Monday, July 29, 2013

review: catrice cosmetics prime and fine illuminating base;

I have quite oily skin, particularly on my nose and chin, and I suffer with large pores across my cheeks, so I am always on the hunt for a primer that will smooth out my skin and stop my foundation from sliding off during the day.  Over the last year or two, I have spent stupid money on primers that promise to do this, that, and the other but I had yet to find one that really worked for me.  After reading about Catrice's Prime And Fine primers on Melissa Gallagher's blog and passing them umpteen times on Catrice's stands in town, I decided to pick up the Prime And Fine Illuminating Base.  I had only ever tried Catrice eyeshadows before purchasing this, but for less than €6, why not?!

Out of the tube, the primer is a pink-peach colour but it blends and dries invisibly.  This product is an illuminating primer so it contains light-reflecting golden shimmer.  Although that seems quite scary for a face primer, I assure you that it is not as glitter-packed as it sounds (I hadn't even noticed the shimmer until I looked up the description online!) but it does help to give your face a subtle glow.  The consistency of this primer is very different from any other I've tried.  Instead of the matte, "blurry" application I was used to, this primer applies much more like a creamy moisturiser.  It does dry matte, but it doesn't feel dry at all and it really helps keeping my face moisturised without being greasy.

I have to say, I am very impressed with this product.  After just one use, I noticed a huge difference in how well my make-up lasted that day.  I found that it kept the oiliness at bay for several hours, which is a huge improvement on the two oil-free hours I might get without a primer.  This helps to keep my make-up in place with minimal touch-ups for almost an entire day(!) which was exactly what I was hoping for with this product.

The only downside of this primer is the scent.  It has a strong sugary smell which I find to be a little off-putting, especially when I can still smell it on my face through my foundation.

Overall:   This primer works perfectly for me and I've been using this primer every single day since I bought it.  I would definitely recommend it.
Rating:  8/10

What is your favourite primer?  What are your thoughts on this one?  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I'm sure that most, if not all, of you will know by now that on July 1st, Google Reader (and as a result, Google Friend Connect) is being axed.  As a replacement, you can follow this blog (and your other subscriptions) through BlogLovin.  To import your current Google Reader subscriptions into BlogLovin, simply follow this link and click to authorise!  Very simple indeed.  Please take just a few minutes to follow this blog on BlogLovin, and let me know if you need any help!

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haul: river island;

 (oversized oil-slick tshirt - €12)

(natural light vs. flash // grey leggings - €22 // wet-look leggings - €25)

In just over twenty-four hours, I will be seeing Rihanna in concert as part of her Diamonds World Tour at the Aviva stadium in Dublin.  I. am. so. excited!   In the spirit of the occasion, I took to River Island to buy a Riri-worthy outfit.  Unfortunately, none of these items are part of Rihnna's collection, but I'm really happy with what I managed to pick up.  

The oversized black tshirt has a metallic oil-slick print on the front, which I adore, and rolled-up sleeves.  It hangs really nicely, it's really comfortable, and it's long enough to cover my bum!  A steal for only €12!  The first pair of legging I got, for €22, are a dark-grey, distressed-looking pair.  Although the legs are just a bit longer than I'd like, these fit me well.  The sizes are quite big, though, so I'd suggest going for a size smaller than you'd usually wear.  As for the other pair, I love wet-look/disco pants-style leggings, so I picked this black pair up aswell.  For just €25, the fabric is quite thick and feels durable, not like it's going to fall apart in my hands like some cheaper pairs.

For the gig, I plan to wear the tshirt and black leggings with my black Dr. Martens and heaps of jewellery, and hope that it doesn't start to rain!  

Have you bought anything from the new Rihanna collection?  What would you wear to a gig?  Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

review; essence single eyeshadow in out of the blue;

I've been a big fan of Essence nail polishes with a long time now but I recently picked up my first ever Essence eyeshadow, and I was so impressed that I thought I'd share my thoughts with you all.  I picked this up in my local Penneys/Primark.

