Thursday, July 23, 2015

Three Oil Based Cleansers Worth Trying

Out of all of the different types of cleansers that I've tried (believe me, there have been quite a few), oil based cleansers are by far my favourite. They are something that I would have run a mile from a couple of years ago, given the fact that my skin tends to err on the slightly oily side, but now I am a total convert and they are what I use in my make-up removal routine 90% of the time. I'm a sucker when it comes to cleansers that take my make-up off in record time (I hate anything that comes between me and my bed at the end of the day), but still leave my skin leaving feeling nourished and not stripped - cleansing oils manage to tick all of the boxes for me. My love affair started with the Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, and after going through a few bottles I decided to see what else was on offer - I wouldn't be a true beauty blogger if curiosity didn't get the better of me from time to time, now would I? Over the past couple of months I have been testing out a few different types of cleansing oils, and there have been three that have really stood out to me. And they just so happen to fall into the 'budget', 'middle of the road' and 'spendy' price brackets. Makes for a perfect blog post, wouldn't you agree?


My first foray into the world of cleansing oils began with the Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil, and it was instant love.  I have been through numerous bottles at this stage, and it's one that I keep coming back to. Every time I come to the end of a bottle, I tell myself that I should really use up some of the other cleansers that I have in my stash first before re-purchasing another bottle, but I always cave. It guess because it represents the best value for money out of the three, I don't feel quite so bad about going through it at lightening speed. It's one of the best products out there for melting away make-up, and I have recommended it to countless people. It feels gentle and soothing on the skin, but it is fragranced so it may not be for everyone. I don't have particularly sensitive skin though so it doesn't bother me - I actually prefer nice smelling products (might explain why I'm such a fan of Origins skincare). It retails for €18 and you get a decent 200ml of product for that price. If you are looking to delve into the world of cleansing oils, but don't want to splash the cash too much, then I would highly recommend checking this one out.     


The one that I have been using more recently is the MAC Cleanse Off Oil, and I have been like it a lot. MAC is not a brand I think of when it comes to skincare, but I had heard good things about this cleansing oil and that combined with the fact that I have a Pro Card made me think, why the hell not?! Man, this stuff is good. Better than the Body Shop offering? Maybe... Unfortunately for my bank balance. The selling point of this stuff, for me anyway, is how incredibly non-oil like the product feels - it is so lightweight that it almost feels like water on the skin. And so, of course, I didn't expect it to be quite as effective in breaking down make-up compared to the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil which feels a bit more greasy, but I was wrong. It dissolves all make-up, including eye make-up and waterproof mascara, so well and with minimal product. I don't know if this is intended for the eye area or not, but I use it anyway (I'm definitely not one for faffing around with a separate eye make-up remover when I'm tired and want to get my make-up off ASAP) and it's one of the most gentle products I've ever used in that it doesn't make my eyes sting at all. It is also mineral oil and fragrance free, so if scented products aren't really your thing or if you have sensitive skin then this might be the cleansing oil for you. It will set you back €26.50 for 150ml - pricey enough, but manageable. 


Ok, so being honest I was only really intrigued by this product because Lisa Eldridge named it as a favourite skincare product of hers and, let's face it (no pun intended), that woman has darn good skin. So I came to the conclusion that by using this cleanser I would have skin as good as hers? If only... This oil is a lot thicker than the two previously mentioned, but it also does the most for my skin health-wise - my skin always feels incredibly nourished and plumped after cleansing with this oil, almost to the point that I don't need to use a moisturiser, and for that reason I would say that it is worth the extra few euros. It contains 100% natural ingredients (which might be of interest to those with sensitive skin who break out easily), including omega 6 and 9 which help to combat dehydration, boost moisture levels in the skin and nourish and protect the skin against environmental stressors, jojoba oil which is known to be a great moisturiser, and meadowfoam oil which forms a moisture barrier and assists against moisture loss. It is available exclusively from Space NK (as far as I know), and I think I paid around the €30 mark for it. Not bad, you might think, except it contains only 100ml of product. I feel like I would go through it far too quickly if I used it on a daily basis, and it's too pricey for that, so I tend to reserve it for travelling. Because it contains 100ml of liquid I can include it with my hand luggage on flights, and the compact packaging makes it easy to pack when I'm travelling light. Who says you can't enjoy a proper cleansing routine when you're on holidays? 

What's your favourite cleansing oil? 
Lots of love, Rachael 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Eyes On MAC | Burgundy Times Nine

Left to right: Honey Lust, Poppyseed, Quarry, Antiqued

Left to right: Embark, Noir, Haux, Star Violet, Sketch 

It's not too regular an occurrence that a MAC collection really manages to pique my interest (they seem to be two a penny these days), but it was a whole other story when I first laid eyes on the Eyes On MAC Collection. They currently have two 'Times Fifteen' and four 'Times Nine' eyeshadow palettes on offer and, let me tell you, they are positively droolworthy. If you're into eyeshadow palettes that is. It was the Burgundy Times Nine* palette that landed on my desk recently, and now that I've had a chance to have a bit of a play around with it (after painstakingly having to wait a few days before I could photograph it, that is) I'm ready to give my verdict. 

MAC eyeshadows hold a special place in my make-up loving heart. They were the first MAC products that I obsessed over back in the day, and I always had a wishlist as long as my arm of the shadows that I wanted to try. MAC have always been known for the fact that they don't really do ready made palettes as such - building a customised palette is more their thing, and so this collection is rather unexpected. A good unexpected though. Burgundy Times Nine is a nine pan palette with both new and permanent burgundy toned shades, and currently retails for €40. Not a bad deal for nine MAC shadows, except when you consider the size. In real life the palette is actually quite small, much smaller than I expected, but then again I have dropped larger sums of money on smaller eyeshadow palettes from the likes of NARS, Charlotte Tilbury, and (just a few minutes ago) Burburry. To give you an idea of the size, the regular single eyeshadow pans hold 1.5g of product compared to the 0.8g given in each of the palettes. But value for money aside, it is a beautiful palette and contains nine shades that are right up my street and that I know I will get plenty of wear out of. 

