Oscars 2016 – My Favourite Looks

It was one of the biggest night’s in fashion as well as film last night, and any fashion lover won’t have been able to resist all the style and glamour that was the Academy Awards red carpet. It’s possibly my favourite fashion night of the year (even above the Met Gala) and I managed to keep myself awake until 01.30am Irish time to catch a glimpse of all this year’s celeb looks.

The Oscars are the crème de la crème of events when it comes to beautiful gowns, and although last night’s dresses weren’t the most stand out looks of all time, I’ve picked out my top three to share with you all.

Not dissimilar to earlier award season events this year, rich sequins, golds and whites were donned by many female stars, with sultry eyes and nude lips dominating the red carpet also.

Here’s a look at my Top Three looks from the night:


Cate Blanchett

Cate’s beautiful Armani Privé Seafoam coloured gown was the last dress I saw before falling to sleep last night and my first thoughts were yes. Just yes! The seafoam colour which is like a soft aqua shade, is just gorgeous on Cate and her hair and makeup is understated and classy.

Image: EOnline (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP )

A soft grey mixed with what appears to be a hint of purple eyeshadow compliments the subtle pop of lavender that runs through Cate’s gown and her soft lip finishes the look of perfectly. This is just beautiful and elegant all round in my opinion.

Margot Robbie

Margot has been on fire this awards season and last night was no different in this ultra sexy gold Tom Ford number. This girl just screams Oscar Glam with this look and the shape of this dress is super flattering on her enviable figure.

Her soft waves, again paired with light makeup, is the perfect accompaniment to this gorgeous gown.

Saoirse Ronan

To me this is Saoirse’s best look of the year so far, without a doubt. And it was also my favourite look of the night (not just because she is Irish!). This rich green colour is just to die for on her skin tone and I’m in love with this charcoal smokey eye and soft hair combination.

Image: EOnline (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP )

I was a little thrown by the mismatched earrings at first, but hey, if you can pull it off as well as Saoirse can then why not?!

So what do you think? Who was your best dressed on the night? I do have to say that Olivia Munn and Jennifer Garner both looked pretty fab too.

I finally got my hands on the new Urban Decay Gwen Stefani eyeshadow palette over the weekend so I’ll be recreating some of these makeup looks over the next few days. Make sure you keep an eye on the blog so you don’t miss out.

Unfortunately it’s now time for me to come back down to earth and get ready for a very normal Monday in work!

Hope you all have a great one.

Sorcha x

Going to the Dark Side

Last Saturday I went out with the girls for a late lunch / early dinner / cocktails kind of night. As we were meeting early I didn’t want to go too heavy with my makeup but I wanted it to be strong enough to last from day into night.  I love a dramatic lip so decided to pair a soft brown smokey eye with one of my favourite lip colours, Dark Side by MAC.

This lipstick is a really creamy shade of burgundy with a gloss finish, and is the perfect night time companion to help you pull off a dramatic makeup look.

Using a combination of my usual go-to products, Bobbi Brown eyeshadows and my Dark Side lippy, here’s a look at how I put it together…

 

After applying my brow pencil and shaping my eyebrows, I started off my covering my eye lids with Benefit’s Passion Pearl highlighter eyeshadow to give my eyes a good base. I then applied even amounts of Bobbi Brown’s Rose Gold and Fawn shimmer eyeshadows to give a soft golden brown colour. By blending these two shades together, it meant that the colour wasn’t too dark for day time.

The look was completed by applying a thin layer of eyeliner to my upper eyelid, then some kohl eyeliner pencil to the waterline of my lower eyelid for that added punch.

 

 

Once my eyes were finished, I dusted some powder over my entire face to brush away any eyeshadow residue, and applied Benefit’s Coralista Blusher to my cheekbones in upward movements, ensuring I highlighted as I went along.

To finish off the look, I took out the star of the show, my Dark Side lippy and applied onto my lips. This colour is just perfect in my view, I love rich shades and this shade of burgundy works in both winter and summer.