Out Of The Blue is a beautiful, deep navy-blue.  It has a soft frosted finish which reflects a brighter blue, and it has some, but not too many, silver glitter pieces.  It has a very soft, almost creamy texture and it isn't chalky at all, which is pleasantly surprising considering how inexpensive it was!  This eyeshadow is very highly pigmented and swatched easily without a primer.  It's also very opaque which is a huge plus because not only  it saves time and product when applying, but that's quite unusual for a frost eyeshadow.  When I applied it, there was no pesky fallout and it blended really easily.  As for it's lasting power, I wore this for eight+ plus hours (primer-less!) and apart from some minimal fading, it still looked fresh!  Thumbs-up all round!

The only issue I had with this eyeshadow was the packaging.  I like the clear casing and the labelling, and it's easy to see the colour without opening the lid, but it's not nearly as sturdy as I would like.  After just a few days, the plastic clasp that keeps the lid closed snapped off.  Now, the lid flaps around like crazy which would/will spell disaster if I needed to throw it into my makeup bag for travelling.

(swatched in natural light vs. with flash)

Overall:  I have fallen in love with this eyeshadow and I've been reaching for it a lot since I bought it.  I never expected to get such a high-quality product for such a small price tag. I'm definitely going to pick up some more Essence eyeshadows in future.
Rating:  8/10

(circle lenses are Geo Princess Mimi Sesame Grey)

Have you tried Essence eyeshadows before?  What are your favourite shades?  Thanks for reading!

may in photos;

unlucky amy awhh // ice cream, nutella, peanut butter, and cookies. mmm // max sleeps weird // haircut
hello piercings // closeup of this collar // mr magorium's wonder emporium //
absolutely gorg necklace from // end of college countdown // sweets! // last ever day as a student
at the hospital with my sister // ghetto-fabulous earrings // watching the office with my cat // 2mm
fotd // big hair don't care // macarons! // i bought an iphone
switched to a new mobile network

I'M OFFICIALLY QUALIFIED!  As of the 10th of June 2013, I now have an honours degree!  Four long years of college have finally paid off, and now that I have finished studying, I have more time to blog.  Win-win?  So now that I have more time to dedicate to all of my lovely readers, I thought it was about time that I set myself a schedule.  From now on, I will post every Tuesday and Friday for definite, but I'll try to fit in as many posts as I can during the week.  How does that sound?  Thanks again for your patience.  I love you all!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

ootd: ice-cream;

I have a bit of a confession to make.  I didn't wear this outfit today (!!).  I actually wore this last Tuesday, but I haven't had a chance to post since then.  Sorry!  I wore this into college to watch my classmates demo their video editing module assignments and was told several times that I looked "adorable" and "like an ice-cream.  Hmm...

Anyway, the polka dot dress with the cutest collar and the lilac jumper are both from Penneys/Primark.  This jumper is really comfortable and really summery, and I've been wearing almost non-stop since I bought it.  The chunky gold necklace is from River Island, as is the clip-in hair braid (I love this so much!  Reminds me of being a child again!) that you can kind of see in the first picture.  I kept my make-up pretty simple with my everyday brown smoky eye, with MAC's Please Me lipstick.

This is only my second outfit post and, seeing as I don't own a full-length mirror or a tripod, I hope this one turned out a bit better than the last one.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 6, 2013

april in photos;

re-dying my hair, finally // all finished! // panda ear college selfies // elastic band my counsellor gave me
snapchat, anyone? // peach & apricot mmm // bubble tea is yuck! // max is special
bailey sleeping with toast // notd // caramel mocha mmm //  bronze and gold fotd
last day of lectures with two of my favourite girls :(( // iced cocktails and pyjamas // nyx jumbo eye pencils review // pizza!
shameless selfie // best cuppa i've ever tasted!

