Five Favourite Things In The Month Of July

Sunday, 30 July 2017

July Favourites

| Five Favourite Things In The Month Of July! |

Another month has come and gone and it's time to reflect back on the month, taking pride in any big or small achievements and of course, rounding up my five favourite things from the month. This past month was brimming with cosy self-care evenings to relieve some unexpected stress that arose in July. I discovered some new things that became an essential part of these self-care evenings including a magical pair of pyjamas, a feel-good tv show, and a soothing cleanser. Without further ado, let's find out what I've been loving recently...

My Favourite Nars Products

Friday, 28 July 2017

My favourite Nars products

| My Favourite Nars Products! |

Every morning I revel in applying my makeup, it's my 10-15 minutes of relaxation before I start my day and I love going through my drawers choosing different products each day. We all have that one brand we tend to gravitate towards and for me, that brand is Nars. There isn't a day that's gone by where I haven't used at least one Nars product so today's post is dedicated to my favourite products from the brand.

The first Nars product I ever bought was their Sheer Glow Foundation and it's a nostalgic product for me that always brings back fond memories. Whenever I mention this foundation to people they're apprehensive about the coverage. The word 'sheer' is a fallacious term to describe the coverage of this foundation as I would describe it as medium coverage which is far from sheer, haha. It has a satin finish so it always makes my skin look healthy and the formula is great for my dry skin.

Another base favourite from Nars is the Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser. I've been reaching for this a lot recently as the lightweight formula and fresh dewy finish are perfect for the Summer months.

I love simple products that are quick and easy to use, and the Nars Eyeshadow Duos are perfect for that! I have the St-Paul-De-Vence duo which contains a warm matte brown shade alongside a rose gold shade. The two shadows compliment each other perfectly and they create an effortless minimal look that's suitable for my everyday makeup routine.  

Nars brand focus

The Nars Loaded palette {review} offers a great range of neutral shades housed in a neat little compact palette, making it ideal for traveling with or applying makeup on the go. The shades work well for all seasons and the formula of the shadows is excellent quality making them a dream to blend!

Another limited edition palette that Nars has released this year is the Unfiltered II Cheek Palette. The palette comprises of five exclusive blush shades plus a best-selling highlighter: Hot Sand. The highlighter is a gorgeous peachy shade that looks beautiful in the Summer months and the selection of blushers are wearable and there's one to suit every season and occasion.

My last favourite shouldn't come as a surprise because I talk about them all the time! Of course, my beloved lip pencils {collection} have to be mentioned here as they're one of my favourite lipstick formulas. The mattes are comfortable to wear and the formula is non-drying, whilst the satins are a lot creamier and I find them slightly nourishing. My standout shades are Sex Machine - a pinky mauve shade - and Iberico - a bright orange.

What's your favourite Nars product?

Cliona xx

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Top Five Essie Nail Polishes

Thursday, 27 July 2017

| Top 5 Essie Nail Polishes! | 

There's nothing I love more than an evening of self-care filled with back to back Gilmore Girls episodes, a steamy bubble bath, a large cup of tea, maybe a sweet treat or two and of course a little nail painting session. Since I've stopped biting my nails I've been doing everything I can to look after them so they can be strong and healthy. Painting them with my favourite Essie polishes during my self-care evenings has played a major role in enabling me to break the habit so for today's post I'll be sharing my top five shades.  

Tart Deco is a fun coral shade for the Summer months, although I'd probably still wear it all year round because it's such a cheerful colour! It's one of those magical shades that makes your fingers appear elongated as well as enhancing a tan.  

Peach Daiquiri is the latest addition to my Essie collection and this bright hot pink shade is the brightest statement hue I own. It has strong red undertones so in low lighting it practically looks red, so if you're looking for a more wearable hot pink shade then this might be for you. I could get away with one coat of this shade but two coats make the colour more vibrant. 

When I'm not feeling brave I reach for a more subdued nude option and my recent favourite has been Eternal Optimist. The nude pink hue is classy, sophisticated and elegant, and in fact, it would be a beautiful bridal colour. 

Lilacism has been a long time favourite of mine! The pastel lilac shade is my favourite Spring nail polish! I find the formula of this particular shade a little runnier than some of the others in my collection so I find that it doesn't last as long - I can usually wear it for three days before it starts to chip whereas some of the others in my collection can last for at least five days. However, the light pastel shade is easy to wear and suits my wardrobe colour palette.

