Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bourjois Volume 1 Second mascara - Ultra Black review, before & after photos

Do you ever try a beauty product and after the first use, want to tell every single person you know, and even those you don't know, about it?  But you have to take your time, give it it a few more goes before you declare your undying love for it because what if that first instant love was just a fluke?

After trying this mascara from Bourjois, the Volume 1 second mascara in Ultra Black for a couple of weeks now, I do declare that I love it more than any other Bourjois mascara I've ever tried.


Now, last summer I loved and repurchased the Volume 1 second mascara, even wearing the waterproof version to Joanne's wedding because I wanted something fantastic and that wouldn't budge.  And I still deem that to be my favourite waterproof mascara.

But this version, the ultra black version is The Actual Business.  Housed in pewter packaging and containing the same thick wand with little balls and plastic bristles as the previous version, I knew we were going to get on.  Even if it was just another version of the original, I'd have been happy out.


But it's better.  So much better!  I love dramatic lashes, even for day time wear and this is one I'd happily wear on it's own, no need for eyeshadow.  I'm late leaving the house all the time, so a lot of the time, shadow isn't happening, but this more than makes up for it and I still look like I've made an effort.


The formula is just as thick as the original and can be prone to initial clumping, but once I apply the product to my lashes and comb through them with what's left on the brush, this is the effect it gives.


We're talking lift, curl, volume and lots of drama.  The other day I applied one coat and then had to tight line the upper waterline because the lashes were so curled that all I could see was flesh.  Ok I hate that word, but you know what I mean!  The mascara gives me the illusion of thicker lashes, especially at the base, meaning I don't need to use liner.  And because I've a hooded eye and liner can be hidden with it, I love that I can still define my eyes without taking up any precious lid space.  And because of the lift and curl, combined with the fact that I always apply more product on the outer lashes, it gives me the wide eyed look.  This is mucho importante when I'm trying to cut back to one coffee a day.  Longevity is fantastic with no smudging or flaking and I really can't fault it at all.


This mascara will set you back a very reasonable €12.99 and at the moment Boots have an offer where if you spend €20 on Bourjois products, you get a free gift worth €27!  This is definitely a mascara worth checking out if you're on the hunt for something that'll give you thick, dramatic lashes.

10/10 lads.  Other mascaras, you're going to need to bring it to outdo this beaut!
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Monday, June 29, 2015

Massive Boots haul!

Today we're going to see what €200 can get you in Boots!  Now, being a blogger means that I buy a lot of stuff along with being sent a lot of stuff too, but I'd gotten some products sent to me recently which I would've bought myself for this haul video.  Namely the new palettes from L'Oreal which I'll be featuring soon.  But back to the video today and the giveaway!


If you want to enter the giveaway which ends this weekend, check out this post which explains the app in detail along with all of the information needed to enter.  We have €200 in Boots vouchers up for grabs for a lucky winner.  And €200 can get you a lot of stuff, let me tell you.  If you want to see what's new in beauty and what some of my favourite repurchases are, then watch le video pronto!

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Friday, June 26, 2015

No 7 Stay Perfect Smoothing Eyeshadow - Bronze

I love it when a beauty product surprises me and performs far beyond it's price!  Enter the No7 Stay Perfect Eye Mousse in the shade Bronze which I picked up on a recent trip to Boots, not expecting anything spectacular.  Well it just goes to show that I shouldn't judge an eyeshadow by it's price/brand/packaging!


After having a swatch of a few of the six shades on offer, I did the restrained thing and picked just one.  Bronze is the one I knew I'd get the most wear out of and truth be told, I want more shades now after falling in love with this.


The lightweight cream formula can be applied straight onto the eyelid from the doe foot applicator, using either your finger or a brush to blend it in.  Of course, blending will sheer the pigmentation out, but it's buildable and is really easy to work with.  You get enough time to blend it out before it sets and when it does set, it stays put lads.

For most of my neutral eye looks, I like to apply a mid toned brown into the crease to help add definition to the eye.  On me, having a shimmery crease looks mad, so a nice softly blended crease is the way to go.  Then I apply my bronze eyeshadow onto the lid, patting it in gently with a brush and blending out the colour at the crease so that it looks seamless.


