Sunday, 22 December 2013

Irish Bloggers Secret Santa

The term "Secret Santa" tends to conjure up iffy thoughts in my mind, as well as the words "novelty", " "funny" " (there are double inverted commas for a reason!!), "generic", "quick", "cheap" and "tat". For me Secret Santa presents tend to be impersonal and just show how little a person knows you....However when the absolutely lovely Aisling from TotalMakeUpAddict came up with the idea of a Secret Santa solely for beauty bloggers I was intrigued. A foolproof idea really, a present picked by someone who knows what I would want because they probably want it to, it's like a surprise self gift!

Aisling organised everything (what a trooper!!) and I was given Nirina from Killer Fashion and I eagerly awaited the delivery of my present. When I got mine last week I literally ripped open the wrapping paper I was so excited! My Santa was Rachel from Oh Hey There Rachel who seriously outdid herself! I love everything so so much! First she sent me this really cool Christmas card - a girl holding a drink and a present is a beautiful red dress is my idea of a perfect Christmas!



The first things I saw were some Cocoa Brown goodies - essential for the plethora of parties of the holiday season! I absolutely adore Cocoa Brown - as does every beauty blogger that has ever tried it!


She also got my some cool Rimmel goodies - two nail polishes in Moon Walking and Double Decker Red, a Scandaleyes eye pencil in bulletproof beige AND potentially one of the most beautiful colours in my lipstick collection - Kate Moss for Rimmel Matte Lipstick in 111 Kiss of Life. You can see from the photos that I literally couldn't wait to swatch the lipstick - I didn't even get a photo of it first (bad blogger)  - and I went straight ahead and used it that very day.





Swatches of the lipstick and eyeliner

My presents are perfect - definitely the best Secret Santa I've ever been a part of! Thanks so much to Rachel and Aisling for organising it!! I hope (and I'm sure) everyone liked their presents just as much - you can check out what everyone else got on twitter using the hashtag #irishbbloggersSS.


Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Ziaja Skincare


 I recently made some skincare purchases from Polish brand Ziaja on Original Beauty (an Irish stockist) - I had never heard of the brand until I say a blog post from the prettiest law professional (I don't know technical law terms!)- Aisling from Total Make Up Addict, talking about a Ziaja eye cream. After some further investigating (investigating for me always involves searching beaut.ie and other Irish blogs to see if they have any mentions/reviews of products) I decided to give Ziaja a whirl!



I made a video talking about the products if you prefer listening to reading!


        On the Original Beauty Website you can shop by lines e.g the Marine Algae Line or the Goats Milk Line or by product types such as cleansers/toners etc. The first thing that hit me about Ziaja is how cheap everything is - super important to a pre employed (a.k.a unemployed) girl! I easily filled up my cart to €30 - the amount you need for free delivery and waited for my goodies to arrive.
      Shipping was really fast and came with a load of free samples - ALWAYS a  huge plus! Overall I am really impressed with the products and will definitely be repurchasing - I also have product requests from my mom after she saw my haul! The products I got were as follows:

Aloe Face Toner - €3.99 for 200mls
This is a hydrating toner. It works really well - it doesn't smell the best but you can only smell it for a few seconds so it's not really a problem. I've never used a hydrating toner but I do find my skin has gotten much better since I've used it. I use it morning and night after my exfoliating toner and before moisturiser.


 
Marine Algae Micellar Water - €4.49 for 200mls
This is basically a dupe for Bioderma - one of my favourites from my haul! It's great as a make up remover or just to refresh my skin - it has that really nice light tingling feeling which makes it feel really nice. Definitely need to try the other micellar waters.

Duo Phase Eye Make Up Remover - €4.49 for 200mls

This is a two-layer eye make up remover which works really well for removing day to day eye make up, although it doesn't perform as well for any heavy duty make up....

Marine Algae Smoothing Eye Cream - €6.49 for 15mls

This is the only thing I regret buying but only because I'm allergic to it - which to be fair is not the eye creams fault - my eyes are insanely sensitive and seem to swell at the mere hint of an eye cream which is rather unfortunate since I have lots of super sexy eye wrinkles :/ This eye cream is the product I read about on Aisling's blog and she did like it so if you don't have insane eyes you're probably ok to give it a go.


