Friday, November 29, 2013

Splitting up for Christmas - Gift sets that is!

A couple of years ago, I blogged about splitting up for Christmas and don't worry, I'm still not advocating breaking up with your other half just so you don't have to buy them pressies!  No, this is a much more beneficial for your loved ones and quite possibly you too!  What I'm talking about is rather than giving your friends or family members a gift set, hows about buying a few, sure you'd be buying them anyway, and splitting up the goodies into personalised little goodie bags for them.  That way, they can try a bunch of different brands and products and then they'll know what ones they want to invest in next year!

I've picked some of my favourite gift sets to show you and there are so many of them out there.  So if this post even gives you inspiration, then we're on to a winner!

Gift Sets

I'll take one of each please!

So here's what's in my little collage that has me drooling as I type.  I've a little bit of everything and some of them are on sale too.  I've linked where you can buy everything online with the exception of The Body Shop who don't have an online shop yet, but if you go into stores today, Friday 29th, you'll get 30% off everything!
  • Ciate Tree Trinkets €36 - Cloud10Beauty
  • Origins Drink Up Hydrating Lip Balm gift sets €29 - Debenhams
  • Weleda Mini Body Washes €14.59 -
  • Lancome Gloss in Love Miniature gift set €36 - Arnotts
  • The Body Shop Body Butter Lollipop €29.96 from The Body Shop stores nationwide
  • Stila Colour Me Glossy Lip Glaze Set £29.50 -
  • Benefit Love at first shine gift set €29.50 - Debenhams
  • Urban Decay Black Market 24/7 Glide-On Pencil set €32 - Debenhams
  • Clinique Whole Lotta Candy Gift Set €25 - Arnotts
  • Molton Brown Bath & Body Treasures gift set €52 - Arnotts
  • Smashbox Wondervision Lip Gloss gift set €25 - Arnotts

So there you have it folks.  And let's talk about how this benefits vous shall we?  Well it's simple… Some sets have an even and odd number of products in them and depending on how many friends you're buying for, you're fully entitled by right to keep any leftover products.  Those are the rules and quite possibly the law.  So it's best to play by the rules isn't it?

What sets are calling out to you?


Thursday, November 28, 2013

November favourites!

So November passed us by in a poof didn't it?  I took it easy this month and tried not to spend too much money so I'd be able to start my Christmas shopping and it worked!  I'd say I'm about halfway through so far and pretty much know what I'm going to get the rest of my friends and family, so that'll happen come payday this weekend!

November was a great month for me and it was filled with lots of laughs, tears (from Joanne trying on her wedding dress), great launches and some fantastic new products.  I've picked out my favourites for you and made an aul video, splitting it up into different categories.  So sit back, relax, and make sure you listen to my mortifying story in the middle of the video.

I don't remember why I'm making a fishy face in the thumbnail below, but sure there I am!

Products mentioned:

  1. Giorgio Armani Nail Lacquer Shade 503
  2. Essie After School Boy Blazer
  3. Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip Topcoat
  4. The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter
  5. La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque
  6. La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Barrier Repairing Balm
  7. Origins Plantscription SPF Anti-aging oil free cream
  8. Kerastase Irisome range
  9. Trevor Sorbie Frizz Free Smoothing Spray
  10. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
  11. L'Oreal Nude Magique Eau de Teint
  12. Smashbox Wondervision set in Sparks
  13. Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick - Nudist
  14. Smashbox Halo Highlighting Wand
Be sure to click the links above if you want to read my more in depth reviews of each product.

So tell moi, what did you love in November?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Aussie Miracle Recharge Lightweight Conditioning Sprays - The pick me up for your hair

Whoever invented leave in conditioners, or as the posh call them, lightweight conditioning sprays, is a genius and I'm forever grateful to them.  See, when it comes to the aul hair, I can tend to be a bit lazy and also, I'm always running behind schedule.  So having products like leave in conditioners in my repertoire is always a useful thing.

As I'm generally in a perpetual rush, only having to shampoo my hair in the shower means that I'm saving a good five minutes in that I don't have to apply the conditioner and then wait the required 3-5 minutes for it to do it's job.  I really can wash and go.  Ah who remembers that back in the day?  Anyway, Aussie obviously know me well and have brought out an eight strong collection of leave in conditioning sprays called the Aussie Miracle Recharge Range.

