Friday 28 November 2014

My Top 10 Lipsticks For The Winter Months

I love me a good lipstick and the making of this was a real shocker. I wouldn't like to admit just how many lipsticks and lip products in general I have. It can just be our little secret that I have a growing problem. I couldn't even narrow it down to a top 5, no sir. Its got to be a top 10 as there are just so many different shades to try out and look amazing in the colder winter months! I've split them into 3 sections. So, here we go!

Berries and Reds:
This is by far my biggest collection of colours, everything is always made better with a red lip! I think theres a good range of lights and darks here to pick from and they are all under €10. All these can be bought in Boots or your local chemist. I know that Seventeen Stay Pout is the cheapest of the lot at just over €6 and none of the others are much over that either. I have to say though, the *Paese lipstick came out so much darker and pink then it is in real life. I did a post on it and a load of other Paese products over here not too long ago. I think the swatch in that photo is more true to life. 

I have two Rimmel lipsticks here. I think by now 107 by Kate in the red and black packaging has become a legendary known dark red. A much lighter 'true' red is the Rimmel 500 in the gorgeous purple packaging. 

And lastly one that I was actually given by my mom, the L'oreal Intense for brunettes in colour riche 376. This isn't as dark as I had expected but just dark enough to make a statement. And although I like how each shade suits a certain hair colour, I don't think it should make a difference. After all theres not many lipsticks on the market that are aimed at purple hair like mine!

 Purples and Pinks:
These ones are slightly more high end prices, but I'm sure there are loads of dupes out there. First is my favourite brand, Seventeen Supreme Shine lipstick in pink posey. Although this is quite sheer you can build it up on the lips and its surprisingly really pigmented. I love this one because you can put it on without having to use a mirror. Not only that but I find a lot of lipsticks can be drying, but this one gives loads of moisture and is again, under the €10 mark.

Next is the most purple, *Christian Breton in speak easy 5048. This is an amazing colour, every time I wear it I'm asked what it is and where I picked it up. Its one of my more 'out there' shades but I love it. Purple has to be my favourite colour so when my hair matches my lips, I'm one happy girl. This is pricey at €18 if you go to the official Christian Breton site, but you can also get it in the Cosmetic Outlet for €10, bargain!

Lastly a lipstick that I wore non stop for about 6 months at one point, my Clinique lovely. I got this as a present as there normally anywhere from €20 a pop, but because I've used it so much the label has wore off and I haven't a clue what shade it is! Also the packaging has been updated, but I think it could be the Butter Shine Lipsticks. If you fancy a new posh lipstick, this is the way to go!

Browns and Burgundy's:
My last two that are such scary colours to wear out in the big wide world, but look so amazing once I get over the bold shades. The lighter is my MakeUp Factory one that I've had for years (I know, bold me.) Like with my Clinique one, the label has wore off so I'm not too sure of the name. I got this in a chemist somewhere in Kerry and pull it out when I'm feeling brave. I love layering it with a deep berry lipgloss for a little more umph. I think it was under €10.

And then Benefit La La Land is an utter beaut. Its really thick as you can see it totally covers my tattoo in the photo above. This lasts ages and is quite moisturisng. I'm not sure if they make this particular shade anymore since they changed all their packaging, but I think you can get something similar. I'm a little sad the new packaging isn't as sleek or fancy as this older one. At about €22 I think some of the brighter shades could be on the Christmas list!

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

Thursday 27 November 2014

20 Stocking Fillers Under 20 Euro

Its not often that I find ideas for Christmas presents that are cheap. Not cheap and crappy, but cheap and happy. I'm going to troll the internet and shops over the next few weeks looking for my Christmas presents and I just don't have the funds for going all out! So here are some ideas that will be sure to put a smile on your loved ones face, while also being able to stretch the few pennies a little further.

1. Emmas Soy Candles €9.95: These are gorgeous handmade Irish candles that come in loads of different scents. They also have limited edition Christmas scents and even cheaper wax melts for only €4.95. Perfect for ladies and gents alike who enjoy a lovely smelling warm glow in the house.

2. Asos Stag ring holder €6.43 and Unicorn ring holder €14.29: Both of these are only lovely! I'd be happy with either one and depending on funds and taste, theres two to choose from here. Not only that but theres free shipping with all things on Asos.

3. The Body Shop Glased Apple Gift Set €9.95: This is just one of a lot of sets in the Body Shop for under €10, so this shop is worth checking out. I find that theres a lot of scents from BS that you could give to a guy or a girl. Theres a lot of 'lighter' scents then the really heavy floral fragrances that are aimed more to women. 

4. Sleek Palettes €9.99 and under: If theres a particular person in your life that loves all things make up then look no further then Sleek. You get so much bang for your buck with these and they are so handy to travel with as well. You can get lots for under 10 quid and some for a little over too. So theres really something to suit everyones pocket.

5. Liz Earle Nail Star Tin €9: This is a handy one you can get on a 3 for 2 offer in Boots. I would never get this sort of high end brand so a lovely presentation tin and varnish all for €9 is just what the doctor ordered for people similar to me and my cheap tastes! (I can't find this on the site but its in store!)

6. This Works Breathe Cracker €8: I really like This Works things and a lot of people seem to be in the same boat. But what I love more then This Works is little mini cracker gifts! You get a lovely stress less roller ball and there are loads of other gift sets from this range.

