Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekly Vlog #5 - The Aussie Blog Awards!

So this day last week started like any other regular Monday.  We went to work, same old same old and that evening headed to the Aussie Blog Awards for the craic.  Little did we know that a few hours later, Lovely Girlie Bits would be crowned Most Aussome Beauty Blog and overall Most Aussome Blog that came with a trip to Australia!  I know... We're the luckiest bridies in the world!

So if you want to see what happened at the ceremony, watch us cry, watch us vlog in the toilets (again) then watch the video and enjoy!  And I've got beauty videos coming very soon.  I've missed doing them, so make sure you subscribe to our channel here so you don't miss anything.  Good child.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Slimming World Sunday - tips for new members

Recently, a good few people I know have started doing Slimming World and this warms the cockles of my heart.  As you know, I've had some great success with it so far and while I've a long way to go, I'm still enjoying it every day.  Two of my bloggy internet friends Sharon and Lee inspired me to write this little post and while I might be repeating some steps from previous posts, these are the tips that I tell everyone about when I'm explaining everything, so I thought it'd be worth repeating!

1.  Make a meal plan.
It can be as detailed or as vague as you like.  Having a meal plan means you'll have a shopping list and will only buy what you need.  This saves money and you'll need cash to buy new clothes as your current ones will be too big soon!

2. Download the app.
This is a great thing to have on hand when you're in the shops and it means you can make more informed decisions about what you're going to buy rather than buy something and just say "ah feck it" before scoffing it down.  Knowledge is power my friends, especially when you're trying to stick to plan.

3. Write everything down.
It's like the food equivalent of a financial statement in that if you want to see where your syns are going, then write it.  If you bite it, you write it.  And starting out, doing this is important because your head will be melted for the first couple of weeks getting everything organised in your noggin.

4. Make sure you're getting enough super free foods.
Let's be realistic.  You're not going to get super free on every plate.  So I make sure to have some fruit after my meal to help make sure I'm keeping up.

5. Drink lots of water.
I usually drink about 2 litres a day and find that when I drink less, I tend to get a little clogged up *ahem*.

6. Slimming World-ify your favourite meals.
I love dishes like cottage pie, lasagna and chicken curry and so rather than let myself get overwhelmed with having to make lots of new dishes, I like to take my favourites and adapt them so they're Slimming World friendly.

7. Take photos.
With the blog, I've eleven million photos of myself reviewing products and the same goes for YouTube videos.  I'm so glad I have all of these because when I look at myself in the mirror every day, it's hard to see changes, but when I look at photos of myself now beside photos from this time last year, the difference is insane.  So take photos, even of your face and just watch what happens each month1

8. If you have a bad day, draw a line under it and move on.
We're only human and yes, there are times where we're going to say feck it, and eat that slice of cake and you know what, enjoy it.  No good can come from eating it and feeling guilty afterwards.  If I end up getting something tasty at the end of a meal, I savour it and just go back to eating on plan the following day.

9. Take your time.
For me, Slimming World is a lifestyle change and anyone who has met me in real life will have heard me say this over and over and over!  So I'm in no rush to lose it and I know I'm making healthier choices every day.  I'm not as tired as I used to be and yes, my clothes are too big for me but I'm not quite ready to buy more yet.  Maybe when the next stone is gone!

10. Batch cook.
This is a good one because sometimes life will be busy and you won't have time to cook dinner when you get home.  So I like to make a big batch of the super speed soup or mushy pea curry and divide it into portions to freeze for days where I'm running out the door again for a meeting.  Those Uncle Ben packets of rice that you plop in the microwave for 2 minutes are so handy to have with the mushy pea curry.  Quick and easy!

So it's your turn!  For Slimming World veterans, I'd love to hear your top tips because we need all the help we can get!  And for anyone new to the plan, do you have any questions that we can help you with?  Let's help each other out!


Friday, June 27, 2014

Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourishing Oil review

If I was going on holidays this year, the Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourishing Oil would be coming with me.

As a big oil lover, I'm always lashing it on whether it be into my hair, onto my face, my body or my nails.  Now show me an oil that smells amazing and this makes for a very happy Karen.  A very happy Karen who smells delicious and has a grand glow about her limbs.

The Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourishing Oil nestles itself nicely within the rest of the Fleur de Figuier collection and if you're a fan of layering products, then you'll be sorted because the range includes a shower cream, body lotion and the much loved Eau Fraiche.  That's body spray to you and me.  And check out the little travel sized version of the Eau Fraiche.  For those of us not going on holidays this year, it's a great size for the aul handbag.

But back to the Nourishing Oil.  It has a fresh, fruity scent that's slightly deeper and muskier than the Eau Fraiche which makes layering easier because they compliment each other.  I love using it on my arms and legs, not that I get my legs out too much.  I think come next summer when I'll definitely be at my target weight, the legs will be on show all the time, but for now, they just get to smell nice and be nourished under my pyjama bottoms!