What I'm left with is a softly shimmery lid, nothing too psychedelic or metallic and it's neutral eyeball perfection.  I am a woman obsessed.  I always have to prime my eyelid as I've super oily lids and can assure you that this shadow doesn't crease, stays put all day and doesn't smudge a bit.  For it's €10.50 price tag (I got mine for €6.50 as the No7 vouchers are out at the moment), it's fantastic!

Something like this is perfect to keep in your day to day makeup bag because you can amp up the pigmentation for evenings and with a bit of liner, you're ready to go from desk to disco.


I've been rocking this at work lately and it's ease of use means I can do my usual slap dash method of application first thing in the morning with minimal faffing and maximum effect.  If you're looking for something creamy, gives a beautifully delicate finish on the eye, is super long wearing and affordable, then check this out.

I need more of these.  Namely the nude one and potentially the purple one.... Boots, just take my money now!
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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil - Fab Orange - the perfect summery shade!

It's the age old tale where I buy a product, forget I have it, discover it while looking for something else, fall head over heels in love with it, forget about the original product I'd been looking for, live happily ever after.  The end.

Maybelline's Color Drama Lip Pencil in Fab Orange is a must have, hands down!  Any time I stick a selfie online wearing it, people go wild for it and I have to admit, I've gone a bit wild for it myself.


Fab Orange isn't as orange as the name would suggest, but is more of an orangey red.  This is my favourite kind of red in the summer.  I've worn it in a couple of videos so far and while I haven't ventured outside the house with it yet, I think this will be the shade that I bite the bullet with, so stay tuned for that!

You can see in the photos just how pigmented this is.  There's no tugging or dragging on the lips when applying it and if I keep it nice and sharp (using a brilliant little sharpener from Essence), I can get a really nice crisp line.  The finish isn't glossy, but isn't matte either.  It gives more of a soft sheen that's so flattering on the lips and the pure creaminess of the formula means that this will not dry out your lips whatsoever and I say that as someone with constantly dry lips.


This stays put for hours, only getting a bit messy at the corners of my mouth, probably more to do with me talking so much in videos, but still, longevity is second to none.  As it fades, a light stain remains on the lips and I'm ready to reapply it.  I haven't tested it out eating or drinking yet, but again, I will do so when I wear it in public!


This will be the best €6.99 you'll spend lads because Fab Orange really is fab.  It works perfectly with my skin tone, makes me feel confident and look put together.  And when I wear it with black and white stripes, it's a match made in heaven!  Go get it.  This is one of my favourite lip products of the year so far hands down.

Have you tried the Color Drama Lip Pencils yet?  What's your favourite shade?
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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My Bourjois face!

After filming my What's New in Beauty video recently, I asked if there were any products you'd like to see in depth and the majority said they wanted to see the Bourjois products in action.  So you called the shots for my most recent video!


I wanted to keep it simple, fresh faced and summery with natural looking skin, peachy corally cheeks (no surprise there!), lashes galore and a glossy lip.  I did apply eyeshadow after filming, but that's for another blog post.  If you were following me on Snapchat last weekend, you'll know what I used!

So take a look at some of Bourjois' latest offerings in action and let me know if you plan on picking anything up!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

MAC Le Disko collection - Dazzleshadows review!

Since getting my paws on these gorgeous eyeshadows from MAC's Le Disko collection, I've had the song Freakout in my my head.  And now you will too.  Awwwwwwww freak out!  Le freak, c'est chic.  And this is all because I'm completely enamoured with these eyeshadows.  It's normal to tell people that a collection has it's own theme tune in my head isn't it?


While the collection has five Dazzleglasses and two Superslick Liquid liners and the 247 Flat Shader Brush, it's the twelve Dazzleshadows that steal the show.  I've four of the twelve shades which will give you a bit of a feel for the collection.


Lesley Keane, MAC Senior Artist described what MAC were aiming for when creating this line as wanting a lived in, slept in look.  Is that what they did in the seventies?  They slept with their makeup on?  Because this is a trend I'd be happy to bring back as sometimes the effort of life at the end of a long day is too much and it'd be great to say "Yeah no I'm not taking my makeup off, I'm channelling the seventies today a la Summer 2015 from MAC, ok thanks very much see you in the morning looking like this and I'll be very on trend".

