Tag Archives: Beauty

Masque Over Me

illamasquaOooo I do love trying out a new make up brand! I was vey, vey excited a few months back when I heard that Illamasqua was launching in BT2. Illamasqua is make up that’s definitely not for the faint hearted! It’s for girls [and brave boys!] who love a bit of drama, something a bit risque, something quite unique and who demand bloody good quality in their make up! Now, I mentioned drama and Illamasqua is all about the dramatic. Once you go onto the website, you’ll be under no illusion that this is more than ‘mere’ make up for the masses, it’s ‘Showtime Make Up’. Taking inspiration from the ‘dark and illicit club scene of the 1920’s.. and members of the alternative scene for whom self expression was paramount.. it also combines a rich heritage in make up for Film & TV’.

What I do love is that each range makes a fierce statement, for instance ‘Bite – for lips that are intense and arresting.. lips that speak volumes’; ‘Scratch – for nails that say you are in control’; ‘Pierce – for eyes that reveal the inner person.. expressive yet mysterious’. And the website is just stunning and there is so much info on it! Everything from the full range of products and accessories to a blog section, latest news, loads of video tutorials and how to’s and even the biogs of the Art Team are interesting.

But what’s the make up actually like?! Well, colourful is one way to describe it. Deliciously inviting is another! All lined up on a solid black counter, their twinkly, shimmery hues just begging to be picked up and slathered on… but I digress. My first purchase of Illamasqua was a lipstick and a lip gloss. The lipstick is ‘Underworld’, a fabulously rich, jewel colour with a slight bluey tint – I get many compliments on this lipstick, which lasts and lasts by the way and it really makes a statement. I also bought ‘Indulge’ part of the ‘Intense Lipgloss’ range which while creamy is shiny, there’s a bit of texture to it so you can wear it on its own. There’s also a range of more sheer lipglosses but you will get more colour in the ‘Intense’ range.

dystopia paletteMore recently, I purchased from the latest range, Dystopia. the 4-colour palette in purple is right up my street! The white base has a hint of glitter and shimmer, as does the black shading eyeshadow. The purples are matt and very much stand alone colours if you’re more into block colours on your eyes, which I am but as you would expect, work great together as well. Again, the staying power is great, you won’t get any budging of this stuff until you, eh, actually remember to take it off!

I also bought ‘Explode’, an unusual sheer lipgloss that is a bright pinky colour on its own but it’s designed to add depth over any lipstick or gloss, which it duly does – a dab in the centre of your lips will add a new dimension to any colour!

explode lip gloss

Priced in the MAC range, with the palette above costing €35 and lipsticks and lip glosses under €20, Illamasqua is available at BT2 on Grafton St and for online purchasing here.

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Impulse Purchase

impulse, romantic sparkThis took me back. Remember when you were a teenager and started wearing deodourant? You had to slip it into the trolly in the supermarket when in Dunnes or Quinnsworth when your Dad had decided to do the weekly shop. And then there was always ‘posh’ cans of Impulse on the supermarket shelf beside the deodourant; Impulse being a body spray that technically you didn’t need but someone in your class always used it and was the same wan that was allowed use her Mom’s very grown up perfume as well, as opposed to the one bottle of Anais Anais you got from a very progressive Aunt at Christmas that you’d been ‘saving’ to use until you were allowed go to the local disco.

I wasn’t an Impulse girl. My younger sister was though and it was something I would notice her wearing by the sweet smell that would waft from her bedroom when I was home from college for the weekend.

Now that I’m nearly grown up though, I’ve become an Impulse girl! I commute quite a bit for work and weatherwise it’s been very heavy and humid lately. I just thought I needed something to be able to freshen up a bit during the day. I saw this on the Irish beauty reference point for many girls, Beaut.ie and was quite intrigued. And so I got to try it out for myself, the verdict – it’s really nice! It has a very delicate but inviting smell. The main ingredients are white wood and wild violet roses no less and is called ‘Romantic Spark’. I would think it’s one of those fragrances that prompts a lot of ‘Oh, that’s lovely! What is it?’ type questions! You will definitely be surprised by this – it’s a lot different to the Impulse fragrances of old – it was developed by Anne Gottlieb, who works for Givaudan who are one of the biggest fragrance houses in the world. And if you don’t believe me, she has worked on scents for Calvin Klein, Caroline Herrera and on Sarah Jessica Parker’s ‘Covet’ perfume!

