Friday, 15 August 2014

Vichy Capital Soleil BB review & competition

August is still technically summer in Ireland and we are praying that the sunny weather sticks around a wee bit longer before Autumn arrives. But you still need SPF if you are going to venture outside and if you are dry skinned then Vichy Capital Soleil SPF50 BB cream is going to have your spf and hydration needs covered.

To give it the full name, Vichy Capital Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50+ comes in a 50ml flip top tube and costs somewhere around the €20 mark. Its a tinted cream that is fairly thick and you do need a good dollop to cover your whole face and neck, but it does work into the skin really nicely and gives an instant hydration boost as well as delivering moisture throughout wear time.

On The bottom of the box you can just see it says "Ideal Tan Revealer". I don't know how it does this but it does, when your tan is on its last legs this faintly coconutty (reminds me of holidays) scented cream brings it right back out again... you are left with a glow that makes folks think you have spent a restful few days on a private Island in the sun. But only if you have dry skin... I used this on both kids throughout July and Hannah's dry, eczema prone skin looked bloody perfect. Liam just looked like he had come from a summer spent in the game parks of Africa. It didn't cause any irritation to Hannah's skin and she got full coverage sun protection with no effect on her sensitive skin. Win. And I only had to get them to stand still long enough to get one application on and they were rather well protected.

As soon as I flipped open that top and smelled its gorgeous scent I was in love. But no matter how I applied this (fingers, brush, sponge) it just didn't sit right on my normal/combo skin. *Sob* But I tried it multiple times anyway on days when I knew it wasn't going anywhere special. And I liked that I got lots of moisture and my SPF. I didn't like that I got no coverage and a very "sweatyglowy" complexion.

the bare faced cheek. 

 Just so you could see it on my face, the above pic is me. Bare faced, just freshly cleansed and toned. The next picture is with half my face done. Can you see which half? Yeah me neither, but if you look closely you can see on the right hand side my lip is slightly more covered than usual. So that is the side that got the BB.

Half assed  faced application

And below is the full face. Not much coverage, and I pretty much look the same just a bit more glisten-ey. Eh. Ok.

All covered up but still looking pretty bare...

Time for a "Bit 'O Slap": This is what I used to go for a coffee with a friend of mine.

 And here is the finished face. I had to keep blotting papers handy to keep shine at bay and it didn't last very long before I looked like a shiny mess.

I have passed this on to a friend of mine who has dry skin and have tasked her with trying it for a little while. I am waiting for her to get back to me, but I am pretty sure she is going to get on rather well with this. As much as I wanted to love this it, Vichy Capital Soleil BB Tinted Velvety Cream SPF50+, just wasn't right for my skin type, I'd love to try the Mattifying Face Fluid Dry Touch SPF50 version though.

Vichy is available in most Pharmacies around the country and you can get it on Feel Unique too.

But if you want to win a hamper full of Vichy Capital Soleil products (sponsored by the fabulous folks at Vichy) then enter via the Rafflecopter link below:
Competition closes on the 31st of August 2014 please be sure to read the T&C's!!!
Irish entries only on this one.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Product gratefully received for review, Opinions my own.

Monday, 11 August 2014

The Body Shop Fijian Water Lotus: Cool Calm and totally Zen

The latest addition to the Voyage Fragrance Collection from The Body Shop is called Fijian Water Lotus and it is a great summer scent: light, floral and  And I know I'm late to the party and it is already almost Autumn and the wasps are out in force (oh gosh see THIS POST from Sera for some LOLS), but once you try it you'll be hoping the warm evenings linger a little longer.

The Body Shop sent me the Eau de Toilette (€25.95) and the Body Lotion (€15.95) to play with, but the collection also contains Perfume Oil, Fragrance Mist, Shower Gel and Body Butter. The idea is that you use a few products and layer the scent on your skin to ensure it sticks around the whole day. While Fijian Water Lotus is light and refreshing (a combination that normally disperses very quickly as opposed to a heavier arrangement) if I layer the EDT over the body lotion after a shower, it manages to stick around until well after lunch time. And the 50ml bottle isn't too heavy so it can come with me in my bag if I'm out all day.

