Sunday, 31 July 2016

My High-end Skincare Must-haves.

So I did a post on top drugstore/affordable skincare products and I wanted to do one for High-end. I know I have said this many times but I will say it again. Skincare is the first place to start when we want a flawless face for makeup. Everything here is over €20.

I don't want to ramble so lets jump into it.

1.'Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate' €45

I love facial oils. These are fab even for people with oily skin. Now this smells amazing!! My skin feels AMAZING after I use it. It is enriched with botanical oils and is a staple now in my skincare routine. I have started to pat oils into my skin as this helps with breakouts. Pat pat pat!

2.  Mario Badescu Hydrating Moisturiser. €20
Hydrating Moisturizer With Biocare & Hyaluronic Acid

This moisturiser has hylaronic acid and biocare in it. This really is super hydrating on the skin and keeps my face feeling moisturised all day. This does not have and SPF so I advise to add that to your skincare routine aswell.

3. Peter Thomas Roth 24K gold Face Mask. $80.
Image result for Peter thomas roth gold
This is magic in a bottle. This feels so luxurious on the skin and I do see my fine lines reduced.
From the website:
 'This lavish, pampering treatment helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a youthful-looking complexion. Caffeine helps tighten and firm the look of skin while peridot—an exquisite gemstone rich in magnesium—re-energizes and helps reduce the aging effects of stress. The 24K gold imparts an opulent, radiant glow and locks in moisture for ultra-hydrated skin.' 

4. Caudalie Beauty Elixir. $49.

I bought this and the Khiels Facial oil at the same time and they both have become must-haves for me. At first I thought the smell was too much, that quickly changed. This is a toning mist and tightens pores. This can be used to tone the face or it can be used to set makeup. Also, this can be used at any time of the day for that boost of radiance to the skin. This is amazing stuff and such an all rounder. Even Desi Perkins started using it and she is flawless!

So that is that!

Alanna xxx

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Affordable Skincare Must haves

We can get very sucked in at the expensive skincare range in Debenham's. When someone says 'do you have a minute?' and you are to polite to say no and €80 later you have some cream that is supposed to be a face lift in a bottle.

Well here are some products that are so affordable and do the same as their expensive sisters.

1. Garnier Miracle Sleeping cream €16.99 :
 Image result for garnier miracle sleep cream
This stuff leaves my face feeling so so smooth in the morning. I love using it. It is supposed to smooth, rejuvenate and Firm skin. I think this wee gem does what it says. It is as good as any expensive counterpart.

2. Garnier Micellar water. €7.50.
Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water 400ml
This is a micellar water. There are many micellar waters by many brands. This is on the more affordable side of the scale. This is one of the best in my opinion. I am nearly out of this and I have a Simple one to try out next and I will inform you.

3. Body Shop, Oils of Life £28. 

 Oils of Life™ Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil
£28 you say, yes that is expensive. As far as facial oils go though this is on the more affordable side of things. This is enriched with 3 seed oils. This is supposed to rejuvenate and repair. To be honest this is one of my favourite beauty oils. Considering some facials oil run to €90 this is definitely more affordable.

4. Garnier Beauty oil Body scrub. €8.49

Image result for garnier body wash exfoliating beauty oil

You don't have to spend a fortune to exfoliate the skin. This exfoliates with microbeads and has oils in them that leave my skin feeling so hydrated and smooth. Always keep an eye out for offers though, you can get this cheaper on a 3 for 2 deal or buy one get one free!

5. Vaseline. €1

You can get a wee tin of this in pennys for €1. Vaseline has a number of things it can do for your skin. It helps so well with dry skin patches. It is fab for the lips and still is my fav option for a lip balm. Guess what. See those Matte liquid lips that are all in and you cant get off. Rub Vaseline on them with a cotton pad and it will be gone. Also fab for the cuticles of the nails.

