August 31, 2012

L'Oréal Professionel Mythic Oil

This is a scheduled post as I am currently on holiday. As you're reading this, I'm into my second day on our cruise around Bermuda and the Caribbean and, tomorrow, we dock for the day at Kings Wharf, Bermuda!

While I am a beauty and skincare junkie through and through, haircare has never really done it for me. I think it's a direct result of my hair being naturally straight and having never coloured it that I have had no need or want for fancy products. However, over the last few months I have been experimenting with some hair oils to see (a) what all the fuss is about and (b) if they improve the texture/appearance/shine of my mane. I have been working away at the L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil since I got it a few months ago but, it has since been replaced by the new kid in town, L'Oréal Mythic Oil Milk* (RRP €19.00).

August 30, 2012

Nail Rescue Kit

It kind of pains me to report that my nails have been a wreck over the last few weeks. Usually it's not something that I think about too much; they grow fairly fast and I keep them at a nice, tidy mid-length. However, after an impromptu Shellac manicure a few weeks back, they went totally downhill, and, even worse, it was all my own fault!

I had absolutely no problem with the Shellac to be fair - I loved the shade I got (Tutti Frutti) and it looked really pretty on. However, as someone who paints their nails nearly every second day, I started to get sick of it really fast. I swear, I felt almost trapped not being able to paint my nails - it was like someone had removed a limb from me! Drama aside, I decided to jazz them up a bit with some pink glitter polish. It looked good, for the record, but I got sick of it again, and at this stage the Shellac was kind of growing out (not that much, but enough to irritate me), and I decided to attempt a DIY removal. 

BAD idea, folks. I went and bought acetone at a local nail salon, and went to work without doing much research. It is completely beyond me why I did this. I usually really do my homework when it comes to beauty, I think I was just really impatient to be rid of it. So, armed with my acetone and cotton pads, I set to work. It lifted the glitter no problem, but didn't do much for the actual Shellac at all. Some of the corners started to lift, but that was about it. I've since read that you need to soak the nails in acetone to properly remove the Shellac, but stupid, impatient me decided to go in with a file to get the rest off. I was left with really weak, short, thin nails which I had to cut down, and one even split and bled (the trauma!). Since then, I've been working to improve the state of my nails with the help of the following products.

August 29, 2012

Meeting Lisa Eldridge with No7

A few weeks ago, we had the immense pleasure of meeting Lisa Eldridge as part of a No7 launch. (If you aren't sure who this fantastic lady is, click here immediately)!

Lisa was in Dublin as part of a really innovative and exciting launch, but before the big reveal, she also talked us through how the No7 brand has undergone a total re-vamp of late. New counters are arriving in Boots all over Ireland (I've already spied them in Dundrum and Liffey Valley), which are designed to be a lot more user-friendly, and they also hold more stock than previously. The entire colour range of lipsticks, blushers, eyeshadows and nail polishes has also been overhauled. I know that this will be welcome news to many, as No7 have had a lot of the same, all-too-familiar shades for a few years now.

In terms of brand ethics, Lisa informed us that No7 never use any Photoshop or false lashes in their ad campaigns. Only No7 products are used in No7 ads - I know that this might sound like an obvious one, but sadly, it's not always the case. Lisa also emphasised that No7 is a super-accessible, semi-luxury brand available all over Ireland. I know that some people get a bit intimidated approaching sales assistants at high-end counters (although you really shouldn't, you're the paying customer after all), and for these people, No7 counters can be a little easier to navigate. Now, I know that No7 isn't at the top of most people's list of coveted brands, but I do think that it's going to be a lot more popular in the coming months.

You've probably already heard about the latest innovation if you read Lisa's blog or watch her videos. It really is a fantastic idea which has been years in the making. Basically, from today, you can avail of a free service at any No7 counter to help find your ideal shade of foundation. The No 7 Foundation Match Made Service Device was made with Pantone (the colour experts), and takes just a few seconds to register and analyse your skintone, matching you to the right shade of No7 foundation. It doesn't matter how bright or dim the shop lights (or assistants) are, this gadget does all the work for you and will even work in the dark!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat: Not Just for Oily Skins!

