Monday, 12 October 2015

Lovely Lush Bits for Autumn Winter 2015

I'm late getting this post up as I was in denial that it is actually Autumn... but Lush have you covered if you are looking for warming, comforting bathing bits, from your hair to the tip of your toes.

There are over 60 new products, so lots of new things to try, I took photos of a few bits at the launch in the Grafton Street store... but you really need to pop in and check out the new bits... they all smell gorgeous.

There are loads of new hair bits. From toning shampoos and new solid shampoo bars to these lovely Hot Oil Treatment hair masks. You basically melt them in hot water, apply to dry hair, wait and then rinse. They are pricey (€8.95), but you should only have to treat your hair once every 6 - 8 weeks. They are Intense. Also... That is what a full size Trichomania shampoo bar looks like and it reminds me of Coconut Ice!

Lush Bubbleroons are super concentrated bubblebars with amped up hydrations levels. And they aren't just shaped like macarons anymore... now they look like shells or roses. Dissolve the whole thing in the bath for a super lush treat or if like me you are needing to tempt the kids into the bath, break this into quarters (4 baths) and get your moneys worth!

Lush Shower Smoothies are Divine. Turkish Delight Roulade (Rose), Coconut Scrubby Roulade and Dreamwash Roulade are my picks. Use it like a scrubby soap, but the oils and butters stay on the skin and if you rinse and dry carefully there is no need to apply lotion. Well not unless you have a handsome bearded man who is going to apply it for you.

The new Lush Shades of Earl Grey Massage bar is better than a cup of the actual stuff. It smells exactly like a freshly brewed cup of Earl Grey (one of my favourites) and the bergamot is warming and calming and exactly what I need when I'm PMSing. The massage action helps too. I need this.

There are loads and loads of new bath bombs, some of which I mentioned in my post here. My pick of the new ones for winter sniffles is Lush Intergalactic Bath Bomb. The peppermint is invigorating and will help to clear heads to get ready for the day ahead. Not a sleepy time bath bomb, this is a wake up the dead bath bomb. Its good.

There are also 3 new Lush Shower gels and 2 brand spanking new Shower creams. Yuzu And Cocoa and The Comforter are the shower creams. The 1st best thing about them is that their foam is coloured. The bubbles are Yellow or Pink. the 2nd best thing is that the scent is INTENSE and lingers on the skin until morning. If you had a love affair with The Comforter Bubble bar and wished that they would make it into a shower gel your prayers have been answered. Its bloody Gorgeous. And Imma need a big bottle of this to see me through the winter nights.  Its my favourite.

There are also a whole load of new Lush gift boxes. The nicest one that I saw (and the one that would be perfect for pretty much anyone) is the Lush Spa box. The products are lovely and when they are gone the box would be perfect for jewelry or makeup storage.

I was sent home with a few of the new bits too. But my pick of the bunch, of All of the new bits actually, is the Lush Life's A Beach Body Scrub (£12.50 I don't have a euro price). Lush say this is supposed to foam on contact with water. Mine doesn't. But I will forgive them that because this scrub is the nicest, scrubby scrub I have EVER used. Now. It is NOT for sensitive skins and DON'T use it after shaving. The salt will sting like a sumbitch if used in broken skin, and you can scrub too hard if you get enthusiastic (its beach sand duh), but my skin feels like it is brand new after going over it with Life's A Beach. The Vanilla, Jasmine and tonka combine to create a scent that is grown up vanilla musk. Nothing sweet about it. Just gorgeously sensuous. I LOVE IT.

   And so does himself. Its not just for her.

 If you are going to treat yourself to only a few things, then my recommendation is The Comforter Shower Cream and Life's A Beach scrub. There are a whole host of new Limited Edition things for Halloween that are out already and they look amazing, and You just KNOW that the xmas drop is going to be amazing. But if you can't wait until then... get the shower cream and the scrub. You won't regret it!

**Post contains samples Gratefully received, Opinions my own

Thursday, 8 October 2015

its all about MeMeMe... again

I popped along to Kieran's Avenue Pharmacy (Avenue Rd, Dundalk) the other day to see the lovely Deborah Hogan doing make overs with the new stand of MeMeMe cosmetics. Having already tried Arch Angel I was interested to see what the rest of the products were like.

