Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My favourite autumn candles from Max Benjamin, La Bougie, This Works & Molten Brown

Ok, I know that what I'm about to say will make me sound like a total bridie but my favourite thing on a Sunday is to snuggle up on the couch in all my fleece (they need to invent fleece underwear), light a bunch of candles, turn off the lights and watch Love Hate.  I'm very into candles and cosiness right now and while I do light lots of candles, I generally only light one scented one, the rest are tea lights in cute candle holders.  If I was to light every candle I own, I'd give myself a touch of the vapours.

I went through a phase years ago of being afraid to light candles, wanting to keep them for "good use".  What that means, I don't know but now I've been using them up like there's no tomorrow and when I'm tucked up on the couch with Bailey snoring away, I want there to be no tomorrow because it's the business!

Some new candles have come into my life recently and I wanted to share them with you because we all need to start a candle, couch and fleece club, for reals.

Max Benjamin Tea Candles

Irish candle company Max Benjamin has released a new 5 strong collection of candles infused with tea fragrances, each one more gorgeous than the last.  It has Assam & Lemon, Lime Flower & Lavender, Raspberry & Ginseng, Serene Jasmine and Victorian Earl Grey.  Regular readers of the blog will know that I love all things jasmine so of course, Serene Jasmine is my favourite.  But only by a hair because the whole collection smells divine.  And will you check out the packaging!  They come with a lid to keep the dust away and make them look even prettier if that's possible.  They kick off so much scent and I find that lighting one in the living room fills the whole of the downstairs of the house with the light, delicate fragrance.  I can't wait to finish one so I can start the next one!  And at €15, they're such a bargain and will make a great little Secret Santa/Stocking Stuffer present.

This Works Lavender & Roman Chamomile Candle

As a massive fan of the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, it was a given that at some point I'd pick up one of their candles too.  The Lavender & Roman Chamomile candle is perfect for relaxing and unwinding after a long day and I've been burning this on my bedside table, creating an air of calm before bed time.  I found mine in TK Maxx but you can buy it online here.  I don't like candles that are too strong when it comes to bed time and this one is perfect for filling the air with it's scent, but not my schnoz.

Molten Brown Firefly Embers Candle

This is Joanne's candle but I "borrowed" it for the purpose of this blog post (and totally used it twice).  I smelled this during the summer in Arnotts and fell in love.  Deep in love.  If you don't have a proper fireplace in your home and want it to smell like burning logs, all autumnal and bonfire-y, then you need to smell Firefly Embers.  It's warm, cosy and will make you want to whip out the marshmallows!  It's expensive at €49, but holy moly it's gorgeous.  Totally one for snuggling up on the couch with!

La Bougie Mission Fig Candle

Lucy Hagerty, founder and perfumer at La Bougie Candles has expanded her collection to include Mission Fig.  Created in Tuscany, Lucy wanted to create a unique fig fragrance and Mission Fig is beautiful.  It's sweet, slightly floral and makes for the perfect scent to take us into autumn.  I'm a massive fan of La Bougie and have been alternating Mission Fig with Sage & Bitter Orange.  These candles are well worth the €20 and you can find a list of stockists here.

Are you mad into your candles too at the moment or is it just me?  Tell me what you're burning now so I can add it to my list because there are a lot of dark evenings ahead of us and we need to be all cosy!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Win!! Roger & Gallet hamper worth €180! #LovelyGirlieBlogoversary

Ooh look what we have for you today!  If you're a fan of French brand Roger & Gallet, then you need to listen up because we have a hamper up for grabs for one lucky reader!  It's worth €180 smackaroonies and I'll make sure some of my favourites are in there, so that we can be twinsies.  Lovely smelling twinsies. 

You know how obsessed I am with the Gingembre scent which I discovered exactly two years ago.  And how do I know it was two years ago?  Because it was right before we went to New York and I loved it so much, I brought the shower gel and body lotion with me and now associate the scent with The Big Apple!  So I might have to do the same thing this year for old time's sake...

