Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Taking an unexpected break from blogging this week!

This week there have been no posts on the blog and it's the first time in the nearly 5 years I've been blogging that this has happened.  And for the first time in those 5 years, I don't mind!  I don't have blogger's burn out, or have nothing to write about, it's the opposite really.  I just wanted a few days where I wasn't spending hours taking photos and writing posts.

I don't get paid for blogging apart from the very rare sponsored post.  Contrary to what you might think, there isn't much money in blogging and I do this as a hobby that someday will turn into a business!  July has always been a wonky month for me and this July has been wonky, but for completely different reasons.  I've allowed myself to take the weekend off and just relax.  I've allowed myself time to watch films and do nothing, but this time I've not let myself feel guilty over it!  This is a completely new concept for me!

Creating original content every day is time consuming whether it be blogging or filming.  You have the taking of the photos, which can take a while if you're a weirdo like me, the editing of the photos, the writing of the post and that's without the whole social media aspect of it and for filming, I  have to do my hair and makeup, film, edit, upload and all that extra stuff.  I'll never be one for microblogging on Instagram or Facebook because I want you to be able to Google stuff and find it on my blog.

Lovely Girlie Bits turns 5 in September and I'm really excited about the future of it all.  But for the rest of the week possibly, I'll be taking it easy!  Wait and see, I'll have a blog post up tomorrow now after all this waffling!

So in the words of Arnie, I'll be back.  Just not this week.  I'm going to see Magic Mike tonight with Joanne for cultural reasons obvs so that takes precedence over blogging every time!

Make sure to follow me on Snapchat to keep up to date with what I'm up to.  My ghosty man is on the side of the blog there and I can be found @lovelygirlybits so see you soon!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My new Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes!

The rule of life is if you see a beauty sale on, you buy stuff.   All the better if the stuff that's on sale is stuff you were planning on buying anyway.  That's a no brainer, no justification, the stars have aligned and you go with it.

Enter Cloud 10 Beauty's 15% off sale recently where I bought some Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes.  I may have had about 8 in my basket as is a common occurrence with me when it comes to online shopping (it feels like I'm not spending money!) but whittled it down to 4 brushes.  But be warned that the next time there's a sale on, I'll be picking up the ones that were left behind.

First up I bought two of the E24 (€6.95) flat eyeshadow brushes.  

These are great dupes for the MAC 239 (I say that confidently, having owned no MAC 239s in my life ever) and I've had one for a couple of years now and it's still in great shape.  I have a million fluffy brushes but not many flat shadow brushes, hence picking up two and they're great at picking up colour, be it powder or cream and they do what a flat shader brush should do - apply colour to my eyelids.  I've found them to wash well with my Dr Bronner's Liquid Soap and micellar cleansing water and they dry just as softly as if they were brand new.  The brush is small enough to fit under the lower lashes easily.  But did that stop me from picking up this next brush?  Nope!

I bought a pencil brush E23 (€6.95) after wanting one for ages.  

I'd one from Sephora that I bought years ago, along with a couple from Crown Brushes and even a cheap one from Ebay but this one knocks them all out of the park.  The pointed tip means I can really get into the lower lashes and smudge away without scratching that delicate under eye area.  In the past, I've found that the pencil brushes I've tried are either too dense and don't blend out the product, or are too scratchy and blend everything out too much.  This is the Cinderella brush of pencil brushes and I've been using it all the time as we do know I love me some smokey eyes!

The final brush is a little beaut!  (€7.95) And it's like nothing else in my collection.  Kinda.  

The F28 is described as a fluffy powder/contour brush and already it's become one of my go to brushes every day.  I like to use it to blend out eyeshadow, to apply highlight, both liquid and powder, to my cheekbones, and apply defined contour right in the (non existent) hollows of my cheekbones.  I've also been using it to set my undereye concealer when I remember to apply said concealer and it's a brilliant brush for doing a bit of precise powdering if I'm working on my strobe action.  I've also been known to just sit and stroke it, such is the weirdness that is my life.  It's bigger than a MAC 217 or 224 in case you're wondering whether you need it or not.  (You do).

