Monday, June 30, 2014

Physicians Formula: BB Powder & 2-in-1 Lash Booster & Eye Serum

Hi!

Physicians Formula, having recently launched in Ireland, were looking for testers a few weeks ago for their 2-in-1 Lash Booster & Eye Serum. I was lucky enough to get my name in and received the product in the post.

[Source

Unfortunately, there were no instructions provided with the product so I just assumed it was to be used as a normal eyeliner and that it would boost the appearance of lashes. Wrong!! While researching this post, I've realised that it's actually something to be used over a period of time in order to boost both appearance AND lash growth. I really do think the product name could have reflected that better - as a result, I probably haven't tested this properly at all. Even on the PF website it says:


  • High-tech formula enhances the appearance of lashes while providing the instant definition of a liquid eyeliner, in one easy step!
  • Lash Boosting complex targets the base of lashes where it is most effective.
  • Innovative and easy to use eyelining tool delivers effortless definition.
  • High-tech Japanese formula is long-wearing, water-resistant and smudge-resistant.


Anyway - I've a couple of pictures for you and a bit about their BB Powder, so I'll carry on.


I was sent the shade Deep Brown, but it also comes in Clear, Black and Ultra Black. I don't have a price, but like everything else in the range, it falls somewhere between the €10-€19.90 mark. The Japanese influence is evident in the super-fine tip, which is easy to use and leaves a lovely clean line.

Here's a nakey eye:


My eyes are quite hooded, so anything that helps boost them is something I definitely want to be in on. I tried a few times to get a clean line myself (awful at eyeliner) - here are a few pictures.


In the next two photos, the eye booster is on the right (my left eye), none on the left.




I found it very, very subtle. I tried a thicker line and mascara:


And I roped a friend (thanks Karie!) into doing it again for me on both eyes because I was sure I was applying it wrong:




It's incredibly subtle. Look, there is a tiny difference between the two eyes - but not enough to make me want to run out and purchase this myself. I can't comment on the growth power of the serum as I didn't even know that was what it did - it doesn't state on the website or the product that it's a continued use product, so the majority of people would just assume it's an eyeliner. The US packaging DOES have that info, and the product seems to have great reviews. As a liner, maybe the black shades would be more pronounced, but the fact that there's a clear shade available points towards the main selling point of this - to boost lash growth. I'm going to use it for a few weeks and I'll post about it again - because I feel like I didn't really give it a fair chance. On a more positive note, it's suitable for sensitive eyes, contact lens wearers, and is Hypoallergenic, Fragrance-Free, and Paraben Free. Which is always a good thing.

On to the BB Powder:


I bought this on iherb.com a few months ago, before the brand came to Ireland. I wanted to make sure it would be available here before I featured it, and it is - it costs €17.90.
So what is it? It claims to have 10+ Beauty Benefits - including Smoothing, Perfecting, Protecting, Oil-Control, Pore Minimising, Airbrushing, Line-Softening, Concealing, Setting, and Long-Wearing. Quite the claims, eh? I can't vouch for the pore thing (life's too short to worry about pore minimizing) or lines, but it is pretty good at setting, it's long-wearing, and it does definitely conceal. It also has a SPF of 30, which covers the Protecting element.


Being the packaging fiend that I am, anything new or unusual impresses me, so the thick white case with holographic logo really appeals to my magpie side. It's cute.




The powder flips up to reveal a mirror and little brush.




I dumped the brush, preferring to apply it with an E.L.F Studio Powder Brush. I like to use the powder over BB Cream or CC Cream for a light, non-cakey look - seen here. (Pic is a few months old). Don't be heavy-handed with it - it needs a light sweep, which is why I dislike the small brush. I have dry skin, and it didn't feel heavy or tightening at all like some powders.


Is there anything else from Physician's Formula that you think deserves a mention? I want to try some mascara, blusher, and foundation next so I'll be picking those up at some stage. Any recommendations?

I don't have a full list of stockists yet, but will update when I do - it's on the way!

If you're ordering from iherb, use the code TMC827 to get a discount off your first order. This is my loyalty discount code, you'll get one of your own to pass on when you order.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Recipe: Quorn Burgers!


Hi!