A shade that can be worn all year long is In Stitches, a deep red-pink shade with brown undertones. The shade is quite muted so it's appropriate for work or school wear. The formula of this shade is spot on, non-streaky, opaque in one coat and the wear time is excellent.

Essie peach daiquiri

What are your favourite Essie polishes?

Cliona xx

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My Most Loved Summer Products

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Most loved Summer products

| My Most Loved Summer Products! |

Although I'm an Autumn baby and it's my favourite time of the year, there's something about Summer that I've grown to love this year. I used to really dislike Summer fashion and makeup but this year I've been trying to embrace it. I've incorporated an abundance of Summery products into my beauty routine so for today's post I'll be sharing my favourite Summer makeup and nail picks.

I love to wear lightweight bases in the Summer and I reach for my Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser a lot. This is a classic product in the beauty community and one that has been in my makeup collection for over two years - I'm on my third or fourth bottle of this and I never fail to repurchase it. It provides a fresh dewy finish, it has excellent coverage and it also has SPF 30, making it the ideal Summer base product.

To keep with the fresh, dewy theme I apply a little bit of the NYX Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam on to the tops of my cheekbones. The pretty pearlescent pink-toned hue adds a natural dewy glow for everyday wear. 

Max Factor bronzer

For a sunkissed glow, I usually opt for the new Max Factor bronzer. The warm golden shade boosts my complexion making it look warm, healthy and like I've just spent a few hours in the sun. It's perfect for perking up my white ghostly pale Irish skin *wink wink*

My complexion has also been looking healthy and radiant courtesy of Benefit's latest addition to the box powder family, Galifornia. This vibrant coral pink hue gilds the skin with a golden sheen as well as adding a pop of warm colour to the cheeks. It's the perfect shade for Summer!

Too Faced Sweet Peach palette

If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know that I recently added the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette to my collection. I've been using it a lot lately, so much so that I'm starting to prefer it over my Chocolate Bar palette. Sweet Peach has a more vast variety of shades to choose from such as pinks, purples, neutral beige shades, a bronze shade, a green shade as well as your standard neutral brown shades. You can create any type of look with this from a neutral look to a statement purple smokey eye. Most of the shades are perfect for the Spring/Summer months so it'll definitely be getting lots more use over the next few weeks!

A bright lip is the definition of Summer to me and my current favourite bright lipstick option is Mac Tropic Tonic, an orange-toned coral colour that will add a statement to your Summer makeup look. 

Essie is without a doubt my favourite nail polish brand - my love for the brand grows with each purchase and my zealous devotion deters me from using other brands most of the time. Tart Deco, a bright coral, is the ultimate Summer shade along with Peach Daiquiri which is a hot pink shade with red undertones. Both shades are fun, bright and the epitome of Summer!

What are your most loved Summer products?

Cliona xx

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Beauty Products I've Discovered In 2017 So Far

Friday, 21 July 2017

2017 Beauty Discoveries

| Beauty Products I've Discovered In 2017 So Far! |

It's no secret that I love trialing and testing new products, and one might say new launches are my weakness. We're in the seventh month of the year already and I've discovered some new products that recently launched onto the market as well as some products that have been around for a while that I've been meaning to try for ages. Let's chat about the products I've discovered in the first half of 2017....

For Christmas last year I got a voucher for Brown Thomas and I had my eye on a Charlotte Tilbury blush for a long time so I decided to spend it on that. I opted for the shade 'Sex On Fire' which is a gorgeous a deep mauve shade. It's more of a wintery option in my opinion but I'm already getting excited to pair it with some deep Autumnal hues in a few months! 

Another Charlotte Tilbury product that I couldn't resist was the Eyes To Mesmerise in Jean. The dreamy champagne hue is ideal for a quick swipe over the lids either on its own or with a matte brown in the crease. The creamy formula makes it easy to blend out and it provides a nice sheen to the lids, which is perfect for a fresh natural everyday look.

The bargain of the year {or even the century!} was the Bronze & Glow palette. This bad boy retails for €65 but thanks to the heads up from Francisca I managed to bag it at €36!! Inside the dreamy rose-gold packaging is the perfect bronzer and highlighter for everyday wear. 

2017 has certainly been the year of Charlotte Tilbury as I discovered yet another one of her beautiful products. I feel like I've had the Bitch Perfect lipstick {Review} for years because it has already become a classic staple in my makeup collection that I always gravitate towards. The warm peachy pink shade is easy to wear and I love the creamy satin formula.

