Wednesday, April 30, 2014

You Organic Orange & Ylang-Ylang Night Balm

***Disclosure: Product provided for review. Opinions 100% mine!***


You Organic are an Irish Natural Skincare company, founded in 2012. In 2013, the company won Silver at the Sustainable Beauty Awards in Paris. Late last year, they introduced the Orange collection - a range of handmade products including a lip balm, body lotion, eco soy candle, and this night balm.

The balm contains Almond Oil, Beeswax, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter, Aloe Vera Concentrate, Vitamin E and essential oils Neroli, Bergamot (Bergapten free), Ylang Ylang and Benzoin. You Organic products are not tested on animals, and are free from Artificial fragrances, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) and Mineral Oils.

The balm comes in a 20ml pouch, which I found quite hard to work with initially. A little of this goes a very, very long way - I didn't want to waste any, but when I left the pouch at room temperature, it went into liquid and was hard to pour out just enough - this is more than enough for my face and neck.

I left it in the bathroom on the windowsill where it's a little cooler, and it solidified just enough for me to get the right amount out. I've been using this for about a month now, so here are my pros and cons:


  • Melts into skin immediately.
  • Multi-purpose - can be used as a face cream, aftershave balm, or on dry skin patches.
  • Really improves dry skin.
  • All natural Ingredients.
  • One pouch will last ages - I have been using it 2-3 times a week and have barely made a dent in it.
  • Fragrance dries down to a lovely fresh orange scent.
  • Does not feel sticky or oily on the skin.
  • Pouch can be hard to work with unless left in cool place.
  • Initial fragrance is quite strong.

Based on how good it is at rehydrating dry skin, yes.

And that's it, really. I've found that this balm really comes into its own when used on dry patches of skin at night - I don't just mean on the face, either. I've had dry skin on my arms and have used this to great effect. It feels really luxurious and doesn't leave a greasy residue on my hands when I rub it in - it makes my hands really silky, even though it's not really intended as a hand cream I have been known to rub a little bit in if my hands are particularly crone-like on occasion. 

It has a shelf life of 6 months, and costs €29.99 for a 20ml pouch.  I don't like using too many lotions & potions when I have to handle the babies, and I know there's no hidden nasties in here that will irritate their skin either, which is really great.

You can get in touch with You Organic here:

Twitter: @youorganic

You can also visit them at their Botanical Apothecary Studio in Dublin or book a facial at their Organic Facial Rooms -  e-mail hello{at} for more information.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My First Beauty Box - Paesebox Review!

*****Disclosure: Competition Prize*****


I've never ordered a beauty box, despite being tempted many times. I've always just thought they were essentially expensive lucky bags - that there would be one or two things I would like, and the rest would be tossed aside. The addition of little sample sachets or tiny 1.5ml perfume testers has also put me off - to me, that's not something I want to see in a box I pay €20 odd quid for. I know there's an initial buzz but I've watched too many letdown videos to want to spend money on a surprise.

I entered a competition ran by on their Facebook page a while ago, and was lucky enough to be one of the winners. My prize was a Paese Box from Paese Ireland and I was so excited to see what I was going to get! Anything I've ever bought from Paese has been of excellent quality (in particular their makeup base and nail polish remover).

The box itself is quite small - it's not that much bigger than a kindle. When I opened it, I was surprised to see how much they had managed to pack in there - I got 5 full sized products.

I'll go through each one individually and let you know the retail price going by the current information on the Paese Ireland website. First up is this lovely eyeshadow trio:

This is called "Caffe Latte" (yes, there are two "f"s in Caffe...) and retails at €6.99. This trio is part of the "Opal" finish - the shadows are buttery smooth and amazingly pigmented. I would never have considered Paese for eyeshadow before this but they're absolutely gorgeous, I can't speak for any other finish but the Opal ones are a definite must-have. For €6.99 it really is a super little product, and the shadow lasted ages without a primer.