To be in with a chance to win, you need to be a resident of Ireland, north or south.  Just enter your details in the widget and the more steps you carry out, the more entries you get!

Good luck!

Monday, October 20, 2014

What's new in budget beauty, chat & demo!

So much has been arriving at Lovely Girlie Towers over the past few weeks and I can't get through it all!  So in an effort to tell you about more products at once, I've filmed a wee video showing you what's new in budget beauty land, complete with chat, demo and mini reviews along the way.  There are so many fantastic products out there at the moment that won't break the bank, so you have no excuse not to head to your local chemist and have a browse.  I give you my full blessing.  Go forth and shop for the both of us!

You can click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel and see a full list of products mentioned.  And do let me know if you like these kinds of videos so I know whether to do more or not.  I've so many video ideas and not enough time to film them, so you tell me what you want to see and that'll make life easier for everyone!

Thanks for watching!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Win! An NYX hamper worth €100! #LovelyGirlieBlogoversary

Today's blogoversary giveaway is courtesy of NYX, one of the brands we were so excited to get our grubby little swatch filled paws on earlier this year.  It's always the case that you covet the things you can't get isn't it?  We'd been stocking up any time we headed to the States and had to resort to Ebay when we were stuck in Ireland without the possibility of giving anyone a beauty shopping list if they were America bound!

I'm in the absolute love with the butter glosses, the blushes, the jumbo lip pencils and that's just the tip of the iceberg!  I'll slowly make my way through the entire contents of the NYX stand and report back to you.  I'm very good like that so I am.  #anyexcuse

Now it's available in pharmacies nationwide and each week there are more stands appearing which is great news!  This week I discovered a brand new stand in the chemist in the Merrion Centre, so I have no excuse when I want to pop in "for a look"... Famous last words eh!

We've got a hamper worth €100 for one lucky winner to celebrate the blog turning 4 and all you have to do is enter your details in the widget below and you're in with a chance!  This is open to residents of Ireland (North or South) and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New! Garnier BB Cream + Blur review, photos, comparison

You know I'm a big fan of the Garnier BB Cream and truth be told, it's still one of the most searched for blog posts here at Lovely Girlie Bits.  I've also spoken about the Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur here and still find it fantastic at filling in my crater pores and creating a smooth canvas to pile the war paint on.  Well they've only gone and combined the two products into one and we do know how I enjoy multifunctional products because girlfriend here likes to carry around as few products as possible to ensure she doesn't develop back problems.

So the Garnier BB Cream and Blur promises to smooth skin texture, blur wrinkles and imprefections, leave a matte velvet finish, moisturise and even skin tone, all with a very healthy hit of SPF30.  Sounds like the perfect product doesn't it?

Now, a lot of BB Creams are high on coverage, making them sit more on the foundation end of the spectrum, but this version is definitely more on the sheer side, but is still buildable.  In terms of texture, it's nice and fluid, and I thought it was going to be thicker with the blurry stuff in it, but it's really lightweight on the skin and dare I say it, less visible on the skin and more natural compared to my beloved Garnier BB cream.
Garnier BB Cream + Blur before (L), after (R)
So I wanted to compare this new incarnation of the BB cream with the 5 Second Perfect Blur and the BB Cream from Garnier.  If they were essentially combining two products into one, then I wanted to see if we really needed the new thing if we had the two old things.  That's a lot of things but this is scientific beauty stuff!

When I first poured some of the BB Cream + Blur onto the back of my hand, I nearly had a nose bleed when I saw how dark it was and this was the light shade!  But you can see from the swatches above that it blends out into a similar shade, ever so slightly darker, but less yellow toned than the original BB cream.

Garnier BB Cream applied over Garner 5 Second Perfect Blur
You can see in the photos above what it looks like when I apply the 5 Second Perfect Blur and then the regular BB Cream over the top.  It gives a decent amount of coverage, evens out the skin tone and gives a satin finish.

Now it's time to do side by side photos!

