Sunday, September 22, 2013

The 'Evolution of Smooth'

I hope you're all having a relaxed Sunday. I'm currently cuddled up on the couch with my pooch editing some blog posts. I've loads of product reviews for you all over the next few weeks. 
However, I did want to get this little post out of the way. 
I've had quite a few of my readers contact me in relation to the whole EOS verses Balmi debate and with the harsh, wintery weather drawing in quickly, I cannot think of a better time to end this debate once and for all. 

I, myself am a die hard fan of the EOS smooth sphere's and have been for a little over a year now. All the Celeb's including Kim Kardashian (Strawberry Sorbet is her favourite) were using them and I just had to see what all the fuss was about. Miley Cyrus is seen applying them in her 'We can't stop' music video.

 I must admit they weren't the easiest product to get my hands on as they are not widely available in Ireland - Surprise, Surprise! I did however find an Irish owned website that stocks them -

Buy Make-Up Online in Ireland

Now to the question at hand: What is the difference between Balmi and EOS? 

Well, the biggest difference between the two products is that like most lip balms, Balmi's contain petroleum jelly and although it is a common ingredient in lip care products it is in no way beneficial. Petroleum jelly, like Vaseline for example is very drying. It is used in lip products mainly as a means of selling more of the product. If you have dry lips, what do you do? You apply a lip balm. Et Voila - boosting sales. 

EOS is different. Their products are 95% organic and 100% natural. They contain no petroleum jelly whatsoever, instead they contain moisturising Shea butter, vitamin E and jojoba oil. As a result, they are thicker in consistency and non-greasy meaning you have to apply them less often and you are left with soft, supple and dare I say it? Kissable lips. To top off all these delicious benefits, they smell utterly edible. They have a massive variety of flavours. I own six of them and my favourite has got to be the summer fruits one.  Four of these I picked up in a charity pack to raise awareness for Breast Cancer on the Beauty emporium website. 

I absolutely LOVE this brand, it's such a shame that they are not as readily available to us here in Ireland as they are everywhere else. I cannot recommend them enough and have seen a massive difference in my own lips. I have one with me at all times and keep a spare one in my desk at work. They are so cute and compact. I want them all!!

Have you tried any of the EOS smooth sphere's? What's your favourite?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.

I know some of you are going to be like "She's a Beauty Blogger, what is she doing recommending a book!?". I really couldn't help myself.
I am not going to preach to you about the importance of reading, because being honest, although I enjoy reading from time to time, I don't read nearly enough. It is simply because I do not make the time. I say "I don't make the time" because the excuse "I don't have the time" is just that, an excuse.
Before I started blogging, I genuinely thought the written word was dead. With all this modern technology, we no longer write letters and books? Books can be downloaded - It's just not the same. I, myself have not and will not cave. I do not own a kindle. Yes, they are handy for travelling, they are lightweight and compact but for me, personally, I love the feeling of holding a book in my hands. Turning the pages, that "new book smell", is there anything quite as satisfying as breaking the spine of a new book? (My sister would absolutely kill me if she read this).

Anyway, less of the rambling and back to the point at hand. I recently finished reading "The Fault in our Stars" by John Green. You may know him as one of the VlogBrothers from YouTube. The book was recommended to me by my sister, an avid reader. Now I, in turn am passing on the recommendation to you. If you, like me, are a sucker for romance - You will absolutely LOVE it! It is the most beautiful story, flawlessly written. I won't ruin it for you by giving away the plot. What I will say is that it is all consuming, I was so drawn in by the story line. I became so emotionally attached to the characters that it took me a solid two solid months to go back and finish reading the last three chapters.
Sad? Yes, maybe. That is what I love about it though, this book takes you to another world, makes you feel as though you are a part of it all. 

If you are not "a reader", I urge you to go out and buy it, borrow it or download if you must. I promise you, you will not regret it, you may even find that you enjoy reading as a result of it. I really cannot speak highly enough about this book, it hasn't been in The New York Times Best Sellers List for 46 weeks for no reason!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Lush Shampoo Bar : Seanik | Review

We are very lucky in Cork to have one of the three LUSH shops in Ireland. Correct me if I'm wrong but as far as I know the other two are in Dublin and Belfast. I absolutely adore Lush and would highly recommend going in, even if it is just to sniff around. The smell in that shop really and truly can only be described as LUSH! It is on Oliver Plunkett street in Cork across from Carl Scarpa.

LUSH do not test on animals, use little or no preservatives or packaging making them one of the most environmentally friendly brands out there. All of their ingredients are ethically sourced and of the highest possible quality. If they say something is "Organic", they mean it. There is no fine print. You really do get what you pay for with this brand. As I have previous mentioned here, I am not somebody overly concerned about what I put on my skin but it's nice to know you don't have to worry about harsh chemicals. And the smell.. Have I mentioned the smell? Oh my.. 

