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Seven Days, Seven Foundations

I was going to call this post ‘A Solid Foundation’ but then I thought, that’s only funny to you (you sap) so go with the obvious and stop annoying people.

I wear a lot of make-up. Not in a ’90s-Elizabeth-Arden-cream-compact-troweled-on-an-inch-thick kinda way. And as a beauty editor, it’s *almost* my actual job to get dolled up – I’m sure it says it in my contract somewhere.

Right or wrong, I do use a lot of different products to achieve a ‘my real skin on its absolute best day’ glow. And the older I get, the more I see the importance of flawless skin. A good base can make any eye or lip look go from Mancunian Corrie extra to Hollywood A-lister in an instant.

With that in mind, and given the amount of foundations I constantly try out, I said I’d do an aul experiment. Seven different foundations over seven days seemed like a good idea (mostly because I had seven on my chest of drawers and there are, rather jammily for me, seven days in a week.

The upshot? Here you are.


Le Teint Encre de Peau by Yves Saint Laurent, €40

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What it says it’ll do: Sixteen shades, dinky little fountain pen applicator. Wants to give you a light base with buildable coverage that finishes RADIANTLY *does twirl* and kinda matte.
What was deadly: The dinky little applicator made me feel all fancy. The coverage was indeed buildable, it smells pretty great and it felt as light as air on my skin.
What was grand, like: The finish was matte. I was a bit radiant. I firmly believe a decent glow-inducer (like MAC’s Strobe Cream or the like) is needed to give camera-worthy radiance, but YSL LTEDP (my short name for it) brought me close.
What was a bit shite: The applicator is cute, but for hygiene, wastage and handiness reasons, I almost considered transferring this into some kind of pump action jobby.
Would I buy it again: At forty of my hard-earned euro, I would want to have a voucher for BTs on me before I’d fork for it, but for a treat… Absolutely!
Should you buy it: If your skin is in half decent condition and you’re looking for a special, fragrant, luxe foundation treat, you can’t bate it with a schtick.


HD Foundation by BUFF Make-up (from Hession Hairdressing), €30

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What it says it’ll do: This says it’ll do EVERYTHING. Look great on camera, suit all skin, medium to full coverage, buildable but light, water resistant. And, they tell me, the ‘slebs are mad f’rit.
What was deadly: I did, actually, look good on camera in this one. Selfie City, population me. I liked how it felt as it went on too, it blended smoothly.
What was grand, like: The smell? Grand. The bottle? Grand. It lasted grand. Shure lookit.
What was a bit shite: The coverage felt a *little* closer to full than medium, if I’m honest. For a night out, I’d be all OVA this. But for day time, it was too much.
Would I buy it again: Yeah, if I was planning on having craploads of pictures taken of me, I’d hand over thirty blips.
Should you buy it: Are you planning to walk a red carpet? If the answer is yes, MY answer is yes.


HD Foundation, Make Up For Ever, €38

(they’re on Clarendon St, in case you didn’t know! And I think that’s what I paid for it. I actually can’t find the bloomin’ receipt anywhere.)
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What it says it’ll do: “The HD range includes complexion products designed for the new needs of high definition image using very fine ingredients for an invisible, natural makeup finish.” – Abso masso lookin’ skin, in other words.
What was deadly: Where do I start? I properly LOVE this foundation, so I’m biased. But I love the texture, the finish is FLAWLESS (Beyoncé would use this in her sleep before she ‘wakes up like dis’) and it laaaaaaasts.
What was grand, like: There’s no lovely smell. I mean, it doesn’t smell like arse or anything, but it just doesn’t make your face smell like you might be a princess.
What was a bit shite: Very little, if I’m being honest. If I was Craig David, I’d be happily singing “we were makin’ love by Wednesday….”
Would I buy it again: Hells yeah, and I do. On the reg.
Should you buy it: Yeah, fo’ sho’. Now, it’s rarely in stock, so ring Clarendon St and reserve your shade. I’m N120 and I’m a pasty Irish girl who occasionally tans poorly. Oh, it mightn’t work too great if you’ve oily skin – it could slip and slide a bit.


