Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My Neewer ring light!

I don't usually do posts like this, on the technical end of the blogging scale, but after posting some snaps (I'm LovelyGirlyBits) about my new ring light, I've gotten a load of questions about it and thought it'd be easier to have a post to direct everyone to which will hopefully answer all of the queries.  Please note that I haven't used it yet to take photos or film with, so this isn't a review.  It's just a "Here's the light I bought and here's where I bought it" post.  I'll update it when I've played with it some more which will be over the next few days, so you'll be seeing lots of photos and videos using it shortly!

I've wanted a ring light for ages and over the five years of blogging, I've also gone through five winters with crappy lighting!  Life is really busy at the moment and I'm not getting a chance to take photos of everything in the evening and the two softboxes I have are too big for my teeny office, so I've been slacking big time on the photograph front over the past few months.  For product swatches, I like to have a cool daylight feel to the photos so that the products are true to colour, so hopefully this will do the job!

As you can see, this was my Christmas present to myself and hopefully we'll be very happy together!

This is the ring light I bought and so far so good!  The brand is Neewer and you can see in the description that they have seven different products under the one listing, so just be careful you select the product you want!  I made sure to order the 18" Dimmable Ring Light.  I wanted to have a bit of control over the amount of light emitted, hence the dimmable-ness.

It's almost half the price of the Walimex right light that Lily Pebbles and Vivianna Does Makeup uses at £85.99 compared to £149.99 which suited me fine as I didn't want to spend that much money, so we'll see if me bargain tendencies work out!

It has a UK plug which is very handy altogether as I understand the Walimex one has a US plug, so not having to have a voltage converter or plug adaptor is a bonus.

The photos above shows the camera attached to the light itself and it's worth noting that it doesn't come with whatever attachment is needed for that.  I'm not too bothered about that as I've my own camera tripod which means I can have the camera either in front of the light or behind it and be able to play with it all until I get a lighting setup that I love.

It doesn't come with a stand, so be sure to order one or else you'll have the ring light and nowhere to put it.  I bought a couple of soft boxes on ebay a few years ago and the ring light fits the stands they came with, so if you have one of those, you don't need to buy a new one.   If you don't have a stand, you'll see that there's a stand for the £15 mark that'll pop up on the "Frequently Bought Together" section of the page.  Anything to make us spend more money eh?

Also note that the light doesn't come with a diffuser, and it's mad bright FYI.  I'm going to mess about with it some more over the next while and see if I need to pick up a diffuser to soften the light if I feel it's too harsh in photos.

So there you have it folks.  If you're a blogger or YouTuber and are looking for a ring light, this is mine!  I'll try to answer any questions you have but as I said earlier, I haven't tried it out properly, so this isn't a recommendation yet, this is a show and tell post!

If you'd like a post on all of the technical things I use for the blog and YouTube, let me know!

*Purchased by moi*

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Irish Beauty Bible - Xpose - The perfect stocking stuffer!

If you're looking for a fantastic stocking stuffer gift for the beauty lover in your life, then look no further than The Irish Beauty Bible brought to you by Xpose!  It's €4.95, is the perfect size to fit in your handbag and is literally jam packed full of beauty tips, tricks and amazing products.

Shameless plug alert!  I'm featured in the magazine along with four other fantastic bloggers and I think this whole experience has been a series of pinch me moments!  I remember driving out to the shoot with Emma and Orla and asking how is this our lives?  It's absolute madness that we're in a magazine and even more mad walking into a shop and saying to myself "I'm in that magazine there!"  And full disclosure, when I found the beauty bible in Easons on O'Connell Street and had that first flick through it, I got a bit emosh because it's pretty cool and weird but mostly cool to see your mush in something that's on shelves!  So yes, I bought two copies, then one more just in case!

Inside the magazine, each of us has a two page spread where we talk about some of our favourite products, give some blogging tips and talk about what it's really like being a beauty blogger!  Of the five of us, Rosie is the only full time blogger and the rest of us work full time and blog as a hobby.  My dream is to blog full time but until the bank starts taking lipstick as payment, I'll continue to work my ass off in my real job to pay my bills and work my ass off blogging to generate income in the hopes that my second job will become my first job.  I've had to turn down a good few things this year because of work, so I need to up my game big time and make it so that I work for myself!