You can never underestimate the power that a dark or dramatic lip colour has to totally transform your makeup. I don’t tend to pair dark lips with dark eyes often as I think it’s always best to focus on one or the other. There is a happy medium however, and I hope I’ve found that here! I think I have, and hopefully you’ll all like it too!

Here’s a full list of all the products I used:

  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (NW25)
  • MAC Studio Fix Power (C35)
  • Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher Concealer Pen (Shade 2)
  • Benefit Blush (Coralista)
  • MAC Brow Pencil (Spiked)
  • Benefit Eyeshadow Highlighter (Passion Pearl)
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow (Rose Gold)
  • Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eyeshadow (Fawn)
  • MAC Fluidline Eyeliner Pot (Black)
  • MAC Kohl Pencil (Smoulder)
  • Benefit ‘They’re Real’ Mascara
  • MAC Lipstick (Dark Side)

I love any excuse to play around with different makeup looks and what could be better than a girls night out. My makeup lasted well into the early hours and apart from touching up my lips after dinner, I didn’t need to touch up at all!

Do you like a dark lip? If so, then why not have a go at this look yourself?

Sorcha x

On Wednesdays I Wear Red

I love nothing more than brightening up a black-on-black outfit with a pop of lip colour and that’s exactly the look I’ve gone for on this dull, rainy Wednesday in Dublin.

Today it’s all about red. Lipstick red. Lady Danger red to be exact.

  
Like lots of beauty lovers, I love a strong lip. One small application can totally transform your whole outfit, not just your makeup, and MAC’s Lady Danger is one of my ultimate favs. I’m talking up there, top ten, maybe top three, kind of fav!

For those of you not familiar with it (I doubt there is many of you), Lady Danger is a coral-red, matte based lippy with the most incredible staying power.


The perfect way to brighten up your hump day!

Sorcha x

Wedding Makeup Look

Last Saturday I did this makeup look for my cousins wedding. I was wearing a black dress so decided to go for a smokey eye and neutral lip. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I tend to wear more natural makeup during the week, so on weekends I love to play around with different eye shadows and colours for a more dramatic look, especially if I have something on.

For this look I primed my face with my Zo Skin Health Dr. Obagi Sunscreen and Primer to start – this is a product I use regularly as part of my skin care regime. I started using Dr. Obagi products about five years ago after a visit to my dermatologist and have never looked back since. But I’ll do a full post on that another time!

This primer is amazing for holding your make up in place, and it has a very slight tint so it gives a lovely glow to your skin too. Once I applied this, I followed by a blending my foundation over my face.

Given that it was an early start and I was tired, I then applied a generous amount of concealer under my eyes, on my nose, the top of my cheek bones and my chin using my Charlotte Tilbury ‘Retoucher’ concealer pen to cover any dark circles and blemishes. I find this Retoucher pen so easy to use, and the consistency of the concealer is light meaning it blends well into your foundation.

To complete the face, I blended a light layer of face powder over my foundation to seal it then applied blusher to my cheekbones using ‘Legendary’ blush from the MAC Marilyn Monroe collection.

I followed this by dabbing a small amount of highlighter to the tops of my cheekbones with my finger using this fab gold shimmer cream highlighter from the RiRi Loves MAC collection. This one of my favourite highlighters but I use it very sparingly as it was a limited edition range and I’m trying to prolong running out!

To finish off my cheeks, I applied light dusting of MAC mineralise skin finish powder in ‘Soft and Gentle’ to give an added glow.

I wouldn’t usually highlight as much as I did here, but as it was a wedding and I wanted the glow to last all day and night.

Now on to my eyes…

After filling in my brows with my MAC brow pencil, I started by applying ‘Foxy’ from my Naked2 palette all over my eye as a base coat, adding a touch of ‘Bootycall’ to the inner part of the eye for a pop of brightness.

