Thursday, November 26, 2015

Favourite makeup brushes & new additions!

I've said this before, but it can't be just me who collects makeup brushes like they're going out of fashion!  Or that they buy more brushes so they don't have to wash the ones they have...  No, I bet everyone does that eh!

Recently I've been getting a lot of questions on Snapchat (LovelyGirlyBits) about what brushes I use and would recommend.  So I thought a video was in order because as you'll see, I love a lot of brushes.  I wanted to highlight my favourite brands, brushes and then show you some new sets that are out on the market now.

I've got a mix of brush sets, individual brushes and range in price from €2.50 for a gorge malorge Penneys brush up to €55 for the equally gorge malorge Nima Brush set.  I am a woman obsessed with these and if you're looking to buy a beauty related present for a friend, but don't want to buy makeup, then brushes are the way to go!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Home scents ft Neom, Molten Brown, L'Occitane & Rituals

'Tis the season to be jolly, but 'tis also the season to make your house smell only fabulous!  I love walking into a room and having it smell like something other than dog.  Ah Bailey isn't that smelly!  But I do love buying and trying candles, room diffusers, sprays and anything else lovely and smelly.   I think when it comes to home fragrances though, it's worth shelling out a few extra euros because the more expensive products generally are better quality, aren't as synthetic smelling and last for ages.  They're definitely an investment, but one that will make all the difference.  Trust me.

I've picked out four things you can use at home to make your house smell warm, cosy and festive.  Twinkly lights at the ready!

Molten Brown Firefly Embers candle - €49

To say I'm obsessed with this candle would be the ultimate understatement and despite rationing it because of it's spendyness (€49 in Arnotts and Brown Thomas, but cheaper in Kildare Village FYI), this candle is most definitely worth the cash and has lasted me for ages.  If you're a fan of woody, cosy scents, then this is one worth checking out but let me tell you that the first time I got a whiff of it in Arnotts, I thought it smelled like pure smoke and was so overpowering, and yet I was hooked.  Joanne bought this for me at the start of the year and I'd been waiting patiently to burn it until it got autumnal in September, so when Strictly and Downton started, I got fully into cosy mode and got all of my twinkly lights ready and lit this every Saturday and Sunday.  I'm only about halfway through the candle and I know for an absolute fact that I'll be buying another one for next year.  When lit, the scent isn't as strong and yet if you go into the kitchen to make a cuppa and come back into the living room, you can definitely get the campfire scent that's wonderfully cosy.  Molten Brown candles are a gorgeous gift to give and anyone would be lucky to receive one of these this Christmas!

L'Occitane Winter Forest Home Perfume - €22

Now while I can't say I've ever walked through a pine forest or had a real Christmas tree (I'm all about the fake trees so I am), Winter Forest smells like what I imagine a winter forest smells like.  When I spray it, I'm instantly transported to a really sunny, bright, crisp winter's day where I'm bundled up in a massive scarf and I haven't had to put any blush on due to the natural glow I've gotten from my grand walk in the woods.  And this is all without leaving my home or having to change out of my pyjamas.  It's not an overpowering scent once you don't go wild with it, but that's the same with any scent and if you want your home to smell like a lovely Christmas morning's walk, then try this out.  There's also a diffuser and a candle of the same scent if you're not a fan of home perfumes but still want the inside of your house to smell like outside.

Rituals Under A Fig Tree Mini Fragrance Sticks - €12.50

I'm obsessed with all things Rituals and have been for years now.  I've been making my way through their fragrance sticks scents and the only one I hadn't tried was their Under A Fig Tree one.  While I have the larger fragrance sticks in my living room and hall at the moment, I don't like using them in the bedroom as I think the room is too small for something so big (that's what she said) and so these minis are not only cute, but are also affordable.  So hit up Arnotts while they still have them because they always sell out around Christmas. They make the perfect stocking stuffer and with a few different scents, you'll definitely find one you love.  This one is muted, soft, sweet and a real crowd pleaser, but to be honest, I've never come across a Rituals fragrance I haven't loved!

NEOM - Christmas Wish candle - €36

Seeing a name like Christmas Wish when it comes to a candle, I was expecting something really sweet and sickly and this offering from NEOM knocked me upside the head because the first note I got was mandarin, followed by cinnamon and tonka bean.  It's unlike anything I've ever smelled around this time of the year in terms of home fragrance, but there's one thing it does remind me of.  Terry's Chocolate Orange..... If you love those, you'll love this.  There's such a cosy, comforting, familiar feeling that washes over me when I smell this and so I'm saving it for good use (don't we all do this?) to use over December when I want to de-stress as the blend of 13 essential oils promises to help do that.  A candle that makes me feel cosy, smells delicious and will help reduce stress?  Yes please!

