Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Best Of The Gold Packaging

The best of the gold packaging

| The Best Of The Gold Packaging! |

I'm weak when it comes to dreamy packaging and brands certainly know how to suck me in hook, line and sinker with their beautifully packaged products. It's no secret that I'm a fan of rose gold packaging and I confessed my love of my rose gold products in a 'best of the rose gold packaging' blog post a while ago so I thought it was about time I did the same for my favourite products housed in gold packaging.

When I think of luxurious gold packaging, YSL is the brand that comes to mind. To me, they are the embodiment of gold packaging and they certainly know how to do it right. Each product is classy and sophisticated whilst remaining youthful at the same time. The only YSL product I have in my collection is the Touche Eclat foundation and it's definitely a well-loved product. It's one of those foundations that's essentially healthy skin in a bottle as it provides medium coverage and illuminates the skin.

Another product that emanates luxury with its swoon-worthy gold packaging is the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Frozen Quartz {Review}. This beautiful rose gold eyeshadow provides a frosty ethereal finish on the eyes whilst the creamy formula and the stick applicator makes it quick and easy to apply. 

The Max Factor Creme Puff blush in Lovely Pink is a gorgeous peachy pink shade that complements most of my makeup looks. The formula and finish of this are comparable to the Hourglass blushes. This particular shade looks very similar on the skin to one of the shades in the Hourglass Surreal Light palette {review}.

There's a new addition to the Max Factor Creme Puff family as they've added a bronzer to the collection. There are two shades available, a cool-toned lighter shade as well as a warm dark shade. Despite my very pale skin, I opted for the darker shade as I thought it would be a lovely Summer bronzer for adding that warm sun-kissed glow.

Speaking of new releases, the Nars Loaded eyeshadow palette is housed in beautiful gold packaging. This palette is a neutral eyeshadow lover's dream as it has a variety of neutrals ranging from light to dark shades as well as a good mix of mattes and shimmers. 

And finally an oldie but a goodie is the Sleek Solstice highlighting palette which houses a variety of unique shades. The lilac and the peachy shade are not something I would've reached for before owning this palette but they're surprisingly easy to pull off.   

Do you have any favourite gold products?

Love,
Cliona xx


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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Books I've Read Recently

Recent reads blog post

| Books I've Read Recently! |

There are a handful of things in life that fill me with joy and make my heart happy. One of those things is books, whether it be perusing the aisles of Easons hunting down my next book obsession or being curled up on the couch with a book as the dwindling rain silently echoes off my window. I love taking time out of my day to be transported into a magical world and since my last book update, I've visited many different worlds... 

How I rate books:
1 Star = I didn't enjoy this book at all but it wasn't so bad that I couldn't finish it.
2 Stars = Parts of the book were ok but overall it wasn't my cup of tea or I've read books that are much better in the genre. 
3 Stars = I loved or really liked parts of this book but on a whole, it was just average. I wouldn't re-read the books that I give 3 stars to but I would definitely finish the series if it were a series.
4 Stars = I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would definitely re-read it but I wasn't as invested in it as some other books.
5 Stars = I absolutely loved this book! It doesn't necessarily mean it was flawless, there could be parts that were slow or that I wasn't too keen on but on a whole, I loved the characters as well as the world, and the book had me thinking about it throughout the day.

My Goodreads 2017 challenge: 16/35

1) The Throne Of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas:
My Rating: 5 Stars

I was planning on doing monthly reading roundups here on the blog but I decided to read the TOG series and it took me until mid-April to finish the entire series, so the roundups would've been boring with the same books, haha! There are five books and a prequel in the series so far, and the final instalment of the series will be released in 2018. However, there's another book that's "sort of" apart of the series coming out this September. It's a book dedicated to one of the character's in the series, Chaol. I'm actually not a Chaol fan as I don't really connect with his character so I'm excited to read the book about him to hopefully get a better understanding of his character. 

Some people say the prequel isn't necessary to read to understand the series but I disagree! There's so much that happens in the prequels that relate to some of the story lines in the series so I think you do need to have an understanding of what happened in order to really appreciate the series, especially the 4th book. The series is fantasy and parts of the series reminded me of Harry Potter so I think if you like that genre then you'll enjoy this series. I always give five stars to S J Maas books because I think her world-building is phenomenal and easy to understand, she is the queen of banter - she writes banter between the characters so well, and her characters are so lovable! 

