Friday, June 29, 2012

Oily skinned ladies take notice - Effaclar Mat from La Roche Posay is here to help us all

Earlier today, I posted about the new YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat foundation and how it's perfect for those with drier skins, but for us oily skinned ladies, we need a little somethin' somethin' to help tame the glow a bit.  Enter Effaclar Mat from La Roche Posay.  I read this review over on CherrySue's blog last week and did what I always do when a product has actually spoken to me.  I read the review, close my eyes and do a wise, deep nod, as if to say, "Yep, that's filed in my noggin now".

Off I trundled to the chemist beside work that has La Roche Posay products where I picked it up for €17.25 and couldn't wait to see how I fared with it.

Promising to combat shine at it's source and reduce pore size, I got stuck in.  I've been applying a pea sized amount to my whole face, concentrating on my nose, forehead, chin and the pores on my cheeks either side of my nose.  It fills in my pores and gives me an even canvass to apply my foundation on top of.  It has a gel like texture and leaves my skin dry to the touch after a minute or so.

I haven't used a primer in ages because I got so disillusioned with them.  I felt like they were an extra step in my morning routine and didn't make much difference.  But Effaclar Mat has reignited my love for the primer because it actually works.  It doesn't clog my pores and it keeps me looking matte yet natural for the whole day.  Love it.  Oil-free moisturisation?  Yes please!

Now, I've tried one other oil combating product in the past and it was the oil absorbing lotion from Creme De La Mer.  It was around $200.  I know but I loved it... Mental... It's no word of a lie when I tell you that Effaclar Mat is better.  And cheaper.  More readily available.  And works.  Straight to the point really and that's what you get with La Roche Posay products.

Go forth fellow oily ladies (and gents if that's what you fancy) and give this a go.  And then there's no excuse not to try YSL's Le Teint Touche Éclat!


It's here! Yves Saint Laurent Le Teint Touche Éclat review with photos

It's the one the beauty world has been waiting for.... Touche Éclat in foundation form!  And the worldwide exclusive launch belongs to Brown Thomas Dublin, Limerick, Cork and Galway from yesterday, June 28th and will hit YSL counters nationwide from July 14th.

So what's it all about I hear you ask me?  At the launch a couple of weeks ago, there were screens on the wall displaying a message; "The light belongs to YSL" and it couldn't be more true when it comes to this foundation.  Twenty years after the launch of the much loved but never reproduced Touche Éclat, it was time to bring the technology from the cult highlighter and apply it to our faces.  And so Le Teint Touche Éclat was born.

Coming in 22 shades, each shade having three different undertones, theres really something for everyone in the audience.  Described as being an "illuminating foundation", giving "dimensional radiance" and "weightless perfection", it really ticks all three boxes and it's full of volatile oils (not sure what they are but the didn't do me any damage) and moisturising agents.  €38 is the damage but you'll have it for ages and I think it's always good to invest in a good quality foundation and this is a fantastic one.

Now, Joanne and I have completely different skin.  I have an oily T-zone and normal cheeks where hers is dry and sensitive, so I figured we could cover a lot of ground with our two faces!

Herself is up first.  I had to ask Joanne I don't know how many times to try the foundation as I knew she'd love it but after a week of poking, prodding, guilting and other sisterly ways of making the other one do something they don't want to do, I had to resort to desperate measures; sitting on her.  Not really.  I made her sit down while I applied it to her face and neither of us could get over how natural it looked on her skin.  I've tried doing her make up before and her face would flake no matter how I applied the foundation, so this was a revelation in Casa Girlie Bits.

You can see how much it lifts her complexion and basically makes it look like her natural skin.  There are no opaque powders in the formulation, having been replaced with a soft focus gel which diffuses the light and smooths away imperfections.  She loves it and it has to be left in a communal area like a moisturiser we both love but more on that next week.

Now on to Oily Mc Oilerson.  I had a different experience with it.  I love the coverage it gives and it really does even out my skin tone, letting my skin breath and shine from beneath.  It feels weightless on my face and as I type this (with one side of my face free from foundation and the other side looking like below), when I stroke both cheeks, like you do, I can't tell the difference.  That's how light in texture it is.  Like Joanne, it gave me a terrific glow, but as an oily skinned person, I'm very aware of too much glow looking like grease.  And I have a massive forehead so I was quite self conscious that I would blind someone if the sun hit off my noggin.  I don't like wearing powder during the summer, so I was a bit stuck.  Until I found a product that all oily skinned ladies will thank me for and I'll have a post on that later.

But here are the photos of me with no foundation (sorry), one layer and a second layer just on my cheek.

