Monday, December 31, 2012

December Favourites

I can't believe it's the last day of 2012, I'm not one to go all out with New Years celebrations but tonight I'm braving the horrible weather and heading into town. Before I start getting ready and glammed up I wanted to show you my December Favourites. It seriously only feels like yesterday that I did my November Favourites, like always Christmas went by super fast. Even though I didn't have anytime off over Christmas bar the day, I did enjoy spending time with my family. I love the atmosphere around Christmas time, my nephew was super excited to see what Santa left in our house for him. We must of spent hours playing with his new toy ship. Back to my favourite products, I don't have too many bits to show you this month. I've been busy with the festivities and trying to get college assignments out of the way but most of the products featured are new finds. Keep an eye out for my 2012 Favourites which will be a rundown on the products that I've been loving over the past year. It may go up in 2013 but it's coming!

First of is a body cream from Bath & Body Works which I can't get enough of. Vanilla Bean Noel is from the brands Festive range and it smells amazing. This is the Triple Moisture Body Cream so it's nice and thick, perfect for this time of the year as my skins been so dry. As you all know I adore vanilla scents so this was always going to go down well  with me. I can tell why this is such a winner during this time of year, I don't know how someone could not love this. The festive packaging looks really special too, I just hope I don't run out of this anytime soon as it's impossible to get here.

There is no doubt in my mind that this palette will make an appearance on alot of blogs over the coming weeks. I bought my Naked Basics palette a week before Christmas and I'm so glad I did. I had €5 on my Debenhams Beauty Card so I got this baby for €21 (SCORE!). I own both the Naked 1 and Naked 2 palettes and for me personally I think I'll get more use out of this one. It's a nice sized compact with a mirror which will be absolutely perfect for travelling. The palette contains 5 matte shades and one shimmery shade. All the shadows are extremely pigmented, I use the shimmery ivory shade as a brow highlight and it's perfect. While were on the topic of brows I'll bring in another one of my favourites from this month, Fashionista's Brow Kit*. I've never been too fussed about my brows but over the past while I've been taking the time to fill them in. When I was younger I had super bushy eyebrows, I started getting them waxed when I was 13/14 after someone commented on them. I've felt that in the last while they're not growing back as quick and they've become quite sparse in places which is extremely frustrating. Surprisingly after filling them both in with the shade I've hit pan on, I like the look it gives me. I feared looking like I had caveman brows to be honest! I do believe this brand is only available in the UK but if you can get a hold of this product I'd definitely recommend it. I'm hoping to repurchase this when I'm over in Manchester in the New Year.

Before I put on my makeup I've been using the Clarins Instant Smooth Perfection Touch Primer. I've enjoyed using it so far and I think it's a gorgeous product. It leaves my skin feeling nice and smooth, perfect for applying foundation. You may be thinking that this is a awfully small pot but I don't use all that much to cover my whole face. I've been using mine for a while now and there's barely a dip made in the product. I usually judge a primers staying power by judging how it fares with the dodgy air con and running around in work, I can happily say this has passed the test. I've heard there's a self tanning version of this primer too for around the same price so I want to try that next. For setting my makeup I've been using my mini MAC Fix+. I've neglected this stuff for a while and I only rediscovered it during this month. This is a handy little travel size that the brand brought out I'm not a 100% sure if there still available now. I hope they are as I want to buy another one as I think it's seriously great. I use this during the day, a couple of hours after I've applied my makeup as I find it really refreshing on my skin. If I can't get the mini version I know I'll be getting the full sized bottle.

Lastly I have to give my favourite festive candle, Christmas Cookie a mention. This is the medium sized jar and I'm sure it's going to last ages. The scent reminds me of Vanilla Cupcake but a bit sweeter. When I light this it literally leaves my room smelling like a bakery no joke. I know that they usually have these candles on sale at this time of the year, I'd definitely pick up this gem while you still can. I got given a couple of these as gifts over Christmas so I know I'll be stocked up for a while and I have no problem burning them in the New Year. They smell so good!!

Do you have any plans for New Years? What made it into your December Favourites?


Sunday, December 30, 2012

What I Got For Christmas - The 2012 Edition!