Debbie did 2 makeovers on the day, one day time look and a darker more intense look for a lady who was popping out for dinner that evening.  My Pictures aren't fantastic as I was standing chatting to Kayliegh ( about how impressed we were with the coverage of the MeMeMe Flawless Cream Foundation (I think its around €20).

What I really liked is how Debbie used the Bronze Shimmer Stack (€11.95 ) as eye shadow to really bring out Julie's eyes. And even though MeMeMe Blush Me in Rouge (€10.99) looks scary in the pan, it really warms up the cheeks when used lightly and looks so gorgeous!

I was sent home with a few bits to play with and I am mighty impressed.

The MeMeMe Blush Me (€10.99) blush boxes look rather a lot like Benefit blushes, but at literally a third of the price. Pigmentation on these is great and a light dusting gives a gorgeous wash of colour that is easy to blend. The swatches below are two passes on the pan then a single swipe on the back of my hand.
Coral is more peachy than coral and Rouge is more coral than I'd imagine a rouge to be. Even so these blushes are beauties that I am happy to add into my daily routine.

Right - left: Coral, Rouge
 MeMeMe The Ultimate Eye Palette Rich Plum (€18) contains 18 colours perfect for creating any combination of earthy and purple smokey eyes. The brush included isn't fantastic,  but the eyeshadows themselves are lovely. Swatches are a double pass over the pan and a single swipe on my hairy arm. My favourite is that middle purple: Its like a dark grey with a purple foil finish... Ahhhh its flipping gorgeous.

But the winner for me is the Long Wear Satin Lip Creams (€12.50). Now Persian Pink is the most gorgeous creamy pinky nude that will look great on pretty much anyone. But as the cooler months are closing in, Thalia (or Morello Silk) is the one you need for berry lips.

 This feels gorgeous on my lips, balmy with good slip, but no stickiness. I really really like this. One slick across the lips gives a lovely sheer berry stain that sticks around for around 3 hours, unless you are going heavy duty on the coffee. Build up the layers and you amp up the intensity of the colour and increase the longevity.

The one thing I would say is not to go by the little swatch sticker on the back of the testers... Morello Silk has a brown sticker on the base... And as you can see its anything but brown. These are so lovely and are definitely worth checking out.

I am very impressed with this mid budget ranged. Products are incredibly pigmented and apply well. And I am definitely going to pick up the Persian Pink lipstick the next time I am in town. Keiran's Avenue Pharmacy doesn't just stock MeMeMe, they also have a decent Sleek Stand, Voya and This Works products... I'm so Happy!

If you are looking for stockists check out their Facebook page...

**Products gratefully received for review, opinion always my own.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Lovey Jubblies: MIO Boob Tube+

You have to look after your boobs, don't take them for granted. This is the advice my aunt gave me when I first got mine and it has stuck with me. I've never had big boobs, the hubs had never complained, but it is the one part I would seriously consider getting altered if I had the cash to spare. I have had this Mio Boob Tube + for more than a year now and although I use it sporadically (2 or three times a week) I can't say I am 100% sold on the cream, but I like what the message behind it is:

 MIO Boob Tube+ helps you to defy gravity and protect your chest, keeping lines and wrinkles at bay so that this thin skin stays smooth. It is pricey, €37 for 100ml bottle, but it has a handy pump that dispenses the right amount for my jubblies. For luckier (or unluckier) ladies, you might need a 2nd pump to do the chesticles. But using this every day you will be feeling your boobs and getting to know them. This is SO important because: breast cancer. You HAVE to get to know your girls so that if something changes you can go and get it checked out ASAP. The sooner you get unusual lumps and bumps checked out the sooner you can relax or do something about it.

If lumps are caught good and early the prognosis is far more favourable. So if you find something unusual: get it checked out, its probably nothing, but I would rather have you be safe. MIO Boob Tube+ comes with a leaflet to help you check your boobs which is really good as I don't think ladies understand how to do a properly decent job.

This is a lovely moisturiser for the delicate decollete area. It sinks in easily and doesn't leave a film or a heavy scent behind. Boob Tube+ will keep your skin nourished and healthy but you will need to work it in to your everyday skincare routine. I like to use it in the evenings, straight after the shower, after I have completed my nightly face routine.