The quick absorbing formula is enriched with 10 plant oils which all work together to do things like soothe, bring suppleness and elasticity to the skin, while both nourishing and moisturising the skin, all the while making you smell gorgeous.

When I use it on my arms, a few things happen.  I find myself nuzzling my arm as I enjoy the scent and speaking of arms, they seem to take on a J Lo glow which I happily accept.  I know that's as close to looking like her, so happy days.  A quick note that I always mention when using oils on the body is to spray it wherever you want it to go, like arms, legs, body and then do the rubbing in.  I find that if I spray one part of me and then rub it in, I can't grip the bottle to spray the next bit and all hell breaks loose as I begin to panic that I won't look or smell like J Lo.   Also, applying it to damp skin rather than dry seems to help it absorb quicker.

It can also be used on the hair and for oily scalped ladies like myself, keep it to the lengths of the hair, not the roots, or you'll have to make yourself look like J Lo when she scrapes her hair into a sleek, oily bun.  You'll think you look like her, but you won't.  You'll be more Vicky Pollard.

Imagine you're on holidays and you've had a day in the sun, didn't get burned and are heading for a nice meal and drinks, happy that everyone else is slaving away at work at home.  Imagine applying this all over your skin and hair before heading out and leaving this wonderful scented trail behind you as you have your sangria sitting outside...  This is now giving me all the holiday feels...

I've been very careful with this bottle and have made sure I kept an eye the lid as I know I'll be bringing it away with me next year and I'm a notorious lid loser which means I can never travel with products!

€26.95 is the damage and it's a fabulous multifunctional product which helps the justification when making purchases.  It's a perfect for summer treat for yourself whether you're heading off or staying here in Ireland.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Bourjois Cream Blush Sun - Shades 05 Pink Sunwear & 06 Tropical Coral, review & photos

Last summer, I fell in love with the Bourjois Cream to Powder blushes and now that it's summer again, my love for them has been reignited.  I love the finish that they leave on my skin and as the weather gets hotter, so does my face and these stay put all day.  Nobody likes their blush to slide down their faces to become a blushy beard.

So when I heard Bourjois had brought out two new summer shades this year, I bought them without hesitation and without swatching.  I know.  That's faith there.  George Michael would have been proud with that faith.  There are two Cream Blush Sun blushes, shade 05, Pink Sunwear and shade 06, Tropical Coral.  You know me and my corals.

These guys contain the same cream to blush formula as last year's releases and like the other 4 blushes, are a dream to work with and really are foolproof.  I like using a synthetic brush to apply and blend them out and if you're on the go, using your fingers is also a grand option.  Especially if you like to carry a lot of products around with you like moi.

 Bourjois Cream Blush Sun - Shade 05 - Pink Sunwear
Pink Sunwear is a hard one to describe.  It's a light brown shade with slight pink undertones to it and very light shimmer running through it that gives the most gorgeous glow to the skin once you blend it out.  It's subtle, warms up the skin nicely and catches the light beautifully.  For pale bridies, this is a bronzer/blush that will give you a really natural sun kissed look.  Lurve it.

Bourjois Cream Blush Sun - Shade 05 - Pink Sunwear
Tropical Coral looks psychedelic in the pot but I do love a bright blush so I do.  It's warmer than Pink Sunwear and leans more terracotta than coral, but it's stunning on with a tan lads.   It warms up my visage nicely and this teamed with some bronze eyeshadow and I'm good to go.

Bourjois Cream Blush Sun - Shade 06 - Tropical Coral
Bourjois Cream Blush Sun - Shade 06 - Tropical Coral
Products like these are great for travelling because they're small, you don't need a brush and are a 2 in 1 cheek product and are well worth the €10.49 price tag.  It's why I have 6 in my stash and the more they bring out, the more I'll buy.

A summer must have in my book folks!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

OMG! We won Most Aussome Beauty Blog & Most Aussome Blog in the Aussie Blog Awards!

Oh lads....  I'm too old for excitement like this!  Let me set the scene.  I hadn't seen Joanne properly since her honeymoon, so our plan for the night was to pop along to the Aussie Blog Awards, have the chats with everyone and wait to see who won the awards before heading home for a grand Chinese takeaway.

