MAC Makeup Summer Staples

MAC Makeup Summer Staples

There’s something about seasonal makeup that I love, and in particular summer makeup (although given we are in Ireland I use the term summer lightly..!). I guess it’s sort of like updating your wardrobe and marks the end of one chapter of the year and the beginning of a new one. Summer makeup for me is always all about fresh dewy skin, soft pinks and peaches and clean defined brows and lashes. 

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MAC AW16: It's A Strike Collection

MAC It's A Strike makeup |  Pink Elephant BlogFew brands do quirky and collectable in the same light as MAC do. Over the years these guys have collaborated with everyone from Barbie to Rihanna, and the latest collection has a nintiestastic Troll theme (anyone else obsessed with these back in the day?!). Last week we were lucky enough to preview what’s in the MAC pipeline for the coming months, and there’s a lot to look forward too. One collection which has both gorgeous autumnal tones paired up with some serious quirkiness is the new It’s a Strike collection.

This ridiculously cute bubble-gum bowling theme has accent pillars of lime green and rich berry, but fear not the lime green pops - the full collection is one of the most wearable for autumn 16 that I’ve seen. Bowlarama is the only satin shadow, and that’s the lime green accents (think tear duct highlighter or lower lashline colour pop), the other five eyeshadows (€18.00) are all matte and very wearable:

Gutter Gal – off-white grey (matte) Bowlarama – bright lime green (the only satin shadow) Bowl Out – mid-tone grey (matte) 300 Game – blackened cherry (*love* matte) Join My League? – dark espresso (matte) Carbon – intense black (matte)

There’s definite elements of the latest ‘Greige’ trend, with lots of beige-grey tones and then the star of the eyeshadow show which I’d put my money on selling out, 300 Game – a matte blackened cherry (a more beautiful autumn smoky eye there never was).MAC blusher |  Pink Elephant BlogIf collectables are your thing, then you’re going to be needing Trophy in your autumn makeup bag; a multi-coloured pearlmatte face powder complete with embossed bowling pin patterns. Almost too lovely to use but with the most gorgeous luminous finish (€22.50). There are two creamy texture blushes, one neutral (Have a Lovely Day!) and one with that deep berry tone (BlindScore – €22.50). Hands down the best bit of this collection, for me anyway, is in the lip colour wardrobe. This is pretty much all the autumn lip colour you’re going to need and right on trend with the mostly matte finishes and so intensely pigmented. Bowl Me Over (pictured here - €19.50) is our hands down favourite for a deep autumn berry lip.

Honeylove – light rose beige (matte) Flat Out Fabulous – bright plum matte (retro matte) All Fired Up – bright fuchsia matte (retro matte) Perfect Score – deep red (matte) Bowl Me Over – deep burnt brown (retro matte) (online exclusive) Liquid Lurex – tarnished gold (dazzle) Babes and Balls – deep burgundy (matte)

MAC Autumn lipsticks |  Pink Elephant BlogIf matte just isn’t your thing, there’s an impressive five new creemsheen lip-glosses on offer – again impressively pigmented and also complete with jojoba oils to condition lips (€21.50). Generally with any cosmetic collection there’s elements I love and the rest I can take or leave, I’m pretty much lusting after everything in It’s a Strike collection though, which it pretty rare! The colours are perfectly timed with transitioning into autumn and the matte finish of both the eyeshadows and lipsticks have me sold. MAC , It’s a Strike collection hits counters nationwide from August 25th.

Becky Signature

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Five Minute Face | Everyday Easy Contour


Contouring, it’s a love hate relationship. On one hand who doesn’t want chiseled cheekbones and perfectly carved features, but at the risk of looking full on theatrical chic it’s an area I tend to tread lightly around. I love ‘no-makeup makeup’. Foundations described as ‘my own skin, but better’ and anything that reads ‘healthy glow’ generally has me sold. It’s in this vein that I’ve been on the lookout the perfect daylight friendly ‘no-contour contour’. Something that’s both understated and requires minimal effort - I’m not a morning person and my makeup needs to take five minutes or nothing.

contour swatches

I’ve pared my unreasonably large makeup collection down to two items to achieve an everyday two minute contour. Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam (€27.50, Debenhams) and Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour (€23.00, Debenhams). That’s it. Two items and you’re good. What I love about these products is that neither is powder based, which I always feel sits better for a fresh everyday look. The other major plus point is that fingertip application is not frowned upon here, but encouraged. The heat from your fingertips adds bendability to these products. That said I am a little obsessed with a quick ‘finishing’ blend using my favorite Zoeva buffer brush.