With this recent spell of good weather, I've gone off big dinners. It's all about chicken wings, burgers, sausages, salads - we had a small barbecue last week, with some burgers & chicken. It was nice, but I'm really not a fan of mince beef at the minute. Good quality stuff from the butchers is one thing, but fatty bony lardy watery supermarket mince is quite another. I bought a packet of burgers from a supposed "good" brand (rhymes with........turds fly), the first one I've bought since the horsemeat scandal, and they were honestly the worst ones I've had yet. Piddly little tiny burgers that leaked water and shrank into shrivelled little mounds.

I had a couple of bags of Quorn mince in the freezer, so I tried a few things to see if I could make a burger from it. This is the recipe that worked the best - it makes two burgers.


* 2-3 small mushrooms, sliced.
* 1 small onion, diced.
* 1 clove of garlic, crushed.
* 25g cheese, grated.
* 1 slice of bread, grated into breadcrumbs.
* 1 egg.
* 100g Quorn mince, defrosted.
* Frylight.


Spray a pan with frylight and turn on the heat.


Put all other ingredients into a mixing bowl, and mix well. If you find the mix a bit wet, flour your hands.
Divide the mix in two and shape into burgers. 


Fry for 5 minutes, gently turn them over, and fry on the other side for 5 minutes until burgers are browned. Stick a knife in the centre of each burger to make sure they're piping hot.


I used a Pat The Baker Slimbo instead of a burger bun (one half per burger), and served them with a handful of air-fried chips and some salad.



Delicious!





Thursday, June 19, 2014

Throwback Thursday - My Diary: The One Where Love Doesn't Exist

This is another interview with myself. I did that a lot.

GONE IN 60 SECONDS - SHARON

  • Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with? Robert de Niro. (No).
  • What's your worst habit? Picking my feet. (Made even easier now with foot-peeling masks. Thanks, China!)
  • Who's your biggest idol? Madonna. (Madonna?! Wasn't she in full-on Austin Powers mode when I was 17?)
  • Do you prefer baths or Showers? Showers. (We didn't even have a shower at home, we had a bath).
  • What's your favourite book? Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen (I'm surprised I didn't say The Bell Jar).
  • Best school subject? German (This is true. I narrowly missed out on winning a school exchange to Germany. I did a project about.... food. Pretzels and wurst featured heavily.)
  • First record you ever bought? New Kids on the Block. (Lies. I got that for my birthday when I was about 6. First CD I bought myself was Five's first album. Was I trying to make myself look older or more retro or what?!)
  • Do you have any birthmarks? Yes, on my ankle. (And my chest). 
  • What's your biggest fear? Clowns, dummies, birds. (I don't like them, but I don't FEAR them).
  • What's your least favourite food? Baked beans. Disgusting. (Good call, teenage me. Yuck).
  • Who's your favourite actor? Vinnie Jones, Robert de Niro, Al Pacino. (More like David Boreanaz, Ryan Phillippe & Freddie Prinze Jr., you big LIAR!)
  • What's your favourite TV programme? Friends. (Yup).
  • Have you ever broken any bones? Yeah, ankle, finger, tooth. (I've never broken my finger. I had an obsession with thinking broken bones were cool so I used to pretend I broke things. I really DID break my ankle & tooth though. Not so cool then...)
  • What's the most expensive thing you own? My CDs. (I had over three hundred :D)
  • Are you a spender or a saver? A big spender. (Still true, unfortunately. Allergic to money).
  • Can you keep a secret? Depends on the secret. (I'm saying nothing). 
  • Who would you be on Stars in Their Eyes? Nelly Furtado. (I was a bit obsessed with Stars in Their Eyes, this question was on the last interview with myself too...).
  • Where's home? Leitrim, Ireland. (That may explain a lot. I'm JOKING. Leitrim is grand). 
  • Are you clumsy? Extremely clumsy. (This has gotten worse with age. I can't leave the house without a stain-hiding scarf. I'm stained right now. I stained my Wedding Dress).
  • Are you superstitious? Sometimes - I bless myself when I see a magpie. (I would have thought that I'd have relished the notion of sorrow on the way, tbh....)
  • Favourite colour? Black. (Well, DUH).
  • Favourite crisps? Buffalo Hunky Dorys. (I overdosed on them, can't stomach them now at all).
  • Country you'd most like to visit? Australia. (Kinda went off that idea when half the neighbours moved out there).
  • What starsign are you? Gemini/Cancer Cusp. (I think I'm just Gemini now, they changed it didn't they?!)
  • Favourite cartoon? The Simpsons (I haven't seen The Simpsons in YEARS).
  • Would you ever pose nude for Playboy? No way, never. (As if they'd ask, like. Jesus).
  • How old would you like to be when you're married? 30. (I got married 8 months before I turned 30!)
  • Who would you go to a fancy dress party as? Britney Spears (Sorry Britney, you've been usurped by Conchita Wurst. Always Conchita).
  • Do you know any magic tricks? Not that I know of. (And if I did, I wouldn't tell you. Because they're magic).
  • Worst film you've ever seen? You've Got Mail. Rubbish. (I watched that at a sleepover and totally ruined it for everyone else, sat on the couch in my Goth clothes rolling my eyes and skitting at it. I was a joy, wasn't I? I do still think it's shite, mind.)
  • Who would you like to do a duet with? Robbie Williams. (I loved Robbie because my friend at college loved Robbie).
  • Favourite pizza topping? Pepperoni & Pineapple. (Nooo!! No pineapple. Chorizo all the way).
  • Who do you fancy? Robbie Williams, David Boreanaz, Jude Law. (I don't EVER remember thinking Jude Law was fanciable).
  • Jim Carrey - Funny or Irritating? Very irritating. (Well, allll-righty then).
  • Love is.... Non-Existent. (Goth teenagers. Right there).
  • Eastenders or Corrie? Eastenders (Haven't watched that in months).
  • Pants or Thong? Depends on the occasion! (What occasion? You big eejit. Always pants).
This post also contained my signature and the date - 27/12/00. Two days after Christmas and I had nothing to do but interview myself. Maybe I got notebooks for Christmas?! 

