Saturday, December 31, 2011

A look back at 2011 and New Year's Resolutions 2012!

Where has the year gone?!  I am so ready for 2012 though.  I haven't been well over Christmas and am ready for the new year and new beginnings.

This year has been amazing in so many ways.  The blog has gone from strength to strength and I've loved every minute of it.  Joanne joined forces with me during the year and has promised to write more in the new year and she has a few surprises up her sleeves!  For those bloggers that try to blog every day, they know how much time goes into it but we do it because we love it and it's so rewarding to see our hard work paying off.  In 2011 more Irish beauty blogs were started and it's brilliant being part of our little community where I've made some great friends!  These are ladies that I talk to every day on Twitter and have had some great laughs with at events and meetups over the months, so come forth and chat with us if you're looking for some lunacy in your life!

Dee and Sinead from Vivaadonis - we be neighbours, went to the same school (a few years apart ahem) and spend our time laughing whenever we're all together having pancakes or driving home from an event, it's very hard driving properly when we're in the knots having one of our debriefs!

CherrySue - one of the funniest Bridies I've ever met and is exactly the same in real life as she is online, hilarious, generous and very inspirational altogether, got the best welcome at the beaut.ie awards this year :)

Clairethefair86 - is my inspiration for wanting to lose weight big time now, she's done so well for the past few months and is just the loveliest, Starbuck Vanilla Latte loving lady :)

ActionMags - is the Stilafreak of the group :)  Girlfriend can find loopholes in any spending ban and every single blog post she writes makes me laugh.  Every. Single. One.

Let's try summing up 2011 in a paragraph shall we?  There were some downs that I won't dwell on and I like to think that the positives outweigh the negatives and I'm hoping 2012 will have even less negatives.  From going to my first Beaut.ie meetup in February, going to the L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards, the Beaut.ie awards and Aisling's book launch, meeting Karim Sattar at The Body Shop events, Dana Caruso at the launch of the Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, Jackie Tyson at Avon's launch of the new Ideal Flawless foundation and Shine Attract lipsticks and Emma Hardie at the launch of her skin care line, it's been a full on year.  Being featured in U magazine was a major highlight and something that I never, ever expected to happen and I'm so thankful for that!  The perfect end to this amazing year was being asked to do a guest post over on the fabaliss beaut.ie and it was like being asked by a teacher to write about anything you want and not knowing where to begin!  Thanks ladies, you made moi very happy for even thinking to ask :)

Last year I made some resolutions and whereas I was able to to stick to some of them, I didn't even attempt to stick to others.  So let's try again!

1. 2012 will be the year where I lose weight.  I said the same thing at the start of this year and failed miserably.  But hey, that's what the new year is all about, starting afresh.  I have a goal in mind and it'll be slow and steady.  We're hoping to go to New York at the end of November for Thanksgiving and I want to be able to buy nice clothes!  Depending on how brave I'm feeling, I might document my progress as a way of holding myself accountable.  Maybe every two weeks or every month?  Let me know if this would be something you'd be interested in reading about.

2. Last year I wanted to start taking care of my skin and I did just that.  I'm going to continue with this and will be posting on some skincare products that are out there.  I'm also going to bully Joanne into taking care of her skin so stay tuned for posts on products for dry, sensitive skin!  Let 2012 be the year you start minding your skin and throw away make up wipes, that was the best thing I did for my skin and I haven't looked back.  Invest in a good cleanser and that'll be an excellent start to this resolution.

3. Last year, I resolved to finish a lipstick and a nail polish and failed on both counts, kind of.  I had almost finished a bottle of Seche Vite before it dried out but I know I would have finished it so that kind of counts?  I'm going to try and do the same this year, finish a lippie and a polish, so let's see how I get on!

4. Now that we've made our mind up about New York (well, nothing is booked yet), I'll be going into savings mode.  That means buying less products and writing about the bountiful collection that I already have!  I'm setting myself a goal of €50 to buy beauty bits so we'll see how I get on with that... #OperationShutYourPurseHole will be in full effect... Come join us on twitter if you dare...

5. Joanne and I are hoping to do more Youtube videos for the craic this year.  As you might have noticed, we don't take ourselves too seriously at all, I mean, come on, the state of us, but we find ourselves quite ridiculous and hope you will too :)  I just need to figure out how to use my lovely new camera and then we're good to go!

So 2011, you were a good one, 2012, I want you to be even better!  Happy New Year to you all and thank you again for all your support over the past year, we can't wait for you to see what we have in store for you next year!
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Monday, December 26, 2011

Lovely Girlie Bits - 2011 favourites part 2

Click here to read part 1!  We're going to continue with the mammoth post dedicated to our favourite girlie bits of 2011.  Ready?

Favourite skin care product. Now, this was tough.  I've been lucky enough to try a lot of skin care products this year and I'll break it down into sub categories if that's OK.  Even if it's not, am totally gonna do it anyway!  Favourite cleanser - Emma Hardie's Moringa balm.  Favourite exfoliator - Emma Hardie's rosehip seeds.  Favourite facial oil - Skincare by Mariga's Rosehip oil.  Favourite night cream - Origins Night a Mins.  Favourite daily moisturiser - Emma Hardie am/pm moisturiser.  Favourite mask - Origins Clear Improvement active charcoal mask.  Favourite eye cream Origins Plantscription.  Favourite powerhouse product - Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate.