7. Soap&Glory All The Right Smoothies €10: Three gorgeous mini body butters from one of the greats. This is great for trying out different products without having to buy the full size. Again, this isn't on the Boots site but there are loads in store.

8. Scene Designs You're Fabulous Mug €14.95: Supporting a small Irish business while also getting a really cool mug - that compliments you? Yeah eh I'll take them all thanks very much! Theres loads of fun GLBT friendly things on this site and I know loads of people would get a kick from them.

9.Funko Pop Minion £11.44 or Batman £10.81: This is the type of thing that I think some guys will really enjoy, although I know lots of ladies who love them, myself included. Theres Disney figures, DC heroes and so many more. Any character you can think of, your almost bound to find it. Or go for some scary ones like The Walking Dead!

10. Secrets Ireland Screaming O Bullet €9.80:  Ok so this one might just be for the older lads and ladies out there, but this is a really great stocking filler to get! Theres something cheeky about finding a little surprise like this mixed in with a packet of sweeties and maybe a lip gloss in a stocking. This gets a major thumbs up!

11. Tiger Gingeerbread House €4:  I don't know about everyone else, but I love getting food that I can play with too! Theres something very fun about making something and taking ages over the details to then go and eat it! So cheap and hours of enjoyment/munching to be had!

12. Qwertee €10:  Every day theres a different design to be found on this Irish tshirt site. Its so much fun looking at it daily to see whats new. Theres also cheaper €7 tshirts that they send you out and you have no clue what design you'll get. Thats a surprise in itself! I know a lot of guys especially love this site.

13. Lush Poptastic Gift Box £7.95: In fairness, would it be Christmas if I didn't include something from Lush? I think not. This has two lovely bath bombs in it, but there are so many different ones to choose from and all at different prices so you can pick something to suit everyones pocket.

14. No7 Mini LipTreats €10: Two Winter shades of loveliness for only 10 quid? Yes please I need them! These lip crayons are perfect if your not too sure what to add to someones stocking. And they look so fancy too!

15. Bare Minerals Pair Of Performers €14:  Speaking of fancy things, if your looking for a little extra for your lad or lady, then these mini lip gloss and mascara is a really lovely gift to receive. Just perfect for throwing into your bag if your off for a night on the tiles. Yet again, its not on the Boots site but its in store.

16. Yankee Candle Advent Calendar €19.99: This is so lovely and a great bargain price too! Perfect for someone who really loves candles or wanting to try out difference scents.

17. H&M Metal Clutch Bag €19.99: I couldn't not add in a gorgeous clutch/bag. Give me anything shiny, gold or glittery and I'm your girl. This will last years and is just. Ughh look at it!!

18. H&m Knitted Tube Scarf €19.99: Another little thing I noticed while I was browsing H&M was this scarf. Hats, scarves and gloves are all perfect gifts to give. You can never have too many and this one has lovely patterns.

19. Tiger Jewellery Box €4: I've been eyeing this since it came into the shop at the start of the month. For under a fiver you can get the most beautiful present for someone who is as much of a magpie as I am. And If your looking for something extra, earrings or a necklace would be a cute added extra!

20. Penneys: Lads I can't stress enough how amazing Penneys is this year for gifts. Theres box gift sets of lovely spices, hot water bottles, Christmas mugs with socks and lots more all for under €8. You've all got to get your bums in and save a load of money! But be warned, try and get in early as its packed come 12 in the afternoon. Everyone and their mammy is in there getting a feckin' great bargin. They even have christmas lights and blankets. Ugh, lovely!!

Wednesday 26 November 2014

The Christmas Tag

I've seen this tag mostly on YouTube and really liked it so I was delighted when Nurse Fancy Pants tagged me to do it! Its only 10 questions but it actually took me ages to do because I had to put on the Christmas music and google old toys I had to just have a look at them. Not to mention stopping loads of times to find a family member to talk to about past times. This is the best tag I've done so far! I feckin' love Christmas!

1. What is your favourite Christmas movie/s?
I really love the old ones like Miracle on 34th Street Home Alone and Muppets Christmas Coral. But The Grinch, Santa Clause, Love Actually and The Holiday have to be watched too. God I really want to start watching them now!

2.Do you open your presents on Christmas eve or on Christmas morning?
When I was little it was always Christmas morning but as I've got older and spent some years away from the crazy family, I've opened them on Christmas eve and then just one or two the night before as we were all giddy and couldn't wait! - I think that Christmas was a very liquid one.

3. Do you have a favourite Christmas memory?
My dads last Christmas with us all. He got to come home from hospital for a few hours and we were all having dinner. My sister was sneaking food under the table to the cat and she made a really odd growling noise. For some reason everyone turned to look at my dad and it was so funny because his reaction was so outraged and dramatic, thinking that he had made the weird cat growl. 

4. Favourite Christmas food
The white sauce thats only gotten at Christmas especially for the ham. Oh my god that stuff is amazing. I get up at night to have that dipped into ham. Nom. Oh and the tin of Roses is always high on the list too!

5. Favourite Christmas gift
When I was little I got a baby born and a kitchen one year. I played with both for years to come and they were the best things ever and kept in perfect condition because I had to clean them like my mom and gran cleaned the house. When I was grown out of them years later they got a new home with some relatives who had little girls. That was even better as they were just so excited and it was lovely to see. 

Now it would have to be books, Lush bath bombs or alcohol!

