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Drugstore Make-up, Face of the day, Foundation, Make-up

Face of the Day – using Wet n Wild Idol Eyes

My post this morning was on the Idol Eyes Creme Pencil from Wet n Wild in Distress. I decided to follow up my review and swatches with a Face of the Day post. I meant to post this last week, oops!

I wanted a no make-up look today with the exception of the gorgeous dark blue pencil, which I used as a liner. I would love to know what make-up you’re wearing today.



  • Revlon Photoready Foundation
  • MAC Select Cover up NC25
  • Nars Laguna Bronzer (not too sure on this one, post to follow)


  • Collection 2000 Dazzle Powder (the white one) on my inner eye
  • Brulee by MAC all over lid
  • A tiny dot of bronzer blended into the crease – not visible, just to add definition
  • Wet n Wild Idol Eyes Creme Pencil in Distress, thickly on lashline and flicked out
  • Make Up For Ever Smokey Lash Mascara (on the fence about this one too)
  • Omega by MAC in brows


  • MAC Lovelorn Lipstick over a sheer coat of lipbalm

What make-up are you wearing today?

Foundation, Make-up

Mismatched Foundation – Hate it when that happens

I packed Chanel Pro Lumiere for my trip to Chicago. When I got there, the low humidity and -20 degree temperatures meant that my delicate Irish skin needed about three layers of moisturiser to look human. Unfortunately Pro-Lumiere did not adapt well to these extra layers.

I decided to buy something cheap and cheerful in Target to get me through the rest of the trip. I settled on Revlon Photoready, which I love.

It only cost me $9 in the Target which is about €6.50! Holy moly it’s expensive here in Ireland, three times the price.

That being said we have a major benefit that here in Europe that they don’t have in the US. We have testers. I didn’t realise how difficult it would be to choose an appropriate shade without testers. At least in the US when someone buys the wrong shade, opens and tests it they can still return it – that isn’t acceptable here. Boo hoo!

Anways, I settled on shade 004 Nude which seemed to have a yellow base rather than a pink. When I got back to my hotel room and tested the foundation it about two shades too light. I had to get the metro to the nearest Target so I wasn’t about to head back over $9.

All of this made me realise that I really miss having Photoready in  my collection. I’m going to Boots tomorrow to test the shades they have and settle on one that suits my skin right now. The Natural Beige shade I wore in the Autumn is now far too dark. Maybe Nude will suit me in a month or two when my skin lightens a little more.

Do you like Photoready? What foundation are you using now?

Foundation, M.A.C, Make-Up 101 Series, Make-up Brushes / Tools

The ins and outs of Stippling

The stippling technique for make-up application is quite popular at the moment. I was asked by a reader to explain the ins and outs of stippling and what I use.

Just in case your new to make-up, stippling is a blending technique used to blend make-up. Many of us have stippling brushes in our make-up collection but you don’t actually need one to stipple. Stippling is really just patting so you can stipple with a make-up sponge or even your fingers.

My preference is to use a sponge. I love the black ones from Make Up For Ever (think they’re called Ellipse sponges), I repurchase these over and over again. I searched google images for a picture of one and could only find the light coloured version. I would have photographed my own except I poured boiling water on it and it shrivelled up :)

It’s a great technique for blending foundation, concealer. I like to use a stippling brush to blend the edges of concealer into the rest of my make-up.

The technique is also useful for layering one product over another. You could stipple on some foundation over your concealer (or vice versa) without disrupting the bottom layer.

As many of you know stippling brushes are also available. These are duo fibre brushes – they contain two different types of brush hairs, in two layers of different length. Some people swear by these and use them religiously to apply their foundation. For me they involve more work for a perfect finish. On an occasion where I have plenty of time to perfect my make-up then I might but on a daily basis I use my fingers or a stippling sponge.


I have the MAC 187. I have also had the Sigma version (F15) €11 , which I have since given to my sister. In my opinion, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between the two and the Sigma is cheaper so I recommend that one.

A stippling brush is also great for applying cream cheek products like blush, bronzer and highlighters. Although I’m not a huge fan of stippling on foundation, I always used a stippling brush to apply cream blush. It gives that glow from within effect and it looks very natural.

Sigma Brushes

Aging, Drugstore Make-up, Fashion & Accessories, Foundation, General, Haircare / Styling, Hauls, Make-up, Skin Care

Chicago Update!

As you know I’m in Chicago at the moment. Thought I would post a little update on my trip so far…that being the shopping really :)


Outlet shopping

Firstly, I am quite proud of myself. I went to Aurora yesterday to visit the outlet. Yes, I hear you. Amy in an outlet? Surely that is catastrophic. Rather surprisingly, I behaved myself. The highlight of the visit was definitely the CCO. I swatched every single MAC product from collections gone by, got super excited and then left empty handed. I shouldn’t be too proud of myself – I suspect that there will be some serious damage done in Ulta and Sephora.

