Sunday, 13 September 2015

Benefit Cosmetics Air Patrol - a BB/SPF/Primer bonanza!

Benefit Cosmetics just seem to be the brand that keeps on giving when it comes to bringing out new innovative cosmetics. With two or three new launches per year they do not rest for striving for perfection. Best selling Mascara on the market? We can make it better. Best selling Primer on the market? We can do something different. 

And that's what they've done with newcomer Air Patrol.  This new eyeshadow primer has 3 key selling points. It's main function to prime the eyelids ensuring your eyeshadow's longevity. It also has BB properties meaning that it nourishes and smooths out the skin tone thus enhancing any pigment that you put over it. Finally, it has an SPF of 20 so you know that the most delicate area of your face is protected every time you wear it. 

Pretty good eh? I'll admit I was initially skeptical of the tinted cream as it is much darker than my skin tone (as seen below) however it does blend out and is barely visible once applied. 

The memory foam tip is the oddest experience but makes absolute sense when you start using it. Your eyes are delicate and you want an applicator that isn't going to dig into them. Traditionally this has been a finger or brush but now you don't have to dirty them up! You also get zero wastage as a quick reverse click of the tube sucks the product back down. Handy, comfy, clean, and what's even better? It really works! 

L-R: Air Patrol on the skin | Eyeshadow With Air Patrol | Eyeshadow without Air Patrol
Here are 3 looks I've done recently all using my new Naked 3 Palette and all using Air Patrol. 

So here's how you can get yourself a wee bargain. House Of Fraser's twice yearly Beauty Confidential event is currently running until the 22nd Sept. The deal is that if you buy one of your favourite products and you buy one of theirs then you can get £10 off! So say you bought yourself this and any of the items in the offer (Benefit Rollerlash for example?) you get Air Patrol for almost half the price. Bargain! 

Of course another way to get the product completely free is to enter the Faeriwood Facebook competition to win one! All you need to do is Like and Share the page and you're entered. Easy. *UPDATE THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW ENDED*

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Lidl Fashion A/W 15 - My favourite picks

Those of you with a good memory will remember that I absolutely loved the debut Lidl Fashion collection way back in March (gosh that six months went quickly didn't it?). You'll also remember that over the summer I picked up quite a few pieces from the collection including a dress, some leggings, a necklace, and two maxi skirts which I have been wearing and instagramming constantly. It was a definite success. 

So of course I was excited to see what they had in store for their Autumn/Winter collection. I was not disappointed. The collection is full of on trend items which echo last winters success stories. There are several Blanket Capes, bright Parka coats, and lots of knitted Aztec & Leopard prints. There are items for all occasions from casual to work to nights out. One thing that really amazed me was that there are also proper Chelsea boots in the collection and they're only £12.99! I shall definitely be grabbing those. 

As with the last collection you really have to make a date with your local store on a weekly basis (a great excuse to do your weekly shop) to make sure you don't miss out on an item. They have a small selection each week that hit the floors on a Thursday morning and they do not last long. In fact there's a stunning Leather Jacket (£14.99) in today's release and I'm having a hard time convincing myself not rush down straight after work. 

In a continued experiment with YouTube and getting back into moving image I have pieced together a short look book of some of my favourite items from the collection as well as my usual photography. 

Please let me know if you pick up anything from the collection as I love hearing about the bargains you get! I shall leave you with what I wore to the launch as I do love a chance to get in front of a full length mirror!
OOTD: Blouse from Matalan | Skirt & Belt from Newlook | Shoes & Leggings Primark
FOTD: True Radiance Foundation (sample)
Benefit Coralista
The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer
Naked 3 - Various
Laura Mercier lipgloss (Gift)
Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara

Monday, 7 September 2015

Cult beauty product Alert: The Mary-Lou Manizer from The Balm

Photo Credit: Rebecca Bryson

If you're a fan of "cult" brands then you will be aware of The Balm Cosmetics. 

For those of you not familiar, The Balm are a San Francisco based company extremely similar to Benefit cosmetics who we have been loving in the UK for years. They have a cool 50s Americana style and tonnes of oh-so-quirky names for their products and they developed quite following over the last few years however they have not been available in NI. 

Until now. 