Impulse Romantic Spark is available in chemists and supermarkets, RRP €3.59

Ding Dong! Guess Who!

There are certain commercials that everyone remembers and even if you weren’t around in the 1960’s when Avon launched in the UK, you’re bound to have heard the iconic phrase, ‘Ding Dong, Avon Calling!’

avon ad 1959A copy of the latest Avon catalogue landed on my desk a few weeks ago. I was really impressed with the amount of products they have, the bang up to date make up colours [especially the eye shadow palettes] and the fabulous range of skincare lines for all ages. Then there’s jewellery, lingerie and haircare as well. I will definitely be ordering, once I can actually make up my mind what I want! There’s a nifty new ‘7 in 1’ lipstick, the SpectraColour, which allows you turn the dial and change the colour of your lipstick – from light and glossy daytime to dark and vampy nighttime in a range of pinks, lilacs or browns. And apparently the ‘Bust Firming Cream’ is great – according to the Brunette in the office. She asked if any of the rest of us had tried it, ‘I wish I had a need to’ was the exclamation from the Blonde… She ordered something else in the end!

The star of the very first UK TV advert was Faith Hines and she’s pulling out all the stops to try and find a copy of her starring role in the 1965 ad. I’m sure you’ve noticed the beautiful Reece Witherspoon in the ‘Hello Tomorrow’ ads and more recently there’s been a bevy of new Avon ladies gracing the small screen, all real life Avon representatives. It was actually this new campaign that prompted Faith to try and track down a copy of the original, she has a Facebook page and she’s on Twitter hoping someone can help find a long lost copy. Faith still looks great today in the video above, 50 years later! And she seems like the nice kind of lady that would thank you profusely for finding it too!

Faith’s Facebook page is here and her Twitter here

OOoo Fancy Make Up Review!

Product #1: 076SkinNude227x297Fr.qxdGirlies, I’m all about finding things I like and sticking with them – well, if they ain’t broke and all that… So I would have to say that the majority of my make up is MAC and when it comes to foundation, I’ve been a MAC select fluid girl for years. I tried other brands but gave up looking when I found this, I thought I’d found my HG foundation [Holy Grail]. Then earlier this year I started to look around, call it a seven year make up itch. Every so often I was convinced I could see a slight tide line below my chin – the horror! – I’m so pale I’ve always struggled with matching colour, and maybe the odd patchy bit on my face after a while. So when the Dior Nude Hydrating Glow Make Up was launched earlier this year, my beady eyes had a new target! I was hovering around the Dior concession of one of the bigger department stores one day and decided to try it out. A bit on my hand to start off with as I’m totally allergic to SA’s coming at me with sponges or brushes, to check out the colour match and texture – both passed with flying colours. And then I made myself wait until I finished my bottle of MAC Select – recession or no recession, it was a long wait, I can tell you!

After the longest time, really, I went back to the Dior counter with a little Muji bottle in order to try it out properly and the nice SA gave me enough to do me for the weekend. Delighted I was. And then even more impressed after it got a going out Friday night trial run! The coverage of this foundation is described as ‘medium’ but I find that even though this is probably true versus stuff like EL Doublewear, the Dior Nude glides on and covers a multitude without needing to be heavy handed about the amount of product. And it really does glide on, the texture is great and it’s definitely hydrating, what with it being 40% water and then it’s also full of vitamins, minerals and trace elements – how could it not be good for you?