This is a scheduled post as I am currently on holiday. All going well, I should be enjoying my third day in New York as you're reading this, starting with an early morning trip to the Central Park Zoo followed by shopping! 

Normal; Dry; Oily; Combination. According to most beauty "experts" the entire human population must fall within one of these four skintypes. To me, this seems like a rather ludicrous claim, aimed at reducing the number of products that need to be developed and research that needs to be done. 

With something as diverse as skin, there can't be a one-size-fits-all mentality (or even one-size-fits-roughly-one-quarter-of-the-worlds-population if you want to get all mathematical up in here!). You can have oily skin but, still suffer from dehydration. You can have normal skin but, still deal with random patches of dryness or oiliness. 

The point of this rather lengthy intro is (a) to ensure you know that it's okay not to fit the mould that is set out by skincare brands and (b) to lead into the fact that I am about to rave about a product that is specifically aimed at those with oily and acne-prone skintypes, of which, I am neither! Ooh controversial!

The product which I am referencing of course, as if the title and picture didn't already give it away, is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat* (€17.25). The French skincare powerhouse touts this product as a hydrating and mattifying moisturiser which tightens pores and slows sebum production, neither traits I generally require from a moisturiser. 

August 28, 2012

Super Scrubs

I love a good scrub! Exfoliating is a bit of a weird hobby for me; I'm a bit too obsessed with having super-smooth skin and I love a good, grainy exfoliator, whether it's for the face or the body. These are four that I've had on rotation for the last while and have really been loving!

August 27, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Holiday Make-Up Bag

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

This is it! Today I'm off on my travels for a much-needed holiday and I cannot wait! So, what better way to round-up these Summer Lovin' posts and send me on my way than a sneak peek into my holiday make-up bag! 

Now, as we are going to New York City before our cruise, I plan on buying a fair whack of cosmetics so, with that in mind, I tried to condense my make-up bag as much as possible without leaving out any of my must-have products. If you're not a make-up obsessive, you will probably think this is still too much but, if you are a fellow cosmetics fiend, hopefully you'll understand how hard it is to whittle everything down!

August 26, 2012

Avon Advance Techniques Moroccan Argan Oil

Hmm, hair oils. Have we not had enough yet?! Every brand on the block appears to be jumping on the bandwagon, and in this case, Avon seems to have moved far too fast. When I received this bottle to try, I was really excited and intrigued as: a) I'd never used any Avon hair products before and b), my hair loves argan oil, so this product seemed to be quite the no-brainer. 

August 25, 2012

Wax in the City Dublin: My Experience

If you are anything like me you'll like to be as low maintenance on holiday as possible. Razors and nail polish are a thing of the past for, from the moment that plane takes off, I like to kick back and relax and not have to think about anything - even if it is only what colour to paint my toes next!

However, that's not to say that I allow myself to look like some kind of unkempt cave woman when abroad. No, no, no. Far from it. Instead I like to get myself in the holiday mood by indulging in a little pampering at the hands of those far more skilled and talented than I could ever be. So, when the offer came up to try out Dublin's first walk-in waxing studio, Wax in the City, I jumped at the opportunity and opted to get all of my pre-holiday de-fuzzing done at the fancy pants establishment on South William Street.

August 24, 2012

3: My Clarisonic Journey

I can't believe I have been using my Clarisonic for six weeks already! Time really does fly when you're documenting everything week-by-week! Today's post will be a bit shorter than the previous two installments (Part 1, Part 2), purely because I don't have much to report in the way of trial and error, skin reactions or anything else really but, I still thought I would give you a pre-holiday round-up of how I've been finding the Mia for weeks 5 and 6!

