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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