Monday, November 20, 2017

10 under €10! Budget beauty finds!

I am on a spending ban.  Again.  I know!  Christmas is coming and I really have to cut back on buying stiff I don't need, but yet I still want to try out new products!  And if you're in the same boat, how about some beauty finds that won't break the bank, that completely outperform beyond their price point and are just plain deadly.

And yes, I do use the phrase bum hole in this video, along with acting out what a bum hole looks like.  I also talk about jumbo holes and how we all need one.  What is wrong with me?

Anyway, I have some budget skincare, some really affordable makeup and if you'd like a video on the eye makeup I'm wearing, just let me know!  And make sure to subscribe to my channel as I'm going to have lots of videos coming up in the next few weeks!

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Friday, November 17, 2017

My TK Maxx haul! AD

I went, I shopped, I found some treasures!  After giving you the heads up last week about the Big Brand Flash Events happening all month in TK Maxx, I decided to go treasure hunting myself to see what I could find.  With a €100 gift card to spend, I took my time, and got some beautiful things.  Wait and see what I picked up!

Last week TK Maxx had bargains for the bedroom and bathroom, including cosy bed linen and towels, beautiful crockery, knitwear for everyone and designer activewear for kids.  And like I always advise you, be quick lads because things move fast in TK Maxx as I'm sure you well know!  FOMO is never a good thing, but I'm still going to show you what I got!  With the big brand flash events ending next week make sure you head to store so you don't miss out!


Now the day I went shopping was quite a day for me because for the first time ever, I got excited over soap dispensers - I know!  The had the cutest, most festive soap dispensers ever and after much deliberation, I decided on this Christmas tree one (€9.99).  I'll share the photos of the other ones on my social media, but who doesn't want soap coming out of a tree?!  And because our bathroom is quite neutral, I went for red hand towels to add a pop of colour.  They had so many sparkly towels, embroidered towels, plain towels, jazzed up towels and don't even get me started on their tea towels... I was in heaven!


For years I've wanted to get some festive tableware and fell in love with these plates (€5.99 each) and bowls (€3.99 each).  I'm going for either a red and gold or red and white theme for my table this year and these will go perfectly with whichever I choose.  Imagine the bowls heaped with roast potatoes and veggie (not sprouts though, ugh).  Christmas dinner is my favourite meal ever and now it's going to be even better!


I'm obsessed with these little small bowls (€3.99 each) for snacks and nuts and I know already that we'll be using them tomorrow night watching Strictly with a nice glass of wine.  They're all such good quality and I know I'll have them for years to come and will be able to add to them too.


I'm a candle fiend and can spend ages in TK Maxx giving them all a whiff.  And when I saw this one called "Lump of Coal" (€8.99), I hoped it would smell like a fire and it does!  We were always told as kids that if we were bold, Santa would only bring us a lump of coal and now I've gone out and bought one myself!


I bought this little "Santa please stop here" wooden decoration (€5.99) of Matthew as it's his first Christmas and we have to make sure Santa knows where to find him!


Give me anything gold and sparkly for the festive season and I'm all over it.  And to make it even better, this gold garland jingles (€9.99)!  I have actual jingle bells for the house this year!


Finally, I couldn't resist these battery operated wooden lights (€7.99).  I saw a more expensive set in a garden centre recently but they were out of my budget.  These were much more affordable and I already know where I want to put them!

Now, for my fellow techies, this week TK Maxx have a huge range of headphones and speakers which would make fantastic gifts for your loved ones (or yourself!). I really do need to get on board with the light up message board for the office, or maybe I could get one for baby Matthew's nursery?  Either way I'll be checking them out myself.  I'm dying for my friend Catherine to check our their drones as that's been on her wish list for ages and for those who still collect their vinyls, TK Maxx have turntables!  Are you able?!  And as Santa is coming in just over 5 weeks, there are going to be amazing bargains on toys, so Matthew is sorted for this year.  And maybe next year too!  Happy treasure hunting!

Stay tuned to the blog and my social channels for more insider updates throughout the month.

