Saturday 28 February 2015

P.S. Clear As Mud Face Mask

Can we get real for a second? I'm sorry, this was meant to be posted yesterday but House Of Cards was released and well. I watched every single new episode of season 3. I know, what am I thinking depriving myself for months without new material to watch, but it just happened. So feel loved knowing that I dragged my sleep deprived ass over to blogger to talk all about these masks this morning. Theres nothing I wouldn't do for the lot of ya! (Hugs and cake all round).

Penneys (Primark) has really brought out the A game the past year. Make up, perfumes and lots more, you can really get everything beauty related you could ever need. So when I say these face masks making an appearance on the shelves a few months ago I was intrigued. I had a root around the internet but there never seemed to be any in depth reviews of them, only passing comments of having bought them. But them only being €4, I thought I'd get them and have a go anyway.

There are 4 mask packets in the box, with the minimum amount of green product in each. I was sorely disappointed to find such little product in them and it works out at €1 per packet, something you could get in Boots for less. None the less I opened one and slapped it on - after spending 10 minutes trying to squeeze out enough product to cover my entire face.

In short, it didn't smell great and didn't work to help 'purify' anything. My skin felt tight and sore after taking it off and over the next few minutes I started having a reaction to it. It felt ok while it was on my skin, but it had a chemical/plastic scent. For €4, I think I'd rather put it towards a lovely mask from Lush or the Body Shop in future. Great value doesn't always mean its a great product and I found out the hard way. I'll be sticking to Penneys comfy jammies and some earrings in future!

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Lush Mothers Day Haul

Special days and occasions means theres a new range in Lush! This is some of the mothers day limited edition products that are out and I'm really excited about some of them. I went in a week or two ago and picked up some bits, but had to go back in and pick up more when I was handing in my 5 empty black pots in exchange for a fresh face mask (oh how I love doing that!). I've had a go of everything so this is a show and tell, mini review of the bits above. 

First up is the massive rose bombshell bath bomb. It smells lovely and has rose wood, Turkish rose oils, orange flower and bits of actual rose petals stuffed into it, so you have things floating around the bath with you. This is a really nice bath bomb, but I think it might have been the size of it and novelty of not having used one in ages that has me bias here. I didn't think it was too nourishing or moisturising like some of the Lush bath products are, but the lingering rose scent on my skin after made up for it. This is €4.50 and although I don't think I'll be picking this one up for myself again, its one that I'll be getting for the mammy as I know this is something she would love.

Bubblegrub is meant to be a cute little fella with eyes and antenna but the one ones they had in the shop looked much like my scary one above. He would be better for the Lush Halloween collection looking like that! None the less, bubbleroons and bubble bars are my number one favourite things to get, so I had to pick up the half battered guy. I cut him in two (what a dreadful end, I know) and got a lovely bubbly bath out of my first half. This isn't the type of scent I'd normally go for as its an earthy smell of sandalwood, vetivert and some softening shea butter in it. I wasn't a fan of the colour it turned the water either, a kind of brown yellowy murky shade. I know loads of people will love this one, but for €3.75 I'll spend it on something else instead.

Now onto the things that really tickled my pickle. Yummy mummy is a shower gel that smells like Jesus in a bottle as I described it to himself when I suggested he buy some and save it for my birthday - its that lovely! Floral with orange oil, lilac, geranium oil and tonka absolute its one that you will either love or hate. Personally I'm all about the sweet floral smelling purple things. This little bottle is what makes showers long and all the hot water disappear. Really recommend giving this a sniff if your passing a Lush shop and like sweet smells. This same scent also come in the yummy mummy body conditioner  which is super moisturising and divine, but pricey at €24 (- If I can remember the price right!) I doubt I'll pick it up, but for the 100g bottle of the shower gel at €5.95, I think more is needed in my life.

Lastly here is the cute looking rose bubble bar. This one is right up my street and smells as good as it looks. It has Turkish rose absolute, fair trade cocoa butter and rose hip oil packed inside this tiny swirly rose. The one bone I have to pick with this is the size. Its so small and makes lots of lovely bubbles and leaves skin so soft after, but its pricey at €3.75. I think if it was a little cheaper I'd be a happier bunny. 

Theres two other bubble bars, a bath bomb and a soap in this years collection. I'm going to naturally be back into Lush in the near future to have a poke at the rest of the range and maybe pick up a few more things. I had a sniff of the mother superior bubble bar and it smells lovely but reminds me a little of my all time favourite dorthy bubble bar. Maybe a comparison post will go up on twitter or instagram, keep the eyeballs open for it!