Inside the magazine is Rosie Connolly who is so lovely and that day at the shoot was the first time we'd met, but thanks to Snapchat, I'd felt like I'd known her for years!  We found out we went to the same school, are northsiders through and through and I've loved watching her success explode this year.  It's really refreshing that despite being a proper business woman now, she doesn't take herself seriously at all and is just so down to earth.  We won't even mention the absolute adorable Harry and those cheeks that I need to squeeze just once!  Like any working mum, she struggles with the work/family balance and I love that she shares that with us, and that this is real life!

Regular readers will know that Emma Henderson is one of my oldest blogging friends and we've gotten to do some pretty cool things together!  I loving having blogger chats with her because she gets it and we often say that our normal friends just don't understand the blogging world sometimes, so we vent to each other when we're going through a rough patch!  She's great craic and I love being one of the blogging veterans with her!

Orla Richardson (or Orla from Makeup Over Mind as I call her all the time) is one of my favourite bloggers ever and she alone has caused me to buy so many products I don't need.  We have the best time going makeup shopping together and legitimately have the same experiences every time in that we always have a beauty wish list as long as our arms, we get ridiculously excited going into Space NK, Boots, Brown Thomas, the usual haunts.  We stand with the products we've been waiting to buy for weeks and months and then one of two things happen - either we enable each other and rationalise the completely unnecessary purchase to the point of no return, buy the product and then have buyer's remorse, or we stand there talking ourselves out of of the product, only to go home and be annoyed that we didn't buy it.  Every single time.  Will we ever learn Orla from Makeup Over Mind?!

Finally we have AJ Fitzsimons and while I only met her at the start of this year, I feel like we've been friends for ages!  AJ is one of the most chilled, easy going bloggers I've met in a long time and she knows her stuff.  Not just the beauty stuff, but she knows all things online marketing, social media, SEO, brand management and she inspires me to want to learn more about that aspect of blogging life.  She's a gorgeous bridie and I think we're going to be friends for life!

Finally, I couldn't do a blog post about The Beauty Bible without mentioning one of my favourite people ever, Ellen!  Look how gorge malorge she is!

Ellen is one of those women I want to be when I grow up!  She has it all.  A gorgeous family, an quickly expanding business (Waxperts obvs) and is a really wise, generous and hilarious bridie altogether.  We only met this year and I know I have a friend for life with her (and the rest of the bridies, but that's another blog post altogether!), so if you're thinking about starting up a business and want some real inspiration from someone who has legitimately created her own brand and products, then get the magazine!

I have to thank Aisling Keenan, Deputy Editor of Xpose Magazine for asking me if I wanted to take part in the feature and I'm not going to lie, when I first got the email, I totally had to read it twice to make sure she hadn't emailed me by mistake.  True story!  She helped me with my posing on the day because I just wanted to die of the squirts, as I'm used to being in charge of the camera, of how I look and pose at home and let me tell you this, trying to stand with your phone in your hand, having to have your face turned towards the camera but stay looking at your phone, all while trying to suck your stomach in and hide your double chin damn near killed me that day!  But it was the absolute best day ever and we had such good craic.  It'll take a lot to top that I tell ya!

And while this is sounding like the ultimate Oscar speech, I wanted to thank everyone on Snapchat who sent me photos of the magazine!  I screenshotted (screenshat?) them from pure disbelief that this is my actual life and so let me know if you see your photo in the collages below!

Let me know if you pick up the magazine!  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to frame a copy to put it on The Wall Of Narcissism!


Thursday, December 17, 2015

Inglot Christmas palette 2015 golden eye tutorial and giveaway!

If you've never tried an Inglot eyeshadow yet, we need to have a talk because you're missing out big time!  Not only are they incredibly pigmented, I'm talking a single swipe with your finger will almost scare you, but they're buttery soft, blend easily so even makeup newbies will be able to create some gorgeous looks.

This year Inglot Ireland have created a limited edition 10 shade palette that's exclusive to Ireland based on best selling and gorge malorge shades that everyone will love.  And look at it....

