Thursday 30 October 2014

The Guide To Casual Dating

Over the past few years I've noticed more and more girls 'causally dating' or having one night stands. Clearly I'm just at the age now where its acceptable for me to know these kinds of things, so don't go shouting at the screen that this is brand new. Its not, I'm aware. Its just something new to me. Back in the day (read:Secondary school) there was nothing but talk of wedding planning and how every girl (and a few guys) were dreaming of the perfect man they were sure to find upon leaving school. To be faithful and together forever, the end. Maybe I was always a little odd, but I never took part in these conversations and silently scoffed at those who gushed over dresses and flowers. But now it seems I was walking up and down the road of life and missing the neon lights that pointed to that special door. The casual dating and sex society.... And the best bit? Women are in there too, its not just the stereotypical men having one night stands, 'only after one thing' and so on.

But there is still a lot of stigma attached women casually dating people. Men get a congratulatory slap on the back for bedding yet another person, whereas women get called a slut if they dare sleep with two different people in the same month. Women playing the field just isn't as widely discussed as it is when it comes to men. So, heres my own guide to casual dating (and sex, of course).

TIME: Don't bite off more then you can chew
Don't go mad just because your a strong independent woman that don't need no (one) man. If your seeing more then one person at a time, don't try to fit in two people on one day. The only exception to the rule is if its breakfast with one and then hours later, dinner with another. No 40 minutes in between meetings, things always go wrong. Someone turns up early, things run over time. No one can fix their just fucked hair in 5 minutes, let alone find their knickers.    

SOCIAL MEDIA: Just. I can't even
The bane of my existence is the bloody internet when it comes to dating. You can find out what their mothers, sisters neighbour had for dinner last night in seconds. If your not planning on seeing this person for long, hold back on adding them to twitter, facebook and the rest. If I could manage on smoke signals alone, no one would ever get my phone number. Remember, who wants texts, tweets and god knows what popping up when you want peace. Or god forbid, your on another date. Less is more people. Less is less stalkers and awkward situations (read: trying to sneakily unfriend them on facebook when you think their not looking) 

SHARING: Its not caring
For me there has to be some sort of connection or shared interest, but that doesn't necessarily mean a deep meaningful life story sharing. It could just mean you both like.. Sex. Ok, but you know what I mean. Sharing things are for relationships and friends, not a person you wont be able to remember the name of in 6 weeks/months. Theres no need for last names, for the location of your work place or that sort of personal stuff. 

This is a simple rule, no sleeping over. It screams awkward situations and giving off the vibe that you want more in this relationship then sharing pizza, talking about the weather or mutually adding another notch to both your bedposts. I don't care if its half 10 or 4am, I have kicked out many a guy. I've also grabbed all my clothes and got dressed almost in the taxi when leaving a persons house. No sleeping unless you want a full on proper relationship. Don't. Bold. Down boy/girl/whatever your preferred gender is.

WHATS MINE IS MINE: Same goes for you, buddy
Unless your doing rounds in the pub or going half, pay for your own stuff. Just because your a woman (or indeed a guy) it doesn't mean be an ass. Its just as much a privilege for him to be seeing you as it is for you to be seeing him. But at the same time lets not do any over the top gestures. No sharing clothes (that you'll never get back) no footing a massive bill and the list goes on. 

TRUSTING; Its not a thing
When it comes to seeing someone that you might not know or want to get to know very well, its important to protect yourself. The obvious one is emotionally, but not everyone remembers the implications of the rest (read: the internet and sharing with friends). If your sending sexy pictures, no faces are needed. Have tattoos that identify you? Theres no need to show them. Simple things can save blushes and possible horror stories at a later date. The same goes for where you live or where your going to. Text a friend and keep them in the loop. Just because your a big boy or girl, doesn't mean your indestructible. 

SEXY TIME; Equals testy time
There is nothing wrong with having a lot of sexual partners, but that means being safe. Condoms are a must, every single time. Even having multiple forms of contraception could be an option. For example, being on the pill/injection and using condoms. Also going for regular STI/STD checks is a must. Every six months is a good idea, but some STD's wont show symptoms for up to a year. Going regularly is vital and you can ask your doctor how often you should get a check up. 

DON'T: Be 'that' person
Sometimes it will happen, but for the most part the two of you are casual. Theres no big emotions or connections between you, so calling it quits shouldn't end in a screaming match. No meaningful youtube songs posted on facebook, no subtweets and bitchy texts. Casual dating is a whole other ballgame, so just let it go and move on to the next gorgeous ass that takes your fancy.

And now an optional one for those of you who are honestly just out for one night stands or thereabouts and don't plan on connecting with anything other then eh... The other persons fun bits. 

HONESTY: The best policy
Be honest with the person your seeing. Make it clear that you just want to hang out and not have a Big Serious Relationship. You want something fun that could end yesterday. Make sure its mutual and maybe you could end up as each others fuck buddies for a while. Also now is the time to really let loose and try the sort of stuff you might not in a long term relationship for fear of judgment. Tell them what you want and vice versa. I freakin' love these conversations because you can get so much mutual enjoyment out of it, without the fear of having to meet their mother or sit to a formal dinner with their friends. If the worst happens and their not into anything, theres plenty more fish in the sea then that one unimportant guy or gal. 

Some of you will fully agree with everything I've said here. Some of you will write huge emails to me demanding I seek forgiveness from christ himself. Others will think I'm just a total bitch who doesn't care about anyone and is nothing more then a slut. So go on, what do you all have to say in regards to this little post? I can't wait to hear! 

