Friday, 27 February 2015

Make-Up Removal and Night Time Skincare

Hi Ladies!!

Make-up removal is so important to maintaining healthy skin. Today I am going to talk you through my steps for removing any and all traces of make-up from your face. 

Water Wipes
Image: Water Wipes

To take off the bulk of my make-up, from my face - not my eyes - I use a Water Wipe. This removes the bulk of the product, from my cheeks, nose, forehead and chin. Basically I wipe over my whole face and avoid the eyes or the eye contour area. 

Nivea Double Effect Eye Make-Up Remover

On two large oval cotton pads, I take some bi-phase eye makeup remover and apply them to my eyes. I hold them over my eyes for 10-15 seconds, and then gently wipe outwards. Again, this removes the bulk of the product. Then I take one more cotton pad and another squirt of the remover to wipe downward and then around to remove any traces of mascara and eyeliner. 

Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm

When I've stripped off my make-up, I then take a small dab of this cleansing balm, which I rub between my fingers and then massage onto my face to lift any left over make-up. I take the muslin cloth that came with it, wet it with warm water and use it to gently rub over my face in small circles, rinse and pat my face dry. 

Argan Oil Night Repair Serum 

Once my face is squeaky clean, I take a few drops of this serum, warm it between my fingers and pat this onto the skin. This serum has Argan Oil extract, and it leaves my skin feeling plump and soft the next morning. 

Tesco Pro Radiance Night Cream

Image: Pretty Wonderful Blog
Immediately following the serum, I apply the Tesco Pro Radiance Night Cream. This has a rich but not greasy texture and is absorbed into my skin by morning. A real winner, in my book. 

So there you have it, my make-up removal and night time skincare routine. I know it's not perfect, but it works for me and is subject to alteration from time to time! 

Are there any products you would recommend??
Drop me a comment down below if you have!


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Things They Don't Tell You About: Growing Up

If you follow me on Twitter, you will probably have seen me tweeting about how I feel like a complete sham adult. I feel like a teenager trapped in the body of someone who is technically "an adult female". At the age of 22, I feel like a child with a drinking permit. As such, I feel qualified to tell you a thing or two about growing up.

Image: MemeCentre

If You Don't Know What You're Doing, You're Doing It Right

As a teenager, while everyone around me was making plans for college and careers, I had no idea what I was doing. I had no clue where my life was headed. I was in a bad place, the future had no part in my life at the time. I guess you could say I was rudderless. 5 years later and I've got a job, a life and a positive mental attitude, and still no idea what I'm doing with my life. But do you know what? I don't think anyone does!! 

Be Who You Are, Regardless

When I was in school, I was a bit of a loser. I was the weird kid, the emo girl, I drew and wrote. I briefly had blonde highlights. I spent lunches in the library, free classes in the Art Room, skipped Economics to hang out with the Woodwork teacher. I was not exactly popular, but for the most part I was happy. Looking back on my school life, while I can identify the negative themes that ran through, I'm doubt I would change a thing! I think it's fair to say I found my groove in life. You will too. Don't worry. 

Looking Back At Bad Pictures Will Always Make You Smile

When I was 17 I had black hair, wore black clothes, listened to depressive rock ballads and identified as "Emo". The pictures are horrific but they always make me laugh. If you've been into neon, monochrome, drawn on brows, shiny tights, jelly shoes, brown lipstick or whatever, you will laugh at the pictures, because they came from good times, regardless!! It's okay, we all have awful pictures to look back and cringe at!! 

It's Okay To Not Want To Be A Grown Up

I don't want to be a grown up... I never did. I have a full time job and a life but I also have a substantial collection of teddies and an obsession with cake. I don't know how to dress like a grown up, nor do I know how to behave "in a calm and professional manner". I feel like adulthood was forced on me. It's not fair!!!! 

Do you like being a grown up?
Are you more of a child with a drinking license? 

Monday, 23 February 2015

#CorkBlogMeet15 - The Recap

At 11.30, on Saturday February 21st, 21 bloggers (mostly from the greater Munster area) descended on Debenhams for a day of product demos, talks and networking, painstakingly organized by Zoe (sorry girl, no umlauts on this keyboard, I'm afraid!!). I am blessed and grateful to have been able to make the trip from Meath to my favourite city, to spend the day with gorgeous ladies doing something that makes me so happy. 