Top Row L - R: 450, 377, 329, 458, 357
Bottom Row L - R: 335, 608, 07, 395, 351
With four shimmery shades, six mattes, a grand selection of neutrals and a trio of intense colours at the end, it's a versatile and easy to use palette.  I've been wearing it lots since it was sent to me and this look has been the one I've used the most (so far).  I wore it to the Bridie Brunch and it stayed put all day.

For this look, I took that fab orange shade, 335, and applied it into the crease with a fluffy blending brush.  I'm obsessed with using this shade as a transition colour and it instantly warms up any look. By the time I finish with the look, you'll hardly see any of that shade but it's just to warm up the crease and make the edges look softer.

Using a more precise brush, I took shade 329, the neutral brown shade, into the crease and in the outer corner to add definition to the eye.  I then took that beautiful shimmery gold shade, 07 and packed it on the upper lid to bring light to the eye and add a bit of festive sparkle!  To complete the look, I applied the orange and brown shades under the lower lashes to mirror the top, applied some mascara and I was good to go!

I'm obsessed with this look and think it's the perfect semi-neutral eye that's calling out for a red lip.  So I'll have to be brave and rock a red kisser this Christmas!

The palette is €75, is on Inglot counters now and is selling like hot cakes, so move quickly if you want to pick one up for someone (or yourself) this Christmas!

Or, if you're feeling lucky, head over to my Instagram page (LovelyGirlyBits) where I'm giving one of these beauts away!  All of the terms and conditions are under the photo of the palette on Instagram and I'll be picking the winner on Christmas Eve!  So good luck!

*PR sample*

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lovely Girlie Bake-y Bits! Simple Gingerbread Biscuits!

'Tis the season to get baking some Christmas treats and when you have a master baker in the family, you bully him into filming a video for you.  I speak of none other than Will, Joanne's hubby, who found over at his blog The Cook's Belly while snapping up a storm too (ChongWill).

I gave the two of them a brief for the video.  Well, I said "Listen lads, I can't bake for sh*te, you bake something that even a dirty looking eejit like me could do, make it Christmassy and keep the video under 10 minutes".  And they delivered me a fantastic video!  We're talking easy peasy gingerbread biscuits that you can whip up in minutes.  And did you notice how I said "you" because let's call a spade a spade, why would I bake when Will can do it so much better?!

Get your pens and paper ready and make a list of ingredients because you're going to want to make these over Christmas!


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Three palettes from Urban Decay - that's Christmas sorted!

This Christmas, give the gift of beautiful eyeballs.  Ok, eyelids technically.  But still, you know what I mean!  An eyeshadow palette is one of the easiest and best presents to give a makeup lover because there's always something for everyone.  I'm a massive fan of a neutral eye and have more beige and brown shadows than sense, and yet I want more!  And if a palette has a bit of colour in it too, then all the better as I do like to pretend I'm Jaclyn Hill and do an aul pop of colour on the lid or under the lower lashline if I'm feeling wild.

Urban Decay have released three palettes over the second half of 2015 and they're all brilliant.  So if you're a fan of a smoky eye, a neutral eye or like to go wild with some colour, get ready to add one (or all) of these to your Christmas wish list!  Or maybe share this blog post on social media, making sure to tag your chummy and draw their attention to your preferred palette of choice!

It was only a matter of time before Urban Decay added this beaut to the Naked collection and it's an absolute stunner.  With twelve shades broken down into three sections depending on what look you're going for, if you're a fan of the statement eye and nude lip, then this is worth checking out.  The first four shades are the more daytime appropriate shades and are packed full of sparkle, but wearable sparkle mind you.  The middle four shades are the smokiest of the lot and scream sexy sultry eyeballs with their cool toned purples and the final four shades are soft, matte perfection.  Urban Decay always do good mattes and these are creamy, buttery and make life really easy when going for a softer smoky eye.

