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January 31, 2014

Rimmel Colour Rush Balms


After trying and liking Clinique Chubby Sticks, I never had any reason to stray from the original. Revlon released their Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains, Catrice joined the club with the Pure Shine Colour Lip Balms and, most recently, Bourjois have entered the ring with the Colour Boost Lip Crayons but, I just never felt the need to dip my toe in a pool that had already been filled by the Clinique Chubby Sticks. 

Fast forward almost two years since I first tried Chubby Sticks and you'll find that my curiosity got the better of me when these Rimmel Colour Rush Balms* landed in my lap.


January 30, 2014

NUXE Prodigieux Le Parfum


NUXE Prodigieux Le Parfum* (say it ~prodi-jou~) has been a long time coming, and, I think, will be a scent that fans of the brand will embrace for its warming familiarity. Before I get into notes and the rest of it, I feel that the best way to describe this scent is that it is, quite simply, the aroma of a whole bunch of NUXE products blended together. If you've used their Huile Prodigieuse and Crème Prodigieuse skincare line, just imagine those scents combined into a mild, inoffensive spray.

January 29, 2014

Brand Focus: MAC

I love doing these brand focus posts because it really makes me think about the pros and cons of every brand that I spend my hard-earned cash on and, perhaps, teach me to be a little bit more discerning when I come across a dud in my collection. MAC is the one brand that I have a lengthy history with, 10 years at least, and I have tried pretty much every facet of product they offer at one point or another. So, in that regard, it should have been easy to make a snap decision on what products represent the best of the best of MAC but, realistically, MAC is a very solid brand with more good products than bad so, this was a tough ask for me!

January 28, 2014

What I'm Wearing: January



This month has been a great one for make-up and I. I've found some brilliant new products, and teaming them with a few other firm favourites has resulted in me being pretty damn satisfied with my look most days. My skin is finally clearing (La Roche-Posay Redermic R worked miracles within a week - full review pending!), and I'm feeling so much better (and eager to play with make-up!) as a result. Below is a full list of what I'm wearing, and keep reading for a further low-down on some of the products!

January 27, 2014

Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion

Winter's great and all but, dang, does it wreak havoc on my skin. I finally got my face sorted with this little bottle of goodness but, the skin on my body was seriously screaming out for some TLC. My upper arms and lower legs basically felt like it had been sandblasted and nothing in my stockpile of body products was helping, not even my beloved La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP

However, as they say, mammy knows best and, after she gave me some of the Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion to try, I was sold. This product is pure indulgence for skin and I quickly orchestrated a bottle of my own i.e. asking my ever-patient dad to pick one up in the airport, so I wouldn't use hers all up!

January 25, 2014

Video ¦ Beauty Shopping

Following Dee's triumphant return to YouTube, I was inspired to make a video of my own! This is a beauty shopping post ("haul" if you will!) made up of purchases I have made over the last three or four months.

The day was awfully grey and I over compensated on the video exposure a bit so, apologies for how bright it is. However, Dee and I have a solution en route that should hopefully mean we can film more - whatever the weather! I also need to figure out my camera focusing so please; bear with me!

Hopefully you enjoy this; please do let me know!



January 24, 2014

La Roche-Posay Serozinc

Dee and I have a bit of an unwritten rule that we don't focus too much on products that we can't get easily here in Ireland. However, we have been after La Roche-Posay Serozinc for the longest time and when Sarah very kindly picked us up some on a recent jaunt to Paris, I knew that, if it lived up to the hype, I would have to share it with you. So, since you're reading this, you can probably tell that this going to be a fairly positive review!

January 23, 2014

Coming Soon: La Roche-Posay's Effaclar Duo+

Doing my usual Internet skincare trawl recently, I was delighted to find out that La Roche Posay are launching another Effaclar product - Effaclar Duo+. If you're not familiar with the Effaclar line, you might find this post useful, but suffice to say that I am never without at least one or two products from the line. 

