Thursday, December 6, 2018

Rituals Grafton Street - hello my new home!

My love for Rituals has been going on for years now, with my first post being back in 2013 when I knew nothing about photography and used a fleece blanket as my backdrop!  I'd been using the products before that, but that's when they first appeared on the blog.  Little did I know it would grow into a full blown love affair with me wearing what's now known as the Ritual of Dao Bed & Body Mist on Joanne & Will's wedding day.  Back then it was called the Yin Organic White Lotus & Yi Yi Ren, and even now when I smell it, it brings me back to that amazing day.

Anyway, if you missed my instastories last week, Rituals have opened up a stand alone store on Grafton Street and I went to the launch like a giddy child.  Not many brands make me want to go to something when I don't know anyone going, but this brand just does something to me.  And as they had us watching a video of how they want to make those daily routines into rituals, I could feel myself getting emotional and then mortified.  But I love the ethos so much.  We're all running around like lunatics every day getting all our bits done and we're not being present enough.  We don't allow a couple of moments every day to ourselves, be it in the shower, or applying our body mist, or lighting a candle for half an hour and just be.

But I promise, if you find the right range for you in Rituals, it will be so much easier to enjoy the little things.  I love the Ritual of Dao, which is calming and I ration myself with it because I don't want to lose that feeling it gives me when I use the products!  I know that sounds mad, but sure listen!

I took over 60 photos that night, so here are a few of my favourites.  What I'd recommend is that you go into the shop on Grafton Street and give yourself some time to go through all of the ranges and find your favourite.  And if you can't get into a Rituals shop, you can buy the products online.  Take your time and read through the descriptions of everything so you can get a feel for what the products might smell like.

I've tried so many products from The Ritual of Dao, from the body products to the candles and diffusers, and there's something very soothing and comforting about this scent.  It's mainly a floral scent thanks to the White Lotus, and coming up to Christmas, I'm going back to the shop and I'm going to get some of the products from the range that I haven't tried yet.  They've lots of different gifts sets in this range depending on your budget, the same goes for all of the ranges, and can we take a second for the boxes...  They're stunning and when you've taken the products out, you can use them for your bits and pieces.

I feel like I need to try The Ritual of Happy Buddha these days as I'm wrecked all the time!  Anything that will energise me eh?

Another range I love and is next on my hit list to try is The Ritual of Hammam.  It gives the feeling of purification thanks to rosemary and eucalyptus, and could be a good one the day after your Christmas party?  Wash away any memories of the night before?!

The Ritual of Sakura is said to make you feel like every day is a new beginning and that's something I'm totally on board with and try to do myself, so maybe trying some of these products would help make that a bit easier.   This range has the scent of cherry blossom, one of my favourites, and I was this close to buying the diffuser of this recently before I knew the shop was opening, so it's on my list.

The Ritual of Ayurveda is one I think I need in my life, promising to help start your day with inner harmony and to create a balancing effect.  Yes please Rituals, yes please!

The Ritual of Yalda is their Christmas range this year, promising to give you a boost of energy during the cold, dark days of winter.  I'm going to need everything this range has to offer because the lack of light is killing me.  Who else is struggling?

I had no idea that Rituals had a makeup range, so you know I'll be investigating that next year when I learn a bit more about it.

And I only found out they had skincare recently when I was at the counter in Arnotts, so that's also on the list to try.

And like any good shop, they have a section right at the register that will get you.  It has mini things.  All the mini things.  And I love mini things.  

So who's going to be visiting Rituals?  Trust me, you're going to love it in there!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Candles for Christmas! My top 6 that would make a whopper gift

I think candles are the perfect gift for someone you know, someone you don't know, someone you know but don't particularly like and also for yourself.  Self gifting is totally allowed this month.  I don't make the rules.  And as much as I like to abide by this ethos, buying myself a fancy schmancy candle rarely actually happens.  Now I'll buy a stranger a spendy candle without a second thought, so I need to cop on!

