Thursday, May 31, 2012

HD Brows at Nu Essence - not a scouse brow to be seen!

A couple of weeks ago I went along to Dublin award winning salon, Nu Essence to try HD brows and I will tell you now, I was scared.  Really scared.  I was worried I'd come out with dirty big scouse brows, or ones that made me look permanently angry, scared or shocked.  That's a legit worry to have right?  Your eyebrows are right there.  In your face, or rather on your face, but you can't hide them

So off I shuffled to Nu Essence and I gave myself IBS due to nerves but I figured look, I've only seen dramatic HD brows online, Margaret said they can do natural ones too.  Fiona took care of me that day and we had The Chats about what I was looking for.  No scouse thanks.  She understood.  She took some before and after photos and her ones are much better than mine, so let's have a look shall we?

Aren't they perfect?!

I lay back on the table, hands clenched and Fiona first put a tint on the brows so she could see what she was working with.  She said that she won't always do someones brows if the hair isn't long enough and will send people home with Miracle Grow (not really) and tell them to come back in a few weeks when they've hairier brows.  The dye was left on my brows for less than a minute and was then wiped away.

Next was the waxing part.  I've never had my brows waxed and only had my legs done last month, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  It wasn't too bad and Fiona waxed both under and over my eyebrows.  She then trimmed them a teeny bit with a scissors and got on to the threading part.  That didn't hurt at all and took only a couple of minutes.  Next was the tweezing and that was a bit eye watering but I was nearly there!  The last step was to use the HD Brow palette and a sharp pencil to define the shape and that was it!  A quick dusting of mineral powder to tone down the redness from the waxing and threading and I was ready for my close up.


I was so relieved I didn't have to do one of those fake squeaks of delight, I was genuinely over the moon with them!  They looked like what my eyebrows should look like, only better!  I went home with a big smile on my face and raised my brows at everyone I walked by.

The photos above show my eyebrows finished off with the powder and pencil and when I cleanse my face, I'm back to a plain old eyebrow, except now, it has a proper shape and it takes me less than a minute to colour it in.

HD Brows cost €45 and took about 40 minutes.  I had to get a patch test done 48 hours before getting them done just to make sure I wasn't allergic to the tint.  I'm loving them ladies and am proof that they can be natural and scouse free!  Thanks so much to Fiona and Margaret from Nu Essence for minding me, I trust ye completely now!

Check out the Nu Essence Facebook page here.  You can find out more about the different treatments offered by Nu Essence here on their website.

Have you tried HD Brows?
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Yves Saint Laurent Golden Gloss in shade 54 Golden Sand review

Last week I brought you the stunning Azure Blue eyeliner from the YSL Swimming Pool Collection and I think everyone fell in The Love with it.  Now I'm here to tell you about the glosses and one in particular, Golden Sand.

Four new Golden Glosses make up the glossy part of the Swimming Pool collection.  Shade 51 Golden Shelle, 52 Golden Pebble, 53 Golden Pearl and 54 Golden Sand.

I was sent 54 Golden Sand to play with and I knew I'd love it as soon as I took it out of the box.  Adorned with a golden lid and those three all important letters, YSL, the gloss itself has sparkling 24 carat gold flecks (0.2%), fancy schmancy!


Along with 24 carat gold flecks, there looks to be flecks of pink running through it too, all sitting happily in a nudey sheer gloss.  The gloss has a fruity scent that I couldn't put my finger on, but research tells me it's mango.  Despite all the glittery flecks in the gloss, it doesn't feel gritty on the lips.  It's not sticky, instead it feels really luxurious on.

Take a look at the photos below.  It really is luminescent and highlights my cupid's bow, making my lips appear bigger.  This makes me very happy indeed!  It stays put for a good three hours or so, when the shine fades away, leaving a light layer of the flecks on the lips.


It's one that I've been wearing every day since getting it and the lightness of the shade means I can slap it on when I'm on the go.  It's subtle, pretty and will compliment a smokey eye perfectly.

The Golden Glosses retail at €30 and could be a lovely Oh It's Summer So I Deserve A Treat present to yourself?

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Scents - Narciso Rodriguez Essence Eau de Musc

There's nothing better than having a scent of the summer and this is one of my favourites.  While on my way to Spain a few weeks ago, I was perusing the Duty Free in Dublin Airport, hoping that something would speak to me.  And after spraying a few onto cards, I came across this one by Narciso Rodriguez.



The mirrored bottle intrigued me first, looking like molten metal and immediately making me think of Terminator and your man who was blown apart and then came back together as little balls of metal.  Yes, I'm weird.  That was my first thought.  I decided to get it over in Spain so it would be my holiday perfume and proceeded to spray it all over myself every time we went into a shop that had it.  And shoved my arm into my mam's face every few minutes to make her smell it.  The fact that she liked it too was huge as she's so picky when it comes to perfumes.  I finally picked it up on my way home and everyone I've made smell it, which is pretty much everyone, loves it too.


What does it smell like?  The first word that comes to mind is "clean".  It's light, bright, airy, fresh and all things feminine.  With top notes of Citrus, Iris and Rose, a musk heart and amber base, the tagline sums it up saying " When the sensuality of Musc meets the freshness of an Eau".