Image from ReallyRee.com's post here

January 22, 2014

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder - Translucent Crystal

The only thing better than getting your hands on hyped up beauty products is getting your hands on beauty products that haven't been hyped at all but, are so totally amazing that it renders you speechless. It's like the universe is letting you in on a closely-guarded secret and bestowing upon you the gift of perfect make-up. That's what this powder is to me; the gift of absolutely perfect make-up.

My friend Sarah played the role of the universe in this scenario and she shared her secret to achieving silky, flawless looking make-up and, today, I'm sharing that secret with you. This is NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder in Translucent Crystal. Yes; the name is totally ridiculous and no; you do not need to remember it. Just go to the counter and point at the bright white powder and hand over your debit card. Don't think about it, just do it. I promise, you won't regret it. 

January 21, 2014

MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots


Creamy eyeshadows aren't always my bag because of my oily skin, but for the most part, the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pots are definitely a favourite. I had Painterly a while back and for a long time it was my eye primer of choice, and I used the entire thing up. Seeing as I have a lot of makeup, any product that I fully finish up must be doing something right.

January 20, 2014

My Face #11

I'm attempting to beat the January Blues by rekindling my love affair with make-up. I don't always have the time to sit back and luxuriate in an hour or so of primping and preening myself but, I still like to dig into my collection (which, by the way, seems to be spiralling out of control but, more on that later) and enjoy changing up my look when the mood strikes. Granted, it's nothing drastic but, a bright lip here, a purple smokey eye there, can do wonders for the mood which, let's face it, can be pretty dour during January!  



January 19, 2014

Video - Some Beauty Shopping!

This week I've a video all about what I've been buying since Christmas and what I think of the products so far.



You can view it on YouTube by clicking on the title, and please do subscribe if you have an account of your own! 

January 17, 2014

L'Oreal Miss Manga Mascara

Miss Manga* is L'Oréal's newest mascara offering and is inspired by the Japanese Kawaii attitude. Meaning cute, loveable and pretty, Kawaii has spawned a whole culture that includes music, fashion and lifestyle. The Miss Manga mascara aims to emulate this whimsical, exaggerated culture by creating extremely voluminous and doll-like lashes. 

January 15, 2014

Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil

If, like mine, your skin has been giving you hassle during this cold spell, then look no further than this post! Almost over night, my skin took a weird turn and became very dry and irritated. I was literally layering moisturiser on top of moisturiser but, my skin was just not responding. After three or four days of gross, flaky, rough textured skin, I was fed up so, had a dig through my skincare drawers and came up with a brand new bottle of Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil. I slapped it on, went to bed and woke up with hydrated, supple, comfortable skin. Sold. 


January 14, 2014

A Dupe for After School Boy Blazer

Makeup "dupes" are such a throwback, aren't they?! Back in the day, a huge amount of online beauty chat was made up of our best efforts to source similar, cheaper versions of our favourite make-up and nail polish. A lot of the time, I have found that the original is usually best - the colour might be the same, but the formula of the original will remain superior. In this case, I feel like I've found two polishes that are pretty on-par both in terms of colour and shade - which doesn't happen all that often.


January 13, 2014

Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation

I was once a girl who didn't give a crap about foundation. I wore what I had, usually MAC, and, quite often, didn't wear any at all. My, how times have changed! I now have a foundation wishlist as long as my arm and I am slowly working my way through it. My most recent acquisition is Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, and by "recent", I mean I bought it in November, so I can't quite believe it has taken me this long to write about it!

January 11, 2014

WIN! Cocoa Brown Luxury Gift Set

We're looking to get one lucky reader's 2014 off to a great start with a gorgeous prize from Cocoa Brown. Cocoa Brown is probably our favourite tanning brand (click here for our rave review!) and they have recently released a bumper gift set filled with all sorts of goodies to get you looking bronzed and gorgeous! Along with the award-winning 1 Hour Tan, the Luxury Gift Set contains full sized tubes of Chocolate Whip Oil-Free Moisturiser and Tough Stuff Body Scrub as well as a Cocoa Brown Tanning Mitt.

