Monday, October 12, 2015

Urban Decay; Vice 4 Palette Review and Swatches.

Palette sent as press sample for consideration.

Urban Decays newest Vice offering, their 4th, is absolutely stunning. There, I said it. Quite the opening statement, but it has been designed beautifully, package n' all.
Inspired by the "dimensional hues of an oil slick" and one of their "vintage shades" of the same name 'Oil Slick', this contains a mixture of stunning brights and smoked neutrals for a really balanced collection of eyeshadows.
All of the shades in this new limited edition palette are brand new colours, so no need to worry about doubling up on or repeating your already existing collection. 
The packaging on this as I mentioned above is just gorgeous. Inspired by the swirls of an oil slick, but very reminiscent of the 80's colourful disco aesthetic (and I'm sure I'm not alone in the name reminding me of 80's TV show 'Miami Vice'). Plus the palette comes with a very cool looking and handy "coordinating" black and silver zipper pouch which I can envision myself getting plenty of use of! The palette itself is less bulky than previous versions, lighter and slimmer and definitely more delicate but not flimsy. Within the lid is a large mirror as we have come to expect from the previous palettes, and a double ended synthetic brush. I personally prefer this brush for cream products and even concealer application but it works grand enough with the powders.

There are 20 shadows in the palette which would cover natural, neutral looks using shades like; 
'Bones' (Oyster satin with pearl), 
'Grip' (Taupe matte with micro shimmer), 
'Framed' (Light cream satin), 
'Bitter' (Reddish brown matte) 
'Delete' (Deep brown Chestnut)

as well as punchy, bright funky looks with shades like;
'Grasshopper' (Metallic emerald green),
'1985' (Metallic fuchsia),
'Beat Down' (Deep metallic violet),
'Arctic' (Bright teal sparkle)
'Flame' (Bright golden orange)

Though not always the easiest to work with, my favourites are some of the chunkier textures, like;
'Pandemonium' (Metallic Plum with sparkle),
'Low' (Taupe brown with micro-glitter),
'Crowbar' (Blackened golden olive with micro-sparkle)
...these all look absolutely gorgeous pressed on top of a tacky base but caution is needed when blending around these shadows as there will be fall-out due to the micro-sparkles. So I suggest laying down your crease colours first, and pressing these over a primer last.

Each of the shadows contain Urban Decays' trademarked "Pigment Infusion System" which basically means intense colour pay-off and velvety smooth textures. These do blend really well mostly, aside from the more bitty shades that I mentioned above, but I did notice that some of them can be a tad powdery when disturbed in the palette, so make sure to tap off your brush before applying to the lids. I didn't however notice any fall-out once applied to the lids over a tacky base.

And if you're worried that the palette will be too similar to previous versions, fear not! 
But here is a reminder of what the other palettes looked like.


Image from;


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And now for the swatches of Vice 4;

For the swatches below, a small amount of Urban Decay's 'Eden' Primer Potion was spread over the skin to prime.

From L-R;
UPPER ROW;  Bones, Grip, Deadbeat, Beat Down, Pandemonium.
LOWER ROW;Framed, Fast-Ball, 1985, Underhand, Harlot.

From L-R;
UPPER ROW;  Discreet, Grasshopper, C-Note, Arctic, Robbery.
LOWER ROW; Bitter, Flame, Low, Crowbar, Delete.

The palette is available from October 28th and will retail for RRP €48.
You can get it from and instore as well as House of Fraser, Dundrum Town Centre.


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Cover FX | Total Cover Cream Foundation

Cover FX is another one of those brands that I have coveted for so long and heard such good things about (largely from Kandee Johnson who uses the brand heavily in her videos and professional makeup kit) but had never gotten around to trying them out. That is until a couple of weeks ago when I got the chance to pick out a foundation of my choosing to try out... and the foundation turned into 2 thanks to the lovely PR lady :)
I wanted to try the 'Total Cover Cream Foundation' which is as suggested, a full coverage cream compact foundation. There is an impressive number of shades available in the range, 40 to be exact. These are split into 3 tones; pink, neutral and golden. I was deciding between the 2 lightest shades of the neutral tone and was very happily sent both! But when I received them, I noticed that they are VERY neutral... not a bad thing, but I'd say that I am probably slightly closer to the lightest shade of the golden tone, or somewhere in between that and the neutral shade. The N0 shade (lightest neutral shade) is a lovely highlight on my skin, and the N10 (second lightest) is a decent match but doesn't contain quite enough yellow to match my complexion.  The range is quite extensive and goes up to a deep dark shade N120. 


