Sunday, 25 August 2013

Searching for Perfection - Teeth Whitening

I would say about 99% of people wish they had that perfect "Hollywood" fake bright shiny smile. 

However, if you're on a budget like I am, forking out for perfectly coloured and shaped veneers is not an option. 

Almost all of my friends have had the chance to get braces for their teeth and they now all support AMAZING smiles. (I am looking at you, Ailbhe.) I was not lucky enough to get this opportunity as my dentist told me when I was 15 that I didn't "need" them. 

I thought this was a load of shite to be honest because my mam then refused to pay for them, and is still refusing. I can obviously see her point, as I purely want braces for aesthetic reasons  but it still bugs me when I see people with them. WHY CAN'T I BE YOU?

I began hating my teeth around that time, as I started to become a lot more aware of their flaws. They aren't straight, they aren't all perfectly shaped, they certainly aren't pearly white and they are too small (or so I believe). Annoyingly this insecurity has gotten so bad that I refuse to smile in pictures as I just hate the sight of my teeth. So that explains why I "pout" in pictures. Not because I am really thick and angry. 

Anyway, this brings me onto the purpose of this post. 

Teeth Whitening. 

In my mind this was the only way I could begin to start accepting my teeth, if they were at least nice, bright and noticeable. 

I have tried every single whitening toothpaste within my budget and everything has been absolutely pointless. So, I began to look into getting the famous Crest Strips but as these are only sold in America (so I have been told), there was obviously going to be difficulty in purchasing them. 

Karen, my best friend, wanted the Crest Strips as well, as we are both trying to perfect our teeth. She came across Onuge Whitening Strips on Amazon and when I saw the result these had for Karen I was amazed... She opened her mouth to talk and I stared at her like a freak in awe. 

So, I obviously got myself onto Amazon pretty quickly and got myself a box of these little babies. They arrived just on time for me to get the full run of them by the time the debs would come along (as I knew I'd be wearing red lipstick). 

I will be completely honest, as I always am, they didn't start to show a difference until at least half way through the box, if not more towards the end. 

But when they did start to show effect I was pleasantly surprised! I managed to get my colour from a (4) or a (5) on the comparison chart all the way to a (2). I did not expect them to be that good. I was delighted! 

They claim to have results lasting up to a year, which I straight up don't believe but I will test it out and see. They also claim to have immediate effect, "noticeable whitening after 1 hour", which as I stated, wasn't the case for me but everyone is different.

Teeth Colour Comparison Chart

The box will last you two weeks and contains strips for the upper and the lower teeth so everything will be nicely even. It is recommenced you leave the strips on for 1-2 hours, which I did do however, one day I had forgotten they were on so I got past the 3 hours and I was luminous for the evening. Which wasn't exactly the preferred look. But, the majority of people won't be as stupid as me and they will stick to the suggested time. 

Around 18euro to buy from Amazon, so in my opinion, excellent value.

Sensitive tooth people beware, as these guys will start to hurt if you even get to 2 hours of wear per day.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Face Of The Day (Debs Make-up)

Remember me? 

Major apologies for my lack of posts but the last week has been a total blur with the Leaving Cert results and the CAO offers. You can imagine how fun my week has been...

Anyways, I have another slightly boring FOTD post. 

As well as that, it was my debs yesterday and I decided to try do my own make up this year. It's a fairly dramatic look I suppose. Not many people would suggest playing up both the eyes and the lips but I thought, FECK IT and just went for it. 

Trial run of the make up.

I understand if it looks like shite.  

But to those that actually like it, I can of course post a quick tutorial. However, it is so easy it only takes about 5 minutes. Again, it's a smokey gold, bronzed eye (told you it was my "go-to"...) with a hell of a lot of contouring, so I might look like I have dirt smeared across my face... 

Ailbhe and I.

Also this week I was lucky enough to pick up the Customisable Starter Kit by bareMinerals. This foundation has been on my wishlist since the beautiful Laura Doyle ( recommended I try it out as she knew Estee Lauder was wrecking my head and my skin. Laura, I love you. I also love bareMinerals. Honest to God, I was amazed at this stuff and I will have a blog post reviewing the product as soon as I learn how to apply it perfectly. Also, shoutout to Alison in BT2 Blanchardstown for being extremely helpful and kind.

