Thursday, December 26, 2013

MUA Undress your skin Foundation | Review

Hello Lovelies,

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and Santa brought you all you wished for. He was very kind this year and brought loads of goodies including the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay. He had to traipse the streets of London including about a dozen Debenhams stores, eventually picking it up in Westfields, London - I must have been a very good girl this year ;) 

Today I come to you with a review of a foundation that I have fallen for. Head over heels. In LOVE. It is from MUA or Makeup Academy, a brand that I have known about for a while but never bothered to try out myself until recently. I took the plunge and made a sneaky order both for myself and I also picked up a few stocking stuffers for my two younger sisters. MUA is cheap, ridiculously cheap. I filled my basket with bits (17 things to be precise) and including delivery priced at €5.92 it totaled €50.49. Not bad eh? 

Anyway the foundation itself is from their 'Undress Your Skin' range. Double points for anyone who can tell me what they are duping here!? 
Thats right.. Its the Urban Decay 'Naked' Collection. 

What it claims:  

"Covers imperfections and blemishes whilst maintaining your skins natural glow with light-diffusing particles of shimmer that creates instant radiance."

What you get: 

A lightweight, medium coverage foundation that leaves you with a really subtle, healthy glow. When I heard 'shimmer' I was a bit put off as I know from experience a lot of the "drugstore"/ chemist brands tend to take 'shimmer' to the extreme and you can end up looking like a disco ball. Not the case with this foundation at all. It really is light-diffusing.

 I have tried the UD Naked Skin BB myself and found that like a lot of other BB creams it clung onto the dry patches on my face. This is not the case here, it glides over the dry skin and does not flake away throughout the day either. As for oily skin? Shimmer? I know its not normally recommended and that a matte finish tends to suit oily skin better. Well if you follow me on twitter you will know that of late, I don't know how or why but my normally uber dry skin is quite oily in places. My T-zone, my forehead in particular. I just pat on some of my Maybelline 'Fit Me' pressed powder and it does not budge. 

It is normally priced at €5.98 but is actually on offer at the moment for €3.59 and is available here . How do I know this? I may or may not be in the process of placing another order. You do need to take shipping at almost €6 into consideration when ordering, however realistically it still works out cheaper than a lot of your chemist brands like Maybelline and L'oreal and a damn sight cheaper than the "REAL DEAL".

The packaging isn't anything to write home about, it comes in a basic squeezy tube, its stripped back to save on costs with isn't a bad thing as those savings are then passed onto you. And you don't have to pay €5 for a pump for a bottle of foundation you just paid €30 either - added bonus!

My one and only qualm, if you'd even call it that is the lack of shades, it comes in 3. Porcelain, Beige and Golden. I picked up the shade 'Beige' and it is perfect for me when I'm without fake tan. I was in complete shock as I can only imagine how light porcelain is if I'm Beige. So its not even a complaint on my part, its about time the fair skinned ladies were seen after if you ask me! 

Also I'd like to mention the speedy shipping. I received my order in 4 working days, which I might add is a hell of a lot quicker than other companies I have ordered from in the past especially considering they are coming from the UK.

Anyway ladies, dinner is calling. The one and only time you won't hear me complaining about leftovers. I hope you all have a great St. Stephens night and if you're headed out don't forget your jacket and your brolli and your rain poncho and your wellies its meant to be a bad one! 

Have you tried any MUA products before? 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Boohoo for real | Rant

I have been toying with writing this post for almost two weeks and I wasn't going to, I don't set out to slate companies but I was and am so disappointed with the level of customer service I received I decided to share my feelings.

About 3 weeks ago I set out looking for an outfit to wear to my Christmas party. I trolled shops and the internet in search and found a very promising one on Boohoo. A classic black dress, three quarter sleeves and a little bit of a slit. Saying that it was promising is a bit of an understatement really. I was so in love with it. It would have been perfect and so easy to dress up. Hallelujah it was there in my size too - or so I thought!

I popped a pair of hounds tooth heels into my basket and placed my order. It was a Sunday night and Boohoo advise that you will have you're delivery within 2-3 working days. So I thought Thursday or Friday at the very latest. I have ordered from the site before and have never had a problem.