Cocoa Butter Hand Cream - €2.99 for 80mls
This smells amazing! It is very light and is a really great beginners hand cream



Marine Algae Smoothing Enzyme Peeling - €4.49 for 60mls
This enzyme peeling is a great alternative to physical exfoliators which can damage the skin. You apply it, leave it for 10 -15 minutes and then wash it off. It leaves my face super smooth - as good as a physical exfoliator but without the damage :)

Natural Olive Cleansing Gel - €3.99 for 200mls
This is a really lovely product. I use it to cleanse in the mornings - what I like most about this is that you don't need to wash it off which makes it perfect for bedheads such as myself. I can do my whole morning face routine while huddling under my duvet!

I'm very excited to try lots more Ziaja products - I think I'll have a spa day with my mom and sister and try out all the amazing samples and we can decide what else to order. 

Have you ever tries any Ziaja products? What would you recommend?

Thursday, 14 November 2013

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Monday, 11 November 2013

My Favourite Topcoat...Isn't Actually a Topcoat...

Honestly, I've never been much of a "nail" person, mostly because if I ever paint my nails it is guaranteed to have chipped within a few hours of wear. This annoys the perfectionist in me to no end and I either end up taking all the nail varnish and re-painting (which will invariably chip in another few hours) or painting layer upon layer over the chipped polish. I have tried a few different (mostly budget) topcoats, including the famed Seche Vite (which I hated by the way) but for the past few weeks I've been using something new to make my polish last. It all happened as a happy accident of my sloth. I had brought some polish from my bathroom to my bedroom so I could paint my nails in bed while watching The Office on Netflix. I did my base coat and two coats of polish when I realised I had forgotten to bring in my top coat. I don't let much things get in between me and Jim Halpert and a top coat is definitely not one of them, so I used my base coat as a top coat.
How could you refuse that face??!


Later on that day (and the next), much to my surprise there wasn't a sliver of my natural nail in sight! My nail polish had lasted without chipping. I have used my base coat as a top coat on a number of different polishes with the same result. The base/top coat I use is Essence Base Coat which is under €3.00 (I don't remember the price but it's much more pocket friendly than Seche Vite's €15! I don't know if it is the specific Essence Base Coat or if it applies to all Base Coats but with Essence offering the cheapest bottle I don't care to find out (if it's not broke and all that!)




So any other tips to help make nail polish last or any ideas why the base coat works so well as a top coat anyone?

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Benefit Countdown to Love Calender...is it worth it?

Benefit in my opinion has always been way overpriced. Some of their products are good (I love my Coralista blusher!) but I have always felt that they spend far too much money on packaging thus increasing the price of their products. For example if you have a simple product that costs €12 to make - fair enough you want a profit, let's say 50% which would bring it up to €18 for the consumer. Obviously you need some packaging which at an estimation will be about €2 thus bringing the cost up to €20. Now you could charge the customer €20 for the product in plain packaging OR you could spend lots of extra money paying people to come up with fancy names and tag lines as well as designing super cute packaging for the product this raising the price substantially. I always think of Benefit as being drugstore quality products hiding in the trappings of high end brands, hoping no one will notice as they sit side by side with Estee Lauder or YSL... Now if you are happy to pay extortionate amount for cute packaging then more power too you, it may make you feel good about the product you are using or make you feel more confident - that's fine! For me I don't care what the product looks like as it sits in my drawer at home, I care how it looks on my face when I'm out and how much money I have to spend when I am out! Therefore I do try to avoid benefit products even though I will concede that some of the products are great I cannot justify spending my money on packaging. I would much prefer and be much more likely to purchase  if benefit sold refils of their products (therefore sans packaging) at a lower price point. Benefit are also known for jacking the prices of their products up for Irish consumers compared to customers in the UK. Beaut.ie did a whole series of articles on this practice here (Benefit are not the only offenders mind!)
Benefit have recently launched their Countdown to Love Christmas Advent Calender which has 24 samples (although 3 of these are (allegedly cheap) jewellery which has caused a lot of complaints). The calender retails at €75 in the Republic of Ireland. As someone who is normally very skeptical of Benefit practices (the Rockateur issue anyone?!) I wanted to see if the advent calender from Benefit offered good value for money. Using all prices from Debenhams.ie (except for one from lookfantastic.com as the product was not listed on the debenhams site) I worked out the following:


Product
Full size price
Price per 1 ml/1g
Sample size
Price of sample
That Gal

31 (11ml)
2.81
7.5ml
21.08
The POREfessional

34 (22ml)
1.54
7.5ml
11.55
High Beam
27.5 (13ml)
2.12
2.5ml
5.3
Sun Beam
27.5 (13ml)
2.12
2.5ml
5.3
Benetint
34.5 (12.5ml)
2.76
2.5ml
6.9
Chachatint
34.50 (12.5ml)
2.76
2.5ml
6.9
Posietint
34.5 (12.5ml)
2.76
2.5ml
6.9
Ultra Plush in Coralista
21 (15ml)
1.4
6.5ml
9.1
Ultra Plush in Sugarbomb
21 (15ml)
1.4
6.5ml
9.1
Ultra Plush in Dandelion
21 (15ml)
1.4
6.5ml
9.1
Hoola

34 (8g)
4.25
3g
12.84
Dandelion
34 (7g)
4.86
3g
14.58
Coralista

34 (8g)
4.25
3g
12.84
Ultra Lip Gloss in A-Lister
(price form lookfantastic)
17.7 (15ml)
1.18
6.5ml
7.67
BADgal Lash
23 (8,5g)
2.7
4g
10.8
Stay Don't Stray in Light/Medium
28.50 (10ml)
2.85
2.5ml
7.13
BADgal Liner Waterproof in Black
21.50 (1.2g)
17.9
.5g
8.95
It's Potent Eye Cream
35.00 (14.2g)
2.46
3g
7.38
Total Moisture Facial Cream

40.5 (48.2g)
.84
8.9g
7.48
Ooh La Lift
24.5 (7g)
3.5
2.5ml
8.75
Girl Meets Pearl
35 (12ml)
2.91
7.5ml
21.83




211.48

Altogether this gives the advent calender a value of €211.48, which is pretty incredible when it retails for €75. Credit where credit is due this calender does seem to offer great value for money and a good way to let customers try their products. However I will say that the calender costs £50 in the UK so using current conversion rates it should cost €58.39 (not including tax @ 23% which would be €71.82 but technically we should subtract the amount of tax on cosmetics in Britain from the £50 first before adding on the Irish tax).

The calender does appear to offer good value for money so I actually would recommend it if you had €75 lying around and were interested in trying some Benefit products, however according to the lovely Aisling of TotalMakeupAddict only 18 calenders arrived in Ireland so it may be too late unless you can order them online from a UK site...

Do you think advent calenders like this are a good idea? Do you think they offer value for money and would you ever buy one for yourself?

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Hedgehog Makeup



I wanted to make an easy make up look, this is not a transformation video, it's more like how I imagine a hedgehog would look if it was magically changed into a person. Sorry that the lighting goes a bit weird in the middle of the video, darn Irish "sun"! This definitely isn't my best make up look I know but I'm so glad and excited to be back to blogging and youtubing that I just wanted to put it up!




Products Used
Garnier BB cream in "light" (you want to use something that is darker than your face - truth be told if I had to recreate this look I would have applied fake tan which would have made it a lot easier!
Nyx eyeshadow base in "skin"
Sleek gel liner in "dominatrix"
Nyx eyeshadow in "black"
Nyx glide on slide on stay on the name goes on and on* liner in "black"
Boujois delice de poudre bronzer
Rimmel sunshimmer
Essence limited edition eyeshadow (no idea of the shade name - sorry)
Essence eyebrow powder
Duo eyelash adhesive


*may not be the actual name of the product but the name goes on forever...

What are you dressing up as for Halloween?

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Straight Arrow Foot Miracle review

So...this is odd. Not the product - writing a blog post again - I haven't written one since June, which  is about the time I got Straight Arrow's Foot Miracle in the post (It should be noted that the foot cream is not why I haven't blogged).

Despite having an odd name, Foot Miracle is quite a good product. Obviously it is from the makers of the famous Mane n’ Tail horse shampoo and conditioner, currently used by humans to get soft and shiny hair (sidenote: I really like their conditioner and their hair strengthener which is one of the nicest smelling products ever).