The list of products for this look; 

Clean&Clear Dual Action Moisturiser (oil-free) 
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
bareMinerals Original Foundation
bareMinerals Mineral Veil
bareMinerals All Over Warmth
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Avene Thermal Water Spray
Catrice Brow Box
Rimmel Eyebrow Pencil
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Palette; Naked, Buck, Half-Baked, Smog
Urban Decay Basics Palette; Venus, Foxy, Crave
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner; Underground
Catrice Gel Eyeliner 
Maybelline The Falsies Flared Mascara
Girls Aloud eyelashes, by Nadine
Rimmel lipliner
Revlon Lipstick; Fire & Ice
Maybelline The Colour Show Nail varnish 

Annoyingly, I forgot to take a close up picture of my make-up on the day. However, the picture above of the trial run for my make-up is pretty much exactly the same except its without the eyelashes and the tan.

Wearing an ASOS dress and my beloved Louboutins.

Friday, 16 August 2013

All About My Eyebrows

I have shite eyebrows. 

Before treatment. 

They are possibly one of the things I hate most about my face and that list is a very long one. Eyebrows are so so SO important to not only frame your face but also to open up your eyes.

I have had issues with my eyebrows since I was about 14 I think. That may seem ridiculous but I was a bit obsessed with trying to be perfect back then, (clearly, I failed!).

It took me a while to figure out what I hated the most about them. It wasn't the shape, that was alright, and it wasn't the thickness/thinness because I never over plucked or felt the need to. I eventually realised it was the direction of the growth. This is not something that many people even notice, I asked my Mam and she said that she has never even thought about what way her eyebrow hair grows and so I probably sounded a bit crazy…

I knew my problem, yet I couldn't fix it. I could pluck away at stray hairs and shape my eyebrows nicely but still the bloody hairs would face downwards and it drove me insane, especially because it meant they were extra noticeable in photographs. (WHY!?)
I thought about going to get my eyebrows groomed for years. Except I never really trusted anyone with them so I held off and plus, brow treatments can be pricey!

Before treatment. The arch was awful.

However, there is one woman I can say has made the most amazing difference in my life, (that probably sounds extremely sad…) or at least as far as my eyebrows and general happiness with my face is concerned and who is worth every single penny you spend and more.

This fantastic woman is called Lorna Farrelly and she is one half of the gorgeous Farrelly sisters, aka, The Brow Artists. Along with their highly professional team, these girls maintain probably the majority of Dublin’s brows (or those lucky enough to have discovered them). They are so excellent that there is a waiting list of a few months just to get an appointment. If that doesn’t make you want to check them out, I don’t know what will. Although, I will include before and after pictures of my brows so you can all see that I’m not just trying to be an absolute lickarse!

My very first brow grooming appointment was with Lorna on the 28th of May (so very sad that I remember the date…). I literally counted down the days. It was also the week before my Leaving Cert but I decided getting my brows to look good was my main priority…
 I opted for the “Perfect Brow Shape Treatment”, which is basically one that lasts 3 to 4 weeks and I can definitely confirm that. I went in on such a buzz and Lorna has got to be the SWEETEST woman I have ever met. She is an absolute doll. With the most amazing eyebrows, obviously!

Lorna knew straight away the problem with my eyebrows. The arch was too high, they weren't long enough and of course, the down turning hair which surprisingly is only often seen on Asian women.  She straight away got to work and I have to say, it was the most relaxing hour of my life. Lorna tweezed, plucked, threaded and trimmed my eyebrows to the shape that suited my face. She then went in with some dye that would just help fill in the gaps.

I think I cried when I finally looked in the mirror. This woman is an absolute God. I'm almost certain I told her that I loved her (real smooth, Aisling…) and just stared in the mirror for ages.


My face was completely changed. It was framed and so accentuated my (serious lack) of bone structure. The arches of my brows had been softened so I didn't have that “I hate everyone and everything” look in my eyes constantly. Also, they had been trimmed and dyed so the down turning hair wasn't even visible. I was fecking delighted and would have paid Lorna a lot more than 45euro, which is the cost of the “Perfect Brow Shape Treatment”. This may seem slightly pricier than Benefits Brow Bar which I think is 20 – 30euro but absolutely nobody else would do as good a job as Lorna.

My next appointment was the 14th of August but unfortunately, it was cancelled. However I will be back into the girls ASAP! Until then, I will do my best at maintaining them myself, which I can post about if anyone is interested. (The Rimmel eyebrow pencil is fantastic).

Lorna, Liz and the girls are based in Ranelagh, Dublin and also offer an 18-24 month “Semi-Permanent Brow Shape” which would obviously take more time and money but is something Lorna suggested I think about because my hair is down turned. (I am currently saving for it!).