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Butter London: Top & Tails

Butter London is not a brand that you would see me using, its something of a serious luxury for me to fork out for nail varnish this expensive. So when I was given the chance to try out two of their best sellers, I jumped at it. This is a really gorgeous set called *Tops&Tails that comes with a nail foundation base coat and a hardwear P.D quick top coat. The packaging of this set alone is enough to catch my attention and want to have another look at it.

So lets start with the foundation base coat. I put on one layer of this and it drys extremely fast which is super handy and impressive. It drys matte with a colour of your nails but better. On the occasion that I want something on my nails but don't have the time to layer on and wait for my nail varnish to dry, I use a quick coat of this and it makes them look great. This claims to cover up imperfections or ridges on the nails, just like make up foundation does, making it easier to put your nail varnish on. I can't say that I've noticed that happening when I use it, but its still nice none the less. Its also suggested that men who want an invisible but perfect manicure use it and I'd have to agree, it would be perfect. I've not been able to hold any male friends still long enough to get them to try it out, but one day soon!

When using the foundation base coat I notice that its a little easier to get off glitter nail varnish. I use a lot of different base coats in the hopes that my glitter will lift easier, but not until I started using Butter London did that happen. Its really impressed me and I'm more likely to wear my favourite glitters now without the dread of setting aside an hour to try and get it off.

As with the foundation base coat, the quick dry top coat drys just as fast and impressively. If I'm really impatient then I'll blob a few drops of this on still slightly wet nail varnish and it will make it dry faster. This is a shiny see through top coat that protects your varnish from chipping for a lot longer then with other top coats I've tried. 

Now don't get me wrong, I wouldn't suggest these are must have products and you need to fork out the €22.95 each for these bottles. But if you are in the market for them, I'd highly recommend picking them up. You wont be sorry. Even go to Boots or Avoca and test them out to see how you get on, then decide. They would make an amazing present for someone who loves perfectly manicured hands (and it will save a fortune on all those expensive salon sessions) or those who love doing nail art. I'm genuinely shocked at how long these keep my nail varnish from chipping (counting day 6 now). Butter London suggest using their polishes with them, but I'm currently using a wet'n'wild one and its holding up perfectly well. These are ones I'll get again when they run out, now thats saying something!

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

Sunday 22 February 2015

Sexual Sunday: Ann Summers Vibrating Bullet

Sunday is the day dedicated to all things sexy. I might not post every week (even I need time out from sexy things) but Sexual Sunday was born with the idea that I would tour the sex shops of Dublin so you don't have to. And thats what I've been doing all this week, you'll be pleased to know. But I'm going to save another shop review and this week instead talk about an Ann Summers sex toy. (You can read my review of Ann Summers on O'Connell St over here.)

Now don't gasp, yes we all know that I'm not the biggest Ann Summers lover. But that doesn't mean they don't have some really good qualities about them too. This week its all about a deadly looking shiny pink bullet vibrator. 'Cheeky clit slim that no handbag should be without', or so it says on the back. Its lightweight, palm sized and waterproof  with one speed. 

This is like any other bullet, theres really nothing overly impressive about it. I like that the battery - 1x N (LR01), comes with it and that the packaging opens up to explain in detail about the product and how to care for it. The packaging itself isn't over the top and dare I say even classy. This comes in other colours, but I'm a big fan of the shiny pinky shade. Its a simple press on and off button at the top of the bullet and you are good to go.

But lets get to why were all here. Does the thing actually work and if so, how well? In short, I've bought way better and cheaper bullets from Ann Summers before. It was one of my first ones and it rocked. (Until it gave up the ghost and I almost cried) This has only one setting, an extremely powerful one at that. Holding it in my hand for under 5 minutes and I could feel it starting to hurt and go numb, which is never a good sign considering its meant for your delicate bits. I find toys that have a few speeds are much easier to deal with, so you can work your way up through the more intense vibrations and not almost leap out of it when the toy makes contact with skin. That said, if you can deal with really powerful vibrations, you might be alright.

Another thing that bothered me was the hard plastic. It bullet is shaped so the main focus is the tip that you hold to your clit. This was just too hard and I found it a little painful (not in the good way) so I tended to use the length of the bullet instead. I know Ann Summers stock bullets with silicone topped tips, so I would recommend looking out for these instead if your shopping for a new bullet. 

Overall for €15 I don't think its worth it. It looks cute, is fairly quiet on the grand scale of loud toys, but its vibrations are too intense for my liking and the hard plastic tip caused more pain then it did pleasure. (But naturally I can't speak for everyones tastes.) I have to pass on this, but I'm not ruling out all Ann Summers bullets as I know they have some really good ones. I might even replace the one I had years ago, just for the craic!

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

Friday 20 February 2015

Ziaja: New Olive Leaf Collection

Ziaja is a brand that I use all the time, I love their scrubs, body creams and face scrubs. Theres a chemist on Talbot St that I trek down to all the time to repurchase all the time, I love what great prices they are for what amazing products you get. I've banged on about many of Ziaja's things in the past and now I'm about to do the same with their new Olive Leaf collection.  