First up we were guided into a private room and plied with the most incredible croissants, danishes and a selection of drinks ranging from cranberry juice to sparkling wine. Each of our seats had 3 goodie bags upon them and one below. I can tell you, I was absolutely taken aback by how special we were made feel.

The head of P&G Fragrances gave a talk about the latest releases and passed around scented cards and spoke about each new release in detail. Personally, I haven't stopped lusting after Dolce by Dolce and Gabanna for myself, and Gucci Guilty for men as a treat for Chris. They are seductive and utterly more-ish.

Sharon, one of 3 of Debenhams personal shoppers gave a talk about the service offered and talked us through the upcoming trends for the coming season.

Once the talks were wrapped up, there were some spot prizes drawn out and then we were split into groups of seven to head onto the store floor and receive demos by Clarins, Urban Decay and Elizabeth Arden.


At the Clarins counter we were talked through some of their most popular products, the stand out for myself being the Body Lift Cellulite Control, which when applied twice daily after exfoliation lifts and firms areas of "sponginess" on the body. As Clarins most popular product, you can guarantee that this stuff does what it claims!!

Clarins had organized to gift us with little treats, but they were sent to the Dublin counter and so are being sent to us at home in the coming weeks. How lovely is that??

Urban Decay:

Kate and Carolyn from Urban Decay gave talks on the new Naked Skin Concealer and Naked Skin Powder Foundation respecively. Naked Skin Concealer comes in 8 shades, which is incredible. Weightless, build-able, light diffusing and capable of covering tattoos, I was really impressed by it. The Powder Foundation would not be for me, personally but it definitely has its merits.

The stand out products at Urban Decay for me where the Sheer Revolution Lipsticks, which do it for me in every respect. They boast Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Aloe Vera among the ingredients and have the most incredible high gloss finish and come in under MAC in price at 19 euro.

Again, Urban Decay spoiled us with shadows and liners as little treats. My liner was a dark blue black called Minx and the shadow is a matte warm brown called Secret Service. Both very user friendly for my colouring. 

Elizabeth Arden

At the Elizabeth Arden counter, the mantra is "Matte Is Back" and thus all the products on demo came with a matte finish, both foundation and lipstick. Rosin talked us through the Match MAker Service, where in a similar vein to No.7, they match a foundation to the tone on your skin using a nifty little light detection gadget. I got Alabaster, and I would be lying if I said I was not surprised. However, Elizabeth Arden do matte differently to others, offering a "satin matte", which is matte but radiant and gorgeous, not dull and cakey like competitors.

Elizabeth Arden gifted us with foundation samples matched to our skin which was a lovely touch.

After the In-Store demos, we all strolled back to our private room to collect our bags and have a raffle. I was lucky enough to be pulled out for 3rd prize and I claimed an Elizabeth Arden hamper. Delighted didn't cover it!! Zoe won a Clarins hamper as second prize and the stunning Aisling of Pale Girl walked away with the giant first prize hamper which was so big she couldn't take it home immediately.

Next, it was on to the Body Shop for a make-up demo and more goodies!! Some of the ladies went for threading as a treat, however I abstained. Nobody but Jenny B back home is allowed near my brows!! We spent almost an hour being talked through make-up and skincare. I picked up a Strawberry Hand Cream that smelled good enough to eat!! Nom nom nom!! Our treats contained new shadows from the spring line and either a lipstick or a nail colour; We were spoiled!!!

Finally, we migrated to SUAS on South Main St for drinks, more demos and banter. Zoe put together the most incredible goodie-bags laden with Sleek, Water-Wipes, Dream Dots, NYC, Physicians Formula and so much more!! At this point I was overwhelmed by the generosity of all these brands so I headed to the bar for a cocktail where I knocked great laughs out of the bartender over our horrific ID pictures. 

Inglot gave a demo for a beautiful but simple spring smokey eye look with a nude lip. Mei Ling (Darling Buds of Mei) sat as the model and was even more gorgeous, if thats even possible, when she walked away!

MeMeMe gave a demo and the dote that is Melissa modelled for it. When she walked away, the was a glowing goddess, which is the aesthetic MeMeMe are all about!

