Beauty on a Budget: Back to College Guys and Gals Edition

By Sarah O’Brien

The start of a new semester can be tough on your wallet, what with all the books, biros and beer (joke!) you’ll be buying. With that in mind here are some top budget beauty buys to keep you looking sharp for Freshers week…

Boyfriends, fathers and brothers the length and breadth of the country were confused when their favourite shaving balm started to disappear from their bathroom cabinets. Nivea Post Shaving Balm, popularised by famous Youtuber Nikkie Tutorials, has achieved cult-like status for its Amazonian priming properties.

The cheap as chips shaving balm has been credited to help makeup go on smoother and stay on longer, longer in fact than either the Smashbox Photofinish offering or Benefit’s Porefessional. With a high glycerine content and the ability to keep oil at bay all day, guys you’ve been busted-the secret to a great complexion is out. Continue reading

Quick and easy summer beauty fixes

By Sarah O’Brien

Summer has arrived and with it comes the season of quick, fun make-up. With the usual three for two offers in Boots and some free mascara, sure how could you not indulge? But I digress, here are some quick beauty fixes that will last all day and night on that holiday you’ve booked to Santorin (I’m not jealous I swear!)

Maybelline Baby Skin €11.49 Instant Pore eraser

This primer is cheap as chips and has been compared hand over fist to the Benefit Porefessional, I can’t vouch for that as I’ve always been a bit too cheap to shell out 30 beans for a primer but it certainly has the same silky soft silicone feeling swatched on the back of your hand. You can apply this directly onto a freshly prepped face (i.e.. cleansed and moisturised) before your foundation.

This is supposed to make your foundation last longer throughout the day and have the added benefit of ‘erasing’ pores.Simply pat into your skin so you’re literally filling the pores with the silicone primer. Does it work? Continue reading

Estee Lauder Double Wear: the struggle was real (but very worth it!)

By Sarah O’Brien

A couple of years ago (it’s been so long I can’t honestly remember!) I took my darling boyfriend into our local department store (Debenhames) and told him I absolutely “needed” a new full coverage foundation and that I had read countless reviews that had proclaimed Estee Lauder’s Double Wear to be the fullest of the full coverage foundations…

Alas, it was not to be, not then at least. So after being colour matched in Brown Thomas and receiving a sample to try out at home (which I never did, my logic never fails to amaze me!) I hot footed it over to Debenhames to have the afore mentioned conversation with my sweet man. Determinedly I walked into the department store, confident that on my return home, I’d have a foundation of Amazonian qualities, which in turn would make my
skin look fabulous. Continue reading

Dupe Alert! Maybelline Lash Sensational Lash Multiplying Mascara-a smash hit wonder or a back of the drawer Betty?

By Sarah O’Brien

First let’s be real. Drug store mascara’s are usually every bit as good as their high end counterparts (if not better), so to say that I’m surprised that I liked Maybelline’s Lash Sensational would be an out and out lie. Maybelline knows mascaras, offering some of the best at affordable prices and the Lash Sensational is nay different.  The LS’s curved plastic wand offers lift, curl and separation. The idea being that you use the shorter bristled side of the brush to grab the base of the lashes, flipping the brush over to comb through the lashes. Sound familiar anyone?

Benefit’s latest offering, Roller Lash, promises the very same thing, with a very similar ‘hook and roll’ wand. So onto the formula-how do they compare? I haven’t bought the Roller Lash, but for comparative purposes I perused Maybelline’s website and read customer feedback. People like Roller Lash, the first, second, third time they use it but soon find it becomes dry, clumpy and difficult to remove. Continue reading

Dupe Alert! Soap & Glory Archery 2-in-1 Brow Filling Pencil & Brush

By Sarah O’Brien

Affordable American drug store giants like NYX, Wet and Wild and Physicians Formula have recently traversed the pond to set up shop in Ireland and while that makes me happy beyond belief, their products are often difficult to find amongst the decimated stands in your local stockist.  I personally have been lusting after NYX’s famous Milk chubby eye pencil, their taupe ‘blush’ (which is actually a classic grey toned contour powder) among other products for quite some time now.

Though living in Ireland can often mean limited access to certain brands, websites like Beautybay/Cultbeauty.co.uk do stock lots of hard to get American brands like Anastasia Beverly Hill. Unfortunately the cost of shipping on top of the price of already expensive lines can be crippling. That’s why good makeup dupes are the lifeblood of any college student’s lengthy beauty wish list. Continue reading

Pigmentation station: Bourjois Paris Bronzing Primer’s a good ‘un!

By Sarah O’Brien

The scent of tangy orange chocolate filled my senses as I opened my latest Boots purchase. Bourjois Paris Bronzing Primer stared promisingly back at me, tantalising my taste buds with its almost edible scent. I’m not going to lie, cream products kinda scare me. I have an unreasonable aversion to strongly pigmented cream blusher and bronzing products as I have a tendency to be a bit too heavy handed with them, that and I’m just more comfortable with powder products, their placement on the face and their reassuring blend-ability.

But like anything else, it can very much depend on the quality of the product you’re using. As we transition (painfully may I add) to Spring/Summer 2016, I am making it my mission to find the right base products to freshen up my look. Though cream products usually lack the lasting power of powder products, they usually look more skin-like and that’s what Spring/Summer face paint is all about, a fresh, luminous and healthy looking base. Continue reading