Garnier BB Cream + Blur (L), Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur and Garnier BB Cream (R)
It's only when I had the two products on my face at the same time that I really saw the difference in them.  The BB Cream + Blur gives a much more natural finish to the skin and evens out my complexion while still letting my skin shine through.  And despite it being a bit darker, it looks so much nicer and more natural on the skin.  Despite promising a matte finish, it definitely gives a slight glow to my skin which I prefer when I see the two sides of my face beside each other like this!  I think that the side of my face with the 5 Second Perfect Blur and BB Cream looks a bit flat in comparison to the other side, it looks a bit more yellow and while it does have a satin finish, I'm not sure I like it as much as the other side.  How fickle am I!

Garnier 5 Second Perfect Blur and Garnier BB Cream (L), Garnier BB Cream + Blur (R)
Behold a photo where half of my face has one set of products and half has the other.  You can see from my nose that the two products layered definitely gives more coverage, but again, looking at the photo and seeing it in person, I think I prefer the new offering.  Luckily I don't have many wrinkles (yet) so I can't see much of a difference in terms of blurring any lines on my face.

So my verdict?  If you're after something that's going to give a light coverage, that evens out your complexion, gives a subtle glow to the skin and make you look a bit more alive while pretending your skin is naturally lovely, then this is one to check out.  Just don't have a mickey fit when you pour it out onto the back of your hand, it does blend out lighter, but pale girls will need to keep looking.

Now if I was doing a video on this, you know for an actual fact that I'd have to get in the Spice Girls "2 become 1" line complete with hand gestures because in this case, they've combined two great products to make one even better product in my opinion.  It'll set you back a very random RRP€15.24 and is in shops now.

Are you intrigued?  And are you singing 2 become 1 now?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Sephora Wish List #3

How in the name of all that is good in the world is it time for my third wish list post?!  Our trip to New York (or Noo Yoik as we like to say in the voice of Joey Tribbiani) is fast approaching and next month I'll have one more list of things I shan't necessarily be buying, but will need to get up close and personal with.  I've already saved the photo from the previous two wish lists which you can see here and here so I can march into Sephora, have a mickey fit because I will actually be inside said Sephora and be able to touch the things.  The sales assistants will get to know me, we'll become friends, I'll spend a lot of money, they'll give me samples and life will be so much better!

So here's what I've been coveting recently from Sephora!

Sephora Wish List #3

It wouldn't be a trip to New York at Christmas without picking up one of these amazing sets which has 10 mini mascaras and a mini eye makeup remover to boot.  Sets like these are a great way to try lots of products without having to invest in the full size and yes, this will be mine.  I haven't even looked to see what mascaras it has.  One second.  Yes.  Just checked.  This sound perfectamundo.

I do love a good gel liner, especially in pencil form, mainly for ease of use and carrying around.  But would you look at the packaging on these guys!  I can't even cope with how gorgeous these are and now need to research swatches.  And check out the collectable case they come on.  Seriously, I'm a packaging hoor!

I know, I can hear you thinking this: "Jesus Mary and Holy Saint Joseph Karen, what are you doing looking at yet another neutral eyeshadow palette?"  And I say to you "Shadappaya face, I have a problem!"  Seriously though, this is one of those staple palettes I really and truly do see myself getting a lot of use out of.  Any excuse wha?  A bone fide makeup junkie like myself can justify anything.  Fact.

I know I'll definitely be picking up some of the Formula X polishes but check out this limited edition set with 22 mini polishes.  I do have a soft spot for mini sized anything because a) they make me feel like a giant and b) I actually stand a chance of finishing something!  There's a reason why you've never seen an empties post or video from me!  This set has a nice balance of neutrals, brights, darks and glitters.

This is a no brainer.  It's a blush palette.  It's from Tarte.  I need it.  Oh and all 5 shades are new.  Yes, get on my face now bishes!

Where would you be getting 8 eyeshadows, 4 blushes and a highlight for $15?  In bloody Sephora, that's where.  This set looks perfect for plopping into my makeup bag for days where I've meetings on right after work and need to make myself look presentable.  Yes, hurry on down to bargain town.

