My current wishlist

Saturday, 24 December 2016

My favourite beauty products of 2016

I've found so many beauty products this year that I adore, I've spoken about them all individually across my social media channels and snapchat (allymaherblog). Here's a round up of my favourite products I discovered in 2016.

Makeup


I've spoken about this foundation time and time again, it is the most beautiful foundation I've tried in a long time. It is super lightweight, but gives the skin full coverage and will hide any pigmentation, imperfections or acne. I use the shade 02 Adobe for day to day wear and I use 03 Rosso for when I'm wearing tan, Cailyn is available online and in pharmacies across Ireland. I usually have quite normal skin and I've broken out with acne lately, this foundation seems to suit all skin types and every time I use this foundation on a client they text me to ask what foundation I used. It gives the skin a flawless complexion and luminosity, its hard wearing, long-lasting and doesn't give you a shiny or oily complexion. 


I was so lucky to get my hands on this palette, Beauty Bay stock it from time to time but it always sells out within a few minutes. It has the perfect balance of matte and shimmer shades, the pigmentation is second to none, easy to blend, buttery, and the shades are to die for! If you get the chance to grab this palette, you won't regret it. It is very similar to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renasissance Palette, I also loved this palette but the holy grail has twice the amount of shadows for the same price.


I was a late one to this party, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this concealer by budget brand Catrice. It costs €3.95 so it won't break the bank account and it is a fantastic concealer, right up there with my long time favourite MAC prolongwear. I use the lightest shade 010 and it is perfect for my skin tone, it has a slightly yellow tinge to it also which is brilliant for covering dark circles. This concealer dries matte and when set properly it will last you all day! Medium to full coverage, long-lasting, no creasing, purse friendly, what more could you ask for?


I was never a fan of liquid liner but Schwing totally changed my opinion. It is so easy to use it's almost foolproof, it's highly pigmented and dries matte which is gorgeous.


Another amazing find from budget brand catrice. I have this highlighter in the shade 'light infusion' and I was blown away by the pigmentation of this product. It puts some of the more expensive and premium brands to shame. It gives the skin a beautiful, intense glow and is perfect for Irish paler skin tones. To me this is a really similar shade and formula to the Balm Mary-Lou Manizer, except it blends nicer into the skin and doesn't have as much of a powdery finish. At €5.50 you can't go too far wrong!


Hair Care


I have an absolute love affair with the brand Milk Shake. My hairdressers in Studio 55 introduced me to the brand and I have so many products that I've repurchased time and time again. Milk_shake products are kind to your hair and only use professional and natural ingredients. My favourites include the Integrity Shampoo, the Silver Shine Whipped Cream, the Silver Shampoo and the Spray Leave In conditioner. If you follow me you will know I have chopped and changed my hair every few weeks this year, I've finally decided that I was born to be a blonde haha but my hair is still in good condition thanks to the Milk_shake Range. They are more pricey than the normal products you'll buy in the supermarket or pharmacy, but believe me they are worth every penny especially if your hair needs some TLC.


I was lucky enough to be invited to the Cocoa Brown Bloggers Breakfast which was such an amazing morning. We were gifted the new haircare products and I've gone through countless bottles ever since. I have a very sensitive scalp and nearly every shampoo I use aggravates it, bar the Cocoa Brown and milk_shake ones. The smell amazing, hydrate the hair and give the hair the most beautiful shine.

Skincare


This brand has been my savior since I broke out with acne. I am obsessed with their products and although I've only tried 3 different products, they have all done exactly what they claim to do. I first heard about the brand when chatting to Niamh Martin from Nima Brush, she always chats about Declare on her snapchat and I got a sample of the Cleansing Milk at the Art of Nima event which I have repurchased twice since. I also got a surprise package in the door a little while ago after I had asked you guys for any skincare remedies for acne, and I got the skin mediation and detox night cream which I found absolutely amazing. They dried up all my spots and took the inflammation out of them overnight.

Coconut Oil

I use a coconut oil from the brand Ultra Pure and it the most fabulous moisturiser for the body and face. My skin tends to become very dry in the winter months and the cold weather, This smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so so smooth and hydrated.


These whitening strips are just as good as the Crest Whitening Strips that I have used and loved for years. You get a 14 day supply of strips in this pack for €39.99 which is great value and you are guaranteed to get fantastic results. Spotlight are the only European whitening strips that contain hydrogen peroxide, which is the most effective agent to whiten teeth.

Tanning


I'm so so thankful that Bellamianta came into my life this year, I'm well and truly obsessed. It gives the deepest, sunkissed, natural tan. It wears well and doesn't look terrible when it's coming off, it also has no bad smell either which is a plus.