You have to admit I have a bangin' glow on my cheek don't I!  I wanted to cover up my cheek a bit more so I went back in time and channeled YSL international make up artist Fred Letailleur who showed us how to work with the foundation at the launch.  He suggested patting the second layer of foundation on with a foundation brush and it worked like a dream.  I've been applying the first layer with a buffing brush to even out my skin tone and then patting on an extra little bit where I need it.  If you're an oily skinned lady, you will probably need to powder down your T-zone but don't do your cheeks, leave them be with the radiant glow.  If you don't want to powder, come back later to see what my new favourite face product is that goes under this foundation beautifully.

So in conclusion, these are the main points we love here in Casa Girlie Bits!

  • It is fantastic for layering which is great for when you're heading out from work with no time to take all the make up off and start again.  It doesn't cake at all.
  • It makes you glow like you're lit from within.
  • It is an absolute cinch to blend and you don't have to worry about any foundation lines, I promise you.
  • It feels like you're not wearing any foundation at all!  This pleases me.
  • It made me look younger in my photos above and for that, I love it!
  • Joanne can apply it without my supervision and if you know Joanne, this is huge.
  • Oily skinned ladies will need to powder but dry skinned ladies are good to go with this baby!
Will you be trying Le Teint Touche Éclat ladies?  What am I doing even asking you, go on and head to Brown Thomas and put it on your face to see what I mean and glow baby glow!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The One where Joanne got her hair done in Zeba!

I don't know about you, but I love people playing with my hair, whether it's someone combing it or the boyfriend mindlessly messing with it while watching TV.  I just love it!  So when I was invited to Zeba on South William Street (The winner of this year's L'Oreal Professional Colour Trophy) for a complimentary wash and blow dry, I was delighted.

Over the years, I've had so many bad experiences with different hairdressers, so I was slightly wary going somewhere new, but my mind was put at ease almost immediately once I met Angie, one of the owners of Zeba.  She sat with me and spoke at length about what I wanted and how she would go about doing it, so I knew exactly what was ahead - a straight blow dry!  Perfect!

While washing my hair with Moroccan Oil Shampoo and Conditioner, Angie gave me tips on everyday hair care and I should have brought a notebook and pen!  Did you know that when you're shampooing, to concentrate on the scalp only?  No, me neither.  When you rinse the shampoo out, it will go through the rest of your hair which is enough to clean the length.  All the money I could have saved over the years not shampooing my bum-length hair!  She also said if I wanted a casual wavy look, to try washing my hair in the evening and when it's nearly dry, put it into three small buns and the next morning I'll wake up with lovely natural waves.  I'm totally going to try this but not today because my hair's too pretty!

After my hair was washed, I was introduced to John Lowry and had the chats with him.  That's one thing I noticed in Zeba, everyone from the receptionist to the stylists are all so lovely and friendly, making the full experience really enjoyable.  Angie used a small amount of Moroccan Oil on the ends of my hair before blow drying it.  She must have arms of steel after drying my hair!  Once finished, I was left with the shiniest, most silky soft hair ever!  I felt like I was in a hair ad and flicked my hair from Zeba to the bus stop.  I love it!  I'll definitely be back and would recommend to everyone to go visit this award winning salon.

Zeba have lots of excellent offers on during the week.  Monday's offer is 50% off all colour services.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, nurses can get 50% off all colour services along with €20 wash and blow dry on mid-length hair.  You can find more offers on so you have no excuse not to visit this award winning salon!

Joanne x


Catrice Revoltaire Velvet Matt Lip Colour - Colour Bomb - photos and swatches, it's gorgeous!

Ok, it was payday and I had to walk through the chemist beside work to get to Tesco.  Except I can't just walk through a chemist like any normal person.  No, for me to not buy stuff in a chemist, I have to not allow myself go in... Tuesday was not that day.  I had a mini shopping spree and couldn't wait to show you this stunner from the Limited Edition Revoltaire collection from Catrice.

Say hi to this Velvet Matt Lip Colour in the shade Colour Bomb.  This gorgeous corally watermelony lipstick immediately stood out to my by colour alone.  Then when I realised it was a matte shade, my interest was piqued even more!  I've never tried matte lipsticks, fearing that they'd be too drying on my lips but I needed this colour.  And as for the packaging?!  So pretty and elegant, like me (hah!)

It went into my lips really easily and smoothly.  I was expecting it to drag but Colour Bomb was the bomb (sorry) and didn't let me down.  It left my lips with a satiny matte finish but when I smooshed them together, there was still some slip there, so not drying at all.  I'd advise to make sure your lips are well moisturised though before applying this, to be sure to be sure.  And it's worth it.  Look at the colour....

