Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas 2010 Gift Ideas: Make-up

I feel quite proud of myself – I’m almost finished my Christmas shopping. I’m sure this is quite a surprise to many of those who know me as Caroline’s last-minute-Christmas-present-shopping-shouty-frenzy is almost routine at this stage. Nonetheless, I’ve turned over a new leaf, and in order to help others avoid the last-minute-Christmas-present-shopping-shouty-frenzy, I’ve put together a few nice gift ideas for the make-up fan in your life.

1. Wish for the Perfect Palette from Smashbox (€75)

What an aptly-named collection. This self-contained kit contains (deep breath): 9 eyeshadows, 10 cream liners, six brow powders, brow wax, eight glosses, two blushers, a bronzer, highlighter and four mini brushes. Available in Debenhams and selected pharmacies nationwide. Note that this is a limited edition product and will sell out in nanoseconds (if last year’s similar collection is anything to go by).

Smashbox Wish Palette

Smashbox “Wish for the Perfect Palette”

2. E.L.F. 100-piece Eyeshadow Palette(£15stg)

This would make a fantastic gift for any make-up enthusiast. Containing 100 shades in a variety of textures, this palette offers superb value for money. Also available in a smaller 32-piece collection (£9). E.L.F. is available in selected outlets nationwide, and is also available to purchase on-line. Their Facebook page offers regular discounts.

ELF 100 Shadows

E.L.F. 100 Shadow Palette

3. Laura Mercier Travel Brush Set ($85usd)

Laura Mercier brushes are the creme de la creme of cosmetic utensils. Gorgeous as they are – they are lightening dear. Or should I say, they are usually lightening dear, but, in tune with the economic times, Laura Mercier has created a travel brush set for Christmas 2010 which offers great value for money. The collection contains five brushes, 4 of which are double-ended, giving you a total of 9 brush heads for eyes, lips and face. Laura Mercier products are available at Brown Thomas stores.

Laura Mercier Travel Brush Set

Laura Mercier Travel Brush Set

4. Sigma Brush Kit ($99usd) offers a complete brush kit with 15 full-sized brushes and a brush roll, offering great value for money. Sigma brushes are blatant copies of MAC brushes both in terms of appearance and their brush numbering system. The quality isn’t quite on a par with MAC (not all the brushes are as soft, some shed bristles), but they are still good brushes. In fact, I use them regularly, having purchased this same kit a year ago – click here to read my review. A word of caution to Irish buyers – you may have to pay tax and/or duty if you are importing products from the US (the Irish Revenue website has more information).

Sigma brush roll

Sigma Brush Set

5. Her Name was Glowla by Benefit ($36)

I always look forward to seeing what goodies Benefit will come up with for Christmas, and once again they have come up trumps for Christmas 2010 with this limited edition palette. It contains; 1 blush, 2 highlighters, 5 eyeshadows, mascara, lipgloss and a double-ended brush in extremely natural shades that will suit all skin tones. In fact the only negative thing I can find about it is that I now have Barry Manilow stuck in my head! “At the Copa, Copacabana…”

Benefit Glowla

Benefit Her Name Was Glowla

6. Naked Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay (€32)

This limited-edition is another one of my kit favourites. No doubt inspired by Bobbi Brown’s “nude” palettes which were a huge hit a few years back, this palette contains 12 earthy shadows in a variety of colours and textures including matte and shimmery. The palette also contains two eyeliners and a mini bottle of primer potion. Available in Debenhams.

Urban Decay Naked

Urban Decay Naked Palette

As I come across more present ideas I’ll post them here. Happy shopping!

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

How to Apply Eyeliner

In my last post, I briefly outlined the various types of eyeliners on the market. In this follow-up post, I will impart a few tips that I’ve learned over the years, which will hopefully make eyeliner application a little bit earlier for you.