And on Snapchat, well, you never know what you're going to get on there with me!



Happy bargain hunting!!

**This is a paid collaboration with TK Maxx.  I'm living my dream working with brands I absolutely love thanks to all of your support!**
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

My Little Box Beauty & Lifestyle Subscription box review!

Over the last few months, I've been researching subscription boxes.  I've wanted one for ages!  It's like getting a present in the post each month - what's not to love about it!  I was hoping to get one that's under €20 and is just a little bit different to all of the beauty boxes out there.  I finally settled on My Little Box.

My Little Box is a monthly subscription service that contains beauty, fashion and lifestyle.  At £13.95 a month (€15.50 plus Parcel Motel cost as they don't ship to Ireland), it fits within my €20 budget.  This month however, My Little Box was more of a My Little Pouch!

October was a collaboration with Asos which is exciting!  When I opened the box that it was posted in, it had a little inspirational message and gorgeous packaging which I couldn't wait to tear open.



The first thing I saw was the pouch which was created by Asos and My Little Box.



To be honest, when I saw the pouch first, I was a little disappointed.  I wanted to have a box to open to see all my contents, but everything was in the bag.  But thinking about it, the pouch is so much more practical and will 100% be used as a toiletry bag, makeup bag, random bag of stuff, whereas the box would most likely go into the bin.

Next up is a sheet mask from Pureheals.


Pureheals masks have an added benefit of a three layer technology that locks in maximum levels of moisture into your skin.  The mask I got is a rose callus mask which calms the skin, leaving it glowing and gives intense moisture, which is basically everything my skin needs!  This will be going on my face this Saturday night when Strictly is on!

I've just run out of my No7 primer so I was very excited to see this Nude by Nature Perfecting Primer.


Nude by Nature is 100% natural and cruelty free.  The primer is untinted and claims to restore freshness and help fight visible signs of ageing.  The key ingredients are vitamins A and E, Green Tea and Papaya Leaf Extract.  This sounds gorgeous!  The sample size is pretty decent at 15mls and I can't wait to try it out over the next few weeks.

My Little Box also added one of their own branded hand creams.


It's described as "a trio of coconut oil, shea butter and cottonseed and helps to nourish, protect and soften without that icky-sticky texture".  In fairness, who hates that sticky feeling after using a hand cream!  I love how the packaging of the hand cream ties in with the design of the whole box.

The last beauty related item was an Asos Liquid Eyeliner from their new range of cosmetics.


Now in fairness, I'm not the best when it comes to doing eyeliner but I have no excused now not to practice with this!  As it has a fine nib, it claims to make lining your eyes a whole lot easier.  I'll be the judge of that!

Let's get on to the lifestyle part of the box.  The first item that stood out to me was the Thoughts notebook which is too cute.  Who doesn't like a good notebook!




It wasn't until I started looking at it that I realised one side says "Thoughts" with lined pages, and the back says "Scribbles" with blank pages.  Love it!

Last but by no means least are 31 inspiring quotes.  31 days with 31 ideas.



This is such a lovely idea as some days you just need a little boost or a kick up the bum!

And that was my first My Little Box.  I loved it!  I really liked the variety of beauty and lifestyle and I can't wait for November's box already!

You can subscribe to My Little Box here and make sure to use a mail forwarding service like Parcel Motel or Address Pal if you're in Ireland as they don't deliver here yet.

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Monday, November 13, 2017

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand review, photos!

Charlotte Tilbury is the queen of the glow.  She really is.  Her Filmstar Bronze and Glow is my fancy "going out" highlighter and now she's only gone and done it again.  The Hollywood Beauty Light Wand launched recently and I took a notion to treat myself a few weeks ago.