To make bookings email them:

I would advise to do it quickly because these girls are highly sought after as they have a huge celebrity fan base including BINTM finalist Holly Carpenter, Louise Johnston and Holly Keating, all stunning girls with perfect eyebrows. 

Monday, 12 August 2013

How I Clean My Make-Up Brushes

Yet to be cleaned.

There is something really therapeutic about washing make-up brushes. Its probably because its not strenuous work and doesn't really involve much thinking. 

I have no fancy way of washing my make-up brushes. I haven't even bothered to try any expensive "proper" brush shampoo because to be totally honest, I just couldn't be arsed. I obviously want to keep my brushes in the best possible care because they can be so damn expensive! But I am not going to fork out a load of money for some hyped up water in a fancy looking bottle. No way.

What I use costs about 5euro, possibly less and its so handy to pick up in your local chemist/pharmacy. You may even have some in your house because I think every household has to have a bottle of it for something. 

Does the job

What is this cheap wonderful product? 
Johnson's Baby Shampoo. It is fantastic! I used to use regular shampoo (very silly thing to do as I realised it broke me out) until my genius best friend, Karen told me that she uses Baby Shampoo. Karen is just as obsessed with make up, and indeed keeping her brushes in the best possible care so I trusted that she knew what she was talking about. 

And she did! This stuff works like a dream. All you need is a coin sized amount in your hand and a bit of water and you are good to go. What I tend to do is give the brush a quick rinse under warm water. Next, I dip the brush into the shampoo and swirl around until it basically turns into a gross looking colour, in my case usually its orange from my foundation...

When you have most of the shampoo adsorbed, I then run the brush under cold water until the water runs clear. Depending on how long ago you used the brush and how often, you may need to do this routine continuously to get the brush thoroughly clean but it will be worth the extra bit of time. 

On a slight tilt to drain the water out

Now, I am going to be completely honest here and say, I don't wash my brushes every day, nor every week. I just simply don't have the time or have other stuff on my mind so its not really a priority (or, i just couldn't be arsed). I need to try make it one however, because I know its just causing a spread of germs that isn't all that fun for an acne sufferer, or anyone really. 

There are a few little things to remember when washing your brushes;

Always have the brush facing downwards, so no water gets into the actual metal/plastic bit of the brush.
Don't use HOT water as this will melt the glue inside the brush that holds all the bristles in place. 
When drying, again, have them placed downwards. So, have the tail/end of the brush propped up on a slight angle so that any water that could have seeped into the brush can drain out.
For this, I use a rolled up face clothe and prop my brushes up against that.

My embarrassingly small collection of brushes

I find that the Baby Shampoo leaves the brushes really soft and smelling nice. Another bonus is that its Baby Shampoo, so it doesn't contain any harsh chemicals of some kind that will react with your skin as the brush comes into contact with it.

I have a mixture of expensive brushes and not as expensive brushes ranging from Mac, Clinique, Benefit and Urban Decay to Real Techniques (who wants a review?) and even cheap brushes I picked up in a pharmacy that do the job grand.

An example of how long a brush can last if its kept in great condition is my Clinique foundation brush. This thing is SIX years old and still one of the best brushes I own. It cost a lot at the time but obviously it has been worth every penny. It was my very first make-up brush and I would probably cry if I lost it or damaged it. 

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Face Of The Day

Dougal wanted to be in my awkward selfie.

I have had a bit of a blogger block over the last few days, which is awful considering I have only written one proper post. However, the response I have gotten over the last week has been absolutely incredible, with page views up in the 400's at this stage. I'm still in shock. I genuinely didn't think many people would bother read my blog, retweet it to other beauty bloggers and so on. 

I just want to say a MASSIVE thank you for everyone's support. Starting a blog of any kind is a daunting process and there is always going to be a fear of failure. (That fear is very much still there of course!).

I have at least three posts coming up that I have been working on that I hope to have up in the next week, so until then, here is a really quick post on my recent Face Of The Day (Night). 

It is pretty much my go-to make up look if I'm feeling like a dramatic smokey eye, which is almost always. If anyone is interested I can post a separate tutorial of this make up look, but its so easy that I doubt many would need that. It is a pretty standard gold, bronzed eye make up with a bit of contouring and a hint of blusher.

