Thursday, 29 May 2014

Skincare Staples

I don't like to spend loads on skincare. I'd much rather have an investment piece of makeup than expensive cleanser. I know there are plenty of people out there that do love to spend more money on their skincare and I should really invest more. A good friend of mine recently introduced me to a really great blog recently written by a dermatologist. Carolines cheat sheets are perfect for those of you starting out with skincare or even people like myself, who only do the bare minimum and are looking to up their game a little. 

I don't have particularly problematic skin, however I have noticed some dryness as of late around my nose and my concealer has begun to sink into fine lies under my eyes. I have been reading online and have come to the conclusion that I am in need of an eye cream, something I have never used before. Tanya Burr, a favourite blogger of mine, has recommended recently the Origins eye cream, however ranging from €32-55, this investment will require some serious thought on my part. If anyone has any recommendations or advice please let me know in the comments, on twitter or on facebook. 

At the moment I usually get up in the morning and give my face a wash after breakfast using Soap & Glory Peaches and Clean. I don't like to use a face cloth to wash my face with as I find they harbour germs, but I guess if you have the patience to wash and dry your cloth every day, go ahead! I use cotton pads which are relatively cheap and usually on offer in Boots. I'll usually apply a small amount of moisturiser and primer before going ahead and applying my makeup. 

At night I tend to have all days worth of makeup and general grime on my face so I enjoy washing my face before bed. 

If I was to choose my all time favourite cleanser it would have to be the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. It's leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft. When used with a muslin cloth the steam really opens your pores and helps to clear your skin. All Liz Earle products have been manufactured using totally natural ingredients and are animal friendly. 
I also really love No.7s Melting Gel Cleanser. You only need a tiny amount and it changes to a liquid on your face and leaves my skin so super soft. I like to use it in the shower, despite Carolines advice that you should not get your face wet in the shower. It feels like a real luxury product to me, and at such a reasonable price it's a must-have. 
Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a tendency to be extremely lazy, especially after a night out, and although I may not want to go the whole hog and wash my face, I couldn't sleep in my makeup. I like to use a cleansing water on those lazy nights. I find it especially important to start with an eye makeup remover like the No.7 one and to double cleanse when using a cleansing water in order to make sure I have all of my makeup off. I currently have the Garnier Micellar Water but it doesn't quite live up to my personal favourite, No7 Cleansing Water

After Cleansing I usually use the No.7 toner, although I should probably invest in an acid toner like Ren Clarifying toner or the Clarins exfoliating brightening toner as I have been consistently allergic to every facial exfoliating product I've ever tried. For skin like mine which burns easily and can become a little tight in the summer, I would recommend a spray like the La Roche Posay Thermal Water. It's refreshing although it doesn't really add any lasting moisture to the skin. 

I don't like to use a huge amount of moisturiser on my face as it can make it quite oily. I'm currently using the No.7 day cream for normal/dry skin but I don't love it and will probably look for something else when I finish the pot. Anyone with suggestions please let me know. 

I find the No.7 Spot Rescue serum to be very good. I'll apply a small amount on spots before I go to bed and they can disappear in a day or so. 

Do you have any products you swear by or do something differently? Let me know in the comments below. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Bare Minerals Review

It's been too long since my last post but this will hopefully be the start of many regular posts. I recently acquired the BareMinerals Get Started Complexion Kit in Light and have been in love with it ever since. I had always been sceptical of BareMinerals as a brand, doubting the coverage that a mineral powder could give but I must admit where I'm wrong and the Original Foundation in Fairly Light gives me just as much coverage as any liquid foundation I use. 

The kit I got is excellent value, available from for €58. 

It contains:

  •  two original foundations in fairly light and light, both priced at €27, 
  • Mineral Veil Finishing Powder, retailing at €24, 
  • two foundation brushes, one for full and one for medium coverage, €28 and €23 respectively, 
  • a bronzing powder costing €22, 
  • a concealer brush retailing at €17
  • Primer costing €23
So for €58 you're getting products worth €191 if bought separately. There's no arguing with that kind of savings. Also included in the kit is an instruction booklet and a dvd showing you how to properly use the products. I really enjoyed how quick and easy it was to apply during study month and exams. I will definitely be repurchasing! Mineral Makeup especially with the SPF included in BareMinerals Products will be perfect for the summer holidays. 