Benefit Shy Beam

Benefit Dandelion Shy Beam is a new addition to their ever expanding collection and with its soft-matte, nude pink tone, is an absolute winner in my book. In contrast to they’re cult classic High Beam, Shy Beam is its shyer little sister – sans shimmer, while still giving a subtle highlight. So perfect for creating an everyday two minute contour.

Clinique Chubby Stick is one we’ve spoken about before, and it’s still an everyday makeup bag essential for adding a little foolproof natural bronze. Think Crayola for adults. It’s as easy as swipe and blend. Foolproof. Use this to contour under cheekbones, the sides of the nose, beneath jawline and around the hairline by your forehead. Note to selfie; be mindful of taking your cheek contour a little too far down toward your mouth, this tends to drag your features downward a little and can be instantly aging. Not what we’re going for.


Want to vamp it up a little for an evening out? Then you need two more gems to make your no-fuss contour photo ready. Benefit Hoola (€34.50 Debenhams, which I first bought over ten years ago –gulp) and Too Faced Candle light Glow (€30.00, Debenhams) are your best pals here. With a slim contouring brush such as Sephora X, use Hoola to deepen your cheek contour again keeping your shading high and not dragging too far downward toward the mouth. To make your higher points pop a little, add a small dusting of Too Faced Candlelight Glow to upper cheekbones, cupids bow and chin. Just enough so the light bounces off these areas and not so much that you’ve an oil slick situation in photos. This stuff also is beautiful used together with Too Faced Mr. Right Perfect Powder Brush, dusted over collarbones and shoulders.

And there you have it, easy, everyday, two-product contour that can hold its own in daylight! What are your current favourite contouring go-to products?

Becky Signature

*All the products mentioned above are available from larger Debenhams stores.

*Some of the above products are press samples but fear not - we speak only the truth when it comes to beauty products!

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Beauty Insider: Benefit They’re Real in Full Colour


Benefit Full Colour MascarasI’m a big fan of a pop of colour when it comes to liner and lashes, and I blame Cara Delevingne. Every few seasons my lady crush opens a fashion week with electric blue lashes or a swatch of bright purple liner and I’m hooked. Without going all eighties, I think a little pop of colour is a great way to brighten makeup and can actually be more subtle than you’d imagine. A blue fleck on lashes is no longer something I reserve for festival faces, but actually is a little go-to for brightening up a rainy Tuesday. Blue in particular is way more wearable than you might think, especially if just popped on lash tips over your usual black (it also works a little bit of magic if you happen to have blue eyes). Drumroll please for the latest addition to the Benefit They’re Real line, Full Colour!

Benefit Full Colour

 If you happened to have been hiding under a rock somewhere and not yet tried They’re Real mascara (€26), it’s basically falsies in a tube. Be warned though, there is some elbow grease required for removal- although for instant lash-oomph I'd argue it's worth the hard slog on the cleansing front.  Enter They’re Real lash-hugging liner pen (€25) and you’ve an intense pigment in a handy marker style applicator for full on liner in no time.

Last night we got to take a first look at the latest offering from the babes at Benefit Cosmetics in the form of They’re Real mascara in Blue, Brown, and Purple with an extra green for the lash-hugging liners! Be still my beating heart. The thing I love about these Full Colour versions of the cult classic mascara is subtle they are not- these babies are the equivalent of a Wonderbra for lashes. Yes you can still achieve aforementioned subtle fleck on lash tips, but it seems like such a waste not to go full tilt with a proper pop of colour when you’ve all that lash superpower at your fingertips.

Benefit They're Real Full Colour Liners

My favourite is the blue in both They’re Real Mascara and liner pen, although the purple line comes in a close second. They’re Real Full Colour collection is available at the Benefit boutique and Benefit counters nationwide from July.

