Monday, 1 July 2013

Ógra Skincare


I was recently given  a gift of some products from an Irish brand called Ógra.  I hadn’t heard much about Ógra before apart from a post or two on the much-loved www.beaut.ie, so I’ve taken this description of the brand’s website:

‘Conceptualised, conceived, cultured and cultivated on the rich bogs of Ireland, Ógra is a revolutionary new skincare range that combines the best that nature has to offer. Using scientifically proven ingredients, Ógra harnesses the natural power of peat by using this nutrient rich formula to fight ageing at a cellular level.’

Indeed. As I am only 20, I don’t have to worry too much about the anti-ageing claims just yet but I decided to give the products a go regardless.


I received the Anti-Ageing Facial Moisturiser (€39.95), the Monoi Tiare Petal Exfoliator (€29.95), the 100% Peat Face and Body Mask (€39.95), the Moisturising Facial Cleanser (€19.95) and the Cucumber and Orange Toner (€19.95). 

First things first, I am in love with the packaging – it feels very heavy, luxurious and sleek. I love all things black and gold and I feel the packaging suits the products very well. I also liked the way the bottles containing the cleanser and toner are rubberized for grip.




I was intrigued by the 100% Peat Face and Body Mask. This mask looks very... unappealing in the jar but it does a bloody good job of brightening, cleansing and just generally improving overall skin texture. I put it on and started to notice a slight tingling but nothing unbearable. I was worried that I might be having a reaction but I googled it and it’s perfectly normal due to the peat (Ógra say: 'On application you may experience a tingling sensation, and your skin may appear flushed. This is natural as an ion exchange is taking place and the bloodflow is increased on the surface of your skin’). It is quite a messy affair to remove so I definitely suggest using it in the shower and using a muslin cloth to remove as you could be left with bits of peat all over your face. All in all, a solid product though that made my skin feel lovely.

The cleanser and exfoliator as well, lovely mild products that do what they say on the tin. My skin is particularly dry and I found that these products were quite moisturising and gentle to the skin.
The moisturiser is actually quite runny and smells slightly odd – of earth, maybe? It does a nice job of moisturising and even after sinking in, leaves a slightly tacky feel. As of yet, I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it but I shall persevere! Once again, I’m only 20 so this product is probably better suited to older skin types.


I absolutely love the Cucumber and Orange Toner. You get a huge amount of it – 200ml.  It smells beautiful – very fresh and slightly fruity. It is cooling and soothing – I like to alternate between this and my beloved Lush Tea Tree Toner depending on how my skin is behaving. It’s also lovely to refresh hot, sticky or tired skin during the day.

All in all, a fairly solid range from Ógra. Ógra Skincare are based in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, which is close enough to where I am from so it’s great to support local businesses. I’d definitely recommend the 100% Peat Face and Body Mask and the Cucumber and Orange toner.

Have any of you tried the Ógra range before? Let me know if you have any further recommendations and if you have any questions about any of the products above, feel free to leave a comment!

Zoe

(Ógra Skincare is available online at www.ograskincare.com. A list of stockists is also available online.)

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Clothing, Makeup & Accessory Haul


I was very bold today and spent a lot of money in town even though I didn't need any of these things. I went to town to buy a comfortable pair of shoes for work and ended up buying all of this stuff. I didn't bother adding the shoes to the photo as they're just plain black flats and not very exciting.

I headed to Make Up For Ever on Clarendon Row. In Ireland, we are incredibly lucky to have a full stand-alone MUFE store and I know how hard it is to get a hold of these products in the UK. The store in Ireland also stocks Kryolan, Face 2, The Balm and Beauty Blender products along with the full range of MUFE products (including Special FX etc.). It is pretty much a makeup artist supply store as well as an MUFE store. A few years ago, for my 18th birthday, my parents bought me a studio case with lights and a mirror from the store. I'll take a few pictures of that when I'm at home next.


Anyways, FINALLY getting on to what I got: I picked up the much raved about No. 92 eyeshadow (or blush, as its marketed) (€19), a Holodiam Powder in the shade 301 (€18) and a UV-Dayglow Kryolan Aqua Colour in the shade purple/lila (€9.50). I tend to use the Aqua Colours as eyeshadow bases and they work brilliantly for this purpose. This one supposedly glows under UV light so that could be interesting for a night out. I also picked up an Aqua Cream in shade 1, a shimmery slate colour (€21.50). I wasn't initially going to purchase this but there was a lovely guy helping me and he suggested to use it all over the eyelid with a fluffy brush and layer the Holodiam Powder over it. He layered it on the back of his hand and I fell in love with it! Such a pretty combination! So I ended up leaving MUFE sixty-something euro lighter.. Having said that, the artist that helped me was so friendly and knowledgeable and I've always found the staff there to be lovely.

