Monday, 10 March 2014

Bloomin' Spring: Giveaway #2

This biggest trend of this Spring is sweet enough to make your teeth fall out. We're gone past the pastels of

last year into what I like to call the "Sherbets".

Every line is now releasing their take on this hyper-bright, and this is Essence cosmetics range.

It's called "Bloom me Up", and contains new eye, cheek and lip products with beautiful lace and floral

packaging. The colours of the new range are mint, lavender, apricot, and peach in nail polish, eye shadow,

and lipstick. It also brings new products new to the entire range -  a duo highlighting eye-pencil, blush sticks,

a shimmery finishing powder, and lace nail tips.There is also a range of brushes available in the candy

colours, with the cute little lace detailing.

I've only recently started exploring the Essence range, and have been surprised by the quality for price of

the products. I love their "Colour to go" nail range, as well as their "XXXL Shine" Lipgloss.

I'm not the only one to take notice lately. Glamlifeguru, or Tati from YouTube, recently showed her

favourites from the brand in a Hot or Not video. And in another post today, I review the lines new mascara,

"Maximum Volume", which I loved.

So, the giveaway. 

This line has just hit the shelves, and I wanted to give you the chance to sample the range. The winner can

pick their own 4 products - pastels are a personal thing depending on skin tones - and will also receive their

own "Maximum Volume " mascara.

This giveaway is open internationally to all ages.

TO ENTER:  leave a comment down below telling me which product from the collection you find most

exciting, then head over to Twitter, and just say Hi!

The winner will be announced next week, and will be chosen at random.

Good Luck,

Chat soon,


Note: This giveaway is not sponsored by or affiliated with Essence cosmetics.

Current Posts


Bloomin' Spring: Giveaway #2

This biggest trend of this Spring is sweet enough to make your teeth fall out. We're gone past the pastels of

last year into what I like to call the "Sherbets".

Every line is now releasing their take on this hyper-bright, and this is Essence cosmetics range.

                                                           Read More..


Fantasy Finds: My March Wishlist

So what have I chosen this month?

Here was my list of 15 favourites....

                                                              Read More......


Confessions Of A Lifestyle Hoarder #1: TK Maxx

This is the first post in a series that I'll be doing on specific issues and organisations that are debated and 

chatted about in the beauty and lifestyle community.

                                                             Read More........


Champion Jetsetter: My favourite Travel Minis

The question that I'm asked most when I travel with friends and family is " How do you have so many outfits

and only one suitcase?".

The answer of course is that, while their makeup and wash bag take up a third of

their space, mine takes up about an eighth. And even at that, I still have more cosmetics than they do.

                                                                Read More.....


Winter BOMB: Giveaway #1-      CLOSED

"I'm soo over winter!" seems to be a common sentiment I keep hearing. Me too..

                                                       Read More.....


Thirst Quenching: My Current Day Creams

I know at least 4 people with more than 1 phone case. And every man I know who doesn't understand why

women hoard shoes, has at least more than 1 pair of trainers.

So, I don't see the problem with having more than 1 daily moisturiser. It's not as if they're all the same.

                                                         Read More....


Royal Trash: Empties #1

For my first beauty post I thought I'd get rid of my garbage.

Whilst rifling, I picked out my top 10 and give you a run down of the pros and cons.


Thursday, 6 March 2014

Fantasy Finds: My March Wishlist

As you now know, I'm skint!...

This is a new acclimatisation for me - someone who has had a decent salary for 15 years.

Yes, I've always loved drugstore cosmetics and skincare.Who doesn't love to save where they can. But

being beauty obsessed means I have an innate drive to try EVERYTHING!

So this now posses a problem when it comes to high end products. One in a million are launched at a

discount, and only a tiny percentage might fail and then have money off, or are put on Christmas deals.

And I know that a dupe will eventually come along, and sometimes turns out to be better than the source.

But whilst going on holiday is how this person spends their money, and new technology is how that person

spends theirs, buying smelly/shiny/ pretty things is how I've always spent mine.

It is my one true love....(except for you, dear..)....