So if you're feeling like you want to treat yourself this Christmas, or your loved one hasn't a notion what to get you this year, then send them this blog post and everyone will be happy.  And if lighting a gorgeous candle on a cosy night doesn't make you happy, then I'm at a loss.  There's no hope for you. So maybe one of these beauts will tickle your fancy this Christmas!

You know when people say ooh this smells like Christmas?  Well the Joyful Glow candle from Elemis really does.  Well, it doesn't smell like the Christmasses we had growing up with fake trees and all the tinsel and those metallic garlands that we had attached to the ceiling with thumbtacks, four going from the "big light" out to the corners of the room.  Ah good times...  No this smells like the cinnamon Christmasses we used to see on the telly, with notes of vanilla and orange.  It smells cosy, it makes me want twinkly lights everywhere and I'm just short of making a gingerbread house from scratch even though I can't bake, that's now much this smells like Christmas.  And while I'm saving this for Christmas actual Day this year, when I went to the festive showcase a couple of months ago, they had it lighting and the glow that comes through all of those tiny bows is only dotey.

The YonKa Quintessence Candle smells like relaxation station across the nation and as this burns, you get to enjoy YonKa's exclusive blend of essential oils - lavender, geranium, rosemary, cypress and thyme as they waft through the air, just what's needed during the busy month that is December.  One of my missions for next year is to go to a YonKa spa, so until that happens, I'll light this candle, lie down and close my eyes and pretend I'm in one, while we all know I'll be lying on the bed in my fleece with the hun bun high.  Yas!

Is it really Christmas if you don't have a vanilla scented candle in your collection?  Well this Gousse De Vanille candle from Irish brand La Bougie has a mix of tonka bean, orchid, cider and cinnamon and yes, it smells as delicious as it sounds.  I find pure vanilla scented things can be too sweet for me, but this is just so aromatic and has a hit of warm spice thanks to the cider and cinnamon.  I've written about the Sage & Bitter Orange candle years ago and the Sweet Pea & Pear candle back in 2012, which they don't make anymore, awww.  This will be lit in the lead up to Christmas and all will be well in the world.

I defy you to light this in the evening and not want to face plant the couch.  That's how relaxing the Waxperts lavender candle is.  Lovely Mammy Bits is as obsessed with it as I am and it's a candle I reach for to light when I've had a mad day, when I just want to switch off and unplug from social media and do what they call in the business, relax the kax.  This candle, a cosy Christmas film and my fleece blanket and I'm a happy bridie.  Ok add a glass of wine and nothing can make me want to leave the house!

Le Labo Laurier 62 Candle - available from The Loop Dublin Airport

I really didn't think I was cool enough for the brand Le Labo which launched into The Loop in Dublin Airport this year.  When I was in the airport during the summer, I had a look and a smell of lots of the products, got overwhelmed and didn't know what I wanted!  There's very much a cool New York vibe about the counter and the packaging itself too, with chic typed labels on the candles and fragrances, which you can get customised while you wait.  I am not chic, but I feel less not chic now that I have the woody scent of my Laurier 62 candle which I got at The Loop Christmas event last week.  With 62 ingredients in it, it's so hard to pinpoint what it smells like exactly, but I get woody winter wonderland vibes from it.  It's definitely a winter candle that's full of cosiness and I can't wait to burn it this Christmas!

Sand + Fog Cedar & Lavender candle - €8.99

Ok this is a bit of a cheat because I bought this in Home Sense a few weeks ago, but I wanted to include it for a few reasons.
1.  It's a mix of two of my favourite scents ever - wood and lavender.
2.  It was under the tenner mark.
3.  Home Sense has their candles colour coordinated and that just makes me happy.  They've always a load of Sand + Fog candles when I head in and it's just a matter of whittling down the ones you love.  But while you might not be able to find this exact candle, I wanted to give you ideas that you can get some beautiful candles on a budget that don't begin with Y and end in ankee.  Trust me.

We're rarely without a candle lighting in the living room in the evenings, all year round.  They're such a nice treat, so why not treat yo'self this year!

What's your favourite candle?  Go on, influence me!