Infallible 24hr Foundation by L’Oréal Paris, €14.99

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What it says it’ll do: Shocker – it’s meant to last 24 hours with no ‘mask’ effect, no dry out and no shine or imperfections visible. Now listen, I did NOT wear this for 24 hours. In the interest of full disclosure, I must share that with you.
What was deadly: No surprise, but it really lasted all day. All day. I got home after a long day and a trip to the hairdressers and I still had coverage. Even around my mouth, usually the first place to wear off.
What was grand, like: The packaging is lovely. It’s simple and there’s a pump and sure isn’t everything just GRAND.
What was a bit shite: Hmmm… The price is fantastic, so it can’t be that. If I had to pick, I’d say that the texture was a little on the heavy side.
Would I buy it again: Well for that price, you’d be an eejit not to.
Should you buy it: If you’re looking for a quality foundation for half the price of some equally good ones, then yes indeedy.


Perfectionist Youth Infusing Make-up by Estee Lauder, €46

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What it says it’ll do: It’ll infuse you with youth. I thought €46 swans was pricey, but if it gives *actual* youth, maybe not. It has serum, it wants to be lighter than the EVERLIVING GOD of foundation, Double Wear.
What was deadly: Yes and no. Mostly… Meh. It didn’t last quite as long as I had hoped. Maybe I was sweating too much, maybe it was too warm. But it slipped a bit, requiring a top up, after about four hours. I liked the shade match, I liked the smell and the texture as I applied it.
What was grand, like: The look of it is absolutely grand. I feel better about it than I ever did about Double Wear because I feel like my skin can breathe – BONUS.
What was a bit shite: The slip factor, as above.
Would I buy it again: For €46, probably not. Soz bbz.
Should you buy it: If you’re worried about foundation ageing your skin, then yes. You’ll feel better knowing there’s skincare benefits happening AND an SPF of 25, which cannot be sniffed at.


Bareskin Foundation by bareMinerals, €31

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What it says it’ll do: You’ll find THE shade – they’ve 20, whopper. It’ll be super kind to your skin with all its vitamins and whatnot, AND it’ll apply to all those people who WANTED to use bareMinerals mineral foundation and couldn’t because it wasn’t, well, liquid.
What was deadly: So, I used this with the brush they recommend you use, and I hated it, to be frank. The brush did nothing for me. Then I used it with my normal foundation brush and was mad for it. So if you don’t want to spend the beans buying the brush, no panic. It’s still great otherwise.
What was grand, like: The coverage was grand. It was medium, I’d say. They tell you it’s buildable but I hate that term because I don’t want a double layer of anything on my face, thanks. So medium it is.
What was a bit shite: It’s made from very few ingredients (ah, the environment, or something) and so is kind to skin, but I feel like the thing that keeps it all solid on your face might have been left out.
Would I buy it again: To be reallllllly honest, I’m not mad for it. I can see it being a cult love though, like bareMinerals as a brand, I guess. So don’t listen to me, try it for yourself and see.
Should you buy it: Like I said, get a sample, see how you feel. It might be your dream. It could be particularly spectacular on dry skin.


