Tag Archives: PICLW


Continuing on with my “Products I Can’t Live Without” series, we’ve got #12: the original Naked palette. This has been out for years, and there’s a reason it’s still a best-seller– though I’ve only gotten around to discovering this recently. Having been super impressed with the quality of the shadows in the Naked 3 palette I got for Christmas, I decided to give the original a whirl a few months later. While I do still love the N3, I find that lately, I reach for the N1 palette more.


I think we all know what the Naked palette looks like by now, but there’s no harm in a refresher photo for anyone who’s forgotten:


And suddenly the reason for my terrible photography becomes clear: I take all my pics with an iPhone camera, and my phone has a case on it that sometimes gets in the way. I’d take the case off, but I’m terrified of my slippery butterfingers dropping it when the phone’s unprotected. (A valid fear considering I drop it about once a week, on average. That case is a godsend; I highly recommend them.) Anyway, crappy pics aside, you can still see why this palette is so popular, as the range of colours is pretty excellent, and the quality is still the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of using.

My personal favourite shade in this palette is Half-Baked, which is a beautiful shimmery gold. That said, having tried to keep an eye (pun intended) on which ones I actually use the most, it’s the mattes that give me the most bang for my buck. Most days, I will put a wash of Virgin all over and up to the brow, followed by a gentle dusting of Naked on the lid and some Buck in the crease. That’s my go-to look lately– my “everyday eye”, so to speak. When I want to be super glam, I’ll replace Naked with Half-Baked and Buck with Smog. I’ve only used Creep and Gunmetal a few times, but you can do a reasonably good smokey eye with this palette… Well, if you’ve got better skills than I do, anyway.

The funny thing about this palette is that I bought it purely to know which shadows would get most use and should be repurchased as singles. Although there are three clear stand-out shadows which I will definitely need to pick up as singles since they’ll run out before the rest, I have a funny feeling I’ll be buying the whole palette again, too. There’s something very comforting about knowing I can put together a whole lot of looks with just this one little velvet case, and though it is a little expensive, I feel it’s definitely good value for money. I’ve added this to my “Products I Can’t Live Without” list on the basis of that fact, then, and I suspect it will be living in my makeup drawer for a long time to come.

Do you love Urban Decay shadows? Do you have a favourite among the Naked palettes? Should I consider Naked Basics or Naked 2 for my next purchase? Drop me a line and let me know!


It’s been a while since I added to my PICLW series, so I think I should update the list with my latest must-haves. I’ve talked about this product on here often enough that it’s a little ridiculous that it hasn’t made it onto my “Products I Can’t Live Without” series before now! Number #11 on my list of things I can’t live without:


It’s Hydraluron! Rarely do I find myself agreeing with the hype surrounding “miracle products”, but in this case, everything you’ve heard about Hydraluron is probably true– at least, it’s certainly been true for me. I started using this product a couple of months ago, and since then, I’ve noticed a massive difference in the condition of my skin. Not only did it help to erase a tiny fine line which had been bothering me for a few years, but the overall condition of my skin is a lot better.

I think perhaps dehydration was something my skin had been experiencing without me being really aware of it, because shortly after I started with this stuff, it really picked up. I use a teeny amount morning and night, after toner and before moisturiser, and although it’s pretty expensive (between €30 and €35, though occasionally on 3-for-2 deal in Boots– which is, incidentally, the only place you can get it in Ireland), this tiny 30ml tube has lasted me since then. It works out at about 30 cent a day for morning and night applications, which I think isn’t really so bad for the difference it can make.

I stocked up the last time this was on 3-for-2, so I think this stuff is going to remain a mainstay of my daily skincare routine for the foreseeable future! I would absolutely recommend giving it a try if you think it will work for you and you can stomach the price tag!

What much-hyped miracle products have worked for you in the past? Are you a fan of Hydraluron? What other Indeed Labs products would you recommend? Drop me a line and let me know!