MUFE No. 92 Eyeshadow
MUFE Aqua Cream No. 1
Kryolan UV-Dayglow Aqua Cream in Purple/lila

MUFE Holodiam Powder No. 301
After that, I headed to AllSaints, my new favourite clothing brand. I picked up this lovely grey marl silk   biker t-shirt (see first picture). It was €50 which is bloody expensive but it is so nice on, a lovely fit. I figure it'll be nice with some black skinny jeans, biker boots and some chunky silver jewellery. 

Lastly, I went to River Island and bought a few pieces of jewellery. The two necklaces would go nicely with the Allsaints t-shirt and the bracelet was so cute and dainty that I couldn't leave it behind. The spiky necklace was €17, the long chain was €6 and the little bracelet was €4.





All in all, I'm very happy with my completely unnecessary purchases. Sometimes, if you need a little pick-me-up, retail therapy helps. I plan to do reviews of each of the products I bought and the next time I go out, I might do a FOTD and an OOTD.

If you have any questions about any of the things I bought, please do feel free to leave a comment below!

Zoe

Make Up For Ever products are available to buy in store or on www.makeupforever.com or www.mufe.ie.
Kryolan Cosmetics available online at www.kryolan.com.
AllSaints t-shirt available in store (€50) or online (€55) at www.allsaints.com
River Island Accessories available in store or online at www.riverisland.com.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Pai Organic Skincare Sampling Set


I recently purchased this nifty little sample set from Pai. Pai have formulated all of their products with sensitive and allergy-prone skin in mind. This set includes 6 trial sizes of some of their most popular products:

1x 5ml Avocado & Jojoba Hydrating Day Cream for Dry Sensitive Skin
1x 5ml Chamomile & Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream for Hypersensitive & Redness Prone Skin
1x 5ml Geranium & Thistle Combination Skin Cream for Combination and Oily Sensitive Skin
1x 5ml Macadamia & Rose BioRejuvenate Cream
1x 5ml Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
1x 4ml Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator
 It also includes a muslin cloth, which is valued at €4 on its own.


I am absolutely loving the Chamomile and Rosehip Sensitive Skin Cream and can see myself making a full-sized purchase of it in the near future! I’ll continue to test out all of these products and will write a review soon.

The products are all beautifully scented and have an indulgent, spa-like feel to them. Thankfully, even though they are scented, they are very gentle and kind to skin.
The best part about the set is the price – I picked it up for a mere €6 with free shipping! The set represents excellent value for money and is a great introduction to the brand without the commitment of spending lots on a full-sized product without trying it beforehand.

Zoe

(The Pai Sample Pack is available to buy online from www.paiskincare.com.)


Illamasqua Haul and Review


To celebrate reaching 50,000 followers on Twitter, Illamasqua decided to have a flash sale with 50% off everything on the website. Being a poor student and doing exams at the time, I thought it’d be rude not to partake given the discount. I placed my order on the 17th of May, it was not dispatched until the 29th but surprisingly, I received it on the 30th, which was quite timely. I also received an extra 10% off (member discount) and free shipping. I’ve always been a huge Illamasqua fan and was pretty devastated when they pulled out of Ireland so I was delighted to have the opportunity to try some new products out.


The first product I purchased was Cream Pigment in ‘Hollow’. This is a muted light brown. I got this on a recommendation from the lovely Dani (www.glamournazi.com). I was searching for something to replace my old and sadly discontinued Illamasqua blush in ‘Rumour’ (RRP €20.93). As a pale girl (NC17ish), I desperately search for lighter coloured contours with more of a greyish cast than a red tint. I can happily say that this creamy product delivers. It looks incredibly natural on the skin and dries down to a budge-proof matte finish that lasts all day. I would definitely recommend this to any pale girls looking for a suitable contour.