I got a preview of this a few months ago and knew I'd be buying it and you'll see why later.  At first, I was a bit concerned by the spongey applicator and wondered would I waste a lot of product with it.  But see the brown plastic section between the sponge and the rest of the tube?  It has a locking mechanism so there's no wastage that way.   But when we're talking about a squeezy tube, always take a gentle approach or you'll squeeze too much out!  Now back to the sponge.  It's got more of a soft fleece texture and you know how I love me some fleece.  This makes application so smooth and seamless and while Charlotte says we can use the tip to both apply and blend the makeup, I know if I did that, I'd end up with a whole cheek full of highlight rather than just a subtle somethin' somethin'.  A little goes a long way with this!


The formula is everything I love in a liquid highlight. How many times have you tried a highlighter that blends away to nothing?  Well that's not going to happen here.  I dab on a few dots along the top of my cheekbone and have found that the best way to blend it out is with my finger.  That way if there's any left over, I can apply a bit extra where needed, usually on the brow bone or on my cupid's bow.   In terms of colour, it's described as being rose gold in tone, but it leans more champagne on my skin, making it more wearable for me. 


Blended out, I'm left with the softest sheen on the skin.  We're talking lit from within lads.  It manages to both catch the light and reflect it all in one go and instantly gives a lift to my complexion.  In the winter, I tend to go for a more matte base, so I need a highlight that's going to balance things out without going wild.  This is one of those highlighters that looks beautiful in both daylight and at night and photographs flawlessly. 


This is one of those foolproof highlighters that sets dry, looks wet and is easily buildable if you like the whole more is more thing.  
Now there's only 12ml in the tube and it's €35, but the amount I use each application is minimal so I ain't mad at it.  But when I'm squeezing it, it feels like the tube is only half full.  So we'll see how long it lasts. 

The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Beauty Light Wand is available now and if you're in the market for a really beautiful and easy to wear highlighter, definitely check this out.  It's in Arnotts and Brown Thomas now and is also available from the Charlotte Tilbury website.
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Monday, November 6, 2017

Big Brand Flash Event with TK Maxx! AD

Things you should know about me:

1. I love buying presents for people.
2. I love a bargain.
3. The pressure of Black Friday scares me!


That build up to get all of my shopping done in one day because it'll have the bargains is too much!  Seems like TK Maxx know me too well, because they've just announced that for the whole of November, they're going to be unveiling some amazing big brand flash events in-store, with items at up to 60% less than the RRP.  Even though every day of the year is like Black Friday in TK Maxx, they're really upping their game this month!


You're going to need to move quickly though, because every day, thousands of unique treasures will be delivered to stores (I absolutely love how they call them "treasures" - I've found many a treasure myself in there!). The pop-up event will only last for a limited time, so my advice is to go in and go often this month!





This week, it's all about designer and branded shoes and with the party season coming up, what better time to pick up something a bit glitzy.  Ok, a lot glitzy.  'Tis the season to be fierce sparkly!  Along with the shoes, they've also got fantastic deals on big boxed toys, designer handbags and fragrance.  So, toys for my new nephew Matthew and the rest for me.  Sounds about right!  I went to the Blanchardstown store over the weekend to have a look and want everything.  I took some photos to give you an idea of what was in stock then, but you know yourself, things sell quickly in there and each TK Maxx has different stock.  All the more reason for me to head in often and make it a mission to get as much of my Christmas shopping done as possible this November!




This excites the shopper in me so much and I can't wait to see what bargains I can get my hands on.  I've had a sneaky peek at what will be in the flash events during the month and for now, I'll just tell you that they have everyone covered.  You'll still be able to treat yourself and treat your loved ones too!  Stay tuned to the blog and my social channels for more insider updates throughout the month.

And on Snapchat, well, you never know what you're going to get on there with me!



Happy bargain hunting!!

**This is a paid collaboration with TK Maxx.  I'm living my dream working with brands I absolutely love thanks to all of your support!**
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Clarins & Arthritis Ireland

**This post is in collaboration with Clarins.  Our fee for creating content to help raise awareness for the campaign is proudly being donated to Arthritis Ireland**

This is a different post today and one I really wanted to get right.  Regular readers will know I'm a huge fan of Clarins and have to fight Mam off whenever I'm sent any of their skincare to test out!  This time she's happy to share with me (phew!) and that's because this is something very meaningful to us.