I was sent three to try out and am really impressed with them so far.  Along with the Colour, Moisture and Shine spray, there's an Aussome Volume, Frizz Remedy, Take The Heat, Luscious Long and Aussie Miracle Hair Insurance that make up the rest of the collection.  And at €5.09, they're great value for money and will last ages.

Now you can use this as well as your normal conditioner, or if you're lazy like me, instead of your regular conditioner.  But what makes these even better than a regular conditioner is that they can be used between washes to give hair an extra boost.  I like to boost my hair so I do.  So if you're going out at night directly from work and you need to give your hair a little somethin' somethin', then Aussie has you sorted.

My favourite of the three I was sent is the Miracle Recharge Moisture spray, which contains the all moisturising Australian Macadamia Nut Oil.  I've been using this after shampooing my hair, spraying it all over when my hair is damp.  It doesn't weigh my hair down, but despite being a really lightweight spray, give a fantastic hit of moisture to my damaged locks.  On days where my hair is looking a little worse for wear, I've been spraying it lightly to the lengths of my hair, which soaks it up and is left feeling so much better than before.  For something that's not thick and creamy, the Moisture spray really does pack a nourishing punch.

With the constant central heating and chilly air outside, my hair is in definite need of a little extra nourishment and so I'll be making my way through the Miracle Recharge range!

Which one will you be picking up?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Smashbox Be Legendary lipstick - Legendary - Tis the season to wear read lips, fa la la la la, la la la laaaaaaaa!

Carrying on with our 'Tis the season to wear red lips, fa la la la la, la la la laaaaaaaaa series, I'm back with the epically named Legendary lipstick from the Smashbox Be Legendary range.

Legendary is part of the permanent collection and is a beautiful blue based red lippie.  I must say, playing with all of these red shades has led me to realise that I'm loving the bluer based reds as opposed to the orange based reds, but that could all change at a moment's notice!

Legendary is creamy, glossy, really moisturising and super easy to apply.  There's no dragging or tugging on the lips when I apply this and it lasts a good four hours on before before I have to reapply.  There's shea butter to help moisturise and nourish the lips along with vitamins C and E to protect the lips.  So you don't need to worry about it drying out your lips.

This gorgeous shade is on counters now and is well worth the €19.  I've a few of these Be Legendary lipsticks in my stash at this point and they're fabulous.

Do we likey Legendary?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Essie Luxeffects photos, swatches, review

Dear essie, I am much obliged for the launch of these five new topcoats, just in time for Christmas.  You know me so well and I feel that this collection was made for moi.  I heart glittery nail polishes more than any 30-something lady should and I'm not afraid to say it!

At Christmas, you can get away with all things bling without anyone batting a glittery eyelash, and the Luxeffects collection shows that to be totally true.  Five multi-dimensional topcoats are available now for you to adorn your nails and bring your manicure to the next level.

A collection of topcoats is perfect for the party season and let me explain.  We're all busier than ever, rushing around trying to shop for Christmas while trying to finish everything up in work before the year's end.  We have parties galore happening and are out more nights than we're in, and don't always have time to remove our current nail polish and start again as more often than not, we're heading out straight from work.  One of my tried and tested ways of getting an extra day or two out of an old manicure is to lash on a top coat.  You're ready to go in minutes and it'll look like a brand new mani.  We like that.  essie heard my call and Luxeffects are here to help make my life a teeny bit easier over the next few weeks!

As Gold As It Gets is described as "gilded lame paillettes" and in my terminology, it's a clear base, packed with flat gold flecks of different sizes.  I've paired it up in the photos with essie Twin Sweater Set from the autumn 2013 collection which you can read more about here.  Red and gold, you can't get more Christmassy than this eh?  And because we're dealing with gold flecks rather than glitter, it's a less obvious, in your face topcoat and you could totally get away with this in the office.

Essie Twin Sweater Set topped with Essie As Gold As It Gets
Essie Twin Sweater Set topped with Essie As Gold As It Gets
Essie Twin Sweater Set topped with Essie As Gold As It Gets
Also on the more subtle end of the spectrum is Pure Pearlfection.  This soft, shimmery topcoat makes everything it sits on look softer, more etherial and beautiful.  The pale angelic looking topcoat has teeny weeny bits of red and green shimmer that show up depending on how the light hits the nails.  I've paired it with The Lace Is On, from the autumn 2013 collection and it softens the bright magenta polish beautifully.