I've used each of the brushes consistently since picking them up and having bought a flat eyeshadow brush from BCC years ago and it's still going strong, I'm confident that these will last me for ages.  But it will not stop me from buying more.  No.  That's crazy talk right there.

You can buy Blank Canvas Cosmetics brushes from Cloud 10 Beauty or from the Blank Canvas Cosmetics website.  Go forth and shop!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray review

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray and fell in love with it.  You can read my review here but basically, I loved it.  I bought it for mam and Joanne, who in turn bought it for their friends and members of our family because it worked.  I know, but I can't think of any other way of explaining it!

I go through really short phases of sleeping great, conking out for the whole night, but more often than not, I'm a very restless sleeper and find it hard to nod off to begin with.  And if I wake up during the night, it can take me ages to fall back asleep.  If it's hot or sticky at night, well I might as well not even bother going to bed.  But most nights, I have this ability to start thinking about everything I need to do, have done, forgot to do as soon as my head hits the pillow.

This Works have a new version of their pillow spray, the This Works Sleep Plus Pillow Spray and somehow, it works even better than the original version!  When I talked bout this on Snapchat last week, there were a load of screenshots taken of it followed by lots of questions, so I thought a wee blog post was in order.

They've managed to encapsulate the lavender which helps promote a good night's sleep throughout the whole night.  So what I do is spritz a few pumps all over my pillow and along the top of my duvet to ensure maximum conk-age out-age.  And during the night as I turn and move in bed, the lavender is released from the microcapsules and as such, said conk-age out-age lasts for longer.

Any time I use this, all I can say to people the next day is that I slept so hard!  It sounds mad but I feel like I've had the deepest sleep ever and this is from someone who wakes up a few times during the night, sometimes to pee, sometimes because of Bailey the brat barking or having one of his mad dreams, and then I figure as I'm awake that I might as well pee.  But with this, I wake up sans needing to pee during the night.  I don't know what the dealio is with this and any time I use it, I wake up the next morning with a full bladder, but feeling really rested.

I don't use this every night in case I get used to it and it loses efficacy.  And I try to keep it to the weekend so that I can have a lie on too.  I do find it slightly hard to get motivated to get out of bed the next morning after using it, but that's me most days anyway.  You know that feeling when you wake up and still feel so comfy and relaxed in bed?  That's what this does for me while also helping me nod off, sleep more restfully and wake up feeling like a human being the next day, not a lunatic who can't wait to get her first coffee into her!

I know the Boots website sells the original pillow spray, as does Arnotts, but I'm not 100% about the Sleep Plus Pillow spray.  But you can get it on Feel Unique for €35.25 which might sound spendy, but if you're someone who struggles with switching off at night, is a restless sleeper and wants to avoid using prescription medication, then give it a go.

I honestly wouldn't recommend anything that hasn't worked for me and I know that not everything works for everyone.  This genuinely helps calm my brain at night, gives me a more restful sleep and gets me back into the habit of sleeping better on nights after I've used it.  Two big fat thumbs up for this one.

Monday, July 20, 2015

New! You know you're a beauty junkie when... #2

Back in April, I filmed a video version of my blog series "You know you're a beauty junkie when..." and it had a great response!  This pleased me greatly because it confirmed that there are lots of other beauty lunatics out there along with me!  So last week I thought it was high time to film part 2 because it's important to know that there are more of us out there, that we're not alone and that really, we're quite normal in the grand scheme of things!

So do me a favour, watch the video and then let me know if you can relate to any of these!  Let's support each other in our beauty junkie-ness!


Thursday, July 16, 2015

YSL Les Sahariennes review, photos, swatches

Back in April, I got two of YSL's Les Sahariennes to test and review.  I took photos and continued to use them.  Then I watched a video by Lily Pebbles recently where she spoke about them and I realised I never actually wrote the blog post on them.  Bad blogger!  But better late than never and yes, my hair is long in the photos as this was pre haircut!

Ok so let's get stuck in shall we?  The Les Sahariennes bronzers are a cream to matte formula that promises to give a really natural sun kissed glow.  With seven shades on offer, there should be one to suit you and while I was sent shade 3 and 6 which look different in the compact and in swatches, blended into the skin they're not not hugely different.