Friday, November 30, 2018

Lovely Girlie Bits Christmas Gift Guide! The Gift Set Edit

'Tis the season and while I'm knee deep in glitter, twinkly lights and Christmas music, I thought it was time to get back blogging and bring you some Christmas gift sets!  Now sets are a great gift, for yourself and also for a loved one and also for someone you don't know that well but are obliged to get something or else there'll be killin's.  Joanne and I filmed a video featuring some of these sets, but for those who don't have time to watch Youtube, I thought this would be handier for you, but I'll leave the video at the bottom of the post if you want to take a look at us acting the maggot!

I'll update this post throughout December if I come across any other gift sets that I think you might be interested in when I'm out and about, so pop back next week and see.  But for now, let's get stuck in shall we?

Image Skincare Hydrate & Radiate Gift Set - €121

The Image Skincare Hydrate & Radiate set is aimed at those who need hydration, obvs, and if you need a bit of radiance too.  Sure who doesn't need both of those things?  I've used and loved all three of these products and think its such a gorgeous set with the Vital C Hydrating Anti-Aging Serum, the Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser (one of my all time favourite cleansers) and the Prevention+ Daily Ultimate Protection moisturiser SPF 50 and they all come inside a lovely wash bag too.  These last for ages so it's a great investment skincare set and is available in Image salons nationwide.

Image Skincare Age Defying Essentials Gift Set - €153

The Image Age Defying Essentials Gift Set is for those who want to tackle the signs of aging and while I haven't tried the Vital C Hydrating Repair Cream yet, I've used and loved the Ageless Total Pure Hyaluronic Filler and the Ageless Total Facial Cleanser lots.  The cleanser exfoliates my skin gently while the Hyaluronic Filler adds moisture into the skin, giving a grand aul plumping effect.  Gotta keep my fine lines a bit plumped don't ya know.

Trilogy Brilliantly Boosted Gift Set - €36.95

For a more budget friendly skincare set for those who'd love a few anti-aging treats for their skin, the Trilogy Brilliantly Boosted Gift Set is definitely worth checking out.  It has a full size Age Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil that boosts skin recovery and radiance, along with two travel friendly products too - the Active Enzyme Cleansing Cream and the Age Proof Replenishing Night Cream.  I'm a huge fan of the Rosehip oils from Trilogy so I'm looking forward to giving these a go!  You can buy it on the Cloud 10 Beauty website and Trilogy have a great selection of sets for all skin types.

Pestle And Mortar All I Want For Christmas Gift Set - €89

Pestle and Mortar is a brand I only got to know this year and so far, I've fallen in love with it, so when they gave me the All I Want For Christmas set, I was so excited to give them a go.  The set has two full sized products, the Pure Hyaluronic Serum, their hero product, and the Recover Eye Cream along with two very generous midi-sized products of the Balance Facial Spritz and the Hydrate Lightweight Moisturiser.  You can buy the set on their website or add it to your wish list!

The Best Of L'Occitane Gift Set - €85

I did a collab with L'Occitane on Instagram with this gift set and while being a part of this post isn't part of the collab, I just wanted to highlight it for transparency.  This is the Best Of L'Occitane Gift Set and I love it because you get some of L'Occitane's best selling products and if you're unsure as to what someone's skin type is and don't know if they'd like a certain serum or moisturiser, body products are generally a safer option for gifting (unless you've been instructed by someone who knows what they want!)  And as well, €15 from the sale of each of the Best of L'Occitane Gift Sets goes directly to UNICEF, so as their hashtag says, it's #notjustagift.  It's available in stores and online.

YonKa Hydration Gift Set - €56.50

I don't think your skin can get enough hydration, well mine can't anyway, and the Hydration Gift Set from YonKa has a full sized Hydra No1 Creme, one I've been using for the last few months along with a mini Lotion YonKa and a mini Hydra No1 Masque.  That mask has saved my face many a time so it's good to have a travel sized version now, and the products come in a beautiful La Vie En Rose blush pink makeup bag with gold hardware that I'm obsessed with!  My Mam is obsessed with makeup bags and I know she'd love this one.  You can buy the YonKa sets at your local salon which you can find on their website.