To rectify this soul clenching longing, I have decided to put €20 aside each week, and pick one product per

month to feed my addiction. Twenty quid is alot, but let's just say I've streamlined elsewhere - no more

Cadburys for me...

So what have I chosen this month?

Here was my list of 15 favourites....


Sunday Riley Artemis Hydroactive Cellular Face Oil   30ml (€120.00)
Yesterday, I saw Oz, or Caroline Hirons as the lay folk call her, use this on her clients on Instagram. That

should say enough. However when I read effects such as "clarifying/detoxifying/anti-inflammatory/reduces

redness" and ingredients such as milk thistle/pink grapefruit/flax seed/pomegranate, my mouth waters. I want

to "glow from within". Doesn't everyone...?

The Body Shop Vitamin E Overnight Serum In Oil   28ml (€15.00)
OK, so not exactly breaking the bank, but you can guarantee if I go into The Body Shop for one thing, I am

leaving with at least one body butter, a face mask or two, and whatever smell is new. Great reviews on this

product so far. It has the highest wheatgerm oil concentration out of the line, and my skin knows and loves

this range.

Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm   10ml (€39.00)
Roll over Reve de Miel. Bye bye Balm de Rose. Not great reviews on this one, but I find lip balm as

personal as mascara or perfume. There's eucalyptus for tingles and Shea butter for moisture. And the rest of

the brand is so highly rated, Amelia Liana - I'm talking to you!, so I want to give it a go.


Shiffa Sweetness Body Polish  200ml (€55.00)
I know that most people like to spend the big bucks on luxury stuff for their face. Maybe it's just because I

was born with such bad skin, but I prefer to spend it on my body. I haven't heard anyone talk about this

brand yet, but the product ingredients list looks awesome and natural.It's brown sugar based, bound in

coconut to moisten, and there's grapefruit and rosemary to tackle cellulite. Sexy stuff for a pamper night..


Estée Lauder Double Wear All Day Glow BB Moisture Makeup SPF30  30ml (€35.00)
I wore Double Wear light on my wedding day, so I always get the feels for new EL bases. I have a feeling

this will not only look great on all ages, but will totally suit the S/S trends this year of  the flawless/ barely

there/ nude look. And it, and the highlighting concealer, are supposed to have the best of the BB's staying  


Eve Lom Radience Lift Foundation SPF15  30ml (€60.00)
I want this for the packaging, even if the product is crap. But Lisa Eldridge loves the tinted moisturiser, and

the brand has not had a dud yet. The price is catastrophic, but it is a skincare/makeup hybrid. With stem

cells.I have a feeling that whenever you wore this you'd feel like a cross between Anna Wintour and Kate

Middleton. And the shade selection for pale faces is awesome.

Jouer Anti-Ageing Moisture Primer 30ml (€30.00)
I do like a matte finish every now and again, and the sister product to this - the "Matte Moisture Tint"- is

my favourite for those occasions. The ginseng in this intrigues me. Like most people I still haven't found that

perfect primer, and even though I have super dry skin, most still leave me with too much of an addition on

my face. Oily skin girls love the foundation, so if this is tailored for them, I'm in.

Bobbi Brown Brightening Finishing Powder  6.6g (€49.00)
It was a toss up between this and the "Nectar" blush from the new "Nectar and Nude" collection, but I

have enough blush choice already this month, as you will see. I love how BB does shimmer, my first high end

makeup product I ever bought was one of her shimmer bricks. I'm assuming from the description that this is

supposed to be like an "Ambient Lightning Powder" for darker skin tones, but I'd use it as a

bronzer/highlighter when I'm tan. And have you seen Katie Holmes in the ads? Guurrl...

MAC Mineralize Blush in Azalea in the Afternoon   3.2g (€25.00)
It's sold out, but I know a guy, if I really wanted it. I'm not sure whether the gold is an overlay, or if it's the

whole blush, but to me it looks like a duskier  NARS  "Orgasm". My blush collection is ridiculous, but

believe it or not, I don't own ONE MAC product. It's just so hard to get where I live. But this one would

be worth the trip to Dublin. Or Cork, to my friend, as the case may be.

