Sunday, April 26, 2015

Nature Republic Snail BB Cream and Korean Blusher.

***No PR Samples Featured***

Hi!

I've been after the Nature Republic Snail BB Cream for a looong time. It featured on a wishlist post of mine back in 2012 after I got a sample of it with an eBay order. When I came across it again, and saw that it had been repackaged, I took the plunge and ordered shade #1.




It comes with one sponge applicator tip attached, and another one spare. I personally don't like the tip - apart from looking a bit.....phallic..... I seem to waste too much cream. I prefer using it without the tip as you can see in the second picture, the sponge pops off easily and I can squeeze some on to my hand to use with my fingers or a brush.

The whole "snail" thing sounds a bit gross, doesn't it? It's something that I'm still not sure how I feel about. It's not something that kills a snail, it's a mucus secreted naturally by the snail that's collected and processed as an ingredient to help heal and regenerate skin. I can't in good faith sit here and not pretend I don't think it's a little bit yuck, but I quite happily eat many kinds of animals and wear leather shoes - so I don't know. I DON'T KNOW. I don't know how I feel. I've seen mink lashes appear on a couple of sites lately and they made me shudder, but I'll rub snail slime on my face. Am I a giant hypocrite? Probably.

Back to the superficial - and the reason I wanted to buy this for the last 3 years - the coverage. It's like no other BB cream I've tried. It's light, but it gives full coverage at the same time. It's dewy, but it's not shiny. It's thick, but it's not mask-like. Shade 01 was a teeny bit dark for me but I was a bit heavy-handed with it. It lasted all day without budging and it felt lovely on.



I want to mention a lipstick and blusher here too - because I've been wearing this trio an awful lot lately. The blusher is from Mivagirl, a Korean brand that I found on Born Pretty Store. This is shade 04.



It's gorgeous. I've been using it with a big fluffy Real Techniques brush (it does have one of those flat half moon brushes in the bottom but I don't use it) and it's just lovely. Subtle highlighting, no glitter, no shine, just lovely buildable coraly goodness.


The lipstick is one I found while looking for shades similar to Lime Crime's Cashmere. It's a L'Oreal Infallible 2-Step Lip Colour in Neverending Nutmeg (Shade 119). I'm not sure if that shade is available here, I couldn't find it in Boots anyway. It's called L'Oreal Infallible 24hr lip colour here, and there are several shades available. I bought mine on eBay and I love it - the lip colour is matte but not drying, and the gloss stick locks it in. It's not a stain, but it lasts ages.




So - what do you think, are you going to be putting snail slime on your face any time soon?

Links to products:

Nature Rebublic Snail BB Cream
Mivagirl Blusher
L'oreal Infallible Lip Color

Blogger Tricks

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review of myperfumesamples.com!

**No PR Samples Featured**

Hi!

Firstly, this is NOT a sponsored post, I just thought it was such a fantastic service and I would be happy to recommend it. I chose and paid for the samples myself.

I've talked about perfume on here before. I wish I could say it were my only vice - it's joined by books and makeup (and Penneys and candles and stationery) - but there are worse things to be into, right? The problem is, it's a costly little habit. I have come to appreciate those little 1.5ml vials that are included with makeup orders or in beauty boxes - they're a great way to try something out on your skin to see how it works on you.

I know that there are companies that sell boxes of samples along with a voucher for a full sized bottle, but I didn't want those, I wanted to choose my own. Plus, most didn't ship to Ireland. I had a bit of a google, and found myperfumesamples.com - I wasn't sure if it was legit or not, so I went to youtube - and found a lot of reviews from Wonky Compass. She lives in New Zealand so I figured - if they can get to NZ safely, they can get to Ireland!

The concept of the site is this: They sell decanted vials of original perfumes for a couple of dollars each. The vials start off at 1ml, then go up to a 3ml spray and a 5ml spray. The 1ml aren't a spray, and they aren't in fancy packaging - they come in plain vials, attached to a card labelled with the perfume name. I ordered all 1ml sizes, I picked ones I couldn't get here (plus an old favourite or two).