A little bit of housekeeping before you enter. This competition will be open to residents of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland only. It will run until 31st January and the winner will be notified via email. The winner will have two weeks from the date of notification to reply with their postal address. When you are leaving a comment, please leave either your email address or Twitter handle so that we can contact you. For more information on our giveaway policy, see our disclaimer.


More Trash Talk - An Empties Video!






So I made another video... this one is all about my rubbish. Enjoy!

Don't forget to click the "View on YouTube" button, and  please do subscribe if you have an account of your own!

January 10, 2014

Dr.PAWPAW Original Balm

With the bitterly cold and harshly windy weather we've been experiencing lately in Ireland, this post is quite well-timed if I do say so myself! Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm* is a British-made, multi-purpose balm that contains the Holy Grail ingredient Pawpaw or, as we might know it, Papaya. Pawpaw is a rich source of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants which soothe, moisturise and repair skin which is pretty much what we all need around this time of year!


January 09, 2014

Over to You - Disclosure in Blogging: Does it Matter?


Blogging is changing at a pace so rapid that even those with the most active imaginations might not have anticipated how things now stand in 2014. Thanks to the power of social media marketing, girls and guys who started off innocently dabbling with Blogger, Wordpress and YouTube are now veritable stars in their own right. One of the most contentious issues in blogging is always the freebies - it's a sticky one. We've made our opinions clear in the past on this subject - if you're curious you can read this post and our disclaimer - but I want readers to be central to this post. This is all about your opinions, feedback and gut feelings on the issue.

Where We Are

I feel that we are at least a year behind the UK in terms of digital (and many other marketing/commercial trends) here in Ireland, so it is worth looking across the pond to see what's happening in terms of blogging and disclosure. Now, I am not 100% on the finer details, but as far as I can gather, as the law stands in the UK right now bloggers are only obliged to disclose if a post is sponsored not if they have been given free products. In the US, it's a little more clear-cut and the FTC states that bloggers and vloggers must provide a disclaimer in which they stipulate whether or not products featured are gifted from PRs.

This article (which refers to both the UK and Norway) is an extremely interesting read which illustrates both the staggering influence that bloggers have on young consumers, and discusses how important the balance between honesty and renumeration is for bloggers. I don't think there is any clear-cut regulation here in Ireland at all for bloggers - but do correct me if I am wrong.

Differing Opinions

I recently watched a YouTube video in which the vlogger displayed her makeup collection. Stickers on the back of certain items made it clear to me, as a blogger, that they were samples - I'm not sure if every other person would pick up on it, but the labels were pretty big. This same vlogger, I have noticed, has ceased to disclose over the last year or so which items she features are PR samples. I would personally disagree with this strategy, but that's just my opinion, and it's not up to me to make a massive judgement call on the one vlogger.

To put things into a clearer and perhaps more understandable context, it seems to me that she was actually worried that disclosing might actually backfire on her, and that she wanted to prove that her opinion was consistent across all products featured, whether purchased or gifted. We all have our individual ethics and, of course, opinions, and what I really want to get to the bottom of here is the general, public consensus among readers.

Over to You!

To kick off the conversation, I asked a close friend of mine what her own thoughts were on the subject, and here's what she had to say when I asked her if she thought it was important for bloggers to disclose:

"Yeah, because if they don't it's a bit like they're cheating, I go and look up reviews for things I want to buy and if someone is raving about a product the fact that they got sent it for free doesn't make me distrust them but it makes me want to read up more about it.

I find I trust the person's opinion more if they've been honest and said it was sent to them. If they're honest about that then I think they're more credible.


