Tuesday, August 4, 2015

New! July beauty & non beauty favourites!

Over the weekend, Joanne and I got together to film a few videos, take some blog photos and generally act the maggot!  As I've mentioned before, we have a lot of plans for the YouTube channel between now and Christmas and to start things off, we decided to film a monthly favourites video so you can see what beauty and non beauty products we've loved over the past month.

It was great filming with someone for a change because sometimes sitting in a room talking to a camera can be really weird!  But we had great craic and hope you enjoy the video!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Taking an unexpected break from blogging this week!

This week there have been no posts on the blog and it's the first time in the nearly 5 years I've been blogging that this has happened.  And for the first time in those 5 years, I don't mind!  I don't have blogger's burn out, or have nothing to write about, it's the opposite really.  I just wanted a few days where I wasn't spending hours taking photos and writing posts.

I don't get paid for blogging apart from the very rare sponsored post.  Contrary to what you might think, there isn't much money in blogging and I do this as a hobby that someday will turn into a business!  July has always been a wonky month for me and this July has been wonky, but for completely different reasons.  I've allowed myself to take the weekend off and just relax.  I've allowed myself time to watch films and do nothing, but this time I've not let myself feel guilty over it!  This is a completely new concept for me!

Creating original content every day is time consuming whether it be blogging or filming.  You have the taking of the photos, which can take a while if you're a weirdo like me, the editing of the photos, the writing of the post and that's without the whole social media aspect of it and for filming, I  have to do my hair and makeup, film, edit, upload and all that extra stuff.  I'll never be one for microblogging on Instagram or Facebook because I want you to be able to Google stuff and find it on my blog.

Lovely Girlie Bits turns 5 in September and I'm really excited about the future of it all.  But for the rest of the week possibly, I'll be taking it easy!  Wait and see, I'll have a blog post up tomorrow now after all this waffling!

So in the words of Arnie, I'll be back.  Just not this week.  I'm going to see Magic Mike tonight with Joanne for cultural reasons obvs so that takes precedence over blogging every time!

Make sure to follow me on Snapchat to keep up to date with what I'm up to.  My ghosty man is on the side of the blog there and I can be found @lovelygirlybits so see you soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My new Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes!

The rule of life is if you see a beauty sale on, you buy stuff.   All the better if the stuff that's on sale is stuff you were planning on buying anyway.  That's a no brainer, no justification, the stars have aligned and you go with it.

Enter Cloud 10 Beauty's 15% off sale recently where I bought some Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes.  I may have had about 8 in my basket as is a common occurrence with me when it comes to online shopping (it feels like I'm not spending money!) but whittled it down to 4 brushes.  But be warned that the next time there's a sale on, I'll be picking up the ones that were left behind.

First up I bought two of the E24 (€6.95) flat eyeshadow brushes.  

These are great dupes for the MAC 239 (I say that confidently, having owned no MAC 239s in my life ever) and I've had one for a couple of years now and it's still in great shape.  I have a million fluffy brushes but not many flat shadow brushes, hence picking up two and they're great at picking up colour, be it powder or cream and they do what a flat shader brush should do - apply colour to my eyelids.  I've found them to wash well with my Dr Bronner's Liquid Soap and micellar cleansing water and they dry just as softly as if they were brand new.  The brush is small enough to fit under the lower lashes easily.  But did that stop me from picking up this next brush?  Nope!

I bought a pencil brush E23 (€6.95) after wanting one for ages.  

I'd one from Sephora that I bought years ago, along with a couple from Crown Brushes and even a cheap one from Ebay but this one knocks them all out of the park.  The pointed tip means I can really get into the lower lashes and smudge away without scratching that delicate under eye area.  In the past, I've found that the pencil brushes I've tried are either too dense and don't blend out the product, or are too scratchy and blend everything out too much.  This is the Cinderella brush of pencil brushes and I've been using it all the time as we do know I love me some smokey eyes!

The final brush is a little beaut!  (€7.95) And it's like nothing else in my collection.  Kinda.  

