Makeup Revolution I ❤ Makeup Naked Chocolate Palette

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Hello Readers,

The title today is a bit of a mouthful but I wanted to give this palette a review, up until very recently Makeup Revolution was very hard to come by in Dublin. The only stockists were Superdrug which we only have two of! In Omni Shopping Centre and The Square, Tallaght. I’m delighted to say the list of stockists has expanded and you can now find the range in a number of pharmacies all over Dublin! Great news for revoholics like me. 

As soon as I saw the I ❤ Makeup range by Makeup Revolution I wanted to get my hands on them. It took a long time but finally I came across them in Health Express pharmacy in The Square and after having a look at the testers (which I always do before buying) I had to choose the ‘Naked Chocolate’ as the colours were so stunning; pinks and golds just like my favourite Urban Decay Naked 3 palette as well as lovely chocolate tones which are all beautiful on blue eyes! 

I never doubt the quality of Makeup Revolution products, they’re all so highly pigmented. I couldn’t wait to get testing this palette and I quickly realised there is so many different combinations you can use to create any look you want, always super flattering. The below look is so easy and you only need 4 colours! I used ‘Sweet Shop’ in the crease, ‘Choc-fest’ on the outer V and under the lid, ‘Delight’ blended in the centre of the lid and ‘Mocha Lover’ in the inner corner blended into the centre for some sparkle. It has a slightly pinker tone in real life but photographs beautifully too.

This is a great palette, very similar to the Naked 3 palette but for a fraction of the price. Makeup Revolution is always so reliable! 

Lauren,

             Xo 

My Acupuncture Experience

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Hello Readers,

I’ve wanted to blog about this for a while now and it’s a little bit different to my usual posts about makeup but those of you who follow me will know I have suffered from awful migraines for most of my life and recently they’d become so debilitating they were absolutely affecting my life. I was suffering from severe migraines (along with vomiting) every 4-6 weeks and they lasted a good 12 hours each time – if you suffer from them you’ll know just how unmanageable that is, literally days when all I could do was lie in a dark room.

So, for a little background I’ll say that I’ve tried several different medications to prevent and manage my migraines but nothing seemed to work. Preventatives are great for stopping an attack at the onset but unfortunately most of my attacks begin while I sleep so usually I wake up at 6am, head pounding and already nauseous so I’ve never really been able to take a preventative before I’m already vomiting – and once it starts, it’s not stopping. 

I’d very nearly reached the end of my tether with migraines, they were so regular and so horrific and I really didn’t know what else I could do; I’ve been for CT/MRI scans, which thankfully showed nothing sinister but couldn’t diagnose my problem or triggers. I’d been hearing lots about acupuncture helping others who suffered with migraines and eventually I decided to try it myself and I had my first session in August 2016. 

First hand experience with acupuncture was really different than I had expected/been told. In fact, one of the first things my brilliant physiotherapist told me was that a common rumour is how it’s “pain-free,” which is not exactly the case. It’s not that I found it painful but it was uncomfortable and when the needle is inserted I felt a sort of electric shock and a sharp pinch, not unlike getting the flu jab I suppose. I’ll explain the after symptoms below.

On my first session I had 3 needles inserted in each foot (6 in total), one on the bridge which was consistently the most uncomfortable for me and tingled for a good 5 minutes each session before settling down, and one on either side of the ankle. My physiotherapist explained that these were actually the pressure points for migraines, or headaches. Each of my sessions lasted 20 minutes, the needles were placed in and left for those 20 minutes and you can sleep or read during that time, anything to relax. The amount of time your session lasts depends on your problem so your physiotherapist will decide on that. 

After my first session, my physiotherapist warned me that I could be really tired and recommended I take a nap when I got home. I figured since I’m never tired and have never been one for napping that this wouldn’t affect me. But I was totally wrong! I was so exhausted and sore afterwards that I fell asleep as soon as I got home and slept for almost 2 hours. I can’t say the tiredness ever really went away after a session but it certainly lessened, I definitely didn’t need to sleep as soon as I got home and by the third or fourth session I just needed an early night. I explained my reaction and my physiotherapist advised that it was very common and nothing to worry about, the toxins leaving your body leave you quite drained, but she did alternate sessions with an additional 5 minutes of laser therapy around my ankles to help combat the tiredness. If you’re finding that you’re exhausted after sessions do mention it.

The redness you can see in the picture around the needle is actually an indication of how much toxicity was in my system which also explained the pain I felt in that particular point. This picture was actually taken during one of my last sessions, it was a lot worse when I started. 