Clarins have teamed up with Arthritis Ireland for a campaign to raise money for research and asked if we'd like to help raise awareness for it.  It's something that's very close to our hearts and once Joanne was on board, we gave it everything in our guts to make this a really special campaign.


You might not know, but Joanne was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was 16.  She's had her ups and downs with it over the last 21 years, having to undergo a hip replacement when she was 25, followed by an operation on her big toe to help regain movement in it.  She never ever let it get her down and coped like an absolute machine over the years.  She didn't complain despite being in constant pain, having to get steroid injections into her hip and toe, being on strong painkillers, anti inflammatories and immunosuppressants.  She carried on her full time job as normal, refusing to give in to the arthritis and now you know why we call her Robo Jojo!  She bleeps every time she goes through the metal detector at the airport and has to explain to the security team about her hip replacement which always has them remarking on how young she looks (she's been asked at a hospital appointment in recent years if she was heading back to school after her appointment!).

One year we went to New York on holidays and her knees were giving her awful trouble, swelling so much to the point where she couldn't sit down without having to have her legs up.  I think she totally took advantage of me on that holiday allowing me to hold all of her shopping bags!   When we got home, she had to have the fluid drained from her knees with a big needle which she says nearly made her pass out.  She's always been the type to just get on with things and has done her utmost to not let it affect her life as best she can.  Thankfully since having those operations, she's not had much trouble with her joints which is a blessing.


There are over 100 forms of arthritis with almost a million people in Ireland suffering with it.  It can affect all ages from babies to toddlers, all the way up to adults.  For some people, it can be debilitating, having a major effect on their quality of life.  Simple things like using a key to unlock a door or making a cup of tea can prove to be difficult and for Joanne,  she still finds it difficult to take off boots that are too tight on her and tormented Will for buying a car with a floor that was raised, making it hard for her to get in and out of it as she doesn't have a lot of movement in her hip.  He's since sold the car and now she has no excuse not to learn how to drive!  Vroom vroom Robo Jojo!


This is where you come in lads.  For every bottle of Tonic Body Treatment Oil sold, Clarins will make a donation to Arthritis Ireland to help raise funds for research to help treat this disease.   The oil is absolutely gorgeous and in a teaser photo I uploaded to Instagram last week, so many women said they used it on their bumps when they were pregnant and loved it!   Now it doesn't help with the symptoms of arthritis itself, but knowing that you're getting to treat yourself and do something nice for others is always a bonus!


We're so proud to have worked on this campaign and we hope it helps raise funds for those suffering with this disease.  You can also donate directly on the Arthritis Ireland website.
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation review - before & after photos!

Last December, I had a big old birthday.  It was big and I am old, but sure listen, it's ahead of us all this whole ageing thing and I'm embracing it.  Kinda.  Talk to me in December for my next birthday and we'll see how I am!  No7's Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Foundation in the shade Warm Ivory arrived a few weeks ago for me to test out and if you've been following me on Snapchat or Instastories, you'll already know how I've been getting on with it.


Containing as much of the Matrixyl 3000 Plus as is in the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Day Cream, hibiscus extract to help support collagen production, an anti-oxidant complex along with a flexible polymer film formula, it sounds fierce fancy altogether.  I love the sound of the polymer formula because it's said to move with your face as you make expressions and you know how expressive I am!   But how did I get on with it?

Regular readers will know I have an oily t-zone and normal cheeks, so this is my experience with the foundation on my very own mush.  Texture wise, it's a thicker formula that doesn't run down the back of your hand when you're getting stuck in.  Because it has a light to medium level of coverage, I apply two pumps which gives me enough to cover my face and then a bit extra to go over my cheeks.

I said this before on Instastories last week but had to say it again that this is one of those foundations that has to be set with a powder on my oily skin.  When I apply it first, it looks like someone came and licked me upside the face, but never fully dries on me at all.  So if you've dry skin, I think your face will love this.  Those of us with oily bits will need to get mattifying or else we'll have nothing left by lunch time. 