In terms of texture, they feel soft and almost wet and have so much sparkliciousness embedded in the coloured base.  Applying the shade with a brush will give a wash of colour with lots of sparkles, and patting it on with a finger will give more of the base colour and still lots of sparkles.

Try Me On


Try Me On is the least wearable of these four shades on me and is a blue with green undertones and gold sparkles running through it.  I wanted this to be more pigmented than it was and will try it out with different bases.  If aqua hues are for you, then by all means check it out.

She Sparkles


She Sparkles is probably one of the more daytime friendly shades for those of us who like to keep things relatively natural at the office.  It's so hard to describe other than saying it's a pinky cool toned champagne shade with hints of grey to it.  But just look at my eyeballs to see what I mean.  This shade teamed with the darkest shade Let's Boogie, makes for a gorgeous sparkley evening look which I might show you in a video soon!  I've been wearing this to work with Cork eyeshadow in the crease and I love how wide eyed and bushy tailed it makes me look when I'm feeling anything but.

I Like 2 Watch


I Like 2 Watch is the shade that made me utter weird, guttural noises in the meeting.  IT IS STUNNING!  And also one of the hardest ones to photograph because it looks so different depending on the light.  In my photos here it looks like a brown toned golden shade, but it can take on purple and green undertones too.  When lightly applied as a wash of colour, the duochrome aspect of it really shows itself, and packed onto the lid, the gold stands out.

Let's Boogie


You know I'm a massive fan of the smokey eye.  If I could wear one to work every day without people giving me the side eye, I would!  So I knew Let's Boogie and I would get along very well indeed.  In the pan, it looks almost pewter in colour with serious shimmer, but on the eyes, the black definitely takes over the pigmentation stakes, with the sparkles coming a close second.  Applied wet, the sparkles show up more and teamed with a nude lip, you have smokey eye perfection right there.

The Dazzleshadows will set you back €21 and I already have my eyes on two more; Can't Stop Don't Stop which is described as a deep plum purple with sparkles and Boom Boom Room, a light burgundy with emerald sparkles.  I'll be visiting the MAC counter when they launch in July exclusively to Brown Thomas, BT2 and brownthomas.com.

Which one is your favourite?


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Monday, June 22, 2015

Boots has an app! Win €200 in vouchers! Sponsored post

The comes a time in a beauty blogger's life when the stars align.  When you find out that Boots (your happy place, the place that has you in current financial ruin, the place where you go in for a deodorant and come out €50 poorer and with no deodorant) is bringing out an app.  What makes it even better is that they want you to tell everyone about it.  And the cherry on top?  They want to offer €200 in vouchers to one lucky reader to go on a spending spree!



Then your street smarts kick in.  You wonder why they didn't have this long ago?  And why didn't you think of it yourself?  Come to think of it, if they did, you'd be on a permanent spending ban because a beauty lover and special offers will always lead to a good time.  Good time for your face, bad time for your wallet.

There are some key features on the app that I want to explain to you today because I've been playing around with the app myself and obviously picking up a few bits.

The main thing is that you need to sign into the app using your Advantage card number (that's the Boots card to you and me).  If you don't have an Advantage card, you need to sit down and ask yourself why.  Why do you not have the thing that gives you free money?  Why do you not have the thing that is one of the main reasons and excuses to go shopping in Boots?  They're always having points events and it's so easy to build up those points.  The trick lies in being like Braveheart when it comes to spending the points.  At the till it can be easy to say ah look sure I might as well pay for these cotton pads and shower gel with my points.  But listen to your inner Braveheart who is screaming "Hold.... Hollllllddddddd" trying to help you build them up and treat yourself to something really cool!


Once you log into the app with your Advantage card, it does a little jiggery pokery (official terminology) and lists offers just for you, tailored to your taste.  It's like it knows you.  It's in your brain.  It knows what you've bought and what you should buy, even if you don't know it yourself.  Why yes, Boots app, I really do think I need that deodorant.  How did you know it was the one I use and that I'm nearly finished it?


