Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Review: Herbal Essences Cleansing Conditioner.

I have never used a cleansing conditioner before. In fact, I don't think I've ever even seen one while shopping at home in Ireland. I am currently in the US however, and whilst browsing the hair care aisle at Walmart, this bright pink bottle caught my eye. I am easily convinced to buy products with pumps like this one has because I find them so convenient to use in the shower. This conditioner was in my clutches pretty quickly!

To be honest, previously I would've said that I don't like Herbal Essences at all. I was never a fan of the brand and after using their shampoo and conditioner numerous times in the past, I would've considered them a big "Avoid" in that department. I felt that they left my hair feeling weighed down and somewhat greasy.

I am glad that I decided to try Herbal Essences again though. This cleansing conditioner is designed to be used between shampoos in an attempt to prevent hair colour fade. Having recently darkened my hair, prolonging its depth and shine is important to me. I have been a girl who washes her hair every day for as long as I can remember and I find it SO hard to go a day without. For that reason, this is right up my street. I get the clean feeling of washing my hair, but without stripping my hairs natural oils so often. My hair still appears shiny and feels super soft too! 

The cleansing conditioner smells gorgeous. Apparently it is rose scented but I don't particular like that scent and yet I love this. My boyfriend has commented on how my hair smells since I've been using this so it is guy approved as well! If you have the opportunity to try this, do! It comes thoroughly recommended. I'll probably pick up another bottle to take home with me. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What Is In My Travel Beauty Bag?

I am currently in the USA for over two weeks so I thought I would show you what I have in my travel beauty bag. I am posting from my iPad so I will be keeping this pretty brief! I hope you are all doing well.

I am carrying everything in a really pretty pale pink bag by Ted Baker. Mine was a gift from my two best friends. There are similar on the Ted Baker website - though not the exact one. It is the perfect size, in my opinion - large enough to fit a lot but small enough that you don't over-pack.


I tried to only take essentials because I knew that I would probably pick up some new products, especially skincare, on my trip. Below are my in shower bits and pieces.


Of course I have packed my favourite shower gel, Mint and Tea Tree by Original Source. I have a travel sized shampoo and conditioner - Bb Thickening. I brought a Wilkingson Sword Intuition razor because there is soap attached so no need for a separate shaving gel. To wash my face in the shower, I have Kiehls Ultra Facial Cleanser. I was given it for free when I bought some other items at a Kiehls counter. Samples are perfect for traveling. I like to take a body scrub so I have Scrub Of Your Life by Soap & Glory.


To take off make up, I have Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel. I like it a lot. La Roche Posay Toleraine Riche is my day time moisturiser and Night A Mins by Origins is, as the name suggests, for night time.


Dove Original deodorant is in the bag, along with my current perfume - CK One Shock. I brought a mini Righteous Body Butter by Soap & Glory to moisturise with and I have my whitening toothpaste and my battery operated toothbrush which is a Colgate 360.


The final odds and ends are some nail polish remover, some nail varnish, Q-tips, Lush Mint Julips lip scrub and hair bands. Overall I think my packing was relatively minimal!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

2013 Favourites: Make Up.

Sleek Brown Kit in Dark
Benefit Coralista blusher
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation
Revlon Just Bitten Kissable lip stains
Laura Mercier foundation primer

It is SO hard to narrow favourites from one year down to five products! I am happy with what I have picked though. These are all items that I would re-purchase and ones which I use a lot, and over a continuous period of time too. 

The Brow Kit by Sleek contains a shaping wax (left) and a setting powder (right). I use this in the shade dark. I actually do have naturally quite dark brows so I was tempted to pick up Extra Dark but seriously, these kits are so pigmented! I could probably even use a lighter shade. People do often comment on my eyebrows so that is how I know that this little kit is worth it. It comes with a mini tweezers and also two brushes which I don't use, but that's still convenient! All for under ten euro! I love it.

Nevermind 2013, Coralista by Benefit is possibly my favourite blusher of all time! It is a warm coral-pink colour with some shimmer. This is my 'go to' blush. If I'm ever not sure what I want, this is the little box I will reach for. No other product makes me look so healthy. That is a perfect description! It instantly brightens the face. I think everybody should try this at least once in their lives!

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua is one of most wonderful foundations I have ever used. I find the coverage light to medium, which is exactly what I like. It has a scent - personally I'm not overly enamored with that, but I can see beyond it because this looks amazing on my skin. It lasts for hours and hours and though it is pricey, it's worth it in my opinion. 

If you have been reading my blog, you will be well aware that I cannot get enough of Revlon Just Bitten Kissable lip stains. I can't narrow it down to one shade. I simply like all of them - their formulation, their lasting power, the colour range. Everything! Best lip product I have tried in a long, long time. Now that there are matte versions, you can bet that I will be stocking up on those too!