Christmas time has come and gone already, now we have New Years to look forward to. Before I get too ahead of myself I thought I'd show you guys some of the gifts I got over Christmas. I wasn't expecting so much this year, I'm so delighted with everything I got. This year was definitely the year of haircare bits and candles! As you probably all know the weather has been horrible lately, gloomy and wet comes to mind, so I had to use the flash in some of the pictures below hope you don't mind too much.
My parents bought me the Remington Pro Volume Heated Brush, this was my surprise gift and I hadn't been expecting it at all. I've used it twice since I got it and so far so good, I love it! It give my hair a extra boost and a salon like finish. I feel it also leaves my hair less frizzy and alot more sleek. My sister and brother both picked me up some Yankee Candles so I'm stocked up on my all time favourites, Christmas Cookie and Christmas Cupcake for a while to come. If you haven't tried either of these scents I recommend them both, even though they are in fact Christmas candles I'd happily burn them all year round. I know most of the festive Yankee Candle stock goes on stock around this time so it's definitely worth popping into your local store to see if you can pick them up for a relatively cheaper price. From experience I know these candles can be ridiculously expensive. so all these will definitely last me well in 2013. Before I finishing ranting about Yankee Candles I better mention the one my Mom gave me, it would be rude to leave it out. It's their Chocolate Layer Cake candle which is from the new Eat Deserts First range (crazy name I know) . It smells amazing, if chocolatey scents aren't your thing then this definitely isn't going to be one for you. Another thing that I love about this candle is the gorgeous packaging, the nicely trimmed lid makes it look like something you'd find in a Bakery. Besides beauty products, I also got alot of new books to read. I love nothing more than sitting down with a good book over the Winter months, what else would I be doing in this horrible weather! I got a good assortment of books which you'll see below that I'm really happy with. I love the Pretty Little Liars series so I was delighted that I received the prequel, can't wait to start reading this soon. I've wanted to start doing book reviews for ages so let me know if it's something you'd be interested in.
My boyfriend bought me some gorgeous beauty bits which I can't wait to start using sometime soon. For ages I had my eye on the Chanel Holiday Collection eyeshadow quad and I was talking about it none stop, when we were out shopping last month he definitely picked up on the hints! The cranberry shade is so pretty and I can see myself using this alot. I don't have too many Chanel products (maybe one or two at the most) so I'm happy to add this to my collection. He also got me the One Direction concert dvd!! I'm a big fan of their music so I'm looking forward to watching this! My favourite member of the band is Niall, I just don't see all the fuss surrounding Harry at all to be honest. I didn't really get clothes as such for Christmas but I did get a lovely bag (from Mom and Dad) and Wintery boots (from Nan). I haven't taken the latter off since I got them, there just so comfy and they make me that extra bit taller which I need.
I got a few nice bits for my room from my Aunt and Uncle. I'm in love with the perfume bottle, it has a really old fashioned feel about it. I can tell already that this is going to be one of those items which will take pride of place on my dresser, I'm already making room for it. They also bought me these gorgeous storage boxes. I love the black and white design, I don't have a theme in my room at all so these fit in really nicely. I've put some makeup products in them already that I want to review soon. Lastly I exchanged gifts with my International Youtube friend Chie, she sent me over some gorgeous products from the States. I love how both sets she sent me are collaborations with two of my favourite Disney movies, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland. I've used EOS lip balms before and I love them so I can't wait to try out these three. She also sent me over three Bath & Body Works Festive minis which all smell amazing. We need to get one of these stores over in Ireland soon!

This is a way bigger post than I expected it to be so I'm going to do a individual post showing you all what I bought in the Post Christmas Sales. I didn't buy too much so I assure you it won't be as long as this one.

Was Santa good to you this year? What did you get for Christmas?


Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Tomorrow is by far my favourite day of the year, Christmas Day! I'm putting this post up a day early as I know I won't have time to do it tomorrow, there's just too much going on. I just wanted to wish you guys Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. 2012 has been such a big year for me so it was cool that you all could follow me around on that journey. I can't believe 2013 will be my second year blogging, I love reading your comments and keepng in touch. I'm so lucky to have such lovely readers like yourselves! Your support, especially on my Slimming World Updates have been quite overwhelming and I can't Thank You enough! Of course no one knows what 2013 will hold but if it's even marginally better than this year, I know I'll be happy!

December went unbelievably quick this year, I know us bloggers always say that but it had to be said this year. I actually enjoyed the build up throughout the whole month, I love going to see family and buying people's presents. I left the latter pretty late this year so I was surprised I got everything done in the end at all. I've tried not to give too much away on the gifts front but some have popped up in blog posts over the month of December. I won't have too many posts up on my blog over the Christmas Holidays, I have so many college assignments due in January so I'll have to get them out of the way as soon as possible. I'll definitely keep you guys updated here and there though for sure.  I'm going to keep this post short and sweet, if your like in anyway me your going to be rushing doing something or other tonight. I hope that you all get lots of lovely goodies and that your spoiled rotten. I'll be keeping an eye out for the What I Got For Christmas blog posts in the next week or so, I would be lying if I said I didn't love them.

Happy Holidays,

Laura <3

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Pre-Christmas Haul!

With Christmas just around the corner and all my gifts finally wrapped under the tree, I thought I'd show you guys my Pre-Christmas Haul. I've been quite reserved this time around in comparison to past years, I haven't gone too wild (leaving that for the SALES!). I have a sneaky suspicion that I'll be buying alot more clothes in JanuaryThere was a couple of things I've had my eye on for a while so over past month or so I purchased them. I by no means picked them up all at once as I definitely don't have that kinda money at all.

