First Look: Future MAC Collection

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First Look: Future MAC CollectionWhen it’s looking more like January than April, few things can turn a frown upside down like a little sneak peek parcel from the makeup superstars at MAC. I’ve been eyeing up the Future MAC Collection for a while and love their whole concept of taking mineralize finishes to the next level.

Far beyond basic matte or dewy finishes, the whole mineralize element introduces colour inspired by five elements and has elements of sheen, lustre and luminousity.

First Look: Future MAC Collection

Future MAC collection includes five shades of mineralize rich lipsticks, a lightweight formula that nourishes dehydrated lips. Pale soft peach and pinks (Cybernaut and Metafabulous) are combined with edgier fashion forward grey and taupe (Ionized & Touch the Earth). There are three eyeshadow quads in the collection:

Nanonude: Warm Beige, Neutral Beige, Soft Caramel, Gold with Pearl.

Dark Energy: Metallic Silver, Teal Iridescent, Metallic blue, Black with pearl.

Full Orbit: Creamy white, Dirty olive, Deep grey, Soft Brown w/ pearl (above).

At a glance I immediately would go for Full Orbit, there’s something about these pearlescent greyish browns & olives that suits Irish skin so well, and the buildable pigment allows for both a natural wash of colour and a blown out smoky eye.

First Look: Future MAC Collection

There’s some great runway style edginess to this collection, not just in the alternative lip colours but also with gorgeously edgy eye glosses. Available in two shades, Pearl Varnish is an opaque white with a pearlescent finish while Lightly Taupe is a soft beige pearl. These are such a simple way to a modern ‘undone’ look when teamed up with a strong lip (perfect five minute face right there!).

First Look: Future MAC CollectionThe real stars of the show here are the mineralize blushes, skin finishes & lustre drops. These blushes have the most beautiful soft finish with buildable colour that never gets cakey while Skin Finishes boast a 77-mineral complex to highlight the face and body – impressive! Blushes and skin finishes are all in very wearable soft shades that would suite most skin tones:

Cosmic Force: Dirty Nude Blush.

Ray Beam: Soft Pink Blush.

Warm Rose: Pastel Pink with pink reflects.

Otherearthly: A colour wave of bronze, soft pink and silver tones to create radiance (above).

If I were to pick one item from this collection then hands down it would be lustre drops. These little liquid highlighters give such a radiant glow, they pretty much mimic sunlight on the skin. Available in Pink Rebel (blue pink with gold pearl) and Barbados Girl (rose gold bronzer) I’d put my money on these beauties selling out fast.

Future MAC Collection limited edition is exclusive to Brown Thomas Henry St & Grafton St, available on counter now.

Becky Signature

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Beauty Insider | Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick

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IMG_5394The latest addition to the Clinique Chubby Stick family has arrived, and its one I’ve been waiting on for a while. I’m a big fan of any makeup that can be thrown in my handbag and applied haphazardly with fingertips, through a car visor mirror. Clinique Chubby In The Nude foundation stick ticks all of these boxes. Add buildable coverage and a longwearing formula to the mix and it’s safe to say I’m a big fan. For me this is a definite contender to take off where Benefit Playsticks left my life, softening the blow of these favorite’s being discontinued.Pink Elephant Clinique Review

Launching next month, Clinique Chubby In The Nude Foundation Stick will join the lips, eyes, highlighting and contouring members of the Chubby Stick dynasty, turning our make-up bags into Crayola style pencil cases while taking the hassle out of morning makeup. It might be a throwback to my Art Attack obsessed childhood, but any crayon style product that performs generally rates well with me!

The creamy formula actually provides better coverage than I’d anticipated. It’s still not a full coverage foundation, but for day-to-day wear that’s not really what I’m after anyway. Buildable and blendable, a medium finish can easily be achieved with fingertip application,  evening out skin tone and concealing minor redness or blemishes on the go.

