Friday, November 18, 2016

Suzie Q Reviews: MAC Purples Times Nine

Hey Ladies,

It's rare that I come across a MAC eyeshadow that I don't like and honestly for the price you pay I expect good pigmentation, blend-ability and longevity. I was given the MAC Purple Times Nine palette as a very generous gift and at the time I squealed with sheer delight and couldn't wait to get my 217 brush all up in it. But being totally honest this palette doesn't blow me away. It's smaller than the traditional MAC 15 pan eyeshadow palette, the shadows are half the size and obviously the price point is lower too at 33.50euro. It is ideal if you like a compact, travel sized palette with a variety of colours.
There are 6 varieties of these palettes with different colour themes. The shadow texture array from matte to satin to frost. I found the quality of each shadow differed from the next you can see in the swatches below that some shadows are have serious pigment more so the darker tones whereas others are pure crap and you can't even build them up. I have had this now for about a year and I have used it maybe three or four times. If you were thinking about picking up these palettes I would say buy an empty palette and pick your own shades instead, it may cost more but at least you know you will use every shade and that they aren't dud quality.
I always feel funny giving something from MAC a bad review because it's almost sacrilegious but when something isn't up to scratch I don't want any of my readers wasting their hard earned cash on it!
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Monday, November 14, 2016

Cleanse Off Mitt: The Easiest Cleanser Ever

Hey Ladies,

Skincare is something I am very into and with having such difficult acne prone skin there is always something new on the market to try and test. My most recent purchase is the Cleanse Off Mitt created by Jennifer Rock whom you also may know as The Skin Nerd on Facebook and Snapchat. Jennifer is a skin guru and she knows absolutely everything there is to know about skin and skincare. On the Cleanse Off Mitt website the mitt is described as... "A reusable micro fibre cosmetic mitt designed to remove makeup and oil from the skin. It is safe, gentle, thorough and respectful to the skin. Cleanse Off Mitt contains no harsh chemicals or preservatives that can often irritate and exacerbate many skin conditions. It needs no product added to it in order to work".

I bought mine from the Cleanse Off Mitt website but you can also pick it up on Cloud10Beauty and it only cost 5euro, absolute bargain! I was very skeptical at first but I have noticed a sharp increase in the amount of people who have gotten very lazy with their skincare. Garnier Micellar Water or wipes are as far as it goes in terms of cleansing and that gives me chills. The most important step in looking after your skin is cleansing. After vigorous testing I can say that this little cloth has become an essential step in my skincare routine. If I am wearing little makeup I use warm water and this to remove my face and then follow with a really good cleanser. If I am wearing a full face of makeup I will use a cleanser or an oil on the mitt to remove all my makeup and then a second cleanser to clean my skin. I then rinse the mitt with warm water and antibacterial soap and then hang to dry. It doesn't dry out my skin or make me overly sensitive. It isn't abrasive around the eye area so removing even the toughest of liners is easy peasy! 

For only 5 euro this isn't going to break the bank and makes cleansing so simple. I would go as far as to say that this is a good gift for any makeup lovers for Christmas or if you travel a lot as it would cut down on product!

So ditch the wipes and reach for the mitt!
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

My Accutane Journey: Month One

Hey Ladies,

My skin struggles is something that gets quite a bit of time on my blog and YouTube. I have suffered with my skin since my early teens, having tried all the treatments and options available to try and cure my skin I finally made the decision to start accutane treatment. In the past I've tried diets, laser, medication, skincare and different contraceptive pills but nothing ever seemed to shift it. At the start of 2016 I became quite ill with chest pains and my doctor feared that I might have a blood clot in my leg due to the contraceptive pill Dianette, the pill recommended for acne prone skin. So I was immediately taken off it, went to the hospital and thankfully I have no blood clots. It was the first time since the age of 12 or 13 I wasn't any medication for my skin, I lived in hope that my skin over the decade may clear itself up but it got worse and worse. 

The tipping point for me was when I could no longer cover my skin up with makeup, it was painful to touch my skin and looking in the mirror everyday was like torture. My mental health and physical health were suffering. On the day of my sister's wedding, the makeup artist found it difficult to cover my skin especially around my bad area (my neck and chin) with makeup. I felt so ugly the whole day, the first of my family to get married I should have felt amazing and confident. Looking back at the pictures of that day now the feelings of self hatred come flooding back. Why me? I look after my skin so well, try to use the best makeup and skincare and it still constantly broke out. And not only on my face but now my shoulders and back were beginning to act up too. 

