Youngblood Cosmetics Eyeshadow Quad

I have found some brand new eye shadows that I really love! For any of you who have yet to hear of Youngblood Cosmetics, it is a brand that I have wanted to try for a long time and finally have. I never grow tired of hearing about celebrities’ favourite products and Youngblood is one that is already loved by the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Alba and Gwyneth Paltrow. Celebs have so many beauty products, brands and talented artists to hand, that it really is worth taking notes when they start praising one in particular.

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Youngblood Cosmetics launched in Ireland in late 2013 but while it’s relatively new around these parts, it has been around much longer Stateside. It’s a mineral brand and all their products are made of natural ground minerals from the earth, without any chemicals, dyes or preservatives. It’s also free of talc, oil and fragrance and while I’ve yet to try Youngblood’s foundations (just give me time!) they’re good for the skin too – all types in fact; including skin recovering from chemical peels or skin experiencing rosacea, acne or discolouration.

The eyes hadow quads are something I’ve heard a lot about from other beauty bloggers so I was excited about trying them out. This one, pictured below, is one of the more popular quads, and is called ‘Moulin Rouge’. The quad includes four colours, including ‘Can-Can’, ‘Revue’, ‘Cabarets’ and ‘Red Light’. I really love a natural smokey eye and that’s definitely the look you’ll get when using a combination of these four colours.

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‘Revue’ is great as a colour base, when applied across the whole eye, but it also works well as a highlighter too. It looks really great when used under the brow and helps achieve the more ‘arched’ look too. ‘Can-Can’ is a really nice subtle light brown colour, which looks great for a natural look if used just with ‘Revue’. But I’m a big fan of using certain orange shades which work really on a blue eye, so I loved ‘Red Light’, a burnt orange shade that comes in the palette. To finish off the real ‘smokey’ look, ‘Cabarets’ is a dark brown shade, perfect for the crease line and lower lash line to darken the smokey look.

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Often when I buy an eye shadow quad, I end up using just one or two of the shades, as it’s rare I like all four colours. But I have to say I loved Moulin Rouge and continue to wear all four shades together when I’m creating a smokey eye look with this palette. While I love the colours, and the fact that the product is not only good for your skin, but cruelty free too – so it’s not tested on animals – what I really liked was how easily they were applied.

I usually have to layer up a look with eye shadows, but these are really pigmented and I literally needed to gently tap my brush on the eye shadows to gain colour. They went on really easily and blended like a dream. Which is great as it means you use less colour, and the palette lasts longer. It comes in great packaging, simple and understated but pretty too, and it’s small enough that you can carry it in your handbag or easily take it with you for a weekend away!

The quads are priced at €39 each, which for such well-pigmented eye shadows that will last a long time, is a decent price. There are plenty of other colours available (see here) and I have my eye on a few, including the ‘Gemstone Quad’. I also like the look of the brand’s individual shadows too, along with the Youngblood mini brush set and the liquid liner pens. So much to discover!

Youngblood Cosmetics can be purchased on www.closer2fabulous.ie. For more information on Youngblood Cosmetics, visit www.ybskin.com or view Youngblood Cosmetics Ireland on Facebook

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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  

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                             Shade 2

 

Face Masks by Bielenda

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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!

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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.

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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!  www.primaverabeauty.ie 

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

Happy and Healthy Nails

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If you read my recent post on Jessica Nails [here], you’ll be well aware of the fact that I suffer from a severe case of weakened nails. However, they’re growing stronger than ever, and that’s with thanks to a few fool-proof products that I know I won’t be living without any time soon.

 

While I was raving about some of the new colours from the Jessica Nails collection, I admit that two of the products I will be chatting about in this post are also from Jessica Nails. I don’t normally go on about just one particular brand, but on this occasion I have to make an exception as they’ve really worked for me!

1. Jessica Nails Phenomenon Oil (€10.15)

Anytime you get your nails done by a professional nailtician, they’ll usually encourage you to use a cuticle oil to help strengthen your nails. And they aren’t lying. It’s one of the best products you can use on your nails and I swear by Jessica Nail’s Phenomenon Oil. This oil is an intensive moisturiser which conditions and softens your cuticles, which is crucial for healthy and strong nail growth. It also works to heal and hydrate your nails with natural jojoba, almond and rice oils.

Tip: Keep it on your desk or beside your bed and massage into your nails as often as you can.

Oh, and it can also be used on dry skin areas too such as your elbows or needs. Multifunctional!

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2. Vaseline healthy hands + stronger nails

I’ve tried tons of hand and nail creams and I always return to this one. It’s one of my favourites, I use it multiple times during the day and always notice a difference in both the skin on my hands and my nails. It encourages healthy nail growth as well as stronger nails and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. For a product that costs just €4.19 (approx), it’s a no-brainer.

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 3. Nailtiques Nail Protein formula 2

Formulated especially for those with weak, soft and peeling nails, this is the one product I’ve used that I notice an immediate difference in the strength of my nails. It was designed especially for former gel and acrylic nail wearers and so stimulates rapid growth and nail strengthening. At approximately €21.50, it is a bit on the more expensive side, but if you are looking for a quick improvement, your money will go a long way.

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4. High Gloss in a Flash by Jessica Nails (€16.30)

This one isn’t exactly a strengthening product, but it works really well when encouraging your nails to grow healthily. It’s a high gloss and when used as a top coat, it dries in a flash – literally a minimum waiting time – while providing a sheer gloss finish in seconds. When I’ve worn this over coats of nail colour, I’ve had people ask me if I’m wearing shellac. I love it. And why does it help in keeping your nails healthy? Its UV inhibitors and reflective polymers mean less chipping, which result in longer lasting colour, and more chip-free time for your nails to grow.