There's also a section for the best offers at Boots.  These offers are the ones that everyone can avail off.  It feels less special, but hey, we won't complain when there's haircare on a 3 for 2 offer.  That means everyone can do what they need to do - buy two bottles of conditioner and one bottle of shampoo because no brand listens to us (me) when we go through conditioner in days.




Of course, you can shop online through the app.  This is both very amazing and very dangerous.  Bye bye money.  Hello points.  You don't need me to explain what shopping online is.  You'll need to check the terms and conditions with your offers to see if you can use them online or just in store.  But if you do make a purchase online, you can get it delivered to yours Boots shop of choice the next day.  And this leads me on to the next feature....


Like any good beauty junkie, you'll probably know the location of your favourite Boots chemist.  Actually, let's be real.  You'll know the GPS coordinates of each one on the north/south side of Dublin but can never locate your house keys.  But let's say you're out of your comfort zone.  You are in a place unknown and you really need something random.  Like actual deodorant because you've been caught on the hop and it's fierce humid outside and wearing that grey top to work wasn't the best idea you've ever had.  That's where the Location part of the app comes in.  Poof, you can be safe in the knowledge that you're close to a Boots and all will be well in the world.  The app would have come in handy recently because up until a couple of months ago, I didn't know there was a Boots in Donaghmede...  I had ordered stuff online and wanted to get it delivered to my nearest Boots, thinking it was Santry, when up pinged Donaghmede on the computer!  So now I am delighted that it's just up the road and makes life so much easier for me.



We've all been there.  Standing in Boots trying to decide which mascara to pick up.  You're most likely in there with a non beauty lover who you've lured in under the pretence that you were just going in "for a look".  They don't know that nobody goes into Boots for a look.  Beauty amateurs.  So you're on the clock and can't do your usual search for blog reviews or swatches.  Activate the Scanner part of the app, aim it at the barcode of the product and poof, you've got access to reviews!  Now of course, feel free to google for swatches (come to my blog obvs) but being all high tech like this is great craic and will help you not make an uninformed purchase that you'll regret!


Now, if that hasn't tempted you enough to download the app, then how about this...


Boots have given us €200 in vouchers to give away to a lucky reader!  I know, sit down for a second and take that in because you can buy a lot in Boots for €200 and I'll have a video showing you exactly what €200 can get you next week.

To be in with a chance of winning the Boots vouchers, enter your details in the widget below.  The more you do, the more chances you have of winning!  Good luck!  This giveaway is only open to residents of Ireland.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This blog post has been sponsored by Boots.   As usual, all opinions are my own!


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Sunday, June 21, 2015

Little chit chat catch up!

Eh up chucks!  I feel like I haven't had a good aul waffle in ages here on the blog.  Times are a changing and I wanted to kind of sit and have a proverbial chat with you and give you a little update on life.

Bloggy things

Over the past year and a bit, my head has been melted with real life stuff and I'm the type of person that when I'm stressed or worried about something, it gives me mushy brain and basically consumes me.  I was so busy and tired with everything and felt like I was constantly playing catch up, which sucked.  So I feel like the blog hasn't lived up to it's full potential since March of last year.  I cut back on posts because I didn't want to upload something just for the sake of it and still believe that quality over quantity prevails when it comes to my blog.  I'll never be one who posts press releases as content or use stock photos because it ain't my style and sure photography is my favourite part of the whole blogging thing!

Anyway, I was feeling so overwhelmed with the amount I wanted to to on the blog.  My head was buzzing with so many ideas and I couldn't carry them out.  But real life stuff has quietened for a bit and for the first time in 15 months, I feel calm in my brain and am ready to get cracking on everything!  I have a fire in my belly (not from nerves for once!) and I can't wait to step it up as the blog approaches it's fifth birthday at the end of September.  I want to revamp the office (beauty room) to make it somewhere I can keep tidy (easier said than done!) and somewhere I can film and work too.  So we'll see how that pans out!

Social media

Because of work, I can't always access social media during the day.  I work overtime and work through breakfast break and lunch break, so my time online is really limited to the evenings and weekends.  Those are the times where I'm either blogging, out at something, doing real life stuff and trying to catch up on everything.  So I've felt a bit disconnected when it came to Twitter.  It used to be great craic, but last year there was a bit too much passive aggression going on and so I've never really gotten back on track with it.

