Charlotte Tilbury #Glowmo

Well Hello there,

Straight into it…I’m loving Charlotte Tilbury at the moment. Pretty much everyday for the last couple of months I’ve used at least one of her products. From moisturisers to makeup this Lady has released some superb products of late and so I’m going to run through with you my top four faves.

  1. Instant Magical Facial Dry Sheet Mask (€24.00, Brown Thomas). instant_magic_maskUnlike most other beauty masks which are usually filled with glycerine and water this sheet mask is dry, making it super easy to use. You simply loop the hooks over your ears, smooth it over your skin and massage gently to activate the ingredients, then leave it do its magic for 15 minutes. It has a 5 skin solution IQ – or in other words it reduces wrinkles, smoothes, brightens, lifts and hydrates. Each mask can be used up to 3 times, but is it value for money? I would have to say yes. After using it my skin honestly did feel smoother, and brighter. It may take a few more goes to  reduce the wrinkles but I’m happy with the outcome so far.
  2. Overnight Bronze & Glow Mask (€48.00, Brown Thomas).  overnight_bronze_glow_mask I love not having to wear foundation everyday but often feel I can’t do without a bit of colour on my face so I thought I’d give this overnight facial tan a go. The one thing I love about this product is its hydrating qualities, yes you wake up with a subtle glow but your skin also feels nourished. It has oat kernel extracts known for its soothing properties along with blackurrant seed oil which conditions skin. You can also control the intensity of your desired tan by using it nightly or every other night. If I did have to pick a fault it would be the price point. There are other cheaper gradual facial tanners out there that do a good job however I have yet to use one that leaves my face feeling as cared for as this one does.
  3. Unisex Healthy Glow Moisturiser (€40.00, unisex_healthy_glow          Love, love, love this product. I have been using this daily and it has pretty much replaced my beloved Armani foundation. The description says it’s an all year hydrating summer tint moisturiser. For me it’s a little bit of magic in a bottle. Using it with the overnight bronze glow mask your skin feels and looks fresh and dewy, it really does give you that perfect post-beach sun-kissed complexion. Unusual in its formula, once dispensed onto the hand the liquid appears white. However as you begin to apply it to your skin tiny little pigment capsules are revealed morphing together to become the perfect natural tan tone as you massage them onto your face. Use your fingers to apply this moisturising face tint as a brush doesn’t seem to break down the pigment capsules properly. As far as price is concerned I think its pretty much on point. Ok it’s on the higher end of the scale but you kind of getting two for one – a moisturiser and a foundation. I will say though if you are looking for, or need a full coverage foundation this is definitely not for you.
  4. Instant Look in a Pallette (€69.00, Brown Thomas)                          instant_look_in_a_palette   If you follow me on snapchat (kellie.billings) you’ll have seen that I use this daily. It has replaced pretty much everything in my makeup bag as of late. Consisting of a bronzer, highlighter, contour and blush along with three shadows to take you from day to night this palette is pretty much perfect. Apparently it’s inspired by the wedding makeup that Charlotte Tilbury created for Poppy Delevingne’s wedding. Well if it’s good enough for her and all that! This one is a must buy, totally worth the money. If I had to throw all the others away and just keep one, this would be it.
Karora tanning range

I’ve found my Karora GLOW

Karora tanning rangeOne of THE top selling beauty products in Ireland is self tan. Is it any wonder, what with our summer usually lasting about a day, often in May, before the schools are out and then again maybe for two days just as the kids go back to school (poor kids!). Anyway, I’ve tried and tested a lot of self tanner over the years and have never really found one that I love. There are usually a number of factors that have to come together in order for me to use a self tanner more than once.

  1. There needs to be very little prep needed (I like to be able to whip it on and be ready to go).
  2. If I am going to use a gradual tanner over a few days it has to work like a body moisturiser for me. In other words it has to go on smooth and evenly with little fuss and smell great.
  3. It CANNOT BE ORANGE or too dark. Dark tan looks great on some people, for me it’s a natural glow all the way.
  4. Finally it needs to fade well. There’s nothing worse than a tan that fades terribly and then you’ve to wait nearly two weeks before you can start all over again.