First off is the one I was most excited about, the *cleansing oil for dry and sensitive skin in a 270ml bottle. This waterless foaming face and body oil came at the best time as I'm suffering with my skin lately due to some contact dermatitis. I was worried that this would effect it further, but I was totally wrong. Its a lovely feeling to use this in the shower daily for some relief from the current soreness and irritation. It calms it down and helps to relieve the need to touch and irritate it for a few hours. It also leaves the rest of my skin a little softer and more moisturiesed then before. This wouldn't be used in place of a moisturiser, but for an extra bit of skin lovin' I'd highly recommend it. Worried that it would be like pouring cooking oil over myself, I only used a tiny blob to begin with, but its a gorgeous gentle rich oil that works as an emollient that wont strip essential oils from the skin, Olive leaf extract is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect, purify and sooth. This is one of their more expensive products at €9.99 for 270ml, but its well worth picking up. I'm sadly nearly finished my bottle but will be getting it as soon as I can get my hands on it again.  

The second product is the *nourishing face cream with SPF 20. I'll be honest and say that I'm not a big user of face creams or moisturisers so I'm a little bias. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I've used this because I want to, as opposed to having to trial it for review. A lot of the time moisturisers are greasy on my skin, heavy and far too rich. But with this cream, it was light and my skin drank it up in minutes. It didn't hurt or irritate my face like a lot of moisturisers and there wasn't any issue putting my make up on over it. - Although I tend to only use it on make up free days as I find with any creams or moisturisers, my make up doesn't stand put on my face as long. Providing 'hydration, broad spectrum protection and skin regeneration'  with the olive leaf extract keeping skin soft, hydrated and smoothing out fine lines, this is another big thumbs up for me. For all that, plus an SPF of 20, I'm surprised that its only €5.99 for a 50ml tube. 

There are three other things in the olive leaf collection. A regenerating mask with hyaluronic acid for 69cent (which I can't wait to hunt down and try out!). A duo-phase make up remover and a gel scrub micro exfoliating, I think that Ziaja can really do no wrong by me. I'll be looking out for some more of this range, along with repurchasing my must-have cleansing oil.  

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

Thursday 19 February 2015

Waxperts: Beautiful Body Oil

Irish brand Waxperts have been the ones to watch since they released their wonder pads causing a storm all over the beauty world. Not only do they do all sorts of lovely waxing (I didn't know you could get your nipples waxed!!) but they have a new one on the block, the *Waxperts beautiful body oil. Made with the intoxicating scent of lavender, its one that your nose will want to sniff. Coming in a 100ml bottle with a handy pump and secure lid, this is an easy one to say yes to.

I know that Spring has more or less sprung but lets face it, that Irish weather isn't doing much for any of us. Its feckin' freezing, the wind has hair gone to hell and don't get me started about the skin thats ready to go on strike and walk off us. No one likes rough, cracked or crispy feeling skin, but lads thats me right there. And don't for a second say your not even a little bit in the same boat, because I know your chewing on dry lips and pulling down sleeves to hide sandpaper elbows. I try my best to moisturise, like I'm sure many of you do. But its cold, you've to wait for the cream to dry in, theres that unattractive naked flappy arm dance you do praying it will help dry it quicker and at the end of it your slithering into cream covered jeans, puffing from your efforts and no softer then when you started. 

But with Waxprets oil, its a little different. Theres no flappy naked dance of shame, no puffing and no cream getting on every conceivable surface. Using just a little (not half the bottle by accident like someone -coughMEcough- did. Felt like slapping myself on the floor and sliding around like a slug.) you can rub it into any bit of skin that you fancy. This oil helps to nourish, sooth and hydrate. Its lightweight and once you only use a little at a time it absorbs really well into the skin in record time. Its great for using with waxing, shaving or after a bath or shower to help get that silky soft feeling. You can also rub a little on before bed to help you sleep with its calming lavender scent. 

It can also be used on stretch marks, sun damage and to hydrate dry and cracked skin - can I get a hallelujah! Although I've only used it on my legs and arms, I'm impressed with how fast it drys into the skin, how gorgeous it smells and how soft it makes my skin feel. Theres nothing my inner Bridget Jones doesn't love about this, or my skin for that matter. My one plea would be for them to make this into bubble bath, as it smells and feels so good! I used a little in the bath the other night and almost went to the nearest public place for people to have a feel of me after. Yeah, I like this one! Its €9.99 and you can get it from selected salons and Waxperts themselves. 