I won't name any names but in July someone said I was a "superficial" person, a person who doesn't know me from Adam. There has been so many days when I won't leave the house because I am so embarrassed by my skin. I had no self confidence at all, I would put makeup on just to go get bread and milk from the supermarket in case I bumped into someone. Even days when you pluck up the courage to get dressed up, put on a nice outfit and get all glam... I still don't feel as confident as I should. So when I began my accutane journey some friends and family were concerned with the side effects and I felt that low I would have swallowed rat poison if I thought it would cure my skin. 
July 2016 My Sister's Wedding Day
I don't wear clothes that show off my arms, shoulders or back, I always try to hide them. Even to the gym I wear a long t-shirt or hoodie to hide my skin. Eventually enough was enough. I was at my breaking point and decided accutane was the only way to try and clear my skin once and for all. If you don't know what accutane is, it's basically a medication a form of Vitamin A that reduces the oil production in the oil glands. That means your skin cannot get as inflamed, produce bacteria or clog itself up! It sounds like the dream but this medication has some serious side effects for example you cannot get pregnant or your child will have fatal abnormalities, hair loss, headaches, nosebleeds, dry skin, dry lips, eczema, joint pain, lower back pain and depression (that one is debatable)..... the list goes on and on. The medication takes a huge toll on your body and you have to go for monthly blood tests to make sure its not affecting your kidneys or liver. 
August 2016
I was prescribed a 20mg dose from a Dermatologist in DCU, not any regular doctor can prescribe this medication. And lemme tell you, derms ain't cheap! They can cost upwards of 200euro and some have an 18 month wait list. I have been on the medication for over a month and a bit now and slowly I have noticed changes in my skin. It's definitely drier and flakier. My lips are always dry and chapped so a good lip balm and moisturizer is key. I might even do a post on all the skincare I've tried since starting treatment. My hair no longer gets greasy at all which is strange. I have developed eczema on my hands and arms which can get very uncomfortable but if my skin is going to be clear at the end of this journey then it's worth it. My skin feels different, it doesn't feel like my skin at all. I have noticed a huge reduction in breakouts in certain areas especially around my back and shoulders and my neck. My cheeks and chin are still really inflamed and I'm hoping during the course of the next month it will go down a bit more but I'll keep you posted in my next update. 
 October 2016
I am excited to share where the next month will take me. I am so nervous posting pictures of my bare face online as I spend so much of my time trying to hide my skin but hopefully this post might help someone else who is in the same position as me. 

See you in the next one, 
S x

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Suzie Q Reviews: ABH Modern Renaissance Palette Review

Hey Ladies,

So one of the most exciting purchases from my Summer trip to Canada was the ABH Modern Renaissance palette. It was the hardest item on my list to find as it was sold out everywhere. On my last day I just popped my head into Sephora on the off chance they got a delivery and there she was sitting there all purdy!

When I put a picture of this palette on the 'Gram everyone oooh'd and ahh'd like it was the most precious baby. After having it for a couple of months I wanted to do an honest review on whether or not you need this palette. It is STILL out of stock on the ABH website, Sephora, Cult Beauty and Beauty Bay which is crazy considering I got mine in June.
First of all the packaging is nice but it isn't at all practical. The beautiful pink lid is a soft velvety material which is destined to be destroyed in marks and makeup after just two uses. It has a nice sized mirror and the palette itself isn't too long, too wide or to bulky. The palette comes with a double ended brush with one side for blending and the other for colour application and they are really great quality. I just hate double ended brushes because they cannot be stored well.
Let's get into the nitty gritty... in all honesty this palette is gorgeous and the shades are stunning I almost didn't want to use it. There are 3 metallic and 11 matte shadows in this palette. Each shadow is 0.7grams. The biggest drawback is that the shadows have a lot of kickback when you place your brush on them, but thankfully not a huge amount of fallout when applied to the eye. Given the amount of kickback I feel like I have lost a decent amount of product during each use.

I picked up the Kat Von D Shade And Light Eye also on my trip and I haven't even dented any of those shadows, whereas I have already hit pan on two of the shades in the Renaissance palette. I picked a Renaissance palette up for my friend Grainne (@GraKaneswaranmakeup on Instagram and Facebook) and she also had the same issue. At $42 US Dollars this palette isn't cheap.

The pigmentation of the shadows is very strong as you can see in the swatches below. And the colour selection is just dreamy. I love the burnt orange shades, the deep burgundy's and the little bit of sparkly. But I do feel like this palette isn't for everyone. I think most women would get more use out of the Urban Decay Naked palette than this. I don't think red eyeshadow is every woman's ideal colour.
In terms of availability this palette is hard to get. If you're a makeup lover who doesn't mind spending the few bob and the struggle of finding it, you're gonna love it. If you're a brown smokey eye 5 minute minimal makeup person... then it won't be for you.