I can't say that I have noticed a marked improvement in the auld boobage, but then its not that I am looking to reverse any damage, I'm looking to prevent it and as we all know: prevention is better than cure.

I don't know that I will replace this as it is a bit pricey, I think that as a woman in my mid 30's if I moisturise with a decent body lotion, give the girls a good massage and use sunscreen properly, I won't need to use this to repair any damage because I shouldn't have any. But if I was looking to get rid of crepey-ness and loose skin then this is where I would turn to first.

So as MIO say: "use it every day, you will thank us in 20 years"

MIO Boob Tube + can be found on Cloud10 Beauty & if you order in October you will be supporting the #CLOUD10PaintItPink initiative which ensures that €1 from each order is donated to the Irish Cancer Society.

**PR Sample gratefully received, opinions always my own

Friday, 2 October 2015

The Book Lover's Tag

A bit of fun on a Friday!! I haven't seen a good tag in a while and this is a rather lovely one! I love books, and although all my new ones are on the kindle, all my favourite actual books are either in a box in the attic, or on the book shelf for the kids.

I was tagged by the lovely Kayleigh from Kayleigh Land, so lets get to it:

1. Do You Have A Specific Place For Reading?
I used to be able to read anywhere. But now with the kids I read in bed before I turn the lights out. Its the way I switch my brain off.

2. Bookmark or A Random Piece Of Paper?
Usually its the latest piece of artwork from the kids. But with a kindle, there is no need.

3. Can You Stop Anywhere In A Book Or Do You Have To Finish The Chapter?
If the book is really good then I will need to read until the book is done. But generally I will read until my eyes start closing, more often than not its the middle of the chapter. When I pick the book up again I will turn back a page or two and skim to refresh and then I'm good.

Image via: here

4. Music Or TV While You Are Reading?
I like it quiet. Very quiet. No distractions.
5. Do You Eat Or Drink While Reading?
Yes. But I try not to. I will eat the whole bag of what ever I decide to eat... its not a good thing.

6. One Book At A Time Or Several?
Many non-fictions... but only one fiction at a time. I like to fully immerse myself in the fantasy world.

7. Reading At Home Or Elsewhere?
I can read anywhere I can get comfy. I like sitting in my house and reading but I can read while I travel or go and sit in a coffee shop with some tea and a good book while I wait to meet people.7

image via: here

8. Read Out Loud Or Silently?
Silently. Unless I am reading with the kids... then we share the pages.

9. Do You Read Ahead Or Skip Pages?
Not always. I generally like to enjoy the whole journey, but if the book is moving slowly I will skim and flick forward to a juicier bit.

10. Breaking The Spine Or Keep It Like New?
I do try to keep it new... but it never stays that way.

11. Do You Write In Your Books?
Unless its my name in a book I am about to lend out or a book meant for notes, no, that is what post-its are for.

Now I tag:

Chloe : NFP
Paula: Cornflake Girls Musings
Nic: Strawberry Blonde Blog

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

#CLOUD10PAINTITPINK : October is Breast Cancer Awareness month

Tomorrow is October. Which means that its time to get excited about Pink. are joining forces with the Irish Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer as €1 from EVERY order placed in October, no matter how small, €1 will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society to support them in their campaign to improve the lives of those affected by cancer.

Image via

And to highlight the cause are going to "paint the town pink": every order sent out in October will be packaged in a beautiful bright pink box reminding customers to be breast cancer aware and to thank them for their contribution.

image via
But its not just in the postal services that this will cause a bit of talk again, Cloud10 Beauty would love it if all of its customers all over Ireland got involved with the campaign by posting pictures of their striking pink boxes to social media sites to further raise the profile of this great cause.

It isn't difficult to do, simply treat yourself to something lovely off the Cloud10 Beauty website, shipping is free for orders over €15 and Blanaid and her team will make the donation. Then turn the interwebs pink by tweeting, snapping or instagram-ing your pink box when it arrives by using the #CLOUD10PAINTITPINK. Simples!

And then do me a favour: cop a feel of the auld boobage there. Breast cancer is easier to treat if its caught early... but you need to examine yourself regularly! Know your boobs ladies, it could save your life.

