Budget Beauty MakeUp Look

It’s been a while since I’ve done a makeup look or makeup tutorial so I thought it was about time I revisited them again. I like my makeup, I like good brands, I like good packaging as most beauty lovers do, but sometimes I feel that the more budget friendly brands get overlooked for their more expensive counterparts.

Yes I like my luxury products, but I do also have some favourites from the less expensive pharmacy stocked brands, and what’s more, there seems to be new products coming out from these brands all the time now that have me intrigued.

So today I’ve decided to put a makeup look together using only pharmacy bought products. Some are new to me, others I’ve used before, but most importantly, each product costs less than €15 so is very affordable.

I’ve been doing a few individual product reviews of late and therefore, I’m very conscious of trying to keep my posts interesting for all you lovely readers. I’m by no means a makeup artist, there of lots of amazing beauty bloggers out there who know a helluva lot more than I do. But I love playing around with makeup and trying new looks, so that’s what I’ve done.

Before I start, here’s a list of all the products I used and their price points:

  • L’Oreal Infallibile Mattifying Primer – €11.99
  • Bourjois City Radiance Skin Protecting Brightening Foundation – €13.99
  • NYX Contour Wonder Stick – €14.00
  • Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil – €4.79
  • Catrice Sand Nudes Eyeshadow Palette – €5.50
  • NYX Vinyl Liquid Eyeliner – €7.99
  • L’Oreal Miss Hippy Mega Volume Mascara – €11.99
  • L’Oreal True Match Powder – €10.49
  • Bourjois Rose De Jaspe Blusher – €10.00
  • Bourjois Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet Sheer Matte Lipgloss – €12.49

I started this look off as I always do with applying a thin coat of primer to my face. I hadn’t used this primer before but have heard quite a lot about it so I really wanted to give it a try. It has a gel like consistency, but is also quite wet, and therefore needs a good few minutes drying time before applying foundation.

For those of you familiar with the Smashbox Photo Finish primer, this has exactly the same feel and texture. Although it doesn’t have the quick drying time that the Smashbox option does, it comes very close to it. As I’ve only used this once, I can’t give a proper review, but first impressions are definitely positive.

Next, I applied a thin layer of the City Radiance foundation in shade 03 (light beige) using a small stippling brush and the first thing that hit me was the gorgeous scent. It smells amazing! The formula is extremely light weight, meaning it’s super blendable, and it also lived up to its claims of brightening the skin.

Another thing I really noticed about this foundation was how well it lasted all day long. It really has great staying power, and leaves your skin looking quite dewy. And we all know I love a nice dewy glow! I have seen so many bloggers raving about this recently which is why I decided to try it out and so far I have to say I’m liking the results. Again, I can’t give a proper review until I’ve used this for a few weeks but I promise to do a full blog post once I have.

As I was using the NYX contour stick, I decided not to use a concealer and instead use the brighter end of this stick to both conceal and highlight. I found the stick very easy to use, just a few quick wipes and you’re ready to go.

Using a small angled contour brush, I blended into the foundation and loved the highlight look it gave the skin under my eyes.

I then used the darker side of the stick to contour my cheek bones, my nose and the outer frame of my face to give some definition and structure. Again the pigment was very good, and overall very easy to apply.

The next step for me was applying brow pencil to my brows. I love a strong brow and the MAC brow pencil is literally my holy grail for brows. But I’ve used this pencil before and I have to say, it’s not bad at all. The only downside for today’s look is that this shade is just a fraction too dark for me, I used 04 Black Brown, but next time I think I’d be better going one shade lighter.

I do however love the brow brush head that comes with the pencil, it helps to blend the colour evenly and give a natural look to the brows.

Following on from my brows, I began blending my eyeshadows using my Catrice nude palette.. This palette has really gorgeous shades, I just love the peach shade, and the others are all definitely the kind of colours I like to wear on my eyes. I’ve had this for a while now but only got to test it out today for the first time. To be honest I have to say I was a little disappointed with the pigment on the shadows, for such lovely colours in the palette, it really took a lot to actually achieve the same colour on the eye.