Thursday came and went and I had been checking my online account daily only to be told it had been "dispatched". Friday night I was getting tired of waiting so I tweeted my disappointment and got an almost immediate response from what I thought at the time was a very helpful 'here to help' staff member delighted after DM-ing her for a while she told me it should be with me early the following week. That was good enough for me, my mind was at ease.

Sunday evening I received an email telling me that part of my order - My beloved dress had been cancelled. No explanation, no apology - NOTHING! If my order, or part of my order was out of stock, while speaking with a Boohoo representative why was I not told? If the dress was out of stock at the time why was I able to order it?

I was absolutely disgusted to think a week after placing my order all I got was a system generated email. Surely during any of the 5 working days after ordering it someone could have been in contact with me. It really has put me off ordering from them again and I know I'm not alone in feeling the same way. If you offer good customer service I will praise you to no end. Whether the news you give me is what I want to hear or not. It takes all of about 1 minute to write an email or to look into an order placed in good faith.

Boohoo is quite a fitting name for the company after my most recent experience with them. I say this because I work in customer service myself and I know that honesty will get you a lot further with your customers than empty promises will. They let me down, but more importantly they have let themselves down.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Babyliss Big Hair | Review

I have said it before and I'll say it again, Boots is the epitome of a First World Problem!  I have yet to leave it empty handed and with one only 20 minutes away from me now there's fat chance of it happening anytime soon.

So last Sunday I popped into the newly opened Boots in Bandon to pick up a few bits on the 3 for 2 offer. When this caught my attention.

The Babyliss 'Big Hair' in a nutshell is a heated, rotating barrel brush. I had only recently seen it in Life, Laughs and Laura's monthly favourites and it was love at first sight. I am a massive blow dry fan. There's nothing like a little oomph to make you feel good about yourself. However, it is something I have never really mastered on my own (it takes two professionals to do it for me normally).

It comes with 3 heat settings and can be rotated either clockwise or anti clockwise depending on look you want to achieve.

Now I know I wasn't alone in thinking that it would get tangled in my hair and I'd end up having to cut it out. It doesn't. That's the beauty of it, as soon as you release the catch it stops rotating and you hair falls free of the bristles smooth, shiny and full of body.

I am both blessed and cursed with my hair - I have lots of it for starters and when straightened it stops about 3/4 of the way down my back. When done well it looks great but I tend to get bored when attempting to blow dry it myself and it ends up in a ball on the top of my head.

With this I dry my hair with my ordinary hairdryer until it's about 80% dry. I then section it out and begin to style it. It takes no time at all and adds loads of volume. When I'm done my hair looks and feels like its been done professionally if I do say so myself. As for fool proof? Even my dad has had a go of it and he did a pretty good job too!

To finish I take one pump of my beloved L'oreal Extraordinary Oil and run it through my ends. As fabulous as this styler is, it isn't a miracle worker and can not cure split ends. The oil does disguise them nicely though.

It is priced at €59.99 and is available in Boots. It is on promotion at the moment so I picked it up along with 3 other beauty bits and paid a grand total of €53.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cocoa Brown's Pink Party

You're probably blue in the face from listening to me harp on about the Cocoa Brown Christmas Party at this stage between Facebook and twitter over the past few days but guess what!? I'm about to harp on another bit! 

I headed off to Dublin on Monday morning bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to do some damage with my plastic before Christmas and was going to the very exclusive Residence Members Club that evening to celebrate the Massive success for the Cocoa Brown Franchise over the past twelve months.

I stayed in The Morgan Hotel in Fleet Street by Temple Bar. It is the most amazing Boutique hotel and it is right in the centre of everything - 4 stars isn't enough to do it justice. The staff were absolutely amazing, so helpful and friendly. I could really get used being greeted as "Ms. McCarthy" every time I passed one of them. The service was over and above anything I could have expected and I will most certainly be returning in the near future! 

Here are just a few snaps of my room..

After dropping my stuff off in the room I headed out to a bit of shopping, grabbed some lunch and of course I had to stop off in Starbucks for a compulsory cup of coffee. It's such a novelty as there is no "real" Starbucks in Cork just yet. 

After that it was a mad tear back to the hotel to get ready and off out the door again. Last night's Soiree was held in the very exclusive Residence Members Club in Stephens Green.