August 23, 2012

My Skincare Routine

Ahh, skincare. Sinéad and I have both become obsessed with skin products over the last few months - it's something that we discuss a lot and I love trying out new stuff and finding out what's the best for my skin type. On that note and for reference purposes, I'm 23 and my skin is oily to normal. My forehead and cheeks are always clear but I have a lot of blackheads and open pores, an uneven skin texture, redness and acne scarring, and I suffer with hormonal acne on my jaw from time to time. Like most girls, I have good and bad skin days, and it really upsets me that no matter how well I take care of my skin, I still get spots on my jaw on a monthly basis. I hate how red and blotchy my skin looks even when I don't have spots, and my pores are the side of potholes.

So, these are my issues. On a more positive note, I never get dry patches and my forehead is always clear! As you'll see from the pictures, my routine does involve a lot of products, but I obviously don't use them all every day! It depends on how much make-up I'm wearing, whether I'm bothered to wash my face (in fairness I usually do) and what kind of condition/mood my skin is in. The products I use do change quite frequently as I'm always trying new stuff, but what never changes is the fact that I have a routine and stick to it. I feel that this is what has helped my skin most - I keep my face clean and give it what it needs, and it (usually) thanks me for it.

August 22, 2012

Sally Hansen No Chip Acrylic Top Coat

You all know by now about my unfaltering love for Sally Hansen as a nailcare brand. The Complete Salon Manicure line ranks high among my ultimate favourite nail polish while I swear by both Insta Dri and Complete Care 4-in-1 as topcoats. So, I was bloody ecstatic when the brand's newest topcoat, No Chip Acrylic Top Coat* (€5.75), dropped in my door. Combining my love for a two-week manicure with flexibility to change nail colour as much as my heart desires, I had high hopes for this little bottle. 


August 21, 2012

New from Avon: Naked Truth

Nude lips and nude nails are usually at the bottom of my list. I'm a lover of colour, and tend to rely on bright shades on my lips and tips to perk up my skintone. Because I'm so pale, I'm a bit afraid of super-pale nude polish in case it gives me the dreaded 'mannequin hands' look, and there are only a couple that I can rely on to have more depth than a flat cream polish. My favourites include Sally Hansen Mudslide and Feliciana by Wild and Crazy, and this week, another polish joined the club.

August 20, 2012

Sponsored Post: Be Scent Savvy with House of Fraser

As beauty addicts, there is nothing we love more than wiling away the hours in department store beauty halls or reading up on products online. While shopping for make-up can be quite clear cut as all you really need to know is whether you are warm-toned or cool-toned and then choose the shades that best compliment this undertone, shopping for perfume is a whole different, decidedly more confusing, kettle of fish!

With over 1000 different fragrances on offer, House of Fraser have a few key tips to make choosing the perfect scent a whole lot easier. We've selected a few of our favourite fragrance buying tips from House of Fraser, and thrown in a couple of our own too, to guide you (and ourselves!) in the right direction next time you are looking to change up your scent!

Summer Lovin' ~ Travelling Essentials

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

I started doing these Summer Lovin' posts as both an outlet for my own excitement and a guide to summer-friendly products and trends as well as travelling tips and tricks for anyone who is interested. Writing that first summer-inspired post, there was still a good three months until I would embark on the trip of my life (so far!) and it didn't seem like a reality. However, now there is a mere 7 days to go until we board that plane and I am so excited I can barely contain myself! So, I figured, what better time to do a post on my travelling essentials, that is the beauty products which I rely on during longhaul flights! 

August 18, 2012

What I'm Wearing #1

I haven't done a 'face of the day' post in ages now, so, yeah, here's my mug! This is more or less what I've been going for everyday of late, although I do like to switch things up a lot. I paired browny-reddish eye with black liner and a berry lip stain - it's a look I feel really comfortable wearing and is suitable for a multitude of occasions. Everything I used here will last the day, although I always have to bring powder and lip products with me in my handbag, I just feel lost otherwise!

August 17, 2012

Best of Avon

I've said it once and I'll say it again, there has been few bigger benefits to creating a beauty blog than the opportunity to be exposed to brands that I wouldn't ordinarily have tried. Avon is one such brand and I would like to take this opportunity to hold my hands up and admit that, initially, I judged too harshly.