Next up is this Automatic Eyeliner (I don't know what Automatic means when it comes to eyeliner - is it just that it's a twisty-up one instead of one you need a pencil parer for?!)

Again, this is a gorgeous product. I haven't used eyeliner in ages, mainly because I tend to go for black which is quite harsh, but I have used this one several times since I got it. It makes a perfect companion for my Smashbox palette, and it has great longevity. This is in the shade "Brown Glam" and sells for €8.99 on the Paese site.

I never really realised that even a subtle little bit of eyeliner can make such a difference to eye makeup - the eye on the left of the picture has eyeliner, the one on the right doesn't. This should give you a better idea of how pigmented the shadows are too - I didn't use any primer.

Next up is a nail treatment - this promises to increase the wear of a polish by up to 3 days, and also to strengthen nails to the point where they are as strong as acrylics. I've got a few similar treatments but I will give this a whirl, my nails are quite prone to snapping at the moment so anything that can help that even a little bit is grand with me! This retails for €5.99 and there's a huge range of treatments on the site.

Finally, I got two nail polishes (yay!!). I have already got a few Paese nail polishes, and I think they're fantastic quality for the price. I reviewed a couple of them before here and here. I already know they're really good - and I was really happy to see one of the new Summer Time shades in here. I've also never tried a silk formula polish. These retail for €4.99 each.

The green polish was a one-coater, and applied beautifully. I gave it one good thick coat and it dried in no time with no visible brush strokes. The silk polish was also one thick coat, but was just a small bit streaky in that I could tell where I lifted the brush from the nail. I wasn't overly keen on the silk finish to be honest - the colour is lovely but I'm glad I haven't splurged on any silk finish shades from any other brands. I've a feeling it could make an excellent stamping polish, leave it with me!

The silk polish (as with most textures) is pretty in direct sunlight, but unfortunately it's just too cool toned for my skin, it does nothing for me at all.

So there you go - a box containing 5 full-sized products of great quality, with a total value of €31.95. I've been informed by Paese that the Paesebox is a limited, recurring offer on their website. You can keep an eye out on their twitter or facebook , as they announce when it's available. In the meantime, you can purchase a huge range of Paese products on here.

I'm still not sold on the whole mystery box idea, but I could be swayed by another Paesebox or two in the future.

I just want to mention also that were winners the other night at the Littlewoods BOPS awards, taking home the prize for Best Business & Corporate Read. Huge congratulations and well deserved!

Thanks to both and Paese Ireland for a great prize.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Katy Perry Killer Queen Oh So Sheer & Inspired NOTD


I reviewed Katy Perry's fragrance "Killer Queen" last September in this post. Since then, the limited edition follow-up "Killer Queen: Oh So Sheer" has been released. I got this as a present for Mothers Day (those babies are very kind to me altogether, they bought me nail polish and hair stuff too).

As with its predecessor, the bottle is amazing. I love these bottles, they're definitely one of my favourite bottle designs to date. The colour scheme this time is bang on trend - radiant orchid, anyone?

The scent itself is like a lighter version of the first fragrance. While I loved the first one, I haven't been picking it up as much lately as a daytime perfume since Spring began. It's still a great night time perfume, but for daytime I find it a little heavy in the brighter weather. This one is perfect - it's not as woody as the original. On initial spray it's fruity and sweet, but not sickly sweet. It's almost like a caramel fruit pie - there's a great mix of notes in there. Drydown is good, I could still smell it a few hours later, but as an EDP it definitely didn't last as long as I would have expected it to. It's a really pretty daytime scent and I've been using it a lot since I got it. Thanks, babies!

I loved the vampiness of the original Killer Queen - but this one was crying out for nail art. I did some quilting with striping tape and "Oh My Glitter" from Essence (as recommended by Dolly Rouge to fit in with the Radiant Orchid theme), then used acrylic paint to give a black & white border on the ring finger. Finally, I added some tiny gold beads with a cocktail stick and a dab of clear polish to mimic the gold on the box. 