The shades include Honey Lust (a bronze dipped peach with a lustre finish), Poppyseed (a mid-tone mauvey nude with a satin finish), Quarry (a soft muted plum brown with a matte finish), Antiqued (an ash brown with bronze with a veluxe pearl finish), Embark (an intense reddish brown with a matte finish), #Noir (a deep black brown with gold pearls with a velvet finish), Haux (a soft muted rosy brown with a satin finish), Star Violet (a pinky brown plum with a veluxe pearl finish) and Sketch (a burgundy with red shimmer with a velvet finish). The shades are quite rich in colour and have great colour pay-off. It's probably one that a lot of girls would reserve for occasions when they want to sport a bolder eyeshadow look, but it's definitely day time friendly too. My personal favourites are Quarry, Haux and Antiqued - the plummy/purple undertones in these three eyeshadows really make my brown eyes pop and I love the combination. I actually already own the full size of Quarry (it was one of the first shades I ever bought), but I never got much use out of it because I unluckily ended up with a dud with little to no colour pay off. So I was really excited to see it featured in this palette, and turns out that it's a beautiful shade with great pigmentation! Overall, I'm loving this palette at the moment and it is definitely a worthy addition to my collection. I think it will come in handy during the autumn and winter months with it's rich burgundy tones and I can't wait to get more use out of it! 

Have you tried any of the new palettes from the Eyes On MAC Collection? 
Lots of love, Rachael 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Beauty Favourites From 2015 So Far

Now that we're halfway through the year (seriously, when did that happen?), I thought it was high time for a round up of my favourite beauty products from 2015 so far. Although it only seems like yesterday that we were ringing in the new year, I have managed to discover and fall in love with quite a few new products... And I thought I would share them with you all today! It was difficult, but I have managed to narrow it down to just under ten products, and since I have already spoken about each one in various blog posts I will try to keep it snappy. 

I tried to narrow it down to just one foundation favourite, but in the end I couldn't decide between NARS Sheer Glow and Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder. Both are quite different, but I love them equally - Sheer Glow for how well it blends and how flawless it makes my skin look, and Light Wonder for how lightweight it feels and how natural it looks on the skin. I'm notoriously picky when it comes to foundation and  there are only a handful out of my vast collection that I wear on a regular basis. So the fact that I have managed to discover not one but two bases that I wouldn't hesitate to put in my 'top five' in the first half of this year really is quite something! The NARS Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base has been another staple this year. It's one of those products that I haven't really talked about that much because, well, it's not that interesting to talk about..! But having said that an eye primer is one of those products that I can't be without, especially during the summer months, and this NARS offering is phenomenal at what it does. It manages to keep my eyeshadow in place and looking vibrant all day, and the silvery pearlescent shade really helps to brighten up my eye area when worn on it's own. It's seriously heavy duty stuff, and something I would definitely recommend if your eyeshadow tends to fade or crease halfway through the day like mine does. I never thought I would be professing my love for another mascara in the same way that I did for L'Oreal Telescopic, but my love for Make-Up Forever Smoky Lash is real and so it has to be done. It took me a little while to warm to this mascara, but once it dried out a little it was then that I could fully appreciate what the hype was about. In a nutshell, it thickens my lashes without making them clumpy and holds a curl in an impressive way for a girl who was cursed with the straight gene. 

There have been so many amazing lip products that I have discovered in the first half of this year, and narrowing my favourites down to just a select few was hard let me tell you. The MAC Prep + Prime Lip* has been a serious game changer, and I honestly couldn't imagine being without it in my make-up routine. I have really been enjoying using lip pencils and matte lipsticks recently, and this stuff has allowed me to be able to wear them without my lips becoming dry and uncomfortable. I guess it is designed to be used as a sort of lip primer and to act as a base for lipstick to allow it to be applied evenly and easily, which it does amazingly well, but I find that it also prolongs the wear of my lip products and really extends the length of time I can wear them for without having to re-apply. As mentioned, I have been having a bit of a thing for lip liners recently and one of my favourites this year has been the Essence Lip Liner in Satin Mauve. It was the price that first attracted me to this liner (at €1.29 I figured I couldn't go wrong), but then I quickly discovered how great it was (the shade and formula is superb) and of course I had to run out and buy a few more (including a back up of Satin Mauve). I would definitely put these liners on a par with what MAC has to offer but, considering the difference in the price, I tend to just stick to these on a day to day basis. I received the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in Satisfaction for Christmas, and have worn it so much since then that I'm actually nearing the end of it. And, considering the amount of lipsticks I own, that's impressive. I especially love pairing it with the Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Pencil in Pillow Talk - the two together are just the ultimate nude lip combination and somehow manage to make my lips look twice the size they actually are. 

I don't really have quite the same passion for haircare as I do for make-up, but the Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray is something that I have been using non stop since the beginning of the year. I never blow dry my hair without it now, and it is one of the only no fuss products that manages to inject some volume into my lifeless hair. And lastly, fragrance. I do love my Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Cologne, but it is the Diptque Eau Rose Roll On that has really captured my heart. The scent is absolutely heavenly, and without a doubt one of my all time favourites. I keep this roll on in my bag to freshen up with throughout the day, and I'm just addicted  to it! I'm working myself up to purchase the full size Eau de Toilette (it's just so darn pricey), but with the rate that I'm working through this roll on I can't see it being too far into the future.  

What are your mid year beauty favourites?
Lots of love, Rachael