Do you have this palette? Do you love it? Lemme know.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Lidl Have Winter Fashion Covered

Hey Ladies, 

One thing you see very rarely on my blog is fashion posts and honestly that is because I have no sense of style at all! Recently I was invited by Lidl to take a gander at their upcoming Autumn/Winter clothing collection and before you even think "why would I buy Lidl clothing?" just hold onto that thought until the end of this post. I was curious as I am sure you are too, to see what they had created and I was so surprised. I walked into my dream wardrobe... chunky knits, statement coats, slinky lingerie and gym gear!

For me Autumn/Winter is all about the cosy wooly jumpers, big scarfs and boots. Lidl have put together a capsule collection that will get you through the holiday season super stylishly. And in Lidl fashion these items launch throughout October and I can see this collection being a total sell out! The images you see below were all styled by the incredible Corina Gaffey. I have also included prices so you have an idea how CHEAP these pieces are so looking fab doesn't have to break the bank. 

I will be front and centre in the queue to get the printed jumper dress and will stop at nothing to get one in my size and that fur gilet.... TO DIE FOR 😍

This is the important part, they gym gear goes on sale on Thursday...yes Thursday. 
You've been forewarned... see you in the queue. 

 Dress - €12.99 available in December 
Coat - €24.99 available in October 

Dress - €12.99 available in December 

Black Gilet Waistcoat - €14.99 November   
Top - €4.99 available in December 
Skirt - €6.99 available in December 

Bra - €7.99 available in December 
Underwear - €6.99 available in December 

Black sports bra - €9.99 available in October 
Leggings - €16.99 available in October 

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Suzie Q Reviews: Anastasia Beverly Hills Sun Dipped Palette

Hey Ladies,

Highlighting and highlight palettes are definitely one of the biggest trends of 2016 and when Anastasia Beverly Hills released their Glow Kits shit hit the fan and people lost their minds over the swatches and pictures on Instagram. ABH isn't readily available in Ireland yet but I managed to pick up the "Sun Dipped" palette when I was in Canada and of course, I have to review it.
First up let's talk about the obvious which is the packaging. On one hand I hate it, I think ABH really could have glammed this up a little more. Whereas, I do think the fact there is no mirror or brush means more product and no wasted space. I love the fact that the pans are removable so you could put these in your own palette for travel or in your kit if you are a makeup artist.

The pan sizes are HUGE and to be honest unless you are a makeup artist you will not need all four shades. If ABH releases these individually that would be ideal but the palette costs C$52 or £39 and if these were sold individually you'd be paying at least 20quid for one so maybe it is better just to buy the palette.
The powders are a super soft buttery texture and blend into the skin gorgeously. There is no chunky glitter and they do not show up skin texture issues as bad as other brands I have tried. There is two palettes in the range and as I mentioned I picked up the "Sun Dipped" as the "That Glow" palette was sold out. If you are a paler girl you wouldn't see this palette as the obvious choice for you but I promise you definitely can wear the shade "Summer". "Moonstone" is a beautiful shade for girls who have more of a tan. "Bronzed" and "Tourmaline" I have yet to try as I don't have skin dark enough to pull them off but I will be wearing them as eye shadows until I do!

These highlighters have been all over Instagram and YouTube! Often I have seen people doing a light swatch and the pigment appears to be so strong you can see them from about 10ft away? I find that these are insanely gorgeous but they are very different in real life compared to what is being shown online. They are very pigmented, more than most I've tried but they aren't *that* intense so don't get your hopes up if you do purchase a palette.

ABH is hard to find but you can pick up this palette from Cult Beauty for £39 both colour options are currently out of stock and I can understand why! Stay tuned as I will be reviewing more Sephora bits and bobs on the blog in the coming weeks but until then check out my Instagram and Snapchat where you will see all of these products in action.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

The NYX Shadows You Do/Don't Need....

Hey Ladies, 

If you have seen my latest YouTube video you will know that recently I was in Canada and spent an actual bomb in Sephora on loads of bits and bobs.... and if you haven't seen that video there is a link to it here. A couple of days after I got back from my trip I seen online loads of buzz that a new NYX counter had come to my local Boots store, not that I needed anymore makeup after my splurging but it would be rude not to have a little look and see what the counter was like! 

I was very restrained and only picked up two eye shadows that were recommended by friends, Mermaid and Fireball and from those names and the image about I am sure you can gather which is which. My friend Gracey (@Longhairandlashes on the 'Gram) is always using Mermaid in her photographs and I instantly knew that colour was a must have and as for Fireball what can I say it is too pretty to pass up. I named this post "shadows you do/don't need" because I feel like these shadows aren't the most wearable and/or obvious choice but in terms of their quality and prettiness... sure buy them anyways.
The pigment of these shadows is super strong and they have a beautiful buttery texture. They blend like a dream! Price wise we're looking at 7euro for each which is so inexpensive for what you're getting for your money versus a MAC shadow. Side note about MAC... I feel like they aren't the be all and end all in terms of shadows anymore and there is so much variety now a days that they are slowly slipping from my top 5! 
Back to NYX, these colours are definitely two shades that you could add into your collection of neutrals nicely that will easily turn a look from drab to fab. Imagine this... NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk on the eyelid and then Mermaid pressed on top or in the inner corner, then throw on a bit of liner and add some glitter for good measure and you have yourself a seriously Instagrammable eye look. Fireball is a shadow that you could add to a brown smokey eye to give it that oomph but not go too far outside your comfort zone and it is the colour that you will constantly wear from October till January with a dark lip!