BareMinerals are also available to purchase at Brown Thomas Stores nationwide. Let me know what you think of mineral makeup.  

Friday, 2 May 2014

Another Day, Another Boots Haul

So it's now May and Summer is officially upon us, not that we would know it by the weather. It's also exam season in UCC, which has led to me being inexcusably inactive here. That will all change in the next week or so, with frequent updates and more interaction via. Social Media. It's always great to find out what people think so I will be looking to get more feedback from people regarding what you'd like to see and if there are any particular products you'd like reviewed. What can I say? I'm a people pleaser!

I've finally got around to doing a boots haul and I've picked up some pieces I'm sure I'll love. The haul may seem small because I also had my birthday recently and got a lot of new makeup there also, which will be featured in their own posts. 

I've been waiting since my March Wishlist to invest in Essie in the shade a cut above. This shade is not available on but retails in store for €10.99. While the colour does look amazing, I feel this is a little pricey for a brand I've not tried before. If anyone can offer any guidance on Essies' nail polishes I'd really appreciate it. 

While shopping around the makeup aisles I came across this excellent Sally Hansen equivalent which I know will be good quality. It comes from their Gem Crush range and is in the shade Razzle Dazzler. I have only used it once and forgot to take a picture before it began to chip so I've used this one to show you exactly what it looks like. 

I really liked how there is a mixed selection of glitter. It makes it look really 3D on your nail. It also can be used over other nail polishes and provides a professional finish. 

I have been looking for a nude lipliner for a while for under some of my paler lipsticks, simply to increase their staying power. I was considering the L'Oreal Infallible Lipliner  but I just felt that the packaging was really flimsy. I don't like lip/eye liners that are in plastic casing. I find that they break and I never end up using them until they run out. I instead fell head over heels in love with MaxFactor Colour Elixir Lipliner in Pink Petal. It comes out really smoothly and isn't drying or rough at all. It also matches all my pink lipsticks well. 

This brings me to my next purchase,  L'Oreal Color Riche Collection Privee in Juliannes Nude. It was a little expensive for a high-street brand lipstick but I do love the colour and it's really moisturising. 

As mentioned in my April Wishlist, I have invested in some of the Barry M. Gelly Nail Polishes. I bought them in the shades Greenberry and Blueberry, but haven't got around to trying them yet.  I'm dying to see what they are like on. They claim to give the shine synonymous with a gel manicure. I have found Barry M nail polishes to be a bargain in the past, as they are always at a reasonable price point. 

I did also buy another Sally Hansen nail polish in the shade Frutti Petutie, which is a really vibrant Coral based pink. 

The Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick has been on my list for quite a while, but the price is just too much for me to justify. So imagine how delighted I was to discover that Seventeen have produced an almost identical dupe

This is the shade pink bronze, but I will definitely be investing in Gold Bronze for the Summer.

Another item which has been on my list for quite a while is the Real Techniques Silicone Liner Brush. This was recommended to me when I had my Smashbox Makeover. It allows you to apply gel eyeliner without the bristles from the brush moving and messing up your work.

See how neatly the eyeliner went on? This brush is a lifesaver.

Last, but certainly not least, I invested in Maybelline Colour Tattoo in Pink gold which is the most divine pink/champagne colour. Definitely worth an investment for summer. I have been using it with a champagne all over my lid, pink gold on the outer half of the lid and a taupe in my crease for every day use.

There is currently 3 for 2 in Boots Stores and on, including all cosmetics and makeup tools and accessories. Let me know if anything takes your fancy or if you have found any hidden gems this month. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

April Wishlist and Lenten Update

April Wishlist and Lent Update

Easter is here and along with it the end of lent. March was a busy month with study starting for exams and going on a fabulous trip with some college friends to Amsterdam. Being so busy probably helped but I mostly managed to stick to my Lenten promise and bought little to no cosmetics.

My MarchWishlist went something like this. I didn’t invest in the Essie nail varnish but that will definitely be on the shopping list this month. My birthday was this week and I’m feeling the need to treat myself in the next few days.

