L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation

Everyone loves a bargain and for me finding a foundation I love that costs less than €40 is a double whammy in that department. I found it hard in the past to buy foundations on the highstreet (other than from Bourjois) that would be as good as the high end ones. My new find is the Lumi Magique foundation by L'Oreal, and frankly, I am surprised I haven't picked it up sooner as I have been using the Lumi Magique highlighting pen for ages!

The Lumi Magique foundation is medium to full coverage but still looks very natural (not too dewy and not too matte - just the way I like it!!) It is a foundation that makes you glow from within without the glitter ball face effect, once you blend it it's barely visible and doesn't sit on top of the skin. L'Oreal promises 12h "magical" hold on their website which in my case was more 5-6 hours but that's still good for my combination - oily skin. The rose gold packaging also helps!

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation

I apply this foundation either with a buffing brush if I want the coverage to be quite high or, my preferred and newly discovered method, with a damp sponge which gives a lovely natural effect.

All in all this is my new favourite go-to foundation and I have gotten a lot of compliments on my skin when wearing it. So if you are on the hunt for a luminous but still quite perfecting foundation make sure to check this one out!

L'Oreal Lumi Magique Foundation costs €16.49 and is available in Boots.

What is your favourite highstreet foundation of the moment?

A. xx

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Bourjois Happy Light Foundation - A New Favourite


Bourjois Happy Light FoundationI have a bit of a foundation addiction... I am of the opinion that a good foundation is essential to a perfect makeup look. And by good, I mean a foundation that is pretty much traceless and invisible on the skin, one that enhances the complexion without covering up absolutely everything (that is what concealers are for!). I have tried a ton of foundations in the recent months and the Bourjois Happy Light has shot up to the top of my favourite summer foundations EVER!

I know I always say this, but in my opinion Bourjois make the best highstreet foundations and are up there, if not better, than many of my high end ones! The Happy Light Foundation is a very lightweight and luminous base that melts into the skin seamlessly! I have inspected it it in a magnifying mirror and it is completely invisible on the skin. It provides a light to medium coverage and a beautiful, luminous finish. I have received a lot of compliments on my skin while wearing this foundation (including a day when I was suffering from a little bit of a hangover...). It has this magical ability of brightening your face without the dreaded disco ball effect.

Bourjois Happy Light Foundation

I myself have combination to oily skin and find that this foundation stays on reasonably well but you need to set it with powder, it is quite glowy. I tend to only use a light dusting of powder through the centre of my face as I love a bit of luminosity on my cheeks. I need to reapply a bit of powder later in the day as I do get a small bit of shine, but in all honesty, that happens with all foundations so I don't mind.

The one thing to look out for with this product though is that the shades run quite dark, so if you are using a different Bourjois foundation, don't assume you will be the same shade in the Happy Light.

I am very impressed with this foundation and will be picking up the concealer from this range also! It is not the cheapest highstreet foundation but an amazing quality one! I highly recommend it if you are a fan of natural bases.

Bourjois Happy Light is €16.99 and available in Boots.

Have you ever tried this foundation? Let me know your thoughts!

A. xx

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Summer Saviour: Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic


Kiehl's Rare Earth Pore Refining TonicI'm not sure about you, but in summer when it's that bit warmer and my face is plastered in creams with a high SPF, I get that very un-sexy, oil-slicked shine through the centre of my forehead. And I am not talking about glow (I am all for glow) but this horrendous oily layer that just sits on top of your skin! I don't really like using primers on a daily basis, especially during warmer weather as I feel they just clog my pores. So when I heard Lisa Eldridge talk about this product a couple of years ago in a video I wanted to try it out!

The Rare Earth Pore Refining Tonic definitely isn't a product I could use on an everyday basis, it would probably dry me out a bit too much but it's absolutely fabulous at stopping that unsightly shine from coming through on warm summer days, when I'm on holidays in a hot country or even doing sports.

It's not your regular toner when it comes to consistency, it's a dual-phase liquid that looks a bit odd when it's not shaken (it separates into a murky liquid on top and a gloopy white substance at the bottom) but once you give it a good shake all the ingredients combine. It contains Amazonian white clay (which is known for gently drawing out oils and toxins that can clog up pores without stripping the skin) and Allantoin (in herbal medicine used as a bacteria inhibitor that also soothes and reduces inflammation).

I use a small bit on a cotton pad through the centre of my face. After I've applied the toner and let it dry I proceed as usual: I use a light moisturiser (my favourite for the summer is still the Perricone MD Photoplasma with SPF 30) and apply my makeup as always. This little routine somehow keeps the gross shine at bay without me having to layer lots of products on my skin.

Do you have a favourite shine-banishing product?