I used four shades on my eyes, starting with the matte nude, then building the matte peach into the nude and blending over the entire eye. I then applied the dark shimmer brown to the outer eyelids and used the lighter matte brown shade to blend.

I followed the eyeshadow application by using the NYX vinyl liquid liner to create a very fine line and flick on the top eyelid. I’ve used this a couple of times now and just about starting to get the hang of it. I’m not great at applying brush liquid liners, but because the brush head is so thin on this, it’s much easier to apply and  to achieve the line thickness that you want.

To finish off my eyes I took the L’Oreal Miss Hippie mascara and applied light layers to my eyelashes. One word – love! I absolutely loved the application on this mascara as well as the formulation and I think this could very quickly become a new favourite of mine. The bristles on the brush head were very soft and applied exactly the right amount of liquid to the lashes.

The drying time was also very good and it really lifted my eyelashes to give them a full finish with great volume. It was one of those moments you don’t expect to happen, but you almost whisper ‘yes’ to yourself at the joy of having come across a great new product! Am I the only one who does that?!

After my eyes had set, I finished off my face with L’Oreal True Match powder and Bourjois Jasper rose blush. The True Match powder is super blendable, very easy to apply, and left a nice finish on my skin. I’ll have to try this out a little more, and with a few different foundations however, before I can give a proper opinion on it.

The Bourjois blush however I have used many times, and have loved many times. It never gets old, it does exactly what it claims to do, it is pigmented, it is long lasting, and it gives a wonderful shimmer to the cheek bones. I’ve used this blusher quite a few times before and the colour is just fab. An oldie but a goodie as the saying goes!

Finally, to complete my look, I decided to try out the Bourjois Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet Sheer Matte Lipgloss in shade 04, Ravie en Rose. Again, I’ve seen a few reviews on these lip glosses and they’ve been on my list to try so today was a perfect excuse. But unfortunately this gloss didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had for it.

It took several applications, I’m talking at least four or five, to get a good colour out of the gloss which is such a turn off, especially for a matte lip product. Usually matte lippies are highly pigmented, but this fell short for me I’m afraid. The matte finish was good once I achieved the colour, but I don’t anticipate this lasting me too long if I have to use so much of it every time I apply.

So there you go… TADA! My final budget beauty makeup look. What do you think?

It was great playing around with different products today, especially as I got to try out some great new ones. The specific ones to watch for me however, are the City Radiance foundation and the Miss Hippie mascara. I’ve a feeling my relationship with these two is going to be a long one. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

I hope you liked this post, it’s quite different from what I usually write about so I’d really love to hear your thoughts and get some feedback.

I haven’t mastered the world of YouTube yet, and actually for me blogging is so much about the writing, so I don’t think that’s a road I’m going to go down. For now anyway. But hopefully I still managed to explain these products in detail through this post, and let you all know how I achieved this look.

Sorcha x






Wednesday Writing

For the first time since I’ve started my blog, I’m properly experiencing writers block or more specifically, bloggers block. I knew it would happen, I knew it would come, but still I’m finding it so hard. Writing is my thing, it’s my escape, it’s my passion, it’s how I currently fill my days but as I sit here trying to write, nothing is coming to me – zilch, nada, diddly squat.

There’s so much I want to write and talk about, my travels, our big trip coming up at the end of the year, beauty products I’m currently trialling and testing, my anxiety that reveals its ugly mug every so often, my journey on trying to make a living doing what I love… I know I’ve a lot to say, but today I just don’t know how to say it.

I think I’m just having a weird week, maybe I’m overwhelmed by the fact that now I actually have the chance to do what I want to do, I don’t know. It’s one of life’s little tricks isn’t it; finally giving you the chance to discover, to excel, to grow, to be great, then testing you to see if you can live up to the challenge? Damn, I’m not doing too well so far.

I’m going away tomorrow for the bank holiday weekend so my plan was to write as many blog posts as possible and schedule them for while I’m away. But alas, the universe has decided that’s just not meant to be today.


