Friday, April 29, 2011

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Range

I was lucky enough to be invited to the blogger's event in The Body Shop on Grafton Street to celebrate the launch of the Honey Bronze Range.  I got the chance to meet other beauty bloggers, some familiar and some new faces, and of course Karim Sattar the international makeup artist for The Body Shop.  He was hilarious and engaging and made us all want to be his best friend who could also do your makeup!  He talked us through each of the products in the Honey Bronze range and explained how to use them. 

Above are some of the products in the collection.  As soon as I saw the promotional photos of the products, I fell in love with the powders, seen at the bottom right of the photo, with the gorgeous honeycome design.  This comes in 4 shades, 3 powders and a sculpting powder.  There are 2 shimmering lipglosses in the range, along with a shimmering lightweight body oil, a bronzing facial gel and an illuminating powder.  The products contain Community Fair Trade honey from Ethiopia, beeswax from Cameroon and the compact powders contain marula oil from Namibia.

 He did the makeup on a model, showing how some of the products can be used.  He used the dry shimmering oil on the model first, removing the stopper from the bottle (or the proper name for this attachment is the "oriface", I think I'll stick with stopper!) poured some product into her hand and then used a foundation brush to apply it all over her arms.  It gave a lovely sheen to her arms and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

He used the Sculpting bronze to give the model even more exquisite cheekbones.  The powders are all matte but have the honey and beeswax in it so are still moisturising.  He even dusted the powder over the model's lips before applying a stain and then topped with the lipgloss.  He used mascara on the roots of the lashes and then used some brow gel to comb the product through the lashes.


He give us some tips and tricks to try, one that sticks in my mind is that when applying face powder, use downward strokes so that the powder doesn't get caught in your baby facial hair!  He said he thought of this when meeting Camilla Parker Bowles, don't know why... hehee  He said that Irish girls wear too much mascara on their bottom lashes and I am a culprit here, I can't help it, I feel it completes the look!  He did say that it's ok to wear mascara on the bottom lashes when wearing a strong eye look, so time to start piling the makeup on!  He told us to take 5 years off your face, to use the same bronzer that you  have on your cheeks just on the browbone.  Will have to try this before I see if it works for me.  Another tip was to use powder on the brows to achieve a softer look, I love using powder on mine so happy days.

He also did the makeup on his lovely mam.  He explained how to use shimmer on mature ladies.  He told us to keep the shimmer on the smoother parts of the face and even sprinkled some shimmer dust from the bronzer yokey onto the roots of her hair, giving her a lovely shine to her tresses.  He used the face gel as a blush on his mam which gave a lovely glow and would make a great base for a powder blush.

He used the Vitamin E facial mist, which I''m going to pick up myself, to freshen the skin before applying the Honey Bronze products and also after finishing applying everything to set the makeup on both ladies.  The mist was €11.95 and felt gorgeous on the skin, he sprayed it on a few of us, lovely and cooling if I do say so myself.  He showed us one of the eyeshadow shimmer cubes which I think I need now and showed how pigmented the shadows become when wet, by spraying the Vitamin E facial mist all over it.  Am most definitely going to try this.
The Body Shop were generous enough to give us some of the products to try so I will give a full review this weekend when I try them out properly.

After the makeup presentation, Suzanne pointed out a few areas in the store where we could try out some of The Body Shop services.  So up we went and some of us got our eyebrows threaded!  I've never had this done before or had my brows waxed either, I figured why not, there's a video camera floating around and paparazzi sized cameras, now is the time to try this for the first time!  We think the girl's name who did our brows is Bushra, so apologies if this is incorrect.  She got to work on me and it only took a few minutes, but, I will be honest, she did spend a bit more time than I would have liked on the area between my brows hehehe  It didn't hurt a bit and I love how they turned out.  It costs €12 in store and I will be going back again for sure and will be bringing my mam and sister too.

After the threading was complete, the area around the brows was red and warm, but immediately one of The Body Shop girls asked me if I wanted to get my make up touched up by one of the makeup artists.  She explained that with waxing, you can't put makeup on straight away, but with threading you can.  So the gorgeous Eleanor fixed my makeup and shaped my brows a bit and I felt much more presentable again!

I had an absolutely fantastic night and can't wait to go and get some facial mist and shimmer cube :)  Let me know if you get to check out the Honey Bronze range, you will not be disappointed! 

Thanks to Suzanne, Karim and all the team from The Body Shop for treating us like princesses :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

John Frieda Go Blonder Lightening Spray

Ladies, is this the next generation of Sun In?

I picked this up on my shopping trip in Superdrug over the long weekend for £5.49 while I was deciding whether to go blonde or not.  And I did in case you're wondering!  I bought this in case I chickened out of going the whole hog.