Colour Bomb is brighter in person but it's summer and what better time to go bright on the lips.  I can't say enough about the finish and I'm not sure if that's just because I'm a newbie to matte finishes or what, but I think I've started a new obsession!  ( I can hear my bank balance weeping)  It lasted a good three hours before starting to fade and as it faded, it left my lips slightly stained and ready for more.

If Colour Bomb is speaking to you, go pick it up soon as it's limited edition and you'd be raging if you missed out on it!  It was only €4.49 so no excuses and is available from selected pharmacies nationwide, Penneys and Dunnes.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guest post by Jacinta! Full MooGoo review!

Earlier this year I did a brief run down of the MooGoo products that are new to Ireland.  I asked my pal Jacinta if she'd like to test them out as she's had psoriasis for a long time and what better person to review the products than someone who they're aimed at!  So without further ado, behold Jacinta's brilliant review!

When Karen asked me if I would like to review the Moo Goo range for her blog because I have psoriasis, I was immediately planning it all out in my head because I wanted it to be up to par with her usual excellent posts, I would take before and after photos that you could all marvel at, I would give you a little back story on my history with psoriasis (27 years now!) and you would all be super impressed wth the excellence that was my guest post. Then real life kicked me up the backside to remind me who was in charge.  I came down with a dose of the flu that took me weeks to get over, the kids both got sick, my hubby was laid off in work and with the stress of it all my psoriasis went absolutely haywire!  So my carefully planned photos etc went out the window!  I will say that while the Moo Goo range didn't actually clear my skin (I think its past the stage of using natural products at the minute and I need some steroid creams which I dread!), they are keeping my skin super soft and moisturised!

My favourite product was actually the Fresh Milk Cleansing Bar (€5.95) which contains honey, oatmeal and buttermilk. I use this in the shower daily. My hubby actually tried it out before I got a chance to and he said it made his skin feel "sticky".  When i used it myself I know what he meant, it doesn't make your skin "sticky" but when you rub your arm/leg/whatever your hand kinda drags over the skin but this is only when your skin is wet, after using it my skin is smoother than it has been for a LONG time!

Next up was the Eczema and Psoriasis Balm or Irritable Skin Balm (€15.95) , which was in a dinky little pot.   This contains Aloe Vera and several other oils etc.  I used this on my elbows, in the crease under my boobs (NOT a nice place to have psoriasis let me tell ya!) and on my knees and although it didn't make my skin any clearer, it didn't get any worse either when i was having my flare up!  It also kept my elbows etc moisturised as anyone with psoriasis knows that dry skin is your mortal enemy!

My hubby tried out the Oil Cleanser (€21.45) for me, I asked him to try this as his face can sometimes be dry and he uses moisturisers etc every day so I thought he could be my guinea pig for this product! (He also has super long eyelashes that I'm well jeal of but on with the story in hand!)  He used this oil cleanser a good few times and found it left his face feeling smooth and silky (I can second that!)!  The Oil Cleanser contains Jojoba oil and Avacado oil as well as other natural products!

The Nappy Balm (€10.95) was next on the list and Ryan, my 2 year old was my next guinea pig!  He's getting teeth at the minute so he had a small amount of nappy rash so the nappy balm came in very handy!  His little bum was healed up in a few day so i was delighted with that altogether as the mammies out there all know that a bambino with nappy rash is NOT good for anyone!

I used the Full Cream (€13.90) moisturiser after my shower every day and lashed it onto my skin.   This contains goodness such as coconut oil, aloe vera, vitamin E and honey as well as others. It smells delicious and I had to resist the temptation of giving my arm a lick on more than one occasion!  I really love this and when its all gone I will definitely be ordering some as well as the milk bar!  I'm also very interested in how Mammy Lovely Girlie Bits got on with the scalp cream as I would be interested in trying that out too, dark hair and yucky flakes aren't a good combo!

I used the other creams on my hands and face, just to try different creams in different places. I used the Udder Cream (€10.25) on my face and the MSM Soothing Cream (€15.95) on my hands as they've both been very dry lately (story of my life innit?) and I found both of these left my skin feeling soft and smooth!

After using these milk based products for the last couple of months, I wouldn't have been one bit surprised if I'd started to moo myself!    I apologise to Karen and Joanne for the length its taken me to do this review and want to thank them for giving me the opportunity to do this guest post on their super popular and wonderful blog which has inspired me to spend money on a "must have" on more than one occasion!! I always tell Karen if I end up being divorced over my make up obsession that its ALL HER FAULT!

I hope you've found this review helpful and for any of you out there who have excema/psoriasis, you could always try the Moo Goo range as an alternative to steroids! Its natural ingredients are both moisturising, good for your skin and very important for someone with a skin disorder, they smell GOOD!  If you've used any tar based products you'll know what I'm talking about! 