I placed my order on a Tuesday, it was shipped the next day and it arrived the following Monday! Shipping is expensive - $9.99 - but that's International First Class with tracking and the samples start from 49c in the sale section. They have everything you could think of on the site -  from Tom Ford to Jo Malone to Taylor Swift.

I chose seven samples.

Britney Spears - Believe.
Aquolina - Pink Sugar.
Givenchy - Play.
Agent Provocateur - Agent Provocateur L'Agent.
Kate Spade - Walk on Air.
Jennifer Aniston - Lolavie (also called Jennifer Aniston).
Jessica Simpson - Fancy Girl.

This is what they look like:

(The basket is mine)



I wore each one over the course of a different day, so I could give a good review of each. Actually, before I get into the reviews - can I just say, 1ml is more than enough as a sample. The perfume might look piddly in the vial but when you think about it, you get more than 30 sprays from a 30ml bottle, don't you? Well you get much, much more than one wear from 1ml.

Jennifer Aniston - Lolavie/Jennifer Aniston
Lolavie, also known as Jennifer Aniston (the perfume, not the woman) has top notes of Jasmine and Rose, with base notes of Sandalwood and Amber. I didn't get rose in here at all - this was very powdery and light, like a baby in a fluffy towel on a beach. Sillage was fantastic, and it lasted a good 4 hours on me before it started to fade. It came into its own when I went outside - fresh, breezy, soapy (in a good way) - it smells exactly how I would imagine Jennifer Aniston to smell. Here's what I felt about this in picture form - it was stunning. This was a big hit with my husband too. Released in 2010.


Jessica Simpson - Fancy Girl
Ugh. This is the kind of scent that turns people off Celebrity perfumes. With top notes of Raspberry and Pear, and base notes of Sandalwood and Musk, this smells like sweets and rotten fruit. There's a very fruity hit when you smell it - a candy, synthetic, sugary, headache-inducing berry smell. But there's an undertone of something really horrible - on me, it genuinely smells like mould. Like strawberry mould. It's awful, and I had to wash it off. Released in 2014.


Agent Provacateur - L'Agent
Oh NOW we're talking. This is unbelievable, and the blending is amazing - it's full of all my favourite things in a perfume. Patchouli, Incense, Pink Pepper, Tuberose, Tonka Bean, Rosewood, Amber, Sandalwood, Myrrh, Musk - on first spray it did smell a little bit like the incense in the yoke the priest used to swing around at mass, but when it settled - I sat smelling my wrists. It's smokey, dark, woody, seductive, sexy - the lasting power was fantastic. It may be too heavy for this time of year but I will be buying this at some stage. Gorgeous! This was released in 2011.


Kate Spade - Walk on Air
Another winner - based on "femininity and the city of New York", this combines top notes of lime, bergamot and lily with a base of white iris and violet leaf. When I sprayed it first I thought it was very light, but it settled down into a lovely warm lime fragrance - fresh, not overpowering, with the violet coming through. It lasted ages, it's beautiful, and it's a gorgeous, inoffensive, grown up fruity summer fragrance. This is Charlotte from Sex and The City in perfume form, really. Released March 2015.


Britney Spears - Believe
Oh, Britney. I like Britney's perfumes, usually. They're made by Elizabeth Arden, and although they're a bit sweet for some tastes, I like the candyness of them. This, though - no. It's patchouli, normally one of my favourites, but on me, this smells musty rather than musky. It smells like an old book that was left outside in the rain. It's horrible - synthetic, plasticky, old fashioned. Absolutely awful, and does not deserve comparisons to Thierry Mugler's Angel based on sharing a few top notes. Unfortunately, it lasted ages on me. Released in 2007. Britney's bad year. NO COINCIDENCE.