When I first spray myself (drown myself in it), I'm hit with a fresh, soapy scent that cools me off and makes me immediately feel clean, not that I'm dirty or anything!  One of the girls at work says she can smell the rose, but I can't and I definitely can't smell any citrus.  As it starts to dry down, the musk sets in and is almost powdery, but still fresh.  When it hits the amber base part, it smells warm and yet still clean.

With the hot weather we've been having for the past few days, Essence Eau de Musc has been a welcome addition to my drawer at work.  When I'm feeling clammy, a few squirts of this freshens me right up and I'm back in the game!  It lasts a good four hours and at that point, I'm ready to top myself up and get back to smelling gorgeous.  I think this is now my go-to summer scent and I'll find it hard to top it.

Next time you're in the shops, go and smell this.  Take note, you're looking for Essence Eau de Musc, not Essence.  Eau de Musc is a follow on from the original Essence scent that I haven't tried yet, but I don't want you smelling the wrong one.  Prices range from €49 to €97 on the Debenhams website depending on the size.

What's your favourite summer scent?

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Dr Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum

We all know that I'm a massive fan of all things Origins and have loved pretty much every product I've tried over the years.  The latest one that found it's way home and onto my desk is the new Mega-Bright Skin Tone Correcting Serum by Dr Andrew Weil for Origins.



Promising to transform discolouration into illumiination, this sounded like it was made for my self inflicted sun damaged skin.  I'm not ready to do any chemical peels just yet and I was excited to see how I got on.

The key ingredient in Mega-Bright is Rosa Roxburghii, which is rich in Vitamins A, C and E, along with essential fatty acids, ao I was ready to pack some good ingredients into my skin as only serums do.

For any of you that have tried the White Tea Skin Guardian, Mega-Bright has that smooth silicon feel to it, except it's a bit lighter in texture.  It has a gorgeous peachy apricot scent to it and one pump dispenses the teeniest blob of pearly, iridescent serum but is enough to cover my whole face easily.  It doesn't clog my pores and makes my skin feel really smooth, like having used a primer.


My face is covered with pigmentation marks from sun damage and scarring from past pimples and after using this morning and night for almost two months now, my skin tone has noticably improved and is bright and dare I say it, radiant!  As a lover of medium coverage foundations, I've been able to get away with wearing foundations with lighter coverage.

At €64 it's not cheap but if it's age spots or hyperpigmentation you're looking to tackle, this is definitely worth a try.  I've loved using it and I'm only about half way through the bottle and will continue on, making my skin even more gorgeous!

Origins is available in Arnotts and Boots Liffey Valley.

What's your favourite serum ladies?
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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream Dark - I BB loving it

In April this year, Maybelline launched new Dream Fresh BB cream on us all.  If you're new to the BB world, they're essentially creams that were created to be used by patients who had surgery and laser procedures, offering protection and skin regeneration afterwards.

Now I haven't had surgery or laser procedures, so where do I fit in in the BB world?  Well up until I tried Dream Fresh BB Cream, I kind of saw BBs as tinted moisturisers from the reviews I've read online and to be honest, they didn't really speak to me and nobody seemed that pushed on them.  I was sent this one to try in the Dark shade and almost had heart failure when I saw how dark it was.


In a single step, Dream Fresh BB Cream does this:
  1. Protects with SPF 30  (Very good)
  2. Oil free and non greasy  (This is very important for moi)
  3. Blurs imperfections  (Don't mind if I do)
  4. Enchances  (Enchances what exactly?)
  5. Brightens and creates a natural glow  (I think we'd all like that)
  6. Compliments skin tone  (Grand, thanks)
  7. Soothes and hydrates  (Handy in this sunny weather)
  8. Feels ultra light and fresh on the skin  (Good stuff, we don't want to feel heavy products on our skin)

So how does it hold up against those eight claims?  Pretty well actually and I will hand on heart say I was completely surprised by it.  Now, the swatch above looks scary and yes, it's dark and I'll only be able to wear it during the summer, but the finish that it gives my skin has made me decide to pick it up in the lighter shade.

It applies quickly and easily with minimal blending required thanks to the innovative formula that combines gel with water.  I use a foundation brush but you can use your hands too.  It has a subtle fragrance, feels really light on my skin and the presence of glycerin hydrates the skin for 8 hours.  But you want pictures don't you?  Here you go!



I love it!  It gives me a beautiful glow, covers my redness and makes my skin look bright and radiant.  Although it gives much more coverage than a tinted moisturiser, it feels like I've exactly that on my face.  It makes it look like my skin but better and that's when I know I'm on to a winner.  Be honest, it doesn't look like I've anything on my visage!

I haven't been fake tanning yet, but as soon as I do, I'll be able to wear this outside the house.  Right now it's too dark to wear on it's own so I can't report on the longevity but I just needed to show you how great it made my skin look.  When I'm excited like this, all patience goes out the window.


