Friday, 29 August 2014

Friday Favourites #1

Friday Favourites is another weekly feature I'm introducing to the blog as of today.
It's basically a round up of things I've really been loving that week.
I'm going to include categories like beauty, food, clothes, music and whatever else I've been enjoying.

Here's a few things I've been obsessing over this week:

Inecto Pure Coconut Leave In Conditioner 
I cut my hair last week and I've been using this stuff to make my hair look and feel amazing. I'll have a full post on this next week!

Slipper Socks (is that even what they're called?)
With the weather changing so quickly, I've found myself needing to wrap up a lot at night. These little guys are so warm and comfy just like slippers but without the hard sole.

Hot Chocolate 
Another cold weather essential. This has been great for warming me up in the evenings and this one's made on boiling water so I don't have to worry about having extra dairy that could flare up my eczema and ruin my life again!

Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour

I cannot stop listening to this album.
Music from people like Regina Spektor, Sara Bareilles and Agnes Obel kind of sum up my taste in music and Sam Smith fits comfortably in the middle somewhere. Track 5 - I'm Not the Only One is my current obsession. I also love the video to this track so I'll leave it below.

Let me know what things you've been loving lately and if you like this kind of post! :)
Thanks for reading 

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Thursday, 28 August 2014

Lush: Blackberry - Best Bath Bomb Ever

A few months ago, on one of my many visits to Lush in Dublin, my friend picked up a large, plain looking, lilac bath bomb. She said "smell this." I did, we looked at each other, had a little moment and then popped them straight in our baskets.

You know those scents that take you back and all you can describe them as, is "a smell from my childhood"? This is one of them.
It definitely has a smell of blackberry but not enough for someone to sniff it with their eyes closed and say "Oh that smells like blackberries!" What I'm trying to say is that it smells very good and you should go find one and sniff it. 

It's quite big as far as bath bombs go. It's around the same size as Big Blue and huge in comparison to something like Butterball.
My hand is roughly the same size as my 9 year old brother's so I'm not giving you much to go on but I can assure you, it's pretty big.

As with most Lush bath products, it's packed with essential oils. 
Blackberry contains Bergamot and Frankincense. The Lush website says Bergamot is used in aromatherapy to relieve anxiety and depression. Being a long time sufferer of both of these, I find this bath bomb incredibly relaxing and soothing. 

It's quite a long fizzer, taking about 4-5minutes to fully disolve. 
Once it finishes fizzing and you give the bath water a mix around, it turns the most amazing deep purple colour. 

I forgot to get a picture of the water mixed up but you get the idea.

You'll also find a little piece of paper floating in your bath that says "BOOM BOOM". Don't ask me what significance this has to anything but it's a cute touch. You can see the paper popping out in the picture below.

After having a bath with this, your skin is left feeling silky smooth.

My only issue is that it can stain the bath so the second the bath is empty, get scrubbing! Don't let any of the residue dry or you will not get it off. 

Threat of staining aside, this is officially my all time favourite bath bomb and I have two on standby with the intention of buying quite a few more!!

If you're looking to really relax and have a little time with your inner self, you should pick one of these up and run yourself a big ol' bath.

Thanks for reading! :) 

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Wednesday, 27 August 2014

NOTD - Barry M Bikini

If you checked out my Posting Schedule, you'll know from today on, every Wednesday will be a NOTD or Nail of the Day post.
For my first NOTD post, I decided on a plain manicure using a Barry M polish in the shade Bikini. 

This is a limited edition colour that I picked up in my Belfast Haul. If you can find it in your local Boots then definitely get it!
This polish reminds me so much of Barry M Blueberry because sometimes it looks blue, other times it looks lilac yet somehow it has an overall blue tone. 
This is a Nail Paint so it doesn't have the same intense shine as a Barry M Gelly but it still gives a nice sheen.
It requires two coats most of the time but for some reason the free edges of my nails are looking very white at the moment so I did need three coats on a couple of nails in the picture above.

If you aren't familiar with Barry M polishes, the brushes are quite thin but dense and hold a lot of polish. 

As usual, I used Barry M's Basecoat, Topcoat and Nail Hardener before and after applying my polish.

If you have any nail polish brands or colours you think I should try for an upcoming NOTD do let me know in the comments! (like I need more nail polish?!)

