Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Soleil Tan De Chanel | Review

After a particularly long week in the office a while back, I deserved a treat and through the process of elimination decided on Chanel. Lets face it, Chanel makes everything better! I have been lusting after Soleil Tan de Chanel for about 2 years now but could never commit to a purchase convincing myself that I was far to pale and it wouldn't look right. After that week I just bit the bullet and I haven't looked back since. 
I wanted it primarily as a makeup base for matching my face to my body especially for nights out over the summer because as a rule I don't tan my face. Real or Fake. 

While it is marketed as a makeup base and it works well as one, over the past few weeks I have become more accustomed to using it as a cream bronzer applying it with a stippling brush in the typical "3" motion. It's the perfect colour for contouring the face and blends effortlessly into foundation with a matte finish.
However, for days where I am tan free, I can still wear it. For daytime I mix the tiniest amount of moisturiser (about the size of a grain of rice) in the jar with it, swirl my brush around it and apply it in the same "3" motion, for a dewy day time look with just a hint of colour. A healthy sun-kissed glow if you will.

It has become a staple in my makeup routine, to the point where I feel naked without it. How typical that I'd feel naked without Chanel? 

It is priced at €38.50 and available here. While it is on the pricer end of the scale, I see it as an investment product. I'll get so much use out of it during the summer as cream based products feel so much lighter on the skin, you can have a full face of makeup with looking cakey. 

I've ordered a Stila Convertable Colour to wear with it, now I have to wait patiently for it to arrive so I can bronze up my cheeks to match.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

My Festival Essentials |

With Festival Season well and truly upon us, I thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my must-have beauty bits that won't weigh you down or take up excess room in your already bursting at the seams backpack!

Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze Gradual Tan - €7.99
Another fail safe product from the ever growing and expanding brand that is Cocoa Brown. For those of you like me who struggle to master the art of gradual tan application this is the one for you. Unlike most gradual tans on the market 'Gentle Bronze' has a light colour guide making it a breeze to apply - no more streaky tan disasters! In essence it is a tinted moisturizer so it is quite hydrating, it can be applied daily to build a deep glow or for a natural sunkissed glow apply it two-three nights in a row! People will think you're just back from a week in the South of France! Perfect for baring arms up front listening to your favourite bands this summer!

Bed Head 'Oh Bee Hive' Dry Shampoo - €16.50
Lets face it, showers are few and far between at these festivals and realistically how appealing do communal showers sound when you're talking about tens of thousands of people? Not very. Dry shampoo is definitely a festival essential and you'd be mad to go without a can of it. Perfect for adding a little life back into limp second and even third day hair in some cases. My current favourite is from the brand Tigi, although it may not be the cheapest one on the market, a little goes a long way. It leaves zero white residue whatsoever even in the darkest of hair and smells ah-mazing. It also doubles up as a texturizing spray adding oodles of volume at the roots. It contains starch to soak up excess oil so you can rock your flower head band all weekend long!

Tangle Teezer - €15.95
Tangled tresses are no fun and I'd be lost without my Tangle teezer. It's light weight and compact making it perfect for on the go. Designed to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand it literally goes hand in hand with the a fore mentioned dry shampoo - a quick brush through your hair and it is smooth, glossy and freeze free in no time at all!

Water wipes - €3.99
I am completely anti when it comes to face wipes, however I do appreciate that the last thing on your mind at a festival is cleanse, tone and moisturise. These wipes are from the Irish owned 'Irish Breeze'. They are water based, alcohol and fragrance free making them a great alternative to the traditional makeup wipes as they aren't as harsh or striping. They take up minimal space in your bag and are great for a quick clean the morning after the night before. They remove, makeup, facepaint and the general grime associated with spending your days in the middle of a field.

Neutrogena Multi-Defence daily moisturiser - €10.99
I'm slightly contradicting myself by including a moisturiser but if you've followed the blog for a while then you'll already know I'm a stickler when it comes to SPF especially for the face, I'm trying to keep you all looking young for as long as possible. This moisturiser is great because it contains SPF 15 so although I might prefer to see you wear something a little higher, its better than nothing! It's lightweight, soaks in quickly and protects against some of the skins biggest aggressors; Sun (UVA + UVB), wind and day to day pollution in one quick step - Simples!!