It comes in four shades, Light, Medium, Dark and Universal Glow.  I tried Universal Glow on the back of my hand over the weekend and was this close to getting it.  I don't know why I didn't!  I'll report back when I pick up a lighter shade folks, but in the meantime, go check it out in your local pharmacy or Boots.  It retails at €11.99 and Maybelline are always having offers on, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Will you BB trying Maybelline's Dream Fresh BB Cream?
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Take 5 - Summer lipsticks

As part of a new series for the summer, we're going to give you our top 5 picks for products across the board covering make up and fashion!  As much as I love collecting make up and products (calling myself a collector justifies me buying more don't you know), I do have the ones that I wear and love more than others.  I do feel bad for the products I don't use as much as others and try to use them sometimes so they don't think I've forgotten about them!

So the first of our series is all about lipsticks.  I've been getting braver and trying more colour in the lippie department and what better way to set off a golden glow than a bright lip!  Here are my top 5 summer lipsticks.

1. YSL Rouge Pur Couture in Shade 17 - Rose Dahlia.  I had to start off with a goodie!  You can read my full review here, but in a nutshell, it's beautiful, creamy, delicate and makes me happy.  I can wear it to work or out at night and really compliments my skin tone.  Lahve it dahling.


2. During the summer, I like to wear pretty neutral lip colours too.  All About Cupcake is a blue toned pink lipstick from Essence and only cost a couple of euro.  I can't remember exactly how much because I got it last year and can't remember that far back due to old age.  This feels really light on the lips and is completely office friendly too.


3. Flirty Fuchsia is one of the Colordisiac lipsticks from Avon and is a vivid fuchsia colour funnily enough!  It glides on like a dream and adds a fabulous slick of colour on the lips to brighten up your day.


4. One of Revlon's Lip Butters in Peach Parfait takes it's rightful place in my top 5.  When I first picked it up, I was a bit "meh" about it and it stayed in the bottom of my handbag until recently where I fished it out, slapped it on and was overcome with the guilt from having ignored it for so long!  If Nars Orgasm was a lipstick, it would look like this.  It's a light peach colour with gold shimmer running through it, has a glossy finish and stays put for ages.  I love it and might have to head to Boots to pick up a back up.


5. Rounding out the list is from Lancome's Rouge in Love collection, shade 146B - Miss Coquelicot and to be honest, I remember the number more than the name of it!  This is a vibrant coral lipstick that makes my eyes look even greener and you can read my full review here.


What's your favourite shade for summer?  Come on, enable me like good beauty lovers!
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Monday, May 28, 2012

Oh this is a good one! Arnotts Glam Prix this June Bank Holiday weekend!

So it's another bank holiday weekend coming up for us in Ireland.  Any plans so far?  Well ladies, Arnotts have an amazing beauty filled weekend coming up for you (and me) in the gorgeous new Beauty Hall.  To celebrate the arrival of Formula 1 to the streets of Dublin, Arnotts are having a Glam Prix (love it!) event running from Thursday May 31st to Sunday June 3rd.  What is this I hear you ask?  Well, for those of us (moi) who aren't in to car racing, the Beauty Hall will turn into a Beauty Pit-Stop where you pick up a race track card on arrival.  Different beauty counters will be hosting various activities throughout the weekend and you can earn your stripes!  So basically, if you visit each beauty counter and receive a stamp for each activity you participate in, all race cards returned with every stamp will go into a draw for a prize.




Want to see what activities they have on offer?


Origins
10 minute "Pit Stop: Pick-me-up!" treatments on counter for the four days.  With purchase on any Origins skincare (I'm hoping to get the cleansing oil), you will receive a free Drink Up mask!

Estee Lauder
"Pit stop" at the Estee Lauder Counter for a Straight from the Runway makeover!  Choose from one of three spring/summer looks, receive tips and tricks from the Beauty Advisors using signature techniques and following consultation, receive a Sensuous Nude 4ml deluxe sample!

Emma Hardie
Pit stop for a consultation with a skincare therapist!  Spend €35 and receive a luxury sample of mini serum.  Exclusive to Glam Prix, enter to win a hamper worth €400 or a facial with Emma Hardie herself! (I'm totally replacing my Moringa Balm!)

Rituals
Pit stop at the Rituals counter for a complimentary Hand and Arm massace with the Ayurveda products which will be 25% off throughout Glam Prix.

Clarins
Let Clarins treat you to a free make over with before and after photos (oh yes please!)  Enjoy Skin Time cleansing treatment followed by a mini make over and automatically go into a draw to win a Clarins hamper worth €150!  Don't mind if I do Clarins.

Chanel
Glam up with a  mini eye/lip/cheek makeover from the Rouge Coco collection at the Chanel counter and receive a luxury glossy Chanel pouch.

Lancome
Experience the Rouge in Love Lip and Nail station on counter exclusive to Glam Prix!

Clinique
Add a flash of colour to your lips with Clinique's chubby stick range, perfect for that pit-stop pick me up!

Yves Saint Laurent
A quick complexion pick me up for tired skin, starting with a cleanse and tone using the Forever Youth Liberator skincare range, followed by an application of the Forever Youth Liberator Serum, a colour match and application of the Perfect Touch foundationa and finishing with a touch of Touche Eclat.
Discover how to create the perfect smokey eye in just three minutes.  Learn the three steps to perfect smokey eyes, finished with a coat of mascara.  Also, yes, there's more!  Receive a La La Laque nail varnish in Sparkling White with the purchase of any two YSL products.  If this isn't a reason not to pick up the Azure Blue eyeliner then I don't know what is!

