Penney’s Batman Make-Up

Penney’s Batman Make-Up

I have an unhealthy habit. It’s pretty bad as I spend all my money on this habit when really I should be putting what money I do have towards something more substantial. But, I love Batman. So if something has the Batman symbol on it, you bet I’ve bought it.

I’ve been trying really hard over the years to ease up on this habit, but I was in Penneys the other day and spotted some must haves. For the release of Batman vs Superman, Penneys released a make-up collection for the film. I did resist the urge to buy everything, but went away with the Batman lippy, mascara, and eyeliner.

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I wasn’t expecting much, given that the most expensive thing was €2.50, but I don’t think I’d be using them again, or at least not again if I was to wear the full face for more than half an hour.

 

Lipstick

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I’ll start off with my favourite out of the lot –  the lipstick. Honestly, I haven’t many complaints about it. It’s a lovely colour, blots off well, and does make you feel quite sexy. But, as expected, the wear and tear isn’t great. As you’ll see with my Suicide Squad inspired look below, I also used the lipstick under my eyes. It was actually pretty handy for this look, as the lipstick smudges super easy and helped with the grungey I’ve-been-shooting-up-bad-guys vibe.

So would I use it again? Yeah, I do like the colour. I wouldn’t wear it to a dinner party ’cause the whole thing would be used up after every five bites and every sup of wine, but for a night out with the gals, definitely. Sure it only cost €1.50, you can’t go wrong!

 

Eyeliner

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Okay, this is where things start to go downhill. The actual formula itself, the black gunk, isn’t that bad. With a different brush, it goes on pretty well and has decent staying power. With the look, I had to go over my eyeshadow a bit which ended up going over the liner. Shockingly, the eyeliner didn’t smudge! I was pleasantly surprised. All I had to do was go over it a bit and boom, back to normal. That brush though, oh my days. Like every cat eye lover knows, the secret to a good flick is not in the wrist, but in the bristles. I have never used such a shite brush. Pardon my French, but it is SHITE. The brush given with the eyeliner is way too soft and flexible to get a decent straight line. Super disappointing given how good the liquid itself is!

So would I use it again? I’m 50/50. I’ll definitely be using the liquid again, ’cause I can’t fault it. That brush though, all it’s going to be used for it as a lid. I even tried drawing on Suicide Squad Harley’s heart on my cheek with that brush, and man, did I fail badly. I ended up using my Bobbi Brown felt tip eyeliner, which worked a treat. For €2.50, I’d rather spend the cash towards a Rimmel London eyeliner.

 

Mascara

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I’ve saved the worst ’till last. I’ve been wearing make-up for over a decade now, like since I was twelve years old. Hell, even from the age of seven if we’re including the stealing-make-up-from-mum days. And the very first make-up product I ever bought was this cheap ass goo from some random local pharmacy. That goo is better than this Batman mascara. Like I said, I wasn’t expecting much from these guys and I’ve mostly be pretty happy with the lippy and eyeliner. What I really didn’t expect was that this mascara was going to HURT. I’ve tried about a thousand and one mascaras in the last decade, but they have never made my eyes feel sore. And my eyes can handle a lot –  I wear contacts every day, even at the office, and I put some serious gunk in there for cosplay looks, from overloading black eyeliner on my waterline to putting in eye blood drops in my actual eye.

So what made it so bad? The mascara chipped off my eyelashes way too easy and went flying into my eyes straight away. The mascara doesn’t even give you that volume or length you want from mascara. I basically just made my light brown eyelashes black. It was from the mascara that I couldn’t last longer than half an hour wearing the look. When I removed the make-up, I saw just how bad the mascara was. Clunks of the liquid just about came off and around my eyes were covered in polka dots. This was the stuff going into my eyes. For €1.50, even though it’s cheap, it’s not worth it. Pay that extra 50c and buy something that’s not going to hurt you!

 

And of course, the look. In typical Harley fashion, I couldn’t do a serious face.

