As most of you know, (generally because I tend to slip it into every possible conversation topic, usually surrounding how EXHAUSTED I am from it), I’m currently attempting to finish a Masters in International Business in CIT. And while the end of my Masters will draw six long years at CIT to a close, (a place I have grown up so much that I will indeed be sad to say goodbye to), as I juggle an internship, a part-time job and a blog on top of my Masters, I can’t help long for the days where it won’t be all I think about.
So while recovering from a shoulder dislocation, awaiting probable surgery, (I’m really just here for the sympathy vote), I decided to make a list of all the things I plan to do when I’m finished. The majority of these will require tea, pj’s and Netflix.
1.Spend 72 hours under a blanket on the couch binge watching Gossip Girl, Riverdale and every other trashy teenage TV series on Netflix, (sorry Mam), with zero guilt.
2. Get up to date with Scandal, I’m only on Season 2, so no spoilers please, and if someone could point Olivia Pope’s stylist my way that’d be fab, I need to learn the art of Power Dressing for my big girl job in June.
3.Go for an after work drink without having the fear of not being in the library or reading for my impending Lit Review.
4.Read something interesting without having to critically analyse, paraphrase and Harvard Reference. (Broke Masters Student, 2018.)
5.Stop buying handbags based on whether my laptop and college notes fit in.
6.Base my year around events, concerts and trips and not report deadlines and project due dates.
7.Travel, now I don’t mean bag-packing across Cambodia for 3 months, but a weekend in London would be nice or a three day stint in Iceland or Amsterdam would be great for the ‘gram.
8.Buy magazines and chick-lit novels in Easons rather than educational reference books and stationery. Honestly, I am more into reading my horoscope than current affairs.
9.Be an actual grown up. This is the real scary one, no longer am I classed as a student, which I believe still allows you to float around aimlessly, I will actually have to contribute to society, I will be transitioning from broke, exhausted Masters Student to broke, exhausted Graduate Engineer.
10.Understand the concept of weekends again. I will no longer have to work weekends or pretend to catch up on coursework. I could do all of the things, like go for walks, roadtrips, go to the gym or meal prep for the week ahead. Or I could blow my wages in a less sensible manner by going out on a Saturday night without worrying about Sunday work hours.
11.Start watching The Vampire Diaries again from the start, because, well, I can.
12.Contemplate applying for a PhD, (sorry Mam & Dad).
Graduation in October seems like a good while off yet and it seems highly dubious to name me the Master of anything!
I’m struggling today, this Monday lunchtime, I’m currently tucked behind my desk gazing out at the blue skies and stunning weather as I attempt to motivate myself to begin trekking through the mountain of Masters work in my path, and sure enough, both the creative and procrastination juices have started flowing and I found my long lost urge to blog….FINALLY!
I decided I wanted to introduce a new segment into my blog, Monday Makeup Madness, where I create a wish-list, or a review on a specific product or range I have been loving. This weeks blog is all about bases and the ones I have been using for a while!
First things first a ‘lil skin back story, I suffer from acne so anything I do tend to use is full coverage and my skin is super sensitive as well as dry/combination, so the sheer hint at something heavy and scented and my skin breaks out! So anything I do use should also be perfect for my sensitive skinned sisters out there!
My main foundation of choice is under €15 and it is one of the best foundations I have every used, and trust me there’s been a lot! NOTE Cosmetics was recently launched in Ireland late last year, with Tara O’Farrell of TARA Makeup representing the brand. I was first introduced to it when I luckily won a competition to be a model for one of her makeup masterclasses.
NOTE cosmetics have a few different foundations in their range from compacts to mineral foundations, but this one is my favourite! The Detox & Protect foundation contains an SPF15, which is vital and it is full coverage. Similar to MAC Studio Fix Fluid and Studio Sculpt, for only €13.95 it is an absolute must-have for everyday wear, I am quite pale but I wear the shade 02 Natural Beige and it matches perfectly. In Cork I picked this up in Sam McCauley Chemists, but it can be bought online here
My second favourite was the very first high-end foundation I have ever owned and I return to it time and again, MAC Studio Fix Fluid has a cult following and it is worth every penny! At €32 (excluding pump) it is a long-lasting, oil free foundation with the fullest coverage MAC offers. Some people love it and some people hate, it is not suitable for those with very dry skin but suits those with normal/combination as it clings to the skin for an all day flawless finish. It has a matte finish to it, but this can be mixed with MAC strobe cream for a dewy glow or you can just use it as an excuse to overload on the highlight!
Again I wear one of the lightest shades in this, NC15, the C stands for cool tone, meaning it’s yellow based to dispel any redness originally in your skin tone, which I would have from acne. I would recommend getting a professional colour match for this as there is a MASSIVE colour range and it’s totally skintone dependent. Once you know your colour you can buy online here P.S there’s a free gift with purchase RIGHT NOW!!