6. Favourite Christmas scent
Once I get over how much of a bitch it is to put up and get covered in sap in the process, I love the real tree smell. It never fails to bring me back to being tiny when I first started to have memories of all the years of trees, lights and excitement. And the other that really stands out is my gran making the fruit puddings and cakes. It always hits me when I'd come in from the cold outside into the warm kitchen.  

7. Do you have any Christmas Eve traditions?
Years ago all my family and relatives would gather in a pub and have drinks and Christmas eve dinner but now it changes from year to year. Last year I went with my best friends to Christmas eve mass (for the first time ever!) and it was the best craic ever. I think I might ask to go along again. Imagine, me enjoying religion!

8. What tops your tree?
Its always been an angel for as long as I can remember. It was the same massive gold and white fairy yoke for years before she got a little too battered and we got a new one. But I can safely say that old angel was about my age!

9. As a kid, what was the one extravagant gift you asked for but never got?
God I'm sure there was loads of things that I never got. I think I asked for most of the Argos catalog one year, but nothing in particular comes to mind.

10. Whats the best part about Christmas for you?
Theres so much I love about Christmas. I'm cursed (or maybe very lucky) every year to be covered in glitter from about mid November. Wrapping early presents, writing cards or knocking off decorations. Glitter always follows me! But mulled wine, Christmas songs and the lights are some of my most favourite things. I'd say giving presents but the stress of the crowds, wrapping awkward gifts and lugging them left, right, and center.. Nah! 

I'd love to see what everyone has to answer to these questions so if you do it please tag me on twitter or answer some in the comments below!

I tag:
Bernie - BeautyMinxBlog
Elaine - RubyLaineMakeUp

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Empties #7

I think I'm getting better at doing these empties more often, thing aren't piling up so much! I only did one of these last month but since then I've had loads more odds and ends that I've been using up. Some of them I'm very sorry to see go and will be on the list must buys again soon, once all the Christmas presents have been bought!

First is my lovely Body Shop chamomile cleanser that was an utter dream to use on my skin. It took off all my make up and didn't irritate even my eyes. It was pricey at €15 and not something I will be picking up soon, but is on my wishlist of lovely things to get when I have a spare few bob floating about. You can read my full review of it over here.

Seventeen is the love of my make up life, we all know that by now. So when they brought this new foundation out a few months ago I couldn't have been happier. I'm now on to my third bottle of the stuff and use it daily. Its the perfect tone for my pale completion and can build up to have a totally flawless - slightly thick, but full coverage. Theres not much else in the make up section that could make me change my mind. This is just over €8 but all the make up in Boots tends to be on 3 for 2 so you can pick it up on the cheap. I need to get a back up of my back up for this one!

My Garnier micellar water is finally finished. When the internet went mad for those waters I naturally jumped on the bandwagon and bought a million different ones. This one is by far the best, purely based on the price. Its one of the biggest bottles at 400ml instead of the usual 200ml. So when I next run out of all my water, I'll pick this on up again.

Ziaja is amazing, theres not one product that I've tried of theres that I've not loved - which is a big thing for me to say. The Ziaja rose butter micro peeling face scrub has been my go to scrub for months now and I'm sad thats its come to an end. I'll be keeping an eye out for this again and buying a back up when I do find them. I used this about 3 times a week and it kept my skin soft while not being too harsh or stripping it. This was about €6 if I remember right and is worth every penny. 

My fall down with these posts are the crazy amounts of hair things in them. So I'll keep this one really short. We all know I love Dove and I buy this conditioner for coloured hair religiously. Big thumbs up. Next is a let down of a Dealz find, some random shampoo and conditioner that wasn't very good. I wont be getting it again.

Onto the hair dyes now. My Bleach London dye needs a full ranting, so heres the blog post for it. I just hate it so much! The other is XXL Live and that is the other end of the scale entirely. I use this all the time and love it so much. I lasts ages and gives such gorgeous colours once its washed out. You can pick this one up on offer in Boots all the time for about €5 which is perfect for me.

Two bottles of dry shampoo that I now use all the time. Batiste is an old favourite that I used a lot of especially around Halloween as it gives great texture and the white powder it leaves behind looks great too. But a new favourite is the Herbal Essence range and I have about 3 as back ups! They were on special offer in Tesco so I really stocked up. Best dry shampoo ever!

Few deodorants I really like is the Nivea no stains one and the roll on energy fresh one. Mostly the bigger bottle is about €5 in Boots but I always buy the roll on one in Dealz for €1.49 which is great for just before bed if you don't fancy having a stuffy room of spray left or if you have asthma and find that sprays irritate it. 

Next are two body scrubs, one is a mini from Soap&Glory. Sugar crush is by far my favourite scent along with the new orange one thats out. Nom nom nom, they smell so good! I'm asking santa for one of those sets for Christmas and in the mean time I might just accidentally buy one! The other is the raspberry body scrub from the Body Shop that loads of bloggers raved about. When I was in one day they had it on special offer so I picked it up but I wont be getting it again. It just didn't do anything for me and left my skin, unscrubed?

Once I found the dupe in Dealz for my Bourjoir nail varnish remover, I'm not going to be picking it up again. But this did work really well and if theres no Dealz near you then I'd recommend getting this one. Its about €6.99 so its not breaking the bank.

I really love Ghost and enchanted bloom is my favourite one of the collection. I have had this still in my shelf far too long but I could bare to throw it out. But considering its less then €30 I think I'm going to ask himself for it for Christmas. Perfume is such a lovely gift and an easy one once you know what type the girl or guy likes!