My signature came at a time when I thought Sharon wasn't just enough, and was flirting with the idea of spelling it Sharryn. Yeah. That didn't really catch on.....


Also, can we take a second to appreciate the cover of my diary. A picture of Robbie Williams, one of Eminem, a Pokemon Pog, and.......a cut out logo from The Evening Herald. And yes, those are hundreds of tiny little pictures of Robert de Niro poking out of it. 


Yeah.



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Roger & Gallet Hand & Nails Cream - Luxury on a Budget!

Hi!

I've mentioned Roger & Gallet before - (here & here) - they're one of my favourite brands. I find it hard to pass the stand without having a sniff of something. Contrary to popular belief, and appearances, their products aren't actually ridiculously expensive. The hand creams I have today cost €6.50 each, which is a great price for such a luxurious little product.

I always associate hand creams with winter - but this warm, dry humid weather can be hellish on the skin. It's important to look after your hands and keep them hydrated and moisturised, and these are perfect for the job. Also, the SPF in the Creme Sublime Bois d'Orange one will help protect against the sun's harmful rays - all they want to do is give you the hands of a crone. Don't let them.


I was sent two of the creams to try out - and I loved both of them so much that I immediately went and bought the third one in the range. They come in the three scents you can see above - Rose (with shea butter & rose extract), Creme Sublime Bois D'Orange (with argan & evening primrose oil and SPF 15) and Fleur d'Osmanthus (with shea butter & apricot oil). As with all Roger & Gallet products, the scents really are the main selling point - they're just gorgeous. I was especially impressed with the Rose one - Rose isn't a scent I naturally gravitate towards but I've actually been using this one the most. The formula of the creams is fantastic - there's no sticky residue or greasiness. They're light, soft, and leave a lingering fragrance that compliments the Roger & Gallet range of scents perfectly. I leave one of the creams on the kitchen window and I'm able to type on the laptop straight after application without my hands slipping all over the place - a huge bonus if you work in an office environment.


I've been using them for about 2 weeks now (a few times a day) and I do definitely notice an improvement in the condition of my hands. The skin isn't as cracked or dry as it was a few weeks ago. I have developed a bit of a weird hand-smelling fetish (just my own hands, I hasten to add), but that's the only downside. They're 30ml, perfect for popping into a handbag.

They're gorgeous, and they'd make a perfect little gift (especially for new Mums - we're always washing our hands. Seriously. Surprised the skin hasn't just evaporated at this stage), or a pick-me-up for someone special. Available in chemists nationwide, priced at €6.50 each.