My No7 concealer is still going strong so I won’t be investing in the Collection concealer yet. The other day I did a clear out of my makeup stash and put away all the things I don’t use, for example I have at least 5 mascaras and I can only use one/two max. When one runs out I will look to see if I have another and if not then it will be time to invest in a new one. Obviously there will be hauls and splurges but for the most part I should try to be more savvy when it comes to what I have.

I did invest in the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (currently a bargain, on offer at just €3.29) before Amsterdam so that I could decant it into a 100ml bottle for hand luggage. There will be a review posted in the coming weeks based on this vs the No.7 Cleansing Water.

The TanyaBurr nail varnishes are still on my list to invest in as I am just falling more and more in love with them every time I see them. I am dying to have little duck. Mint green is one of my favourite shades for this summer. I can’t resist things in mint.

I am still in love with the jumpsuit from Boohoo and I will certainly be adding this to my summer wardrobe  (am very upset it's out of stock). It’s been a long month of not buying things and I have come across some new must haves for April.

Floral Shorts by Mollie at Oasis

These shorts while pricey at €44.00, will look fab for Summer. Paired with white or any colour that you pick up from the design on the shorts, it will be fabulously easy to bring these shorts from day to night by adding a pink lip, some wedges and a blazer. Oasis also offer a student discount on presentation of a valid student ID. 

Sleek Pink Lemonade Blush Trio

This blush is full of the most amazing shimmering and matte pinks, both cream and powder. It is everything one looks for in a Summer blush palette. It would be the perfect blush to take away on holidays knowing that you will have something on hand for every eventuality. Sleek products are extremely good value and are available to order on I could not however find this product on the Irish site. 

Oasis Tropical Floral Playsuit 

This playsuit, again from Oasis, is also pricey at €56, but is utterly stunning! Paired with flip flops during the day it would make the perfect outfit for a trip to the market or sightseeing and with gold accessories and heeled sandals by night, it would take you absolutely anywhere. Definitely one not to miss. 

Barry M Gelly Nail Polish

I love when I get my nails done, but sadly gel just doesn't seem to last for me. I'm dying to try these new polishes from Barry M, which claim to give the same finish as a gel manicure. I don't think they last as long as a gel manicure would but if I apply a top coat every other day I tend to get about a week out of a home, manicure, which isn't half bad. 

Black Cowl Wrap Playsuit by Mollie at Oasis

There seems to be a running trend in this months wishlist, in that I'm going to spend my last penny in Oasis. They have really outdone themselves for their Spring/Summer Collection and the clothes by Mollie are so classy and elegant. If you aren't feeling the floral trend for Summer but still want a jumpsuit that will take you from day to night easily then this is the one for you. Black looks well on everyone and the cowl/wrap nature of this playsuit should be flattering on any shape. This one could be harder to dress down for daywear, but a white belt and some flip flops and this would take you into the heart of any European city. An absolute must have for those nights where you need something really elegant but cool and relaxed at the same time!

So that's this month's wishlist... Have you spotted anything you'll be lusting after for the month to come? Let me know in the comments below. 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Smashbox Makeup Review

Although some products mentioned in this post were provided to me courtesy of Smashbox, the views expressed in the following post are entirely my own.

A few weeks ago Smashbox sent me some products to review including their Try-it Kit and a tester of their new Full Exposure Palette.

 I also had my makeup done by their makeup artist, which I have already reviewed in my Smashbox Makeover Post.

The Try-it Kit contains a travel size primer

and lipgloss

I already owned the concealer  in fair/light and foundation in shade 1.

I started todays look by applying a pea-sized amount of primer all over my face.

The primer glided on really easily and wasn't oily or greasy on my face. I have been considering investing in a Smashbox primer for some time, but the price was always a major deterrent for me. Having tried it, I do quite like the formula and for someone with oily skin who really needs a primer it would be perfect, however my skin being normal/combination doesn't really need a heavy duty primer. 

After applying the primer I applied my concealer in any areas I felt needed a little help. I don't usually use the smashbox concealer for blemishes; I mainly keep it for my undereye area, however as this post is predominantly for Smashbox products I decided to try it out as a blemish cover also. I didn't really like it that much as a blemish cover. It was fine to cover redness but it didn't really do much to cover the spot on my forehead.

