Monday, January 25, 2016

15 cool things that happened in 2015!

Last year was one of those years that completely took me by surprise!  I've spoken before about how I started off 2015 not really looking forward to it.  There was a lot of uncertainty going on in my life and I felt very much out of control.  It translated to the blog and I ended up cutting back on blog posts because I just wasn't able to keep all of my balls in the air, or my plates spinning, you know what I mean!

During the year, I was able to sort things out, at least for the short term, put my head down and focus on what I could control and change.  I realised that I couldn't keep blogging the way I was and was in a constant state of unease because I was so behind on every thing I wanted to blog about or film.  I'd always blogged five days a week, sometimes six or seven and uploaded at least one video a week.  It just wasn't sustainable.  Then I realised that blogging does not pay my bills and it's not my job (yet!).  It was ok to cut down and focus on real life and because of that, my brain stopped working overtime 24/7.

Cutting back on blogging meant I could be there for family during a difficult time.  It meant I was more selective about what events I went to.  It gave me time to actually see my friends!  I was able to make so many new friends.  I was able to do stuff on the weekends without having constant self imposed pressure hanging over me.  And so without that sense of panic in my insides all the time, I had one of the best years ever.  I did things I never would've been able to do if I'd have kept going the way I was going.  I was able to push myself in different ways, challenge myself and do an awful lot of pretty amazing things.

So I filmed a video talking about some of the cool things I did last year and while filming and editing it, I gave myself cramps from excitement because it was a pretty epic year.  And now I'm looking forward to 2016 and all that it's going to bring.  I have so many plans in the works, some projects I'm excited about and I'm knee deep in it already and we haven't reached the end of the month yet!

Sit back and relax while I chat about 15 cool things I did last year!


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

MAC Ellie Goulding collection photos, swatches, review!

Do you ever just look at a MAC collection and think to yourself "Uh oh"....  That was me when I first clapped eyes on Ellie Goulding's collection with MAC.  And that's because I took one look at it and couldn't see anything that I didn't want to try.  Usually with limited edition collections, there are a few pieces that instantly catch my eye, but with this collection, every piece is right up my street.  Like up my street and around the corner.  It's all up in my cul-de-sac.

I was sent a few pieces from the collection to test out and they've already been getting so much use and that's what I love about the whole collection.  It's so wearable.  No mad colours that'll be sitting in your makeup drawer.  Look at these three products.  Peachy goodness and you know I love all things peach on the lips and cheeks!

A quick note on the packaging.  It's nice and sleek and while I get that the embossing on the powder and printed on the lip products is Ellie's initials, I can't not see the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows symbol.  Good thing I love HP and am a little bit obsessed with it.  But that's EG, not HP, OK?

MAC Ellie Goulding Powder Blush - I'll Hold My Breath (€30)

MAC Ellie Goulding Powder Blush - I'll Hold My Breath
To say I'm in love with the powder blush would be an understatement... The bronzer has enough warmth to give colour to the face but not too much so it can still be used as a soft contour.  It has a slight bit of shimmer running through it that isn't too obvious on the skin and it seems to give me a really soft focused finish on my cheeks.  This is a grand thing.  Love a bit of soft focus so I do.  And as for the blush... If I was a blush, I'd be this one.  It is pure peachy perfection and my only gripe with the product as a whole is that there isn't more blush in the pan.  I'd have been happy out with half blush half bronzer.  Or if they ever want to bring out the blush on it's own, I would stockpile that immediately!  This is an absolutely stunning compact and I will have to ration it now...

MAC Ellie Goulding Plushglass - Goodness Gracious (€25)

MAC Ellie Goulding Plushglass - Goodness Gracious
Oh what's this?  A gorgeous peachy pink lipgloss that's super comfortable to wear, isn't sticky or gloopy and matches perfectly with my skin tone?  Yes.  Goodness Gracious is also going to be rationed over the coming months because it's got spring and summer written all over it.  I can't cope with how beautiful this is and the one and only gripe I have with this is that I wish it was bigger.  That's what she said.

MAC Ellie Goulding Patentpolish Lip Pencil - Revved Up (€25)

MAC Ellie Goulding Patentpolish Lip Pencil - Revved Up
I have to hold my hands up and say I'd never heard of of the Patentpolish Lip Pencils before.  Bad blogger.  But Revved Up has piqued my interest and I foresee me collecting more of them.  The formula is nice and creamy, leaving a satin finish on the lips that's again, really comfortable to wear.  It's a perfect product for slicking on at your desk or when you're running out the door because you don't need a mirror to apply it.  This soft peachy pink has my natural lip loving self really happy and I'm obsessed.

