Monday, January 26, 2015

Current Daily Make-Up Picks

Shockingly enough, I don't think I have ever done a 'daily make-up' post on this space. Maybe it's because my make-up picks change on a near daily basis, but lately I have been reaching for a selection of products that have, quite simply, been bringing it (whatever it is) and I thought I had better document those products before my tastes change and I move on. But to be honest, I don't see that happening for quite a while. January is always a month where I get to try out quite a few new products (it being just after Christmas and birthday month) and there have been one or two newbies this month that I have been just adoring, and I have a feeling that they will be firm staples in my daily make-up routine for quite a while. 

It is a widely known fact (if you're a regular reader) that I never stay true to the one foundation for too long, mainly because I like to chop and change depending on the current condition of my skin. But one that I can rely on no matter what the state of my skin is Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua and I think if I had to choose just one foundation for all occasions, it would be this one. To put it bluntly, I just like how it makes my skin look - almost like I've got naturally good skin. I love how barely detectable it is, and the light to medium coverage and satin finish is exactly what I look for in a foundation that I use for daily wear. I usually have to pair a concealer with this foundation to tone down the purpley-blue shadows under my eyes, and my favourite at the moment is the Clarins Instant Concealer. Yes I've read a few good reports about it here and there, but nothing too crazy. So I was really quite surprised after my first few uses when I discovered just how good it really is - why isn't this stuff raved about more?! For something so lightweight and non-cakey, it really manages to cover well. I love how moisturising and hydrating it feels and how well it sits throughout the day - it doesn't settle into fine lines or look cakey. It is marketed as an eye brightener - and there is no denying that it works wonders in helping to cancel out dark circles - but I have also been using it on other areas of the face too with great success. The Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow is a relatively recent addition, but something that I haven't been able to put down since first discovering it. It is so handy for everyday use, and both shades work beautifully with my pale skin and are subtle enough for daytime use. I don't think it will take me too long to hit pan on this baby! 

For eyebrows, I'm still in love with the Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade. I recently misplaced it and went back to using a powder to fill in my brows for a few days and it just wasn't the same. I will always be an Anastasia Dipbrow kinda girl I think! For eyeshadow, I have been wearing the Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather Effect in Creamy Beige. I had no idea that these had landed in Ireland and couldn't help but pick up two when I spotted them a few weeks back - I am a big fan of the original Color Tattoos, and these new Leather Effect ones don't disappoint. The formula is very like the MAC Prolongwear Paint Pots - they glide on easily and last well throughout the day without fading or creasing. Creamy Beige is a warm toned medium brown shade and works great as a 'whack-on-all-over-the-lids-in-two-seconds kind of eyeshadow. It leaves a matte finish, which I've been leaning more towards lately when it comes to eyeshadow, and looks great whether worn on it's own or with other shadows. I've been digging out my NARSissist Palette a lot more recently too and experimenting with different shades - lately I have been using Madrague 2 or Bali (neutral matte browns) in the crease when I want to add a little more definition, with Maybelline's Creamy Beige all over the lid. The Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper is still a staple in my daily make-up routine - it is definitely the best liner I have come across so far and I love how the brush applicator allows me to get so close to the lashline. I have been winging this out ever so slightly - nothing too dramatic, don't worry! - and I really think baby flicks suit my eye shape. Another thing I have been obsessed with recently is tightlining with the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in Black. It makes the biggest difference in giving the appearance of full lashes, and even though it's a little more time consuming than I'd like it's a step I haven't been missing out on lately. For mascara, there's nothing new in the fact that I've been opting for my trusty L'Oreal Telescopic on a daily basis, sometimes combined with the Make-Up Forever Smokey Lash Mascara if I want a more dramatic look. It's my all time favourite mascara and I have probably been through about ten tubes of the stuff at this stage. 

And finally on to lips - the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Pencil in Pillow Talk and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in Satisfaction are two products that basically haven't left my lips in what feels like forever. The two of them create the most beautiful 'not-too-brown-but-not-too-pink' nude shade and I've been obsessed with the combo recently. 

What are your current daily make-up picks?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What's In My Shower

'What's in my shower' videos have to be some of my favourite videos to watch on YouTube. On paper, they don't sound very interesting and I'm sure most beauty addicts would much rather become familiar with the contents of a make-up or handbag, but I do love discovering new products that help to make my shower experience that little bit more enjoyable. These days I like to keep things (relatively) simple product-wise and am making more of a conscious effort to not accumulate ten different types of shower gels, leaving my shower cluttered with half empty bottles. At the moment, I just have one of each product on the go (go me!) and my goal is to use them all up before moving onto the next. But with my beauty hoarding tendencies I know that it's going to be a tough one to keep to. Here's to trying!