Perfection Lumiere Velvet by Chanel, €44

I think its that price. I know ‘normal’ Perfection Lumiere is that much anyway so I can’t be far off.
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What it says it’ll do: It’ll give you luminosity, imperfection correction, soft focus and a second skin effect, or in their own words,  “a matte foundation with absorbing powders that assure the absorption of excess sebum all day long.” Ooh er, Chanel. You don’t half promise the world!
What was deadly: Come on, lads. Chanel know their shizz when it comes to foundation. I’m sure that’s not the way THEY’D like to be written about, but anyway. They got it spot ON. Smell, texture, finish – great. It lasts. It’s fancy. Win, win.
What was grand, like: If you had particularly dry skin, you might want to stick with their Vitalumiere Aqua. Or if you were into slightly lighter coverage. Just an ‘if’, mind you.
What was a bit shite: But what if Madamoiselle Coco is listening??!
Would I buy it again: OF COURSE.
Should you buy it: If you love Chanel and can’t afford their handbags (ME), knock yourself out. If you’ve super sensitive skin, watch out. ‘Tis scented so it is.
So there you have it. As scientific an experience as you’re ever likely to get from me!
Please do tell me which you love/hate/rate/slate.
OH and all the pictures are mine and were taken in the… rustic… surrounds of my front garden.



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Through New Eyes…


Thanks to the miracle of lasers and science and the steady hands of one seriously qualified eye doctor, I have a pair of fully working eyeballs for the first time in 20 years. 

I can see everything in HD and I didn’t even have to sell my soul to a Sky TV door-to-door salesperson. I can read car registration plates at a hundred paces (and I will, until I’m asked to stop). I can see when I cut my legs shaving in the shower – it doesn’t happen less but at least I’m not shocked when I put my specs back on. I can fall asleep without The Ultimate Fear of going asleep with lenses in, or without irretrievably ruining the shape of an expensive pair of glasses. As Del Boy would say, the world is my lobster.

For anyone who has bad short-sightedness, my plight is a familiar one. For the full ‘before’ story, have a look here, and watch out for the haemorrhoid ointment.

For the (not so gory) gory details on how I came to have perfect vision, here are the details…

The Consultation…

…Or as I like to call it, the day I discovered my abnormally large pupils would double the advertised price of laser surgery. Of course they say “fron €595 per eye”. But that’s your run of the mill, normal eye from Averageville. My giant pupils, however, saw to it that the cost was a bit more, although in hindsight (20/20 hindsight, I might add) I would pay double what they charged me for it. That’s how happy I am.

The very lovely team in Optical Express, Ballsbridge (who I had nothing but pleasure dealing with) tested my eyes and deemed me suitable for the treatment, I paid my deposit and set a date. All I had to remember was to (a) Leave out my contacts for a week before surgery and (b) pay.

The Day Of…

Here are some tips, me to you, about the day of surgery…

1. Don’t have a giant Eggs Benedict for breakfast. The hollandaise sauce mixed with intense nerves does not a comfortable tummy situation make. Take it from me.

2. Bring two Valium/Diazepam with you. You won’t need them, but you’ll feel like a frickin’ hero when you walk out after the procedure and smugly declare you did it drug-free.

3. Read the risks, and do it anyway. With any procedure, of course there are risks, but don’t let them stop you or make you nervous. They do 25 of these things a day, yours will NOT be the one that goes wrong. It’s just good maths.

4. Trust your surgeon. Mine, Mr Alex George (totally robbing that name for my next romance novel) was highly qualified, exceptionally friendly and made me feel incredibly safe when my eyeball was being sliced open. In fact, he was making jokes. All well and good Doc, but seriously. Wouldn’t mind a bit of concentration as you burn my corneas with laser beams.

5. Listen to your nurse. Mine, a most wonderful lady named Wendy, was THE NICEST PERSON ON THE PLANET and encouraged and reassured me all the way through. Her and Mary Poppins would get on well, I’d imagine. If I could hire Wendy to talk me gently through all of life’s little traumas, I most certainly would.

6. Bring some Nurofen with you. Lash them in just as you come out of surgery to pre-empt some of the pain. The pain, by the way? Negligible. Srsly. I had about 30 minutes of headache/light sensitivity/eye-wateriness in the car on the way home. Then I popped two more Nurofen, hit the hay (sexy goggles in-situ) and woke up four hours later with ZERO pain. And none since, mind you. OH. And don’t forget to sleep in your super sexy goggles for a week. Naps and all. Here I am, morto in mine.