Will you go ga-ga for goo goo, I mean Moo Goo? I did!

Thanks so much for doing this review Jacinta, you're a little star bar!  


L'Oreal Miss Candy Collection - lots of nail swatches!

It's not very often that a nail polish makes me go "Ooh" out loud.  And it's even less often that the girls at work express their love for one, calling it the nicest polish I've worn in ages!  The Miss Candy Colour Riche Nail Collection from L'Oreal arrived at Casa Girlie Bits last week and I wasted no time getting stuck in!

From left to right we have 305 Dating Coral, 601 French Riviera and 505 Wild Purple (€7.55)

Ok, you need to see them on actual nails, correctamundo?  So first up we have Dating Coral and I'll fully admit to you that as I was typing up this post and checking the names of the polishes, I have a little squeak after realising that this is the matching nail polish to one of my favourite lip products of this year!  I have much love for the L'Oreal Caresse Lipstick also called Dating Coral and now I will have to go all matchy matchy and wear them together now that I've realised this!  Made my night so it has!  

So Dating Coral is a beautiful coral (funny that) polish with the merest hint of shimmer running through it.  This is summer in a nail polish and although I've just taken it off tonight to try another polish, I'll be reapplying it this Friday when I head out on the town.  You will love this and out of the three shades, this is my favourite.

Next up is the dark and vampy Wild Purple.  In daylight it looks like an unassuming dark purple polish, but trust me when I say you need to see this in the sunlight.  I know this is Ireland and that might be impossible but it's worth the effort when you see the blue and pink shimmer running through it.  This colour will take you right through until autumn and I love me some dark purple as the days get shorter.

Last up is French Riviera and as you can see it's a beautiful pale icy blue polish with really fine purple shimmer running through it.  The lovely nails below are Joanne's and I kid you not when I tell you that she said her hand felt like it was colder than the other one as I applied French Riviera onto her nails.  Just because it was icy blue.  I know.... Weirdoooo!  But weirdness aside, it's beautifully subtle and will make you look uber tanned!

Now it's time for the glamour shots where we tried to get all artistic but failed miserably.  Instead we laughed at how ridiculous we were and so these here collages were born!  

Please note the artistic composition of the nails.... Yeah, we didn't see it either....

I love me a wide brush when it comes to applying nail polish and the Colour Riche ones are fantastic.  I was able to do one coat with one swipe on both my and Joanne's nails.  Easy peasy.  You're looking at two coats of each polish above, except for the blue French Riviera one.  We needed three with that one.

We are in The Ultimate Love with these polishes and at €7.55, they're not cheap, so definitely keep an eye out for 3 for 2 offers in Boots.  They're really worth a try, especially Dating Coral.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Konjac sponges - they're mad looking but we love them!

Continuing on with Operation Ditch The Make Up Wipes, there's a new kid on the block in the cleansing department that I'm here to tell you about and will make you want to ditch the wipes forever and that is this lil' puddin'!

What you're looking at is a little Konjac Sponge and his name is Henry.  I totally gave him a name after deciding he's a he and Henry and I are getting on fabulously.  Konjac is actually a plant native to Asia but don't eat it.  That'd be weird.  Eating the thing that cleans your face and all.  Full of vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, iron, phosphorus and other bits and bobs, I couldn't wait to see what it felt like to clean my face with a vegetable.  It's about the size of a tennis ball chopped in half and has a lovely squidgy texture.  It has a little string to hang it up to dry when it's not in use and can dry out a bit if not used for a while.  All you have to do is soak it in a bit of water and it's good to go again.

I was sent a Konjac sponge with French Green Clay for my normal to oily skin and Joanne was sent one with French Red Clay for her dry and sensitive skin.  There's also one with French Pink Clay for tired & devitalised skin, a pure sponge with nothing added to it and one with added bamboo charcoal for skin prone to outbreaks.

I got stuck into using my sponge right away and like to use it on it's own with just water first thing in the morning.  In the evening I like to use a teeny bit of cleanser and you really need the smallest amount so it'll save you money that way.  Using circular motions, I go over my face and neck and it gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin leaving it looking brighter and more plump!

I had to encourage (bully) Joanne into using hers.  She's weird when it comes to cleansing her skin properly as it's so flaky and sensitive, but I assured her all would be well (while crossing my fingers behind my back because I didn't know how her visage would react!)  I needn't have worried because she absolutely loves using it and has been cleansing twice a day with it.  Usually her face would be left red and almost raw after cleansing like that but she's just left with smooth, flake free skin.  That and a miracle moisturiser that I've encouraged (bullied) her into using has changed her skin dramatically over the past couple of weeks and she has moi to thank for it and do you think I'm going to let her forget it?! 