I did buy some warm boots in the Aeropostale outlet and a handbag in Aldo (which is a gift for someone for Christmas). These boots were a necessity. The rather Christmassy and weather appropriate Guess boots I brought with me (yes, only one pair!) were murdering my feet… there were tears. I was looking for something cheap, cheerful and most of all warm to get me through the rest of my trip. I also bought a very festive scarf  ($20 I think!)



The boots were marked as $49 I paid only $15 for them. I do love a bargain.

More on shopping and what I have bought at the bottom of the post.


Excited about Ulta

I am an Ulta virgin. Despite numerous visits to the US over the past few years, I have never seen an Ulta. That being said, I suppose I wasn’t really looking. This time around I googled the address! For those of you who have never heard of Ulta, it is basically a make-up and beauty Mecca. I love Sephora but I have a feeling I won’t want to leave Ulta. Product recommendations welcome! :)


It’s so friggin’ cold!

Who knew Chicago would be colder than the Alps! It would appear that I was spoiled here in Chicago last year weather wise. It was cold but comfortable. Comfort is out the window this time around. Last night I popped around to the Cheesecake Factory for some dinner wearing 5 layers, a giant coat, gloves, snow hat, thermal socks and vest, wind-breaker for my face and earmuffs and still the cold was a killer.

I also got lost yesterday near the lake (the closer to the water the more the worse it is) and the subzero ice wind took my breath away, my legs even seized up.  I had to have a bath to warm my skin back up when after 2 hours in the warm hotel room my skin still felt like an ice-cube. Thin, delicate Irish skin is not made to withstand these kind of temperatures. Speaking of the weather, this leads nicely in to skincare…


Skincare emergency

My poor skin is in bits! The freezing winds have made my face look and feel like a crisp packet. I look about five years older in this weather, not happy. Products wise, I packed a PHYT’s Cleanser, Keraskin gel scrub, Liz Earle Moisturising mask, PHYT’s Creme Ylang Moisturising for thin skin and some Kerakin Youth Drops for very dry skin. I have needed them all! I have been using the scrub in the morning to gently buff off the chunks of dry skin, I follow with the mask for a moisture injection. I then smear on some youthdrops as a pre moisturiser and finish with not one, but two layers of Creme Ylang. This is the third day of this routine and my skin is finally starting to look human again. I will be in need of facial upon my return. Winter weather really does hate your skin.



Sightseeing is hard in such cold weather but I have powered through. So far I have visited Navy Pier, Ice skating at Millenium Park and the Kriskindle Market. I’m also planning a visit to the Field Museum, the Aquarium and the Planetarium. I hear the Zoo lights are also fantastic.

Me at the Kriskindle Market :)



Shopping Update

I jumped on the Metra on Thursday and headed to Target. I had never been before, man that place is gigantic. Cosmetics wise, I picked up some Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock, Tresemmé hair spray (I need volume!) and Milani Easyliner in Blue Eyes.

I also popped into Walgreens and picked up a new bottle of  Revlon Photoready. I bought it in 004 which is too light and pink based which looks ridiculous on me – I need yellow toned foundation to suit my undertones. On the upside Photoready is only $9 (€6.80) – a third of the price of a bottle at home in Ireland.

I also picked up Sally Hansen Mega Shine. Again this cost one third of the price at home. I needed some face wipes for eye make-up removal and chose the Walgreens brand. They are brilliant! A visit to this side of the Atlantic is not complete without buying at least three tubes of Walgreens Chapaid!


I finally picked up Covergril Lashblast Mascara which is often raved about. I got mine in CVS for $8. Loving it so far!

It’s 10am now so I’m off to West Egg for some pancakes and strawberries then I will be hitting the Water Tower Mall. I will pop back later and show you my purchases! I will also be posting photos of my new haircut since so many of you have asked to see :)

Hope that you are all well!

Amy x

Bourjois, chanel, Foundation, Nars

A Change in Skintype, a Change in Foundation

After a brief fling with Boujois Healthy Mix (review on it’s way!) and a long love affair with Nars Sheer Glow, my skin is demanding a change.

The reason for this demand is that my skin type has completely changed over the past season – I’m putting it down to cold weather and hormones. I have always had combination skin. Normal on the cheeks/forehead and prone to oiliness on my nose and chin. Not any more.

At the moment my skin is

  • Dehydrated – despite tonnes of moisturising products and water
  • Very fine – as Irish skin tends to be. It needs more protection from the elements than thicker skin
  • Prone to congestion – blocked pores on my chin
  • Spotty – on  my chin only, thank you hormones. The spotty areas are very dry, no oil in sight which means no more spot/acne products for me

Nars Sheer Glow is an absolutely beautiful foundation but it just isn’t cutting it since my skin has dried out. I find myself with patches of dryness as the day continues. I will probably return to this old favourite next Summer when my skin is less parched.