Fans of colour, sit up and take notice because the Vice 4 palette is packed full of vibrant shades that might scare you at first glance.  But here's the thing with colour, if you're careful, your eyes won't end up looking like one of my Christmas baubles!  By using the matte shades along the left row from top to bottom, particularly that rich orange shade, and that brown shade in the bottom right corner, as transition shades in the crease, blended out seamlessly, you can then apply colour on the lid without looking like a lunatic.  If you're interested in a step by step tutorial showing looks from these palettes, then let me know.  Apart from the second shade in the top row which is a bit watery and a let down, the rest of the shadows are highly pigmented, are really easy to use and pack a serious punch in the colour payoff department!

I nearly lost my life when I heard Gwen was teaming up with Urban Decay and holy moly this palette is all kinds of beautiful.  It's got a balanced mix of mattes, shimmers, neutrals and colours and that black shade on the bottom right is as black as my soul!  Ah not really, my soul is more the colour of that electric blue shade that gives me palpitations it's so gorgeous!

I remember seeing the palette up close online and thought that the shades might be a bit too similar, but if you have eyeballs that function, you'll see that each shade is completely different, is a perfect fit for the palette and serves a function.  While I can't see myself wearing the pink colour on my eyes, a little dab of it as a blush/highlight combo might look nice and I know I can make that yellow gold work something fierce on me!

I've used the palette a few times now and love working the soft matte shades into the crease, blending them out and then adding a shimmery number to my lid, helping me to look alive and put together.

So you have no excuse!  Feel free to send photos of any of these palettes to your loved ones, add them to your wish list, email them the link to this blog post and we'll call it a day!

You can get these palettes on the Debenhams website or in Debenhams now, and I'd be willing to put money on them going out of stock as Christmas day approaches, so move fast!  And if you do find one of these under your tree, make sure to tag me in your Instagrams or Snap me so I can be proud in the knowledge that you will have only gorgeous eyeballs this Christmas!

Which one of these palettes tickles your pickle?

*PR sample*

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Lovely Girlie Bits 2015 Christmas Gift Guide - Stocking Stuffers under €20!

I have to admit, I love picking up bits and pieces to add to presents at Christmas time.  Yes, I may well end up spending just as much money on stocking stuffers as I do on bigger presents, but that's just because there's so much great stuff out there!

We decided to mix it up a bit in this video and highlight a range of products from books to stationary, body care to jewellery and extra bits in between!  So if you're looking to bulk out some presents this year, or are looking for a Secret Santa gift, then look no further.  Lovely Girlie Bits has got you covered!

Products mentioned:

3. Penneys necklaces - €6 - €8

6. Penneys 3 in 1 Lens Set - €8


Monday, December 7, 2015

The Lovely Girlie Bits 2015 Christmas Gift Guide - Luxury edition!

With only a couple of weeks left until Christmas, I thought it was high time to get stuck into our gift guides and like the past couple of years, we've filmed three videos!  We had to start things off with a bit of luxury and have eleven fabulous products that are ready to go to the top of your wish list!

We've got some beauty, haircare, makeup tools, electronics and jewellery to switch things up a bit and keep it interesting.  But I'll be going through more beauty product gift ideas over on Snapchat (LovelyGirlyBits) so make sure to follow me there so you don't miss out!

We've linked all of the products mentioned below, so watch the video and happy shopping!

Products mentioned:

6. Kate Spade wallet - About €80 Kildare Village Outlet


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Charlotte Tilbury Magic foundation review, before & after photos!

Put the word "magic" in the name of a product and I'll give it a go.  The Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation is one of the most expensive foundations I've tried so far and at €40, it'd want to be on the Harry Potter end of the magical scale.  Wingardium leviosa and all that!

This foundation has mad claims, promising to work for all skin tones, skin types and ages.  It claims to minimise oil production after 9 weeks, helps reduce over production of melanocytes which causes pigmentation, smooths the appearance of wrinkles in one hour and that's only half of the claims.  I had to pick the wildest ones or we'd be here for the day.  Now I haven't been using it for 9 weeks yet so can't comment on the oil production aspect and I don't have problems with pigmentation.  The wrinkles thing I'm not sure of as I find that it can settle in the laugh lines around my mouth sometimes.