This is one of my favourite finds of the year so far ladies and I think everyone should give it a go!  I love them so much that I'll be buying some for an upcoming giveaway and I guarantee you'll love them!

You can buy yourself your very own Konjac sponge on or on for around €8 each and I will be stocking up on them when my one dies a death.  I should get about three months out of my sponge as I'm taking good care of him.

Konjac sponges definitely get the Lovely Girlie Seal Of Approval!


Essie Haute as Hello nail polish

Yes I know, it's another peachy nail polish but come on, it's a gorgeous one!  From the Summer 2010 collection, Essie's Haute as Hello is the perfect polish for summertime and I must have known that when I picked it up at the Irish Beauty Trade Show earlier this year.
This is the type of shade that would set off a tan perfectly and although it looks more pale and creamy in the bottle, on the nails, it's bright, peachy and almost neon on the nails.  It dries to a satin finish but I need a topcoat out of habit more than anything else really, giving me shiny, strokable nails.  Yes, I like to stroke my nails when I've Seche Vite on them.... Am weird...

The only negative thing about Haute as Hello is the formulation.  The first coat is thin and streaky and will have you doubting it's ability to function as a normal nail polish.  The second coat will still leave you with some streaks and you will curse the fact that you spent your hard earned cash on this stupid polish.  But then... Then the third coat comes and it's the coat that brings it alllll together, leaving you with a big smile on your face and gorgeous peachy nails!

You can pick up Haute as Hello on Cloud10Beauty for €9.95 which is about €3 cheaper than in Boots.  Every euro counts!

What's your favourite Essie polish?  Come on, I need help increasing my stash.  I'm thinking about getting Jamaica Me Crazy only because I love the name so much!

Monday, June 25, 2012

My trip to La Roche Posay - the down time - photo heavy!

Earlier today I talked all about the business end of the press trip to La Roche Posay and now it's time to show you where we stayed and holy moly it was a beauty.... When we were collected at the train station by the taxi lady, she asked where we were staying and when we told her it was Chateau Touffou, she murmured "ooh la la" under her breath and it made my day!  As we drove up the long driveway and came closer to the gate, we were all silent except for saying three little words "Oh my God... Oh my God".

Now you'll see why.
Chateau Touffou was built in the 15th century with the Renaissance wing built in the 16th century.  It's owned by the Ogilvy family and we were delighted to meet Madam Ogilvy herself on one of the evenings.  We kind of all fell in love with her and were hosted by her son in law, Douglas who gave us a little wine tasting class one night and in turn, we showed him how to make a crepe cake, totally delicious!

The grounds of the castle are stunning and we wandered around them both evenings pretending we lived there... Was that just me girls?!  Below is the lavender garden teaming with little bumble bees and provided the backdrop for a very important photoshoot on our last day.  Let me explain.  In the living room is a sideboard full of photos of various groups that have stayed there over the years.  The five of us wanted on that sideboard, so Rosie and I scouted some locations and did some test shots, like you do, and we've been promised we'll be front and centre on that sideboard!  We are getting photographic evidence sent over for proof.
There's Douglas in his chef's uniform!
This was my bedroom lads...  I swear to you, I spent the first half an hour in there with my eyes wide as saucers and saying those three words again and it took me ages to go to sleep for two reasons.  
1. I couldn't believe I was in such a beautiful place and couldn't stop smiling.  
2. I was convinced the girls were going to come and scare me and it turned out they'd felt the same, especially Paula who's room was attached to a nursery and we spent ages tormenting her and telling her that Ghost Baby was going to come and get her.  

We had a tour of the grounds and had student Basile showing us around and telling us the history of the castle and surrounding buildings and there may or may not have been more messing as we were taken down to the dungeons....

Below you'll see Rosie and I having a bit of a smooch with the lion like you do and below that is the living room where we had pre dinner drinks one night and did some wine tasting the following night.  Great craic and made us all a bit giddy!

Speaking of dinner, the meals we had at Chateau Touffou were gorgeous.  Four courses but normal portions, so we were all pleasantly full after each meal.  On the day we went to the Treatment Centre, we went to Chateau Valcreuse for lunch and the setting was absolutely stunning.  We sat outside under a big tree with hanging lanterns and got to try some of their home made rosé wine.  I'm also going to start putting my dinner menu on a dinky chalkboard like this one below, how fancy!  Of course, we couldn't understand it but it didn't matter!