I’m going to be honest here: today’s Product I Can’t Live Without isn’t going to be for everyone. Flexitol Heel Balm is something I started using a couple of months ago, and I’m going to stick with it because it’s insanely effective, but there are a number of problems with it that I definitely need to talk about.


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I’m not the biggest fan of wearing obvious makeup (which is why most of my PICLW series is skincare rather than makeup) but Benefit’s They’re Real mascara deserves a mention even from the makeup phobic likes of me.


I’d often seen this mentioned as a makeup must-have for dramatic lashes, but since that’s not really my scene, I never tried it out before. Then I read that it was excellent for no clump lashes, and that’s where it got my attention. I asked for some for Christmas, and Santa (aka my Lovely Mummy) delivered.


This stuff definitely packs a visual punch, and it’s really good at separating your lashes as well. It has the new-style spiky brush rather than the old-style spoolie I generally prefer, but it still does an excellent job on coating individual lashes and making them stand out, as you can see in the modelling photo above. It’s not touted as being waterproof, so I was a little skeptical of its staying power. I am murder on mascara (long eyelashes + hard blink = cheek smears), but to my delight, I found this barely budges. All day. I’ve even worn it through a little sneaky cry (the Veronica Mars film– say no more!) and it didn’t seem to do much damage to it: it looked almost the same at the end of the day as it did when I took that photo before leaving the house.

That’s without any kind of eyelash curler, by the way, since I broke my lovely plastic one and haven’t been able to replace it yet. I’m too chicken to use the metal ones after a minor disaster when I was a teenager, and tracking down the plastic kind in real-life shops is surprisingly hard! I’m also wearing a little bit of eyeshadow from the wonderful Naked 3 palette  (Limit, Nooner, and Darkside, to be precise), if anyone is curious. In fact, this look was actually what I was wearing when someone asked what falsies I was had on, so I got to rather gleefully tell them the brand’s name as a sort of joke.

I would absolutely recommend this mascara to everyone, even those who are a little shy of dramatic lashes. At €26, it’s falls into the mid-range price bracket, but is so, so worth it.

Excellent at picking out individual lashes
Takes forever to shift during removal
Not officially waterproof

Are you a fan of “They’re Real”? Do you have a suggestion for something else I should try? Drop me a line and let me know!


Next up on my products I can’t live without list is something that’s been living quietly in my bathroom cabinet for years without getting the attention it really deserves, and now it’s time to let my love for Clinque Clear Blemish Gel shine.


I’ve been using this stuff for about seven or eight years now, popping it on my spots any time one crops up, and it really does the business. My skin is what you might call “tempramental” (“arsey” might be even more accurate), and when I get spots, they’re heinous, deep, sore, awful, red things. No little gentle pimples for me: when I get a spot, it’s a kracken– a crimson, many-limbed monster of the deep. This tends to take the redness away, and helps to shrink them overnight. It has a nice, medicinal-antiseptic scent, is blessedly quick-drying, and can be worn alone or under makeup.

I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who gets nasty spots, though I will caution that it is very drying, and should only be applied directly to the spot itself with as minimal usage on the surrounding areas as you can manage. This little beauty will set you back around €19, but a little does go a long way, and because it’s pretty well invisible under makeup, it’s multi-use, too.

Reasonably priced
Very effective
Very drying
Bottle is teeny-tiny

What products do you use for getting rid of the dreaded deep spots? Are you a fan of clear blemish gel?

Drop me a line and let me know!


The next in my line up of products I Can’t Live Without is something that was recommended to me, bizarrely, by my family: Boots No7 Facial Recovery After-Sun.


This €11 miracle cream came to me by way of my lovely aunt, who started using it on sunburn after a holiday in Florida, and then just kept right on using it because she found it so great. Then her son started using it, because he’s got really terrible eczema and this was one of the few things which seemed to calm it down. Then Mum started using it because her sister had raved about it so much.