 We were greeted by name, handed glasses of Pink Punch and had our photos taken by a professional photographer. I felt like a real VIP.
 Everywhere you looked and everything you touched was pink and glittery. Bottles of Tan adorned every table and counter in sight.  I was and still am starstruck after the night. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I'd be in the same room as the likes of Rosanna Davison or Amanda Brunker. 

The attention to detail and treats were really and truly out of this world. The Carter Beauty Team were on hand giving beautiful Cocoa Brown Manicure's and there was goodie bags for everyone who attended.

Half way through the night Marissa made a beautiful heartfelt speech thanking everyone for their continued support of the brand. So grateful and so modest she truly deserves every success in the business. She is such a role model for up and coming entrepreneurs.

 A few snaps from the night..

Myself and Marissa
(Excuse the blurriness I haven't figured out the camera on my new phone just yet)

Cake pops - if Heaven had a taste, this is undoubtedly it!

 A Giant cake version of the Original 1hr Tan

Pink Punch

Cocoa Brown Stick on Nails by @iNailz an up and coming Company. You can literally get anything you want printed on them. Thanks a Million to Wendy for giving me a pack of the nails to take away.

The Carter Beauty Team giving Pink Manicures

Just some of the sweeties we were treated to :)

The new Travel size version of the Original 1hr tan - How cute is that bottle?

And last but by no means least look what I had to travel all the way to Dublin for!! I finally got my hands on the Chocolate Whip Moisturiser. It's like gold dust arround here!!

 I had such an amazing night and it was so nice to catch up with some of the beauty bloggers I met at the last event and of course to meeting a few new ones. I'm looking forward to the next event already :) 

I'm off to bed now, The cobblestones of Temple Bar have gotten the better of me and my poor feet and its back to reality tomorrow unfortunately back to work and tomorrow is my Monday - Ugh!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

November Favourites

Is it just me or has November just flown? It seems are though I've blinked and it gone. I can't really say I'm complaining though as my November/ Pre-Christmas spending ban finished on Sunday meaning I'm free to go absolutely nuts with my card again - YAY! 

I have been itching to burn some serious plastic over the past few weeks but I've held off. As a result I managed to save a few penny's to splash out over the festive season AND it has forced me to work with some long forgotten treasures. Tonight's post, if you haven't already guessed is a look into some of the bits I've been LOVING throughout the month of November.

NYC Applelicious Glossy Lip Balm in 354 'Apple blossom' - €2.49

I picked this up months ago and I'd say I took it out of the packet, tried it on and forgot about it. Well on doing my clear out a few weeks ago I came across it again and I literally have not looked back since. I've received loads of complements while wearing it, it just adds a sheer pop of colour so it's nice for everyday. It smells (and tastes) Ah-mazing! I think I've probably eaten about as much of it as I have actually worn. I know you're thinking "But it's a lip balm and she said not to wear them!?" Yes, she did say that. However, if you are a lipstick wearer normally you'll know lipstick in general can be quite drying so why not wear this one a glossy alternative? 

Neal's Yard Bee Lovely Hand Cream - €12 approx.

A lot of people won't like this hand cream as it is a little oily. I don't mind it at all. I work in an office and spend quite a lot of the time on calls so I have plenty time for it to soak it and work it's magic. During the winter months my skin gets quite dry - my hands especially so I like to keep a tube of cream with me at all times. The one I normally use is The Body Shops hemp hand cream but I ran out and due to my spending ban I rediscovered this little beauty. Imagine you're just after peeling an orange - thats exactly what it smells like, minus the sticky fingers. I know some people find it quite strong but I personally find the smell uplifting especially with the cold weather. It's like a mini pick me up. 

L'oreal Extraordinary Oil - €15 approx

Hair Oil's are something I have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship with. I either put on too much and it looks like I haven't washed my hair at all or I don't use enough and it does nothing. This stuff I picked up after trying a freebie sachet from a magazine simply because it smelled so good. I fell deeply in love with it almost instantly. I have quite long hair - its about halfway down my back and I use 2 pumps of this and my hair is completely transformed. Its quite dry naturally so this adds a nice bit of shine to it, it is also in dire need of a cut but I don't have a lot of free time at the moment,this does the trick as a quick fix for my brutal split ends too. Perfect!

CND Solar Oil - €10 approx.