The packaging is pure luxury with it's art deco inspired bottle.  The bottle itself is glass, so it's not travel friendly but sure we won't hold that against it.  It's what's inside that really counts isn't it?

The Magic Foundation really does have supernatural powers in that it evens out my complexion effortlessly, covering the redness on my nose and cheeks in seconds.  Despite it's thick texture, it feels nice and lightweight on the skin, doesn't cake and is easily buildable.

Let me talk about application for a second.  There's a Magic Complexion Brush that's touted to work perfectly with it, but as I've more makeup brushes than sense at the moment, I thought I'd make do with what I have at home.  The first time I used the foundation, I applied it with my damp Beauty Blender and the finish was perfection.  The next time I tried a buffing brush and I found that it didn't sit as well on my skin and didn't blend in as easily.  And it was then that I realised it reminded me of Estee Lauder's Double Wear in terms of texture and finish.  So like Double Wear, once I apply it with my Beauty Blender, I get this finish:

It leaves my skin with a slight sheen when I've finished faffing about with it, but doesn't feel wet or tacky when on.  I absolutely love the glow it gives me, yet is dry to the touch.  There are fifteen shades in the range and I'm using shade 4 in the photos today.  I could've gotten away with a 3 or 3.5 too and find that because my neck is so pale, I generally have to blend all foundations down the aul neck.

This lasts all day on me and that's without powdering.  When I say all day, I always mean the work day as we know I love getting into lounge wear as soon as I get home!  If I'm heading out right after work, I apply it and then use my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder over my t-zone just to make sure it stays in place and it does.

Other makeup goes on seamlessly over the top and in the photo below, I thought it was high time to bring out my Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow for the craic.  It's a contour and highlight duo that I reach for in the colder months and love the soft focus finish it gives me.

No other foundation has gotten a look in since I bought this a few weeks ago.  And at €40, this fact alone justifies my purchase!  If you've skin on the dry side, I'd give it a miss and try the Light Wonder foundation instead, or try to get a sample and apply it using a beauty blender to see how you get on.  Those with normal to oily skin, check it out.

What have I started?  Now I want to try Charlotte's Airbrush Flawless Finish powder....  And a blush.... And some of the matte lipsticks... As a true lover of her eyeshadow palettes and with two in my collection (so far), I'm a full blown Charlotte Tilbury lover!

What do I need to try next?

*Purchased by moi*

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November favourites!

November seemed to come and go in an absolute blur!  I was so busy at work and then the Bridie Brunch kept me nice and busy after work, but I still managed to play with lots of products!  I'm obviously still recovering from the exhaustion of getting through November in one piece as you can see from me holding the Urban Decay Vice 4 palette upside down for the screenshot.  Nice one me.

I'm already looking forward to filming my best of 2015 videos next month, so there'll be no December 2015 favourites video, so I hope you enjoy the last one of the year!  I absolutely love filming these videos and hope to continue to film them with Joanne next year as we always have great craic doing them.  This weekend was a bit of a mad one so I'm going it alone, but am so excited to tell you about all of the things I've loved in November!


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Favourite makeup brushes & new additions!

I've said this before, but it can't be just me who collects makeup brushes like they're going out of fashion!  Or that they buy more brushes so they don't have to wash the ones they have...  No, I bet everyone does that eh!

Recently I've been getting a lot of questions on Snapchat (LovelyGirlyBits) about what brushes I use and would recommend.  So I thought a video was in order because as you'll see, I love a lot of brushes.  I wanted to highlight my favourite brands, brushes and then show you some new sets that are out on the market now.

I've got a mix of brush sets, individual brushes and range in price from €2.50 for a gorge malorge Penneys brush up to €55 for the equally gorge malorge Nima Brush set.  I am a woman obsessed with these and if you're looking to buy a beauty related present for a friend, but don't want to buy makeup, then brushes are the way to go!


Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Home scents ft Neom, Molten Brown, L'Occitane & Rituals

'Tis the season to be jolly, but 'tis also the season to make your house smell only fabulous!  I love walking into a room and having it smell like something other than dog.  Ah Bailey isn't that smelly!  But I do love buying and trying candles, room diffusers, sprays and anything else lovely and smelly.   I think when it comes to home fragrances though, it's worth shelling out a few extra euros because the more expensive products generally are better quality, aren't as synthetic smelling and last for ages.  They're definitely an investment, but one that will make all the difference.  Trust me.