I couldn’t ignore wildfire viral product spread like this, so I decided to give it a go, and boy, was I glad I did. In my last Products I can’t Live Without (#6), I said that I mixed my Creme De La Mer moisturiser with something else to make it last longer, and this is what I’ve been using it with. It’s lightly (and gorgeously) scented, easily absorbed (though a little thicker than the Le Mer offering), and completely non-greasy. It doesn’t seem to cause any kind of spots or blemishes, and my skin loves this stuff: it always feels really soft and supple after use.

This cream is best used lightly: too much and it does leave a white film on the skin, but it’s easy to cut back because you honestly don’t need that much of it to get the job done. I’ll definitely continue to use this on my skin, despite not having anything remotely resembling a sun-burn on my face!

Super cheap with 3 for 2 offer in Boots
Very effective
Careful use needed to avoid overdose
Not easy to obtain in winter

Do you have an under-the-radar cult product you’d like to share? Have you tried out this product before?

Drop me a line and let me know!


Number six in my PICLW series is something that I keep trying to rotate out of my frequent use products because of the cost, but I just can’t quit Creme De La Mer Oil Absorbing Lotion.


This stuff costs the blue earth (€210), but it’s so worth it. It smells amazing, it’s light and non-greasy, and it absorbs in seconds. It keeps my skin soft and I think it contributes to fewer blemishes (though it’s incredibly hard to tell what actually works for spot prevention when it comes to skincare, because of the time delay). I actually mix it with another moisturiser (to be covered in another PICLW) to make it last a little longer, but every time I cut this stuff out of my routine, I find my skin suffers for it.

This has literally proven to be a product I can’t force myself to live without, so I have to recommend it even if the price is going to scare most people away. I can’t say enough good things about this stuff, though I will suggest that if you’re planning on giving this a go, you can save yourself about €32 (the price of a normal moisturiser!) buying it at the airport as opposed to elsewhere. If you’re planning a trip in the near future, it might be worth your while to wait until then to try this one out!

Works amazing, smells amazing, feels amazing
Surprisingly long-lasting
Costs more than some countries’ national debt
Only available in selected locations

Do you have any big ticket items in your daily skincare routine? What’s your big beauty indulgence you can’t live without? Do you have a suggestion for a replacement product for this one that’s just as good without costing just as much?

Drop me a line and let me know!


Reading the responses to the recent post on beaut.ie about what perfume people were wearing floored me.

“People change their perfume?” I wondered aloud. “People change their perfume regularly?!”

I really found this the most baffling notion. Sure, my mother does it, but I assumed this was a combination of being bought a lot of presents and just being the type of person who likes to change everything regularly (cost permitting). Me? I’ve been wearing the same perfume for fourteen years.

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Continuing on my Products I Can’t Live Without series, I bring you something that’s been on my list of must-haves for a long time now (at least five years):


Estee Lauder Eye Pencil Duo. This little beauty is super sleek, so it won’t take up much space in your make-up bag (it’s one of the few things that make it into the tiny one I carry around with me), but it really packs a punch. As a general rule, I prefer powder over pencils, but they’re messy to carry around and the packaging is by nature bulky and awkward.

I turn to this to top-up my brow colour during the day if I’ve used a powder in the morning– though it’s often enough on its own, depending on whether my brows need tinting or not. There’s a decent range of colours (four, which for brow products is pretty impressive), and I like the lightest one since anything darker tends to give me cro-magnon face.

Pencils run about €25, which is on the high side, but refills are only €13, which is a long kinder in the long run. To me it’s well worth it for the good colour selections and wearing power: unlike the powder, this stuff tends to last all day long.

Are you a pencil person or a powder person? Is there a better pencil out there I should be using?

Drop me a line and let me know!


Continuing on my “Products I Can’t Live Without” series (counting up, not counting down, as I imagine new things will continue to be added to the list), today we have number three. It’s kind of a cheat to put two items in one place, but considering they’re basically the same thing, I feel justified.

#3 on my list of Products I Can’t Live Without:



My full write-up under the cut:

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