Mac Double Gleam highlighter

I was searching through my archives recently for post inspiration and I realised that I've never spoken about the Mac Extra Dimension highlighter in Double Gleam and I don't know how I managed that because I'm loving it! I would describe it as a champagne shade with a white pearlescent undertone so I find that it looks a little bit paler on my skin tone than a traditional champagne shade but not quite as white as an icy white shade. It just sits somewhere in the middle. It has a gorgeous reflective finish that will add a statement to your makeup look.

I mentioned in last month's favourites that I stopped biting my nails and I've been treating myself to some new Essie polishes to keep me motivated to look after them. I picked up the shade In Stitches a few months ago before I stopped biting my nails but I've only started using it properly since June. It's a hard shade to describe, it's like a deep red-pink shade with a hint of brown. Another shade I picked up more recently is Eternal Optimist which is a beautiful nude pink shade.  

The Nars Unfiltered Cheek palette was my best purchase of the year so far! The palette has five different blush shades and one of their best-selling highlighters. Like all Nars blushers, the quality is great, they look beautiful on the skin and they wear well throughout the day. What I love about the palette is that it has a wide range of shades and finishes so you have something to suit every occasion, every makeup look and every season. 

I haven't tried too many new base products this year, I seem to be sticking to what I know in that department. However, I did purchase the L.A. Girl Pro Conceal which has been my most used concealer so far this year. It costs a mere €5.80 which is a pretty good price for an excellent concealer! It has a medium-full coverage, it's non-drying and it has lightweight creamy texture so I find that I need to set it well or it can cause slight creasing. But once I've set it correctly it lasts all day!

What products have you discovered in 2017?

Cliona xx 

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My Favourite Skincare Brands

Thursday, 20 July 2017

My favourite skincare brands

| My Favourite Skincare Brands! |

Skincare is an area of my beauty routine that I like to experiment with from time to time but for the most part, I tend to stick with the same products and brands. After years of trialing different products and various brands ranging from budget, to high-end, to more luxurious options, I've collected a little stash of products from my favourite brands that have withstood the test of time as I always come back to them again and again.

1) La Roche Posay // 
There's been at least one LRP product in my skincare routine for the past three years as the brand is catered to sensitive skin. I find all of their products gentle but effective, and a prime example of that is the Serozinc Spray. This Zinc Sulphate solution is the most gentle toner designed for oily/blemish-prone skin I've come across. The product soothes any inflamed spots and calms down the skin, helping it to recover.

Another longtime LRP favourite of mine is Effaclar Duo+, a blemish cream that targets spots, scarring, as well as unclogging pores. This is one of the best spot treatments because it doesn't dry out the spot, instead healing it over time and you also get other benefits from the product compared to a traditional spot treatment. 

2) Origins //
Origins is a brand that was immensely popular a few years ago but the hype surrounding the brand seems to have died down a little bit. However, it still remains to be a firm favourite in my routine. The first product I bought from them was the famous GinZing moisturiser {Review}. It has the most delicious orangey scent, it has a cooling light consistency and adds radiance to prevent a dull complexion.

 Another hydrating favourite from Origins includes the Drink Up 10 Minute Mask. This is a lifesaver for my dry flaky skin as it leaves my skin feeling soft and plump in just 10 minutes. It also has a gorgeous apricot scent making it a pleasure to use.  

Aesop skincare review

3) Aesop //
I just discovered Aesop at the start of this year but it's one of those brands that you instantly fall in love with. The Fabulous Face Oil is a luxurious oil that helps soothe irritated breakouts as well as hydrating the skin. It also has a calming herbaceous scent that helps me relax before bed.

The Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque {Review} is another product that helps combat breakouts. One of the main ingredients, primrose seed oil is a good source of fatty acids which are known to aid spot healing. The mask also draws out impurities, clarifying the skin without completely stripping the skin of its moisture.

4) Clinique //
Clinique is a renowned brand in the skincare industry for two particular products: Moisture Surge moisturiser and Take The Day Off cleansing balm. The former is hands down the best moisturiser I've tried! It packs the skin with hydration banishing dehydrated lines and dry flaky patches. My skin always feels as smooth as a baby's skin whenever I use this. It has a light non-greasy formula so I find that it works well underneath makeup.

The cleansing balm is very pricey but it's definitely worth the money in my opinion! It's the most effective product I've used for removing makeup and it also leaves the skin feeling soft and smooth so it's great for anyone with dry/dehydrated skin.