MAC's Ellie Goulding collection is on counters now and I urge you to go and check it out.  If you have lips or cheeks, you need to investigate the products before they disappear!

Do we lurve this and more importantly, do you see the Deathly Hallows symbol on the products?

*PR sample*

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Slimming World friendly Spice Bag recipe!

Last year I discovered something very dangerous...  Especially if you're trying to lose weight, cut costs and stop going to the takeaway so often.  The spice bag.  It's pretty much the perfect combination when it comes to junk food with chicken and chips, onions and peppers, all mixed up together in a spicy seasoning.  If you haven't tried one, you haven't lived yet, but also, if you haven't tried one, this is probably a good thing as you'll be addicted.

I took to the internet to see if there was a Slimming World friendly version of this tasty treat and after finding a recipe on Pinterest, I still need to see who originally posted it and give them credit, I've tweaked it a little bit after making it twice.  So feel free to tweak away yourself.  That sounded rude.


  • Slimming World chips - Chop up Rooster potatoes into whatever shape you like, boil for a couple of minutes, before draining and letting them steam themselves dry for a few minutes.  Spray with Frylight and place in a hot oven, gas mark 7-9 for approximately 30 minutes, checking them at the 15 minute mark to turn if need be.
  • Chicken diddies
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Half a sachet of Smash or any instant mashed potato
  • Frylight
  • 1 chicken OXO cube crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon garlic granules
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Chili flakes

You can adjust the seasonings to taste so if you like it hotter, add more cayenne pepper.

Mix the instant mashed potato, salt, garlic granules, chicken OXO cube and cayenne pepper together to form the seasoning for the chicken.

Dip the chicken breast into the beaten egg before dipping it into the seasoning mix, coating it fully.  It will look like this and smell incredible already.

Place into the oven with the potatoes and bake for 30 minutes, checking to see it's cooked through.

When the chicken and chips are nearly done, start frying off the onions and peppers in Frylight for about five minutes, softening them slightly.  Then add the chips into the pan, followed by the chicken sliced up and mix well.  At this point you can add more garlic salt or garlic granules if need be along with chili flakes.  Fry for a couple more minutes and that's it!

It is the perfect weekend treat and will most definitely take the edge off if you're craving something bold.  I need to check if the instant mashed potato should be synned or not and will update the post.  I used half a sachet for this recipe but had lots left over, so next time I'll use even less.  And even if I don't make the whole recipe, I'll definitely do chicken like this again!  It'll be gorgeous with a salad and I can pretend it's KFC!

Let me know if you make it and tag me in any photos because I love seeing people's recreations!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Budget lips with Penneys, swatches, review, photos!

January means one thing and one thing alone.  No money.  We've managed to spend it all over Christmas. We do it every year and will never learn that this is the longest month of the year and four weeks feels like an absolute eternity when you're watching every penny!

That being said, despite being stony broke, our compulsion to buy makeup does not waver.  Not even a bit.  The makeup addicts out there feel me, I know you do.

But what if I told you that your addiction can be satisfied for just a few measly euro?  What if you didn't buy one coffee a week (better make it Monday as it's so much easier to be very virtuous at the start of the week)?  Then in a couple of weeks you could go into Penneys, for a look, famous last words, and head towards the makeup.  You know exactly where it is, I know you.

They've got some of the best budget lip products I've tried to date lads and after trying a handful of lip liners, glosses and pencils, it's probably a good thing that they're so affordable because I want to try more.   Let's get to swatching shall we?

The Liquid Lipsticks are divine!  As a neutral lip lover, my immediate favourite was shade 15, a wonderful warm caramel that I've been getting lots of wear out of.  These guys have a small brush applicator, aren't sticky and are incredibly pigmented.  And for €2.50 each, I want to get the rest of the shades.  For the blog and all...

Liquid Lipstick Shade 02
Liquid Lipstick Shade 15
Liquid Lipstick Shade 05
Next up we have the Matte Lipstick Crayons and again, at €2.50 each, I'm raging I didn't buy more.  I bought two and because it was before Christmas when I got them, I picked a red which is amazing....  Along with the red, I chose a nude and have been haring my way through it like nobody's business.