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

Wednesday 18 February 2015

New Aussie Body Wash

Aussie is one of my favourite brands when it comes to hair, I especially love their 3 minute miracle conditioner. So when I heard that they had ventured into the world of body wash I was more then intrigued. There are four different body washes in the *Aussie body wash collection, each with its own special scent to suit your mood.

Shower smoothie body wash is a creamy pearlescent pink thats meant to be 'like a big warm hug for your body' with macadamia nut oil. It leaves skin smooth and I personally think it smells most like the traditional Aussie scent out of the four washes. The one suggested for a pick me up is the mega watt body wash, the only one I have yet to try out from the range. It contains Australian ginseng that is meant to be energising and leave you feeling awake and silky soft. The last one to leave you soft and smooth is the no rush body wash. This one is to sooth, relax and help you mellow. Packed with jojoba oil this will possibly leave you the softest out of the three in this list.

The fresh mate body wash is one one thats targeted for getting you super squeaky clean as opposed to the other three targeted at getting your skin lovely and soft. This has eucalyptus extract to 'make you and your skin feel ocean fresh and squeaky clean in no time'. 

Overall I really like these and will without a doubt be picking up the mega watt to try it out. They all smell vaguely like the original Aussie hair products, but thats not a bad thing if you really love the brands scent. I like that each one is for different moods and have been using them accordingly - even if the shower is almost overflowing with body washes! My favourite has to be the no rush so far, but I find that the shower smoothie foams up the best out of the three here. My one issue with them is the price, €3.99 for 250ml and €6.49 for 400mls is a little steep. However at the moment the 250ml bottles are on offer in Boots for €6 if you get two. If you wanted to give them a try if your a big Aussie fan like me, now is the time while they are on offer!

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

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Max Factor S/S Creme Puff Blush

Max Factor has been coming out with some proper gems over the past few months and these new Spring/Summer collection of *creme puff blushes aren't any different. Some have compared them to the much loved Hour Glass palettes, but without the price tag. There are six different shades, with a suggestion for which would suit each skin tone, at €11.49 each.

I have been trying out three of the shades over the past few weeks, two are in the fair-medium skin tone range and the third is the darkest shade. The lightweight baked formulas are really something special, I've not tired anything like them before (and we all know you must swatch every product in Boots, as is law). They contain 'finely milled, multi-tonal pigments that blend evenly..' - I couldn't have said it better myself. I just love something that actually does what it claims to do on the tin!

Getting up close and personal with them, you'll see that one quick swipe on a brush comes away with the most pigmented result, so you only need the tiniest amount to give the desired look. They can build really well too. I find that some blushes look caked on or too light even with (what I always think is!) just a little product. I always apply these over foundation, some concealer and even a little setting powder without any issue. 

The packaging is small and sturdy, that holds up to be thrown on the floor repeatedly - sorry Max Factor, the cat likes to paw them off my dresser.. And so far, no matter how much they get used the lovely baked swirls of different colours doesn't get wiped away. They are just so pretty to look at and take photos of! (I know, I'll see myself and my many make up photos out.)

Although I like all three, surprisingly enough my favourtie out of the three is the darkest, most intimidating shade of Gorgeous Berries. Just the slightest touch of a brush to the product and then to my skin gives such a lovely colour without making me look like a traffic light. I think the Seductive Pink gives me the appearance of having wiped off my makeup a little as its more my natural skin colour. But I think the shade in Nude Mauve would be the perfect colour for anyone who isn't too sure about blush or doesn't want something thats really in your face and noticeable. 

I honestly don't think I'd pick these up for almost €12 if I hadn't tried them first and seen how good they actually are. I now have my eye on Alluring Rose, the only medium/dark shade in the collection and I might just pick it up this week. Max Factor is on 3 for 2 at the moment in Boots, so it would be rude to pass up an offer like that!

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

Thursday 12 February 2015

W7 HD Foundation And Sponge Applicator

When w7 gets it right, they really know what their doing. Theres been many a totally wonderful dupe, with things like the Naked palettes, Benefit blushes and mascaras. But the one thing I hadn't ever picked myself up was their brushes or foundation. Whatever about slapping things on my eyes, when it comes to foundations and brushes, I'm really fussy and hard to please. I tend to have tonnes in the back of draws that I wont touch because I felt it just wasn't up to scratch. (I give them away to family and friends, don't worry I'm not hording them!)

So when these came in the post I was intrigued to say the least. If I'm honest I wasn't expecting much from the foundation. *HD foundation in the lightest shade, buff, claiming to last 12 hours with a light coverage. After giving it a good shake, I applied it with my trusty kabuki brush and noticed that it was lightweight, with an almost - mousse foundation feel. It matched my skin tone almost perfectly which I was pleased with, as it can be hard to find a good match for me with budget brand makeup. It was really easy to build up to a fuller coverage and it lasted me all though the day after a quick brush over with setting powder. I like that it doesn't make any mad claims either with only 12 hours.