I wasn't completely blown away with any of the Boots Star Buys this month. I bought the Fearne Cotton Hat Box at the beginning but other then that nothing really called out to me at all. That is until I spotted Soap & Glory's The Best of All gift set. This gorgeous pink bag contains 9 full sized products, it's all about presentation for me so when I seen this I had to buy it! In the bag you also get some S&G coupons which you can use on products next year, some of them seem really good too so I look forward to using them. There's some bits in here that I haven't used before like the Smoothie Star Body Milk which smells amazing by the way! The only product I probably won't be using in this gift box is the mascara. I've tried it before and I wasn't overly impressed by it, the brush is ridiculously big. Besides that small issue I can't wait to use all these S&G goodies, they'll definitely take me far into next year.

Last week in Kiehl's I did splurge a little and I bought three of their lip balms which came in this gorgeous tin. I fell in love with the design isn't it so pretty? I thought this would be great for storing some makeup bits in, it's one of those things that would look beautiful on your bedside table on display. In the past I've tried their lip balm and I was really impressed by it. I've never bought a product from Kiehl's yet that I didn't like, that just shows how much I highly rate this brand. This set contains a original lip balm, a mango scented balm and their tinted lip balm which has SPF 15. The box I bought was ready made but I do believe you can choose what three balms you want to include or if lip glosses are more your thing you can fill it up with them. I do recall the latter being a little bit more pricier though. I doubt I'll need to be buying lip balm for a long time, I should be stocked up til mid 2013!

After seeing this set on one of my favourite blogs, (Essie Button if you're wondering!) I had to pick it up. This set was by no means cheap but the products you get in it are amazing. I tried their Almond Shower Oil a couple of months ago and fell head over heels for it. I've always wanted to try some more bits from this particular range but they always came across as that little bit too pricey for my liking. After seeing the review post over on Essie Button I went into my local L'Occitane and saw the amazing saving (even in euro!) for myself so I scooped this up right away. Off the bat everything in here smells amazing, if you've tried their shower oil already your bound to like all the other products in this box. The only product that doesn't have a distinctive almond scent for me is the hand cream for some reason, I have no idea why! Last but not least I adore the packaging, it's such a enchanting design. I'm definitely one of those people that keeps pretty boxes for storing makeup and the like so you bet I'll be holding on this it's too nice to toss out.

Lastly I bought some goodies from Catrice and Essence. If you haven't heard of either, there both European brands, that are super affordable. I know their products are available in the States now but I don't think there available yet in the UK which is such a shame. I got a couple of products from their new limited edition collection, Fabulous 40ties (see what they did there!). At present I've used the eyeshadow palette and eyebrow lifter, I can safely say I love them both. The pale pink shimmer shadow in the palette could be a bit more pigmented but I couldn't really expect more from something that cost €5 really. I was lucky to get my hands on the Catrice Berlin Collection Eye and Cheek palette in Penneys (Primark) they only had the testers left on display but when I was going up to pay for the Essence Winter hand creams I spotted one at the till. What are the odd of that happening, I was really happy to get my hands on this as it's such good value for what you get inside. I may do a post featuring just this with swatches and a review in the New Year hopefully. Back to the Essence Winter Collection Hand Creams, they all smell amazing. I went a bit mad and bought all three but I guess you can never have too many. Well I can't anyway, I always carry them around in my bag. There €1.49 which just shows you how great this brand is as the products themselves are huge and there sure to last a while. All the hand creams smell like festive drinks, the three scents are Gingerbread Chai Latte, Caramel Hot Chocolate and Apple Cinnamon Punch. At first I was loving the Caramel Hot Chocolate option but since then I've done a complete 360 and changed my mind in favour of the latter, Apple Cinnamon Punch. It smells so good, I may have to purchase a back up before they all sell out before Christmas.

Have you bought yourself any goodies before Christmas or are you patiently waiting for the SALES to begin?


Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas #3 - Winter Makeup Collections & Some Lovely Bits

One of things I love about this time of year is the release of the gorgeous Winter makeup collections. There are so many pretty products that catch my eye for one reason or another and I'm always drawn towards them like a magpie. There's definitely been a good few stand out products for me which I'll tell you all about in due course throughout this post. Alot of budget beauty brands, MUA in particular, have stepped up their game as of late and have come out with gorgeous affordable palettes aswell. I thought I'd show you a few that I think would make amazing Christmas gifts, if I seen any of these under my tree this year I'd be seriously delighted.