If I did a blind test with these two agains the NARS Matte Velvet Lip Pencils, I don't think I'd be able to tell the difference between the two.  The Penneys version give my lips a soft, velvety finish that's really comfortable to wear and more importantly, doesn't dry them out.  The red shade is scarily pigmented and is a contender for The Red I Might Leave The House Wearing Someday.  As for the nude shade, it's perfect on it's own and looks equally perfect with a gloss over the top.

Matte Velvet Lip Crayon Shade 04
Matte Velvet Lip Crayon Shade 05
For the most part, the lip liner pencils are the actual business.  I love applying liners all over the lip to act as a base so when my gloss fades, I still have a stain of colour remaining.  I found the darkest shade quite dry to apply to the lip and it dragged quite a bit, but to line the lips themselves, it was grand.  The neutral shade is Kylie Jenner worthy and can we take a second to talk about the red shade?  Like the brown shade, it's creamy, opaque and I'd be happy to wear on it's own.

Lip Liner Pencil Shade 06
Shade 06 is the 90s nude and is very Kylie Jenner, if that's what we're still calling it.  It's a touch too dark for me to wear on it's own (on the left above), but with the nude matte lip crayon over the top, it lifts it slightly and makes it more suitable for my skin tone.  I love these two together.

Lip Liner Pencil Shade 11
Shade 11 is a really deep burgundy but holy moly it was so dry on the lips.  It pulled and tugged as I was applying it, but then when I applied the matching liquid lipstick over the top, all was forgiven.  I'm loving the vampy lips!  This might be one just for lining the lips, not for filling in.

Lip Liner Pencil Shade 05
Finally we have shade 05, the red and on it's own on the left, you can see it has slight pink undertones to it, but makes a great base for the red velvet lip crayon which I've applied on the right.  Yes, the reds are absolutely stunning.

The liners are €1.50 each and like the rest of the products mentioned here today, I want to try more.  And despite being mouldy broke, I can always find a couple of euro in the bottom of my bag and head to Penneys!   And now I want to try out the rest of their makeup collection too, and their polishes, and their eyelashes.... Stay tuned for more Penneys posts!

Have you tried any of the lip products from Penneys?  What do I need to try next?

*Purchased by moi*

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Body Shop Oils Of Life collection review!

One of the best things you can do for yourself this year is to decide to look after your skin properly.  It's one of my yearly resolutions and when I get into a routine, the visible results are always a reason to keep me going!  And now that the Christmas season is over, it's time to get serious, so if you're looking to try a new skincare range, then check this lot out.

The Body Shop Oils Of Life collection is one of my favourite skincare launches ever.  The packaging is divine....

I got it to try out last year and have been meaning to do this review.  I even filmed a skincare routine video before Christmas but never got a change to edit it, so figured now was as good a time as any to tell you all about it because it's an amazing collection.

I've been using it for months now, only stopping it when I'm trying out something new, before going back to it, safe in the knowledge that we get each other.  This range works for my skin so much that I miss it when I'm not using it.

Now let me just explain that this range is on the spendy side, especially for The Body Shop.  But they've been edging towards the more luxury end of the scale with this collection and if I didn't think it was worth shelling out the cash for, then I'd let you know.  And you need to know that it's love.  I've tormented you over on Snapchat talking about it to the point that I felt like people were either getting bored or think I was being paid to talk about it!  Totes wasn't, promise.

There are two moisturisers in the range, the Intensely Revitalising Gel Cream (€42.50) which has a lighter texture and so I use it in the morning, and the Intensely Revitalising Cream (€42.50) which is thicker and more luxurious, so I use a small amount of that at night.  Both of these creams contain three precious seed oils to help replenish and revitalise the skin, cold-pressed seed oils and they both leave my skin feeling smooth, soft, nourished and hydrated.

Because the gel cream is lighter in consistency, it soaks into my skin quicker and in the morning when I'm running around like a lunatic, I need fast acting and absorbing products.  In the evening though, using the thicker cream feels like I'm really pampering my face and with the winter finally taking hold, it's keeping the dreaded Central Heating Face at bay.  It's a thing, trust me.