Sadly, before IsaDora gave their demo, I had to run to meet my friend. However the good folks of IsaDora got in touch to say they would send me my allocated goodie bag which was really going above and beyond the call of duty and I cant say "Thank You" enough!!

All in all it was a day of incredible fun and I think I can speak for every one of us when I thank Zoe for her incredible organization and effort. It was so so enjoyable and I'm grateful to have been a part of it! We all had a stellar day.

I also want to take a second to thank Debanhams for having us, Clarins, Urban Decay and Elizabeth Arden for talking us through some of the gorgeous products on offer and spoiling us when they didnt have to. The Body Shop was amazing, they accommodated us so graciously and SUAS really went above and beyond giving us a private area. Inglot, and MeMeMe also showed incredible generosity and gave wonderful presentations. 

Were you at the #CorkBlogMeet15?? 
Send me your links, ladies!!


Sunday, 22 February 2015

#CorkBlogMeet15 FOTD

Yesterday, I was one of 20 bloggers to attend the #CorkBlogMeet15 hosted by the absolutely gorgeous Zoe Holman of Zoe With Umlauts. Because it was set to be an amazing day, I knew I was going to have to make a big effort with my make-up, so I'm going to recount all of my products for you! 

As always, I cleansed with Nivea Daily Essentials 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner, and then applied the Nivea Q10 Plus Serum Pearls before moisturising with Nivea Q10 Plus Energizing Day Cream. While that set I drank a cup of tea and laid out my war-paint, as it were!! 

First, I primed with W7 Prime Magic and gave it a moment to set in before I applied my beloved (and sadly almost empty) Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation in Shell with my BCC F20 brush. Can you say "Holy grail combo"?! Love it!!! For concealer I went in with a touch of Maybelline FIT ME Concealer in the lightest shade under my eyes, around my nose and on my chin and dabbed it in with my ring finger. Then, I lightly contoured my cheeks with the warm bronzer shade of my Look Beauty Cheeky Trio and my BCC Flat Contour F30.  To set my make-up I went in with my Rimmel Lasting Perfection 25 Hour Powder and my RT Powder Brush

Time for them brows, girl! For my brow routine now I keep it really simple, by brushing them with a spoolie, and then lightly going through them with the Rimmel Brow Gel in Medium. That's it!!

Next it's time for the eyes. I primed with Urban Decay Primer Potion and used the Naked 2 to create my eye look. First I swept Tease through the crease for a transition shade. Then, I took Half Baked all over the lid, and blended Snakebite into the outer V. To add definition I very lightly took a touch of Busted through the outer V and into the crease. For my lower lash-line, I took Half Baked from the inner corner to halfway and then blended Snakebite from the middle outwards. I haven't been into liner really lately so I just tight-lined with a black pencil liner and added a few healthy sweeps of W7 Absolute Lashes and Maybelline The Rocket to complete the eye look. 

To finish my look I took my blush from my Look Beauty Cheeky Trio and swept it over my cheeks lightly, and then used the highlighter to highlight my cheekbones, brow bone and lightly down my nose. I applied MAC Faux for a neutral lip to balance out my bold eye look and that completed the whole look!! 

What do you think of my look??
Drop me a comment!!


Friday, 20 February 2015

The Soundtrack to My Life!

So I saw this tag on my gorgeous friend Kayliegh's blog a few weeks back and I'm having awful writers block at the moment, so I'm gonna pretend I was tagged and give this a lash. Be prepared...

Song You Listen To When You're Happy: 
When I'm happy I love to listen to really stonkinly good rock anthems. I want to boost my good mood even further, so I go for something like this: The Darkness; Everybody Have A Good Time

Song You Listen to When You're Sad:

James Blunt is a number one pick for Sad Amy. especially Same Mistake. 

Song You Want Played At Your Wedding: 

Call me an old romantic, but I want to have the first song Chris ever dedicated to me played at my wedding which was Lullaby by The Spill Canvas 

Song You Dance Around The House To: 

You guys know I'm a Zumba nut, so I've chosen a bit of a strange one for this. I cannot stop myself dancing around my house to Major Lazer, Watch Out For This, it just compels me to crack out my best Zumba moves! 