A. xx

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La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo (+) Anti-Blemish Cream

Effaclar-Duo- .jpg

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo +We’re big fans of La Roche Posay and find their skincare to have all the active ingredients of high end brands but with a more purse-friendly price tag. And that’s what it’s all about with decent skincare: active ingredients. All the glossy, celeb endorsed ads of luxury brands aren’t much more than pretty packaging if the science bit isn’t right. I was delighted to arrive home a couple of weeks back to see the postman had slipped this little package of goodness into my letterbox.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo+ is intended for oily, blemish prone skin and is fast becoming spot busting favourite. Considering I got off easy in the breakout category as a teen, it's only now in my late twenties I find my skin to be a little more temperamental. I wouldn’t necessarily consider my skin oily, but definitely combination. Boasting four active ingredients, Effaclar Duo+ hits both localised imperfections (with Niacinamide and Piroctone Olamine), clogged pores and dead skin cells (with LHA and Linoleic Acid) and also contains thermal spring water which serves as an anti-irritant to any redness.

A week in and I’m not lying when I say I love this product.  Its light weight oil-free consistency sinks into the skin leaving zero greasy residue and I’ve definitely noticed more refined pores and an overall clearer tone to my skin. I like to think it played some part in clearing that mother of a breakout I was experiencing when I first start using this a little over a week ago. Even my drier areas (mainly cheeks in my case) are completely hydrated despite the formula being lighter than what I’d generally use. This definitely won’t be my last tube of Effaclar Duo+, it’s earned a place as a permanent fixture to my daily skincare routine!


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Best of Beauty | Pamper Products


Best of Beauty | Pamper Products

This week's Best of Beauty post (a series created by the lovely Samantha from All The Buzz) is one of my favourite categories: Pamper Products. I love my pampering time and think it is really important, girl or boy, to take some time every now and then to relax and be just with yourself. Now, I would normally have a ton of products to show you here but unfortunately I found myself 'bathtubless' in my new house (which should hopefully soon be rectified). There are few things that are as important to me in a house as a nice kitchen and comfy bathtub! Fortunately for me, I manage to still have a nice pamper time with the help of a few products.

First up are my favourite face masks of the moment, so as always from the left...

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel Not really a face mask as such but it certainly feels like one to me. The Elemis Papaya Enzyme peel is a gentle and creamy product that you leave on for about 15 min (my skin is quite hardy so I leave it on for a bit longer) and when you rinse it off you are left with a gorgeous, glowing and bright complexion. It is made of natural ingredients such as papaya and pineapple enzymes to lift dead skin cells and smooth out the surface of your skin. It also contains Milk Proteins, Vitamin E and Marine Algae to protect, repair and moisturise the skin. I love this product and have re-purchased it several times, it's gentle, smells nice and it works! (P.S. The product in the my photo is in limited edition packaging, just in case you are looking for it on the counter, it normally comes in a sleek silver tube)

Elemis Papaya Enzyme Peel €37.18 from lookfantastic.com

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask This is my moisturising mask of the moment. It's not a particularly sexy product, it doesn't really smell of anything and looks a bit like a thick moisturiser but it works wonders on stressed and dehydrated skin. I admit, even though I try really hard (I even have an app to remind me), I don't drink enough water and it shows on my skin. Again, you leave it on for about 15 min but because I'm obviously a rebel, I leave it on for a good bit longer. This mask is made with the Avene Spring Water, which is claimed to have soothing and anti-irritating properties. It also contains nourishing and moisturising ingredients (fatty acids) that restore the skins barrier and increase hydration. Your skin is left gorgeous and plump. I love using it after the Elemis Enzyme Peel for a super gorgeous glowing and plump skin!

Avene Soothing Moisture Mask €19 from boots.ie

Superfacialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Clay Mask My skin is dehydrated but I still have quite oily skin through the centre of my face so I do appreciate a good clay mask. They can do wonders for congested and unbalanced skin. I try to sample a lot of these and have in the past loved the Murad Clay Mask, Glamglow, etc. At the moment I am really hung up on the Tea Flower Clay Mask from Una Brennan. It is affordable but works really well! It contains salicylic acid (willow bark, the wonder ingredient when it comes to cleaning out pores) and Dead Sea Mud to help your skin detox and restore balance. What I love about this mask so much, is that it also contains avocado oil and other mositurising ingredients so it leaves your skin purified but not stripped or tight. I've written a whole post on this mask, so if you want some more details you can find them here.

Superfacialist by Una Brennan Tea Flower Clay Mask €10.99 from boots.ie

Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath & Shower Collection My ultimate pampering products are these little babies: the mini Bath and Shower oils from the Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath & Shower Collection. It upsets me greatly that I can't use these in the bath at home but thankfully they are also great as shower oils. You just rub the oil into your skin and the jump into a hot shower. The Aromatherapy Associates oils are by far my favourites, they smell divine and really help me relax. They are expensive but they last forever, I've had this little collection for over a year a and a half, you only use a tiny bit at a time. My favourites, and the ones that are sadly nearly empty are Relax Deep, De-Stress Muscle and Support Equilibrium. But they are all gorgeous! The Support Breathe one is amazing for when you feel a bit coughey or congested and Support Lavender and Peppermint is amazing for when you need to cool down (great for holidays in a hot country).Best of Beauty | Pamper Products

They are very small so I usually take a couple of these oils with me wherever I go and make the best of hotel bath tubs!

