February Favourites

Where is this year going? How is it March already? Well the good news is that hopefully spring is on the way and the weather might actually improve if we all cross our fingers enough! I have been trying out quite a few products this month so here’s what I’ve been loving:

academie bronz express

Academie Bronze Express – Introduced to me via January’s PowderPocket box, this is now a firm favourite of mine. When applied with a tanning mitt it goes on so easily, you can see how much you are applying and therefore layer it up as needs be. There is very little smell from it and I haven’t found it to rub off on clothes, this is probably because it dries extremely quickly, so you will need to work fast with it. Also, I would very much recommend applying this with a tanning mitt rather than with your hands or with rubber gloves. My trusted St Tropez tanning mousse has well and truly been shoved off the shelf to make way for this new addition!
Retail Price – €14.95


Buff Make Up HD Foundation – Whilst not a new brand to the market, it’s a new brand to me and boy am I glad I found it. So much so, it’s sneaked its way into this month’s favourites as well as into my make up kit. I’ve been so impressed with this foundation so far that I’ve already started using it on brides for their trials with really great feedback. It’s definitely not for those of you who like the natural look and aren’t used to wearing much foundation as it’s definitely a full coverage foundation with very good pigmentation, so a little goes a long way. Which is just as well, as you only get 20ml in a bottle as opposed to the standard 30ml you do with most other foundations and it costs €30. Buff claim that it’s suitable for all skin types, although I would be very hesitant to use it on very oily skin as I’m not convinced it would last on the skin. As someone who has combination skin, I can vouch that it lasts very well on my skin type. It leaves a really lovely dewy finish to the skin and given it’s HD formula, it’s ideal for brides and editorial work.
Retail Price – €30


Buff Make Up Sheer Glo – Another purchase from Buff Make Up from when I did one of their workshops at the beginning of February with the amazing Tara O’Farrell. This is a liquid highlighter that gives the skin an instant useful glow. Applied after primer and before foundation it helps to give that gorgeous dewy effect. As with the HD Foundation, it can be used on all skin types especially dry and mature skin. I don’t use this during the day, simply because I don’t feel the necessity for it and simply don’t have the time to add another product into my routine. However, I’m using it with brides and clients as well as on night’s out.
Retail Price – €32

Lancome artliner

Lancôme Artliner – This has totally changed my make up look in the last month and I pretty much use it everyday. I always used to use a liquid eyeliner when I was younger but then as a makeup artist always got used to using a gel eyeliners. Anyway, I’ve rediscovered the benefits of the liquid ones and this is a fantastic product. It’s one of those products that when you mention it to people they say ‘Oh yeah, I use that, it’s brilliant’. I even found it in my mum’s makeup bag this weekend as a daily essential of hers!!! The foam tip is the perfect size to create a feline flick and makes it quick enough to build it up if desired, it glides on easily and is very long lasting.
Retail Price – €28


Blank Canvas F22 HD Dome Face Brush – Again, a new discovery to me thanks to my January PowderPocket box, this brush really impressed me and was great to use with my Buff Foundation. It’s part of their HD Face Collection and can be used for foundation, blush or contour application and with either liquid, cream, powder or mineral foundations. It’s made of synthetic fibres which makes it easy to clean as well. If you’re on the hunt for some good quality make up brushes and don’t want to break the bank in the process, its definitely worth checking out www.blankcanvascosmetics.com as they are really reasonably priced. I will definitely be making some more purchases…next on my wish list is the F20 Flat Buffer Brush.
Retail Price – €13.99


Revlon Lip Butters – I treated myself to a couple of these last month and previously mentioned them in a post (click here). My favourite is Tutti Frutti which I wear all the time, a soft coral, peach colour. As they are similar to a lip balm but with colour and good pigmentation, they do not dry the lips, in fact they are quite hydrating. You can simply dab it on with your finger to give a subtle sheen of colour or build it up to almost a lipstick. Currently available in 21 shades.
Retail Price – €11.20

I’ve really enjoyed testing and discovering lots of new products this month and I’ve had lots of queries for weddings and bridal make up this month, so lots keeping me busy. What products have you been loving this month?

Thanks for reading.

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.



My second luxury box arrived from PowderPocket yesterday, which I was hugely excited about. It does come with a certain ‘Christmas morning’ feel to it, not knowing what’s inside the box. I was a little late in getting the launch box, so am still testing out the products. However, as I now have this one, I thought I’d do a quick preview on it to show what’s inside and will follow up with a full review. So far, it’s looking really good. This month the motto is ‘Save Our Skin’, which is focusing on revitalising the skin after all the festivities. I know my skin has been needing some TLC, having had 3 colds in a month. So this box comes at the perfect time!