These dry shimmering oils are life! I don't go out without smothering these all over my body, they can also be used as a highlighter for the tops of the cheekbones. You can now get all three oils in one set for only €14.99

I hope you enjoyed my round up of the new products I've discovered and loved in 2016!
Lots of love,
Ally









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Tuesday, 25 October 2016

My Top 25 Makeup Brushes and How I Wash Them

The fact that I have 25 favourite makeup brushes may sound a little bit excessive and I don't every single one of these brushes every day, but they are all little gems and have brilliant uses. Before I became a professional makeup artist I had no idea about the power and brilliance of makeup brushes. I owned about 15 makeup brushes and while they did the job well at the time, they were cheap and poor quality. Throughout my course in Vanity X Makeup Academy I build a professional kit which included both makeup products and great brushes. Some of the following brushes are inexpensive and some a little bit more pricey, but I can tell you now you won't regret buying any of them!

Please excuse some of the grubby handles on my brushes, at least you know they are very well loved and used a lot! 




This brush is a dense taklon synthetic fibre brush. It was designed with a round, domed shape head which is perfect for reaching the contours of the face. I personally use this brush to apply foundation, and my client's absolutely love it. It is extremely soft and it helps to give the foundation the most flawless finish. The CJ can also be used to apply powder products to the face, whether it is a setting powder or blush. This brush is also amazing for cream contouring. The CJ has a beautiful gold ferrule and a duck egg coloured handle.


I picked the Morphe M439 when I was in New York last year, and I've since purchased 3 more. This is a deluxe buffer brush, the domed bristles blur complexion products and leaves your skin looking perfect. This brush is packed with bristles and is super dense, which is amazing for helping product to blend well. The only fault I have with this brush is that it's hard to reach in between the brows and sides of the eyes, as it is quite a large brush.


This is one of the first NIMA Brushes that I ever used, it quickly became one of my favourite makeup brushes. It is so soft, packed with synthetic bristles and gives the skin flawless full coverage. What more could you want?


I purchased the Buff and Blend brush set at the Irish Beauty Show in March and I have to say I'm a huge fan of the majority of brushes in the set. They can also be purchased separately. This is the perfect size foundation brush, it is dome shaped and synthetic fibres. This brush isn't as stiff as the other foundation brushes I've spoken about above, but it actually works really well. It gives the skin a flawless finish and the brush does the work for you.


The Terrie brush is named after the blogger and NIMA ambassador Terrie Mc Evoy. It is a new release and one of my most treasured makeup brushes. I primarily use this brush for applying and blending under eye concealer. It is quite similar to the NIMA Flat Head Kabuki, except smaller. I've also used this for applying foundation and cream contouring. 


This brush is the most amazing powder brush I have ever used. It is insanely soft, theres little to no fall out of bristles and because it is tapered it is perfect for applying product to any area of the face. I use this brush to apply setting powder and for blending any harsh lines when I apply a bronzer. The only downside of this brush is that it can only be purchased in the Elite Face Detail Set, I'm hoping NIMA will release this on it's own as I would probably purchase about ten!! That being said, the Elite Face Detail Set by NIMA Brush includes 5 face brushes and will only set you back €65 which is a brilliant bargain.

7. NIMA Brush ' The Harley'



I cannot get enough of the Harley and I don't know what I ever did without it. The creator of NIMA brush named this brush after her little girl, I love how the brushes are named it gives a really personal touch. The Harley is a brush I can't live without. I use it to apply bronzer and blush. It is a handmade brush made with brushed goat hair, the hairs are so long and whispy! It's a seriously good multi tasker.  

8. NIMA Brush 'The Blaithin'



I adore the Blaithin brush for contouring the face. It has the most amazing tapered point which helps you get the really precise contour. If you use a light hand when applying your contour shade it will be precise perfection, if you want to blend it out a little bit more just put a bit of pressure on the brush.

9. NIMA Brush 'The Tara'



The Tara is another brush that I use for contouring. It is an angled contour brush which is amazing for pushing contour into the cheekbones and giving you a sculpted look. It is also brilliant for blending out product and to give you more of a natural contour.

10. Buff and Blend BB05 Contour/ Blush Brush



The BB05 is an amazing brush for apply blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweeping it backwards. It is beautifully angled and packed with bristles. I used to be terrified of using blush in case I looked like a clown. But this brush is amazing as it seems to pick up the perfect amount of product every time I use it.

11. Morphe M501



This is my ride or die highlight brush and I literally won't use anything else. This is without a doubt my favourite highlighting brush, no other brush has come close. This is basically a super large eye blending brush, it is the perfect size for the tops of the cheekbones. Jaclyn Hill raves on about this brush constantly and I can totally agree why. It picks up the perfect amount of product and blends it beautifully onto the skin.

12. NIMA Brush 'The Danielle' 



The Danielle Brush is the perfect eyebrow brush. I always use the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and this brush works wonderfully with it. The Danielle is perfectly tapered, stiff and has short bristles, perfection in an eyebrow brush. I often use this brush to apply shadow to my lower lash line or to smoke out shadow on my lid. This brush can also be used to apply liner.