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine A/W Collection

Its been a while since my last nail varnish post. To be honest if I find a colour I like I wear it until I'm sick of the sight of it. Only then do I stop covering the cracks and reapplying more coats over it instead of taking it off and starting over. Lazy is my middle name, but I'm thinking of changing it to my first. When I saw that all the new A/W colours were coming out, I couldn't help but pick up a few Barry M ones and I've been wearing them since. I've been meaning to go and get more as there are some gorgeous shades out, but I'm forever forgetting when I go into Boots. Isn't it always the way, you go into Boots for just one thing and come out with a bag full of things you never knew you needed, but do.

This isn't the first time I've used Gelly Hi-Shine, you can see a beautiful light green shade that I've blogged about over here. Some aren't too sure if the this makes a big difference to the bog standard nail varnish Barry M has, but personally I can see a big difference. Its shiner, more vibrant and looks slightly like you got a shellac set done. Perfect, and for more then half the price of what a shellac would cost. 

I didn't think I would like these colours on my nails as much as in the bottle, but they look just the same. These are both totally different to anything else that I have in my every expanding collection. I'm a massive fan of both the mustard yellow and the warm toned grey. They only need one coat (in all the photos I've only one coat on too) and they are opaque. Barry M always lasts me 3 days or more before any chipping happens. This is almost unheard of when it comes to my claws as I normally get about 15 minutes out of a new polish before they start chipping. Another reason why I am in love with these. The nail varnish is also a breeze to remove and as far as I've seen, doesn't stain the nails after being on for over a week.

At the moment they are €5.99 in Boots and have an offer of by one, get one half price. So it would be rude not to take up the offer. 

What do you think of Barry M's latest offerings?

Sunday 26 October 2014

Book Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life

I'm a fan of Marian Keyes, shes written some wonderful chick lits before and I will admit I was expecting great things when I got my hands on a copy to review. But had I not been determent to see this through I wouldn't have finished it at all. If I had bought it I'd be looking for my money back. That is, until I got about 100 or so pages in and wanted to know what happened next. And when I realised that, I was a little disgusted with myself. I'm not a fan of the style of writing, going back and forth between different tenses and times in the narrators life. I'm not a fan in the whimsical person who has nothing ends up with a fairytale life because there are so many of those horrendous books floating about. (although this was a wonderful twist on that theme). And as for self help books? You may as well be throwing your money in the bin if you buy one of those bloody things. But people who buy them always give me a giggle too - so the circle of life continues it seems.

Stella Sweeney has settled back into Dublin life after living a whirlwind dream in New York for a year, touring her new self help book all over the country. The problem now is her writers block, the constant procrastination, family problems and other things that life throws at her isn't helping matters. Her first book was an accident that came about after spending a long period in hospital, when there was nothing she could do but listen to her own thoughts being trapped in a silent, unmoving body. With two moody teenagers, a bossy sister and a husband who decorates bathrooms like discos for a living, Stella can't connect with them lying in a bed surrounded by tubes and nurses. The only one who seems to understand what shes trying to say and how she feels is a doctor who works almost daily with her, trying to understand how to make her well again. A doctor who ends up being a bigger part of her life then either could have ever believed.

As I said earlier, this book is all over the place with its tenses. We have before Stella's stay in hospital, when shes in there, her time after shes well again and then finally when shes living in New York touring her book, along with a little of what happens when she gets home. Its confusing and isn't as fluid as I would expect from a well known and well published author like Marian Keyes. With a big book like this, you would want to take some time over a weekend to read it all, otherwise I think you'd have a hard time picking up where you left off with all the chopping and changing of times in Stella's life. Its a pity as the story is actually really good if you can understand all thats happening. The other characters in the book were well developed and I took a particular shine to her father and her moody son. Even though your shaking your head at times over the stupid decisions and things that happen to Stella, you can't help but love this character and connect with her on some level.

As with many Irish authors, its lovely to read about places in Ireland that you know well and might even only be down the road from you. Making connections like that are even more enjoyable I personally find. Once I got a few hundred pages in I was totally glued to my kindle. Staying up late reading it or trying to juggle a hair brush, kindle and hair dryer in one go. As with all books I can't put down, I relearn why its not a good idea to walk and read at the same time. Falling over the hoover (and getting a massive sore bruise) or standing on the poor cat are the inevitable.  If you can put aside some pet peevs of story lines (self help books and fairytale 'making it') and occasionally having to scratch your head over what tense the story is in now, then I'd strongly recommend this one. You can reorder it on Amazon or find it in shops on the 7th of November. 

Friday 24 October 2014

DOXY! Sex Toy Wand

It feels like an age and some since I've posted about anything sex related. Try as I might to fix this, theres always a lipstick or cream that distracts me slightly. After all, you can't have I-feel-sexier-then-sex, sex without a little help, so the beauty side of it goes hand in hand. (Look at me trying to justify my rooms full of products and crazy spending habits.) But I couldn't hold out any longer, I have to tell you all about *DOXY. Christ on a bike this is some sort of  black magic, and I hate to be cliche. But I am bewitched by it. To begin with, I was slightly unsure if I wanted to spill this secret, but why keep this wand with its magical powers hidden when the world needs it? (Anyone suddenly get a superhero vibe there? just me...)

Secrets Ireland kindly sent this out to me after asking if I'd like to give it a whirl. It came in the most discreet packaging and I can't get over how quickly it came either. It was all no fuss and nothing out of the normal. That was until my gran appeared. I occasionally get post from PR companies and she can never wait to see what it could be, bless her little socks. But the day I got that she hounded me, for what reason I'll never know. Perhaps as the packaging was so plain, she was more intrigued then normal. It ended with me legging it to my room shouting about secret Christmas presents. Grannies, eh? But once I opened the packaging I was met with extra measures to ensure the buyers blushes were spared. It was in the most beautiful pink soft tissue paper. If for some reason the outer plastic packaging was to break, no one would ever know what was inside with all that paper. Major thumbs up to Secret Ireland for going to all this trouble. Love it!

