Thursday, 20 August 2015

Battle of the Bronzers: Spend or Save?

From contouring to strobing it's all about accentuating the shape of the face and my favourite product to do this with is a matte bronzer. 

I have two go to favourites - my MAC powder blush in Harmony and my Essence Sun Club bronzer in Natural. Both are at very different ends of the spectrum price wise so I'll break down what I think are the pros and cons in ea h of them. 

This matte bronzer is a brown toned shade which provides a natural looking contour without being on the orange red side of things. It can be quite hard to build up the contour and define the face so it takes a little bit longer to achieve the look you are going for but also will allow you to make the look as natural or as strong as you want. 

Price: €29.50 if I can remember correctly! 

This essence sun club bronzer is a firm favourite of mine. It's so cheap at only €4.49 and you get 15g of product compared to the mere 6g of product one Mac Harmony blush. I have repurchased this bronzer lots of times- I tend to smash it a lot! This is why I keep going back to it as at under a fiver you won't be too devastated if it breaks into pieces. It smells like gorgeous coconut and no the packaging isn't as sophisticated but it does the job. It is a little lighter and orange toned than Harmony however I don't think the difference is extreme. I'm not sure how clear you can see the swatches in the photo below. 

Overall I don't think I will repurchased MAC Harmony again just for the simple fact that I think the same look can be achieved for a tiny fraction of the price.

I think save definitely wins over spen in this case! Let me know your thoughts below xx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Review: Carton House Spa

I had the pleasure of visiting the Carton House spa with my mum yesterday and we had such a gorgeous time I had to write up a short little review. 

I highly recommend going for the Mini Retreat. It consists of a back massage and a facial using all the incredible smelling Darphin products. 

It felt so luxurious having such expensive products used on my face an my therapist Louise talked me through every step. 

My skin is quite dry so she mainly used the Intral range and some Fibrogene products as my skin is also sensitive. 

I had a double cleanse, exfoliation, then a hydrating mask applied. She gave me a mini head massage while this absorbed and it was just such a relaxing experience. 

The use of hot towels during the massage really just totally relaxed me and made me feel like drifting off to sleep it was so good. I will definitely be booking in again in 4 weeks time. This treatment costs €70 and is well worth it. 

The relaxation room and massage rooms are also fantastic. The relaxation room is bright airy with comfortable loungers and furry blankets. Soothing pan pipe magic and candles complete the feel of utter escapism. There is a choice of freshly squeezed orange juice, apple juice and lemon and lime water to refresh you and also a big bowl of fresh fruit and most of all down great up to date magazines to browse.

After your treatment the girls brought you a delicious sorbet to enjoy as well which was a real treat. Me and my mam really enjoyed our visit and I would highly recommend it. The therapists are so knowledgable and really make you feel at ease. 


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Penneys : What I Bought - Clothes, Makeup and Home Decor Haul

Ah Penney's...the place Irish girls dreams are made of. You can be a snob about it but Penneys really gives you the best bang for your buck in regards clothing, home decor and now makeup stocking bargain beauty hunter favourites Catrice and Essence. I couldn't resist a little splurge when I was in there recently and this is what I came away with...

Every blogger worth their salt has been commenting on Penneys latest homeware offerings, not only the bedclothes but the candles have been getting rave reviews. I avoided the salted caramel candle as it really is too sweet a scent for my taste and went for their cardamom and sage candle which has a lovely fresh scent. The holder and candle itself look so much more expensive and not like they are from Penneys at all! 

also picked up a pretty pink and taupe toned double duvet and pillowcase set, called Arctic Paisley. I couldn't resist the rose gold owl lights either. I seem to be a little bit obsessed with rose gold at the moment. 

Double duvet €16 // Tea Light Holder €3 // Cardomom and Sage candle €5 // Owl rose gold lights €4 (batteries not included) . 

I picked up a black and white longer length check shirt that I'm actually not quite sure about on and a body chain. The silver body chain had been reduced to only €2. 


Bit of a risqué photo but just wanted to show you what the chain looked like! The shirt cost €13, it's a bit of an odd fit so I might bring it back. 

I couldn't resist this super cute monkey emoji tshirt. To be honest I thought all the emoji tshirts and fashion was a bit overkill but the material of this tshirt was so soft and would look great with jeans so I couldn't resist. 


Emoji tshirt €8 

Last but not least I really had to pick up a new face powder. I have a habit of smashing any makeup I have that's in powder form so didn't want to buy anything expensive. I also didn't want anything to add colour to my face so I picked up the Catrice All Matt plus powder in Translucent which was only €3.99 so it won't be the end of the world if it ends up in the floor. 


Those were my buys for the day and for only €31.99 I feel like I got a lot for my money! I will be doing up my room soon and you will some of the home decor items featured and more I'm sure so keep an eye out. 