'Hollow' applied with a Real Techniques Contour Brush

The next product I ordered was the much raved about Gleam in ‘Aurora’ (RRP €21.53). I’m almost finished my MAC Cream Colour Base in Pearl and thought this could be a nice substitute. It is a beautiful creamy highlighter shot through with gold micro-shimmer.  It really is beautiful. The shimmer is so small that it looks more sheeny than glittery or shimmery. It is a lot creamier than the MAC Cream Colour Base formula and as a result, I find I use more of the product. As it doesn’t dry down, wear time is pretty average but I can forgive this as it is such a lovely product.



Natural Light

Flash
'Hollow' and 'Gleam'



Also, just a point to note: do not be deceived by the size of packaging! The ‘Hollow’ Cream Pigment is in a much smaller container than the Gleam. However, ‘Hollow’ contains 8g of product, whereas Gleam contains just 6.5g.


I also purchased a Pure Pigment in ‘Ore’ (RRP €19.73). I had purchased another pigment called ‘Alluvium’ from the Illamasqua Art of Darkness Collection when it came out. (Autumn/Winter 2010).  ‘Ore’ was the other pigment from the collection. It is an incredibly sparkly rich gold/bronze pigment that looks different in every light. Alongside ‘Alluvium’ (swatched below), the two are some of the most complex pigment shade I have seen in a while. In a certain light, you can see particles of red and silver. Used wet, it is extremely vibrant. I would definitely recommend using a sticky base with it though as it can lead to fallout, which is to be expected.



'Alluvium' Pigment

The last product I purchased was the Medium Pencil in ‘Debonair’ (RRP €15.55). I am a big fan of the Illamasqua Medium Pencils. I think they are fantastic multitasking products as they can be used all over the face, including lips and eyes.  The following video by the incredible makeup artist Mika from Illamasqua shows just how versatile these pencils are: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxnKOMrdtro. This pencil is very smooth, pigmented and longlasting on both the lashline and waterline. I had purchased it to give a flash of colour on the waterline whilst wearing smoky brown or black looks and it worked very well for this. 





I have a sneaking suspicion that it could be very similar to the MAC Pro Hi Def Cyan Chromagraphic Pencil. I have the Hi Def Cyan Chromaline (like a paint pot). Unfortunately, it is at home down the country. I will swatch it as soon as I have the opportunity. I was expecting the colour of the pencil to be more of a darker blue but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by the colour. Just goes to show, you should never trust website swatches, even though Illamasqua has some pretty good ones!

All in all, I was very impressed with all of my products. Having said that, I know what the brand is like and read multiple reviews of all the products before purchasing. The discount was fantastic – my order total came to around €34 which is great value for four full-sized products! If you have any questions about the above products, please do not hesitate to leave a comment below. Also, if you have any further product recommendations from Illamasqua, I’d love to hear them!

Zoe

(All products available from Illamasqua counters worldwide and online at www.illamasqua.com.) 

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

New Product Launch – Benefit Stay Flawless 15-Hour Primer



A few weeks ago, the lovely Benefit girls appeared at the Molly Malone Statue at the bottom of Grafton Street to give away some products. The generous product they gave to me was a new primer, designed to be used with Benefit’s Hello Flawless Foundation. This primer is in stick form with cute, quirky packaging and a protective cap. I didn’t realize this at first and stupidly ended up sticking the cap accidentally in the primer and making a dent before I used it – I hate when that happens!





It claims to be a 15-hour primer, and I have tested it. Although I did not have my makeup on for 15 hours, I can definitely say that it improved the longevity of the foundation (tested with Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua). You sweep the stick on your face and blend with fingers (or a brush if preferred). I was in a rush so I used my fingers and I feel it worked well. I also feel that using your fingers can help to warm the product up so it sticks even better.




At first touch, it feels very slippery and wet on the skin but a few seconds later, it dries down to a tacky feel which grips makeup pretty well. It is completely translucent and hence, wouldn’t show up properly in swatches. 

I asked the Benefit girl how this would differ from say, the Porefessional (my current favourite primer) or Dr. Feelgood. She replied that those primers are more for minimizing pores where as the sole purpose of this primer was to get the makeup to stick to your face for longer. 

It worked well on my dry skin, having said that, I have no dry patches currently. I feel it’d work well on all skin types, especially those with oily skin who find that makeup doesn't last or slides around their face.

What do you guys think? Will you be giving it a try or giving it a miss?

Zoe
(This primer will cost €33.50 and will be available to purchase from the 1st of July from Benefit counters nationwide and from www.benefitcosmetics.com.)