Powderpocket January 14 008Powderpocket January 14 009

The products this month are;

  • La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water – I am a MASSIVE fan of this brand and use a lot of their products, so am really keen to try this out
  • Benecos Natural Kajal Black eyeliner – a natural and vegan cosmetics brand. This product has an active ingredient of Jojoba Oil so should be really nice and creamy to use.
  • Lavera Basis Sensitiv Hand Cream – I always have hand cream in my handbag as my hands are always dry in this weather, so will definitely get good use out of this.
  • Pixy Natural Skincare Citrus Spring Soap – this is the Irish product in the box, hailing from Cork.
  • Ginvera Green Tea Marvel Gel – a cleanser that claims to exfoliate, invigorate and illuminate the skin – let’s hope so!

So far, I have been really impressed with the products in last months box. I used the tan last night and it turned out really well. It’s easy to see where you are applying it and can build it up for a darker colour. The most impressive thing about it, is that it dries super fast. As a devoted St Tropez user, I’m definitely going to be cheating on my old faithful and continue to use Academie Bronz’Express. The Hugo Boss Jour Pour Femme perfume was a great inclusion as well, I’ve been using this as my everyday perfume and love how fresh and light it is. By far the stand out product of last month’s box was the Blank Canvas Cosmetics F22 brush. Fantastic and easy to use with liquid and cream products and as a make up artist, I will definitely be purchasing some more of their brushes. It makes the whole box such great value, seeing as this retails at €13.99 alone!


Full review of this months box coming soon.

Thanks for reading.


Top 4 Christmas Gift Ideas for Her

Guys….is the Christmas panic setting in? Haven’t a clue what to get that special lady in your life? Whether it’s your wife, girlfriend, mother or just a friend, here’s my top 4 Christmas Gift Ideas;

1. PowderPocket


This is Ireland’s newest monthly subscription service and would totally suit any beauty junkies in your life. The service allows you to try out 5 sample sized products each month without having to commit to the full size versions before you try them out. Products can include premium brands across haircare, cosmetics and skincare and each month will include an Irish brand. Subscriptions to the monthly service comes in three options; €12 (+P&P) for a monthly plan, €60 (+P&P) for a six month subscription which includes one free box, or €120 (+P&P) for a 12 month subscription which includes a free box. To sign up log onto http://www.powderpocket.com.

2. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palettenaked3Never has a new palette created so much hype and I CANNOT wait to get my hands on mine. I’ve ordered mine because I’m basically too lazy to head into town and battle the Christmas shoppers. With much more rosier toned eyeshadows than both of it’s predecessors, Naked 1 and Naked 2, this palette will suit both make up fanatics and also those that don’t wear much make up but just want an all-in-one palette. As to be expected from Urban Decay, the quality is reported to be excellent and with 12 eyeshadows for €44, it’s great quality too. Naked 3 palette is now available to purchase in store and online at http://www.debenhams.ie.

3. Jo Malone Deluxe Gift Set 

Jo MaloneChristmas always brings out a gorgeous selection of gift sets and Jo Malone is no exception. This gift set combines Blackberry & Bay 100ml Cologne and Pomegranate Noir Home Candle. A girl can never have enough Jo Malone in her life. Available from Brown Thomas and now available online http://www.brownthomas.com.

4. Sara Duffy Make Up Gift Voucher – Whether it be a makeover for a special occasion, a night out or a make up lesson, the lady in your life always loves being pampered and this is a great stocking filler. Contact me on sara@saraduffymakeup.com.

November Favourites

So this month, I’ve decided to do a ‘Favourites’ post as there are quite a few products that I have been loving this month. Hopefully I will be able to keep this up, although can’t promise it will be every month. So here we go……these are what I have been loving and using lots of this month,

YSL Volume Effect Faux Cils Baby Doll Mascara

Babydoll mascara

I wouldn’t normally be one for purchasing high end mascaras as I really do think that the high street has this particular area wrapped up. However, something made me purchase this when I was buying my face cleanser from http://www.feelunique.com. Anyway, I’m delighted I did sneak it into my order. I can honestly say that this is my favourite mascara ever! That’s quite a claim, given that I didn’t think that anything could top Maybelline The Falsies mascara. The wand has very small spikey bristles, which ensures that it coats every lash without any clumps at all, and makes it much easier to reach those small lashes that a bigger, fatter wand wouldn’t enable you to. It’s also the perfect wand for coating the lower lashes. As I have straight upper lashes, I curl them every day before applying my mascara and this product really does hold that curl all day. However, I did find that the tube has begun to dry up already and I’ve only had it 2 months, which I don’t think is great for the price you are paying. But overall, an amazing mascara. I paid £24.50 for this and as much as I would love to repurchase it, I just think it’s too much for a mascara. ;-(