So, what is it that made me give such a glowing report in my opening paragraph? Well, to begin with I love that this toy doesn't require penetration. I think its a stereotype to a certain extent that in order for it to be a 'good' toy, it must perpetrate the person in order to get pleasure from it. This toy is a perfect example of how those ideas are thrown out the window, and I love it. There are those who don't find any pleasure in penetration and also, sometimes I personally just don't feel like having something inside me. Maybe its my claustrophobia, maybe its something else. But itsn't it wonderful that theres such a wide variety of toys like this that I can choose that option and still know I will get just as much pleasure from it? I think its a sad thing that I don't actually have more non penetrative toys like this. Truly a new leaf has been turned for me by this massager.

Not only that, but both sexes can enjoy this, its a wonderful unisex toy. I find that most toys can be unisex, but particularly with this toy I know the question 'but how?' was asked a lot when I talked about DOXY with friends. I can honestly say that men would (and do. Testing it out in the name of science and a well rounded review, don't you know!) get just as much from it as you would expect a woman to. Now, thats a statement I don't say too lightly at all. High intensity  vibrations to your clit is the obvious one. But what about the anus, nipples, sensitive thighs and penis, to name a few? If its an exterior body part, this can be used on it. Or simultaneously feeling the vibrations with your partner while you have sex is another option, this isn't just for solo use. As always, skies the limit with toys if you just think about it.

This is really easy to use, there are only three buttons. And believe me, when your 'otherwise occupied', three buttons is all you can handle. An on/off button, and the other two to control the speeds. You can also hold the on/off button down to set it to a pulse setting. A few things that I want to nit pit over are things like the speeds. When you turn on a toy it normally starts off on the slowest speed and then you can gradually make it speed up. But with DOXY it starts off on a mid speed and if your like me, every time you use it you've forgotten this and leap away from it in shock. Its not a big thing, but I'm Irish and entitled to say 'Jesus, me nerves!' without judgement. (Cos' who would ever judge me for writing about sex toys and masturbating on the internet!) It also gets hot. Use it for over 12/15 minutes and it starts to heat up. I'll admit thats the one 'scary' thing about DOXY, or any sex toy for that matter. But it does give you warning in the booklet that comes with it. And lets be honest here, unless some sadist is your partner, your not going to have the toy turned on for a extended period. (Unless you do, you lucky person, you!) But its one to keep an eye on.

A few more wonderful things to note now. Its super easy to clean, and although it doesn't say it in the instructions as something it can do, I take off the smooth grey cover that is made from hypoallergenic medical grade material that is free from latex or phthalates, to clean it and pop it back on. I think this is one of of my easier toys to clean, if theres such thing! Theres no small fecky parts to try and get the warm soapy water into, lifes made a littler easier. Its also got a cord that is the length of today and tomorrow, so your not restricted to being pressed against the wall in order to reach a socket. Instead, you can have the pleasure of being pressed against the wall for an entirely different reason.

DOXY is a loud and proud thing. I take back any toys I've crowned as jack hammers, this beats the best of them. Going from extremely quite - for a sex toy, to utterly glass shattering in a few presses of a button, this isn't one to use while the house is full. Having said that I've used my fair share of toys by now to expect that unless they only vibrate inside you where its slightly soundproofed, there is going to be a certain level of noise. 

My one major, I mean major issue with this toy? DOXY is marketed as a sports massager. And while I like to think of sex as a sports (God knows, its the best form of exercise I ever get!) I wish that DOXY was shouting from the roof tops that this is a sex toy by name, considering how amazing a product they have here. Sure its sold on sex toy sites, its Twitter picture even has a girl pressing it against her clit, but its not sold as something sexy, fun or even informing the general public (read: me the daft slow cow) that its actually for your fun bits. Its won awards since starting out in the UK in 2013, boasting to be the worlds most powerful wand massager. Thats something to be proud of. 

So, would I buy it at €97, knowing full well that I'm the queen of bargains and skimping on money? I'd feckin' buy two. Seriously, I can't get over how this thing works its black magic. Theres not a bit of me that doesn't wholeheartedly agree with that statement. I'm sorry I didn't know about it back in 2013 when it was first released. And we all know how much I love a good bitchin' if I'm not 100% happy with a product. Bonus points, it now comes in purple too. If anyone is stuck for a Christmas present, I'd suggest investing in a toe curling, scream inducing, dehydrating and exhausting-you-in-the-best-possible-way, DOXY. 

You can get yours from Secrets Ireland.

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here. 

Wednesday 22 October 2014

Essence Hello Autumn Collection

Who heard that Essence was releasing a new Autumn collection and when a little bit mad looking for them? It can't have been just me, I'm sure of it. I went into the Penneys on O'Connell St and headed straight for the back of the shop where I knew they kept the good stuff - the makeup. This is one of the most affordable make up collections to come out this Autumn if I'm correct and its just gorgeous. I only picked up a few bits but I can tell you I'll be back in looking for a few more bits this weekend.

Walk in the park is the name of this 6 piece palette. My god almighty would you take a look at those warm shimmers? I had to have it, honestly. It talked to me. This was €4.79 so I couldn't say no. Theres also another one in this collection thats slightly colder, darker shades with an almost black colour being the darkest, called keep calm and go for a walk. I think all the names are a little bit mad. All the colours in these are light so there really easy to build up and I'm surprised about how little fall out there is considering there on the cheap side. And the very best bit is the packaging is neat and compact so you can pop it in your makeup bag with plenty of space left. It also comes with a double ended brush if your stuck.

