Friday, July 31, 2015

Current Hair Heroes: The Fancy Edition


It's been ages since I did a post about hair products, so I decided to tell you about the ones I'm loving at the moment.

Kérastase Résistance Thérapiste Shampoo and Masque

Price: €36 for Masque & €19.50 for Shampoo at

I was kindly sent these to try, and over the past few months I've thoroughtly enjoyed using them. Having never tried Kérastase products before because of the hefty price tag, I was dubious - would they be worth it? The shampoo is a "balm-in" shampoo - it's a strange gel-like texture that I haven't seen from a shampoo before. There's no real lather, but my god does it do the job. If you've got any product build-up or just need to feel like you're giving your hair a really deep clean, this is your man. It apparently contains ingredients that repair your hair - I don't know if that's true, but I love it and I've been trying not to waste it. The masque is described as "a bandage for thick hair" - it's gorgeous, it feels lovely, smells lovely, leaves hair soft. I have been trying to spare both products because of the ridiculous price tag, but I have ordered the shampoo and the conditioner from this range over the past few days. I'm saving the mask for a once fortnightly treatment because I just find the price tag a little too steep at €36.

L'óreal Elvive Nutri Gloss Luminiser Miracle Shine Booster

Price: €12.99 at Boots

I first heard about this back in April when Emma posted about it. Containing Glycogel that supposedly locks in shine for up to 48 hours, this has become a favourite of mine as a finishing product. It makes a huge difference to dull hair, adding a lovely non-greasy looking shine. It can be used before or after styling, and I love to use it alongside my straighteners or Babyliss big hair. A word of warning - if you have laminate floors or lino and spray this inside, it will get on your floor and you will fall if you're wearing socks. I spray it on my hair outside so that there's no risk of me involuntarily attempting the splits on the kitchen floor. It's a gorgeous product - the whole range is lovely, I bought the shampoo and conditioner too and would be using it if I could tear myself away from the Kérastase.

Redken All Soft Shampoo & Conditioner

Price: €16.55 for Shampoo and €17.70 for the Conditioner at

This range was recommended to me on a Facebook group when I asked for recommendations. I wanted something to try and combat the halo of frizz that appears straight after I dry my hair - this was described as "made by Angels" by one lady - who could resist that, right?! I ordered from and got a great deal at the time on a gift pack, and I could feel the difference straight away. I'm using this in rotation with the Kérastase - I use this every second wash and it takes the brittleness (is that a word?) out of my hair. It smells gorgeous too, and it has lasted me a while because I'm not using it every wash. 

I was never one for fancy hair care - I would consider Aussie on the pricey end of things - but I definitely can see the appeal of more expensive products. I do think that the Kérastase (the shampoo anyway) is something I'll try and keep buying as long as funds allow, and I might get another masque at Christmas - my hair just feels SO clean. I don't think I'll repurchase the Redken, while it's a gorgeous range, I do think that there are products out there every bit as good at a fraction of the price. 

Have you tried any of these? Or have you a hair product discovery that you'd like to share? Also, if you'd like to see a hair care post with some products I love on the more budget end of things, let me know too. 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Catrice "It Pieces" LE July-August 2015 + Swatches

Not Sponsored/No Samples


Catrice has been a favourite brand of mine for a few years now, they're always my go-to when I'm on a budget. Their "nude illusion" foundation is probably one of my most ever purchased foundations (I bought another one yesterday). While I was in the chemist looking at the foundation, I noticed that there was a new Limited Edition out. It's called "It Pieces" and it's a preview of some upcoming Autumn trends.

Catrice do previews like this every year (and one in Spring/Summer too) - they're a really good way of finding out what's coming up in the makeup world. The entire collection looks like this:

I bought three pieces from the collection - the Illuminating Highlighter Pen, the Matt Blush, and the Ultimate Stay Lipstick in the shade Floral Coral.

The blush is described as four matte "united" shades in one blush. It's recommended that you apply this with a large blush brush, or you could also wear the shades individually. You'd want a fairly small brush - but I did try these out individually on my eyes, and I really liked them. I paid €4.49.

The highlighter pen is a liquid "silvery pink" highlighter. The twist-pen is one not often seen for highlighter, it's more common with concealers, and a little goes a very long way. I found that too much product came out with one twist for me to blend and the product dries in very quickly - so I found it much easier to twist a dab onto the back of my hand and apply with the brush I always use for highlighter. This was also €4.49.