After blending out my concealer I applied some lid primer all over my lid up to my browbone. Since my Smashbox makeover I have been applying my eyeshadow before my foundation in order to stop fallout affecting the rest of my face.

The top row of shadows in the palette are shimmery

and the bottom row are matte. 

I used the matte cream colour all over my lid up as far as my browbone, before applying the matte beige on it's left all over the lid. I used the matte taupe colour on the right of the cream on the outer half of the eye and used the matte chocolate brown on the very left hand side to contour my eye. The finished blended look was this. 

I then used my Real Techniques Stippling Brush to buff on my foundation. I found that I used more foundation than usual due to it sticking to the primer more than it would to bare skin. I suppose this is really a testament to the quality of the primer. After applying I used my normal No7 Concealer to cover up any areas I felt weren't properly covered by the Smashbox Concealer. I then applied my Urban Decay Liquid Liner

I used the Smashbox pencil liner along my upper waterline. There was no transfer to my bottom waterline whatsoever. It also didn't spread throughout the day. I used my Rimmel Pressed Powder on my T-zone and chin. I filled in my eyebrows and applied my bronzer and highlighter to minimally contour my face. I used Bourjois Blusher in Jasper Rose on my cheeks. 

Before applying the Smashbox Gloss, I applied Benefit lip plump on my cupids bow and in the middle of my bottom lip. I used my Kate Moss lipstick in 03 under the gloss. The gloss didn't feel sticky when I applied it but it did leave a sticky residue after it had been on for a few minutes. It didn't last more than a half hour and was totally gone after I had eaten. 

The finished look: 

How Cruelty Free is Your Makeup Bag?

Its obvious to anyone that knows me, that I am totally and utterly addicted to all things makeup. What is often not as obvious is that there are some issues I feel strongly about when it comes to makeup products I will use. Over the years, in the process of brands testing their products before placing them on the market, many animals have been subject to what can only be described as torture.

Living in Ireland, a member of the European union, bound by EU law, there is zero tolerance for animal testing. An EU directive provides the framework for the phasing out of animal testing for cosmetic purposes. It is prohibited to test finished products on animals, and prohibited to market in the EU, finished cosmetic products and their ingredients which were tested on animals. The testing ban has been in place since 2004 and the marketing ban since 2009. 

I am no political activist but it seems ridiculous to me that in 2014, when Europe can find alternative methods of testing cosmetics that larger, more powerful countries such as the US cannot make more of an effort to put an end to animal testing. The US are by no means the biggest culprit when it comes to this issue, having outlawed the testing of cosmetics on mammals. In China, local laws require animal testing on cosmetic products to demonstrate consumer safety as part of the product registration process. This is a mandatory legal requirement applicable to all cosmetic products sold in china. This has caused many large cosmetic companies such as Urban Decay not to enter the Chinese market despite it being potentially highly lucrative.

Urban Decay is just one company out of many to be awarded the ‘leaping bunny’ logo.

If you see the ‘leaping bunny’ on a cosmetic or website, you can be confident in the fact that the company has committed to the Corporate Standard of Compassion for Animals, a voluntary pledge that companies make not to test on animals during any stage of product development. The ingredient suppliers make the same pledge and the result is a product which is 100% free from animal testing.

Urban Decay, which has recently been bought out by L’Oreal, made the following statement via email:

"We are under new ownership but they basically only own us. We still use the same animal and cruelty free companies we use to make our products. We hope to lead the way for L’Oreal and show them they do not need to test on any animals."

L’Oreal claim to no longer test any of its products or ingredients on animals, but as is the case with so many companies I emailed, they do make the exception if regulatory authorities demand they do so. This basically means that when they sell in places like China, they do allow the testing of their products on animals. Many companies sent me full details of their animal testing policy and the mention of this exception was always buried somewhere mid-paragraph. It seemed to me that most companies were aware that what they were doing would make people unhappy and they were doing their best to hide it.
When I sent emails to companies I always asked specifically if they sold in Countries such as China, where animal testing is mandatory, and though I found that many companies were attempting to hide their involvement in the Chinese market, most were willing to disclose it.

Real Techniques emailed me to say that their brushes are 100% synthetic, so they are all cruelty free. They did however choose not to comment on whether they sell in markets where animal testing is mandatory. Benefit told me that they have not been carrying out animal testing since long before the ban came into effect in 2004. They also did not comment on whether they sell their products in the Chinese market.