Bia Beauty Feed Your Face Gift Set - €48

Another Irish brand is Bia Beauty and they've got two gift sets available this Christmas.  The Feed Your Face Gift Set is €48 and contains the Orange & Grapefruit Facial Exfoliant & Cleanser, the Stop The Clock Eye Gel and the Mellow Mandarin Moisturiser, all of which smell incredible and are made with the highest quality ingredients, something that's important to Tracey Ryan, the founder of Bia Beauty.  The sets are available from the website and from stockists nationwide too.

Bia Beauty Helping Hands Gift Set - €28

The Bia Beauty Helping Hands gift set is a good one for Secret Santa pressies, for the mother in law maybe or for someone that you want to get something lovely for but don't want to get them skincare.  This has the Lemon Myrtle Hand Wash and Hand Lotion and I'd say those who love being out in the garden would love this too.  They've a really bright, fresh scent and would look so colourful in a bathroom too.

Dr Hauschka Morning Greeting Face Care Set - €44.95

I love using some gorgeous skincare in the morning and feel and look refreshed and ready for the day ahead.  The Morning Greeting Face Care Set from Dr Hauschka has the Rose Day Cream, the Cleansing Cream and the Facial Toner, something I've been spritzing all over me like a good thing.  Dr Hauschka is a brand I reach for when I want to really treat my skin to gorgeous ingredients and in the past, I'd usually think of it when looking for gifts for my Mam, but over the last few years, that's changed and either I've copped on or I'm now I'm of that age.  Shut up you....!

Kinvara Glow Getter Gift Set - €67.90

I've loved Kinvara for years now and loved the new packaging that they brought out a while back.  It's so colourful!  The Glow Getter Gift Set contains two full sized products, one of which being the Elemental Exfoliating Powder, which sounds very intriguing altogether.  I stopped using physical exfoliants a while ago as they were too gritty on my skin and have been using chemical exfoliants instead, but an exfoliating powder that has vitamins and minerals in it sounds right up my street.  The other full sized product is the 24HR Rosehip Serum, one of my all time favourite serums ever which makes my skin feel plump and hydrated.  And you get a free Hyaluronic Youth Boost in the set as well which can be used on targeted areas to plump the skin.

La Roche-Posay Nutritic Christmas Gift Set - €24

Aimed at those with dry, sensitive skin, the Nutritic Gift Set is just deadly value.  I've used so many of La Roche-Posay's products over the years and they're a brand I recommend to people all the time if they're on a budget but they want products that will work.  Joanne is a big fan of the Nutritic range and this set has a micellar water, a thermal water and the Nutritic Moisturiser.  It's available in pharmacies nationwide along with lots of their other sets.

Vichy LiftActiv Christmas Gift Set - €37

Another solid skincare brand that's great value is Vichy and they've a whole heap of gift sets available this Christmas.  The LiftActiv Gift Set I was sent has the Purete Thermale 3 in 1 cleanser, but the sets I've seen online have a micellar water, so that's worth noting.  The rest of the products are the same with the LiftActiv Supreme Day Care and a smaller LiftActiv Supreme Night Care along with a Thermal Spa Water.  Like La Roche-Posay, Vichy is available in pharmacies nationwide.

ELEVEN Hydrate Trio - €40

For haircare lovers, check out ELEVEN and its four Christmas sets available this year.  I was sent the Hydrate Trio containing the Hydrate My Hair Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner which has silk amino acids and avocado oil to strengthen and hydrate hair.  And it also has the Miracle Hair Treatment which Joanne has her eye on because it promises to add shine, control frizz, moisturise, detangle, protect against heat and that's only some of the claims!  Watch our video below to see it in action!


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

CND Vinylux Night Moves Collection - photos, review!

It's about to get twinkle-tastic up in here with the CND Night Moves collection!  And despite the four shades not being part of the actual Christmas collection, they inspired me to get the twinkles and glitter out, any excuse wha?