The coverage of this is brilliant. The formula is somewhat waxy and doesn't feel at all oily or greasy and it is very pigment heavy meaning a little goes a long way! My favourite thing about this though is that it contains a high sun protection factor of 30. Obviously I wouldn't rely on this as my main SPF but it is a nice boost for those days where a lot of sun exposure is a probability or you are going on holidays. It also contains anti-oxidants with anti-ageing properties.
It offers a subtly radiant natural finish when applied lightly and buffed well into the skin, but can be built up to full opaque coverage. Drier skin types could absolutely avoid or go easy on setting powder if not desired but a little powder applied lightly is no harm to control shine and set the cream in place for longevity. 
This can be used as a foundation and concealer in one thanks to the high pigment content. I usually avoid heavy cream formulas under my eyes but this waxy, pigmented formula sits really well on my delicate under-eye area without showing up undesired texture.
It's free of Mineral oil, fragrance, talc and parabens and has been tested for sensitive skin types!
A good way of sheering down the formula is to mix a little bit with some foundation primer and apply it like a BB cream.


In Ireland the foundation costs €44 and can be bought from The Beauty Bay online.
The U.S. price is $42 available direct from the website or from Sephora online, and the UK price is £35 available from House of Fraser online (among other web retailers).

I can honestly say these is nothing I dislike about this foundation for what it is. Obviously it wouldn't be the most suitable for flash photography but I just wouldn't use a formula with such a high SPF for that. When I wore this, it lasted really well and look perfectly intact after 6 hours wear which is a feat in of itself! Though this is typical of waxy formulas which tend to wear the most stable on skin.

This gets a 5/5 from me. (Not sponsored in any way to say that!
What do you guys think??


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

IsaDora Twist up Eye Glosses

I was rather excited when these 'Twist-up Eye Gloss' Highlighters by IsaDora arrived in my mailbox (well actually my Mam & Dad's mail box!) a few months ago.
I love anything beauty related that doesn't immediately seem as if it's another version of a million other products, and these came across as somewhat unique.  While they are called eye glosses, they aren't actually glosses (in formula) but rather cream crayons with a high-shine, gloss finish.
Globally there are now 12 shades in total in the range with the addition of the 3 new shades I received which are the ones available here in Ireland, which include;

16 Peachy
17 Sun Bronze
18 Nude Pearl 

You can check out the entire range here on the IsaDora website;

L-R; 17 Sun Bronze, 16 Peachy, 18 Nude Pearl

Even though these are described as "Highlighting Sheer Eye Shadow" sticks, I have been using the lightest shades, in particular No.18 Nude Pearl, as a general highlighter; and quite successfully.
They go on fairly sheer to begin with but can be built up to a medium coverage. I find applying the product direct from the bullet and blending out with a synthetic brush to be the easiest way to play with these.
These are lovely used as directed as eye shadows BUT caution is needed if applying to hooded or oily lids. 
I personally prime and set my lids with a powder before applying the gloss to minimise creasing, but as ye can see in the picture below, a little creasing in the lid folds still happens even on my dry lids after a few hours.
Then again this might be the look you're going for! This could work really well over a dark grungy smokey eye as an alternative to using them as your primary eye product.

Sun Bronze on the lids with Nude Pearl on the inner corner.

Top Picture; About 20 minutes after applying
Bottom Picture; About 6 hours after applying

These are available in select pharmacies across the country for €13.25.
IsaDora is a brand I have been really enjoying over the past year or so since rediscovering them and have some really lovely underrated bits in their arsenal. I highly recommend having a goo at what's available the next time ye pass by one of the stocked up pharmacies!


Monday, September 28, 2015

YSL 'Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick'.... No.13 'Le Orange'

Last week I was sent my first ever YSL lipstick. I have tried one of their foundations in the past and really liked it, and like millions of other ladies I have owned one of the Touche Eclat highlighters, but for some reason or another I never got as far as even trying one of their lipsticks.
Oh how I have been missing out! 
These are iconic for a good reason. The colour is divine, the packaging is pure luxury and the formula is somewhere beyond comfort. It's probably the luxury aspect that had always intimidated me a bit in the past. I tend not to splurge on uber high-end makeup for myself unless I am picking up something for my professional kit.