Lastly, a primer I picked up on a whim in Sephora last summer - Laura Mercier foundation primer. I just have a travel sized version right now because I used up the full sized but I am going to invest in this again. It feels so smooth. I do also really like the primer by Smashbox and I'd say it's somewhat of a joint favourite but I don't own it right now and haven't for a while so Laura Mercier is winning the title.

Other notable mentions go to False Lash Effect mascara by Max Factor, Lasting Perfection concealer by Collection and Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo cream eye-shadow.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

First Impressions: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick.

I was never a girl who was particularly interested in lip products. I always favoured a more made up eye. Recently however, I have fallen head over heels in love with the Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains by Revlon. Therefore, I have been expanding my collection and feeling bold and brave enough to sample offerings from other brands. First up I set my sights on the Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Sticks by Soap & Glory. What a great name!

Packaging wise, these Gloss Sticks are pretty similar to the Revlon equivalent - a thick, chubby crayon type product. All of the Soap & Glory line come in black tubes, whereas the Revlon tubing is the same colour as the lip stain itself. Not that it is overly important, but I prefer the bright and vibrant approach from Revlon. I can see this getting lost in my bag way too easily!

I opted for the shade 'Raplumzel'. It is a nice, rich plum colour. As you can see from my pictures above, Sexy Mother Pucker is rather glossy. I guess the name 'gloss stick' gives that away though, right! Funnily enough, I wasn't expecting such a 'wet' lip stain. I think that this Gloss Stick is quite sheer in its application. For that reason, it is very wearable day to day. You don't have to worry about it putting it on on the go! It also smells so good!

Above is Raplumzel (bottom) pictured next to Revlons' Berry Crush (top). The shininess of the Gloss Stick is evident. If you are looking for a 'no hassle' lip product, which is sheer and quite moisturising, I would definitely check out Sexy Mother Pucker. If you are after a more matte and also more obvious lip crayon, Revlon is the way to go. Both are fantastic and I know they're going to get a lot of use by me, but from my first impression of this Gloss Stick, Revlon Just Bitten Kissables are still my absolute favourite.

Lush Haul.

Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub
Big Sea Salt Shampoo
Dirty Springwash Shower Gel
Flying Fox Shower Gel
Mint Juleps Lip Scrub
Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

I went shopping yesterday and I figured since there was a Lush in the vicinity, I might as well pop in and stock up. I generally don't shop at Lush very much because its stores are kind of out of my way and in places I don't go to very often. I am really happy to have some of their products now though because overall I like what they produce a lot.

Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub is a scrub which I have used before. It is made of both fine and coarse sea salt, along with lime juice and vodka. I really like the scent of this - I think it is unbelievably refreshing! It has been a while since it was part of my collection so I am excited to use it again.

The consistency of Big Sea Salt Shampoo kind of scares me! As you can see, it is thick and pretty gloopy and you can actually feel sea salt in it! The thoughts of rubbing it into my hair... eeek! I have really fine, limp hair though so anything which has the potential to boost it in volume is something I am interested in. I will definitely report back if I like this product.

I have used both of the shower gels pictured above before. Dirty Springwash is a spearmint and menthol scented gel so it is right up my street! I can't get enough of anything minty, my go to morning shower gels. Flying Fox is a honey rich shower gel which is supposedly great at that time of the month. It's not the usual scent I am in to, but I'd use this any day!

My main reason for venturing to Lush was to grab a lip scrub. I've used the Bubblegum one in the past but lo and behold, mint! It was always going to be mine. I have been suffering quite a bit with chapped lips so I am looking forward to using this bad boy! Mint Juleps, my perfect lip exfoliator! 

Finally, I bought Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub. I guess I was feeling extremely scrub orientated yesterday! I'll be honest - I was drawn to this because it is bright blue. I feel like exfoliating my skin so much more in winter because I do find with colder weather and central heating, I am drier. This will be a nice addition to my shower. It also makes a change from Soap & Glory scrubs, though I still adore them.

You will possibly see some of these pickings from Lush in upcoming Favourites posts. 

Monday, 6 January 2014

NOTD: Mysterious by Chanel.

I had a super busy day today. I was up after only four hours of sleeping and spent the day shopping with my mum. Therefore, my usual Sunday night nail routine was kind of out the window because all I felt like doing was curling up on the couch and napping! Instead of removing my previous polish and buffing, moisturising etc., I pretty much took off the old polish and painted this one right on. I didn't even file my nails! It is okay though - I am going to the US in a few days so I will probably treat myself to a proper manicure at some stage this week.