Keeping on eyes two eyeliners in a brown and dark green are available for €1.89 each and also two eyebrow kits that are €3.09 each. I'm not in the market for an eyebrow kit as my current one works wonders, but I was sad that there were no eyeliners left on the stand. Lots to look out for in the coming weeks!

Another must have from this collection is the multi-colour powder thats only €4.09. So maybe its a must have because it looks so gorgeous, but its true. This is a perfect highlighter and despite the darker shades in this, I'm not as scared to use it now as I had been to begin with. All the prettiness here.

Theres also 2 blushes in this collection, they are colour adapting which put me off a little. They sounded too gimmicky to fork over a few bob for when I went in for just a few things and was in a rush. But maybe next time I'll pick up one for the craic and see if there any good. There only €3.09 each anyway so its not breaking the bank. 

The last thing I picked up was the lip cream in beauti-fall red for €2.49. You can also get a pink one, but I can't pass a red by without wanting it. This is easy to apply and doesn't have that awful plasticy smell some cheaper lip products can have. It drys almost matte and has an average staying power, but does stain the lips a little. Handy to throw in the handbag as an emergency red lip (doesn't everyone have one of those!?) that you wont cry over if it gets lost.

There are several different nail varnishes in this collection too that also sounded a little gimmicky as they say they change colour with the temperature. I hadn't time to properly look at them, but I might pick one up as its only €2.49 a pop. Lastly there are also themed autumnal coloured bobbins that are seem free for €3.79. What an amazing collection if I do say so myself! Some real gems there that I'm sure will be missed once the season is over.

What would you pick up from this collection?

Friday 17 October 2014

The Do's And Don'ts Of Vaseline

Last week I had a giveaway to win four of Vaseline's new vintage tins that Vaseline kindly gave me for a lucky follower. These were released to celebrate 140 years of Vaseline being what it is; great. Vaseline has always been a household name and has a tonne of uses. Its lasted all these years because its simple, effective and who doesn't love a no-fuss product that can get the job done? From grannies to babies and in between, there is not one age group that can't use or wouldn't love Vaseline.

But after 140 years the same old product can be a little lacking when there are so many new things that pop onto the shelves. However Vaseline has really kept up with the best of them and I personally not only love the little handy tins for using on my lips, but there body lotions are to die for. I have banged on about the spray and go cocoa butter spray so many times. Most recently it was in my last monthly favourites. These lads and ladies know how to make a good product. And because I'm feeling inspired by the lovin' Vaseline has been getting this year, I thought I'd give you a few of the do's and don'ts to round it off. You might learn a new use for the product or bust a myth!

  • DO use it on your lips. Its the obvious one but had to be said.
  • DO use it on flyaways or unruly eyebrows.
  • DON'T use it as an alternative for lube. Vase isn't made for internal use and can damage condoms.
  • DO use it on cracked heels or dry skin. Vaseline acts as a barrier so moisture can't escape from the skin, while also hydrating it.
  • DO use it on the ends of your hair to add moisture and protect from split ends.
  • DON'T use it on your teeth. The myth of models rubbing it on their teeth so they smile is not healthy. Vaseline isn't good to invest. 
  • DO use it if you suffer from thrush and want to take a bath. Smothering yourself externally 'down there' acts as a barrier because water and oil (or Vaseline) don't mix.
  • DO use it to help take off heavy makeup, especially eye makeup as its so gentle.
  • DON'T apply it too thickly over skin or hair as it will just be a layer of goo that wont sink in.
  • DO use it on new tattoos. They have to stay moisturised and hydrated until there healed.
  • DO use it on areas that could chaff if your going to be exercising

Do you love the vintage look as much as I do?

Thursday 16 October 2014

Ciara Daly: My Hero Brush

I went to the Pro Beauty show a little while ago for a goo at what everyone had to offer and to see if there were any good deals going! For the most part, there were loads of gimmicky stands, the odd 'psychic' and plain awful makeup (we all know who I'm on about, their causing quite the negative storm in the blogger world at the moment!) But when I passed by the Ciara Daly makeup stand, I had to take a second look. 

I'd like to point out now that my idea of make up brushes is the odd 'free with product' or cheap one in Boots that I pick up. Over the past year or so I've gotten really into my brushes, picking up Sigma, Blank Cosmetics and Real Techniques to name a few. And although these are pricey brand, I've never on the spot forked out over €20 for a brush that I've never read reviews of. But after talking to one of the really lovely girls for ages about the brushes, our mammies and Belfast, I decided to throw caution to the wind. Why the hell not? So for €25 I got myself a 'my hero brush'. And to be perfectly honest, I'm kicking myself I didn't pick up a few more for Christmas presents and well, for myself too!

Ciara Daly is a make up artist based in Belfast who has an endless amount of courses to choose from and getting make up done for occasions. Not only that, but there is a full range of gorgeous brushes that can be bought, the newest (and best) edition to the family being the My Hero Brush. When I was told about this kabuki foundation brush, I wasn't fully sold on how amazing it was meant to make my foundation apply. But I was so wrong to ever doubt for one second how amazing this is. 

I found with my various foundation brushes I was forever getting streaks of the bristles, it wasn't applying evenly and I was left with patchy bits all over. Not only that but if I tried to apply a few layers, I was left with a miss matched skin tone from some being wiped off. I am almost certain it must be just me as I have used loads of different brushes. I turned to Penneys sponges that helped to apply my make up much better but got dirty so quickly and I always think sponges are far less hygienic then brushes, I'm not sure why! - I'm forever washing everything I use.

