Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My July Favourites!

For a while I was giving it socks with the whole monthly favourites posts but found that a) they weren't very exciting to write because I'd already written about most of the products already and b) they weren't posts that were read a lot.  So I decided to give it a go this month, video style!

Yes, I loved a lot of products this month and hopefully next month I'll be able to whittle things down a bit, but sit back, relax and hopefully get inspired to try new bits!

Dr Hauschka Play of Light lipsticks

The new Play of Light collection from Dr Hauschka has captured my heart.  And my lips.  Five new limited edition Lipstick Novums launch mid August and each shade is more lovely than the last.

The Play of Light collection aims to help us "discover our true selves".  I'm not sure how a lipstick can help us with that, but sure I'll give it a shot.  Each shade has mineral pigments that creates a gold and silver shimmer on the lips and before you start thinking that you'll be wearing a Melanie Griffith Working Girl frosty lip circa 1986, let me assure you that the shimmer is so fine and creates super shine more than anything else.

The formula contains argan oil to nourish the lips and I've never tried lip products like this before.  They feel so thick and luxurious on, like I'm wearing a lip treatment and my lips are definitely the better for using them.  Usually when I get a range like this, I've one immediate favourite, maybe two at a push.  Well, the three on the left are all being carried around in my bag as we speak.  They give a natural hit of colour and I've been lashing them on like there's no tomorrow.  The berry shade has my name on it for autumn let me tell you.

Another point to note and this is very pertinent to my good self.  Dr Hauschka's lipsticks are organic, as are the lip glosses and liners and are lead and petroleum free.  This is good because I can pretty much guarantee I've more lip products in my belly than on my face.  I read that we eat 4-7lbs of lipstick over a lifetime!  Holy moses!  So I guess it's good to go organic every now and then eh?!

The Play of Light limited edition will be in shops mid August and are €16.50.  Bootfiful!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Video alert! Our most embarrassing stories!

Yes, we are two of the biggest gobshites you'll ever meet.  And no, we don't take ourselves seriously at all at all.  So what better time to share with you some of our most embarrassing stories and to be honest, if we thought about it a bit more, we'd have a load more stories.  But these will do for now and of course, Bailey the brat is back and has a funny story of his own.  He hates to be left out dontcha know!

So sit back, relax and be grateful you're not related to us.

Scarlet for our actual ma for having us.

Now, go on and be a good child.  Leave an embarrassing story below for us to chortle at!

Frizz be gone with Mark Hill MiracOILicious collection & Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Smoothing Spray

During the summer, I have to wear my hair up a lot.  This is for two reasons.  One, I'm generally hot and clammy most of the time and need to have the hair off my neck and two, if I was to let my hair down, you would see that I look like I've been electrocuted, hair all over the shop.  My hair is getting quite long and the ends have become a bit dry and damaged in the sun, so it was high time to take control of my frizzy mane.

I decided to take matters into my own hands over the weekend and pulled out the big guns.  Or some new products I was given recently.  I washed and conditioned my hair with Mark Hill's MiracOILicious Nourishing Shampoo (€8.99) and 2 Minute Intensive Treatment (€10.99).  I'm a massive fan of quick conditioning treatments like this in the summer because I don't have 10 minutes to be standing around in the shower or having baths.  Both products contain Moroccan Argan Oil, Ylang Ylang and Palmerosa to nourish the hair and feel thick and luxurious when applied.

Now, as someone with oily roots, the shampoos I use generally leave my hair squeaky clean.  Literally.  I like to hear it squeak.  And I'll be honest, I was a bit scared of the lack of squeakage and had visions of having to wash my hair again so my roots wouldn't look greasy.  But thankfully, my hair emerged from the shower greaseless.

I decided to give Trevor Sorbie's Frizz Free Smoothing Spray (€7.29) a go too.  In for a penny 'n all.  This claims to have anti-frizz, moisture-regulator technology to hydrate the hair and wheat proteins to protect the hair from heat damage.  I haven't really used heat on my hair over the summer at all, so this was the first time I'd be blow drying it properly and I'd decided to use my BabyLiss Big Hair for a proper blow dry, so extra protection was needed.

A few spritzes and I got busy with the hair dryer and when my hair was about 80% dry, I worked my beloved Big Hair throughout it.  Sa-wooshy isn't the word to describe my hair!  Well, it is.  I'd swooshy, flick over the shoulder, healthy looking hair that felt so soft and most importantly, it was smooth and frizz free.  I'd lots of body and volume in the hair despite having used moisturising products and a spray and I'd lots of lovely comments on my hair at work which is always a sign that things have worked.  