  • What to consider: There are two things to consider when choosing your perfect shade of eyeliner; AGE and HAIR COLOUR.
  • Hair (light): If you have blonde, red or medium brown hair, opt for lighter shades of eyeliner such as brown or grey.
  • Hair (dark): If you have dark brown or black hair, then you should opt for darker shades.
  • Age (young): Youth is a time for experimentation, so feel free to try out coloured eyeliners! As you grow older, tone down the colours a bit.
  • Age (mature): The older you are, the more conservative you should be with your eyeliner colour. Darker shades will actually look quite harsh against your skin so choose soft browns and greys for a more flattering look.


  • Keep as close to the last line as possible. There should be no gaps between the eyeliner and your lash line.
  • The line should be thinnest at the inner corner, graduating in thickness outwards to the outer corner.
  • Don’t pull stretch the eyelid outwards when applying liner as it will distort the lash-line and will make your liner look messy. Instead, gently press the skin on your brow-bone upwards, which will make it easier to see and do your eyeliner.
  • It may help to look downwards into a mirror when applying your eyeliner.
  • If you’re hand is a bit wobbly, rest your elbow on a table. You may also like to rest your baby finger on your cheekbone (see image below) to steady your hand as you line your eye.
  • Clean up any smudges with a clean cotton bud soaked in eye-liner remover.

iStock_000010598778 (XS) Woman applying eyelinerLining your upper lashes


  • For a SOFT look, dip a slim angled brush (e.g. MAC #266) into your chosen eye-shadow colour. Then, starting at the outer corner of your eye, place the brush immediately underneath the lash line and work inwards to the halfway point of the lash line. Stop here. Be sure to keep the colour as close to the lash-line as possible.
  • For a DRAMATIC look, use a waterproof eyeliner on the waterline (kohl pencil or gel pencil is best).
  • For a more AWAKE and alert look, line the waterline with a flesh toned pencil.
  • Clean up any smudges with a clean cotton bud soaked in eye-liner remover.

Bright black eye make-upLining your lower lashes


  • Easy peasy: I only line the outer half of the upper eyelid for day-time. This creates the illusion of full, soft lashes, yet it looks extremely natural. To achieve this I use a waterproof pencil or a gel liner.

Black cosmetic pencilMy favourite daytime look


  • First, line your upper lashes: Apply eyeliner to the upper lash line as normal using a gel or liquid eyeliner. Keep the line thin in the inner corner and gradually make it thicker towards the outer corner.
  • Getting the flick: Line a credit card or folded piece of paper against your face, connecting your nostril, the outer corner of your eye and the end of your eyebrow. Using the credit card or paper as a ruler, create an upward flick on the outer corner of your eye with your eyeliner.
  • Clean & tidy: Clean up any smudges with a cotton bud soaked in eye-liner remover.
  • Conceal: Apply concealer underneath the eye when you’re finished, for a crisp and clean look.

Eyes Closed.An easy ‘cat eye’ flick

I hope these tips helped you. There are a few excellent videos on YouTube which might also be of assistance:

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Types of Eyeliners

In the past week, I have received a number of enquires from people regarding eyeliners – everything from how to choose the right one, to how to apply it without looking like a panda! With this in mind, I have put together a guide which will hopefully be of assistance to you. I have split it into two parts; this post (part 1) deals with the different types of eyeliners on the market today, and part 2 outlines some of my favourite eyeliner application techniques.


  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Pros: Soft finish / suitable for mature skin / variety of colours.
  • Cons: Fades the fastest / can smudge and become displaced easily / not water resistant.
  • Caroline’s top tip: Apply your chosen eyeshadow colour using a small angled brush (like a MAC #266). Dip the brush in water beforehand for a more intense colour.

iStock_000013751378 (XS) Eyeshadow Palette

Soft browns, greys and khakis look great as eyeliners


  • Difficulty level: Easy.
  • Pros: Easy/ versatile (you can do a sharp line or a soft smoky blended line) / variety of colours.
  • Cons: Can fade, smudge and become displaced / not entirely water-resistant (even the waterproof ones).
  • Caroline’s top tip: Sharpen the eyeliner pencil after every use.

iStock_000013767407 (XS) Eyeliner pencil and sharpener


  • Difficulty level: Medium.
  • Pros: Clean, crisp finish / waterproof / doesn’t move or fade.
  • Cons: Practice required / product can dry out quite quickly / expensive (good cream liners can cost €20, with a good brush costing nearly as much).
  • Caroline’s top tip: Coat the bristles of the brush from root to tip with the product and then wipe the excess off on the rim of the gel pot/jar. This will enable maximum precision on application.