Lastly is one of the best Irish candles around, Emmas so naturals. This is one of their winter limited edition ones in masala chai. I think this is one of the nicest ones of all the winter candles out there. For €9.99 I think this is going to be bought again really soon. You can see all the other scents and full reviews over here.

Do you think empty posts are good for finding new things to try?

Thursday 20 November 2014

Things That Annoy Me

Theres times when you just have had enough and all the things that you can normally deal with spill over. Sometimes its little things blogger does, other times its rude people on the road. But whatever it is you can cope. Until you can't. Heres some of the things that really annoy me, under handy headings! I have another post a little like this called Things I Don't Like.

Social Media

  • People using words like hubby, wifey and tweetiepies. No, just no.
  • Spamming Twitter with the same links. Fuck right off. *unfollowed*
  • Facebook not showing all the pages you want to see. Wtf?
  • RTing like its going out of fashion. 
  • Long convos on IG. 
  • Mass subtweeting. Go waay you mad feckers.
  • Follow for follow lark. No, if I like you and want to see your news I'll follow you.
  • Long Facebook posts. Ain't nobody got time fo' that.


  • Brushing your hair when its utterly FULL of knots.
  • Using Lush solid shampoo bars and finding pieces of the seaweed in your hair or stuck to the bottom of your shower.
  • Blow drying your hair because its freezing and your late. But suffering frizz head for the rest of the day.
  • Not seeing patches of dry shampoo and looking like a twat for the day.
  • Lip gloss looks amazing. Until it gets windy and your hair gets stuck to it.
  • Limp/frizzy/hair that just wont do what you want it to. Why?!


  • When you put powdered makeup on your bed for a second and turn back to see it embedded into your sheets - normally white ones.
  • When your bronzer/blusher/contour looks amazing but then you step into proper daylight and suddenly you see just how dark it is. Clown face alert!
  • Combination skin - you can't figure out where the moisturiser line goes. Too dry/too greasy. FML.
  • Two words: Tan Lines.
  • Never being able to achieve the perfect brow without professional help. One is always higher then the other. Plus pluck happy. (Repeat offender here)
  • Makeup (foundation for me) stains on your clothes. It will never ever come out. 
  • The most perfectly applied nail varnish you've ever done. Then you touch off something. Smudged all over the gaff. Fuuuccc...
  • Having to clean make up brushes. Its 2014, wheres the self clean ones already!


  • When Blogger/Wordpress doesn't save your 500+ word post that you've spent over an hour composing.
  • Computer updates meaning you have to restart your computer. Normally when your doing something important.
  • No light to take photos. Why is it so dark! Sad times.
  • Font thats too small or swirly. I already have glasses. Please don't make me get out the magnifying glass too.
  • Checking your emails all day. Nothing. Don't look for half an hour? You need to delete old emails to try make space for the incoming craziness.
  • Having beautiful photos but only about 2 lines of text about the 'product review'.
  • No link or information about the price/size of the product. Its a review, review it!
  •  Always seeing the same background.


  • Walking in new high heels - the pain.
  • Walking in high heels when its wet out or on a slippy surface. LET ME HOLD ONTO YOU!!
  • Scalding the mouth off yourself from your morning coffee. Tasting food ruined for the day.
  • 'Table for two please' ... Sorry what?! An hour!!? Fuck off.
  • Buying all the things on Esty/Amazon/ ect. Get to the checkout and 'this item does not ship to your country'. Feck it.
  • Charging your battery full. Half an hour later 7%. Whaaa?
  • 'I love your XYZ!' ..'Ah thanks Penneys... 3 years ago.'  Well then. Shit.
  • *saves all the money* Item currently out of stock.
  • Missing the ninja postman.
  • People not indicating. HOW do you have a licence?!

Do you agree with these? Or could you add anything!

Monday 17 November 2014

A Litte Instagram Inspiration

I'm forever looking for new Instagram accounts to follow that might not necessarily be make up and blogger based ones. (Although I'll admit, I'm kind of addicted to them all!) So heres a few that I follow, a little something for everyone, or so I think. The only one I think I've left out is the sporty types. Its grand for the masses, but have you seen me lately? Sport is not my style. 

PassionPassport: People send in their photos from all around the world. They are of people, towns, the mountains and so much more. Its like stepping into a mini LonelyPlanet book for a few seconds as you scroll down your IG feed. 

SproutedKitchen: Sara documents all the wonderful food she makes. With a little of her life, brand new (really freakin cute!!) baba in toe and a handsome fella, this is one for the foodies. I've actually got inspo for dinners before - they aren't all that difficult!

Reedtimmer: Crazy storm chasers anyone? You can follow the team who take the most amazing photos and videos of the storms they find themselves in. Its scary but also overwhelmingly beautiful to see the lightening shots and landscapes.

MakeupByDG: This guy is only 18 years old but he is killing it with his make up looks. I envy his perfect cut crease so much. They are like nothing on earth. Technically a youtuber, but his IG alone is enough to get a 'wow' moment.

Idafrosk: Ida makes these amazing pictures all from food (and then eats them!) Some are so easy and all fun to find on your feed. You could also make some of them yourself if you had a little fussy eater, 

Tal_Peleg: Easily one of my favourite make up accounts, this is the one I go on when I need a bit of something totally beautiful to look at. Mostly eyes, with different designs and scenes created all with makeup. I can't even explain it right, you'll just have to see yourself.

