Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Naked Smoky Launch

One of the biggest beauty launches this year for beauty bloggers and the general public alike is the latest in the iconic Naked palettes, a serious cult beauty product, the Naked Smoky by Urban Decay. I've never owned a Naked palette before, much as I wanted number three, but I've always admired them and borrowed other people's. I loved the sneak peek I got a couple weeks ago but after seeing the Naked Smoky in person, I'm kind of a goner. It's as lovely as people say. Lovelier, in fact.

Despite the emphasis on smokiness, it's still a Naked palette and there are plenty of wearable nude shades in there. In particular, lots of pretty shimmery shades in lighter colours that anyone could wear at any time of day.

Those smoky shades that the palette is named for, though, are very much present. The centre of the palette is a mixture of grey, black, brown and purplish charcoal tones that make my teenaged Punk self weep for joy. As you'll see from the pictures, I swatched away and couldn't get over how pigmented and pretty every shade was. My swatching was so thorough, in fact, that you may see my arm on other blogs as I garnered a wee bit of attention with my commitment to testing the colours out!

The brush is one of the best parts to me, it looks perfect for blending out or precision and just feels nice in the hand, well-balanced. The packaging is also a bonus. Straying from the previous palettes a little, it's in a much sturdier plastic case that appeals to my clumsy soul and is also just super-pretty.

Is it love, then? It's too soon to tell but it's certainly infatuation!

The palette launches on the 6th of August and retail at €46. Debenhams are even opening at 8am on the day so that people can get their hands on it before work as smaller counters are expected to sell out before the end of the day. Larger counters will probably be okay until the weekend but bear in mind that 8,000 people in Ireland alone have already placed their names on waiting list and stocks have sold out twice so far in the US.

Madness!

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

REVIEW: WaterWipes + 12 Month Supply Giveaway!

A close friend was staying over a few months ago after the birthday party of another one of our friends and when we got back to my house, she asked if I had a make-up wipe. I passed one to her and we sat in silence on my bed as we removed mascara and eyeliner, eyeshadow and blush, lipstick and base.

"What are these things?!"

I looked around with a smug smile, "WaterWipes."

"They're amazing - they don't sting or anything."

"I know," I nodded sagely.

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WaterWipes are kind of everywhere these days. I mean, if you haven't heard of them, where have you been?

But if you haven't heard of them before, let me introduce you, as I did that friend. WaterWipes are an Irish-made cleansing wipe which can be used on very sensitive skin. As the name might suggest, water is the main ingredient, accounting for 99.9% of the product. The other 0.1% is grapefruit seed extract which is a natural antimircobial agent and has skin conditioning and moisturising benefits. Therefore, all the ingredients are natural and gentle and very kind to the skin.

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I only have experience of it as a facial cleansing wipe, though it can used as a baby wipe as well, and it is the only wipe I would ever recommend. You're still gonna need to go in for a deeper cleanse afterwards (no wipe is that good!) on a day-to-day basis but these are perfect for getting off the first, visible layer of make-up. For festivals, they would be a dream, and won't absolutely wreck your skin when you're forced to rely on them for a couple days unlike pretty much every other wipe out there.

There's no stingy, tingling feeling after you use them, no tightness and no chemical residue left over after use and you genuinely feel refreshed - rather than like your skin has been stripped away.

As a step in your skincare routine, I can't recommend them highly enough - though I would never suggest relying on them alone.

But here's the best part of all this, I have a 12 month supply to give away! Enter through Rafflecopter below! You have until next week, the 5th of August 2015 at 12:00AM. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Monday, 27 July 2015

15 Years of Armani Beauty + AW15 Launches

Last week I got to spend time going through the Armani Beauty AW15 launches and having them applied on my face by Thoa Tran, one of their head MUAs and all-around lovely person. These products are particularly special this time around as it is also the 15 year celebration of the brand!

Based on the solar eclipse, the Eclipse collection for AW15 is inspired by sun, shadows, darkness and light. This can be seen literally reflected in the Eclipse palette which is champagne with bronze pearls. In addition, the collection has 3 nail colours, 4 liners, 4 eyeshadows (in liquid form), 2 brow shades and a navy mascara.

All of the colours are rich, deep, warm and complex but still remain a little adventurous and playful. The liners, in particular, with a gold shade that will be perfect for Christmas parties and festivals alike and a gorgeous midnight blue that has my name written all over it. The eye tint shadows, as well, are stunning. In fact, they need to be swatched as their appearance as seen in the packaging doesn't even hint at how gorgeous they are! Rarely are my swatches so distinct, pigmented or pretty. Check them out below and you'll be dying for them! The orange is surprisingly wearable and Thoa mixed it with the gold to wonderful effect on my lids.

It's also 15 years of the Luminous Silk foundation which was the first product launched by the brand. The formula remains a tightly-guarded secret which other companies try, and fail, to replicate constantly. It also remains a best-seller, fifteen years on, which says a lot.

If you're looking for make-up with colour in a very adult, sophisticated way that manages to stay fun for AW, keep an eye out for the collection! Also, keep an eye out for the series of 15 Armani Artistry videos on Youtube, celebrating the brand's birthday and giving you insider make-up tips and hacks!

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(Thanks to Thoa for helping me focus my camera, doing my make-up, the pep talk and staying late to fit me in!)


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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Steal Alexa Chung's look at BT2 - Alexa Chung x AG

Launching today exclusively to BT2 in Ireland, Alexa Chung's second collection for AG means that it's easier than ever to try and incorporate a bit of her effortlessly cool style into your own wardrobe. Expanding in size and vision, the collection moves on from a selection of denim wardrobe essentials to something more conceptual. Her vision was of a girl gang (always bodes well), roaming the desert.

With a range of textures from suede to corduroy to denim and a scope of boyish to feminine, it's very essentially Alexa - a little bit sixties style icons with a very contemporary twist while always looking chic but never too try-hard.

Outerwear has also now been introduced with pieces such as the black suede and accent embroidery Walker coat. These are the perfect items for tossing on over an outfit to immediately elevate the whole thing.

As I said, the collection is just launching today so be sure to pop in and have a goo...just try not to bankrupt yourself...

Alexa Chung for AG Coat €1550
Alexa fro AG coat €1550

Alexa Chung for AG Romper €430
Alexa for AG Romper €430

Alexa Chung for AG Skirt €1120, Blouse €320
Alexa for AG skirt €1120, blouse €320

(Images courtesy of Brown Thomas)

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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Relaunch of Flormar in Ireland!

A professional make-up brand at highstreet prices - sounds way too good to be true, right?

And yet, it's a reality! Flormar is an Italian make-up brand that used to be for sale in Ireland and which is now being relaunched into the Irish market. Prices range from €2.95 to €12.95 so it's some seriously affordable quality.

By the end of September, it will be stocked in pharmacies all over the country and there will be a dedicated standalone store established at a location in Dublin which has yet to be decided. So, basically, it's going to be rather widely available all around Ireland.

At the launch, we were given a demonstration of the products by MUA, Leonard Daly, showcasing some of his favourites. He notes the bronzer, baked blushes (a dupe for a very popular, more expensive professional brand), BB cream and lipsticks as standout stars from the brand.

We were also given some things to take away and try out so I'll report back on anything I dig later. If you're interested in any particular product and want to know more, comment below and I'll be sure to mention it!

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