From my second session onwards I also had 2 needles placed in either side of my head; a total of 10 needles each session. Surprisingly, the needles in my feet were far more uncomfortable and tingly than those in my head! I had a total of 6 sessions, my final one being in November 2016. My first two sessions were weekly, and after that each session was pushed out a week until it was a full month between session 5 and 6. At this point, I hadn’t suffered a migraine in over 4 months. I had been having the odd tension headache which I informed my physiotherapist about and she advised they were common, I also really suffered from very painful feet after my sessions. Aching and sensitivity where the needles had been placed, it was quite uncomfortable putting weight on them for a day or so. But look, in the long run it was more than worth it! 

After my final session, my physiotherapist asked if I was comfortable to call it my last session and if I ever started suffering again I could call her and she would arrange another session asap. She had advised that “top-up” treatments were sometimes necessary once or twice a year. I am actually amazed that acupuncture has been such a lifesaver for me. I’m the last person who believed it would be the cure. But in saying that, I went in for my first session with a positive attitude and told myself that it would help. I think there’s a lot to be said for a positive mental attitude! 

If you’re suffering with migraines and have exhausted all medicinal options to no effect please do consider acupuncture. It may not work for everyone, as I’ve been told, but it did work for me and it’s been a life changer. At €40 a session in my physiotherapists it really doesn’t break the bank, and personally when you suffer that much you’ll pay anything to find a cure! 

Lauren,

             Xo 

No7 All About Pink Giftset

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Hello Readers,

Making my way through all the gorgeous Christmas presents I was so lucky to receive we now come to the No7 ‘All About Pink’ Lip library. As the name suggests it’s a fab set with 2 gloss shine lip glosses and 3 high shine lip crayons.

The 5 colours are pink tones, obviously, that can be worn day or night and built up for a dazzling shine finish. I always carry a lipgloss in the handbag, especially ones that moisturise, just in case of dry lip days or if you need a little extra colour. 

My favourite is the deep fuchsia colour that has a slightly more matte finish than the rest (the second crayon in the below picture). Aside from this one, the rest are all quite natural so perfect for daily wear and none are sticky or drying. No7 are a great cosmetic brand, their products are always long-lasting and highly pigmented.

Who doesn’t love a No7 giftset, especially one this versatile and practical! 

Lauren,

              Xo 

Sosu Highlighter Kit 

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Hello Readers,

Those of you who read regularly will know how much I love SOSU by Suzanne Jackson products, and I was lucky enough to receive her new Highlighter Kit as a present this Christmas! 

I am a huge fan of SOSU nail polishes and I love the contour palette so I was sure this kit would be no different from the usual high standard and strong pigment. I only hesitated buying it for myself because I wanted to see how it was received by other makeup lovers first, as I did with the contour palette. I’m always nervous of new products only being reviewed by professional makeup artists since I know my makeup skills are far more limited and since this palette isn’t exactly cheap at €29.95 I wanted to be sure but I’m blessed to have gotten it as a present and can honestly say I would buy it for myself!

The 6 shades are stunning in person, I haven’t actually seen a picture that does it justice, it’s just always so hard to capture sparkle and shimmer in a photo. Another slight concern I had with this palette was the different colours which might not complement my skin tone but I soon realised that the darker shades could double as eyeshadows for an extra shimmer to finish a smoky eye! 

For me, highlighting is a recent love. I don’t overdo the sparkle but I like it to shimmer when it catches the light so less has always been more, and with my pale skin tone I’ve found that pink shimmers look the most natural and flattering so it’s a little easier to keep those shades toned down. 

Again, it was so hard to capture the true shimmer in a photo but the above is the best I could do. As you can see, the majority of shades are completely wearable but trust me they are so shimmery in the flesh so could be built up for some dazzling highlight. That’s my favourite thing about this palette, the colours look very out there but when applied they actually look so natural that anybody new to highlighting doesn’t have to be put off. I have seen some reviews by professional muas and the highlight is absolutely blinding so no doubt these shades are highly buildable for those who want a more dramatic finish. 
Lauren, 

              Xo 

Smashbox ‘Light It Up’ Lipstick Set

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Hello Readers,

I was so spoiled by my family and friends this Christmas so I have lots of new makeup to test and review for you all! 
I recently reviewed the Smashbox ‘Light It Up’ lipgloss set from my lovely boyfriend so now I wanted to review the lipstick version which was a present from my amazing Mam. A shade for nearly every mood! 