Bourjois Healthy Mix is cheap, easy to apply and fresh but it doesn’t provide the coverage I need on the spotty areas at the moment. It also doesn’t last very long on the skin although it is a lovely foundation.


So this left me with the dilema of choosing a foundation, preferably one I had in my collection already. On a whim yesterday I grabbed my bottle of Chanel Pro Lumiere Foundation and smeared it on with my fingers after my moisturiser.


Low and behold it looked divine and lasted amazingly well. All day in fact. I loved this when I first bought it but found it took rich for my skin in Spring and Summer. I could feel the foundation on my skin, which I hated. Now that I have dry skin, it overs moisturisation and a barrier from the elements. My skin felt completely protected from the cold.

I think I may re-love it!

A note on my moisturiser of choice lately – I am absolutely in love with Aqua Serum Hydrant and Créme Ylang by PHYT’s. It is designed for thin Celtic skin. They are also organic. I am addicted to their range at the moment… I feel a video coming on!

How is your skin this weather? What foundation and moisturiser have you been using to help?

Foundation, General

Luminess Air Kit

On Friday morning Mr UPS, in his smashing brown shorts, delivered an exciting package. Luminess Air sent me one of their systems to try out. I thought I would give you a little look at what arrived.

I have been wanting to try an airbrushing system for a while so I’m looking forward to figuring it out.















This is the compressor, plug and gun. The plug is two prong so I will have to get a voltage adaptor.















The kit came with four foundation – 2,3,4 and 5. I plan to use the 3 for conceling, the 2 for highlighting and 3 or 4 as foundation contour. Sounds fussy but I’m hoping it’ll be easy.















The Eye Kit box housed a black mascara, a black Calligraphy Liner and a brown one.















Now these look like fun! A primer/moisturiser, a pearlescent highlighter, a bush and a bronzer. The bronzer looks very pigmented with gold reflects. The blush is a pretty pink. I’m not sure about the pearlescent highlighter, I think a very light touch might be the order of the day.















The Eyeshadow Kit is a little alarming. I’m wondering how pecision will be achieved on the eye area so I’m looking forward to experimenting with these. There is an application tips sheet in the box too which should help me a little.















The airbrush itself. Pretty standard and hopefully straight forward.















The kit comes with an instructional dvd (thank god!) and a few brochures with product lists and tips.















Overall I’m excited and a little intimidated. Bring it on! I need to have a good play with this before I am in any position to pass judgement.

What are your thoughts on airbrushed make-up?

Foundation, Make-up Tips, Make-up Trends, Tutorials

Create a Matte, Luminous Base: Make-up Trend A/W 2010-11


Matte luminous skin

Image copyright

Every season we see a different skin trend. Natural-looking skin was big on the Autumn/Winter catwalks. Matte yet luminous skin sounds like a contradiction but it’s easy to achieve.


You want to create a fresh faced effect but still maintain matte skin. The work is in the preparation for this look. Use a

How to create matte yet luminous skin:

  • Use a primer if you have oily skin. This will help keep the oiliness at bay during day.
  • Those with dry skin should moisturise well before make-up application
  • Ensure your that your skin is exfoliated regularly. This means you have fresh, even skin to work with.
  • Blend your foundation well into your skin, leaving your skin looking polished without visible product.
  • Conceal any under discolouration, redness and blemishes.
  • Powder is essential for this seasons trend. A light touch is the way forward if you want a silky looking effect. Use a very finely milled powder that will let the skins natural radiance shine through without looking cakey. MAC Mineralise Skin Finish Natural is perfect for this.
  • Then add a little highlight powder down the centre of the nose.
  • Carry oil absorption sheets if you have combination or oily skin or if you are in a humid climate.

This is a trend I will definitely be exploring this season. It’s also perfect for bridal and special event make-up – just make sure your powder doesn’t contain Titanium Dioxide if you are being photographed (it photographs white).

What way do you like you base – dewy, matte, satin?

*Don’t forget – Click here to enter my MAC Stereo Rose giveaway

Foundation, General, M.A.C, Make-up, Previews/Launches

A Few New Foundations on the Market this Season

I’m always interested when my favourite brands release new products. Today I was having a snoop around looking for new foundation releases. Here are four that I’m excited about.


1. YSL Radiance Flawless Foundation SPF20

This foundation is designed for dull skin that is in need of a lift. It has a satin, fine texture. It contains light diffusing particles and illuminating pigments that bounce light off the skin. It’s said to soften the appearance of lines and add a glow to the skin. The SPF is also a bonus for environmental protection but not so great for photography. It was released last week and costs €42 / £28 / $48.