Favourite nail polish brand under €5. I think we're so spoiled with the amount of affordable polishes out there right now and I'm torn between NYC and Essence polishes.  They've a fantastic range of colours and they're the ones we buy the most when wanting to try something new.


Favourite nail polish brand over €5. Also a tie between China Glaze polishes and Sally Hansen complete salon manicure.  Love em love em love em!  Let the record show that we do have new additions to both sets of polishes since taking these photos, but that's what happens when you love something!


Favourite nail polish shade. This is so hard because I love me some nail polish.  But I will make myself choose just one and it is Ruby Pumps by China Glaze.  My second favourite is Sally Hansen's Blue Calypso and came to Spain with me twice this year.


Favourite perfume. This year was the year of Elie Saab.  Stunning perfume that I bought on my way home from Spain and every time I spray it, I'm brought back there.  



Finally folks, I've left the best till last.  My favourite product of the year that has changed my beauty life!  


I can't say enough good things about Babyliss' Big Hair styler and if you were lucky enough to get one for Christmas then you'll know what I'm talking about.  If not, go on out and get yourself one in the sales.  It's that good!  I gave one to my friend for her birthday and two of my pals asked for it for Christmas after playing with mine.  The best purchase of 2011 hands down!

What were your favourite products of 2011?
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Joanne and I have the ultimate post eating fatigue after our Christmas dinner but just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We're so grateful for all your support and wanted to say a big ole thanks to those that leave comments on the blog. We love reading them and can't believe so many people come and read the blog every day! We have big plans for 2012 and can't wait to share them all with you.

We're at our mam's at the moment and have limited access to the net,never mind the option to upload photos, so are taking that opportunity to have a little rest and will be back to regular posting soon. We have part two of our favourite girlie bits of 2011 ready to go tomorrow,so check back for that.

So eat,drink and be merry everyone!!

Karen & Joanne
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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Lovely Girlie Bits - 2011 favourites part 1

Another year has bit the dust folks and it's been a good one in terms of finding some new products.  I couldn't pick just one for each category and these took me ages while I rifled through my brain to see what were the stand out products for me this year.  I've had to split it up into two posts, otherwise it would have been War and Peace - the beauty edition, so sit back, grab a cuppa and see if you agree with any of my choices!  And there might be a few ideas in here for you to try in the future!


Favourite foundation. I've reached for The Body Shop's Liquid Mineral foundation above all of the ones in my collection so far this year.  A close second but relative new addition to my stash is Avon Ideal Flawless Liquid Foundation.  Right now my oily/combination skin is erring on the dry side and so The Body Shop's Liquid Mineral foundation leaves my skin looking dewy without a hint of dryness.


Favourite mascaras.  This was a toughie because I love trying new mascaras but Benefit They're Real wins.  A very close joint second is Bourjois Volume Fast & Perfect rotating mascara and Bourjois Volumizer Mascara followed by Max Factor's False Lash Effect Fusion.  I absolutely love trying new mascaras and couldn't narrow it down any further.  These are always in rotation in my make up bag!


Favourite lip products.  I'm in love with Sleek Pout Paints, Lancome L'absolue nude and Avon lipsticks.  Have a look below at swatch central and see if any tickle your pickle.





Favourite shampoo & conditioner.  I loved Ojon's Damage Reverse Shampoo and Conditioner and Orofluido's Shampoo and Conditioner this year.  Both made my hair feel and look amazing and were proper treats for my poor locks that started off the year dark brown and are now blondey.



Favourite hair treatment.  It's a tie between Lush's Marilyn treatment and Orofluido's Mask.  Both are gorgeous and leave my hair feeling hair-ad-worthy.



Favourite blush/bronzer.  I loved Benefit's Cha Cha Tint something fierce this year and wore it nearly every day during the summer.  Bronzer-wise, it's no secret that The Body Shop's Bronzing Gel for face was my go to bronzer this year.  I am nearly finished the tube and that's saying something and can't wait to buy another one.  Benefit's Coralista is one of my all time favourite colours and is rarely off my face in the summer months.  Everyone should have this in their collection.  Finally, New York Colour's new Blushable Creme Sticks have been on my cheeks almost every day.  At €3.49, they're a bargain and a really lovely product to use on your face during the winter months.  I'm all about dewy skin and this fits the bill!


Stay tuned for part 2 coming up very soon! 
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Liz Earle Superskin Concentrate

Earlier in the year, I discovered Liz Earle and all she had to offer me as a skin care novice.  After trying out and loving the Cleanse and Polish, I asked on Twitter for suggestions on what to try next in my quest to fix my skin.  Kirstie from beaut.ie said two words "Superskin Concentrate" and so when in Wilde and Greene in Milltown shortly thereafter, this little rollerball of goodness ended up in my shopping basket, funny that eh?


This was my first foray into using oils on the face and so I got the smaller of the two available sizes.  10ml set me back €21.50 and I went about on my merry way wondering if I should roll it all over my face or onto my fingertips and then blend it into my skin.

Containing a combination of oils; avocado, rosehip, argan, neroli, lavender, hazelnut, along with vitamin E, this is a powerhouse to help your skin through the winter months.  I just started using it again recently after finding it in the end of my To-Review box and so I reintroduced it back into my routine.