All in all, I felt like I was in a dream the whole time I was there.  Our little group laughed so hard the entire time and I couldn't have asked for better travel buddies.  I really am so lucky to have been asked to go and have been reliving it over and over in my little noggin!  Thanks to Paula and Gill for taking such good care of us and giving me great blogging advice, Rosie and Lorraine for being brilliant "journo" pals and I can't wait to see if we make The Sideboard!  Seriously lads, I'm shaking my head in disbelief that this all happened to me.


My trip to La Roche Posay Thermal Centre in France - The business end of things

Seriously ladies, this year keeps getting better and better and the highlight of 2012 so far without a shadow of a doubt is the recent press trip to La Roche Posay in France.  Ooh la la!  The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the brand and learn I did.  We were there for a couple of days and one day was purely all things La Roche Posay, so that's what this post will be about and later on today I'll talk you through the down time and where we stayed etc.

Now, let me preface this by saying that me being the numpty I am, brought my camera, oh yes.  Do you think I brought my memory card?  No.  Dopey here left it at home, so I had to rely on my phone, the lovely Lorraine from and the interwebs.

We went to the La Roche Posay labs where we had a little presentation about the history of the company and saw all of the products available to the lucky French folk.  They've got lots of make up products on the market there including eyeshadows and blushes.  Lahffly!

Next we went to the Thermal Centre where patients who suffer from ailments like eczema, psoriasis, scarring from burns, mouth ailments and skin dryness after chemotherapy attend.  We donned our white coats and very attractive blue shoe covers and had a tour of the centre much to the amusement of the patients.  What surprised me the most is that every treatment ranging including high pressure sprays, baths and mouth rinses are performed using only water from the La Roche Posay springs.  I wasn't too sure about this to be honest until we were able to test the strength of one of the sprays and stick our hands in front of the stream of water.  After the water dried on my hand, I could feel such a difference in my skin compared to the other hand.

The Treatment Centre isn't just for French patients though.  They need to be referred by a doctor and if they stay for the three weeks, it's paid for by the French Social Security.  It's also open to patients from abroad and the full list of prices for the treatment can be found here.  Note that this doesn't include transport and accommodation.

We went to a workshop for kids that shows them how to apply their cream properly and makes it fun so they'll do it themselves.  There was a beautiful little girl and boy there who were wondering why there were so many mammies in the class!  They were little dotes and were given a bag at the end with some cream and a certificate which they were delighted with, awww!

Next was a make up workshop where a make up artist was on hand to show us how she applies make up to patients and had a woman there who had finished her cancer treatment.  She explained that she wanted to make the women look and feel like themselves again, just a more beautiful version of themselves.  The patient was facing us during the demonstration and when she turned around and looked at herself in the mirror, her face lit up and I immediately got a lump in my throat.  She was delighted with how she looked and said she felt like herself again.

Aside from the Thermal Centre, there's also a newly renovate spa for those who just want to be pampered and we had a really relaxing facial and body treatment.  Now, I think the body treatment was called the Velvet Body Wrap but I'm not 100% as the therapist didn't speak English, I didn't speak French, so there was a lot of "Ooh la la? Non, ahhh ooh la laaaaa" and much gesturing but we got there in the end!  I was positively glowing and relaxed apres the treatment and would go back in a heartbeat!

There really is so much to learn about the brand and so many products I want to try, so I'll be doing my best to try and review as many as I can here on the blog.

What's your favourite product from La Roche-Posay?


Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Favourite Five posts of the week! 24/06

We made it through the week of rain, wind and typical summer weather in one piece, so it's time for another installment of My Favourite Five posts of the week from my fellow bloggers.  I feel like I need a cheesy theme tune for this!  Without further ado, let's get stuck in!

1. Look at Melissa's hair.... Just look at it!! It's gorgeous thanks to her Sleeprollers and now I want them based on her post alone.... I LOVE HER HAIR.  The end.

2. Over on Le Beauty Girl, Ysis has made me want to try the Rimmel Scandal Eyes Show Off Mascara.  I want her lashes.

3. On Smooch, I fell in The Love with this stunning nail polish from Orly called Preamp.  Pinky purpley with lots of shimmer running through it?  Yes please!

4. Cole is one of my favourite blogs to read for nail art.  She is soooo talented and I read her blog in awe and last week she showed us how to create multi coloured leopart print nails.  Even a numpty like me can do it so I'm totally going to give this a go soon!

5. The girdles over on Dolly Rouge are talking about a NeoStrata Glycolic Body Lotion that totally made me furrow my brow in interest and stroke my imaginary (not so imaginary) beard.  I've never tried a chemical exfoliant for the body so I will have to give this ago myself... #stillstrokingbeard  Also, I met Rachelle earlier this week and girlfriend has some amazing hair so hopefully she'll do a post on it soooooon!!