Bobbi Brown
Let the Bobbi Brown team get you racing ready with a host of beauty pit-stop make up lessons.

Benefit
Come in "pore" prosition with one of Benefit's speedy lessons on fragrance, complexion, brows and eyes!

Smashbox
Start the Glam Prix Beauty race in style with a primer application and receive a gorgeous gift with purchase exclusing to Glam Prix.

Dior
Glam Prix style flash eye and lip makeovers based around a super summer look!  For every purchase, receive a complimentary new look mascara.

Shiseido
Jump start your make up bag with top tips on how to maximise each of your products, how to get the look you want and let Shiseido highlight the bare necessities a girl needs! Purchase any product after you jump start your make up bag and receive a complimentary Shiseido vanity bag while stocks last!

L'Occitane en Provence
Be treated to skincare and haircare samples and a revitalizing spray of our wonderful Verbena EDT for a pit-stop style opportunity to freshen up!

Elizabeth Arden
Take the Glam Prix "5 Minute Beauty Challenge"!  Indulge in a selection of treatments all completed and timed by an alarm clock in less than 5 minutes!  Treatments available will include 5 minutes to Flawless Complexion, 5 minutes lips and eyes and 5 minutes Bronze Goddess!  All customers who purchase over the weekend will enter a draw to win an Essential Summer Beauty Kit worth over €150 and 5 runners up will win a make-over with Joseph Hernandez.

Jose Eber
Make sure you have Pit-Stop perfect hair after perfecting your Pit-Stop Beauty look!  Stop by the Jose Eber counter and enjoy complimentary hair styling to get your Glam Prix ready!


How exciting is that?!!  I know for an absolute fact I'll be hitting the Emma Hardie counter, Origins, Yves Saint Laurent, Clarins and Estee Lauder and see where the evening takes me!  I'll be there on Friday evening so come along and let's go to the Glam Prix!


Which Beauty Pit-Stops will you be hitting?
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Viviscal Maximum Strength Hair Nourishment System giveaway worth €49.99!

Ladies, when I first heard about Viviscal hair stuff, I thought, sure I wouldn't have any use for that, my hair is only grand.  Then I saw this post where Mags from Emerald Eyeliner tested it out for a month and I couldn't believe the results!  Her hair grew so much and she was able to show us exactly how much by taking one for the team and allowing her roots to show proudly! 

Viviscal is a natural food supplement with the active ingredient AminoMarC, which is a protein compound of marine extracts blended with organix, soluble silica and fortified with vitamin C.  So basically, it has nutrients to nourish your hair from within.

Needless to say, after Mags' results, I was very intrigued and recently got a pack to try and I'm about to start using it myself so I'll report back in a month and let you know how I get on.  The folk at Viviscal have kindly given me a month's supply to give away to one lucky lady!

To be in with a chance of winning a month's supply of Viviscal, you just have to be a follower of the blog and Like the Viviscal Facebook page.  You must be a resident of Ireland, north or south and be over the age of 18.  The draw will take place on Monday the 4th of June and I'll notify the winner to get their details so I can pass it on to the company and they will send out the prize.

Enter your details in the Rafflecopter widget below and good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Model's Own Hedonist - The brightest, most summery neon polish ever!

I'm finding it hard to type this post ladies.  I'm in the process of being blinded by one of the brightest nail polishes I've ever owned!  Seriously, cyclists should wear it alongside their Hi-Vis jackets and make them visible a mile away.  Ladies and any gentlemen that might happen to be reading this post because they searched for "Hedonist", I would like to introduce you to Hedonist from the Model's Own Hedkandi collection.

Now, let me say that I took eleventy million photos of this polish and the photos don't do it justice.  It is the brightest, most neon colour I've ever had the pleasure to put on my fingers.  The photos show it as an orangey colour but in person it's a mad corally orange colour.  You need to see it.  And if you know me, come visit me so you can look it at on my nails.  You should be able to find me ok as I'm sure my office at work will be glowing from it.


Now, let me just tell you that the brush sucks.  It doesn't sit flat on the nail and because the formulation of the polish is quite thick, it makes it hard to get the edges and at the cuticles.  Because I apply polish so regularly, I'm pretty good at staying inside the lines so to speak, even doing my left hand, but this is what I had to clean up on the left hand today...  If I hadn't done that, there would have been gaps all over the edges of the nails, so Model's Own, sort it out because I love this polish.


As you can see from the photos above, it dries to a semi-matte finish.  I needed to have a shower and couldn't wait for them to finish drying, so out came the trusted Seche Vite and I love it Hedonist even more with a full shine finish....  Seriously, look at it.   Put your sunglasses on first, then look at it.


This is one of those "dangerous polishes" and what I mean by that is that when I'm driving, I find myself holding the steering wheel in a way I can see my nails, it's just fantastic.  I got mine in Boots for £5 and they sell for €7.50 here (Boots, what kind of mark up is that??)  I can't give you info on how long it lasts and to be honest, I'll rarely be able to do that with a polish because I change them so often.  I just couldn't wait to show you all this and urge you to get it.