I've picked out four things you can use at home to make your house smell warm, cosy and festive.  Twinkly lights at the ready!

Molten Brown Firefly Embers candle - €49

To say I'm obsessed with this candle would be the ultimate understatement and despite rationing it because of it's spendyness (€49 in Arnotts and Brown Thomas, but cheaper in Kildare Village FYI), this candle is most definitely worth the cash and has lasted me for ages.  If you're a fan of woody, cosy scents, then this is one worth checking out but let me tell you that the first time I got a whiff of it in Arnotts, I thought it smelled like pure smoke and was so overpowering, and yet I was hooked.  Joanne bought this for me at the start of the year and I'd been waiting patiently to burn it until it got autumnal in September, so when Strictly and Downton started, I got fully into cosy mode and got all of my twinkly lights ready and lit this every Saturday and Sunday.  I'm only about halfway through the candle and I know for an absolute fact that I'll be buying another one for next year.  When lit, the scent isn't as strong and yet if you go into the kitchen to make a cuppa and come back into the living room, you can definitely get the campfire scent that's wonderfully cosy.  Molten Brown candles are a gorgeous gift to give and anyone would be lucky to receive one of these this Christmas!

L'Occitane Winter Forest Home Perfume - €22

Now while I can't say I've ever walked through a pine forest or had a real Christmas tree (I'm all about the fake trees so I am), Winter Forest smells like what I imagine a winter forest smells like.  When I spray it, I'm instantly transported to a really sunny, bright, crisp winter's day where I'm bundled up in a massive scarf and I haven't had to put any blush on due to the natural glow I've gotten from my grand walk in the woods.  And this is all without leaving my home or having to change out of my pyjamas.  It's not an overpowering scent once you don't go wild with it, but that's the same with any scent and if you want your home to smell like a lovely Christmas morning's walk, then try this out.  There's also a diffuser and a candle of the same scent if you're not a fan of home perfumes but still want the inside of your house to smell like outside.

Rituals Under A Fig Tree Mini Fragrance Sticks - €12.50

I'm obsessed with all things Rituals and have been for years now.  I've been making my way through their fragrance sticks scents and the only one I hadn't tried was their Under A Fig Tree one.  While I have the larger fragrance sticks in my living room and hall at the moment, I don't like using them in the bedroom as I think the room is too small for something so big (that's what she said) and so these minis are not only cute, but are also affordable.  So hit up Arnotts while they still have them because they always sell out around Christmas. They make the perfect stocking stuffer and with a few different scents, you'll definitely find one you love.  This one is muted, soft, sweet and a real crowd pleaser, but to be honest, I've never come across a Rituals fragrance I haven't loved!

NEOM - Christmas Wish candle - €36

Seeing a name like Christmas Wish when it comes to a candle, I was expecting something really sweet and sickly and this offering from NEOM knocked me upside the head because the first note I got was mandarin, followed by cinnamon and tonka bean.  It's unlike anything I've ever smelled around this time of the year in terms of home fragrance, but there's one thing it does remind me of.  Terry's Chocolate Orange..... If you love those, you'll love this.  There's such a cosy, comforting, familiar feeling that washes over me when I smell this and so I'm saving it for good use (don't we all do this?) to use over December when I want to de-stress as the blend of 13 essential oils promises to help do that.  A candle that makes me feel cosy, smells delicious and will help reduce stress?  Yes please!

So those are my top picks for helping your home smell fabulous this festive season.  What do I need to try next?

*Neom & L'Occitane PR samples*
*Purchased Rituals*

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bourjois Air Mat foundation review, before & after photos!

When Bourjois comes out with a new base, I always sit up and take notice because they've given me some of my favourite foundations over the years and have put some of the high end brands to shame.  A few weeks ago, Joanne and I headed up to Belfast for the day and did a little bit of damage in Superdrug, buying just two nail polishes and the Bourjois Air Mat foundation.  That's restraint right there people.  Here she is in all her glory.