MAC Fluidline Gel Liner

mac 266

MAC #266 Angled Liner Brush


  • Difficulty level: Hard.
  • Pros: Clean, crisp finish / great for creating dramatic looks.
  • Cons: Hard to master / unsuitable for mature skin.
  • Caroline’s Top Tip: Instead of using the wand that comes with the liner, use an angled liner brush (example pictured above), which I find is much easier to control. Make sure that you coat the brush hairs from root to tip for better results.

Benefit Magic Ink

Caroline’s favourite liquid eyeliner: Benefit Magic Ink

In my next post, I will discuss my favourite eyeliner application techniques.

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Dannii's Turquoise Earrings

There’s a right ole row on the Internet today over various X-Factor sagas which happened this weekend. However, there was only one X-Factor topic on my mind when I switched on my laptop this morning and that was where to find Dannii Minogue’s gorgeous turquoise earrings, which she sported onthe show last Satuday (13th November 2010).

I’m afraid to post any images from ITV in case I get sued, but click here to have a gawk. See, aren’t they gorgeous! They’re designed by a covetable brand called Annoushka, to whom Dannii has been extremely loyal this series. As gorgeous as they are though, they’re a little beyond my budget; so, I did some digging to find some more affordable versions:


Galway jewellery designer, Frank Murphy, hand-crafted these turquoise teardrop earrings (€15):

Frank Murphy Turquoise Drop Earrings

Etsy designer JooJooland designed these beautiful Persian earrings in gold and turquoise ($24usd):

Etsy Turquoise Earrings

American retailer, National Jeans Company, has a really nice variation of the look ($45usd):

National Jeans Company

I’m obsessed with Stella and Dot and I already own the necklace version of these fabulous turquoise resin teardrop earrings ($34). Note that Stella & Dot’s official website only ships to the US and Canada; however, there are plenty of retailers on Ebay who ship to Ireland.

Stella and Dot Charlize

Finally, Astley Clarke London turns up the glamour gauge with this pretty pair (£395):

Astley Clarke London

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Dior Giveaway + 25% Discount

Corkonians, if you’re on the look out for a special Christmas present for a loved one in your life, you might be interested in this delectable Dior discount, which is available right on your doorstep…

Pharmacy First Plus in Douglas, Cork, is offering up to 25% off Dior products until Sunday 21st November 2010.

Not only that, but Pharmacy First Plus Douglas is also running a competition whereby you can win a €250 hamper of beautiful Dior products. And it gets better - they have very generously given me an exclusive competition entry code for Style By Caroline customers and subscribers!

To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous hamper, text ”Dior9″ followed by your name and address to 50015. Entry is FREE. Good luck! One entry per person. Terms and conditions apply.

First Plus PFP Dior - Style By Caroline

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Choosing Winter Boots

This blog post originally featured in Style By Caroline’s October ezine. To subscribe to our monthly enewsletters, simply complete the subscription form on the left hand side of this page.

iStock_000003160238 (XS) Boot ShoppingWith the weather growing colder by the day, one or two pairs of high-quality boots will be an excellent wardrobe investment over the coming Winter months. Here are some considerations:

Boot Height: Choose a boot height that finishes at one of the slimmest points of your leg (often just above the ankle and just below the knee). Avoid heights that finish across the broadest point (e.g. ankles, calves).

Tall or long-legged ladies can usually get away with any boot height. Petite or short-legged ladies should avoid mid-lengths as they shorten the leg.