5) The Ordinary //
The Ordinary is the hot topic in the blogging community at the moment and with good reason! This innovative brand provides highly coveted skincare ingredients at an affordable price. The products are simple and fuss-free but they are extremely effective at carrying out their functions. I highly recommend the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 which helps hydrate the skin and I also recommend the 100% organic cold-pressed rose hip seed oil. It's rich in skin loving nutrients such as antioxidants, Pro-vitamin A, and essential fatty acids to help restore the skin, reduce acne scars, hydrate the skin as well as addressing many other skin concerns.

What are your favourite skincare brands?

Cliona xx

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Three To Try From Hourglass

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Three to try from Hourglass

| Three To Try From Hourglass! |

Hourglass was one of those brands I had wanted to try for years but the hefty price tag of the products kept putting me off. However, rewind to last Autumn when the trees were full with an abundance of rich golden and burgundy coloured leaves, and I was kindly gifted my first Hourglass product for my 19th birthday. However, once you try one Hourglass product it all goes downhill from there for your bank account but it's 100% worth it! For today's post, I'm sharing three Hourglass products that have become staples in my makeup bag...

Last year's holiday palette, Surreal Light was truly remarkable with five powders housed in a stunning marble exterior palette. The powders are of utmost quality and the light reflecting particles that provide a soft lit-from-within glow are what make them so unique. The palette contains a bronzer, 2 blushers, a highlighter and a setting powder so you have everything you need for your complexion in one handy palette. The blushers provide a soft sheen to the skin, the bronzer adds a subtle warm sunkissed glow to the skin whilst the powder adds a healthy radiance all over as well as setting concealer and foundation so it doesn't slip n' slide throughout the day.

I fell in love with the quality of the powders in the palette so much that I "needed" to try their full-sized blushers. I decided to try the original Ambient Lighting blush but the new Ambient Strobe Lighting blush is also calling my name *insert winking emoji* I opted for the shade Diffused Heat which is a beautiful coral pink shade. I've been reaching for it a lot recently because it's one of those shades that perks up the skin and adds radiance, making my skin look healthy and glowy as if I've been soaking up Vitamin D in the sun even though my reality is grey rainy Ireland. 

One of the 2017 launches from Hourglass is their Girl Lip Stylos and I had heard good things about them so I was excited to try them myself. I have the shade 'Seeker', a rosy pink hue with a creamy formula that hydrates the lips. I have a feeling this will be a makeup bag favourite in the colder months too!

What's your favourite Hourglass product?

Cliona xx

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Five Favourite Things In The Month Of June

Saturday, 8 July 2017

June Favourites

| Five Favourite Things In The Month Of June! |

We're another month further into the Summer and June was certainly a scorcher of a month with temperatures hitting the 30's. This month's top five picks saw me through what felt like the Sahara desert temperatures, *insert laughing emoji* including some new Summery makeup discoveries, a pair of shorts that prevented me from melting like a snowman, a new self-care activity and some fun Essie shades.....

Nars Loaded Eyeshadow Palette

Friday, 7 July 2017

Nars loaded eyeshadow palette

| Nars Loaded Eyeshadow Palette! | 

Forget the year of the Rooster, it's clearly the year of Nars palettes with the well-known brand dropping new palettes onto the market practically every month. Firstly, we were introduced to the Unfiltered Cheek palettes, then the Banc De Sable highlighter palette was released exclusively to Sephora (I definitely cried over that) and the Bord De Plage palette just launched on Space NK last Friday. But over the last few weeks, the Loaded Eyeshadow palette has been in the spotlight.

As you can see this palette is a neutral lover's dream as the dreamy gold packaging houses 12 neutral shadows. There's a good mix of matte and shimmer shades as well as light and dark shades, thus making it easy peasy to create any day to night look. What I love about the palette is that despite it being an LE Summer collection, the palette is catered to both the warmer and cooler months of the year. The addition of the light peachy shade and yellow gold are ideal for creating light and airy Summer looks but the deeper bronze shades and rust/burnt oranges are quintessential A/W hues. 

Nars loaded palette review

I've heard that a couple of Nars LE palettes haven't been on par with their eyeshadow duos in terms of quality but I'm happy to report the quality of this palette is excellent. The matte shades feel smooth whilst the satin and shimmer shades have that silky soft texture, making them very easy to blend. The pigmentation of the shadows is also spot on, the transition shades aren't overly pigmented so it's easy to blend them out. 