My recent trip up to Foyleside Debenhams revealed that their brand new beauty hall contains a stand dedicated to The Balm. We were very excited. At least 3 of us walked away clutching a brand new Mary-Lou Manizer highlighter and to be honest, I could have bought more, alas the budget would not allow it. Knowing that it's there though makes me want to travel back up to Derry just have another nosey! 

When it comes to makeup I'm unfamiliar with I need to see it in person. Until I trust a brand I will not buy online, just part of the reason I have never purchased from The Balm before. It's early days for me and this brand and early days for the highlighter but look how pretty it is in the pan! I can see me making a few more regular trips to Foyleside from now on. 

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Urban Decay Naked Palette 3 - A beauty Trilogy

I'm a bit behind on my Naked collection. I spent the longest time convincing myself that I really didn't need the 3rd instalment of the iconic eyeshadow palettes offered up from Urban Decay

"Rose tones? You don't need rose tones! You have cool tones and warm tones! Rose tones would be overkill. Ok yes your skin is Rose toned but seriously? You don't need another nude palette. Rose tones... Pah!!"

And then they announced the Smoky palette and once again the cycle of need began. 

"Smoky? You're too pale for smoky! Oh alright then go and get the Rose palette. There, are you satisfied?"

I was. 

The Rose palette is, quite unsurprisingly, a lot more pink than its predecessors. With the usual finishes including shimmers, mattes & metallics you have carte blanche to mix and match as much as you'd like to. I find this a little trickier to use than the previous palettes. Pink can be a hard colour to pull off when you've got ginger & green hair and blue eyes. I appreciate that is probably a niche problem. 

Nonetheless I am absolutely enamoured with the palette. My instant favourites are Dust - a pale pink shimmer which I absolutely love (it reminds me of MAC phloof which is my all time favourite MAC shadow), Trick - I'm always drawn to a gold metallic and intrigued to see how this blends with the pinky tones of the Rose palette, and Blackheart - The red flecks throughout this black are beautiful in the pan and blend out really well. It isn't so overly pigmented that you can't use it in conjunction with the paler shades (did I mention I love Dust?) and it works well as a liner along the lower lash line. I'm also looking forward to experimenting with Darkside and Mugshot. I've been loving Gunmetal in the Naked 2 so I think this could be a welcome addition. 

Naked 3 is £38, as with all of the Naked palettes, and I purchased mine from Debenhams thanks to a generous voucher given to us at their Foyleside Beauty Hall launch last week. I have plenty more treats from our trip up to Foyleside coming up so stayed tuned! 

As for the Smoky Palette? Soon my friend... soon!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Party In The Park at Antrim Castle Gardens

Since moving back to Antrim I've been determined to make the most of my weekends and go exploring. With trips to the north coast and lunches with the girls it's been a fab summer for it. Even if we didn't get the weather. This weekend we decided to go down to the Castle Gardens for a Party In The Park put on by Antrim & Newtonabbey Borough Council. It was a free day out and a chance to nosey on in on the grounds which I haven't properly explored since I was a teenager hanging about with my friends after school taking Drama classes in Clotworthy House and being thoroughly cool... Aye. I discovered a humongous fountain I never knew existed before and rediscovered my favourite tree in the world. 

There were all sorts of weird and wonderful performers and events. From Kite building to face painting to flower pot ladies and giant animal headed people. It was really lovely to see the huge crowds enjoying themselves and the kids running about the gardens. Having gone to a few fairs and festivals over the summer this was probably my favourite. No craft tents. No commercialism. Just simple fun for the family surrounded by picturesque views. Lovely. 

Below I have put together a short video of the afternoon. It's been a while since I've flexed my videography muscles so bear with me. I'm a still a bit in awe that I was able to shoot, edit and upload the whole thing on my phone! 

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

My eBay rules and the ethical dilemma of when to buy local

When it comes to buying off Ebay I have a couple of rules. The main rule I live by is "Everything for a £1 and always Buy-It-Now" I break it once in a while for clothing auctions or large items but when it come to nic-nacs and nail supplies I stick close. In fact, I'm pretty sure my epitaph will read "99p free post & packaging!" I say it so often when people ask me where I've bought something!

So here are latest in my bargain purchases. 