The colours range from nude to vivid purple with pinks and reds in between, subtle shades for daily wear and dramatic brights for nights out. They’re just the right mix between matte and shimmer and don’t feel heavy or drying on the lips, plus they’re super long lasting with a really surprising even fade; I didn’t experience the horrible lipstick ‘bleed’ that leaves you looking like you’re wearing only lipliner!

Smashbox products are always super glam and their staying power is second to none, I have lots of their eyeshadows and the pigmentation is stunning so I recently tried their lipsticks and wasn’t disappointed. The softer matte texture of these lipsticks means they stick around for hours without losing colour but don’t dry out or crack on the lips either! You can see in the picture below how shimmery they are under the light with just enough matte to bring out the pigment. 

From top to bottom: Famous, Primrose, Inspiration, Legendary, Fig and Tabloid. A perfect selection of 6 shades for day or night, mood dependant. I love these lipsticks, I’d buy them individually but as a set they’re the perfect present for any makeup lover!

Lauren,

              Xo 

Nyx Wanderlust Advent Calendar 

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Hello Readers,

Another of my fabulous Christmas presents was the jam-packed  Wanderlust advent calendar from Nyx. 

Regular readers will know how much I love Nyx, their cosmetics are gorgeous and highly pigmented at an absolute bargain price. What’s not to love? I’ve been mad about their Soft Matte Lip Creme’s for a long time, but I’ve never been able to find all the shades I wanted so I was delighted to find a selection of miniature lip cremes in this giftset, plus a whole range of the complementing eyeshadows!

Although this is technically an advent calendar for makeup lovers, this was one of my Christmas presents so I got to open every single door on Christmas morning… Yay! 

I’ve already blogged about Nyx eyeshadow and lip creme so today I just want to run through the colours contained in this calendar – some of the ones I’ve wanted to get my hands on for so long as well as some old favourites that are now in perfect travel sized tubes.

From top to bottom: Stockholm, Cannes, Milan, Prague, Manila, Morocco, Addis Ababa, Seoul, Monte Carlo, Copenhagen and Transylvania. 

Sadly I forgot to include Rome in the above picture but I wore it on Christmas day and it’s a gorgeous natural shade with a hint of red that is easily wearable day or night (below left)

Nyx soft matte lip cremes are rich in pigment and long-lasting without drying out your lips so these are among my ultimate favourites. 

Lauren,

              Xo 

Smashbox ‘Light It Up’ Lip gloss Set

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Hello Readers,

Today I want to talk about the Smashbox lip gloss set I received as a present this Christmas! 

The first thing I loved about these glosses was how much product they contained, so many glosses these days are tiny tubes with even less product so they only last through a couple of uses. These glosses are in large square tubes that hold lots of product and another great thing; they’ll last even longer because you don’t need to pile on the gloss, they’re so pigmented! 

The names of these glosses are very easy to remember, from top to bottom: Fuchsia Light, Lilac Light, Ruby Light, Orange Light and Bare Light (which is a personal favourite – just look at that natural golden sparkle!) 

So basically Smashbox have done it again, gorgeously pigmented lipglosses that don’t make your lips sticky or turn to goo after a while. I’d definitely recommend these glosses to everyone especially those who either don’t like the intensity of lipstick or likes to wear something less glam day-to-day. 

Lauren,

              Xo 

Makeup Revolution New Trals vs Neutrals Palette

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Hello Readers,

I haven’t been makeup shopping recently, or any shopping to be honest. I recently got car insurance so along with it being expensive, I’m spending the days I used to go shopping getting some driving practice! I did pick up this palette one lunch break last week and you all know I love Makeup Revolution so I knew the quality would be amazing, I hadn’t rushed to buy this palette because, to be fair I already have way too many palettes and I wasn’t sure if I’d get much use out of the colours. 

I got this palette as a present for someone recently and when I seen the pigmentation in person (and some fab makeup shots over on Instagram) the colours became a lot more wearable. The thing I love most about Makeup Revolution is how affordable their range is, most palettes come in under the €10 mark and everything is under €20. You can’t go wrong! 

The ‘New-Tral’ shade is absolutely stunning blended into the crease, it looks especially vivid on blue eyes. I used 6 shades to create this look: Adapt, New-Tral, Tone, Suit, Mode and Partial. I know 6 shades sounds like a lot of effort but it was really quick and easy. 

Start by applying ‘Adapt’ all over the lid, buffing into the crease to create a darker shade there. Take ‘New-Tral’ and blend into the outer V of the crease, build as much as you like for a deeper red. Use ‘Tone’ on the outer V of the lid, blending up to the crease. You could take this all the way out and under the eyes for a red-purple eye but I used ‘Suit’ for a dark smoky finish. I then used the shimmer shades, ‘Mode’ on the inner corner and up toward the centre of the lid and simply used ‘Partial’ to blend into the purple. 