The lipstick I received is part of the growing 'Rouge Pur Couture' range (fronted by a beautiful and naked but-just-about-covered Cara Delevingne)
It is one of 4 featured shades which include;
No.1 Le Rouge (True intense red)
No.13 Le Orange (My Shade, a rich orange based red)
No.19 Le Fuchsia (Bright rose pink)
No.70 Le Nu (Soft beige)

There is an impressive 48 shades in total available in the range.
These 4 featured shades have also joined the 'Vernis a Levres' range (Lip glosses) and the 'La Laque Couture' (Nail varnishes) range for a limited time.

No.13 Le Orange
No.13 Le Orange
No.13 Le Orange without any lip liner or primer.
Applied from the bullet and shaped using a lip brush.

Back to the lipstick I was sent..
It is warm orange-red in colour, not massively dissimilar to the renowned 'Lady Danger' lipstick by MAC in shade but with a much more luxurious feel to the formula. It has a high shine finish that feels moisturising when applied to the lips. Considering this is the first time in a week I've worn makeup after a bad head dose with lots of coughing and sneezing, it's exactly the kind of formula I needed for my dehydrated lips. It's is described as 'Pure colour, Satiny Radiance' which pretty much nails it.
Everything about this screams luxury, the highly reflective gold finish box and packaging, the YSL emblem on the lid as well as on the bullet itself, and the formula as well. The only other lipsticks I own that I could closely compare to this formula are my Tom Ford lippies. 
Sometimes you do get what you pay for, and for €33 per lipstick, I would expect nothing less!

What other shades from the range have you guys tried that I should have a look at??


Monday, September 21, 2015

Italian Silver Idea; The Isi facial cleansing & exfoliating mitt!
You'll be forgiven for not having heard of the Isi cleansing mitt before as it has until recently been confined within the Italian borders. I was contacted by the brands PR lady from Italy, asked if I'd like to try it out for consideration and told that I am the first blogger outside of Italy to have been sent the mitt!
I hadn't heard of it either before receiving that email. It could be compared to the 'Makeup Eraser' micro-fiber cleansing cloth that was doing the rounds on Youtube and Instagram last year, because despite the physical differences, they are both cloths that cleanse the face without the need for a separate cleansing product. Warm water is all that is needed. The Isi (Italian Silver Idea) is rather more sophisticated however as one side has silver fiber woven into the mitt; this not only delicately exfoliates, but the silver has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which helps to kill any bacteria in the skin and prevent them making bacteria babies!!
The mitt is rather small, it fits snugly over my fingers, completely covering them, but also rather ergonomically designed.
I was a bit concerned at first that it would be just too teeny to clean all my makeup off, and not get laden down with residue. It wasn't particularly an issue though as I just ran the mitt under warm water to help free it up a bit from makeup and dirt. I have used this over a sink (I hate cleaning my face with water at the sink) and I have also used it in the shower, and I much prefer using this in the shower. Though for people who don't have a irrational hatred of the feeling of water running down their dry arms/neck, using this over the sink is absolutely fine as well.

The 'plain' micro fiber side.

The silver fiber side.

You use the 'plain' side first to remove makeup, including eye makeup and mascara, and once this is sufficiently cleansed, you flip the mitt around to the silver side and gently rub this over your clean face and neck for gentle exfoliation. The silver also does it's science-y thing battling against micro nasties on the skin.
You would imagine that since you're not using a separate cleanser, that vigorous rubbing would be required, but I was pleasantly surprised by how gently I could be with the mitt and still achieve the expected results.
I did a first impressions test run of this over on my SnapChat account a couple of weeks ago (Username; ShivLetzMakeup) and despite being a little skeptical initially, I couldn't deny that it worked great, was easy to use and didn't require ages of rubbing to cleanse the face. For the 'First Impressions' I also soaked a cotton pad with some micellar cleansing water (which is completely colourless) and ran this over my skin after using the Isi to check how well it had removed the makeup and cleansed the skin, and again I was impressed by how clean the cotton pad was after my little experiment.