Givenchy - Play for Her
When I was 17, I bought a bottle of Givenchy Oblique Play. I chose this sample assuming it was the same scent - so I was a bit annoyed when I smelled this perfume and realised that it wasn't the candybomb that Oblique Play was. Instead - this has shot straight to the top of my "I want this NOW" list, joining the Hourglass bronzer. I want it. Now. It's full of my favourites - Musk, Sandalwood, Tonka bean, with a top layer of Pink Pepper and Orange Blossom. It's got Bergamot, Orchid in there too. It's warm, it's sexy, it's floral and woodsy, it's feminine, it's absolutely DELICIOUS and I was sitting smelling my wrists for hours afterwards. It's beautifully blended and it's just lush, it's like a big hug. I want it. Released in 2010.


Aquolina - Pink Sugar
This has been on my "to-smell" list since about 2012 when Róisín mentioned it. It's a sugar bomb if ever there was one - aimed at "young girls who like sweets". This has Bergamot and Raspberry on top, then a middle layer of Licorice and Candyfloss, with Caramel and Vanilla lurking around the bottom layer. It's mixed well, the sillage is good, but it didn't last long on me. I didn't get Raspberry on me at all, I got an immediate bang of Iced Caramels that lingered for a couple of hours at most. It's a shame, because it's lovely - definitely one I'll spray on a scarf for a bit more longevity. Released in 2004.


If you're still reading - your medal is in the post!

Overall I was delighted with the whole experience and I am already preparing a wish list for my next visit. It's a fantastic way to try several new fragrances without poisoning yourself in Boots or doing what I always do - overspraying a disgusting one.

Do you own any of the ones I tried? Or do you have any recommendations for me?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#IrishBlogCollab Week 3: Playlist

Hi!

Fairly simple topic this week for the #IrishBlogCollab - a playlist or favourite album.

Considering my favourite album could change from hour to hour, I've made a playlist of stuff I'd put on a mixtape.

It starts out pretty 90s and nostalgic but by the end we're into full singalong cheese territory - it's me in playlist form!

By the way, Adam Rickitt - I Breathe Again should be in here. But Spotify don't have it. *wail*.

Enjoy!


Check out the other bloggers taking part in this collab at the links below:

Zoe
Catherine
Denise
Marie
Lara
Cat
Maeve
Cathryn
Eimear



Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Why You Need To Vote Yes on May 22nd.

Hi!

The original title of this post was "Why You Should Vote No on May 22nd" - but I've had feedback from some people who felt uncomfortable sharing it because of that title, and others that were annoyed by it. So the message still stands, but I've changed the title of the post.

On May 22nd in Ireland, we're having a Referendum on whether or not LGBT people will be allowed to get married. Here's why you should vote no:

If you will be paying for their weddings from your own personal bank account.

That's it, really.

Otherwise, I implore you to vote yes. I wasn't even going to do a post on this but there's so much I want to say that I get muddled and flustered and annoyed - really annoyed.

I live in a very rural area in the Midlands. LGBT people don't make up a huge percentage of the population, but they are here, and for the most part I have always assumed that they're accepted - that might be incredibly naive of me, going by recent "revelations" from people I thought would know better.

On May 22nd, we are voting on whether or not a woman can marry a woman, or a man can marry a man. That's it. We're not voting on whether they can adopt a child or on their parenting abilities. Every single argument against this vote that I have heard in my locality has mentioned children. One argument included the sentence "but listen to me, if they get rights, they'll want more. They'll want to adopt and it's not right, children need a mother and a father." This was from someone who didn't raise his own children, by the way. I'll be sharing this post on facebook, so if you happen to see this and recognise yourself - tough. Shame on you. SHAME ON YOU.

Considering everyone is so concerned about children and about same sex parenting and traditional parenting - I'll say this. I was born to a married couple, and raised without a father. Two women raised me. My mother and my grandmother. My mother did not make good choices all the time. I had no male influence. I think I turned out alright, if you'll excuse the ego. I may not have gone to University and gotten a degree, and I am a little bit fat, but would a Dad have changed that? I'm not mean, I'm not a racist or a bigot, I'm married, and have three sons now. I think I do a good job with them. I don't get pissed, I don't do drugs, I don't abuse or neglect them. I think I'm a good wife. Being raised by two women didn't mean that I was afraid of men or I didn't know what to do around them or how to deal with them. I've never felt uncomfortable around men. Did I miss out on a Dad? Maybe. But I had a mother, and sometimes I feel like I missed out on a mother.