This was followed by adding a mix of black from my NARS Self Portrait 2 palette, and YDK from Naked2 in the crease of my eyelid and blending together. I then added a light layer of ‘Busted’ from the Naked2 palette on the eyelid and underneath the waterline on the bottom of my eye to enhance the smokey look. The mix of black and brown gave a perfect day time smokey effect without being too dark.

Once I was done blending, I then applied a thick line of eyeliner to the upper eyelid, and black kohl eyeliner to the waterline of my bottom eyelid for a more dramatic effect. I finished it off by applying mascara to both my upper and lower lashes.

To complete the entire look, I puckered up and applied some ‘Revved Up’ from the Ellie Goulding collection for MAC to my lips for a slightly tinted neutral lip.

So there you have it. A perfect day-to-night smokey eye look!

Here’s a look at the full list of products I used:

  • Zo Skin Health – Oclipse Sunscreen &   Primer Protection
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (NW25)
  • MAC Sudio Fix Powder (C35)
  • Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher Concealer Pen (Shade 2)
  • MAC Marylin Monroe Blush (Legendary)
  • RiRi Loves MAC Cream Highlighter (Diamonds)
  • MAC Brow Pencil (Spiked)
  • NARS Andy Warhol Self Portrait 2 Palette (Black, White & Silver)
  • Urban Decay Naked2 Palette
  • MAC Penultimate Eyeliner Pen in Rapid Black
  • YSL Faux Cils Mascara
  • MAC Eye Kohl Pencil (Smolder)
  • Ellie Goulding for MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil (Revved Up)

Don’t you just love playing around with makeup?!

Happy Wednesday…

Sorcha x

Lipstick – Dare To Go Nude?

As I may have mentioned before, I’m a complete lipstick-aholic. I have so many lipsticks of all different shapes, shades, and brands, and the latest trend I’m loving is lipsticks in the nude. I’ve been contemplating trying out some nude lippys for a while now but haven’t been sure what to go with. Not one to shy away from a good challenge however, I decided to take two popular shades on the market and put them to the test.

After reading a great blog post on the new Kate Moss nude collection for RIMMEL, I chose one of these shades to be my first lipstick, and after much toing and froing, decided on the lightest shade in the collection, Shade 40 Pale Nude.

For my second lipstick I made a trip to my trusty old favourite, MAC, and played around with several shades until I decided on ‘Fleshpot’ as my other option. Here’s a look at how I got on:

 

RIMMEL Lasting Finish by Kate Nude Collection – Shade 40 Pale Nude

First off, I really love the pretty packaging of this collection. The creamy, salmon colour really stands out amongst my other lipsticks, and I’m a sucker for good packaging. If I’m honest, I have been known to buy products purely because of packaging in the past and it’s no different now. But now on to the product itself…

On application I had to apply a good amount in order to get it to blend well into my lips, but it was worth it as the colour, although pale, has a lovely creamy, peach undertone. I have a sallow, olive skin tone so these kinds of shades always suit me best and this is definitely a shade I could see myself wearing regularly.

The finish is what I would describe as a glossy matte which is kind of a contradiction in terms but let me explain! It has the feel of being matte, which may just mean that the formula isn’t very moisturising, but has a slightly glossier finish than you would expect from your average matte. It also doesn’t have great staying power – I put this on in the morning and found myself having to reapply it more often that I would have liked which was a little annoying.

Although I had to reapply it often, I really like the colour and it’s a perfect shade for a daytime make up look. Plus it didn’t dry out my lips which is always a bonus in my book.

Here’s how I scored it:

  • Colour 10/10 – I love the peachy undertone and it suits my skin tone well.
  • Moisturisation 8/10 – I wouldn’t say it was particularly moisturising, but it didn’t dry out my lips either.
  • Staying power 6/10 – This is where it falls down for me. Having to reapply as much as I did means that it’s not going to last me very long.
  • Value for money 9/10 – At €6.99 it’s a bargain but going back to my point above, I hope it doesn’t run out too soon.