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7. Don’t be nervous. Easy for me to say, right? I was SO nervous, but afterwards realised I shouldn’t have given it a second thought. I’ve had more unpleasant flus. I’ve have worse experiences getting a tooth filled. It’s weird, yes. It’s a funny sensation, yes. But the procedure is pain-free, and speaking as a HUGE wuss, you can take my word for it.

8. Listen to what the nice nurse lady says about taking your eyedrops. Be meticulous, is what my surgeon said. These are your eyeballs, lads. You’ll get nowhere playing it fast and loose with the instructions on that front.

9. Obviously, it goes without saying that you need a chaperone on the day to take you there and home. This same chaperone will have to help you into bed for the napping phase, so they’ll deserve a thank you card and a cup of tea at the very least. (Props to my lovely auntie Louise here)

10. Your eyes will look like this for a few days. And genuinely, you can’t feel that. It looks sore, but it’s not. These are my eyes by the way. I had to do that funny face to show the bruising off properly.

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10. Last but not least? If you’re thinking about laser surgery, just GET. IT. DONE. Stop thinking about it, stop questioning yourself. If you’re short-sighted and it gets you down in any way, you should absolutely opt for laser surgery. Here are the many ways in which it changed my life, just by way of twisting your arm…

The Day After…

…Or as I now call it, the day I became a super-human, optically advanced bionic woman. 

I headed back to the Optical Express HQ and Rory, the lovely optometrist, had me read the 20/20 letter line on the eye test board. I read it with ease, and exclaimed (to a clearly scared Rory) “It’s like MAGIC!” I then read the ‘better than 20/20’ line with ease and had to fight back the tears of joy – it was 9am and I didn’t want to feel bad for ruining poor Rory’s day at work by blubbering all over him.

Things that are made infinitely better by having perfect vision:

Driving. I can see ALL of the signs now. A bonus for myself AND other road users.

Waking up. It feels special every time I do it, like I’m seeing for the first time every morning.

Watching TV in bed. No more falling asleep on my glasses or taking out a crunchy contact lense the next day.

My bank balance. Contacts/glasses/optician appointments cost a LOT.

My confidence. This feeling of invincibility MIGHT wear off, but I really hope it lasts.

My chances of becoming a pilot. FINALLY the door to that career path is opening in front of me.

In short, going under the laser was/is the best thing I’ve ever done. I can’t put into words how great it feels to finally see the world as it should be seen. If you want to ask me anything about it, I CLEARLY like to talk about it, so tweet me @aislingmkeenan or leave an aul comment. I’m good for the replies, I swear.


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Eye eye eye!

Tomorrow is a big day. 

And good luck to me fella if he ever decides to marry me, because I don’t think I’ll be this excited on my wedding day (unless he ropes Beyoncé in to sing me up the aisle).

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There I am, in my specs…

I’m getting laser eye surgery (with the highly trained and well prepared professionals at Optical Express in Ballsbridge – I say that to reassure myself more so than to inform you), and all going well, I’m expecting it to change my life. Let me tell you why.

I practically lived in the Gaeltacht as a teenager. One sunny day, surfing was on the agenda for us all, so we hit the beach. I spent 45 minutes absolutely bating myself into a slimy, disgusting wet suit that I knew 60 other manky teenagers had been in before me, and the smell off it supported my theory.

I  took a brief lesson in surfing (from the safety of the sand) and then grabbed a board. Running towards the waterline, I was absolutely DYING to hit the (admittedly very small) waves. Just as my feet touched the water, board in hand, excitement at fever pitch, I realised. I have my glasses on!

What was I thinking?? If I get into the sea with my glasses on, I’ll absolutely fling myself off my surfboard at the first opportunity and there’ll be one lucky short-sighted jellyfish with a new pair of Ralph Lauren prescription specs. And if I go in with them off, I’ll DEFINITELY die. My eyesight is THAT bad (thanks ‘rents.)