I've recently started using Snapchat (@lovelygirlybits) and love it so much!   It's what Twitter used to be.  A bit of craic, harmless fun showing people the little bits of real life and I'm loving the interactive factor of it too!  I love putting faces to names now and I've had nothing but positivity with it!


YouTube

I love filming videos so much.  Yes, I need to look presentable from the waist up (I still wear pyjama bottoms when filming) and editing can take a few hours, but it's so worth it and I get so many more comments on there than on the blog.  I feel that people can see my personality in videos, can see I don't take myself seriously, can see I've no airs or graces about me and that I'm just a gobshite sitting in a room talking to a camera!  While I keep things mainly beauty related on the blog, I love changing things up on the channel and Joanne and I have some really cool ideas for the rest of the year.  I can be more creative when filming and it's a nice extra thing to keep me busy!  


Slimming World

Joanne and I are back on the Slimming World bandwagon and we've been snap chatting, (snapping?) about it for the past few weeks.  I've made it my mission to stick to it until at least the end of the year and so if there's an event or anything on on a Monday evening and it'll make me miss group, then I'm not going to it.  I need to knuckle down, lose weight and get healthy again.  We're going to be filming more videos on Slimming World and I might do the odd blog post too if there's any interest.  But yes, I'm focussed again and am ready to drop weight and buy a whole new wardrobe!


The future

As you know, I'd love to be able to blog as my job.  It's my absolute passion and I can't imagine a time where I'm not excited to tell you about an amazing new product!  I'm so careful and selective when it comes to working with brands and companies and don't want to be a sell out who will blog about anything for a few quid.  This is a beauty blog and so anything sponsored will always have to fit in with the theme and I've turned down so many fashion and accessory things because right now, they're just not what Lovely Girlie Bits is about.  I mean let's be honest, I spend my free time in pyjamas at home, so I'm no style blogger!

I can only blog so much in my free time, so if the day comes where I'm able to do it full time, or even part time, then I can look into blogging more often and might expand things.  But knowing me, it'll be more beauty!

In terms of sponsorship and working with brands, I'm of the belief that if it's something I'd want to tell you about anyway, then I'll consider it.  I've got a couple of really cool things coming up and when you see them, you'll know immediately how perfect a fit they are for Lovely Girlie Bits!  I don't want to put my name to just anything lads, so my mission is to make you proud and keep things on the up and up.


So that's the end of my little waffle!  I'm excited about the future and while this year hasn't been the best at all so far, I'm hoping that the second half will bring bigger and better things!


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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bioderma Sensibio AR BB Cream review, before & after photos

Full disclosure, I didn't know Bioderma did anything other than micellar water.  Now in fairness, I didn't take a huge interest in the brand because we couldn't get it in Ireland and so I just silently coveted the micellar water, never thinking they'd actually launch here.  But sure wouldn't you know they surprised us all and have brought themselves to Irish shores!!  They've a huge range and I'll be making my way through the products once they roll out fully across the country.

Today I wanted to talk to you about the Bioderma Sensibio AR BB Cream.  Aimed at those with sensitive skin prone to rosacea, it's still a gem of a BB cream even for those who don't suffer with redness.


In a nutshell, it's one of the best BB creams I've tried so far.  Despite not having rosacea, although I do have a red nose sometimes, I've been ploughing through this tube at a grand rate and I can see myself finishing and repurchasing it.

Now, if you have issues with redness with your skin, then listen up.  This has the ROSACTIV patent which helps prevent the dilation of blood vessels and calms redness and with ingredients to help reduce inflammation in the skin, those with a sensitive skin disposition will be hard pressed to find anything wrong with it.  With a grand SPF 30 in it, you'll be protecting your skin from the sun and as sun exposure is one of the main triggers of a flare of rosacea, you'll be well minded.


Now, if you're really pale, then the light shade will be too dark for you.  I need to blend it down my neck but it's completely worth the effort.  It's got quite a thick consistency, but blends really easily.