When asked if regular freebies might influence a blogger and perhaps encourage them to give a positive review, my friend came back with the following:

Well you build a relationship with the PR's. I think it's human nature to not want to slam a product when you've built up that relationship - it makes me trust a blogger even more if they do that. Most of the time I'd think its a subconscious thing."

To add to the above, back in 2012 we ran a short reader survey and, when asked what they least liked to see on a beauty blog, one respondent said:

"Posts that are full of products that where free PR samples and posts that are about the same event that a number of different bloggers have been to, as it's really the same thing across a number of blogs."

This is a topic that genuinely fascinates me, both as a blogger and as a person who has worked in social media (thanks to blogging!). So, what I'd love to know is - is disclosure a dealbreaker for you? Is it something that you'd actively think about as you read a post or watch a video? Do you dislike seeing an abundance of PR samples in general, and just how honest does a blogger have to be to win your loyalty?


January 08, 2014

Estée Lauder Modern Muse

There is always a bit of a perfume-shaped hole in this blog and, in 2014, I would like to rectify that somewhat. However, I have had my reasons in the past for not bombarding you with fragrance reviews. One reason is that I am so woeful at discerning and describing scents outside of the usual "It smells nice...like flowers and...vanilla?" while the other is a bit more unavoidable and not something I can change: most perfumes make me sick to my stomach. 

It's true. I have got nauseous many a time when I smell perfume on myself on the train or bus. Same goes for when I smell it on other people. I hate super sweet scents, super powdery scents and super floral scents. They literally make me gag and I have to breathe through my mouth. However, stand me next to a musky-scented man (preferably tall, dark and handsome!) and I will happily sniff away to my hearts content! With that in mind, I recently purged my perfume collection and have left myself with just four scents that pass the test, the newest of which I want to discuss with you today; Estée Lauder Modern Muse*. 


January 07, 2014

Splurge / Save: Pore Purifying Masks


A decent, deep-cleansing mask has been a staple in my skincare routine for years; it's something we all need, and if you have oily or combination skin, you really need one! For nearly two years, I relied solely upon a stockpile of the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque (excellent stuff if you can get it - it's only available in the States), and after that was gone, I really enjoyed using the REN Invisible Pores Detox mask, which is probably one of the best masks I've ever used. After that, another clay mask from Yon-Ka was a very close contender - you can read about both of these, plus another mask by Voya here.

January 06, 2014

In The Bag: Ciara

Last month I passed the blogging baton to my sister Aisling for a fly-on-the-wall look inside her make-up bag. The post seemed to be a huge hit and everyone left such lovely comments which Aisling was delighted with so, thank you! Today, my youngest sister Ciara is going to do the same and show us what an 18 year old, stressed-out Leaving Cert students uses in some capacity day-to-day.


January 04, 2014

December Favourites - in video!

Something a bit different for the weekend - I've gone and made a video! Now, please be gentle with me - it's not very good and I failed majorly at even showing any of the products properly, so apologies for that! We did make videos a couple of years back, but kind of ran out of time for them, so I did enjoy sitting down once again for a beauty chat. Please do let me know what you think and if you'd like to see more!

Dee x

January 02, 2014

Blank Canvas Cosmetics Brushes


Blank Canvas Cosmetics have been on most Irish beauty bloggers' radar for quite a while now; we have mentioned them on here before, but I thought a full post on them was well overdue.

January 01, 2014

Wishlist: January

Welcome to 2014 everyone, hopefully it's treating you well so far! I'm back to work tomorrow after two great weeks off and I'm quite ready to get back to the grind and start making things happen! I'm feeling really pumped for the next year and have all the right intentions; eat less, move more, the usual, and likewise I'm looking forward to growing the blog with Dee.

That being said, I won't be feeling so positive when my alarm rudely wakes me up tomorrow so, I thought I would ease back into things with a look at some stuff I have my eye on after watching approximately 726 Christmas haul videos!


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