Now these photos were taken 24 hours after washing my hair but I needed to show you how sleek and healthy my hair looked.  There's a bit less oomph in it after sleeping on it and working a full day, but my roots still aren't greasy and it's still smoooooooth!

I'm officially hooked and highly recommend these products for anyone with the frizzies.  Trevor Sorbie has a whole Frizz Free collection that I'm definitely going to be taking a look at and I might have to pick up the MiracOILicious conditioner too to complete the collection.

Do tell, are you having problems with frizzy hair this weather?  And have you tried these yet? 


Monday, July 29, 2013

My sneaky Rituals purchases from Arnotts!

Over the weekend, I went into town with Joanne for a look and decided to bring back the black wedges I bought in New Look a couple of weeks ago.  That meant I'd €30 extra to spend in case I saw anything nice and when we were checking out the Arnotts sale, we passed by the Rituals counter on our way to visit the Rebecca Minkoff bags.

I'm a huge fan of the Rituals room diffusers and currently have these two doing their business in my house.  Spring Garden is my living room scent and smells very grown up and posh altogether, like myself.  Lotus Secret is a more bedroom-y scent, powdery and soft, so I have that in my office at the moment.  If you haven't already, go smell them and fall in love.

Anyway, when we went to smell the diffusers and see if there was anything new, I saw they'd a bunch of candles and as I'm very into my candles at the moment, I got a-smelling.  Then I lost the run of myself and started smelling everything, body products, skincare and even tried out some of the products in the sink at the counter.  I was a woman overtaken by lovely smelly things!

I ended up getting these products and am already thinking of my next purchases.

When I think of the Rituals skincare and body care products, I think of giving myself a good old pampering session at home without breaking the bank.  The fact that the packaging is gorgeous is an added bonus and they're products you want to leave out on display so when your chums come over, they're intrigued.

I picked up the Mei Dao body cream and ho-lee mo-sis it's gorgeous.  It smells light, fresh and clean with a touch of floral to it and it has pamper written all over it.  Except you'll want to use it all the time. I'll report back when I've tried it fully but first impressions are great!  Oh and this was on sale for €10.50 down from €15.00, so bargain.

The Fortune Oil (€8.00) was an instant obsession in terms of scent because it has sweet orange & cedar wood, two of my favourites.  It's a shower oil which sounds a bit weird, but I assure you it's fantastic in that you squirt a couple of pumps on to your shower puff and as you start to wash yourself with it, it turns into a bright and uplifting foam that makes a morning shower even nicer.  The citrus scent has summer written all over it but the woody undertones gives a lovely layer of warmth to the scent.  Love this!

Finally we have the Jasmine Dream candle and yes, I'm a leedle bit obsessed with jasmine.  I've already worked my way through two of the matching room diffusers over the past couple of years and knew I'd love the candle before I even smelled it.  It smells light, relaxing, floral and it "combines the harmonising power of Jasmine blossoms with the calming properties of Ylang Ylang" and it promises 50 hours of burning time.  Oh lads, it's going to hurt me to burn this but I know it'll hurt even more not to let myself enjoy it!  And wait until you see the packaging...

How pretty!  This was on sale at the €12 mark, down from €17 ish.  I kind of want to pick up a couple more to put by for when this one is used up.  I think this would be a pretty lovely gift to give someone for a certain occasion that I'm not going mention but is 5 months away.  And it's on sale, so you can't go wrong.

I'll report back on everything when I've used them properly!  Have you tried anything from Rituals?  What do I need to try next?

Smashbox Fade to Black Autumn 2013 collection, lots of photos and swatches!

You know you love a make up collection when you wait for the perfect opportunity to photograph it.  Over the weekend, I finally got organised enough to take millions of photos and had good enough lighting to swatch the products too.  Only a beauty blogger will get that!

Anyway, the autumn collection from Smashbox called Fade to Black is beautiful.  I spoke about it in more detail in my first look post, so I won't waffle too much.  You're here to see the photos!  First up, the packaging.  I love it and the palettes and lipsticks follow the fade to black theme with the vivid pink fading to black.  I'm a sucker for cute packaging, what can I say.

The first palette is Fade Out and the shadows start with a really light peach shade and ends up with an almost black shade, with varying hues of purple in between.  There's a grand big mirror for you to get busy with and a really decent fluffy blending brush.

