Monday, June 20, 2016

Root Touch-Ups - Spray, Wax, or Powder?

Not Sponsored or Paid | No Product Samples

Hi!

I've been getting grey hairs since I was in my early 20s - In my case it runs in the family, but dying my hair from the age of 12 (thanks, Angela Chase) hasn't helped. I get most of my greys at the roots, so if I don't colour it every 6 weeks I end up with a spread of grey from the roots out.

I don't like dying my hair every 5-6 weeks - it's an absolute pain. I don't go to a Salon, I've always just done it at home - but it's still a chore I hate, so I like to extend it as long as possible. There are a range of different root touch-up products on the market at the minute, from sprays to wax to powder - so I bought three different ones to see which one worked the best. These products are also suitable for covering regrowth between colours, not just for grey hair.

These photographs were all taken on my phone as I used the products, so if you see any blur it's down to camera quality, not photo editing. My hair hasn't been edited in any photo.




L'Oréal Hair Touch up Root Concealer 


This is a spray. The can contains 75ml of product. It has a tiny nozzle, meaning you can direct the product to the exact spot you need to cover up.


Available From: Shampoo.ie | Price: €14.99
Shades Available: Dark Blonde, Light Brown, Dark Brown, Black. 

Pros: Very fast to use | Covers greys instantly | Doesn't feel sticky | Fades out
Cons: If you're not careful, you can end up spraying your scalp or forehead instead of your hair.
Rating: 6/10

Colourstick Root Touch up Stick


This is a wax stick. The stick looks like lipstick, and it contains 4.9g of product. You essentially colour in the grey parts of your hair. It washes out. 


Available Fromwww.colourstick.com | Price: €9.95
 Shades Available: Light Brown, Mid Brown, Dark Brown, Black, Copper Red 

Pros: Easy to use | One Stick has 50 applications | Free delivery worldwide
Cons: Feels waxy | Looks greasy | Pulls hard on the roots when colouring in. 
Rating: 4/10

Color Wow Root Cover Up


This is a mineral powder. The compact comes with a double-ended brush and includes a mirror. You brush the powder on to any grey areas and it clings to the hair. It fades out or washes with shampoo.


Available From: Beauty Features, Shampoo.ieMillies | Price: €38-€38.50
Shades Available: Platinum Blonde, Blonde, Redhead, Light Brown, Medium Brown, Dark Brown, Black
Pros: Lasts for ages | Looks natural | Easy to use | No fallout | Covers greys
Cons: Expensive 
Rating: 9/10

The Color Wow is by far my favourite - it looks and feels natural, and it's a great match. The powder doesn't fall out, it clings to the hair and stays put. You can see the usage on mine and I've had that over a year - I've only just bought a new one because I misplaced it but I won't have to open it for months. The only drawback is the price - but it works out as great value over time. If you can find a shade to suit you, that's the one I'd happily recommend. Sprays or Waxes aren't for me, unfortunately. 




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Friday, June 17, 2016

Five Star Friday #3 - Sweet Home by Carys Bray

Not Sponsored or Paid | No ARCs

Hi!

Every so often, usually a Sunday, I like to take a few hours for myself and spend them browsing different book websites, stocking up my Kindle, and adding to my always-growing TBR pile. One such Sunday, I came across this collection of short stories by Carys Bray, author of A Song for Issy Bradley.



Published | 2012
Page Count | 156
Genre(s) | Fiction, Short Story, Contemporary, Magical Realism

PLOT
A collection of 17 short stories themed around family or parenting. There's a fairytale element to some (The Ice Baby, a story about a man who carves a much-wanted baby from ice to please his wife), but overall it's a fascinating take on family and the various trials and tribulations parents go through. Stand out stories include "The Rescue", in which a father is trying to save his son from the grip that drugs hold over him; "Love: Terms and Conditions", where a mother is determined not to make the same mistakes her own parents did, and "The Countdown", which takes a look at the worries of a first time father. Some of the stories are not for the faint of heart - they can get very, very dark and touch on subjects that may be uncomfortable for some to read about.


WHY FIVE STARS?
Even though some of the stories had a slight fantasy element to them and others veered into very dark territory, this was a relatable, interesting collection. At the core, most parents worry about the same things. Whether their children will fall in with the wrong crowd (whether or not their children are the wrong crowd), bullying, drugs, making mistakes, repeating history - each story is a slice of someone's life and gives just enough information about them so that we can get a feel, a snapshot, a few moments in their head.


