Sunday, 20 August 2017

Skincare Shakeup #2

I always have new skincare on the go. Only last week I shared the newly reformulated Double Serum from Clarins with ye (read more about that HERE) and I'm really loving that. It's taken over from the oil and water based serums in my skincare routine that are in this post but these are still excellent so it's well worth giving them a nod too!


I picked these face masks from Korres up in the airport on the way home from Crete. They had a really good Korres selection, unsurprisingly, as they are a Greek brand and although I had an option to buy a boxed selection of these smaller sized masks, I felt I'd get better value from these individual ones, which were only a few euro each and better suited to my dry skin than the others that were available. There's only 18ml in each and so I've almost finished the Damask Rose overnight anti-fatigue mask, which I love. It smells like vintage rose perfume in a rich and creamy base that leaves my skin super soft when I wake up the next day. 
The Babassu Butter is for intense moisturising and nourishing and this one is a bit richer. If you have sensitive skin, this may be too heavy for you but I really like it. They'll both be great when the colder weather sets in*.

*auld one alert

Korres face masks

I've also got a whole post on the Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse, HERE, so I won't go into a huge amount of detail now. Honestly though, I love this stuff. 
I've a good chunk used up already with plenty more to go. This is pricey for a cleanser, but so, so worth it.

Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse

The last time I needed a new foundation, I took advantage of a "buy two items, receive a load of mini things for free" offer and so that was how I returned to using Esteé Lauder's Advanced Night Repair. I used to use and love this years ago and so it was a pleasant surprise to return to it and find that I still loved it! I forgot just how well this works for my skin. I know it doesn't suit everyone, and again, it's a hefty price tag but it's certainly made me want to buy a big mad bottle once my Clarins is gone. 

I love Image skincare (the Vital C range is one of my all time favourites) and this is a pretty pleasant cleanser from them; The Max* is an acid, parafen and sulfate free, gentle daily cleanser derived from stem cells and plant extracts to nourish and balance the skin. It's kind of a mixture of a gel and a cream cleanser. It has a distinct floral scent which might be too strong for most. I don't have any problem with scented cleansers, but this one doesn't really do it for me. It does the job well and my skin feels squeaky clean after I've used it but that in itself means my skin feels a bit tighter than it does worth the Pixi cleanser, for example. It's fine but I won't be buying a full size. 

I've also blogged about this Vitamin C enriched facial oil from Korres before. It was another Cretan purchase, one I had planed to buy before I got there. Luckily, I got great savings on the brand in its home country, otherwise this is another pricey fella! I love it though, I use my jade roller with it to massage it in over my moisturiser and it's a delight. And yes, there's dried rose petals suspended in the oil. Swoon. Read a full review HERE

Image skincare korres facial oil estee Lauder advanced night repair

I tend to just take advice when I go into Lush, it's mostly foreign territory for me so I picked up the BB Seaweed Fresh face mask on recommendation from the sales assistant. This is packed full of fresh seaweed, ground almonds, rose absolue and aloe vera, all designed to soften, calm and soothe the skin. It also acts as a gentle exfoliator and removes any excess oil or dirt. Himself and I used this on our spa weekend to Monart (in between the official spa visits!) and we both liked it. It did dry out like a clay mask would, even though it's not made with clay, which annoyed my slightly as I avoid clay masks- my skin is dry and I don't like the sensation of a drying mask on my face. Still, it was pleasant to use whilst soaking in the tub! Top tip- save up your black Fresh pots like I did, bring in five and get a free face mask like this one!

The Nivea 3 in 1 Cleansing Micellar Wipes* are new from the brand. I had really high hopes for these as I use Micellar Water a fair amount, mostly for a first cleanse to remove the top layer of make up etc or for travel. These wipes would be handy for the same reasons but I do find them less pleasant to use than a cotton pad soaked with micellar water would be. These dragged on my skin a bit due to being a bit drier than I expected and I felt I had to work harder to remove make up then I would have with the aforementioned cotton pad. If you're planning on taking these on holiday, I'd suggest bringing another cleanser with you to use with it. 

lush bb seaweed nivea micellar water wipes

I also bought this mini of Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturiser in the airport in Crete, for about €8, which has turned out to be quite the bargain as I'm only half way through now, several months later. I have used this before and I like it. It's not the best or the most moisturising I've ever used for the full year round but it works really well in the Summer, when I want a lighter moisturiser under my make up. This one is perfect for that. 
I love that little pot of Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Balm in the corner there too. It's taken over from Nuxe Reve de Miel as my favourite lip balm, which is no mean feat!