The formula is lovely and creamy, I had imagined possibly a little drying on more dehydrated skin, but the addition of moisturiser and vitamin E prevents this. These are also welcome additions when it comes to the blendability factor. The nourishing formula combined with upping my skincare routine lately, leaves In The Nude foundation stick sitting nicely on my generally dry skin.

Pink Elephant Foundation Review

The finish is lovely and velvety, quashing any concerns that there might be a chalky caked finish you often get with older style panstick foundations. The longevity claim is a solid eight hours and I can pretty much vouch for that, so it will take you through the guts of a working day before a little touch-up is in order. My shade here is Intense Ivory which suits perfectly for days sans-tan. I’ll more than likely be swapping this out for the slightly warmer tones in Cream Chamois or Golden Neutral come the summer months.

Clinique Chubby In The Nude foundation stick €30.00, will be available at Clinique counters nationwide from April 15th.

Becky Signature

*This post includes PR samples

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Squeaky Clean|In-Shower Beauty Picks

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IMG_7623The idea of a soak in the tub with candles and the works appeals to me so much in theory, but in practice a hot shower almost always wins out. I’m freezing cold most of the time, and when jumper layering isn’t quite cutting it, I’m guaranteed that a hot shower always will. Then there’s the efficiency of the whole thing. I can put dinner in the oven after the gym and be exfoliated and moisturised with clean hair by the time it’s ready.

I’m a firm believer that lovely beauty bits shouldn’t be reserved for those on team bathtub though, and there are plenty of gorgeously decadent beauty products designed to work their magic in the shower. I’m a big fan of double performers, so the likes of in-shower oils that moisturise and lather up, or body moisturisers that develop a hint of a tan are right up my street.

H&M Shower Oil is one of my favorite things right now (€5.99, H&M). This miraculous little oil is so nourishing with the most gorgeous scent, but still magically foams up when lathered with water. The combination of soybean oil and castor oil is the loveliest drink for thirsty skin, and was my après-beach essential on honeymoon. Be warned though, the scent & packaging combo falls into the unisex category and mine is disappearing suspiciously fast…!

Tigi Honey Oatmeal Mask Pink Elephant BlogI recently rediscovered TIGI Honey & Oatmeal hair mask (€17.95 available from Cloud10 Beauty). This stuff is the business for dry or damaged hair. My first ever in-salon purchase many moons ago, the oatmeal & honey fragrance takes me right back to being sixteen again! The packaging may have changed over the years, but the product remains as brilliant as I remember it to be, leaving hair much softer with a lovely shine. I use this all the time as a regular conditioner as well as a leave-in treatment. Since reintroducing my hair to the honey & oatmeal goodness I can notice an definite improvement in the condition of my locks. I work it through my hair with a wide tooth Babyliss shower-comb to get all that detangling out of the way.

Pink Elephant Blog LoccitaneWhen it comes to exfoliating I’m nothing short of lazy, which when tan is wearing off can leave that marbled effect we all love. This all changed on getting to try out L’Occitane Aromachologie Revitalizing Scrub a little while ago (€31.50, L’Occitane stores). The addictive fragrance is incentive enough to get scrubbing. Laced with 100% natural Rosemary & Lavender essential oils and raw sugar crystals, this smells like a proper spa treatment and comes in the most gorgeous apothecary style brown glass jar, which I’m a sucker for. I adore this scrub and the massage oil is well worth trying out too. Are you on team shower or team bathtub?

Becky Signature

Lasting Colour | Nails Inc Pro Gel Effect Polish

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Pink Elephant Blog Nails Inc

I love nail polish but can’t stand the chipping. Considering it’s a pet hate of mine, it’s a wonder how my poor nails are often a little worse for wear in terms of chipping. A long-lasting bonded gel nail colour or Shellac is of course the obvious answer, but last year I really overdone it and after one too many back-to-back Shellac applications I could really feel how weak my nails had become.