I also really like that it has a pump so its easy to get out the product, but it has a sturdy lid that doesn't come off once closed. I think it would be grand for travelling with, if it wasn't for the weighty glass bottle. I love how those bottles look displayed, but man are they a tonne to cart around! I couldn't get over how affordable they are at only €3.50 from Cara Pharmacy, definitely worth picking up if your in the market for some new foundation and you don't want to break the bank.

On the opposite end of the scale, I wasn't at all pleased with the *sponge applicator. I can see where they were going with it and to a certain extent it is handy with a handle, but I didn't like it. The sponge had a funny smell and soaked up loads of product before it got near my face. It was a harder foam then I'm used to with little make up sponges so it felt odd on my skin. But then again a good point was that it was shaped well and therefore easy to get into the hard to reach places near my nose. Overall, I'm not a fan and wont be using it again. Its not on the Cara site, but I found it on the w7 site for £3.95 which when converted into euros is a bit much for a not so amazing sponge. I think I'll be sticking to the €1.50 sponges you can get in Penneys.

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

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Lush Valentines Day Bubble Bars

Its no secret that I'm a massive Lush fan and one of my favourite things from them is their bubble bars. Oh mammy, when I see that there are new bubble bars for me to get my hands on, I really can't help myself! Two of the limited edition bubble bars that have popped up this year are the Unicorn Horn and Heart throb. These are the two that really caught my eye, but there are some of lovely things on offer. I have my eye on some prince charming shower gel too.

Theres a third bubble bar in a heart shape called Lonely Heart for €4.50, but its not as good value as the almost two-in-one Heart throb thats also €4.50. In the middle, much like a macaroon theres a layer of gold glitter and I pull apart the two heart sides to save for future baths. Normally I spend a good 10 minutes cleaning glitter out of the bath after using something from Lush, but for some reason after using Heart Throb that wasn't the case.  With vanilla, geraniam oil, shea butter with a lovely sweet floral scent, it makes all the bubbles with just a little piece and makes you silky soft.

The Unicorn Horn has got everyones attention this year and the girl in Lush was saying that it makes the best colours when put in the bath. But after using it, I thought it was a bit of a let sown for the price and hype.  Unicorn Horn has lavender, neroil and ylang ylang oil to name a few. It also gives off a shimmer in the water an the confetti type stars stuck into the sides are really cool. This smells just as lovely as the other bubble bar, but I think Heart Throb is the best one to go for if you only fancy forking out for one as they are the same price.

Tuesday 10 February 2015

January Favourites

January was a really bad month for good day time light. I know that its still considered winter, I'm not looking for miracles but I still give out no end about the crap quality of my blog photos. I can't wait for the summer light to come back! Netflix, melons and trips to Lush for 50% off Christmas stock featured heavily in January. After watching all of House of Cards, I can't wait for the 26th of February to see season 3, its addictive! Same goes for The Good Wife, I know season 6 is currently airing, but I want to wait and binge watch it. 

In other news, I am a massive comic fan and all things Marvel. I set my sights on this gorgeous Iron Patriot from Iron Man, one of my favourite films. He now stands on my book case with my other super hero figures. (Pauses for moment to admire him and pat myself on the back.)

Three bottles next, all things that I have a love hate relationship with. First is the amazing smelling Soap&Glory Super Tonic in the fragrance in Orangeasm. Its one of their newer scents and I use the body wash most days in the shower. My one issue with this is that the scent doesn't linger very long and I don't use it as much because of it. I don't like lugging the bottle around with me if I'm out so only on days when I'm home do I use it. Oh well, its still lovely!

Next is the new make up brush cleaner from Penneys that anyone and everyone is talking about. I've never used one of these before, instead just going straight to cleaning them, so I have nothing else to compare it to. But considering its only €2.50, I couldn't not pick it up. Theres been a lot of mixed reactions from people over it, but I find it great. I don't use it on my bigger brushes, but it cleans my eyeshadow brushes really well. Again, my one issue with it is that it gives off a very strong sweet smell. Not something thats a problem in the over all use of the brush, but I'm not a fan of feeling sick if a brush happens to pass my nose. I still prefer deep cleaning them, but for spot cleaning or being lazy, this is great. 

Lastly in the list of bottles is my Human+Kind family remedy cream. This is meant to be used for anything and everything that happens to skin. So with the long list, I've been using it for my contact dermatitis and eczema  with great success. Applying it about 3 times daily and things clear up within 3 or 4 days. But its very pricey and because of that, I'm careful with how much I use. When I got this bottle I noticed that it was only half filled, missing a lot of product. But as I needed to use it right away, I didn't send it back or complain to Cloud10Beauty where I bought it. Kind of a round about let down! 

