Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Year Of Blogging

Today, instead of my usual 'monthly catch-up' post (I wasn't all that diligent with blogging during the month of July so there's not a whole lot to 'catch up' with really), I thought I would go with something a little bit different. This day exactly one year ago marks the day that I finally bit the bullet and did something that I had been dreaming about doing for a long time, I started my very own little blog. So I guess you could call it a one year blogiversary of sorts! Even though it was something that I had been thinking about for a while (college, exams and work had always seemed to get in the way beforehand), in the end it was a bit of a spontaneous decision, and I had created my own little Blogger space on the internet and uploaded my first post within a few hours of making the decision. If my memory serves me correctly, it was a blog written by a fellow Irish blogger that I had come across for the first time that day that gave me the final push into starting my own - reading through hers made me think, 'yes, that is totally something I could do' and so Overdose De Maquillage was born. Like most other beauty bloggers, I have always had what some might call a bit of an unhealthy obsession with make-up and beauty, and this obsession was only to be fuelled on even further when I discovered the YouTube and beauty blogging community. When I began my blog, it was so nice to finally be able to discuss my love of all things beauty with other like minded people who actually had an interest in what I had to say, and who understood the excitement of, for example, the latest Nars release. Yes, my family and friends (the females anyway!) do wear and have an interest in make-up, just not to the same extent as I do, and so I needed an outlet where I could write away to my hearts content and chat with fellow make-up enthusiasts, even if it spelled disaster for my bank balance, and starting this blog has given me just that opportunity. I am so grateful for that. 

Today, I wanted to thank everyone who has supported my blog over the past year. It is so nice to know that there are people out there who enjoy reading what I have to say - nearly a thousand of you now, blimey! - and knowing that really makes it all worthwhile. Trying to keep up and maintain a blog is not simple and definitely involves a lot of hard work and dedication, especially when you are trying to run it alongside work and other life commitments,  but it is something that has been so so rewarding for me and I have really reaped the benefits of it over the last twelve months. Discovering a hobby that I truly love has been incredible, and here's to another year of incredible-ness! Once again, thank you all so much for reading, following and commenting on my blog - you're amazing!     

Lots of love, Rachael 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

MAC Eyeshadows | My Collection

Top to bottom; left to right: Mulch, Sable, Cranberry, Tempting

Top to bottom; left to right: Bronze, Honey Lust, Retrospeck, Sumptuous Olive

Top to bottom; left to right: Naked Lunch, Satin Taupe, Quarry, Woodwinked

Swatches (left to right): Cranberry, Mulch, Tempting, Sable

Swatches (left to right): Bronze, Honey Lust, Sumptuous Olive, Retrospeck

Swatches (left to right): Naked Lunch, Satin Taupe, Quarry, Woodwinked

In my mid teens, when I first really started getting into make-up, like many others I was obsessed with MAC. I really believed that it was the best brand out there and I spent many a weekend happily swatching away at the MAC counter hoping that I would one day be able to afford everything that I wanted. These days my love for make-up has extended well beyond what just MAC has to offer (though I am rather partial to a new lipstick every now and again), and I don't tend to lust after the latest collections like I once did. But today I thought I would show you all my collection of eyeshadows, as that is where my MAC obsession began and, being honest, I still think that they are the perfect place to start if you are looking to build your own little palette of shadows that is exactly to your liking. You are probably wondering why I own three of the four pan palettes rather than one fifteen pan pro palette - let's just say that when I first started collecting MAC eyeshadows, I definitely didn't expect to own any more than four considering the price. But I do like how portable the quads are and how much easier they are to store compared to the larger palettes, and I like the idea of being able to pick from my current favourites shades and pop them into one little palette to take away with me for a weekend rather than having to lug around a massive fifteen pan palette. Besides these three palettes, I also own a couple of single shadows which I haven't included in this post, including Charcoal Brown, a matte cool toned brown which is perfect for filling in eyebrows with, and Aquadisiac, a minty aqua shade which I bought when I was 16 during my 'colourful' phase when I thought I could pull off turquoise eyeshadow. 

Naked Lunch is a warm champagne peachy-pink shade with a frost finish, and was one of the first MAC eyeshadows that I ever purchased. It is a really pretty 'everyday' kind of shade and can be worn on it's own all over the lid for a simple wash of colour or with a second shade blended into the crease. It also works beautifully as an inner corner and brow bone highlight to help brighten and open up the eyes - quite a versatile little shade really. 

Satin Taupe is a taupey-brown shade with purple undertones and a frost finish, and is a firm favourite amongst beauty bloggers. This is a super pretty shade and one of my favourites - the purple undertones compliment my brown eyes so well, but at the same time it is a universal shade and I think it would suit most eye colours. I love to wear it blended into the crease and smudged into the lower lash line with black liner and something like Naked Lunch all over the lid. It really is a stunning shade and one that everyone should own. 