Essie The Lace Is On topped with Essie Pure Pearlfection
Essie The Lace Is On topped with Essie Pure Pearlfection
Essie The Lace Is On topped with Essie Pure Pearlfection
Right, it's time to disco ladies!  Set in Stones is the closest you'll get to having a disco ball on your nails!  This clear base is packed full of different sized silver glitter and is one of the most densely packed glittery topcoats I've ever used, as are the two following it below.  The photos show one coat of the topcoat and like any polishes that have chunky glitter, I'd advise you to swirl your brush around in the polish after applying it on each nail.  That way, the brush picks up more glitter.  More glitter that'll go on your nails and potentially blind your friends when you're out that night, but who needs to see properly? It's silver glitter baby!  I've topped essie's After School Boy Blazer with Set in Stones because I thought the dark navy would make the perfect backdrop to the topcoat...

Essie After School Boy Blazer topped with Essie Set in Stones
Essie After School Boy Blazer topped with Essie Set in Stones
Essie After School Boy Blazer topped with Essie Set in Stones
Sticking with After School Boy Blazer as a base, I've teamed it up with Stroke of Brilliance.  Again, this has a clear base and has squillions of pale blue glittery pieces that complement the base perfectly.  I wore Stroke of Brilliance on my ring fingers last week with After School Boy Blazer and that's grand for work and all, but I wanted to bling it up and have it on all my nails!

Essie After School Boy Blazer topped with Essie Stroke of Brilliance
Essie After School Boy Blazer topped with Essie Stroke of Brilliance
Essie After School Boy Blazer topped with Essie Stroke of Brilliance
Finally we have A Cut Above.  Like the two above, this clear base with pale pink glittery bits is a stunner and not for the faint hearted.  I've topped The Lace Is On with it and it tones down the magenta polish, but adds so much sparkle and interest.  I think this would be gorgeous over a really dark base too, but for now, I'm liking how pretty and girlie this combination is.

Essie After The Lace Is On topped with Essie A Cut Above
Essie After The Lace Is On topped with Essie A Cut Above
Essie After The Lace Is On topped with Essie A Cut Above

Glittery topcoats are a hoor's boot to get off and I've long accepted that.  I've read people's suggestions, tried them and none of them worked.  So let's face facts, you will essentially exfoliate your nails taking glitter off, but oh it's so worth it!  In the world of nail polish, less is not more.  More is more!

'Tis the season to embrace glitter, glitz, bling and all things sparkly and the first place to start is with your nails.  Go to thine local essie counter and pick some of these up folks and bedazzle the living daylights out of your nails this Christmas!  They'll set you back €9.95 each and if I had to pick my favourites, one would be As Gold As It Gets, followed by Set In Stones, and now that I think about it, I'm rather partial to Stroke of Brilliance…. Ah feck it, I love them all and will be rocking them for the foreseeable future!

Which is your favourite?

Friday, November 22, 2013

10 Little Black Dresses for Christmas!

Ah where would you be without your little black dress?  Especially at this time of year.  There's something about an LBD that makes me feel like a proper lady and all.  The last time I wore one was at the start of the year when I went to the Vichy awards and because I was so unaccustomed to wearing such a fancy schmancy piece of clothing, I spent the night hooshing it up around my diddies which was very annoying altogether.

So I took it upon myself to have a browse on the inter webs at some of my favourite shops to see what they have and there are some gorgeous ones out there.  It was so hard to whittle it down to my favourite 10, but I did and behold the little black dresses that I won't have to hoosh up at all this Christmas!

Little Black Dresses

Top row L-R: Warehouse €66, Dorothy Perkins €78, Dorothy Perkins €29, Oasis €90, Warehouse €165
Bottom row L-R: AWear €61, Next €48, Dorothy Perkins €36, Oasis €60, Oasis €69

The shops have really gone to town, adding embellishments and using beautiful fabrics to take the lowly black dress to the next level.  I love these ten so much and can't wait to go shopping this weekend!

Which is your favourite?  Answers on a postcard!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

NYC Expert Last Lip Color - Traffic Jam - Tis the season to wear red lips, fa la la la la, la la la laaaaaa!