For those who have retired the summer polishes, but aren't quite ready to go properly dark or bring out the mad glitter just yet, the Night Moves collection might be just what you're looking for.  Now for those new to the Vinylux polishes, these are long wearing polishes that give you a week long manicure when used with the accompanying top coat.  I've had my nails professionally done in the past with Vinylux polishes and have gotten up to the ten day mark with them.  Now doing the nails myself hasn't proved to be quite as successful but I can get a good 5-6 days without any chipping!

Bellini is a warm bronzey gold shade that looks different depending on the light.  It's beautiful and understated, with it being more of a shimmer than a true glitter and I'm in love with it.  I love shades like this that allow me to be a bit glitzy, but I can still rock this every day because it's not too mad looking.

Come December, I'm all about the red nails and Kiss of Fire is one of the most beautiful reds I've seen in a long time.  It's a bright red with tiny red glitter pieces running through it.  Again, the glitter is quite subtle rather than being in your face and in some lights, it looks like a regular red polish, but when the light catches it, then the glitter comes to life!

Next up is Soiree Strut which is a pale champagne/grey shade with a pearlised finish that's not quite metallic.  It's the cool, calm and collected polish of the bunch and makes me think of snow and ice.  It's beautiful and a good one for those who want a bit more of a muted shade this winter.

Finally we have the ice queen of the four in the form of After Hours which is a pure silver sparkly polish.  This one is calling out for the Kira Kira app I tell ya!  It's sparkly, it's bright, it's in your face and if you're fed up with gold glitter on the nails in the winter, this is a welcome addition.

The Night Moves polishes are in CND stockists now and you can find your local stockists on the CND website.  They're €11.99 and if you're ready to embrace all things winter, you know what to do!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Christmas at L'Occitane!

Every single year, I look forward to the Christmas collection from L'Occitane and this year, they haven't disappointed!  They've teamed up with the French fashion house Castelbajac to give a constellation inspired makeover to some of our favourite products and the designs spill over to the Christmas gift packaging too.  And that's one of my favourite thing about buying gifts for people (or myself) from L'Occitane - you don't have to wrap them up because they're so beautiful as they are.

Red, blue and yellow is the colour scheme with hints of gold and white and I love that everything is bright and colourful and makes me smile.

There are lots of gift sets in the collection to suit all budgets, from haircare to skincare, body care to fragrance and the men's fragrances are just stunning.  I remember a couple of years ago they sent me a couple of the products from the Cedrat Collection which I wished I'd been able to wear because it smelled so good!  I gave those bits to Will and then bought my brother Stephen a set for Christmas that year.  So don't forget the boys when you're doing a bit of shopping in L'Occitane this year!

L'Occitane have two advent calendars this year - the Luxury one that's €99 and worth €126 and the Classic one that's €59 but worth €99.  The classic has been one of my favourites to open for the last couple of years and there's always a good mix of products that I keep aside for when I'm going away. As I always explain when I'm chatting about advent calendars, they're a good way of trying a load of different products from a brand without having to commit to buying the full size.

Check out some of the products that have their new Castelbajac outfits!

That hand cream trio above is €25, is worth €33 and along with the three products, you get that cute tin that can hold your bits.

And see the decorations below?  They'd make the cutest stocking stuffer/secret Santa gift and are one step closer to me having my own beauty tree some day!  The yellow star is the Verbena Festive Bauble with three minis inside and if you're a fan of lemon scented products, you'll love it.  It's €12, as is the rest of the baubles below.  The blue star is the Shea Butter Festive Bauble and that has three mini shea products, perfect for winter skincare!

The white bauble is the Almond Festival Bauble €12 which has three almond products inside and there's a red bauble too that houses some Cherry Blossom products.

Along with beauty baubles, they have two beauty crackers which are €10 each or three for €28.  The red cracker has two cherry blossom products inside and the blue one has two lavender products inside.  They'd make a gorgeous addition to the table if you were having the girls over!

But make sure to check out the gift sets as there are some great bargains to be had!

The Christmas collection is in stores and online now, so whether you're treating yourself, or someone else, you won't come away empty handed!
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