Now I shall make a bold statement in a deep voice and with a big sweeping arm motion.  This is now the Top Polish For Summer Against Which All Other Polishes Shall Be Compared.  It's fun, bright, girlie, bright and bright.  I now have my eyes on Beach Party from the Hed Kandi collection as well.  Will it be better than Hedonist?

Do you like neon polishes?  What's the brightest colour your own?
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Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Favourite Five is back!

Last year I started a series of posts where I highlighted my Favourite Five (to be sung to the theme tune of The Famous Five) posts that made me laugh, think, hmm or just spoke to me!

Without further ado, here we go!

1. CherrySue has a manicure that looks amazing and I could totally do with just some polish, scissors, tape and a paperclip.  Well, maybe not the paperclip, but she is the McGuyver of the nail world and anything that involves neon and animal print sounds right up my street!

2. Beaut.ie posted about whether women were funny or not.  I think we all know that we're fecking hilarious but it was lovely to see that some of the girls named moi as being funny!  Ah thanks lads!

3. More nails!  Sarah at Adoreabubbles showed us how to to the cutest rainbow nails and I need to try them, too dinky!

4. Sara over at Love Thing... is one of my favourite bloggers and every single make up look she does is absolutely stunning.  Go follow here here and take a look at her Taupe & Aubergine Night Time Cat Eye look.

5. I met Susan of Brightandbeautyfull.com earlier this year and I have decided that we are kindred souls.  We both carry an obscene amount of lip balm around with us, are weird with shampoos and conditioners and when we first met, we gave each other sidelong glances, saying "I know you from somehwere..."  We're now both trying to fix our poor nails so click here to read about what she's using now.


This week was a great week for me.  I wrote a guest post for the brilliant ladies over on Style Siren so go on over and check it out.  You know you want to!

I decided to start posting twice a day during the week for the foreseeable future.  I've a million things I want to blog about and my mind is always ticking over with different ideas and once a day just wasn't enough!  It means I can do shorter reviews on products and keep you all up to date on the newest things out on the market.  Of course, since CherrySue and I are two people with one mind, we were talking about it a couple of weeks ago and discovered it was something we both were going to do!  So lots to read on our blogs.

CherrySue invited me, Joanne and Lorraine along to a 98fm listener's party on Friday night at Rouge Nightclub in Swords and we spent the entire night laughing our heads off as always!  At the party, Sue won a fantastic prize that I'm sure she'll be telling you about tomorrow as part of her Monday Moments but being the lahffly generous lady she is, I shall be partaking in said prize!  No takesie backsies Sue!

While paying the toll at a toll booth yesterday, I handed over my cash to the girl and she said "Oh I love your nails, did you do them yourself?"  That made my day!  I'm still sporting these bad boys.  She was wearing some amazing glittery ones herself so I returned the compliment!  Kindred nail polish lovers...

So those were some of my highlights of the week.  I've a great one coming up with some events, a girl's night out and hopefully enjoying more of the sun!  Have a good one everyone!

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Born Lippy lip balms from The Body Shop - Pomegranate and Plum!

Recently The Body Shop sent some products for me to play with and kind of like the child who prefers the cardboard box over the actual present, I immediately fell in The Love with the teeniest and most unassuming product in the stash.  The Born Lippy Plum lip balm spoke to me and said "Oh hi, I smell gorgeous and I'll make your lips look lovely and juicy."  Those are the words it said to me and I believed it.


It smells so sweet and fruity and brings me back to my childhood to the days of the Push Pops.  One swipe across the lips doesn't give much colour but who does just one swipe when applying lip balm?  No, we all go back and forth over our lips and when we feel like we've enough balm on, we smush our lips together, satisfied that we look good and have moisturised lips.  The plum colour is much better in real life and every time I wear it at work, the girls ask "Ooh what's on your lips?"


While out at dinner with CherrySue a few weeks ago, post noms, we took out our respective lip products to do some post dinner lip slathering.  She caught sight of mine and I saw it in her eyes.  She fell in The Love too.  She told me she'd been sent the Pomegranate and loved it too.  We then vowed to buy each other's coloured lip balm next time we were in The Body Shop and I believe we've both kept up our ends of the bargain.  Have a look at Pomegranate in action.


These two beauties sell at €4.95 each or two for €8.  They're rarely out of my sight or handbag and make for perfect, natural, summery lips.  They moisturise nicely, as well they should, they're lip balms, leaving a glossy finish to the lips.  As it fades, it leaves a lovely stain on my lips, like I've just eaten berries.  But we all know that if I'd have eaten berries, they'd be all over my top as I'm so messy, not on my lips.

What do you think?  Were you Born Lippy?
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Liz Earle Botanical Shine Shampoo & Conditioner!

As you may know, I'm a teeny weeny bit obsessed when it comes to shampoo and conditioner and loving trying new ones, so imagine my delight when the Liz Earle team sent me over these ones to try.  I have oily hair and was happy to find out there's a conditioner just for that.  So voila!