The lipstick is a long-lasting satin matte finish, and doesn't dry out lips. This was €5.49.

I really, really like all three products. The highlighter looked really scary when I swatched it yesterday but it blended out beautifully with a fluffier brush. In these pictures I'm wearing the blush (a fluffy blush brush swirled over all four shades) on cheeks, the individual blush shades as eyeshadow, the lipstick, and the highlighter on brow bones, cheeks and nose.

Here's a closer look at the highlighter and blusher. The actual size of my pores.........

I really like the three products I chose - I was tempted by the eyeshadow trios and the colour changing lip gloss too (it's one of those reactive ones that turns a different colour on everyone and they're always fuschia on me) - but I'm going to buy a backup of that highlighter. If you're into strobing you might like it - I'm just beginning to get to grips with contouring and highlighting so I won't be strobing anytime soon - but it's not often I've come across a cream highlighter that leans pink instead of gold.

As far as I know, the "It Pieces" are usually integrated into the permanent range in Autumn/Winter, so you should be able to find the products on stands. Anything catching your eye?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Order with Morphe Brushes - Swatches of 15 Eyeshadows


If you follow Aisling's blog Total Makeup Addict (if you don't, you should), you'll have seen her recent posts about her orders from Morphe Brushes. I have to admit that I don't really watch Jaclyn Hill or any American beauty gurus so I wasn't familiar with Morphe at all until I read Aisling's posts. I filed them away in the "on a day when I am bored and I have money" part of my brain and forgot about them.

Until, I saw the new MAC burgundy times nine palette. I fell in love with it instantly but was then informed that it's the same size as a 4-pan quad. I already have a couple of the shades in it anyway, so I decided to buy some single eyeshadow refills. My Brown Thomas basket was approaching the €70 mark when I decided to cop on and log out - and then I remembered Morphe!

Behold, the longest way ever of saying "I remembered them and looked at the website". Anyway - I ordered 15, and here they are. They come in cardboard sleeves the same as the MAC refills, and the pans are the same size. There's one huge difference - MAC refills are €10 each. Morphe refills are $2.29 each (€2.10).

I ordered an empty 15-pan palette on eBay, I'm not going to link my seller because my palette arrived cracked but there are loads of palettes on there that fit MAC or Morphe. I fixed mine up with some tape rather than wait another 3 weeks for a new one:

I played it fairly safe - it's actually quite hard to find decent swatches of these shadows online unless you sit through hours of youtube hauls. On the site, the shadows have names and numbers - I think the names are a recent addition going by older blog posts, but I'll try and keep them in numerical order for you so that they're easier to find on the website.

Here are dry swatches, one swipe:

Impressive! Caramelized was a little dusty compared to the others, I found that when using a brush with it too, it had serious fallout for a matte so a good tap of the brush is needed, or  I'd spray some thermal water on the brush before I use that one rather than get eyeshadow all over me.

Midnight Kiss looks a little clumpy here, one of the reasons I wanted to try it on my eyes - I have a look down at the end of the post using it.

I went in a little heavy for some of the swatches - they're definitely very pigmented and they take ages to fade. In comparison to the quality you get from MAC - here are a couple of side-by-sides, I thought these shades were similar but when I swatched them they were totally different.

There's not a whole pile of difference in quality, to be honest with you. I do think that with some of the Morphe shades you need to be wary of fallout, particularly the darker shades, and I'd definitely recommend a primer, but I'd recommend one with any eyeshadow anyway. Here are two looks I did with some of the shadows. 

For this look, I used Pearl all over the eye, added Midnight Kiss on the eyelid and blended it out. I took it underneath the eye with a damp eyeliner brush. Black eyeliner is a kohl pencil from Lancome, and mascara is Lash Impact from No7. 

For this other look I used Glisten all over the eyelid, then I used Burlesque on the lid, Bridesmaid in the crease, and blended. Then I used Mysterious with a liner brush to outline the eye. Black eyeliner and mascara same as before.

Wear time was excellent, it stays put until I remove it after 12 or 13 hours, I had no creasing issues, and it was easy to remove. I used Essence 'I Love Stage' eyeshadow primer with the shadows. Overall, I'm very happy with them and I'm glad I placed the order. 