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
(click a cover for more information)







Monday, June 13, 2016

Behind Green Eyes Big Birthday Giveaway Worth €175

Not Sponsored/Paid | No PR Samples

Hi!

If you've followed me on Snapchat for any length of time you're probably sick of hearing me bang on about this giveaway - but it's finally here. I don't do them often - but when I do, I like to give away things that I'd love myself, just to say thanks for reading and for being supportive and lovely. So over the past few months I've been collecting up a few things here and there to try and represent all the things I love. With the exception of the makeup bag (kindly given to me by Nicki of My Shining Armour with an order - I have one already so I'm passing this on) I've bought everything here myself and nothing was sent to me to review.

There WILL be a second prize, kindly given to me by a fabulous company that I know a lot of you love - but more on that later in the week.

This giveaway will run until June 21st, my birthday, so you have 8 days to enter.

To enter, either leave a comment on this blog post including the best way to contact you if you win or pop over to Behind Green Eyes on Facebook and leave a comment on the Giveaway Post. I'll put all names into a spreadsheet and let random.org pick a winner on the evening of the 21st, wifi permitting. That's two chances to win. 

So, what can you win?


An old shoebox! Wooo!


Ahh, that looks better...but what's inside?


One winner will receive:


  1. To-Do List and Pen from Penneys
  2. Purederm Exfoliating Foot Mask
  3. Purederm Mud Face Mask
  4. "Follow Your Heart" Notebook from Penneys
  5. "You're Better than Unicorns" Pen from Ban.do
  6. Heath & Heather Organic Coconut Green Tea
  7. Catrice Nail Polish in "The Sky So Fly"
  8. Bourjois Rouge Edition Souffle de Velvet Matte Lips in "Ravie en Rose"
  9. Cocoa Brown Instant Bronzing Gel Shimmer
  10. 3 Pairs Supersoft Trainer Liners from Penneys
  11. 15-Piece Face & Eye brush set from Jessup
  12. Purederm Eye & Neck Hydro Gold Gel Mask
  13. Intensive Hair Treatment Mask
  14. Dealz Magic Sponge Erasers
  15. Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Sachet
  16. Dr. Organic Snail Gel Mask
  17. "Things Are Totally Gonna Work Out" Notebook by Ban.do
  18. Book - Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
  19. "This Bag Contains My Face" Makeup Bag from My Shining Armour
  20. Deals Food Bags
  21. Ardell Demi Wispies
  22. Duo Glue
  23. Bourjois Volume One Seconde Ultra Black Mascara
  24. Sleek Face Contour Kit
  25. NYX Matte Lip Cream in "Milan"
  26. Yankee Candle Tart in "Sage & Sea Salt"
  27. Sulá Sweets - Fruit Mix & Butterscotch
  28. Daiso Makeup Brush Cleaner
  29. Garlic Press
  30. Penneys Individual Lashes
  31. Beverly Hills Perfect White Black Toothpaste
  32. Waxperts Beautiful Body Oil
  33. Dealz Silicone Egg Poachers
  34. Moo Goo Goats Milk Cleansing Bar
There were Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in there too but I ate them. I am but human. I'll pop some more in before the box goes out!! 

I tried to get a good mix of things - that garlic press (the thing that looks like a corkscrew) has made my life so much easier, it twists instead of pressing and it's brilliant for cooking. The Sulá sweets are 0.5 Syns per sweet on Slimming World - just don't eat more than 4 or 5 at a time unless you have loads of toilet paper to use up. I speak from experience. 

So, that's it - best of luck!





Sunday, June 12, 2016

Books I Read in May

Not Sponsored | No Samples | ARCs Clearly Defined

Hi!

I have 13 books for you this month:

The Rick O'Shea Book Club

The picks for May were "The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet" by Becky Chambers and "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins. I bought both, but chose to read the latter.


In this book, Dawkins presents facts about organised religion in order to prove there is no God. Do I agree with him? Not on everything, no. I think that while the facts were interesting and the hypocrisy of some religions are glaringly obvious, I think that Dawkins can be quite preachy and mocking of those who have a particular faith. It was a bit condescending, but it was definitely an interesting read.


Review Copies 

I'm really trying to get through my Netgalley requests, I've stuff sitting there since last September - so I got through four review copies this month.