We had some prosecco, had the chats and then it was awards time.  I was filming the whole thing like ya do and you'll see the whole thing in our next vlog.  You'll see Michelle from giving an amazing speech and I said it to Joanne afterwards that Michelle just gets it.  She gets that most of us work full time in other jobs, that we blog as a hobby when we come home from work and understands the time and effort that goes into it.  You'll see Michelle announce Lovely Girlie Bits as Most Aussome Beauty Blog and you'll see me crying because I was just so shocked and overwhelmed by the whole thing!  We had some fierce competition, hence why I didn't even tell mam we'd been shortlisted and she went mad when her friend in Portugal told her the good news, and why I didn't even say it to any of the girls at work that we were going because I didn't think we'd a baldy chance of winning!  I was happy enough to pack on a bit of makeup, burn my hand twice trying to curl my hair and wear a top from Asda.  I'm all glamour me!

You'll then see Michelle announce Lovely Girlie Bits as Most Aussome Blog and we won a trip to Australia!  Even typing that doesn't make it feel real and I feel like the whole night was a dream.  I've no idea how I managed to drive home because I was in a daze and hopefully by the time you're reading this I'll be able to form proper sentences!  And yes, I cried again in front of everyone!  I also shed a few tears reading everyone's tweets, emails, messages on Facebook and Instagram and you've no idea how much it meant to read everyone's well wishes.  You're all little stars and made the night even better if that was possible.

Thank you so much to everyone who nominated us in the first place and thanks to Burrell PR, and Aussie for seriously making our night.  We're already trying to figure out where we want to go in Australia, and you can bet we'll be vlogging everything because wherever we go, you get to come with us!

Thanks to those who've been here since the start of Lovely Girlie Bits 4 years ago and hi to all the new readers.  Now the pressure is on to continue being an Aussome Beauty Blog!  It's a good thing I love it so much eh?!


5 under €5 - #3

I'm back with more beauty bargains today folks!  It's the week before payday and I know we're all feeling the pinch now more than ever, so I thought it was high time for another instalment of 5 under €5.  I love a bargain and I love products that work.  Combine these two and I'm happy out!

So let's get crackalackin shall we?

Aldi Cotton Pads - €1.49/pack of 200

I know this isn't the most glamorous product to start off with but these cotton wool pads are the absolute business!  I use them every single night to take off my eye makeup with and they're so gentle yet effective.  One side is textured and one is smooth so you can be as rough or as light as you want with them.  They don't disintegrate in your hands (Penney's cotton pads, I'm looking at you), and at €1.49 for this double pack, you can't get any better than that.  I've been buying them for ages now and won't ever need to switch to any other variations!

Cutex Moisture Guard Nail Polish Remover - €2.60

I'm obsessed with all of the Cutex nail polish removers to be honest and have a couple on the go at all time, so this photo could have been of any of them.  Not only do they do the job effectively, but they don't dry out my nails and as someone with weak nails at the best of times, this is important for moi.  At €2.60, I don't mind lashing my way through a bottle and have been repurchasing them for years now.  Combine it with the cotton pads above and I've got bare nails in seconds!

NYC Jumbo Lip Pencils - €4.99

You can see swatches of these Jumbo Lip Pencils from NYX on my overview blog post, but let me just tell you that I love these guys!  They're creamy, pigmented, easy to work with and I predict that I'll be collecting these over the coming months.  Because they're so creamy, especially Plush Red, I wouldn't go applying them willy nilly without a mirror otherwise you'll end up like The Joker, but the formula is so moisturising and at €4.99, they're a complete bargain!  I know it's a hard brand to locate at the moment in Ireland, but hang tough lads because it's worth it!

Aldi Lacura suncare - €3.49 - €4.99

We've been having something of a heatwave in Ireland over the past few weeks.  Probably because the Leaving Cert has been going on but hey, it happens every year and we have to make the most of it while it lasts!  For those of us (me) on a budget, Aldi have launched a new range of sun care that means there's no excuse not to take care of your skin in the sun!  These 3 products are only a selection from the range and I'm loving that they've got SPF 30 and 50, and have the highest level of UBA protection.  So our skin won't have to worry about burning or ageing.  I've used these guys during our nice weather and they worked great.  No burning, no stickiness and they absorb quickly into my skin.  If I was going away, I'd definitely stock up on them and because they're so cheap, it means more money for sangria and tapas!

NYC New York Color - In a New York Minute nail polish - €1.59

You can't get much in life for €1.59, but bargainistas like me will love the fact that we can get 3 polishes for under €5!  Budget brand NYC have some summer friendly shades for our nails this year and of course when having a peruse of a stand recently, I had to buy Peach Popsicles and Rooftop Party Berry, two of their new shades because they called to me.  The In a New York Minute range perform as well as higher end brands on my nails and I'd say I have most of the colours at this stage.  I just wish they'd bring out more!

And that concludes this week's 5 under €5!  And people wonder why I've a massive stash of beauty products.... It's not my fault!  There are just some great affordable things to be had out there!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Weekly vlog #4 - Space NK launch!