Sleek Contour Kit in Medium

This is definitely one of my ‘Holy Grail’ products. I bought this last year over in the UK from Superdrug. Sleek are by far one of the most under rated brands in the make up universe. They manage to bring out fantastic dupes for high end brands, such as Nars Blush in ‘Orgasm’, Sleek’s is called ‘Rose Gold’.  Their products are fantastic quality and retail at an amazing price. Their Contour Kit is no exception. I have the medium palette and literally use this every day to define my chubby cheeks. The colour is perfect for me, really pigmented, matte and really easy to blend. The highlighter powder is really fine, which ensures that it doesn’t enlarge pores when on the skin – it’s a similar colour to MAC’s Soft & Gentle, but a much better quality product. This one cost me £6.49, but Sleek products can be purchased on http://www.beautyemporium.ie and http://www.cloud10beauty.com.

Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer in the colour Eclipse

Nov 13 Favourites images 019Nov 13 Favourites images 017Rimmel really are the Kings of high street lip products. I have quite a few of their lipsticks in my kit and find the texture and lasting power very good. Recently, I have been looking for a rich plum colour lipstick for winter that lasts as I’m no good at topping up my lipstick and this is the business. Every time I wear it people not only comment on the colour but the look of it as well. The range now comes in 13 shades from nudes to festive bright reds. Eclipse is a plum colour and perfect for this time of year. The applicator has a little well in the middle of it which collects product, so just be wary when you put it on, it transfers a lot of product. The consistency is really creamy and opaque with fantastic colour pay off. It’s a satin finish that actually ends up drying matte, which means that the staying power is great, even after eating and drinking. I bought mine in Boots for €7.95. I’m not a huge fan of the packaging, as with most high street make up, but for the price, it’s a fantastic product.

Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Colour – Rock N Roll

Nov 13 Favourites images 028Another Rimmel product, a nail varnish this time. Out of all my nail polishes that I own, Rimmel are the brand that feature the most as the quality is excellent, far better than some of my high end brands. Their Salon Pro range really does what it says on the tin. It probably would last for 10 days as it claims, but I get bored after about 7 and want to change colour. I bought Rock N Roll as I was looking for a festive red. I also own Soul Session, Celebrity Bash, Night Flight and Hot List. I always apply a top coat and this definitely keeps it looking fresher for longer.

Cloon Keen Atelier candle – Christmas Pomander

Nov 13 Favourites images 008Whilst this is not a make up product, these candles are an absolute staple in my life – there is always one burning in my kitchen. If ever my husband is stuck for what to buy me for Christmas or Birthday, this is a winner and my mum is now addicted to them as well. I have worked my way through most of their collection, and been purchasing their candles since I moved back to Ireland 6 years ago. My favourites tend to be Cassis Leaf and Gooseberry Leaf, but at this time of year I always purchase their Christmas scent. This year it’s called ‘Christmas Pomander’ and is a mixture of orange, clove and spice. It’s perfect for getting you in the festive mood (along with a sneaky glass of mulled wine). Their scent is strong enough to fill a room, but by far from overpowering and definitely not that horrible sweet smell that you get from a lot of candles. They are just perfection and a Galway company which makes it even better ;-). Check out their store in Kirwins Lane in Galway or online www.cloonkeenatelier.com.

What products are you loving right now??

Lust List – Autumn/Winter

I’m a little late in getting this up, as there is just too much gorgeousness out there this Autumn/Winter to chose from. I’ve chosen mostly make up, but also thrown a nail polish in the mix as well, as I’m a girl that always needs nail varnish on her nails to hide them!

YSL Gris Underground (38) La Lacque Couture – it’s finally time to swap our summery pink nails for more muted colours and I think that this is the perfect colour to do just that. Part of their Fall Collection 2013, it’s

a beautiful blue-grey. I’m becoming a bit obsessive about grey at the moment having painted my bedroom in this colour, I now want to get my hands on the rest of the house! I’ve never used YSL nail varnishes so I don’t know how they last and if they are chip resistant, but just couldn’t resist the colour.