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturiser

Lastly there is the Hydro Boost Water Gel moisturiser from Neutrogena. Again, this is a very light formula and perfect for warmer weather. It's so cooling on the skin and feels light enough while providing a good base for your make up etc. It's way too light for Winter though so I'll be shaking things up again soon enough!

Hydro Boost Water Gel moisturiser from Neutrogena

Have you used any of these? Are any of them your favourites already or any you've been wanting to try?
To the comments!
XX



*indicates that a product was provided for review and was gratefully received. This is not a sponsored post, all opinions are mine only, as always.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Clarins Double Serum [Hydric + Lipidic System]

Clarins Double Serum has been around since 1985- it's been a continuous favourite for women and one of Clarins's best sellers. I've been using it for slightly less time than that- two years to be exact and its latest version, for just over two weeks and while that's not actually a long time in the skincare sense of things, I feel like I've got a good enough grasp on the product, to tell you all about it! 

Double Serum is just that- a two chambered bottle, one side containing a lipid based liquid (oil) and the other a hydric based (water). When you press down on the pump, by the power of engineering (and potentially witchcraft), you're given a mixture of the two, that you can then apply for optimum benefit to your skin. This is ideal for me as I have dry skin and I find both water based and oil based serums hugely beneficial and even more so when combined together. There just needs to be the perfect balance of the two, which is where Double Serum comes in. 


I had previously bought and loved the original Double Serum from Clarins- it was pricey but my skin absolutely loved it and so I used every last tiny drop. It was one of those empties that I mourned the loss of; it felt luxurious on and my skin was gloriously soft when I used it. 

The only concern I had was brought to my attention when I blogged about it at the time. It had mineral oil in it, an ingredient which is generally frowned upon by skincare lovers. Personally, mineral oil doesn't have any ill effects for me, so it was never an issue but for those who have sensitive skin, it was a deal breaker. Add to that, mineral oil is often considered a cheap, "filler" product and I can understand why this was problematic.

Speed forward a little bit to Summer 2017 and a new and improved version of Double Serum has been launched. 
You'll want to know what's changed and so I'm breaking it down here for yis in the most non-scientific lingo I can:


  • It now contains 21 plant powerful extracts, all with anti-ageing benefits.
  • The new skincare buzzword is "Turmeric", it's a bit of a miracle ingredient when it comes to optimising the function of your skin's cells, so it helps with things like; regeneration, oxygenation, nutrition, hydration and protection of your skin.
  • Clarins have involved even more women than before in the development of this serum. They claim it has a universal texture that's suitable for all women, all age groups, all ethnic backgrounds and all skin types, even those with sensitive skin (remember that mineral oil from before? That's no longer in Double Serum! Huzzah!)
  • The bottle itself has changed, so the double vial of before now has a measurement system at the top that allows for only a small amount of product, or a larger amount, (depending on your skincare needs) to be pumped out. 


I was seriously impressed by the amount of research that's gone into the new and improved Double Serum. First impressions for me are positive. I loved the last version and I love this one too. My skin feels comfortable when I use this, even relieved sometimes after I've applied it. I'll give this a longer trial and let ye know but so far it's two enthusiastic thumbs up! 

You can find the reformulated Double Serum in stockists nationwide, prices are €72 for 30ml and €92 for 50ml


Have you tried the new Double Serum yet? Did you love the previous version too?
To the comments!
XX



*This post was not sponsored. I received a press sample of this product for review and as always, all opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Love Your Local Library!

As it's Book Lovers Day, I thought now would be as good a time as any to write about libraries and why they're so great. My Mum and Dad brought us to the library in Limerick and got us cards before we could even read and I still count this as one of the best things anyone has ever done for me. It meant that I had access to swathes of books suitable to my age at every age, as I grew up but also that I learned from when I was very young that books were wonderful, basically. 


Firstly, it was all about the picture books before moving on to Meg and Mog, Roald Dahl, the Ramona series, the S.K.U.N.K series, the Ruby Ring series and anything by Marita Conlon McKenna, all before moving on to GoosebumpsPoint Horror, Agatha Christie and Stephen King in my early teens*.

*That's only to name a very few of the books I borrowed, growing up. 

I didn't stop there though and kept going back to the library throughout my teens and early twenties. Although, for a time, the college library was more than enough library for me to handle so my own personal reading fell by the wayside. I then went through a brief period of "buy ALL the books" once I had a reliable wage, picking up books I had wanted to actually own for years; some of which had become favourites in the first place thanks to the library. 

When I moved to Dublin, I of course had to get a library card so off to Rathmines with me, drawn as I was to the beautiful building the library sits in there. I enjoyed pottering about in there before getting a coffee and strolling home along the canal with my latest stack of books but now I attend a library closer to work for ease. 