Now, the Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Essence Lotion (€25.50) is the one item I'd leave out if I had to and to be honest, I haven't used it that much, so maybe if I did, I'd be singing it's praises.  But I think the other three products work so well for me that I don't need it, so if you're thinking the range is spendy, cut back on this step and invest in the others.  Essence lotions seem to be all the rage though at the moment, providing an extra skincare step between cleansing and moisturising/serum application and prepares the skin for those next steps.  I'm not convinced though, so maybe more research is in order.

Finally we have the Oils Of Life Intensely Revitalising Facial Oil (€48) which literally makes my skin look and feel incredible.  It's the star of the show and if I could bathe in it, I would.  If I could explain to you how much using a facial oil will change your skin, then I'd go about my day happy out, but it's one of those things that you need to try to believe.  Even those with oily skin can use oils as it'll help balance the production of sebum.

Like the creams and the essence lotion, the oil contains the 3 precious seed oils, cold-pressed seed oils, is really lightweight and is the perfect way to end your skincare routine in the evening.  I generally like to cleanse the skin, tone, moisturise and then apply the oil.  Or sometimes I'll not use the moisturiser and just use the oil.  It's worth noting that if you apply the oil under the moisturiser, it will act as a barrier and it's a waste of moisturiser, so do what I do and you won't look back!

If you're on the hunt for something different, luxurious, effective and that will make your skin look and feel fabulous, then I urge you to check out The Body Shop Oils Of Life collection.  You don't need both moisturisers mind you.  I'd go for the gel-cream if you have normal to oily skin and the thicker cream if you have dryer skin.  A moisturiser and the oil and you'll be setting your skin up for some serious pampering and just watch it transform in a couple of weeks!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to cleanse the aul visage and use these guys.  Two big fat juicy thumbs up from me lads.

*PR sample*

Monday, January 11, 2016

MAC Huggable Glass collection photos, swatches, review

MAC are starting off the year as they mean to go on and that's in fighting form.  With twelve shades of their limited edition Huggable Glass collection, gloss fans can be safe in the knowledge that mattes aren't taking over the world yet no matter how many are launched each year!

I got sent three of the twelve shades to play with and if you know me at all, you'll know the one I'm obsessed with!  From palest to most vibrant, we have the shades Embraceable Me, Such A Sweetheart and Love Buzz, pictured above and swatched below.  The applicator has this flattened paddle look so you can lash the colour onto the lips and then use the thinner sides to create a crisp lip line.

Like the Huggable lipsticks, the Glasses are really comfortable to wear, smell lovely and these three have made me want more.  They feel really lightweight and the brighter colours pack a punch in the pigmentation stakes.  An absolute winner in my book!

Embraceable Me

Fans of milky nude lips will love Embraceable Me.  Shades like this one don't do much for my colouring but I know Joanne will love it so she'll be getting this one to play with.  I think it would probably suit me better applied over a darker pink liner, but for the purposes of the blog post, I wanted to show it to you in it's natural colour.  Milky nude.  That's going to play havoc with my SEO!

Such a sweetheart

Now we're talking!  Such a sweetheart is described as an intense bright watermelon and as it leans on the coral end of things, this was an instant winner and was love at first sight.  I've been wearing this so much in recent weeks and is a shade I'll get so much wear out of until the end of summer and if I don't use it all up by then, I'll be a happy camper.

Love Buzz

Love Buzz terrifies me to my very core because it's super bright and in your face!  And yet I love it.  Despite not wearing much pink, this blue based pink screams out for thick black winged liner and so I'll have to rock that one day.  Two things completely out of my comfort zone!  The tip of the wand make for really precise application, giving a crisp lip line and I didn't have to do any tidying up with this shade.

The MAC Huggable Glass collection is in Brown Thomas now and each shade will set you back €22.  Are we intrigued?

*PR sample*

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My 2016 beauty resolutions!

I spoke about my new year's resolutions over on Snapchat last week, but wanted to dedicate a full blog post to my beauty resolutions.  Little goals I'm setting for myself in the hopes I make it past a week and a half before breaking them!

In 2016...

I will wear red lipstick outside of the house.
This has been a running theme for years now and something I've never done.  Yet.  I'll do it and it'll be the most documented thing that has ever happened to me in my life.  Or else you'll hear nothing about it if I find out I've been walking around with red lippie up my face and on my teeth.  I feel like I'd need a permanent mirror attached to my hand to keep it all in check.  Or maybe I can get Joanne to walk beside me looking at my face the whole time.  Yes, that seems like the best plan of action.