One thing I always do in my makeup routine is apply an eye base. Its the only way that my eye makeup lasts all day and doesn't crease. I use the patricia brush to apply MAC paint pot to my eyelids and up to my brow bone.

14. Inglot 6ss



The Inglot 6SS makeup brush is a recent purchase of mine and I fell in love with it instantly. It is one of the most amazing blending brushes I have ever used! It is pricey in comparison to my other favourite makeup brushes, but it is really good quality and blends shadow to perfection.

15. Buff and Blend BB08



The BB08 is another blending blush that I absolutely love. I think it's fair to say it is the most popular Buff and Blend brush, it is nearly always sold out so if you see it in stock you should grab it.

16. NIMA Brush 'The Donna'



The Donna is another new release from NIMA Brush and it is a beautiful blender made of goat hair. It is perfectly tapered and will blend eyeshadow perfectly and effortlessly.

17. NIMA Brush 'The Jennie'



The Jennie is my #1 brush ever. So much so that I own 5 of them! It is the perfect size for applying shadow into the crease, it is super fluffy and blends shadow amazingly. I also use it for applying highlight to the inner corner of my eye, brow bone, cupids bow. And it is the perfect brush for contouring the nose!

18. NIMA Brush 'The Debs'



The Debs is an amazing crease blender brush. It is so finely tapered at the tip of the brush, so you can get right into the contour of the eye and soften shadow effortlessly. It is made of goat hair and is extremely soft.

19. NIMA Brush 'The Ali'



If you like applying glitters or pigments, this brush is the one! I adore the Ali as it is really small, dense and stiff, perfect for applying loose pigments and glitters to the lid of the eye.

20. Buff and Blend BB10 Angled Eyeliner Brush



I use this brush every single time I create a dramatic blown out smokey eye. It is so thin and stiff, it fits perfectly under my lash line and smokes out black shadow exactly how I like it. This can also be used as an amazing winged liner brush or a brow brush.

21. Zoeva 317 Winged Liner Brush



I don't know what I did to apply my inglot gel liner before I came across this brush. It is seriously tapered and stiff, exactly what you need in an eyeliner brush. This is ideal for beginners as the shape of the brush does the work for you.

22. NIMA Brush 'The Yvonne'



The Yvonne is another amazing brush for gel liner. I use this to create the feline cat eye and for the inner corners of my eye. I've had mine for a year now and it is still in perfect condition. NIMA brushes are amazing quality and are made to last.

23. Buff and Blend BB02 Pencil Brush



I've never found a pencil brush quite like this one. I have a heap of them and normally I don't reach for them, but this one is one of my favourite makeup brushes that I reach for regularly. The bristles are extremely soft and smoke out shadows amazingly, especially along the lower lash line.

24. Nima Brush 'The Ollie'



The Ollie is the most amazing smudger brush I have ever used. I demoed at the NIMA Brush stand in the RDS last month and I have used this brush every single day since! It is also a brilliant brush for smoking out eyeliner or apply shadow all over the lid.

25. Fuschia Concealer Brush



This brush is absolute perfection. It is really small and fits perfectly under the eye. The bristles help to blend out the under eye concealer, and it doesn't soak up product either. As far as I know this brush only comes in a 10 piece set, its a brilliant set for €45 though. I've had mine since last year and they are still in great condition and the brushes come with a black brush tube which is so handy for when you are travelling or going on holidays.

How I wash my brushes

Being a makeup artist means my brushes get a lot of use and touch a lot of faces, I am a tad OCD when it comes to making sure my brushes are spotless. For a deep clean I am a massive fan of the BLVD cosmetics brush bath, I got mine from TRNDbeauty.com. I got the lavender scented one and it is just amazing! I recently ran out of it and it seems as though TRND beauty are out of stock, if anyone can recommend a good alternative it would be very much appreciated.

In between uses I spot clean my brushes and I've used so many different products for this. I was a big fan of the mac brush cleaner, my issue with this is that it doesn't have a spray pump and I went through the bottle very quickly. I also tried the inglot brush cleaner and although it is effective, I absolutely hated the smell its very pungent and my brushes felt very dry afterwards. I'm using the Makeup Revolution brush cleaner at the moment and I'm very impressed so far, it cleans brushes very well and smells quite nice too! The Makeup Revolution brush cleaner was recommended by the gorgeous girls at Matte to Metallic, check out their blog here.

I'm also a massive fan of the NIMA brush egg. This is a little tool with grooves and ridges which helps to lift makeup, dirt and sebum out of your makeup brushes. It definitely speeds up the process of washing brushes and you don't have to use as much cleaning product either.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post,
Ally
xxx




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