Last but not least is from YSL, now before anyone gasps with shock at the price range for YSL, this foundation was €35 from Cork Duty Free, it retails at approx. €42 in store but it lasts a really long time and the packaging is as beautiful as the product inside. Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation replaced its iconic, dewy light to medium foundation previously released by YSL. And I was so happy they did!
Their new formula is a medium to full coverage foundation that STILL gives a dewy all-round glow! This foundation would suit a multitude of skin types, obviously if you have incredibly dry skin then you do need to be careful, but it incorporates to longevity of a full coverage foundation with the brightness and demi-matte (dewy glow) appearance of a lighter coverage base. It ticks all the boxes for me! I wear Bd10 in the summer when I’m slightly darker but generally I wear the palest shade B10 and I bought from Brown Thomas Cork and it’s also available on their site here
But the most important thing about choosing your foundation, after assessing your skin type, is to choose the correct colour, firstly it’s best if you can identify what tone your skin has…
By checking the back of your wrist you can check what colour your veins appear to your skin, blue veins are cool-toned (which is the colour category I’m in), a greeny-blue colour is warm-toned, usually with a pinky-golden tone to your skin and a purple-green colour is neutral. C on a foundation usually signals cool-toned, with W meaning warm-toned and N being for neutral, there is also a lot of drugstore brands that range their foundation shades this way.
The best place to check a foundation colour is by checking it on your jawline and you should test the best out of three shades, just like below:
The colour that disappears on your face and neck is your perfect colour, you may not find your exact colour but the idea is to choose the closest shade. The foundation should only be darker than normal if you are planning to wear tan- it is not to give your face some colour, that’s what bronzer and blusher are for!
Now that I’ve wasted enough time away from my coursework I better get back to it!
I have been wearing nail extensions since I discovered them at age 16. As a nail biter my nails never looked long and pretty so when I stumbled across gel nails I became hooked! I never really stuck to one nail salon or nail technician and went through phases of letting them grow out until they fell off or picking at them before trying a different salon, disgusting I know!
This was until I met Sarah-Jane, owner of The Beauty Boutique, I came across her page on Facebook and made and appointment for gel nails, this was exactly a year ago and I have never looked back. Her beauty rooms are situated in Vanilla Hair Design in Glanmire where she caters for all your beauty needs, but above all she is my nail guru!
When I first walked into the salon a year I was blown away by the amount of bright, vibrant and current colours she had, she has the best selection of gel colours I have ever seen!
She can do a range of designs and nail shapes and doesn’t charge extra for my desired almond shaped claws as can be seen above.
I go back to her every three weeks for refills but mainly for the chats, it’s really like going to meet one of your best friends, though I now can’t choose a nail colour without her say so!
As someone who uses their hands a lot, I normally only got about 10 days to two weeks with my nail extensions, however, with Sarah Jane my nails last anywhere between three to five weeks and I have had these nails during my electrical engineering degree in college!
Recently I have upgraded my gel extensions to acrylics with Sarah-Jane and I can safely say I am never going back. For those of you who have ever gotten gel nails you will have most likely experienced the pain of the gel setting underneath the UV lamp, not with acrylics!
Beauty does not have to be painful!
Acrylic nails are a mixture of liquid monomer and powder polymers that harden in air providing a hard canvas in which any of Sarah Jane’s selection of gel polishes can be applied to, the above photo shows the acrylic nails hardened with a clear gel polish. These beauty’s lasted me over a month!
These are my most recent set, a stunning autumnal burgundy colour, perfect for the new coming season!
A full set of gel or acrylic nails from The Beauty Boutique are €40 with refills being €30 and appointments can be made here.
I wanted to put together a post of all my favourite bargain items. Most of these items are my go to holy grail beauty bits, and the best part? They are all under €10, trust me you are going to love these!
Catrice All Day Matt Foundation
I was sick of using my good foundation for work and college so I picked this baby up on a whim for only €6.49 on the Catrice stand. Now the consistency of this, in my opinion, is exactly like MAC Studio Fix Fluid, practically down to smell. It promises full coverage, long-lasting, matte coverage without drying out the skin. It is both full coverage and long-lasting, however I would say it gives a more demi-matte sheen to your complexion. It can be made dewy and lightweight if you mix in a little bit of highlight with it.
It’s also perfect for us oily/combination skinned girls as it is oil-free and it has no SPF in it so it can be worn on nights out without selfie flashback. It comes in 4 colours and I wear the lightest shade 010, for those of you MAC lovers that is NC15.