My Husband's Wife by Jane Corry
Reviewed in full here, this is the story of two women who both have a huge role in one man's life. As the book opens, the man, Ed, has been murdered. The story is then told from the POV of Ed's muse, Carla, and his wife, Lily, over a period of fifteen years. I enjoyed this a lot.

Homecoming by Tanya Bullock
I received an email a while ago asking if I would like to read "the strangest love story ever told" - who can resist that? This is a short little novella, under 100 pages, but it was sweet and touching. It addressed a lot of issues that we don't often see in books - I don't want to give the plot away so I'd recommend taking a chance on it.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
I somehow ended up with two ARCs of this one - billed as Barack Obama's favourite book last year. This is the story of a marriage, that of Lotto and Mathilde, two hipster model types who fall for each other instantly and marry within weeks. Mathilde is mysterious, Lotto is creative. We get a look at their marriage from both sides - the first half from Lotto, the second Mathilde. Both paint a very different picture of their marriage and one has been hiding quite a lot. I found the book okay, but boring compared to what I was expecting.

Until Beth by Lisa Amowitz (YA)
Beth is a stellar guitar player, so much so that she ends up in a school for talented youths. Her boyfriend is one of a number of teenagers who have inexplicably gone missing, but could someone at the school hold the key? This was alright, but I've seen it a million times before. If "chosen one" or "divergent" or "immune" or "special" or "unique" stories are your thing, you may enjoy this. Personally I want to see strong independent female characters who don't just rely on some sixth sense to get by.

Audiobooks

I listened to three this month while doing housework or cooking, I find it such a great way to get more books in. Funnily enough I haven't been able to concentrate on any fiction yet, I tend to zone out, but I'm enjoying working my way through the autobiography section on audible and the library (there's a blog post here about how to borrow audiobooks from the library).


Is it Just Me? by Miranda Hart
I was really disappointed with this - I actually gave up halfway through. But poor wifi and having nothing else to listen to made me finish it one day, and it improved a bit - I just found it a bit repetitive, especially when half the stories have already appeared on Miranda's TV series. The main gripe for me was "18 year old Miranda" (Miranda using a high pitched moany teenager voice) popping in every few minutes, using slang like "sozbuckets". No.

The Life and Loves of a He Devil by Graham Norton
I love Graham Norton, I'm a big fan, and this was enjoyable. I really enjoyed the stories about other famous people - Madonna, Dolly Parton, Cher - and I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes gossip from Graham's various shows. There's a great story in here about Liza Minelli's wedding, enough to keep even the biggest gossip hound going!

The Soundtrack to my Life by Dermot O'Leary
I liked the premise of this - a life story told through songs. Just to be clear, there's no actual music on the audiobook (I naively thought there would be) - but Dermot talks about his life and career so far by dedicating a song or two to each chapter and talking about how it links in with that time period. There's the first song he played on radio, the song he listened to over and over while on holiday, songs from childhood, the song he associates with his first presenting gig, songs from T4, the X Factor, etc - my only gripe is that he talks quite fast so I couldn't always catch what he said, but this was enjoyable and it prompted me to make my own mini list about songs that I've attached to memories (I've listed them on my Goodreads review here).

Other Fiction



Wreckage by Emily Bleeker
Lillian went on a dream trip to Fiji and ended up stranded on the island after the plane crashed. One of only two survivors, Lillian is now preparing to give one final interview to the media to get them off her back. But Lillian is hiding something - what happened on the island? A great read for the first 50-60%, then it got a little silly for me.

The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
This was a 5 star read for me, it's a creepy Hammer-esque novel about a man reflecting on a summer spent at The Loney, a wild place with a Shrine reported to have healing properties. Along with his parents, his mute brother, and some family friends, the boy spends the summer at the creepy Victorian mansion where his parents are convinced his brother will be 'healed'. It's atmospheric, it's weird, it's creepy, it's disturbing, and I really enjoyed it.

The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs (YA)
Written in 1973 and set in the late 1940s, Lewis Barnavelt is sent to live with his magician uncle Jonathan after his parents are killed in an accident. Jonathan lives in a three storey stone mansion, one that has an incessant ticking in the walls. While trying to impress a new friend, Lewis unwittingly unleashes real evil - can he find and stop the clock ticking? This was enjoyable, a nice read, might be a good one for young teens around Halloween.