Colour match – yes [I’m a 010, the palest shade], Texture – yes, glides on and gives a lovely slightly dewy glow, Staying Power – yes, less frequent touch ups needed compared to the MAC Select, Coverage – yes, I’m happy it evens out my skin tone without looking like theatre make up, Price – no it’s €43!! Or you could just buy it in Sterlingland like I did for £26.50

Product #2: OK, it’s hard to describe, but when I saw this flashy little Dior number, I just had to have it! I genuinely think I was all caught up in the hardship of wanting the Nude foundation and couldn’t stop ogling Dior counters. Anyway. I’m not really a palette girl. I’ve 10’s of eyeshadows but they all tend to be single MAC ones – I’m quite fussy about what colours I put with my pale skin and grey green eyes. I think I may have the entire pink through to purple spectrum and a few navy/blacks thrown in for doing very dark smokey eyes. It’s just that I normally like 1 maybe 2 colours in a palette and it’d be a waste as the others would go untouched.

dior 5 colours navyBut now that I have my lovely Dior 5 colours design in ‘navy’, I can honestly say that I heart each colour in it! The white base does what it says on the tin, then the centre colour and the navy in the top left for shading  are what would be my staples. The centre colour is more purple than appears in the pic and as you’d expect, the staying power is great, just blend, blend, blend! The iridescent purple, top right is actually very sparkly! Nice for a little night time highlightling on the brow and in a first for Dior, the darkest colour, bottom right is actually a cream liner, not powder. You get those fiddly little sponges in the compact, ditch those for brushes that work but if you don’t have a good liner, there’s a flat brush included that does actually do the job, just don’t poke your eye out using it! And finally, wear this with an even bigger smile on your face if you can cleverly manage to purchase in Sterling where it’ll set you back £37 as opposed to €55.

Specs Appeal

specsavers compI wear glasses because, darn it, I’m short sighted, I need them! I was 9 when my teacher in school noticed I kept leaning over to read whatever the girl beside me was writing down from the blackboard – I’m guessing that I was also leaning over for a bit of a chat, but sure that’d hardly surprise you!

I’ve toyed with the idea of getting my eyes lasered, but I’m just a bit chicken and even though I know lots of people that have had it done, the smell of burning eye bits that has been confirmed to me is more than a little off putting!

I wear my glasses most days, contacts when I’m going out. I’ve never really minded wearing glasses, if I’m honest, and I’ve been told by many a male that I look good in glasses, so that’s hardly a bad thing! I couldn’t wear contacts all day in work, what with being glued to an old pc monitor and all. And the thing is, I’m a lot older now so would I really take anyone that took a pop at my for being a ‘speccy 4 eyes’ seriously anymore? He he, I’m laughing to myself as I haven’t even heard that for ages, let alone use it! Much more of a kids in the playground thing.

Stylist-Gok-Wan-001One person that got more than his fair share off the school bullies is Gok Wan – poor Gok was an overweight, speccy 4 eyes! Now as we all know, Gok has come out of his cocoon to become one of the most stylish and dare I say witty fashion bods around. Good old Gok – it’s been documented how unhappy he was with his weight and how he struggled to fit in – but he’s definitely come full circle and is easily in a position to stick two fingers up to the bullies as he sashays from place to place helping girlies with their wardrobe woes.

Now Gok is also teaming up with Specsavers and anti bullying charity Kidscape to launch the 2009, ‘Irish Spectacle Wearer of the Year’! Are you a trendy Triona that always keeps her specs to hand? A stylish Sinead? A natty Niamh? Or a very attractive Aoife that can’t do without your specs either? Enter the competition! The prizes are truly eye popping with a modelling contract, a photoshoot and a trip to Thailand and much more!

And, the gorgeous Gok will be in Dublin to judge the final! Now, how many times have you seen Gok transform a plain Jane into a fabulous Fiona and think that 5 minutes with him would lead to the biggest transformation since David Banner became The HulkCinderella  met her Fairy Godmother! I’ve often wondered how Gok would approach me, if he got his hands on my wardrobe so to speak! I don’t even know where he’d start [says she that can hear her Mother now saying ‘I don’t know why you insist on wearing so much black like all the time‘].