6. Garnier fresh toner €4

Toner is one of them things that people think,  'it doesn't really do anything' but it does. It helps tone the face and close down the pores that were opened during cleansing. I don't think that you need to break the bank in this sector. I love how this makes my skin feel and it doesn't have alcohol in it!

This post is not sponsored by Garnier BTW. lol! I just think that they do great affordable skincare. 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Anastasia Glow kits - Which one to get.

Anastasia has released 5 glow kits. I have 2 and yes I would love all of them. Lets be realistic though, they are expensive at €42 but they really are great value for money when you consider you get 4 per palette and sometimes you can pay up to €35 for one from Mac, Becca and other brand names. . These really are ideal for a makeup artist. 

First released was the 2 glow kits in the shades in That Glow and Gleam. I did a post for each of them for Gleam click here and That glow here

Then Sun Dipped was released and then followed Sweets and Moonchild. 

I have had a few people ask me now 'which one should I get?'. It really depends on what you are looking for and how pale or dark you are.  

Glow Kit - Gleam
First we can start with Gleam this has peach and pink undertones in each metallic powder. This is fab for the pale girls but does look great on tanned skin. Sometimes being pale can create such a bother to find a highlight that isn't too dark.

Glow Kit - That Glow
Second we have That Glow. These all have bronze, gold and champagne tones. These defs will suit the darkest of skin and a fake tanned beauty.  

Glow Kit - Sun Dipped
Sun Dipped consists of Rose gold, white gold and pearl finishes. There is a really dark shade-Bronzed that I don't think you could wear as a highlighter, unless you have really deep skin. 

Glow Kit - Sweets
Sweets, I think this is for the adventurous highlighters out there.  With the lavender and blue tones. This would be fab for stage makeup but for the everyday girl I would defs pass on it. 

Glow Kit - Moonchild
Last we have Moonchild which has 6 shades in smaller pans. Again this is not for the faint hearted. This is on the pastel end but I have read from other bloggers that the formula is slightly different and these are more glittery. These might be better for the eyes but it does say that these can be swept on the eyes, face and body. 

So all in all it really does come down to your skintone and how dark or pale you are. The pale girls should go for the 'gleam' and the darker ladies could go for the 'That Glow' and 'Sun Dipped' 

Do you have any of the glow kits? If so, which ones?

Photo cred: ABH website

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Becca x Jaclyn Hill, Champagne Glow Face Palette


So when I seen this palette was launching in Sephora USA. I knew I had to have it! I have the original Jaclyn Hill x Becca Champagne pop and the palette that was released last October, also by the name champagne glow. I even did a blogpost on these here.

Incase you don't have a clue who Jaclyn Hill is. She is a youtuber with over 3 million subscribers and is a massive influencer in the beauty world. She is currently making her own makeup line, which I know will be amazing. She collaborated with Becca Cosmetics last year to make the most beautiful highlighter shade I own. Champagne pop. This sold out on numerous occasions and everytime it was restocked. It became such a best seller that Becca made it permanent on their makeup line. Fast forward to this year and they made this amazing palette that has three brand new, exclusive blush shades and an all new Highlighter in the mix. 

Just take a moment to look at the packaging. Its white and gold (my fav combo) and it has what looks like gold speckles on it. Its looks and feels so luxurious. This looks so good on my vanity may I add! hahaha

The mirror is massive inside and the colours are universal even for my pale complexion. Even though I will say these look better with a tan on. But what doesn't? Right?

Here are the shades swatched on my arm.  We have Rose Spritz, Amaretto, Pamplemousse, Champagne Pop, Prosecco Pop and Champagne and Prosecco pop mixed!

Rose Spritz is a beautiful pink blush with a gold shimmer! This is fab. 

Amaertto! Thank god someone put a bronzy blush in a palette. Sometimes I am just not feeling colours and I want a bronze blush. This has a pinky/ red undertone that I just love. 

Pamplemousse is a brighter pink blush that i also love. It all depends on the mood you are in!

Champgane Pop. This is what it is. A beautiful champagne highlight that has you glowing from the heavens. 