I know, I’m very fussy! I do believe however that I have found my holy grail of self tanner.
Karora tan (who by the way are an Irish brand, yay!) recently sent me out a selection of their self tanners to try out. I wanted to make sure that I could review them properly and so gave myself a month trying and testing all of the following products. But first, before I talk about the tan itself I have to give a little nod to the Karora packaging as it’s quite simply beautiful. It’s not often that you could keep a bottle of self tanner on your dressing table but with its cute gold insignia against a purple background with accents of pinks, blues and orange they definielty brightened up a corner of my ensuite!

Glow Glamster – Instant tan

The first tan I tried was the instant tan as I could obviously try this straight away and wash it off to get testing some of the other products. It’ called Glow Glamster which is said to give you fuss free flawless colour with superb coverage that washes off. And it did not disappoint. In fact this is the one of all of the tans that I tried that I loved the most. It has ticked all of my boxes. It is fuss free, smells great (probably thanks to its ingredients of grape seed oil, sweet almond and macadamia oil). It also doesn’t dry out my skin which I find other instant tans can do. It has a slight hint of shimmer in it once dispensed but this is not noticeable on application. It’s best applied using a mitt like all tan is. The result is the most natural looking subtle glow I’ve ever seen using an instant tan. It also doesn’t rub off as it’s water resistant but washes off easily in the shower.

Skin Sensation – CC Cream

Skin sensation - CC Cream
Ok so this is not necessarily a tanning product. It is however a multi tasking skin perfecter. Not all of us like to use tan but many of us have uneven skin tone on our legs, arms, face etc. that we would like to even out. In a nutshell this CC cream (colour correcting cream) will allow you to even out any blemishes you have on your skin, such as thread veins, blotchy patches etc without tanning. It can be used on the face and body and will reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation. I have to say, I liked this product but wasn’t in love with it. I first used it on my face as an alternative to foundation but found it a little thick, it didn’t settle well on my skin. It did however blur out imperfections and magically adjusted itself to my skin tone which I found incredible. So I gave it a second chance and tried it on my legs. As I’m pregnant I’ve noticed I’m getting more and more little thread veins on my legs which I’m fine with but would rather they weren’t there. And as if by magic they disappeared! The Skin Sensation really did work like makeup for my legs without the tanning effect. One to try depending on your needs.

Supreme Bronzette – Express bronzing mousse

Supreme bronzette
This promised and exotic colour in just one hour! I was expecting a lot. I was also a little dubious as I dispensed the mousse onto the mitt. It looked a little grey? You have to be quick with this one as the mousse dries quite quickly. You can decide yourself how deep you want your colour to be. Leave for one hour for a light glow, two hours for a deeper colour and three hours for a rich dark bronze. I’m never organised enough to leave a tan developing for more than an hour and so I washed this off within the hour. I was a little dismayed as I saw all my tan rinse off in the shower but pleasantly surprised when I emerged and my tan was 1.even, 2. natural 3. still had the potential to get a little darker as the tan still develops even after rinsing. There was not a hint of grey in sight, my skin was left beautifully glowing with a natural tan I haven’t gotten before with any other tanning product. Thumbs up for the fade too, I barley noticed and wasn’t left with any dirty patches or grubby elbows.

Golden Girl – Gradual tan

Golden girl
Gradual tans (besides instant) are something I tend to use more often than quickly developing tans. As I said before I use them like a body lotion and so they cannot have an unpleasant tanning smell. As a tanner I really liked this one. I’m not sure what the science behind the tanning colour is but Karora have nailed it with each of these tans. Once developed this tan was again beautifully golden leaving my skin sun kissed with not a hint of orange or muddy brown in sight. This also smelled divine on application. It has extracts of vitamin E, jojoba, coconut oil and orange for a blossoming scent. I do need to point out while it smells great on application there is a slight (very slight) self tanner smell that lingers a few hours after you apply it. I for one can live with that though as the results are the best I’ve come across for a gradual tanner.