Now to the housekeeping:

Price: Morphe Individual Eye Shadows are available here for $2.29/€2.10 each. Use discount code JACATTACK for 10% off (thanks Aisling for the tip!).
Postage: Was a killer at a massive $19.95 for 15 eyeshadows.
Packaging: The shadows were packed tightly in bubble wrap and a brown padded envelope. 
Delivery: I received my shadows within two weeks of ordering, they arrived via An Post, and I was not charged customs despite my total being $50.81. 
Payment: Morphe accept Paypal and Credit Cards. 
Value: They're definitely a worthy competitor for the MAC shadows I have. Even with the postage, I got 15 full sized eyeshadows for less than the price of 5 MAC refills. Pretty darn good. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Glossybox July 2015 - Goodbye Glossybox


You may remember last month's Glossybox review - I wasn't impressed with it at all, and swore if the June box was bad that I'd cancel my subscription. Well unfortunately July is a dud too, so:

This month, the theme is Vive la France. The box is a special edition one illustrated by Jamie Lee Reardin, and the box is full of French products. Well, I say "full" - but more on that in a minute. There's no denying that the box itself is very pretty.

All very French and very lovely, non? Well, no.

The first thing to greet me when I undid the ribbon was this thing.

Glossybox Exclusive Pouch | Full Size | £3.99/€5.74

"A pouch" I thought. "Isn't that a nice little extra this month, I could probably use it for gel pens". But no, friends. Not a nice little extra. This is one of the five products this month. Now don't get me wrong - I love that they included something that wasn't makeup or skincare, and it is cute (if you have a teenage girl in the house I'm sure she'd chew your arm off to get it as a pencil case), but it also means that there are just four products in the much-hyped box.

Noxidoxi Enhancing Serum Base

                Full or Sample: Sample 25ml Worth: £20.75/€29.85 Available:

This is nice. It's a serum containing a load of waffle that supposedly gives you the skin of a newborn - the trials were conducted on women who smoked (info from the Noxidoxi website linked), and this is marketed as anti-pollution. It's all very French, running around with your long cigarette but without the skin of a crone. Would I buy it? No. Will I use it? Yeah, I like bases so I will.

Teoxane Cosmeceuticals Perfect Skin Refiner

Full or Sample: Sample 15ml | Worth: €41.74| Available:

This was nice to receive too. It has hyaluronic acid and glycolic acid, and even though it's a sample it has a pump, which is a huge plus. I am fond of my acids so I'll use this at night. When you're using anything like this make sure and use a high factor SPF the following day. 

Lollipops Lip Balm Délicieuse

Full or Sample: Full 10ml | Worth: €4.99 | Available:

This is the only full sized product in the box and I think that's really shitty considering it's under a fiver. When one of your products is a pencil case (I know it's a pouch but I see a pencil case) - you'd expect at least two full sized products or at least one decent one. What can I say about this? It has the consistency of carmex, it smells like sweets, it doesn't tingle on the lips, it contains Vitamin E and UV protection. This is the fifth lip balm this year. Fifth. Out of seven boxes. 

Vichy Liftactiv Advanced Filler

Full or Sample: Sample 5ml x 2 | Worth: €11.66 for both | Available: Boots

These were the final straw for me. Two 5ml samples of Vichy Liftactive Advanced Filler - This contains retinol and supposedly helps with aging - other subscribers got a 15ml pot of Vichy's Aqualia Thermal Light Cream, which I was looking forward to - but alas, it was not to be. Obviously because I am 32 they sent me the wrinkle filler instead, so cheers for that. 

And that's all folks - what a scaldy looking box. 

Box Cost: €18.94
Box Worth: €88.24 (I'm not including that pouch)

I like Glossybox as a company - they've always been more than good to me, they've replaced my one and only leaking product without any fuss, they got back to me straight away and sorted out an account issue for me last month, and they sent me an incredibly generous gift after they saw my lipstick holder - but I can't keep subscribing to this when the exchange rate is so bad and the products just aren't hitting the spot. The sneak peek for next month is a full sized Manna Kadar eyelash primer - I'll still receive the August box as per terms of cancellation, but I'm not going to be sitting waiting for the postman, unfortunately. 

I know there's an amazing collectors edition box coming in December featuring NARS that will be around the £30 mark - but for now I'm done with monthly subscription boxes, it's too much money, if I include the August box, Glossybox has cost me the guts of €150 this year. Which makes me feel a little bit sick. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Rimmel By Kate Nude Collection Lipsticks - 40, 43 & 45


I saw someone snap about these lipsticks the other day (possibly Beauty Nook) and made a mental note to "have a look" the next time I was in Boots. As luck would have it, two days later I found myself in front of a pretty well-stocked Rimmel stand and spotted the lipsticks. There were just three out of a possible five on display, so I did what any self-respecting blogger would do and bought the three of them.