The list of products;

Clean&Clear Dual Action Moisturiser (oil-free) 
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer (oil-free, but contains silicon)
Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation (check out my latest blog post for a review)
Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer
Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Benefit Dandelion Blusher
Benefit High Beam Highlighter
Avene Thermal Water Spray
Catrice Brow Box
Urban Decay Primer Potion
Urban Decay Naked Palette; Naked, Buck, Half-Baked, Smog, Darkhorse
Urban Decay Basics Palette; Venus, Foxy, Crave
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eyeliner; Zero & Bourbon 
Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara
MAC lipgloss; Floating Lotus 

A lovely pile of shite.

Whats your go-to make up look? I would love to see pictures! Tweet me @ilovebarrystea or post a photo to instagram with my name @ilovebarrystea in the comments! 

Let me know if you would like a tutorial on this look and if you would like to see more FOTD posts.

Friday, 2 August 2013

Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation.

Estee Lauder Double Wear

After reading copious amounts of reviews, I fell in love. 

I was young, na├»ve and had typical teenage skin (aka, absolutely shite skin). This foundation answered all of my prayers: it was very full coverage and it was long lasting so my face wouldn't look like a melting crayon at the end of an 8 hour school day. I was delighted

Within about a week of doing my research I made the trip into Brown Thomas in Dublin and purchased my shade. The lovely woman at the counter was basically God in my eyes.

At first, all I could see were the Pros of this foundation;

·  Managed to cover ALL of my spots, acne scarring and redness.
·  It was a pretty decent colour match, (as decent as a pale Irish-skinned girl can get).
·  It was completely matte, so my horrible oily t-zone was banished.
·  It blended reasonably well with a good stippling brush.
·  It didn't oxidise on my skin.
·  It made me look airbrushed.

It sounds perfect, right? And for many people it IS the perfect foundation. 

My go to shades; Ecru 1N1 and Bone 1W1

For 3 years I used this foundation noticing only a few Cons;

·  At first it feels sticky to apply.
·  It has no pump so creates a terrible mess on the back of your hand.
·It feels very heavy, almost like a mask. (Although, I desired this effect at the start of my DW journey).
·  It is a NIGHTMARE to take off at night. I swear you need bleach. (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME).
·  It has SPF 10 so in photographs; you will look like a ghost.

However, I decided to look past these Cons and continue using and loving it. That was until I noticed my skin would be horrible the following day. For 2 years I blamed my stressful life for causing new breakouts but at the back of my mind I did consider that Double Wear was the actual reason. I had NEVER had as bad skin before, not since I was about 12 and hormones were flying all over the place.

Currently using shade Bone 1W1

My gorgeous friend Laura (@loldoyle21)  filled me in on why Estee Lauder Double Wear was causing my skin to go insane…

·  It didn’t let my skin breathe throughout the day.
·  It was so heavy that it clogged my already infected pores.
·  It was so thick that I would struggle to remove it at night, leaving behind trails of make-up that would stay on my skin.
·  And finally, it contained silicone: a huge NO-NO for acne sufferers.

I was heartbroken. I had to admit that this gorgeous foundation did not suit my skin and I had to begin my journey of finding my Holy Grail foundation all over again. I was exhausted just thinking about it.

I have yet to find that foundation, and until I do I will continue to use and adore my Double Wear. Yes, it ruins my skin but at the moment, it’s the only foundation that suits my busy lifestyle and desperate need for full coverage.

I need to stress that not everybody will have bad reactions with this foundation. I am just one of the unlucky ones. I do encourage everyone to try it, especially for occasions where you want to have that “perfect skin” look (just be wary of flash photography).  However, acne sufferers like myself, BE WARNED.

Double Wear comes in a 30ml bottle, so containing 1 fl. oz. It is priced at around 30 to 35 euro and a bottle lasts for months. I like to apply it using my Real Techniques buffing brush, lightly sprayed with Avene Thermal Water to make it blend easier. 

Have you used this foundation? 
Have you noticed similar reactions?
What is your Holy Grail foundation?

My much loved Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundations

Thursday, 1 August 2013

That awkward introduction...

Where do I begin...? 

I guess telling you my name might be a good idea. I am Aisling and I am an 18 year old make-up junkie. 

I live in Ireland and am a student awaiting the results of my Leaving Certificate and those dreaded college placements. (My nerves are going insane even typing this).

Like many students, the summer is a time for fun and opportunities. Some are lucky to get jobs but many are, well, stuck at home on a rainy day moaning about life. I am the latter. 

This is when my blog was born. I was extremely bored and knew if I didn't focus my energy on something I enjoyed doing I would fall into a slump in which I would never get out of. 

It has taken me 2 years to pluck up the courage to create this blog because I feared nobody would read it. I was probably right.