Nars Final Cut Blush 3.2g (€22.00)
Coral was so popular the last 2 years, it has spilled into this season too. I don't own a matte peach shade,

and I think this would go beautifully with the "bronzer on the eyelid" look that's in this summer. Plus, NARS

blush is always an investment, my "Deep Throat" and "Sin" are rotated in and out of my makeup bag season

after season.

Chantacaille Save the Bees Palette (€90.00)
Say it with me.....Soooooo pretty! And I know what your thinking, ninety quid for a quad. But it's an all over

face palette, and that blue really makes me feel like Alice looking down the rabbit hole. And all four shades

are multi purpose, so it's a one stop jobby.Also bare in mind that its for charity, and refillable.


Diptyque Limited Edition Insolite Candle  190g (€54.00)
I am as much a slave to scented candles as every other bath addict. The saving grace to me is that I've

always been candle obsessed since I was an alter server as a child (I know, cringe..), and my teenage "I

want to be Stevie Nicks" phase. It has become really trendy now to spend half a weeks wages on something

that lasts four days, but there is a reason people spend  that much on these candles. The scent blend is as

sophisticated as a Chanel perfume. Diptyque are at the head of the game. And this purchase would be for

my other half too. He's man enough to notice how awesome these are.

Jo Malone Black Cedarwood and Juniper Cologne  100g (€99.00)
I went to Mardi Gras when I was 21, and came back with an obscene amount of beauty products. I bought

the Jo Malone "Pomegranate Noir" body wash and cream, and fell in love with it. It was only when I

went to purchase some for my sister in Brown Thomas, that I realised how much the damn stuff costs. But

that scent reminds me of meeting my husband so I will forever repurchase. I'm an everyday Nina Ricci girl,

but Jo Malone is my number one gift request. And when I saw Fleur de Force do a blog post on this before

Christmas, I knew I had to try it. This scent is very deep and refreshing, as well as quite masculine.


 Lancóme Vernis in Love Nail Polish in Marry Me Peach  (€16.00)
I already have this polish in "Jolis Matins" and frickin love the formulation. I got it from a blogger friend,

who has the peach shade, and it is beautiful. The brush could be better, but for a girl just getting back into

polish, anything other than a spade is difficult.

Deborah Lippmann Spring Reveries Collection Nail Polish (€15.00)
These are my latest edition to the list. I read a blog post by Anna From Vivianna des Makeup three days

ago, and have craved since then. I especially love the "Build me up Buttercup" and "Spring Buds" shades.

For someone who wears mostly black, pastel nails are my new way to be on trend in the spring.

And the winner is....

Jo Malone Black Cedarwood and Juniper Cologne.

I have wanted this the longest. It is a total bang for your buck, and I am running out of my "Ricci Ricci".

What would your choice have been? Let me know in the comments..

Chat soon,


Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Confessions Of A Lifestyle Hoarder #1: TK Maxx


This is my typical morning:

  • I wake up, brush my teeth, and use facilities
  • I check my Twitter feed and email whilst walking to the coffee shop to get my double espresso cappuccino
  • I meet the security guard - lets just say Ralph! - at the front entrance of my local shopping centre and wave a hello
  • I enter TK Maxx just as the shutter goes up, get a weird look from the morning staff, and continue to the beauty section, where i scout for the next 20 minutes, and continually ask anyone nearby if there is more stock in the back
  • Make a purchase if I find something I can't leave without, pick up my newspaper, and head home to shower.
This is no exaggeration. I shop before I shower. 

Why?.... Because this, along with some other methods, is how I afford high end beauty products, whilst 

being unemployed.

TK Maxx, or TJ Maxx in the States, if you don't know, is a discount retailer selling all drapery, home goods, 

toys, and beauty products from unknown to high end brands. Through the clothing aisles I have spotted 

brands such as Ralph Lauren, Vivianne Westwood, Chloé, and SuperDry.

There has been alot of debate about the stores policy lately. A television programme called "Dispatches", 

aired on Channel 4, a UK television station, accused the company of " exaggerating the original price of 

designer goods to make people believe they are making a larger saving than they actually are".

Also, through reading popular forums, I have seen that many people have experienced that their beauty 

products are either poorly packaged, expired, or generally in bad shape.