For, you see, I always considered Avon a sub-par cosmetics brand that was aimed at the older generation. I had no prior experience with the products and, with a certain amount of make-up snobbery, felt a brand that was touted door-to-door just couldn't be up to scratch.

The reason I am professing all here is because I know a lot of you felt the same kind of indifference towards Avon. Whenever we have posted on a new launch or reviewed a particular product, we always get at least one comment along the lines of "I've never tried Avon" or "I would never think to go to Avon to get a decent mascara" and I just wanted to make it known that I, too, would never have have bought a mascara through a cosmetics representative but, now those same mascaras rank high among my favourites, as you will see below, along with some other products that I really believe bring out the best in the brand.

August 16, 2012

Armani Code Luna

It's bloody difficult to write well about perfume. I usually rely on pictures of whatever make-up or skincare to spur me on and help me write a descriptive review; however, when it comes to top and base notes of this and that with a heart of precious lotus flower or some other guff, I tend to get a bit lost. I don't want to act like I'm an expert here, so be warned! 

August 15, 2012

No7 Fanomenal Lashes Mascara

It feels like I begin every mascara review these days with "As you probably know by now, I'm a total mascara junkie so, I was super excited to try X." But, alas, that is the truth. Few beauty products excite me as much as a new mascara and, to be honest, the weirder the concept is behind the mascara, the more excited I get! And concepts don't get much weirder than this, the latest mascara release from No7 called Fanomenal Lashes* (€17.23).


August 14, 2012

NARS Deep Throat Blush

Oh God. I haven't felt this way in a while about a product. It's taken me a very long time to get the hype that surrounds NARS blushes - my first one, Angelika, was nothing special at all and I hated the chunky glitter in it. To be fair, though, I know that other people do love that blush, I think that it's also a bit too cool-toned for me.

What re-ignited my interest in NARS blushes was when Temptalia started to review every single one. Her photography always pulls me in, and after reading her review of Deep Throat, I was sold. I've said this before, but Christine is a woman who knows her products, and anything that she awards an A to is something that I want! She's a blogger that I really respect and admire, and you can read a small interview that we did with her a year ago here.  

August 13, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ USA Wishlist

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

Eep! The countdown is on and this day two weeks I will be winging my way to the great USA!

I. Cannot. Wait. 

You'll have to forgive me for this post as it is slightly selfish and is serving as an outlet into which I can channel my excitement because I'm pretty sure my family all want to throttle me at this point! This isn't really a summer favourites or summer tips and tricks post as the majority of this series has been. Rather, it is a pretty picture compilation of all the beauty products on my wishlist that I am eager to check out during my brief few days in New York City. 

I haven't been to America in, perhaps, 10 years so, everything I am lusting after has come from fellow bloggers and beauty videos. I would really, really love it if you would leave any product recommendations in the comments below or recommendations or tips for shopping and eating in the Big Apple in general!

August 10, 2012

2: My Clarisonic Journey

Before I hop into the second installment of my Clarisonic Journey, I just wanted to say thanks for the great feedback on my first post a fortnight ago. There was loads of comments across Twitter, Instagram and the blog and it was great to see that (a) so many of you were interested in my experience so you could decide whether it was worth the money for your own skin (which is the main point of these posts), and (b) we didn't lose too many readers after choosing to put in a picture of my make-up free face! So, yeah, thanks for that! Now, onto weeks three and four!

August 09, 2012

A Hit and a Miss from The Body Shop

I love The Body Shop, but, like most brands, not everything that they put their name to is excellent. I love most of their body products, lip balms and the Honey Bronze range and would recommend them to you all. I buy a good bit from The Body Shop, mostly in their sales because they're great value, and, let's face it, most of us would struggle to hand over €20 for a body butter, no matter how good it is! Their body butters are absolutely amazing, and I go through them like there's no tomorrow.

August 08, 2012

Two Essie Polishes for €18!