Now, I've mentioned on the blog before that I've and oily T-zone and normal/dry cheeks, depending on the time of year.  Being new to using oils on my face at the time I bought it, I was afraid I'd end up looking like an oil slick using this but it actually helps balance oily skin and softens dry skin.  I like to use it before applying my moisturiser about three times a week.  I wash my face and then roll the ball over my fingertips, rubbing them together to warm the product and then I massage it into my skin.  If I've any leftover, I bring it down onto my neck and massage it in gently.  After a minute or two, I apply my night cream and head to bed, waking up to beautifully smooth, moisturised, nourished skin.

The scent is heavenly.  It's intoxicating and aromatic, full of lavender and neroli which makes it an absolute treat to apply and the perfect send off at the end of the day.  The next day, I wake up with soft, plump, moisturised skin and it hasn't caused any breakouts or increase in oil on my skin.

My mission is to get Joanne using this.  She has really dry skin and I am basically going to bully her (I'm allowed, as sisters, it's the law that you can bully your sister into doing anything you want, especially for the good of the blog, I don't make the rules) into using this and she can report back on her findings.  What I'll tell you is that this is a fabulous treat for your skin, especially in the winter.  We have the cold weather, heating on and it's just not a happy time for skin really.

One of my New Year's Resolutions that I actually started back in the summer was to start really taking care of my skin with good quality products.  This is one of those rare finds that if it wasn't for Kirstie and Twitter, I would never have thought to even try something like this.  So thanks Percy!

The rollerball (10ml) retails at €21.50 and the 28ml bottle comes in at €43.50.  A bit spendy but it's so worth it investing in skincare ladies.  You can buy them in Wilde and Green in Milltown or on the Liz Earle website.

Join me in Looking After Your Skin 2012!  The year where we'll all turn back the clock and look 18 again!
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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Emerald eyes

I was watching some Youtube videos over the weekend and fell in love with this tutorial by Makeup By Alli.  She has the most amazing eyelashes and someday I'm gonna get them, even if I have to try Rapidlash to do so.  I thought this look would be easy to do and gave me an excuse to play with another one of the Bourjois shadows that I picked up at the Professional Beauty show a couple of months ago.

I started off by using Catrice's Stay On eye liner pencil in the colour Mystic Green to plot out a cat eye with a slight wing at the outer edge.  Using a pencil brush, I smudged the liner, keeping the general shape and applied Bourjois' eye shadow pot in the color Noir Emeraude over the top of it.  I kept it pretty messy and blended it as I smudged.


I used some Fix + from MAC and used it to apply Noir Emeraude wet to the lashline and just under the lashes at the outer corner.  This gave the eyeshadow more definition and made the colour more opaque. The Bourjois shadows are great for applying wet anyway.  Some mascara and this is how it turned out.  I used Bourjois Volumizer mascara and forgot how much I love it, especially for something like this where you want really dramatic lashes.


Now, you know me, of course I wasn't going to leave it there.  I decided to add some black liner, Avon's SuperShock, to upper and lower waterlines and smudged a bit more Noir Emeraud under the lower lashes and voila, a sexy, smokey, emerald eye!  I totally added a green glitter eyeliner to the look and it looked silly, but feel free to go forth and glitter your eyes!


Ooh sexy eyes wha?  What's your go to make up look for Christmas?  It's nice to try something other than a normal smokey eye isn't it?
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Girlie night out FOTN - pink and purple

On Saturday night I went out with two of my best chums for chats and giggles and a proper catch up.  We can go for ages without seeing each other and when we finally manage to organise ourselves enough to meet up, it's like we only saw each other the day before.  Ah bessie mates!

I wore a pink top out and thought it would be a grand opportunity to go for some colour with my make up.  Usually I do a dark smokey eye but hey, it's Christmas and what better time to be a bit more daring, sure, sitting in a pub, it's dimmed lighting, so I got to pack it on big time!


I used Avon Ideal Flawless Liquid Foundation in the shade Nude Chair (which is a weird name for a shade, but anyways, it's the perfect shade for me).  I love the satin finish this foundation gives me, I'll be doing a full review on it soon so keep an eye out for that.  I used a new blush that I picked up in the CCO in Junction One last weekend.  It's called Tuxedo Plums by Clinique and it is stunning.  It was on sale for £12 and It gives a beautiful pink cheek that you can make lighter or darker, depending on what look you're going for.


Below are the products I used for my eyes.  Avon SuperShock gel liner in black, Benefit's They're Real mascara, NARS Cream Eyeshadow in Swing, Bourjois Eyeshadow in Bleu Magnetique and MAC's Plum Dressing and Sorcery.  I've wanted Sorcery for a while now and found it along with Plum Dressing in the CCO for £8.75 I think.  A grand price altogether.


This was a really simple look to do actually.  I applied NAR's Swing all over my eyelid and up into the crease, plotting out the shape I wanted.  I blended it all over, leaving me with a very sheer base for my shadows to stick to.  I applied Plum Dressing to the inner two thirds of my eyelids, leaving the outer third ready for Blue Magnetique.  I wonder why it's called Blue Magnetique when it's purple, but anyway, it's a gorgeous colour and I will love and use it no matter what it's called!  I used Sorcery to lightly blend the harsh edges away.  I took both Plum Dressing and Blue Magnetique under my eyes too, not paying too much attention to what I was doing.


A quick swipe of Avon SuperShock gel liner on both upper and lower waterlines helped bring the look together.  I finished it off with a generous coating of Benefit's They're Real mascara and off I went on my merry way.  I used NYC's Kiss Gloss in B'way Berry on my lips but forgot to take a photo of it with the other bits.  It was the perfect shade to bring the look together, I wasn't feeling nudey lips at all that night.