I know, more Tarte, but not being able to get it easily here in Ireland makes me covet it so much more.  And this little cheek set with a blush and cheek tint is just too dinky not to check out when I'm there.  And it's $10!  It would be an actual mortal sin not to get one just because.

This is the last of the Tarte (this month) I promise!  But look at it.... It's a gorgeous set with 20 eyeshadows (neutral as per usual), a mini mascara, lip products, cheek stain, powder, maracuja oil and that all comes in a gorgeous travel bag.  I love complete sets like this and shall be swatching the shadows to see if they're worth picking up.  I'm guessing yes.

This 17 piece sampler set of all the lip products known to man is The Actual Business.  Roll up, roll up because it has glosses, lipsticks, lip balms and lip creams from brands including Tarte, Too Faced, Hourglass, Bite Beauty and so many more.  As I said earlier, mini things make me happy, but what I failed to mention was that mini lip products make me even happier because I have a tendency to keep popping random lip products into my bag as the month goes on, and then I can't figure out why my back is sore until I empty said bag to find millions of lippies in there.  I could put all 17 items in my bag and not even notice couldn't I?  

And that concludes this month's Sephora wish list.  I'm not even joking, every time I do these posts where I get to take my time and browse the Sephora website, I give myself the squirts from excitement.  TMI but this is the truth!  Pray for me when I actually set foot inside one....

Did you see anything you liked the look of here?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

First look! Bourjois Smoky Stories palettes - photos, swatches

As you know, I have a massive soft spot for Bourjois and have always said that they do foundations and mascaras that put some of the higher end brands to shame.  I've also always felt that the one place they were lacking was in the eyeshadow department.  Until now.  Oh em geeeeeeeee these new Smoky Stories palettes are seriously amazing and when I was in Boots over the weekend, I had to pick up these three after missing the launch last month.  There are 8 shades in total but I just went for the ones I thought I'd get the most use out of.  They were €10.49 but Boots had an offer on where you could get two Bourjois products for €19, so that's what I did, thinking I was great and then saw a third one that I couldn't leave behind.

The packaging is cute and simple, with a clear acrylic top where you can see the shades inside.  And let me just say in terms of formulation, first impressions are that these are so soft and buttery.  They're really pigmented with little fall out and each of the three main shades work so well together and complement each other perfectly.  The sparkly centre shade acts as a highlight which you can use in the inner corner of your eyes, or on the eyelid to add a little more light to your eyes.  

Upside Brown

For lovers of cool toned neutrals, Upside Brown is the business.  The swatched shade on the left reminds me of MAC's Patina and is perfect for an all over wash of colour on the eyelid.  The darker shades can be used to add smokiness and definition to the look and this palette would be a great one to keep in your makeup bag if you're heading out after work and need to add a little somethin' somethin' to your eyeballs.

Over Rose 

Give me anything on the purpley plum end of the spectrum and I'll be all over it because palettes like Over Rose works like a dream with my green eyes.  The lightest shade was a bit too light for me to use for anything other than a brow highlight but those darker two shades, well they're just perfectamudno.  The sparkly shade is the most beautiful rose gold that didn't translate on camera, but needless to say, I'll be adding it to all of my looks.

Good Nude

When autumn hits, I always turn to palettes like Good Nude with it's neutral brown goodness with purple undertones.  That shade that's second from the left in the swatches is what life is all about right now ... The silver sparkle is the most pigmented of all the sparkle shades in the three palettes and I bet that they'll all be glitter-licious when applied wet.

With these three palettes, I keep picking a favourite and then change my mind.  I wanted to give them the love and attention they deserve so I'll be filming a video using them in the next week, so stay tuned for that.  I want you to see how easy they are to work with, how if I can do a couple of makeup looks with my cack handed ability, then you will too!

Head to Boots to visit these guys and I'm telling you, they'll be love at first swatch.  I dare you to try and pick up just one!
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