My Hero Brush is odd, I'm not sure how it manages it, but I get total even coverage with no brush marks. Theres not been any fall out yet after 3 washes and about 2 weeks use and if I try to apply several layers its like magic. As I hate faffing about taking ages to apply my foundation, this has been a life saver. I slap on a bit of foundation, brush it over my skin in circular movements and bam! I'm done in under a minute, depending on how many layers I'm weighing my face down with on the day. The lazy persons dream brush. I'm honestly a little baffled at how good this brush is as I really thought it wouldn't be able to do everything I wanted a brush to do. But oh mammy, it really does.

And if thats not enough for you, then just look at the cute eye catching packaging, it screams girly and fun. The brush itself is classy and if I do say so myself - a little fancy! (depriving myself of higher end brushes always make me feel like singing Fancy when I use them)  Its neat enough to throw in my makeup bag and it fluffs right back out when I take it out and spread out the bristles. Its also pretty enough to want to display and drag everyone in to have a look. Honest to god, you'd think I had no life, but just look! Theres a great leaflet in the box that tells you how to use and care for the brush too, which I found handy as a starting point.

At £25 (€30) -includes p&p from the Ciara Daly site over here you can have one of these gorgeous brushes. I wouldn't normally recommend such a mad price for a brush, but I don't think you could go back to anything else after giving this one a try. If your up in Belfast or thereabouts, you will be able to buy one straight from your local pharmacy, you lucky ducks! I'll be keeping an eye out for a stand next time I'm up visiting my sister.

Do you think you would try one of these?

Wednesday 15 October 2014

BlogLovin' 100 subscribers Thank You Give Away!

I'm over the moon delighted that I've actually got 100 people who have subscribed to my blog! Wow lads and ladies, thanks very much! Because its all party and excitement my end, I thought it was only right that I do a little giveaway for you all. Theres two different prizes that can be won, below. I hope everyone enters and fingers crossed two lucky ducks will win! Heres the rules:

- This is only open to Ireland and the UK, sorry!
- Each entry will be doubled checked
- Any entries that aren't followed but 'ticked' will be disqualified
- You have to be 18 to enter (or tell your parents, as I'll need personal details to send the prizes)
- I am not responsible for Mr PostMan once I send off the prize.
- Please leave a little comment to tell me which prize you would like!

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Emma's Candles

This isn't the first time I've blogged about Emma's candles, nor I doubt will it be the last. The first time I banged on about it was back in June and my love for these hasn't dwindled. Have a look at my first thoughts over here. In case your new to this brand, Emma and her husband are the two lovelies behind these beauts of candles. They are an Irish company to be proud of - as the loving Irish brands have been a little lacking in my last few posts, so it makes a really good change! 

I've been slowly but surely making my way through all of the scents they have on offer. A month or two ago I ordered a gorgeous candle of theirs in lemongrass that was made in a tea cup with a saucer. These are hard to come by and only pop up every so often. I was really delighted to get one but I haven't been able to bring myself to burn it yet. However every time I pass this I get the lovely scent of lemongrass so I guess I'm not really wasting the candle too much. I think this in particular would make an amazing Christmas present for a mammy or granny. I know both of mine are always commenting about how nice my room smells or how beautiful the cup candle is. Make sure to follow them on Twitter for updates on the next batch, you might get lucky!

Recently for my birthday I asked for one of their Christmas scents that they have just come out with, a candle in Masala Chia and also a regular wax melt in Neroli Fusion. They kindly gave me another Christmas scent wax melt in Mint Crisp as well. I've been using all of them, I can never decide which one I'm going to use! Each tin candle is €9.95 while the bigger glass candle is €18.50 and a wax melt is €4.95. They also do great multi buy special offers that all come packaged up with ribbons. Not that they need it really, as the packaging is all designed by Emma herself. Each design is suited to the candle can be really detailed, its a lovely touch.

The tin candle in Masala Chia is proper scent that reminds me of Christmas and one of my favourite drinks, chai lattes. This has ginger, cinnamon, clove and cardamon spices blends to make you feel warm and excited for the cold season thats starting to appear.

The Neroli Fusion wax melt is something totally different then I've ever had. I think any wax melts give off a much stronger scent that fills more of a room then most candles. It has orange oil, lavender and neroli oil. I think this would be an either love it or hate it scent, but so far everyone whose had a sniff loves it. I also really like the little white flowers that are on the packaging for this. 

Lastly is the *mint crisp that has to be my favourite out of the lot. This is another Christmas scent thats only out for the season. I had a dreadful head cold when I first used this, and at the time nothing was properly clearing up my head at night so breathing was hard and sleeping half upright wasn't ideal. I started to melt this as a little pick me up while sulking away in bed and found that my head started to clear up! Its like Vicks but one that you can melt and feel Christmasy while you sniff it. I really recommend stocking up on this if you have a cold. I can't use Vicks so this is the perfect substitute. Total love at first.. Sniff!

Emma's has recently updated their site to include a brand new look and easier to navigate. Make sure and have a goo at it over here.

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here. 

Monday 13 October 2014

Mini Lush (Halloween) Haul

You know me, when it comes to Christmas and Halloween I just can't help myself at Lush (not that I can help myself when I go in any other time either!) I was due a visit as I had counted down to the 3rd when they put all their exciting new stock out. While I was there I picked up a few other bits too. Everything smells extra lovely and is extra covered in glitter too. Mmm, perfection!