Thanks so much for reading, see you tomorrow! :) 

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

NYX Haul

As I'm sure you're all aware, NYX recently launched in Ireland.
Living in Wexford, I figured I'd never get to visit a stand in my own town. However, Sam McCauley's came to the rescue and my faith that we may one day get Wet 'n Wild and Physicians Formula, has been restored.

To my surprise, all makeup was Buy One, Get One Half Price. I thought I came out with 6 items but it turns out I only got 5. I must have put the Pinched blusher down and forgotten to pick it back up. :(

I picked two LipButters in the shades Vanilla Cream Pie and Creme Brulee.
I love both of these and even though I'm not a lipgloss kinda gal, I'll be getting many more! Between the smell and the texture and how they seem to adsorb into your lips, I am hooked!    

I love matte lipsticks so I had to pick up a couple. I got the shades Merlot - a dark red similar to Rimmel's Kate Moss 207 and Sweet Pink - a shocking pink shade. I'm going to have a full review on these soon but for now, here's some swatches.

The last thing I got was a Jumbo Eye Pencil in the shade Iced Mocha. This is a gorgeous shimmery brown shade. It feels incredibly creamy to apply and easy to blend out. I really want to see how well this lasts and then hopefully get a few more shades!

I will certainly be hitting up the NYX stand in weeks to come until I own at least every LipButter.

Thank so much for reading! :) 
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Monday, 25 August 2014

Blogger of the Week

This week's Blogger of the Week is actually the very first friend I made through blogging. Not sure if she even knew that fact but she does now haha.

Blogger of the Week:

Kel runs a blog full of beauty, fashion and life posts. You'll find plenty of reviews, recommendations, hauls and life updates. She is incredibly sweet and so welcoming and kind.
The reason I've picked her is that she's just started a YouTube channel and I'd love you all to head over and show her some love. As you can imagine, putting your first video up must be incredibly nerve wracking and I thing she did amazingly!
If you'd like to find out where else you can find and follow her, all her links are below!


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Sunday, 24 August 2014

Fanny Crown Discount Code and Outfit Post

Today's post has a little added bonus for you guys! Fanny Crown, a website that sells every kind of dress imaginable, from cocktail dresses to full length gowns, have given me a 15% discount code to share with you all. The code is NICHOLLEB14 which is valid until October 6th 2014 so make sure to pop to their website and put that code to good use! 

I found one dress in particular that really caught my eye. If you know me in real life, you'll know 85% of my wardrobe is black. I make no exceptions when picking a party dress so when I saw the Charming Floral Lace Black Cocktail Dress, I began imagining how, when and what I would wear this dress for.
The top half is black with silver lace flower and vine embellishment. The lower half is a double layer of grey on black chiffon. The top and bottom are separated by a black band which is a great waist definer. A-Line dresses are one of my favourite styles of dress as they suit most body types. 

What I love about this dress is the 3/4 length sleeves. This means there's no fussing trying to find a cardigan to match the dress. 
The high neckline and embellishment on the top half of the dress also means there's no need for a necklace.
I would probably keep my earrings simple too with just small sparkly studs.
The dress has a lot going on so I think it's important to keep accessories simple and to a minimum. I picked a small clutch bag from Asos to go with the outfit. 
Being nearly 6ft tall means I never wear high heels, much like the girl in the picture, I would wear a very tiny black heel or just flat pumps. I found a very cute pair of plain black pointed pumps from Topshop that I think would work perfectly for me.

As for makeup and hair, I'd most likely go for a subtle smokey eye with a nude lip and leave my hair down and straight. 
To create the makeup look, I'd pick a matte base and use a setting powder. I'd use Urban Decay's new Naked2 Basics eyeshadow pallet to create the eye look and finish with my beloved Maybelline The Falsies. On my lips, I'd wear MAC's Patisserie for a pinky nude effect.
Of course I don't have the new Naked Basics (yet) but we'll just pretend for the sake of this post!

I would keep my nails simple too with either Barry M Gelly in the shade Almond or a classic Barry M Nail Paint in the shade Black.

I'd love to know what kind of dress you would pick and what you would wear it with so let me know! :)

If you decide to purchase anything with the discount code, let me know. I'd love to be nosy and find out what you picked.

Thanks for stopping by, I'll see you guys 5 days a week from tomorrow on.
You can find my new posting schedule here.

Thanks for reading! 