So those are my top picks for helping your home smell fabulous this festive season.  What do I need to try next?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bourjois Air Mat foundation review, before & after photos!

When Bourjois comes out with a new base, I always sit up and take notice because they've given me some of my favourite foundations over the years and have put some of the high end brands to shame.  A few weeks ago, Joanne and I headed up to Belfast for the day and did a little bit of damage in Superdrug, buying just two nail polishes and the Bourjois Air Mat foundation.  That's restraint right there people.  Here she is in all her glory.

Coming in a squeezy tube making it perfect for travel or popping in your makeup bag, I bought the lightest shade on the counter, 01 Rose Ivory and it matches my skin pretty well, but for anyone who's paler than me, you might need to look elsewhere.  There are only five shades available which is a shame.

For reference, I've got normal cheeks and an oily t-zone and my face can be prone to dry bits if I don't look after it properly, especially during the colder months.  As you'll see in the before photos, I also have areas of redness around my nose and on my cheeks which always helps me figure out the level of coverage with a base.

Bourjois Air Mat foundation is a lovely thick, full coverage foundation which is a finish I favour during the winter months.  For me, I pack on the makeup when the evenings get darker so a flawless base is always a must have.  This foundation leans quite yellow on me, which is grand as it counteracts the redness and while it might look at bit stark in these before and after photos, when I've a full face on, it looks normal.

Despite being full coverage, it doesn't look cakey on me once I don't apply too much and I've found that the best way to apply a thicker foundation like this is to use a beauty blender rather than a brush.  I do the same with Estee Lauder Double Wear and it's the way to go lads.  It has a really light floral fragrance which I love but if scented bases aren't your thing, then keep that in mind.

It has a claim of an "undetectable matte finish" and I'd agree with half of that statement.  It's definitely matte but not undetectable.  If I'm not careful with the blending, it can sit in pores and if I have any dry patches, it definitely clings to those.  So if you're someone with dry skin, stay away from this as it's one for the oilier skinned.

I rarely apply a primer under my foundation during the week and I've tested this with and without powder and found that powder doesn't add much to the longevity because either way, I get the full work day out of it without it breaking down too much.  Now you don't actually need a powder with it, I just wanted to try it with and without for the review.  I find by about lunch time, it starts to fade every so slightly on my nose and I kind of blame that on the increase in my heavy duty skincare routine over the past few weeks.

It'll set you back €13.99 and is on Bourjois counters now.  So oily skinned bridies, check it out but make sure you've taken care of any dry patches before using it.  I'm really enjoying using it and have to give Bourjois another thumbs up for creating yet another base I love!

Monday, November 16, 2015

What to buy with your No7 vouchers!

I've been wanting to film a video on what to buy with your No7 vouchers for ages and each time I got organised to film it, the offer would have finished and then I would have the shaky fist rage!  But this time we were prepared and over the weekend we filmed it and are ready to help you spend your No7 voucher and also spend your money honey.

I hate having a voucher unspent but also don't like spending said vouchers on rubbish, so I went through my stash and Joanne went through the bits she's been testing out since I gave her the No7 Advent Calendar and we have some goodies for you.

Having the vouchers takes the sting out of paying full price for a product, and it also makes justifying a purchase that bit easier too.  "Oh but sure I'm not paying full price, I'm totally allowed to pick this up!"  Some of the products mentioned will be familiar to regular readers of the blog as I've talked about them lots and some I've just taken for granted and not given them the love they deserve.  So get your vouchers ready and hit up Boots before you run out of time!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lovely Girlie Bits' must do list for New York!

Every autumn, I get excited about New York, whether I'm going there or not!  We generally go for Thanksgiving and the Black Friday sales and while we're not going this year, we've plans to go next year and I need to start saving now!!

I've done a couple of New York themed blog posts before but got completely inspired by everyone on Snapchat who have upcoming holidays to the Big Apple!  Nothing makes me happier than giving out some tips and information when it comes to my favourite place and I still make notes of places I want to visit, restaurants I want to eat in and sights I want to see.  My friend Caroline is there now and has been instructed to send me lots of photos and Aisling from Total Makeup Addict is heading soon and was the one who inspired this here blog post!

