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?

FRIDAY STYLE: VERY PRETTY FLORAL SHIRT DRESS

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Sunshine, glorious sunshine!!! With my vitamin D levels fully topped up I am in high spirits. It’s been a gorgeous week so on to today’s gorgeous dress. Many of us develop a staple look or uniform of sorts; a style of outfit that we feel comfortable in and think we look good in, so we recreate it over and over in varying shades. How many of us wear a blazer of some colour with skinny jeans more or less every day? For me, as much as I love a blazer and skinnys, it’s either a knit dress in winter or a shirt dress in summer. I do love a shirt dress.

River Island Floral Shirt Dress
Today’s shirt dress is probably the prettiest one I have ever seen. The print is just so gorgeous; I love the watercolour style floral and all the pretty colours. The shape, length and cut of this shirt dress are all just perfect for me and I feel a million bucks in this dress. It’s from River Island. River Island, if you are reading this, you are killing it lately, keep up the good work.

Thomas Sabo NecklaceThomas Sabo Charm Bracelet
With such a pretty print, I decided to keep the accessories simple. The necklace and bracelet are both from Thomas Sabo. I love that I can swap the charms back and forth between the bracelet and the necklace to suit what I am wearing or my mood.

Nude Courts
The shoes are my nude courts from Kate Appleby for Knightsbridge. They are so comfortable.
What’s your go to outfit?

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?

FRIDAY STYLE: ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK OR JUST WEAR THEM TOGETHER

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Woohoo! It’s a bank holiday weekend! There’s a grand stretch in the evenings with the odd auld bit of sunshine between the torrential down pours. All in all, I’m in pretty good form. I hope you’re not sick of my love of all things orange yet because the love affair continues. I think todays outfit channels the spirit of the mixed weather that is the Irish spring in that it involves layers and waterproof footwear.

Tesco Orange Tunic

Let’s start with this orange tunic from Tesco. What’s not to love here? For starters it’s from Tesco so it was cheap as chips. It has a zip, and we know how much I love unnecessary zips. Not to mention that it is orange, a colour I love regardless of whether or not it suits me. I like long tunic style tops that you can wear over leggings because they can be so comfortable and a bright colour or pretty print makes wearing leggings look stylish with little to no effort, win, win.

In case you are interested the black top underneath is just a basic long sleeve T from Penneys and the leggings are from Swamp.

New Look Biker Jacket

The biker jacket is a regular on this blog and it’s old from New Look. The biker jacket has a little bit more warmth than a blazer but it’s not as heavy as a winter coat so it’s good for this time of year. I could easily make this outfit dressier by swapping the biker and boots for a blazer and heels, which would look nice for Easter Sunday dinner.

Marco Tozzi Knee High Boots

The boots are Marco Tozzi. The wedge heel makes them comfortable enough that I can leg it to the car when it’s lashing raining. It’s getting to the point where high leg boots are a bit too heavy for this time of year but with all the rain this week, I’m still wearing them because I like my tootsies to be dry (and we all know wet feet, like going to bed with wet hair, means you’ll catch your death of a cold).

Do you love orange as much as me? What are your feelings on tunics and leggings?

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?

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?