The photos show clearly how well it covers the redness on my nose and cheeks.  It evens out my complexion beautifully, giving a medium coverage but without looking cakey.  And what's even better is that it gives the softest sheen to the skin, making you look radiant but without any tackiness on the skin's surface.


Blush, bronzer and powder goes on top of it easily and I get a good 7-8 hours before it starts to break down on my oily bits, so pretty standard longevity for me.


This tube will set you back €17.50 and I'd happily shell out my cashola for this!

Check out their Facebook page for more information and if you're looking for stockists, they've got some listed there but feel free to ask them and they'll let you know.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Lovely Girlie Bits is on Snapchat!

Ok, I don't think an app has ever made me feel as old than Snapchat has.  I've never come across something that I literally didn't know how to use or navigate right from the get go and despite one of the girls at work showing me how to use it (which made me feel like my mam when we're trying to show her how to do stuff on her phone), I hadn't a baldy notion what I was doing.


A bit of googling and searching on YouTube for tutorials and now I get it!  And I love it!  For me, it's like daily vlogging but without the editing and it's a way to show the mundane bits of my life.  I don't pretend to be constantly flouncing around going from event to event.  More often than not, you'll see me snapping from my couch in my pyjamas, hair up and no makeup with double chins galore and that's real life and that's what I love about it!  Anyone I follow (which is pretty much everyone who follows me because I'm addicted) is laid back, doesn't try to show off and is completely down to earth!

I love the interaction of Snapchat and I love that I get to put faces to names.  Because of work, I can't reply to emails and tweets as much as I'd like and so I've gotten into the bad habit of mentally replying to people and then not actually replying to them.  It's so bad!  But with Snapchat, if I don't reply right away, I can't go back and see what someone has sent me, so I make sure I set aside time to open everyone's snaps and reply right away!

With Instagram, it's hard to gauge how many people have seen your photo.  Yes, you might get dozens of likes, but how can you tell how many eyeballs have been on it.  So many times, I've scrolled through my entire feed, back to where I ended things the last time I was scrolling through everything.  Then when I go into someone's profile that I'm following, I see a load of photos that haven't come up on my feed.  So annoying!  But with Snapchat, you can see how many eyeballs saw your snap.  I like to be able to quantify things, I'm a weirdo!

I like that I get to show you real life, like me making a meal, showing you what products have arrived that day and what products I'll be reviewing.  I've shown you my pubicles many times (current Snapchat followers will know what I'm talking about!), I've shown you the constant mess in my beauty room, behind the scenes when filming and blogging, I've brought you on trips away and I really do love sharing these aspects of life with everyone!

I think this is going to take the whole blogging and vlogging thing to the next level and I shall make it my mission to get everyone I know on it!  I'm still toying with the idea of Periscope, but more often than not, when I'm snapping or snap chatting (which is the right word?!) I get tongue tied or forget what I'm saying and need to refilm, so maybe live vlogging isn't for me just yet!

Are you on Snapchat?  Go follow me and I'll follow you back, or leave your username in the comments below!

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Bourjois Push Up Volume Glamour Mascara review, before & after photos

I've said this before, but for anyone new to the blog, Bourjois do some of the best affordable mascaras in the business.  I've pretty much tried them all and I don't think I've come across a dud in the bunch.  They're a new offering out which I think is an extension on an existing Volume Glamour line, and includes an ultra black edition and a waterproof version.  So for the past week I've been solidly wearing the Volume Glamour Push Up mascara in ultra back because I like my lashes thick and black!


I know some people aren't a fan of the plastic wands when it comes to mascaras, but I'm an equal opportunist when it comes to wands and I'll take whatever works best.  So for those who love a normal bristled brush, Bourjois has you covered.  It picks up a decent amount of product, so if you're not a fan of uber black lashes, then scrape off a bit.  But sure what's the point in that?!  More is more when it comes to lashes!


I'm super impressed with the blacker than black lashes this gives me and it ticks all of the boxes I consider when deeming a mascara to be good or not.  It gives me great length and volume while curling my non existing lashes.  Seriously.  Before and after photos like these ones really drives home just how beady my eyes look with bare lashes!  See how much bigger and more open my eyes look with mascara?