The packaging is gorgeous and the compact's mirror is nice and big.  It comes in a little pouch with a double ended brush/sponge that can be used to apply the product in two different ways.  You can use the sponge to apply a thicker, more opaque layer onto the skin, or use the brush end to carve out cheekbones and other such carve-able places.  I actually quite like the brush end.  It's ever so slightly scratchy but as you'll see in the photos, does a great job at product placement.

The swatches above show shade 3 on the left and shade 6 on the right.  Both are quite warm toned but are still really wearable, even for pale ladies like myself.  I'm not going to lie, I can't remember which shade I used in the photos below.  I want to say shade 6 because I wanted it to show up on camera, but I'm not 100%.  But either way, you'll see the effect that this gives on the skin!

Step 1: Admire how one dimensional your face looks.
Step 2: Using the brush, carve out some cheekbones baby!
Step 3: Flick the brush upwards to help blend out the product.
Step 4: Admire newly chiseled, yet natural cheekbones.
Step 5 (not pictured): Feel free to apply this product wherever you need it.  I like to bring it onto my forehead, down the nose and slightly under the lower lip to add a bit of poutiness.

The formula goes on as a cream and blends out easily.  Sometimes I use a buffing brush to make sure it's all well blended and everything looks seamless.  After a minute or two, it sets to a powder finish and almost looks blurred on the skin.  It kind of makes me want to apply it all over my face to see how much blurring we can get away with.  But right now, I'll be happy with my natural sun kissed glow.  I love the matte finish it leaves on the skin and gives a soft focus finish that's really flattering and wearable.  You can't mess up the application of this unless you really go at it and don't blend at all.

Now for the spondoolies.  We're talking €45 which is definitely on the spendy side.  But it's a gorgeous product and what if you were heading away and got it in the duty free?  That'd be allowed wouldn't it?  When you swatch it for yourself, you'll most likely fall in love with the texture and want to cover yourself in it.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

You can find Les Sahariennes along with the rest of the summer collection in Brown Thomas.  Go forth and treat yourself!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

L'Oreal False Lash Superstar mascara - review, before & after photos

Back in the day, I had a double ended mascara like the new L'Oreal False Lash Superstar mascara.  It probably was from L'Oreal now that I think of it and I still remember how much I loved it back then.  These were the days when I wore frosty blue eyeshadow from lash to brow.  On purpose.  Because I thought it looked fabulous.  I even pointed it out when someone admired my eyeshadow.  "Oh thanks, I brought it all the way up to my eyebrows to make my eyes pop" (and everyone's eyes pop out of their heads having to look at it.)

But the mascara.  It detracted from or emphasised this makeup look.  I'm not sure which.  But now L'Oreal have released a new double ended mascara, catchily named False Lash Superstar.  And it's everything I remembered from back in the day and more.  Thankfully I've grown out of the frosty blue look.

So this two step mascara promises volume and length and claims to give the false lash effect.  I think most mascaras have that claim nowadays, but I had a good feeling about this one.

Step 1 is the lash primer and this combs through the lashes, depositing the product onto the lashes, giving you icicle lashes.  The primer effectively thickens the appearance of each lash and I find it's best to apply this and then apply step 2, the lengthening mascara, over the top before the primer has a chance to set.  So do both steps on one eye and then the other eye and you'll be gold.  The curved brush on the mascara end helps to fan out the lashes beautifully, separating them and adding lots of length.

If you're a fan of full wispy lashes then you're going to love this one.  It's great at keeping my lashes curled for the day and definitely gives me a much needed wide eyed look every day.  I only need one coat of the black mascara for day time use and if I'm going out, I apply a light second coat while the first coat is still wet to give even more drama.  I've never been one for the natural look when lashes are involved.

Is this a reincarnation of my mascara of days gone by?  I don't know but what I do know is that if it is, L'Oreal have kept a good thing going.  Yes, it's giving me the feels in terms of my Princess Di blue eyeshadow days, but also the relief that there were no digital cameras or phones back then...

The mascara is on stands now and is €17.99.  A bit spendy for a drug store mascara but you know Boots, they're always doing special offers.  Definitely one to check out!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water - worth the hype?