The three shades I picked up are 40 (Pale Nude), 43 (Tan Nude) and 45 (Rose Nude). The ones I couldn't find are 42 (Apricot Nude) and 48 (Dark Nude).

I'd like to take this opportunity to tell you that I am not a fan of Kate Moss, and therefore pretend that these are from a Kate Middleton collection. That needs to happen, makeup Gods. Stat.

Here are swatches of all three:

I'm not gone on the colour of #40 at all. It's too pale on me, and it was really pigmented and creamy - not usually an issue, but I had to blot several times before I was happy with it. Ain't nobody got time for that. My favourite by a country mile was #45 - it's a colour I always go for, but I know what I like and THIS IS IT. I could take or leave #43, it was nice and I had no issues.

Rimmel lipstick is usually fantastic anyway, I've only ever had problems with some of the Matte Kate ones but that's down to my dry cats-arse lips rather than the lipstick. These lipsticks are currently priced at €6.99 each, and they're on offer at the moment at Boots - buy one get one half price (applies across the whole Rimmel range).

Sunday, July 12, 2015



If you've seen my snaps (snapchat: sharonleavy) about my overcrowded bathroom or you know me in any capacity at all, you'll know I'm a bit of a hoarder. I just like stuff - I go through phases of buying lipsticks, then shower things, then skincare - it's just the way I am, I get distracted and swayed very easily and I'm a marketer's dream. But I never seem to finish anything. Ever. It took me nearly a year and a half to finish a bottle of Micellar Water. HOW.

With that in mind, and the fact that I've never been able to do an empties post because I never have empties, I made a decision to consciously uncouple from my hoardy ways and make an effort to finish one product before moving on to the next.

Over the past three months - LOOK! I FINISHED THINGS!!!!

I got a serious thrill from seeing the empties box fill up, so much so that I'm making a definite effort to use up things that are on their last legs for the next time. Look at me, behaving in a normal human manner around the stuff! I'll go through everything and tell you where you can get everything, and if I'll repurchase it. I've taken most of the prices from Boots because they seem to have the best offers at the minute - this isn't a sponsored post, just in case it starts to look like a giant Boots ad. It's not.

Original Source Lime Shower Gel | Currently €1.40 at Boots
I seem to always have several shower gels on the go, but I finished this one completely. I love the scent of limes, and it compliments the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush range when I run out of the more pricey shower cream. Repurchase? Yep, I've another one almost finished and I'll be taking advantage of that Boots price!

Palmers Cocoa Butter | Currently €3.33 at Boots
I picked this up at the till in Boots one day, I hadn't used it in ages and forgot how much I really liked the smell. I chopped the bottom off to get the last bit out. Repurchase? Already bought the big pump one.

Sure Maximum Protection Stress Control & Sports Strength | Currently €3.60 each at Boots
My all time favourite deodorant. I was sent one of these (I think the green one) and I bought the other - I think I've gone through every one in the range at this stage. Repurchase? I've a fresh one in the bathroom waiting!

Ziaja Olive Leaf Concentrated Nourishing Cream | €5.99 at Original Beauty
I was sent this to try a while ago and I loved it. I gave it a proper review here. Repurchase? I will at some point when I get through some other moisturisers.

Daiso Make up Brush Cleaner | €7.50 on eBay
I don't usually buy this cleaner - I always get this one - so what possessed me to change from my Holy Grail is beyond me. This was fine - but it was like a pre-mixed version of my favourite one so the entire bottle only did one set of brushes. Repurchase? No way.

Essence Sponge Nail Polish Remover | €3.79 from Penneys/Pharmacies
This is fine, it went through a lot of nail polish before the little sponge started to break up. It's not as sturdy as the Bourjois offering, but for the price it works well to remove nail polish and it lasted ages. I used it for glitter a few times and had no major issues. Repurchase? I'm spoiled with the sturdiness of the Bourjois sponge, so I'll probably stick to it - sorry Essence!

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water | Currently €4.00 at Boots
The world and its mother have used this, it does the job, I use it to take off the top layer of facial cement of an evening before I go in with a cleanser. It's fine, it works. Repurchase? I have a full one ready to go, but to be completely honest with you I'm bored with it, I won't be buying it again.