BiddyTheHedgehog: You like cute animals? Then Biddy the tiny little hedgehog is just what you need.

HumansOfNY: Everyone knows about the Humans of ... accounts that are blogs and pages on facebook, but theres also one for IG. I love finding out parts of peoples stories and feeling like I can connect with people I will never meet, jut for a moment.

GlitterGuide: This does exactly what it says on the tin. Random bits of inspo at the dinner table, around the home and out and about. This is part of a website, but I've never felt the need to even visit it as all I need are these gorgeous photos.

Waverrider_: An absolutely brilliant young fella who takes photos of famous people and recreates them his way. Oh god I could spend ages just having a giggle over them. And not only are they funny, but he must spend hours making them and designing the backgrounds. The attention to detail is really something to see!

DexterAndTheBear: I'm sure a lot of you will know Ruth from A Model Recommends. These are her pets, a fluffy dog called Dexter and a massive grumpy cat called Mr Bear. They are some of my favourite 'famous' pets. And who does like a cute fur ball in their feed?!

PaperFashion: Utterly beautiful work done all with paint. This is Katie who takes art to a new level. Her 'shadow dancers' make me so happy. Not to mention she looks exactly like Anne Hathaway!

Satiregram: A really funny account that takes the piss out of IG users. Describing people taking photos of their nails, starbucks, funny comments, trolls and just all the lols. Not one for the easily offended!

TheFeedFeed: Two words; Food Porn.

Are there any you would recommend or just really love? 
Leave your account in the comments so I can check it out! 

Friday 14 November 2014

A Berry Christmas With Paese

Paese is a brand that I don't tend to talk about, but use all the time. Why the hell is that you ask? I'm not too sure at all, I'm dreadful for talking about the same things over and over, while I have drawer fulls of amazing things I use and love, but never tell anyone about. Whats that line about a well kept secret? As its now almost into mid November, I guess its a lot safer to talk Christmas without getting the head eaten off me! Paese sent me out a few goodies to have a try of with the festive season in mind and I think their right on trend.

First thing that really caught my eye was the Bamboo powder with silk proteins. It not only looks beautiful in its box, but it sounds almost far too fancy to slap on your face. Silk proteins!? This is a white loose translucent podwer that makes you look like a china doll - depending on how much you apply of course. This really gives the most lovely finish and I've noticed I don't need to reapply my finishing powder as much throughout the day when I use this one. Thats always a big plus for me considering I'm prone to being a little shiny (sexy, right?). This contains antibacterial and calming properties and no less then 90% hydrated silica - Thats the stuff that absorbs moisture so you don't get the unsexy shine. It also makes the light reflect so winkles, pores and blemishes are less visible. Can I get a hallelujah?! This comes in just the one shade of 30ml for €11.99, I'd definitely recommend having a goo at it if your at a stand.

Something that I've been a long time fan of is Paese's nail varnishes. I always pop one in my basket every time I pick up some things on Cloud10Beauty and they never fail to impress me. Actually they tend to be the ones that all my family reach for whenever they raid my nail varnish stash. Put on 2 coats and your ready to go, or 3 if your feeling extra fancy and have the time. They normally last about 3 days - as do most average to good varnishes do. This particular red is perfect for the festive season and really, red is never out of fashion. I like that the little pots they come in are square as you can easily pick them out from the rest of your collection (total blind person here!) and that theres so many different shades in the collection to pick from. Theres also a massive range of nail treatments that blow my mind every time I have a nose online at them and I can safely say that some will be on my Christmas list - doesn't every 20 something still need a stocking filled?! You can get these for just €4.99 each which I think is a bit of bargain myself. This particular red matches perfectly with the red lipstick a little below. Just like, fyi lads.

The one thing that I'm not too sure about out of the entire collection has to be the Manifesto liquid lipstick. I've never been a fan of lip glosses or these gloss to lip stick things. I just can't deal with the mess and stickiness of them all. Not to mention if there happens to be a little wind. Well thats it, you may head home and get back into the shower, cos' your hair is stuck to your lips and face. Oh so sexy person. (insert comment about you going Glen Coco here) This didn't do it for me in the slightest. I can see how some people might like the idea of lipstick but also a gloss as a handy 2 into 1 product. It has lots of 'hydration' which I'll agree with. It takes a while for the gloss to dry but its still really moisturising, so pigmented and surprisingly long lasting. So while this just doesn't do it for me, I think theres going to be a lot out there that wont be able to live without it. This ones €6.99 and has over 15 shades to pick from.  

 The last is another favourite of mine. This lipstick with argan oil is only gorgeous and glides on so smoothly. Its got vitimans, antioxidants and just lots of good stuff. Theres 20 shades to choose from and once you have one, you'll want the rest. This one is going to be a firm favourite in my hand bag for the length of Christmas. And with the cute little packaging they are sure to fit neatly into even the smallest of clutches. Bonus points, this red is the totally same shade as the nail varnish that I was talking about above. This one is also €6.99.

You can find stocklists and the full range over here.

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

Thursday 13 November 2014

Ultimate Hair And Beauty: Shellac Nails

Never before have I stepped into a salon of any sort to get my nails done. As far as I was concerned it was for people who really cared about their nails or 'posh' people. Not for the likes of myself who bites her nails all the time, sports the eternal chipped polish look and isn't at all fancy in the slightest. Thats just how I felt, until I stepped into Ultimate Hair And Beauty in the GPO arcade off Henry St. I origionally went in to use a gift card and write about it, but it didn't work out as planned. But on the plus side it means that there will be yet another post where I can tell you all about that another time. 