Totally worth the hype. 

I could leave the blog post at that, but I want to try and explain to you why I think it's worth the hype.  For those of you who don't know what's in the photo above, it's none other than the famous Bioderma Sensibio H2O Micellar Water.  It's legendary in the beauty world and yet up until a couple of months ago, I hadn't tried it.

I'd found a great micellar water in Garnier's offering and wasn't too pushed in trying to seek out the Bioderma one because I never go to France, I wasn't bothered trying to order it online and then I ran the risk of having a constant battle to find it if I did love it.  Then Bioderma decided to come to Ireland and at the launch, I was given a small bottle of this to try out.

It didn't last too long because I used it every single evening to remove my makeup and each night, I marvelled at how soft my skin felt.  It didn't leave my skin feeling stripped or tight.  But then again, the Garnier one didn't either.  This just made my skin feel like I'd properly cleansed it, not having just removed my makeup.

It's a hard one to explain!  It's just better than any other micellar I've tried.  It's gentle on the skin and doesn't irritate my sensitive eyeballs, but then again, the Garnier micellar is also gentle on my skin and doesn't irritate my eyes.  Bioderma removes my makeup effectively and so does the Garnier one. It's after I remove my makeup where I feel the difference in my skin.  It makes it feel like I've done a proper cleanse.  It feels like it's smoothed out the texture in my skin, or maybe the Garnier one helped highlight any texture issues.

All I can say is try the Bioderma micellar water and let me know how you get on.  I think I could've gone about my life happy with Garnier's micellar water and been none the wiser, but now that I've tried Bioderma's version, I'm hooked.  A couple of weeks ago, I bought two of the 500ml bottles in Lloyd's pharmacy in Santry Omni Centre and that'll do me for a while!  It's spendy though at €16 a bottle, but honestly, if you have the extra few bob, it's worth checking out.  If you're looking for stockists, Bioderma have a list on their Facebook page and always get back to queries quickly.  As far as I know, the brand is in Lloyd's pharmacies, Meagher's pharmacies and Sam McCauley's nationwide and is available online too.

Have you tried this and do you know what I'm trying to explain in this post?!

Monday, July 13, 2015

MAC Huggable Lipcolour - Soft Talkin', Love Feeling, I'm Game - photos, swatches, review

Forget having an affair with New York like my makeup bag from Pamela Barsky says, I'm having an affair with MAC's Huggable Lipcolours!  This limited edition collection of ten glossy lippies have returned and I wish I'd picked some up when they were first launched.  If I was to be a lip product, and let's be honest, who doesn't think of these things, I would be a Huggable lip colour.

First of all, the packing is super sleek, like myself.  (In my dreams).  I like the flat topped bullet with the slight slant to make application easy peasy.  (I am not easy peasy).  But most of all, I love the formula.  I love a glossy finish and as someone with thin lips, I always feel that a glossy sheen helps them look a bit bigger.  In the summer, I like having shiny lips.  It's just my thing when the weather gets warmer.  Yes, it means that my hair sticks to my face which isn't very attractive, but it's worth it with lippies like these.

The MAC Huggables are decidedly moisturising on the lips and while a lot of sheer glossy lipsticks have a lot of slip in them, this has slight tackiness, but not stickiness, that helps them last longer.  I find that they look and feel better on the lips after a minute or so as they melt slightly and become one with you.  That sounds weird but when you try them out, you'll see what I mean.

I was given three to play with and play with them I have.  Ok, they've made me start talking like Yoda now.  On to the swatches.

MAC Huggable LipColour - Soft Talkin' 

Soft Talkin' was made for nude lip lovers like me.  It featured in my June favourites video because this was love at first application and I feel bad for the other two shades which don't get much of a look in on a day to day basis to be honest.  This is a warm, caramel, peachy nude that's perfect when you want something understated and easy to wear.  It's also one that can be applied without a mirror, making it my go to desk lip product.  I think I'll have to buy a back up of this before it disappears out of my life forever.

MAC Huggable LipColour - Love Feeling

Ooh I do love an orange lip in the summer and Love Feeling is a beaut!  It's nice and opaque and while it was a bit messier to apply compared to Soft Talkin', it's a gorgeous bright shade for those who love something vibrant and glossy.