This product promises to lighten your hair using thermal activation of the solution using a hairdryer, hair straightener or curling tongs.  In the late 90s, Sun In was all the rage, in my world anyway.  We were told by hairdressers to avoid Sun In at all cost and I laughed in the face of this danger, spraying the living daylights out of my hair, using both the power of the sun and my trusty hairdryer to achieve blonde locks.  It worked really well for me and hairdressers could never believe I was a Sun In user because my hair was in great condition.  To be honest, I don't remember why I stopped using it, twas very along ago ;)

So I was delighted when I saw this while perusing the pages of Superdrug's website in search of a hair lightener.  As soon as I saw it, I immediately thought of Sun In (which is still sold in Boots and Superdrug in case you're wondering.)  Now that I'm older and wiser, I'm finally taking heed and avoiding Sun In.  John Frieda is a name I trust when it comes to haircare, sure didn't he bring hope to every curly haired, frizzy mop topped girl hope for the future when he brought Frizz Ease into the world?  I even turned to him this weekend after going blonde and needing a new shampoo and conditioner to help cancel out the brassiness in my cheveux.  So John, I will be giving your Go Blonder spray a go.  I want lighter bits around the front of my hair and will be needing help in touching up the roots soon.

I will use this for the next few weeks and will also ask The Sister to have a go, this might take a bit of cajoling if you want Joanne to have a go of this, Joanne who has gorge long hair with lovely layers around the face which I personally think would look lovely with a few highlights at the front to give this a go, leave a comment below and make her feel really bad for saying no!

We shall report back with our findings, good, bad or indifferent.

Has anyone tried this yet?  If so, let me know how you got on!

Monday, April 25, 2011

My blonde ambition :)

I have been toying with the idea of becoming a blonde for a while now.  Last year I stopped dyeing my hair dark and decided to give the cheveux a break :)  Until I went to Spain that is.  Lemons were purchased and squeezed into a spray bottle and squirted on my mane as I lay in the sun :)  It didn't make a huge difference, just a few highlights that I was pretty happy with.

Cut to Friday where I saw this post on Laura's blog and decided that this was it.  I was going to become blonde, once and for all.  I bought this to lighten my hair.

And this is what you get in the box:

I followed the instructions and using my weeny mirror in the bathroom, went from this:

To this!  I was chatting to my twitter folks trying to explain to them that it was very patchy and proper yellow.

The photo below shows how I didn't leave it on my roots for long enough, so ended up with Patrick Swayze hair from the critically acclaimed film Point Break ;P

The photo below shows how I missed so much hair!  I've lots of hair and so needed a second pair of eyes and hands to help me.  Lesson learned for next time.

So I hmmed and hawed and sought the advice from the Twitter girls and we decided I needed an Ash Blonde dye to counteract and tone down the canary yellow hair.  Off I trundled this morning to Boots, which was closed, so legged it to Tesco where I picked this baby up for €7.  I've tried Loreal dyes in the past and every time I used them, my hair turned out so bloody dark, so no Loreal for me.  I got this Clairol Perfect 10 in the shade Light Ash Blonde and got to work.

After following the instructions and drying my hair, I ended up with normal looking hair :)

 I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I'm still kinda self conscious about it being so bright compared to before, but hey, I did it myself and saved a few bob in the process :)  I have a John Frieda Go blonder spray that I might use in the near future to give myself a few more highlights.  I'm saving up to go to my beloved Brown Sugar to get the hair chopped before my holiday in July so that will be my next hair experience.

Has anyone tried dyeing their own hair drastically like this before?  If so, share with the class and let us know how you got on :)

Nail of the Day!

It's been so long since I did a nail of the day!  My nails have been in bits so I took a few weeks off from painting them.  Needless to say this was very annoying considering the amount of polishes I own that were sitting there looking at me for all those weeks :)

So last night while I watched a bunch of programs about the Royals, I picked a couple of polishes and came up with this.

I painted all of my nails with my new Gosh polish in Lavender Love from my haul on Saturday and decided to go all Lorraine Stannick on it and glitter up my ring finger with White Cap from China Glaze.  I love White Cap and if I go through the bottle the way I think I will, I'll be getting it in full size.  I have one coat of my beloved Seche Vite over the top too.

Love this combo and shall be rockin it this week to work :)  Well, at least tomorrow, too many polishes to play around with :)


Sunday, April 24, 2011

My makeup story

Ever since I started my blog back in September, I've been thinking here and there about how my love for makeup came about and I thought I'd share it with other beauty obsessives out there!

My first beauty related memory is getting one of these doll thingys 2 years in a row from one of my aunties. 

