Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Liz Earle is now available in Arnotts

Just when I think they can't squish anything else into Arnotts' beauty hall, they go and find space for Liz Earle!  This is one of my favourite skincare brands ever and now I don't have to hoof it out to Liffey Valley to get my fix.  And even better that I can use my Wonder Card to save up points when I go shopping!

This is what it looks like at the moment and after Christmas I believe they'll be moving somewhere else in the Beauty Hall.  Brand new fully stocked shelves make me happy like nowt else!

Over the years I've tried out lots of Liz Earle products and you can read more about them here because there are a lot!  But basically, my skin loves every single product I've tried.  The Superskin Concentrate is my go to facial oil in the colder months and they're bringing out a bigger version so I won't have to scrimp on it anymore!  But I wanted to quickly talk you through some of my favourite products and introduce you to some new ones too so you won't get too overwhelmed when you visit the counter in Arnotts.  I'm very good aren't I?

If you've not tried their famous Cleanse and Polish then you're missing out because it's a little gem.  It not only removes all traces of makeup, but also cleanses the skin and once buffed off with the muslin cloth, your skin is exfoliated, smooth, soft and ready for the next step.

This is my third bottle of the Instant Boost Skin Tonic and I'll continue to buy many more!  If you're in the market for a soothing toner that refreshes the skin leaving it looking alive and radiant, then get this.  And can we take a second to talk about the Eyebright Soothing Eye Lotion?  It pretty much does what it says on the bottle and if you wake up in the morning with puffy eyes, a bit of this on cotton pads while you lounge back in bed or on the couch and your peepers will be looking alive and you'll look like a human being again which is always nice.  This is my weekend treat as ain't nobody got time for soothing eyeballs during the week!

The Superskin Moisturiser is thick, unctuous and completely luxurious and is one of my favourites to slather on in the winter.  If you like having nourished, hydrated skin, then definitely check it out and when you apply some to the back of your hand, you'll be hooked.  Guaranteed.

One of the new products out is the Superskin Face Serum which promises to help dry or mature skin to look very amazing.  Those are my words.  Liz Earle uses words like firm, lifted, even and radiant skin.  So basically the same thing.  I've only used the serum a couple of times so far and so I can't report back on my findings yet, but with ingredients like Persian silk which enhances radiance, pomegranate flower to boost collagen and rhubarb extract to help hydration, I have high hopes for this and fully expect to have the skin of a 25 year old in a couple of months.

Finally they've a new fragrance coming out in October, the Botanical Essence No. 20 Eau De Parfum.  This gorgeously feminine scent has notes of pink pepper and bergamot when first spritzed followed by a subtle dry down of jasmine (my favourite) and turkish rose before the base notes including sandalwood and vanilla bean round it out beautifully.

This is a really delicate, refined perfume that isn't overpowering and is one that I can see myself wearing when I want to pretend that I'm a lady.

This is just the tip of the Liz Earle shaped iceberg because they have haircare and body care too, so do yourself a favour and hit up Arnotts!

What's your favourite Liz Earle product and what do I need to try?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

It's ok... Blogger edition

This post is for the bloggers out there, be ye beauty bloggers or otherwise.  So if you're here for something beauty related, I'll be back tomorrow with something very fabulous!

The blogging world has literally exploded in recent years and has completely changed in the five years I've been doing it.  I used to put a lot of pressure on myself to blog every day, sometimes twice a day and last year when I was the busiest and most tired I've ever been with everything, I cut myself some slack.  And that freedom took a long while to get used to.  See, I have blogger's guilt a lot.  When I'm watching TV in the evening, I think "Hmm, I could be getting ahead of things now", or if I'm lazing about on the couch, it's generally on my mind that I should be getting stuff done.  But I'm getting there and find that the need to switch off and go easier on myself is much needed.

The majority of us blog as a hobby.  We do it for free.  People think we get free stuff and it must be great and yes, that's an amazing perk from blogging.  What they might not realise is the time that goes into taking and editing the photos along with writing the blog post.  I often wonder if companies and brands would do what we do for free.  And that thought made me take a step back and give myself a break and any blogger out there in a bit of a rut should too!