Being a total novice to this, I went through a list of some hairdressers and nail salons around the city center and picked UHAB based on their seriously competitive prices. I also noted at what an extensive range of treatments they had on offer. Not only can you go in for all the normal hair cuts, treatments and styling, but theres also a barbers and a huge range of beauty treatments on offer, including make up, waxing, tanning and facials to name a few. The one that stuck out for me was the massages which I've not seen offered by many places before. 

I'll be honest and say as far as I was concerned Shellac nails were a waste of money or something you would only get for a special occasion, but I was totally wrong. Not only are they an affordable €25 from UHAB, but from sitting in the treatment room watching other clients come and go, it was clear to see that everyone and their mammies love to get them regularly. It was nice to hear the staff there talking to clients by their first names and hearing them ask about their children or holidays. Its clear that they have a lot of loyal customers that come weekly to them. The shade I picked was a dark blue with tiny glitter running through it. Several coats of this along with a top coat in between were applied after my nails were shaped and buffed within an inch of their life. Within half an hour I had the perfect fingers I've ever seen. Sharmila was the lovely girl who did my nails for me and I can't say enough good things about her. Not one thing she did wasn't talked through and fully explained to me, which I was so grateful for as I'd never had this done before. I was put at ease quickly and was able to ask all sorts of questions. 

Every part of this business was exceptionally clean, bright, friendly and had a lovely busy but happy to help atmosphere. There are over 35 staff and the business has been running for over 20 years, which just goes to show how good they are at what they do! I had the pleasure of talking to Laura who is one of the assistant managers at UHAB. When asked about how the business says afloat through the recession, the answer was simple; they have the best prices, loyal customers and a lot to offer. They have a loyalty scheme and special offers and packages. 

You can see their website here, and call or email to book an appointment or look up prices and whats on offer. They have an active Facebook page thats updated regularly but I was shocked to see that their Twitter account hasn't been updated since 2013. Considering they advertise both on their website, in store and even on the sign at the front of their shop, I think this is something that could be improved a little. I also wanted to note that their communications in house seem to be a little lacking, but I'll post more about that when I write about 

Despite that, I would still recommend a trip to them the next time you need a little pamper. They are central to all shops and public transport, have lots to offer and amazing prices. Not to mention a friendly face when you walk in the door!

My Top 5 Blushers

Blusher is something that terrified me for years and I've not been brave enough to use it for the longest time. Only recently in the past 6-8 months have I properly started to use it daily and try to conquer it. Hell, it still does its best most days to make me want to run screaming. There are so many colours, brushes and different types. It makes my head spin - and thats even before you go to apply it. How the hell do people manage to look effortless putting on just the right amount of the stuff? I'm sat in the corner after getting a look at my reflection and realising I have clown cheeks. That, or I'm severely embarrassed looking and why wouldn't I be! Those of you out there who have mastered it, I take my hat off to the lot of you.

In my never ending quest to find not only the perfect blush, but also the perfect tools and the perfect amount to apply, I've gained a substantial amount of products. Some are fancy, some are less then a fiver, but none the less, they are all occasionally speaking my language, so we get on quite well. My top 5 may not even come close to your radar, but for me, these are the bees knees. (For now!)

The first is a short and sweet one from one of my favourite brands, Seventeen. When these stamp blushers came out in the summer I thought they would be just the thing to sort my woes of looking like a clown. A lovely light pink shade thats neutral called blushing and is one of five colours to choose from. This works perfectly and goes on really easy too. The stamp part didn't work out as well as I had first imagined, as you do need a brush to buff it out a little (silly novice me!) With it being €6.29 I think its perfect for those who, like myself, are new to the game and maybe want to test out different shades with different looks. You can see more photos and a full review of it over here.

Sue Devitt silky blush is the next on the list. This one is in the shade malay reef and is slightly more pricey at roughly €14.50. I got this one in a special edition Glossy Box last Christmas and if I'm honest I knew nothing about the brand before getting it. This cream to powder finish is slightly more tricky to work with, so I wouldn't recommend running out the door 2 seconds after you slap this one on. Also the smallest amount goes a long way. I've had a look around the interwebs and theres a lot of this brand on sale from at the moment. Maybe you can pick up something you've wanted to try for a bargain!

A shimmer that is perfect for the Christmas season is this Benefit one. I got it last year in a Christmas set (groovy kind-a love) and it has two blushes in it that I mix every time I use it. The light pink side is Dandelion pink perk me up and the darker shimmer side is Gimme Fever. Both of these separately cost over €30 so I am on the look out for a dupe, but if your into your blushers and want to fork out, I'd especially recommend the second one. I'm clearly mad about my shimmer as you'll soon see below! This is the one thats currently got a special place in my make up bag at the minute. Ugh all the love! (I know, total sell out to more expensive make up brands then what I normally preach about, but if it makes it less of a sin - it was a present!)