Sorry I'm a bit late with this one!  As I mentioned last month, college and assignments are my first priority right now. Sorry!  April was a month filled with noms and memory making.  April 26th was my last day of lectures and my last day as a college student, and I'm really going to miss spending every day with my wonderful friends.  Thankfully we've got a few more deadlines before we all go our separate ways, but I'm missing them already!  My final hand-up date is the 23rd of May, so after that my blogging will hopefully become more regular and scheduled.  Thank you all so much for your patience, and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

favourites: lipstick;

A little known fact about me is that I am an avid lipstick collector.  I have dozens of lipsticks in my collection of all colours and brands.  I can't so much as walk past a make-up stand without picking up a tube or two... or four.  However, this does not mean that I am much of a lipstick wearer.  I rarely wear lipstick, or anything on my lips at all!  In fact, there's several lipsticks in my collection that have never even been used!  I do almost always carry one around with me though, just in case, and when I do wear lipstick I tend to stick to the same few every time.  In no particular order, here are my favourite and most worn lipsticks:

(1)  Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Crush:  These chubby-stick lip stains have become infamous in the blogging community since their release, this colour in particular.  Crush is a deep plum colour that is quite sheer and glossy.  Perfect vampy lip colour for beginners.  

(2)  MAC lipstick in Up The Amp:  As I mentioned in my December haul post, I had been lusting after this shade for months before I finally picked it up, and I was not disappointed.  It's an Amplified Creme finish, meaning it's really creamy and moisturising, and this blue-toned lilac is the prettiest, most wearable purple I've ever seen.

(3)  MAC lipstick in Please Me:  This is the first MAC lipstick I ever bought, and it is still a firm favourite of mine.  It's one of the lesser-known "your lips but better" shades, it seems, but the matte finish and slight coral tone really won me over!

(4)  Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate in 107:  I feel that everyone and their mother owns this lipstick, and rightly so.  The Kate Moss matte collection has one of the nicest matte formulas I've ever used (I'm a matte finish junkie), and this berry red shade is perfect for spicing up these cold Irish "summer" days.

(5)  Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate in 16:  Can you tell I adore the Kate Moss lipsticks?  This summery colour is more on the pink side of coral, and I've been reaching for this one quite a lot in the last week.  It's a bit creamier and glossier than a matte finish, meaning it doesn't dry your lips out so much, and the packaging is just gorgeous!

(6)  Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Cotton Candy:  The Revlon Lip Butters, much like the lip stains, have been hugely hyped, and I completely agree.  Cotton Candy is a sheer, glossy, barbie-pink with a gold sparkle and sheen.  It's really moisturising, and is great for giving a quick wash of colour.

Have you tried any of these lipsticks?  What are your favourites?  Thanks for reading!

facebook: like like like;

SHONA LOU XO is now on Facebook!  I'll be using the Facebook page to update with news, new blog posts, and any other bits and pieces you might need to know.  This is a big step in my journey as a blogger, and I would really appreciate if you all could take a second to like and share and tell all your friends!

You can find the page here:

Thank you so much, and I hope to see you all there!

Monday, April 29, 2013

tag: versatile blogger award;

I've been nominated by Vicky @ Perfect, I'm Yours and Jess @ JustSayJess for the Versatile Blogger Award!  The Versatile Blogger Award originated, and continues, as a way for members of the diverse blogging community to support each other.  Needless to say, I'm delighted to be nominated at all, let alone twice!

(1)  Firstly, thank and include link back to the person who  nominated you.
(2)  Post 7 facts about yourself.
(3)  Nominate 15 of your favourite blogs for the award.
(4)  Be sure to let them know they've been nominated, and link them back to the rules.

7 facts;
(1)  Apple Macintosh Programming at 9am on April 26th 2013 was my last ever lecture as a college student.  Although I still have some assignments and exams to finish, I am finished classes forever.  During the break I took from this blog, I had seriously considering dropping out due to the stress I was under, but I'm glad I stuck it out now that the end (and my honours degree) are in sight!
(2)  Twinning's Earl Grey.  One sugar.  Drop of milk.  Thanks.
(3)  I love anything and everything peach.  The smell, the flavour, the colour... Mmm.
(4)  I'm not able to curl my hair with a curling tongs, only with a straightener.  I really don't understand it!
(5)  My favourite Pokémon of all time is Raichu.
(6)  I love taking really long showers.  It takes me twenty minutes just to wash my hair!
(7)  I am embarrassingly addicted to Candy Crush Saga.  I know.