Song You Play in Headphones When Out And About:

Don't judge me for this, but I've an obsession with rappers that bring Miley Cyrus in on projects. She's woeful these days, but when she collaborates with the likes of Will.I.Am, she's untouched. Here's "Feeling Myself"

Song You Listen To When You're Angry:

This song, Broken Crown by Mumford and Sons is my ultimate angry running song. When I need peace on the road, this is what I pick!

Song that Makes You Lose Your Shit At A Party

I'mmmmm sooooo fancaaaaaayyyyy!!!!! If this comes on when I'm out, you best beieve I'm going to belt this out at top volume!! 

Last Song You Listened To

What an absolute TUNE!!! I'm All About It, "it" being this song by Hoodie Allen!! 

Song You Want To See Live: 

Another pick from The Darkness... Yes, I know, they have been a favourite of mine for over a decade, sue me!! I've never seen the Darkness live, but soon, on March 7th no less, I'll be seeing them in The Spirit Store Dundalk for the first time ever, in a venue for 100 people. Eeeek!!! If they play this, I will cry; With A Woman. 

Your Karaoke Song?

Contrary to the advice circulated by the Spice Girls, if you Wannabe my lover, kindly do NOT get with my friends!! 

Song You Work Out To: 

This is a pure, unadulterated LEG DAY tune! Whether it's a run, or its a few rounds of the leg press. here you have: Jason Derulo's Wiggle 

Song With Most Memories Attached: 

How many summer shoots were spent making Safety Dance references, I wonder?? Men Without Hats, what a great, under-appreciated band!!

Song That Makes You Cry: 

If I'm upset, I've an awful habit of worsening the situation with music. Usually Iris bt The Goo Goo Dolls gets me pretty messed up. 

Guilty Pleasure Song

My gorgeous friend Kerrie and I have a bit of an in-joke surrounding this song, and as such when I hear it I always text her or Facebook message her with the lyrics!! Dont You Want Me by The Human League

Favourite Song From a Musical

If you haven't got this movie in your top five, we cant be friends anymore... Professional Pirate from Muppets Treasure Island 

Song By An Irish Artist

Ooooh Hozier, be still my beating heart!!! Angel of Small Death In The Codeine Scene, what a cracker of a tune!!! 

Song Played on An Instrument

You Can Call Me Al, covered by any jazz group, Oh my god. Perfection. 

Song You Hate

I fucking despise The Script, this is just one song by them that I despise!!! 

Favourite Song Of All Time 

Venus Doom by HIM. This song is the title track off the album of the same name, which I have tattooed on my left leg. I've linked the full album for you, because it's a whole story in musical form.

Maybe you've gotten to know me better, I don't know. hopefully some of this music explains my very strange personality better, at least!! 

I TAG YOU!!!!! 


Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Things They Dont Tell You About... Dieting

Dieting. Probably the number one topic on all our minds in the new year is losing that Christmas weight. Now, dieting is all very well and good, but there are plenty of things you haven't been told about the process...

Image: Google Images

If it really worked, you'd only have to diet once. 

Dieting is a great thing. Go on a healthy eating kick, lose the sugary crap and eradicate the fizzies, hurrah for you and your newly build temple to good health. However, if it really worked like we all think its supposed to, why do we spend so much of our lives trying to shift that last five pounds, when when we've it shifted, going back to our old ways. Diets may work, but they don't work like you think they do, and they certainly don't work for a long period of time.

Dieting might be a great theory, but the practice will suck. 

Sorry to be a Moaning Myrtle here everybody, but diets are only good on paper. I have read up on countless diets over the years, trying to lose my belly fat, and what looks great on paper winds up in an Eddie Rockets binge three weeks in. Find the balance that works for you, stick to that and don't bother with the Atkins or the GI. You'll hate every second of deprivation, so don't even try it. Cutting out something entirely is a recipe for disaster... if you want to get rid of something, wean yourself off it.

Sensible choices win out every time. 

I'd love to have a lean, amazing body like all the Hollywood A-List celebrities do, but do you know how hard they work on their diets? Some of these people don't even do it themselves, they have people to cook for them, to keep them on their diet plans!! How are you meant to measure up to that?? You're not. Make smart choices, instead. For me, that's no added sugar, no added salt, very little bread, brown alternatives where I can for rice and pasta, padding out meals with vegetables, and keeping my fitness up. For you, that might be as little as ten squats in the morning while the kettle boils, green tea and lemon instead of Lyons on weekdays, and a Caesar Salad instead of a panini at lunch. Little, buildable choices make for a much more sustainable lifestyle.