2) Carve The Mark by Veronica Roth:
My Rating: 1 Star

I was thrilled to discover that a new book from the author of the Divergent series was being released this year. I absolutely loved the Divergent books so I was hoping this would be just as good. The book sounded promising as it was set in a futuristic galaxy but unfortunately, there wasn't anything I liked about this book. Futuristic dystopia are usually so fun to read but Roth really struggled to build what would've been an interesting and fun world. I thought her writing style was all over the place and quite boring, which was strange for her because Divergent was written so well. I found myself not caring about the characters and not caring what happened to them. This book was so disappointing and I wouldn't recommend it at all!

3) King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard:
My Rating: 4 Stars 

This is the third instalment of the Red Queen series and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it! This is another fantasy dystopian book where there is a class division based on blood colour. The Silvers are thought to be superior to the Reds and the entire series is essentially a battle for change and equality. I love these types of books as I think the metaphors are still relevant to our society today. Although we've come a long way with regards to equality, there are still some prevalent issues that we need to face and I like fantasy/dystopian books that have this realism element to them. The writing style was utterly phenomenal in this book, much better than the previous two books! There was a lot of exciting action and I had no clue how the book was going to end so I was kept on my toes. My only issue was that the ending wasn't as exciting as the previous two books but I'm still excited to see how this series is going to end!

4) A Court Of Wings And Ruin by Sarah J Maas:
My Rating: 5 Stars

I read the previous two books in this series at the start of the year and I was eagerly waiting for the release of this book for the last few months. It was everything I hoped it would be! In typical S J Maas style, there were lots of epic battles, romance, friendship and there was a lot of interesting plot twists in this book! The ending was quite underwhelming though but I think it was left open for the next books she's writing based on this world. Despite the ending though, it was still one of those books that give you a bit of a hangover after reading it *insert winking emoji* I highly recommend this series, even if you aren't into fantasy because it's so easy to read and the romance/friendship is quite heavily featured too. 


What books have you read recently?

You can add me on Goodreads to see what books I'll be reading next!

Love,
Cliona xx


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Sunday, 21 May 2017

Copper Makeup Picks

Copper makeup products

| Copper Makeup Picks! | 

We may be heading into the Summer months but the recent showery weather has me reaching for deeper makeup hues that are usually associated with Autumn. I recently rediscovered a few of my favourite copper makeup products and I'm trying to come up with ways to incorporate them into my Summer makeup bag as I just can't part ways with these gorgeous hues.

Copper eyeshadows are my most worn shade as the rich Autumnal hue contrasts against the pale blue shade of my eyes, making them pop. One of my top copper eyeshadow picks is without a doubt Mac Coppering. This warm-toned copper shade has strong red undertones and a veluxe pearl finish that provides a soft frosted shimmer. 

I'm the epitome of lazy when it comes to makeup so cream eyeshadows and eyeshadow sticks are an essential in my makeup bag. The Catrice Copper & Paste Eyeshadow Stick is my everyday option and this shade is more on the bronzey side so it's much more appropriate for the Summer. I love wearing this all over the lid with a warm brown in the crease, bronzed skin and lots of Becca Champagne Pop {Review} for the ultimate summery makeup look. 

Copper Makeup Products

Another favourite makeup look of mine for the summer is wearing colourful liner. One of my all time favourite makeup looks that I've created was a copper winged liner. I wore this a few times during the Summer months last year and as we head into the warmer season I'll be sporting the look once again. To create it I use Mac's Copper Sparkle Pigment which is a true rusty copper shade and has a stunning metallic finish. Swoon! 

The Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette is a best-seller and it's easy to see why! The stunning rose gold quad houses four eyeshadows and the standout shade in the palette is the coppery bronze shade. It has a gorgeous satin finish and the soft luxurious formula makes it a dream to blend. 

I've never owned a copper makeup product that wasn't eyeshadow until I purchased the Becca Luminous Blush in Blushed Copper. This shade is so innovative and unique - there really isn't anything else like it on the market! In the pan, it's a true reddish copper shade with lots of sparkle in it. The shimmer looks very chunky in the pan but when it's applied to the skin it looks very subtle. 

Do you have any copper makeup favourites?

Love,
Cliona xx

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Friday, 19 May 2017

My Evening Skincare Routine

Evening skincare routine

| My Evening Skincare Routine! |

Following on from my morning skincare routine, in today's post I'll be chatting about my evening routine. My evening skincare routine is definitely my favourite! I can take my time, give myself a little massage with oils and serums in order to wind down for the evening. 