Tagged bloggers;

Thank you for nominating me, and hopefully that helped you all to learn a bit more about me!  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

review: nyx jumbo eye pencils;

(left to right)
Rocky Mountain Green:  Emerald green with a silver shimmer.
Peacock:  Blue/green with a silver shimmer.
Oyster:  Pink/lilac iridescent.
Sparkle Nude:  Light gold with silver shimmer.
Yogurt:  Champagne pink.
Rust: Reddish shimmery cranberry.
French Fries:  Medium golden brown.
Black Bean:  Matte black.
Milk:  Matte white.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils are oversized pencils that can be used as eyeshadow crayons, eyeshadow bases, or as eyeliner.  They are a must-have in the beauty world, and I have finally invested in some of my own. I bought them online from Cherry Culture (psst, they're currently on sale at less than €3 each!), initially only intending to buy Milk, and for once I am delighted with the result of my impulsive spending.

With the exception of Oyster, which has more of a sheer/duochrome finish, they are all intensely pigmented with great colour payoff.  Although NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils don't have a great reputation when it comes to their staying power, I was really pleasantly surprised with how long the swatches lasted on my arm, even with my sleeves rubbing on them.  However, if you are wearing them alone, I would recommend setting them with a powder to stop them from creasing, particularly if you have oily skin.  They're available in a range of 32(!!) gorgeous colours and they have a shade to suit every look and occasion. 

As for downsides, I have heard that these can be a nightmare to sharpen without NYX's own sharpener, so it's best to depot them, but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it!

Overall:  For that price, these are an absolute steal, and I have every intention of purchasing more.  They're versatile, and so so pretty!
Rating: 8/10

Have you tried any of the Jumbo Eye Pencils?  What colours are your favourites?  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

photos by shona #2;

As some of you may know from this post, I'm currently studying a digital photography module at college.  In my first photography post, the module has just begun and I was only getting the hang of actually using my camera.  Since then, I feel like my skills as a photographer (albeit still an amateur at this point) have greatly improved, which is really exciting to me.  I've had an interest in photography with so long, so simply understanding what settings to use to get a photo to look the way I want feels like a huge achievement!  Like I've finally accomplished something I've always wanted to do. It really is a good feeling.

Over the past few weeks in classes, we've covered a number of topics/themes including college architecture (I chose parallel lines as my topic, if you hadn't guessed), parkour and free running (which was really cool and lots of fun), and working with flash and studio lighting (I'm sorry, Kate!), and my photography portfolio is coming along quite nicely!

As I mentioned in the last post, if any of you have any tips or ideas on how I could improve my photo-taking, be sure to leave a comment!  I just wanted to give you all a quick update on my progress, so thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Hello, lovelies!

I'm excited to introduce you to my newest affiliate,  I was contacted by the ClothingLoves team to take part in their collaboration program, which I was delighted to accept!  ClothingLoves is an online clothing and accessory store, with the difference of offering the option to order wholesale.  They have a huge selection of clothes and accessories to chose from, from wholesale dresses and wholesale necklaces, to the oh-so popular galaxy leggings, and even bridal gowns!  (Personally, I have my eye on a few of these white shirts for summer)  ClothingLoves ship worldwide with no minimum purchase, and you get a 15% off coupon code just for signing up!  You can't go wrong!

Clothing for Women

The lovely people at ClothingLoves have been kind enough to offer me some pieces of jewellery, and I can't wait to receive my first package from them and to write a proper review.

Please make sure to check them out, and thanks for reading!

march in photos & update/apology;

lots of lashes // winged liner all day erryday // blue & brown smokey eye // snow & sun in the same photo?
bought the Glinda palette!! // mmm peach ice tea // sleepy bailey // raichu wallpaper
panda eyes // lost a ball from my septum // amber's half/half hairdo // sleepy max
purple and gold fotd // me and kate in Shortt's // demon cat alarm clock // shameless selfie

Hi everyone!  I realise that today marks one month since I last posted.  I've been up to my eyeballs in college assignments and work (fourth year is proving more difficult than I bargained for), so unfortunately this blog has had to take the proverbial backseat.  And I'm sorry to say that this will most likely remain the case for the next couple of weeks, until my exams and presentations are over.  I'm sorry!  I hope you all understand, and I promise that everything will be back to normal before June begins.  Thank you so much for staying with me!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

what's in my bag: college edition;

Doesn't look like much in the photo, but I assure you my bag weighs a tonne!  This is a bit different from your average "What's in my Bag" post because my average bag is my schoolbag, not a handbag.  I might do a weekend/handbag post soon, but here's what I carry around with me everyday!