You are allowed to slip. 

Did you know you're allowed to fall off the wagon?? Even as I type this I've fallen off the wagon but every day is a new chance so make it count. Every morning I used to have the strongest, sweetest cup of Lyons gold blend you can imagine, with milk in it. Now I have herbal tea, no milk, no sugar, and that in itself has made me feel so much better. But I do enjoy Mint Crisp Dairy Milk. I love Manhattan Popcorn, and I won't ever turn down Club Orange. Slipping is proof you are human, and its okay. If you eat clean 3 meals and 3 snacks per day, 7 days a week and one day you just crave a Turkish Delight? Have the Turkish and enjoy it, because guess what? It's okay!!!

If you have any suggestions for a TTDTYA post, please leave me a comment!! 

Monday, 16 February 2015

Nivea Q10 Plus Anti-Wrinkle Skincare Routine*

Nothing makes me feel as confident as good, clear, well cared for skin. So, when the wonderful Breena emailed me on behalf of Nivea, to see if I would like to trial some products, I was delighted and very eager. As I write this, I have been using them for a week, and I've got some thoughts. I was sent four items from the new Q10 Plus range, a day cream, a night cream, an eye cream and the serum pearls. 

Aren't they so gorgeous??

All of Nivea's product range come in really lovely, glossy hard plastic packaging. They are weighty and very well made, a testament to the products they hold! These products have become staple in my routine, and all but one of my skincare routine products are Nivea, now! Thanks to their ingredients, Coenzyme Q10, Hyaluronic Acid and Creatine, my skin has been in possibly the best condition of my life. Coenzyme Q10 is proven to keep the skin firm and plump, effectively slowing the sagging process that causes wrinkles. 

For full disclosure, my cleansing routine both morning and evening is the Nivea 2 in 1 Cleanser and Toner, followed by these and I trialled them every day for a week before I made up my mind!

The Serum Pearls

"Pure anti-wrinkle power for a refined and younger looking complexion"

I'm just going to give it all away now, because why not! These serum pearls are my newest love. Honestly I could wax lyrical about these through multiple posts. They are incredible. I think they would be perfect for an under make-up base as they absorb instantly and leave a matte finish. I thank these for relieving the redness on my nose, my chin and also for keeping my skin clear and plump, Girls, I never knew what I was missing until these arrived onto my desk. I cannot be without them now.

The Energizing Day Cream. 

"Boosts tired, dull skin"

This cream is beautiful, lightly scented and when applied it feels like velvet. It soaks in instantly, I mean that literally. Once it's been smoothed in, there is no residue. The Q10 Plus Energizing Day Cream has brightened my skin and left it plump and hydrated. I am so impressed with this stuff you would not believe, because I work in a very warm, very air conditioned office environment and for the first 3 weeks, my skin was in tatters. Now I apply this cream before I leave for work, and when I get home almost 9 hours later my skin is still gorgeous and radiant. 

The Eye Cream

"Minimises dark under eye circles"

Up until a week or two ago, when I smiled, you could see the puffy eye bags that looked more like suitcases under my eyes. I thought maybe they were meant to be there. Oh, how wrong I was!! I've been applying a literal pinhead sized amount of the Q10 Plus eye cream morning and evening since I got hold of it and now when I smile, I actually look 22 not 122. 

The Night Cream

"Regenerates skin during the night"

So far this range as a whole has impressed me and really given my skin a new lease of life, but I cannot say I'm terribly enamoured with this Night Cream. It has all the same benefits as the range from which it comes, but personally I didn't enjoy it. It felt heavy and greasy on my skin, and though it's meant to soak in over night I work up every morning feeling desperate to cleanse my skin. It really just didn't do it for me. I wanted to like it, and it didn't do anything wrong, per se, but  just didn't find it as appealing as the other 3 items I was sent. 

All in all, as a whole I was impressed by this new range and I'm a little it obsessed with the Serum Pearls and the Day Cream, to the point where I will be repurchasing these in future. Holy grail achievement: Unlocked!