1. Hair Removing Exfoliator pads: I put a question to my followers on Instagram as to how many people recognised these. Surprisingly it was a pretty even split yes to no. I used them all the time as a teenager, although they didn't have the funky plastic handles. You rub the fine grit pads in circles across your hairy bits & it pulls the hair out and exfoliates your skin. Pain free and silky smooth. A great pre-tanning trick!

2. Golden Snitch Necklace: No it's not official merchandise & probably breaks a cauldron load of copyright laws but OMG super cute! I've gotten a tonne of complements since wearing it and it's actually a really nice quality piece. I know brands who charge £50 for a cut out bit of plastic with a plasticky chain. This is (in my humble opinion) far Superior. 

3. Little mermaid clear iPhone cover: again the official Disney license is lacking here but look! She's holding the logo! Also available in Snow White which is just perfect isn't it? 

I do love my £1 (or thereabouts) bargains. A small part of me goes through an ethical struggle knowing that these are being pumped out "en masse" in China and I should really buy local but times are hard and I need pretty things in my life. Which brings me to my second rule of eBay purchasing: "Rule 1 only applies when purchasing items for myself!" 
If I'm buying a gift for someone I'll look on eBay for specific items such as limited editions but most of the time I do a local search on Etsy or go to craft fairs. I've even been known to make it myself! You have to be careful with both Etsy and craft fairs these days; It's far too easy to employ the tactics of Rule 1 and sell it on for profit. How do you think I discovered these lovelies?! 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Scented Scandals with Filthy Velvet

"Meet me at the tennis courts by The Ramore" It wasn't long into our afternoon together that Karen, one half of Northern Ireland's newest candlemakers Filthy Velvet, laughed about the dodgy nature of our first meeting. It's not often that I'm asked to meet a stranger down a back street (albeit a very busy one near my favourite Portrush attraction) to then be led through stepped alleys and lanes back to their house! It's all a bit... Naughty. It's a good thing then that being a bit naughty is all par for the course for Karen who spends her days making and marketing her "Scandles". 
With names such as Filthy Shades Of Grey, Sext Me, Me So Thorny and scents including Leather, Irish Black Stout & Apple Pie these Scandalous Candles have been giving giggles to everyone I've heard talking about them. "Oh I want VPL!" Said no-one ever before their Vanilla, Peach, Lavender creation came into being.  

It's fairly brilliant. 

We had a lovely afternoon discussing scents and textures Filthy Velvets are so incredibly creamy they could be mistaken for a stiff body butter if it wasn't for the wick, the Filthy Bits wax melts are even more so. The scents, made using imported essence oils, are also varied and intense, no two are the same and they range from floral to cakey to spicy to even musky! And then you have the Leather and the Stout as I've mentioned already. Definitely unique. 

Karen's background in Interior Design and her sideline in Aromatherapy massage has clearly given her the right skills to create and partner Jeremy, the scientist, has developed the perfect formula to get an impressive 40 hour burn with minimal smoking and zero tunnelling. 

Going through the 14 candles I was definitely drawn to the sweet scents which is not surprising at all. I was instantly drawn to VPL & Me So Thorny due to my obsession with Lavender & Rose. (One day I'll tell you of the days I used to call myself Lavender Rose Moon... Maybe) Needless to say they are very dear smells to me. Black Stout is a marmite candle. It splits opinion with a strong coffee smell and the dark almost chocolatey goodness you get from that well known Irish Stout brand we're not really allowed to mention...
The surprise hit however was Posh Tart. It's not just an Apple Pie, it's the best Apple Pie you've ever tasted. It's your granny, marks & spencer and your local bakery all rolled into one. Karen kindly let me leave with this one and it will be getting saved for best. 

Not forgetting that this is a family affair I was also introduced to the Filthy Hound, the face of the brand to those familiar with the website, who is just the cutest wee mascot I've seen in a while. A hefty portion of our afternoon was spent getting cuddles & sneaky snapchats with the wee man. Well you do have treat celebrities special, don't you?

There are big plans for Filthy Velvets but for now you can purchase them at Studio Souk in Belfast, online directly from and at various fairs across NI (and soon mainland UK). These are one to watch having been featured on Ch4's Gogglebox and spotted by business talent scouts. If you're the kind of person that likes to say you got there first, now is your time!