Friday, June 29, 2012

Vichy and Nuxe Events

This post is coming a little late, I've been so busy over the last week but finally here it is. Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be invited to two beauty events in town. The weather was dreadful on the day but it didn't take away from the fun us bloggers had. I brought my friend Helen along to the Vichy event. She's not a blogger but I'm hoping she does a guest post or two in the future so keep an eye out for them. We met up with the girls from Make-Up Anonymous in Temple Bar beforehand and we all headed into the event together. Vichy were unveiling their lovely new skincare range, Idealia. I'm a really big fan of this brand already so I couldn't wait to hear a little bit more about their new products. The new range consists of the Idealia Pro serum (€34.50) and Smoothing and Illuminating Cream (€26.00). Both products are said to target dark spots and skin imperfections resulting in healthy looking with a more even skintone and texture. There is a vast amount of research behind the range so I have very high expectations already. Idealia skincare will be available in September, I know it's a bit away but it will worth the wait I'm sure. Towards the end of the event we went out on the balcony where we were all given a balloon and a piece of paper to write are wish for the future. I'm not going to say what mine was in case it doesn't come true. It was such a nice ending to the event, even Helen got a bit emotional.

The Temple Bar Gallery was the perfect venue, Helen and I had never been before and it was really nice. The event was held on the top floor and the room was decorated beautifully. There was a photobooth so of course we couldn't leave without taking pictures could we?

I was really exciting to attend the second event of the day which was for Nuxe's Huile Prodigieuse 20th Anniversary. I've heard such amazing things about this multi purpose dry oil, so I'm looking forward to trying it. The venue for the event was the gorgeous Mezz bar in Samsara. Nuxe chose such an amazing location and it couldn't have been better. The decor was gorgeous with chandelier hanging from the ceiling and gold glitter, WOW is the only word I could use to describe it maybe the photos below will give you a better picture of what the venue was like. I haven't tried much from Nuxe, only their Reve de Miel lip balm which is nothing short of amazing, if you suffer from dry lips like me I'd definitely recommend it. It was nice to see some of the other products that the brand had to offer for Summer, their bronzers definitely caught my eye. The day after the event I broke my Manchester spending ban and bought Nuxe's Reve de Miel Hand and Nail Cream. After trying it at the event I couldn't resist it leaves your hands lovely and soft without being sticky. Keep your eye out for my June Favourite you may see this gem in it.

It was so nice to see all the Irish bloggers at the event that I hadn't seen in ages, there was also some new faces too. It was so nice chatting to everyone, the Irish Beauty community are such a lovely bunch.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Must Haves/Essentials #1 - Travel Kits

As we're nearing the end of June I thought it was about time I started my Summer blog series, better late than never eh? Each post will feature products and bits that I think are a must for the months ahead. For this post I'm going to touch on travel kits/sets I use them alot and I think there a necessity during the Summer. When travelling or staying in a friends house I doubt anyone would want to lug all there full sized skincare products with them (I know I wouldn't) so they are perfect.

I find skincare sets come in handy on holidays with the liquid restrictions on planes it's impossible to go over a 100mls so it's definitely worth the money to invest in travel sets. Most of them will come with your everyday cleaner, toner and moisturiser and to the best of my knowledge the majority of brands do them. It's only a matter of checking their websites, they usually have them all there with stockists. If not, you can always make up your own with mini products from Boots or decant some of your favourite skincare products into travel pots.

I'm not going to lie I bought the Caudalie travel kit after hearing all the blogger hype surrounding their products. I opted to get this as I wanted to see what their products were like, not for travelling purposes. I could see this work for weekends away as it contains five products that fit very nicely into this gorgeous see through bag. My favourites out of the bunch are the cleansing water and the body lotion, I could certainly see myself buying the full sizes of both of these when I run out. I just hope there not too pricey like the beauty elixir. When your finished with all these products, you also have the lovely see through bag which would be perfect for holding makeup as you can everything.  This set is the cheapest of the bunch at €15 which is great for what you get in it don't you think? I got mine in Harvey Nichols but from what I can see it's the same price online too.