Smashbox Fade Out Eye Palette €39.50

Like any other Smashbox shadows I've tried, these are soft, blendable and pigmented.  The darkest shade looks nearly black and you can't see the shimmer too much, but applied over a black base, the shimmer shows up a lot more.  Each of the shades seem to have a warm undertone to them which means that the palette isn't just targeted towards those of us with green eyes.  The three middle shades are my favourites and I know I'll be getting good use out of Fade Out over the autumn months.

Fade In is a neutral palette where shades start at a creamy matte shade and ends up at a black shade with gold glitter.  Again, the black shade fares better over a base to give the glitter something to stick to.

Smashbox Fade In Palette €39.50

My absolute favourite shade of the palette is the greeny gold shade that's third from the right.  It's stunning and I need to find out if I can buy it on it's own.  The matte shades are creamy and pigmented and I think this is going to be me every day palette for the foreseeable future.  Bootiful!

There are two lipsticks in the collection, Cognac and Black Cherry.  When I first clapped eyes on them, I thought Black Cherry would be too dark on, but when I saw it in action, it was love.  And after playing with the two shades at home, Black Cherry is my favourite!  

Smashbox lipsticks - Cognac (L), Black Cherry (R) - €19.00
Cognac is a warm caramel colour that's really flattering on, especially in the sun we're having.  Black Cherry is autumn in lipstick form for me.  If vampy lips are too scary for you, then something a bit lighter like this one will work perfectly for you.  Each of these lipsticks feel moisturising on the lips and pack a punch in terms of colour.

Finally we have two shades of the Waterproof Shadow Liners.  Blackest Black is just that and Black Gold is the star of the show in my opinion!  It's an antique gold shade with almost olive undertones to it.  I blahddy love it.  These guys set quickly and do not budge whatsoever.  

Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner Blackest Black (L), Black Gold (R) - €19.00
I'd advise you to work on one eye at at time with these shadow liners and if you're going away on holidays, then they're worth checking out because they won't slip a bit in the heat and are waterproof too.  As I'm typing this, I've got Black Gold all over my lids and I'm obsessed.  Have been for weeks!

You'll be able to pick these up at Smashbox counters from the end of August and stay tuned for some make up looks and tutorials with these beauties!

Anything tickle your pickle here?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pit and peak of my week - week 29!

Oh lads, last week was an absolute blur again, but things are back to normal here at Lovely Girlie Bits thankfully!

The pit of my week was work again.  As you might know, I've been covering for one of the girls who's away on holidays and each day went by so quickly trying to get everything done.  It's very frustrating when some of the higher ups don't realise that things can't be done instantly when we're a staff member short, but we got through the two weeks and all will return to normal tomorrow!  Because I've been so busy, I had no energy whatsoever to do anything in the evenings and on the one night I went to bed extra early, it thundered like a mo-fo and Bailey had me up half the night, but hopefully the thunder will stay away now.  And now I've two weeks of blogs to catch up on!

The peak of my week is a rather vague one this week.  Half the reason why I was so zonked this week was work related, but the other half was being consumed in the brain department with a decision to do something that might not even happen.  I took ages to finally start my blog as I was scared to put myself out there.   It was the same with YouTube and both have been brilliant in the rewards department.  I've had so many fantastic opportunities with the blog and we became StyleHaul partners on YouTube this week which is so exciting!  This new thing, however, if it happens, is very scary and I've looked for advice from everyone who'll listen to me!  I've never been so conflicted when it came to making a decision but I finally decided to give it a go.  No regrets eh?  It might bite me on the bum and it might not even happen.  It might change my life for the better or it mightn't change it at all, but I'm proud that I decided to be brave and see what happens.  Even typing this out now is making me all nervous again!

How was your week folks?

Friday, July 26, 2013

L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Brow Artist with before and after photos

I look mad without my eyebrows drawn in.  Not mad as in angry, but people will kind of look at me with furrowed brows wondering what's wrong with my face.  So no matter how little time I have, my brows will always have to be penciled in.  End of.

These new brow liners from L'Oreal called Super Liner Brow Artist if you don't mind and are three in one products that will have your eyebrows looking spiffy in a jiffy.

There are three shades available; Blonde, Brunette and Dark Brunette and each have a pencil on one end, capped with a sculpting brush and on the other end houses a clear fixing wax to help unruly brows stay in place.

The blonde shade is perfect for me and I have the same routine every day as I use it.  I brush the hairs into place to see what we're working with before colouring in the brows, giving them a bit of shape and definition.  I keep using the brush to help soften the colour along with grooming the hairs into place before going over them with the wax and voila.