Step 1 - Cleanse: I start by removing my makeup with the Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm. This dissolves makeup much more effectively than any other makeup remover/cleanser I've tried. It's fragrance-free so it's kind to sensitive skin and it's gentle to use whenever I have those raw red sore breakouts (Ouch!). It's a balm cleanser that changes to an oil once it comes into contact with water so I find cleansers like this very good for the dry areas of my skin.

Step 2 - Double Cleanse: For my second cleanser I always use whatever milk or cream cleanser I'm using in the morning. At the moment I'm using the La Roche Posay Toleriane cleanser. If you read my morning skincare routine then you'll know how much I love this! It's a gentle milky cleanser that removes any excess makeup and ensures that my skin is clean after a day of wearing SPF and makeup as well as being surrounded by pollution and grime in the atmosphere.  

Step 3 - Acid Tone: I incorporated the famous Pixi Glow Tonic into my routine over a month ago and I've been loving it! This contains Glycolic Acid which is an exfoliating ingredient. I'm finding this good for brightening up a dull complexion and it's helped fade some of my blemish scars. 

Step 4 - Spritz O'Clock: This is the same step as my morning routine. I spritz three pumps of the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist all over my face for some added hydration.

Step 5 - Serum: I try to keep my morning and evening routine somewhat similar so I'm not bombarding my skin with too many different products. For this reason, I use the same serum in my morning routine; The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 leaves my skin feeling plump and rejuvenated.

Step 6 - Oil: I'm not sure why but I hate the feeling of moisturiser at night time so instead of a moisturiser I apply a facial oil. I'm currently using The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil which feels silky and luxurious. It hydrates my skin so well, leaving it feeling silky soft and I don't get as many dry flaky patches since incorporating this into my routine. It's also packed full of good nutrients such as fatty acids and antioxidants so it's good for the general health of your skin. 

What are your favourite skincare products?

Love,
Cliona xx

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Wednesday, 17 May 2017

My Morning Skincare Routine

Morning skincare routine

| Skincare Routine For Blemish-Prone Dehydrated Skin! | 


They say the best foundation you can wear is healthy glowing skin and I'm a firm believer in investing both time and money in skincare. After all, our skin is something that will be with us for our entire life so it's important to take care of it. 

Unfortunately, I have the best of both worlds in terms of my skin, as my combination skin type causes me to tackle minor oiliness, breakouts and dry skin. My skin tends to lean more on the dry side and that's usually what my biggest concern is. However, in the last few weeks, I've been getting a series of bad breakouts due to anxiety so I've switched up my routine to tackle this concern. I've stuck to this routine for four and half weeks and the products I've incorporated into my routine have really been helping. For today's post, I'll be sharing my morning routine and my evening routine will be coming to a computer screen near you at the end of the week! 

Step 1 - Cleanse: I begin my skincare routine with a gentle milky cleanser and the one I'm currently using is La Roche Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser. It's a simple fuss-free milky cleanser that soothes the skin whilst gently cleansing. It's the perfect morning cleanser and although it doesn't feel as luxurious as some of the more expensive cleansers I've tried, it's effective, gentle and calms down any inflamed breakouts. 

Step 2 - Spritz O'Clock:  After cleansing, it's time for spritz o'clock, as The Skin Nerd calls it *wink wink* Caroline Hirons is another advocate for this step, in her routine cheat sheet she refers to it as spray hydrate. The only spray I've used before was the La Roche Posay Serozinc and I was blissfully unaware of the world of spray toner/hydration until I added the Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist to my routine. This contains many skin-loving ingredients as well as vital nutrients that are important to consume internally as well as applying them topically, such as Linoleic Acid which is an essential fatty acid and various B-Group Vitamins as well as Hyaluronic Acid which is known for aiding hydration. 

Step 3 - Treatment: To treat my breakouts I've been reaching for The Ordinary Niacinamide & Zinc. I got this to replace my tube of La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo as it's also a niacinamide and zinc product and it helped clear up my skin last year. I've definitely noticed a difference in my skin as a result of this; My blemish marks are starting to fade, I've not been getting as many breakouts and if I do get a breakout they heal quickly and there are no marks left after them.

