Sunday 21 December 2014

#irishbbloggersSS14 Big Reveal

 This is the second year that the wonderful Aisling from Total Makeup Addict has hosted the Irish Beauty Blogger Secret Santa and I have been very lucky to be part of both. Check out last years post here! 

This year my Secret Santa turned out to be the beautiful Nadine from The Parma Violet who I have had the pleasure of meeting this past year and has now become a great friend. She sent me a very cheery and Christmasy note with a little drawing of Christmas tree included. Here are the beautiful gifts she got me.

MUA makeup which I love, she got me the Hall of Fame eyeshadow palette which include the top 12 eyeshadows from the MUA range. It includes some beautiful nudes as well as a few dark shadows to bring you easily in to a night time look. She also got me MUA LUXE Velvet Lip Lacquer in the shade Reckless, it reminds me of my Lime Crime Red Velveteen I will be wearing this all over the festive period.

 She also got me Superdrug Tropical Peel-Off Mask which I was so tempted to use last night and then I remembered I had to take photos so its still in tack but I will be using it when I have my pamper bath on Christmas Eve. She also got me two festive Barry M polishes one in number 144 and other in 143 the both have glitter flecks with stars both will look great over a Christmas manicure.

She also got me some silver earrings from Penneys/Primark, I always lose earrings so extra ones are always great and these will go with any outfit.

She sent me this Ted baker set a body wash, body lotion and body scrub. All smell beautiful and will be part of my pampering bath routine.

I loved all my gifts from Nadine and could not be more happier. I love been apart of the Irish blogging community and Secret Santa and hope that Aisling continues it for years to come.

Check out all the other reveals today over on Twitter

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Hair Update - Raspberry Ombre

 I recently won a facebook competition over on Redhead Hair Design's Facebook page. I first became aware of the page after my friend Amy posted a glowing review up on facebook about the hairdresser Laura who is the face behind Redhead Hair Design. I checked out all her before and after pictures of various clients I was in awe of her work and talent. Her style of hairdressing was totally up my street
and the reviews on the page are all 5 star with everyone singing Laura's praises.

She posted up a facebook competition and I jumped at the chance as I knew in the run up to Christmas with presents Christmas parties and travelling getting my hair done would be last on the list. I was delighted to be announced the winner and was eager to get in her chair. I booked in for Sunday 14th of December (yes a Sunday!).

I can get a bit nervous about going hairdressers, not about getting my hair done but actually been there. As I moved around alot I have never had a regular hairdresser and I find they can be a bit overpowering lots of women chatting laughing at top their voice. But when I ventured into Redhead Hair Design I was made feel very relaxed all the girls were very welcoming and put me straight at ease. Laura herself is very friendly and chatty and really listens to what you want as well as been able to tell you what would suit you.

My hair turned out even better then I ever expected, and I could not be happier with it. Not only did I come out with a gorgeous cut and color but an amazing curly blowdry that lasted me three days, which is amazing as past curly blowdrys have just fallen out of my hair in 6 hours.

Laura's prices are the best around and so girls if your looking for a new hairdresser and over the north side of the city then Redhead Hair Design is the place for you. Just so you know Laura books up fast so booking early is advisable to avoid disappointment.
Redhead Hair Design is located in Finglas village upstairs with Apfashion nails beside Permenant tsb.

Thursday 23 October 2014 - Beauty needs at a click of a button

I have been waiting for something like this to come along for a long time now. There has been similar but nothing that not only has salon but also freelancers that you can book with a click of button.

A few weeks ago I was invited along to a Bloggers Brunch, teamed up with Wet N Wild to showcase the new website. Demonstrations on the day included  always fabulous Lisa Molloy who showed us some quick and easy hairstyles, even teaching us a thick on how to get curly blowdry in less then 5 minutes. Life Changed Forever!

Also Sarah Jane Lanagan was on hand to show us all the latest autumn trend with the use of Wet N Wild Cosmetics. From textured eyes to plum lips she gave us the ins and outs of things autumnal.

Both of these ladies can be booked through website.

So back to, the website offer everything from makeup to hair and nails to waxing, all at a click of a button. The website offers both salon and call out therapists/ hairstylists and nail technicians. 