I love this look and it made my eyes look really green.  I think purple eye shadow has been my favourite colour this year.  Until I started taking photos of my eyeballs up close and personal, if you'd have asked what colour eyes I had, I would've said "look into my eyes, the eyes, not around the eyes, they're blue innit", but 2011 has been the year of me finding out that they are actually green.  Bluey green at a push.  Mad.

I've missed playing around with make up recently, trying to find time at the weekend during the day to take photos is hard.  So I figured, hey, Christmas looks and nights out, parties are at night, right?  And if you're out at a party getting your photo taken, it'll be with the flash on, so for going out looks, I'll take them with the flash on the camera.  I hope that made sense!  For swatches and reviews, I'll keep taking them in natural daylight.

Have fun at your Christmas parties this year!
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Joanne Christmas party make up and outfit

On Friday night Joanne got dickied up for her work Christmas party and I, of course, told her I was doing her make up, whether she liked it or not.  She bought her dress last weekend in The Secret Closet in Howth, a dinky little shop that has an amazing selection of new and nearly new designer dresses, shoes, handbags, coats, you get the picture.  Everything is less than two years old.  It's run by two sisters, Karen Foley and Lesley O'Toole which is probably why we love it so much!  One of the sisters helped us out so much and of course, I never thought to actually ask her her name but she pulled some dresses that she thought would suit Joanne's shape and she was bang on the money.  Joanne picked the second dress she tried on, a beautiful Karen Millen one shoulder pink and purple dress.  It was €134 so just over her €100 budget but it's just so pretty!

Of course, the photo on the left was the first one I took.  What did Bailey do?  He sees the camera, and gets in front of it, lies down and smiles with his eyes.  No word of a lie.  I have him tormented with photos so much that his automatic response when he sees a camera or phone pointing towards him is to stay still.


Joanne's shoes are from Dorothy Perkins and were €50.  They've a weeny heel and a hidden platform and are the perfect Little Black Shoe.  Her legs are Sally Hansened with the lightest one and ladies, if you're going out bare legged, this is a must have.  It covers veins, takes the blue tinge off your pins and gives a really pretty shimmer along with subtle colour and every girl should have some.  We did but gave ours to the mothership last weekend so we picked one up yesterday in Tescos for €13, money well spent.

Now, on to the make up.  I don't do anyone's make up really.  I'm not a make up artist or anything, I'm just a lunatic that believes that more is more!  I used Avon's Ideal Flawless Liquid Foundation in the shade Ivory all over her face and these are the rest of the products I used.


Eye shadows: Nars Savage Cream Eyeshadow, Nars Swing Cream Eyeshadow, Bourjois eye shadow Blue Magnetique, gold no name shadow from Spain, MUA shadow Shade 9, Bourjois eye shadow Noir Precieux and MAC pigment Antique Gold.  Mascara was Benefit's They're Real.

Cheek products: Chanel Joues Contraste blush in Rose Bronze, MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Refined.

Lips: Rimmel Vinyl Lip Gloss in the shade Outrageous.



I started by applying Nars's Savage Cream Shadow all over the lid and Nars's Swing Cream eye shadow in her crease and blended them in.  These were to create a sticky base for the powder eye shadows to grab on to and stay put for the night.

I applied the golden shadow that I got in Spain on the top of the gold cream shadow and then MUA Shade 19 in the crease, blending as I went.  I also applied it to the inner corner and under the lower lashes to brighten her eyes a bit.

I patted a bit of MAC's pigment in Antique Gold over the lids for a bit of sparkle, if you can't do glitter at Christmas, when can you?!

I used the two Bourjois eye shadows on the outer corners and in the crease to add more definition and took them under the lower lashes but just at the outer half.  Joanne applied her own mascara and put a couple of coats of Benefit's They're Real on upper and lower lashes.

I applied Chanel's Rose Bronze blush to the apples of her cheeks and MAC's Mineralize Skinfinish in Refined to the tops of her cheekbones and that was it!  I didn't use powder because Joanne has really dry skin at the best of times and it had started to flake a bit when I was applying her foundation.

The look was complete with a quick swipe of Rimmel's Vinyl Lip Gloss in Outrageous, a gorgeous nudey shade.  Off she went out to party the night away!


I love purple and gold together, especially around Christmas.  What do you like to wear on your visage around Christmas?
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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lush giveaway winner and Beauty Emporium winner!

Sorry for taking so long to announce the winner of the giveaways but without further ado, the winner of our Lush Christmas giveaway is Sarah Whelehan!

The winner of our Beauty Emporium giveaway is Actionmags!

I'll be in touch with you both to get your addresses, a nice Christmas treat!

Thanks for entering everyone, we have some great ideas for giveaways next year, so stay tuned :)
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask - favourite mask ever!

I've been using this mask and repurchasing it many times for the last 6-7 years at least and am appalled that I haven't reviewed it yet.  Shame on moi.  So here it is ladies.  Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask.  This one was given to me by Origins but I will continue to repurchase this myself for many years to come.

The mask contains active charcoal which draws out impurities in the skin and really clears out your pores.  I like to use this about once every two weeks or so to really feel like I'm de-gunking my skin.  At the moment because of the cold weather, central heating on all the time and trying out so many different products on my skin, my charcoal mask is more important to me than ever.  I'm lashing on the moisturiser like there's no tomorrow to combat the dreaded winter dry skin.  So, I use this to refresh my skin and really clean it out.