So I skulked back to the hut, got out of the wetsuit and watched from a freezing cold sand dune while my peers learned to surf. I haven’t had my head submerged in water in about 15 years. My eyesight has gotten progressively worse, and now I am a -5.5 prescription in each eye, which is pretty terrible.

Other than that sorry tale, there are many day to day things that my horrific eyesight has kept me from or made me do:

 – Just now, before I sat down to write, I lost my glasses. I looked for them for 15 minutes. They were hiding themselves in plain sight. (plain sight is not something I currently have access to)

– I have, countless times, washed my hair with shower gel, applied dry shampoo to freshen up my armpits and once, I *almost* used haemorrhoid ointment as toothpaste (NOT MY OWN, fyi).

– I said hello to a wheelie bin recently.

– While trying to give someone directions to something behind me, I poked myself in the eye. My depth perception gets all fecked up. 

– I’ve gone to sleep in my contact lenses accidentally and woken up the next morning thinking Jesus Christ the baby lord had come down and blessed me with the gift of sight overnight. He hadn’t.

– As with the surfing story, I can’t really go swimming. Unless I get a pair of supremely sexy prescription goggles. They go down fine in the Olympics, not so much on a Croatian beach when I’m trying to get stuck in to a hot doctor (three years ago when single, calm down lads). Goggles are about as sexy as a dose of herpes simplex.

– Without glasses or lenses, I look permanently confused. I squint, I peer awkwardly at people’s faces as they talk, hoping beyond hope to pick up an expression or two (failing, inevitably) and I always feel as though when my sight goes, so does my hearing. You know when you turn down the radio in the car when you’re lost? Something along those lines. 

– Glasses, I reckon, held me back, confidence wise. It wasn’t until I was 19 and started wearing lenses that I really feel I got the will to speak up for myself a bit. And also, until then, I was making an absolute living HAMES of my make-up and NO ONE told me.

SO… with all that in mind, here’s what I’m hoping will happen once my sight has been cured by the magical wonders of the Wavefront laser – not your ordinary patient (of course) I have to get the turbo laser because of my abnormally large pupils. Even in their process of getting fixed my eyes are assholes…

 – I’ll open my eyes on maybe Sunday morning, having slept off most of the pain/headaches/sore eyes, and be able to see my bedroom without the aid of a very expensive set of lenses or glasses. For the first time since I was about 6. I’m expecting it to be a magical time.

– I’ll do that same thing, every morning, until I reach my mid-fifties and need to wear reading glasses like some kind of elegant older lady – Diane Keaton fifteen years ago is what I’ll be going for. I might even throw on a lady tux.

– I’ll be able to take up surfing and god help me no dodgy eyed case of Myopia is gonna stop me. Who knows?? I could be EXCEPTIONALLY talented at watersports and just not know about it yet. Watch out Rio 2016.

– For the first time since I can remember, I’ll be able to ON A WHIM decide to sleep over somewhere other than my house and not have the “DO I HAVE SPARE LENSES” panic. Oh it will be good.

– Never have to wash my hair with shower gel again, nor will I greet a wheelie bin and expect it to answer back. This is gonna be GREAT.

Excitement level: Off the charts.

Nerves: Gone.

Plan: I’ve got a couple of sedatives handy should I need to be easy breezy in the morning.

Say a prayer for me. Rosie, keep an eye on my eyes. Sound.



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I’m blogging so I won’t EAT.


I did SAY I wasn’t going to keep this whole ‘eating clean’ thing regularly updated, but I’m being very honest here. If I don’t keep my fingers busy on this here keyboard, I will either burst into tears like the star of some am-dram show, or else I will DEMOLISH the giant, delicious, white chocolate Toblerone that’s mere feet from me as I write. By reading this, you’re saving me from myself.

Eating clean is SH*TE. I don’t know how on earth anyone does this long-term. I looked at Rosanna Davison’s Instagram earlier and honest to JESUS I wanted to (a) immediately post her my Toblerone (b) cry a river of tears on her behalf.