So instead, I’m going to have a coffee, go for a walk, meet some friends, try find some inspiration, then come back to my laptop and my thoughts later on. And, if you see a post popping up from me tonight or tomorrow then you’ll know I survived!

In the meantime if anyone feels like sending me some bloggers block tips I would really appreciate it. Or if there’s anything specific you’d like me to talk or write about, then please let me know that too.

I need all the help I can get today!

Sorcha x

Review: Clarins Lip Oil

A few weeks ago in my Airport Beauty Haul, I picked up one of the Clarins Lip Oils to try out. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers talking about these recently, and I’m a big fan of Clarins products so I decided to try it out for myself.

What I didn’t know at first was that the Lip Oil comes in three different flavours, 01 Honey, 02 Raspberry and 03 Cherry. When I initially went to the Clarins counter I was planning on getting what I thought was the only lip oil – the gold one. Don’t ask me why I thought it was just a ‘gold oil’, maybe because a lot of oils tend to be that colour. But obviously I was pleasantly surprised to find there was a choice of options.

Although initially I had planned on going for what turned out to be 01 Honey (gold in colour), I ended up choosing 02 Raspberry. I had wanted a clear oil, but the girl assured me that the oils didn’t really have any pigment and that the flavours were more about the scent than anything else. This always seems to happen to me – I go in to buy one thing, then get so excited by all the options, I end up buying something different!

Anyway, I had been so looking forward to giving this a go, especially after hearing Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits raving about it. Karen is one of my favourite beauty bloggers to read and follow, and always gives really honest reviews so I had a feeling I was going to be on to a winner here. And I was!

I’ve been using this for about two weeks now and I am absolutely loving it. Like, really loving it. My first concern with the oil based formula was that it might be too greasy or too sticky but it’s neither of those things. It has the most wonderfully soft formula that glides on to the lips so smoothly, leaving a gorgeous glossy but non-sticky finish.

Not only that, but once applied, it is lasting a good few hours on my lips which is always a bonus. I suffer from very dry lips; unfortunately about ten years ago I got my lips very badly burnt and I’ve have suffered with dry lips ever since. Because of that, I have to be very careful about the kind of products I use. Balms and lipsticks that wear off quickly or have no staying power, really don’t cut the mustard for me as I need to keep my lips constantly moisturised and hydrated throughout the day.

But none of that was an issue with the lip oil and Clarins has really lived up to the hype here for me. It has definitely become my product of the moment – we all know I love lip products – but this has just shot straight to the top of my lip list!

I picked mine up in Dublin Airport for €16 on special, but the regular retail price is €21. I’ve yet to discover how long the bottle will last, but so far it’s seeming like very good value for money. So much so, I’m contemplating buying the Honey version this weekend when I’m back in the airport.

Take a bow Clarins, you’ve done it again!

Sorcha x

Monday Motivation

I had a bad day yesterday. I can’t describe why, there was nothing wrong, in fact life is pretty great at the moment, but I woke up in one of those moods where I just couldn’t face a thing. I was moody, I was grumpy, I was teary and I had no idea why. That kind of bad day…

But as I so often do on bad days, I turned to words. To writing, to blogging, to quotes. Some of you may already know this about me, but reading quotes is one of my favourite things to do. It seems a bit ridiculous really, but I just get enjoyment from reading, no matter what I’m reading, and yesterday was one of those days where I just needed to read.

I needed to escape into another world, away from my mind, my thoughts, my crankiness, and forget that I was actually having a bad day. I needed to focus on something else.

Given that it was Sunday, and Sunday is usually the day where I spend a few hours lusting over things on Pinterest, I decided that Pinterest quotes were going to be my words of escapism. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, mostly they just brought a smile to my face.

Yes, I admit it, I’m one of those ridiculously clichéd people who has a quote for nearly every scenario, who dreams because of words on a page, who really believes in the messages they give. I’ve always been like this, so much so my best friend used to worry about my state of mind if she’d find serious life defining quotes scattered around my bedroom. I was always fine! Maybe a bit moody, or dreamy, or sad, or lonely, but I was always fine. It’s just that words have always been how I’ve dealt with everything in my life. Writing, letters, reading, blogging, quotes… Words.