The F28 is described as a fluffy powder/contour brush and already it's become one of my go to brushes every day.  I like to use it to blend out eyeshadow, to apply highlight, both liquid and powder, to my cheekbones, and apply defined contour right in the (non existent) hollows of my cheekbones.  I've also been using it to set my undereye concealer when I remember to apply said concealer and it's a brilliant brush for doing a bit of precise powdering if I'm working on my strobe action.  I've also been known to just sit and stroke it, such is the weirdness that is my life.  It's bigger than a MAC 217 or 224 in case you're wondering whether you need it or not.  (You do).

I've used each of the brushes consistently since picking them up and having bought a flat eyeshadow brush from BCC years ago and it's still going strong, I'm confident that these will last me for ages.  But it will not stop me from buying more.  No.  That's crazy talk right there.

You can buy Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes from Cloud 10 Beauty or from the Blank Canvas Cosmetics website.  Go forth and shop!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray review

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and fell in love with it.  You can read my review here but basically, I loved it.  I bought it for mam and Joanne, who in turn bought it for their friends and members of our family because it worked.  I know, but I can't think of any other way of explaining it!

I go through really short phases of sleeping great, conking out for the whole night, but more often than not, I'm a very restless sleeper and find it hard to nod off to begin with.  And if I wake up during the night, it can take me ages to fall back asleep.  If it's hot or sticky at night, well I might as well not even bother going to bed.  But most nights, I have this ability to start thinking about everything I need to do, have done, forgot to do as soon as my head hits the pillow.

This Works have a new version of their pillow spray, the This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray and somehow, it works even better than the original version!  When I talked bout this on Snapchat last week, there were a load of screenshots taken of it followed by lots of questions, so I thought a wee blog post was in order.

They've managed to encapsulate the lavender which helps promote a good night's sleep throughout the whole night.  So what I do is spritz a few pumps all over my pillow and along the top of my duvet to ensure maximum conk-age out-age.  And during the night as I turn and move in bed, the lavender is released from the microcapsules and as such, said conk-age out-age lasts for longer.

Any time I use this, all I can say to people the next day is that I slept so hard!  It sounds mad but I feel like I've had the deepest sleep ever and this is from someone who wakes up a few times during the night, sometimes to pee, sometimes because of Bailey the brat barking or having one of his mad dreams, and then I figure as I'm awake that I might as well pee.  But with this, I wake up sans needing to pee during the night.  I don't know what the dealio is with this and any time I use it, I wake up the next morning with a full bladder, but feeling really rested.

I don't use this every night in case I get used to it and it loses efficacy.  And I try to keep it to the weekend so that I can have a lie on too.  I do find it slightly hard to get motivated to get out of bed the next morning after using it, but that's me most days anyway.  You know that feeling when you wake up and still feel so comfy and relaxed in bed?  That's what this does for me while also helping me nod off, sleep more restfully and wake up feeling like a human being the next day, not a lunatic who can't wait to get her first coffee into her!

I know the Boots website sells the original pillow spray, as does Arnotts, but I'm not 100% about the Sleep Plus Pillow spray.  But you can get it on Feel Unique for €35.25 which might sound spendy, but if you're someone who struggles with switching off at night, is a restless sleeper and wants to avoid using prescription medication, then give it a go.

I honestly wouldn't recommend anything that hasn't worked for me and I know that not everything works for everyone.  This genuinely helps calm my brain at night, gives me a more restful sleep and gets me back into the habit of sleeping better on nights after I've used it.  Two big fat thumbs up for this one.

Monday, July 20, 2015

New! You know you're a beauty junkie when... #2

Back in April, I filmed a video version of my blog series "You know you're a beauty junkie when..." and it had a great response!  This pleased me greatly because it confirmed that there are lots of other beauty lunatics out there along with me!  So last week I thought it was high time to film part 2 because it's important to know that there are more of us out there, that we're not alone and that really, we're quite normal in the grand scheme of things!

So do me a favour, watch the video and then let me know if you can relate to any of these!  Let's support each other in our beauty junkie-ness!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

YSL Les Sahariennes review, photos, swatches

Back in April, I got two of YSL's Les Sahariennes to test and review.  I took photos and continued to use them.  Then I watched a video by Lily Pebbles recently where she spoke about them and I realised I never actually wrote the blog post on them.  Bad blogger!  But better late than never and yes, my hair is long in the photos as this was pre haircut!

Ok so let's get stuck in shall we?  The Les Sahariennes bronzers are a cream to matte formula that promises to give a really natural sun kissed glow.  With seven shades on offer, there should be one to suit you and while I was sent shade 3 and 6 which look different in the compact and in swatches, blended into the skin they're not not hugely different.

