Wednesday, June 20, 2018

No7 Serum Boost Sheet Masks! AD

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with No7

Hands up who's a busy bridie these days?  I feel like I don't know where the last six months have gone and can't believe we're halfway through the year already!  With having gone freelance at the start of the year, I feel like life is crazier than ever, and yet I'm loving it.  I work more than I did when I had a full time job and did all of this outside of it, but in recent months, I noticed that I've less of a work/life balance.

Over the last few weeks though, I've made a concerted effort to switch off more and to give myself boundaries.  I try to unplug from social media by 9.30, I turn off my emails and have some proper me time.  It's easier said than done!  But I'm trying, and spending less time scrolling aimlessly through social media is most definitely good for the mental health.

In the last couple of weeks, I've had the best excuse to have some me time thanks to No7 and their new Serum Boost Sheet Masks!  And if you're someone who can forget to unwind, having something physical like this is a good reminder.

Now, No7's Serum Boost Sheet Masks are brilliant on three counts.  They're actually brilliant on more, but these are my favourite bits.

1. They've a week's worth of serum in each masks, so if you're someone who isn't consistent with your skincare routine, this does the work for you (and you get to relax for 15 minutes...).
2. They promise results in just two weeks (and you get to relax for 15 minutes...).
3. They have hooks so you can attach them to your face and it'll stay put as you go about your business (and you get to relax for 15 minutes or multitask if you're incapable of relaxing!)

Each mask comes in packs of four and depending on your skincare goals, you have a choice of which set to pick up.

The No7 Lift & Luminate Triple Action Serum Boost Sheet Mask (€33/pack of 4) is powered by Matrixyl 3000 Plus, No7's most effective anti-wrinkle technology, alongside an advanced firming complex containing hyaluronic acid and hibiscus, not to mention the unique brightening complex containing vitamin C, all working away on your skin while you're taking it easy.

The No7 Restore & Renew Face & Neck Multi Action Serum Boost Sheet Mask (€34/pack of 4) is my favourite of the three and is the one I've been trialling first.  How many times have you applied a sheet mask and squeezed out the extra serum to work into your neck?  This one fits over the face and neck, making life a bit easier!  It's packed full of No7's anti-wrinkle technology, the brightening complex along with calcium and amino acids and after two uses, the face and neck feels firmer (my chins agree), skin tone is even and skin texture is visibly improved.  And what I love about this is that after I've removed it, my skin drinks up the rest of the serum quickly leaving no residue.

Finally we have the No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Boost Sheet Mask (€32/ pack of 4) which again has the Matrixyl 3000 Plus technology along with hyaluronic acid which you probably know helps hydrate and re-plump the skin.  As I'm withered a lot of the time, I love anything that has HA in it.  It promises a visible reduction in the appearance of lines with the skin looking overall younger.  This is next on the list of masks to try.

Now it's time for Karen's Tips That You Can Choose Whether To Follow Or Not But You Really Should Because I Know What I'm Talking About.

1. This summer has been a hot one so far, so if you want to soothe your skin, give yourself a little wakeup call, or if you're just feeling a bit fruity, then put the masks in the fridge and let them cool you down while looking after your skin.

2. If you're going on holidays, you can bring them in place of your serum, freeing up valuable space and can pack them in your carry on too.  I dare you to wear it on the plane and scare the flight attendants.  Do it.  Take a selfie and send it to me and I will love you forever.

3. The hooks.  THE HOOKS!  They're brilliant because they attach the mask to your face and if putting your feet up isn't your thing, you can still have those 15 minutes to yourself and do something else.  It might be reading a magazine or a book, doing a bit of gardening (maybe do it out the back garden so as not to scare your neighbours).

4. When you remove the mask, I like to rub it over the backs of my hands and then pat whatever essence is left on my face into my skin.  I usually apply them in the evenings, so after removing them, I continue with my night time skincare routine (minus the serum) and go about my business.

Basically these are a way to pack your skin full of potent skincare, while taking 15 minutes to yourself a week, whittling down your skincare routine for the rest of the week, and walking away with results after two weeks.

I've listed the RRP for each pack above, but they're on introductory offer until July 3rd when you can get €6.50 off each pack, so no excuse not to stock up!  They're available exclusively in Boots Ireland and on    I've loved using them so far and will be making my way through the rest of the masks over the summer.

Will you be trying them?

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Clarins Water Lip Stains review, photos, swatches!

If you're going on holidays this summer, actually, even if you're not, you're going to want to check out the new Clarins Water Lip Stains.  They've just launched, are €21, and are perfect for the warmer months!

I was sent the four shades to play with and as well as being super cute to photograph, they're bloody brilliant!  If you're someone who likes the no makeup makeup look, a sheer layer will do the trick, if you want something budge proof, look no further and if you want something that doesn't have any upkeep, keep on reading.

I had the swatches on the back of my hand for a maximum of 90 seconds and they stayed put for ages!   Right to left we have Rose Water, Orange Water, Red Water and Violet Water.  In the photos below, I applied two thin coats, FYI.  I wanted you to be able to distinguish the shades, but note that a lighter layer will give a lighter finish and a thicker layer... you get the jist!

The very first time I tried these out, I used Orange Water and I didn't remove some of the product from the brush, so was left with a killer orange lip as a really thick opaque coat went on.  It never occurred to me to wipe the brush off the side, but I loved it!  For these photos though, I made sure not to make a mess and applied two thin coats.  Obviously one coat will give a sheer finish, but you can build them up easily and that's what I love about them.  You can keep them in your handbag, apply a light layer for work and if you're heading out afterwards, apply a couple of layers and boom, job done!

Once they dry, they set, but it feels like you've nothing on your lips.  They don't dry out my lips, but for times where I want a bit of slip, I apply one of the Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors or a lip balm over the top.  These don't transfer and really are budge proof.  I get about 3 hours with them before I see them starting to fade and I haven't had any issues with them bleeding past the lip line.

Want to see them in action?

Rose Water is a light pink that would make a really lovely spring shade.  I don't usually go for pinks, but this one has just enough duskiness to it to stop it from being too bright or too bubblegum.  Totally wearable.

I love an orange lip in the summer and Orange Water is a whopper shade!  It doesn't make my teeth look yellow which is tres important and it goes on evenly, which they all do to be fair.

Now Red Water is a red I can get on board with because I don't have to worry about it moving, transferring to my teeth or up my face (it's been known to happen, shut up).

Violet Water is almost a dark pinky plum on me, not quite violet and I love it!  It's one I'll get lots of wear out of in the autumn when lips get darker.

These contain aloe vera extract which helps prevent lips from drying along with organic raspberry water which helps soften the lips.  I've tried stains in the past which have been grand, nothing special, but these are the best ones I've tried to date.  My lips have been in great condition recently, so I don't know if these would cling to dry patches, but if I have an issue with that in the future, I'll be sure to let you know.

Go on the Clarins ye little beaut!  Will you be trying these?  Let me know which shade speaks to you!
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