Boots provided the following statement:

“Boots and its subsidiary businesses do not test any products or ingredients on animals, and do not commission others to do so on our behalf. In fact in March 2013 it became illegal for any company to test cosmetic products or ingredients on animals in Europe.  We realise that until satisfactory replacements are available, other businesses around the world will carry out some tests for their own particular products and ingredients to meet regulatory requirements.  These safety tests may sometimes involve ingredients of the type used in products which we manufacture and sell.”

I started off by going through my makeup and emailed all of the companies. From the statements they sent me I made this little table. When I started the research for this post I thought it would be really easy to find products that are ethical. It's actually a lot harder. A lot of brands will put the profits they can gain ahead of the welfare of the animals they are testing their products on. From now on I will be trying my very best not to buy products which have possibly been animal tested. Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or if there are any brands you would like checked out.

Brands 100% free from animal testing
Brands not free from animal testing
Urban Decay
Real Techniques
Body Shop


Bobbi Brown



I was unclear when it came to certain companies such as Benefit and Bourjois, so I felt it best to leave them out of the running altogether, rather than give false/misleading information. All of these companies would be required not to perform animal testing within the EU but if they sell their products in the Chinese market I included them in the Not Cruelty Free bracket. 

Friday, 21 March 2014

My favourite bloggers

I'm not sure exactly when my obsession with blogging and bloggers began, but I do know where it all began for me.

The very first blog I ever got into was JacksGap. For those of you who don't know Jack is a British University Student who began his own youtube channel documenting his Gap Year. He and his twin, Finn have become majorly successful and have even gone to third world countries with Comic Relief to help raise money and awareness. Although this may make them sound very serious, their videos are always lots of fun and they have collabbed with people like Sam Pepper, who appeared on Big Brother. Here is my favourite video from Jack and Finn:

After Jack and Finn, it wasn't long before I realised that there were a plethora of youtubers and bloggers who loved makeup as much as I do. I followed some of my favourite people from the blogging community on youtube long before I realised that they had blogs;
Zoella who is also on youtube, is best friends with Louise who also has a youtube channel, and both Zoe and Louise are friends with Tanya (again a youtuber), who's married to Jim, who's sister is samantha (a.k.a Pixiwoo), who created Real Techniques. So you can really see that the blogging world is just one large community of people who have something to say or share.

Now while Beauty and Fashion are my true interests, I also like to see other people's interests and learn new things. One of my favourites I have already mentioned in my DIY Kimono Post,  LaurDIY, her DIY projects are always beautiful and her fashion and makeup posts thrown in just make for the perfect blog.

Starting my own blog has really opened my eyes to some new and exciting blogs that I probably would never have found on my own.

StrikeAPose is a fashion and beauty blog set up by Mary and Rose. Mary has been particularly supportive of me since I started my own blog and she is genuinely talented. She recently made her first youtube video, which is well worth watching.

Lilly Pebbles is a new inspiration for me. Her style is so chilled and effortless, yet she always looks amazing.

Obviously there are many more blogs that I could and probably should mention so I will list all of the blogs that I subscribe to below. Please let me know if there are any blogs I've missed that you follow or if you have found a gem in this post.

Easy Access Beauty
Beyond Blush
Jia And The Stars
Liana Beauty
Lifes Lust Haves
Jacks Gap
Essie Button
Lily Pebbles
Ninas Bargain Beauty
So Sue Me
Jenna Marble
Tess Christine
Strike A Pose
Pointless Blog
Tanya Burr
Laur DIY
Marcus Butler
Joe Suggs
Sam Pepper
Josh Wade
Tyler Oakley
Vivianna Does Makeup

Monday, 17 March 2014

Smashbox Makeover

Although this makeover was courtesy of Smashbox, all views expressed in this post are my own. 

This weekend I had my makeup done by Yvonne at Smashbox for a 21st I attended. Lately I have found myself stuck in somewhat of a rut, always using the same products and I was looking for some fresh inspiration. I will usually go with a brown/black shimmery eye and a neutral/red lip for a night on the town. 
I had never really tried Smashbox products so this was the perfect opportunity for me to freshen up my makeup collection. 