I've said it before and I will say it again. Solar Oil is the only cuticle oil worth talking about. It contains Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E which penetrate into your nails to nourish and re-hydrate. This stuff has literally been a life saver over the past month. My nails lacked attention last month and as a result they were brittle and breaking. This gave them the lift they needed and they are back fighting fit again. Ask your nail tech, she SHOULD stock it!

Sleek Blush in 'Flushed' €5.49
Since A/W '13 hit I have become increasingly obsessed - Yes OBSESSED with this shade. Its a real deep berry colour and admittedly looks quite scary as it is really pigmented. A light sweep of this paired with a deep berry or Bordeaux lip and you're good to go. It is the only blush I have used all month. Definitely one of my staples for the festive season! 

If you're interested in seeing my thoughts on some of the other Sleek blushes. I have reviewed them here.

This brings me on nicely to my final favourite of the month..

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in 'Black Cherry' - €10.70

If you have "liked" Give A Posy on Facebook you'll know I've been harping on about how amazing this lipstick is. It's a dupe for MAC's 'Rebel'. While I bit the bullet and picked it up in Boots in October. To say it surpassed my expectations is an understatement. It's quite daring but not at all hard to pull off - as long as you keep your eyes pretty neutral that it. The packaging is a little cheapy in comparison to other "drug store" brands but don't let that put you off. It's a real gem!

So there you have it, just a little insight into the beauty bits I have been loving throughout the month of November. What did you think? Should I make it a regular thing?

 If there is anything you want reviewed in more detail please don't hesitate to ask. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

"I do!" - Do you really? | Rant

I know you're all thinking 'Here she goes again.. What's wrong with her this time?'

Well, last week while catching up on a stack of magazine's I spotted a piece in LOOK Magazine.

"46% of Women Say They'd Go Dutch On their Engagement Rings, Would You?" 

It frustrated and infuriated me to no end. As women we have fought long and hard for the right to be treated as equals, so why in this day and age are we so stuck in our ways when it comes to Marriage? Why is it only deemed acceptable for women to propose to men on Leap years? Why does it matter who pays for the ring or how much it cost?

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a rock as much as the next girl, BUT are you really willing to wear a down payment of a house on your finger?

I get the symbolism behind the Wedding/Engagement ring, really I do. Its a symbol of Unity, of togetherness. Why does an Engagement ring have to symbolic of HIS willingness to provide for YOU? (Are you planning on being made redundant? No? Well, I'm sure he doesn't either) What if the tables turned? What if he IS made redundant and you are the Sole bread winner? Are you unwillingly to provide for him? I didn't think so..

If it really is symbolic of your commitment to each other, why shouldn't you chip in? You do with all the other expenses? You are they one who will be wearing it after all.

I am by no means slating the opinions of either of the two ladies who debated the topic, they both put up a good argument. This just happens to be my opinion on the matter. I'd love to hear yours. Are you traditional, set in your ways? Or Are you willing to Split the Bill? If the Engagement ring of your dreams was outside of your partners means would you cough up to pay for it?

I know this post is kind of all questions and no answers. It is just so topical. I find myself dying to hear other peoples points of view.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cracking Christmas gifts for HER

I absolutely LOVE Christmas and I cannot wait for it this year. I think what makes it that bit more exciting this year is that my gorgeous G-Momma Sheilagh is home from Australia and I haven't seen her in over a year. Needless to say a few Pinot's are well overdue!! Three and a half weeks.. Eeeek!!!

Over the past few weeks I've been getting messages on Facebook about gift ideas. So I decided to compile a list. Quite a few men have mailed me for ideas - which of course is very nice to see. Aren't you all very lucky ladies? 

Before getting to it in detail, these gifts are the pricer ones. THE BIG GIFT if you will. If you are looking for cheaper gifts/ kris kringle presents/ stocking filler ideas. I have a post dedicated to that if you would like to click HERE you will be taken directly to it. However if you are looking for THE BIG GIFT, than please read on for some giftspiration for the lady in your life. Of course if there is a budget friendly option out there I'll be sure to mention it!

I have to start with my favourite of all the gifts. The Mi Moneda. Mi Moneda means "my currency" and that is kind of what it is. There are dozens of different coins, holders and chains and they can be mixed and matched to your hearts content meaning it is almost completely unique to the wearer. It is also the priciest gift I have on the list because each piece has to be purchased seperately. The coin, the coin holder and the chain. 

