MAC: New Matchmaster Concealer


20140830_190732Until recently, I had a tendency to steer clear of stick concealers. I love a good concealer – and am always on the lookout for the next amazing product – but I just found liquid concealers easier to apply over foundation. The consistency was more moveable and always worked well once it was applied before my foundation was completely set.

However (there’s always a ‘however’) I may have found a stick concealer that ‘s not only easy to apply with foundation, but gives great coverage and wears well throughout the day too.

MAC’s new Matchmaster Concealers features the same shade-intelligence technology that lies behind their Matchmaster Foundation line. If you haven’t tried this particular line, like me, it basically uses innovative pigment technology in the make-up which is designed to create a personalised and subtle satin finish to your skin. The concealer (and the foundation) contains Vitamin E which conditions the skin as the concealer works to reduce the appearance of under-eye circles, dark spots, discolourations, fine lines and wrinkles. Because of this, it makes it an ideal product for any age-group to wear.

Plus, it comes packaged in a convenient, portable stick, meaning it’s easy to throw in your handbag and top up your make up throughout the day.

The brand new concealer is available in 12 different shades and will be available from September. Priced at €22.20140830_190654  


                             Shade 2




I’m so delighted to be holding my first competition on Blush and Banter! After reviewing some of the products from Bielenda, the lovely ladies at Primavera Beauty have kindly given me a bunch of gorgeous face masks and some lip treats too. All to giveaway to a Blush and Banter reader! The giveaway includes a full set of Bielenda’s face masks, the Cherry Lip Balm and the Peach Lip Butter that I loved so much. A great way of testing the products for yourself! 

The competition will run for one week, so the winner will be announced on Blush and Banter’s Facebook page next Friday, September 5th.

Just answer the following question – you can do this in the blog comments box below, or on Facebook. And then like Blush and Banter on Facebook! Easy.

Question: Bielenda have a bunch of different skincare lines to suit all skin types. Name one of the skincare lines offered by Bielenda. Hint: see blog post here

Giveaway Bielenda

Q&A session: With Primavera Beauty


Throughout this week, I’ve been chatting a lot about Bielenda, a new skincare range to be introduced to Ireland.

Primavera Beauty, the official and exclusive distributor of the range in Ireland, celebrated its first birthday just a few weeks ago and until now, has been offering only professional beauty products. But they reckon it’s the perfect time to introduce their retail product range here too and so to round up my recent blog posts, I stole five minutes of Sylwia Chlebowska’s time to talk about her beauty regime, the importance of anti-ageing products and how much water we should be drinking daily!


What’s your anti-ageing mantra?

I believe the secret is in the combination of balanced diet, proper sleep, exercise, right daily skincare regime supported by professional treatments at recommended beauty salons.

I know that’s not an easy one to achieve when you work full-time, have kids, a home to look after and the day is only 24 hours long, but it’s well worth the effort as the results will be amazing.

At this point of my life treatments and skincare products containing Mandelic Acid as well as micro-needling work best for me and it’s my biggest discovery in the recent years.

Once a year, during Autumn, I get a series of treatments that involve both the Mandelic Peel and Micro-needle – it gives fantastic comprehensive, instant and long term results. The difference in tone and pigmentation after being treated is amazing, break-outs are reduced and pores less visible – that’s how chemical peels work. The micro-needling will lift your skin and smooth fine lines and wrinkles, acne scars are getting less visible. Maybe the treatment is little bit painful but no pain no gain ladies, we know that well don’t we?

What does your daily skincare regime involve?

My skin wouldn’t be the easiest to deal with since I have combination skin with occasional break outs, spider veins and as I’ve passed the magic 30 J also first mimic wrinkles.

As you can see it’s quite a busy list but thanks to the modern skincare products that help me to keep the skin in relatively good shape.

In the mornings it’s usually (due to time constraintsJ ) just a quick use of cleansing foaming gel, toner and light moisturising face cream with hyaluronic acid and SPF15. During sunny days I use face cream with SPF50.

The evening skincare regime starts with eye make-up remover and cleansing foaming gel, then I apply toner, serum and face cream that contain Mandelic Acid.