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Saturday, 23 August 2014

Posting Schedule Update

I've recently been overwhelmed with the positive feedback I'm getting on my blog and all the opportunities arising from it. I love blogging so much and I want to take it a little more seriously.
From Monday on, I'm going to be posting 5 days a week. That's Monday to Friday.
I'm writing this post to give you guys an idea of my posting schedule and what posts you can expect to see on certain days.

Blogger of the Week - You all seem to love my Blogger of the Week feature so I'm going to continue it in it's new slot of Monday mornings.

Beauty Post - This could be anything from a review to a haul to a What's on my Face to a new Lush bath bomb I've been obsessing over. You can basically expect anything Beauty related.

NOTD - You all know how much I adore nail polish and nail art so I've decided that Wednesday will be my Nail of the Day, day. This could be anything from a plain manicure with a favourite polish to a nail art tutorial. I will show you the product(s) used and how I got on with them.

Beauty Post - Just like Tuesday, Thursday will be a post for anything beauty related.

Weekly Favourites - This is something I've never done before but each Friday I'll compile a list of things I've been loving that week. That could be beauty, food, music, places etc. and tell you why I've been enjoying them!

I hope you'll all enjoy the new schedule and I look forward to blogging my butt off for you all! :) 

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Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Budget Buy #4: NYC Big Bold Curl Mascara

As with the majority of my purchases-come-posts, there's a long winded story behind why I decided to actually buy this product. Let's get into it!
Yesterday I was headed to Bray for a day out with my grandma and brother. We rang a taxi to bring us to the train station only to be told it would be 5 minutes later than we asked. What do you know, the taxi arrives nearly 10 minutes early and I have all my makeup done except mascara. I reach down to pick up my only once used, brand new tube of Maybelline The Falsies and I can't find it. The three of us tear the place apart trying to find it with no luck. I ended up scraping the last out of an old mascara and racing out the door.
When we got to Dublin, I was already feeling really anxious and I felt so self conscious that I went straight to Penneys to get a a mascara from the Essence stand. In the end I decided on an NYC mascara which brings me to the actual post!

I chose the NYC Big Bold Curl Mascara because of the spoon shaped wand which reminded me of my beloved The Falsies. It set me back a whopping €3.49!

The wand makes it so easy to apply and layer. The formula isn't runny nor is it thick or gloopy. For me, it's the perfect consistency for a mascara.

The wand is absolutely huge, you can see it in comparison to my baby finger nail above.

I wore this all day in Dublin and when I got home around 9pm (thank you late train), it hadn't smudged, run down under my eyes or flaked off onto my face.
I've also worn it all day today without any issues.

Thumbs down for the lasting power of Rimmel Scandaleyes Shadow Paint

It curls, thickens, separates and lengthens my lashes. 
I love the look of false lashes and this mascara really helps me to achieve that look.

Until I can find my Houdini mascara, I'll continue using this. 

If you're looking for a replacement mascara and you're on a budget I definitely recommend giving the NYC Big Bold Curl Mascara a shot. If you don't like it, it won't break the bank and you never know, it might become a new drugstore favourite of yours! 

Let me know if you have any great bargain mascaras in your stash! :)

Thank so much for reading! ♥ 
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Monday, 18 August 2014

Blogger of the Week

Before I announce this week's Blogger of the Week, I just wanted to let you all know that I've moved the feature to Monday's as opposed to Friday's. It just makes things a lot easier on me and probably makes a bit more sense.

Without further ado (what an unsatisfying word to type), this week's Blogger of the Week is:

Chloe from Nurse Fancy Pants

As you can probably guess by her blog name, Chloe is a nurse, she's also slightly beauty obsessed.
NFP is a blog full of beauty and lifestyle posts with a lot of great book reviews in between.
She always has beautiful images and in depth, honest reviews. You can rest assured that if she says something is great, it usually is.
I always like to pick bloggers that write posts as if they're chatting to you and I always feel that way with Chloe's posts.
I'll leave all her links below, I promise you won't regret following her!

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Friday, 15 August 2014

Tresemmé 7 Day Keratin Smooth System Review

By now, I'm sure you're all aware of how much I hate writing negative reviews but you'll also know that I'm not afraid to tell you if a product is absolute poop. This is one of those negative reviews and a slight rant so don't say I didn't warn you...