In the last year or so I've realised all of the amazing services the library provides in this country that I was completely unaware of. I've been using BorrowBox for about a year- it's an app for your phone. You log in with your library card number and password and you then have access to hundreds of ebooks and audio books to use on your smartphone. 
Often, the newer releases or very popular books may be on a waiting list so you can request them and will be given a date that it'll be yours. It's automatically downloaded to your phone on that date and you get an email letting you know it's there. It's like getting a little free surprise gift every so often! This has revolutionised how I read. Now, I always have at least one borrow box audio and ebook on the go, along with one or two real life books borrowed from the library and my usual kindle/other books I happen to be reading. 
Life is way too short for the amount of books I want to read so this works really well for me.


I also love that I can request the books I read for my book club and the date I need them by. Even if they're a brand new release and I'll get an email letting me know when it's available to pick up. 

There's way more that the library has to offer; I love mine for the collections of books it'll have on display. Award winners, Irish authors, pyschological thrillers, new releases, book club favourites. Lots of ideas if you're stuck in a book rut! If you have kids there's loads for them there too, along with dvd and music rentals, YA novels, plus a good selection of graphic novels, which can be expensive. There's also computer services and study areas. 


I get a unique feeling of enjoyment from visiting the library, which I know, makes me a total book nerd and I'm totally ok with that. I love reading and I love that there's a place that facilitates that love for absolutely no money whatsoever. On that note though, bear in mind that our library services will be cut back unless we use them. I know I'm paying towards mine with my taxes, and that's great but I found out recently that they no longer charge to renew your account when it's out of date, like they used to. Support your local library- attend, borrow, start a book club, tell everyone else how great it is!!


And that is the end of my nerdiness! Tell me all about your own love of the library, let's be book dragons together!
XX


*How many times do you think I said "library" in this post? Eleventy billion? You'd be correct. Also, I was not paid by the library to write this post, although I can totally see why you might think that...

Monday, 24 July 2017

Kiko Summer Sale Haul!

I'm a big Kiko Milano fan. Whenever we're in a European city I try and get near one so I can do a little bargain make up hauling. One of the best of those times was when we were in Rome for my birthday and Himself handed me a basket and told me to work away. That was a great present! This Summer we're saving our funds for a holiday stateside in the Winter so we haven't been to any European cities and therefore, no actual in real life Kiko store.
They do however, have a great online site where you can shop their Summer sale to your hearts content. Granted, they are good value anyway, but add in a sale and you're doing really well!

Kiko milano

I had never tried any of their foundations or skincare so I had to give them a go, alongside my fave Kiko products; blushers and lip products. 

Kiko milano

2 in 1 Blush/lip sticks are a big thing every Summer. I had seen similar shades from No.7 that were a bit too pricey for me so when I spotted these Tropic Heat Lips & Cheeks for €3.90 each, I had to try them. I picked up Exotic coral and Sweety Mauve. 
At the bottom of the photo there is the Urban Sheen gloss, that's a really Summery lip gloss stick in a coral shade and only €1!

Kiko milano

These are the ideal "throw in your holiday luggage" make up. 

Kiko milano

The BB Cream Coloured Beauty Balm is described as a "foundation treatment with moisturising active ingredients and a medium sun protection factor". It looks like a white cream but on closer inspection you can see micro-pigments that react with your skin tone to give you a natural looking finish that's super flattering. It's like your skin but better, not to be a total cliché. I really like this, it's perfect for the days where you can't be arsed putting on make-up but still need something to control the death-like pallor. This was €4.40.

Kiko milano

The Skin Tone Hydration Foundation also has an SPF15, and is a light, smooth foundation with a radiant finish. This isn't one to wear on a night out and then for the next 42 hours straight- it's light to medium coverage only. It reminds me of Bourjois Healthy glow, it's a great option for daytime and work. This was €11.

Kiko milano

On the end there is the Hydra Pro Mask, a moisturising intensive mask. I haven't used this yet but it's just my cup of tea- I always have a couple of dry-skin face masks on my bedside table, they're a vital part of my skincare routine! This was €6.25.

Kiko milano

I'll always re-buy brown kohl liners- perfect for a smudged eye and black liquid pen liners when I feel like making a bit more effort. The Precision eye pencil is kind of perfect, it'll still smudge with the help of a brush and a taupe eyeshadow but it doesn't disappear when I smudge it either, like a lot of them do. This was only €2.25.
The Ultimate Pen liquid eyeliner is really good too, very dark, applies easily, lasts well. €4.85.

Kiko milano

Just a moment for this packaging please. 

Kiko milano

And inside! Glorious! This is the Two-tone baked bush in the shade Natural Beach. There's three versions but this pink and the bronze is really flattering on pale skin. There's great colour payoff too- one swipe and you're in pigment city! It's really lovely on and is only €8.45. Love it. 