The mitt comes with a little plexiglass stand that is designed to store the mitt while not in use and to also aid in the drying of the mitt  cleaning it.

You also get a little 'breathable' bag with your mitt that allows the Isi to dry 'even inside your beauty case' which could come in handy when travelling etc.

To clean after use, the manufacturer advises allowing the Isi to soak in warm water along with baking soda and marseille soap... I had to look this soap up on google to see what the heck they were talking about. It's a french soap made with vegetable oils. What a very specific recommendation!
Anyhow, back on track, they then say to rinse it out accurately and wring it out before allowing it to dry on the little plexiglass stand.
You can also throw this into the washing machine at a 40degree wash (without using fabric softener or bleach).
According to the information booklet I received along with the mitt, you can expect this to last 6 months with daily use or until 'visibly' worn.

Since I had no clue what the soap above was or how to get my mitts (badadum) on it, I have just been using a mild baby shampoo or dove soap to clean my Isi. I do plan on picking up some baking soda though whenever I think of it again just to be good to the little fella (and my face presumably).

I think this would be dead handy for people who travel a lot or live out of hotels. This would be also fierce handy for those days when you've run out of your regular cleansing lotion and haven't had the time to restock. I have been using a toner after using this little guy just to ensure I am as squeaky clean as possible.
I'd say there are plenty of people out there who would be more than happy to forego cleansers altogether and use this reusable mitt as their primary form or makeup removal/cleansing. Though personally I am less likely to use something that I have to consistently wash after every use, so this has been getting love about twice a week from me since receiving it.

If ye are interested in finding out more about the Isi, follow this link to get to their website. 

The mitt is available in white or black from the website for €29.90.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

PRO Tooth Whitening @ 'The White House' Clinic | No Bleach!

I was recently invited in for a complementary tooth whitening treatment at The White House (Teeth Whitening Specialists) Clinic and of course I jumped at the chance to get my teeth done as I have been really hoping to get them done since getting my train-track braces off. My teeth are one part of me that I'll never be 100% happy with so any help is much needed & appreciated.
There are clinics in Galway, Cork, Belfast and a couple in Dublin. I went to my local clinic here in Terryland, Galway last week for my 1 hour treatment which ended up being an hour and 15minutes but as I didn't have my phone or a watch to hand, I'm not sure where that extra time came from, though I did feel like I was under the light for longer than 15 minutes each time.
Within that hour, I received a consultation from the Specialist, Emma, who was so nice and helpful and explained everything in very understandable terms. Then I had three 15 minute sessions of getting the whitening gel applied to my exposed teeth and sitting in front of the UV light. (This is where I think I may have gained some time)
Emma also showed me what level of staining my teeth had before beginning the treatment for reference. 
The first two pictures here show how my teeth looked before. They were not very yellow or stained to begin with, but they were not super white either. My eye teeth tend to be a tad yellowed looking and the rest have a slightly cream/ivory tone with subtle yellow staining.

My teeth pre-treatment!

During the treatment I was wearing a mouth stretcher (?! I've named this myself, I have no idea of the real name) to expose the teeth which I was able to insert myself. This was grand to begin with but did get slightly uncomfortable as the hour session progressed... but not unbearably so!
After cleaning my teeth with a fluid solution, Emma applied the gel which is bleach and peroxide FREE to my teeth, and then positioned the machine emitting the blue light directly in-front of my mouth, instructing me to minimise my head movements.
She said that these were 15 minute bouts of light but as i mentioned, I felt like these lasted a wee bit longer. Maybe 20 minutes, though I can't be sure.
After the allotted time of the light and gel doing their thing, the stuff was removed with a small vacuum. The gel was again reapplied and this process was repeated in total 3 times.  