First, the actual college-related stuff.  My dad bought this bag for me last year for college.  It's nothing special, just a rucksack with a padded pocket for my laptop.  Then there's my laptop itself (which gets heavier by the day, it seems) and my laptop charger, which I didn't bother photographing.  Next is a hefty pile of notes, which isn't even half of what I should have printed and which aren't organised yet.  And of course, a refill pad, which is rarely used yet somehow almost empty?  I have a handfull of miscellaneous pens and pencils, but no pencil case.  Then there's my external harddrive, which has my entire life on it.  At least as far as college is concerned.  Every project I've done since first year is on it!  I've a couple of memory sticks/flash drives/whatever ya call 'ems hanging around, too.  I usually have my camera (Canon EOS 600D) with me too, but I couldn't include it in the photo because I used it to take it!

I've been carrying a new phone (which I was given by Vodafone for free!) around with me with around two weeks now, too.  I'm supposed to be switching from Meteor to Vodafone so I'll need this when I lose my current signal.  That was supposed to happen two weeks ago, though.  It hasn't yet, so I'm keeping this phone handy just in case.  I bring my make-up bag with just a few essentials in it so I can touch up my make-up before work every evening.  And finally my purse, from New Look, which was a present from one of my bffs.

There you have it!  This is what I carry in my bag every day.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 8, 2013

tag: a - z of me;

I saw this post on Jodie's blog (sweetheartthingslooklovely) and thought I'd give it a go myself!  It's an interesting take on an "about me" survey, and it's a welcome distraction from study and assignments.

A. Age:  21.
B. Bed size:  Double.
C. Chore that you hate:  Hoovering!
D. Dogs:  I have two Labrador x Terrier, but I love Rottweilers.
E. Essential start to your day:  Really minty toothpaste.
F. Favourite colour:  Teal.
G. Gold or Silver:  Gold.
H. Height:  5'3".
I. Instruments you play:  Tin whistle.
J. Job title:  General Assistant.
K. Kids:  None.  Ever.
L. Live:  Kilkenny.
M. Mother’s name:  Sinéad.
N. Nicknames:  Shobear.  Nona.
O. Overnight hospital stays:  Not since I was born.
P. Pet peeves:  Anyone touching me for no reason!
Q. Quote from a movie:  "Unlikely adventures require unlikely tools."
R. Right or left handed:  Right.
S. Siblings:  Two younger sisters.
U. Underwear:  Yes, I wear it.
V. Vegetable you hate:  Parsnips.  Ew.
W. What makes you run late:  Losing track of time when I'm drawing my eyebrows on, and oversleeping.
X. X-Rays you’ve had:  I had an x-ray on my teeth when I was in school.
Y. Yummy food that you make:  I can't cook :(
Z. Zoo animal:  Hippolotamous.

Leave a link below if you decide to do this too, and thanks for reading!

(ps. There's only twelve hours left until my giveaway closes! Be sure to enter, quick!)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

tag: the beauty blogger tag;

Hello, lovlies!  With college and work, I haven't been able to post properly in a while, so today I'm going to answer the beauty blogger tag.  Now, I wasn't actually tagged to do this, but I don't mind if you don't!

(1) Is your hair naturally curly or straight?
My hair is naturally curly, especially the shorter layers.

(2) What it your natural hair colour?
Naturally, my hair is a medium, mousey brown.

(3) Do you dye it yourself or do you go to a salon?
I always dye my hair myself.

(4) How often do you wash your hair?
Once or twice a week.  It sounds gross but, considering how often I dye and heat treat my hair, my hair is in great condition, so I must be doing something right!