So there’s a simple but flattering smoky eye to get you started with your New-Trals vs Neutrals palette, and for a bargain. If there’s any looks you’ve created with this palette that I must try let me know in the comments! 

Lauren,

            Xo 

JML Simply Straight 

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Hello Readers,

I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A again! I’ve been so busy with acupuncture, which I’ll be blogging about soon! 

Today I wanted to do a quick post on the JML Simply Straight Heated Ceramic Brush that you’ll have seen everywhere lately. I have really difficult to work with hair, it’s naturally curly, I’m talking afros and ringlets and tends to frizz when blow- dried. I use my trusty GHDs a lot. Even hairdressers struggle to straighten my hair fully when blow-drying so I was obviously a little hesitant about using this brush, it seemed too good to be true and at too reasonable a price, when compared with the cost of GHDs. 

My nan is the one to thank for introducing me to this, she tried it out and loved it and my mam decided to get one for herself. I used it for the first time at the weekend, I washed and dried my hair as usual but instead of reaching for the straighteners, I used this brush! Below is the before shot; I did my best to straighten it as much as I could with the hairdryer. 

I was really surprised with how well this brush works, and if it worked on my high-maintenance hair then it should certainly work wonders for everyone else! You can select the heat you’d like and leave the brush to heat up for 2-3 minutes, I selected 175 because I felt I would probably need it that little bit hotter. I’m delighted to say it really is just like the ads, just brush through, if you’re nervous of burning yourself face the brush outwards and brush the underneath of the hair. 

I realised that when done carefully, through years of GHD practice, the protective bristles around the ceramic (that don’t heat up) are actually raised slightly higher than the ceramic plates so if it does touch against the scalp it won’t burn. I wouldn’t advise holding it there or testing it out though! Just an observation that a tip won’t burn like a straightener does so it’s actually great for beginners. Have a look at the below after picture! 

Hand on heart, I can honestly say this took about 10 minutes and I only used the brush. It did leave the ends a little frizzy but I have to emphasize that my hair is super difficult anyway, even with straighteners, and I am so happy with how brilliantly it worked. It did frizz a little over the course of the day but for a quick and really easy 10 minutes it’s an amazing result and I think it works even better on easier to manage hair plus it’s a whole lot cheaper than the decent straighteners on the market so for anyone who doesn’t spend enough time straightening their hair to justify spending a fortune I’d highly recommend this, and trust me, I never thought I’d say that! Narrow-mindedly I assumed the quality wouldn’t be up to scratch but I’m pleased to be wrong. 

If you use this brush, or know any tricks fo unruly hair leave a comment and let me know! 

Lauren,

             Xo 

Urban Decay Moondust Palette

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Hello Readers,

I know it’s been a week or two since I blogged so today I wanted to do a review on one of my favourite recent purchases, the absolutely fabulous ‘Moondust’ Palette. If you know me, you’ll know I’m obsessed with glitter, and last year searched high and low for the perfect pigments (eventually found them in Inglot) so as soon as I laid eyes on this beauty I knew I had to have it! I think it literally took 15 seconds to make up my mind. 

I mean, even the palette itself is stunning! 

I’ve gushed about how much I love Urban Decay many times here on the blog but I’ll just say again, the pigment is world class. I’m a huge fan of the Naked and Vice Palettes, UD really know how to create strong pigmented products that look as good on the skin as they do in the palette. The above picture was taken without flash and no filter was applied, just look how beautifully they sparkle! 

There are 8 gorgeous glitters in the palette, I searched them all in the above picture (no flash, no filter) and they are as richly coloured as they look. From top to bottom: Specter, Element, Magnetic, Lightyear, Granite, Lithium, Vega and Galaxy. 

Wearing ‘Lithium’ in the above over a smoky eye using the Smashbox Full Exposure palette, just a dab using your finger is all you need – I find it actually sits better and looks nicer when you use a finger rather than a brush. 

Wearing ‘Magnetic’ in the above, a gorgeous purple glitter, over a look from the Makeup Revolution Ultra Eyeshadow Affirmation Palette. 

This palette is a little pricey, it retails around €44 in Ireland, but if you’ve bought UD products before you’ll know they’re worth it! I have too many eyeshadow palettes, and still I can say that UD are the ones I always go back to for a guaranteed statement eye! They’re so pigmented and they last such a long time, even on hooded lids like mine, which is definitely a huge plus. 

Lauren,

             Xo