So there you have it all four products tried and tested. Thank you Karora for sending them out to me and for allowing me to review them. My legs have been out more then ever since your package arrived and I’m loving feeling all sun kissed and glowy. You can find Karora on Facebook here or check out their website here.

Karora is available buy in McCabes Pharmacy’s, Lloyds Pharmacys, Sam McCauleys and other leading retailers nationwide. RRP start from €15.00



Beach Hair, Don’t Care!

Sun sand and sea sounds amazing right? However all these elements can play havoc with your hair and instead of looking like a beautiful long locked beach babe the reality can often fall short. So… Here are three easy hair styles to keep you looking beach fabulous all day long.

The wonderful wave


There is something inherently beautiful about a full head of long wavy beach hair.
This look is best suited to naturally wavy hair. Although effortless looking using products can banish the dreaded frizz caused by humidity. Get Victoria Secret model Erin Heatherton’s (26) wonderful waves by apply applying an anti frizz serum to damp hair, try John Frieda Frizz Ease Extra Strength 6 effects + serum (€8.59, Add a spritz of salt spray then throw your head over and scrunch the hair a few times, leave to dry naturally, et voila beautiful wavy beach hair.

The Pretty Plait

Beautiful braids and pretty plaits work so well when beach or pool side. Apart from keeping your hair off your face they instantly create a chilled out boho beach vibe. Get Nicole Richies (33) look by first applying a leave-in conditioner specially formulated to protect your hair from sun damage to damp hair to give it some texture. Try Revlon Equave Sun Protection Detangling Conditioner 200ml (€14.99, . Then, part your hair on the side and start a French braid that follows the hairline, working its way down toward the ear. Do this on each side of the part. Last, secure the ends of the braids with elastic.

The Beach Bun


If free flowing hair or intricate plaits are all a bit much there is one sure way to get it right.
The Top Knot as worn by Model Gigi Hadid (21). This is so simple yet chic. Again spray a generous amount of sun protecting conditioner onto damp hair. Pull the hair tight into a ponytail towards the top of the head and secure with an elastic. Separate the lengths of hair into three, twist one around the elastic and secure with a bobby pin, repeat with the other two strands. Add a spritz of sun protector spray which will also help stop fly away hairs. Try Soltan Head & Hair Dry-Touch Transparent Suncare Spray SPF30 75ml (€6.00, Boots Nationwide).


Jet, set, go

With travel season upon us many of us will be taking to the skies, so whether it’s a long haul or short hop it’s important to be flight ready. Here I show you the top 5 beauty tips to arrive refreshed and rearing to go.

Step 1. Hydrate!


While it’s important to stay hydrated on any flight this must really start at home. Ensure you are getting enough fluids daily (at least 2 Litres or 8 small glasses of water a day). If water doesn’t float your boat then try some refreshing coconut water. Always remember to purchase a bottle of water post security check to carry on the plane and sip this throughout the flight to beat that parched dehydrated feeling you tend to get on long hauls. For an instant pick me up use a spritz of a water based face spray such as
Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist , (€56.00, Brown Thomas).

Step 2. Exfoliate & Moisturise!



Again this is a must before any flight. Buy a pair of exfoliating gloves to use in the shower and get scrubbing. By banishing any dead skin you are preparing your face and body for a deeper penetration of your moisturiser which is an absolute must to beat the drying effects of the recycled air inflight. I recommend using your night creamwhile on the plane it allows for a better moisture barrier against the dry air and will leave your skin feeling much softer. Try Clarins Multi-Active Night Youth Recovery Cream, (€54.00, Debenhams).

Step 3. Be prepared!