Colour: Buy a versatile colour that will match a large proportion of the clothes in your wardrobe. Remember, darker colours are slimming.

Fabric: Opt for natural fabrics which will allow your feet to breathe. For day-to-day boots, choose a fabric that is durable, warm and easy to clean (e.g. high quality leather). For dressy occasions, consider softer cloths such as suede, satin etc.

Sole: Check the sole for thickness & grip. If the sole is insufficient, ask a cobbler to re-sole the boots.

Heels: For day-wear, chunky or wedge heels give greater support and comfort than slim heels. Heels can often wear away with use, so ask your cobbler to re-heel your boots if the heels are getting tatty.

Boots for slim calves: Choose a style with buckles or laces that you can adjust to fit your slim legs. Also consider loose-fitting slouchy boots, which can look extremely flattering. Likewise, brighter colours, patterns, textures and embellishments will add visual interest.

Boots for broad calves: Choose boots with discreet elasticated panels, buckles or laces, which will expand to accommodate your legs comfortably. Avoid bright colours, patterns or embellishments which will broaden the leg.


  • Support | Choose boots that offer excellent support and protection for your feet. Ugg style boots, for example, give notoriously bad support.
  • Store | Store your boots carefully in a dry area, out of direct sunlight and dust. Stuff the legs with paper or a boot tree to maintain their shape.
  • Protect | Use a protective spray on suede or nubuck boots before the initial wear.
  • Clean | Clean your boots regularly with appropriate products, per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Dry | If your boots get wet, stuff them with newspaper and allow them to dry naturally. Then clean them as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Black A-Line Skirt

Every woman’s wardrobe should contain a number of ‘failsafe’ garments that she knows will (a) flatter her figure tremendously, and (b) suit a variety of occasions. In my opinion, one of those garments should be a great black skirt.

And if you were to ask me for the one style that suits every figure, I would say a gentle A-line shape (skims softly over the bum and hips), with a wide waistband (supports the lower tummy) and that finishes at, or just below the knee (often a flattering part of a woman’s leg).

It seems that I’m not the only proponent of the black, A-line, wide-waistband, knee-length skirt. I received an excellent query on my Facebook page this morning from a reader seeking advice on where she might find a skirt of this description!

For such a simple garment, it is remarkably hard to come by…especially in the depths of the AW10 fashion season, which seems to be paying exclusive homage to the pencil skirt.

Undeterred nonetheless, I did a thorough trawl of the Internet to see if I could find anything suitable. Most of the high streets shops let me down unfortunately, but I think I may have found a few hidden gems elsewhere…

Phase Eight Carter Hook-up Skirt (£39 on sale)

Phase Eight Carter Hook-up Skirt

I have a very similar version of this skirt in Navy (different fabric) and it is an extremely flattering fit. I always receive compliments when I wear it. On the hanger it might look a bit baggy, but it’s quite streamlined when it is on. The fabric is quite light and you can adjust the length and shape of the skirt easily using the hook-ups. Phase Eight is available at Brown Thomas.

French Connection Rhonda Plains Skirt (£55)

French Connection Rhonda

This French Connection skirt is not quite a true A-line shape, but it does have generous room at the hips and I reckon that it could look really flattering on.

Warehouse Legion Skirt (€60)

Warehouse Legion Skirt

I love the interesting pocket and waistband detail on this skirt from Warehouse.

Principles by Ben de Lisi Black Velvet Trim Ottoman Skirt (€68)

Ben De Lisi Principles Ottoman Skirt

This skirt, available at Debenhams, would be a very versatile skirt for Winter. The waistband isn’t particularly wide, but the fabric weight and belt detailing would give some support to the lower tummy. Incidentally, the Debenhams website has quite a lot of black skirts in its range, which you might like to check out.

Twenty8Twelve Magrite Taffeta Skirt (£65 on sale)

Twenty8Twelve Taffeta Skirt

This taffeta skirt from Sienna and Savannah Miller’s clothing collection is a really versatile number. The high waistline will give great support to the lower tummy area. It is available from where you can check out a video of the above model wearing the skirt on the catwalk.