Prosecco Pop. This is a more golden version of CP and still has that amazing glow. 

Last swatch is CP and PP mixed and it creates this lovely Rose gold tone. 

Becca is on the higher end of things, price point wise BUT their products and packaging are luxurious. These powders are soooooo creamy and buttery and I love the feel of them on the skin.

This palette comes in at $52 + tax. This palette though has a $136.00 value. I think this palette is good value for money seeing as one highlighter from Becca is $38.  

This palette is currently out of stock online and I know some Sephora's across the country (USA) have a random few here and there. There even is a trending hashtag on twitter called #findingchampagnepop. lol. 


Monday, 18 July 2016

DIY Bride, How to: makeup.

Some people love to do makeup themselves and they feel happier when they do. I have known some people who opt for the DIY approach for the big day.

Practice makes perfect.

First you want to start with good skin. See my bridal skincare tips Here. This will really help your makeup look flawless. 

Remember these 3 things when doing your own makeup. Primer, Powder and Setting spray. These 3 things will help your makeup last all day, which is essentially what we want for the big day!

Lets start with a base. A primer will help smooth out the skin and create a flawless base. Helping your makeup last longer, which is key for the big day. Choose a primer that best suits your needs. If you are oily you need shine control and if you have dry skin, you want to hydrate and illuminate. 

Here are two options for primers, drugstore and highend. 

Image result for smashbox primer
Fab for photography and creates a smooth base. 
Image result for catrice prime and fine
Creates a smooth canvas and great for all skin types.

Foundation: You are going to be photographed on your big day.  Stay away from foundations with an SPF. This is what causes your foundation to look lighter in pics.  The Makeup Forever Ultra HD is the best in my opinion. I did a blogpost on it Here.

Concealer: This bad boy will cover dark circles and brighten up the face. This can also act as an eyeshadow primer. The Urban Decay Naked skin is my fav at the moment!

Choose a translucent powder to set your face. This step is key. It will lock in your foundation and keep it in place all day. 
  • If you are oily take powder and blotting paper with you and alternate between them when topping up your make up. The best one, I feel for that big day is the Laura Mercier Translucent Powder.  
  • If you are on the dry side you will still need to powder your face. Just take the proper steps to hydrate your skin before hand. 
A great palette to do your eye makeup is the Urban Decay Naked 3. Make sure to prime the eyelids and set them with a translucent powder. This will help your eyeshadow stay in place all day and make sure it doesn't crease. 

photo cred:
This is a fab palette full of rose tones and you can create dramatic and soft looks with this palette. 

Settings spray: I did a blog post on your my top 4 here. These really seal the deal and can help with sweat and makeup melting off the skin. Choose one best for your skin type. Urban decay do 3. One for oily, dry and normal skin types. 

Image result for urban decay setting sprays

When it comes to lips try match them to your blusher. Doing a complete opposite lip colour to your cheeks can have the clown effect. And remember you will have to apply this throughout the day so make sure those lips are well hydrated. 

My fav lip colours for the big day are Mac Brave and Creme Cup. 

Brave and Creme Cup. I love #mac lipsticks:
Photo cred: Natali Melendez

Tips: black eyeliner on the waterline can close down the eyes. Use a nude one to brighten up that area and make your eyes appear larger. Rimmel have a fab one.
Image result for rimmel nude eyeliner

Once you have powdered the face that's it, no more cream products......this causes the cakey look. Make sure to avoid this. 

Alanna xxx


Bridal tips, for glowing skin.


Part of being a bride is the beautiful pictures you get to look back on for the rest of your life. It's one of those things when friends visit or in your mammies, out comes the wedding album. You want to look glowing on your wedding day, that's a given . Makeup can work wonders but the best way to have your makeup looking good is your skin-the perfect base. If you are blessed with good skin and you are breakout free and no dry patches then keep doing what you are doing. I have come up with my top 10 steps to create that perfect skin on your wedding day.