 Foot Miracle is a "deep penetrating formula" that is "simply superb for rough, callused, hard-to-soften feet". To be honest my feet are in pretty good condition, they are relatively smooth and without calluses so I can't give a full review of the cream, however it does feel nice and smells good but for all I knew it could be any ol' moisturiser until the skin around the sides of my nose started getting dry and cracked. One night when I couldn't find my emulsifying ointment I got a bright (although potentially terrible) idea to use foot miracle. I'd like to pretend it's because I was watching Mean Girls and thought it would be cool to use foot cream on my face like Regina George did but it was just because I was lazy and wasn't bothered looking properly for my emulsifier. Anyway I figured that if Foot Miracle is for dry skin then it could potentially help my whole superficial naso lacrimal area (your nose sides where your tears would run down from your eyes for people that didn't study detailed facial anatomy). For once I was actually right - it totally worked AND as an added bonus it worked so well that I didn't have dry nose again for a whole week even without using any creams on it whereas I had been using emulsifying ointment every night. The dry skin did come back obviously but I have been using Foot Miracle on it once a week and it has worked better than other product I have used (and I've even used 8 Hour Cream on my delicate snozz)! I can't be entirely sure Foot Miracle is safe to put on your face so I'm not sure I can recommend everyone does a Regina George but if it worked on my nose that well chances are it will work on your feet or any other dry areas like your elbows or knees!


Question: Does anyone know/Do you think all Straight Arrow products work on humans and horses OR do you think they have separate horsey and human divisions within the company? I would rather like to think that all their products work on both species so if you don't like their foot cream you can treat a horse to a spa day and use it on them... (this is a genuine question by the way - I really want to know).


Thursday, 6 June 2013

What Bloggers Did Next Meetup


So on Saturday I had the pleasure of attending the Irish bloggers and vloggers meet up organised by Katie  from What Katie Healy Did . The meet up was in Dublin which meant a 3 hour bus ride there and back home again but it was so so worth it! We met at the Hard Rock Cafe in Dublin and even though it is pretty central and easy to find I was still so so glad I have maps on my phone (I got lost in 1st, 3rd and 5th year of secondary school so going to Dublin solo is always a bit of a worry)!! This was my first time meeting Katie (who is even more gorgeous in real life and was wearing an incredible dress) as well as lots of other bloggers/vloggers in person! 

Orla from Make up Over Mind and Leanne from Rants-Raves-Rambles and I were some of the first people there so we went for a cocktail and waited for the other girls to arrive. The room filled up really quickly and before we knew it it was time to head to Inglot in the Jervis centre for a make up demonstration using some products from their new collection. The make up was gorgeous (and was the only picture I managed to get of the whole day - cocktails and good company do not leave brain room for remembering to take pictures)! 
before....


after :)

          We each got a goody bag from Inglot even though for me the trip to Inglot was goody enough for me as I have only ever been twice. Avril from  Blushful Beauty had everyones attention telling us all about her favourite Inglot products which were quickly snapped up! Any Inglot questions should definitely be directed to her, who, incidentally should definitely get a job in Inglot because she would make them a fortune! I made use of Inglots freedom system and got myself a 5 pan eyeshadow palette which I am currently keeping on my bedside locker with my urban decay naked basics palette from Sian from Forever Fabulous in Bows  so that they are the last things I see before I go to sleep and the first things I see when I wake up (pretty good going for products i have only swatched thus far). I also got a  brush in Inglot (SS6) which was used during the make up demo because a) you can never have too many blending brushes b) Avril said they were good and c) all my brushes are scratchy and i wanted to treat myself to a soft one. Speaking of Avril she was wearing the most fabulous hat, she looked so cool, like someone from TV show or something! 
Freedom Palette

Inglot S66

I took a picture of my locker as proof!






I walked back to the hard rock with the aforementioned Orla and Avril as well as Hannah from A Bullet to the Head and Lisa from Scatterbrained Blogging I really wish I had pictures of the girls because they looked amazing, I especially loved Hannah's dungarees, they reminded me of something a modern day Coco Chanel would wear, not that I would know. So we got back to the Hard Rock and had awesome food, most people got starters which were both delicious and huge - pretty really good value for money when a starter fills you - noice wan Hard Rock!