First up is packaging as always.  The shampoo comes in a blue tube and the conditioner in a white one.  This makes me happy.  It's a simple thing, but using them in the shower is easier because I don't have to look at the front of each bottle to see what it is.  It also makes me crazy when you've a shampoo and conditioner set and one bottle has the lid on the top, the other has the lid on the bottom with a rounded top and I invariably try to set the rounded top down on the side of the bath, bottle goes flying, I curse like a sailor.  I know, I'm mad but as an oily haired person, I need and like to wash my hair every day and these things matter (to me and maybe Susan Conley, we're kindred haircare souls).

Packaging aside, let's talk about the Botanical Shine Shampoo.  It's for all hair types and smells gorgeous.  Packed full of essential oils including patchouli, sweet orange, geranium and lemon, along with aloe vera and West African shea butter and vitamin E, this shampoo cleans your hair without stripping it.  It's also SLS free for those that want to avoid that.  Usually with SLS free shampoos, they don't lather like normal ones, but I don't need to use any more than usual when I wash my hair.  My hair feels squeaky clean and smells lovely.


The Botanical Shine Conditioner's next.  As I said, my one is for oily hair and with mad sounding ingredients like black cohosh, yangu oil and blue seakale ( I haven't a breeze what any of those are, I wonder is blue seakale like curly kale), I was excited to give it a go.  Now, do you remember how I said I was a weird bit obsessive when it comes to shampoos and conditioners?  Well this conditioner made me even more obsessive and this is the one that all conditioners will be compared to in the future.  


I always use about twice as much conditioner as I do shampoo.  Joanne's the opposite.  She washes her hair twice and conditions once, I just wash once and condition once, but use lots o' conditioner.  Always have.  And here's my next gripe in the shampoo/conditioner saga.  I need companies to make bigger bottles of conditioners.  I always and I mean always, finish the conditioner before the shampoo and so my bathroom is full of half finished shampoo bottles.  Once I finish the conditioner, I usually start a new set. 

But I digress.  Actually, I don't.  I went through this conditioner in extra quick time because I loved it so much.  While trying out the Philosophy 3 in 1 product reviewed here, I used this conditioner as well and it did exactly what it says on the tube.  It left my hair feeling revitalised, volumised and feeling full of life.  Also bouncy.  And shiny.  I touched my hair a lot on the days that I used the conditioner....

Where there is a one shampoo fits all, there are three conditioners, depending on your hair type.  And that makes sense.  Shampoo is there to clean hair.  These two products cost €10.25 each and you get a decent 200mls for your euro.

I've loved using these products and am making my way through the rest of the shampoo sans conditioner!


Have you tried any haircare products from Liz Earle?

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Summer scent series - Beyonce Pulse Summer Edition

Well, Beyonce is back with a new perfume to keep us smelling lovely over the summer months.  I'm a sucker for light fragrances when it's warm and frequently drown myself in them to help keep the clamminess at bay!

Let's talk packaging first.  It follows on from the shape of the original Pulse bottle, but this time the big lid is pink and see through, keeping things light and cheery.  The box itself is a mad, colourful holographic design that makes it stand out on my dresser and believe me, if you saw the amount of perfumes I have, you'd see that this is a big task.  


With top notes of pear, pink pepper and icy mandarin, we're immediately hit with a bright, sweet waft of summery goodness.  To me, this is the young and fruity part of the scent and since I am no longer young or fruity, I'm glad that this part doesn't last too long on me.

The heart of the scent features jasmine (my favourite), ginger orchid and Tunisian orange flowers.  This is my favourite part of the scent and gives me that real summer feeling.  At this point, it's clean and fresh, citrussy and bright and I could smell this all day.  It makes me feel like I'm walking along the seafront in Spain, wind in my hair, sun on my skin and feeling fantastic.

The base is filled with musks and sapphire woods, whatever they are and gives a warm depth to the fragrance.  They balance the fruity top notes and make it more age appropriate for me (I'm old, hence all the anti ageing products I review).


To be honest, I didn't think I was going to like this scent as much as I do!  It doesn't last very long on me, but not many scents do, even Eau de Parfums, especially summery ones.  Either that, or I'm losing my sense of smell!  After a couple of hours, I usually reapply it and go through the journey of the fragrance again, happy that it's summer time.

50mls will set you back a reasonable €19.95 and I'm happy to bring this one I was sent to work to join the others in The Drawer.  Not many things make it to The Drawer.  This is a drawer that I fill with things that any of the girls at work can use whenever they want.  Sharing is caring and it gives them an excuse to come visit me!

Do you want to smell like Beyonce?

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Pixy Lime Body Scrubber Cubes - they smell so good!

This week I was sent the cutest little package by Pixy, a new Irish beauty brand.  Look!


What are they I hear you ask?  You're looking at a little pile of Lime Body Scrubber Cubes (€4.99 - 90g).  These couldn't have come at a better time as I'm beginning the process of learning how to fake tan and we all know that exfoliation is a crucial step in the tanning process.

These ice cube sized rectangles contain natural and organic ingredients like natural cocoa butter, apricot oil, vitamin E and lime essential oil, ready to pamper your skin.  They smell exactly like the green Starburst sweets to me which delighted me to no end and I knew we'd be very happy together.