Step 4 - Serum: To combat dehydration I apply some Hyaluronic Acid in the form of The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5. This is quite similar to Hydraluron {Review} and does the exact same thing except at a much cheaper price. Hyaluronic Acid is said to bind moisture to the skin without disrupting oil levels so it's a great ingredient for my combination skin type. This serum keeps my skin feeling plump and hydrated!

Step 5 - Moisturise/SPF: I currently have two moisturisers on rotation; I use the La Roche Posay Toleriane Ultra moisturiser on days when I'm not going anywhere. It's a lightweight creamy lotion that is ideal for sensitive prone skin. It sinks into the skin quickly, leaves my skin feeling very soft and gets rid of any minor dry flaky patches without leaving a greasy residue. When I go out I always like to wear SPF so I opt for the Uriage Light Water Cream SPF 20 {Review}*. As well as protecting the skin, it also hydrates the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and soft, creating the ideal base for makeup application. 

What products are in your morning skincare routine at the moment?

Love,
Cliona xx


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*Products marked with an asterisk have been sent to me by a brand or PR company.
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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

New Makeup Releases You Need To Know About

New Makeup Releases

| New Makeup Releases! |

As a makeup enthusiast, I often spend time scrolling through the 'new in' section of my favourite beauty websites, dreaming of winning the lotto so I could buy every new beauty launch. It's gonna happen one day *wink wink* Recently, there has been an overwhelming amount of new product drops and thus, for today's post I thought I'd round up some of the new launches that have caught my eye... 

My favourite brand of all time, Nars have been on fire with their new releases lately. It started off with the Unfiltered Cheek palette as well as their new range of primers. The Radiance Primer has an SPF of 35 so not only will it add a gorgeous summery glow to the skin but it'll also keep your skin protected. More recently they've released Sun Wash Diffusing Bronzers and I haven't seen much hype in regards to these but I think they look really pretty! On the 1st of May, the Loaded Eyeshadow Palette was released to the UK and Ireland, and after months of seeing it on American Instagram accounts, I decided to get it myself. I used it on the weekend for the first time and so far I'm impressed. There was no fallout from any of the shades I used so far, the shadows are excellent quality and they blend out effortlessly. I'll have a full review of it up on the blog sometime next week after I've used it a bit more. 

Nars Loaded Eyeshadow Palette

Charlotte Tilbury is another one of my favourite high-end brands and they've just launched a few summery products. The one that caught my attention was the Instant Look In A Palette in 'Beauty Glow'. I love palettes that contain everything {i.e. eyeshadow, bronzer, highlighter and blush} and this particular one looks perfect for both the Summer months as well as Autumn. You have some nice bronzey hues that will be lovely for the summer and the deep blush shade would look lovely in A/W. I might treat myself to this one during the Summer!

A few days ago the Mac x Fleur De Force collab launched and it's already sold out! I'm currently on the BT waiting list so hopefully, the next time it comes back in stock I'll be able to nab it. It looks like the perfect nude lipstick! Another Mac release that's on my wishlist is one of the Extra Dimension blushes. These are permanent so I've plenty of time to let my bank balance have a rest before I treat myself to one *insert monkey with his hands over his mouth emoji*  

The award for prettiest summer collection goes to Tom Ford. The whole Soleil 2017 collection looks stunning but I particularly like the look of the Soleil Bronzing Powder as well as the Sheer Highlighting Duo. The packaging of both are incredible and I haven't heard a bad review of either of the products. Tom Ford is definitely on the pricier side but I hope to own one of their products this year - maybe a lipstick *insert all the excited emojis*

Another Summer collection that looks amazing is the Clarins collection. I have my eye on the Bronzing & Blush Compact Duo as the packaging is stunning and the bronzer and blush both look like gorgeous shades for the Summer. I can see this being a holiday makeup bag staple this year!

Speaking of summer bronzers, the new Becca Sunlit Bronzers look ideal for the warmer months. The packaging is quite different to their usual highlighter and blush packaging; For this product, they've opted for gold packaging rather than silver and the bronzer inside has a wavy effect to depict the sea. From what I can tell they don't seem to be limited edition - I searched the internet for ages to see if they're limited edition but no-one has clarified it so I'd be quick with these ones just in case! 

2017 makeup releases

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What new makeup releases are on your wish list?