I am rarely out all day so it lives on my dressing table. I quite like its cool blue minimalist look in amongst the general clutter. Its just very Zen, sitting there, cool as a cucumber. And the Fijian Water Lotus body lotion is fabulously cooling and refreshing, delivering a lovely hit of moisture that keep my skin moisturised all day.

Uplifting top notes of mandarin and litsea die down quickly, giving way to Fijian Water Lotus flower and Rose before blending into a light and refreshing marine accord. Perfect for the very humid muggy days that Ireland has been getting just lately. I'm loving it and its getting frequent outings at the moment. I'd say its pretty much getting the same use as my beloved Tarocco Orange.

I am loving everything The Body Shop is doing at the moment and this is no different. I will definitely be adding the Fragrance mist to my collection ( I already have the Coconut one and the Brazil Nut one).

And since its the Blog's Birthday Month, you can win a Bottle of the Fijian Water Lotus Fragrance Mist. Just fill in the Rafflecopter widget and you're sorted! Good Luck! (this prize is not sponsored by anybody, it is purchased by my own good self)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Products provided for review, opinions my own

Friday, 8 August 2014

Jessica Custom Nail Colour Summer Loving!

I am, without doubt, a massive fan of budget nail polishes. I generally refuse to spend more than €6 or €7 for a bottle, with Catrice and Essence being some of my favourite budget brands. But Jessica has convinced me to splurge a little on myself with gorgeous summer colours that are only a few euros more than I'd normally be willing to spend.

Jessica is the baby of Jessica Vartoughian. And Jessica is a very hands on lady where her baby is concerned: all of the treatment range products are designed by the lady herself.

I was skeptical about the Jessica Fusion Treatment (€19.95), as I had already declared OPI Nail Envy my holy grail base coat. But the thing with OPI is that is is incredibly expensive (€21.95 from Boots stores) and you had to keep re-applying it every 2 or 3 days, which meant that you'd go through this at a rate of knots. Not good for those of us with splitty weak nails on tight budges. And even after 4 bottles of the stuff, my nails were still splitting. Still.

But Fusion has been WAY better for my peeling nails. "The treatment fuses nails together through rubberised resin, strengthening and conditioning nails for better growth". I have been using Fusion for a little over 2 months now and I can see a massive improvement in the condition of my nails, the peeling has stopped completely, and my nails are much tougher and are growing like bamboo. They haven't been this long in months. I will need more of this, but (frustratingly) I can't find it on the website, so I'll phone one of the stockists listed at the bottom of this post and make sure they have one for me and pop in to collect it when I'm next in Dublin.

On a Sunday night I paint 2 thin layers of it on my nails (it is quite runny), ensuring to cover the tip and paint a little way under the nail to make sure I get the best possible outcome. It dries very quickly, so I don't have to wave my hands about like a mad thing and then I top it with two thin coats of whatever colour takes my fancy. And the manicure lasts all week with no tip wear and no chips. More-over: no peeling. And I'm not even an 8th of the way through the bottle.

Anyways, then a few weeks ago the wonderful folks at Jessica sent me a few of the new colours for Summer 2014 (RRP 12.95 per bottle) and I fell in love! They also sent me the Nourish Cuticle Oil, Nail File and the Brilliance Top Coat so I could get a good feel for the whole range, and by golly they are all pretty awesome.

The two colours they sent me are part of a 6 strong edit of beautiful colours that is called "In Bloom" inspired by a blossoming rose garden. And so far the pastel blue of Jessica Custom Nail Colour 885 Enchanting is my favourite.

It is quite a thick polish, but if you work carefully you can get a thin coat of colour on to the nail (remember to pain the free edge) and it dries fairly quickly (within 2 or 3 minutes) and then add a 2nd thin coat for full opacity and colour depth. Remember to paint the free edge of the nail as this helps to seal the nail edge to prevent the nail from splitting and prolong the colour. Finish with a quick coat of the Jessica Brilliance top coat (€16.30) and you are done with your manicure for a solid 7 days before tip wear makes an appearance. The above picture was taken on Day 8 of the manicure and you can just see a bit of tip wear on my index finger and middle finger. But nothing in your face.

The other colour is a gorgeous creamy lilac called 888 Awakening. I have been wearing it on my toes, sans top coat and it has lasted surprisingly well, even after multiple trips to the beach (our beach is more mudflat than proper beach sand). I might only update the colour on my toes every 2nd or 3rd week and this still looks pretty good when it comes time to take it off.