They say that your brows shouldn't look like twins, more like sisters.  Well mine are sisters from another mister but I'm going with the fact that it adds character.  Ahem.  The pencils are soft, so are easy to work into the eyebrows and if you take your time and brush and colour in, you'll be sorted. 

Although having defined brows are necessary for me, I still like mine pretty natural and not too in your face and with minimal effort, I can do this.

The Super Liner Brow Artist pencils are €8.45 so if like me, you're brows are a little sparse and you need a little somethin' somethin', then check these out!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Purchases from & Other Stories!

On my recent whirlwind trip to London, I was very good and didn't purchase anything in Duty Free.  We'll not acknowledge that it was mainly due to lack of time before getting on the plane, but still, no purchases were made.

During the day, we'd about twenty minutes to shop between meetings and Emma had mentioned she'd wanted to try and visit the shop & Other Stories, so off we went and some damage was done!

Emma informed us newbies to & Other Stories that it's the big sister to H&M and although it's not in Ireland yet, we can only hope that they get their behinds in gear and open up shop soon!  I mean, they'd the euro prices on the back of things already, so the hard work is done!  They sell everything from clothes to bags, accessories to makeup and we could have spent ages in there.

Like an episode of Supermarket Sweep, we ran around trying to find some gems and I think I chose wisely with my sneaky buys.  Even though I've a bajillion coral lipsticks in my stash, I was instantly drawn to this beauty, Burdet Orange.  It was £12 (twelve pahhhhhnd) and feels creamy and luxurious on the lips, not to mention the swatch below is one swipe of the bullet.  I think we're going to get on fabulously during the summer.

In the summer, I'm all about coloured liners and these guys were half price at £3 each.  Marrabas Orange (top) and Birrus Rust (bottom) were made for my green eyes but would work well with all eye colours too.  I've been wearing them under my lower lashes with a neutral eye and they add enough colour and interest to an eye look to keep it office friendly and sure summer is all about metallics anyways.

I hovered over the eyeshadows for ages, trying to pick the perfect one.  One that I didn't already have in my collection so I wouldn't have to justify the purchase to myself.  I decided on Sarsenet Petrol, a stunning metallic green shade that looks like Barry M's Teal nail polish, in eyeshadow form.  This was £7 and I can't wait to play with it.

If you're in London, you're lucky and you need to be my friend so you can send products over to me.  Either that, or I'll have to use something like Parcel Motel to buy more of these gorgeous products.  Failing that, I'll just need another trip to London and I'll be set...

Check out the rest of the products on the & Other Stories website and stay tuned for some makeup looks featuring these products.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer review, before and after photos

Here at Lovely Girlie Bits, you don't hear me waffling much about concealers.  They're probably one of the most necessary things I actually need on my face every day, but yet I don't wear them very often.  I think it's because I haven't found any that I really like and make much of a difference, so in the interest of being time efficient in the mornings, I've eliminated concealers from my routine.

Until now.

When Maybelline's Instant Anti-Age The Eraser Eye Perfect & Cover Concealer arrived through the letterbox recently, I got busy with it.  I'd seen the foundation version of this in shops but never picked it up just because of the packaging issue and being afraid that I'd start to grow stuff on the sponge applicator and yes, I'm still a bit scared of that when it comes to the concealer.  The idea is you twist the base to release the product which comes out of the spongey part and apply it directly onto your skin.

The concealer itself is light in texture, but has great payoff in the pigmentation stakes.  I only need the smallest amount to cover my dark circles and because I don't use that much, there's no creasing on me which is my biggest bugbear when we're talking concealers.

I like to apply a layer of the product and blend it in using my ring finger and I find doing it that way works the product into my skin and gives a more natural finish along with the pretence of having had a good night's sleep!  It doesn't cake or dry out my skin and I like to set it with my face powder to make sure it stays put all day, which it does.

The Eraser Eye Concealer is in shops now and at €11.99, it's one of the best affordable under eye concealers I've tried to date.  There are three shades; Light, Medium and Nude.   The true test will be this weekend when I test it out on Joanne's dark circles.  We're doing make up tips as she's doing something very exciting altogether, so is getting her hair did, brows threaded and eyes concealed!  So stay tuned for an update on this post and see how The Eraser gets on with her circles!

What's your go to concealer to banish dark circles?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Smashbox Photo Op Eye Brightening mascara review, before and after photos!

I've often said that if I could only wear one bit of makeup every day, it'd be mascara and mascara posts are my favourite ones to write because the photos do all the talking.