Next is two Liz Earle Travel Kits, the Overnight Travel Kit* (€33.75) and Sun Try Me Kit* (€19). I love this brand so I think it's great how they have such an amazing range of travel sets. I actually brought the Overnight Travel Kit with me on my trip to Barcelona last year and it was handy to have. All that was missing was my haircare products which were easily bought in Boots. The bag everything comes in is the perfect size for your hand luggage as it's so neat and tidy. Again it can be used again as a makeup bag or you can also buy product refills on Liz Earle's website. I did a full review on it which you can check out here. The Sun Try Me Kit isn't a travel set as such but contains some mini Liz Earle suncare products. I think this would be great to pop in your beach bag on holidays as it's an ideal size. I love their Instant Boost Skin Tonic Spritzer so it's great to have one small enough for my handbag. Liz Earle's mineral sun protection has a different texture to any other suncreams I've used in the past. I wasn't too gone on it at first but I've grown to like it. It sinks into the skin super quick and didn't leave my skin feeling stick. After trying their sun protection and aftersun I may invest in full sized bottles.

The expensive option is the Elemis  Revitalising Skincare set (€63). My Mom actually got me this for my upcoming trip to Manchester (can't wait for it!). I wouldn't necessarily call this a travel set as it contains 3 full sized products and a miniature, like me if you haven't tried the brand yet this may be a good set to consider getting. I know €63 is expensive but the products individually would cost up to €120. Having never tried anything from Elemis before I'm really looking forward to trying these products. I've heard nothing but good things about them. The Apricot Toner included smells amazing, I'm looking forward to trying this the most. I'd recommend this if you were travelling over the Summer for a long period of time as it's easy to run out of travel sizes sometimes. The products come nicely wrapped in a gorgeous big bag which you can see above, all my makeup and brushes for Manchester will without a doubt fit in here. There you have it my first Summer Must Haves/ Essentials post, I hope you enjoyed it.

Do you bring travel kits on holidays?


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Another Dublin Dart Adventure

It doesn't take long for the horrible rain to show it's face again. Earlier today the weather was lovely, of course I didn't want to take it for granted so my boyfriend and I headed off on the dart. We decided to go on a long walk like the last time but instead of walking from Dun Laoighre to Dalkey, we walked to Killiney. I'm not going to lie it was a bit of a trek for me it took a good two hours or so. I really enjoyed it though and the scenery on the way was gorgeous. A few pit stops were taken, one in particular to get lunch as I came into town straight from work at 1. Paddy opted for a chicken burger and chips while I stuck to the healthier option, plain chicken and lettuce wrap. I also popped into Unique, a gorgeous little shop in Dalkey. I picked up a really nice cardboard bookmark for €3. I read alot and never mark my page so I thought it was a good idea. The shop also stocked a French skincare brand called Durance which I've never heard of. Some of their products looked lovely all be it a on the pricey side. The lovely sales assistant gave me a few sachets and a booklet to read through, I'm looking forward to reading up on the brand. Walking to Dalkey wasn't difficult at all, I just wasn't expecting the long walk to get Killiney. Oh lord it took forever but we did see some incredible houses along the way, one had a gargoyle for a letterbox, like who does that? We also passed Bono's gated house which I'd never seen before, quite odd as I've lived in Dublin my whole life. The street sign outside his house is so cool it has like messages from fans, mostly quotes from songs and stuff. I'm pretty sure we found Narnia, all round Killiney there were gates like a foot high that led to nowhere, looked odd to me. If you are ever in Dublin you should definitely go to both places, the views are amazing and you won't regret it!

Well the walk has certainly taken alot out of me, I'm so tired. I'm off to read the second book in The Secret Circle series, I loved the first one!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Favourite Lip Combinations

 When I was rummaging through my lip products during the week, I came across Revlon's Sugar Frosting lip butter and Topshop's Nevada lipstick. I haven't used either in a while for no reason other than I didn't think they worked to well on their own.

Sugar Frosting would be the lightest shade out of all the lip butters, resulting in it not being as pigmented. When I first got this I used it quite a bit, but then it found it's way back into my makeup drawer. I preferred the shades of the other lip butter I own like Macaroon and Candy Apple. While cleaning I spotted a Barry M limited edition lipgloss I got free with a Impulse body spray. As I got it as a gift, their doesn't seem to be a shade number, I looked on their website and it looks alot like Strawberry Milkshake. Together they both look gorgeous. A perfect pale pink combination for the Summer, it's like both these products were made for each other. I can see myself using both products alot as they will go with any look.  Another lip combination I've been loving is Topshop's Nevada and MUA's Out There plumping lipgloss in Nude. I loved Nevada lipstick when I first bought it but after a while I grew tired of it. It's a peachy nude shade that blanked out my lips and makes them look flat. I don't know about you but that's not the look I usually go for. I swept a bit of MUA's nude lipgloss on over it and it looks beautiful. For me it just lifts the colour a little, making it look more wearable. Being a plumping lipgloss I wasn't too sure about it at first. I've had quite bad experiences with these sort of products (Urban Decay's offering I'm looking at you), they've just really irritated my lips. This problem hasn't happened with MUA's lipgloss it slightly tingles but that's it.