Once a week I do what my husband calls a “Beauty Day”, it’s not exactly a day, but about three hours when I apply face and body scrubs, masks and give myself a manicure – in general it’s time for me to relax and spoil myself a little bit.

We hear conflicting views on how much water we should drink regularly, how much is enough for our skin’s needs?

I think it all depends on what lifestyle you have and what weather conditions you are living in. For example if you are very active and do a lot exercise or when it’s hot then you need more liquids, preferably water.

Six glasses which is 1.5l of liquids per day is the minimum but that can be water, green tea, coffee. On top of that we are also getting water from food we eat. Remember that when you feel thirsty your body is begging for water and you should avoid getting to that point.

If you don’t provide the required level of liquids to your body, your skin will reflect that. It will get very dry, flaky and the fine lines will be more visible.


What age should we start thinking about using anti-ageing products on our skin?

My personal view is the earlier the better. People often don’t understand what anti-ageing is all about and what it means at each stage of our life.

When you are in your twenties anti-ageing means using a good moisturising creams with protecting filters against UVA and UVB rays. I know that at this stage of your life, when wrinkles seem like an absurd concern, that’s exactly the time when you decide through the right skincare how your skin will look like in the future. The sun damage that you make when you are young will be visible after 10 years and that’s something you won’t be able to fix.

Then when you start seeing the first mimic wrinkles, you should start introducing some active ingredients like Hyaluronic, Mandelic, Glycolic and Lactobionic Acid, Collagen and others- all of them will help you delay the deep wrinkles. Also, you can’t forget about the sun protecting products, you can pick from a big range of creams and foundations that contain protecting filters.

For mature skin with deep wrinkles, anti-ageing will mean using skincare products with ingredients like Retinols, Colloidal Gold, Caviar, Diamond and Pearl. They will help you out to rejuvenate, bright up and lift your skin as well as smooth the wrinkles.

What are the most important ingredients to consider when choosing the right skincare?

I would say that we should look for active ingredients and how much of them you can find in a Product you are looking at. The active ingredients are the ones that can work for your skin in the way it’s needed. For example retinol would be something you are looking for mature skin but if there is only 0.1% of retinol in the face cream you are looking at, will that product meet your expectation? I don’t think so.

I also think it’s worth mentioning what ingredients we should avoid. For example a high %age  of Alcohol in Skincare products is NO. There is this perception that skincare products for acne prone skin should be based on alcohol – it’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make and by using them you are just one step away from the disaster.

Everyone has different skin types. For those of us who are unsure what skin type we are, how do we find out what type of skin we have?

It’s a very good question, that’s exactly where you start with your skincare and once you find your skin type you are half way to having beautiful skin.

You need to remember that there is a small percentage of people that have only dry, normal, oily or combination skin. Usually it’s a mix of different types which make things that little bit more complicated but not impossible to manage. Also, women’s skin can change during the month due to hormones and perhaps change from normal to oily.

It’s crucial that you observe your skin and see what triggers the changes: like hormones, weather, food, (Did you know that milk is one of the main causes for acne?), stress etc. Once you have that knowledge you can start finding out the actual type of skin you have. There is a lot of on-line self-assessment questioners that you could use but I would recommend to go to qualified beautician and ask for skin mapping. Usually you can get it for free with a beauty treatment. You will be asked couple of questions (your observations will be needed here) and then the beautician will remove your make-up and have a proper look at your skin under a special lamp. The mapping will identify what type/types of skin you have and what treatments and products you should be using. We have a list of beauty salons that do free skin mapping and we can assist with some recommendations.

What are the latest trends in Beauty industry?

Definitely the biggest trend of the last decade is for the retail skincare products to move towards the products that are used in beauty salons. High concentrations of the active ingredients and DIY Beauty Treatment Kits is the combination that allows us to perform effective Beauty Treatments at home. Using them in conjunction with regular visits to your beauty salons will ensure spectacular and long term results.


For more information, see

So where can we buy the products?

Sylvia says,The project is still quite new and you are one of the first to know about the Brand presence in Ireland.