MAC Huggable LipColour - I'm Game

Now, we know that I don't wear a lot of pink on my lips, but I'm Game has made me re-evaluate things because look at it!  It's a cool toned pink, is nice and opaque with a couple of swipes and again, the formula and shine just makes it easier to wear for me.  Especially with a pink as bright as this!

Ok, so these are €23 and are available on the Brown Thomas website now, in stores and on the MAC website.   And can I just say that I want Fashion Force because it's coral and the end.  It's coral.  So please MAC, let this limited edition collection stay until payday, ok thanks very much.

Will you be checking the Huggables out?


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Joanne's Penneys, Office, Marks & Spencer & TK Maxx haul!

So Joanne has been shopping!  While I spent every spare penny in Ikea last weekend, Joanne has been buying some bits for her apartment, some bits for her feet and some bits for her diddies.  You are welcome for that mental image!

She's going to Spain in September and has been making me uber jealous buying things for that.  I'm happy for her, no really!  And when we went to the Penneys Autumn/Winter press day recently, I saw so many home wear bits that I really want, so need to wait until they start showing up in the shops.  But enough of that, take a look at what she bought and of course, there's a Lily Pebbles enabled purchase in there too!


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Sponsored video - La Roche-Posay & Temple Street Children's Hospital - Share your Selfie! #YouShareWeCare

When one of your favourite brands asks you to work with them on a really worthy campaign, you sit up, take notice, make sure they've asked the right Karen and then get cracking!  La Roche-Posay approached me a couple of months ago about bringing awareness to a fantastic campaign they're running with Temple Street Children's Hospital.  And so I decided to make a video about it, so I could have the chats with you and explain the whole thing in detail.

I got to take part in a photoshoot with the amazing Lili Forberg which was one of those pinch me moments.  It was also one of those cringey moments where I faffed about in front of a camera where I wasn't the photographer and every time she took a few photos, I had to apologise for being so rubbish because lads, this ain't America's Next Top Model and I tried to smize so hard!  But we got some great shots and I love this one where I'm having some special time with Serozinc.  I'm single and I'll take what I can get, shut up!

The video will explain everything and so I'd love you to watch it and take part in the campaign with me.  I trust that the Lovely Girlie Bits community will get stuck in and have a bit of craic!

This video is sponsored by La Roche-Posay.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The beauty room makeover! (So far)

This has been a long time coming.  Me finally organising the beauty room.  The beauty room is actually a teeny tiny box room in my house and after I wallpapered it a couple of years ago and bought my beloved Alex on castors in Ikea, I hoped it would be somewhere I could work, blog and film.  But the lack of storage was killing me.  I had a single chair bed that I sat on for filming but it took up so much room that the place was constantly messy.  As you can clearly see here...

I KNOWWWWWWW!  Filming became a chore and I couldn't find anything ever.  All I had storage wise was that very amazing leopard print box thingy and my beloved Alex units stacked together.  I needed to sort it out and so when payday came, I said goodbye to my money and hit up Ikea.  Twice.  On my own.

I have lots of little bits and pieces to do to finish the room and will film a room tour then, but I wanted to give you a little sneak peek!

While I still have a lot to do in there, I wanted to give you a little update because the response on Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook has been great.  I snapped the whole process of me going to Ikea and putting everything together and felt that I had great support from everyone.  So thanks for keeping me going everyone!

I had it in my head that I wanted to get the Kallax units from Ikea.  Because I like filming in natural light, I wanted to have something that could store things but still look pretty in the background because I'll still be sitting in that corner facing the window.  The plan was to get the 8 unit Kallax but when I got to Ikea and felt how heavy the box was, I had to change the plan and ended up getting two of the 4 unit Kallax.  And it worked out better because if I need to move things around at all, it'll be easy peasy.  And they fit perfectly beside the Alex units which were surprisingly easy to move without having to empty them out like I thought I was going to have to do!

I ended up going back to Ikea the following day to pick up some of the Drona boxes.  I have a colour scheme for the room in my head, so picked up six boxes and they fit the Kallax unit perfectly.