Tresemmé is a brand that prides itself on giving you salon quality products and results from home. I've used a few of their shampoos and conditioners in the past and thought they were pretty good. I'm also a big fan of their hairsprays. 
I'm always on the hunt for smoothing, straightening and frizz reducing products. 
When I heard about Tresemmé's new shampoo, conditioner and heat activated treatment system infused with keratin, I thought this could be the one. I've never been so wrong. 

I mentioned this in my Belfast Haul but the first time I tried this, it was during an insane heatwave that left the whole of Ireland sweating out their body weight daily. I put the failed results down to that and decided to try it out again properly for a couple of weeks once I got home. 
I used the shampoo and conditioner for 3 washes and had to stop as my scalp was constantly itching and burning.

The shampoo contains lower sulfates than the "leading Tresemmé shampoo".
When I used it, it certainly didn't lather as much as most shampoos so I assume they cut back on the SLS. The first time I used it, it left my hair feeling very clean but I did feel it left my ends quite stripped - no I don't shampoo my ends, it was the product that ran down from my scalp that made contact with them.

I was a little worried by how dry my ends felt so I applied the conditioner and let it sit for about 3 minutes. It has a thick and creamy consistency so I was a little shocked to find it didn't leave my hair feeling all that conditioned.

Now, they ask you to use the shampoo and conditioner for your next 4 washes to maintain the smoothness. I have to admit, my hair was still very wavy but it was much more tame. 

My main issue lies with this Heat Activated Treatment. I've tried it out twice and I refuse to try it again. 

The instructions say to apply 8-10 pumps of product to the lengths of your (medium length) wet hair. This leaves your hair very sticky but it disappears after straightening.

I applied 10 pumps the first time as I have long, thick hair and it was way too much. The next time, I used 8 and even though my hair felt incredibly full of product, it was an improvement. 

You then have to blow dry your hair. I never blow dry because I hate using unnecessary heat on my hair but I did it anyway. My hair came out like a bush and felt like it had been covered in PVA glue. 

The next step is to straighten. They say to go over each section 3-5 times to activate the Thermal Technology. The straightening process took the stickiness out of my hair but left the plates of my GHD destroyed. Half way through, my hair and straightener started steaming so hard, it smelt like something was on fire and I genuinely worried that the smoke alarms would go off. I had to turn it off and wait for it to cool down then switch it back on before moving on. 

I asked my sister to try the full system out too. After shampooing and conditioning, she applied 5 pumps to short, shoulder length hair. It was far too much, it left her hair sticky and stiff. Even after I dried and straightened it, her hair was sticky and felt full of product. She was far from impressed. 

There's no heat protection in this so I had to add even more product to my hair before drying and straightening.

My hair usually holds a straightening overnight so I did this before bed each time.
I woke up with wavy, straw like hair. 

I get better results from just using a heat protection spray, my straightner and a finishing oil.

My hair was so healthy and strong looking before this. At the moment, my ends have lost condition and look like straw. I put it down to using these as I never usually blow dry or use conditioners with parabens or sulfates. I'm genuinely considering getting my hair trimmed because of the state of it.

To top it all off, my GHD broke the day after using this for the second time. I'm not saying all the gunk that ended up nearly setting it on fire caused it, but it's quite the coincidence. 
To rub salt in the wound, Superdrug are selling the shampoo, conditioner and treatment for half price. ie: less than €4 as opposed to almost €8 each. So I didn't have to waste the equivalent of €25 on them if I'd waited to buy them at home.

This experience has put me off trying any more Tresemmé products. I'd rather stick to what I know and love than risk ruining my hair for the sake of a possible reduction in frizz. 

If you've tried these, let me know what you thought because every review I've seen is positive. I followed the instructions to a T and I've been straightening my hair since I was 12 so I know I did that part correctly.

My sister told me not to be making up excuses for a crappy product and she's right, this is a complete waste of money through no fault of my own.

Thanks for reading, I'll see you soon with a more positive post! 

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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Remover for Hands & Feet

If you've never heard of Bourjois' Magic Nail Polish Remover, it's basically a pot of nail polish remover that contains a large sponge. You pop your finger in and rub your nail against the sponge for a couple of seconds, pop your finger out and your polish is off.

Bourjois recently launched a new version of their Magic Nail Polish Remover that can be used to remove polish from your toenails. To make this possible, they basically stuck a coarse sponge to the removable lid that you can rub your toenail polish off with.

I don't make it sound too impressing, do I?
Don't let my description put you off, it's actually a great addition to an already great product.