The brush is a great size for getting product onto the lower lashes without making a mess or poking yourself in the eyeball.  And while eyeball pokage is an everyday occurrence with me, I've not done it once since using this!  (Yes, it's early days, but I'm living in hope that my eyeballs will be free from pokes for the foreseeable future!)


I love that this packs on the product to the lashes, making it look like I've a really thick lash line.  And it's before and after photos like the ones below which really show what I'm talking about.  Now because the wand can pick up a lot of product, clumping is something to keep an eye on, but I think if you apply the product and then comb through the lashes a couple of times with whatever's left on the brush, you'll be grand.  I don't use a lash comb and I'm grand!

I don't have any issues with smudging, smearing, melting, flaking or any such instances where the mascara ends up anywhere else other than on my lashes.


I haven't tried out the waterproof version yet, but it's going to make an appearance in a feature soon, but Ultra Black Edition, you are brilliant!  Bourjois have done it again and it's definitely one worth checking out when you're in the shops next.  They're €12.99 and at the time of writing this blog post, Bourjois have a free gift worth over €27 when you spend over €20.  If that's not a reason to go wild and buy some new summery products, I don't know what is!
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Monday, June 15, 2015

What's new in beauty?

It seems like the beauty world has gone wild with launches and that my friend, makes for a very happy Karen.  As you know, one of my favourite things is to try out new stuff and if I wasn't sent products, I'd still be spending every last penny on new launches because it's an addiction at this stage!  Now, because a lot of stuff has arrived at Lovely Girlie Towers, I'm behind on reviews, but still wanted you to know that these things are either out now or coming soon.

It's a long video but lads, I waffled about stuff for the guts of an hour and had to whittle it down and cut products out, so I might have to film another one soon so you're in the know and fully informed on what's new in beauty!


As I mention in the video, let me know what you'd like to see a review on and I'll get cracking.  And also, I'm thinking about filming short reviews for the channel in the hopes that you can see the products in action and it'll keep things interesting in terms of videos!

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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Montblanc - Emblem Intense - Lovely Manly Dangly Bits returns!

Well everyone, my brother Stephen is back with another instalment of Lovely Manly Dangly Bits and he might be back with more seeing as we bought him a load of Kiehl's products for his birthday last month!  A few months ago I got given this gorgeous fragrance by Montblanc, Emblem Intense and I knew he'd love it after giving it a whiff myself.

Montblanc Emblem Intense

With top notes including grapefruit, cardamom and sage, a heart of violet leaves and nutmeg and a base of tonka beans, this fragrance brings you on a scent-ual journey!  The initial zingy earthiness quickly fades to leave you with the musky, sexy intense woodiness that makes it a quintessential masculine scent.  And as for the bottle?  It's a bitch to photograph without getting yourself in the picture, but apart from that, it's beautiful and wouldn't go amiss amongst my perfume collection in terms of the wow factor.  But enough of me waffling, it's time for Stephen to take over!  Lovely Manly Dangly Bits, you're up!

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There must be an unwritten rule for men that even if you think your aftershave smells top notch, if your better half thinks otherwise, you best believe this aftershave is never going to see the light of day again.  I noticed this when I was a kid, when, before my dad would head off to work, he'd lash on Eternity by Calvin Klein (I think it was a Christmas present) and off he'd go.  My mam would come downstairs, choke on the fumes left in the kitchen and maybe (definitely) throw some expletives at Mr Klein's funk.  That particular bottle of aftershave didn't last very long.

Montblanc Emblem Intense

The reason I say this, is that I've found the same kind of thing happening with me and my better half. When a new bottle of aftershave makes it's way over to me from Girlie Towers, I have to give it the Week's Test ™.  If the boss, not Mr Springfield, but my girlfriend Claire) still thinks it's nice after a week, then we have a winner.  It's in the Hall of Fame.  Tom Ford is currently in there with a Gucci aftershave.  Not many have made it.

Smelling from the bottle will usually incur a "Oh that's nice.... It's very fresh isn't it?" remark.  This is good.  It's not Sex Panther-esque and now I'm free to spray it on myself and go out in public.  It will usually be around Day 3 or 4 where I'll get a "Oh is that aftershave X... It's very strong isn't it?" if it's not going well.  I can guarantee that the aftershave will be in the stockpile soon enough after that.