Then it came to desk time.  Because the room is so small, I didn't want anything that would take up lots of space because I need room for lights and tripods when filming.  So I had a few options in my head and then wandered around the desk section of Ikea totally confused!  And the  I wanted something sleek, not too deep and preferably with a bit of storage.

Enter the Malm Dressing Table.  I'll be using this as a desk, a makeup station when I'm filming, as something to take product photos on and I love it!  It has a drawer that slides out for storage and will make filming easier once I move it into the middle of the room.  I ended up getting the Tobias chair on Sunday after looking about online for an acrylic chair and couldn't see anything like this for much cheaper.  It was spendy but I can tell you right this minute, it's so comfy!  And because it's clear, it doesn't clutter up the room.  I think we've established that I was a clutter fiend so I'm going to try and keep it nice and tidy!

So last Saturday was spent assembling all of these myself, with my tacky music blaring and I was purple with the heat.  Sunday was spent with sore muscles from it all but I was so proud of myself for getting stuck in and finishing what I started.  I wanted to put my makeup collection back on display because I love picking one out every day and I missed having my tray from Zara Home doing it's job and keeping my scents in one place.

I really wanted to have somewhere to display these hat boxes that my dad made nearly 20 years ago.  I absolutely love them and he won an award for them back then.  As mam gets the benefits of the blog every little while with an aul goodie bag, I wanted dad to have some part in this whole blogging thing.  So having them here in the room on display gives me comfort and I know a little piece of him is here.

Can we take a second to talk about my little fabric roses from Penneys?  They were €4 and I got them a few weeks ago, thought they were broken, realised I needed to put new batteries into them and now I'm a woman obsessed.  I want more and they are absolutely gorgeous!  If you see em, get em because they give the softest, prettiest glow to the room.  In love.

I love how cosy the room feels at night with all of my twinkly lights on and my wee lamp in the unit. I want a larger floor lamp for the corner behind the door and maybe a little lamp for the desk, but those are all things I can buy when I have money again!  I have ideas for photos and prints for the walls, so when that's all done, I'll film a room tour and show you everything.

But I just wanted to show you the fruits of my labour and give you ideas if you're thinking about setting up a beauty room/office!  Basically, Ikea is your friend.

Alex on castors
Kallax units
Knubbig table lamp
Drona boxes
Malm dressing table
Tobias chair
Tysnes mirror
Lights - Penneys €4

Monday, July 6, 2015

Smokey bronze makeup look for summer!

For the past couple of weeks, I've been obsessed with No7's Stay Perfect Smoothing Eyeshadow in Bronze.  I've been wearing it to work as a wash of colour over the eyelid and then out at night with some liner and I'm contemplating buying a back up!

I was heading out after work last week and thought I'd film me doing my makeup, using some of my favourite products at the moment.  I wore this look out a couple of weeks ago and in my monthly favourites video where I got lots of comments and requests asking for a tutorial, so what better time than a day where it kept getting sunny and cloudy and made things a bit more difficult!!

I used my Bioderma BB Cream which is seriously amazing stuff and despite it being too dark for me, I take it down my neck and make it work because it's love lads!  I used all the bronzer in existence on my face as I totally lost the run of myself as usual, but a bit of blending and all was well.  I love the finished look and it's one I'll be using for the foreseeable future because it's quick, easy, faff-free and looks lovely in photos.

So sit back and relax and watch me pile the makeup on!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Favourites! Ft Bioderma, Bourjois, MAC, La Roche-Posay!

I know, I'm back with another video today!  I didn't want to wait until Sunday to share my monthly favourites with you and so I'm back with some absolute gems that you need to check out.  I got a bit excited talking about the bits and bobs in this video and yes, there were some weird noises, some grunts, some holding up to the face, but mostly, there was lots of makeup and beauty love!

I've got a bit of skincare, some perfume and some makeup.  And watching back over the footage, I decided I'm going to film a makeup tutorial of this look because I have to admit that I loved my eyeballs and my skin and my lips.  Ok, I loved my face in it's entirety for this video!

Have you tried anything I spoke about in the video?  Is there anything that I need to try in the future? Come on, enable me!
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