Jessica Nourish Cuticle Formula comes in a little acrylic pot and resides next to my bed. It smells lovely. I use it in the mornings when I wake up:
- I put it on then massage it in while drinking my coffee and browsing instagram
and at night:
- I put a good amount onto each nail bed and massage it in while reading my book (I am engrossed in the Game Of Thrones books currently) and then pop on my Cotton Moisture Gloves for as long as I can stand them before dying of the heat.

And I think its making a difference in the condition of my cuticles, which I've never really paid much attention to before. Rather irritatingly I don't have a price for Nourish. Pffft.

Something I wouldn't mind getting my hands on is the Jessica Awesome Neons Kit (€27.50). You get 3 mini polishes (7.4ml) as well as a mini Reward, which is a treatment base coat, and a mini Brilliance Top Coat. Jessica say these are proper fluro colours and I would love to give my daughter and I lovely summery nails, as I know these are the kinds of colours she would love! But first... I'd have to get the Jessica Nibble No More for her because she is a villain for biting her nails.

image from (before the site went down)

I haven't used the Jessica Custom Nail Colours without using the Fusion base coat so I don't know how the colour would fare on other base coats. I previously did a review of a Jessica Custom Nail Polish for the lovely ladies at Closer2Fabulous, and while the colour Sensuous didn't float my boat at the time, I'm looking forward to the cooler months so I can give it a go with Fusion and see if it goes a little better.

I do know that Fusion performs really well under ANY polish. Which makes this pretty darn special.

You can get Jessica Custom Nail Colours and treatments from the stockists listed below and online from The French Beauty Room . The site is up and running again, I checked!

Irish Stockists:
Dublin : Ebano, Ballinteer, Dublin • Ebano, Nutgrove Shopping Centre, Dublin • Howth Haven, Howth, Dublin • Invogue, Blackrock, Dublin •John Adams, Cleary’s, O’Connell Street, Dublin 1 • Marker Hotel, Grand Canal Parade, Dublin 2 • Midas Touch, Newlands Retail Centre, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 • Refresh, Leapardstown, Foxrock, Dublin • Refresh, Clontarf, Dublin 3 •Refresh, Sandymount, Dublin 4 • Kildare : Carton House, Maynooth, Co. Kildare • Laois : The Spa, The Heritage Killenard, Portarlington, Co. Laois • Meath : A N U, Clonee, Co. Meath • Wexford : Kelly’s Spa Resort, Rosslare, Co. Wexford

 Products provided for review, Opinions my own

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Super Surya Brasil Conditioners

While my review of the Surya Brasil Henna Powder was less than positive, their conditioners are actually pretty ace, especially the Surya Brasil Colour Fixation Leave-In Cream Conditioner.

As part of the Surya Brasil Colour Fixation Range, this leave in conditioner is a really lovely product. Natural and vegan (cruelty free) this leave in conditioner is well within my price range coming in at just €10.99 for a massive 300ml bottle. Completely affordable, if you ask me, because you only use about a teaspoon's worth of product meaning the 300ml bottle should give you around 60 applications.

This leave in-conditioner is designed for hair in need of additional support. It hydrates, detangles and protects and the rich formula is balanced to provide smoothness to the strand and control volume, which is great news for me as volume is the last thing I need...

Amazonian buriti oil and cupuaçu butter provide carotenoids which absorb UV rays, Surya Brasil Leave In Condioner is also designed to extend the life of your hair color as it is enriched with rice proteins that strengthen the keratin in the cuticle of the hair as well as 15 extracts of herbs and exotic fruits from India and the Amazon forest which add to the conditioning effect leaving your hair shiny and healthy tangle-free.

I don't use it every time I wash my hair, as it is quite rich, so I use it every 2nd of 3rd wash instead of using conditioner. After shampooing and rough drying with a towel, a teaspoon smooshed though my hands spreads far enough to do my whole head (I have lots of long hair, and its quite thick) and it doesn't leave a heavy coating on my hair, my hair just drinks it in and the comb goes though it with ease. Drying time is shortened too, if I decide to actually properly blow-dry my hair, it takes about 30 minutes as opposed to the usual 40 - 50 minutes to get completely dry and smooth. But usually I just blast it to about 80% dry with the hair dryer on a medium heat setting and curl it up into a bun and sleep in it. When I take the bun out the next morning I have soft waves and soft hair. Nice.