Mac Fix+ - €18.50
On the off chance we meet our favourite celebrity/ future husband in the middle of a mosh pit we need to be looking our best, to do so you will need Mac's Fix+. A spritz of this over your makeup will keep it in place all day long, no touch ups required. While you may feel like a sweaty mess, you certainly won't look like one with this. Its my holy grail setting spray, great for pigments and glitter and god knows no festival look is complete without some glitter ;)

Whether it's Electrical Picnic or Glastonbury you're heading to this year these are my beauty must haves, the products I simply could not survive without hopefully I've given you little bit of inspiration or reminded you of something you may have otherwise forgotten. The sunscreen, deodorant, wellies, raincoat and tent is up to you.. *hint hint*

Monday, June 9, 2014

Gel Polish: Take it from someone who knows | My Experience

I have seen a lot of hate towards gel polish in the "Blogosphere" of late and I thought it was high time I shared my thoughts on the subject. I have been wearing gel polish with a little over a year and a half having given up on extensions which had left my nails paper thin and brittle. In the past twelve months I have experimented with Shellac, Gelish, OPI Gel colour, Axxium and Perfect Match - You name it, I've tried them all!

I get my nails done religiously every three weeks as a treat, only having the polish removed to be reapplied within minutes and I can honestly say, hand on my heart that the integrity of my natural nails has not been hindered or in any way compromised by the use of gel polish. If anything, I owe my long, strong nails to it. My nail growth is incredible, I have to get the length taken back at every appointment because tallons just aren't practical when working on a computer all day everyday.

Before blaming your weakened/damaged nails on gel polish. Ask yourself this? Did you have a branded polish applied? CND for example? Did the nail tech use an electric file or drill on your nails prior to application?(this is a big NO NO!) Did you have it removed properly in a Salon? Did you remove it yourself? Did you pick it off?
Gel Polish application whether it be Shellac or Gelish etc. on average costs about €25-€30. This cost is there because it takes about 40 minutes all in all to have it applied, they are using branded products and your nail technician is fully qualified. If you see a deal on Groupon or the likes for a €10 gel manicure, it may sound like a great bargain at the time but just think about what is being compromised on to give you such a great deal? Something has to give..
It should always be removed in a salon by a professional  where the gel seal is broken, acetone soaked cotton wool is applied to the nail and it is wrapped in foil to penetrate the acetone and aid with the breakdown of the gel. Once the nail is removed from the foil your polish should have lifted and come away with little or no help from the nail tech. The removal of the gel polish in the correct way ensures your nails are left in perfect condition - no damage!
My natural nails after gel polish removal and ready for the next application. (Excuse the dodgy quality of the photo it was taken on an iPhone)
Please excuse the photo spamming, I just wanted to give you an idea of the consistency of length, my nail growth etc. I am in no way telling you to give up on wet polish, or to go out and get a gel manicure. What I am saying, like everything in life - don't knock it til you've tried it.

I do still have an accident every once in a while where down to the klutz I am I break a nail, nothing that a silk wrap won't heal though! 
Not so long ago a silk wrap completely saved my nail having broken it half way down the nail bed right across almost, I had 2 wraps applied to it and over the course of  5 weeks it had grown out completely and most importantly.. I didn't loose it! Nail technician are life savers! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Lush Jungle Solid Conditioner bar | Review

A lot of you will remember I reviewed the 'Seanik' Shampoo bar from Lush a while back. Well today I'm back to you with a similar product - a solid conditioner. I have to say knowing how good the shampoo bars are, I was still very skeptical about trying a solid conditioner. It couldn't possibly work as well a liquid one, could it?

It was a bit of a spur of the moment purchase if  I'm totally honest. I was placing an online order about six weeks ago and needed to add something else to my basket to avoid paying for shipping (as you do).  Its claim to "tame wild hair" was enough to convince me, god knows my over processed hair needs all the nourishment it can get..

  Jungle solid conditioner is made using a cocoa butter base and is crammed full of banana, avocado and fig to hydrate and condition. Along with kumquat and passionfruit to add shine. On first use I have to say I wasn't entirely impressed. After coming out of the shower and drying my hair, It appeared I had missed sections of my hair completely. My own fault obviously.. But it was difficult to get used to using it compared to your run of the mill cream conditioner. However, I was not going to give up straight away. 

I gave it another whirl and the difference was mind boggling. It controlled my frizz without the need to used any other product. My hair felt smooth, sleek and ultimately hydrated without being weighed down. The smell which is almost indescribable lingers in my hair for 2-3days and using it in conjunction with my 'Godiva' shampoo bar I am experiencing "third day hair" for the first time in my life. I have been using this combination for 6 weeks now and I am completely sold. Solid is the way forward.
Here's whats left of mine after 6 weeks (its little worse for wear - lets be honest)

*** On a side note, in relation to the 'Godiva' Shampoo bar, if you have purchased, are intending to purchase it. I recommend cutting it into two because there are chunks of butters in it and as a result mine has broken up into 4 pieces. Just a heads up ;)

They are priced at £6.50 (approx €9) and available from Lush stores or from Lush.co.uk 

Have you tried any of the Lush solid shampoo/conditioner bars? What do you think of them?