Anyway, I'm sure some of you are wondering.. What the **** is a shampoo bar!? Well in a nutshell, it's solidified shampoo. Just like a bar of soap, only it's for your hair. I thought it was such a quirky product I just HAD to try it out for myself. This humble little bar may not seem like a lot but it is equivalent to three full size bottles of shampoo. I kid you not. They seem to just go on forever and priced €7.95 per bar you're saving yourself a tidy little sum. Each bar is suited to a different hair types and because they don't contain any nasty chemicals, they work wonders for coloured hair. 

How to: There are two methods for using the shampoo bars, either like you would with an ordinary bar of soap. Lather between your hands until it foams up and massage into your hair. Or my preferred method, rub the bar three or four times from the root down the length of your wet hair, massage in and rinse. My hair is quite long, it cuts off half way down my ribs and I really didn't need anymore than three or four swipes of the bar.

The bar I chose was called 'Seanik', and I chose for no other reason then it was the nicest smelling one in my opinion. It is made with Irish Moss and Nori Seaweed and smells utterly divine. Such a clean fresh fragrance. It also contains lemon juice to add some much needed shine and salt to give your hair that added little oomph. I was quite surprised by how well the product actually foamed up, I automatically presumed that because the product is so natural that it would be really hard to lather up but that really wasn't the case at all. My hair has never felt so clean after a shower and it was so soft, conditioning it was just an added bonus. 

I love so many LUSH products, but if I had to recommend any of them. It would most certainly would be the shampoo bars. I adore them! I have been completely converted. I coming to the end of my bar currently and will without a doubt be repurchasing it. 'Seanik' has become a hair care staple for me. 

As I mentioned previously, LUSH is not widely available in Ireland. But you can shop online as they do deliver to Ireland. Click here for a link to their website.

Have you tried any of LUSH's shampoo bars before? Would you recommend any of them?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Big Beautiful Brows

My love affair with brows started long before my interest in 'beauty' and at the time I had no idea how much of an impact it had on me. It all began way back when I saw Selma Hayek play Frida Kahlo in the movie 'Frida'. Now she had a uni-brow and I am in no way telling you to go out a rock a uni-brow. It is NOT the way forward. I just thought there was something so mysterious and utterly feminine about her and I was fascinated. I had to have it, whatever it was. 

For those of you who don't know who she is, this is her. She was a Mexican Surrealist painter with a colourful private life to say the least. 

Her brows were big, bold and untamed. Shaped perfectly (aside from the uni-brow aspect). They added so much character and structure to an otherwise plain face and since then I have become a firm believer that bigger is better when it comes to brows. 

Throughout my early teens while my friends would spend hours in front of a mirror torturing themselves with a tweezers, I would simply keep my brows from meeting. I have been blessed with quite big brows, but if anything I want MORE because as big as my brows are naturally, they are not full and the hair is quite fair in places. It was only when my real interest in beauty started that I realised that there are ways and means to everything and that a tint can make the world of difference. 

HD brows came out and all of a sudden I wasn't the only one who wanted them. Brows became a work of art and precision was everything. HD brows offer perfect brows in 7 simple steps.

  •  Assessment: During the initial consultation your stylist analyses your face shape and eyebrow requirements and together you decide which brow shape will best suit your personality, your style and your facial features.
  • Step Two – Tinting: A high definition tint is used to even out or darken your eyebrow colour accordingly.
  • Step Three – Waxing: Wax is used to painlessly and precisely remove unwanted hair from the brow area, however if you how very thin skin around your brow area or if the skin is starting the sag this step may be skipped.
  • Step Four – Trimming: Scissors are used to trim back long, wiry and unruly hairs to create a neat and tidy brow line.
  • Step Five – Threading: Threading, the ancient Eastern art of hair removal, involves using a special thread to blend hairs into the brow area, precisely removing unwanted hairs from the brow, creating a streamline look.
  • Step Six – Tweezing: Any stray leftover hairs are tweezed out to perfect your brow.
  • Step Seven – Finish: The treated skin is wiped down with a soothing lotion, hair follicles are closed using a skin calming tonic, and special mineral powders are applied to the area to calm and camouflage any redness. 
Now, as good as your brow technician/stylist/artist is they cannot do all the of work on their own. On your own part you need to step away from the tweezers - bin it! It is recommended that you grow out your brows for about six weeks prior to your appointment - The more hair they have to work with the better. I know it may sound like a lot of work to begin with but trust me, you will reap the rewards in the end - the difference really is phenomenal. Good brows make you look more youthful and add that little hint of mystery. 

