February’s PowderPocket Review

February’s Powder Pocket box

I didn’t get around to doing a review of the January PowderPocket box simply because I was quite late getting it. Although, I will say that I was really impressed with the whole thing; from the delivery, the packaging and the contents. Hence, I thought I would then do a proper review of this month’s box.

The February box was just so cute, the way it came with a personalised sticker! Too cute! Well done PowderPocket, it’s definitely the little things like that, that make the differences. Each month’s box comes with a leaflet explaining about the products as well as other hints and tips. I was delighted to have contributed to it this month.

Cute personalised sticker

Cute personalised sticker

So did the theme ‘Save Our Skin’ do just that for me this month?

  • La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water – As I said in my previous PowderPocket post, (click here), I am a MASSIVE fan of this brand and use a lot of their products, so was keen to try this out. Not normally one to use sprays such as this on my face, I was a little apprehensive as to what benefits I would feel from it. I had to keep reminding myself to use it, as it’s typically something I would associate with using in the hotter months of the year. It certainly felt refreshing on the skin and didn’t leave any kind of residue. If I’m honest, I would definitely use this product when going on holiday, for a long haul flight, or for hot days in the sun when you just need to refresh the skin. I’m not so sure I’d be inclined to use it as much during the winter.
    Available in selected pharmacies nationwide for €9.
  • Benecos Natural Kajal Black eyeliner – If you’re into your natural and vegan cosmetics then this is a great alternative product for you as it does everything that you would expect from an eyeliner. As it has an active ingredient of Jojoba Oil it glides on really easily, is long lasting and is a really intense black colour. It is also extremely well priced.
    Available www.naturalskincare.ie/benecos and selected health shops for €4.66.
  • Lavera Basis Sensitiv Hand Cream – As someone who constantly has dry hands, I always have a hand cream to hand. This is a lovely product that I have used most days and still have plenty in the tube – you really don’t need to use very much. It absorbs into the skin very easily, leaves a lovely soft feel to the hands and doesn’t leave that horrible greasy feeling that some hand creams do. I have been really impressed with this cream and am tempted to repurchase it when it runs out.
    Available from www.naturalskincare.ie/lavera for €5.24
  • Pixy Natural Skincare Citrus Spring Soap – As a fan of soap over showwer gel/wash in the shower, I was looking forward to trying this product as it smelt divine. I was certainly not disappointed with the scent, which comes from bergamot, grapefruit and orange essential oils. Not too strong, but strong enough to know you’ve used it. I do however have an issue with the shape of the bar. This could just be me being fussy, but it’s ergonomically so uncomfortable to use over your body until it’s really worn down. Anyone else find that about bars of soap that are like blocks??
    Available in 300 pharmacies nationwide and the Pixy Shop in Cork for €3.99 for 100g
  • Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel – There was a fair bit of hype online about this product. I used it daily and found that it left my skin nice and smooth and really felt like it had been given a good clean and exfoliation. It’s a gel formula which you put on a dry face with your dry fingers, which I found a bit strange and my only complaint would be that I prefer something that lathers up a bit, but that really is me being fussy!
    Available in Harvey Nichols Dublin for €27

Overall the February box has been really impressive and I always find it great to hear about and use new products that I may not have heard of before, especially the Irish ones.

Have you subscribed to PowderPocket? If so, what are your thoughts on their boxes so far?

Thanks for reading.
Sara. x

Top 10 Make Up Brushes

As a make up artist, this is one of the things I get asked about all the time. Whilst make up brushes aren’t nearly as exciting as make up itself, having the right tools for the job really will make a difference. It’s worth investing time into thinking about what brushes you will need and making sure you buy the right ones for you, rather than just what you think you should have. Also, invest in ones that aren’t going to shed as you will only end up having to replace them – this doesn’t necessarily mean buying the most expensive. Obviously how many you use on a daily basis will depend on what look you do each day and how many products you apply to your face, which is why I have broken this list into two; essential brushes and additional brushes. I probably have 7 brushes that I would use on a daily basis and then a few extra for other purposes such as a fine liner brush for applying gel eyeliner, as this is not something I do everyday, but maybe when I’m going out.