After cleaning off the last of the gel, Emma then showed me the chart again telling me I had come up 9 shades. (You can see her showing me this in the video below)
After rinsing my mouth at the sink, I then was given the aftercare advise from Emma. This included following a strict 24 hour minimum WHITE FOOD ONLY diet, not smoking (I don't smoke), no drinking of any coffee, tea, dark soda drinks or juices etc. I was also told to avoid brushing my teeth with a coloured or striped toothpaste for that 24 hour period and to avoid certain mouth washes that can stain the teeth.
The whitening results in the clinic depend on the natural mineral content of your teeth. I don't understand this science-y part but the clinic can only guarantee lightening your teeth up to 4 - 5 shades (worst case scenario). As mentioned above, I was told I came up 9 shades, and they looked very white immediately after the treatment. I did stick to the 24 hour white-only diet, I am not a smoker, a wine drinker, a tea or coffee drinker and tend not to eat curries etc very often. 
However, a week later and my teeth have dulled a little since the treatment, and are not quite the bright near white they were immediately post treatment. They are still definitely a bit more white and bright looking than they were before the treatment, but not massively so... I think that this may be down to my natural shade.
I was very impressed by the zero sensitivity claim by the clinic and even more impressed by this turning out to be completely true! I don't have very sensitive teeth by any means but can suffer from low level sensitivity with cold drinks etc. I had ZERO sensitivity increase after this treatment which I though was great!! I have had my teeth whitened in the past with bleach/peroxide products and strips that did bring my teeth up to a more brilliant white after many treatments, but made my poor mouth and teeth so sensitive immediately after just one treatment!
I definitely feel as if this no peroxide form of whitening is much more healthy and kind to yourself.

My teeth after treatment.

The full price of the 1 hour treatment costs €240 BUT this comes down to a much more palatable €130 when booked online through their website here...  
You can also book a top-up 30 minute treatment for €75 which promises 3-5 shades of lightening, and there is a couples option as well.
All-in-all, ye'd be silly not to book online and avail of the significant discounts available there if any of you do decide to go ahead with the treatment.

I was also given a take-home top-up treatment (€30 when booked online along with your treatment booking) that can help maintain my brighter smile for up to 12 months.

I filmed the entire experience for the vlog below which will give ye any extra information I may have missed out on here.

I do think this is a great whitening option for anyone who would like to avoid peroxide and is concerned about sensitivity. And it is also great getting to see immediate results, rather than having to wait a few weeks as happens with gradual at-home treatments.

What do you guys think?? Have any of you gotten this particular treatment in the past and if so, how did ye get on??

I was not paid for this blog post or video but did receive the treatment as complementary.


Monday, September 7, 2015

The Vintage Cosmetic Company.

I am a sucker for anything vintage or kitch and the aesthetic of The Vintage Cosmetic Company is absolutely my cup of tea.
And luckily it's not just about cute packaging with these bits, there are some lovely quality products in the pretty boxes as well. 
But back to the ridiculously cute design. We are talking vintage, floral gorgeousness here. Plus polka dots... POLKA DOTS!!! I am easily drawn in by aesthetics obviously, I blame the artist in me.
As I mentioned, there are some lovely products within the boxes but I'll start off with the one thing I don't love.
I was sent all the products shown in these pictures and the first are these false lashes.
They are called the Nancy lashes, (there are more available), and the only reason I don't like them is because of the band. This is the black band that sits on your eyelid which is glued down. The one here is a lot thicker than I like. I only use lashes with very delicate and bendy bands, otherwise I find them too uncomfortable on the lids. Now saying that, the body of the lashes itself is lovely, they are fluttery and delicate, so if you don't mind a thicker band, these may be for you!!
These cost €8.49 from Boots and and are available in selective pharmacies nationwide.

Now on to what I love... These tweezers are great, and I have tried many many tweezers. My number 1 are the MAC tweezers, my #2 are the Tweezerman tweezers and these ones are now my #3!!!
One side is covered in polka dots and the other side is a yellow cream colour with The Vintage Cosmetics Company written on it. They are just great wee tweezers. They aren't quite as sharp as the other two I just mentioned but they have great grip and can grab the smallest hairs without damaging the skin.
These cost €10.99 here in Ireland.

I also really like the lip brush which is a lip brush with a lid which keeps it sanitary in your makeup bag. This is basically the exact same as MAC's #316 lip brush except for the colour. 
It's sturdy, pretty and the bristles are very smooth. Just a really nice lip brush!
I'm not sure of the price of this one but the products are generally quite affordable and will definitely be way less expensive than MAC.

I definitely think that this brand is super cute with a decent affordable price-point and will look gorgeous on your makeup table!

what do you guys think of the brand??

Chat soon,