Will you be picking up any of the items I bought? Let me know in the comments below xx 


Tuesday, 4 August 2015

First Impressions: Mane n Tail and Lee Stafford Haircare

I have been trying to grow my hair for years. Unfortunately due to a few hair mishaps over the years such as continuously colouring it myself and letting a friend bleach my hair it isn't in the greatest growing shape. A lot of what determines how fast your hair grows is down to genetics also so I can only do so much but when I heard about the hair miracles some girls had been having with the brand Mane n Tail I had to give it a go. 

These hair products are quite expensive but I said I would try them as I had heard so much hype around them. The whole marketing point is focused on thick, glossy hair like you see in some horses manes. 

I went for the Colour Protect shampoo and conditioner as I colour my hair (professionally these days) and I also bought the Hair Strengthener. The prices of this range vary widely across Boots and chemists but they average out between €6.99 or €8.75 a bottle so not cheap. THe hair strengthener was €13.99 and I will pre warn you that it does not smell very nice! 

I have been using the three products below for the past month I would say. Obviously I haven't noticed my hair shooting down Rapunzel style quite yet but my hair is softer and less knotty. I think it gets greasy less quickly also which is always a plus. 

I'll keep using these until they are finished and I think I just might repurchase them! The hair strengthener is going to last me months and months as a little goes a long way. You just spray it into damp hair and comb through. 

I also picked up this Lee Stafford Hair Growth Leave in Treatment for Hair that never grows past a certain length. It claims to increase root productivity, I've only just tried this out today but it smells gorgeous and it seems to help your hair dry quicker. It's on offer at the moment for €11.33 reduced from €16.99. 

 I'll keep you posted on how I get in with this product. I picked this up in Boots as well and it's worth keeping your eye out for their 3 for 2 deals on Haircare as they can never seem to keep the Mane n Tail range in the shelves. 

If I'm being completely honest I don't think all the products in the world are going to give me the hair I want! I think hair extensions will be my next port of call, but I'm afraid they will damage and weaken my hair. I've heard good things about Platinum extensions and Great Lengths...anyone have any experience with these brands? I know they can be very expensive so ideally best priced! Leave any tips in the comments below, thanks xx


Monday, 3 August 2015

Come Shop With Me : Healthy whole foods

It's important to start every month with goals and it's easy to go healthy one week and unhealthy the next but as well know, consistency is key on this lifestyle journey I'm on so its back to doing a healthy shop and prepping my food for the week ahead so I decided to put together a little list of what I usually buy and what I cook for anyone who needs simple, healthy, easy meal ideas. 

This is what my basic shopping list looks like: 

I find that I react badly to a lot of dairy so I try to stick to either unsweetened soya or almond milk which I prefer. Aldi even does their own brand but I would buy the Alpro brand for taste. 

Blueberries are full of antioxidants and are lovely to add to porridge, yoghurt or the 9 calories Chivers jelly pots you can get in Tesco for a snack that will curb your sweet cravings without going overboard. 

Protein sources are gotten from eggs, chicken fillets, steak burgers, and smoked salmon for me as these are my favourites and I am fussy when it comes to what meat I will eat. I also like bacon medallions, they have all the fat removed for you ahead of time. I've gotten so addicted to spinach lately as its so easy to throw together a feta, spinach and mushroom omelette, or spice up a chicken breast with Cajun spice and make a salad with spinach and cherry tomatoes to bring for a quick lunch on the go. 

Here are some examples of what I like to have for breakfast: 

I usually mix 30g of porridge oats with almond milk and a drizzle of honey in the microwave for two and a half minutes and then top with berries, strawberries or slices of apple for a crunch. Green tea or my new favourite, dandelion tea accompanies it. 

I love making omelettes. They are my go to breakfast or lunch if I need a protein hit before or after the gym. Chop up your mushrooms, spinach, peppers whatever you want in it and sauté them on the pan while you whisk up two eggs, almond milk, cracked black pepper and salt in a bowl. Turn up the heat and pour your egg mixture. I like to finish the omelette off under the grill with a sprinkle of feta cheese.

My meals really consist of such basic ingredients : chicken, eggs, vegetables, fruit essentially. It's all about the spices - my favourite is Cajun spice to add flavour as well as smoked paprika. I like to have sweet potato wedges too, fish occasionally as well as the good quality steak burgers. 

It really makes such a difference preparing your food and knowing in advance what you are going to be eating when you are busy enough as it is trying to do workouts and go to work in your job as well. No doubt when I head back to college it will be even tougher but it's all about doing what you can for yourself. You will soon get used to eating healthy and fresh ingredients eating chips or overindulging to much won't even cross your mind. 

Hope this post helps! If you have any questions leave them in the comments xx

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