First off i pick up a a shampoo for my blonde/purple mop. I love Daddy-O and have used it lots of times in the past. This has a strong smell of violets so it can take some getting used to. This is meant to add volume and shine to your hair while also getting rid of the brassy tones in blonde and grey hair that can happen when dyed or just if your looking to brighten up your hair a little, This is packed with seaweed, lemon and lime juice, sea salt and coconut oil. I use this about 3 times a week just to keep my hair looking less dull and to even out the blonde tones. Its not one I would just daily as its €6.95 for 100g which is the smallest bottle. Something to look out for if you have your hair dyed and want a little boost. 

Next I had seen Grease Lightening popping up in lots of videos and favourites posts, so I decided to try it out. I have lots of face uglies to try it out on after all! This spot treatment is a see through gel that has antibacterial and antiseptic tea tree, rosemary and thyeme, grape juice, aloe vera and witch hazel. All help with inflammations, redness and reducing spots. You can really smell the antiseptic tea tree, which I like because it makes me feel like everything is extra clean. I'm not sure after appilying it for only a few days if I can see much of a difference, but I'll keep having a go and maybe do a review. This is €7.50 for 45g.

bath bomb and a bubble bar. Northern Lights is a lovely big bath bomb thats covered in stars, a little glitter and is my favourite colour, purple. When I bought this the girl replaced the first one for me as it had broken, and when I got home my second one had broken too. So if you want yours in one piece keep a special eye on it in the bag. Since picking this up I've used it in the bath and it makes the most lovely purple and pink bath water. Theres lots of colours in between when its dissolving in the bath, greens, blues and more. It has jasmine and ylang-ylang scents mixed into it to make a really relaxing soak. Its a nice bath bomb but for €4.50 I think I'll try something else next time. 

Lastly I picked up the really cute and over the top glittery Halloween Sparkly Pumpkin. This was €4.50 and I have yet to use it but I am expecting great things from it. It has a lovely slightly citrus  smell  and I'm sure I'll be covered in head to toe bubbles and glitter. I might do a little post on this too with some photos. Now all thats left is to start having a browse at all the lovely Christmas things!

Friday 10 October 2014

Empties #6

Looking back, I can't believe it was August when I did my last empties post. Madness! I've naturally loads to write about now, some samples and new things that I don't normally talk about either. First all the body things, I have my much loved Vaseline spray that I talk a lot about. Most recently I mentioned it in my September favourites as a really long lasting tin that moisturises well but doesn't feel sticky or heavy. Perfect for a quick use before jumping into clothes in these cold mornings.

I blogged in detail about the Ziaja cocoa butter shower body scrub over here. Cheap, works well and I'll be on the hunt for more of these tubs in the coming weeks. The same goes for the Soap&Glory sugar crush body butter cream, the in depth review is over here, along with other things in this range. I love using this before bed when it can soak in and work, without me rubbing it off or feeling like its a little too heavy on my skin during the day.

Last in this pile is the Bia Beauty detox body scrub. I won this at a blogger event last year and it was half used in the back of a drawer. In my cull of using all left over products, I decided to finish this off. It doesn't wow me at all and I think its far too expensive for what it is. There are so many other more worth while products that this Irish brand offer. Although the packaging is eye catching and something lovely to display, I wouldn't be buying this myself.

Two micellar waters, a Nivea one and my very first one, L'oreal. Both of these were got on offer when there was a big blogger buzz around them. They both seem to work just the same, nothing better or worse. They are so handy for taking off your make up if your not bothered to go the entire nine yards with different cleansers, toners and all that jazz. One bottle does all and gets off all your make up. I did a review of the L'oreal one here and a Garnier one too. I'd pick up any of them again, they all do the same thing!

Lush tea tree water is another product that I liked but I'm not too pushed to run out and buy it again. I've since gotten a new tea tree water thats cheaper and a bigger ml so I might stick with that one. I'll be blogging about it some time soon I'm sure. 

Lastly a total wow product, Waxperts pads. These things are so amazing and multipurpose too. I can't get enough of them and already have another tub of them. Again, I'll be blogging about them soon enough, but I'll save you the hassle of waiting for that post. Just order some right now!

Lots of Soap&Glory lovin' it seems I've got through in the past few months! More of the sugar crush line that I blogged about in detail before, and I would go so far as to say this line is my favourite from the brand. I'm totally gone off their signature scent. The same goes for my love of almond smells, oh mammy this rich and foamous body wash was just so lovely. Both of these I'd pick up again in a heart beat.

The Body Shop has all the most lovely things, but they are so madly expensive! I picked up this almond body wash when it was on sale for €5 and loved it so much that I went back before the sale was over to get another. If I won the lotto I would have nothing but Body Shop stuff, but for now I'll just keep an eye out for the sales. Lastly in the body wash line is an imperil leather that my friend picked up for me after I gushed over it. (I have the bestest friends!) I really liked this bergamot and sea minerals. Its not my normal scent as I prefer sweeter and more floral scents, but this has turned me. I'll be on the look out to try more of these.

Random ones now, as always I have an Impulse. I have started to throw out all of these and my Nivea deodorants to, as there a bit boring to always have come up in these posts. One thing that I didn't blog about and wouldn't get again was the Lush volcano foot mask. I'm not a fan of feet to start with and when I got this as a present I was intrigued to try it out. Its got a mint base that makes your feet a strange hot-cold and is quite hard to apply. Not something I'd recommend, even for those who take amazing care of their toes!

Another Soap&Glory now, this time its the fab pore hot cloth cleanser. This is my second one of these, I just love how easy it is to remove make up after rubbing this into my skin. It a little pricey but man does it work well. I like to use this in the shower sometimes too as it really perks up and freshens my skin. You get a lovely little muslin cloth with this but I rarely use it. You could use this for a little pamper too if you were feeling it. Something I'll pick up again.