1. Facials.
photo cred:

 If you think getting one facial a week or two before the wedding is going to cut it then no you are wrong. Sometimes, for some people, getting facials can cause major breakouts as it is a deep clean for your face that can take weeks to clear. You want to start planning your facials 8 month's to a year before the big day and go regularly, so that the skin can adapt, get rid of toxins and keeping them up will keep your skin clearer for longer. Facials are great for people with textured skin. Spots and lumps under the skin.

2. Greens. Eat or drink them. As women we all want to look best and that includes diet. What we put in our mouths can really effect your skin. I follow a blogger called dramaticmac and she is a nutritionist. She says that she can tell a persons diet by their face. If you are prone to breakouts or have oily skin this can be something you are eating. Adapting a 'Clean Eating lifestyle' at least a few months before the wedding can make a huge difference and to the waistline.

3. Start a few months before the wedding using nice salt scrubs on the elbows, knees and ankles. This will help with fake tan, if you plan on using it. It will go on smoother and not cling to those dry patches.

4. A skincare routine to suit your skin. Alot of us think we are doing great by cleansing, toning and moisturising. Wrong. You could be making your skin dryer if its dry, oilier if it's oily. Cut out anything with alcohol if you have dry skin and try an oil free moisturiser if you have oily skin.

5. Use a lip balm daily.

Dry lips can make lipstick crack, patchy and come off way to quick. We often forget our lips in our skincare routine but this should be done daily especially in our nighttime routine.

6. Facemasks. Treat yourself to one every week or bi weekly. These can really help and don't forget to multimask. Use different masks on different parts of the face depending on the problems you need to target.

7. Water. Drink loads of it everyday. It's good for the mind, body and soul and our skin. The recommended daily intake is 2litres a day.

8. Cleaning those makeup brushes.

I did a blog post on how to here. These things harbor some amount of bacteria and can actually spread spots on the face. Regular cleaning (once a week) at least will help with this.

9. Don't add new products to your skincare routine at least 3 weeks before the big day. You don't know how your skin will react and by this stage you should have a good skincare routine down.

10. Try not to stress. I know that this is easier said than done but getting married can be a super stressful time. Money, planning and being organised are hard to manage leading up to the big day but do things to keep those stress levels at bay. Don't forget to do things that you enjoy and have a nice relaxing bath.

I hope these tips help in someway for you.

Alanna xxx

Friday, 15 July 2016

Powder n Pout Makeup Brushes

These are the new makeup brushes by our homegrown Makeup Artist-Aisling Cunningham of Powder n Pout Carndonagh, Co. Donegal. These brushes will be available in 66 pharmacies across the country and online here. I love to 'shop local' when I can. It's great to support our local businesses and entrepreneurs. I mean why not. I love to see people do well. These brushes are loved by Xpose and many other media outlets. They are available in Brennan's Pharmacy Carndonagh also. 

These brushes range from €8.99-€18.00, which is extremely affordable and they are good quality. 

I want to start with the P010. Oval Foundation brush. This retails at €12.00.  This is a fab brush for putting the foundation/concealer on the skin. This is also great for applying your favourite primer or even face mask. 

The P120. The angled Blush. Out of the 5 I got I think is one of my favs. I love how dense this brush is. I love it to contour and apply blusher. Its dense but soft!

The Bullet, P325. Until I trained as an MUA I didn't really use one of these but now I use this with every makeup application. Perfect for the placment of shadow under the eyes and in the outer V of the eye. These have short compact bristles and I love the feel of this brush!

I know I said that the P120 is one a fav of the brushes I got but this is right up there with it. The Duo Crease brush P245. This is great for blending eyeshadow and even concealer under the eye. I love this type of brush for applying highlighter to the tip of my nose and down the center. Its great for precise application. 

Last we have The Powder Dome P100. Perfect for putting loose powder all over the face and body. Everyone needs a good powder brush and this is fab. So soft. 

]Ladies and Gents the packaging on these brushes are sooooo cute and they even have a message from Aisling. 