So Thursday was the day we'd all been waiting for.  And when I say we, I mean every beauty and makeup lover in Ireland!  I went to the launch party with my good friend Mags and bumped into fellow beauty bloggers Stephanie, Alex, Emma, Aundrea, Kat and Leonard and met Mark, one of the sales assistants in Space NK who watches our videos!

As you'll see in the video, I was so excited to see the shop finally finished and completely overwhelmed with the amount of brands and products packed into that one gorgeous place!  It was loud in there, so apologies for the shouting and general excitement, but it's here lads, it's here!  And they have a loyalty card FYI.

I was so excited to see brands that I've wanted to try for ages, like Oskia, Sunday Riley, Sarah Chapman and Oribe to name but a few and I mean that.  I spent the whole time going "Ooh what's that", "Ooh look" and just plain "Ooooooooooh".  I guarantee I'll be spending a lot of time and money in there in the foreseeable future and I can't wait to go back!  But for now, sit back and watch beauty lovers doing what they do best - oohing and aahing over products and enabling each other.  Best evening ever!

Have you popped in yet?  What's on your wish list?

Friday, June 20, 2014

By Terry Ombre Blackstar - Misty Rock review, photos, swatches

If you've watched this vlog where Orla and I went shopping and managed to mess it up then you'll know what happened when I wanted to buy the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock.  I mean beauty shopping is one of our best skills in life!  How did we make such a hames of it?!

Let me set the scene.  I'd been wanting one of the By Terry Ombre Blackstars for ages and as I'm rarely in Dundrum, I'm rarely in Space NK.  This has all changed now though folks because Space NK has opened on Grafton Street!  I know.  Any time I've walked by it I've taken a photo of it's progress and I'm so happy it's finally open for me to really sink into new levels of brokedom.

Back to the By Terry Ombre Blackstar though.  Because these are spendy, €30 to be exact, it wasn't the time for me to be all brave and pick something mad.  No.  I knew I'd either be buying Misty Rock or Perfect Brown.  And it was Misty Rock for the win because I figured it'd go with my eyeballs more.

Misty Rock is one of those shades that looks different depending on the light and sometimes it leans more purple and taupe, other times it's more bronze with a pink undertone to it, but either way, it's a shade that's super wearable and ever since the gorgeous Mags picked it up for me when she was in Dundrum, I haven't stopped wearing it.  But not for the reason you think!

Now, literally every review I've read has said that it doesn't budge once it sets, and that's 100% true.  I can rub over swatches on my hand with a lot of pressure and nowt happens.  And each and every review says that it doesn't crease.  Em.  I must have the oiliest eyelids in the history of life because I can't get it not to crease on me.  I've tried applying a thick layer all over the lid with and without primer and we get creasing.  The same goes for a wash of colour all over the lid.  Crease central.  And because it seems to be creasing before it sets, when I try to blend it back into the socket with my finger it doesn't budge!

Colour wise, it's gorgeous and works beautifully with my green eyes but it's a shade that would work on pretty much all eye colours due to it's ability to change colour before your every eyes.  Well, on your very eyes at least.  I've decided that I love it the best when it's blended out all over my eyelids and will continue to use it purely because it's fancy schmancy and cost me €30.

Is it worth the cashola?  Well, if you usually don't have issues with creasing, then you should be ok and as I said, once it sets, it sets good and hard.  And up until Monday, I was ready to ignore the big issue and shell out another €30 for a second shade.  But what I told you I've found something that is a near perfect dupe?   Something that looks, feels and performs nearly identically to Misty Rock?  Stay tuned for the big reveal next week!

By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock, you're gorgeous and I love using you, but why are you creasing on me?  Whyyyyyy?!  We could have been perfect together and now you've made me feel crap at life just like Chanel's Perfection Lumiere Velvet in that you work perfectly on everyone else except for moi!

Have you tried any of the Ombre Blackstars yet?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

New from Lush for summer 2014!

When a box of Lush goodies arrived at my house recently, I purposely left it wide open in the living room for a good 3 days so that I could enjoy the smell of everything each evening.  I know, it sounds weird, but I really do enjoy beauty products more than I should and they really should come out with a potpourri or something so that I can enjoy Lushy scents all the time.

This is what arrived but we have to have a little moment for the amazingly-named-but-broke-on-the-journey bath bomb "Granny Takes A Dip (€3.95)". 

RIP Granny bath bomb, you still smell amazing and I shall plop all of your broken bits into a bath very soon because despite being smashed, you still smell amazing.  It's got a spicy, citrusy scent thanks to ginger, pepper and lemon and will leave your bath all multicoloured so not only will it lift your mood with the scents, but it'll give your eyeballs a work out too.