Another busy week in Casa Girlie Bits and it seems like most weeks have a lot going on, but it keeps me out of trouble!  On Monday I met up with Mags and Sue for a bit of grub and some chats and laughs and that's a pretty standard night out with those two.

Wednesday brought me to Fallon & Byrne with Sue where we met some lovely food bloggers and you can read more about that here.  Needless to say, we'll be heading back there pretty soon for 2 for 1 cocktails on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Thursday was a busy day what with a launch from Vichy that I'll be telling you all about soon followed by a party celebrating the 20th anniversary of Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse which was great fun.  It was one of the mingley mingley events I've been to where I knew lots of people and totally did a "Are you Emma" and poked her on the back after sitting there for an hour and a half going "I recognise that girl, how and from where?"  Ah the joys of twitter pals, it was Emma Farrell and she recognised me too which saved any mortification as I smothered her in a hug!

I hope you had a lahffly week girls.  Next week is going to be great what with an e-book launch, going to the cinema and one of my best pal's album launch on Friday, I can't wait!

Oh yeah, I had to update this post to let you know that we've been nominated in the SalonAddict's Looking Good Awards 2012 for Best Beauty Blog!  Click here if you'd like to vote pour us!  We're absolutely delighted and are in fabulous company!  Thanks ladies!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

First look at Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in the shade Rendezvous!

Last week after I mentioned this post from British Beauty Blogger in my Favourite Five posts of the week, the fabulous Jane sent me one to play with, so thanks a million Jane!  She has the full set swatched on her blog, so go check it out.

These will launch in Ireland in July and I'll be getting more information about shades and prices next week, so hold fast for that.  Right now, I'll show you the shade Rendezvous in all it's glory.

Obviously, the packaging and design is not unlike Clinique's Chubby Sticks but from what I've read online, the formulation is very different.  This gives me all the more reason to get a Chubby Stick to compare this one to (ah, the things I do for the blog...!)  I've played with Chubby Sticks in the shops and they are more sheer and lip balmy in consistency rather than the balm stain here which is drier and more like a lipstick.  It goes on smoothly and evenly on my lips and when I press my lips together, there's still a bit of slip which is good, otherwise it would be too drying.

Swatches anyone?

Rendezvous is a beautiful orange shade that's right up my street and perfect for summer time.  As the balm part of it fades, the stain remains and gave me about three to four hours of wear.  I can't wait until they launch and I want to get my paws on a red one I think...  Roll on July!

Have you tried these yet ladies?

Friday, June 22, 2012

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain shade 7 Corail Aquatique - photos and swatches

I've been lusting after one of these for ages and when I lust over something for this long, I need to get it.  I first caught sight of the YSL Glossy Stain in shade 7, Coral Aquatique on the way back from my holidays at the start of May.  The airport in Spain didn't have it and I mentally filed it into my list of Things That I Don't Need But Really Want Which Is Pretty Much Everything.

A few weeks later, I was in Debenhams in town and went to see if they had it.  They didn't, but the sales assistant took down my name and number and said she'd call me when it was back in stock.  I'm still waiting on that call.  I finally got my grubby little paws on it last week and crossed it off my list.  Want to see more?

The packaging is sleek and simple with a clear window so you can see and admire the colour you're about to slather on your lucky lips.  The applicator is the perfect shape to apply the gloss all over your lips and also be neat around the edges.  Colouring outside the lines is not good when it comes to lip gloss.  Corail Aquatique is a dark peach shade with hints of shimmer running through it and I figured it was a shade I'd get good use out of, rather than going for something in a mad colour and leaving it looking pretty on my desk.

Below are photos that show my nudey lips, one coat and two coats.  The first coat acts as the stain and the second coat is the gloss.  The stain is thick and totally unlike any other stain I've tried in the past.  It feels really thick and luxurious on the lips, whereas other ones I've tried feel like there's nothing on my lips and I end up applying a lipgloss over it.  But how would it stack up in the longevity department?  Well, I decided to put two coats on and have my dinner with it on.  This is something I never do but for the purpose of this post, I did!  It lasted through a big plate of home made veggie fried rice and a big glass of diet coke.  Yum.  As the glossy part faded, the stain remained and still looked really lovely and natural.

I've read other reviews of these in the past where bloggers said they found their colours dried a bit darker but I didn't find that with Corail Aquatique.  

This will set you back €33 but will last you for aaaaaages so in Girlie Maths, it's a bargain.  Am loving this and may or may not have my eye on another one.... 