Check these brushes out if you are on the hunt for new, good quality brushes. 

Thanks to Aisling for sending me these brushes. I know I will be getting more. xxx


Wednesday, 13 July 2016

July Glossybox 2016, My Fav so far

Ok so I am starting out by saying. This is my favourite Glossybox to date. Its amazing. I love it. Everything in this months glossybox is full size. Score!

I am going to start with my fav thing in the box. The Blank Canvas F20 Gold edition. £11.95. This has been my preferred way to apply foundation since the day I discovered it. I even did a Blogpost here. I wanted the gold edition too and now I have it.  

It even has 'Blank Canvas' engraved on the gold Ferrule of the brush!

Icona Milano waterproof mascara. Retails at £13.04. This is supposed to be humidity resistant and we always need a waterproof mascara for the lower lashes and weddings. For the crying!

Next we have the Hawaiian Tropic Island Berry Lip Gloss £6.99. This stuff has an SPF of 25 which is amazing. It smells AMAZING and it doesn't feel sticky or greasy on the lips. All while keeping your lips protected from the sun. 

Hairon De-Tangle Brush, £6.99. This is cheaper than the Tangle Teezer and in my opinion, is as good. 

Last we have the Utan and Tone £12.50. This is a gradual face self tanner. This also is a night cream. With hyaluronic acid and vitamins to help repair the skin at night. It does the double duty. 

We even got a recipe card in this months box and I am in love. 

This is a recipe I would love to try. 'Courgette and brown rice spaghetti.' This is a recipe from the book Eat Wendy Rowe. 

Let me know. Where you as happy as I was with this months glossybox?



Tuesday, 12 July 2016


Lets start by saying what a great affordable brand Catrice Cosmetics are. There products range from €2-€12. I have used many of their products in the past and I was so excited to get to try more. 

First I am going to talk about their blush shading palette. There are a few options in this range and I got the shade 'Rock 'n' Rose'. This has 2 shimmery shades and a matte. You can see from the pic that these are highly pigmented and so smooth. A light hand is really needed here. 

Next we have this FAB nail polish. I already have 2 of catrices nail polishes and I love them. I got the shade 'A wink of Pink'. Above is 2 coats of the nail polish and this goes on so smooth. 

This is a eyeshadow trio from Catrice and I got the shade 'Meet the gemstones'.  When I first touched and swatched these they felt very chalky. I was disappointed. However, It must have been the glitter spray, overlay. Once that is wiped off, you have 3 great wee eyeshadows. I love the first white shade. A great inner corner/browbone Highlight . 

Catrice 12hr Matt Mousse Foundation. This is a very lightweight foundation and I would say it is a sheer/buildable coverage. Fantastic for people who need a light foundation for everyday. 

The eyeliner is amazing. High pigmentation for a drugstore eyeliner. 

Here is a pick of it on my eye. 

In this pic I have on the eyeshadow stick in the shade 'Lavender McQueen'.

I had to re dip this product a few times to get a good coverage on the eyelid. If you don't really use eyeshadow, this could be a quick and easy way to start. For me though It was my least fav product of the bunch!

This 'All matt plus' powder is sooooo velvety soft. Its smooth and sits fab on the skin. I loved it. This is a fab drugstore powder. The only snag is, I was sent the shade 'warm beige' and for me it was to dark. I like a translucent shade to set my face. I will be getting this again though in my colour. This adds a great wee bit of extra coverage to your foundation aswell. 

Luminous lips in the shade 'Dress Code: Nude'. This is a very soft Nude lipstick and feels very comfortable on the skin. It adds like a shine to the skin but not to much colour. It really is a 'Nude' shade. 

Here is the foundation, busher, eyeshadow, lipstick, eyeliner and powder applied to my face. 

Thank you Catrice for sending me these products. Great everyday makeup for affordable prices.
You can get Catrice cosmetics in  Pennys and in Inish Pharmacy. Online and Instore. 

© Alanna Gallagher. All rights reserved.