If you apply too much, it can feel like a mask, so my advice is to apply a light layer and then see if you need to add a bit extra.  This doesn't sit in my pores or my laugh lines either and this is very important as either I'm doing extra laughing these days or things are starting to go south, jowls and all.

It has optical blurrers and light reflecting particles which is said to reduce the signs of skin ageing.  I haven't seen much blurring going on and any light reflecting particles must be tinchy because they're not obvious at all.  But what is obvious is how gorgeous my skin looks when I'm wearing it.  I'm left with a beautifully natural radiant glow that I'm obsessed with.  That takes care of the "luminate" part of the name, as for the "lift", I'm assuming that the more I use this, and the more I let the serum do its work on my face, then things might look and feel different on the face.  Sure we'll see!


For €24.00, it's definitely not cheap and that's because of the inclusion of the serum, so if you were trying to justify buying this, you're basically buying a 2 in 1 product, skincare and makeup.

This a really lovely base that gives lightweight coverage, will work best on dryer skin types, but once us oilier ladies either use a mattifying primer and/or powder, we can still look lovely and reap the benefits of having that bit of extra skincare too.

It's available from Boots now and online so happy shopping!
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Monday, October 2, 2017

New! Clarins Joli Rouge lipsticks for autumn 2017!

I always feel like I'm repeating myself when I talk about the Clarins Joli Rouge lipsticks because every time I write about them, I always say that they're one of my all time favourite lip products and it's true.  They're some of the most moisturising, pigmented lipsticks I've ever tried and I've tested out my fair share of lipsticks in my time!

Clarins have launched three new shades for autumn and I love how they haven't gone down the traditional plum/berry route with their shades.  I'll go through the whole autumn range from Clarins soon, but I felt these needed their own post because look at 'em, aren't they gorgeous?


Shade 754 - Deep Red


Can you even cope with this red?  The answer is "No Karen, no I can't cope ok bye".  Deep Red is actually more of true red with blue undertones and despite still being terrified to wear red outside of the house, this one is very much me.  I found when I was wearing it around the house that it did bleed a bit at the corners of my mouth when I was talking, but nothing that a lip liner wouldn't fix.  The colour payoff is intense with this shade and if you're fed up with matte lips and want a juicy looking red, then check this one out.

Shade 755 - Litchi


Now you know I'm not a big pink lover when it comes to lipsticks,but Litchi is a dusky pink, almost a tea rose shade that's really flattering on my skin tone.  It's a lovely everyday shade, is tres work appropriate and is pink without being too pink.  Listen, I'm very picky when it comes to my pinks!  Again, this shade takes minimal effort to get an opaque finish and the less faffing about I have to do with my lipsticks, the better.

Shade 756 - Guava


Ah Guava, you would've been my go to summer lip shade if you'd been launched a bit earlier!  This warm peachy coral is what Clarins do best.  Pretty much every season, they'll launch a shade that was made for me and yes, that's usually peach or coral but shut up, these are my shades!  This is a colour that instantly gives my complexion a lift and if I'm having a minimal makeup type of a day, the injection of a pop of colour on the lips makes it look like I've made a bit of an effort!

These autumn lipsticks from Clarins are on counters now and I dare you to swatch them on the back of your hand and come away empty handed!  €24 is the damage for each shade and if you suffer with dry lips like myself, you're going to love the formula.

Think you'll be checking these out?

**This post contains affiliate links.  You are not charged anything extra and I make a small amount of money if you purchase anything meaning you'll help me in my dream of becoming Ireland's Next Top Full Time Blogger, ok, maybe Part Time first!**

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Friday, September 29, 2017

Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette - two looks - step by step tutorials!

Last weekend Joanne and I were like Thelma and Louise driving around the north side trying to find a certain plant of a certain colour.  I know, but I had a vision!  Anyway, on the drive, we were admiring the changing colours of the leaves and then it hit me, I never did a review of the Naked Heat palette from Urban Decay.  I am mucho sorry!