I was lucky enough to get one as a gift from my parents for my 21st birthday this year and I am completely obsessed with it. The Mi Moneda is also a firm favourite among the celebs with the likes of Rihanna and Vanessa Hudgens donning them.  

They come in three colours silver, gold and rose gold. They are available from Keanes. The prices are as follows;

Coins range from: €18- €55
Coin holders range from: €65 to €125
Chains range from: €62.50 to €140

This is the one I got for my birthday. I received 2 coins with it. A rose gold dream catcher and a smokey gold glitter coin. I'm so obsessed that I'm treating myself to second coin holder and a new coin or two for Christmas.  

Not the cheapest gift I will admit and I know some budgets will not be in a position to stretch to almost €300! 

However, I wouldn't be me if I didn't have an ace up my sleeve, would I? A little birdy told me that there is a cheaper alternative to the Mi Moneda. Just as chic, just a little more budget friendly. They are called 'Emozioni' and as of today Michel Jewellers  in Cork stock. Prices start at €24 for the coins or you can pick up a 'starter pack' including a coin holder, a coin and a chain from a very reasonable €120!!

 Here's a sample of the Emozioni coins. Again they are available in silver, gold and rose gold.

My second gift recommendation is a watch. I am a massive fan of some nice arm candy and what completes a look better than a chunky watch? Whether its River Island or Michael Kors, you can do no wrong.

 I have this River Island watch in Rose gold and I am forever getting compliments on it. Priced at €37 it's a steal.

If you're looking to splash out a little why not opt for a Michael Kors watch? Prices start at €129.

Next up is the handbag. You know that thing us women carry  around all day? We can be seen rooting elbows deep in it for something or other. You know that saying "Everything but the kitchen sink"? It's not a lie, we carry our lives around in these things. All of our worldly possessions. So why not treat the lady in your life to a new one?

The Michael Kors Jet Set Tote is available is loads of colours and comes in 3 sizes. Again it is one of the pricier gifts. Prices start at €220, they are available in Brown Thomas. 

River Island have great Tote bags as well so if Michael Kors hurts your head. How about this little beauty from River Island?

It comes in a varity of colours and is quilted meaning she'll be bang on trend. Priced at €40 you could stretch to a matching purse too!

Now we all know us ladies like pretty things, but enough of those for now. How about a much deserved break? Whether its a spa package to treat her to some well deserved pampering or a weekend away in a European city. These presents go down a treat. 

Spa's like Inchydoney and Fota do couples retreats so you can treat yourself while you're at it - You know you want to!! These can be quite expensive, however there are regularly deals on the likes of groupon and living social so keep an eye out. If not for Christmas, the anniversary is always looming..

Lastly, how about flights? A city break? I'm not saying book them for St.Stephens day. Off peak flights are really reasonable as is accommodation. It also gives you time to save a few pennys for the weekend away. Maybe it'll be your first trip away, maybe it's a regular thing either way it's a great gift idea and one you can both benefit from. Flights to Paris for Christmas? Imagine her excitement? 

So there you have it, my gift guide for her. I am aware the some gift are a bit pricey but there are always alternatives. Hopefully it has helped and if need anymore help and/or inspiration please don't hesitate to ask. I'm only too happy to. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Champagne lifestyle. Lemonade wage | My spending ban

As of November 1st, I have been on a long overdue spending ban. In the past 14 days, tempted as I may have been I have not spent a single penny on anything makeup/beauty related. To say it hasn't been difficult would be an out and out lie. I have be itching to pick up something, anything new to play with. I have really put my willpower to the test this month - Why? 

I'm sure you are all sick to death hearing about my new found love of all things DIY with the installation of my Ah-mazing new wardrobe (thanks dad!). Installing it this month put a severe strain on the ole purse strings. It might have been a sensible idea to put a few bob away over the last few months considering I've been designing and redesigning it with absolute yonks but NO! Money has always and probably will always burn a huge hole in my pocket. As a result I'm learning how little I appreciate all the things I buy, use them a few times and toss them to the side when I splurge on something new and shiny. 