Monday, June 2, 2014

May Favourites |

Hello Lovelies,
Let me start off by apologizing for the sort of blogging hiatus. I have not given up completely, I'm currently doing a course outside of my full-time job so I have little time  between the two to sit down and actually blog. I'll explain more about what I'm doing in good time. For now I thought I share with you some of my May Favourites. Can you believe it is June already?

Vichy Purete Thermale Purifying Foaming water - €14.99
This little wonder was sitting idle in my bathroom until a couple of weeks ago when it caught my attention, now I can't figure out why I ever stopped using it. I just looks like water in the bottle and when you pump it out it foams up. It's a really gentle face wash, lightly scented and it leaves my skin looking brighter and my face looks plumper and so so smooth - even before moisturizing. It contains Captalae, a shea plant extract which acts like a magnet to draw impurities from the skin without needing any harsh chemicals making it great for those with sensitive skin. I love it!
Liz Earle Instant Boost Tonic Spritzer -  €16.00
It is almost unheard of for me to be mentioning a toner let alone be "favouriting" it. I find a lot of them to be very drying and leave my skin feeling stripped and sometimes quite raw. I have been using witch hazel and rose water for years and it has been doing the job just fine. However, I received a 30ml travel size of this at Christmas in a Liz Earle giftset. It contains aloe vera  to revitalize and soften skin and refreshing chamomile and cucumber. It smells so fresh, its mood boosting! It comes in bottle form like a normal toner or you can get a spritzer version which I prefer. It is alcohol free and the natural vitamin E adds a veil of moisture. I've just repurchased! 
Clarins Daily Engerizer Cream - €24.00
This moisturizer is one I find myself coming back to for spring/summer again and again so you could say its a long term favourite of mine. The Daily Energizer range was specifically designed with younger skin in mind (late teens - to early twenties). It contains Vitamin C to tackle fatigued, dull skin, Turmeric a powerful antioxident, Alchemilla a plant extract designed to regulate the production of sebum for clearer pores and complexion and finally Ginkgo Biloba to increase the skins intake of oxygen for brighter, more radiant skin. It does all of this without leaving the skin feeling greasy, it is my go to day time moisturizer for the summer months. My one and only gripe with this product is the lack of SPF, when designing a range of skincare for for younger skin I thought it would have been of paramount importance. Maybe that's just me..
The Body Shop Tinted Glow Enhancer - approx €19.00
I have had this highlight for ages.. I rediscovered it recently when I was doing a massive clear out and have fallen for it again in a big way. You can do so much with it, mix it in with your foundation for a dewier look, apply it on bare skin for a glowing complexion or apply it as you would a normal hightlight - on your cheek bones, your cupids bow, down the centre of your nose, etc. However, I'm unsure it is still available and fear it may be discontinued. I haven't been able to find it online, I have tweeted the body shop and am awaiting a response. How typical would it be that I would fall in love with a discontinued product? 
No.7 Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in 'Truffle' - €9.25
To be totally honest I never thought much of No.7 as a brand, I'd see it in Boots and walk past it seeing it a brand for the more mature woman. I received this eyeshadow in a goodie bag at the launch of the Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff Scrub, why I haven't blogged about it before now is beyond me. I get countless compliments when wearing it. It is the most beautiful warm bronze colour that really makes blue eyes pop! The texture is so silky and it has the finest shimmer, it blends effortlessly and although quite pigmented as it is, you can really build it up for your desired look. Desert Island eyeshadow? I think so!  It creates a single shadow smokey eye - Perfect!
Essence Get Big Lashes Triple Black Mascara - €2.89
This Mascara has knocked me for six, it has literally blown me away. It is the blackest black colour, it adds length, volume and definition to my lashes with a single coat. It doesn't clump and doesn't dry out my lashes and make them feel crispy. It has undoubtedly knocked my beloved YSL Faux Cils Mascara off of its pedestal and what's more? I can get 11 of these mascara for the price of the YSL one. It deserves Holy Grail Status - Life made!

So there you have it, a look into some of the products I have been loving throughout the last month and a little look into some of my skincare routine. What have you been loving this month? 

Rebecca x

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