Anyway in the interest of moving on from my bad day, and spreading some Monday Motivation, I’ve decided to share some of the ones I came across with you all.

The rain has come, the sun has gone, and I feel like it’s just one of those Mondays that needs a little bit of a lift and a smile.

And lastly, I’m sorry, but I just can’t resist this one…!

I hope these brought a smile to your face today! 🙂

Sorcha x

There’s Always Lipstick

I’m having one of those ‘meh’ days today, I don’t know why, I just woke up like this and Sunday decided to kick me in the ass.

As I was doing my usual Sunday routine of scrolling through Pinterest, I came across this quote by Audrey Hepburn which for some reason I’ve never read or seen before. I love Audrey Hepburn so this surprised me.

But mainly, it made me laugh. Because it’s true, lipstick has the power to make everything feel better. And being the lipstick addict that I am, of course I loved it.


So now I’m going to put on my lipstick, get my ass out of the house, and power through whatever the day decides to throw my way.

Happy Sunday!

Sorcha x


Getting My Life in Order with Ban.do

The title of this post may seem a little dramatic, I mean how does one really go about getting their life in order? I’ve always been a planner, an organiser, so much so some of my friends jokingly call me ‘Monica’ because everything has a place, everything needs to be planned meticulously, and because really, getting things in order makes me happy.

It’s a little sad I know, that planning and organising gives me joy, but I know I’m not the only one! I have kept a diary for years now, apart from keeping track of everything I do and allowing me to be the organised person that I am, it also gives me something to look back on – read, laugh at, cringe at, cry at, balk at.

I kept a diary of my entire year of wedding planning, and I don’t mean the online kind, I mean the good old fashioned pen to paper, writing kind. It’s always been something I enjoy, and essentially was what let me back to writing for enjoyment, and eventually blogging again.

Now that I’m no longer in a permanent job and taking the summer off to write and try find out what it is I actually want to do with the rest of my life, I decided a good way to start figuring it all out was by getting myself a good planner. And that’s where the whole subject of this post comes in, my new Ban.do agenda.

Agendas seem to be the new ‘thing’ of the moment, every where I look I’m seeing agendas and diaries, maybe it’s because many of the online shops and Instagram accounts I like are gift and stationary shops. Maybe it’s because I just love that kind of thing. Either way, the moment I first saw the new Ban.do agendas I knew I had to have one. Even thinking about it now excites me! Am I the only weirdo who feels like this about planning and organising? Please tell me I’m not alone!

Anyway, after much research back and forth on which type of agenda to get, I eventually decided on the large Ban.do Lady of Leisure option. Apart from being very cute and pretty, the diary element starts from August 2016, which as we all know is almost upon us, meaning it’s time for me to get my life in order.

These agendas are cute, they are fun, they have notes sections, they have day-by-day diary sections, they have monthly forward views, they have a yearly forward view, but most of all, they have stickers. STICKERS! Hello my inner ten year old self!

They have inspirational messages, they have monthly themes, and are really just a whole pile of fun. If I need to get my life in order and start planning for the future, then I may as well have as much fun as possible doing it.

The large agenda cost €37 and I picked it up in Moss Cottage, one of my favourite shops in Dublin.

I can’t wait to start using it, and with only ten more days to go until August arrives, I’m already planning all the things I’m going to write in it (of course I am!).

Sorcha x

Review: Benefit Dew The Hoola Liquid Matte Bronzer

When Benefit launched the new bronzing additions to their Dew The Hoola range back in March I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more. While I’m not a big fake tan user anymore, I am very partial to a good bronzer and so was very excited by their new Liquid Matte Bronzer offering for the face.

When I was travelling to London a few weeks ago, I decided to do a beauty haul and stock up on some new products that have been on my list for a while now and this was at the top. Apart from reading some great reviews online, as with most Benefit products, I was totally obsessed with the packaging too and couldn’t wait to get it home and put it to the test.