Oh man, I go through so many hair things its crazy! In short I am always trying out new conditioners so I always have loads. A must have and repurchases for me again will be the Herbal Essence mask, the John Freda conditioner and the gorgeous smelling Dove conditioner for coloured hair. Also I enjoyed the Herbal essence bee strong shampoo and the 2in1 Dove. I buy them on and off all the time, they make my hair smell lovely and leave it shiny. I wont be picking up the Fruit Essence conditioner as its not worth wasting the money. It does nothing for my hair and is left limp and full of tangles. Big thumbs down from me. The same goes for the horribly awful (and colour stripping) Bleach London hair mask. I did a review of it over here and just grrr. I can't get over how bad this product is considering how hyped the brand is! I also love to pick up the cheap Boots own brand stuff when I'm looking for a way to save some pennies to spend on make up or dye.

Lastly a bundle of make up empties. I have a Catrice and a NYC concealer that were both really cheap and I'd buy again in a heart beat. The coverage they gave was amazing and it was like I barely had spots! My Wet'n'Wild coverall pressed powder was grand and I'm sure I will pick up many more, but I am currently using a Seventeen one that I forked out a little extra for. Its not an amazing one for keeping shine at bay, but for the colder months I'm sure it will work a lot better.

Two tiny samples that I got was a Dior hydra life that I would genuinely consider forking out the major euros for. My god that stuff is sex for your skin. And then a lovely but not as wowing Vichy life serum. I'd recommend asking for little samples of both, especially the Dior one. A girl can dream.

And my most loved and ranted about foundation is the new Seventeen stay time. I've wanted to blog about this for ages but I just never got around to it for some reason. Its like the best kept secret in the 'drug store' brand or something, it just has to be. This is the most full coverage and long lasting foundation I've tried in such a long time. And to top it all off, the lightest shade is the perfect match for a pale ghost like myself. No orange foundation neck lines for me, oh no sir. I already have another one and think I'll pick up 3 more while Seventeen have a 3for2 offer on. Its got to be one of my top 2014 products this year. Yeah, I did just go there. 

Thursday 9 October 2014

Benefit Dupe? The Honey Queen

W7 can be a little hit and miss at times, but if you've ever used one of their eyeliners or one of their eye shadow palettes then you'll know there are some total gems. I've blogged and Instagramed like a loon about some of their things in the past and today is no different. When I was in the Cosmetic Outlet the other week picking up a new w7 palette I happened to see this as I was having a goo. The honey queen honeycomb blusher. Is it just me or does it give off the vibe of a softer Benefit Sugar Bomb blusher? Similar shades, the same type of packaging and a small brush that is just like the Benefit one. I think its safe to say its a dupe, but for more then half the price. 

A mixture of shimming rose, peach and slightly dark plumy shades. This is a really gorgeous blush that is a total bargain for €5. Its a little hard to carry around as its a bulky, but very sturdy box. However, if your setting your make up well, then this is the perfect thing to use. Its also got  handy little brush that fits perfectly into the box, just in case you need it on the go. This gives the most lovely hint of a peachy blush on the skin with a little shimmer. Perfect for the upcoming season of all the glitter and shimmers you can possibly fit onto yourself in one go! 

I'll be honest and say this isn't the best photos of how it looks on my skin as the light was so bright it kind of made everything look extra white and washed out. But fear not I will put up a swatch of it on my fingers later to Instagram which you can follow to see that update later, over here. But for someone like myself who is a little terrified of having blusher or contour thats too OTT, this is really perfect when your looking for a little colour but nothing overly in your face. 

As a blush novice, I'd love to know what you think about this! 

Wednesday 8 October 2014

Book Review: Forever Yours

I've gone off reading a little since finishing this book, does anyone else get like that? I can go through like 12/15 books one after the other and then suddenly I have no desire to pick up another book for the longest time. I'm trying to find something lighthearted and trashy to read right now, but its hard to find anything good! I'm just in one of those funks.

I both loved and disliked this book. Hands down it was genuinely the most terrifying modern themed thing I have ever read. This was magical for me on many levels. The one that stands out most for me is the fact that I had to turn on the lights while reading this, I was that scared by the story. (I read it on my kindle which has a light, in case your thinking I'm sitting in the dark squinting at a dark page) I've read horrors, murder mysteries and the likes, but a book that seems to be more of a romantic.. thriller? And I had to finish the book all in one go. It was one of those sleepless nights anyway, so I was kept in good company. And then I disliked it for some of the same reasons. The content of the book, the slightly drawn out story and in some cases the poorly translated phrasing. 

Forever Yours is a story about the single Judith who owns and runs a light shop. She accidentally bumps into Hannes in a shop one day and it turns out they don't work so far from one another. Soon they start to bump into each other more often and it turns into coffee and dating. Hannes is every womans dream man and everyone in Judiths life is wowed by how wonderful he is. Judith herself can't believe her luck that such a charming and gorgeous man is interested in her. From how she acts when a compliment is given to her, its clear to see that confidance is lacking.

As wonderful as this man is, he soon starts to show signs of somewhat obsessive behavior, making his affections for Judith weary, oppressive and overbearing. Its lovely to be the apple of this mans eye, but can no one else see how he is beginning to act? Feeling isolated from family and friends, she tries to cut Hannes out of her life, but shes tormented by him everyday, even in her dreams. Why can't anyone else see the suffering he is causing her and how scary he is? Yet the minute something goes wrong in Judiths life, Hannes is there at the door waiting to make it all better again.