Has she forgotten how good… EVERYTHING tastes?? And then I clicked through some #fitfam #eatclean types of hashtag on Pinterest and became utterly deflated. Not (p)interested at all. Not (p)inspired either, actually. Just fat, sad and inadequate. I have a lot of respect for people with THAT MUCH discipline and motivation that they can maintain this and not go absolutely batty. As you might be able to sense, today (day two) was MUCH more difficult than yesterday.

Here are today’s thoughts:

  • OKAY, time to kick day two in the ass. Why won’t my eyes open? Ah yes, my body is clearly going into panic shut down mode from lack of dessert.
  • Breakfast. Here we go. Floor flavoured salmon and scrambled eggs. GRRRREAT.
  • All I can think about is a bowl of Cornflakes so big you can eat for an entire episode of Rachel Allen’s Easy Meals and still have some left at the end. With full fat milk and sugar on top, of course.
  • 9.07am… Finished breakfast… an hour and 53 minutes until I can eat A HANDFUL of cashew nuts. Why is there no joy in my world anymore?
  • Right, so I’ve kept myself busy there for at least an hour. Right? *Checks clock* 9.21am. WHY is time standing still???
  • I can’t believe I just opened my desk drawer to LOOK at a packet of Chocolate Buttons.
  • RIGHT FINE I GIVE UP. I’m gonna eat the Buttons. *stops self*
  • Maybe if I just work out really, extra super hard I will be the shape I want? You know that’s not true. It’s 70% diet and 30% exercise, right? Maths makes me want some Birdseye Potato Waffles (they’re waffle-y versatile)
  • I CAN’T SEE!! I’m slowly going blind from lack of sugar/carbs/happiness.
  • Right, this lunch won’t be too bad. Ah, the lies we tell ourselves.
  • Are you kidding me here?? A handful of blueberries “should ease the sugar craving”??? That’s like saying a paracetamol and a pat on the head will placate a heroin addict looking to score.
  • Don’t panic, you’ve got a lovely (TINY) steak and some truly delicious (FLAVOURLESS) peas and carrots for dinner…
  • Maybe if I wear my sunglasses indoors it’ll hide the tears?
  • I can’t believe I have to walk from my desk to my car soon. I’m running on empty here people! Playing chicken with the fuel tank IN MY BODY.
  • Why are those Drumstick lollipops placed so closely to the till?? All I wanna do is pay for petrol and I’m being HARASSED by seemingly innocent confections.
  • So WHAT if I just booked myself in for a blow dry because I can’t face the thoughts of washing my own hair?? What are you, the hygiene police??
  • This headache is interesting in that it’s been here all day and yet I haven’t tried to self medicate with caffeine (Coca Cola) or a 24 pack of Jaffa Cakes like I usually would. And by interesting of course I mean more TORTUROUS than a death wagon from hell.
  • I hate this. This is soul destroying. It better get better or I’m gonna end up on one of those reality shows where they have to airlift me from my bed because I’ll have gone rogue and eaten my way through Musgraves’ warehouse and every branch of Nandos in Ireland.
  • My mother just tried to speak to me there and I couldn’t even smile. This no sugar thing has wiped my personality chip, it seems.
  • I’M NOT ME anymore. I’m not entertaining, I’m boring. I can’t write. I can’t converse! WAS SUGAR THE SOURCE OF ALL MY POWER?!!

By now, I’m sure, this moaning has gotten to be too much for you all. No doubt you’re all clicking away, off looking at Blake Lively’s ill-conceived Gwyneth Paltrow imitation project or some new wholly inaccurate list on Buzzfeed. But if you’re still here, I beg of you. Send me some good thoughts. Send me some motivational mumbo-jumbo that you think might help. And failing that? Send me one of everything of the McDonalds Eurosaver menu. I’d be terribly grateful.

I’m going to sleep now. It’s 10pm and sleep is like a time machine to my next meal.



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