As I held one in my hand to take the photo below, the heat of my hand started to melt the cocoa butter and oils in the cube slightly.  I took my photos quickly and took this bad boy into the shower.  And that's where the photos end folks, nothing to see here!  I've used the Buffy bar from Lush in the past and found it grand in the exfoliation department but not good in the moisturising department, not to mention storing it.  So I never repurchased it.  The Pixy Lime Scrubber Cubes are the perfect size to bring one into the shower or bath and where they say that one should do your whole body once.  I used half of one last night and that was going over my arms and legs twice, just because.


You hold the cube in your hand and have at it wherever you want to exfoliate.  The scrubby bits slough (hate that word) away the dead skin cells and as you're running it over your skin, the essential oils melt on contact and moisturise beautifully.  Pixy recommend not to use this on your face and I'd have to agree with them.  It would be way too harsh for your delicate skin but perfect for any rough bits on arms and legs!

They recommend to mind yourself in the shower and bath after using one of the cubes.  Because of the cocoa butter and oils melting, the bottom of your shower might get a bit slippy, so be careful!  One other point is that these would be the perfect size for bringing away on holiday with you.  I'm all about travelling light these days and still want my home comforts, so I'd happily plop a couple of these in a plastic bag so that they wouldn't melt all over everything and be able to treat myself.

Check out www.pixy.ie for stockists or to buy online.  It's great to have a new Irish brand on the market!
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New for Summer 2012 from YSL Swimming Pool Collection - Dessin Du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil Azure Blue - it's a stunner!

Oh YSL you have made my summer.  Not only have you produced my favourite summer lipstick, but you have now made me ooh out loud at just the mere photo of this eyeliner.  Ladies, this might not be your cup of tea, but it's most definitely mine.  With a side of bourbon creams.  Please take a look at one of the most stunning eyeliners ever.


Dessin Du Regard liner in the shade Azure Blue is a rich, creamy, pigmented, vivid and vibrant eyeliner that is pure perfection for summer.  As a greeny eyed person, this really stands out on my eyes and says "Oh hi, look at me, am I not gorgeous?"  I can only imagine how insanely fabulous this will look with brown eyes.

Lloyd Simmons, Creative Director Make-up at YSL has brought us an incredibly beautiful range of products to help us look fabulous during the summer months.  The YSL angel sent me a few products to try out and each one deserves it's own post and I had to start off with the one that excited me the most!

You can see from the swatch above just how creamy and pigmented the liner is and it comes with a pencil sharpener in the box which is handy.  With liners this creamy, you need to be able to sharpen them almost every time you use it, especially if you're working on the eyelid and want to be precise. 

Now, yesterday I was at work and I couldn't wait to get home and play some more with Azure Blue.  That's how excited I was about this.  So home I came and out came the make up.  As I said in my guest post on Style Siren, one of my favourite things to do in summer is have a gold or bronze eyelid with a vibrant colour along the waterline.  I applied a matte brown shadow all over the upper lid and under the lower lashes.  Then I took Azure Blue along the waterline and applied some mascara.  This will be my go to look during the summer, but maybe not at work.  They already think I'm mad enough when it comes to make up!


I wanted to see if I could do a clean simple slick of liner along the upper lashline too and used an angled brush to create the point of the flick.  It was so easy to work with and took a matter of seconds to do this and I'm no make up artist by any means!  One piece of advice I'd give you is to let the liner dry properly when just running it along the upper lashline.  I didn't and it transferred a bit, so give it a couple of minutes and you'll be good to go.


Now, on to the scientific part.  Is it waterproof?  I have a scientific method when it comes to testing whether a product is waterproof or not. It involves dunking my head into a sink full of water and it was Azure Blue's time to be tested.  I even did a double dunk just to make sure and these are the results.  

It didn't budge at all.  As I said above, I went back in for a double dunk and was still fine.  So you should be grand if you're wearing this to a festival and it rains, or out for a walk and it rains, of if you're one of those folk that wears a full face of make up to the pool.  It comes off easily with make up remover so no rubbing your eyes too much.

The liner will set you back €26 which is on the spendy side, I won't lie.  But look at it.  I haven't seen anything like this out there on the market and would happily part from my euro for this myself.  Go see it for yourself in person and get swatching on your hand and I dare you not to fall in love with it.  I double dare you.


This is one of those times where I hope nobody rings the doorbell!


So ladies, is Azure Blue your cup of tea?
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Mermaid manicure - Just call me Ariel

Recently on Pinterest, I came across the cutest little manicure that I immediately fell in love with and knew I could do because it was all about dots and we know I'm good with dots.  A quick google search brought me to the blog Little Nails and sure wasn't there a step by step tutorial for me to follow.  Only grand.  So here's my take on the Mermaid Nail tutorial!  If you have 40 minutes or so to spare, have at it.  It's fiddley but the result is really cute.

Supplies first.  I gathered a few blue and green polishes from the stash and lined them up as so on a piece of paper.  I picked the two biggest dotting tools that I bought a while back and had a paper towel to wipe the dotting tool during the process.