A much more budget friendly blush is my w7 The Honey Queen which is the biggest Benefit dupe there is out there! w7 are well known for their amazing dupes (eh hello Naked palettes alert!) and this is no differnet. Along this could look a little daunting with all those colours, but when you give it a swish round with your brush, it makes the perfect dark pinky shade. Not only does it look pretty in the box, it works wonders on the aul mug! This has a tiny - barely noticeable shimmer running through it, so its ok if you go to town with this one. You wont look like you made out with a box of glitter at the end of it. For less then a fiver you can get it from The Cosmetic Outlet where they have a full range of the w7 products. You can read my full review of it here with lots of photos and more information.

 And last but not least is my NYR mineral blush in peony. This is a deeper almost brownie shade and my god its one of the best and equally worst of the lot of them. If you haven't got blusher down just yet, attempting a mineral one is a feckin' minefield of hassle. It will go all over the place, you'll end up with it all over your boobs and top and in the end you could quite possibly be ready to run away to the circus. But on the other hand you could dip your brush in a tiny bit, tap the shit outta' it and then brush it lightly over your cheeks and be gorgeous. Or so I've seen others do.  But then again, isn't the 'overheating and simultaneously freezing my face off' look really in around this time of year? Perfect. This will set you back €21 but this one is only for the brave. (Or the gobshites like me who sneeze and ruin the entire thing. Note: Don't sneeze.)

Am I the only one with the dreaded problem of how to use/find the perfect blusher?

Wednesday 12 November 2014

New Max Factor Excess Shimmer Shadows And Eye Liners

Whatever is in the water over at Max Factor, its doing them serious good. They are coming out with new products every few weeks its seems, with a full nail varnish line, a foundation and now 2 more added to the ever growing list. Might I first introduce their new *Max Factor excess shimmer eye shadows. Oh mammy now these are something I can really talk at length about, would you just look at them! Six shimmer gel based, cream-like, dark to light pots that dreams are made from. 

The first thing I noticed with these little pots was how well they were sealed. At times you can pick up a product in the shop and you wouldn't be sure if its been opened as there is no protective seal or plastic, so this was a plus for me. I'm getting more obsessive about hand sanitizer and hygiene in general as I get older and make up is a big one. The pots themselves aren't much to look at with plain black lids, but flip them over and you get to see whatever lovely shade you have picked inside the glass. The only thing that bothered me with some of these was the lids tend to loosen and can come off, which is a pain if you popped one in your makeup bag. But a plus is that despite them being glass, they don't weigh down your overall makeup bag. So as you can imagine I'm carting them around (carefully) with me everywhere!

The six shades are all beautiful in their own right with Crystal being a light pearly white - which is amazing on the inner eye and under the brow as highlighters. Next in the light side is Pearl which is still giving me a hard time to work with, I tend to use this near the waterline or the inner corners on my eye and build colours over it. Something like the lovely Pink Opal, its a colour I would never ever normally use as I am too fond of my darks, but wow does this pink shimmer really work wonders for my green eyeballs! 

Although the three lighters shades are lovely, the three darker shades in this collection are my utter love. A Copper that is so subtle you could wear it on its own as a natural look. Then my favourite of the lot, Bronze. I have a feeling this eye shadow will have every last bit dug out from the base and be overused. Lastly a bold black in Onyx that makes the most perfect smoky eye. 

I need to sit down after describing all those shades, they are just too much for me to handle. 

A few things to note when using these eye shadows. For all gel/cream based shadows, its always best to use a base of primer and then a regular powder in a close shade to your base gel/cream shadow. This helps them to stay longer and not slide into the crease of your eye. Thats never a good look. I personally don't think they last the 12 hours that Max Factor say they do, but they last most of the day, with just a little topping up needed if your going out later that night.

 Another thing is that these eye shadows build amazingly, like just wow. With a brush or with your fingers, they are so feckin' easy to work with and blend together really well. A big thumbs up to the lovely people in Max Factor for getting it spot on with these. You can pick them up in Boots right now for €9.99 - but theres a 3 for 2 offer on, so you will be able to get three! (If not more. Enabler? Me! Never.) 

Next is the *Max Factor excess intensity longwear eyeliners. There are already six of these in shops now, but these three colours are going to be released in January to compliment the new shimmer eye shadows. These three are violet, jade and cobalt that twist up to release the eyeliner. I'm a big fan of the strong blue liner over black liner to give the eye a major pop, but I'm a little ifie with the other two colours. I'm certainly not brave enough to go out and about with these striking colours just yet, but around the house I look pretty damn fancy - if I do say so myself.

These are smooth and easy to apply, but I think they could be almost too soft as they snap off easily if you twist them up even a little too far. They also tend to move a bit more then other eyeliners I have tried. But pared with a good primer and I think they stay much longer, without budging. They are definitely not smudge/water proof like Max Factor claims, nor are they near 12 hour long lasting, but they do still work well. I think there particularly handy because you never need to sharpen them - but that could just be the lazy in me talking.  For €8.99 with the three for two offer in Boots at the moment, you can try out the other shades while you wait for these ones to be released in January. 

Do any shades call out to you?

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

Tuesday 11 November 2014

Book Review: The Quaker Cafe

I wasn't sure about this one after reading the story line. But what swayed me in the end was the cover and thoughts of a story centered around a coffee shop. After all a coffee shop in a small community is filled with nothing but gossip! And that it most certainly was. This is a genre I can't quite put my finger on, a little thriller, a litter murder mystery but a lot of general fiction as well. The story follows many of the characters, one main voice is Liz, whose a liberal from the Mid-West that marries into a conservative Quaker family and now lives in rural North Carolina. A lot of the time trying to raise her children in the faith of a Quaker lifestyle can be a challenge for her, especially when her mother in law constantly watches over her shoulder. 