Mangnificent soap (€5.25/100g) & Parsley Porridge soap (€5.25/100g)

For mornings where you need a bit of help waking up, the Mangnificent soap will give you that pep in your step thanks to it's blend of dried and fresh mango along with Tunisian neroli oil (you know I'm obsessed with all things neroli in the summer!) and fresh Sicilian lemon and mandarin oils.  When using this, you'll most likely be singing Wham's Wake Me Up Before You Go Go because that's what this soap does.

For those with oily acne prone skin, the Parsley Porridge Soap has thyme and tea tree oil which helps get rid of bacteria on the skin and also has porridge oats which gives the skin a deep clean by lifting dry and dead skin.

Zest hair gelly (€14.25/100g)

The Zest hair gelly smells good enough to eat, but try to resist slathering it on your toast.  The fragrance contains wild orange oil from the fruit, pettigrain oil from the twigs of the orange tree and neroli oil from the flowers of the orange tree, making it orange-tastic!  There also carrageenan extract too to help create texture.  I'm going to give this to someone who does stuff to their hair other than blowdrying it like me and see how they get on with it.

D'Fluff Strawberry Shaving Soap (€6.70/100g)

As our legs will be on show more now that it's summer, the razors will be working full time and this shaving soap, D'Fluff, will de-fluff your legs in minutes.  It smells sweet and fruity and not only contains fresh strawberries, but also has Fair Trade Cocoa Butter and coconut oil that leaves your legs feeling smooth and soft after using it.  A little goes a long way with this and I'm even contemplating getting my legs out a little bit more thanks to it!  Oh and it can be used on men's faces so there's another reason to buy it.  Sharing is caring and all that!

African Paradise body conditioner (€24.95/245g)

I was so excited to give one of Lush's body conditioners a go and the newest one, African Paradise has a soft, subtle scent that doesn't interfere with any perfume I'm wearing that day.  But it's all about how it makes your skin feel with this baby and for those who are new to body conditioners, you use them in the shower, like you would a hair conditioner.  The idea is you wash your body with your usual shower gel or soap before applying a layer of this all over your skin before rinsing it off lightly.  I then like to pat my skin dry with a towel without being too forceful and what I'm left with is super soft, nourished skin and I didn't have to stand there for ages waiting for a body lotion or body butter to sink in!

It contains Fair Trade shea butter which softens the skin and moringa oil to brighten the skin.  As we're in to summer now and we're hopefully out in the sun more, having something like this with cooling aloe vera in it means that we can take extra care of our skin from the comfort of our shower.  We condition our hair all the time, so why not condition our body?  Despite the rich ingredients in it, African Paradise doesn't leave the skin feeling greasy and is a definite winner here at Girlie Towers.

All of these are available in stores now, so if you're looking for some new lovely Lush products, get your behind into your nearest shop and get sniffing, trying and buying.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Zara statement necklace

I had to.... I couldn't not.... While killing time between meetings on Tuesday, I found myself in Zara like you do.  I always visit the necklaces and scarves just because and it's been a while since I've seen a necklace that made me stop in my tracks like this one.

It stood out like a dirty big shiny diamond and as I stood there wondering what to do, I did what any normal person would do - I took a photo of it and plonked it up on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what everyone thought of it.  I went off to my meeting, victorious in my sheer restraint at having not bought it.  Yet...  I went home and kept thinking about it and when heading back into town that evening, I knew I'd have to get it.  I needed it.  Sure don't we have the awards coming up followed by the L'Oreal Colour Trophy Awards?  Yes.  Now I have to plan the outfits around this because no matter what I wear, it'll be the star of the show.

It's weighty, it's sparkletastic and it's a statement necklace alright and the statement is:

I can't wait to wear it and if you're in the market for something blingtastic, then here's where you can get it.  If I look halfway decent when I wear it outside of the house, I'll do an outfit of the evening post and show it in action!  Best €29.99 I've spent in ages!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chanel Mirabella inspired nail tutorial ft Rimmel & Sally Hansen

If you're a beauty lover, you'll be with me when I say that there's nothing better than going on to YouTube and seeing that Lisa Eldridge has uploaded a new video either on her channel or Chanel's channel.  So it was no surprise than when I saw this video the other day where Lisa was showing some of Chanel's Summer 2014 products in action, after I decided I needed all of the things, I also found myself pausing on her manicure.  Stop the video at 2 minutes in and you'll see what I mean.

She's sporting a reverse french tip manicure where the white is at the base of the nail instead of at the tip and I love it.  Chic, summery and different.  I wanted to try it myself and immediately knew I'd be using a Sally Hansen polish for the orange part because their brushes make it so easy to create that rounded edge at the base of the nails.

Ok, what do we need?  Well, we need a white polish to go on as the base.  I chose the shade White Hot Love from Rimmel's Rita Ora collection and for the orange, I picked Sally Hansen's Fiery Island which is a stronger orange compared to Chanel's Mirabella but I wanted something that would only need one coat because I'm lazy and knew I'd be applying 2-3 coats of the white shade.