After lots of make up in December, its all about the minimal face this month. I've been using Lush sweet lips lip scrub to exfoliate with and then putting on a layer of Carmex in cherry after it. I've never had better feeling lips then in the month of January!

Next is another Soap&Glory product, Thick&Fast mascara. I got it in a gift set at Christmas and decided to have a quick go of it one day, to find that it gave me lovely day time light lashes. The applicator is great and it does a really wonderful job of separating my lashes out. Big thumbs up with this one, I'd say it will be popping up a lot this year.

Lastly is a random tiny bottle of hair oil that I got ages ago in one of the beauty boxes. I used it when I first got it, but then I gave up on it. But I've noticed the past while that my hair needed a bit of extra love, so this has been really great for it. I've been on Boots having a look at different hair oils as I'm just out of this bottle, so I'll be picking something up soon. Maybe I'll do a review if its as good.

Sunday 8 February 2015

Sexual Sunday: Porn Banned In The UK

Every Sunday I talk about something to do with sex and this week I'm taking a break from reviewing sex shops to discuss the new laws in the UK  surrounding porn. Back in December, the 1st to be exact, the UK quietly introduced restrictions on the porn sold and made there (Communications Act 2003). Under these new censoring laws, the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014 requires video on demand online porn to follow the same guidelines as DVD sex shop porn laid out by the  British Board of Film Censors. In short, it is now illegal to do the following acts:

Aggressive whipping
Penetration with any object 'associated with violence'
Physically or verbal abuse (regardless of if consensual)
Urolagnia (water sports)
Role playing as non adults
Physical restraint
Female ejaculation
Face sitting

The last three in that list are viewed as potentially life threatening by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC). Now do not fear, this doesn't stop anyone from viewing the above acts if they choose. Those acts can still be carried out in porn from countries that are not the UK or don't have similar rules. But from my point of view (and the out cry of many others) it looks like the BBFC has it out for the majority trying to enjoy themselves. Those in the porn industry producing BDSM, LGBT and lesbian sex now essentially have their hands tied behind their backs. (Wouldn't that come under 'physical restraint'?) 

Personally I feel outraged that face sitting could be considered to be life threatening. Not only is it utterly bizarre, but its depriving women of pleasure. My same line of thought extends to female ejaculation. Depicting a male orgasming and ejaculating is perfectly acceptable for the UK, but dare a woman orgasm  and have physical proof, well thats just outrageous and banned. It would have been laughed out of law if male ejaculation was censored, I can't see why the same shouldn't be said for women.

Now don't get me wrong here, this isn't merely some feminist crusade fighting for womens pleasure, but for the pleasure for whoever this effects. Spanking, humiliation, abuse and the rest could and does come under the umbrella term of BDSM. Anyone who has a particular kink or interest in these acts is being essentially told by UK laws that they are wrong to want this. It is not ok, they are banned. And so we again see the great divide between those 'weirdos' with their unwholesome sexual behaviors and those who are fine upstanding people that would never indulge in such things.  All I can say is it sickens me that this is a law now, to discriminate and make prejudice of people who engage in these acts in the porn industry, and those who enjoy it.

Its easy to argue the point of protecting people. Protecting the children, Oh wont someone think of the children. I realise that from a young age children are more exposed then ever to over sexualised images, video, etc. But is banning it through porn really the way to help and discourage these deemed wrongful banned acts? Does it really instill confidance of the general public that the UK are setting these standards? Deeming womens pleasure unacceptable? Disregarding sexual preferences and drawing the sexist line right down the middle for what men can do and what women can't? I could go on for another ten paragraphs. 

I have no answers, I doubt most of you do either. But if the UK have banned so much, what can we expect for Catholic Ireland, or whatever other government or organisation who feel they need to censor people. Tell them what they can like, what they can't. Make those in the porn industry redundant and move underground to do these 'dreadful, harmful' acts. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this below

Thursday 5 February 2015

Fushia Make Up: The Pro Collection

Back before Christmas I attended a lovely Christmas blogger dinner hosted by Lisa from PinkSugar. We were spoiled with goodie bags from lots of generous companies and one of them was Fuschia. In their goodie bag we got a *pro palette and also some lip products, but what really grabbed my attention was the palette. I'll be honest and say that it took me a few days to try this out, I was in no hurry as I had read some awful reviews of this brand. I had previously got a sample size lip gloss to try and although I adored the shade, it didn't apply well and smelled horrible. I thought this would apply across board for all of their make up.