If you want to have a sniff of "Killer Queen: Oh So Sheer", check your local pharmacy, it's still available in mine so I'm sure it's around. If you can't find it locally, you can get it on The Perfume Shop or from Fragrance Direct.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Throwback Thursday: My Diary: The One With the Fake Magazine Interview


According to a very yellow piece of paper, I recorded this interview with myself on July 14th at 10:45pm. The year isn't mentioned but I'd say I was about 17/18. I typed it out and put it into my diary. I also called it "The Last Word" but it has nothing to do with Matt Cooper. Or an actual magazine. I'll explain anything ridiculous in italics.

What did you do on your last day off work?
I slept in until about 2pm, cause the night before seeing as I didn't have to be up early, I went on a mad bender and conked out for the best part of the next day! When I did get up, I caught up on my e-mails and watched crap American daytime TV in my PJs! (This never happened. And I had no e-mail account. Or job.)

What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
God, I can't even remember. I think it was Scary Movie. I kinda prefer waiting for videos lately, I tend to embarrass myself at the cinema quite a bit. (I have never embarrassed myself at the cinema. Unless you count falling asleep during The Santa Clause 3 and pissing my sister off, but come on. That movie didn't even need one sequel, let alone two. Also, videos. I miss videos.)

Where did you spend your last holiday?
In casualty in a hospital on the Isle of Man with a broken ankle. I have neither time nor interest to repeat that experience. (This is true. But it also implies that if I had the time, I'd go back and break it again. I wouldn't.)

What was the last thing that really made you cringe?
Ireland losing their last match in penalties. I was screaming at the TV and there was a moment that I thought we had it. There wasn't a person in the whole country who wasn't crying that Sunday. There was alot of drunken crying n' all! (Who are you. Seriously.)

What was your last big fashion mistake?
Ha! Every time I get dressed I commit a fashion crime, but I'm hardly worried. I prefer to follow my own style, even if I look desperately in need of a stylist! (Attitude: Admirable. Fact that I was writing this more than likely wearing those market-stall Adidos trakkie bottoms with poppers all down the sides: less admirable.)

What was the last present you bought somebody?
Um, apart from buying myself presents, I'm not sure! Does Xmas count? Ha. Um, actually, I think it was - this is embarrassing cause it's so small and stingy - it was a single on tape for my younger sister that she really wanted. It's the thought that counts, right? I also bought my Mam a bar of mint crisp from the petrol station last week, good, eh?! (Tapes and Mint Crisps. A simpler time.)

Can you remember your last dream?
I always have really vivid, weird dreams. The kind where I tell people and they're like, "WHA???!!" Last night I dreamt that I was stuck on a schoolbus, and I tried to ring my mam to come get me, but it was the middle of the night and I didn't know where I was and I couldn't get off the bus or get through to my mam's phone. My dreams are usually well weird. ("Well weird"? I didn't speak like that. Seriously.)

What was the last TV show you watched and enjoyed?
I'm a complete TV addict so to choose 1 would be sacrilege! I love "Bad Girls" but I'll tell you what I really love - really stupid shows like Jerry Springer and Ricki Lakes where they get freaky people on. (Ricki Lakes. Lakes. Lads.)

When was your last snog?
Too long ago! I've been single forever, there've been a few snogs here and there but nothing worth talking about. It gets depressing. There's someone I'd really like to get with, but we'll have to manage to be in the same place at the same time for a change! (I wish I could remember who that was.....also there most definitely were not a few snogs here and there, there were no snogs....probably because I was at home interviewing myself instead of out looking at boys....)

What was the last song you sang along to?
Oasis, Go Let it Out. Noel was dead on when he said that the album would be kick-ass. It's absolutely brilliant. (I never liked Oasis, I liked Blur. Also I just youtubed that song and I swear to God I don't remember ever hearing it before).

When did you last cook?
My mam had the dinner ready when I got up today, so it was last night. Oh, yeah, I microwaved a rasher last night at 12:30 and ate it watching telly. (I microwaved a rasher. Oh, Sharon.)