Make Up brushes 016

Essential brushes: Expert Face Brush, C409, 239, 217, Blush Brush

Real Techniques – Expert Face Brush – There probably isn’t a make up artist or make up enthusiast that doesn’t own a Real Techniques brush in their collection. All the brushes have synthetic bristles, are 100% cruelty free, are much smoother on the skin, really reasonably priced and don’t shed bristles. This particular brush is great for using with either cream or liquid foundations and will help achieve a flawless look. You can pick up most of the Real Techniques brush range in Boots (Ireland), this one is €13.29.

Crown C409 – Angle Definer – There are a huge arrange of these style brushes on the market. I have this one as I find Crown brushes really reasonably priced and good value for money. It can be used for creating really precise lines, and in my case I use it to define and fill my eyebrows, lining the top lashline as well as creating a really fine line close to the bottom lash line, so it’s a multi tasker, which is great in a brush. If you’re looking for a few brushes to start out and don’t want to break the bank, then I would thoroughly recommend checking out http://www.crownbrush.ie/. This brush retails at €4.61.

MAC 239 Eye Shadow Brush – MAC used to be the ‘holy grail’ of make up brushes for me, but when new, better value brands entered the market, I realised that they were quite overpriced and I often find with some of their larger face brushes they shed quite a bit. That said, there are still a few of their brushes that I wouldn’t and couldn’t be without in my kit and personal make up collection. The 239 eye shader brush being one of them. This is a soft, dense brush that can be used with powder or emollient based products and is used to build intense colour on the eyelid. I would use this to apply my base eyeshadow and then blend using the 217 mentioned below. It’s also fab for apply cream eyeshadow to get a really good coverage.

MAC 217 Blending Brush – A blending brush is an absolutely essential brush in your collection, especially if you’re a fan of a smokey eye. Most other make up can be applied with fingers if you really wanted to, but you just can’t achieve good blending without a brush. I have tried blending brushes from a few other brands, but nothing is as good as this one. I have two in my personal collection and too many to count in my kit. Again, as with the 239, it can be used with both powder or cream products. When blending, always try to have a clean brush otherwise it will transfer product onto your eyes where you don’t want it. This one retails for €24 and is available at MAC counters in Brown Thomas.

Real Techniques Blush Brush – This is a slightly generic brush, whilst a blusher brush, it can also be used for face powder, bronzer and contouring, so is a multi tasking brush. And to be honest, you could probably obtain a similar brush from a variety of brands to do the same thing. This is just the one that I have in my collection. As with all RT’s brushes it has synthetic fibres so can be used with cream or powder products. A MAC 129 would do a similar job, but the hairs aren’t synthetic. The Blush Brush retails for €12.99 in Boots (Ireland).

Make Up brushes 025

Additional brushes: CK15, 219, LY24A, 168, Contour Brush

Crownbrush CK15 Oval Fluff – This is a flat brush with natural bristles which I tend to use under the eye to smudge pencil liner or eye shadow. However, as it can also be used to place highlighter under the brow, and placing product into the crease of the eye, it’s a multi-tasker which is handy. This brush is only €2.99 from http://www.crownbrush.ie. An absolute bargain!

MAC 219 Pencil Brush – As I said before about MAC brushes I do have a few key ones in my collection that I wouldn’t be without, and this is another one of them. I tend to use the 219 to put highlighter into the tear duct to brighten the eyes, to smudge liner along the lash lines for a nice smokey effect and as with the above brush it can be used to place product into the crease of the eye before it’s blended. I’m not sure of the price of this one but you can pick it up in Brown Thomas.

Louise Young LY24A Super Fine Liner – I have quite a collection of liner brushes that I use to apply my gel eyeliner to the  roots of the lashes, but this is the one I am currently using. To be honest, there is not much between them but this is the best so far. I’m going to purchase the Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush soon as I think that it will make applying liner easier.