And then a varnish like Nails Inc comes along with their Nails Inc Pro Gel Effect polish, promising the best of both worlds and I get very excited! (Products like this really bring me more happiness than they should…!) Boasting claims of long-lasting, gel-like glossiness paired up with what has to be one of my favorite colour lines (along with Essie’s nail palette) I was pretty much sold before trying. With no UV required for bonding or acetone soak off, these polishes are streets ahead of gels when it comes to non-damaging nail love.

Pink Elephant Blog Nails Inc Piccadilly Terrace

The two colours I instantly gravitated towards were Piccadilly Terrace, a beautiful minky neutral and Regents Park Place, a muted lilac undertoned blue, a little similar to Barry M Gelly in Blueberry and perfect for the beachy portion of my upcoming honeymoon; is it just me or does anyone else absolutely have to rock a bright colour on toes for the beach? As in its upsetting for me to wear any regular run-of-the-mill colours when it comes to lazing in the sand!

Each shade boasts an impressive science bit, enriched with volcanic glass and polyester resin, on top of shellac elements. It’s recommended to apply with the Nails Inc Revolutionary base coat & self-curing top coat, but on top of being sold out, I really couldn’t justify adding yet more nail primers & top coats to my current loot, so I paired up with an OPI base coast and a recent favourite topcoat, Essence XXXL Volume Gel-Look Plumping topcoat, also claiming a plumping gel-like finish and for buttons on the pricing front.

Pink Elephant Blog Nails Inc Regents Park Place

The finish is glossy and plump, very similar to a gel colour and definitely long-lasting, even being as hard wearing on polishes as I am. I noticed that I got longer out of the Nails Inc polishes which has me now thinking I will cave and buy the Nails Inc base & top coat if for no other reason than to up the lasting-power even more.

I’m definitely planning on getting more Nails Inc Pro Gel Effect polishes. Eaton Mews is the most gorgeous berry colour while Sloan Terrace is on my list for springtime, a gorgeous delicate but bright pink.

Becky Signature

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Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

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Anita-Sadowska-Photography-14What a year 2015 has been! Full of ups and downs, definitely one that we’ll remember. It’s our favorite time of year but with everything so hectic, don’t forget to take some time out from the madness to just be still and enjoy the fairy lights and food. That’s our plan!

Thanks to everyone who’s made this year what it was for us. To all the new great people and amazing creatives we've had the chance to work with over the past twelve months, and to all our lovely readers & followers, we wish you a festive season surrounded by the ones you love.

Eat, drink and be merry!

Joint Signature

Easy Male Grooming | Routine Skincare for Men

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Pink Elephant Mens Skincare

I'm generally alright at sharing with the exception of food and skincare. The food thing is just good sense considering I’ve a ferocious appetite. So if you ask for a chip then yes, I’ll begrudgingly oblige (I’ll also make a mental note not to eat next to you again). The skincare sharing comes from multiple cases of my now husband asking to borrow ‘something for his face’. I’d lovingly and stupidly loan him a great quality intensive moisturiser laden with all sorts of hyaluronic acid and fruit enzymes only to be returned a pot with a massive divot scooped out. With my taste in extortionate skincare, that’s generally a twenty euro blob right there. Not cool. And so I took action in the form of buying him the cheapest moisturizer on offer in the supermarket that week, allowing him to shovel as much out as his heart desired. He could slather it all over his car for all I care.

But as time passed and my skincare collection grew, I’d been feeling as though my skincare-challenged husband might benefit from some decent male grooming. Nothing as fancy as my labour-intensive pre-bedtime routine involving oils, serums and balms of all sorts. Something easy, but with active ingredients that his skin would genuinely benefit from. He can thank me for his Benjamin Button complexion later.