See by ChloĆ© Silk-Blend Tiered Skirt (€131.24)

See by Chloe Skirt

This See by ChloƩ skirt, available at designer discount emporium,, is a fun yet sophisticated take on a black skirt. It finishes just above the knee.

All Saints Hoxie Leather Skirt (£195)

All Saints Black Leather Skirt

Finally, I adore the shape of this soft, light, leather skirt from All Saints. Delectable, but pricey!

Finally, when you’re purchasing any item, make sure you bear the following considerations in mind:

  • Does it suit my shape?
  • Will I actually wear it?
  • Does it match at least 3 existing items in my wardrobe?
  • Does it wrinkle easily? (A big no-no in my books)
  • Is it easy to wash, dry and iron?

Good luck with your shopping expedition!

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Style Class: 13th Nov

Style By Caroline’s next half-day Ladies Style Class takes place on Saturday, 13th November 2010 at Woodlands House Hotel, Adare, Co. Limerick.

Course Content: Dressing for your shape, choosing colours to flatter, wardrobe maintenance advice, shopping tips and make-up demo.

Cost & Booking: €50pp (incl. tuition, course materials and refreshments). Early booking is advised.

Click here for information and secure on-line booking.

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Video: Cheap Make-up Storage

Make-up supplies can be really expensive and I’m always on the hunt for cheap alternative solutions. Here are some of my star buys from B&Q, of all places!

SBC Make-up: Cheap Make-up Storage Solutions

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

Video: Coloured Contacts

Coloured contact lenses are my favourite way to transform my look. Click below for more information.

SBC Make-up | Coloured Contact Lenses

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.

October Ezine

In Style By Caroline’s October 2010 ezine, be in with a chance to win some MAC goodies! Also, discover how to choose the perfect pair of Winter boots, find out the latest style class details and see what Style By Caroline has to offer this Christmas. To subscribe to our monthly ezines, simply complete the subscription form on our main website.

Bright Eyeshadow

I’m doing an exciting photoshoot next week which involves lots of colour; this is an exciting departure as much of my make-up work tends to involve more traditional colours.

One small problemo though – I need lots of brights and neons for this shoot however I’m reluctant to shell out for my usual MACs etc. as I know I’ll have limited demand from my clients for such brights in the future.

However, quite unexpectedly, I found the solution whilst having a browse in Boots yesterday - this 9-shade “Poptastic” palette from Collection 2000, priced at only €6.99! The colours are perfect for next week’s photoshoot, and even though I expected the quality to be rubbish, I decided to take a chance on the palette as it was so cheap.

Jasmin & Louise Makeup 22.10.10 006Poptastic Collection from Collection 2000

I put the palette throught its paces this evening and I found it to be surprisingly good; the pans are a good size (6g), the quality is seriously impressive (virtually no fallout), the pigmentation (depth of colour) is fairly good too and the colours are easy to blend.

The packet says that the shadows will last up to 8 hours and are crease resistent. This doesn’t impress me hugely as any shadow worth its salt should last all day and evening with little fading and creasing. Nonethesless, I haven’t seen it on long enough to prove this claim right or wrong.

I did two looks this evening using this palette. In both cases, I used a primer and a white eyeliner pencil under the eyeshadow (a white eye pencil helps the colours to ‘pop’).

Look 1: Blue, Green & Grey

Close-up Turquoise Eye ClosedClose-up Turquoise Eye 3b

Look 2: Purple & Yellow

Close up Purple & Yellow

I really like the top look in particular – I used the green on the inner corner, blue in the middle and outer corners, and the dark grey in the crease. This is a look that I will definitely be replicating this weekend, and I think it could be replicated easily using the yellow, purple or pink shadows too!

Enjoy the bank holiday!

Yours in style,

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or via RSS.

Information contained in this blog post may not be copied or reproduced without permission from Style By Caroline.