To me, New York just has a special feeling.  We first brought Mam there for her birthday in 2004 and since then have gone back together so many times and have our own little routine when we're there.  It is my favourite place for me, mam and Joanne to go and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.  We love the familiarity of staying in the same hotel each time (Hotel Stanford) and we said that if we ever win the lotto, we'd still stay there because the location is perfect and the hotel is small, clean and do good coffee with the free breakfast in the morning!

So in honour of everyone who is going to New York before Christmas, this one's for you.  I have the ultimate jealousy that I'm not going but also want to be tagged in all of your photos online so that I can pretend I'm there!  Whether you're a newbie to New York or know your way around the streets, I wanted to highlight a few things that we've loved doing over the years!

Do the Brooklyn bridge walk.

This was one of our favourite things to do one trip and we were raging we didn't get around to it the last time we were there.  For a bridge, there's a hell of a lot that goes on and as New York is brilliant for people watching, so is this!  We're talking boot camp classes, people making their way to and from work with so many forms of transport, photo shoots, proposals.  We've seen it all!    I really want to do it at sunset some evening and get some gorgeous photos or a timelapse video of the skyline.

Do Top of the Rock.

As much as I enjoy the Empire State Building and have done it a couple of times now, the Top Of The Rock is a must do for us.  I'd love to do that at night as well and it's lovely to have the Empire State Building in photos for once!

Do The View NYC revolving restaurant

If memory serves me correct, this opens at 4.30pm and we were so glad we waited for the opening time because over the course of the hour that it took the restaurant to do a full rotation, we watched New York go from day to night and it was magical! We had a couple of drinky poos while we were there, very spendy drinky poos, but we thoroughly enjoyed them and it gave our tootsies a much needed break.  We want to go back for food next time.  Any excuse eh?

Go see the Rockettes

This is one of our absolute favourite things to do when we're in New York.  I'd say we've seen the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall at least 5 or 6 times and can confirm that we'll go back and see them again and again!  If you're looking for Christmas family fun that'll make you feel all festive and cosy, then you need to go!  There's a bit of 3D magic, some amazing set design and basically we're talking about the precision of Riverdance on stage, but without topless Michael Flatley.  The dancers are machines (not actual robots or anything) and you will leave Radio City full of the Christmas spirit and kicking your legs like a Rockette!

Do a bus tour at night

Yes, you will freeze the actual diddies off yourself but the lights make up for it and the nosy bridie in me loved being able to see inside shops and buildings as we were driving by.  When the Christmas lights are up and going, this is a really festive (and freezing) way to spend the evening.  And you are totally within your rights to warm up with a hot chocolate and watch the ice skaters at Bryant Park snot themselves.

Do the Christmas stalls

We absolutely love wandering up to Bryant Park to look at the ice skaters do their thing and during the festive season, the park is full of stalls with handmade products, food, drink and it gets me right in the cosy feels!  And when they start playing Christmas music, I can't cope with life and want to buy all of the things!  They also have them down in Union Square and it's all just magical.

Go see the parade

Ah the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the things that will give you the feels.  That's if you see it.  Due to getting caught up in the shopping, we kind of missed it last year and saw the final balloon, but we've watched parts of it over the years.  It finishes up on 34th street and as we stay on 32nd, we know when to leg it outside to have a look!  It's great craic and one to tick off the bucket list.

Go look at all of the Christmas lights and decorations everywhere!  You can't miss them!

Seeing the displays in Macy's Lord & Taylor, Saks and 5th Avenue just makes me so happy.  They remind me of heading into town when we were kids and looking at all the Christmas windows in Switzers (now Brown Thomas) and Clerys.  Walking up 5th Avenue bundled up in my hat and scarf and seeing the twinkly lights in the distance is something I'll never get tired of.  I've lots of footage of the department store windows in my New York vlogs from last year so have a look at our week in the big apple here.

Be in the news!

In the years we've gone to New York for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we've been in the paper twice and in the associated press once!  There are cameras everywhere around this time of year, especially at Thanksgiving and when we were in K-Mart looking at the questionable fashion, we were approached by a photographer and the rest is history!  Joanne has been immortalised online holding a Cookie Monster t-shirt!

I've done a blog post on where we had some seriously tasty meals last year, so if you want to give yourself the ultimate hunger, check them out.

We've been to New York a load of times for Black Friday and I think I'll do a post just on that because we've learned lots over the years and have some tips and tricks to make it out alive!