This was hair raising for me, a phrase I don't associate with when having read a book. It wasn't an amazing story, but the fear of the theme is what really made it for me. At the end of this story there is a moment that gets me in the feels in all sorts of ways, a real hurrah for the sexes kind of thing. And of course theres a big twist too, something else I liked about it. If more books were based on this type of topic I would never sleep again. One to put on your to-read list for sure.

Tuesday 7 October 2014

Max Factor Skin Luminizer Foundation

Max Factor has another new product out, this time its for the face, *the skin luminzer foundation. This is meant to give the effect of barely there foundation, 'giving a healthy looking glow that still evens out imperfections.' There is a swirl added to this foundation as you can see in the bottle, which has skin luminizers and pearl pigments to give that instant glow. This is also meant to offer the skin hydration, vitains B3 and E and have elastomers that make light reflect off the skin so your left with a glow.

This foundation comes in only a small range of 6 colours, which I think is a little annoying. Its fine if your like me and just pick up the lightest shade in whatevers going, but for someone with darker skin it must be a real pain in the arse. I have the lightest shade, 40 light ivory. This is almost a perfect match to my colouring so I was excited to try it. It has a lovely consistency, not too thick and not overly watery. Its just right - and now I feel like the three bears are about to walk in.. Personally this just didn't do it for me coverage-wise. My skin is far too patchy red and full of spots to have a light coverage foundation like this, I need the heavy duty stuff. Even after a good base of correctors and concealers, I was still left needing way more face help. I envy those who don't have many blemishes as this would be the perfect light make up to perk up your skin, making you look more awake without having to cake on the makeup like I do. (With a shovel, might I just add. Theres not a brush out there that can help me apply it all!)

I'm a fan of the packaging, its lovely eye catching gold is a big thing for me, I'm such a magpie! Its also in a plastic bottle and pump which makes it utterly perfect for travelling or just carrying in your bag and easy to use. I'm gaining muscles from carting around a glass foundation at the minute, I know I wont need it, but just in case! The only downside about this foundation for me (apart from my awful skin needing more coverage help) is the price. For a bottle of this your going to be paying €17.99 and I just couldn't fork that out for any foundation ever. However Max Factor does have a 3 for 2 offer in Boots at the moment so it might make the price a little easier to manage. Though personally I think cheaper brands are just as good and I have a load of cheaper make up brands that have great coverage, be they foundations or even BB creams for half the price of this. 

So the foundation overall is a thumbs down from me. I need a much heavier coverage. But thats not saying that this mightn't be perfect for those who are lucky enough to have clear skin. In terms of Max Factor, I'm going to be sticking to their nail varnish and maybe a sneaky look at their eye shadow. (*drools* have you seen their smokey eye pens and lipsticks?! Mmmm) Would you look at my barely awake looking self below. Swear to god, if I don't have eyeliner on my eyes are non existent!

Would you buy this foundation or do you have the same coverage issue as me?

*I did not pay for this item, it was a PR gift.  Please see my disclaimer here.

Sunday 5 October 2014

To My Thirteen Year Old Self

Two years ago when I turned 20 I wrote a letter to my 30 year old self. After those 10 years I could look back and see what I thought at 20 and what my younger self wanted to know from my 30 year old self. (which I'm debating whether or not to put up after this post some time?) Recently I came across this letter and it got me thinking, what would have want to have told my younger self? I know this has been done lots before, but my blog is not only a space online to talk to other people, but to document things for myself. So that is what I'm going to do now. 

Why to my 13 year old self and not older? I just turned 13 a few weeks after starting secondary school, my granddad died that summer and I feel this is the time that I went from being a child to more of an adult. The silly things I did, the people I met and the unstoppable 'life' things that happened that I had no control over. This is what I would say to a younger me now.

  • Take home ec. You can barely cook toast, even by 22.
  • Darling you are still a little girl, you deserve to stay that way for longer.
  • Those cool kids who bully you? Yeah, it will last all though school. But I promise it actually does get better.
  • You don't have people forever, have more time for them.
  • Your going to make some of your best friends in the next few years who will be by your side for years to come. Get excited!
  • Its really ok to stay at home on the weekend. Parties will still be there long into your 20s and even after.
  • Don't dye your hair. Oh god, please don't.
  • Fighting and being aggressive will only leave you hurt. 
  • This black eyeliner that you've discovered is really cool, I know. But please don't line your eyes so heavily with it. Emo is never ever a good look.
  • Try to listen in class and do your work. Please, school is actually really important.
  • That oversized blue jumper you got when you were 15? Don't throw it out!
  • Buy as many of those tuck shop strawberries as you can. After you leave school you'll never be able to find that kind again. Which is really sad, but leaves you less hyper too.
  • You briefly find religion at about 15, don't worry it doesn't last long.
  • People will let you down and can be horrible, but honey stay strong. You have so much love to give yet.
  • White Musk from the body shop is great, but you wear it for years. Try something different.
  • I am so proud of you for never touching drugs, keep going the right way.
  • Enjoy compliments! Stop brushing them off as nothing, they are good.
  • Keep hold of your ancient Nokia, you will break countless phones over the years!
  • Spellings? Don't sweat it, everything has auto correct now.
  • Don't try to fit in or be someone your not. Its ok to be totally mad and people will still love you.
  • Keep to the 'boys', the 'men' can come when your much older.
  • Don't wear high heels. You could never walk in them and you'll brake your ankles numinous times in the next few years.
  • You are still going to be as confused with what career you want when your 22 as when you were 13, so don't panic. You have years to do that!
  • Try to be as independent as you can.
  • Its ok to watch cartoons, read comics and generally do things that are thought of as 'being a baby' when your in secondary school. In a few years guys think its ok (and even hot!)
  • Don't judge your appearance too harshly, remember you are changing all the time.

What would you have said to your 13 year old self?