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Friday, 28 July 2017

Ivory Foundations VS Ivory Paint Shades!



As a Graphic Designer and make up enthusiast (what gave it away lol) I've always had a sneaking suspicion that when it comes to the names of foundation shades, well they are not always entirely accurate.

Take the shade "Ivory" for example. When buying this in a decorating store for our walls, what we expect is something plain and off-white that is ideal for a calm neutral space. However in the drugstore, Ivory comes out quite a bit different and that's before it's even had time to oxidize.



I wanted to test the theory for myself, so using a canvas I painted Dulux paint in "Ivory" along with the Maybelline Fit me Foundation shade 100 Warm Ivory, Barry M Flawless Matt Finish Foundation in LF1 Ivory and Collection Naturally Matt foundation in the shade 2 Ivory. Essentially, all four shades I purchased were called Ivory - therefore they should all pretty much be the same right?!

Erm....





The results of this experiment show what us pale girls have to put up with when buying foundations, unless we go to specialist brands or use a mixer product. Equally, I know many brands don't go near deep enough so on both sides of the spectrum there is clearly work to be done, namely actual research on ultra fair and deep skin tones.

Speaking on the whole as a pale person with naturally Irish skin given to me by my Father's side of the family, I honestly get really annoyed at how brands always bring out new contour palettes, lip kits, highlighters etc... but never go back to their original line to make it more inclusive.

Granted, pale skin isn't in. I know everyone loves a tan and I'm fine with that. I just want to be able to express who I am too through the make-up I wear. Why is this such a scary thing for brands, and why must they get it so horribly wrong?

Here are the swatches applied onto my arm. Whilst the Maybelline wasn't too far off, overall you can see the issue here especially when my arm is also the colour of my neck so you can imagine the tide mark issues if I don't mix the colour before application and blend well. Though, why should I have to do this in the first place in 2017, when even McDonald's has table service these days and we are coming up with new medical breakthroughs all the time yet I still can't get a foundation to match....




No matter your skintone, let me know your foundation colour matching struggles! You can also see the video I made for this post here.

Monday, 10 July 2017

My Charlotte Tilbury Meadowhall Make-Over





For my Birthday this year I treated myself to a bottle of Good Genes and a makeover at Charlotte Tilbury at their Meadowhall Counter, having called up to book the week before.

I had tried a CT lipstick before and of course heard everyone rave about the line as a whole, but genuinely didn't know what to expect as I hadn't been for a proper sit down makeover before other than having a foundation or lipstick tried on me quickly by the assistant. Plus, CT counters are a new revelation and reviews online are few and far between.

Straight away I was blown away by how beautiful the counter was and infact no pictures can really do it justice. It was gold, well lit, beautifully clean and well... absolutely full of wondrous products you just couldn't take your eyes off!

I had the lovely Autumn do my make-up, and I chose the
Ingénue which suprised me as after looking at all 10 looks online I was set on the Dolce Vita, though when I saw the products in person displayed next to each look the Ingénue seemed too beautiful not too! Though Autumn let me customise by including a shade from the Dolce Vita palette, which I also bought as the £35 cost of the makeover is redeemable against CT products.

The make-over lasted a whopping 90 minutes, which I was not expecting at all as other brands such as Mac state theirs take around 30-60 minutes with a far higher cost for the latter than what I paid for 90 minutes.

The area where you have your make-up done is at the back of the counter and slightly more secluded, which felt more comfortable as there is nothing worse than feeling you are on display especially with no makeup on! Each person gets their own little set-up with a brush set and all the products from their look, and a giant mirror infront so you can learn about the application techniques in real time. Even though we were in one of the busiest shopping centers in Europe, the experience still felt private and relaxed.

I couldn't fault any of the make-up application and was fascinated by how she applied my mascara with my eyes completely shut throughout... (you learn something new everyday!) though it's worth keeping in mind it's a very talkative makeover, with each product being thoroughly explained as opposed to you just sitting there.





I felt a little bad for only spending £4 to be able to purchase the Dolce Vita palette at £39 as she had put alot of effort into explaining each product, and I guess the expectation is that you will part with some serious cash. In all honestly I was overwhelmed with how nice every single product was from the brushes to the skincare and the make-up, so felt I wanted some more time to decide so I could return next time to buy a couple more items.

Overall it was one of the best (if not the best) beauty experience I've ever had. They treat each customer like royalty, and even though they are all quite young they all speak with such respect and kindness which is rare in beauty halls these days.