This saves so much time and effort when taking off nail polish as there's no fussing with cotton wool.

One thing that I really love about this is Red Fruit & Vanilla Fragrance which leaves such a lovely fruity scent on your nails. I like to walk around telling people to smell my finger after using this.
It also contains sweet Almond Oil (regular readers will know this pleases me greatly) which helps to keep the nails moisturised.

This is another product I picked up in my Belfast Haul so I paid around £4.99 for it in Boots.
I can't seem to find this on Boots' website but I know the original version costs €6.99.

Again, sorry for the photo quality but I'll  be reunited with my camera on Monday.

Thanks so much for reading! :)
Let me know if you've tried out either of the Bourjois Magic Nail Polish Removers and if you found them as handy (excuse the pun) as I do.

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Friday, 8 August 2014

Blogger of the Week

This week's blogger of the week is one of my favourite bloggers and bestest Snapchat buddy....

Kathleen from Squidgy Moments

Squidgy Moments is an award winning blog full of life updates, beauty, fashion and travel posts.
Kathleen is hilarious and her personality really comes through on her blog. I always find myself smiling or frowning along with her depending on what the post is about.
I'd really appreciate if you could head over and follow her, you won't be disappointed!

You can find all her links below so once you've followed her blog, you can follow her everywhere else too!

Thanks for stopping by :) 
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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

Over the past few months, I've found myself having to wear makeup from 9am to 9pm for various occasions. You all know how much I love setting powders but after reapplying for the fifth time that day, things can get a little cakey and furry looking.
I decided it was time to take action and purchased the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. 

I picked up the travel size bottle and I will definitely be buying the full size very soon. 

This is basically a fine spray that you can mist on your face before, during and after makeup application. 
When you first spray it on, your face looks quite wet but it dries within a couple of seconds leaving no stickiness and feeling completely weightless on your skin. 

They suggest spraying this in an "X" and then a "T" movement across your face. Personally, I just kind of mist it on the general face area 4 times and then once on my nose and I'm good to go.

I have to give this a full 5 out of 5 as every time I've used this, it's managed to keep my makeup on all day.
Between heat and humidity, intense shopping trips and full days of travel I've managed to go without topping up my powder or concealer. 
When I sweat, I sweat from the face which means my makeup melts straight off. This is meant to have "temperature control technology" which I assume means it keeps your face cool. All I know is I haven't once sweated my makeup off or gone bright red from the heat after using this.
This is also oil and paraben free so I don't have to worry about it flaring up my eczema. 

If you find your makeup disappearing or melting off during the day then I highly recommend giving this a try. 

I purchased it in Debenhams for £9 when I was in Belfast, the full size is £20. 
For those of us in the Euro zone, the travel size retails at €12 and the full size at €29, you can find them both instore or online at Debenhams

Apologies for the photo quality on the next few posts as I've had to use my iPhone.
Thanks so much for reading :)
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Friday, 1 August 2014

Review: The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter

The Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter from The Body Shop is the first solid balm cleanser I've ever tried.
All I can say is I am now a convert and can see myself repurchasing this over and over again. 

First up, I have to mention how good this smells. When I think of camomile, I think of the gag enducing smell and taste of camomile tea. This smells fresh, sweet and floral. I'm awful at describing smells but if this was a perfume, it would be the perfect kind of scent for me. 

The word "butter" in the name is slightly misleading as this is a solid product. I knew this before purchasing but I thought I'd throw it out there in case you were expecting a product similar to The Body Shop's famous Body Butters. The consistency is much like that of coconut oil but slightly richer. 

To use this, you just use your finger to warm up the product a little, scoop it out and begin rubbing it onto dry skin.  
I have very sensitive eyes but I have no problems taking my eye makeup off with this. Just take a tiny amount and gently rub it into your eyelashes. You can feel it dissolving your mascara instantly. 

To remove, just use warm water and a muslin cloth or facecloth to gently wipe off the makeup.
It leaves your skin feeling so soft and clean.

This is the fastest method of makeup removal I've ever tried, taking only a couple of minutes to massage in and wash off. 

Every time I put on makeup, I honestly look forward to taking it off because I feel like I'm giving myself a little facial with this! 

If you're looking to try out a solid cleansing balm then I 100% recommend The  Body Shop's Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter.

This retails for €14.95 or £12 instore or online.

What do you use to remove your makeup? Let me know! :)

Thanks so much for reading ♥ 

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