2. Clinique Redness Solution Makeup SPF15

Clinique has a whole Redness Solution range but are finally adding a foundation to the collection. It is designed to cover flushed skin and counteract the redness caused by flare-ups and Rosacea. It contains Mushroom Extract which has a calming effect on the skin. It also contains yellow tones which help reduce the appearance of the redness. Contains SPF15 which is great for day to day wear but makes it unsuitable for photography. It’s on sale in October and will cost €28 / £20 / $24.50



3. MAC Pro Longwear FoundationMAC Pro Longwear Foundation

This one claims to have a long-wearing foundation that gives up to 15 hours of wear in any environmental condition. It’s lightweight and creamy, applies smoothly to provide sheer to medium coverage.  This foundation is supposed to last in hot and humid conditions, control oil to keep skin fresh, natural and flawless. We’ll see. Out now in UK for £22. At the time this post was published this foundation was not available on MAC’s US website.






4. Mac Factor Xperience Weightless Foundation

This foundation is designed for those of us who want cake free coverage but a a blemish free appearance. The texture is lightweight and whipped and contains Jojoba oil. Like most foundations it’s main job in to even out the skintone. This one is out in October and will cost £12.99 (it will costs around €20).

The YSL foundation appeals to me most.  I’m also quite interested to see if the Clinique foundation will actually work on clients with Rosacea.

What foundation are you  using at the moment?

*Don’t forget – Click here to enter my MAC Stereo Rose giveaway


Favourites, Foundation, Reviews

My Favourite Foundation: Nars Sheer Glow

Nars Sheer Glow is hands down the best foundation I have tried. I have decided to dedicate a blog post to my love of this fantastic product.


Here are some reasons why I love this foundation:

  • Natural looking: For me this one of the most important things about a foundation, it needs to look like skin and not make-up
  • Brightens the skin without adding a glow. Makes you look radiant
  • I don’t have to use under eye concealer
  • Doesn’t block my pores or cause breakouts
  • Hydrates the skin, no dry bits
  • Looks great on camera (essential for me)
  • Sheer but excellent coverage: Hides everything I need it to hide without looking cakey or heavy
  • Comes in a variety of shades: My current shade is Punjab which is a medium with golden, peachy undertones. If you have a cool undertone this shade probably won’t suit you.
  • Fragrance free and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin

The downside, yes there is always a downside, is the price. I bought mine in Sephora in Chicago for $42. It’s also not a very accessible brand in Ireland. Even when I was in London I had to go to quite a few department stores before I found it. I have since learned that Nars is sold in Space NK in Northern Ireland and the UK. I’m not sure if it’s stocked in Brown Thomas in Dublin.

It’s expensive but for me it’s worth it. It’s probably too expensive for me to use everyday so I try to use it onyl a few times a week and for the rest of the time I use Revlon Photoready.

I have heard people comparing it to Photoready. Although they’re both great foundations I don’t find them similar. Photoready is thicker in consistency and adds a little bit of glowing sparkle to the skin. Sheer glow is not thick and doesn’t have the glow factor, despite its’ name.

What us you favourite foundation?

Aging, Foundation, Reviews

My thoughts on Avon Anew Age Transforming Compact Makeup SPF15

Foundation review time!

I have been trying out Avon Anew Age Transforming Compact Makeup SPF15, wow what a mouthful. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Avon products. This one was a gift from my aunt last year. It has stayed in the bottom of my makeup drawer but last week I decided it was time to give it some life.

This is a silicone based compact foundation. I generally don’t like compact foundations but I tried to be as unbiased as possible. One great things about this product is that it offers protection from UVA rays thanks to Titanium Dioxide. The downside to this ingredient is of course that it can look a little pasty when exposed to flash photography. Right away that makes this a no no for a bride.

It feels quite greasy when first applied but it’s smooth and easy to blend. It sets to a satin finish, no grease. It’s a little powdery to the touch but didn’t actually look powdery on the skin. It provided a light coverage which didn’t last very long on my normal to combination skin.I tried a little on an older client to see if the foundation seeped into wrinkles and pores. It didn’t thanks to the silicone.

This product also contains a retinol blend. I wouldn’t get too excited about this, the levels are more than likely ridiculously low (to avoid skin reactions in customers) and even at that the tiny dose of retinol could be affected by it’s exposure to light and oxygen.

This foundation would be a good option if you..

  • have dry or mature skin
  • like light coverage
  • need UVA protection in your foundation
  • like compact foundations

For me, I’m afraid it’s a thumbs down. In fact every Avon foundation I have tried, admittedly a few years ago, left me disappointed.

What are your thoughts on Avon foundations and their make-up in general?