Aromatherapy Associates Ultimate Bath & Shower Collection €53.56 from lookfantastic.com

Best of Beauty | Pamper Products

Scented Candles No pamper evening would be complete without a nice scented candle. I am quite fussy when it comes to candle scents, most of them smell too fake and strong for me. I like a few candles from Yankee Candle but I can't burn them for too long, they become a little too intense for me quite quickly. My favourites at the moment are the This Works Black Spice and Cedar and the Bath and Bodyworks Leaves candles - both not very seasonally appropriate as they smell quite spicy and wintery, but these are scents I generally tend to gravitate to any time of the year.

I usually have my pamper evenings when my husband is out playing football and I am at home alone (well, not alone, with Missy my little Jack Russell girl). I would have a long hot shower, throw on a face mask, do a manicure and then chill out on the couch with a herbal tea or a nice martini, depending on my mood, and watch Netflix or read a magazine. Bliss!

If you would like to read more about pamper products head to Twitter and look up the hashtag #BOBBlogChallenge to check out other Irish Beauty Bloggers posts.

What are your favourite pamper products?

A. xx

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My favourite foundations for combination / oily skin

FoundationsAs you may know from other posts, I have a combination to oily skin with the unfortunate tendency to breakouts every now and then. My skin is very awkward, it’s quite oily through my forehead, temples and the sides of my nose but at the same time quite dry on my cheeks and chin.

Combination skin can be annoying because oil free, mat foundations are too drying for me (I am also not too keen on a completely mat look anyway) and moist, dewy foundations leave my skin too oily and the makeup doesn’t last.

After years of testing and trying of different formulae, consistencies and ingredient combinations I came up with a fairly big collection of foundations that are a really good match for my skin. There are two reasons why I have several foundations (actually I have more than the below in my private collection but these are the ones I use on a regular, day-to-day basis):

  • I am obsessed with makeup and can’t resist buying lots of products.
  • My skin changes during the week / month, depending on temperature, moisture in the air, stress and hormone levels, etc.
  • Depending on the make-up look I'm after I will go for a different finish / coverage foundation

So, without further ado, let’s look at the foundations:

1. Vitalumiere Aqua, ca.€40

This is probably my favourite foundation that I tend to use most often for day makeup. It has a velvet finish, so it isn't really dewy but also doesn't give you a tight feeling mat skin. It has medium (buildable) coverage and looks very natural on the skin. Love this one! The only down side to these I can think of is that the lightest shade is not really that light... Otherwise really worth the money!

2. llamasqua Skin Base Foundation, approx. €33

This is a great foundation if you are looking for a good coverage without the mask effect. It sits beautifully on the skin if you use a stippling or buffing brush to apply it. I have tested with a lot of brushes and it doesn't work very well with a flat foundation brush, it sits on top of the skin and looks cakey. It has a medium to full coverage with a very perfect finish. With this one remember: a little goes a long, long, long way!

3. MUFE HD Foundation, approx. €39.50

This is a beautiful foundation, it leaves your face looking very perfect but still fresh and luminous. It is amazing for special occasion makeup, where you know you will be photographed a lot as it doesn't have any SPF in it (if you are using it during the day make sure your moisturizer has sun protection built in!!!). I think MUFE recommend to put this on with a regular foundation brush but I find it looks better when it's buffed in with a stippling brush.

4. Chanel Vitalumier Aqua Compact, approx. €40

This one is the sister of the Vitalumier Aqua liquid foundation. I love it for make-up on the go and touch ups during the day. It has slightly more coverage than the liquid version and I tend to use it with my fingers. Can also be used as concealer in an emergency. I couldn't be without it!

5. Nars Sheer Glow, approx. €40

This is a relatively new discovery for me but so far I am in love! The name of the foundation is a bit deceiving - it is neither sheer nor glowy! It has a velvety finish and medium coverage that can be built up. It looks amazing on the skin, it gives you the most perfect and healthy looking skin. This one also doesn't have an SPF and photographs very well. The colour range of this foundation is fantastic!

6. Clinique Anti Blemish Foundation, approx.€30

This is my go to foundation for the days when my skin breaks out. It has a velvet to mat texture and quite good coverage but is not cakey, you can thin it out on the edges of your face for a more natural look. This foundation contains salicylic acid  (the magic ingredient for acne prone skin) as well as other skin clearing ingredients. A life saver!

What are your favourites? Would love to try out some of your recommedations!