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My Advice on Using Liquid Latex

My Advice on Using Liquid Latex

For the past few weeks, I’ve been dappling with various cosplay make-up looks, particularity the Joker and Deadpool. Whilst the Joker was pretty easy, Deadpool gave me a hard time (Are we surprised?) You can check out a few looks of what I’ve been working with in the slideshow below! Whilst practicing, I made a pretty stupid mistake right off the bat, which was I did NOT prep my skin for applying liquid latex. This inspired me to write this post so that no one else makes the same silly mistake.

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First, what is liquid latex? It’s a product often used within special FX makeup and one of the most commonly used. Many cosplayers use it to create scars, cuts, added features and more to a costume. Liquid latex contains about one third latex and about two thirds water. There’s less than 1% ammonia in the mixture to keep it from spoiling and to control the pH. It’s the first product I got for my growing special FX kit! Now, let’s get down to how to use the stuff.

1. Before doing anything, shake your bottle of liquid latex and then open it for 3 to 5 minutes to let that slight ammonia smell diffuse out in a properly ventilated area. Also, don’t put the product anywhere near your eyes or nose. Even with opening it for a while, it can irritate your eyes and nose. I think it goes without saying to not put this stuff in your mouth. We’re not in playschool and eating glue anymore.

2. Finally, you can now put this stuff on your skin. Well, almost. You’ve got to test to see if you’re allergic to it first. Just like with hair dye, you have to make sure you’re not gonna blow up or turn bright red if you slap the liquid latex all over you. Do a patch test; take a small bit of the product and place it on a small bit of skin, like behind your ear, on your wrist, any part of skin that you can hide if things go wrong. If all goes well, you can get started on making some awesome costume make-up.

3. Next, make sure your skin is ready to handle this pore-clogging substance. The best way to do this is to exfoliate your face the night before, then cleanse and moisturise a few minutes before applying the liquid latex. To save any pain in the future, apply some Vaseline (or petroleum jelly) on your hairline and a bit over your top lip just before your ready to start getting to work. This acts as a barrier between the latex and your baby hairs.

4. Speaking of, you’re best to be hairless. If you’ve a beard or even a bit of a moustache, either shave it off or apply some Vaseline on top. I did a stupid thing of applying liquid latex all over my face for my second attempt of Deadpool and oh my God. The absolute pain of having to peel all that off. Let’s just say, if you don’t wanna pay to get your eyebrows waxed but you’ve an abundance of liquid latex, you’re sorted.

5. The next part is actually applying the liquid latex. You can use your fingers, whole hand, a sponge, a brush, whatever you fancy! If you are using a brush, wash that bad boy as fast as possible, ’cause that stuff is hard to wash off. The best I’ve found to remove the latex is acetone (and thick gloves!) but your brush will never be much use again. Invest in a heap of cheap sponges that you can throw out after, it’s honestly the best! I picked up a massive pack bag from Penney’s for €1.50. Or you can be super cheap and just use your fingers, but this is a messier process than sponges!

6. The most stressful part of liquid latex is really waiting for it to dry. The best prep advice I can give for wearing liquid latex to a con is to create all your bits before your event. And do it well before! You can re-attach any prosthetic you made with spirit gum. What is spirit gum? It’s kind of like glue for your face. Again, patch test it. It’s most commonly used in costume make-up for applying false hair to the face or sticking down a bald cap/wig. It’s pretty handy! Definitely a great investment if you are interested in costume/cosplay make-up.

Handy tip: When you’re applying it, just follow your instincts. You’ll know best what’s going to work out. And if you’re totally lost, there are HEAPS of YouTube tutorials on how to do almost any kind of costume make-up. There’s no rule book on how to apply liquid latex, you’ve just got to keep trying and failing until you find a technique that works for you. Don’t think less is more, because more is best!

 

So god speed, my friends! You can check here on the best way to remove liquid latex and other costume make-up prosthetics.

My Two Must Have L’Occitane Buys

My Two Must Have L’Occitane Buys

It’s incredibly important to keep your body and you in good shape.  How you are on the inside reflects how you look on the outside. I’ve talked about how much yoga has helped me remain calm during the day to day stresses, but a little pampering goes a long way too. Even secret pampers.

One of these secret pampers is scent. Scent is a huge factor in how we interpret life around us; the smell of your favourite dish, fresh cut grass in summer, the aroma of cologne or perfume. They lift our moods up.