I had my brows done about 3 weeks ago and for optimum results I did not touch my brows once for TEN WEEKS!! I personally think the results speak for themselves.

 Trust me ladies, stop tweezing before it is too late. You'll regret it in years to come when you inevitably end up putting your brows into rehab and some of you may not be so lucky. You may end up with permanent bald spots and end up having to get your brows tattooed - I kid you not.

As with everything we have to take the good with the bad and along with the release of the HD brow look came the 'Scouse Brow' this is not a look desired by many. I am all about defining your brows but be careful not to over do it either, you don't want to end up looking like this do you?


Fill in your brows by all means but stick to a colour that looks natural, nothing too dark! I'd recommend starting off with a powder (eye shadow or brow powder) either will work and seal them in place with a clear mascara/brow gel. You don't need to spend a fortune - I myself use an essence one. Beginners especially should steer clear of brow pencils as the result can look quite severe if they aren't blended properly. Another great brow product is one I have mentioned in a previous post. It is the MeMeMe  'Arch Angel'. It is a brow gel and highlighter in one. Click here for the link to the post if you want to have a quick read. It really is a brilliant product and well worth a try!

All that is left is for you to figure out whether you are seductive, mysterious or sexy.

 Happy browzing! x

Ps: My brows were done by Olive of  Piggys Pinkies West Cork. HD brows are not unique to one salon and you will find different variations under different names. Be sure they are trained properly and are not delving into the sowing kit for a reel of thread. Threading is an art form and not one that is learned over night. It well worth it, if it is done right! I personally will never go back to waxing.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Crazy Angel Spray Tan | Review

As I'm sure you are all well aware at this stage, I am a die-hard Cocoa Brown fanatic. It is my holy grail tan. I was at a wedding last weekend and I wanted to get a Cocoa Brown spray tan done, however unfortunately for me, nowhere locally have it and I was half tempted to do my own - my only worry however was that if I did, it would be the one time that I'd make an absolute hames of it (as fool proof as it is). So I put the word out there that I was looking to get a spray tan done. I got quite a few recommendations and I decided to go to LA Beauty Clinic in Clonakilty.

I am not someone who is big on spray tans to begin with. I've had a disaster or two with spray tans in the past, including being left patches of skin that wear not sprayed. And I'd be quite self conscious dropping down to my smalls in front of a complete stranger but for the weekend that was in it, I was willing to sacrifice my dignity.

The tan used in LA is called 'Crazy Angel'. If i'm totally honest I had never heard of it before and that made me apprehensive, I didn't want to be tangoed.
I got my tan done on the Thursday afternoon before the wedding which was on Saturday and was advised to leave it overnight and to shower on Friday to take away any excess tan. It is a gradual tan and takes about six hours to show its true colour.
Another thing I was quite apprehensive about was having my face sprayed, I am quite prone to dry patches on my face, along with a spot or ten and I didn't want the tan to flake away or stick to the dry patches. So as a rule, I never EVER tan my face (real or fake). I was so surprised and absolutely thrilled when it didn't.
I woke up Friday morning with a beautiful, natural golden glow - like I had spent the past two weeks sunning myself in the south of France! After my shower it did lighten,but only slightly. It was the perfect shade for me as I don't like my tan too deep. If I was to describe it, I'd say the colour was comparable to leaving Cocoa Brown 1hr Tan on for 2hrs which is "the norm" for me. The tan itself has a beautiful light perfumed scent while being applied but does dry to that awful biscuity smell, not as bad as other tans I've tried however..

I was very pleasantly surprised by the tan's coverage, I have quite thin skin on my legs and the veins are quite obvious, as are bumps and bruises. I found Crazy Angel to be almost like a makeup for the body (similar to Sally Hansen's Leg Makeup) without the powdery finish. I genuinely felt like I had nothing on and it left my skin feeling soft and smooth.
The tan wears off quite well and is perfect for a long weekend or a wedding if you need your tan to last for a few days. Towards the end of this week it was gradually starting to build up around my ankles, knees etc. So a good scrub was needed!

I was so impressed by it I have to say, so much so that I am getting it done again this Thursday in preparation for my 21st on Saturday night! I am sure this tan probably won't be to everyone's liking but if you are looking for a natural, sun kissed glow for a special occasion I'd definitely recommend giving this tan a whirl. A full body spray tan is €25 and If you take care of it, you will get the bones of a week out of the tan.

(I realised after getting sprayed that I forgot to take a before picture - so here is the result instead)


Finally, I cannot finish this post without saying thank to the Lovely Yvonne in LA who sprayed me. She made me feel so comfortable and completely at ease. She was so chatty it felt like I was done in seconds. She was so thorough that after I stepped out of the tanning booth, she sent me back in for a quick touch up in areas she wasn't happy with - so preofessional.

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