I have rather large pores on my nose which always seem to be clogged up, same for the skin on my face around my nose.  I don't suffer from breakouts very often (only the Lady Breakouts on my chin every second month or so) and my skin is in pretty good condition at the moment.  And I do attribute a lot of that to this product.

Let's look closer at it shall we?  It's a, well, charcoal grey coloured mask really.  It's thick and creamy and has a charcoal scent that I actually like but while I don't think it's offensive, it might not be to everyone's taste.  I always make a holy mess of myself when I apply masks with my fingers, so I like to use an old foundation brush so that means less mess and even coverage.  It goes on wet and dries hard.  In a matter of ten minutes, it has dried to a really satisfiying, botoxed feeling, can't put anything in your mouth because your face is hard, oh holy Moses please don't let anyone ring the doorbell, mask.


These type of masks make me happy.  I don't like ones you have to peel off; I feel like I'm loosening my skin when I do that.  I don't really like the ones you just wipe off, I mean, what was the point of that?  No, I like this one.  Especially the satisfaction of doing this:


I like to rinse it off in the shower with a face cloth, but pretty much every time I use it I find some at my hairline or close to my ears, so just have a proper goo at your face before heading out the door to make sure you get it all off.  What I am left with is the clearest, cleanest, most radiant skin that is bright and glowing with no tightness or dryness.  My skin is ready for the next wave of products to test out!

Origins is available to buy in Arnotts and Boots, Liffey Valley.  I'll check the price of the mask but I think it's around the €20-€23 range, well worth it in my opinion.

What's your favourite mask ladies?  Tell us all!
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Irish Online Beauty Shop Series: Likemakeuploveus.ie

Our series continues in bringing to you more Irish online beauty shops and today it's the turn of Likemakeuploveus.ie!  This site is Irish owned and run by Paula Ryan from Waterford and Caoimhe O'Neill from Wicklow.  Not only do they sell authentic brands, but they offer a free gift with your first purchase and free shipping in the Republic of Ireland!

Here's a sample of a few of their many products available on the website.



1. Rimmel Lycra Pro Professional Finish polish - €4.50 - Pop Rose is one of my all time favourite polishes.
2. Benefit Shadow Contour Brush - €8.50 - a great addition to expand your brush collection.
3. W7 Neon eyeshadows - €3.00 - party season appropriate, you will stand out from the crowd with these!
4. Revlon Cream Blush with mirror - €6.00 - I love cream blushes in the winter, adds a beautiful glow.
5. L'Oreal Colour Riche Shine Gelee - €5.50 - enriched with Royal Jelly, it nourishes and adds shine to lips.

We were given a little bag of goodies by the lovely ladies at Likemakeuploveus and it's a Facebook only giveaway, so click here to enter and be in with a chance to win some goodies!

You can follow Likemakeuploveus on Twitter or head over to their Facebook page for more news and updates.

Happy online shopping!
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Orofluido Mask

At the Professional Beauty trade show earlier in the year, I literally dove on this hair mask like a big scruffy,damaged haired lunatic.  Seriously, gasps were audible, ask Mags if you don't believe me.  She may or may not corroborate this story depending on if she is ready to admit that she also gasped and grabbed.  Mags, you know you did, fess up....

Anyways, regular readers of the blog will know that I am in The Love with Orofluido Elixir, ever since Sile from Emerald Eyeliner told me about it on St Stephen's Day last year and it was all I could think about until I got my paws on a bottle in Hair Crazy and could relax.  I've since tried the shampoo and conditioner from the range and Joanne and I are big fans.

Now, the mask is the final product in our Orofluido stash to tell you about and what better time than before the party season, where our poor locks are curled/straightened and backcombed to within an inch of their lives and not to mention the constant central heating that does lots of damage during the winter.  What Orofluido have done is provide the most gorgeously vanilla scented mask to help moisturise and repair your hair.  When researching where it can be bought in Ireland, I saw that it's suggested to add a few drops of the elixir to the mask for even more nourishment.  Am totally doing that tonight!

This is what the mask looks like.  It has the texture of custard and actually, kind of smells like it a bit, but if you look closely, it's flecked with the finest golden shimmer which just adds to the luxury and decadence of the mask.  The tub itself screams "hello, I'm a gorgeous tub so go on and display me in your bathroom because you know your guests are totally going to open me and have a look and a sniff and go oooh".


What I like to do is shampoo my hair and towel dry it.  I then try to scoop some of the mask out daintily without spilling any, which I always do, I don't know why I try so hard not to.  I never put conditioners or masks on my roots so I apply it liberally over the length of my hair, leaving about 3 inches at my roots free.  I then leave it for as long as I want, the minimum is ten minutes and if I'm feeling all salon like, I'll put my panda shower cap on and let the mask do it's work for as long as I'm busy.  I rinse my hair thoroughly and bob's my uncle, I have the softest, silkiest hair that the old Timotei ads would be proud of.

I have found something special in this mask and will continue to repurchase this (along with trying other ones too, come on, there are so many out there)!

I think you can find the mask in Hair Crazy and will update the post as soon as I find out for sure.
You can buy it online on millies.ie for €15.50.

Have you tried this mask ladies?  What hair mask are you loving right now?
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sleek Pout Paints - Minx, Mauve Over, Port and Pin Up.