We are voting on marriage. Only marriage. On whether or not two people should be allowed to stand in front of their family and friends and tell them, and each other, how much they love and care for one another. In a society like the one we live in, so full of hatred and fear, so full of evil and badness, why on earth would you want to be responsible for denying someone of doing that?

Buy your badges at voteyesbadge.com.
All proceeds to the Marriage Equality campaign.

I often look at those wonder kids who can do things like play Mozart on the piano at 4. Or those people who, at aged 22, have done more in their short lifetimes than I've done with a ten year head start. I often think - "I have done nothing in my life worth anything except have my children". If you can identify with that feeling, here's your chance. Change lives. Change the course of history. Stand up and show people that we are not as backward and as ignorant as we are sometimes portrayed. You can be a part of something amazing, something that will lead to true equality - or you can be a part of destruction, pain, prejudice. Unless you are a member of the LGBT community, this isn't going to change anything for you personally. Nobody is going to knock on your front door and declare your marriage invalid or any less important just because others will be given the opportunity to marry. As far as I'm aware, my wedding ring still means something.

Stand up for your future gay sons and lesbian daughters/friends/nieces/grandchildren. Those who feel strongly that the definition of marriage should not be changed have already lost - because it has been changed. Women no longer have to give their jobs up after they marry. More and more women don't take their husbands names. Sometimes (like myself), we have a child first and then live together for a decade and THEN get married. Some people bring children from previous relationships into marriages. It has already changed. THE DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE HAS ALREADY CHANGED.

The people who are against this are really against it, and they will vote No. They will vote no, because they are afraid of change. Some will vote no because they don't understand what they're voting for. Please, please vote Yes on May 22nd and show solidarity with those who just want to be able to get married.

I'm all for balance and hearing both sides on most issues - but I can not wrap my head around the reason for denying two people a marriage. What effect does it have on you? NONE. Absolutely none. Think about it. NONE.


If your argument involves children, firstly go and tell all your childless married friends that their marriages are invalid. Then, think about all the children born to alcoholics, drug addicts, prisoners. Those children are already on the planet. They need help right now. The hypothetical children that some think will be handed out across the hatch at the HSE office along with the marriage certificates do not. If you feel that strongly about the safety and welfare of the children of Ireland, get off your arse and do some volunteer work for Childline, Barnardos, Temple Street, St. Vincent de Paul, or some of the other charities who would be only too grateful of your assistance.

This is your chance to sit back with that smug grin on your face at the end of May and think "I did that. I was part of that. I helped change history." Do the right thing - all you're voting on is whether or not two people who love each other should be allowed to get married. That is it.

Make sure you're registered to vote - check www.checktheregister.ie to find out if you're registered. You still have time to apply for a postal vote - the deadline is April 25th according to the website. Deadline to register for voting at your local polling station is May 5th.

Visit yesequality.ie for more information on the Yes Equality campaign.




Monday, April 20, 2015

Now That's What I Call Music! Collab with Rare Opal

Hi!

A while ago, my fellow blogger and lovely friend Breige asked me if I'd like to do a collab post about our "Now That's What I Call Music" memories. Now... probably isn't as popular today as it was in the 90s/00s - in later years they seemed to be churned out every few months. They almost seem out of date by the time they come out now, such is the sheer speed of music availability. Years ago, getting my hands on a song I liked could have taken months! I stopped buying them about ten years ago, but in the 90s, it was a different story.

Here's Breige's post about her memories of Now....36.

My first Now album was Now....34. I'm warning you, I'm going to go into very rambly nostalgia territory here so if that's not your thing, you may want to check out the Essie swatches that I posted earlier today instead.


Now That's What I Call Music! 34 was released in Ireland and the UK in August 1996. For reference purposes, here's a picture of me in August 1996. I don't know why I'm making that face.