Tom Ford Bronzer – this is so much of a lust item and never going to be reality as it’s just too expensive for me to justify buying, plus, I’m really happy with my Nars Laguna bronzer, but a girl can always dream. Anyway, it comes in two slightly different colours and has received rave reviews to date. A major downfall of this product I feel is the size of the packaging, it’s just so big and just not particularly handy to keep in your make up bag. But a great product all the same.

TF bronzer

Nars Blush in Sin – (€30) – Again, this has received great reviews online so want to try it out. I’m not a great one for a really pinky blush as it just doesn’t suit me, but thought this would be a great Autum shade to try. I know it doesn’t look like much in the palette, but once on, it’s a really nice tone.

Nars Sin BlusherMAC Pro Conceal and Correct Palette – This would be so handy to have in my kit. I’d probably get both the Light and the Medium ones as these go up to NC35 and I would very rarely need anything darker than that. I’ve yet to find the ‘Holy Grail’ of concealers and think these would be great to try and nice and compact for my kit.

MAC Concealer Palette

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer – This is definitely something that I’m going to purchase for myself rather than my kit. I’ve heard that it doesn’t crease at all under the eyes. I’m about to run out of my Bare Minerals cream concealer and whilst I quite like it, I feel it’s a little too creamy for me and by the end of the day, I feel that it’s sliding off, which is never a great look!

MAC PRo Longwear concealer

MAC Pro Palette for eyeshadows – I’ve got three of these for my kit, the old ones that haven’t got the clear plastic lids, but really would like one of these large ones for my personal collection. I’ve a few of the small palettes but would like to have a large one that I can keep all the eyeshadows in and then transfer them to the smaller palette if I’m traveling or something. Every time I go to get one of these, they have been out of stock, even when I was over in New York earlier in the year. Fingers crossed I’ll get my hands on one soon enough.

MAC Pro Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Make Up (www.charlottetilbury.com) – If you don’t know who Charlotte Tilbury is, she is an absolute legend of the make up world, having worked on some of the most famous faces around. She has recently launched her own make up line and it all just looks gorgeous. I must have watched her tutorials a million times over and really want the whole collection, including the brushes. She’s such a natural artist and makes it all look so easy. If I had to choose I think I’d go for a couple of the Luxury Eyeshadow Palettes; Rock Star and The Dolce Vita, the Penelope Pink Lipstick with the matching lip pencil in Pillowtalk, the Rock n Kohl eye liner in black and her Cheek to Chic Blusher in Ectasy. And that’s me being conservative, there is heaps more that I want from the collection, especially some of the brushes! Think a few of these maybe making it onto my Christmas list!

A selection of products from Charlotte Tilbury's collection

A selection of products from Charlotte Tilbury’s collection

What’s on your wish list?

Sara. x

Autumn/Winter 13 Make up trends

As we head into Autumn, you can definitely feel the air changing….that calls for a revamp of our make up. Make up for Autumn/Winter 13 definitely brings with it a touch of glamour. Here’s what’s hot for Autumn/Winter 13…..


This trend is staying around, so if you haven’t started growing yours, now is the time. They don’t necessarily need to be bushy, just keep them well groomed. A great way to do this is by using a brow gel to set them in place.  MAC do a great clear gel which is a permanent fixture in my kit and you can also get a less expensive version from Rimmel or Maybelline. Using the brushes on these helps tame the brows and gets the hairs to grow upwards.

MAC Clear brow GelMaybelline Clear Brow Gel

If you think you need some extra definition on the brows, then you can do this with a powder or pencil product. For blondes I’d recommend using MAC;s eyeshadow in Omega or their eyebrow pencil in Fling. For brunettes, MAC’s Lingering pencil is great and they also have a huge variety of brown shades, so they’ll definitely be one to suit your brows. Definitely try to stick to the exact colour, or even one shade lighter than your natural brows. If you’re feeling a bit flash with your cash, try Anastasia Beverly Hills range of brow products which can be purchased at http://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/anastasia-beverly-hills and they are currently offering free worldwide shipping for orders over £25.


Wine stained lips are definitely a big trend for the coming seasons and it’s all about being matte. So apply your lip colour/lip stain and then blot away any excess. You can even put a light covering of face powder over your lips. Colour wise, it’s the typical wine, berry and rich colours your would associate with this time of the year. I’m totally lusting after the Tom Ford range of lipsticks that are in the shops, actually, I tell a lie, it’s not just the lipsticks I’m lusting after, it’s the whole collection. Oh a girl can dream.