Let me know what you treat yourself with and put up a pic when your pink box arrives!

Monday, 28 September 2015

Ziaja: skin kind products

I do love me a bit of Ziaja, the Polish budget busters that do fantastic products that are genuinely lovely. I think if I could find them more readily in my locale I would have more of them in the house, as it is I have to order them off Original Beauty which isn't a train smash as shipping is free for orders over €30, but I rarely need thirty squids of Ziaja bits so... I clearly need to save up, buy in bulk and chuck them under the bed for when I need em.

So when these Giants appeared with my Postman I did a happy dance and immediately put these in the shower for use. As I said, I LOVE me some Ziaja. Srsly.

The Cocoa Butter range is pretty awesome. I have already blogged about the cocoa butter scrub and the cocoa butter creamy shower soap which is damned good value at just €2.99 for 500ml. It is creamy and moisturising and lovely and smells amazing. This shower gel would be the most perfect thing to use if you are using fake tans as it contains ingredients that nourish the skin and that will prolong your tan. Also, 500mls costs less than €3!!!!

The other cocoa butter product is the Ziaja Cocoa Body Butter. "Flavoury & nourishing"... whats not to love about that description? Now I haven't tasted it, but it smells like summer. And this doesn't contain mineral oil so I am more than happy to let Hannah use this as it won't affect her eczema. 200ml costs €7.99, this will go far as it is so rich and flavoury...

The next two products are new to me. Ziajamed Atopic Dermatitis range is aimed as folks who are highly reactive to ingredients and folks with the most common kind of eczema. Which is brilliant. The range contains 3 products which all contain ingredients which mimic the skins lipid composition and helps to restore the skins protective barrier function as well as ingredients to help reduce itching, which is the most frustrating aspect of eczema, especially in small kids. I cannot tell you how many sleepless nights the hubs and I had because of Hannah's itches. How I wish this range was around 8 years ago.

Right, so Ziajamed Atopic Dermatitis Bath and Shower Oil is great in the shower. It comes out looking like sunflower oil and has that same texture, but if you lather it it does actually foam. I wouldn't use this in the bath really, as I like to wet my skin then shut off the water, dispense into my hands, spread over my body and then work it into the skin creating a bit of foam and then turn on the water and rinse it off. This leaves a protective film on the skin that helps to trap water against the skin to intensify hydration. This works well on a shower puff too and Hannah and I really like this. I will deffo be getting a few bottles of this to get us through the winter. 270ml costs €9.99 which is on the upper end of their price range, but this bottle lasted us a solid 2 months of every day use. It is GOOD.

Ziajamed Atopic Dermatitis Body Lotion is one I didn't even get a look in at. Hannah claimed it when it arrived and it lived in her room for 3 months. This 400ml bottle had a decent pump top that makes dispensing the lotion easy, so easy Hannah can do this on her own without making a mess. You get a very decent 400mls for €8.49 and this helped keep Hannah's skin well moisturised, which is so incredibly important when you have reactive skin.

 Hannah flung the empty bottle at me and asked for the next one. Which I don't have. Yet. But this stuff is so good (we have been able to cut down on the amount of steroid cream we use) I need to get more as soon as payday rolls around.

While I was hopping around the Original Beauty website I spotted something that I am going to have to get my hands on:

image via
Cocoa butter body spray??? YES PLEASE! Recommended for before sunbeds of sunbathing (pfft, like I have the time to lie in the sun or the absence of brain cells to use a cancersunbed) this will see me though the winter quite nicely. This is going to live in my shower and I will use it while my skin is still wet. I want it. It is on my list.

I need to find a pharmacy in Dundalk that stocks Ziaja so that I can go in and get something every month (I hate paying for postage), they have really fab products and I want more of.

Is there anything you've tried that I need to have a go of? Let me know in the comments!

**PR Sample gratefully received, opinions always my own

Friday, 25 September 2015

Eye of Horus: FINALLY available in Ireland

FINALLY! The cult eye products from Eye of Horus are available easily in Ireland because the bloody brilliant ladies over at Cloud10 Beauty have bagged the role of Irish distributors! And since Cloud10 ships worldwide... this is an awesome coup!