I applied 2 coats of White Hot Love and decided it wasn't opaque enough, so ended up with a third coat giving me this Tippex white nail which I really rather enjoyed by itself.  But we had work to do!

Using a steady hand and holding my breath until I had to stop for a few minutes due to dizziness, I applied 1 coat of Fiery Island to each nail, fighting the urge the whole time to completely cover the nails completely.  I'm obsessed with this shade and it's a summer staple for me.  Trying my best to keep things as even as possible, I left a little bit of white at the base of each nail and voila!  I know the edges aren't even, but sure that's life and if I wanted to be really careful, I could have used the little french tip stickers to give me an even edge, but I wanted to freestyle it and am pretty happy with the results!

A little tip I learned when doing these nails are to start further away from the base of the nail than you think you need to when it comes to applying the orange polish.  You can slowly make your way up closer with each stroke and yes, as I typed that I realised how rude it sounded...

I think the Chanel gods were looking down on me when I was doing this because I managed to spill lots of the orange shade all over my carpet when I went to pick up the bottle, forgetting I'd not closed it.  I know.  Sorry Chanel, but girlfriend doesn't have €40 to spend on the white shade and orange shade and try as you might to make me ruin the only nice carpet in my house, I learned that hairspray gets rid of nail polish from carpet.  In your face Chanel.  In. Your.  Face.

I'm loving this reverse french tip manicure and am loving that I managed to save some money in the meantime!  Will you be giving this a go yourself?  Protect your carpets if you do... Chanel sees everything...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekly vlog #3 - Arnotts fashion show, L'Oreal fun and manly fragrances!

Some day I'm going to start a vlog saying something other than "Sorry about the state of me!"  I know... But this is moi!  I don't always wear makeup and sure if you met me in town on a Saturday, I'd most likely be sans makeup and then you would be scared.  So essentially I'm preparing you for possible torment by appearing in the vlogs naked faced!

Anyway, last Tuesday I had a great bloggy day and decided to bring you with me again.  I'm back on a schedule now with the vlogs and though this one is #3, the week of the wedding was broken up into 3 parts, so make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to see them.

I went to the Arnotts Autumn/Winter 2014 fashion show where I felt like the least fashiony person there but still thoroughly enjoyed it!  Then I went to see what's new from L'Oreal, learned I had lock jaw from Michaella Bolder who also squashed the face off me.  I did a bit of shopping before seeing what new men's fragrances are out at the moment and all in all, had a fantastic day!

I know the channel has been vlog central recently, but I've got lots of beauty videos coming and some other things in the works too, so stay tuned for more Lovely Girlie Bits on the YouTubes!

Nima Brush - The Elite Collection review!

It's very rare that a product will make me break one of my strictest blogging rules - "Thou shalt not use sommat until photographed from every angle first," but these Nima brushes did something to me and I couldn't wait.  And you know what?  It was worth breaking my rule because I'm in love.

Ok, so Nima Brush is the brainchild of Niamh Martin, Irish makeup artist who genuinely has me talking to her eyelids anytime I meet her because her eye makeup is always flawless.

She has a huge collection of brushes on her website and has some new ones coming soon, but today I'm reviewing four from the Elite Collection.  The collection that has the white handles...  And rose gold ferrules...  Can you tell I love the design?

Synthetic Crease Blender €12.00

The Synthetic Crease Blender is one of those Goldilocks fluffy blending brushes in that it's soft enough to blend away any harsh edges, dense enough to apply product to the crease and hard enough to apply cream products all over the eyes.  It's not a bit scratchy and as I've gotten back in to using my cream eyeshadows and liners again, this has been a welcome addition to my stash because it blends everything effortlessly.

Flat Head Kabuki €18.00

Back in the day, a flat head kabuki was the only thing I used to apply foundation because there were no such things as buffing brushes and the like.  Nowadays I use this brush to either apply cream blush because it gives a flawless finish and works the product into the skin, or to apply my contour.  Contour you say?  I say yes.  I'll be showing it to you in an upcoming post, but essentially, I dip the very top of the brush at the side into whatever bronzer I'm using that day and use it to chisel some much needed cheekbones.  You'll see what I mean and I'll link that post here when it's live.

Duo Fibre Large €18.00

This large duo fibre brush appears to have made best friends with my Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush and I've been using them together all the time recently.  This one is so soft that as I'm sitting here typing, I'm also stopping every few minutes to stroke my face with this.  Duo fibre brushes are great for applying light layers of foundation and Joanne loves them because as someone with dry skin that flakes sometimes, a gentle brush like this won't mess with her skin too much.  She's not getting this one.  Soz Joanne.