Becky Signature.001

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Glowing Skin: Stila One Step Illuminate


Stila One Step Illuminate

Once upon a time I was a Stila addict…as in I’d an almost exclusively Stila make-up bag, and so was of course a little sad to see the brand leave Ireland a couple of years back. The good news is they’re back with a bang, and having gotten to try Stila One Step illuminate* I can feel another Stila love affair coming on strong!

This stuff is luminosity bottled. Ultra-cool packaging aside (it’s hypnotic if you stare at it long enough!) the oil free formula is perfect for those looking to control an oily t-zone. The serum-like consistency is composed of a triple whammy of illuminators with varying degrees of highlighting and bronzing magic. The hatric of illuminating and colour correcting primer includes a warming ‘Pale Pink’, the cult-status ‘Kitten’ tone to brighten (which by the way also happens to be my favourite eyeshadow possibly ever) and a ‘Champagne’ element to highlight the skin.

Stila's Secret to Glowing Skin

There's also an impressive skincare element to this primer, which I love. The inclusion of Stila’s Youth Revival Bio-Available Mineral Complex controls oil, minimises pores, hydrates and improve's the skins texture which is always a bonus. I don't think a swatch below on naked skin does this one justice- it can appear both pinkish and a little on the sparkly side; which it is absolutely not the finished result when layered beneath your foundation.

Stila One Step Illuminate Swatch.001Even if light-reflecting foundations aren't your everyday thing, Stila One-Step Illuminate adds the most beautiful gentle glow that can be teamed up with any day-to-day base. I'm a big fan, especially after a late night and this will definitely be a new staple in my kit for grey days! Have you tried Stila's One Step Illuminate?

B. xx

*Stila One Step Illuminate is available from the Stila counter at Harvey Nichols Dundrum, priced €31.60

*PR Sample

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Beauty Dupe: Soleil Tan de Chanel vs. Bourjois Bronzing Primer

Beauty Dupe: Soleil Tan de Chanel V’s Bourjois Bronzing Base

I love Chanel. All things in black glossy packaging with those embossed gold C’s pretty much gets my automatic seal of approval- there’s something amazingly satisfactory about the crisp click on closing a Chanel eye-shadow quad that few other brands can boast. It gets me every time. That’s how much I love Chanel. 

So when one of my first and favourite Chanel make-up staples, Tan de Soleil Bronze Universel, came up against a beauty dupe there was a momentary eye-rolling snigger that a budget brand would even attempt to take on this iconic bronzing base that’s been many a celeb make-up artists ‘go to’ product for years.

Bourjois had the cheek to do just that- and it kills me a little inside to say this, but Bourjois wins this one. I first began using Tan de Soleil a couple of years back and the first thing I noticed was the weird formulation. Not quite a solid, not quite a mousse and a bronzer but one that’s applied beneath foundation - it pretty much breaks all the rules.

The formulation is odd but lovely, with the right brush it applies really evenly and gives a natural glow beneath foundation that a bronzing powder just can’t match. And not to get too shallow but then there’s the packaging - a fantastic product wrapped up in a lovely large Chanel jar in all its black glossy fabulousness. As with everything, with make-up it's what’s inside that counts, but you can’t help but love how Chanel do packaging.

Beauty Dupe: Soleil Tan de Chanel V’s Bourjois Bronzing Base

I had heard of Bourjois Bronzing Primer and although curious, would never cheat on my Soleil Tan de Chanel... That’s until my lovely Australian visitor left me the nicest gifts when she came to stay (thanks Alice!) and I had in my possession my very own Bourjois Bronzing Primer.

With a creamy mouse texture, this one has a much softer consistency and is a lot more blendable than Chanel Tan de Soleil , allowing you to contour that much easier. The tiniest little bit goes a very long way so be carful there!

But you know a product is good when you get actual compliments two days in a row on wearing it.  It sits just as perfectly beneath foundation and it lasts. Ultimately I have to admit that Bourjois wins on this one, and at €13.99 compared to €38.50 for Chanel there’s a lot to be said for the price difference.

Oh, and did I mention that Bourjois actually own Chanel…interesting! Save your pennies and get to a Bourjois counter, ultimately a better product at a better price.

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