As you can see from the picture above I've gone back to my all background for a while. The lighting is terrible at the moment considering it's so ridiculously dull and miserable in Dublin at the moment. Three luxury brands that have really hit the nail on the head this year are Clarins, Lancome and Giorgio Armani. The latter came out with the new Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow Quad. I have the gorgeous Terra Sienna to show you all, this contains four beautiful neutral shades. All the shadows are highly pigmented and really soft so they apply like a dream. There's two shimmer and two matte shades which is a good balance there. I'm in love with the packaging, it's super sleek and shiny. As it's on the expensive side it wouldn't be something I'd bring on a night out with me. I think this would be a perfect gift for a close friend or family member. If a neutral eye isn't their thing there's another eight different shade selections to choose from so you'll definitely find something to suit your tastes. The Eyes to Kill Quads are in the brands permanent line so they'll still be there even if you have to wait til after Christmas. I'm going to do a full review post on this eyeshadow quad as I've been using it a tonne lately. One collection that alot of bloggers are talking about this year is the Odyssey collection from Clarins. Two complete stand out products are the Face palette and Eye palette, just look at that packaging alone. It's definitely one of those palettes that when you finish up you want to hold on to the case, how could you get rid of it it's way too pretty. I'm in love with this collection it's beyond amazing. The eyeshadow palette contains the usual three neutral shades but alongside it is this gorgeous gold leaf shade which I immediately fell in love with. It makes this different to other palettes I own, I could see someone use this all year round as the colours are so wearable. The look could be instantly glammed up using the gold leaf shade on the lid. Again this would make such a lovely gift, both products look so elegant and luxurious, it's different to all the other makeup brand offerings this year. Lastly is some bits from Lancome's Winter Collection. As these are all individual pieces I think these would make gorgeous extras e.g stocking fillers, if you wanted to spend that little bit more on someone. With lovely eyeshadows, nail polish and pigments that come in different shades your sure to find something that catches your eye. If I had to choose one product from this collection I'd go for the Ombre Hypnose Mono eyeshadow . The sparkly gold glitter packaging is super Christmassy just what you need for this time of year me thinks. The shade I got to try is Fil D'Argent which is a shimmery taupe shade that is super wearable. All three shadows from the collection from what I've seen in store are neutral so whatever one you get for that special someone they'll certainly love.

Being a student myself, I sometimes find it hard to fork out on extravagant gifts for everyone.When I'm picking up small presents for a Kris Kindle or a friend, I look no further than Catrice, Essence and MUA. The latter is pretty hard to come by in Ireland unless you live beside a Superdrug which I don't. If you do manage to find yourself near a Superdrug I'd definitely recommend picking up a couple of MUA palettes. These are brilliant and for £4 they'd make amazing stocking fillers indeed. My favourites of the bunch are the Heaven & Earth and Undressed palette. Both contain neutral shades that would take you straight from day to night. I love wearing a natural eye look on a regular so of course these would be straight down my street. If your looking for a palette for someone who would like a variety of different shades, you should try to get your hands on the Artiste Collection palette which is the latest addition to the range. Not only does this include eyeshadows, it also comes with two blushes, bronzer and highlighter. As all these palettes are super affordable, I wouldn't be too worried about losing one of them on a night out either as they are easily replaced. I bought the Heaven & Earth palette in Manchester during the Summer and I literally used it everyday along with the Undressed palette. Essence have also brought out some really nice Winter Hand Creams this month, unfortunately I didn't picture them above.. They all come in yummy hot drinks scent, my favourite being Caramel Hot Chocolate. At the recent Dublin blogger meetup I let everyone try this and it got thumbs up all around. I bought all three scents in Penneys, I think the guy at the till thought I was a complete nut job buying three hand creams. They were only €1.49 each which is an amazing bargain. I've heard that Essence isn't available in the UK which is such a shame as it's a great brand with some great products at a affordable price. I may stick up a post on these soon as I love the packaging and there such lovely hand creams too.

What products have caught your eye from the 2012 Winter collections?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas #2 - Custom Gift Boxes

When picking a Christmas gift for somebody, the list of possible gifts you could get them is endless. I always find that I'm torn between two or three gifts that I know the person in question would love. Instead of forking out a tonnes of money I've found myself in recent years building up little gift bags for people. I always think they work really well, last year I put together a small custom gift bag for my sister, Lisa that she loved. She still always carries around the makeup bag with her essentials in it, I'm glad to know that the gift is something that she loved and is well used. I've decided to do the same this year for a couple of people. I usually start by buying a makeup bag from Penneys/Marks & Spencers. This year I've decided to do something a little different and use a gift box instead. These are so easy to come across, I know they do really nice ones in Next and Paperchase which are worth having a look at.