I will wash my brushes more often.
Why is this the most hated chore ever in life?  I don't know.  Actually, I do.  I make it hard on myself by refusing to wash brushes, only to buy more so I don't have to wash them, then run out of money and can't afford to buy new ones and am forced to clean 11,000 brushes.  Then I moan like it's the worst thing in the world when really, I do it to myself.  So while I won't bother setting a madser of a goal like washing the brushes every week, what if I make it every two weeks.  That's doable isn't it?

I will step outside of my comfort zone.
It's only when I'm filming that I really play with makeup, but I want to get more adventurous with it during the week.  That might mean getting up a bit earlier though which sounds very painful altogether, but it'll be good craic!  No way am I wearing a bright lip to work though or I'd have to sedate everyone, but maybe I'll use brighter colours on the eyes, or try some liner.  Sure we'll see!

I will stop picking my nail polish off.
It's a mortal sin, I know that.  And yet I cannot stop.  It is very pleasing to peel off one's nail polish in a single go and if you haven't tried it, you're missing out big time.  So don't be giving out to me before you've tried it.  I stopped wearing polish all the time last year because my nails were in bits, but 2016 is the year of the nail polish and I'm going to keep my nails in shape and stop the picking.  Why does something so bad feel so good?  Why???

I will finally, for once in my life, be brave with self tan.
There are so many good ones out there that even a dirty looking eejit like me can figure it out.  I generally stick to the gradual tanners as my inevitable mistakes are less obvious.  But I'd love to use the mousses and lotions and not be afraid of looking like the ultimate amateur.  I will master the application technique and make it a mission to try lots of tanning brands this year.  I basically want the first sentence that everyone says to me to be "Oh have you been away, sure you're looking well".

I will throw out all of of my old makeup.
I am a hoarder collector of makeup and like to keep things, just in case I need them for a future feature, to compare them to another product, and basically to look at.  The truth is, I want a Sephora in my own office so am like a lunatic.  My mission, should I choose to accept it, is to dump all old, out of date makeup.  This will be a time consuming and laborious task and one that will leave me literally covered in makeup as I swatch each and every item on the back of my hand or on my face.  I'll still keep things that are sentimental (yes, a person can have feelings for makeup, shut up) or that are collector's items, but for things that go off quickly, mainly cream products and lipsticks and glosses, I won't know myself with the amount of storage I'll have!  All the more room to fill it up with more stuff...

So what are your beauty resolutions?  Will I stick to these and achieve my goals?  Probably not, but God loves a trier!


Monday, January 4, 2016

Lovely Girlie Bits presents 2015 beauty favourites!

Monthly favourites videos are some of my favourite to film because there's nothing better than talking about products I love.  Yes, I have been known to hold products up to my face out of obsession and lack of ability to express myself properly due to being overwhelmed at how much I love all of the things.  Watch any of my monthly favourites videos from last year for proof of this ultimate weirdness.  It's only when I go to edit the video that I realise just how much of an oddball I really am when it comes to makeup!  What can I say, over five years of blogging and my excitement over makeup hasn't faded a bit!

So after the whirlwind year that was 2015 which was packed full of beauty products, good and bad, I've sat down and filmed a monstrous video featuring my favourite products of the year.

I think I've a good mix of high end and affordable products, totally unintentional mind you, as I just went through my collection drawer by drawer and picked out the products that I raved over and over about all year.

So sit back, grab a cuppa and see what products have made it into my 2015 beauty favourites!


Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR Nude foundation

L'Oreal Infallible 24Hr Matte Foundation

Bioderma BB Cream

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation

Clarins Instant Concealer

Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Diffused Light

Urban Decay Ultra Definition Loose Finishing Powder

MAC Studio Sculpt Defining Bronzing Powder - Delicates

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer Luminous Bronze Light

No7 Instant Radiance Highlighter

Smashbox LA Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colour Hollywood & Highlight

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Dim Infusion

Max Factor Cream Puff Blushes

Urban Decay Brow Beater

Bourjois Volume 1 Second Mascara Ultra Black

MAC Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara

No7 Stay Perfect Smoothing Eyeshadow Bronze

Max Factor Excess Shimmer Gel Eyeshadows

MAC Burgundy Times Nine palette

Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette

Pippa palette

Clarins Joli Rouge Lipsticks

MAC Huggable Lipsticks

Rimmel The Only One Lipsticks
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