Have you tried these products?
Let me know what you thought!! 

Friday, 13 February 2015

Cara Derm Seaweed Soothing Lotion

When I find a product with words like "Made In Ireland", "100% Natural", "Sustainable" and "Renewable" on the label, I'm immediately drawn to it.

Image: Ebay
For the first review of 2015, I've got the wonderful Caraderm Seaweed Soothing Lotion, which just so happens to have all of these lovely words, and more upon the label! And when it's made in Northern Ireland and has been featured on Dragon Den, I found myself even more intrigued.

"Has calming properties and helps skin retain essential lipids. Also may be applied after sun-exposure, waxing and tattoo."

I'm really digging this lovely, clear lotion. It has no smell, it's not sticky, it's not greasy and it leaves absolutely no residue behind. I've been using it during the healing process for my latest tattoo and it's been a fabulous addition! During the day I apply this and then first thing in the morning and last thing before sleep I apply E45 in conjunction.

I've found when you apply it, a little goes a long way, which makes its great value for money and saves on waste. One pump is sufficient to cover a rather large area such as my forearm. If you suffer from eczema, rashes or acne, this could really be a viable option for the treatment or maintenance of those conditions. It is absorbed by the skin really well and leaves no residue whatsoever.

All in all, this product is tippy-top-notch, giving great results in the healing of my tattoo! I'm going to incorporate it into my skincare regime further and report back to you in due course!

Caraderm Seaweed Soothing Lotion was 6.99 in my local chemist, and can be found on the website.

Thanks to Caraderm, I've experienced the fastest healing of a tattoo in years. 
Have you ever tried Caraderm before? 

Monday, 9 February 2015

Work Make-Up Routine

Work is one of those times where you want to look polished and put together, but you don't want to get up early to do that. At least, I'd rather not get up at stupid o'clock to put my face on. So, I've cut down the products I've been using and opted for quicker applications. 

I always start with cleanser, no matter what, and then I get straight down to business with Rimmel London 9in1 Radiance BB Cream, and powder lightly with Rimmel London Lasting Finish 25hr Powder Foundation for some extra coverage and a demi matte finish. For blush I like to go with Wet'N'Wild Pearlesent Pink for a radiant, "happy to be here" glow. 

I generally apply a sweep of mascara (Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect or W7 Absolute Lashes) and a dab of lipbalm over my lips before I leave the house and then finish my eyes at my desk. I usually use my Naked2 palette and blend out two shades for a soft day look For my Brows I'm loving tinted brow gel, such as Maybelline Brow Drama. If I'm feeling inclined I'll lightly contour and highlight with my Sleek Contour Kit and finish with a slick of Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Honey. If I want to go for a bold lip, I've been loving my Rimmel Provocalips 16hr in Kiss Me You Fool.

It's just that simple! Honestly, when I'm doing my job it's rare that I'm dealing face to face with customers, but it's nice to look nice in case a client comes in. 

What is your go to work make-up??

Friday, 6 February 2015

Rimmel London 9 in 1 Radiance BB Cream

BB Creams are everywhere like mushrooms in a field these days, and they all promise miraculous results! Sometimes, though, they actually do what they promise to do, and this is one of those times. 

First up, this offering from Rimmel seems to be from the same range as the Wake Me Up line, judging by the packaging and the smell... This beautiful cream product claims to be a 9in1, so here's the list!! 

  1. Primes
  2. Smoothes
  3. Conceals
  4. Helps minimise the appearance of pores
  5. Provides natural looking coverage
  6. Moisturises for 24hrs
  7. Awakens tired skin
  8. Brightens the skin with Vitamin C complex
  9. Gives a radiant finish
I definitely agree with this BB Cream and I think it's great in place of the Wake Me Up foundation for work or school. It's light but gives coverage and doesn't look patchy like other BB Creams can. If you wanted to be 100% sure and secure in covering up redness I would suggest putting a concealer such as Wake Me Up Concealer on any serious redness such as around the nose or on your chin and then applying this BB Cream over the top for a flawless finish. You don't even need to set this as it has a demi-matte finish. 

All in all I think this BB Cream is top notch and I'm really impressed with it. 

Not bad for 8.99 in Boots

Have you tried this BB Cream?
Let me know!!