Enough of me blabbering! On to the product - Mysterious by Chanel is a khaki green coloured nail varnish. I have no idea why but I am in love with green shades for nails. I am more of a lover of mint green but I find the bright, light shade doesn't really tie in with my darker clothing choices right now. Mysterious is great however! It is a deep, dark olive colour with a creamy finish.

As I mentioned in my last NOTD post, I'm not crazily impressed by the Chanel formulation. Many high street brands can rival it, in my opinion, and the brush isn't particularly good. I would prefer to see a thicker brush, one which makes application easier and more even. Personally, I'd find it hard to splurge on nail products from Chanel in the future but I do think they're a nice gift as they have a luxe feel.

Overall, I am happy with this polish but mainly due to the fact that I adore the colour. What do you have on your nails? I would love to see!

Saturday, 4 January 2014

2013 Favourites: Skincare.

Origins Checks and Balances
Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel
Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub
Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask
La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo

I actually found it ridiculously difficult, narrowing my skincare favourites from 2013 down to only five products because above all else, I am a junkie in this category! It was also kind of hard not to include more products from Origins because I totally fell in love with the brand this year.

First up, we have Checks and Balances face wash by Origins. This is my choice of face wash every morning in the shower. A little goes a long way - you only need the tiniest amount of this to cleanse your entire face and it foams up beautifully. It feels like silk on the skin! It is great for combination skin. I don't find it causes tightness at all but yet, it doesn't exacerbate my already oily t-zone. It has a light menthol scent which I find so refreshing. I already have a back-up bottle of this purchased.

When it comes to removing make up, one cleanser stood out above all else for me and that is Clarins Pure Melt Cleansing Gel. I love both oil and gel based make up removers and in my quest to find the perfect one, I have tried numerous, from No.7 to Botanics to REN. I have finally come to the conclusion that Clarins is the be all and end all. This gel is gentle on the skin, doesn't irritate my eyes and removes every scrap of make up, including stubborn mascara. I think I may be happy to put cleanser experimentation on hold for a while.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub is my scrub of choice for a number of reasons. Aside from its terrific exfoliating powers, it smells incredible! Overall I don't love the scent of Soap & Glory offerings but the Sugar Crush line has me obsessed! It is so fresh and tingly! Mmm! It is a thick, grainy scrub and because my skin can get quite dry, especially in the winter, it works really well for me. I don't find it harsh and thoroughly recommend it to anybody who wants super smooth legs! I use it a lot post-wax. 

Ah, need I say any more about Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask?! A mask I have talked a lot about on my blog already, I hope you're not getting bored! If your skin is dehydrated or dry, you need to try this. It is my wonder product! Nothing else makes my skin look and feel as good as this does. True adoration. There is my number one favourite of the year! 

Finally, something I imagine will be in a lot of skincare favourites - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. I know some people use this as a moisturiser but my skin is slightly too dry for that. I use it underneath moisturiser as a treatment when my skin is not being on its best behaviour. I find that it really prevents break-outs. If I have a spot or two, I apply this to the area and it really helps to clear them up. This is my fifth tube. I tend to pick them up when La Roche Posay have a special offer at Boots! 

Notable mentions to Origins Nightamins night cream (which smells SO good!), Indeed Labs Hydraluron, L'Oreal Skin Perfection micellar water and Origins Modern Friction exfoliator.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Review: Revlon Photoready Cream Blush.

I fell in love with the Just Bitten Kissable lip stains by Revlon a while ago and so I decided to try out some more products from their range. I picked up the above two blushes from the Photoready line - Revlon Photoready Cream Blush, in the shades Flushed (left) and Coral Reef (right).

Firstly, to be a little fussy - I don't exactly love the packaging. The blushers come contained in plastic pots with plain black lids which have stickers attached in a haphazard manner. I know this shouldn't really matter but it does bug me as I like attention to detail and nice packaging draws me in. I think Revlon could have done better in this area. However, on a positive note, I think the colours are absolutely beautiful.

I have a lot of coral blushers already but probably none quite as bright as the one above. I bought Flushed (pink) to step out of my comfort zone, and I am pleasantly surprised. I have to say the consistency of these cream blushes is really nice. They blend so well on the skin and are perfectly buildable. You can have a natural looking flush, or you can build up the pigment to a more dramatic effect. 

I think these cream blushers are well worth investing in and I am happy to have them as part of my collection. In fact, I will probably pick up more at some stage. They are quite affordable at €11.20, and when I bought them in Boots, Revlon was on special offer - three for the price of two. (I bought another lip stain!). If anybody has any other Revlon recommendations, please leave them below!