Here is a little gift box I made up to show you guys, you can add more or less depending on how much you want to spend. I'm buying small gifts for people this year as opposed to spending alot as I feel you always put more thought into things and it's a personal. One of the gifts (can you guess which one?) above are actually for one of my family members I hope she's not reading this now. I'm in love with the Soap & Glory eyeshadow palette, they haven't brought out something like this before and the shade range is gorgeous. With a price under the €25 mark, I'm half tempted to go out and buy one myself soon as they are not too expensive either. I think this would be a lovely gift even by itself all wrapped up! Another gift I think anyone would be happy with in a gift box would be The Body Shop body butters. If you can get your hands on the miniature body butters, they would fit in really nicely to any gift box. My favourites at the moment are Chocomania, Vanilla Bliss and their Mango scents. I find these are super moisturising which is much needed for this time of the year. Lastly I decided to feature two haircare products as I think they can be looked at this time of the year. I like nothing more than getting new haircare goodies as my gruaig can look a complete and utter mess at the best of times. Both products are from John Frieda which is brand that I've really grown to like over the past while. They have some lovely gems in their range, in particular their Full Repair Perfect Ends Sheer Mist, Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme and the Anything Volume Refresher. The latter is brilliant for giving your hair that extra boost and it works really well as a dry shampoo. I've been using the Frizz Ease Straight Fixation Smoothing Creme, before I blow-dry my hair as it contains a heat protectant. This stuff leaves my hair looking lovely and smooth with not a bit of frizz in sight so it does exactly what it says on the tin. One gift that I haven't pictured above but I think would be a lovely addition to just about any gift box is a Yankee Candle. They have such a wonderful range of Christmas scents which I love. My favourite at the moment being Christmas Cookie, it smells heavenly. I always stock up on plenty before they sell out. Again this is just an example of what I'd put into a gift box for someone. There is no right or wrong way to do it people. Once all the goodies are wrapped up I think this would make an amazing gift. I love opening presents like this at Christmas as you get such a big surprise.

What do you think of this idea? Will you be doing it for anyone special this year?


Friday, December 7, 2012

November Favourites

I can't believe it's Christmas time, December is definitely my favourite month of the year. I love getting my Christmas shopping done and visiting family, everything is very festive in the McKenna household at present. In my last post, November Empties I was fretting about getting my Christmas shopping sorted, I really shouldn't of worried at all. I'm almost half way there so hopefully by the end of next week I'll be sorted. I may of bought some bits for myself aswell so don't be too surprised if you see a Pre Christmas haul sometime soon. Tonight we are finally putting the Christmas tree up in my house, which I'm so excited about. My Mom has the nicest Christmas decorations around, maybe too many at times but the whole sitting room always looks fantastic. I seriously can't believe I'm sitting here writing my December faves for you guys, 2012 was such a quick year that went by ridiculously fast. At the end of the month, I'll be doing a 2012 favourites featuring all my favourite products from this year. I remember writing my 2011 faves which shows how quick the year has gone. There has been quite a number of products that I've been loving this month so let's get cracking.

Most of the products in this post haven't been featured in my past favourites, all except my Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation and Real Techniques brushes. The latter are my favourite makeup brushes ever, I've bought MAC brushes in the past and they don't compare. I find they shed ridiculous amounts and aren't worth the price at all. The buffing, powder and blush brush are stand outs from the range but I seriously love them all, I have no fault with them at all. I couldn't choose one to  feature in my November Favourites so I thought I'd mention the brand as a whole instead. If you purchase their brushes you won't be disappointed. Now onto a Christmas product, The Body Shop's Vanilla Bliss Body Butter* is from the brand's Seasonal collection. As I've said in previous posts I love products that are either Cinnamon or Vanilla scented as this falls into the latter category it ticks all the right boxes for me. This have a gorgeous sweet vanilla scent which doesn't smell artificial in the slightest. I love The Body Shop's body butters they are so moisturing which is much needed as my skin gets very dry around this time as of year like everyone else. I can see myself using this body butter all through this month, I'm in love with the shower gel of the same scent aswell. I may treat myself to one of the Vanilla Bliss gift sets closer to Christmas as I do think this scent will be a hit and will be almost impossible to get after Christmas. 

As I mentioned above I've had my Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation for a while now and I've included it in a Monthly Favourites post in the past. I stopped using it in favour of my Rimmel Match Perfection that I love too! I use the shade 2.0 which is a perfect match for my skin, from what I've seen they do numerous shades so there's sure to be one for everyone. They are also pretty generous with samples so if your not too sure on forking out for it, I recommend going in to get shade matched and try out the mini sample. This is what I did and I ended up being so pleased with it I had bought the full bottle come payday! The foundation itself is quite light but it gives a gorgeous even coverage which I need. I'd be happy to use this day or night which you can tell as I am nearly all out of the bottle. I'm going to repurchase this after Christmas when the new Naked Basics Eyeshadow Palette comes out, I think I need this in my collection. I can't get enough of Urban Decay's palettes I love them, I think I may be a tad bit obsessed with them. I purchased the Sleek Contour Kit while I was in Manchester during the Summer. I use the shade Light which I find to be just right for me. I swipe my Real Techiques Contour Brush (Core Collection) across the bronzer, I only use the tiniest bit of this as it is very pigmented and I don't like the orange look too much. I use this to contour my cheekbones and my jawline, blending as I go. I love this product alot, I notice such a different when I don't use it. The powder highlighter in this kit is gorgeous aswell so believe when I say this product gets a lot of love. I wish we stocked this brand in stores over here as opposed to always having to purchase it online. I've been using this product a hell of alot during the month and there isn't a dip in it yet. I think that's good value value for money right there and I'll be definitely picking up another one of these when over the other side of the pond early next year.