Blanaid and her team managed to grab the owners (and creators) or Eye Of Horus, Amy and Holly, on their tour through Europe, to celebrate the launch of their products on the website. These two gorgeous Auzzies talked us through their favourite products and the ethos behind them and we ended up just having lovely chats.

Me and Holly Spierings in The Marigold Room at The Liqour Rooms

I was given three products to try at home. And with two of them it was pretty much instant love.

Eye of Horus Goddess Mascara (€25) in black is proper black. It is gorgeous. This defines, lengthens and blackens lashes in one coat. Two coats delivers volume. So much volume. I prefer just the one coat. I LIKE just one coat. One coat is perfect.

Single coat of Mascara

 In the pic above I applied just one coat of Goddess Mascara on the left hand side, its not hard to see the difference. I am holding out to see how long this tube will last until it turns gloopy before I comment on the price, because for me €25 is pretty pricey... so I bloody hope it lasts the full 3 months so I can justify spending that on lash paint again...

Eye Of Horus Liquid Define Eyeliner (€22) is the product I am not entirely in love with. It is a standard felt tip liner that can give either a super skinny line, a medium kind of line or a lovely thick line, depending on how hard you press the tip against your eyelid/skin.

Try as I might, I couldn't get a good sharp point on the end of my flicks. I tried twice, hence the double flick there. The liner is beautifully black, but it takes a while to dry and I had to clean off transfer before I took the pics, and then I inadvertently rubbed the flicks off during the course of the day. I'm not sold on this, I get a better line from the Catrice or NYX offering. But if liquid liners are your thing then this comes in a brown too.

The product that is 100% my new favourite and now Holy Grail liner is the Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil (€22). I got Smokey Black:  A double ended pencil (firm smudger at one end, easily sharpened pencil at the other), the formulation feels like a firm gel, but the colour is a properly Light-absorbing-Satan's-uncleaned-fireplace-sooty matte BLACK. Its fabulous.

Amy was telling me you have about 40 seconds to work with this before it sets, so while you don't need to be speedy, you need to work fairly fast if you want to smudge this out or clean up lines because once it is dry you are not going to budge this unless you go in with a decent oil-based remover or cleanser. It doesn't pull, and you don't need to go over the line multiple times to get a good solid line. I would apply more than one layer if I was going to smudge it out though, just so you don't loose that intense black at the lashes.

This isn't as soft as the Avon Gel Liners and so doesn't need to be sharpened after every single use unless you want to get a good sharp line every time. The payoff is much more intense, matte and lasting power is 16hrs + with the Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil and mistakes are not as common.

Eye of Horus Goddess Pencil comes in 11 other shades. Emerald Tabular, Serpentine Sultry and Jewel Amethyst are calling me. Cloud10 Beauty will have me broke with all the gorgeous new brands and products they are securing every month...

Roll on payday...

 **Products provided for review, opinions ALWAYS my own

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Make-Up Studio Professional Make Up & Beauty Academy

I was recently invited to attend a Contouring Master Class at Beauty Academy in Drogheda. Beauty Academy is run by Linda Ennis, a beauty industry veteran having worked her way through the ranks in the likes of Vichy, Estee Lauder, Lancome and Clinique, she set up a school of her own to follow her passion: Training. And not just makeup, she & her team do the whole beauty therapy she-bang out of her studio that overlooks the quay in Drogheda.

As I was a guest of Linda at the masterclass, the fee was waived for me (€50 but the full fee is redeemable against Make -Up Studio products which is a really nice touch) and I settled down to watch Berenice work her magic. We were 8 in the class and it was the right amount, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly. We were encouraged to ask questions and Berenice asked us questions to make sure we understood the techniques she was demonstrating. I appreciate that. I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I can't wait for the next masterclass so I can brush up (bah-dum tish) on more techniques.

I was also sent home with some pretty amazing Make- Up Studio Professional Make-Up products to play with and I am very, very impressed:

Make-Up Studio Translucent Powder 1 is the lightest of the colours in the Loose powders fo the range. There are 4 colours in the range (1, 2, 3 & 4) and go from light to very dark. A 20g shaker style post costs €17.90. This is ultra light, and even though this isn't the Extra Fine version (yes... they do all 4 colours in an Extra Fine variation!) this is so finely milled that it melts into the skin to help set makeup and keeps shine at bay. #1 is very light, too light for me unless I use it sparingly on the areas where I used the lightest of the contour colours and really work it into my skin.

