the after reading just one blog post on it from Lovely Girlie Bits I was sold, hook, line and sinker, I couldn’t get my hands on it fast enough. But then Karen would never lead me astray, but she certainly gets the title of number one enabler; she is always “making” me buy things.

Isadora Face Sculptor Warm Peach
There are two and I had decided that I was definitely buying the Warm Peach, however when I got to the Isadora stand and saw Cool Pink, I threw a wobbly. I stood staring (like an idiot) at the two of them for ages trying to decide which one to get. I eventually decided to stick with my original choice and get Warm Peach but it is inevitable that I will have to go back for Cool Pink.

Isadora Face Sculptor Warm PeachWP_20150222_055(Heavy Swatches)

This palette is just perfect; it’s everything you need to contour and highlight all in one neat palette. It’s very finely milled powder that’s not powdery. You know when you have a new powder product and it looks so smooth and perfect in the pan and then you dip your brush in and powder lifts and goes everywhere. (This is why if you are going to blog about a product you need to take pictures of it before you use it.) That doesn’t happen with this. I have been using it for over a week now and it looks brand new, like I haven’t even touched it. It’s impossible to get too much of any of the three on your brush, meaning you won’t accidentally apply too much. We all know too much bronzer makes you look dirty and too much blusher makes you look like Bosco. It is easy to build up more if needed like when wearing fake tan.
The shades in this are perfect for my skin tone. The bronzer has a very slight shimmer to it, which actually gives a more natural finish on the skin than a matte bronzer. It’s not too dark and it has a nice balance of warm and cool. Cool shades can look a bit gray on me and warm ones can create the oompa loompa orange hue. The peach blush is just beautiful; it instantly perks up my complexion and makes me feel prettier. I love a peach blush. The highlighter though is like no other highlighter I’ve ever tried. It’s so subtle. It looks like natural radiance instead of looking like strategically placed shimmer. It also works great for setting concealer under the eyes; it helps brighten up the area without looking shimmery.

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(L-R: 1. Before, 2. Contour, 3. Blush, 4. flash used to show Highlight)

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The Isadora Face Sculptors are €25 each. I had been lusting over the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette which is €65 and only has a bronzer and a highlighter. I know it’s not fair to compare them but for me I am happy to leave the CT palette and instead get a second Face Sculptor, I’ll have paid less and gotten two extra blushes. What I mean is, even though I haven’t tried the CT one, the itch has been scratched, I’m perfectly happy with the Face Sculptor. Have you tried the Isadora Face Sculptor? What are your favourite contour and highlighter products?