Pink Elephant Blog Mens Routine Cleanser

On getting the opportunity to try out Routine for Men face wash and moisturizer, I was optimistic and rightly so. It’s a rarity that a male grooming brand seems to get men so much. Their recommended regime is a simple two-step process involving a face wash and moisturiser. Pretty straightforward even for the manliest of men. I love this simple philosophy combined with their commitment to natural ingredients. Paraben-free and never tested on animals; two major boxes ticked right there.

Their branding reflects the no-fuss products brilliantly, black and white in decent 100ml (Face Wash) and 75ml (moisturiser) free-standing tubes labelled ‘1’ and ‘2’, clever, eh?! No fiddly application or convoluted claims.

Step 1: The Routine Dual-Action Face Wash (€33.13) is a combined cleanser and toner, boasting nourishing coconut oil (I might end up stealing this one) combined with the natural antiseptic properties of tea tree leaf extract and refreshing eucalyptus leaf oil. Massaged onto damp skin this is a beautiful all-round cleanser.

Men generally don’t have a face full of makeup to remove at the end of each day, but there’s still a significant build-up of dead cells and oils that block pores if left to build.

Pink Elephant Blog Mens Moisturiser

Squeeky clean faces then get some moisture love in the form of Step 2: Routine Revitalising Moisturiser (€33.13). Nourishing and hydrating, the non-greasy formula soaks into skin quickly leaving no greasy residue. The running theme of natural wholesome ingredients continues here with a combination of aloe vera, vitamin C and sunflower seed extract, all the while soothing any irritated shaving rash while firming and hydrating.

Being the skincare geek that I am, I initially thought how great the prospect of an expansion to eye products, after shave balms or even masks would be. But that defeats the purpose. The simplicity is the selling point here and my fresh faced husband will vouch for that! Routine for Men is a great easy skincare option for men. Available here and is a great gifting idea for the dull-skinned man in your life this Christmas!

Becky Signature

*Exchange rates correct as of 15.12.2015, Sterling RRP Routine Dual-Action Face Wash £24.17 and Routine Revitalising Moisturiser £24.17.

*PR Sample

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Dry Skin Winter Favourites

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Dry Skincare Winter (2)

The combination of harsh cold weather this time of year combined with indoor heating does nothing to help my already dry skin. I’m all too conscious that dry skin draws the short straw when it comes to aging gracefully, and so am nothing short of religious in looking after mine and putting back moisture at any given opportunity.

 I try a lot of skincare products and admittedly am hard to please in this area and expect noticeable results, especially when forking out a considerable chunk of change on skincare. Every now and then comes along a product that knocks my socks off leaving me in a hydrated baby-soft skin situation that I’ll gladly part with cash to achieve! Right now, my dry skin secret weapon skincare line-up for winter is looking a little like this:

Dry Skin Caudalie

Caudalie Makeup Removing Cleansing Oil

Cleansing oils and balms are always my product of choice when it comes to taking the war paint off before bed, and I’ve recently fell in love with Caudalie’s makeup removing cleansing oil. Started by a couple living on a French vineyard, this brand stays true to its all natural organic roots and produces some beautiful natural skincare. With sunflower and grapeseed oil, waterproof mascaras and long-lasting lip stains are lifted clean off without any greasy residue. Now available in lots of independent Irish pharmacies and Space NK (Hallelujah!) priced €19.95.

Overnight face mask review

Clinique Moisture Surge Melting Mask Balm

No doubt inspired by the Korean skincare regime hype that we’re hearing so much about, I’d read Clinique moisture surge melting mask balm to be just the ticket for dried out winter skin. Having always been a big fan of the Clinique moisture surge range, I was intrigued to give this one a shot. A thin layer is applied before nodding off and thinking no more about it until the morning, when I woke to baby soft, plumper skin- result! Usable as a regular face mask, I find the best results are when used overnight. Visibly more hydrated and softer to the touch, this absolutely deserves a place in your winter secret weapon skincare stash.  Available from Clinique counters nationwide, priced €32.00.