The only bad thing about the meet up was that i didn't get to talk to everyone, some because of table geography and some because i was just too darn shy and mesmerized to introduce myself (Donna from Not Just Inside is a major regret as she is one of my favourite bloggers and so so funny!) After dinner Megan from A Little Bit of Make up and Beauty told a few of us about her amazing job (think an Irish version of coyote ugly mixed with people making cocktails by like juggling bottles etc  - which is called flairing by the way) and before i knew it it was (unfortunately) time to get my bus home! 


I had such an amazing day, thank you to Katie for organizing it!! Already looking forward to the next one :)

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Met Gala 2013 Breakdown


Okay, so fashionista I am not, while I do love clothes and fashion I'm never exactly "out there" wearing trends to extremes or ages before they hit the high street like I guess truly fashionable people are. It's a bit ridiculous for me to criticize what people are wearing since I'm such a skirt, t-shirt and boots kinda girl but when I saw the pictures from the Met Gala I had to write something to get all the laughter out. Now my plan for this is that I'm going to be completely honest, and while I actually may even like some of the outfits/hair/make up I'm just going to write the first thing that comes into my head on them even if they actually are gorgeous or artistically beautiful, share the laughter I'm feeling :)

So here goes (in no particular order)
LOOK AT ME, I'M STILL YOUNG AND EDGY!!  I  CAN  DRESS LIKE
A WHORE ON ACID: PAY ATTENTION TO ME!!
Kim how did you get my granny's curtains from the 70's??? I thought we burned them, even back then we knew they were awful!

A big fishnet underneath an advert for extra strong hairspray.
Shame on you Liam for letting her out like this!!
Sofia is having a duvet day clearly, someone must have just taken the duvet away for the photos. Note: Don't wear PJ''s to a ball no matter
how hungover you are!!
Headpiece looks like what the Roman soldiers used wear...
Look's like Anne sprayed her dress with bug spray to get that effect
(same thing happened to my friend's tights but at
 least her boyfriend at the time bought her
some new ones, no one was nice enough to buy Anne a new dress)
Love Elizabeth Banks but: fish going to a business meeting
Jacket: love; hairband: love; earrings: love. All together: you are going to have someone's eye out.
Woah how did they get Storm from x-men to come??
Someone clearly learnt how to tie-dye at camp last
summer! Also, weird  bird-eye eyeshadow
I could be missing the point but is Katy trying to
pretend that she is like the virgin Mary,
 a princess virgin Mary perhaps?!
OMG pretty sure my mom wore a dress like
this in the 70's and  Gwennie (aka  a pile of goop
if you replace "g" with a "p") just cut out a
part because the top of  her arms and chest
get sweaty boob rash if she keeps them covered...
The hair and dress and natural tan make J.Lo look like a
LITERAL chetah



This dress was actually designed by a 6 year
old who is obsessed with fairys and unicorns
I AM THE LIZARD QUEEN 
Someone clearly had a tumble in the sheets with Midas before she came 
Authentic chainmail armor...
DRAG QUEEN EYES
Actually dragged through a bush backwards - its how she
got those flowers on the sleeves!
Ke$ha 2.0
Nanananananananaa: BATMAN
In a contest for most Scottish:
They both lose.

If I wear a massive dress I'll look even skinnier! It's perfect!
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS??! Also clearly the same make up artist as Ginnifer Goodwin
I feel like this lady is quite eccentric anyway so lets
let her do her thing but clearly she
ripped her dress and took the first piece of
 fabric she could find to cover up the hole...
This is gorgeous but pull your sleeves up unless
you want to become the next Janet Jackson
Actually love this dress but I think it's make from a tablecloth
LOOK HOW BIG MY HIPS ARE,
PRETEND I'M CURVY!!
"I'm not like the character I play on girls, I can be totally wild!!". Also
the way the dress is arranged makes her look like Ursula
from The Little Mermaid
Huh?! Trying to channel Katniss Everdeen's "Girl on Fire" Look I guess, If Katniss was also a cowgirl...








                                           The Master. Cara does no wrong, ever.



So there you have it, have I missed out on anyone I should make fun of?! Do you disagree with me? Let me know!!

Sarah
xx