On clearing out my room, I found that I had acquired a stockpile, a long forgotten surplus of beauty bits that hadn't seen the light of day in months. I found NINETEEN Lipglosses!! |For someone who openly admits she is not a fan of lipgloss -  It was downright shameful! Reality hit home and I decided it had to stop. So for the month of November it has. I will not be making any beauty purchases between now and December 1st. Well outside of the necessities such as deodorant etc. (Obviously I will not let personal hygiene suffer as a result of the ban.)

I have decided to help me on my journey I would start a "Monthly Favourites". At the end of the month I will be doing my first post. It won't be a detailed review of all the products and I have no doubt some of them will have been mentioned in previous. However, if I do mention anything in a favourites blog that you would like reviewed. Please do not hesitate to ask I'd be more than happy to.

Once the ban is finished I have decided to enforce a new rule. I will not be purchasing a new product unless I have finished one for it to replace. Will it last? Who knows.. God loves a trier!

On a P.S: I will be getting my nails done on Saturday. It has been nearly SIX WEEKS since they have been seen to last and as a result I think my nail strength is suffering. I worked hard to get them to where they are at the moment and as much as I love DIY, my nails don't feel the same. I also feel that with my overwhelming urge to SPEND SPEND SPEND I may resort to biting and we can't have that now can we? 

Have any of you ever considered a spending? If so I'd love to hear how you got on. If not, has this post tempted you?

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pull up your Socks | Stocking filler Ideas

It is only six weeks until Christmas so whether its Kris Kringle or stocking stuffing you're doing - I have compiled a list of a gift Ideas for the girlie girl in us all! Budget wise - the most expensive gift is priced at €30.00 which in my opinion isn't too bad!

So without further ado let the merriment begin!!

  1. This first gift on the list HAS to be the EOS Smooth Sphere lipbalm's. They are priced at €6.95 and come in a range of colours and flavours. The packaging is so cute and quirky - they are the perfect stocking filler. Everyone from The Kardashians to The Directioners have them. Meaning what? We all want one!! 
If I haven't already convinced you to purchase one I have reviewed them before so be sure to check it out here.


   2. My beloved Cocoa Brown Tan have brought out these really cute gift sets for Christmas. They contain a sachet of their AMAZING Tough Stuff Scrub, a bottle of their 1hour tan and exfoliating gloves. They are available in Penneys priced at approx €9.99 considering the Tan on its own retails at €7.99 - It is well worth picking up! 

    3. Real Techniques Brushes are created by Sam Chapman, one of the Incredibly Talented Pixiwoos sisters from YouTube. These brushes can be bought individually or very cleverly in sets. They have a face set, an eye set and an essentials Kit. I picked up the essentials kit myself a few months back and I have to say it is FABULOUS. You get a foundation brush, a powder brush and an eyeshadow brush. It is perfect for beginners and experts alike as it gives you a really good idea of what the brushes are like. It would be the perfect gift for your daughter, sister or niece who is just getting into makeup.  Each of the sets in the above image are priced at €24.99 - About the same as one MAC eye shadow brush. I cannot recommend these brushes enough.

3 for 2 Mix & Match

   4. Boots 3 for 2 on gift sets seem like great value Christmas gifts. However, how much of these products do we every actually finish using? I did a big clear out of my room last week and I am telling you in hindsight they were wasted on me. I tend to try each product out once or twice and forget about them again. If you do decide to venture into Boots while Christmas shopping my advice would be to opt for the 3 for 2 offer on the makeup bits or alternatively pick up some of the full size versions of the minis in these sets. They are priced at approx. €10.00 each meaning you will get 3 full size products for €20.00 and these are far more likely to be used - The Soap and Glory Scrubs especially!

   5. Sleek Makeup has to be one of the most reasonably priced Makeup brands on the market. The quality you get for the price you pay for is second to none. Their products are so pigmented, they would honestly give any product three times their price and run for their money. I have reviewed a few of the sleek blushers in the past, which you can find here. They got a rave review if I may say so myself. I have since invested in one of their 12 eyeshadow palettes which are priced at only €9.99. I have my heart set on a second one for Christmas - Sleek Makeup i-Divine in Vintage Romance 

   6. Laura Mercier's Holiday Body gift sets are so Luxurious. As pricey as they are, they do make a lovely gift at Christmas. Last yearI treated myself to their Hand Cream Sampler - it contains four of their bestselling hand creams; Almond Coconut Milk (My personal favourite), Creme BrulĂ©e, Creme de Pistache and Fresh Fig. All 50g tubes. The set is priced at €30.00 which to some may seem expensive for hand cream. Divide it by four and they work out at €7.50 each which is the average price of a tube of hand cream in your local chemist minus the luxury. You can share the set out between friends of keep it all to yourself. This is definitely on my own wish list again this year. It is available from Brown Thomas.