As regards the mark up in price, I find that that statement is more geared to the clothing and accessory items. 

And for someone like me, who has to save where I can, any reduction in price is welcomed.

As for the state of the products, I agree. Most of the items on the shelves can be expired, or split/separated, 

or torn up. But like all discount buying, you have to work to find the reward.

I live by 5 rules when it comes to buying discount:

  1. If it looks dodgy, it is dodgy. Don't buy something that on sight makes you question if the product is spoiled.
  2. Always check the expiry date, and if you can't use up the whole product before it comes up, then forget about it.
  3. Only buy sealed items. If it is not a product that has any plastic tabs or packaging, look at the product seal itself for any tampering.
  4. Don't be afraid to ask. You are the customer, it's your right to be annoying .
  5. Make the effort. Don't complain that there's never anything good there. There's a reason I head to the store before I shower - there are lunatics out there just like me who aggressively hunt for bargains. You've all seen them in the January sales! 

For any of you doubting Thomas, here's what I found this morning on my scout:

Dr Bronner's Magic Soap  946ml (€11.80) Tk Maxx price (€5.99)

Beloved by makeup gurus everywhere for cleaning their makeup brushes, it also has 18 uses altogether. And 

its the only place in town I can find this item.

Dr Lewinn's Liquid Loofah  150ml (€18.20) TK Maxx price (€5.00)

Unbelievable scrub for before your fake tan. The minerals wake the skin up, and it leaves you so super soft 

without the oily film.

Korres Body Milk  200ml (€13.30) TK Maxx price (€6.99)

I've talked about this product in a post before. This time they had the vanilla one and the citrus one.Definitely 

on my list for the morning!

Too Faced Tanning Bed In A Tube  (€18.30) TK Maxx price (€6.99)

OK, doesn't smell the best, but great staying power for a wash off tan, and has a beautiful shimmer.

Taaj Kashemire Moisturising Cream  50ml (€17.50) TK Maxx price (€12.99)

One of those brands that most people only pick up in Paris, this cream is light while still rich in vitamins, and 

great for sensitive skin.

Macademia Natural Oil Rejuvenating Shampoo  1000ml (€34.00) TK Maxx price (€20.00)

Another Youtube beauty favourite brand. Most people love the mask, which I've seen available in the store 

too, but I love the whole line.

And my favourite find...

Olay Regenerist 3 Point Super Serum 50ml (€40.69) TK Maxx price (€19.99)

Serums are my weakness. And say what you want about Olay being generic, this stuff works!

And what I bought:

S Factor True Lasting Colour Shampoo by TIGI  750ml (€27.80) TK Maxx price (€16.99)

I've used this before and it's really nourishing for newly coloured hair - which mine is - without stripping.

I don't want to be accountable for your experience with TK Maxx if it's a good or bad one from reading this 

post, and I know that there is already strong opinions out there about the company and the products they sell 

- which I would love to hear about in the comments.

I'm just writing about my experience, and how it allows me to try items that would generally be out of my 

price range

This is the first post in a series that I'll be doing on specific issues and organisations that are debated and 

chatted about in the beauty and lifestyle community. 

My next in the series will focus on Primark.

Any questions or opinions - leave a comment, or follow me on Twitter.

Chat soon,


Note: The opinions expressed in this article are genuine and my own. I do not work for, or am sponsered by TK Maxx or its affiliates.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Champion Jetsetter: My favourite Travel Minis

The question that I'm asked most when I travel with friends and family is " How do you have so many outfits

and only one suitcase?".

The answer of course is that, while their makeup and wash bag take up a third of

their space, mine takes up about an eighth. And even at that, I still have more cosmetics than they do.

Any beauty hoarder worth their salt is like a secret agent when it comes to travel. We physically can not go

anywhere without the convenience and choice that is available in our getting ready space. So I am drawn to

Minis like a cobra to a pungi. And since holiday season for us budget spenders is almost here, I thought I'd

share some of my fav's.

Urban Decay De Slick Makeup Setting Spray  15ml (approx €2.50)

Lets face it, makeup + sun = sweat. At home I usually apply primer and loose powder to make my makeup

last - both pretty bulky products. One spray of this before you start and one after application, a little

compact action, and you're good to go. If you buy a palette from Urban Decay, you usually get this free

or as an extra option too.