Having someone else re-imagine your make-up is an invaluable experience and can really help you shake up your look, especially if you always do the same thing everyday and fancy a change.

Here is my make-up a whopping 9 hours after application (including a two hour stifling hot crowded train ride home!):





I thoroughly recommend the Charlotte Tilbury experience and I'm so glad I chose that brand over others who might not have made me feel so special, on what was my day to be pampered (no excuse for the other 364 days!...)


If you've been or are thinking of going I'd love to know your thoughts!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate for Night


If you saw my recent May Favourites over on my channel, you will see I mentioned the Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate for Night (though, hopefully you got that far into the video... I do tend to waffle on a bit!!)


I'm a massive fan of facial oils as part of my everyday skincare routine, though I know many people are scared of oils as a whole. There is a massive different between synthetic mineral oils which clog pores and cause breakouts, and the natural plant based oils, which are actually incredibly beneficial to the skin.

I love a good facial oil either as a tiny drop mixed into my moisturiser for day or massaged intensely over my skin at night, incorporating deep lymphatic drainage whilst I'm at it.

The Liz Earle Superskin is the latest oil I have tried and I purchased the 10ml rollerball on a recent trip to Meadowhall.

With wonderful ingredients such as Rosehip Oil, Argan Oil, Neroli and Vitamin E it's one of the most plant-packed oils you can find, especially in somewhere such as Boots.

Over the last few weeks not only have I been surprised by how much a little goes a long way (I joked with the woman on the counter it would only last me a week!), but I've noticed my skin has felt softer and stubborn scarring has even started to fade.

I also like the fact that unlike brands such as Vintner's Daughter, Liz Earle give you a choice of 3 sizes to suit all budgets and even purposes such as travel. It can be daunting paying over the odds for an oil you haven't tried before, so being able to start small is a winner for me.

I'd recommend this product for anyone with dry skin, or equally those looking to brighten up their complexion. It hasn't caused any breakouts and can be used with a light moisturiser if you so wish, though is equally rich on it's own.

Top tip: For super dry skin, buff thick cucumber slices into the skin, let it dry and follow with hydraluron. Follow up with the Superskin oil mixed in with Embryolisse. Add in your eye and neck cream and feel the difference!

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Kiehl's Ultra Light SPF 50 Review


It has long been known that besides SPF being a daily essential to protect against sunburn, age spots, premature ageing and even some and skin cancers, it's also the best anti-aging secret on the market to future-proof our skin.

Did you also know that the paler you are naturally, the more likely you are to suffer the above effects? This is why everyone, but especially us fairer folk must protect our skin from the incredibly harmful effects of sun exposure especially if this is something we encounter on a daily basis.

I've been testing Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense with SPF 50 for the last few weeks, after purchasing it for £36 on a recent shopping trip.

Granted, it's not the cheapest SPF on the market and my worry is that younger beauty buyers would much rather spend the same on an Urban Decay palette or a few Mac Lipsticks, rather than an SPF which let's face it is never going to be a "cool" product in comparison.

That said, I hope more of you will start taking skin protection more seriously, and this product is a fantastic place to start. It's lightweight, sits great under make-up or on it's own with no sticky residue, peeling or white sheen left on the face. Infact it pretty much keeps itself invisible yet genuinely does a great job at protecting the skin.

It layers well against other products though I would still use a separate moisturiser especially if you have dry skin. It hasn't broken my skin out either or irritated it - both of which are massive pluses!

Check it out here on Kiehl's website and let me know if you buy it and how you get on with it. For me, I'm really glad to have this in my daily routine and I can't recommend it enough.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Introducing Mon Guerlain


Today not only is it the re-launch of my blog with a brand new theme (did you notice?!) but also the launch of a brand new perfume by Guerlain, entitled Mon Guerlain.

I will be working to promote this new fragrance with my beauty agency which is being rolled out across stores Worldwide. I recieved a 50ml bottle as a thankyou for attending a training session for the promotion and this is the first time I've ever owned a beauty product that has not been released yet! Remember I am only a small-time blogger and youtuber and companies only send such items to the big guns.... well it's their loss because this is an incredible smelling product which I am more than happy to share with you all!

It has notes of Carla Lavender, Sambac Jasmine and Tahitian vanilla to name but a few. I can't think of a past perfume it compares to exactly, although fans of La Vie Est La Belle by Lancome and Blooming Bouquet by Dior will not be disappointed.