MAC ‘Fleshpot’ Lipstick

This is a satin finish lipstick, but honestly as the colour is quite opaque on application, I would say it’s more matte like than satin. But given that matte lipsticks are my preference, I don’t mind this at all. As with most MAC lippys, the application is smooth and even, and the colour shows up very well after just one application.

In terms of formula, I love MAC lipsticks, there are very few other brands that compare in my view, but the colour on this one just didn’t quite hit the mark for me. It’s much more pink on the lip than it looks, even when I tested it on my hand in the store it didn’t look as pink as this. Like I mentioned earlier, neutral and peach undertones suit my skin tone better so I was disappointed with this shade I have to say. I really felt it was more of a pink nude rather than neutral nude which is what I wanted.

Here’s how I scored it:

  • Colour 6/10 – There’s nothing wrong with it as such, it’s just too pink for me.
  • Moisturisation 8/10 – As this claims to be a satin finish lipstick, I would have expected it to be more moistursing than a matte lipstick but it’s not.
  • Staying Power 10/10 – I applied this after breakfast and didn’t have to reapply again until lunch time despite having a few cups of tea in between, so it gets high marks from me here. One of the reasons I love MAC lipstick so much!
  • Value for money 8/10 – MAC lipsticks aren’t the cheapest but I love them so that doesn’t usually bother me. In comparison to its RIMMEL counterpart in this case however, the €20.00 price point does seem a little steep, especially as I wasn’t a fan of the shade. In saying that, you do get more lipstick for your money with MAC.

So what’s my overall verdict? There’s not much in it really but RIMMEL has ever so slightly come out on top here. While MAC definitely has better staying power, when it comes to colour and value for money, RIMMEL is the better option in this case.


Have you tried either of these lipsticks? If so I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Also, after I finished testing these, a friend of mine told me about a new nude lippy she bought from Bare Minerals called ‘Be Free’. It looks fab on her and she has nothing but good things to say about it so I think I’ll be putting that to the test next.

So there you have it, my first lipstick review on my blog. Hope you enjoyed it and oh, happy Friday!

Sorcha x

Today’s Look: Denim on Denim

My work attire is relaxed, I work in a big company where the atmosphere is chilled out and there is an emphasis on casual clothing.

My staple work look is a pair of skinny jeans, ankle boots, and a top of some sort. As it doesn’t change much day-to-day, I try to mix it up with changing hair styles and accessories. My make up is usually soft and natural, keeping with neutral tones, simple eyeliner and soft lips.

For today’s look I’ve gone for casual denim on denim, a high hair bun, ankle boots and soft make up with a tinted lip.


My Outfit

  • Denim Jeans: Zara
  • Oversized Denim Shirt: Penneys
  • Ankle Boots: Janella Bone Nubuck Boots from ALDO
  • Jewellery: Gorjana Taner Bar Necklace from Loulerie

 

My Make Up

  • Benefit That Gal Primer
  • MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation
  • Benefit Erase Paste Concealer
  • MAC Studio Fix Powder
  • MAC Brow Pencil in Spiked
  • MAC Penultimate Eyeliner in Rapid Black
  • Benefit ‘Coralista’ Blusher
  • Benefit Bad Gal Lash Mascara
  • MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil ‘Revved Up’ from the new Ellie Goulding collection (I just bought this and I am loovvving it!)

Have a nice day all…

Sorcha x

Review: Battle of the (Lip) Balms

I am one of those people who suffers from severely dry lips, I have done for as long as I can remember. I literally cannot go more than a few hours without putting balm on before they start to get dry, cracked and sore. For the past few years, Carmex has been my go-to balm when I’m not wearing lippy. I have one beside my bed, one in my handbag and one on my desk in work. Ask any of my close friends what’s the one thing I can’t leave the house without and I’m pretty sure they would say my Carmex (well, maybe after my phone)!