I decided to try it on one nail first and see how I got on, so if it turned out rubbish, I wouldn't have wasted lots o' time.  I put a coat of Mermaid to Order from Sephora by OPI on my middle finger.  I don't know why I started with the middle finger now that I think of it.


After Mermaid to Order was dry, I unscrewed the lids to the rest of the polishes and left them sitting loose in the bottle, ready for easy access.  I placed a little blob of each of the polishes on the white paper and got dotting.  Starting at the tip of the nail, I dotted random blobs of the different polishes in a line.  I worked down towards the base of the nail, trying to overlap each layer a bit to make the scales.  I tried not to have too many blobs of the same colour too close to each other.


Of course, once the first finger was done, I was delighted with the result and forgot to paint the rest of my nails with Mermaid to Order.  Ah well.  For the rest of the fingers, I worked on them all at the same time, doing a line of blobs on each finger and then moving down a layer.


And here are the results!  I have mermaid nails!  Just call me Ariel.  They kind of look like nail stickers don't they?  It took about 40 minutes and to be honest I kind of hurried up doing my other hand because the Eurovision was on and I couldn't handle the screeching...


Do we like the mermaid nails? (please say yes even if you don't because it took ages compared to regular painting of the nails, ok thanks!)
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My holiday make up - what I brought vs what I used 2012 edition

Last year I wrote about what make up I took on holidays with me versus what I actually ended up using.  I'm a notorious overpacker when it comes to cosmetics and find it so hard to whittle my make up products down as I never know what kind of look I'll be in the mood for when heading out.  Last year I went wild bringing all kinds of everything (bet you're singing that song now, you're welcome) with me on the two holidays I went away on.

The first time I went away it was with the girls for a week and then later in the summer, I went away with mam for two weeks.  I took so much stuff with me both times that never saw the light of day and was so annoyed with myself for not learning from the first holiday!  So at the start of May, I went away for five days with mam and after much thought, rationalisation and agonising over what make up to bring, this is what I ended up taking with me.


Nada.  Nothing at all.  Zippedy doo daa.  I decided that I wear enough war paint on a daily basis and with going to different events after work, I have a face full of make up for a good 15 hours a day sometimes.  It was a great opportunity to give my skin a break so I took it!  Now don't get me wrong, I love me some make up and I think that's pretty self explanatory from the existence of this here blog, but I figured, who's going to see me over there?  It was only for five days and I'm not that self conscious, especially when being away with mam.  If I was away with the girls, this post most likely would have been very different!  But I was good and just brought skin care with me.  Wanna see?


From left to right we have:
1. Roger & Gallet Fleur d'Osmanthus beauty oil - review coming soon.
2. Emma Hardie Amazing Face AM/PM moisturiser - I took my own advice and tried to pack smartly!
3. Vichy Capital Soleil Anti-Shine Dry Touch Emulsion - review here.  One of my top products of the year.
4. Dr Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Skin tone correcting serum - review coming soon, in The Love.
5. Eve Taylor Advanced Skin Therapy Hyaluronic acid intensive hydration - review coming soon.
6. Eve Taylor Advanced Skin Therapy Eye Complex - again, review soon but I think the fact that I took it away with me and it's over half way gone is a good sign!

So no make up and lots o' skin care was what 2012 was all about for me holiday wise.  I didn't miss wearing make up and didn't feel self conscious at all!

Do you ever go sans make up ladies?

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YSL Rouge Pur Couture - Shade 17 Rose Dahlia, photos and swatches

I think I've done it.  I may have found my Perfect Summer Lipstick...  Earlier this month, I was perusing the Duty Free in Dublin Airport, dying to make a purchase because The Rules state that purchases don't count when they're done abroad or in the airport.  I don't make The Rules...

Anyway, I found myself at the YSL stand and before I realised what I was doing, my hand was covered in swatches from nudey to peachy to pinky.  Then I saw this one.  I thought, hmm, this looks relatively normal and safe and let me just see what it looks like on the back of my hand.


It was love at first swatch.  To make sure, I asked the sales assistant for a wipe to clear my hand of all other swatches and I applied it carefully alllll over the back of my hand.  She asked if I wanted to try it on my lips but I knew I didn't have to.  It was perfect.  There was a brief moment where she thought she didn't have any in stock, at which point I clenched because I knew I'd spend my holidays looking for this lipstick.  Thankfully, she found one and I unclenched.  Holidays are supposed to be relaxing.

So it looks kind of dark and rosy in the bullet, almost pinky red, but just look at it on the lips.  If this isn't rosy corally perfection then I don't know what is.


It goes on like buttah and feels really moisturising on my lips which I love.  As you can see, my lips aren't very pigmented and are usually very dry but just look at them with Rose Dahlia.  Sigh.  It leaves a glossy finish and is really flattering on my skin tone.  I'm guessing it'll look even more gorgeous when I have a bit of fake tan on the visage, so must get cracking on that!

Needless to say, I spent the holiday taking the lipstick out of the tube, admiring it, showing it to my mam and then putting it back into the box.  I kept it in the safe so that it wouldn't melt in the heat and had to wait until I was back to take proper photos in good lighting.

I can't remember how much this was in the duty free but right now it's reduced from €31.50 to €28.35 in Debenhams.  

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