Topshop's Nevada and MUA's Nude lipgloss

Revlon's Sugar Frosting & Barry M lipgloss

It just shows a little bit of gloss can make all the difference. I don't think I would of used Sugar Frosting  or Nevada if I hadn't discovered these gorgeous products to go with them. I don't particularly like using gloss as it's a given that your hair can get stuck in it, but I really like these looks so I'll let that slide.

What's your favourite lipstick/lipgloss combination?


Saturday, June 16, 2012

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water

A few months ago No7's skincare packaging had a bit of a  facelift, the product itself stayed the same and there was also some new additions to the range. When buying bits from this brand, I usually wait for the €7.50 off voucher to be released, you get some great bargains this way. The last time this promotion was on I bought the Day and Night cream for Normal/Oily and honestly I wasn't blown away by it. I ended up giving to my sister and she seems to like it more than I did that's for sure. I've been ditching face wipes in favour of cleansing waters as of late. My skin hasn't been looking the best and I've put it down makeup wipes. They've also been leaving my skin red and sore so I thought enough was enough and started using cleansing waters instead, they really are a easy effortless way to remove your makeup. I have a few on the go at the moment, my favourite being Vichy's offering for sensitive skin. I'm so disappointed they stopped selling the big bottle with the pump it was amazing value.

I had a couple of No7 vouchers to use so I decided on getting the Beautiful Skin Cleansing Water for Normal/Oily. It was in and around the €12 mark but with the voucher I got it for €5 something which isn't bad going for a product this size. I was open minded using this product as let's be honest some No7 products can be rubbish, this on the other hand certainly wasn't. It removes my makeup entire, leaving my face feeling and looking refreshed. I wouldn't go as far as saying my face is shine free after using but it does the job right. I was pretty scared to put this anywhere near my eyes at first but now I've using this to remove my eye makeup and not once has left them aggravated. Have I mentioned the No7 skincare also smells amazing, I love it. It's hard to describe the scent exactly but it's nice and fresh. I've had this for over a week now and I have used so much, almost half the bottle. I've read so many reviews were people say they only need 3 cotton pads, two for the eyes and one for the face. How do you do it, I want to know the secret. I use up like 5/6, no wonder I'm half way through the bottle at this stage. The only problem that I have with this product is that I wish the bottle was bigger. At the rate I'm flying through it will be gone in a week and I will have to buy a replacement. I've bought another couple of No7 products with my vouchers, some I love and  others I'm not 100% sure about yet. Would you like to see a tried and tested review post focusing on them all or individual ones? Let me know in the comments what you'd like to see.

Have you tried No7's Beautiful Skin range? What have you been spending your vouchers on?


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Slimming World Update #2

I've been attending weekly Slimming World meeting for two months now. I did a monthly update post last month and your nice comments meant so much. I was quite reluctant to do a weight loss post as this is first and foremost a beauty blog, but your support was overwhelming.

This month has been great, I had some meetings were I wasn't too sure how I did during the week but ended up doing really well. In the last four weeks I've lost 1st 3lb which is identical to what I lost last month. In total, I'm down 2st 6lbs which I couldn't imagine happening when I started this programme, I'm over the moon. I have a few more stickers added to the front of my log book, you receive one everytime you lose a half stone. I find this to be great motivation it might not be for some people but it is for me. I can't really say what my weight loss so far has been down to. I haven't started a strict fitness regime yet, I'm hoping to soon though. However, I have cut some foods out of my diet which I believe has helped tremendously. Here are some foods I cut out completely, all kinds of bread, dairy products except low fat milk, and every form of sweeties (no chocolate for me). With Slimming World you can eat these things in moderation, but for me I think it's best to take them out of my diet completely. I don't notice my weight loss when I look in the mirror but I definitely see it with my clothes. My favourite zip hoody has been looking alot baggier on. A good excuse to go out clothes shopping I think.

When I went into town yesterday, my boyfriend treated me to these lovely goodies. He said I was doing so well that I deserved something nice. Lush's Breath of Fresh Air is a toner I've been wanting to try for a while. I've seen brilliant reviews on blogs lately, so I have high expectations. This is the larger size of the two available and it's massive so I see this lasting ages. The other gift was Lindsey Kelk's I Heart London, this was only released last week so I can't wait to get stuck into it. I've read the entire series and I'm hooked on it. If you haven't read them and you love a good chick lit like me then you should get your hands on these.