The first Products are now available in our Ebay Store and more are being added as we speak. In the middle of September all the products will be also available in our on-line Store and we are hoping that by the end of this year, you will see the products in pharmacies nationwide.”

In the meantime, see Bielenda Skincare Ireland on Facebook.

Face Masks by Bielenda

photo 1 photo 3


Every so often I love a beauty night in – doing my nails, putting a face mask on, and an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. I know, I just admitted that. But a girl needs her own time! A face mask is the ideal way to relax, while treating your skin at the same time, and I’m always on the look out for a new one to try.

Bielenda have a huge range of different facial masks and professional formula sachets to choose from. Each one comes in a handy sachet (some with a two-step facial mask instruction) and are priced at a very affordable €2.50 per sachet.

One of the face masks I really loved was a Cucumber & Lime Deep cleansing face mask, which is aimed at combination skin. But I love the cucumber and lime mixture, so it was a clear favourite for me from the outset. This mask comes in two steps – the first being a mask you apply and leave for ten minutes, the second being a moisturising mask you apply and leave on. You’re recommended to use the mask two to three times a week, and one sachet will easily have enough product to last the week, as you don’t need to layer it on.

Another face mask I really liked, was an Ultra Moisturising Hydrogel Face Mask. Clear in colour, the mask was easily applied and had an aloe-vera type sensation on the skin. The scent was gorgeous and my skin really felt great afterwards. With so many different types of face masks available, and something to suit all skin types, I’m working my way through them as we speak! Let me know if you try them – and what you think!

Caring Peach Lip Butter

A quick mention for one of my favourite products from the Bielenda line so far: the Caring Peach Lip Butter. At just €2.99, this butter has been in my handbag from the moment I got it. It’s really moisturising but light in texture, and smells absolutely gorgeous. Again it’s peach, and although I seem to have a habit of comparing beauty products to food, I have to tell you that this particular one is like Petits Filous for your smackers. Just gorgeous!

20140826_201015 20140826_201036

Find Bielenda on Facebook here

New: Precious Peach Oil

I have quite fine hair that can get greasy quickly if I use products that are too heavy, so I normally shy away from oils for my hair and elixirs. But I wanted to give Bielenda’s Precious Peach Oil a chance and an honest review, so went against the grain on this occasion.

The Precious Peach Oil 3in1 is a multi-purpose product for your body, face and hair. What it says on the tin is that its nourishing ingredients visibly revitalise and regenerates your skin and improves its elasticity and hydration while it also restores and brightens the condition of hair as well as your body. Because I knew oils don’t always bode well with my hair, I stuck with applying it just to the ends, which need the most conditioning, and left it in all night, before washing it out the next morning. I have to say my hair felt really soft and sleek after washing it, and it didn’t get greasy the next day as I had expected it to.


I also used it a number of times in recent weeks on my face after cleansing and the following morning, again after leaving it on over night, I could really feel the softness in my skin. What I will say is that there is a good bit of residue from this product, as not all of it soaks into the skin. But this happens with almost any facial oil I have tried so I wasn’t surprised. It is an oil after all. If you have oily skin, this product would be ideal. But if, like me, you have normal skin most of the time, I would recommend using it only a couple of times a week. I was afraid the excess oil would cause my skin to break out, but I’m happy to say I had no issues with that at all.

Finally, you can also use the Precious Peach Oil on your body, so I used it on areas of my skin that need the most moisturising – namely my elbows, knees and the backs of my arms. Again, it took a while for the oil to soak in, so I made sure I applied it before going to bed so I could benefit from it the whole night through.

What I loved about this product was that it was multi-functional and you can benefit from it in more ways than one, unlike a lot of oils you can buy, which focus on specific areas. I also loved its smell, I’m a huge fan of peach as a flavour and fragrance – and for anyone who grew up in the nineties, it might remind you of a fizzy cola lolly – no lie!

Best of all, it’s priced at €6.90, so even if you’re tempted into trying it yourself, it won’t break the bank! 