I'm almost sure that Loreal Paris Elnett Satin hairspray* is only the second hairspray to make it on to my blog. I know you are going to be shocked to here I hardly ever use them. I just don't like how it sometimes leaves my hair feeling as stiff as a rock which is seriously not the look I tend to go for. Like a lot of girls I know I have baby hair and because I have no fringe it doesn't blend into anything resulting in me looking absolutely ridiculous. When I straighten my hair, these tiny bits of hair are the torn in my shoe, they stick up making  me look like Alfalfa (Little Rascals anyone?) I've had people comment on it in college, as soon as I went home out came the hairspray like lightning. I was surprised when I first used this product as it doesn't leave my looking or feeling stiff. Being a ultra fine spray it leaves my hair looking nice and shiny whilst holding the style in place which is the most important thing. If you live in Dublin you'll know that during the Winter months it's unbelieveably windy, I don't like arriving at my destination with my hair looking like a bird's nest. Next time I'm in Boots I'm going to buy the full sized can maybe at the Dublin Blogger Meet Up tomorrow who knows.

Lastly I've featured three makeup products in this month's favourites and there all for the eyes. Over the past month I've been using them all to create my everyday eye look. The NYC HD Colour Quad in Best of Broadway* contains four pretty neutral shades that will in my opinion suit anybody. I never steer far way from the old trusted natural eye look so this palette is perfect for me. All the shadows are well pigmented which is amazing for a eyeshadow palette that retails for €3.49, seriously what a bargain. I think this would be great to throw in your makeup bags on holidays or nights out, if you lost it you'd be able to replace it with no hassle whatsoever. I hate when I lose eyeshadows from MAC as I always feel like I have to spend a small fortune to replace them which I probably do! I'm going to do a full post with a Face of the Day showing you the look I come up with using this palette. Sometimes I feel this brand can be looked over but it seriously is a big contender with some of their products, I think there great. I've been pairing this look with a small stroke of Soap & Glory's SuperCat Liquid Eyeliner on the lash line and Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara*. The latter has been a lifesaver for me as you probably all know by now I lost some of my lashes after my friend applied fake eyelashes on me wrong. I know it was a complete nightmare, now that my lashes are growing back I've been trying to find a mascara to make the best of them and I think I've found it. Eyes To Kill gives my lashes a boost with length and volume, leaving them looking amazing. I know this mascara is expensive but it is definitely a holy grail product for me and I'd no problem forking out the money for this, though I will have to wait for payday! It took me a while to try Soap & Glory's SuperCat liquid eyeliner as I wasn't too sure if it was going to be any use or not. After reading a few reviews I'm glad I did. This stuff doesn't budge all day and it has such a fine nib which makes drawing the line a doddle, even for people like me who don't have the steadiest hand. I also love Soap & Glory's packaging and it's no different with this product. I've already bought two of their Boots eyeshadow sets, both gifts for people for Christmas, the palettes contain this eyeliner and I hope both girls love it as much as I do.

Well that comes to the end of my November Favourites, I can't believe my next one will be at the beginning of 2013. Unless your one of these peope that think the world is going to end in like a week??!! I have such a busy week ahead of me, with college, some events and on Wednesday I'm going to see Florence & the Machine!! I'm so unbelieveably excited I can't wait, I've had my tickets since August and the concert has come around so fast. It's a fancy dress themed concert so if you have any suggestions on what I should dress up as let me know. I'm absolutely rubbish at dressing up I just don't like it at all, so your comments will be so helpful indeed.

Are you all sorted for Christmas? What made it into your November faves?


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

November Empties

I can't believe it's exactly three weeks and counting til Christmas, can't you tell I'm very excited. The only thing I need to do now is start buying presents for people. I'm not going lie when it comes to this time of year I leave everything til last minute which is never a good idea. I always get things done in the end which is the main thing. I'm currently writing a list names of people I still need to get presents for and it's growing by the minute. I decided to take a quick break from all that and show you guys my November Empties. I've definitely used up alot more products than I did in October. I guess I wanted to make room for all my Christmas presents! I have quite alot of shower products in my empties this month. This seems to be the case every month, either a hoard of shower products or skincare. Funny I may mention the latter as skincare bits will be featured in this post also, surprise surprise!