Image courtesy of

She saw how much I loved it the first year so got me one the following year!  I remember 2 of my other aunties on the same side of the family were into makeup and skincare and still are, so I must get it from them :)

I remember raiding my mam's small makeup stash and finding a palette I loved so much.  I used to play around with in my bedroom trying to recreate looks I saw in magazines.  I still remember an article showing how to put pink eyeshadow on the inner half of the eyelid and brown on the outer half.  I thought this was ingenious!  Many a time I'd be out with my neighbour next door and she'd say to me "Karen, were you in your mam's makeup again?"  I could never understand how she knew since I had taken it off!  It was only when I'd come back inside and look in the mirror only to find pink eyeshadow all over my eyes :)

This is the palette I've kept to remind me where this obsession started :)  It came to Canada with me and back hehe

Growing up I loved going into chemists and pound shops to buy my own shampoo and body washes.  Of course, I had Constance Carroll makeup and what girl didn't have Heather Shimmer lipstick back then, ah good times...  I used to use Max Factor's Pan Stick because Sarah Michelle Gellar used it, it didn't matter to me that I didn't know how to use it, and blending?  Hadn't a baldy notion about blending or brushes back then.  I still have my Body Shop eyelash curler that I got when I was about 16, no lie.  Still use it all the time!  In my college years, I distinctly remember frequenting the USI bar in town with bright frosty blue/silver eyeshadow right up to my eyebrows, thank God there are no photos of that hehe

I used to love buying the American magazines like Seventeen and seeing all the makeup that they used over there.  So needless to say when I finally got to go to the States in 1997, I made it my business to pick up Maybelline Great Lash mascara and thought I was great having it when none of my friends here did :)

It wasn't until I moved to Canada from 1999-2003 that I started collecting higher end products.  My first Mac eyeshadow was Trax :)  When the Celtic tiger was in full swing, it was great being able to buy higher end products all the time, but at the mo, real life means I have to budget a bit more but because of that, I've come across some great brands that are really affordable.

A couple of years ago I was messing around on Youtube and came across Lauren Luke.  She was the first guru I ever watched and I learned so much from her.  I'd no idea there was a beauty community out there and loved reading blogs and watching videos.  I told my sister about the community and she then asked me if I'd heard of an Irish blog where they wrote about makeup & all things beauty and where you could swap makeup you didn't want anymore?!?!?  I was disgusted that she had left it weeks after she found out about it before telling me, her makeup loving sister!!  My love of was born :)  I loved that they were sisters and I loved that they were Irish.  I was hooked and completely inspired.

I hmmed and hawed for ages about whether to start my own blog.  I didn't think I'd be any good at it or if anyone would be interested in what I had to say, so I left it for a while.  I thought about it some more and thought about my dad.  He had his own business as a bookbinder and loved what he did.  He worked so hard at it, was excellent at it and I admired the passion he had for it.  So I got the courage to start the blog because of him.  So thanks Dad :)  I think he'd have been proud I put myself out there :)

My nail polish collection

Oh holy moses. 

I've been thinking about doing my nail polish collection for a while now, and after my haul of 8 polishes yesterday, I decided to bite the bullet and show you all and hope that you guys don't think I'm a lunatic!!!  I've collected these over a number of years and love them all :)

So poodles, here it is...

This is it all upended on the floor of my living room!  It looks more laid out on the floor like this, usually it fits in a toilet bag.

First up are my beloved Sephora by OPI sets.  I got one for my birthday last year and then a few days later, won a second set on!  So obviously the universe wanted me to have this ;P  Needless to say, I kept it in the family and gave it to my sister :)

Above we have my Barry M polishes.  The Instant Nail Effects is on it's own on the left.  So top row from left to right is Peach, Strawberry, Bright Pink, Raspberry and Turquoise.  Bottom row from left to right is Dusky Mauve, Vivid Purple, Grey, Mushroom and Black.

Above is my China Glaze polishes from the Christmas 2010 collection.  From left to right is Jolly Holly, Phat Santa, Mistletow Kisses, Mrs. Cause, Party Hearty, Ruby Deer and Cheers to You.

These are the remaining full size China Glaze polishes.  Left to right: Ruby Pumps, The Ten Man, Dorothy Who, Sea Spray, Flying Dragon, Towel Boy Toy and Turned Up Turquoise.

These were a set of smaller polishes from the Anchors Away collection.  Left to right is White Cap, First Mate, Life Preserver and Ahoy!

Here are the MUA polishes from Superdrug, proper bargain for £1 or €1.20 :)  Left to right is Shade 16, 5 and 4.

Here are my NYC polishes. Left is Downtown and right is Manhattan.

Here are the OPI, Sephora and Sephora by OPI polishes, confused? hehe Left to right is I'm Wired, Lincoln Park After Dark, Metro Chic and Curacao.

These are NYC polishes I've picked up on trips to spain where they're only €1.99.  Left to right is Shade 207, 206, 204, 202 and 047.

These are the topcoats I have.  Left to right is Seche Vite, Kiss Start & Finish, and Sally Hansen Kwik Dry.