Tom Ford lipsticks

However, this year there are more options in terms of the texture of the product that you use, from Clinique’s Chubby Sticks, a lip stain, lipstick or a lip tar.

wine lips3wine lips 1wine lips2

wine lip4


We’re finally seeing a move from the “no make-up” dewy-skinned look that has dominated catwalk beauty for a long time to a shift towards groomed, velvety skin carefully prepped with foundation before being dusted with a liberal coat of powder to set it. Apparently make-up artists spent five times as long on the skin than the rest of the make-up at the fashion shows toachieve the perfect matte satin skin. For a high street option, I would opt for L’Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation, which will help you achieve a healthy glow without too much shine.


Eyeliner will always be on trend in some form or another. This season it’s in the form of thin, black, sometimes barely-there liner.  There is also a noticeable nod to the ’60s with extravagant feline flick.


Dark & Dramatic Eyes
The focus for this season’s dark eyes is on a smudged, sexy look, with extra details like glitter and metallics. Just remember to keep the lip bare.

dark eyes1 Dark-Dramatic-Eyes-Lanvin Gucci eyesdramatic eyes2

I hope this helps you find a look that suits you. Make up, like your wardrobe should change a few times a year to suit your skin colour and colours appropriate for the season. There are some absolutely amazing new collections for this season, so go on, treat yourself to something!

Sara. x

NYX Cosmetics Haul & Review

I tend to be pretty picky about buying new make up. Whilst I love the stuff, I simply don’t want to waste my time (& money) buying products that either aren’t right for me or my kit and don’t do what they claim to. That said, I have been really looking forward to trying out some NYX Cosmetics for a while as I’ve read great things about them in other blogs. Unfortunately, my local Flair store told me that they have stopped stocking the brand as it’s becoming less of a pro product and more mainstream. Shipping from the UK tends to be fairly high when buying online, but I managed to track it down online from http://www.cherryculture.com in the US. This stuff is soooo cheap. The lipglosses were $4.50, cream blushes $5.00 and the powder blush was $5.50. These items were in the sale which still seems to be on. The P&P was just over $11, which I didn’t mind paying as the products were actually cheaper than on NYX’s own website.

So….what did I buy?

Blog Images 005

I finally found the Mega Shine Lipgloss in Beige (totally named incorrectly) and also got another gloss in Salsa…it would be rude not to! The blushers that I bought are two cream blushers; Glow and Red Cheeks and the powder blusher in Rose Garden.

NYX SwatchBlusher swatches

I bought the cream blushers as I don’t really use cream blushers on myself and definitely needed some to add to my kit.  I have been so impressed with the pigmentation of them. As you can see from the swatches, the smallest amount goes a very long way. The only problem with buying online is the swatches often don’t truly show the actual colour.  I thought Red Cheeks would be a good alternative to MAC’s Frankly Scarlet blush, but it really is very red. The texture is very creamy and could probably even be used as lip glosses as well to save you money! These would be great on dry skin, as they are sheer, pigmented and creamy and blend very easily. If you wanted to make sure it lasted, apply your foundation, then the cream blush, powder your face and then add a powder blush over the top…..it won’t shift. If like me, you have an oily or combination skin, these won’t be right for you as they are very emolient. The powder blush in Rose Garden has a little golden shimmer through it which I didn’t think would be any good for me, but it’s actually lovely. I’m loving wearing this on my cheeks with just a little contouring. Again, it’s very pigmented, so you only need a little bit on your brush and seems to be quite long wearing.

Blog Images 038Mega Shine Lip Gloss swatches

After waiting to get my hands on the Mega Shine lip gloss in beige, I was not disappointed. There is nothing beige about it, in fact is a very sweet opaque pink colour, that’s a lot pinker than I thought it would be. I really like the applicator as it’s shaped to apply the lip gloss with accuracy around the lip and the smell is adorable, like sweet cherries. Since getting this product a couple of weeks ago, it has not left my handbag, I love it! I also bought one in Salsa, but I’m not as keen on this as it has way too much shimmer in it for me. It kind of reminds me of the L’Oreal Glam Shine lip gloss that I would have owned when I was a teenager. So definitely not for me. However, I do love the packaging of these NYX lip glosses though with the little bow on the top of the applicator.

Overall, I have been massively impressed with NYX Cosmetics and will definitely be making more purchases in the future. They are so affordable, great quality and have a huge range of colours to choose from which always helps. I think I’m going to try their HD Foundation next. Anyone tried them? If so, let me know what you think of it.