(5) Do you wear the same hair style everyday or do you change it up?
Since I started working and seeing as my hair is quite long now, I almost always have my hair in a messy bun.

(6) Do you do your own nails or do you go to a salon?
I paint my own nails, yes.  I've been biting my nails (ew) since I was little and I hate having long nails, so I don't see the point in paying to get them done!

(7) How often do you change your nail varnish?
Once it starts to really chip away, so every few days.

(8) Do you always wear nail varnish on your toes?
Yes, always.

(9) How long does it take you to put on your make-up?
On a regular day, when I'm in a rush for college, it takes around half an hour.  When I have the time, I spend much longer doing it.

(10) What do you do first, your face or your eyes?
I usually do my face.  If I'm going out or wearing really dark/black eyeshadow that could potentially ruin my face make-up, I'll do my eyes first.

(11) Do you collect make-up or just buy it when your need to?
I collect it.  If I see something I like the look of, I need to buy it, even if I know I'll never use it.

(12) How often do you wear false eyelashes?
Regularly.  I never go on a night out without them, and I've been wearing them everyday with the last week or so.

(13) Do you wear a full face of make-up everyday?
Yes.  If I'm staying at home and I know I won't be going anywhere or seeing anyone, I won't wear any to give my skin a break, but other than that, I wear a full face every single day.

(14) Do you wear make-up just around the house?
Yes, I do.

(15) Will you leave the house without make-up on?
Rarely or never.  I don't feel comfortable leaving my house without my freckles covered.

(16) How many high end products do you have? 
Quite a few, but not a huge amount.

(17) How often do you wash your make-up brushes?
... Not that often.  It's probably my worst beauty-related habit.

(18) Do you plan what you will wear the next day, or when you are getting dressed?
I rarely plan an outfit, unless it's for an occasion.  Usually it's a case of throwing together whatever I find on the floor.

(19) How often do you change your handbag?
I don't often carry a handbag 'cause I usually have my schoolbag with me.

(20) What time do you get up and go to sleep?
I get up at around 7:30am, and I go to sleep around 1am.

(21) How often and when do you workout?
Sometimes I have to walk upstairs to get to a class.  Does that count?  No? 

(22) Left or Right handed?
Right handed.

(23) How tall are you?
5'3", only little!

(24) Do you speak a foreign language?
I can speak some french.

(25) How many pets do you have?
I have a cat, two puppies, three goldfish, and seamonkeys.

(26) How often are you on blogger?
I'm on blogger every single day, to check my stats and read posts.

(27) Do you read the comments posted?
Yes, I read all of them!

(28) Do you keep a list of products to try as you see other posts?
Yes yes yes.  I'm so easily influenced.  Even bad reviews make me want to try the product for myself!

Have any of you answered this tag?  Leave the link below, I'd love to read it!  If you haven't, then I tag you!  Hopefully you learned just a little bit more about me.  Thanks for reading!

february in photos;

anchor ring from River Island // cuppy cakes! // new shoes // iced latte with caramel & hazelnut, NOM
pretty necklace from New Look // RAICHU // my sister is a stun hun // cutest lock screen ever
keek, anyone? // cute puppy is smelly // sexy adventures with meg // giveaway!

February was a quiet month on the Instagram front! And in general, actually.  Lots of study, not a lot of anything else.  Oh well.  Here's to a better March!

Friday, February 22, 2013

giveaway: one hundred followers;

Hello, lovelies!  On Thursday, I reached 100 fabulous followers, so to celebrate I've decided to host my first ever giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a Soap & Glory Lid Stuff eyeshadow palette in What's Nude (gutted I didn't pick one up for myself, it's gorg!), as well as a L'Oreal Paris Colour Riche Confetti top coat.  This giveaway is open internationally. To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  The only mandatory option is to follow this blog via GFC (link)!  There's a few extra entries up for grabs, too.  Simple!  The giveaway will close on Friday March 8th (that's two whole weeks away), so get entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(p.s. I'd just like to mention that I bought these prizes with my own hard-earned cash as a special thank you for all you lovely, lovely people.  Thank you so much for following!)

Thanks for reading!