Yvonne started with my eyes. Lately I've been very stressed and finding it hard to sleep and so have been noticing my dark circles becoming more prominent. Yvonne put a little bit of Colour Correcting Primer under my eyes before applying Concealer in Light/Medium. I invested in the Concealer in Fair/Light for everyday use. One of Yvonnes top tips was pat the concealer on under the eye in order to increase blood flow to the area. This will naturally brighten the skin. She used their new Full Exposure eyeshadow palette, which is not yet available on, but is available in store. I think it costs around €35. 

Although I do usually stick with a neutral eye palette, this was slightly new for me in the fact that the colours Yvonne used were matte. The top line of shadows in the palette are shimmers and the bottom line is totally matte. She first primed the lids using their eye primer, and then used the 4th colour in the bottom row (ivory/white) to fill in the lid up as far as the browbone. She then used the 5th colour in the bottom row all over the lid before using the darker brown next to it to draw in a contour along the upper lashline and into the crease. She used a blending brush similar to the No.7 brush I mentioned in my Favourites Post to blend the contouring colour out over the lid before darkening the colour in the crease by patting the black colour on the right into the crease with a small brush. She then used the same blending brush to blend this up towards the browbone. All of the colours were very pigmented and it was very easy to build the colour up to the desired smokey effect. 

I usually don't do my eyeshadow before my base, but Yvonne made a very good point in that you don't have to be as careful in applying the shadows and avoiding fallout. Before applying my foundation she primed my face with their original primer. The primer dries in evenly and quickly without leaving a film on the face. You don't have to apply foundation straight after primer. Foundation can be applied after allowing the primer to sink in or immediately. She used their heavier coverage foundation all over the face. She applied it with a flat foundation brush and alternated the direction of her brush strokes in order to reduce the appearance of visible brush strokes. I invested in the lighter everyday foundation  in shade 1 for everyday use. 

Yvonne explained to me that she doesn't like to do the face piece by piece but likes to move around and give things time to settle, and give herself the opportunity to think about what she is doing. After my foundation was applied she moved back to my eyes and filled in my brows using their brow powder in Brunette. She applied the wax before the powder, which was new to me. I was under the impression that wax was applied after in order to set the powder. 

She then applied some pressed powder to my T-zone and chin where I would be likely to become shiny throughout the night. 

I really wanted a cat-eye flick as they are still in for SS/14 and I can't do them myself. She used their gel eyeliner and the Real Techniques Eyeliner Brush to create the perfect flick. What's unique about this brush is that it is all one piece. This prevents little hairs from going astray and messing up your line after a few washes. I asked Yvonne to share some tips for creating the perfect eyeliner for people like me, who struggle with liquid liner. Her advice was to look down into a mirror which is placed on a table in front of you. This will cause your eye to half-close, stopping you from blinking. Also she advised that when you come to the edge of your eye, rather than carrying on the line to extend into the flick, turn your brush and draw your flick in to meet the line. I have been practising using these tips and the results have been amazing! After finishing my eyeliner she applied their Mascara. While there was absolutely nothing wrong with the mascara there also was nothing remarkable about it. 

She then used a fan brush to highlight my cheekbones using a powder and to contour using a gorgeous shimmer brick that could easily be used individually for different things. To keep my face relatively neutral as I wanted to go with a strong lip, she used a coral blush to add some colour to my cheeks. 

Finally she used a purple eyeliner to line and fill in my lips before covering it with their lipstick in Vivid Violet.
The lipstick was a fantastic colour, but didn't last all that long.

This was the finished look. 
The lipstick didn't last very long and had to be topped up throughout the night using my Collection lipstick in Scorned, which I can't find on but is available in store. I already mentioned this lipstick in my Make Up Haul Post. The rest of the makeup did seem to last fairly well, although my face looks abnormally white in several photos. This is what it looked like after almost 8 hours. 

I even managed to somewhat recreate the look the following morning for work. 

Smashbox also provided me with a free Try-it Kit which I will be reviewing soon. 
Let me know your thoughts below and if you will be investing in any of the products I've mentioned. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


Today I want to take the time to tell all of you about Bloglovin'. Some people who blog themselves may already know about it, and how amazing it is, but there are a lot of people reading my blog who no doubt won't know it.