But I couldn't have been more wrong when it came to their eye shadows and blushes. This massive magnetized palette holds 9 blushes and 12 eye shadows. Hand over my heart when I say this - I use every single shade here, especially the crazy red, orange and the matte purples. Playing it safe, I normally only have dark browns, greys and other neutral colours in my collection. This palette however has brought me over to the dark side and I now utterly love wearing a bright pop of colour now. The shadows themselves are highly pigmented which was a great surprise. Theres a lovely mixture of mattes, shimmers and glittery goodness. The very same goes for the blushes and what I can only assume is some sort of contour - the almost black one at the bottom of the palette that I've still not used. Its a bit of a intimidating colour to use!

Not having a clue about Fuschia, I went onto their site to see what the craic was. There they give you the chance to create your own palettes starting from a single (€8.50) up to a five pan (€25) of the 60 different eye shadows they have on offer. Blushes come in single pots, but I'm sure if you wanted something similar to the pro palette above, you could fill it with lots of different depotted blushes or shadows. Each blush is €16.50 and there seems to be 10 shades available.

Not having ever had products like these before, I really like how each shadow and blush has their own number, name and ingredients list on the bottom. I've seen similar things with MAC (again, a brand I've never once tried and think is a tad overrated!) but this is all new to me and a great novelty. Although I doubt I'd fork out for a full palette, if and when any of these little pots get used up, I wouldn't hesitate to fork out the €8.50 to get a replacement or to try out a new shade - the idea of 60 different ones has me a bit giddy. 

Then again, there are times when I go on a mad one and get spendy with make up. I know last year Fuschia had a stand at the Pro Beauty show and I hope they have one again this year as I might be passing by for a 'quick' look. (read: hour long poking, swatching and demanding they take all my money.) I had a quick go of the lip lipstick and glosses that I got in the goodie bag too and it was a total different texture and smell to the other older ones I had tried. This makes me wonder if a new formula was introduced because I enjoyed using them a lot more. 

Some things Fuschia offers are totally mad prices for what they are, but as far as the eye shadows go, I couldn't fault them and would fork out in future no bother.

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

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Sanctuary Spa 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask

I went on the hunt for a new face mask, I love the luxurious idea of them. I normally throw one on while I'm in the bath, or sometimes if I feel like my skin is particularly down in the dumps, I'll slap one on. Browsing the No.7 stand in Boots a while ago the really nice assistant told me about their thermal face mask and I liked the sound of them. But it would cost me the guts of €20 so I went looking for a cheaper alternative to see if these kind of masks worked, without breaking the bank.

Sanctuary Spa has the 5 minute thermal detox mask for 'oily congested skin prone to blemishes and dullness' is normally €13.69 for 100ml, but after a while of gooing over it online, I noticed that it was(and still is!) on offer for €9.13 - bargain! I never think of Sanctuary Spa when it comes to skincare, so this was an extra treat. This mask is self heating and the heat helps to open pores so the kaolin clay and charcoal draws out all the impurities and face uglies deep in the skin without damaging it. 

I thought that the heating part sounded like a gimmick, but I was wrong. The texture of the product is an almost gel like substance, but its thicker and not as easy to spread. Once you start to apply and rub in the mask, it heats up and then cools down again in a few minutes. It doesn't dry out like most masks, so theres no time limit or indication when to take it off. If your like me and forget easily, leave a timer on your phone or you might walk out of the house with a grey/blue face. (I've not done this, but theres been a few close calls.) Its recommended that you use it twice weekly to help reduce blemishes but I don't see any harm in using it more if you were so inclined.

Its easy to rinse off with warm water and a face cloth - its harder to get it off without one. I've been using this for about 2 weeks now and although it more or less sticks to the site where you place the mask to your skin, I don't actually use that much. In the 5 times that I've slapped it on, I've not noticed groundbreaking results, but my skin is having a good spell. I have however noticed that my skin feels fresher and looks brighter after using it and also my spots aren't coming up as big, ugly or red. I think it might have something to do with the mask as I've not been using any other spot treatments while trying this out, just to see if it really made a difference. 

If you can get past the fact that it does heat up on your face, I'd suggest having a poke around and picking it up while its on offer in Boots. I think its a very underrated product that needs more love for all the help it gives. I'd say over time with even more use I'll see further results and it will continue to improve the face uglies. 

Monday 2 February 2015

Bia Beauty Facial Exfoliant and Cleanser

If theres one skin care thing that I love, its a good exfoliator. If I was stuck on a desert island, this is the type of product I would be bringing with me. Bia Beauty is an Irish brand all the way from Cork and I've tried out quite a few of their range. This is by far the one that stands out for me. Its gentle enough that I can use it daily if I wanted, while also giving my skin a little scrub and cleanse. I love that its orange and grapefruit, its fresh and without sounding like a dope - it smells natural. None of this chemical smelling pretend fruit scents, but the real thing. I'm not normally a fan of these particular fruit scents, so this says a lot for the product.