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During the day, I love to use L’Occitane’s Shea Delightful Rose Hand Cream. The rich cream is one of the best out there, because of the high quality shea butter used. Shea butter is extremely nourishing and protects not only our skin but can be used in shampoos and conditioners to protect hair. What I love most about shea butter is that it is extremely moisturising and not sticky. It does soak in fast but unlike most fast drying creams, you won’t be reapplying it half an hour later. The floral scent is reminiscent of a rose flower, but mostly it reminds me of wandering around a garden centre as a kid. Scent can be that powerful, bringing you back to places you forgot you knew.

At night, after I take care of my skin and all my other nightly rituals, I take out L’Occitane’s Lavender Relaxing Roll-On. Lavender is well known for being one of the most relaxing scents out there, used commonly in aromatherapy. For me, this little bottle of heaven has seriously helped me. I couldn’t remember my last good nights sleep before investing in this roll-on. I would try every trick in the book, from counting sheep to acupuncture. I’ll admit, acupuncture did help best, but that’s another post. When I heard about how great lavender was in relaxation, I bought a lavender candle. I’d light it in my room before jumping into bed, but having asthma and worrying about the house burning down meant I still didn’t get a good nights sleep. Only in the last six months did I discover how much L’Occitane had in their lavender range that could help me. Most of all, the roll-on. Now every time before bed, I roll on a bit on my temples, the nape of my neck, and on my wrists. Safe to say, I sleep like a baby.

If you suffer from insomnia or other sleep related disorders, definitely look at a few simple herbal remedies. I don’t recommend putting anything into your body, especially your ears (I’ve seen some messed up remedies involving your ears), but essential oils and even changing your diet can help. If you’re seriously struggling, go see your doctor. Sleep is vital to staying healthy and happy. Take care of yourself!

 

Easy Fake Blood

Easy Fake Blood

When I started this blog, I planned for it to be a beauty blog with a cosplay twist. Yet, it’s been almost TWO MONTHS since my last cosplay post. I’ve been slacking! So I’m glad to share with you my super easy fake blood recipe.

I learned this when I was a kid, a recipe my mom would make with me every Halloween ’cause it was necessary that every costume had a bit of blood in it. Vampire is pretty obvious, but I was a bloody cat, a bloody witch, a bloody princess; name it and I added blood to it. Homes I went trick or treating to probably thought I was a little weird, but every kid LOVED being messy right? What better fun than to be messy on Halloween? And I think blood is easier to clean up than a mummy leaving toilet paper everywhere!

One of the most important features of a good fake blood recipe, to me, is that it’s safe enough to ingest. For instance, if you choose to do a Chelsea smile look, you don’t want any toxic chemicals going inside your mouth. Fake blood can be bought in almost any costume or special FX shop, but I would rather use those types of products on my hands or neck. If you’re careful, you can totally apply them to the top of your nose, your forehead or cheeks. Also, ALWAYS keep fake blood away from your eyes and nostrils. Trust me, it won’t be a good time.

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Ingredients

50 mls water

150 grams powder sugar

2 teaspoons red food colouring

Small handful coffee beans or 3 teaspoons coffee grounds

4 to 6 teaspoons corn flour

You’re best to use a blender like a Nutri Bullet to mix the ingredients. Have two teaspoons on hand to measure, one for the dry ingredients and one for the food colouring.

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First, mix the water and sugar together and, if you can, shake the mixture or stir until it’s all combined. Blend the mixture in small bursts so it’s thoroughly combined, then add in the red food colouring. Then blitz it all together.

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If you have a coffee grinder, grind up them beans and throw them into the blood. This ‘ll darken it and make a gritty texture so it looks like bits of dried blood. Most Starbucks have free coffee grounds for customers to use in their garden, so pop in and ask!

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Finally, mix in the corn flour. Feel free to add more to make it thicker and even some cocoa powder to make it darker and thicker. It’s all about experimentation!

This recipe is the best for a simple vampire look, but I will be writing a few thicker though less tasty recipes for fake blood! To apply this one, grab a cotton bud/Q tip and dip it in the mixture. If you want to wear it at a party, I advise either adding in heaps more cornstarch and sugar so that it sticks and stays longer. You’d definitely need to bring it in a little tub to reapply.