Would you like a Gok-over’? What do you think he’d reckon to your sense of style. And more importantly, if the tables were turned and you could put Gok on the spot, what would you ask him? Would you ask him which celebrity he fancies, who he think has the best sense of style or who he’s absolutely crying out to restyle? Or, you simply might like to know if he’s a boxers or briefs man. Put your questions to Gok here and you never know, that very question might be posed to Gok by yours truly when’s he’s in town!

Don’t forget the competition! Entries by 30th June, that’s a week’s time

Same goes for your questions to Gok, send them to me at the contact address, glitterseeglitterdo@yahoo.com

Been Hair Before

I’ve started swimming again. I use to swim an awful lot but as it’s not like there’s a swimming pool around every corner, it can be hard to get to a pool what with work and play getting in the way! But, things have come full circle and it’s now dead handy for me to swim again a couple of times a week. The problem? That same old problem when it comes to a coiffed look and chlorine? Pool hair. Oh it’s a nightmare. A nightmare! How do I keep my shiny, well conditioned shoulder length coloured hair in tip top form when it’s up against the dreaded chlorine?

Sun & SwimWell, one simple, easy to find product is the Boots own brand ‘Sun, Swim & Gym Hydra Spray’. Shake up the 2 layered liquid and spray! I tip my head over to get all the underneath hair as well – lash it on! The UV filter will protect your hair against environmental, salt and chlorine damage. And it’s on offer at the moment, as are all products in this range, 2 for €6 which isn’t bad at all. Good for when you’re on holiers. Note to self, I’ve used the shampoo and conditioner from this range but I felt my hair wasn’t hydrated afterwards and still a bit crunchy or coarse when dry.

‘I’ll get a leave in conditioner!’, I thought. I’ve spent a lot of time and effort getting my naturally dry, tending to frizzy, thick and now coloured hair into shape. A leave in conditioner will be great for that added bit of help afterwards. Now, I don’t wash my hair at the pool, ever, a quick sprint home, a blast of the hairdryer and then lots of TLC the next day before work in my own shower suits me better, thank you very much! So, not knowing exactly where to start as I can’t remember buying a specific leave in conditioner before, I went on to MakeUp Alley to peruse the product reviews. Part of me loves this site for the simply never ending list of products reviewed and part of me hates that every product tends to get quite mixed reviews, so I can be back to where I started and just having to plump for something after a bit of consideration and see how I get on.

I jumped from brand to brand, some got good but still very mixed reviews, some I realised weren’t easily available and some that I knew simply wouldn’t be for my type of hair etc. I then selected reviews for ‘Aveda, leave in conditioner’. Yep, back to the old reliable! There was a product called ‘Elixir’, it sounded great, really good reviews – until I found out that it was discontinued. Aveda Style Prep Smoother*Sigh* Then as I was scrolling back up the page I noticed that there was a review that included some info about ‘The New Elixir’ from Aveda themselves! ‘We are happy to inform you that we will be launching a new product called Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother. Compared to Elixir, Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother is a more superior performing product than Elixir – a much more technologically advanced plant-based formula with very strong performance benefits, such as 12 hour humidity defense and heat protection. It also better prepares for smooth styling by creating a smooth new surface.’

And then I realised that I have indeed got this very product! And I love it! Placed as a pre blow dry styling aid that will help your hair when styling, it straightens while nourishing, leaving hair that is more manageable and less frizzy. It is expensive, it’s Aveda after all – €27 for a small looking bottle but I swear, I must’ve used it over 50 times since before Christmas last year and there’s still approx 3/4 of it left! [And you know you’ll get it cheaper online] I don’t use this all the time, most of the time though, as it can be quite heavy, even on my thick locks. You only need a tiny, peanut sized amount and then distribute it well. However, for this time of year, I find this is a better product to put into dry hair as it really cuts down on the dreaded ‘humidity factor’ whereby hair can multiple in size tenfold on a warm, heavy day! I find that a little blob of this on dry hair works wonders and so the morning after my swim, or indeed just generally when the weather is a bit hot and sticky, this has been my product of choice all along anyway so I’m not going to bother getting a new leave in conditioner! My little purse that’s straining at the seams is so glad I was doing the right thing all along!