Facial Oil Review

Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil

Featured not so long ago, this little beauty deserves its place on our dry skin secret weapon arsenal. It may be small, but so is dynamite! This potent facial oil targets dry, lackluster skin with a combination of cold pressed seed oils from all around the world including Black Cumin seed oil from Egypt, Camellia seed oil from China and Rosehip seed oil from Chile, bursting with Omegas and Antioxidants. Despite the decadent ingredient listing, the formula is lightweight and non-sticky giving instant softness and revitalizing tired skin without and heavy, oily residue. Available from The Body Shop stores nationwide, priced €48.00, admittedly a little steep but considering it seriously gives back the results department, I reckon well worth it.

Becky Signature

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Prime Time | My Top Three Primers

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Top Three Primers Review

I’m not one to reapply my makeup throughout the day. This is partially down to laziness, and partially down to not wanting to add any further weight into the travelling circus that is my handbag. That said, I hate it when I get home in the evening as bare faced as when I woke up that morning, my carefully applied face having literally slipped off throughout the day. This is where primers are your best friend. Investing a little time in prepping your skin not only results in a lovelier finish on application, but also gives the kind of staying power that’ll see you through the longest of days. My top three primers right now are looking a little like this…

MAC Mineralize primer

MAC | Mineralize Timecheck Lotion

A relatively new offering from MAC, I love the water-based almost gel-like consistency of this base primer. It’s great on the moisture front and absorbs immediately with no greasy residue, ideal my kind of dry skin. Also boasting pore-minimising properties, it’s a great lighter base for everyday use as opposed to silicone heavy primers that tend to spark breakouts. The result is fresh faced smoothness that foundation glides over and a definite boost in the staying-power of your base. Available at MAC counters nationwide, it's a little steep at  €41.50 but the bottle is quite large and a little goes along way.

Benefit They're Real Mascara Primer

Benefit | They’re Real Tinted Mascara Primer

Not officially launching until Stephens Day, this little gem from Benefit, has me intrigued. A mascara primer that goes onto bare lashes to be used with ‘the one you love’ (I’m back on my ‘They’re Real’ mascara in a big way right now). The idea being that this base acts as a conditioning base that thickens & lengthens lashes before mascara. I love the mink colour, I’ve tried white mascara primers in the past and I always felt they somewhat dull down the blackness of my mascara. Combined with a decent mascara the resulting effect falls into in the falsies category.  Thick, full, long-lasting lashes right up until your pre-bedtime cleanse. Available from Benefit counters nationwide from Dec 26th, priced  €26.50.

Urban Decay Eye Potion Primer

Urban Decay | Eyeshadow Primer Potion

An oldie but a goody! I recently rediscovered Urban Decay’s eye potion primer and am once again a huge fan. I love that the creamy consistency is colourless and leaves an almost velvety finish to apply your eye colour over. It also acts as a barrier for colour gathering in the crease of your lid over the course of the day or even more so a full night out (which I hate), a major box to be ticked when it comes to eye primers. This teeny tiny bottle includes an application wand and although tiny, lasts a deceivingly long time. Included with most Naked palettes, you can buy the full sized version at Urban Decay counters nationwide (€21.00).

Becky Signature

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Dry Skin Fix: Clinique Smart Treatment Oil

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Clinique Smart Treatment OilMy skin is prone to dryness, especially in colder weather. The combination of full on car heating (and I mean as hot as it will go!) and colder outside temperatures wreaks havoc on my skin, leaving if dried out and a little lackluster. I know hydration has a big part to play here, so I religiously guzzle water throughout the day, take vitamin E supplements and could rival a newborn on the napping stakes, but find I still need a little something extra during these colder months to get that full, plump and hydrated complexion.

Facial oils have been a longstanding love of mine, in fact throw in cleansing oils and dry body oils there too. I’ve tried them all, some I ‘ve loved and others would take or leave.