In August 1996, the Summer I turned 13, we went to England for the first time for a week. We stayed with friends of my Mum's in Northampton, but we stopped off to visit relatives in Luton first. While we were there, my younger cousin Kevin gave me this album on tape, saying he was sick of it. "Kevin's tape" was written on the front cover in biro and I was overwhelmed because it was the most recent compilation and we didn't get tapes very often, they were expensive! Most of my tapes were mix tapes of stuff I taped off the radio. I played it to death that summer and it introduced me to some of my favourite albums over the next few years. So thanks, Kevin!

That summer brings back a lot of memories for me - first time in England, first time at the cinema in a different country (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), first time in The Body Shop (strawberry lip balm FTW), first time at a theme park (Wicksteed Park), first time at McDonalds, and the day my Mam's friend bought me this book, which I still have:


That tape accompanied me on my walkman everywhere when we got home. I listened to it every single day without fail. I think there were four tapes - two as the equivalent of CD One, and two for CD Two. Here's the tracklisting:

CD One:

  • The Spice Girls - Wannabe
  • Robbie Williams - Freedom
  • Peter Andre - Mysterious Girl
  • Dodgy - Good Enough
  • Ocean Colour Scene - The Day We Caught The Train
  • Larry Mullen/Adam Clayton - Theme from Mission: Impossible
  • Underworld - Born Slippy
  • JX - There's Nothing I Won't Do
  • Gina G - Ooh Aah ... Just a Little Bit
  • Pianoman - Blurred
  • Livin' Joy - Don't Stop Movin'
  • Louise - Naked
  • Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
  • 2PAC - California Love (feat Dr. Dre)
  • Pato Banton - Groovin'
  • Reel 2 Real - Jazz it Up
  • Maxi Priest - That Girl (feat Shaggy)
  • Los Del Mar - Macarena
  • Umboza - Sunshine
  • Wink - Higher State of Consciousness
  • Todd Terry - Keep on Jumpin' (feat Martha Wash & Jocelyn Brown)
  • Robert Miles - Children
CD Two
  • George Michael - Jesus to a Child
  • Oasis - Wonderwall
  • The Bluetones - Slight Return
  • Paul Weller - Peacock Suit
  • Bon Jovi - Hey God
  • Bryan Adams - The Only Thing That Looks Good on Me is You
  • Belinda Carlisle - In Too Deep
  • Suggs - Cecilia
  • Blur - Charmless Man
  • Suede - Trash
  • Joan Osborne - One of Us
  • Crowded House - Instinct
  • Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
  • Tina Turner - On Silent Wings
  • Everything But the Girl - Wrong
  • OMC - How Bizarre
  • OMD - Walking on the Milky Way
  • Space - Female of the Species
  • Cast - Walkaway
  • Boyzone - Coming Home Now
I've chosen five favourites from the first tape, and five from the second. You can listen to them all on this playlist - each one takes me right back to that Summer every time I hear it. As a result of this album, I became a massive Blur and Bryan Adams fan. The Spice Girls were on there too but I loved them anyway - Wannabe isn't included on my playlist because I never liked the song. I was Peter Andre crazy - I used to have little pictures of his face stuck all over my homework copy at school. 



*Drowns in Nostalgia*




Swatched - Essie Resort Collection 2015

**No PR Samples Featured**

Hi!

Every year, Essie releases a "Resort Collection" around this time. It's a capsule collection of four polishes, usually bright pastels or spring colours that all compliment each other. This years collection is no different - four staple colours that will go with just about anything.



Once again, I decided to go for the mini polishes because I'm not getting value from the larger bottles - I've never finished a nail polish. With these, there's much more of a chance of me making a dent in them. On to the swatches!

First up is Suite Retreat, and it was a one-coater. It's a lovely dusky blurple that I thought was similar to a Sleek polish I have (it's not) or Essie Butler Please (it's really not). It can look blue or purple depending on the light, it's almost grape under artificial light. Formula was perfect, no issues.



Up next is Cocoa Karma - a lovely light coffee coloured brown. This was also a one-coater, and is a gorgeous dusty light brown that looks like a strange choice for this time of year, but I'll show you in a minute why it's probably my favourite. No application issues on this either.