Most unusually, it has a light and fresh smell which has incredible staying power... this is never the case for such fragrances which typically fade out quite quickly and leave you reapplying within the hour. One spray on the blotter card in the training room filled my whole house with the smell before I had even unboxed the scent for myself.

Angelia Jolie is the face of the fragrance and is donating her entire fee to charity, so it's nice to know that her participation in this campaign will benefit those most in need in our World.

Typically Angelina does not front such campaigns and is not associated with any other brand or product, however it is the personal association she has and the memories of her Mother Marcheline using Guerlain when Angelina was a child, which made her want to be a part of it.

Marcheline used to have a powder by Guerlain which Angelina and her Brother like many children do, used to play with. It smelled of Lavender and used to comfort Angelina as the smell reminded her of Marcheline. One day, Marcheline gave Angelina the powder to take with her but being the busy traveler she is Angelina lost it.

During the making of Mon Guerlain, the company went into the archives and found a remaining powder identical to the one Angelina was given by her Mother. Angelina broke down upon receiving it and said it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her.

Mon Guerlain launches worldwide on March 1st 2017 so be sure to head instore during the month when we will be on hand to demonstrate and give out testers. If you do try it, let me know what you think!

You can also head over to my channel to see the unboxing!

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The Christmas 2016 Guide To Fragrance (Part 1 - Men's)

Every Christmas it has become my tradition to work in Fragrance. Some of the stores I have worked include Boots, Debenhams, Tesco (we had Tom Ford I'll have you know!), House of Fraser and The Perfume Shop. The brands this encompasses are endless but every year I notice a similar trend as to what is popular, and what I manage to persuade people to buy when I think something that little bit different is actually better suited than the number one seller.

Here I will let you know the most popular fragrances and aftershaves I sell, as well as letting you in on some of my more unusual favourites not to be overlooked!

For this first post however we are concentrating on the men!


Paco Rabanne 1 Million


Regardless of what you think of this extremely popular Mens fragrance (also Lady Million is equally as popular!) there is no getting away from the fact that every year my customers are frantically calling the store to check if I have any left in the cabinet before making there way in after visiting every other store in the county who have sold out. When they make their way in it's like looking at the finish line of the London marathon. Infact I even point them in the direction of the free mince pies to get their blood sugars back to normal, after their breathless Yoda-like voice calls out "Did I make it in time?!" - Yes, it's that bad!

Now, where was I... Well, 1 million is warm and spicy with notes of citrus and leather. Of course it's also gold which is pretty much fool proof for anyone at Christmas! Just be aware if you buy it, it's extremely popular which can be a double edged sword if every bloke at work smells exactly the same. Unless you are copping off with one of them behind his back? In which case um let's swiftly move on!

Paco Rabanne Invictus



There is equally no escaping Invictus which is the one people buy when they are either fed up of the above or another relative has got in there first - and believe me I witness the squabbles every year!

Invictus is a little more sophisticated from the glaring gold of 1 million, and is more of a woody scent with notes of grapefruit and patchouli.  Ideal for men in their early 20's-30's in particular those are just starting to get into aftershave after leaving their Lynx phase behind them.

Hugo Boss Bottled


Don't think I'm meant to say this but I'm just gonna put it out there - I got really fed up of re-stocking this when I worked at House of Fraser Belfast.

It just sells with pretty much no effort. It's one of those that people buy year on year without even questioning changing up. The bottled is extremely popular and has notes of apple and citrus fruits with bass notes of sandalwood and cedarwood. You can't really argue with something which gives me backache year on year, can you?!

Versace Pour Homme



Now whilst I can't promise you any encounters with a blonde who must surely be freezing after leaving her dress at home for the office Christmas party, I can guarantee you a scent which is clean and manly and rather unexpected.

The Versace fragrances don't have the glitzy tv ads and they don't scream and shout with bright packaging, however they are really divine and yet so often overlooked. I was selling this last Christmas and we went from having too much stock to selling out very quickly, just for spraying it on a tester card alongside firm favourites and getting people to smell it.

Pour Homme was also very popular with our store manager who kept coming for a top up on his wrist everytime he did a loop of our section! I highly recommend if you want something a little less mainstream but equally gorgeous.

Tom Ford Black Orchid



How can any fragrance guide be complete without a bit of Tom Ford?! Black Orchid is generally considered a Unisex fragrance. It's quite strong, powerful and imposing which I guess is exactly what you'd want from paying for such a luxury item.