Today, I want to tell me fellow bloggers that it's ok.  

It's ok if you want to take a blogging break.  Recharging the batteries from time to time is necessary and more often than not you'll come back all guns blazing.

It's ok if you can't post every day.  Sometimes real life gets in the way.  Sometimes you're tired.  Sometimes you want to watch trashy TV or a film instead of blog and that's ok!

It's ok if you find inspiration in someone else's blog and it's ok to credit that inspiration by means of a mention, a link or a shout out.  It won't take away from your blog or your post!

It's ok if you see someone constantly talking about blog stats and you feel like yours isn't even close to those numbers.   Take them with a pinch of salt and know that stats aren't everything.  Content is king and if you're proud of every post you put out there, you're grand.  (More often than not, those stats are being massaged so be proud of your numbers).

It's ok if you have blogger's block.  It happens to the best of us.  With the sheer number of blogs that are out there and samples being sent out, trying to find a different angle all the time.

It's ok if you can't go to every event.  Sometimes real life, family life or work life gets in the way.  Maybe you want to have a cosy night in or maybe once you came home and put your pyjamas on, there was no going back!

It's ok to say no to some "opportunities".  Go with your gut.  Working with brands should be mutually beneficial.  It's up to you do negotiate or decide what you're happy with.

It's ok if you're not making money from your blog.  This is extremely difficult to do and doesn't make you any less of an amazing blogger.

It's ok if you feel like your life isn't Instagram worthy.  Real life isn't that perfect or stylised.  Snapchat has shown us that!

It's ok if you've just started blogging and are finding it hard to navigate your way and build an audience.  This takes time, patience, hard work and luck.  There's no magic formula.

It's ok if you can't keep up to date on all forms of social media.  If you're working full time, chances are you can't be on your phone at work and tweeting or Facebooking ain't going to pay the bills!

It's ok if you get a bit overwhelmed with everything.  You're only one bridie and can only do so much!

I hope that this helped someone out there and if not, it totally helped me!  It's not all doom and gloom though and that's not what this post was about.  Blogging is brilliant and I can't see myself stopping it anytime soon!  For the most part it's a completely positive experience and sometimes it's not.  But it's ok.  The good things far outweigh the bad and it's ok to feel any of those things mentioned above!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Clarins Ombre Matte eyeshadows Heather & Carbon review, photos!

Remember when matte eyeshadows were a thing to be scared of?  They were the products only to be touched and used by the professionals because they were notoriously difficult to use, especially by us mere mortals.  Those days are gone my friends and now there are some really fantastic matte shadows on the market that even the most cack handed of us can get to grips with!  Today we're going to have the chats about two new shades from Clarins' Ombre Matte collection - Heather and Carbon.

Hands up, I did a full blown squeak of happiness when Heather arrived because I fell in love with it at the launch a few weeks ago.  This soft purple with grey undertones to it is eyeball perfection and for someone with green eyes, it was made for me.  I've tried the Ombre Matte shadows in the past and they do not disappoint one bit.  We're talking creamy, smooth, pigmented, so easy to apply and blend and they stay put all day.  As always, I have to apply an eyeshadow base no matter what I use and once I do that, I get the full work day out of these.

Check out Heather in all it's glory...

Now you know me, I'm in the more is more camp when it comes to makeup, so had to pack on a bit more!  I applied Carbon into the outer corner and took it under the lower lashes to add a bit of smokiness to the look.  And I always like to line the waterline when doing something smoky, so I lashed on a bit of Clarins Crayon Kohl in Carbon Black for the craic.

Carbon is just as soft and pigmented as Heather so I made sure to apply it lightly so as not to take over the whole look and make me look like I'd panda eyes.  The finish on them though is absolutely gorgeous.  Matte, soft, almost velvety and are eyeshadows that are suited to all ages.  As we get older, we're told that shimmer can highlight dry, crepey lids and while I won't be retiring my shimmers or glitters anytime soon, I'll be rocking a matte lid lots this autumn and winter.