Have you tried any of the Glossy Stains yet?  What's your favourite shade?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I MacGyvered my way to a make up look (kinda) on my way to Fallon and Byrne

Ok, it's happened to us all at one time or another.  You wake up, slap on work appropriate make up, saunter (leg it) out of the house and do a good day's work.  You're heading how that night but hey, it's ok, you've timed it so that you can race home, have a quick shower, change out of grotty work clothes, do the hair, beautify yourself with alllllll of your make up and stride (leg it) out the door, ready to meet your chums for lols and giggles.

Then.... You get a text from CherrySue.... The event is at 5pm, not 7 as we had thought.... You won't have time to go home and change.  You curse not piling all of the make up on that morning and get your speech ready; the one where you have to apologise to everyone you meet for the absolute state of yourself.  But then, THEN you are thankful that you're a big weirdo who carries around so many products in your handbag!  You plonk everything that might help you look halfway decent onto your desk, photograph it for the purpose of this post and then try to work some magic.

This is what happened to me yesterday.  I didn't even have a hairbrush with me.... Sacre bleu...  I needed to buy a mascara as I was going to use my YSL Azure Blue eyeliner that everyone loves and felt that I needed some extra oomph in my lashes.  So a quick Twitter call for help told me that NYC cosmetics were sold close to where I was going.  Sorted.  I also felt a bit grotty so bought some deodorant and will leave one of them in my desk at work for times like this!

This is what I had to work with.

Now the photos aren't my usual quality because they were taken with my iPhone.  I didn't have my good camera with me as I was going to collect it from home on the way into my 7pm event....  Anyway, I'm also squinting a bit on the left because I was facing my office window trying to get good light and not let people see me as they walked by the window.

I used the YSL Saharienne on my eyes as eyeshadow and added a good dollop of it on my cheeks and on my forehead.  A quick slick of my Aldi concealer under my eyes, YSL liner along the waterline and Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait was it for then.  I bought NYC's Showtime mascara and yes, in the middle of the street with CherrySue standing guard, I lashed a grand thick coat on top and bottom lashes and felt ready to greet the world!

We were at Fallon & Byrne to celebrate the launch of their New Summer Cocktail Collection and we of course had to sample one or two... I had a peach bellini, Sue had a mojito and Eadaoin from City of Blackbirds opened for a non alcohol version of the Pappy Honeysuckle.  Delish!
There were nibbles galore and they were gorgeous.  I can't wait to go back there and get this, on Mondays and Tuesdays, cocktails are buy one get one free all evening!


Take 5 - Peachy cheeks

For me, peachy cheeks and summer go hand in hand.  As soon as I see a smidgen of sun, I'm outside like a mad yoke getting solar powered and without realising, out come my peachy products.  Following on from the Take 5 - Summery Lipsticks, these are five peach blushes that will give you a lovely summery glow.

First up is the least pigmented of them all and would be perfect for the really pale girls out there.  The Body Shop's Lip & Cheek Dome (€15) from the Lily Cole range in the shade Crazy for Coral is a creamy blush that glides onto the skin leaving a subtle dewy glow to the skin.  I've shown a swatch on my arm below that shows the colour a bit more but it doesn't show up too well on my skin, so if you're a pale girl, this is for you.

Benefit Cha Cha Tint
This is one of my all time favourite cheek products because you can layer it on easily.  You can go from sheer to opaque, it stays put because it's a stain and it looks so natural.  The fact that it helps give you a gorgeous flush of colour and sets off any tan you have, fake or otherwise, just adds to it's appeal and I very much doubt I'll ever be without my Cha Cha Tint.  Look at my glowing visage!

Benefit Coralista
Another classic from Benefit cosmetics and it's a product everyone should have.  In fact, I put this on Joanne the other day and her face was immediately brightened and had a wonderful glow.  I then gave out to her for not wearing it more often.  Sisters.  Am totally allowed to do that.  It's the law.

Stila Gladiola
There is still much love between me and Gladiola and you can read my full review here.  If you don't want to read my review, go look at my check below and then you'll want to read the review.  If you're on the hunt for something that'll give you a natural flush on your cheeks, this is your only man.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream Waterproof Cream Colour
This one is not for the faint hearted or the slow blenders of the group.  This shade is super pigmented and has the finest gold glitter particles running through it.  It can be used on either cheeks or lips but I find it too drying on the lips.  But it's perfect for staying put on your face, you just need to blend quickly as this baby doesn't budge once it's set.  Let me just say that the photo below doesn't do it justice and in real life, it's so much more beautiful.  Let me know if you'd like a full post on it and you never know, I might do one anyway!  In The Love with it.
Ok, you know what's coming next.  If I wanted to expand my peachy cheek collection, what do you recommend I try?  To the comments!

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