My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
This short book has been nominated for multiple prizes, more notably the Bailey's Women's Prize for Fiction 2016. It focuses on Lucy Barton, who is reminiscing about a long hospital stay she endured some years before. Her estranged mother shows up and they talk about people from childhood. There are allusions made to some darkness in Lucy's past but it doesn't really go anywhere - at one point I thought the Mum was a figment of Lucy's imagination because she was so detached. This has been billed as the story of a relationship between a mother and daughter but I didn't get it - I didn't enjoy it and felt it was overhyped. But I am in the minority and it's short, so give it a go and let me know if you like it!

The Cost of All Things by Maggie Lehrman (YA)
Described as being similar to "We Were Liars", this is a magical realism story in which teenagers are able to have their wishes granted - for a price. You want to be beautiful? Fine, but you'll have diminished intelligence as a result. You want to erase a painful memory? Okay, but here's some physical pain for you instead. This is full of secrets, lies, and it took me a while to read - I didn't love it. I liked the idea a lot but felt that it dragged a bit.

And that's it! If you have any audiobook suggestions please leave them in the comments, I'm running out of autobiographies and would love something light and easy to listen to - non-fiction if possible!

As always, you can go to my BOOKS 2016 page to access clickable book covers for all the books I read, they will take you to my full Goodreads review.

See you in July...





Friday, June 10, 2016

Five Star Friday #2 - Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Not Sponsored or Paid | No ARCs

Hi!

This book was recommended on a thread about favourite books by Irish Book Blogger Kate (Bibliophile Book Club). I'm a huge fan of psychological thrillers, and I hadn't read anything by Elizabeth Haynes, so I gave it a go.


Published | 2011
Page Count | 403
Genre(s) | Fiction, Psychological Thriller



PLOT
In 2003, Catherine Bailey is enjoying her life. She has a great circle of friends, enjoys nights out with them, and is hopeful for the future. She meets enigmatic doorman Lee Brightman one night and falls head over heels - Cathy and Lee are a model couple, even her friends seem to be jealous. Fast Forward to 2007 when Cathy is consumed by PTSD and OCD - she can't even leave her home without doing several routine checks first. She is living on her nerves, watching her back, looking over her shoulder everywhere she goes. What happened in those four years? And is it starting to happen again?

This is a terrifying portrayal of psychological and physical abuse. It's especially scary because it's so real - this man could be any man. The build up is slow, steady, tense. We know that something is about to happen, but Cathy doesn't. That adds an extra layer of dread - it's not pleasant to read at times.


WHY FIVE STARS?
So with all that in mind, why am I recommending it? Because if you like the genre, this is a shining example of how well it can be done. Thrillers are supposed to be thrilling. They're supposed to get your heart pounding, make you worry for the characters, make you wonder what's around the corner. There's nothing I hate more than picking up something with "shocking thriller" in the tagline only to be met with a lukewarm predictable story. This is none such story - it's one of the best thrillers I've read in years. Lee Brightman is definitely a candidate for the most sinister character I've ever come across in a book.


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
(click a cover for more information)





Friday, June 3, 2016

Five Star Friday - All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Not Sponsored or Paid | No ARCs

Hi!

It recently came to my attention (because I searched for it) that of the 407 books listed as "read" on my Goodreads page, I have given a full five stars to a mere 64 (just under 16%). I want to make book posts more regular on here, so every Friday I'm going to talk about a book I've rated 5/5. Starting with this - my first five star read of 2016.


Published | April 2015
Page Count | 544
Genre(s) | Historical Fiction | War Fiction | WWII

Winner of the Pulitzer Price for Fiction 2015


PLOT
A story about a blind French girl and a young German soldier who are linked by the horrors of World War II. We follow Marie-Laure as her city is being evacuated. Her father, a museum locksmith, is also a skilled model maker and has made a model of the city for Marie-Laure so she can learn to find her way around. We meet Werner in 1934 at the orphanage where he lives. He has a natural way with electronics, particularly radio equipment - this talent earns him a place in the National Political Institute of Education, eventually ending up with him being enlisted to the army. Although neither Marie or Werner know each other, their lives are linked and they will prove to have an effect on each other.

It's written in short chapters, so there was a lot of "just one more chapter" going on while I read it. I found it easy to read and thought the main characters and settings were distinctive enough so that I never had to go back and check who I was reading about.