Round Head Kabuki €18.00

Now, I've saved the best for last.  If you know anything about me, you know that I loved the Real Techniques Buffing Brush for applying my foundation and even bought a back up.  You'll also see that I used the past tense in that last sentence.  The Nima Brush Round Head Kabuki is now my official favourite foundation brush of all time.  I know.  We're talking Holy Grail status.  I KNOW!  I'll do a blog post comparing the two if anyone's interested, but essentially, the brush hairs on the Nima Round Head Kabuki are longer and there seems to be more hairs too.  Because they're longer, there's more movement when it comes to blending in my foundation and it just does the work for me. That's a good thing in the morning when I'm running around trying to get ready.

It can also be used to apply cream products and again, it buffs everything it touches into my skin beautifully with no streaks and is essentially a joy to use.

I'll let you know now that these all wash well, I haven't lost one hair on them yet and perform so well, making things easy for cack handed me!  Do yourself a favour and visit the Nima Brush website to pick up some of these beauts.  You won't regret it and you'll be supporting Irish too!

Have you tried any brushes from Nima?  What do I need to try next?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Slimming World Sunday - back in the saddle again

In the two weeks leading up to the wedding, I didn't go to my Slimming World meetings and you know what, I could feel the change in how I thought about food.  I started sneaking little treats in here and there, but in saying that, I was still conscious of what decisions I was making, just not at the level I'd usually be at, but hey it was wedding time!

So on the Monday after the wedding, I hoofed myself back to class, filled with the dread and it was like I was going for my first ever weigh in!  It brought me back to that day where I knew I just had to bite the bullet, stand on the scales and know I'd never be that weight again.  I think it takes a lot of courage to jump up on a set of scales in front of a stranger and get weighed and so on I got, I held my breath and hoped for the best.  I was only up 1.5lbs which I was over the moon about and expected to be up at least 3 or 4 lbs!

I'm so glad I went back after the little break because it gave me renewed motivation to keep going and I knew it would be easy enough to get that 1.5lbs back off, which it was.  Another little milestone was reached yesterday morning too which I tweeted about in my excitement.  I was going to have a treat for breakfast like a muffin or something bad for me, and went to weigh myself and saw that I went down into the next stone!  This was huge for me because I'm now around the weight I thought I was when I first started Slimming World!

This is one of those rambly posts lads and I'll be back with more themed posts over the coming weeks.  We've lots of ideas to help keep you and us motivated through the summer months.  I just wanted to tell you that if you're thinking about starting Slimming World or any other diet plan, the hardest thing is starting.  Going to that first ever meeting or after a bit of a break is tough going, but you just have to grin and bear it and keep with the mantra "Onwards and downwards"!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Joanne's bridal nails & affordable options from Sally Hansen, Essie, NYC & Nails Inc

Despite having more nail polish that sense, I was too scared to be in charge of Joanne's nails for her wedding day.  I'm not the neatest when it comes to applying my own polish and I wanted everything to be perfect for her on the day, so two days before she got married, we went to The Beauty Parlour in Terenure where the fantastic Pamela Laird took care of all things nails.  You can see her in action in a recent vlog working her magic.

Once Joanne explained what she was looking for, Pamela spent a few minutes going through her stash and suggested a few shades before applying different colours on each nail so we could see what they were like on.  Joanne ended up with this insanely beautiful, delicate manicure that she was over the moon with.  And over 2 weeks later, her nails have grown so much but there's not one single chip and that's with just regular polish, no Shellac or gels or acrylics!

Two coats of CND Vinylux in the shade Romantique topped with one coat of Chanel's Frisson and her nails were good to go.  Romantique is a really light and delicate pale pink shade and Joanne didn't want anything too opaque so they stopped at the two coats.  Frisson is a pale baby pink polish infused with flecks of gold and was the perfect icing on the cake.  Mmm wedding cake....

If you're brave enough to do your own nails on the big day, then we have a few options for you.  All are cheap and cheerful, will give you a pale, delicate manicure that will finish off your wedding day look to perfection.

Top row - right to left: Sally Hansen - Peachy Keen, Essie - Spin The Bottle, Nails Inc Gel Effect Polish - Mayfair Lane
Bottom row - right to left: Essie - Romper Room, Sally Hansen - Mauve Along, NYC - Oh Soho Sweet

Would you consider doing your own nails for your wedding?  Do tell!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Vlog - Joanne & Will's Wedding Day

Can you believe Joanne and Will's wedding was only 2 weeks ago?  It feels like ages that we were having the best day ever with all of their friends and family and everything went as planned thankfully.   As bridesmaid, I was on duty for the day to make sure Joanne looked perfect all day and was there to get her anything she needed at the click of her fingers.  Ah no she didn't click fingers and thankfully she didn't need me to help her go to the loo which was a relief for the two of us!