I recently got to try out Clinique’s latest facial oil offering, Smart Treatment Oil. Admittedly Clinique is a brand that had somewhat fell off my skincare radar in recent times and having used this I feel like I’ve been missing a trick.  Instantly absorbable, I’m torn between wanting to douse the whole bottle on my face and using the teeniest, tiny drop in order to make it last longer.

Dry Skin Fix

As with all Clinique skincare, Smart Treatment Oil is fragrance free which I love. Packed with plant oils and rich in anti-oxidants, there’s almost a serum-like quality to this oil which I cannot get enough of.

There’s an immediate noticeable moisture boost every time I use this; something which I’ve struggled to find before. Complete with a glass-like plastic bottle perfect for travel and those prone to dropping, like me. Application takes the form of a dropper style lid to allow you precisely control how much product you apply.

Clinique Smart Treatment Oil is priced €44.00 and available from Clinique counters nationwide.

Becky Signature

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Beauty Nutrition: Tailoring Supplements

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Beauty Nutrition: Tailoring Supplements | Pink elephant Blog.

Having half-heartedly popped multivitamins on and off, mainly whenever the seasons are changing or exhaustion has knocked me sideways, I rarely if ever have noticed any proper benefits. Admittedly this may be down to my lack of consistency on the pill-popping part, but even when on a particularly organised roll with them, I never felt a real difference from my daily dose of alphabetized nutrition. That was until I binned my multivitamins and fell upon a happy accident that turned into a kind of bespoke supplement plan.

Vitamin E | And so as recommended by a runner pal, I started on Vitamin E to help my body recover from long runs. Just vitamin E. No A’s, B group, or C’s, just lonely old E. And it did help. Not only that, but my lack-lustre hair began to properly boast lengthiness for the first time in forever. My nails and skin were doing equally impressive things. Vitamin E is the king of growth and cell repair. This got me thinking that instead of popping a multivitamin that’s not yielding any benefits, maybe a more tailored approach is the way to go.

Beauty Nutrition: Tailoring Supplements | Pink Elephant Blog.

Zinc | Another conversation with a friend a short time later, led me onto Zinc. Again, as a standalone single-ingredient mineral supplement. And again I felt the benefits in no time. Zinc is found in every tissue in the body and is a powerful antioxidant which is commonly deficient in our diets, especially amongst any veggies. It also significantly supports female reproductive health. The immunity boosting properties of zinc are what I’m most impressed with. Come this time of year I’m always sick. And yet this year, although surrounded by a Lemsip downing husband and more than a few chesty pals, there’s yet to be a sniffle out of me. Impressive.

Iron | Along with many other ladies, I'm lacking in iron. Anytime I go to donate blood, my iron levels are borderline as to whether I can donate or get sent home. I eat red meat and lots of dark green leafy spinach, all of which are bursting with iron, but still am somehow deficient. I take my iron supplement with a glass of orange juice because A) I love orange juice but can rarely justify drinking it (check out that sugar content) and B) the vitamin C is needed for iron absorption.

Beauty Nutrition: Tailoring Supplements | Pink Elephant Blog.

Cranberry Supplement | Lastly on my tailor-made supplement plan is cranberry supplements. I seem to love a kidney infection and it’s the most common reason for me to have to take antibiotics. GP’s always advise to drink cranberry juice, but have you read the label? It’s mostly sugar and water with a tiny percentage of cranberry juice- most likely because cranberries are no friend of the taste bud. Yet by taking it in supplement form you’re getting a seriously stronger concentrate of cranberry goodness, less the sugar crash. This is also a great one for detoxing the body and boosting your lymphatic system.

I generally don’t take more than a single month dosage of any of the above back to back, and try keep my diet as balanced as possible. I’m by no means a healthcare professional, but this is what’s worked for me and is the first time I’ve genuinely noticed a difference in my overall health and energy levels from supplements.

Becky Signature

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