My first two empties are shower gels, one is from Bath & Body Works while the other is from Philsophy. I like both of these alot, they've both lasted me ages which is a surprise as everyone uses my shower gels in my house Cinnamon and Vanilla are my favourite scents so of course I was going to love Cinnamon Buns from Philosophy. This can be used as a shampoo, bubble bath and shower gel, I've been using mine as the latter of the three. I like how it's a multi purpose product, I doubt I'd ever use it in my hair though. As you probably all know Bath & Body Works isn't available in Ireland (BOO!) which is a shame for us as it's such a gorgeous brand. My lovely Youtuber friend Chie from the States sent me over the Pink Chiffon shower gel with a few other products from the range a while back. The Pink Chiffon scent is gorgeous and I wish I hadn't run out of this as it's going to be impossible to pick up over here. At least I still have a body lotion and triple moisture cream in the same scent to keep me going for another bit. My last shower empty is The Body Shop's Vineyard Peach Body Scrub. In October I bought this and the body butter in the same scent as they were on special. If you love peaches, you'll love this! I always fly through scrubs in general, so I finished this one quite quick too. I probably will buy this or another Body Shop scrub soon, I have my eye on the Vanilla Bliss scrub from their Christmas collection. I just wish they weren't so ridiculously expensive. As you can see I photographed a deoderant in with my shower empties aswell. I just thought it would fit in better here than in with the makeup. This can of Palmolive Soft & Gentle Sensual Aromatherapy last me for ages. The scent is Wild Rose & Vanilla which I'm undecided on. I like Vanilla scented things but I didn't get a whiff of it from this, it definitely smells more like rose in my opinion. That's not saying I wouldn't purchase this again, it just didn't really grow on me this time around.

Next I'm going to show you guys my skincare empties which consists of three cleansers and a moisturiser. I'm by no means finished all of the cleansers during the month of November, I've had these for a while. First up is my favourite cleanser of all times, the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish I've done a full review of this on my blog previously which you can see here. This is my fourth bottle of this amazing cleaner and I'll have to buy a replacement very soon. My skin always feels nice and squeaky clean after I use this as it takes my makeup off really well. A product I didn't like too much and I couldn't wait to be done with is the Boots Botanics Gentle Cleansing Cream. This by no means gentle on the skin. I ran out of my micellar solution during the month and I decided to give this a try and I can't say I was overly impressed with it at all. It claims to be for sensitive skin which I don't suffer with but I do tend to get reactions to products now and again. My face was left fairly red after using this cleanser and it didn't take my makeup off at all. I don't have anything good to say about this, it was definitely a waste of money on my part. I should of just bought another micellar solution as my skin gets on so well with them. The last cleanser I finished up this month is the Elemis Melting Cleansing Gel. I got this as a part of a set before I went to Manchester in July. I didn't start using it right away so that's why I'm only finished it now. This cleanser reminds me of  Bobbi Brown's Balm Rinse as it smells quite similar to it. The product itself is a thick gel which I apply to dry skin. When in contact with water this loosens the product up so it's easier to work into the skin. I really enjoyed using this cleanser and I would buy it again if it wasn't so expensive at around the €30 mark. The last skincare empty I have to show you is a moisturiser which is the La Roche Possay Effaclar Mat. I have oily/combination skincare that can look very shiny indeed. I've been using this moisturiser along with a primer before I put my makeup on and it leaves my skin looking nice and shine free! Effaclar Mat is such a lovely make up base, I'm so glad I got the chance to try it. It's not too expensive either from what I can remember so I imagine this will be making its way into my shopping bag very soon.

Lastly we have some makeup, well some 2 makeup bits and a nail polish remover. I'm going to start with the latter from Bourjois which is their Magic Nail Polish Remover. I really love this stuff alot as it's takes the hassle out of removing my nail polish entirely.The products lifespan was cut short though as I ended up spilling it absolutely everywhere in my room I don't recommend leaving the lid off this at all as it does contain liquid nail polish removers in it. I tipped off it by a complete accident and I ended up making a mess. Now last but definitely not least, my two makeup empties. The Clinique Bottom Lash mascara has served me very well indeed. I don't know what I'd do without it now, it's great how it's small enough to reach my tiniest lashes. I'm not the biggest fan of Clinique skincare at all as I had a really bad reaction to their products as a teen. I stayed away from the brand since then and the Bottom Lash Mascara had been my first purchase from them in literally years. I actually seen a set which includes this mascara as well as other mascara samples from the brand so I may pick this up instead of buying this individually again. My second makeup empty and the last product to be featured in this Empties post is MAC's Nubile Paint Pot. This came out in a Limited Edition collection last year called Posh Paradise along with numerous other paint pots. I picked up three from the collection itself but Nubile was by far my favourite. It's a natural peachy shade so it  was easy to wear everyday. I'm disappointed that it was limited edition as I would of definitely repurchased it again. I'm going to buy Painterly the next time I'm at a MAC counter, it's very similar to Nubile I think so it will be a great replacement. I just hope I don't get side tracked while I'm there and buy some bits from this years Christmas collection. I've seen it walking by at a glance and it looks so pretty.