When did you last cry?
I dunno, probably during some stupid fight with my sister, my instinct is to fight back but sometimes it gets a wee bit out of hand and the waterworks start! I don't like crying cos it gives me a headache but I don't think there's anything wrong with a good noisy ball if you're in you're own home! (Everyone loves a noisy ball...)

What do you make sure you never leave home without?
Money cos I'd be screwed otherwise hahaha! My walkman is glued to me regardless of whether I'm in bed, the shop, or the pub. (Walkman!! Tell the truth, walkman with Aqua's first album on tape stuck in it...)

Who would you impersonate on Stars in Their Eyes?
After I'd been given the brandy, I'd make a stab at Nelly Furtado. If I was a bloke, I'd do David Gray, but obviously they'd wanna have a VERY good costume department for that to go off!! (I can just imagine myself up there....smelling of booze, warbling Babylon in my suit....also, "bloke?" I'm from Leitrim. Leitrim people don't say "bloke". )

Would you ever grass up on a mate to save yourself?
Absolutely Never. I'd make sure we were in it together, no one person would take the blame regardless. It's important not to let friends or especially family down whatever the circumstances. (Unless I have a sound alibi).

What is your worst habit?
Chewing my toenails and sticking them between my teeth, poking at my gums, not listening, twisting my hair into knots, talking in my sleep, picking the skin off my feet. Take your pick! (It's okay. I don't do any of these anymore. Promise.)

What is the best advice you've ever been given?
If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything. I don't always do it but I wish I could. (This still stands!)

What is your favourite film?
There's no point even trying to answer that cause I can't choose. I love Vinnie Jones and Robert de Niro movies but I also liked Interview With the Vampire and Reservoir Dogs of course! (Of course!! In my absolute hoop, my favourite films were Hocus Pocus, Titanic, and all teen High School movies.)

And for your last words, what would be on your headstone?
"Don't turn off the lights". (What? WHAT? No idea. None.)

Walkman, Mint Crisps, Videos, Tapes, Snogs and Blokes. Says it all, really.....

Friday, April 18, 2014

Nail Basics: The Foil Method


The foil method is something I would presume any nail polish wearer knows about, but I know that's not true - I only found out about it a couple of years ago, until then I used to think people were scraping the polish off with the foil...... I'm sure some people avoid wearing glitter polish because of the horror involved in removing it - embrace the foil method and you can be as sparkly as you want!

Firstly, here's what happens if you try to use a cotton pad dipped in nail polish remover to take glitter off.

Is there anything more annoying? To get it off with minimal effort, you could buy one of those nail polish remover pots from Bourjois - but I prefer this way because you don't have to buy anything extra and you're not left with a manky sponge after a few weeks.

You need some cotton pads cut in half, enough strips of tin foil to cover your nails (cut about the width of a credit card), and some nail polish remover. Acetone and Non-Acetone work equally well.

Soak your cotton pad in nail polish remover, then wrap around the nail.

Cover the nail and pad with tin foil, and scrunch up tight to seal. Repeat for all fingers.

Leave the tin foil on for a few minutes - usually 3 or 4 is enough. Then, give the tin foil a firm twist and remove from the nail. Most of the glitter should now be on the pad!

To get rid of the last bits of glitter, just fold one of the used pads over and wipe the nail. The glitter will come off instantly (99% of the time anyway).

See? No scrubbing, no picking, no scraping, no messing, no stained cuticles, and no bits of fluff all over the place. Just wash your hands thoroughly afterwards and use a cuticle oil or hand cream to make sure you don't dry your nails out.

You can also use this method with pure acetone to remove gel nails, just be really conscious of the fact that acetone is very drying to the skin so make sure not to forget the hand cream.

Anything else nail related you'd like to see?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Mary Fitzgerald, How Do You Do?