The leave in conditioner has a vague herbal scent, but once your hair is dry the scent is gone and hair just smells clean. I like it. I also like that the bottle comes with a nozzle. This allows you to dispense just enough of the cream, so if you want to section off your hair you don't have to worry about dolloping out too much all at once.

I am also finding this very useful in the gym. Before I get into the pool I spread a teaspoon of this through the ends of my hair, plait it up and pull on my swim cap. Then I swim my 20 minutes and squeeze out the excess water and go sit in the sauna for a few minutes. I do my normal shower & shampoo and run a bit more through the lengths, shove it up in a twist and go about the rest of my day.

My hair is still looking pretty darn good considering I haven't had a trim in about 6 months. The ends are starting to feel a bit dry, but I haven't seen any split ends yet and so I recon I'm still ok for another few weeks. Normally the chlorine would do a real number on my hair and I would be needing to go for a trim every 6 or so weeks. I could probably do with a trim just to get the shape sorted again, but its not anything major that has to be done immediately and the ends don't look ratty.

If you are keen to try a natural conditioner without having to commit to a whole bottle, you can try the Surya Brasil Single Application Intensive Hair Treatment (€3.45). It isn't a leave in conditioner, this is a proper mask.

 Lash it onto clean, damp hair, put on a shower cap, wrap head in a towel warmed over the radiator (in winter) and relax for 20 minutes. Rinse it out, dry+style and enjoy your gorgeously soft, manage-able hair. It smells pleasantly herbal, but the scent doesn't linger. There is actually enough for 2 applications in the bottle, if you have short to medium hair, so its a great little treat to take away with you on holiday.

I must be honest and say I prefer the leave in conditioner. Purely because you get the same results without having to rinse out the mask. The full sized tub of mask also costs €10.99 but you only get 230mls, and generally I use less of the leave in conditioner than I did of the mask. I suppose you would use a mask less frequently, but I still prefer the conditioner. I just do.

Your Tonic is the only Irish stockist of all things Surya Brasil, they offer super quick delivery great service via the website or instore.  I highly recommend the Surya Brasil Henna Cream Colour, its the only way I will colour my hair now, not just because the colour is really lovely, its the condition that my hair is left in after I rinse the colour out that I really love.

*Samples provided for review, Opinions my own.

Monday, 4 August 2014

SlowClap for SteamCream: I'm sold

SteamCream is not new to me, but I held off purchasing it and I'll explain why now-now*. But I'm kicking myself that I didn't jump on this bandwagon ages ago when I was struggling to find a cream for my Daughter's eczema. I'm also kicking myself for being a lazy-arsed-cow and not doing a bit of research into SteamCream when My husband and I were at our wits-end trying to find a cream to soothe a crying-hot-flakey-skinned-not-sleeping-because-I'm-sooooooOOOOOoo-itchy 4year old. SteamCream would have made an absolute fortune out of me, but I wouldn't have cared because she would have slept which means that I would have slept and that would be perfect.

My SteamCream Tin. Hannah can have the next one

The reason why I didn't even go as far as google-ing SteamCream is because I had read somewhere that it was basically glorified aqueous cream (which at this stage we had realised contained the biggest ingredient that irritated her skin: mineral oil/liquid paraffin/soft white paraffin) and some lavender essential oil in a very fancy looking tin. And even though I know you shouldn't believe everything you read on the internet, I wrote SteamCream off and looked for other alternatives. Ugh... I was SUCH an eejit.

SteamCream is made in the UK and in Japan. It's Vegan Certified, with minimal preservatives (check out their website for more on this). Actually their website is pretty amazing too. Simple and easy to use, exactly like the cream. Go see. But basically its Oats. And Oatmeal Infusion to be exact, and a whole lot of other natural oils for extra moisturising. Now Aveeno (also oat based) is one of the only creams we can use on Hannah, but we need to use it every night on her to get results.

SteamCream Ingredients

The tin designs are awesome. I had to wrestle this one out of Hannah's grip even after I promised her that I would get her a tin of her own. I had to pinky promise and go looking to see which designs were available (they are changing all the time) so she could choose one that she liked. 