I know I'll be kept extra busy this month as we have a new addition to the family. Meet Sam, he's a cross between a spaniel and a sheep dog. Isn't he just the cutest thing ever? We just got him yesterday and already he's made himself at home. Our labrador Sid loves his new buddy, I can see them both being a handful on their daily walks.

That's it really for my Slimming World update. I'm just getting ready to watch the Ireland game which is a must win game for us, so until next months update.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MUA Lip Booms

Lip Booms are the result of a collaboration with MUA and X Factor winner Alexandra Burke. When I first heard about these I was really intrigued to see what they were like. Sometimes these sort of products can be hyped up so I wanted to test them out for a while before I reviewed them. I'm hear to tell you these impressed me a great deal. As you can see from the pictures coming up these are double ended products, lipstick on one side and gloss on the other. They are great to have in my handbag or for travelling as they create such a nice look. I got pretty excited when I seen these in the post and started opening them like a mad woman, when the coloured top came off. I thought I was after breaking the tube but surprisingly it was actually another mini solid lipstick. The range consists of eight lovely shades which I think is great as it means there'll be something to suit everyone. I love how the packaging shows how the lipsticks look on Alexandra Burke, it's a nice touch. I got the chance to try Cheeky! (pale pink), Doin Good (coral) and It's A Situation (plum). I've been using all three for a while now and my favourite has to Doin Good. It's such a gorgeous everyday shade which I could see myself rocking alot over the Summer. I do have quite dry lips generally and as this is a matte lipstick so I do find the need to use lip balm before I apply it. When applied they have such good staying power and I wouldn't feel the need to reapply more product regularly.

The highlighting gloss can be worn on it's own but personally I prefer to wear it over the lipsticks. The reason being is that it contains large chunks of glitter and alone without the lippy underneath doesn't look to well on me. The highlighting gloss has a gorgeous sweet scent which reminds me of honeycomb ice cream (yum!). I could happily sit here and smell it as I write this post. I only have one fault to mention about this product, I used it on a recent night out and I got so many compliments. When I got home I was taking it off, and I ended up with glitter around my lips and on my chin which isn't a look I usually go for. For me, this is only a small issue with the product, it wouldn't stop me buying more of these in the future. For the price (£3), I think these are amazing and worth every penny. I think if you were going on holidays over the Summer and wanted some alternative lipsticks to the ones you already own, I'd definitely recommend them.

Here's two photos of me wearing my favourite shade Doin Good. The top picture is of the lipstick alone and the bottom is with the gloss. I think they do make a lovely combination if I do say so myself. The bottom picture turned out a tad blurry on my computer and I have no idea why.

Have you tried MUA's Lip Booms? What's your favourite shade??


Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Shopaholic's Journey #12 - Last Haul Before Manchester!

As you can tell from the title, this is going to be my last haul post for a while. I'm heading to Manchester towards the end of July for nine days which means I have to start saving now. I've been twice already and I love this city. There's actually quite alot to do and I love the Trafford Centre, that place is amazing. From now until I go I'll be focusing more on doing reviews. As always if you see anything in this post or previous ones that you'd like to see reviews on let me know. I didn't buy all these products all at once so this is more of a collective haul. I feel like I've been treating myself more to new products lately as I'm doing so well at Slimming World. I've had another amazing month, so be sure to keep an eye on for my update next week.

There was a Summer event on in Harvey Nichols were they offered 15% off all beauty products. It was for one night only so of course I did take advantage. I've seen alot of great reviews on Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder, I caved and bought it along with one of their lip glosses in Orange Tulip. I'm sure both products will last me ages so I'm happy with the purchases. I've yet to try Bioderma but I have been using alot of micellar solutions lately. I picked up This Works Clean Skin 5 in 1 water, I've used it a bit so far and I really like it. I do use up micellar solutions awfully quick though so at €26 I don't know if it's something I'd repurchase. I'll have to wait and see. My skin has been acting up lately so after chatting to the Bliss sales assistant, she recommend the Clog Dissolving Cleansing Milk. This is the most popular product in their spa facials so I'm hoping this can sort out my problem skin. As I made a purchase from Bliss, I received there gift with purchase which was their Lemon + Sage Soapy Suds Body Wash. I already have the body butter in the same scent and it smells amazing. Last but not I got a sample of the Dior Forever Foundation. I like this, but I don't like the price tag it's on the expensive side. I'm still on the lookout for a new foundation so if you have any recommendations let me know. I may go back to my favourite Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua but I want to try something different.