Enjoy your holiday to New York!!

Monday, November 9, 2015

Our clothing, beauty and homeware haul!

Yes, we've been shopping again!  But in fairness, we'd been up in Belfast and couldn't go all that way without picking up a few bits am I right?  I think this will be the end of spending until we do our Christmas shopping, so for now, sit back and watch us have the chats about what we bought!

We do end up buying the same clothes sometimes and our shopping trip up the north was no different!  But we were good and just bought things that we really loved and will get great use out of. Don't I sound like the ultimate shopaholic!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

My beauty haul!

Last Saturday, I did something I haven't done in ages.  I went shopping with a fellow makeup addict and bought lots of goodies!  It's all Orla's fault to be honest.  She was in Dublin for the day and we needed to make the most of our short time together.  So we did.  We shopped, we lunched, we talked ourselves into and out of buying products and still I came away from the day in great form having had the proper chats with Orla while picking up some gems.

As bloggy life is crazy busy right now, I thought a little introduction to everything might be in order and then you can let me know what you'd like to see a review or video on first.  It's either that or you won't hear about these at all for weeks!

Behold my haul!

Emma Hardie Professional Cleansing Cloths

I've gone through countless of these dual sided cloths and will go through many more as they're bloody amazing.  I've spoken about them on the blog before, but in case you're new here, one side is a muslin cloth and the other is microfibre.  Let me just say that I'd be scared if I was a tub of exfoliator because whenever I use this cloth with my regular cleanser, my face is left insanely smooth and soft.  You can get them in Space NK and Arnotts for €15 for a pack of three, or from Debenhams for €13.  Em I think I know where I'll be getting my next box!

Rodial Glam Balm Lip

As someone who seemingly eats her lip products and is therefore about 62% lip balm at any given time, I love trying new ones.  I always have a few on the go and Rodial's Glam Balm lip balm is the newest addition to my stash, my lips and my insides.  First impressions are very fabulous and I'm loving the formula as it melts onto my lips, softens dry skin, isn't sticky and I'll be repurchasing this.  As a professional lip balm user, I can generally tell after a couple of uses if it's going to be good or not and this gets two thumbs up.

NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade

I first heard that this had come to Irish shores from Sharon Leavy and had to snap it up when I saw it in Hickey's pharmacy on Grafton Street but you can get it on the Cara Pharmacy website here for €7.75.  This is supposed to be a dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and I shall be testing it out to see if it's any good or whether you should fork out for Anastasia's version.  Stand by lads.

Bioderma Sebium H2O Purifying Cleansing Micelle Solution

I've gone through two massive bottles of the regular Bioderma micellar cleansing water over the past few months and I reached a fork in the road.  I had to make a decision.  Then I did the thing.  The thing I do every time when I find a holy grail product and it's time to repurchase it: I do not repurchase it.  I wonder if there's something better out there and consider the potential that I'm missing out on an even holier grail.  So I bought the Sebium H2O version as I've oily/combination skin and Dee from Viva Adonis said she loved it more than the original.  I got the medium sized bottle to test it out first and again, shall report back with my findings.

Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp palette & Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameloen Amber Haze

I've had my eye on Charlotte Tilbury's Vintage Vamp palette for ages and so after swatching it on Saturday, I bit the bullet and bought her.  I'll be doing a comparison with my beloved Dolce Vita Palette but first impressions are that they're totally different.  Maybe not different enough to the regular eye but for a beauty lover who can see minute differences in shades, this is totally not the same.  Not even close.   Take a look at those gorgeous burgundy shades that will make my eyeballs green...  A full blog post/video will be coming soon lads because I think this one is going to be a winner.

My final impulse purchase was Charlotte Tilbury's Colour Chameleon in Amber Haze and why it's suggested for brown eyes, anyone with eyeballs can use it.  I do love anything warm toned in the autumn and winter and while the lid of these things drives me demented as they pop off themselves, I'll get lots of use out of Amber Haze!

And that's all I'm buying makeup-wise.  Until December.  When it's my birthday and Christmas and a bit of self gifting never goes amiss.  (But I might get the new Charlotte Tilbury foundation which I got a couple of samples of and think I love it).  I need it.  Shut up.  I do.

Orla did some damage herself, so follow her on Snapchat (OrlaRich) and keep an eye on her blog for more information on her new beauty bits!

Let me know what you'd like to hear more about first and I shall prioritise!

Lovelygirliebits - Find me on


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