Enter Montblanc Emblem Intense.  It's currently sitting proud in the Hall of Fame with Tom and Gucci after successfully passing the Week's Test™.  It's still getting "Oh that's lovely, I like that" from herself after a month of wear.

I don't know how to describe an aftershave in terms of spiciness, woodiness, earthiness etc.  I go by the night time/daytime rule of thumb.  Daytime is usually grand to wear to work and night time is fine to wear out to a lunch or dinner.  Emblem Intense is filed smack bang in night time.

Montblanc Emblem Intense is available in department stores nationwide or on Debenhams.ie for €57/60mls.  A possible Father's Day present lads?


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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

L'Oreal Studio Line Hot & Big - my big hair hero!

I've spoken about my hair many a time here on the blog and in videos, so I'll keep this little overview brief.  My hair is grand.  It's in decent condition, I've a lot of it, but it's really silky.  Now this is a good thing on days where I want sleek, swishy hair or on days where I want my ponytail to look smooth and perfect.  Because it's so silky, it doesn't hold a curl, or rather it can't hold a curl and more often than not can look super flat against my already massive head.  No seriously, Joanne and I have humungous heads, can't get sunhats to fit us.  But I digress.  I enjoy having big voluminous hair like the rest of humanity.  I'm not talking Dynasty sized hair, but hair that looks thicker and bouncier thank you very much.

Enter this.  My new absolute hair love and if I keep using it at the rate I am, I'll have this bottle finished in a month.  But I'll be repurchasing it lads because it's the absolute business.  I present to you the L'Oreal Studio Hot & Big spray.


This is described as a heat protectant spray which also gives volume and while I can't test the whole 3 day volume claim because I've to wash my hair either every day or every second day, I can tell you that the mad volume it gives me stays put all day long, no matter how much I faff about with my hair.


I apply a decent amount to towel dried hair while my hair is flipped over, I'd say a good 10-15 sprays because come on, silky hair needs all the help it can get.  I then blow dry my hair bending over so that it's upside down and do my usual brushing with my Tangle Teezer as I dry.  When I flip my hair back over, it's bloody massive!


Now this promises to control frizz and flyaways, but let me tell you that your flyaways or baby hairs at the front of your head won't stand a chance with this stuff!  They will be vertical when you flip your head back over, thus showing the sheer strength of volume that this gives!  So a little flattening is needed.


This gives volume from root to tip and the best part is, it doesn't feel like your hair is packed with product.  There's no stickiness and my hair doesn't feel extra tangly, it just feels big and bouncy, like myself!  Now I haven't styled my hair in these photos, I wanted to show you what it's like in it's naked form.  If you want to see what it's like when I use my Babyliss Big Hair, then check out my latest favourites video for coiffed hair!


The fact that Hot & Big helps protect my hair against heat damage is the cherry on top as I blow dry my hair pretty much every day, but even if it didn't, I'd still be in love with it because thanks to it, I have mad big bouncy hair!

There's another product in the range, the Hot and Go heat protectant that helps speed up the drying time of your hair and sometimes I'll use the two together because I'm that wild.  While it doesn't take that long to dry my hair since I got it cut, I don't see a mad improvement in drying time, so maybe this will be better for those with longer hair.


But lads, if you have hair, you need the Hot & Big.  I'm telling you, it's brilliant stuff and at the moment, it's on sale in Superdrug and after posting a photo of it either on Instagram or Snapchat recently, someone sent me a photo of it on sale in Sam Mc Cauley's, so either way, I'll be stocking up because this is holy grail stuff.  It's RRP is €5.99 but I've people tweeting, snap chatting and DMing me when they find it and they tell me it's on sale in Superdrug and Sam Mc Cauleys at the moment!

May-ja big hair for Lovely Girlie Bits!

PS, I had to copy and paste the name for the entire blog post because I literally cannot remember the name and my dirty mind is working overtime!  I had Hot & Go, Hot & Hard, Big & Hard, so maybe have a photo of it on your phone and show the nice person in the pharmacy if you're looking for it, rather than asking for it!
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