A few weeks ago, I was in Belfast for the day and found myself in Superdrug, hmm, funny that.  My main mission was to pick up the Sleek Berry Palette, which I did and you can read about it here.  Having sent my mam and Joanne off to another shop so I could browse in peace, I meandered through the aisles, seeing what took my fancy.  And these did!  I'd been meaning to pick up some of the Sleek Pout Paints for ages and after much hmming and hawing and will I or won't I, do I need this one and that one, I finally decided on five of them.  I chose a white one which I won't bother showing you, needless to say, it's white and I won't be wearing it on it's own.  I'll be using it to make some custom shades that I'm sure I'll fall in love with and never be able to replicate again.

Anyway, the Pout Paints are a cheaper and much more readily available version of the OCC Lip Tars that have been all over Youtube for ages now.  As you know, I'm slowly getting into more colourful lipsticks so I picked ones that I thought I'd actually get some use out of.  Those ladies who love their strong lips, I'm talking to you ArtDonatella and Actionmags, will love these.

Let's talk swatches and then we'll talk details.  First up is Minx.  It looks kind of rosey brown in the tube, but once applied, it gives a nude lip without being too corpse-like.  This is the most wearable out of the ones I bought but I think I'd mix it with one of the other ones to darken it a smidgen just for my skin tone.


Mauve Over is a bold lippie if ever I saw one and reminded me of some of the contestants from this year's X Factor.  They went doolally with the bright lips and this is a mad colour that I'd be scared to wear on it's own.  If you're in to purpley fuchsia lips, then this is the one for you.


Port is a rich, luscious, wine coloured lip paint that looked really dark in the tube, but once applied, gives the most gorgeous plum lip and I am in The Love with it.


Finally is Pin Up.  If you're looking for the perfect red lip for Christmas, this is it.  I mean, look at it.


They have the consistency of a lip gloss, but the pigmentation of a lipstick.  Sleek say you can apply them with your finger but I think because of the pigmentation, a lip brush is most definitely needed for a nice clean finish.  There are 11 shades altogether and can be mixed and matched as much as you like.  Along with the mad white one is a blue one and neither are meant to be worn on their own, unless that's the look you're going for... The white one will obviously lighten the colour and the blue will intensify and darken it.

I think for the lighter shades, your lips need to be in good condition, and mine are not right now.  I haven't worn them all day yet but probably will this Saturday and will report back then on how long they lasted.  I can't imagine popping one of these into my handbag on a night out though.  I can just see myself trying to reapply and making a holy mess of myself just because they're so pigmented and every mistake will be obvious.  They're great value and will last me ages.  You need only the weeniest amount to do your full pout.

They're available to buy on Cloud 10 Beauty and on Beauty Emporium for €5.70.

What do you think ladies?  Will you be getting all artistic and creating your own custom made lip colours?
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Lush's Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic demo & spoiler!

Recently I was sent some products from Lush's Christmas range to play with and the Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic was the one I was most excited to try!  It's in the shape of a Christmas present, and what does one do with a wrapped Christmas present?  One shakes it of course!  When you shake the Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic, you can hear stuff clinking around, very intriguing altogether and I couldn't wait to have an evening to myself and plonk it into the bath.


Now, rather than trying to take pictures of each stage of the bath process, I took a little video to show you what happened. *** If you don't want to know what's inside the Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic, don't click on the video link!***



Containing sweet orange oil, cognac oil and lime oil, this left my bath smelling fresh and citrussy.  When it had finished dissolving, it left the bathwater a beautiful deep blue colour with golden shimmer running through it.  I felt like I was in a lagoon!  I also was afraid that I'd be left with a blue stained bath, but not to worry, the only thing that was left in the bath was the golden shimmer that rinsed away easily.

One of these present shaped beauties will set you back €4.10 so it's a bit on the spendy side for a single bath, but you know what?  It's worth it and it's Christmas!  As I said in the video, we've bought these for my two little cousins along with some other cute Christmas treats from Lush and they will have a ball with this no doubt.

Will you be trying Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic this Christmas?
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Shellac manicure from Nu Essence

Everyone knows how slightly obsessed Karen and I are when it comes to nail polishes... We cant get enough.  But like most polishes, give it several days and you can guarantee it will start to chip and it's time to reapply.  So when Margaret at Nu Essence on South Anne Street invited me to try out their Shellac manicure I was delighted.  I'd never heard of Shellac until last summer when my manager got a Shellac manicure before going to Spain.  I oohed and ahhed over how flawless her nails looked and when she came back from Spain, her nails still looked perfect.  They hadnt smudged or chipped!  So with my work Christmas party just around the corner, the timing was perfect!


I was greeted at Nu Essence by the Salon Manager, Fiona who asked what colour I was looking for.  Shellac comes in 12 different colours but as I hadn't picked out a dress for the Christmas party yet, I opted for the french manicure.  Whilst discussing our love for all things reality TV and Louis Walsh, Fiona filed and shaped my nails and applied a Shellac base.  When one hand was finished, it was placed under a UV lamp while the other hand was worked on.  This process was done after each coat.  Next Fiona used a Shellac white nail varnish to do the french tips of the finger nails, with an amazing eye for detail and the steadiest hand!  This was done lower than my actual nail so the regrowth wouldnt be obvious over the next couple of weeks.  Then Jessica's, GELeration in Blush (another nail varnish brand similar to Shellac) was applied over each nail to give it a natural look.  The nails were filed once more and ta-da I had a gorgeous, long lasting, cant-wait-to-show-everyone Shellac manicure. The process took about 40 minutes in total as extra care was needed for the french manicure and I am delighted with the results.