My sister kindly gave me a few Lush goodies for Christmas, one of which was the Seanik Solid Shampoo Bar. I have to admit that I was a little sceptical when I first heard of a shampoo bar - would it lather up and get my hair really clean like a regular shampoo? - but I was pleasantly surprised after my first use. It contains seaweed and sea salt which help to add some much needed volume to my fine hair, lemon oil which adds shine, and mimosa, jasmine and orange flower essential oils which give it that amazing tropical scent. It lathers up instantly, cleanses my hair thoroughly and leaves it soft, shiny and volumised. Conditioner-wise, I have a bit of a confession to make... I don't use the stuff. Shock, horror! Instead I opt for a hair mask, usually on a once weekly basis or more often if my hair needs it, and a leave in conditioning spray post showering, and that combination tends to do the trick without weighing my fine hair down. The hair mask I use is still the same as always - the Macadamia Natural Oil Deep Repair Masque. I haven't bothered trying out anything else since first purchasing this (well over a year ago at this stage) because I love it so much - it nourishes and hydrates my hair without weighing it down, and leaves it silky smooth and manageable. I work a dollop of this into my hair and leave it to do it's magic for ten or fifteen minutes before rinsing it out to reveal tangle free and healthy hair. Even though I like to remove my make-up properly beforehand (I'm a night time shower kinda gal), I always like to use some sort of face wash in the shower to make sure my face is really clean. At the moment I'm using the Soap & Glory The Greatest Scrub Of All, which is obviously more of an exfoliator than a face wash, but I find it to be quite gentle on my skin and I don't have any problems with using it a few times a week.  
I always get lazy with exfoliating and using body scrubs in the winter (if my legs ain't on show then it's totally acceptable and all that), but I have been making more of an effort lately, and the one that is always in my shower no matter what is the Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub. I'm obsessed with the scent of this (I have been tempted to eat it on occasion) and it works really well in smoothing my skin and getting rid of any dry patches without stripping it. For body wash I always have something from Soap & Glory on the go, and the one I'm using at the moment is the Sugar Crush Body Wash. I tend to buy three of these at a time (usually when they're on a three-for-two offer) and they last forever. I used to obsess over Clean On Me, but I think Sugar Crush is my new favourite - I love the fresh, citrusy scent (which to me smells like Lovehearts sweets - anyone remember those?), how well it lathers up, and the fact that the scent tends to linger on my skin long after the suds have been washed down the drain. The most recent product to be added to my shower rack is the L'Occitane Almond Shower Oil, which is an almond scented oil (duh) that lathers up once it comes into contact with water. It feels so luxurious and moisturising and is great for hydrating my skin, especially if I don't have time to moisturise afterwards. It is a winter bodycare staple for sure, and I will most definitely be stocking up on the refill once I work my way through this one. 

What's in your shower at the moment? 
Lots of love, Rachael 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Perfect Highlighting Duo

The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector, to the best of my knowledge, is a product that has been around for quite a while but it only really rose to fame (with me anyway) after a mention on a Lisa Eldridge video a few years back. After watching, with awe I might add, how she buffed it into her skin so seamlessly to give the most beautifully glowing skin I have ever seen on another person, I decided that I wanted it. And nearly five years after first watching said video it finally became mine. 

The Shimmering Skin Perfector comes in several different shades to suit a variety of skin tones - I went with 'Moonstone'  which is a pale golden champagne shade. My kind of shade when it comes to highlighters. The liquid itself contains ultra-fine light reflecting pearls that create a subtle luminosity and soft, natural glow - not a glitter particle in sight. It melts into the skin so beautifully, and almost just becomes a part of my foundation - it doesn't sit on top of my skin which can be a problem with certain liquid highlighters, and it doesn't leave an obvious reflective stripe across the tops of the cheekbones. What I love most about it is how incredibly versatile it is - it can be used as a highlighter in the traditional sense to 'spotlight' the high points of the face, as a luminescent base underneath foundation to create a natural inner glow or even mixed in with foundation if you want radiance everywhere and not just in certain areas, and as a body highlighter by mixing a few pumps in with body lotion for dewy and healthy looking d├ęcolletage, shoulders and legs. It can be as subtle or as dramatic looking as you so wish - I tend to go in with a teeny amount first for a barely there glow that can only be noticed when I tilt my head towards the sun, and then build it up as necessary depending on the look that I'm going for. When applying highlighter I like to stick to the Lisa Eldridge mantra that it should be in synergy with your skin and foundation, and is not something that is separate. That way you will achieve a truly, as clich├ęd as it sounds, 'lit from within' type glow. A glow that looks like it is naturally radiating from your skin, and not something that obviously looks like make-up. I always used to steer clear of liquid highlighter because I never really knew how to apply it, and I will admit that I struggled when I first started using this product. Should I use my fingers or a brush? And if I went for a brush, which brush is better? I wanted something that would really buff the product into my skin so that it became a part of my base, and that's when I thought of my Zoeva 110 Face Shape Brush which, being honest, I haven't really had a use for since purchasing it as part of the Rose Golden Brush Set. The Face Shape Brush is like a miniature buffing brush and is absolutely ideal for working liquid products into specific areas of the face. It allows for targeted application of the Shimmering Skin Perfector to the cheekbones, browbones, bridge of the nose, cupid's bow and anywhere else I wish to apply it, and the densely packed bristles ensures that the product is really worked into the skin so that everything blends in together nicely. Yes, I think I have discovered the perfect highlighting duo, if such a thing exists, and the two work together so effortlessly to transform my dull winter skin into skin that even Lisa herself would be jealous of. Well, ok, I wouldn't quite go that far, but you get my drift.    

Have you tried the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector? What's your favourite highlighter for this time of year?
Lots of love, Rachael