This week's red lip is courtesy of budget brand NYC Cosmetics.  Part of the Expert Last Lip Colour range, Traffic Jam is a must have for this time of the year folks.  Cheaper than chips at €2.49, this lippie is something special and friendly on the purse strings.

Traffic Jam is a bright, blue toned red that applies like an absolute dream with no pulling or tugging on the lips at all.  It feels really moisturising when applied and does't dry out my lips as I wear it throughout the day (at home of course).  I'm still not brave enough yet to wear reds outside.  Despite being so creamy, it doesn't bleed but it does stain the lips, which I actually like because I can apply a bit of lip balm and I'm good to go.

If you're on the market for an affordable red lip that is really beautiful and far outperforms a lot of the more expensive reds on the market, then Traffic Jam is your only man.

Have you tried any of the NYC Expert Last Lip Colors?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lush Christmas 2013 - photo heavy!

Every year, there are two things that get me in the festive spirit immediately.  One is the Coca Cola "Holidays are coming" ad and the second is the arrival of Lush's Christmas products!  When I go into a Lush shop at this time of year and see the piles of colourful goodies, it makes me feel like all is well in the world.  I feel very comforted seeing the old favourites I've tried over the years and always love to see what's new.

There's a lot to show you, so prepare yourself for lots of photos!

One of my favourites is the Golden Wonder Bath Ballistic and I've gone through so many of these over the years!  The Secret Santa Bath Ballistic is new and might be the cutest thing I've ever seen!  It's a little grotto and when you plop it in the bath, a Santa appears!

The Snow Fairy scented, star shaped Magic Wand Reusable Bubble Bar makes a welcome return this year and this is a good one for younger girls who want to make their baths a bit more magical

The Luxury Lush Pud is scented with lavender, helping to relax you before you head to bed.  There are little balls of colour embedded in it and adds lots of colour to the bath.

The little Bombardino Bath Ballistic is too cute.  He contains cocoa butter to soften your skin and Sicilian lemon oil to give you a little pep in your step.  The fact that he has eyeballs and looks at you, makes me both happy and sad, so a word of advice, don't have him looking at you when you're about to kill him by putting him in the bath.

Father Christmas Bath Ballistic returns from last year and smells really orange-y.  The Christmas Penguin will add lots of bubbles to your bath and is a bright, refreshing scent.  He's also too cute for words.

I buy myself a Christmas Eve bubble bar every year and this year will be no exception.  The jasmine scented bubble bar contains Irish moss powder that helps soften your skin beautifully.

The scarf wearing Snowman Bath Bomb is heavenly scented with vanilla and contains cocoa butter to help soften your skin on those chilly winter nights.

One of my favourite things about Lush at Christmas is the gift sets.  The gift sets that are already wrapped.  I hate wrapping presents (I know, but I'd to wrap presents for the whole family, extended and all, for years and am now allergic), so the fact that Lush have me covered means that someone will invariably be getting one of the gift sets this year!

The Ponche Shower Gel makes a return this year and still has a shot of tequila along with fruits and cinnamon.  This is the only tequila I'll ever be having due events that occurred during what we'll refer to as The College Years.

I think I might be the only person who doesn't like the Snow Fairy scent, but for those who love it, and I know there are lots of you, it's back in all it's glory!  And there's also a Snow Fairy Sparkle Bar that I didn't manage to photograph, but it's bright pink, fairy shaped and full of glitter!

The Rose Jam Shower Gel contains vanilla, goji berry juice and argan oil, making it smell delicious and also good for the skin.  I need to go back and visit this because I can't remember what it smelled like but it sounds interesting doesn't it?

At Christmas, you might be doing a lot of kissing, so it's important to be prepared.  Santa's Lip Scrub is made of castor sugar, coconut oil and smells like Cola bottles!  I'm a big fan of scrubs during the winter and if you're going to be rocking a red lip, preparing them with something like this is important.

After you're finished with the lip scrub, you can use Santa Baby Lip Tint, which is a cola flavoured matte red lip tint, and is perfect for adding a hit of colour during the Christmas season.  This packs a wallop in the pigmentation department and I'll show it to you in more detail soon on the blog.

So folks, do yourself a favour, before the water meters are installed and we have to watch the number of baths we take, get yourself into Lush and pick up some Christmas goodies!
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