These are pictures 2 days after the manicure and they are still perfect.  I love the fact that when I'm getting ready on Friday for my Christmas party, I won't be freaking out trying to do my nails and not smudge them, or worrying about a last minute chip.  It's the ideal manicure for a wedding or if you wanted perfect nails for a holiday.  Fiona mentioned that it is possible to use regular nailvarnish over Shellac, but to use an acetone-free nail polish remover.  As I got the french tip, it may stain the Shellac nails, but I might try it closer to the time I need to get it removed.
 

Prices start from €30 which includes a free removal.  Thanks so much to Fiona at Nu Essence for my gorgeous nails.  I'm definitely converted to Shellac and can't wait to get another manicure in the New Year.

Nu Essence recently won the Dublin Living Awards' Dublin Beauty Salon of The Year 2011!  They offer a huge range of gift certificates if you have a beauty lover you're buying for.

IPL Laser starter pack - 2 areas €40.
Party Girl - full body spray tan & Shellac polish €60.
Best seller Bliss Express - luxury back, neck and shoulder massage & Dermalogica mini facial €70.
Nu Eyes - eyebrow shaping, eyelash & brow tinting & Myscara application €60.
Short and Sweet - luxury back, neck & shoulder massage & nail shape & polish €50.
Shellac - guarantee salon perfect nails with Shellac polish €30.

 
Thanks for reading
Joanne
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Cosmetics á La Carte Brow Ink

Last week when I received the Carmine beauty box, one product immediately stood out to me; the Brow Ink pen from Cosmetics á La Carte.  I saw Lisa Eldridge or Tanya Burr use something similar in a video a while back and filed it in my little brain.

I've been using pencils and powders for ages now on my brows and they do the job but I still wasn't 100% happy with them.  I think half my issue with the pencil is that I keep forgetting to buy a sharpener, but anyway, onto the Brow Ink.  It comes in three shades, Blonde, Taupe and Sable.  In my Carmine box, I received Taupe and it is the perfect colour for me.

It's a water based ink that is long lasting, smudge proof and has a long felt tip applicator that's flexible, allowing you to apply the most light and delicate strokes onto your skin, making it look like you're drawing individual hairs.  It says it's semi-permanent but comes off with a cleanser and can be used as an eyeliner or to create semi-permanent body art.  I think I'll stick to using it as a brow ink...


Application is a doddle.  I start at the inner part of my brows, using light, feathery strokes and plotting out the shape I want.  The pen allows for even application and you can make the strokes as thick or as thin as you'd like.  What I like the most about this pen is that it still leaves me with a natural looking brow.  It doesn't look like I've stencilled my brow on.  The ink itself dries quickly and you can go over it to make it as dark as you'd like.  Over the years, I've plucked like a lunatic which has left me with one brow that's thicker than the other.  I know eyebrows are supposed to be sisters and not twins, but come on, mine looked like sisters from another mister. 

Have a look at a before and after shot.   And no, I haven't drawn those little hairs on my upper eyelid, no, I just haven't plucked in yonks and they are really bloody obvious when doing close up shots like this one.

This is my new favourite brow product hands down.  The colour is perfect, the finish is natural and I don't feel really self conscious that I look like I've two massive dark brows on my visage!  I have neat, natural looking brows that frame the windows to my soul, or my eyeballs, whichever you prefer.  The fine tip means I can fill in gaps easily without laying down a lot of colour by mistake.  It lasts all day and comes off with a cleanser.  

Here's another before and after shot of my brows:


I like a lot, a really lot.  I would purchase this again happily.  It retails at £22 on Cosmetics á La Carte.  Or if you move fast, order Carmine's November beauty box and get the brow ink and four other products for about €15.00.  Bargain if ever I saw one!  This is what the beauty boxes are all about.  I never would have never even heard of Cosmetics á La Carte if it wasn't for Carmine.  

Whadaya think ladies?  Do you like the look of this?  I think I'll totally need to change the picture up the top of the blog and put up a nice one with my brows in all their newly inked glory!
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Roger & Gallet Sublime Bois d'Orange candle

A couple of weeks ago I was sent this candle to try out by Escentual.com after they heard me saying on Twitter how much I loved the Bois d'Orange scent.  I'm a huge fan of the hand cream in that scent and had doused myself in the Bois d'Orange spray before declaring my love for it again on Twitter!


The candle comes in a heavy frosted glass tumbler that has beautiful gold embossing on the front.  It's one of those candles you want to have displayed for everyone to see and admire.  And you can be all smug when they pick it up to have the obligatory sniff and then fall in love with it.

The fragrance is gorgeous.  I raved about it as best I could when I spoke about the hand cream earlier in the year.  Incorporating orange blossom, jasmine and Atlas cedar, the scent is "inspired by an enchanted stroll beneath the orange trees in the gardens of Alhambra in Spain".  Like the hand cream, this does not smell like Fanta.  Instead it's a deeper scent with the amber and cedar coming through to give a feeling of warmth.  So save money folks, instead of actually going to Spain, light this baby up, close your eyes really tightly and use your imagination.  Oh, and turn the heating on too, bloody freezing out these days.


Containing a perfume perfume concentrate of 8% and promising to give 60 hours of burning time, you will get your money's worth with this baby.  It'd be a great present for a Kris Kindle, a mother in law, or for a friend who has great taste!  Roger & Gallet also have another scented candle; Fleur d'Osmanthus which I'm sure is just as divine as this one.