The bronzer comes in the most gorgeous gold bottle which has a pump at the top for easy application. When I first used this I put about three pumps on to my hand but it ended up being far too much so you really only need one pump which equates to roughly a pea size amount. As the formula is so light, you wouldn’t expect the pigment to be as good as it is, but it really is brilliant.

It has a gorgeous brownish gold tone which is quite dark, another reason why you only need a small amount, plus it blends so easily into the face. For application, I used a small angled stippling contour brush and dabbed it lightly along my cheek bones and on the outer sides of my nose.

The best thing about the formula is that it is very build-able meaning you can wear it as light or as dark as you want – so whether you’re looking for a soft glow for daytime or a strong contour for a night out, either way this product is going to work for you.

It’s not only great for contouring, I’ve also used it in the same way as I would a cream blusher and lightly applying directly on to my cheek bones. Because it is matte based with no shimmer, it has that ability to give your cheeks a natural glow without making you look shiny which is a major plus for me.

The only slight, and I mean very slight, reservation would be the fact that the smell is very sweet, in a perfumed kind of way. It’s not a bad thing, the smell is nice, but I’m just not one for very sweet scents.

But really that doesn’t even matter because this is already a new favourite of mine. I’ve applied this first thing in the morning and by evening time it still looks as good as when I first applied it.

If bronzers aren’t your thing however, this may not be for you as the pigment is quite dark and it does need to be blended well. But if like me you can’t resist a nice bronze glow, then this is a winner. I was worried it might be tricky to use being liquid but its light formula means it really is so easy to apply. Just make sure you start with a small amount and build up, that way you can’t go wrong!

The €31 price tag seems quite reasonable to me given I needed such a small amount, so I’m pretty sure this is going to last me quite a while. But only time will tell so I will keep you posted on that.

All in all this gets a solid 9/10 for me.

Sorcha x

50 Things That Make Me Happy (Part 4)

Many of my regular readers will know that each month I share a positivity post called 50 Things That Make Me Happy. When I first wrote this post three months ago, I never expected it to get the reaction or feedback that it did, and I was totally overwhelmed by all the lovely comments I got from so many people.

While I didn’t write it for that purpose, the reaction itself was incredible, and made me realise how many people find these kinds of posts uplifting, relatable and enjoyable to read.

I suppose I just never really thought about it before, I wrote this post initially because I was going through some big changes and needed to channel as much gratefulness and positivity into my day as possible. But when I think about it, some of my favourite blog posts to read are the one’s about people’s lives; how they live, how they laugh, how they cope in tough times, how they grow, how they mourn, how they have fun, how they move on, how they stay strong. So I suppose it’s not surprising that other people feel the same as I do.

It is comforting in a way to know we all go through similar experiences, we all have good times, we all have bad times, not to mention the crazy times!

I have a tendency to worry and stress, I’ve suffered with varying levels of anxiety over the years, but one thing I’ve learned recently is that writing is the best form of escapism for me. What I’ve also learned is that these positivity posts always bring me back to the good in my life, they make me realise that worrying is a thankless exercise and that once you do the best you can do, and are grateful for all that you have, then good things happen.

It may all sound a bit airy-fairy and if you’re dubious I understand that. But here’s what I say to that: sit and write down fifty things that make you happy and grateful, and see how it makes you feel. It may not dramatically change your circumstances, but I’m pretty sure it will at least make your day feel a little brighter.

Anyway, I’m rambling now, time to get back to the point in hand. Time to write down the 50 Things That Make Me Happy for this month:

  • Water
  • The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes
  • Laughing
  • Old movies
  • Getting my nails done
  • T-Shirts
  • Freedom
  • Big sporting events
  • Time out
  • Moisturiser

  • Airports
  • Protein bars
  • Treating myself
  • My new 2016/2017 Bando agenda
  • Girly chats
  • Old photographs
  • Birthdays
  • The beach
  • Old friends
  • Tanned skin

  • Mid-week lie on’s
  • Travel guides
  • Camera shopping
  • Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonder Glow
  • Forest Gump snapchat filter
  • Lunches
  • Choosing my own work hours
  • Bright evenings
  • Mum / Daughter dates
  • Car jamming to summer songs

  • Friday’s off
  • Pink champagne
  • Flip flops
  • Sunshine
  • Adventure planning
  • Writing
  • Hugs with my nieces
  • BBQs
  • Sleeping
  • Organising things

  • Booking flights
  • Breakfasts al fresco
  • Walks in the park
  • Getting my hair done
  • Home cooked meals
  • New stationary
  • Meditating
  • Losing weight
  • Spring cleaning (even though it’s Summer)
  • Being happy

So there you go… Some have carried over from my last post given it’s still Summer and the weather is currently glorious, some are different. But either way, I’m grateful for them.