If like me you have a million and one beauty products and find it hard to choose one over the other why not invest in some smaller travel friendly clear bottles. You can get these pretty much anywhere. It means you can decant just enough of your most prized beauty products ensuring your beauty regime doesn’t suffer. If you’re a regular flyer having a travel friendly carry on clear beauty bag is a must. Liquid foundations, moisturisers, spritz, toothpaste the lot can come with you! Pick up some Go Travel Airplane Cabin Bottles (€10.12, Boots nationwide).

Step 4. Make up?


Not many of us can pull off the au natural look and being honest with you most of us want to look our best heading off to the airport, it’s all part of the excitement! A word of warning though, a full face of make up does not a good traveler make! No matter how well you’ve applied your make up any flight over 2 hours will with certainty make your make up cake, smudge, run, disappear and become blotchy all at once!! So if you must wear a full face bring along your make up wipes and remove your make up half way through the flight, allow your skin to breath and apply some good night cream. You can always reapply in the toilets just before you land or nip into the loo before you go to baggage collection.

Step 5. Banish theRed Eye!


Whether you’ve caught a red eye flight or have red eyes due to your 10 hour non stop transatlantic flight there are a couple of little tips to help you banish those grit filled eyes. About half an hour before you’re due to land ask for some ice, you’ll be brought a glass of ice with a napkin, use the napkin to place an ice cube in and apply to each eye for 5 minutes. This will help reduce any puffiness under the eye area. Once you’ve finished with the ice use some eye drops in each eye to get rid of any redness caused by tiredness and dry air. Try Murine Eye Drops for Dry and Tired Eyes (€6.49, Finish with a flick of mascara to open the eyes, a slick of lip balm on your lips and you’re good to go! Holiday ready in 5 easy steps!!!!


Pinky Pout

Pretty rose, fabulous fuchsia or buggle-gum there is a shade of pink to suit every lip. While we may wax lyrical about the power of a a great red lip, lets show some appreciation to the lip colour that Mother Nature intended. By that I mean pump up your natural lip shade by enhancing and perfecting your natural pout with some of the best pink lipsticks out there in makeup land.

Straight up fuchsia 
Nothing screams summer like a powerful pink lip and this fun fuchsia colour guarantees to keep a smile on your face. We love Rimmel London Moisture Renew lipstick in Back to Fuchsia (Boots, €7.99). for it’s high intensity colour and super creamy texture.

Get the glosslancomejusicyshaker
The fruitiest way to keep your lips hydrated while giving them a natural pinky hue has to be with Lancome Juicy Shaker in Meli Melon (Debenhams, €22.00). Fun and practical the sponge applicator conforms to your natural lip shade and applies just the right dose of pigment. Enriched with nourishing oils this gloss will give your lips a beautiful glow.

What a stainMACversilipstainMAC’s newest addition to their lipstick family will not disappoint! A hybrid stain-gloss MAC Versi Colour is unbelievably pigmented without drying out your lips like other stains can. It glides on like a gloss but has the staying power of a stain and seriously lasts and lasts. For a real statement lip try MAC Versi Colour in Ceaseless Energy (Brown Thomas, €25.00).

Velvety Smooth

Craving plump, soft lips natural looking lips then look no further than Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte lipstick in Nude Beige (Debenhams, €33.00). This is the holy grail for perfectly hydrated lips. Your lips will literally kiss you for applying it. The unctuous texture cares for your lips while still providing exceptional colour with the added bonus of protective SPF 15. Pricey it may be but my is it worth it!


Need something with a little more staying power? NYX Matte in Audrey (Pharmacies nationwide, €9.25) will be your new makeup bag staple. This long wearing lipstick glides on smoothly with a non-drying matte finish. It’s also the perfect mid-toned blue pink that suits us fair skinned Irish girls. If you haven’t tried NYX products yet get on it they are amazing!


My Top 5 Favourite Foundations

IMG_5514So many foundations so little time! When it comes to choosing a foundation it can be like trying to find the perfect pair of jeans, you have to try so many on before finding the perfect one. But once you’ve found that perfect match you stick with it!
I’ve rounded up 5 of my favourite foundations from budget to blowout for you to either try or buy. When it comes to foundations I always look for something with a medium build able coverage, something thats lightweight and luminous. Basically I want a foundation that does it all. I loath foundations that feel heavy and dry out my skin, there’s nothing worse than foundation that cakes onto dry patches or sits on top of the skin. These next few little beauties really work for normal to combination skin erring on the dry side!