It's notes include Black Truffle, Black Orchid, Black Plum, Noir Gourmand Accord and Patchouli. I once owned this myself and found it lasted very long on scarves which is one of my favourite ways to wear winter fragrances.

Friday, 25 November 2016

My Skincare Routine (Updated!)





I realised it's been literally YEARS since I did any kind of skincare routine on my blog or channel. Infact, I looked at my last skincare post on here from about 4 years ago and cringed so badly! Thankfully things have changed for the better especially since discovering Caroline Hirons and meeting her in the time that has past since that post.


My skin has long been a source of self consciousness for me as it has long been blemish prone whilst being very dry at the same time. Thanks to learning about how to put together a routine and the types of products to use (and avoid!) things have gotten much better and I can now wear less makeup without worrying.

Garnier Micellar Water



I use this to remove makeup to avoid wasting my cleanser and as a brush cleaner. I remove with a warm face cloth and watch the Mrs Doubtfire-eqsue imprint appear on the cloth!

Emma Hardie Amazing Face Cleanser



One thing is for certain, you better be bloody sure your product really is amazing before printing it on the packaging! EH doesn't disappoint and this is a wonderful luxurious balm cleanser which is perfect for the winter weather.

I like to let this sit on my skin for a few minutes before removing which is great when my skin is feeling dry due to central heating. I know it's been around a while on the Blogger circuit but that doesn't mean it's any less effective than the newer crazes. Caroline Hirons personally recommended it to me when we met back in 2015 and she was spot on.

Foaming cleansers are an absolute no-no for me. Oil and balm are where it's at!

Nip & Fab Pads



These are my toner stage and after trying a few other acid pad brands I find these work the most effectively. I use the night version which I find helps keep my skin clear yet aren't harsh or stripping at the same time either.

I like to sprinkle on a few drops of Pixi Glow Tonic so that I am getting the best of both Worlds, without using Glow Tonic up too quickly as I used to do when I used traditional cotton pads. I now only buy Glow Tonic around once or twice a year yet use it everyday!

Hydraluron



One of only two products to survive my original skincare list! This is a product which can hold 1,000 times it's weight in water. It plumps your skin full of hyaluronic acid and it pefect in between a toner and your other serums and or moisturiser.

I've tried competitor versions but I always return to this and it's very noticeable when I run out as my skin doesn't feel as supple or hydrated. It's often on 3 for 2 at Boots so I always stock up when it is! An absolute must to slip into your routine if you suffer from any dryness or dehydration.

Sunday Riley Good Genes


It wouldn't surprise me one bit that if the Hollywood Walk of Fame was opened up to skincare this would be first on the list. I just can't even begin to think of adjectives to tell you what this has done for my skin and in turn my confidence, but let me tell you it's the most incredible thing that even gets me compliments of total strangers.... yes it's that good!

A lactic acid treatment for when you need your skin to wow and amaze. So good I often ditch foundation when I have this on and this is coming from someone who has had a lifelong struggle with skin issues and confidence as a result. I'm about to finish up my 3rd bottle of this and I have no regrets!

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Light Lotion



Anything Aveda you just have to love, I'm going to be honest! Whether you are visiting their salon or trying out their skincare everything is wonderful and offers something that little bit different to your typical drugstore brands.

Unlike most moisturisers this comes in a huge bottle that will take you months if not over a year to work through. Works brilliantly as a top up if you are feeling particularly dry or find your current moisturiser doesn't work deeply enough.

Medyskin Vitamin C Oil


This is a facial oil perfect for anyone with dull skin and pigmentation issues. I have alot of scarring from past breakouts, and being pale doesn't help! This is a product that is affordable yet really works to help combat unwanted marks on the skin and also hydrates well too.

I like to drench my skin in this at night and add a tiny drop in with my moisturiser for daytime use without looking greasy. A fabulous find from the skincare aisles of TK Maxx!

Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentrate




Mine wasn't in the best shape for photographing having being squeezed to death, but that's only because I love it so!

I first discovered this moisturiser after Pixiwoo used in their videos and I have to agree it's fantastic under makeup. It doesn't peel or irritate or make foundation slide off the face. It's one of those reliable staples everyone should own in their collection.

Kiehl's Avocado Eye Cream



Everyone needs an eye cream and with me being pale this is no exception as us fairer folk are more prone to premature ageing including fine lines around the eye area so every drop of hydration helps! 

This would make for a great starter eye cream for those not ready for "anti-ageing" yet still want to protect and have something which will sit well under makeup too.

P.S: There are a few more products to mention but I will save these for a separate post!