In Liz's town of Ceder Branch, she has many friends that she leans on for support and to gossip about others with, even occasionally throw out the odd negative word or two about her in laws. But when one of her friends high politically standing father dies, Liz is forced to help pick up the pieces and in doing so, finds out secrets from the past that could threaten to dismantle the whole of her little town. A town that has a long history of racial tensions and wrong doings. While this is happening Liz must juggle her work and her family life. Her mother in law is more of a hand full then she can handle at the bet of times.

Suddenly a friend is diagnosed with cancer and some of the secrets Liz has found so hard to carry start spilling out in order to try and save a life, and to restore the good name of others. With the help of religion and the black and white communities, things can be done and the bad choices of others can start to be questioned, talked about and maybe even forgiven. But not without many troubles along the way. Trips to the next town to visit the hospital, the Easter parade float to make, weddings and trying to explain to the children how the dead hamster came to be, Liz has a lot to deal with. 

 Despite the heavy theme of religion in this book, I really enjoyed it (but saying that, there were a good few 'fuck you' comments towards religion that had me nodding and giggling away). There were some really amazing paragraphs and quotes that I even screen caped I was so impressed by the writing. I love the small town personalities that you meet throughout the story, even down to the man who sells peanuts all day, that just isn't quite right and the wonderful descriptions of the houses and shops. Some of the racism and sexism in the book is a little distressing, along with the theme of death. But there all something that has and still does happen in everyday life that you have to deal with, so it was interesting to read about the stereotype of rural North Carolina in that time. I really think this book review would have been easier to write if I wasn't so careful about giving spoilers away! But in summary, I think this could be one for everyone book shelves, a great and interesting read. 

Tuesday 4 November 2014

October Favourites

I've had a little break the past few days, the Halloween festivities took over a little bit. October was a great month for the aul blog, I managed to write more frequently then most months and I hope that I'll keep it up in November too. October saw a massive increase in followers (hello there friends!) lots of sexy posts and doing mad amounts of Halloween make up friends and family. I was finally introduced to Walking Dead and Octobers issue of the Buffy comic was particularly brilliant. Pumpkin carving was upped a level and there was lots of time spent in Lush bubble baths. Over all, October was good to me.

Your going to notice a lot of conkers in the photos, but there not just for decoration! These are one of my monthly favourites because I've decked out the house with loads of little bowls of them. Not once have I seen a spider around since. The old wives tale about conkers warding off spiders seems to be true. Magic stuff. And if all the spiders suddenly appear back, I have ammo to fire at them! Its really a win, win situation. And also, appoligies for the dark, slightly out of focus photos, the light was fading fast and I really wanted to get this post up today!

As with every month, I've been picking up the odd bargain around the place. One of those was a dupe for the Bonrjois nail varnish remover pot. This Dealz €1.49 twist&out one has a fruit fragrance and works just as well as the €7 one. Totally blown away as I thought when it comes to nail varnish remover more expensive means better quality, but thats not the case here. Love it!

Next is a wonderful little offering from Lush, Grease Lightening spot treatment. You can put this on at any time of day and as often as you like. I slather a load of this clear gel on just before bed and in the morning my spots have done one of two things. The smaller ones have gone down considerably and the bigger ones have come to a head. This really seems to push out the impurities in the skin and its great if you have a covering of just a few small spots to send them packing. For the slightly bigger ones it will take a few days for them to be banished from your skin, but its a less harsh product to use then some of the spot treatments out there. I wouldn't recommend using this if you were going to put make up on over it, as it flakes slightly if you put on anything but the tiniest bit. 

I've blogged about the Hero Brush in October but I've honestly not used another foundation brush the entire month. This is a bit of a hassle for me as I'm forever applying make up and then running off to wash it and let it dry for the next day. Just goes to show how much I love it considering I'm normally awfully lazy about washing my brushes and only clean them after every single one has been used. You can read the full review over here. 

Never before have I made up so many faces as I have this Halloween. Friends and family all wanted some form of hallowed out, pasty and dead looking appearances so my gorgeous Sleek contour and highlighter palette got some serious loving and use. I'd forgotten just how great this is and know I'll be using it lots more again. Its under €10 and comes in several shades to choose from. It also has a handy big mirror and the packaging is really sturdy. I did a review of it way back, over here. 

Over the past few weeks I have been all about the bolder shades of lip stick. I have more reds in my collection then is healthy, so I'm starting to look to burgundy reds and even plums and purples. In comes the most gorgeous purple from Christian Breton. I was lucky enough to be given this from The Cosmetic Outlet to try out and my god, its just perfect. Available online for €17 from the Christian Breton site, I was shocked that The Cosmetic Outlet was selling it for the bargain €10. I'm going back in to pick up another as part of a Christmas present for a friend. Its moisturising, highly pigmented and lasts ages. Its all I've been wearing on my lips in October and without a doubt I'll be using it all Winter.

Lastly I'm a sucker for trying to find the perfect dry shampoo and Tesco has the new Herbal Essence range on offer, so I picked up most of them. By far I'm really liking the orange uplifting volume one. Theres no white powder like Batiste and it leaves a lovely smell in your hair. I wouldn't say its the most amazing dry shampoo if your hair is really greasy, but if your day 2 of not washing your hair, then its perfect. You can also get them all in Boots if you fancy picking up a few Boots points along the way.