The candles are available for £17.55 on http://www.escentual.com/ who offer £4.95 shipping to Ireland and also for €22.50 in selected pharmacies in Ireland.

Happy shopping!  You won't regret this purchase and if you do, you can send it on over to me!
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Splitting up for Christmas

No, this is nothing about break ups!  This post is to show you how you can buy value packs and divide them up among friends and if it just so happens that there's an uneven number and you've one left over for yourself, there's nothing you can do about that now is there?

Since we're all being a bit more financially conscious, this is a great way to buy a bunch of things and pick and choose what to give to each friend, making a little hamper of treats.  Or get one of those cute little Christmas gift bags, some colourful tissue paper and make the bag look all pretty.  Or if you're feeling really conscientious, wrap each thing individually and then your friend has loads of little presents to open.  (That being said, feel free to curse me halfway through wrapping each item, get fed up and then use loads of sellotape to wrap the living daylights out of everything, making your friend have to work to get to the goods.)

Anyways, these first value sets are from The Body Shop.  Starting top left and working clockwise we have:

1. Gift Cracker - Season Lip Balm - €19.95.
2. Mini Lip Gloss Set - €17.50.
3. Festive Trio - Seasonal Body Butter - €19.95.
4. Seasonal Hand Cream Trio - €17.50.



The next set of gift sets are courtesy of Beauty Emporium and Asos.  Starting top left and working clockwise:

1. China Glaze Let It Snow Seasonal Glitter Sparkles - €16.95, Beauty Emporium.
2. Nars Drop Dead Gorgeous - £22.00, Asos. 
3. OPI Best of the Best - Beauty Emporium
4. Nails Inc Show Stoppers - £15.00, Asos.



More Beauty Emporium and Asos bits!  Again, from the top left and clockwise:

1. Smiths Rosebud Three Lavish Layer Vintage Tin - €21.95, Beauty Emporium.
2. Cath Kidston 3 Spotty Nail Files - £5, Asos.
3. L'Occitane Hand Cream Trio - £20, Asos.


Finally are some goodies from Roger & Gallet and the lovely Girls Aloud ladies!

1. Roger & Gallet Quad of Perfumed Soaps - €19.50, pharmacies nationwide.
2. Eylure Girls Aloud Gift Box - €21.25, Debenhams.
And that's it folks, I could have been online for the night and made this a massive post with all the value sets that are out there now.  This was just for some inspiration and maybe for you to get creative!

Will you be splitting up for Christmas?
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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Irish Online Beauty Shop Series: Beauty Emporium (including a giveaway!)

Next on our list of Irish online beauty shops to tell you about is Beauty Emporium.  Based in Waterford, this company stocks brands including NYX, Rosebud, EOS, Sleek Make up, OPI and China Glaze to name a few.  They've got the Z palettes coming soon and I can't wait to get a look at them.  I'll most definitely be making an order for those.  They also offer gift vouchers and e-vouchers which can be emailed to your loved one on Christmas morning, great idea!

Now, Beauty Emporium is offering our lovely readers 10% off everything from the Christmas section of their website!  This offer will run for 3 days starting on Tuesday the 6th of December and the code is GIRLIEBITS10 so happy shopping ladies!  They offer a €2 flat rate for delivery in ROI and has free delivery on orders over €45 in ROI.  Pretty nifty!

We've picked out our favourite gifts that we would choose for chums or for each other.


China Glaze Let it Snow - Seasonal Glitter Sparkles - €16.95.  We are massive China Glaze fans and they always have fab Christmas polishes.  I have a couple of them already!


OPI Best of the Best Mini Collection - on sale at €23!  This set contains ten of the best selling OPI nail polishes and are cute little mini ones.  A must have for a nail polish lover.  Check out swatches here on CherrySue's blog.

NYX Bronze Smokey Look - €14.25.  This would suit pretty much everyone which is good when buying for someone else.  Neutral is good.




Estee Lauder Signature Silky Eye Palette €16.54.  This is a lovely 8 colour neutral palette that both chums and mammys would like.  Ladies love the Lauder.



OPI Muppets Collection - Rainbow Connection €9.45.  The most gorgeous of all the Muppets nail polishes.  Sparkley, glittery and spangletastic.  A must have for the party season.

Finally is Smiths Rosebud Three Lavish Layer Vintage Tin - €21.95.  Containing three of the salves; Rosebud, Strawberry and Minted Rose, this would be a lovely present for someone or you can totally split them up as stocking stuffers!

Now, Beauty Emporium have given us one of these Smiths Rosebud Three Lavish Layer Vintage Tins to give away to a lucky follower!

First and foremost, you must be a follower of the blog.  I will totally be checking as always, so no Anonymous entries please!  If you're not a follower, click on the Follow button on the right of the page and sign up with your Google Account or Twitter account, just follow the prompts.

1. For one entry, leave a comment below with your GFC name and email address.

2. For a second entry, go follow us here on Twitter and leave your Twitter username below in the comments.

3. For your third entry, tweet the following message "@Lovelygirlybits is giving away Smiths Rosebud Lip Salves! http://www.lovelygirliebits.com/search/label/giveaway?max-results=7 #giveaway"

4. For your fourth and final entry, get your behind over to Facebook here and "like" our page and leave your Facebook username in the comments below.

The giveaway is open to followers living in the Republic of Ireland, sorry folks, but stay tuned for more giveaways that will be open internationally!  It will end on Wednesday the 14th of December at midnight GMT and random.org will be used to choose the winner.

Good luck!
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