As I've mentioned before, I had an old nostalgia blog for a while - it was overrun with spam in the end so I took it offline and saved the posts. I think the whole Throwback Thursday trend is a great way to spread a bit of happiness by reminiscing, so as well as doing bits of my teen diary, I'll be throwing the odd post from the old blog up here too.

Today - How Do You Do?

"Make and Do Mary" originally started out with a short slot on Saturday morning's "Anything Goes" with Aonghus McAnally (pronounced, incidentally, Mac-an-Alley. NOT, as someone in my house used to pronounce it, Mac-anal-y). Mary later got her own 15-minute slot on The Den, called "How Do You Do..?". Poor Mary would stand there in her bright, multicoloured jumpers, big dangly earrings, glueing and cutting with the patience of a saint, and show us kids how to make a loo roll into a dog. Or something similar.

Like the female version of Neil Buchanan, Mary would guide us through yards of newspaper, clay, pipe cleaners, washing up liquid bottles, and cardboard boxes. I never, EVER had any of the proper ingredients. We didn't use fairy liquid so the bottles were never the right shape, and I'd say I was well into my teens before I saw a pipe cleaner in real life. Ditto for Neil and the PVA glue - I genuinely didn't get my hands on that until I was about 16 (at which point I was too old to make things like spaghetti picture frames so instead spent many an hour spreading that all over my hands and picking it off again).

Mary would make wonderfully creative things, I especially remember her foray into miniature furniture made from matchboxes and/or clothes pegs and/or lolly sticks. I made the best dollhouse furniture ever! Thanks Mary! As an aside, I only recently discovered that you can now buy bags of lolly sticks in craft shop. Gone are the days when you'd have to save up all the sticks from your Fat Frogs or Sparkles, wash and dry them, and hide them in a safe place so that your Mam wouldn't throw them out.

Mary now owns a PR company, Mary Fitzgerald Public Relations, and you can buy a DVD of 12 episodes of "How Do You Do..?" from her site for €12 including delivery in Ireland. Check out Mary's website for more information and a link to the Paypal invoice.

Here are a couple of videos I found on youtube, all credit to the uploaders.

I have an awful craving for a big lump of mala. Márla? Mála? Plasticine.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WW-Friendly Breaded Mushrooms & Garlic Dip


I haven't done a recipe in so long. I've always enjoyed my food-related posts, so I thought I'd do the odd one again. I'm trying to stick to weightwatchers because I know it works for me, and I'm also trying to introduce the boys to lots of different types of food over the next few months. As a result, and a pledge to myself to not end up eating bloody lemon sole for dinner four nights out of the week, I wrote a list of all the foods I like and looked up healthier alternatives.

I love garlic mushrooms so much. Actually, I love anything covered in breadcrumbs or pastry. This recipe was a bit of mish-mash of actual recipes and substitutions based on what I had in the house - the main ingredient being mushrooms that were in danger of heading for the bin.

A portion of garlic mushrooms in a restaurant could be anything from 15pp upwards - a (tiny) 100g portion from the supermarket is 6pp before you cook them, and that's not including any dip. This plate of mushrooms plus the garlic dip worked out at just 6pp. If you're following the Simple Start plan, you can use calorie-controlled bread, substitute quark or natural yogurt for the cheese and omit the flour, just make sure the mushrooms are bone dry before rolling in egg.


  • One slice of bread, toasted: 2pp (you can knock another PP off here by using Hovis Nimble or other low calorie bread - this was all I had)
  • 10g plain flour: 1pp
  • 1 medium egg, beaten: 2pp
  • 25g Aldi lighter soft cheese: 1pp
  • 6 mushrooms
  • Chives
  • Spring Onions
  • 1 Garlic Clove
  • Put the toast in a food processor or blender to make breadcrumbs. Set aside in a bowl.
  • Wash your mushrooms, dip into the flour, then egg, then roll in breadcrumbs.
  • Fry using frylight until golden brown, or alternatively bake in a preheated oven at 200c for 10-15 mins. I used the Airfryer at 200c for 10 minutes.
  • To make the dip, crush one clove of garlic into the soft cheese. Chop the spring onion and chive and mix well. 