New: CC Cream by Bielenda

I had a brief fling with BB creams when they first came out, but while I initially loved them, I have to admit that it wasn’t long before I made my way back to my every day foundations. They just didn’t cut it with the Irish winter weather! So when CC creams came on the scene, I wasn’t in a crazy rush to try them out because I really wasn’t sure how different they would be. Recently however, I was asked to try out Colour Control products by Bielenda (more info about this here) and was happy to see they were really wearable.


Rather than substituting for your foundation or tinted moisturiser, Bielenda’s CC cream Face Perfector works at reducing redness and concealing any imperfections, and is the ideal product for priming your face ahead of applying your daily mask.


It works by combining the properties of a beauty cream and a skin concealer – meaning it covers imperfections and works at evening out your skin tone, which all helps in achieving that ‘flawless’ make-up look we all strive so much for.


I was really surprised when I first tried the cream, as I wasn’t expecting the cream to be green, and initially the consistency felt quite thick. Don’t be fooled by that though, as once you massage it into your skin, the cream really absorbs in, it doesn’t leave any oily residue behind (and doesn’t block pores!) and leaves your skin feeling fresh and looking healthier. I didn’t use a primer on the day I first tried this cream, as I wanted to see how it would benefit my make-up. My skin looked fresher, and it provided a really good base for my foundation because it does seem like your skin tone has been evened out. This always helps when it comes to getting a natural coverage.


I also tired this CC cream on one of my non make-up days (i.e. a day when I didn’t have to face the world – at all) and I was pleasantly surprised at how much brighter my skin looked. Of course we all have these mad notions that some day we’ll apply a miracle cream and never need to wear foundation again. In the real world, this just doesn’t happen! But anything that will brighten my face, even the slightest bit, and make my skin appear healthier, wins brownie points in my book.


Bielenda Color Control, CC Cream Face Perfector 10in1, €8.50



A similar idea surrounds Bielenda’s CC Cream Body Perfector, which I also tried over the last few weeks. Again it combines the elements of both a concealer and a body balm, improving skin tone and concealing imperfections on the skin, while also softening the skin and moisturising like any other body cream.

This cream was ideal over the last few weeks, before the not-so-fancy weather set in, as I’m not a huge fan of wearing skin-coloured tights at all, but this CC cream was the perfect replacement. It even features illuminating micropigments which reflect the light and adds a glow or radiance to your skin.

It’s perfect for throwing on when you’re wearing a dress or short skirt, or for applying on your hands or neck to conceal any imperfections, or again just to even out your skin tone. I applied without any fake tan and it gave me a natural, healthy looking glow, ideal for this time of year. It takes a few minutes to completely absorb, so I’d recommend applying before you do your hair or makeup and let it dry before getting dressed.


Bielenda CC Body Perfector, €9.50

New: MAC nail lacquers get a make-over!



MAC is infamous for its make-up but what it has always offered, albeit on a bit of a quieter note, is its nail lacquers. Come September, this will all change for the better. MAC are reformulating their nail lacquers and have given them some major TLC and will launch their new collection next month.

The lacquers will have a gel-like consistency, more flexibility and a denser pigment, which means that just one layer of the lacquer will give plenty of wearable colour to your nails.

The lacquers will also feature a flatter brush, making application an easier process and according to MAC experts, the less layers you wear, the more long lasting the colour will be.

There will be a total of 90 colours in the new nail lacquer range, and all 90 will be available before the end of the year.

So where has the inspiration behind this sudden makeover come from? MAC has teamed up with celebrity nail technician Marian Newman, a woman who is more often than not located behind the scenes at the biggest fashion shows putting finishing touches to the catwalk’s nails. She will have four nail colours in the new MAC AW14 collection.

And the best part? MAC is reducing the price of its lacquers, meaning we can pick up a brand new bottle come September for just €10. Well worth a purchase to see what all the fuss is about I reckon!


MAC nail colours

MAC Nail Lacquers as we know them now!

Bielenda: The newest skincare brand to launch in Ireland

I’m always on the lookout for good skincare products, whether they’re new on the beauty scene or already considered holy grail products by someone else. So when I received some samples of a new skincare line due to be launched in Ireland soon, I was excited to try something new and intrigued too as I had not come across the brand before.