Losing It

girl exercisingI have been dragging myself around lately! Absolutely draaagggging myself around. Waking up tired, standing in the shower thinking of how nice it will be in 15 hours time when I can go back to bed, getting to work and having that ‘only 8 hours to go’ thought, losing interest in any TV as I wonder what time I should go to bed at without arousing suspicion. I’m always ‘reading a good book’ and am known for reading into the wee hours no matter what, so that excuse has long been worn out.

That’s it, maybe I’m worn out. Tired? Exhausted more like. I do a heck of a lot of commuting now, I knew it would take it’s toll somehow, sometime. The 10 journeys a week I take to work each week average out at about an hour and a half each? Maybe a little less. But you see, I’m never in the same place for long either and I’m permanently running for a bus. Either to parents in one direction from work or back to the Big Schmoke in the other direction, depending what day of the week it is. And every journey has either a 20min walk + a 45min bus + a 10min walk or a 10min walk + a 30min bus + a 10 min walk. Oh and I probably expend lots of energy while pacing, cursing various buses for their tardiness as well.

But that’s not totally to blame for my lack of energy. I sometimes snooze on the bus but hate doing it and it’s not like I have to concentrate and drive the bloody thing! I know that not bothering my considerable arse to do any exercise for the last months on end is deffo not helping. It is so true about having more energy if you exercise regularly. But going to the gym, or signing up for a class or walking or pounding the streets just to end up where you started is so bloody boring!! God! And don’t give me any of that crap about gyms being nothing but wall to wall TV’s and music channels etc – any time I’ve ever gone to the gym it has been one long countdown to freedom as soon as I step inside.

I’ve put on a few pounds lately. I know it. I can see it. I have to get rid of them again and I know what I need to do to see any pay off – it’s to start exercising again. And cutting out the junk I’ve been shovelling into myself into for the last ages. I know that this is contributing to my slothful exterior and my sluggish mind.

Yesterday was Day 1 – well, only complete loons combine going-back-to-work Monday and starting a diet! I actually managed not to have crisps at lunchtime yesterday. Really, that’s a huge deal for me! I’m a total crisp fiend! And I went swimming last night. I love swimming and swam competitively when I was in school but shamefully, I hadn’t been in oh God! ages! I did just 1KM [1000m] and I’ll go again tonight and within a few weeks I hope to build back up to 1500m in 35mins [I guess that’ll be me cutting back on the fags as well *groan*]. I think I’ll have to start gyming it too *double groan*. Treadmills are great for losing the old ‘muffin top’, one of which I most definitely possess.

I’ve also decided that the devil himself may have distilled Pear Bulmers cider as it truly is very, very tempting, but at *ball park guess* one million calories per pint, I’m going to have to resist. And the vino. No more lazing around at the weekend supping cider or wine just cos it’s sunny out. Darn and blast it! Back to spirits and diet mixer [Hey! Not so bad!] 

Don’t believe me about the vino and pints? Take this test, if you can remember what you had any night last weekend and I guarantee you’ll be surprised. Last Sunday, the Pear Bulmers I nonchalantly sipped while watching the tennis and then a couple of DVDs came to the equivalent of 2 jaffa cakes [wait for it], an onion bahji, a burger and a slice of pizza… and on top of that I actually ate about 3 slices of pizza, some garlic chips and some chicken wings! Lord! Does every pleasure have to have some pain just around the corner?

I’m trying to distract myself and keep my willpower on the straight and narrow by envisaging a fantastic looking, fantastic feeling me, that is toned and healthy.. and thinner than your average gym bunny bitch!