The Ombre Matte eyeshadows are €22.50 and if you're looking for some beautiful shadows to ease you into autumn, then definitely check these out.  I'm totally obsessed with Heather and predict that'll sell out quickly!  Get yourself to your nearest Clarins counter now and check these out along with the rest of the autumn collection which I'll be showing you soon!

If you're not near a Clarins counter or like a bit of online shopping (don't we all), then they're available on Debenhams website!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lush Shampoo Bars - Jumping Juniper & Montalbano review

I love going into Lush "just for a look", famous last words and a few weeks ago I found myself in the Henry Street branch seeing what tickled my pickle.  I'd a goo on me to pick up one of the shampoo bars as I'm a huge fan of them and have tried a few over the years.  I'm obsessed with the Godiva and the New shampoo bars and have gone through a couple of them each over the years.  But you know me, I needed to try something new.  So I got sniffing and picked out two beauts.

The Jumping Juniper shampoo bar is the purple number there and is apparently only grand for hair that needs a deep clean.  So if you're one who uses lots of products in your hair, this might be the one for you.  I have greasy hair all the time and nothing pleases me more than to have nice squeaky hair at the end of my shower.  It contains juniper berry to help regulate oil production along with lavender and rosemary to help calm and soothe the scalp.  And despite leaving my hair feeling squeaky clean, it doesn't make it go all fluffy when I use it thanks to the lemon and lime oil which help smooth out the hair cuticle.  It smells really clean, fresh, zingy and uplifting.  All the things that make me happy!

The bright neon yellow Montalbano shampoo bar screams summer while filling my bathroom with the most uplifting citrus scent thanks to Sicilian lemon oil and lemon juice which must add up to one of my five a day!  Again, this bar leaves my hair feeling squeaky clean with incredible shine, two of my favourite things when it comes to my locks.

I can't pick a favourite between these two, hence why I treat them evenly and take turns using them.  Neither of them irritate or dry out my scalp and I shall continue to use them every day until they disintegrate.  Oh, and if you're heading away anytime soon, these are perfect for popping into your carry on!

Have you tried any of Lush's shampoo bars?  Which is your favourite?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rimmel Match Perfection foundation review, before & after photos!

Rimmel are relaunching their Match Perfection foundation in September and having loved the original version in the past, I was excited to slap this on my face when six of the seven shades available arrived to test out.

Despite it's glass bottle which isn't great for travelling with or lugging around in your makeup bag, I've been enjoying using it over the past week or so.  Boasting an SPF20, it promises to hydrate, perfect and protect the skin.  It has a slightly thicker texture to a regular liquid foundation, but blends into the skin easily and feels really lightweight once given a couple of minutes to set.  One pump generally does my face and if I need a bit more coverage on my cheeks to cover my redness, I stipple a bit more on and I'm good to go.

What I'm left with is really natural looking skin despite it's medium level of coverage and it leaves a lovely soft glow to the skin.  Oily skinned bridies like me will need to set their t-zones with powder because it tends to break down on those parts of my face by lunch time.  I learned that the hard way the first day I used it, so be warned.

But I love the finish it gives.  It evens out my complexion only lovely, covering the redness on my nose and cheeks but without looking cakey.  And once I set it with powder, I get the whole work day out of it.  I think this is a foundation that'll work really well on dryer skin because it really does leave the skin feeling moisturised, but as I've already said, oilier skinned people will need to either prime their oily bits or powder them.

I enjoy how it doesn't sit in my pores, that it gives me the natural radiance of a 21 year old and that it gives me lovely before and after photos like these!  I use the lightest shade, 100 Ivory but can also get away with the second lightest shade, 103 True Ivory, but for anyone paler than me, you'll have to look elsewhere for something that'll match you.

I love how Rimmel's prices for foundations are always on the money (fnar fnar) and at €10.29, it's definitely worth checking out when it launches on 7th of September.

Two thumbs up from me!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Dare to go bare! Rimmel Nude Collection by Kate Moss

When I think of Kate Moss, I think of four things.