Some of my mushrooms kept losing their crumb, so I just gently packed it on using my fingers.

They were absolutely delicous and made for a gorgeous supper! They'd be great for lunch, as a starter, or even as part of dinner with a big salad or some veggies and rice.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Swatched: Lac Attack Magical Mischief Collection! (Picture Heavy)

***Disclosure: Polish provided for review. Opinions & words 100% mine!***


Being an equally big fan of Harry Potter and nail polish, you can imagine my excitement when I got the chance to swatch some polishes from the Lac Attack follow up to the Magical Musings collection inspired by the world of Harry Potter.

"Magical Mischief" is a collection of 10 polishes, all based on some of the most interesting Harry Potter characters. The collection is a collaboration between Anastatsia from Lac Attack and Kirsten from Glitta Gloves. I have 8 of the 10 to show you today, so I hope you like them!

First up is this fabulous green, called Dobby the Free Elf.

Dobby the Free Elf is a forest green jelly with lots of different hex glitters and some bar glitters. I didn't have any major application problems but this did take a few coats to build up and the first one or two streaked a little, so I'll use it over a green base coat next time. The photos below show 3 coats, no topcoat.

Secondly, I have Mad-Eye, named after Mad-Eye Moody. This is possibly one of the nicest polishes I have used in the past year - it's just gorgeous. It was a real surprise and I adored it. I used two coats of Mad-Eye over two coats of Rita Ora for Rimmel - White Hot Love.

Next I have The Chosen One, named after Harry himself.

The Chosen One is a red and gold glitter. I used two coats over a base coat of Essence Red-y or Not, a really old Colour & Go polish that still stands the test of time.

Up next is Padfoot (Sirius Black's teenage nickname) - a really gorgeous unique brown holo. Brown is not normally a colour I gravitate towards, but a brown holo is definitely a thing of beauty. This took 2 coats and wasn't at all streaky like some holo polishes.

Next in line is Moony, a silver/blue/grey foil. The pictures show two coats, no topcoat.

Moony (named after Remus Lupin's school nickname) is a perfect mix of silver, grey and blue. It brings to mind not only the colours you would find in a Werewolf's silver fur, but also the moon itself. It has a foil finish but isn't gritty to touch.

This next one is the one I left for last - it's not my colour at all but I know orange is a great colour for this time of year so I said I'd give it the benefit of the doubt! This is Weasley is Our King.

This is a light burnt orange with shimmer. Thankfully, this wasn't one of those polishes that's shimmery in the bottle but flat on the nail - the shimmer really does transfer and although I think the colour does me no favours, it would be a great Halloween polish and represents its subject perfectly.

Next I have a glitter - but this is no ordinary glitter. This one's named after Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, and it GLOWS IN THE DARK.

A.P.W.B.D is loaded with glitter, including some really cool moon shaped ones. They were easy enough to fish out, but I seemed to catch more moons on the second go. I layered two coats over one coat of Pumpkin Polish purple.

This is the best glow-in-the-dark picture I could get, I played around with the settings on my camera and eventually caught the glow. It didn't last very long - maybe down to the fact that I used a topcoat to make it smoother on the nail - but I will try it again without a topcoat and report back!

The last one I have is Nymphadora, named after Nymphadora Tonks.

I tried Nymphadora over Jessica - Conch Shell, a bright pink.

Much like the character it's based on, this polish can look really sweet or really badass. Over pink, it's a pretty, soft topper. Over black - you can see for yourself.

Stunning, isn't it? I loved this collection. You all know how much of a sucker I am for polish and pop culture, so anything that combines the two is just MADE for me. I think Anastasia and Kirsten did an amazing job here, and the quality (as always) is fantastic. Thanks so much to Anastasia for giving me the chance to try them.

Please do a Buffy the Vampire Slayer collection next!