I often read articles however, about how you shouldn’t use the same balms for long periods of time as your lips become so immune to them that the product eventually has no effect. Now whether this is true or not I don’t know, but it got me thinking. Maybe it’s time I tried some of the others on the market.

So in the interest of experimentation, I had a browse at some of the most popular alternatives to see how they would stack up against my usual. After a little research I finally decided on the following: Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm, EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm and Kiehls Lip Balm #1 Original. I tried each of them out over the past few days and here’s a look at how I got on…

Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil (€4.49)

My first opinion of this balm was that it gave my lips a lovely, very slight, tint on application. A balm with a tint that works is a hard combination to come by I thought, I haven’t had great experiences with flavoured balms in the past, but was hopeful that this could be the exception. It started off so well but I’m sorry to say just didn’t quite hit the spot…

Application is smooth and after a quick blend I was on my way. I liked the fact that although it’s flavoured it’s not too strong, but while it did keep my lips moisturised, I felt I had to reapply this so often – much more than I usually would throughout the day. I liked the tint but didn’t love the product. It was just a bit ‘meh’ so I have to say I’m a little let down. Score? I have to go with a middle of the road 6/10.

EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Sweet Mint (€8.99)

 
If you’ve been keeping an eye on the beauty news recently, you may have seen that in the US there have been several cases of women who have had bad reactions to this EOS lip balm. As a result I was nervous to try it (as you might gather from my face in the picture above!). On the flip side, I had previously read some good reviews of this balm so decided to suck it up in the name of beauty and give it a go.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is super hydrating and moisturising, and felt very smooth on application. I also quite like the packaging and sphere shape. The tingly lip sensation from the mint was a nice little addition too and the flavour was not strong at all. I did have a moment of panic that the tingling may be the onset of a bad side-effect, but so far no reaction. I’m cautiously optimistic so I’m going to continue to use it in the hope that nothing bad will happen. My lips felt so soft I just couldn’t deny that this was a good choice (so far anyway). I would have scored this a nine but as I’m a little apprehensive about what regular use will bring, I have to reflect that in the score, so I’m going with an 8/10.*

*I will keep you posted on whether continued use has any negative side effects, in which case obviously my score will dramatically change.

Kiehls Lip Balm #1 Original (€11.00)

 
This Kiehl’s balm is a cult favourite and I know many people who swear by it. It’s very easy to apply and there’s a nice consistency to the balm itself. This was the one I had the highest hopes for but I just didn’t feel that instant deep moisturisation that I got with EOS, or that I get with Carmex. Nooooo!

The consistency is just much lighter that the other two which I’m not used to, so because of that I’m willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt and keep trying it for another while longer. The one big positive was that I didn’t need to apply it that often throughout the day which means it was definitely doing something good, and also means the tube may last longer than my Carmex usually does. It also gives a nice gloss to my lips too. Score: 8/10.

Carmex Lip Pot Original (€3.79)

 
Ah my old reliable. It’s true, I may be a little biased as I’ve been using this one for so long but as I usually use the Carmex tube, for the purposes of fairness, I decided to try the Carmex lip pot this time around. The first thing I noticed was the tingly effect that I used to love so much about Carmex actually pales in comparison to the one I got from EOS. Interesting.

To me, there’s no denying the moisture that Carmex gives your lips, it absorbs into them making them feel very soft, very fast. It also gives my lips a super glossy shine. But in terms of gloss, Kiehls is right up there with it now and actually thinking about it, I go through a lot so maybe it’s not as effective as I thought it was. Score? I would have without a doubt gone with a ten before, but now that I have some comparisons I think it’s more like a 9/10.

So, after all that will I be kicking my Carmex to the curb? Hmmm, I don’t think so. I have a very soft spot for it, but I think it’s got to be willing to share from now on. I’ll be continuing to test EOS and Kiehls over the next while and as none of these hit the ten mark, I’m now determined to find a 10/10 balm.

Any suggestions? If your favourites aren’t on here then please share them with me so I can add them to my test list.

Sorcha x