This cream is just beautiful. When you open the tin, you get lavender immediately, but it isn't overpowering or in any way headache inducing. It is incredibly mind clearing and relaxing. SteamCream is light and a little goes a long way, but it is so moisturising, it is like nothing I've ever used. The combination of ingredients and the way that they have been combined (with a steam process) means that skin feels comfortable and moisturised immediately and the effect lasts all day. 

Isn't the tin Kah-Yoot?!?!? Oui! It is small and mighty. And it fits into my handbag for on the go moisturising quite comfortably. But the tin looks fab on my dresser, nest to my bed or next to my computer, which is where I like it best... just because I like to look at it.

Now what I didn't realise is that this was originally meant as a face cream for ALL skin types, including sensitive skin. And my daughter, Hannah, has pretty sensitive skin. Not just on her face, her whole body. And SteamCream is safe to use on her: all over. She did say that it did sting a little on broken skin, which I understand. But the stinging didn't last long, a few seconds and that was it, and it wasn't so bad that she was complaining.

She also said she felt a little bit cooler after application and she felt like she was sleeping a little better although that could just be the fact that she is running around like a hooligan because its summer holidays. It could also be due to the light lavender scent of which we are big fans. Lavender also has anti-bacterial properties, making this perfect to keep infections at bay. I still cant believe I didn't get on this stuff sooner.

Now she hasn't had a bad eczema episode for a little while, but any change in washing powder or her creams causes the hot, red, scaly flakey skin to come roaring back. This hasn't affected her skin adversely at all, her skin looks fantastic actually. It looks like skin and it feels like skin should, which is and odd thing to say about a child's skin. But normally her skin feels quite rough and dry, even after we have creamed and lotioned and buttered and greased her up, from her toes right into her hair line. 

I am now about half way through the 75ml tub, I've had it about 2 months now. As I said a little goes a long way and the amount in the pic above does her whole arm. But I don't use this on her every night, more like every 3rd night, alternating with a body butter, but I can see the difference in her skin. I have also been using it on my arms when I sit in front of the tv.

Honestly, I am genuinely surprised at how lovely SteamCream is and I'm willing for fork out the €16.50 every 3 months to keep my daughter happy and comfortable in her own skin. 

Or I might just order off their website, which offers free delivery for orders over €20. And right now you can order 2 tins for €25 (12.50 per tin) or get 3 tins for €35 (11.66 per tin) which works out to pretty good value and means you can gift them to friends, or keep them to yourself and keep them around the house.

I will never be without a tin of SteamCream again, and I will happily gift it to my friends and family... and I saw a sneaky peak at the packaging for their xmas tins... I can't wait!

Happy Bank Holiday Monday Folks!

Irish Stockists:

*now-now: a not so very precise denotation of time in South Africa, could mean 5 minutes or "when I feel like it".
**PR Sample Gratefully received, Opinions my own

Friday, 1 August 2014

It all started 3 years ago...And a surprise Giveaway

August. The month that for some obscure reason I decided to put my thoughts "out there" and embarked on a journey that introduced me to a whole new world and made me a load of new friends.

I can scarcely believe that I have been blogging for 3 years. 156 weeks. In those weeks I have managed to publish 466 posts, attend a few launches, Actually In Real Life meet some of my Idols and hit a few personal milestones along the way.

From my favourite music, to confessions and my favourite products, tutorials and manicures. Its been a place I found confidence and within the ranks of (ever growing) bloggers I have found kindred spirits/Bloggers all over this gorgeous Country. And I am incredibly grateful to everyone who has taken the time to not just read my musings (however crap they may be), but to comment. I made sure to turn captcha off. Although I still have nightmares about that....

Even though its the blog's birthday, you get the presents this month. I will run a few give-aways across the mediums of the Blog, BloglovinTwitter and Instagram so be sure to follow and keep an eye out.