Say hi to Smashbox's Photo Op Eye Brightening mascara!

Promising to instantly curl lashes by 100% and is smudge and flake proof, combined with a blend of micas, titanium and blue pigments to make the whites of your eyes look whiter, I was very intrigued altogether when Smashbox make up artist Janine Bird used this on me a few weeks ago when she did my make up.  I instantly fell in love with it and knew it would be mine and the mascara gods were obviously listening to me because I was given it in London a couple of weeks ago.

We've been very happy together and you'll see why in the photos below.  I'll admit, when I first saw the skinny wand, I didn't hold much hope as in the past, skinny wands mean length and not much else.  Well, I can safely eat my words because not only does this skinny wand deliver on length, but it packs a punch in the volume department and curls the bejaysus out of my lashes, truely giving me a wide eyed effect.  I don't see any difference in the whites of my eyes, but holy moses my lashes are immense!

Usually I stop at one coat with great mascaras like this one, but when Janine was working her magic, she wisely said we wouldn't be stopping at the one coat, and lashed on a second.  So I gave it a go myself and voila.
One coat
Two coats

I've been wearing one coat every day going to work and can confirm that it doesn't flake or smudge after a full day of work.  It is pretty much the only thing that I apply in the morning and looks exactly the same at the end of the day!

Two coats of the Eye Brightening mascara is perfect for nights out, or if you're one for super dramatic lashes during the day.  The lift and curl makes it look like I'm more awake than I am and this is a good thing as I'm not getting much sleep these days!

One thing I will advise is to scrape any excess product off the wand before using it because it can tend to clump as the wand picks up so much product.  But follow that little direction and you'll have lashes that look like this.

Seriously.... A-maz-ing....  I'm waiting to hear back about the price of the mascara and will update the post then, but I'm guessing it'll be in the €20-€23 mark and I'd happily repurchase this myself given the results.

Nice one Smashbox!

Monday, July 22, 2013

New video - our latest haul! Ring, jewellery, clothes, shoes, picture frames and a cheese slicer!

So yes, over the past month or so, we've been shopping and thought you might be interested in seeing the bits and bobs we picked up!

Due to popular demand, Bailey is back to torment help us show you everything, so sit back, relax and spend vicariously through us!   And be sure to watch the bloopers at the end of the video!

What have been your favourite purchases recently?  Do share with us so we don't feel so bad spending our money!

Review! Bourjois Color Boost Lip Crayon - Orange Punch, photos, swatches

Oh lads... I'm in love....  Earlier this month I raved about two of the Color Boost lip crayons from Bourjois and vowed to make the orange shade mine.

Em... Yeah... It happened.  I'm true to my word eh?

Part of the summer collection and in shops now, the Color Boost crayons are one of my favourite lip products in a long time.  They're pigmented, glossy, moisturising and have SPF 15 in them which is a nice bonus.  I'm very into orange lips at the moment for some reason and Orange Punch slotted nicely into my stash.

It feels nice and light on the lips but packs a decent amount of colour and shine, giving me juicy looking lips and as the gloss fades away, I'm left with lightly stained lips.  This has been on constant rotation since I picked it up in Boots for the princely sum of €10.49 and if you're looking for something pretty this summer, then you need to check out the lip crayons before they disappear.

Nice one Bourjois!  If you'd like to bring out more shades of the Color Boost crayons, I'd forever be grateful as they're plain gorgeous!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pit and the peak of my week - week 28!

Once again, this week flew by in an instant didn't it?  We're hurtling towards the end of July and before we know it, it'll be a bank holiday weekend!  I took things pretty easy this week on the blog with just the one post a day and I'll probably do the same again this week.  It's my version of having a summer holiday from the blog!

Anyway, on to the pit of my week.  Work.  In all it's forms.  One of the girls is on holidays for two weeks and I'm covering her, so between trying to get her stuff and my stuff done, I've been exhausted all week.  The days flew by and I was glad I'd all my posts scheduled for the week because I basically became a zombie in the evenings.  One more week to go, so fingers crossed this one is a bit calmer!

The peak of my week was yesterday afternoon.  I live right beside St Anne's Park and have been hoping that the weather would hold up for the yearly Rose Festival.  I needn't have worried as it was a glorious afternoon of food, ice cream, listening to music and just enjoying the fantastic atmosphere.  Everyone seemed to have the same idea and had picnics with them and just chilled out.  I totally felt like I was in an episode of the Gilmore Girls!

How was your week folks?  What was the pit and peak of your week?
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