7. Goodbye Sleepless Nights, Hello Great Hair. This saying could not be truer if it tried. I picked up my Sleep In Rollers not long after they came out. They are velcro hair rollers with a spongey centre so you can wear them to bed. When they are taken out in the morning its as if you're just out of the hairdressers after treating yourself to a big bouncy blowdry. The original set comes comes in pink a cute pink drawstring storage bag to keep them together - this includes 20 rollers which is more than enough for your whole head of hair. Since their initial release the brand have expanded and have the rollers in a varity of colours and sizes. They also have brushes, clips, donut rings and hair dryer hoods. Everything you could possibly want when it comes to hair styling. The original set is priced at €20.45. I love mine so much I'm tempted to go back and get another set in a different colour!!

So there you have it. My budget friendly stocking fillers.. Well a few of them anyway! If you have any further questions or want anymore ideas please don't hesitate to contact me as I'd be more than happy to help out! I have a few more Christmas gift posts to come later on in the week including gifts for him and her (the big gifts that is).

** The majority of these gifts are available from Cloud10Beauty an Irish owed Online shop so please don't forget to support Local and of course support Irish this Christmas. 


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Budget Beauty: Brush Cleaning | How To:

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that brush cleaning is literally THE BANE of my life! I know it's not a difficult task by any means but it most certainly is a tedious one.

I often get asked what brush cleaner I use and to be completely honest, I don't use one - not anymore. I have tried them in the past but in my opinion, they are a complete and utter waste of money!

Makeup brushes are an investment and can be quite pricey so it is really important to take care of them. Along with being an investment, they are also a breeding ground for bactericia. If they are not cleaned on a regular basis they get clogged up. What you will end up doing is spreading this bacteria along with old makeup, dead skin cells and your skins natural oils around your face (Eww I know). So whether you are acne prone or have noticed a breakout you would not normally have, ask yourself - When was the last time I cleaned my brushes? 

I don't wear makeup everyday so I personally give my brushes a good deep clean every two wekeks. I used to do it weekly until I discovered Micellar lotion (I'll explain in more detail further down).

What you need: 

  • A sponge
  • Baby shampoo
How to:
  1. Take your sponge and wet it with warm water - not too hot (think of your brushes like a baby, if its too hot for a baby its too hot for your brushes)
  2. Wet the brushes bristles
  3. Squeeze a drop of baby shampoo onto the sponge and swirl your brush around it in circular motions to cleanse deep into the bristles
  4. Rinse the bristles until you can't see anymore suds and the bristles no longer feel slippery
  5. Squeeze any excess water from the brush, shape the brushes and lay flat on a clean towel to dry over night (NEVER use a hairdryer)
If you are struggling to remove things like lipstick, gel eyeliner or heavy duty concealer - repeat step 3 replacing baby shampoo with baby oil and rinse thoroughly again.

As for the Micellar Lotion. What is it? Micellar Lotion is a facial cleanser used on the go as it does not have to be rinsed off. You simply cleanse and apply your makeup and you are good to go. There was a lot of hype about Micellar Lotions earlier in the year and they were almost an "it" product. I picked up the La Roche Posay - physiological micellar solution.

As a facial cleanser I thought it was useless but after paying almost €17 for it I wasn't going to just bin it. Instead I have started using it to give my brushes a quick clean i between uses.
I soak a cotton pad in it and swipe my brush across it a few times and it's clean and ready for it next use. It also works wonders for brushes you don't use regularly to wipe away any dust etc from them sitting on the shelf for weeks on end.

My Top TIP: Be vigilant when cleaning your brushes - do not soak them. Where the metal meets the bristles is never and I mean NEVER to be submerged in water. This is where the glue is. If the glue gets wet your bristles loosen and eventually the brush is ruined. You can thank me later!

So there you have it. My budget friendly brush cleaning tutorial. I hope it helped.

Have you got any brush cleaning hints or tips? I'd love to hear them if you do!
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