Quarry is a plum brown shade with a matte finish, and one that I decided to purchase thinking that the purple undertones would look flattering against my brown eyes. I also thought that it would be the perfect shade for using in combination with Satin Taupe, however, as you can see from the above (non-existent) swatch, the pigmentation levels are extremely poor and it basically doesn't show up on my skin no matter how heavy handed I am with the brush. I spoke about this eyeshadow in my recent 'disappointing products' post, but the more reviews I read the more I am convinced that I got a dud as I seem to be the only one with colour pay-off issues.        

Wookwinked is a warm golden bronze shade with copper/red undertones and a veluxe pearl finish, and is another beauty blogger (and personal) favourite. This shade is so easy to wear as it can be placed all over the lid and doesn't require any 'crease' shade - on blending, it turns a deep coppery-brown shade which gives the appearance of a second shadow worn through the crease. It is incredibly pigmented and buttery soft and smooth, which means that it is a dream to apply and work with. 

Bronze is a rich, golden bronze shade with warm orange undertones and a frost finish. Being honest, it's a shade that I don't get a whole lot of use out of and I don't really know why - perhaps it's just a tad too warm for my skintone, but nonetheless it is a beautiful, high quality shade.

Honey Lust is a warm peachy-golden shade with a lustre finish, and is the newest shade to be added to my MAC eyeshadow collection. It is perfect for neutral eyeshadow lovers, but the only downside to it is that there is quite a bit of fall out with it meaning that application is not as simple as I would like it to be. 

Sumptuous Olive is an olive green shade with golden/brown undertones and a veluxe pearl finish. I never saw myself steering outside of my neutral eyeshadow comfort zone and going for something green toned, but this eyeshadow has just the right amount of golden sheen to it to make it wearable and subtle looking. It is a truly stunning shade and really makes my brown eyes pop, and is a fantastic alternative if you want to add a little colour without it looking too obnoxious.  Click here if you want to see what it looks like on me!

Retrospeck is a pale shimmering golden champagne shade with a lustre finish, which looks pretty when worn all over the lid combined with something a little darker in the crease and outer corner. But it really comes into it's own when used as a subtle highlighting shade - it helps to brighten and open up the eyes when placed in the tear duct area and underneath the brow bone, and because it is a little lacking in pigmentation, it never looks too 'in your face'. 

Cranberry is a shimmering plum shade with red/pink undertones and a frost finish, and although it looks a little scary in the pan, it really is quite a stunning and versatile shade that is perfect for the autumn and winter months. One of my favourite ways to wear it is to pack it on all over the lid and smudge it underneath the lower lash line, and lightly work a little matte black eyeshadow into the crease for a smokey effect. When paired with black liner and lots of mascara, it makes for the perfect alternative autumn/winter night out eye make-up look.   

Mulch is a cool toned, medium brown shade with red undertones and a velvet finish. This particular shade suits my skin tone well, and I really should make more of an effort to get more wear out of it. The truth is I just have so many eyeshadows that I often forget what I have, and favourite shades tend to get lost amongst a pile of newer purchases, #beautybloggerproblems. 

Tempting is a warm golden bronze shade with a lustre finish. Compared to Bronze, the golden/brown undertones are a lot more evident and it is not quite as warm and orange in tone. Being from the 'lustre family', I didn't expect it to be quite so pigmented, but it really does give an impressive colour pay-off compared to the two other shadows I own from the same family. In the pan, the texture looks to be quite chunky, but it does apply easily to the eyelids and I have never had any problems with fall out. I love pairing this with a golden eyeshadow (such as Half Baked from the Urban Decay Naked Palette) and a red lip, especially during the festive period.     

Sable is a warm midtone plummy brown shade with strong pink undertones and a frost finish. Even though it looks to be just another standard brown in the pan, it really is quite a unique shade and is one of my favourites. I used to get a lot of wear out of this shade and pretty much wore it daily - like Woodwinked, it is one of those 'one wash wonders' that can be worn on it's own for a super quick and easy eye make-up look. 

My picks? Satin Taupe, Woodwinked, Sumptuous Olive and Sable. 

What are your favourite MAC eyeshadows? Are there any that you would recommend?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Preventing Make-Up Meltdown

The other day I was given the opportunity to write a guest post over on Becky's blog (Lipgloss & Lashes) and I decided to write all about my favourite products for preventing the dreaded make-up meltdown during the summer months, which is quite fitting given the amazing weather that we are experiencing at the moment. Today I thought I would share the post here just in case anyone happened to miss out on it! Trying to keep make-up intact throughout the day is something that a lot of us girls struggle with, especially when the warmer weather strikes, and so we have to make sure that the products we are using are of the 'long lasting' and 'budge proof' variety. In this post, I will be showcasing a couple of my base and eye make-up picks that I have found to be truly amazing in terms of their longevity, and they are the ones that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend if your make-up tends to start losing the will to stay put approximately two minutes after you have applied it on a hot day. 