Tiger Balm | €3.75 from eBay
I know you can get this in Dealz but I don't know if it's the same stuff, the eBay seller I use is linked. I think you can get it in some chemists too. This is magic for migraine or headache sufferers - it freezes the area so that you can get some relief. I find this particularly great when I have one of those pukey migraines and my head pounds so much that I can't sleep - this soothes my head and lets me relax enough to sleep it off. Repurchase? Full one ready to go!

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Rich Pot | €21.99 at Boots
I bought this on offer at my local chemist for around €12 one day - I used it as a day and night cream and I adored it. It left my dehydrated skin feeling moisturised and hydrated. Repurchase? Yes, definitely. The more affortable Rich Tube at €15.50 is on my list for Autumn/Winter.

Catrice Nude Illusion Foundation | €8.49 at Penneys/Pharmacies
A really nice medium coverage foundation that blends well and lasts ages. What's not to love? Repurchase? I've another one ready!

Bourjois 123 Perfect Foundation | €13.95 at Cloud Ten
Did you know that you can buy sample pots of foundation from Cloud Ten beauty? Well you can. They're €1 each, and they give you enough for a decent application so you can try before you buy. That's what I did with this and a couple of Paese ones - I bought the full size of this Bourjois one and it has been my saviour during the heat. Containing pigments to help combat not only dark circles but redness and dullness too? Winner. Repurchase? I absolutely will.

Britney Spears Cosmic Radiance Perfume | €17 for 100ml EDP from Fragrance Direct.
With a musky sandalwood base, this has top notes of pear and mandarin. There's some tuberose in there too, and it all makes for a blend that you'd never peg as a celeb perfume. Repurchase? I have a 30ml bottle of this to use up - but after that, although I have loved you and enjoyed you, here is where I leave you, Brit. My perfume drawer is heaving and I'm a bit terrified they're all going to go off.

Bourjois 1 Seconde Volume Ultra Black Mascara | €12.99 from Boots
This is one of the best mascaras I've ever used. It's just gorgeous - it makes a huge difference to my lashes, and after I first tried it I didn't use any other mascara until this one was finished. I genuinely can't remember finishing a mascara in the last 15 years, so this is a rare, rare thing! Repurchase? You betcha.

Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Moisturiser | Full Size: €45 at Boots
I got this sample in a Glossybox and fell in love with it. It's just a beautiful moisturiser - the texture, the scent, everything. I love it. Repurchase? I have a full sized one waiting for me to pick up in Boots.

Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser | Full Size: €33 at Look Fantastic
This was another Beauty Box sample - I think it was one of the British Beauty Blogger boxes. I've never used a cleanser like this before - it's like a jelly that dissolves makeup effortlessly. Also fell in love with this. Repurchase? I bought the full size from Look Fantastic, it's gorgeous.

Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover | Full Size: €28.50 at Boots.
I got this as part of a set from Brown Thomas in the sales. It's a brilliant eye make-up remover, one of the best I've tried. Repurchase? At nearly thirty quid? As much as I love it, not a hope in hell.

Clinique Repairwear Sculpting Night Cream | Full Size: €76 at Brown Thomas
This was supposed to "define the look of facial contours along the cheeks and jawline, and smooth and firm the look of the skin on the neck and chest" - I didn't see any major difference from using it for the few weeks that the sample pot lasted. It was pleasant to use, sank in well, wasn't greasy or offensive, but nothing special. I mean I still don't have cheekbones, so.... Repurchase? Eh, for €76? No.

I also burned a few candles and tarts over the last three months - I finished one from Emma's Soy Candles but forgot to keep the jar. This one from Boyne Country Candles in the scent "Take me to Beverly Hills" was gorgeous. The Celtic Candles tart in "Champagne and Pink Grapefruit" was lovely to begin with, but it lasted so long that I was completely sick of it and dug it out of the burner to replace it with Yankee's "Vanilla Cupcake" tart. That got the boot last week in favour of Yankee's "Vanilla Lime". I'll definitely buy more from Boyne Country Candles - they're €12.50 and available at and on their website. Intrigued by the "Orange Cream" (AKA Super Split) one, it has to be said.....

Are you proud of me for finishing things? I also finished two bags of the Boots Cotton Pads. I wonder if I'll ever finish a nail polish or lipstick? Or an eyeshadow? Imagine finishing an eyeshadow!