To start things off I will choose a winner for the first prize out of the comments from this post. All you have to do is be a follower of the blog ( I will check!!!!), leave a comment telling me how you follow and how I can get hold of you if you win (email/twitter). That's all. What will you win? We will call this the hand edit:

Roger& Gallet Créme Sublime Bois D'Orange Hand & Nail Cream
Sally Hansen Complete Care 4-in-1 Nail Treatment
BW Nail Stone (all the way from South Africa)
NYC In a Ney York Minute Quick Dry Nail Polish in 240 Mid Town
Catrice Ultimate Nail Laquer in 50 Glitterazzi

- If you are under 18, you MUST have parental permission to enter as I'll need your address to post the prize to.
- You must be a follower of the blog thru Bloglovin or GFC or Google+
- Irish, UK entries only for this one.
- Competition closes on the 30th of August.
- Winner will be chosen and notified on the 31st of August

Fingers crossed I can keep you entertained for another 3 years!

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Rimmel London: Rock and Roll Lips and Eyes

Rimmel London: A staple that most girls cut their makeup teeth on, and even though I am no longer a girl, I still find myself browsing the Rimmel London stand and being mightily impressed with what they are producing. And at very very reasonable price points you can't go wrong if you pick up multiples of products you like. The Rimmel London Colour Rush Balm and the Rimmel London Scandaleyes Shadow Sticks are pretty awesome.

I picked up these Colour Rush Balms in February 2014, I can't remember what I paid for them, but I do know that they are generally on offer (currently buy one get one half price at ) and cost €7.99 at full price. Super comfortable colour, these are twist-up lip crayons with lovely hydrating lip balm formula and medium pigmentation. Its no lipstick, but its still gives good glossy colour.

I picked up Keep Mauving and Drive Me Nude hoping to have two different colours, and they are different colours in the bullet and when swatched. After 20 minutes on my lips these change colour though. Any notion of the original colour is gone and I'm left with a pink line around the outside of my lips. I don't mind it too much, but I do need to factor this in if I am planning on wearing these and make sure I have them close at hand at all times.

Thankfully they don't dry lips out (as some of the previous lip crayons may have) and won't catch in dry patches on lips either. Re-application of these two colours is easy peasy on the go, just smoosh it onto lips, moosh said lips together and go. Smoosh. Moosh Go.

Top: Keep Mauving,         Bottom : Drive Me Nude

These Rimmel London ScandalEyes Shadow Sticks are not new, but they are awesome. €5.99 is the damage for a single pencil but its soooo worth it. Technically I didn't buy these, I won them from the wonderfully gorgeous Hayley (London Beauty Queen) in April 2014. And I have a sneaky suspicion that these 3 shades were limited edition as I can't find them anywhere else...

Bluffing is a metallic taupey colour that I adore. Trespassing Taupe is a matte taupe, and its perfect. Bootleg Brown is a deep rich brown and these three colours, together are my perfect dirty sexy grungy eye. I LOVE THEM!

This is the look I posted on Instagram. Its the only time I've every properly managed to get a smokey sexy eye and have my hair and skin play ball at the same time.

And do you want to know what I did after I took these pictures? I put on a pair of big ass sunglasses and my jeans and I took my kids to the park.

 I'm so (not) rock and roll...

Monday, 28 July 2014

YoungBlood Mineral Make up: I try Orange

I have already showed you what the folks from Young Blood Mineral Cosmetics are bringing for Summer14 and a super sneak peak of the Metallics due for the festive season, but lets have a closer look at the goodies they sent me home with:

The packaging is black, sleek and looks chic. All of the compacts close with a magnetic snap and stay closed until you open them. And these are gorgeous colours, with fantastic pigmentation.

YoungBlood Extreme Pigment Eye Pencil (€12) in Blackest Black is one of the nicest eye pencils I have used in a long time. Its not so soft that you can't get a fine point when you sharpen it and get a fantastically fine line, but its soft enough that it goes on without pulling or dragging and if you smudge it as soon as you apply it it smudges quite nicely and then sets until you decide to remove it.

While Blackest Black isn't the actually the blackest black I have ever worked with, it is a lovely formula, but you could probably find something just as good for a few less sheckles...

 I am not the biggest fan of bronzer, but only because I am so scared I get it wrong. YoungBlood Mineral Radiance (€37) in Sunshine looks incredibly scary to me in the pan, but while it is very, very pigmented, it brings a lovely subtle warmth to my face if used with a very light hand. This compact is going to last me my whole life, IF I can keep my daughters grubby mitts off of it.