I think most of us would agree that our base is the most important aspect of our make-up to get right during the summer months, and for me that involves using a combination of a good primer, foundation and setting spray. Priming is often the forgotten step in a make-up routine, but I firmly believe that it makes all the difference in helping to keep foundation in place and to prevent it from slipping and sliding throughout the day. Benefit's The Porefessional has been one of my favourites for a while now, and even though it's primary use is to minimise the appearance of pores, I find that since it is silicone based and oil free it really helps to stop shine from coming through on my oily T-zone area during the day. I apply a light layer underneath my foundation and it helps to create a perfectly even and smooth canvas which makes my base application that bit easier, and I always see a massive difference in the wear of my foundation when I add this to my make-up routine. Foundation wise, Estée Lauder Double Wear Light Stay In Place Make-Up is the best one that I have come across in my quest for a lightweight base that stays put during hot weather. I am all about light to medium coverage foundations that feel comfortable on the skin, especially during the summer, and the Light version of Double Wear suits me so much better than the original - it gives sheer to medium coverage, doesn't feel tight on the skin like the original version sometimes can, and gives more of a natural skin-like finish. But the best thing about it is that once applied it really doesn't budge - it controls oil, resists smudging and won't melt off through heat and humidity, so this might just be the foundation for you if you are visiting a hotter climate this summer or if you have trouble with making your foundation last until the end of the day in general. In particularly hot weather I usually forgo foundation and embrace the au naturel look (with maybe just a dot of concealer here and there so I don't look like something out of The Walking Dead), but if you have a job to go to or even just want to look a little more put together when going out in the evening sometimes skipping foundation just isn't an option. So for those times I would highly recommend checking out this Estée Lauder offering, as it will last however long you need it to without melting away in the heat. Most of the time when I want my base to last I will set it with a setting powder, but when the weather is warmer I find that adding too many face products can often result in extreme caking, which is a look I always try to steer clear of. So instead, I usually opt for my Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray which is one of the most effective products I have come across for preventing make-up meltdown and keeping it from cracking, fading or settling into fine lines. Once I have all of my make-up applied I just mist a little all over and it sets everything into place - it's basically like hairspray for your face! Apparently it works by lowering the temperature of make-up which ensures that it is kept in place for up to 16 hours, and it keeps make-up looking vibrant and freshly applied even during hot and humid conditions. It feels weightless on the skin and not in the least bit tight or sticky, and looks undetectable unlike certain powders which can often cake in the heat and look obvious. 

Moving onto the eye area, which can be especially problematic for a lot of girls during hot weather, and I like to spend a little more time choosing the right products in order to prevent a serious case of panda eyes half way through the day. Waterproof and long lasting formulas are essential to ensure minimal creasing, fading and smudging, and I have a selection of products that I always turn to when I want to prevent eye make-up meltdown. Beginning with brows, my favourite long lasting product is the Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade, which is a water and smudgeproof gel-mousse based product that really doesn't budge once applied, even if you're like me and are prone to face touching. It has a creamy consistency to it which means that it glides on easily to create perfectly defined, natural looking brows, and because it is so pigmented only a tiny amount is needed. It holds up amazingly well in extreme weather conditions, whether you are caught in thirty five degree heat or a downpour (the latter being a more likely scenario in the UK or Ireland!), and eyebrows half way down your face will be a thing of the past once you start using this little product. To keep my eyeshadow in place, I always use my MAC Prolongwear Paint Pot in Painterly which is a flesh toned eyeshadow base that primes the eyelids and prevents any shadow placed on top from creasing and melting away throughout the day. It can also be worn on its own to even out the skin tone on the eyelids or to cover up any darkness, discolouration or veins, and I find that it also helps to prevent eyeliner on the top lash line from smudging.  If you are looking for a long-lasting eyeshadow that doesn't require a primer underneath, then I would highly recommend the By Terry Ombre Blackstar Color-Fix Cream Eyeshadows which have a smudge proof formula, set pretty much straight away, and stick around for the day whatever the weather. They are incredibly long lasting and really don't budge once applied, and I would even go so far as to recommend applying  to one eye and blending out first before going on to the other eye. Cream products are always nicer to work with during the summer, and this Ombre Blackstar in the shade Misty Rock is ideal as it's the perfect one wash wonder shade - who wants to faff around with a million different eyeshadows when it's hot and stuffy outside?! For eyeliner, the best I have found is the Soap & Glory Supercat Eyeliner which is so easy to apply and stays put all day no matter what the weather. If you prefer a softer look, try setting kohl eyeliner with a little black eyeshadow on an angled brush (making sure to use a good primer underneath aswell) and it will last much longer than kohl on it's own. And lastly, waterproof is where it's at when it comes to wearing mascara on a hot day, and even though it can sometimes be a pain to remove come evening time I think that it's totally worth it if you want to avoid looking like a raccoon eyed mess. I love the 
L'Oréal False Lash Telescopic Waterproof Mascara as it lengthens, separates and volumises my lashes without smudging or melting away in the heat, and it stays on my lashes (where I want it to stay) until it's attacked in the evening with a cleansing oil. And if you're away on a sun holiday and fancy a dip in the pool in between sunbathing sessions, my guess is that if you're wearing this little gem then your lashes will look just as great afterwards as they did post first application! 

What are your favourite products for preventing make-up meltdown?
Lots of love, Rachael