Coming in a squeezy tube making it perfect for travel or popping in your makeup bag, I bought the lightest shade on the counter, 01 Rose Ivory and it matches my skin pretty well, but for anyone who's paler than me, you might need to look elsewhere.  There are only five shades available which is a shame.

For reference, I've got normal cheeks and an oily t-zone and my face can be prone to dry bits if I don't look after it properly, especially during the colder months.  As you'll see in the before photos, I also have areas of redness around my nose and on my cheeks which always helps me figure out the level of coverage with a base.

Bourjois Air Mat foundation is a lovely thick, full coverage foundation which is a finish I favour during the winter months.  For me, I pack on the makeup when the evenings get darker so a flawless base is always a must have.  This foundation leans quite yellow on me, which is grand as it counteracts the redness and while it might look at bit stark in these before and after photos, when I've a full face on, it looks normal.

Despite being full coverage, it doesn't look cakey on me once I don't apply too much and I've found that the best way to apply a thicker foundation like this is to use a beauty blender rather than a brush.  I do the same with Estee Lauder Double Wear and it's the way to go lads.  It has a really light floral fragrance which I love but if scented bases aren't your thing, then keep that in mind.

It has a claim of an "undetectable matte finish" and I'd agree with half of that statement.  It's definitely matte but not undetectable.  If I'm not careful with the blending, it can sit in pores and if I have any dry patches, it definitely clings to those.  So if you're someone with dry skin, stay away from this as it's one for the oilier skinned.

I rarely apply a primer under my foundation during the week and I've tested this with and without powder and found that powder doesn't add much to the longevity because either way, I get the full work day out of it without it breaking down too much.  Now you don't actually need a powder with it, I just wanted to try it with and without for the review.  I find by about lunch time, it starts to fade every so slightly on my nose and I kind of blame that on the increase in my heavy duty skincare routine over the past few weeks.

It'll set you back €13.99 and is on Bourjois counters now.  So oily skinned bridies, check it out but make sure you've taken care of any dry patches before using it.  I'm really enjoying using it and have to give Bourjois another thumbs up for creating yet another base I love!

*Purchased by moi*

Monday, November 16, 2015

What to buy with your No7 vouchers!

I've been wanting to film a video on what to buy with your No7 vouchers for ages and each time I got organised to film it, the offer would have finished and then I would have the shaky fist rage!  But this time we were prepared and over the weekend we filmed it and are ready to help you spend your No7 voucher and also spend your money honey.

I hate having a voucher unspent but also don't like spending said vouchers on rubbish, so I went through my stash and Joanne went through the bits she's been testing out since I gave her the No7 Advent Calendar and we have some goodies for you.

Having the vouchers takes the sting out of paying full price for a product, and it also makes justifying a purchase that bit easier too.  "Oh but sure I'm not paying full price, I'm totally allowed to pick this up!"  Some of the products mentioned will be familiar to regular readers of the blog as I've talked about them lots and some I've just taken for granted and not given them the love they deserve.  So get your vouchers ready and hit up Boots before you run out of time!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lovely Girlie Bits' must do list for New York!

Every autumn, I get excited about New York, whether I'm going there or not!  We generally go for Thanksgiving and the Black Friday sales and while we're not going this year, we've plans to go next year and I need to start saving now!!

I've done a couple of New York themed blog posts before but got completely inspired by everyone on Snapchat who have upcoming holidays to the Big Apple!  Nothing makes me happier than giving out some tips and information when it comes to my favourite place and I still make notes of places I want to visit, restaurants I want to eat in and sights I want to see.  My friend Caroline is there now and has been instructed to send me lots of photos and Aisling from Total Makeup Addict is heading soon and was the one who inspired this here blog post!

To me, New York just has a special feeling.  We first brought Mam there for her birthday in 2004 and since then have gone back together so many times and have our own little routine when we're there.  It is my favourite place for me, mam and Joanne to go and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it.  We love the familiarity of staying in the same hotel each time (Hotel Stanford) and we said that if we ever win the lotto, we'd still stay there because the location is perfect and the hotel is small, clean and do good coffee with the free breakfast in the morning!