Bloglovin' is a blog reader. It's basically a social network. You log in to your account and you follow the blogs that you like. I follow quite a few and will post recommendations in the next few weeks in a post about my favourite bloggers.

Bloglovin' works really well for Bloggers as well as readers. Not only will it give you your blog fix but it suggests new blogs that you may be interested in based on your subscriptions. This can be a huge inspiration boost when you are having a bout of bloggers block.

There are few things that I enjoy more than opening my bloglovin' to find that someone has liked a post or followed me. It's a huge confidence boost to know that someone cares so much about what you have to say that they want to be notified the next time you post.

For those of you who are iPhone users, there is an app for Bloglovin' which is just as useful as the webpage. I like to read through my blogs when I have a spare few minutes, on the bus or in the ads of a TV show. Through both the App and the Web Version you can comment directly on posts and interact with other readers of your favourite blogs.

I would love to see some of you joining Bloglovin' and getting involved in the blogging community.
You can sign up here and you can then find my blog to follow it here.

Please let me know if you have any problems and how you get on in the comments below.

Monday, 10 March 2014

March Wishlist

March is now upon us and so is lent. I don't usually do lent, but this year I decided to test my willpower. I have resolved not to buy any more cosmetics or makeup products until Easter.
I do have a serious addiction and I need to reign it in a little bit and this should hopefully help.
I've decided to torment myself by posting a Wishlist, and who knows? Come April I may treat myself to some of these things.

Essie Nail Polish in A Cut Above

Essie Nail Polishes are really good quality and retailing in boots for around €9.99, they are an absolute bargain. This chunky pink glitter would be gorgeous over any colour: black, nude, white. I love anything that glitters. However, I would guess that I now own close to 100 nail polishes and the last thing I need is another one.

Collection Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer

Zoella swears by this concealer,and if it's good enough for her it's good enough for me to try. 

If you don't want to watch the whole video then you can skip to 6:30 where you'll see her talk about the concealer. 

Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water

This one is a bit of a roundabout story so please bear with me. Last year while on holiday in the South of France, I was looking for some cleanser in a small cosmetics shop called Nocibé. I found a bottle of Micellaire Water and I literally only bought it because it had one of these bottles which I wanted to fill up with nail polish remover when the cleanser was gone. 
As it happens, I was very impressed with the micellaire water and when it was gone, and I was back on Irish soil a replacement was ridiculously hard to locate. I have an alternative that I'm using at the moment, which will feature in a later skincare post but as soon as that is gone I will be investing in this.  

Tanya Burr Nail Polish

One of my favourite bloggers Tanya Burr has recently brought out a line of lip glosses and nail polishes, and while I'm not much of a lip gloss girl, the nail polishes are simply perfect! My favourite shades are Little Duck, New York Night and Penguin Chic, but they are all lovely and I will be buying them very soon. 

Lorena Floral Tieback Jumpsuit

I love this jumpsuit. Floral prints are so cute and pretty in the Summer. This piece would be so easy to dress up or dress down. Paired with flip flops it would be perfect for a walk on the beach or a stroll through the market and paired with a blazer, heels and earrings it would take you out on the town. This is a must have for Summer. 

These are just a few things that have crossed my path recently. I hope you've been inspired to treat yourself too. Please let me know in the comments below. 

From now on wherever possible I will provide links to make it easier for people to shop my blog posts. 
Also please let me know what you would like to see me post about next by taking part in the poll on the right sidebar. 

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Review: L'Oréal Paris Studioline #TXT Texture Styling Wave Creating Spray

This product claims to create texturised waves on straight hair, specifically formulated to help protect hair against heat, while leaving the hair non-heavy and non-crunchy.

As a sort of disclaimer I should probably begin this review by stating that my hair is naturally somewhere between a wave and a very messy curl when left to dry naturally. It's also very thick and can be quite stubborn to style. If I don't blowdry it my hair tends to get very matted, which leads to frizzynesss when I do manage to brush it.

I already mentioned this product in my Haul Blog Post. I bought this purely on the merits of the Volumising Spray I have from the same line. The spray is relatively cheap retailing at €4.99, which if it worked would make it a steal.