That's that! Other good news is Kiko are also cruelty free, something I'm trying really hard to adhere to. You'd be surprised how many brands aren't. 
You can find more from the Kiko Summer sale HERE.

Have you tried anything from Kiko?
To the comments!
XX



Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Irish Bloggers Made Me Do It!

I'm sure that over the years since I first started blogging that I've enabled others into buying things and that's equally true of all the bloggers I know, love and follow and the effect they've had on my own poor, cowering bank account!

I love blogs and bloggers- I trust the bloggers I follow and I know if they recommend something, then it's good. That got me thinking about the things I've bought or tried recently and who enticed me to pick them up!
There's loads of other bloggers aside from those mentioned here who only need to mention something and I want it but we'd have been here forever so I've narrowed it down to recent buys! 



This is really only a small smattering of the many products I have bought thanks to my fellow Irish bloggers but these are some of my recent faves. 


Sue from Cherry Sue Doin' The Do
Sue is particularly spot on with the fancier things in life so I kept the Tartelette palette filed way in my brain after seeing her recommendation. I think Sue might have actually featured this on her instagram rather than her blog but she praised this palette from Tarte and while I was stateside I fell for it too. I haven't had a chance to review this yet but I love it. Sue was (as always) right, the shadows are buttery soft and so pigmented. Plus they smell like Kinder Bueno, so, bonus. Unfortunately for me, I got this all the way home in my case in perfect condition and then dropped it on my wooden floor at home. Typical, as I am the clumsiest person in the world. As you can see, it's not in the best condition anymore but I still use it on the regular.


Gemma from Beauty Nook
Gemma has a great eye for bargain beauty products and is always way ahead of everyone when it comes to new releases and new trends. These Cream Puff Blushes from Max Factor have been out a while now and at the time, Gemma championed them, so of course I had to try them! These are fab and feel like a much more expensive product than they are.
You can read Gemma's post HERE.


Lorraine from John, It's Only Make Up.
I love Lorraine. She's super witty and make up looks gorgeous on her, with some of the credit for that owing to her extensive skincare knowledge. It's because of Lorraine that I bought NYX Taupe Blush and The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% & HA Spheres 2% (HERE). Granted, I had been aware of the cult following that that particular blush has when used as a contour for pale skin, but it was only when I saw it on Lorraine's blog (HERE) that I added it to the list. I'm still not sure how I feel about that Vit C suspension but Lorraine introduced me to the brand and has more posts on what to try from them HERE and HERE


Sinéad from The Beautiful Truth
Sinéad is a blogger, a mum and a teacher so when she recommended Moxi Eye Catcher Cleasnsing & Correcting Buds on TV3 for when you're on the go, I had to try them for myself and I love them! My eye make up is usually pretty smudged after an 8 hour day in work so if I'm on my way somewhere at that stage, I have a few of these ready to go in my bag! If you don't know much about them, they're essentially cotton buds that when activated (snapping the top), they release make up remover to one side, which you can then use to clean off any smudges or mistakes. You can find these in Penneys.


Sera from The Style Guide
Sera is an absolute gem for finding niche products that I didn't know I needed til she tells us all about them! I could spend hours reading her blog- her writing is just the best. After seeing her post on face masks, I had to buy a 10 pack of these bargain-tastic under eye collagen gold masks from eBay. I love them, they're packed with serum that leaves my skin really soft. Plus, they make me look like a superhero. Win-win.
HERE's her review.


Emma from Ol' Green Eyes
Anything Emma puts on her face instantly makes me want to go out and buy it- she's a stunner! I had been debating buying Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk lipstick and then I saw it on Emma and sure, that was that. And I love it!
There's a review from Emma HERE and my own HERE if you're interested in seeing it for yourself. I also want a pair of Emma's tassel earrings but that's another matter..


Karen from Lovely Girlie Bits
I had seen the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita palette on Karen's blog long before I bought it (as a getting-out-of-hospital-present for myself) and it was seeing what that bronze shade did to her irises that made me want it. This is a perfect little palette- great for the blue or green eyed amongst us. As Karen would say, you need this on your eyeballs, stat! (I added the 'stat' part myself). 
You can see it in action on Karen's face, HERE



I'll probably make this a series cause there's really no end to the brilliant Irish bloggers that are out there who influence all of my purchases!
If in the meantime you need more ideas, check out Andreea of Your Beauty, Yavanna of Make Up Monster, Edel from The Pharmer's Journal, and Siobhán from Beautylymin, to name but a very few. 

So, Confession time! 
What have you bought because of an Irish blogger and which of my purchases here have you tried?
To the comments!
XX