These are just a few random purchases from different stores. I found it so hard to find the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover, it was literally nowhere to been seen in my local Boots. I finally got my hands on it and yes it's brilliant, so much so that I included it in my May Favourites. I got two haircare products from Boots. I'm loving Tresemme's Liquid Gold Perfecting Treatment but I'm not 100% keen on Umberto Giannini's Scrunch Up The Volume Messy Texture Cream. It has a sticky consistency and leaves my hair looking a mess to be honest. At least it was on offer so I didn't spend too much on it. I picked up another No7  Eyeshadow Blend and Contour brush with my €7.50 off voucher. I rate this higher than my MAC 217 brush, it's brilliant. I was on the look out for a new handcream, The Body Shop's Hand and Nail Cream ticked all the boxes, it's the perfect size for my handbag, smells amazing and leaves my hands lovely and soft. I'm getting really into tanning lately, I have no idea seeing as the weather is so miserable out. The Honey Bronze Shimmering Dry Oil is a product from The Body Shop that I've wanted to try for a while. It has a gorgeous scent and I can see myself use this alot over the Summer. I popped back into Moss Cottage which I've talked about alot on my blog. I picked up another Lily Flame candle this time around I got Coconut Grove. From the name you've probably guessed what it smells like. I love this candle it has such a nice summery scent. This candle smells exactly like a macaroon bar, and for me that's the best scent ever.

Have you tried any of these products? What would you like to see a review on?


Thursday, June 7, 2012

May Favourites

Sorry I'm coming to you with my May Favourites a week late, everything has been so hectic lately. I can't believe it's June like where has half the year gone? I didn't do anything too exciting during May, I did get around to booking my Manchester trip, I'm glad it's finally all done. Any places you think I should visit while I'm there? During May the weather was pretty good, so I definitely made the most of it.While writing this post it's pouring raining again so it was short lived. I've been loving a mixture of products this month.

I bought No7's Blend & Contour brush ages ago and I wasn't expecting too much from it. This has become my my favourite brush for applying eyeshadow to the crease. I own MAC's 217 brush but I actually prefer this and find myself reaching for it more. It's the perfect size for travelling as it has such a small handle. If you have a No7 voucher this will only cost you in and around €2 which is a bargain. You may be wondering why the brush looks brand new, that's because it is. My other one needs to be cleaned so I thought I'd show you the nice one instead.

My nails have been peeling and breaking alot lately, it bugs me. Earlier in the month, I spotted Sally Hansen's Diamond Strength Cuticle Cream for half price so I thought I'd give it a go. Since I started using this it has done wonders for my nails, it is a bit on the tacky side which means I use it at night. The sickly sweet scent is something I can also look over as it works so well.

There's been much talk about this product throughout the beauty community lately. I bought this at the end of April and I was shocked at the price. €36!!! I've read that this can be used in numerous different ways. When I wake up in the mornings half asleep, I spritz a bit on my face. The smell certainly wakes me up and I feel refreshed. I do this every day without fail so it's definitely made it's way into my morning routine. I will be repurchasing this again but I think I'll get the small bottle off Feel Unique as it's cheaper and better size for travelling.

It took me ages to find this in Boots and I'm so glad I did in the end. The Bourjois Magic Nail polish remover makes taking off nail polish a breeze. I know on the packaging it says it works in 1 second, I'd say more 10. It's simple to use and reasonably priced at €6.99. I heard this shouldn't be used with glitter polish as it will wreck the foam inside. Another few words of wisdom, do not knock this over with the lid off you will get polish remover everywhere. Trust me I know!

This is one of those products I could sit and smell all day. It has a light sweet scent which isn't over powering in the slightest.  I got this in a set with three other body creme, Creme Brulee is my favourite along with Creme de Pistache. They both smell yummy. The product itself is really moisturising and sinks into my skin right away without leaving me sticky. I dread finishing this as I'll want to repurchase it again and boy is the full size pricey.

Last but not least I have a lipstick from MAC. I've been using Syrup on my lips pretty much everyday for the past month. It's such a lovely wearable shade for day and night. I have quite a few MAC lipsticks and this may be my favourite. I always have Syrup in my makeup bag, it has a permanent place there. I'll be buying this again once I run out, I can see that being pretty soon as I've used half already.

Do you have any plans for the Summer? What made it into your May favourites?