But in the interest of thoroughly testing its oil control properties I have buffed this all over my foundation and left it for the day to see how it fared. I am very impressed with this. It set my foundation and kept it looking pretty much perfect over the space of 14 hours. Towards the very end of the day I noticed a bit of shine on the tip of my nose, and my chin (places I touch frequently), but my forehead still looked flawless. So now I need shades #2 and #3...

Look. At. This. Just LOOK. This is the Make-Up Studio Highlighter Mousse 1. This is the gold one. 2 is cooler and more pearlescent. But this gold-y one is just gorgeous. A whipped mousse texture that blends so easily if you work it too much it disappears. 15mls comes in a heavy glass, screw top jar that costs €25.50. Something that is interesting with this is that it works really well over powdered skin. The texture allows you to pat and blend this over powder without moving or disturbing foundation.

On my cheekbones and cupids bow this gives a gorgeous glow, but it looks really amazing when used in the inner corner or my eye or patted onto the center of my eyelid. I love it on my eyes. But in the pics below you can see the pretty glimmer it gives on cheekbones and down the nose... Oh yeah... and it smells delicious, like fresh baked cookies!

The third thing I was given is actually 6 things. The 5 pan box costs €10.50 and comes with a matte touch lid and a massive mirror. And you don't have to use it for the contour products: this fits the eyeshadows, lipstick pans and blushers too.

The actual contour pans are a highly pigmented cream foundation called Face It Cream Foundation. But if you buy these together as a "contour kit" then the total cost comes to €54.50 (5 colours and the box/palette). The formulation is ultra creamy & coverage with this is very high, but it does melt into the skin really nicely. It feels comfortable, doesn't settle into pores and the finish looks really natural, despite being high coverage. In the pics below (top in a relatively shady spot bottom in bright light) I swatched all the colours and you can see how even though I haven't blended them the finish is really lovely.

Right. If you've stuck with me this far, Well done! Want to see me put everything to the test? All the bits I learned in the masterclass and all the products:

bare faced,              foundation only,               contour step 1

I started with a clean, moisturised face. While Berenice started with a primer, I skipped this step as I wouldn't be going heavy duty, this was for a day face, so a lighter look for the bright sun. I applied foundation (a sample of the new Boots No7 Airbrush Away foundation in Warm Ivory) and used a Beauty Blender to get stuck in.

Contour un-blended,                     all blended in,                      highlighter applied lightly 

Then I blended everything. And I blended some more. And a bit more. Just to make sure. I dipped the tip of the beauty blender into the highlighter and patted it onto my cheekbones and what was left on the sponge I patted very lightly down the bridge of my nose and my cupids bow.

I buffed in the translucent powder all over to set the contour, then did my brows and eyes. A bit 'o blush and tinted lip balm and I was ready to rock. Or go do the groceries.

This was my first time trying a proper contour technique. It took me about 35 minutes to get everything applied and blended to the point where I was happy enough with it. I applied everything very lightly, and in truth I could have gone much heavier and I since then I have been going a bit darker (and lighter) and working more at getting the placement and blending right. But for my first attempt I am happy enough with what I achieved.

I can't wait to try even more of the Make-Up Studio Products, they are well priced and so incredibly pigmented, the samples I played with were an absolute joy to work with. If you are interested, there are two Master Classes happening this year:
Autumn/Winter Looks Master Class         Tues Oct 20th 2015
Christmas Party Looks                                 Tues Dec 1st 2015

Classes cost €50 and as I said the FULL fee is redeemable against products. Contact Linda or any of her Admin girls at: Beauty Academy, 10 Wellington Quay, Drogheda, Co. Louth, Ireland
Call: 041 980 4799

**Post contains samples gratefully received for review, opinions always my own.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

AYU Brushes: Irish and (mostly) lovely

AYU (pronounced Ay-Yoo) is the baby of two Irish sisters who decided that  prices attached to decent makeup brushes was prohibitive and they wanted to change that. And as far as I can tell, they have made some damn lovely brushes that don't cost the earth.