So in honour of everyone who is going to New York before Christmas, this one's for you.  I have the ultimate jealousy that I'm not going but also want to be tagged in all of your photos online so that I can pretend I'm there!  Whether you're a newbie to New York or know your way around the streets, I wanted to highlight a few things that we've loved doing over the years!

Do the Brooklyn bridge walk.

This was one of our favourite things to do one trip and we were raging we didn't get around to it the last time we were there.  For a bridge, there's a hell of a lot that goes on and as New York is brilliant for people watching, so is this!  We're talking boot camp classes, people making their way to and from work with so many forms of transport, photo shoots, proposals.  We've seen it all!    I really want to do it at sunset some evening and get some gorgeous photos or a timelapse video of the skyline.

Do Top of the Rock.

As much as I enjoy the Empire State Building and have done it a couple of times now, the Top Of The Rock is a must do for us.  I'd love to do that at night as well and it's lovely to have the Empire State Building in photos for once!

Do The View NYC revolving restaurant

If memory serves me correct, this opens at 4.30pm and we were so glad we waited for the opening time because over the course of the hour that it took the restaurant to do a full rotation, we watched New York go from day to night and it was magical! We had a couple of drinky poos while we were there, very spendy drinky poos, but we thoroughly enjoyed them and it gave our tootsies a much needed break.  We want to go back for food next time.  Any excuse eh?

Go see the Rockettes

This is one of our absolute favourite things to do when we're in New York.  I'd say we've seen the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall at least 5 or 6 times and can confirm that we'll go back and see them again and again!  If you're looking for Christmas family fun that'll make you feel all festive and cosy, then you need to go!  There's a bit of 3D magic, some amazing set design and basically we're talking about the precision of Riverdance on stage, but without topless Michael Flatley.  The dancers are machines (not actual robots or anything) and you will leave Radio City full of the Christmas spirit and kicking your legs like a Rockette!

Do a bus tour at night

Yes, you will freeze the actual diddies off yourself but the lights make up for it and the nosy bridie in me loved being able to see inside shops and buildings as we were driving by.  When the Christmas lights are up and going, this is a really festive (and freezing) way to spend the evening.  And you are totally within your rights to warm up with a hot chocolate and watch the ice skaters at Bryant Park snot themselves.

Do the Christmas stalls

We absolutely love wandering up to Bryant Park to look at the ice skaters do their thing and during the festive season, the park is full of stalls with handmade products, food, drink and it gets me right in the cosy feels!  And when they start playing Christmas music, I can't cope with life and want to buy all of the things!  They also have them down in Union Square and it's all just magical.

Go see the parade

Ah the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is one of the things that will give you the feels.  That's if you see it.  Due to getting caught up in the shopping, we kind of missed it last year and saw the final balloon, but we've watched parts of it over the years.  It finishes up on 34th street and as we stay on 32nd, we know when to leg it outside to have a look!  It's great craic and one to tick off the bucket list.

Go look at all of the Christmas lights and decorations everywhere!  You can't miss them!

Seeing the displays in Macy's Lord & Taylor, Saks and 5th Avenue just makes me so happy.  They remind me of heading into town when we were kids and looking at all the Christmas windows in Switzers (now Brown Thomas) and Clerys.  Walking up 5th Avenue bundled up in my hat and scarf and seeing the twinkly lights in the distance is something I'll never get tired of.  I've lots of footage of the department store windows in my New York vlogs from last year so have a look at our week in the big apple here.

Be in the news!

In the years we've gone to New York for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, we've been in the paper twice and in the associated press once!  There are cameras everywhere around this time of year, especially at Thanksgiving and when we were in K-Mart looking at the questionable fashion, we were approached by a photographer and the rest is history!  Joanne has been immortalised online holding a Cookie Monster t-shirt!

I've done a blog post on where we had some seriously tasty meals last year, so if you want to give yourself the ultimate hunger, check them out.

We've been to New York a load of times for Black Friday and I think I'll do a post just on that because we've learned lots over the years and have some tips and tricks to make it out alive!

Enjoy your holiday to New York!!
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