I'm sure you've read loads of reviews of this already, seen countless swatches, so I'm not going to waste time doing that.  But if you're on the hunt for a warm toned eyeshadow palette, you're going to want to check this out.  I absolutely love it...  Now with the matte shades, they're soft, buttery, blend effortlessly and there is a small bit of fall out, but nothing too major.  If you're using the darker shades for a look, I'd leave the foundation until after you do your eyes.  The shimmery shades are similar enough to keep in with the colour scheme of the palette, but different enough to keep things interesting.


As I don't have mad MUA skillz, when it comes to palettes, I tend to stick to two general looks and vary them up a bit by changing the colours, but the methods are always the same.  So rather than a swatchy review, I thought I'd shake it up a bit, turn back time and do an aul step by step tutorial!  In case you're new here, I'm not a makeup artist, I watch a lot of YouTube videos and know I'm not great at applying it, but if I can do this, so can you.  Cue cheesy music with me pointing at you.  You can do it!


These shades were made for my green eyeballs and I love how each look turned out.  I've got a daytime look and a nighttime look, but obviously feel free to wear whatever you want whenever you want bridie.


Daytime look


With this look, I always start in the crease but you can start wherever you like!  The world is your lobster so you do you boo.  For me, starting in the crease means that I don't have to touch the lid colour later as all of the blending is done beforehand.

1. I started with Sauced and using a fluffy blending brush, I blended out the shade up towards the eyebrow.  A transition shade like this doesn't look like much at this point, but it ties it all together later on.

2. Using a more tapered blending brush, I took the shade Cayenne right into the crease, not buffing it out as much as Sauced.  To add a bit more definition to the socket, I applied a couple of layers of this, making sure any harsh edges were blended well.


3. Any of the shimmery shades would work for this next step, but I took Lumbre (mainly because I love the name) and packed it onto the eyelid, not going above the crease.  Applying shimmery shades like this with a wet brush will give even more of a metallic look, perfect for a bit more drama!

4. Using a pencil brush, I took the shade En Fuego and applied it in a wedge shape to the outer corner of the eyes.  Again, you can pack as much on as you'd like depending on how dramatic you want the finished look to be.


5. I applied En Fuego right under the lower lashes with an angled brush, stamping the shadow rather than blending.

6. I then used Cayenne on a flat eyeshadow brush and blended it under the lower lashes into En Fuego to tie the look together.  And that's it!  A soft, easy to wear look that any dirty lookin' eejit can do.


Nighttime look


I love a dirty big smokey eye at the best of times and this is a really easy technique, applying the shades from darkest to lightest.

1. Using a pencil brush, I packed Ashes on to the upper eyelid, keeping close to the lashes.  I blended it out and applied another layer to intensify it even more.

2. I then applied En Fuego to the rest of the eyelid, packing it on.  I took this up to the crease and made sure that the blend between it and Ashes was seamless.


3. I took Ashes and En Fuego under the lower lashes, mirroring what I'd done on the upper eyelid.

4. I felt I'd lost a bit of the intensity so applied Ashes to the upper eyelid again because more is more! I made sure to join the shadows together at the outer corners of the eyes.


5. I used a blending brush to apply Cayenne into the crease to warm up the look a bit more and make sure I didn't look like a panda.

6. If there wasn't enough makeup on my eyes, I softened the edges of Cayenne with Sauced, blending like a mofo.

To finish the look and tie it all together, I applied the 24/7 Glide On liner in Alkaline to the waterline and love how it turned out!


These two looks didn't take long to do and they'll take you even less time as you won't be photographing every step!  The Naked Heat palette is a really gorgeous palette that I've been getting so much wear out of and is a joy to use.  It's become my favourite of the Naked palettes so far, but saying that, I don't have Naked 2, so might have to invest so I can make a fully informed decision!

The Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette is €47.50 and is on counters now and has been for ages (sorry!!!)

**This post contains affiliate links.  You are not charged anything extra and I make a small amount of money if you purchase anything meaning you'll help me in my dream of becoming Ireland's Next Top Full Time Blogger, ok, maybe Part Time first!**

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