The book is about survival during the very darkest times - both physically and metaphorically. My understanding of the title was that it was a nod to both Marie-Laure's inability to see physically and Werner looking for a light at the end of the tunnel, but the author explains that's it literal:

It’s a reference first and foremost to all the light we literally cannot see: that is, the wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that are beyond the ability of human eyes to detect (radio waves, of course, being the most relevant). It’s also a metaphorical suggestion that there are countless invisible stories still buried within World War II — that stories of ordinary children, for example, are a kind of light we do not typically see. Ultimately, the title is intended as a suggestion that we spend too much time focused on only a small slice of the spectrum of possibility.


WHY FIVE STARS?
I'll give five stars to something if it's the kind of book that gives me a book hangover - that takes me days to get over, one that I miss when it's finished. This was that kind of book - I wanted to post a picture of the cover to every book group I'm a member of, I wanted to talk about it with people and recommend it. It was a January pick in The Rick O'Shea Book Club, and I thought it was an excellent book club choice. It was wonderfully descriptive, even Marie-Laure's chapters, which is a feat in itself considering she had to rely on her other senses to describe what was going on around her.

I had one issue with one scene towards the end of the book that disappointed me - I felt that it was gratuitous and lent nothing to the story. I won't confess to knowing a huge amount about WWII, so I don't know if it was commonplace at the time, but it felt a little out of place compared to the rest of the book (it's in the "Berlin" chapter).

The rest of the book was so enjoyable that I felt it deserved the full five stars - I loved how the two characters were linked, and I thought the author did a great job of portraying the War from both sides.

I'd absolutely recommend it, apart from being a great piece of historical fiction, it's a wonderful story about survival, hope, and solace.


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY:
(click a cover for more information)






Thursday, June 2, 2016

MannyMUAxOFRA - Aries & Charmed. Plus Boozyshop Service Review!

Not Sponsored or Paid | No Samples Featured

Hi!

One Friday not too long ago, I was browsing kettle filters online (as you do) when I spotted an email from Boozyshop in my inbox. I had never bought from them before, but I signed up for promotional emails one time while looking at something or other I saw on YouTube - this time, the picture inside made me gasp out loud.

Listen, you know I'm a sucker for lipstick, especially liquid lipstick, especially ESPECIALLY mauvey nudey browny Kylie Jenner-esque shades. So when this picture arrived, tell me what I was supposed to do (apart from remind myself that I own shades like these and I've only one mouth)? WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DOOOOO?


Sweet lipstick gods. I HAD to have them - or at least, two of them. When I logged on and saw the price (€19.95 each), the collector in me had to be silenced - I knew I wouldn't wear Hypno very often, so I bought Aries and Charmed. Shipping was €9.99 (beware - I'm not sure if that's standard shipping or if it depends on package weight) and I got to choose a free sample from a selection of small items - I chose a single eyeshadow from Makeup Revolution.

I was emailed a tracking number relatively quickly. The order arrived via Fastway couriers within 5 days of purchasing, which I thought was fantastic considering it came from the Netherlands. Here's what arrived:





The little card was a lovely touch, thanks Kimberly! Everything was well packed in bubble wrap.


Makeup Revolution Baked Eyeshadow 
"Moon Dust".


This is a charcoal eyeshadow that has copper and silver going through it. It's nice, I won't wear it that often, but I'd say it would work really well wet as a liner. Pigmentation was great but in general any Makeup Revolution eyeshadows I've used have been good.

Here are the lipsticks:



MannyMUAxOFRA - Aries



Note - I had to edit out a particularly gross spot on my face in these pictures. Seriously - if you think the hairy face is bad, you would have puked at the spot. Lip colours haven't been edited, photographs taken in natural daylight. 



MannyMUAxOFRA - Charmed




Of the two shades, Aries is my favourite. It's really wearable. Charmed, to me, is more of an Autumn shade, it's darker on me than I expected it to be. It reminded me of Stila's Patina or MAC's Twig. Here's a comparison:


The formula was brilliant, both colours lasted for hours. Not quite as long as the Stila, but they performed well. I'd definitely buy more from OFRA, and I'm debating whether or not to go back for Hypno - watch this space...

Boozyshop stock a huge range of brands that may be music to the ears of fellow makeup addicts - as well as a huge range of Makeup Revolution products, you can get Milani, LA Splash, Morphe, and more on the site. I will be back!