Nuxe Multi-Usage Dry Oil   10ml (approx €3.50)

The choice is in the name - multi-usage! Use it on your face as a makeup remover or to condition your

lashes, on your hair for taming or shine, on your cuticles for moisture, or on your body to highlight

collarbones/ shoulders/ shins etc.This stuff really is amazing, and a little goes a long way. This size bottle is

very affordable compared to the full size, and is usually stocked in pharmacies that have the full line.

Tresemmé Protect Heat Defence Spray  60ml (approx €2.50)

Humidity is another dreaded curse of the tourist. Even if your not styling - which I wouldn't suggest for night

life - your sunscreen may protect your scalp, but not your locks themselves. This is available almost

everywhere, I pick mine up in Boots.

Soap And Glory Flake Away Body Scrub  50 ml (€3.50)

I am ghost pale, there is no other way of saying it. But I don't want to be stared at around the pool the day I

arrive at my destination. The biggest mistake I make every year is that I wait till the night before my flight to

apply my fake tan. Then I wake up, shower, and realise that I missed a spot/ my legs are streaky/ I have

Fanta hands. A reapplication is usually necessary the first night of the holiday, so I always pack an exfoliant.

All Soap and Glory products are awesome - the original line smells of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle - , and

nearly all of the products have a mini or a set.

Champneys Spa Indulgence Distant Shores Body Butter  50ml (€3.50)

Hydration is key, especially with all the pool/sea action. Personally I don't like wearing perfume in hot

climates, maybe it's just me, but I think it overpowers. I like to use a scented moisturiser instead. This one

has it all - the passion fruit and mango is totally summer holidays, the oils still keep it fresh and invigorating,

and the blend together make it heady enough to act as your scent for the day. Oh ya, and the tub is hot

pink...what more can I say.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Sink-In Moisture Mask 6ml (€2.50)

As I said, I can't go away without my comforts of home. Wednesday night is deep clean night, and Sunday

night is extra moisture night. Unfortunately my Una Brennan and Origins take up way too much space, so I

love sachet masks. There are some really good, affordable ones out there - the body shop ones are my

favourite, fast acting and effective - a plus, considering they're usually applied with a slightly tipsy hand... And

besides, who can really afford a facial in the hotel spa?!

Benefit Little Love Potions Collection   3g/15ml ( single items from €5.00 on eBay, sets in store from €34.00)

If you know that your travelling come summer, a good item to ask for for Christmas is either a beauty advent

calendar, or a sample gift set. They are invaluable when it comes to your travel makeup bag, or even your

everyday handbag! Most brands do them at Christmas. Benefit has them all year round. These two classics

and award winners, Hoola Bronzer and The Porefessional Primer, came in a collection I picked up in

September which is now out of stock. But there are plenty of other sets to chose from which include this

marvellous duo.

Do you get it? We're not magicians .......we just carry a shrink ray...:).

If you would like to see more posts about travel essentials, let me know in the comments and saying  Hi on 


Chat soon,


Saturday, 1 March 2014

Winter BOMB! Giveaway #1

This Giveaway is now Closed!

Thank you for entering, and the winner has been notified

"I'm soo over winter!" seems to be a common sentiment I keep hearing. Me too..

The only redeeming feature of the winter months in my opinion is that it calls for more bath times.

On my second winter LUSH haul of the year at New Years, I kind of OTT'd.

So before it goes to waste, I thought I'd share my favourites  with my new subscribers.

Ponche Shower Gel

Really zesty, but really grown up, this stuff lasts for ages. I like this morning or evening and so does my other


So White Bath Bomb

This bomb looks just plain white, but as it fizzes, it turns the bath into a beautiful baby pink. And it's my

favourite scent too - crisp green apples. Super fresh and girly.

To be in with a chance to win these products, leave me a comment down below about anything at all, and

follow me on Twitter, where I will announce the winner in 1 week.

This giveaway is open internationally and to all age groups.

Good Luck and check back in 1 week to win some new on the market makeup products.

Chat soon,