MAC 168 Large Angled Contour Brush – Another multi-tasking brush, this can be used for both contouring the cheek bones and applying blusher to the apples of the cheeks and blending outwards.

Real Techniques Contour Brush – This is a fantastic contour brush and one that I use every day. I use it to apply my beloved ‘Sleek Contour Palette’ under my cheekbones and then the highlighter to above the cheekbones to give my face a little added shape to it. Unfortunately, it is only sold as part of the ‘Core Collection’, which is a bit frustrating, but if you’re starting out, probably worth investing in as you get 4 really handy brushes.

Which are your essential brushes that you couldn’t live without? Let me know by leaving a comment below.

If you’re starting out with your brush collection and are looking for some advice, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll hopefully be able to help you.

Whichever brushes you have, don’t forget to clean them regularly 😉

Thanks for reading.

Sara. x

Top 5 Beauty Bargains under €12

The high street is packed with great make up and beauty products these days and you really don’t have to spend huge money on make up to get great products. I can often been found in the make up aisles of my local Boots store discovering what new (and old) products are out there. I just love that feeling when you discover a high street product that beats a high end product to touch, it makes you feel like you’ve got such a bargain (or is that just me)? I have numerous favourites from the high street, but these are my top five that you can pick up for under €12.

High Street Bargains for under €12

High Street Bargains for under €12

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter
I absolutely love these lip products since I bought two last month. I find that lipstick for the day is sometimes just a bit too much for me and these are the perfect solution. Revlon describe them as somewhere between a lipstick and a lip balm and I would totally agree. Packed with mango, shea and coconut butter, they are extremely moisturising but without having a strong scent. I bought Tutti Frutti and Macaroon and can’t get enough of Tutti Frutti. It’s a beautiful coral colour that’s not too overbearing and the beauty of these products is that you can build them up to increase the intensity. Macaroon is also a gorgeous pinky/plum colour, but probably slightly too pink for me, I tend to prefer peachy/pink colours. Currently available in 21 shades, there is definitely a colour out there for everyone!
€11.20 and there is currently a 3 for 2 offer on selected Revlon products in Boots.

Maybelline The Falsies Black Drama Mascara
Best high street mascara….FACT! I have been using this mascara for well over a year at this stage and is a staple in my kit….especially the waterproof version for my bridal clients! I have tried numerous mascaras over the years and this is by far the best in this price range. I recently tried Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara which has been so hyped and I still find the Maybelline one far better. I often think that finding the ultimate mascara, that suits you and your lashes is a bit like hunting down the perfect pair of jeans to suit your body and shape. It’s not a pleasant experience, but once you know what you like, you stick to it!
€11.99 and there is currently a 3 for 2 offer on selected Maybelline products in Boots

Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection Concealer
Another staple in my kit alongside my higher end concealers, and by no means the poor relation. The consistency is lovely and creamy and it offers great coverage, able to cover the worst under eye dark circles as well as blemishes. It comes with a great applicator and lasts amazingly on the skin.

Rimmel Stay Matte Transparent Powder
This product is such fantastic value. At just €5.99, it’s a bargain. I have been using mine every day for about a year and am still only about half way through it. It’s a lightweight powder and it’s free of talc, which means that it won’t clog the pores. As someone who normally has oily skin, this product offer me a matte look complexion for most of the day.

Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Eyeliner
There are so many gel eyeliners on the market these days, but very few good high street offerings. This is by far the best product. Available in various shades, it’s waterproof, smudgeproof and as with the Collection 2000 concealer it is no different from the more expensive high end brands. I actually much prefer this to the MAC and Clinique versions as find the pot doesn’t dry out as quickly, which is great as I don’t want to regularly be replacing it in my kit when it’s no where near being finished. It evens comes with a brush applicator, making it even better value.
€11.99 and there is currently a 3 for 2 offer on selected Maybelline products in Boots

Have you tried any of the above? If so, what are your thoughts?

Thanks for reading.