YoungBlood Mineral Lipsticks (€19) are just gorgeous. And as with all the YoungBlood cosmetics pigmentation is fabulous. This is Kranberry, a pretty sheer pink if you pat it on lightly, super comfortable on the lips, and a gorgeous deep red that is wonderfully hydrating on my lips. The only thing is that this wears very quickly, and needs to be re-applied after 2hrs. I suspect that this is due to the highly moisturising properties, and the fact that I don't line my lips or seal the colour.

Now this is the product I was most dubious about. YoungBlood Mineral Eyeshadow Quad (€39). Sleek very lux looking... but I was still unsure about those colours.

YoungBlood Mineral Eyeshadow Quad in Moulin Rouge has all the warm colours. I get on well with browns and neutrals, but I am scared witless by oranges. The swatches are beautiful though, and even though Red Light looks very red in the pan, it was the least pigmented of the lot and I needed to do a little work to get a proper swatch.

But I needed have been afraid, because as you can see Red Light blended out to a lovely peach!

So with just a little trepidation I went ahead and came up with this look, using all of the colours in the quad. Revue in the inner corner and up to the browbone
Can-Can over the moving part of the Lid into the crease
Red Light on the outer corner
Cabaret as a liner
Blackest Black Eye pencil worked into the lashes.

What do you think? Not too shabby for a broad with Brown eyes, hey!

And and AND... YoungBlood Cosmetics have launched their Irish website so you can purchase directly from here: Young Blood Ireland Direct.
I urge you to check out the Minerals in the Mist if you want to treat yourself.. its the most gorgeous facial mist I have ever tried!

Samples provided for review, opinions my own

Friday, 25 July 2014

Surya Brasil Henna Powder: Messy, Fussy Bother

First off, I wish I had taken more pictures for this post. It got messy. And in case you don't read further than this, don't bother with the powder if you are a first time Henna user, get the Surya Brasil Henna Cream instead. I raved about it here and its my go-to-guy for hair colour and conditioning.

I must also give a massive shout out to Your Tonic: the best place (and only!) to order Surya Brasil products in Ireland. I ordered at about 3:45pm on a Wednesday and it arrived the next day at 11am, with a good few samples in the bag. Thumbs up for service!

I was going to take during and after photos of the process. But that would mean that you get to see how much of a mess this made of my bathroom. I am not a messy person, as I get older I find that "Prep is King" in avoiding muckyness and despite all my prep, when I was done with application:

The box costs about €8 excl postage and contains a packet of powder that you mix with warm water in a plastic bowl, with plastic utensils. That is where the easy part stops. Trying to get the paste distributed evenly through the hair is quite difficult. Even with a highlighting brush.

Surya Brasil Henna Cream is a little more expensive at €13.80, but for me it delivers a far superior result as far as colour, conditioning and ease of use goes, and with a hell of a lot less mess. Rinsing out the cream is way easier than trying to get the powder out.

The colour chart is accurate though, I am a light-ish brown with red untertones in real life and I wanted to deepen the colour a bit more without adding too much warmth or redness and this did the colour job perfectly. But oh the mess.

And yes. I am going to harp on about the mess because it took me ages to get the paste into my hair, never mind evenly distributed. And it took just as long to clean the bathroom after. Rinsing the knots and powder and bits out of my hair was pretty traumatic and (unlike the cream version) I had to go in with a massive dollop of conditioner after I thought I had rinsed my hair clean. Turns out I still had loads of powder against my scalp and I ended up using all the hot water in the geyser (I can just hear my husband moaning about the cost of heating the water!). I eventually stood over the bathtub and rinsed with the hand shower set to "freezing-cold-blast-this-stuff-off-my-head-already-please".

Yes it is all natural, contains no heavy metals, is not tested on animals and the powder is easy to store (although all that can be said for the cream apart from the fact that the cream contains a tiny % of synthetic ingredients to help it stay liquid). The smell won't make your eyes water or take your breath away but the mess is really just not worth the trouble. Get the ready mixed cream instead : revel in the fact that you don't have to put a conditioning treatment into your hair after colouring it and rejoice in the silky soft smoothness that the cream leaves you with.

I don't like doing negative reviews of a product, but this is more of a public service announcement.

Find your favourite Surya Brasil Henna Cream colour at Your Tonic

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