The packaging is gorgeous and the compact's mirror is nice and big.  It comes in a little pouch with a double ended brush/sponge that can be used to apply the product in two different ways.  You can use the sponge to apply a thicker, more opaque layer onto the skin, or use the brush end to carve out cheekbones and other such carve-able places.  I actually quite like the brush end.  It's ever so slightly scratchy but as you'll see in the photos, does a great job at product placement.

The swatches above show shade 3 on the left and shade 6 on the right.  Both are quite warm toned but are still really wearable, even for pale ladies like myself.  I'm not going to lie, I can't remember which shade I used in the photos below.  I want to say shade 6 because I wanted it to show up on camera, but I'm not 100%.  But either way, you'll see the effect that this gives on the skin!

Step 1: Admire how one dimensional your face looks.
Step 2: Using the brush, carve out some cheekbones baby!
Step 3: Flick the brush upwards to help blend out the product.
Step 4: Admire newly chiseled, yet natural cheekbones.
Step 5 (not pictured): Feel free to apply this product wherever you need it.  I like to bring it onto my forehead, down the nose and slightly under the lower lip to add a bit of poutiness.

The formula goes on as a cream and blends out easily.  Sometimes I use a buffing brush to make sure it's all well blended and everything looks seamless.  After a minute or two, it sets to a powder finish and almost looks blurred on the skin.  It kind of makes me want to apply it all over my face to see how much blurring we can get away with.  But right now, I'll be happy with my natural sun kissed glow.  I love the matte finish it leaves on the skin and gives a soft focus finish that's really flattering and wearable.  You can't mess up the application of this unless you really go at it and don't blend at all.

Now for the spondoolies.  We're talking €45 which is definitely on the spendy side.  But it's a gorgeous product and what if you were heading away and got it in the duty free?  That'd be allowed wouldn't it?  When you swatch it for yourself, you'll most likely fall in love with the texture and want to cover yourself in it.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

You can find Les Sahariennes along with the rest of the summer collection in Brown Thomas.  Go forth and treat yourself!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

L'Oreal False Lash Superstar mascara - review, before & after photos

Back in the day, I had a double ended mascara like the new L'Oreal False Lash Superstar mascara.  It probably was from L'Oreal now that I think of it and I still remember how much I loved it back then.  These were the days when I wore frosty blue eyeshadow from lash to brow.  On purpose.  Because I thought it looked fabulous.  I even pointed it out when someone admired my eyeshadow.  "Oh thanks, I brought it all the way up to my eyebrows to make my eyes pop" (and everyone's eyes pop out of their heads having to look at it.)

But the mascara.  It detracted from or emphasised this makeup look.  I'm not sure which.  But now L'Oreal have released a new double ended mascara, catchily named False Lash Superstar.  And it's everything I remembered from back in the day and more.  Thankfully I've grown out of the frosty blue look.

So this two step mascara promises volume and length and claims to give the false lash effect.  I think most mascaras have that claim nowadays, but I had a good feeling about this one.

Step 1 is the lash primer and this combs through the lashes, depositing the product onto the lashes, giving you icicle lashes.  The primer effectively thickens the appearance of each lash and I find it's best to apply this and then apply step 2, the lengthening mascara, over the top before the primer has a chance to set.  So do both steps on one eye and then the other eye and you'll be gold.  The curved brush on the mascara end helps to fan out the lashes beautifully, separating them and adding lots of length.

If you're a fan of full wispy lashes then you're going to love this one.  It's great at keeping my lashes curled for the day and definitely gives me a much needed wide eyed look every day.  I only need one coat of the black mascara for day time use and if I'm going out, I apply a light second coat while the first coat is still wet to give even more drama.  I've never been one for the natural look when lashes are involved.

Is this a reincarnation of my mascara of days gone by?  I don't know but what I do know is that if it is, L'Oreal have kept a good thing going.  Yes, it's giving me the feels in terms of my Princess Di blue eyeshadow days, but also the relief that there were no digital cameras or phones back then...

The mascara is on stands now and is €17.99.  A bit spendy for a drug store mascara but you know Boots, they're always doing special offers.  Definitely one to check out!
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