Sorcha x



Tuesday Thoughts

This blog post could be called Tuesday Thoughts, or it could also be called Travel Tuesday, I’m not really sure how to decide because really it’s about my favourite thoughts on travel. My favourite thoughts, words and quotes.

I’m obviously in a travelling state of mind today, the sun is shining, I’m relaxed, I’m happy, but mostly, I’m thinking about of all the adventures that await us on our travels later this year.

I’m a dreamer and I always have been. Here’s what I’m dreaming about today…

8be81646645900e630586224771abfa6 Inspirational-Travel-Quotes-37 inspirational-travel-quotes-10aa8d4495d21c203a72caff0c419ed6ba1 inspirational-travel-quotes-travel-to-goTravel-Quote-3 The-World-is-a-book

Don’t you ever just wonder what’s out there; what the world has to offer, what great places there are to discover, and people there are to meet? I do. I always wonder. But I don’t have to wonder anymore. Three months and counting…

Ps. In case you missed it, you can read my Hello World post with all my latest travel news here.

Sorcha x

Girly Brunch in Balfes

If you read my blog post yesterday on my girly day out on Saturday with my Mum, you’ll know that we started our day out with brunch in town before going to the The Shelbourne spa for some pampering.

Our restaurant of choice was one of Dublin’s best loved brunch spots, Balfes in the Westbury Hotel, which has been open for quite some time now, but until this weekend I still hadn’t gotten around to going despite hearing lots of yummy things about it. So when Mum and I were planning our girls day out, it was the perfect time to give it a try and see if it lived up to all the hype.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived, apart from the gorgeous New York chic inspired decor and marble table tops, was the friendliness and professionalism of the staff. The manager greeted us warmly, showed us to our table which was a lovely spot in the centre of the room, and proceeded to take our drink order.

Mum opted for her old reliable latte, while I of course, decided on a nice glass of bubbly – I mean why drink coffee when you can drink prosecco, right?! There’s nothing better than a glass of bubbly to kick off any girls day out and why change the habit of a lifetime I say.

The brunch menu in Balfes is very varied, with many different options from healthy to indulgent. There are paleo and gluten free options, vegetarian options, as well as sharing platters, oysters, and all the usual breakfast options you would expect to find on any good brunch menu.

Spoilt for choice, it took us a while to decide what we wanted to eat, but eventually I decided on the Turkey Burger with guacamole, salsa and coleslaw, and just because I felt like being a little bit bold, swapped out the sweet potato wedges for normal skinny fries – delish!

There was just the right amount of everything on this dish, and I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that there was no bread bun with the burger. The dish definitely didn’t need it, and it made me feel like I was being at least a little bit healthy, even if I was having fries!

I enjoyed every bite and overall think it was definitely worth the €17 price tag that accompanied it.

Mum went for a breakfast option, namely the Blueberry Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup which cost a very reasonable €10.50, and the first thing we both said when it arrived, was how fresh it looked. The pancakes were made with fresh blueberries within the pancake mix rather than cooked blueberries or a blueberry syrup which sometimes happens. According to Mum the pancakes were light and fluffy and the bacon perfectly crispy, and she too really enjoyed her dish.

Needless to say it was a great experience overall. The food was delicious, and the lively, buzzing atmosphere that filled the restaurant made it even better.

We will certainly go back, and I definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a reasonably priced place to eat for a good girly catch up. That’s not to say you couldn’t venture in with your other half either – I’ve already got Dave booked in for a brunch date in the next few weeks and I can’t wait!

Sorcha x