In short, if you're passing a NYX counter just buy these and thank me later! 

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Inglot Duraline A Must Have For Every Makeup Bag

Hey Ladies,

In the bottom of every makeup artist's collection you will find Inglot's Duraline and unbeknownst to most girls this is a must have! I have been using Duraline for the past 6 years and can never be without a bottle, you probably thinking to yourself okay now why do I need this and what does it do? Have you ever bought an eyeliner and it dried out within a couple of months and became so difficult to use especially if we are talking about Inglot's Gel Liner no 77? Or has it gone really lumpy and bumpy and you cannot get the perfect cat eye flick? Well just one drop of Duraline can turn it into a brand new product which saves you time and moolah.
Basically Duraline is a silicone polymer and can be used in a multitude of different ways:
  • Refreshes old gel liners and mascaras (but bare in mind mascaras need to be binned 3 months after opening!)
  • Pigments/Eyeshadow can now be used as a liner.
  • Eyeshadow can be used as lipstick.
  • Use it to remove stubborn eyeliner from your hand if you use it as a palette like I do!
  • Intensify your eyeshadow with a tiny amount of Duraline!
  • It can be used to apply glitter. Dampen brush with Duraline, dab in glitter and pat on the eye!
It's an easy to use product that I think is a makeup artist's best kept secret. A 9ml bottle is only 12euro and should last you AGES as you only a teensy amount at a time! Have you used Inglot's Duraline before or is this the first you've heard of it? Let me know in the comments.

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Friday, April 01, 2016

Suzie Q Reviews: Estee Lauder Double Wear

Hey Ladies,

Incase you missed it I posted a new video on my YouTube all about the Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation which has been my go to lately as my skin has been utter crap since Christmas and it's the only thing that guarantees total coverage on my skin. In the video below you will see me apply the foundation and give you a little more information on how to apply this product. If you haven't tried this foundation yet you need, even just get a sample and try it out! You won't be disappointed I promise, so less of the waffling and check out my video below...

If you haven't already make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don't miss any of my videos!
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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

P.S Love To Glow Face Mask Review

Hey Ladies,

So not too long ago I seen my Twitter and Facebook timeline blow up with people talking about the new Penney's P.S Love To Glow skincare range comparing certain items from the range to huge name brands like Glamglow. So naturally enough I picked up the most coveted item the Face Mask to try it for myself and see what all the hype is about. So to start off with this mask is €3.50 which won't break the bank by any means, the packaging is glass and quite heavy which you wouldn't expect for that price.

The mask claims to be a "rich luxurious, exfoliating face mask to help smooth, soften and brighten dull tired skin". It smells suspiciously strongly of lemon or a similar scent that I can't quite place my finger on. The texture is lightweight, creamy and has small grains of what feels like sand but is pumice. Once it is applied you are supposed to wait 10 or so minutes for it to dry and you will see by the picture below that it dries down to a light brown veil of product over the skin. As you are wearing it doesn't feel tight or uncomfortable on the skin although if you are in anyway sensitive this may tingle. After you have washed it off your skin feels fantastically soft and smooth. In terms of removal it was super quick and easy to remove this mask whereas some other masks can be very messy and difficult to remove.
Let's have a look at some of the ingredients:
Water (obvs.)
Kaolin (beneficial to oily skin, deep cleans pores, purifies and helps improve cell renewal)
Shea Butter (stimulates collagen and hydrates)
Cetearyl Alcohol (A good alcohol that helps with softening the skin)
Glycerin Stearate (Slows water loss in the skin and softens the skin)
Aloe Leaf Juice (Improves the appearance of dry skin)
Glycerin (Prevents loss of water from the skin)
Fragrance (May irritate sensitive skins or acne prone skins)
Argan Oil (Conditions the skin)
Pumice (to exfoliate and remove dead skin)
Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E which is very low down on ingredients list!)

So all in all the mask was alright and for €3.50 Penney's didn't cheapen out on the ingredients. Personally as someone with a dry skin this mask isn't for me as the pumice is too abrasive. It's grand though, I certainly wouldn't compare it to the likes of Glamglow but it would do if you are a normal to oily skin type looking for a mask to use once a week! I hope you found this review helpful and it also gave you a little more insight into ingredients too!
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