We're deviating from our usual blogging routine today, but for a very good reason! This is just a quick heads-up post that I think will interest a lot of you guys. We got word from Boots today of a deadly offer, which is the following:

3: Current Favourites

It's that time again. I've rotated enough new skincare and beauty products into my daily routine to find some that I've really been loving and which are worthy of a an updated Current Favourites post (Check out my previous faves here)! While it has been depressingly rainy here in Dublin it is also quite humid so, I've been embracing minimal, glowy make-up that won't look too dodgy if it sweats off during the day as I'm running around! With that in mind, you'll probably notice that many of my favourites are very much centred around creating a light base with a dewy finish. 

August 07, 2012

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains: Lovesick & Romantic

Top: Lovesick. Bottom: Romantic

Revlon have really been killing it in terms of lip products lately. I always liked their lipsticks (Fire & Ice is my favourite), then came the Lip Butters and another obsession ensued. As a lover of bright lipstick, I really appreciate how pigmented the colours are without being drying, and the same can be said for these balm stain things (the name is so damn long that I really don't know what to call them!).

August 06, 2012

Summer Lovin' ~ Holiday Hair

This post is part of my Summer Lovin' series. I'll be posting every Monday in the run-up to my own holidays in August and will be covering some of my own summer favourites! 

You're all probably sick to the back teeth of me saying that I don't "do" hair products and, you know, I don't blame you. But, alas, it is the sorry truth of the matter. My hair is mid-length, straight and uncoloured so, I don't usually have much of a need for products outside of the odd spritz of a conditioning oil/spray or some hairspray. 

However, when I go abroad, I always need to up my game considerably when it comes to haircare. Prolonged exposure to the sun, heavily air-conditioned environments, chlorine and, to some extent, salty sea water all dry my hair out and I have somewhat of a phobia of the sound and feel of crispy, dried up tresses. So, for anyone who suffers with the same issues and/or weird phobia, I highly recommend the following products. Bear in mind, if you have coloured hair, you will probably need to protect against fading and chlorine-damage with some extra, more specified products but, the below should still work for you!Hair

August 04, 2012

New Stuff from MAC, Laura Mercier & Korres

MAC Supernova Blush, MAC Tempting Eyeshadow, Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Linen, Korres Mandarin Lip Butter

I love shiny new things! It was my birthday last month so I've had an extra few quid to play with, and as always, the majority of it has gone on make-up, most of which I'd been lusting after for a good while.

August 03, 2012

Olinia Argan Oil

Oils have been taking the beauty market by storm in recent years. Oils for hair, oils for nails and oils for skin have been topping the bestseller lists and, while I've enjoyed a few face oils over the last year or so, I've not been overly keen on any other kind. However, when I was emailed a couple of months ago about a pure and certified organic Argan Oil that cost next-to-nothing in comparison to its big name competitors, I was keen to give it a shot.


August 02, 2012

Take Three: Lip Balms

Soap and Glory A Great Kisser, La Roche-Posay Nutritic, Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Lip balm is both an essential and an addiction for me. I keep about five or six in a little jewellery box beside my bed, and always have one or two on the go with me in my handbag. Overkill, I know, but at least there's no danger of me ever running out! In general the skin on my lips is quite well behaved - not too dehydrated or flaky, and I never have a problem wearing strong and/or matte lipsticks for long periods of time. I honestly don't know if that is just the way my lips are, or if it's down to the amount of balm I use.

In any case, we all need a good lip balm. Some of my all-time favourites are Carmex, Blistex MedPlus and Figs and Rouge - I've also very recently hopped on the Korres Lip Butter bandwagon - more on that soon! Here I'm going to review three other balms that I've been sent and have been using on and off over the last couple of months.

August 01, 2012

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover

The blogosphere has been all abuzz lately with songs of praise for this little pot of wonder. Despite being from Bourjois, a pretty universally stocked drugstore brand, it took a good few weeks for it to pop up in my local Boots, hence my delay in featuring it. However, now that I have it firmly in my clutches and have given it a whirl or or two, I thought I would share my thoughts on the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover.


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