There was one minor thing about the palette that did kind of annoy me; Montaillou is a rich dark chocolate brown shade but it's so dark that when it's on the eyes it looks practically black, so to me it doesn't really make sense to have a black shade in the palette as well. Beaumaris and Versailles also looked slightly similar on my eyes. It's a minor complaint to be fair but when I've spent €55 on a palette I expect each shade to be different from each other. 

But despite that, it's a great palette and one I've been reaching for a lot! To be honest I would repurchase it just for the shade Privilege which is the yellow gold shade. It's a really unique shade and I don't own anything like it in my collection. It's definitely the standout shade in the palette for me!

Have you tried any Nars palettes?

Cliona xx

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New Makeup Products I've Been Loving Recently

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Feel Unique & Space NK Haul

| New Makeup Products I've Been Loving Recently! |

Sales and offers are both a blessing and a curse; You save a few pennies but realistically we all probably spend more in the long run during sale season *insert monkey with his hands over his eyes emoji* A few weeks ago one of my favourite online beauty stores Feel Unique were having a 10% off sale and as a self-professed beauty enthusiast I just couldn't resist saving a few pennies on some items I'd been coveting for awhile. The following weekend Space NK was offering double points with every purchase so I decided to avail of the offer and pick up a few bits. I've been putting all of the products to the test for the past few weeks and I thought I'd share how I'm getting on with them....

My first Feel Unique bargain was Benefit Galifornia, a recent launch that I had been eyeing up for a few months. The Benefit box powders are €4 cheaper on Feel Unique than anywhere else but it was great to get an extra 10% off! This blush is definitely worth the hype it's been receiving! Like all Benefit's blushes, the formula is incredible, the beautifully designed packaging is definitely the best we've seen from them and the vibrant pink hue inside is the perfect Summer blush shade. And the sweet delicious scent evokes Summer memories, which is exactly what we need to get us through these cold rainy days we've been having.

Benefit Galifornia

Over the past year or so I've developed a love for Clinique skincare products, the Moisture Surge moisturiser {review} and Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm are my daily essentials. Seeing as I love their skincare so much I thought I'd try their makeup and their Clinique Pop Matte Lip Colour lipsticks have received high praise over the years. I opted for the shade Peony Pop which is a soft pink hue and even though it has a matte formula it's very comfortable to wear, and the formula doesn't wear down until I eat a meal.

Recently Tanya Burr added a couple of new products to her line and I just couldn't resist the cute embossed pineapples on the new My Paradise Eyeshadow Quad. The quad contains a nice complement of shades including a pretty champagne shade, a coppery shade, a bronzey rose gold shade as well as a matte brown. The formula is excellent for the price and the shadows are easy enough to work with.
The pigmentation isn't the best but I actually think that works well for the target market of the palette. I would say that it's aimed at young girls starting out with makeup as well as more experienced makeup users that want a soft easy everyday look. Because the pigmentation isn't intense you can create a soft neutral look with this palette in a few simple steps, making it a lifesaver for early mornings!

Feel Unique & Space NK haul

Becca is fast becoming one of my favourite brands and their new Sunlit bronzers were too pretty to resist. As a pale Irish girl, it can be hard to find a warm golden bronzer that doesn't look muddy or straight up orange on my skin. But I've finally found one perfect for me! The lightest shade in the range, Bali Sands is a warm bronzer with subtle golden shimmer particles that provides the perfect sunkissed glow for Summer. 

For my second Space NK purchase, I bought my first Hourglass blush. I've tried the formula of their blushes in the Surreal Light palette {which I love!}  so I decided to finally get a full-size blush! I chose Diffused Heat which is a pretty pink coral shade that provides the most beautiful sheen to the skin. I love the formula of these blushes, they apply beautifully, they make me look so healthy and you can also achieve a subtle wash of colour but you can also build the colour up which is ideal for those of us with pale skin.

Another new Hourglass product I've been loving is the Girl Lip Stylo in the shade 'Seeker'. This rosy pink shade has a creme sheen finish and is formulated with shea butter, jojoba, mimosa and sunflower seed which hydrates the lips and provides a sheen making the lips look plump. Despite the fact that it's a creamy formula, the pigmentation of this particular shade is rich so it lasts fairly well on the lips. I've only ever had to reapply it once during the day so it's a good low maintenance lipstick. 

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What products have you been trialling recently?

Cliona xx

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