I started the process by washing my hair, adding some John Frieda Frizz Ease Serum for thick hair and by spraying the wave spray over my wet hair. I know that everyone's hair is different but I could have done with some further direction than "spray generously".

I then "half-blowdried" my hair, basically I blowdried the excess water out of my hair and styled my fringe.

I then stopped blowdrying and twisted my hair into a few topknots. The bottle says "at least two" but I have a lot of hair and I wanted fairly defined waves so I did put in a good few. I pinned them so that they would stay while I continued blowdrying my hair.

I kept blowdrying my hair for about another 10-15 minutes and then took out the topknots. At this stage the waves did look fairly defined but I couldn't leave my hair in just six curls so I had to separate them.

I then continued to blowdry my hair, while scrunching the waves upwards.

I wasn't that happy with the quality of my hair. It was really messy and not very wavy. It reminded me of the way my hair would look after I came out of the sea on holidays and left my hair dry naturally. It wasn't a very good look for me and the only place I would actually wear my hair like that would be on holidays, where my hair would look like that anyway.

I used my Remington Silk Curling Wand to make the waves more defined. I took some pictures to show how it looked along the way, and this is the finished look.

The look did take quite a bit of time to do and it would have been faster to just use my curling wand in the first place. 

I followed the instructions on the back of the bottle exactly. The bottle claims to leave your hair irresistibly soft to the touch, non-crunchy and non-heavy. I did find my hair a bit sticky and crunchy afterwards to be honest.

In writing this review I felt that I should give a balanced and well researched view so I looked online at how other people found the spray. 

The reviews in general that I found were poor enough, however I did find this article with some pictures from the press release of the product. My hair looked nothing like that unfortunately. 

I also found a tutorial from L'Oréal Paris on how to use it, which was totally different from the instructions printed on the back of the bottle. 

Maybe if you followed these instructions you would have a better result from the spray, but for now from me, its a thumbs down. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014


Yesterday I had college and I also had an informal interview. I wouldn't have time to change between the two so it was important to keep my outfit simple for college but yet appropriate for an interview. 

The red tartan dress I wore is from TK Maxx. I bought it there just after Christmas. I think it cost around €16.99. I bought the navy coat with the black fur detail on the collar in H&M in the Crescent Shopping centre in Limerick just two weeks ago. It was in the Sale and it cost just €20. It's really stylish and warm at the same time. Although we are coming into the Spring/Summer Season it will most likely be cold in Ireland for another few months so it's not too late to invest in a coat. 

My snood is from Penneys, although they may be out of stock by now. I bought it before christmas and it cost around €5. I love mustard and I think it's really flattering on every skin tone. 

My black boots I have already featured in an #OOTD post. They are from New Look and cost €44.99. I really love them because they are so pretty. They are a lot higher than they look though and can be super hard to walk in. They are also a little uncomfortable, not enough to stop me wearing them though. No pain no gain right? 

Yesterday my look was quite Wintery so I wanted to stick with it and wear a berry lip. In order to pull that off I needed to keep the rest of my face simple. I used Smashbox Liquid Halo HD Foundation in 1 as a base and used Smashbox High Definition Concealer in Fair/Light to hide my dark circles. I'm having a slight breakout on my chin at the moment so I used No.7 Stay Perfect Blemish Cover in Medium to cover that up. To set my base I used my Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Peach Glow, because I was leaving the house at 8am and not coming back until close to 7pm, and I don't really like fixing my makeup in college. On my eyes I used the highlighter from my Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light  up as far as my brow bone. I then layered Sin from Urban Decay's Naked Palette all over my eyelid. I used Buck from the same palette to contour along the crease. I highlighted my tear duct and the very outer corner of my eye with Virgin from the same palette to open my eye. I just used Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves mascara on my lashes and filled in my brows using L'Oréal Superliner Brow Artist in Blonde. I used a dusting of the bronzer from my Sleek Face Contour Kit to contour my cheekbones and Bourjois Blush in 95 Jasper Rose to add a little bit of colour to my cheeks. I lined my lips with my No.7 Precision Lips Pencil in fire and then filled them in using Collection Gothic Glam Lipstick in 2 Scorned. To make the colour last I covered that in Barry M Lip Laquer Crayon in 2.