This goes with so many colours and is the perfect compliment to the blue and white striped combo that seems to crop up every Spring:


Next is a great coral colour with an even better name - Stones n' Roses. This was a little harder to work with, I found it a little streaky and it needed three coats to even out properly. But it was worth it, it's a great colour.



Lastly is my least favourite of the bunch - Time For Me Time is a sheer pink with slight shimmer in the bottle that barely transfers to the nail. It's hard to build up, I still had visible nail line after three coats. It was reminiscent of the O.P.I NYC Ballet collection from a couple of years ago. It would make a nice bridal polish, or a great layering polish with glitter, but it's not my cup of tea at all unfortunately.



I bough mine from CBNailstore on eBay (my second trusted Essie seller after Beautyzone2007) - it was around €17, the Dollar and Euro are pretty much neck and neck at the minute which is a bit of a nuisance. I couldn't find this mini set for sale in Ireland, but the full sizes are available at Boots and Pharmacies nationwide for €9.99 each.



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Glossybox April 2015 - Iconic Hollywood Edition

Hi!

I was really looking forward to April's Glossybox. It had been revealed last month that the theme for April would be "Iconic Hollywood", featuring a special illustrated box that comes in four colours - pink, blue, yellow and green. All boxes feature a picture of Marilyn Monroe on the front and a quote from one of four Iconic Hollywood actresses on the lid -  Marilyn, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor and Audrey Hepburn.

I got the blue box, and it's beautiful to look at.





Let's see what's inside!



When I opened this box, I will admit to thinking "is that it?!" because the five products inside were quite small. But, having looked around at other reviews, I think I got a really good box - others got a nude nail polish or bath pearls - I'm really glad I didn't get either of those.

Lord & Berry Lip Crayon in "Kiss". - Full Size, £10/€13.83
A bright orange-toned red lip crayon that applies really smoothly and dries to a soft not-quite-matte finish.

Pop Beauty Kajal Eyeliner Pen, Black. Full Size, £6.50/€8.99
A standard soft kajal eyeliner with a smudger on one side. Great for lining the waterline, but found it difficult to create a flick with this, also not as black as it looks in the stick.

ModelCo Bronze Shimmer Bronzing Powder. Sample Size, £5.71/€7.90
This is a decent sample size, the full size has 0.35oz of product and this has 0.12oz. The shimmer isn't as scary as it sounds, it's actually a lovely colour. It's a very warm powder.


Nougat London Luscious Lip Balm - Cherry Blossom. Full Size, £6/€8.30
This is the fourth Glossybox in a row in which I've gotten a lip balm. I'm not complaining, particularly - I do love them, but it'd be nice to see a gloss or treatment next time instead. This is lovely, the packaging is so pretty and it's a nice balm that feels lovely on my lips. The cherry scent isn't overpowering either.

Astral Original Face and Body Moisturiser. Sample Size, £0.97/€1.34
A decent sample, 50ml. The full size product is only £3.89 for 200ml though - so not necessarily a luxury product. This is a thick, greasy moisturiser that has been used for years and supposedly removes makeup too, I do remember a couple of pots of this floating round the house when I was younger but I've never bought it myself. I will probably keep it as a hand cream because it feels too heavy to use on my face.


Swatches on my face of the liner, lip crayon and bronzer - when applied with a Real Techniques multi tasking brush, the bronzer blends beautifully and it's not glittery. It can be built up too - I'm on a bit of a bronzer kick at the minute so this will be used!

Overall I do like everything I received, I probably won't get much wear from the lip crayon as I think it's too orange toned for me, but everything else will be used.

Total Cost Including Delivery: €18.71 (60c dearer than last month's exchange rate)
Total Value: £29.18/€40.36
Verdict: Win!

If you want to get your hands on the Iconic Hollywood Edition, there's still time to subscribe. If you don't want to subscribe, you can take advantage of a Spring Bundle offer - two Collectors Edition boxes for £22/€30 (post included) - the Hollywood box and the Andy Warhol-inspired Pop Art box. Details here.