1. She went out with Johnny Depp for yonks and I was uber jealous because I love him.
2. She has the tousled bed hair down to perfection and I am uber jealous because I literally look like I've rolled out of bed when I try it.
3. She can get away with the messy kohl lined eyes, of which I am uber jealous as I just look messy when I try that.
3. She can rock a nude lip better than anyone else and I am not so uber jealous of that because I think I can pull that off.  Thank God for that.  1 out of 4 ain't bad...

So Kate has launched a five strong nude lipstick collection, but we're only getting two of the five shades on offer which is a shame.  But I'll be keeping an eye out just in case the other ones decide to make an appearance on shelves.

Shade 43 is a peachy tan shade which is aimed at those with warm undertones, so the more sallow bridies out there, and for those like me who are cool toned thanks to my pink skin, shade 45 was made for us.

Rimmel Nude Collection by Kate Moss Shade 43 (top), Shade 45 (bottom)
Like previous Kate Moss lippies from Rimmel, these both feel lovely and moisturising on the lips and go on like buttah!  Not that I know what it's like to put butter on my lips, but just be rest assured that even those of us with the driest lips will rest easy when we have these on.

You can see how shade 43 isn't quite a match for my skin tone but I've got a pal with her name on this and it'll be gorgeous with her golden glow.

Shade 45 was made for me with it's mauve undertones and it's one of the most wearable shades on a day to day basis at work, but I can also pile the eye makeup on and it'll go with that too.  You know me, if I've time to put on eyeshadow in the morning that's a bonus, but you know I love me some smokey eyes and nude lips!

These babies are on counters now and will set you back a piddley €6.99!  Will you be checking these out?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

L'Oreal Superliner Superstar Eyeliner review & photos!

I am mortally afraid of eyeliner.  Ah no, not really.  But it's not something I'd generally do when I'm heading out after spending ages with eyeshadows because every single time I'm on the clock and need to be ready to run out the door and have blended five different eyeshadows perfectly and am really happy with the result, I mess it up with a liner.  It's a given.  And so I generally just keep the liner for when I'm filming.  Or sitting in my office in my pyjamas and hun bun/hun hole.

Not anymore.

L'Oreal's Superliner Superstar Eyeliner is by far the best liner I've tried in years and what's more, it's a felt tip liner!

I've never been a fan of felt tip liners in the past because I found they always bled into tiny little creases on my skin immediately after application, but this doesn't and my crepey eyelids thank it.  The long flexible tip makes application really easy and that's coming from someone who knows a thing or two (or five) about messy application.  I use the pointed end to create a really fine line on the inner half of the eyelid, something that's crucial for someone with a hooded eye like me, and then I use the whole side of the tip to create my wing and fill it in.

Pressing lightly on the tip will give a thin line and if you haven't figured it out yet, pressing harder will give a thicker line as demonstrated by my illustration below which might be my next tattoo!  Or not.  But you can see the intense pigmentation and the lack of bleeding into any lines and that's half the battle won for me.

For fans of a more subtle winged look, get a load of my photos below.  This genuinely took me all of five minute to do both eyes and that was with extra faffing about for photos.  It was so easy to use and I had no tidying up to do to make the pointed flick.  The tip did all the work for me.

A subtle winged look like this calls for a red lip and I teamed the liner with Blake's Red from L'Oreal's True Red Collection, named after Blake Lively and I'd say I am the spit of her here.

Now for fans of the more dramatic look, a thick line is easily done by building upon what we created above.  To prevent any tugging on the lid, I like to lie the liner on it's side, right on my skin to create the shape I want and then fill it in with the tip.  I absolutely love the cat eye look below and am dying to wear it out this weekend!  Or tomorrow when I'm lying on the couch watching the Bake Off with a cuppa.

If you're following me on Snapchat, you'll know that I've used this a good few times over the last week and have fallen in love with it.  Yes, I had a wobble one day where I couldn't get the placement for the wing right, then would remove it, and put it in the exact same place again.  I totally did this about four times but that was my fault and not the liner's!

For €10.49, you need to check this out if you're a newbie to liners or are a pro.  I have become very amazing at doing winged liner and have gotten it right nearly every single time!  Usually I'd luck out one time and go back to being rubbish after that, but this is The One.  It makes me good at lining my eyes!

Have you tried this yet and do tell me about your lining expertise!
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