NYX Above & Beyond Concealer
I bought this in the new NYX stand in Boots on Half Moon Street in Cork City, and it has been love at first use! I use two different concealers in my everyday makeup looks, one to brighten up under my eyes and one to cover those pesky spots. Benefits BO-ING concealer has been my holy grail full coverage concealer since I was 13 but at €26.50 part of me dies a little inside each time I need to repurchase. This is an exact dupe for Benefits best-selling concealer, at only €7.75 in pharmacies nationwide it is an absolute steal!
It also ranges in multiple colours for different skin tones but can also be bought in green yellow and purple etc. depending on your skin correction needs!
Cien Mascara from Lidl
Makeup Look using only Lidl Cosmetics
New Lidl Mascara
During the summer Lidl released a makeup range, and let’s be honest I couldn’t help being a little sceptical, but, for the sake of my followers I bought a few bits, for “research” and all that jazz.
There was very little mascara left in stock in my local Lidl so I had to try the waterproof mascara, I don’t do waterproof mascara, because, makeup removal is an effort without making it waterproof!! LOL
However, for €2.49 I just couldn’t leave it behind me. It has a big hybrid type mascara wand, in between a brush type and plastic type mascara wand that gives both volume and length to your lashes. The results can be seen above! The brush just grabs onto lashes, giving them a blacker than black push-up effect.
Perfect Doll Eyes!
Catrice Mineral Highlight
This Ladies & Gentlemen, is my favourite highlighter in the whole world! At only €5.50 it can rival any other highlight twice its price on the makeup market. Its silver/pink iridescence matches any skin tone and its colour pay off is just gorgeous.
I even used this on a whole wedding party for a summer wedding and it gave the most beautiful summer glow!
Everybody needs this in their lives…..
NYX Liquid Eyeliner
This is the best liner I have ever used, and trust me, I have been wearing winged liner since I was 12 and I reckon I have tried them all. I seem to have greasy eyelids or something, but every single eyeliner I use smudges and leaves that dirty black faded line on the top of my eyelids by the end of the day. I have tried EVERYTHING to counteract this, from setting powder to setting spray to leaving a longer drying time, to gel liners and NOPE, nothing sticks, or well everything sticks!
So for €7.75 I decided to try the NYX one, once it dries in it leaves a lovely black line that stays for days. It’s teeny tiny brush end allows for expert precision and a perfectly sharp line. There is nothing I don’t love about it!
Catrice Illuminating Blush
A friend once told me that the Catrice blushes had the same colours and pigment pay off as the Benefit blushes for €34 each, I had really been wanting to try out a berry coloured blush but didn’t the massive price tag that was attached to the limited edition Bobbi Brown berry blush palette I have been lusting over in BT’s.
At €3.49 this berry shade beauty has become one of my makeup bag staples, due to its illuminating nature it doubles up as a highlight for those mornings when I’m really rushing!
This is VERY pigmented however, so try not to be heavy-handed with the application, as I have learned the hard way clown cheeks are not attractive!
Cien Lipglosses from Lidl
I just love these lipglosses, the range consists of 6 colours from glittery clear to a pinky berry shade to a cappuccino brown colour there is something for everyone. They have a very moisturizing formula with vitamin E oil to hydrate lips and they smell AMAZING!
I bought two shades; Glitter Pink which is almost a champagne colour which is stunning over a nude lipliner and a berry colour which I can be seen wearing in the above makeup look! They are sooo perfect for everyday wear and are €2.49 each.
Cien eyeshadow from Lidl
Another gem from the Lidl makeup range, again at only €2.49 each these are perfect for any beauty addict, the creamy matte colour above is perfect for that all over lid colour or I have been using it to set my under eye concealer!
The blue and the pink shades are very pigmented velvet type shadows, the pink shadow is gorgeous as a highlighter on the cheekbones or on the inner corner of the eyes. The blue shadow, when blended almost has a violet tinge to it, and can be seen in the makeup look above.
NYX Brow Pomade
There is a little bit of pattern going on with all the NYX stuff, but it is such a great affordable brand. Their stuff is amazing.
This is easily one of my favourite brow products, I use the shade blonde as can be seen above. Its waxy texture both frames and fills in your brows without looking too severe. The best thing about this product? It’s waterproof so it lasts all day!
This is also only about €7 and can be bought in NYX stockists nationwide.
NYX Liquid Suede
NYX Shade range
Liquid Suede in the shade Vintage
Last but not least, is my latest find in matte liquid lipsticks. The new Liquid suede range from NYX, the whole shade range and swatches can be seen above. I have the shade Vintage which is a vampy reddish-brown that I picked up in Boots in Half Moon Street for €9.75.
Some matte lipsticks make my lips feel like they’re in the middle of the Sahara Desert, but so far so good with these lippies. Their liquid texture stains the lips so they’re incredibly long-lasting and oh so pigmented.I just LOVE them!
I hope you like my little collection of bargain beauty bits…