My Revlon polishes are Cherries in the Snow (L) and Tropical Temptation (R).

My Catrice polishes are from Left to right is French Rose, White Tip Painter, French apricot and Wrapped Around My Finger.

My Rimmel polishes are above.  Top Row from Left to Right is French Tip Whitener, Nail Strengthener, Electric, Orange Bliss, Plum Fashion and Pop Rose.  Bottom row from left to right is Red Carpet, Green with Envy, Sunrise and Coralicious.

My Essence polishes are from left to right is Space Queen, Most Wanted, Matte top coat and Quick Dry Top Coat.

My Gosh polishes are left to right, Rainbow, Holographic and Lavendar Love.

These are the random single polishes that make up my stash!  Left to right is Essie's Bermuda Shorts, Nails Inc Oxford Street, Bourjois Rouge Diva , IsaDora Graffiti Top Coat,  Ciate Dangerous Affair, Claire's Accessories polish with no shade on the bottle and No 7 Luau.

So that's it folks, am I missing any? hehe Are there any that I need in my collection? Leave a comment below if there's a must have polish that I must have!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Makeup and nail polish haul!

Well ladies, the spending ban was temporarily over, for a couple of hours anyway, but it's back on :)  I headed up to Newry this morning with a few items in mind and ended up getting a couple more thinks, oops!  Anyway, on to the haul :)

Yes, you are seeing 8 nail polishes there, and yes, I am typing this post with 10 differently coloured nails as I mixed and matched the polishes!

First up is the John Frieda Go Blonder Controlled Lightening Spray.  I saw this on the Superdrug website last night and knew I had to try it.  It immediately made me think of Sun In, which I used back in the 90s hehe I loved that stuff and hope this works, if not, it'll go to a good home :)  It cost £5.49, so not too bad.

Next is the Sleek Paraguaya palette which was £6.49.  I've been wanting this since I first saw it and I can't wait to play around with it!  I had to ask the sales girl in Superdrug if they had it because it wasn't on display and do you think I could remember the name of it?? I was like "Em it begins with a P and it's all peachy" hehe Needless to say, she checked the drawer for me and found one :)

I blame Tanya Burr for the next purchase!  If you don't know who she is, check out her videos here.  She's an amazing makeup artist and has been raving about the Sleek Face Contour Kit for ages.  It costs £6.50 and is a contour powder and highlight powder in one cutie patootie package!  Can't wait to have a go at this.

Continuing with the blame game,  I blame Paula from cornflakemusings for me buying these masks :)  She raves about the Deep Cleansing one so it went on The List.  When I saw the Aloe Vera one, I said I might as well give it a go too.  I just finished my Origins Charcoal mask and needed another one and at £2.59 each, they didn't break the bank :)

Next up are two Barry M nail polishes.  I had picked up and immediately fallen in love with the peach one on the left and in my basket it went.  Needless to say, when I saw they had an offer for 2 polishes for £5, the strawberry one on the right made it's way into the basket too :)  I've been wanting a peach polish for yonks and I love it.

Next is my favourite polish of the haul.  I saw it on the Gosh display and knew I had to have it.  I've nothing else like it in my collection and as I applied it when I got home, I actually went "ooh" hehe  It's in the shade Lavender Love and is a special edition polish.  It cost £4.99.  They sell Gosh in lots of places in Dublin but the polishes are €8.50, talk about a rubbish conversion rate!  I will post about this properly because I am in The Love with this.

Next is The Bargain of the Haul!  This little beauty, Rimmel's lycra pro polish with the wide brush I love so much was only £1 in Poundland!  It's in the shade Plum Fashion and it is gorgeous.  Very happy with myself for finding this :)

These could also be considered Bargain of the Haul actually!  Sally's Beauty Supply had these China Glaze polishes from last year's Christmas collection on sale.  From left to right we have Phat Santa, Mistletoe Kisses, Ruby Deer and Mrs. Clause.  Ruby Deer was reduces from £6.49 to £1, and the other three were reduced from £5.99 to £1.50.  As I sit here with mad looking nails from all of these polishes, I immediately fell in The Love with Ruby Deer and lovvvve Mrs. Clause over the Barry M polish in Strawberry from above.

Last but not least is  Jerome Russell's Bblonde hair lightener.  I've been wanting to go lighter in the hair department for a while now and even more so since I started finding grey hairs!  Now that this is in my posession, I'm a bit terrified.  I may have a go at this tomorrow and that will give me time to correct it if I bollock it up :)

On thumb is Gosh's Lavendar Love, index finger is Rimmel's Plum Fashion, middle finger is Barry M's Peach, ring finger is Barry M's Strawberry with China Glaze's Mrs. Clause over the top and on the baby finger is Barry M's Strawberry :)
And that's it ladies!  Hope you enjoyed and thanks for reading :)
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