With caster oil, thistle and essential oils, this lovely rich yellowy cream always leaves my skin feeling moisturised and not stripped, unlike a lot of exfoliators. You only need a small amount to do your entire face and because it is both a exfoliant and cleanser, your saving time. For 60ml I think this is a really good 2in1 product. I also really love the presentation in an old style dark brown glass jar, with a plastic screw on lid. 

I've been using this for nearly two years now and this is my third jar. I always keep it in the shower as an everyday product. At €16.95 it is a little pricey, but for something gentle and brighten for your skin, along with it being a 2in1 cream, I think its worth it.

Have you tried Bia Beauty before?

Sunday 1 February 2015

Sexual Sunday: Condom Power Dame St.

As is the new tradition, every Sunday on the blog is Sexual Sunday. Here I talk about all things sex or sex related. At the start of the year I decided my main focus of these would be my grand tour of Dublin sex shops, giving my honest opinion after playing guinea pig so you don't have to. I ask questions, compare prices and give star ratings so you can see what shops to visit and what ones to maybe avoid. 

This week I headed straight to Dame St. and stood waiting on the lights to change, looking at the hardly noticeable entrance to the shop. Its parked between shops and if your not paying attention you would easily mistake it for the Dame Cafe entrance instead of a sex shop. The signage isn't very noticeable either, with a cartoon condom showing off his muscles below the shop name. This is a discreet shop to say the least. However once you step in the doorway you almost immediately come to steep stairs that lead down to the shop. In case you needed further help, there is a lit sign telling you 'Condom Power Adult Shop Downstairs'. 

Appearance of outer shop: 1 star - You don't even notice it.

Appearance of inner shop: 1 star - Nothing special and could use a bit of a clean.

Friendliness and helpfulness of staff: 3 stars - Good chat and discreet with customers.

Price range of toys: 1 star - Total extortion rates.

Selection of products/Specialists: Apart from some gimp masks and We Vibe, all the toys were cheap plastic. Good selection of porn and magazines though.

The shop is one big square room that has toys surrounding the walls. Theres one long stand in the middle that holds DVDs, much like the ones you'd find in HMV. Its bright and spacious - if a little sparse and I felt very on show when I walked the shop. There was nowhere to hide in the open space and anyone who waked in could clearly see me. After seeing the selection of things the shop offered, it was clear that this shop was catering to only men and the selection of DVDs were all gay porn from what I could see. I stuck out like a sore thumb with boobs in that place. None the less I noted that they had We Vibe, 50 Shades of Grey, a few gimp masks, some rabbits, fleshlights and glass dildos. The rest of the toys were dusty boxes of cheap looking plastic dildos and other odds and ends of toys. Nothing to really take note of, apart from some of the boxes needing a good dusting. My eyebrows shot up a few times over prices, they know how to charge. Off the top of my head I could see some toys with €10 and €12 extra put on then with other sex shops I regularly visit. 

I asked the staff if they had any poppers, pipes, skins and other drugs or accessories. He handed me out two different types of poppers and boasted that he would only next week have a brand new kind in stock. I know I'm letting my bias towards drugs sway me here, but I wasn't impressed. This is the first sex shop I've come across that sells poppers and not just accessories for weed. I'll admit if the price range and lack of good toys hadn't put me off already as a customer, this would have had me running for the hills. 

We talked for a while and although he insisted that he was only helping the owner out for the day, he seemed to really know about his sex toys and the other sex toy shops in Ireland. He told me that it was indeed mainly a gay mans shop and that only men worked there. He doubted that the owner would talk to me (seems to be a running theme). When I asked if he was aware of the laws against selling poppers and porn DVDs in Ireland, he gave a sheepish look telling me that it was a grey area and he not only sold but also distributed both. This is a first again as the staff in sex shops will normally hold their hands up and admit that despite knowing the laws, they still sell the items.

Although I can't say I'm at all impressed with the shop or the answers to some of my questions, I will say that I've never seen such a big selection of magazines all in one place. They had a really good display and I would consider recommending popping in if porn mags were your thing. They also had a lot of the DVD s for €10, but going all the way up to €60 for what seemed like basic porn. I don't think I would ever pay €60 for a DVD, even if it was about something I loved. (I want to say it would be cat related, but in the context I think its a tad wrong.)I also noted that despite the staff only being there for the day to help out, he was really good with the customers and discreet dealing with them. He kindly gave me a copy of a magazine that he owns and he put it in a coloured paper bag, sealing it with sellotape for me.

As for the Condom Power website, it seems to be non existent. When googled, it comes up with a domain name and nothing more. There is no Facebook page and only a small following on their Twitter account, with no public interaction. I think they could really do with getting their site back online and pushing their large range of magazine and DVD collections, instead of promoting themselves as a (male targeted, not so great) sex toy shop. I'd take a miss with this one.