I picked up 3 brushes:
AYU Buffer Brush €12.50
AYU Pro Blender Brush €5
AYU Blender Brush €5
Shipping cost €3.40 and the brushes arrived within a week.

Of the three the only one I am struggling with is the Pro Blender Brush. The white bristles are very thick and stiff making it a bit scratchy on my eyelid. I used it twice and I'm just not liking it.

But the other two are Bloody Lovely!

The AYU Blender Brush is soft and fluffy and feels beautiful on my skin. The bristles are longer than I am used to, but this doesn't stop it from doing its primary job: blending eyeshadow. Its not great at picking up colour from a pan, but because it does such a hell of a job at blending its not an issue. The handle is well balanced and feels comfy in my hand and it cleans easily, so this has found its way into my daily use.

The AYU Buffer Brush has been my go to foundation brush since I've had it. It is most similar to the Real Techniques Expert Face Brush, but the bristles on the AYU offering are longer and this makes it feel like its not as dense as the RT brush, but it is! The longer bristles makes it feel less dense, but it works just as well with my foundation, the soft bristles makes it a dream to use on my face.

The longer bristles also mean you can pinch the bristles together to create a perfect contouring brush. Soft and gentle but brilliantly precise, and then when you let the bristles go you can buff out the edges. I haven't used it with a powder foundation, but its done really well with cream and liquid foundation.

There are a few other bits that I'd love to try from AYU: 9 Colour Eyeshadow & Contour Palette is on sale for €15 at the minute and the wee Egg Brush Cleaner is a fiver and looks the biz for cleaning eyeshadow brushes in a hurry.

Have you tried anything from AYU? Would you?

Monday, 14 September 2015

Dumpster Diving: June July & August 2015 Empties

Ja no well look, I can't quite believe we are 9 months into the year already too. Its absolute madness how quickly the months seem to be sliding by, but damn, I am happy to have the kids back at school because it means that my house stay clean and tidy for more than 20 minutes. Anyway, here are the last 3 months bits that I managed to get finished, and there are some man bits too:

We will start at the top of the body: Hair Jazz.

L'Oreal Elvive Full Restore 5 Leave-in Conditioner Spray: I like this, but I actually used this up on Hannah's hair because I am using something else that I like even more than this. It does the job, but I won't be repurchasing.

Clairol Nice'n Easy CC ColourSeal Conditioner for Brunettes: I ADORE this conditioner for my hair. I only use it once every two weeks so it lasts me a good three months. It works really well to smooth the cuticles of my hair to help it stay shiny and healthy looking. It costs €1.49 and is worth every penny.

Face Flotsam next:

Alpha H Liquid Gold: one of my favourite treatments for keeping my skin clear and bright. It is doing what it is supposed to do and I am using it like I am supposed to use it, every second night on clean skin. I have already started my 2nd bottle. Yes its pricey, but a bottle lasts 6 months, so I can live with paying €40 every 6 months.

Justine Tissue Oil Skin Repair Face Cream: I get this from my bestie in SA. I do like it, but its not my favourite favourite. It is light, sinks in quickly and the added SPF 20 is a nice touch to a cream that smells nice and doesn't overload my skin. Tissue oil is big in skincare and Justine does tissue oil really well.

Vichy Eau Thermale: A mineral water spray that is good to freshen up skin. THIS one actually belongs to Himself. He likes to have this mini one next to his bed in the summer months, he is a very warm-blooded person and when he gets too hot he can't sleep, so he spritzes this over himself to cool off. I like to give my skin a quick spritz before applying my night cream. I generally get these as a sample when I buy Vichy skin care bits.

The Body Shop Chocomania Lip Butter: It took me forever to finish this. For. EVER. It smelled nice, but didn't really leave a great taste when you went to lick your lips. I'd use this at night last thing before lights out to make sure that my lips didn't dry out over night but also I wouldn't taste it. Not my favourite, but it was upstairs next to my bed and my LRP cicaplast lip balm was downstairs next to my chair. I won't be getting this again.

On to the Body Bits:

Crabtree & Evelyn Tarocco Orange Shower Gel: This is one of my favourite scents ever, refreshing and uplifting, its the perfect morning wake-me-up. I already have a spare, but I am waiting until all the other stuff in my shower is done first.

Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff: Yummy smell: check. Good scrubby bits to remove dead skin and old tan: Check. Bright pink and Irish: Check and Check. It is good at what it does, is reasonably priced and is available world wide thanks to Cloud10 Beauty. And they stock the Crabtree & Evelyn too...

Ziaja Atopic Dermatitis Body Lotion: I have a full review of this coming. I'm sorry this is finished so quickly because it is a gorgeous range that I could use on my daughter. Its good and its cheap.

Roger & Gallet Fleur d'Osmanthus Body Cream (not lotion): Super Rich, super hydrating and highly scented, this is gorgeous. But its empty and I have 459 other body lotions under my bed to finish first. I'll be honest and say I am not sure I will repurchase Fleur d'Osmanthus again, but Bois d'Orange and Citron are on my wish list.

Soap & Glory The Righteous Body Butter: eh yeah, this one has been on the go since xmas 2013. I go through phases where I ADORE its gorgeous rich, hydrating, deliciousness and then when I just can't stand its thick, cloying, tackiness. But then I go back to using it like its never going to end. But I finished it! The unfinishable tub is finished. When I was taking the pics I genuinely opened the tub, stuck my nose right in there and inhaled deeply and said to myself: I need another one of these. So yeah. I need this again.

Lush Ro's Argan Body Contitioner: I got this in a gift box at Christmas and while I like what it does, I've gone off the scent a bit... so I won't be getting it again. Unless I get it in a gift box. Then Its going to Hannah. Oh yeah... did you know that there are secret messages under the little stickers that tell you who made the product? no? ME NEITHER!

Makeup Scrap:

Essence I (heart) Stage eyelid primer: Its not technically empty, but I should have tossed this about a year ago... eep. I haven't used in ages though. This works well and costs nothing. I'll get another one.

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara: I bought a spare for my gym bag and I bought one for my sister-in-law, thats how much I like this mascara. It costs less than €5 and even though Sharon (Behind Green Eyes) isn't a fan, I don't care, I still like its lash-thickening & blackening ways.

L'Oreal Lash Architect 4D Mascara: This was a freebie I scored in my local pharmacy, and I am so glad Aoife passed it on to me because it is pretty lovely. This is a brown one, but I can't find it on the website so I'm hoping you can get this because its a gorgeous daytime mascara that really lengthens lashes without making too much drama about it.

Artistry Signature Eyes Volume Mascara: I didn't use this as much as I should have, but I was glad when it started becoming difficult to use because that meant it was drying out and done for. It is very spendy, and not worth the €30. Its nice... but not bloody €30 nice.

Man Junk:

I have almost got himself "Beauty Blogger Trained". Ie. hes now putting his empty products next to the bin so I can pop them in my basket. He also tell me which ones he wants again and which he isn't bothered with:

Nivea Men 48Hr Sensitive Protect antiperspirant: Part of a gift set from xmas, He isn't a big fan of the white marks left by most antiperspirants, this one still leaves marks on the inside of his dark shirts that are a bit of a pain to remove, but it smells great on him and we like that. But there are others that are nicer, like whats next:

Dove Men +Care Clean Comfort: Also an antiperspirant, but no major markage with this one and it smells frickin DIVINE. It smells so good I like to use it occasionally. It is often on offer and ths is when I get a few and chuck them in the box under the bed.

Wella Shockwaves Lightweight styling Gel: this was in the cupboard ages and went into the bin as soon as he could vaguely claim it was pretty much empty. And he hasn't waved it in my face and told me to get it again. I won't.

Bull Dog Original Face Wash: yeah, this one he waved in my face as soon as it was starting to feel a bit light. And he waved it again when it was almost empty. But I already had a spare in the box. on days when I am not wearing makeup even I enjoy the spicy, herby smell of this gel that cleanses without stripping or drying. I do like this, so does himself. It is often on offer in Boots too, so I stock up then. He adores the moisturisers in this range and so does my dad.

There you have it. Is there anything you've used and liked or disliked? Are these posts useful to you, do you like them? I have to admit I like empties posts, I find bloggers are a bit more honest about if they would replace products or not.

Right. Well its Monday: Grab it by the balls!
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