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Jessica Nails: In Bloom

JESSICA Nails In Bloom Summer Collection 2014

I’ve been working hard to bring my own nails back to good health in recent months, following a few years on a bender with gel nails, which unfortunately were preceded by a long stint of acrylic nails. A bit prehistoric I know, but even since then, it has seriously taken my nails years to recover.

I also dabbled a bit in shellac, which I still love, but with my nails naturally being quite weak and brittle, I’ve discovered that the best thing for my own nails is to make the most of them just as they are.

Having brittle nails means that nail colours chip much sooner than they should and being able to do a DIY job at home is crucial. That’s why I love when I find a nail colour that I love and can count on.

Enter Jessica Nails.

I’ve only used Jessica Nails when getting manicures in salons, but I tried two colours from Jessica Nails’ most recent summer collection recently and already want to build my Jessica collection at home.

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Jessica Vartoughian is the master behind Jessica Nails, and when I found out that she was the first person to ever open a ‘nails only salon’ in the world, as well as being the woman responsible for inventing the French Manicure in 1979 (thanks for that, by the way), I discovered an even bigger fondness for the brand.

It’s already loved by tons of celebs and used in the majority of nail salons the world over, and Jessica Nails just launched its ‘In Bloom’ collection for Summer 2014.

The collection is made up of six garden-inspired colours, ranging from soft blues and lilacs to a subtle mint green.

I first tried the bold blue called ‘Longing’, and loved the deep shade. Dark colours are great for making shorter nails appear longer while waiting for them to grow, and this particular blue was perfect for making a statement.

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I fell in love with this particular shade; ‘Loving’, a warm pink colour that is perfect for adding a touch of elegance and femininity without being too ‘pink’. It’s the type of colour that you could wear all year round and ideal for taking a more subtle approach to a special occasion.

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The next colour on my must-try list is the ‘Whispering’ Mint Green. Let me know if you decide to try and what you think!

Each colour in the collection is priced at just €12.95 and is available to buy at salons nationwide, or online at www.frenchbeautyroom.com.

Keep an eye out for my tips for strengthening nails later this week!

 

 

 

Beauty Road Test: Luxury Eye Cream

The Product: La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex

La Prairie is one luxury brand I had been looking forward to trying for a long time. Being a luxury brand, the products don’t come cheap, so it’s usually a counter you bypass when shopping. But there’s usually a reason for the hefty price tag.

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La Prairie Essence of Skin Caviar Eye Complex is a Swiss beauty product that is said to be the perfect pick-me-up for the sensitive skin surrounding your eyes. It’s a lightweight, rapidly penetrating gel that acts as a mini eye lift.

It instantly firms, nourishes and re-energises the eye zone, improving its tone and texture, minimising fine lines and wrinkles while brightening and hydrating the delicate tissue and soothing away any signs of stress and fatigue.

What it says on the tin: The lightweight emulsion contains precious caviar extract which is praised for its firming and toning action. Concentrated firming agents restore vitality and elasticity to the skin and helps renew youthful radiance effectively smoothing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This gel is said to help under-eye puffiness so if you’re predisposed to having dark circles or puffiness, it could help improve the skin condition. It also works as an anti-ageing cream which will visibly minimise fine lines and wrinkles.

My verdict: The transparent gel is really easy to apply and rapidly absorbs into the skin. Each night I used a small amount of the gel around the eye area and used a light tapping motion (as advised) to apply it, and in the morning, my skin was soft, hydrated and felt really refreshed. After just a few days, my worn-out eyes looked revived and de-puffed and I could really notice a difference.

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Pros: While applying it first thing in the morning helps the skin around the eye zone to stay hydrated throughout the day, it also works to help increase the staying power of makeup.

Cons: At a RRP of €118, it it doesn’t come cheap, but if you can afford to splurge on a mini luxury gift (or hint at a potential Christmas gift), it will be well worth your while. And hey, it is La Prairie after all. Can you expect anything less from a self-touted “mini eyelift”?

One last tip… if you use it sparingly, it can last a long time meaning you can invest once a year and still benefit!

The Power Brows

When I heard that Mollie from the Saturdays had discovered a new brow product and was telling the world about its amazing-ness, I figured I had to check it out for myself.

I’ve never had very strong eyebrows and for a while during my tweens, I didn’t pay them any notice. It was quite tragic really!

In the past few years however, I’ve started to sit up and take notice. I reckon I have Cara Delevingne and her caterpillars to thank for that. I’ve realised just how important brows can be and how they really can make or break a make-up look.  I’ve tried HD Brows in the past and regularly get my brows shaped and tinted. But even with the professionals help, it was near impossible to recreate the look at home.

So that’s when Mollie came to the rescue with her raves about Brow Drama by Maybelline. Suddenly my brows have gone from being barely noticeable to being possibly the most important part of my make-up regime!

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Brow Drama by Maybelline

While I always start off by defining the shape of my eyebrows with an eyebrow pencil, it’s adding the Brow Drama afterwards that really sets the look. Basically a sculpting mascara for the brows, it coats, brushes, shapes and holds your brows. The days of spraying hairspray on a brow spoolie and setting your eyebrows are over (very useful tip by the way!).

And while it already has a prime place in my make-up bag, it was one product that didn’t break the bank and seems like it will last quite a while too. Plus it comes in three shades; blonde, medium brown and dark brown. It’s quite the investment, really.

Found in Boots (or anywhere with Maybelline products) for a very wallet-friendly price of €7.49. I love a good beauty bargain!