Love,
Cliona xx

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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Top 5 Mac Eyeshadows

Top 5 Mac eyeshadows

| Top 5 Mac Eyeshadows! |

Over the last few years, it's safe to say I've become a makeup collector, picking up the latest launches as well as adding old favourites with a cult title to my collection. I have numerous palettes and a row of highlighters that nearly blind me with their dazzling brightness everytime I open my drawer. However, my favourite thing to collect is Mac eyeshadows, building up my pro palette takes me back to my childhood days when I used to collect Sylvanians and marbles. So far I have 12 eyeshadows in my collection and I just need three more shadows to complete my palette. But for today's post, I thought I'd round up five of my favourites that I reach for most often.

1) Texture: A warm burnt orange shade and the best crease shade in my collection! If you're a warm eyeshadow lover then this is a must-have for your makeup bag! This works well as a crease shade for a warm brown smokey eye, and furthermore, it looks lovely on its own blended out all over the eye for a quick, simple look. 

2) Cork: Cork is another great crease colour and one of my top transition shades for any eyeshadow look. The medium neutral brown shade complements any eyeshadow look but my favourite pairing is with Woodwinked. It's also a great shade to begin a spotlight eye with, followed by a darker brown like Swiss Chocolate and then a statement shade like Expensive Pink or Vanilla pigment on the centre *insert 1000 love-heart eye emojis*

Mac eyeshadow swatches

3) Haux: A rosy brown shade with mauve undertones and a satin formula. It has very finely milled shimmer particles and they're not noticeable once it's applied, making it a great transition shade for pink or purple eye looks. My favourite way to wear it is by applying it into the crease and blending it out just above the crease, I then apply By Terry Ombre Blackstar Frozen Quartz {review} to the lid and pop a small amount of Mac Sketch to the outer v to add depth to the look.

4) Woodwinked: This time we have a deluxe pearl finish and I'd describe Woodwinked as a warm brown bronzey shade with a subtle metallic sheen. This is my favourite eyeshadow for lazy days as it blends in effortlessly with Cork in the crease for a minimal easy look that looks like I've put more effort into my eyeshadow than I actually have. 

5) Amber Lights: This breathtaking gold shade with bronze undertones makes blue eyes pop, unlike anything I've seen before! The intense pigment and foiled finish mean it can be worn both wet or dry for equally beautiful results. The shade looks stunning paired with Texture in the crease and Swiss Chocolate in the outer v, paired with a dewy liquid highlighter and berry lips it's the perfect dreamy Autumn/Winter combo. I already can't wait to sport this look again at the end of the year *insert all the excited emojis* 

What are your favourite Mac eyeshadows?

Love,
Cliona xx

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Monday, 1 May 2017

Shopping My Stash

Shopping my stash blog post

| Shopping My Stash! | 

2017 has been a good year for makeup releases, and we're not even halfway through the year yet. New product launches are dropping every day and my current wish list is a never-ending abyss. I'm weak when it comes to makeup and new releases always draw me in. However, in an attempt to resist a few of the new products and to save some money, I've decided to shop my stash to reignite the love for some old flames. 

The first product that caught my eye was The Pippa Palette {Review}. I haven't used this in a while mainly because I've hit pan on three of the shades as it's so well loved but I hate hitting pan on my favourite products - Anyone else? But there's a reason why I've hit pan: It's the perfect everyday palette containing 6 neutral matte eyeshadows, 1 blush, a highlight and contour shade so you have everything you need conveniently in one palette. I've placed this back in my everyday rotation and I can't wait to use it again!

I love my Mac lipsticks but a few of my staple shades haven't been getting the love they deserve recently so I've dug those out too. Creme Cup and Pure Pout are two of my favourite nude shades so I'm going to put away my Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect lipstick {review} so I can show them some love. Pure Pout is from the Mineralize Rich range so it's highly moisturising and the shade is a gorgeous neutral pink shade. Creme Cup is a much paler baby pink shade and similarly, the creme sheen formula is hydrating on the lips. 

Another product that has taken a back seat in my collection is my Nars Luster blush as I have been favouring the Nars Unfiltered Cheek palette recently. I rediscovered how pretty it was when I wrote my favourite blushers post and I've been reaching for it since. 

Another cheek product that I haven't used in awhile is the Sleek Face Form palette which houses a contour powder, a highlighter and a blush. The contour shade is perfect for providing a natural sculpt that's suitable for everyday wear and the blush and highlighter add just the right amount of radiance to my complexion. 

Have you rediscovered any old favourites recently?

Love,
Cliona xx


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