As I said I want a foundation that does it all: even’s out skin tone, covers (most) blemishes, hydrates and leaves your skin looking and feeling glowing and luminous.
I’ve started with my all time favourite which happens to be a bit of a blowout as far as budget is concerned, but my is it worth it.

1 Armani Luminous Silk Foundation €43.00FullSizeRender
I have been wearing this foundation for a good few years now. I try so many but always go back to this, it really is my holy grail foundation. It is a lightweight fluid foundation which as the name suggests leaves your skin feeling very luminous and silky. It provides a light to buildable coverage, smooths over texture and pores effortlessly, doesn’t emphasize dry patches, and doesn’t break up around oily areas on the T-zone throughout the day. There are 21 shades to choose from, so you’re sure to find the right colour match for your skin tone.

2 Clarins True Radiance Foundation €34.00FullSizeRender_1
An oil free fluid foundation, Clarins True Radiance is definitely becoming one of my favourite foundations. It has slightly more coverage power than the Armani without being heavy. I tend to use a kabuki style brush to buff it into my skin. It really evens out my skin tone and covers any rosiness I have around my nose and cheeks. While it leaves your skin with a radiant glow it does not have the same dewy effect as the Armani, which some may prefer, especially those with combinatuion/oily skin. The finish I guess would be more satin. It also has the added benefit of SPF 15 and is infused with potent plant extracts (Moringa Seed) to help protect your skin from pollution. It comes in a range of 10 shades.

3 Clinique Beyond Perfecting 2 in 1 Foundation & Concealer €33.00FullSizeRender_2
So this is a little different compared to other foundations I use. It has a full coverage semi-matte finish and I generally only use it when I’m having a bad skin day or very hectic schedule and know I’ll have no time to retouch my makeup. It pretty much does what it says, the difference between this and other full coverage foundations is the doe-toe applicator provided allowing you to sweep the foundation on using the back of the applicator or use the tip to spot apply and conceal any more obvious imperfections. Not one I’d were everyday but great for when you need extra coverage for a long day (such as a wedding). My only gripe is the shade range, they tend to have a slightly pinkish undertone to them, which is fine for cool skin tones but may not suit those with more warm yellow toned skin types.

4 Max Factor Miracle Match Foundation €16.99FullSizeRender_3

The Miracle Match foundation is Max Factor’s hydrating, gel like foundation that promises to “blur and nourish”. It has slightly thick consistently when you dispense first but don’t be put off it has a lightweight feel. The coverage is definitely medium and with a second application I’d consider it full coverage. The finish is again semi matte but leaves a radiant finish. It doesn’t dry out the skin or settle in any dry ares you may have, in fact it’s quite hydrating on my slightly dry skin. For a high street brand I’d defiantly recommend giving it a try. Like most high end professional foundations (Makeup Forever, Armani, MAC) it has no SPF so there is no flash back, great for days when you want your skin to be camera ready.

5 Bourgeois City Radiance €13.99FullSizeRender_4

I’ve only recently started using this foundation and I have to say I’ve been quite taken with it. It has a brightening effect and leaves your skin glowing and dewy. It has a creamy texture and blends really well into your skin. I tend to use a beauty blender when using this foundation as it gives a really even finish. The coverage is again medium build able which I love and really does last all day. As there is SPF 30 in it it does feel slightly thick when first dispensed but does not sit heavily on your face. City Radiance is highly portable too in its little tube and with added “anti-pollution screen” and SPF 30 it’s a great budget friendly foundation if you want mega-glow and a more uniform look to the skin. It does come in a limited shade range with only 6 to choose from so you may find it difficult to find a true colour match. (I use no.2 Vanilla).