7 Uses for Elizabth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream

7 Uses for Elizabth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream

I am obsessed with Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour range. I have their body butter, the lip balm, the eye cream, and of course, the original Eight Hour cream. Their award winning cream is popular worldwide. The formula was created in the early 1980s by Ms. Arden herself. Also dubbed “The Miracle Cream”, it is a favourite among beauty editors and make-up artists globally.

My favourite benefit of the cream has to be it’s multipurpose uses. It’s intense moisturising qualities make it my go to cream for many reasons. Here are my top 7 reasons why I love it.

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1. Sun Burn

The summer is here in Ireland and it seems to be sticking! It’s an absolute scorcher this, which is leading to us poor pale Irish folk to rocking nasty red burns. Ouch! Aloe vera does the job for some severe burns, but I don’t like the slippery feel of aloe vera cream on my face. Instead, I use the Eight Hour Cream to heal my sunburn. It’s thick consistency stops it from sliding around my face and stays put, even when I go to sleep. When I wake up, not only is my sunburn much improved, but my face is as soft as kittens. It’s also great on curling iron and cooking burns!

2. Cracked Noses

Is there anything more painful than a cracked nose during a cold? For years, I looked for various solutions to fix my sniffly damaged nose. Nothing seemed to work, until my mum bought Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream. This was my first time using it, aged about 14 years old. I’ve never looked back since! Take just a dab of the cream, rub it in well to the cracked areas of you nose, and BOOM. The next morning, expect your nose to be smooth and ready to brace the cold winds again. It’s a cream for every season!

3. After Fake Tan

I love tanning, but what I dislike the most is how drying fake tan can be. Rule of thumb is to not moisturise until after 24 hours of applying the tan, which for me is an impossible wait. Whenever I tan before, my skin gets super dry as soon as I wash it off the following morning. I have to hold out until the end of the evening when I can finally lash on the body butter, but I always put on a bit of the original stuff to sort out my elbows and knees as they get the driest.

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4. On Lips

Often, I hear my friends complain about lipstick coming off too easy and then drying out their lips. Lipsticks and lip paints like Kat Von D’s Tattoo Lipstick can last long but can also be incredibly drying. This causes the skin on your lips to flake off and become bitty as you take off the lipstick. The best way to prevent this damage is to put on just a small dab of the famous Eight Hour Cream about two hours before you apply your make-up. Personally, I use the lip balm from the range at least twice a day to keep my lips soft and never have to use any other lip balms. I apply once before I head off to work, and once again before bed. That’s 12 hour power!

5. Cracked heels

I used to be so embarrassed to show off my feet because of how awful my feet were. I would be receiving a pedicure and glow red, mortified by my flakey, chapped heels. One night, through experimentation, I decided to rub in a little bit of the Eight Hour Cream. I noticed the next day a vast improvement. Forget Scholl, it’s useless compared to this stuff!

6. On Eyelashes

Everyone wants that Beyoncé “I woke up like this” look that is, honestly, totally unrealistic. No one just wakes up looking like Beyoncé! Beyoncé doesn’t wake up looking like Beyoncé. A super simple trick to elongate your lashes and make them richer looking is to put a teeny tiny bit of the cream on the end of a cotton bud/Q-tip or even your fingers. Treat it like a mascara wand; just go up and down the lashes with the cream just a few times. Your lashes now have a shiny look to them, which is a trick used by many to open the eye and fake that fresh faced look. Not only that, but it also moisuturises the eyelashes. Super handy for those make-up-free days!

7. On Brows

This is a great tip for those who are finding their eyebrows a little lack lustre. I love doing this when I see my eyebrow tint begin to fade. It not only holds onto the colour longer, but conditions and moisturises my eyebrows. Just like your lashes, you’ve got to take care of your brows! And bold brows are STILL very trendy with no sign of leaving. So be sure to treat them well!

 

It’s so important to take care of your skin, especially if you’re a fan of make-up. Your skin is literally the base of your makeup, for foundation and fake tan. If you want to keep your skin looking fresh and fantastic, invest in good skincare! You can snap up the original cream from Arnotts for just €34, where they stock the whole Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Range.