What products have you used up this month? Do you enjoy Empties posts?


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lush Christmas Gift Sets

Be it Christmas or any time of the year for that matter, I love Lush gift sets. I've done a couple of reviews on them in the past which you can see here. Not only do they make gorgeous gifts, there also great if your new to the brand and want to try an assortment of products. They have a great selection to choose from in store at all different price points, if your looking for a small token or a extravagant pressie there's something for you. If you prefer showers to baths like me, you can get sets that contain only shower products or vice versa.

 Lush bring out limited edition gift boxes during the Holidays which contain lots of lovely festive goodies. I was given the opportunity to show you guys two of them recently. Both gifts are under €20, I think these would make great Secret Santa/Kris Kindle gifts or even as a stocking filler.

The lovely pink box is the Snow Fairy gift set (€16.50)* which is definitely my favourite out of the two. From the name of the gift box you probably guessed already that it contains my favourite Lush shower gel, Snow Fairy. They changed up the packaging of this product this year and I like it. It stands out from the other shower gels as a limited edition and something special. I still have a big bottle left from last year as I always picked up a couple to keep me going throughout the year. My Mom has actually only discovered this shower gel and she's been using it in her hair like it says on the bottle. She loves it and it leaves her hair smelling gorgeous and looking lovely. Personally I wouldn't wash my hair in this myself just because my scalp can get quite sensitive. If you haven't tried Snow Fairy yet I definitely recommend going into Lush and checking it out.  It looks super pretty and the smallest bottle would make a lovely stocking filler too. Besides this lovely shower gel you also get two other products in this set, Angel Delight Soap and Shimmy Shimmy Glitter Bar. I've never tried the latter before so I was kind of disappointed when I opened the box to see that it had melted in the box (see picture above). This has never happened with any other gift boxes that I've bought previously from Lush, I'm guessing this just happened in the post or something. I wouldn't be too worried that this might happen to other gift boxes as it's never been a problem for me before. For obvious reasons I didn't get to try the Shimmy Shimmy Glitter Bar, but the tiny piece that was left in the set smelled actually quite nice. I may pop into Lush and buy one soon for a pre-Christmas treat. Another one of my favourite Christmas products from Lush is Angel Delight soap so I was delighted to see this included in this box. This smells amazing and it comes shaped like a star which is a nice touch. My boyfriend already bought me a nice big chunk of this soap when the Christmas products first hit the shelves, hopefully it lasts me through this month.

The other gift box is Winter Wishes (€19.95)* which contains four products from Lush. This set is a step up in price at €18.95 but again it contains some lovely goodies. One of the stores new launches this year is a new shower gel called Ponche. Wow this smells amazing, I'm very attempted to buy a big bottle next time I take a trip to Lush. It has a gorgeous fruity scent, the label says it contains tequila but I only smell oranges. This is completely fine by me as I love this scent. I can see this shower gel being very popular over Christmas but I doubt it will knock Snow Fairy off its perch. This set contains a massage bar Each Peach and Two's a Pear, I've tried this particular one before and I really like it. It has a citrusy scent which always wakes me up in the morning. This is definitely one of those scents I could sit around and smell all day. After I use this product my skin is left feeling super soft and nourished. When you use these give a little time for the product to sink into your skin as it doesn't happen right way. I don't like many of the massage bar scents but this and Soft Coeur would be my favourites. The only product I'm not the biggest fan of from this set is Snowcake soap. Like Angel Delight this looks lovely and is a nice creamy soap but I can't stand the scent. If you like marzipan then this could be the perfect soap for you. On the other hand I adore Snow Globe, it has a gorgeous citrusy scent, alot like Sexy Peel but way nicer in my opinion. This soap is also my Dad's favourite and we always buy him a couple of chunks over Christmas.

Out of the two my favourite has to be the Snow Fairy gift box, it contains three gorgeous girly products which I'm sure alot of people will love. It's also gift wrapped beautifully so you won't be frantically rushing around on Christmas Eve trying to make it look decent. I love how you can also recycle the swing tag and use it as a Christmas decoration, it's such a nice touch. Lastly I think this is super affordable, for €16.50 your getting three products that are perfect for the Christmas season.

What do you think of gift sets from Lush? Will you be picking one up for a special someone?