Because they weren't having a videographer, just a photographer, I wanted to document the day for them as best I could because I know how quickly the day would fly and it would be a blur for them.  Over the course of the day, I filmed lots, nearly 2 hours worth of footage and managed to whittle it down to 35 minutes.  They're so excited to share their special day with you guys and I managed to keep lots of extra footage for them for the director's cut!

Tissues at the ready!


Scents for Father's Day ft Lacoste, Hugo Boss and 007!

I'm 100% convinced that I must've gotten my love of all things perfume from dad.  I'd say he had more bottles of smellies than any other man in Ireland!  Some were bought in duty free on his way to Spain, some were Christmas presents, but most were Father's Day presents from us over the years.  It was something we could get him and know 100% that he'd be so happy with, hence his massive stash.

Even now, when new men's fragrances come out or get sent to me, my first question is always "Would dad have liked it?"  And whenever Father's Day comes around, I always find myself having a sniff of what's new in the men's department and have had to stop myself from buying my brother a bottle of something because it smelled like something dad would have worn.

Dads don't buy themselves nice things.  That's our job and when else can you treat him to some nice goodies than on Father's Day!  I've some really fantastic fragrances that you should check out if you haven't gotten your dad anything yet, so let's get to it shall we?

Hugo Boss Unlimited

Hugo Boss Unlimited (€63/50ml, €81/100ml) is one of those fresh modern masculine scents that needs to be sniffed to truly appreciate how gorgeous it is.  With a minty, citrusy hit of oomph when first sprayed, the juicy pineapple helps mellow the scent out once it dries down before the aromatic woody notes settle and make all well in the world.  I do love the mix of citrus and woods when it comes to men's fragrances and this one is a beauty to give your aul fella, or chung fella, and make it their summer scent.


LACOSTE LIVE (€42/40mls, €70.50/100ml) is aimed at the younger man but hey, if your dad wants to turn back the clock a bit then this might be for him.  At first, it's bright and zesty before the aquatics and greens take over.  Now don't fear and think that your dad will smell like an a fish tank or anything, because those notes make it smell so clean and fresh that he'll be delighted with life and think he doesn't have to take a shower for a few days.  Again, it has lovely woody notes mixed in with liquorice to give it added depth and lots of manliness.


Ok, these EAU DE LACOSTE bottles are the cutest things I've ever seen!  Inspired by the Lacoste Poloshirt, note the little logo on the front and the sides which look like the fabric of the polo shirts!  There are five of these in the collection, so you should have no trouble picking one out to suit your pops.  I've two to tell you about today.

Eau De Lacoste Noir is for the sophisticated, intense man.  Now my dad was neither of these things and so I definitely take after him in those departments but he would have loved this one.  It has notes of basil, watermelon, florals all combined with patchouli and chocolate, making it a delicious evening scent for the non intense, unsophisticated man, or an everyday scent for someone who's much cooler than dad or me.  Dad would have brought this to Spain with him on holidays to wear out for dinner in the evening and would have made us buy him a second bottle because he'd have gone through this in two weeks!

Eau De Lacoste Blanc is for the impeccably dressed, refined party goer and again, dad was neither of those and neither am I!  To me, this smells like Sundays when we were kids and I know that might sound like an odd description but dad always used to lash on the aftershave when we were heading to mass and this fragrance which is a perfect blend of woody notes and florals is clean, crisp and I love it.  It really is one of those timeless, classic scents and I might just keep this one for myself to have a sniff of and go down memory lane.

James Bond 007 Fragrance

By buying your dad a James Bond 007 fragrance (€19.90/30ml, €29/50ml, €38/75ml), you're running the risk that he'll spend the next week pretending he's 007, making finger guns at everyone and speaking in a Scottish accent.  Or he might ask why you didn't buy him blue jocks so he can go down to Dollymount strand and have a dip in the sea.  This is a really creamy, woody scent that's smooth as Daniel Craig's pecs in any of the topless scenes he was in.... Ok, I'm back in the room.  The vetyver notes give it warmth, (like how I'd feel if Daniel was hugging me) masculinity, (have you seen my Daniel in a tuxedo) and sensuality (need I say more?)  This fragrance was such a surprise to me and I didn't expect to love it as much as I do, but it's definitely one to check out.  It might be better if you don't have a gigantic crush on Daniel Craig though if you're going to buy it for your dad... Just saying...

So if you haven't sorted your dad out for Father's Day this weekend yet, go buy him a bottle of something because you know he isn't going to go out and buy one himself!  That's what we're here for, to make them smell nice and I'm telling you, if dad was here, he'd have claimed each of these, happy in the knowledge that he'd be smelling gorgeous at least until Christmas.

And if all fails, just give your dad a big hug this Sunday because you're lucky to have him.  And maybe a pair of blue trunks...
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