Bielenda is a new skincare brand set to launch in Ireland this month. With both a professional product line, as well as a retail line, Bielenda is already considered successful in other EU countries as well as a few far flung places such as the Far East and the States.

Eco and Animal Friendly

What I particularly like about the brand, and what I know a lot of people find so important these days, is that the products are NOT tested on animals, they’re eco-friendly and they’re made using natural ingredients.

Bielenda Pic

Sounds good so far, right?

The whole idea of Bielenda is that the safe and skin-friendly beauty care can be “all encompassing”. By this they mean all of the above:

– Contains eco-friendly active ingredients

– Products are not tested on animals, but by renowned experts in dermatology

– They aim to minimise their impact on the environment. This means they distribute their products in eco-friendly recycable packaging and they remain environmentally aware at each and every stage of manufacture and distribution.  

A Polish brand, Bielenda is already available in the UK, other EU countries including France, Canada, USA and United Arab Emirates, and now, Ireland.

Suitable for all skin types

This is the next reason I was excited about the brand’s arrival en Irlande.

While Bielenda Professional will be only available in beauty salons, spas and beauty schools, the retail brand is ours for the taking. And they’ve a skincare line to suit each and every skin type…

Dry & Sensitive – Cotton

Dry & Very Dry – Black Olive

Dry & Dehydrated – Avacado

Sensitive & Allergic – Aloe

Thin, delicate and skin with dilated capillaries – Chestnut

Very mature & Dry – Argan Oil

Mixed & Oily – Cucumber and lime

Tired, dull & stressed – Carotene

Normal & Mixed – Pomegranate

Bielenda also offer a tanning range, a men’s range ‘Only For Men’, and pregnancy-safe skincare too. Having already won an Instyle beauty award and an award with the French Cosmopolitan magazine, Bielenda is certainly one to check out.

I’ve even tried a few myself over the last few weeks, so keep an eye out for my reviews on the blog this week, as well as a Q&A session with a Bielenda skincare specialist. In the meantime, check out the brand’s Irish distributor: Primavera Beauty.

Rihanna’s latest lip colour revealed!


So can we see ourselves sporting the newest lipstick colour from MAC? Rihanna is back with her Viva Glam collection and as usual, she looks amazing. But the lip colour is as daring as some of Rihanna’s past stage outfits, and I have to say, I quite like it! The newest shade to the MAC collection is a frosted metallic mauve lipstick and lipglass and will be available from September from Brown Thomas and BT2. The lipstick is priced at €19.50 and the lipglass at €18.50 and it’s all for a good cause – the full RRP (minus VAT) goes towards helping men, women and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. I might give the green hair a miss though!

What do we think?


Limited Edition: Wet n Wild

Since it was first launched in Ireland in January, Wet N Wild has gone down a treat in the beauty world. When I went along to the launch at the beginning of the year, I was really impressed by the amount of beauty bloggers there who were praising the brand, and who all had their favourite products – especially as I had never tried the brand before and wasn’t quite sure what to expect for such an affordable price! Now I’m a fan myself and I particularly like the lipsticks, which are really long lasting and well worth the surprisingly affordable price tag.

From now until the end of September, the brand is offering a limited edition nail colour and eye shadow trio inspired by the Pop Art Craze (think Andy Warhol and the 50’s art trend). Different from the usual smokey eye combo colours, the limited edition set is edgy, trendy and artsy and the ideal colours for adding some fun into your make-up bag!

It’s difficult to invest in new beauty buys all the time, and not always the best budget decision to make when you’re unsure if the ‘fun’ colours are going to look good or suit you. But with prices between €3.99 and €4.49, it won’t burn a whole in our wallets so I’m looking forward to trying them out!

Your 15 minutes aren't up Eye shadow trio

Spoiled by Wet N Wild

Wet N Wild is available in Dunnes Stores, selected Penneys and retailers nationwide. The limited edition pop art craze is available until the end of September 2014.