At the moment it covers most of Dublin and is expanding into other counties with more and more salons and freelancers been added every week. You can book your hair appointment in your favorite salon, get a talented nail technician call out to your house and even book your wedding day makeup application for you and all your bridesmaids.

Each professional service on the website includes a biog on their services including a price list and any awards they may have obtained. There is also a gallery to view their previous work before you book.

In a few weeks will also launch a special offers section showcasing weekly and monthly special offers/discounts offered by salons/freelancers that we all can avail of.

Sound amazing so far well I have saved the best for last. How does a gift card that can be used all over Ireland in any salon or freelancer that takes them sound. Well that is exactly what have made for us. On the website you can order prepaid MasterCard gift cards that can used in any of the businesses that advertise the BEUTiFi gift card logo. So weather your buying it as a present to yourself or a loved one these make the perfect gift for ladies of any age.

So ladies check out for all your beauty needs.

Sunday 19 October 2014

A Little Bit Of Lush

I fall easily to the power of enablers that are beauty bloggers and youtubers. After watching Zoella's huge Lush haul I knew I needed some Lush in my life. 

Lush have just launched their Halloween and Christmas collections, I passed by the Halloween stuff and went straight to the Christmas collection. There is so much to choose from bath melts to bath bombs, cleansers to body lotions, shimmer bars to bubble bars, not forgetting the cult favourite shower gel Snow fairy.

I decided not too overindulge, as I like to keep my Lush supplies fresh and buy as I need then stocking up as their all handmade.
I went for too bath melts as I have been noticing my skin is on the little dry side and these melts can be extremely moisturising.

Snow Angel
This heavenly moisturising melt is every girls sparkly dream. With its heavenly Christmas scent and great moisturising qualities and not forgetting the gold shimmer I am saving this for my next date night.

Melting Snowman
We might not be able to build snowmans outside but you can melt one in your bath. After popping this guy in my bath this morning my skin is softest its been in a long time, I smell deliciously like Christmas.

New Charity Pot
At the till the lovely Lush assistant asked if I would like to buy the trial size tin of New Charity Pot, at only €1 and everything minus vat going towards Grassroots Charity's (environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights) . New charity pot is sold in a variety of sizes and has rave reviews online. In 2013 in U.K and Irealnd nearly €600,000 for charity in the sale of New Charity Pot. I have yet to use mine but I am going to pop this in the handbag and carry it around as my handcream. I also will be picking up more when I head back to stock up on more Lush products. 

So here is my mini Lush Haul with some festive treats.
Let me know what you are loving in Lush at the moment in the comments below.

Saturday 4 October 2014

Hello Mouthwash and Breath Spray

Last week I had the pleasure of of attending Hello product launch at the Trinity City Hotel hosted by National Beauty Distribution and Publicity Loft. It was a very hush hush event, myself and my fellow bloggers not knowing what sort of event we were heading to, just that it was a "Word of Mouth Party". If it was not for Aisling great detective skills (female Sherlock) and figured it might have something to do with oral hygiene, we would have all been in dark till the party.

So who is Hello?
Well you will be surprised as I was to find out that Hello was only created by known other then Mr. Craig Dubitsky, the creator of the infamous EOS lip balms. I probably should have known from quirky packaging. Confused by the "mumbo jumbo" that the Oral Hygiene industry goes on about, Craig wanted to introduce some friendliness to the industry.

About the products
At the launch we were introduced to the Mouthwash and Breath Spray. Both come in three flavors,
Supermint- a fresh minty burst of freshness
Pink Grapefruit Mint- a citrus mint
Mojito Mint- the name says it all you like mojitos you will like this!

Not your everyday peppermint mouthwash is it? Well these products not only have different names and quirky packaging, they also contain none of these nasty products
No Alcohol
No Artificial Sweeteners
No Colors
and my favourite
No Ouch

None of their products are tested on animals either.

How did I get on.

Myself and himself  honestly have been really enjoying using the products. I take the spray everywhere in my handbag and to college so I can have an instant burst of freshness after lunch. The girls in college have even commented on how cute it is. The mouthwash now lives on our new bathroom shelf and used morning and night. I can honestly vouch for the no Ouch aspect, as I was a bit eager last week ate some food before it was cooled and scorched my palette ending up with a pretty sore mouth. Even using the mouthwash I have no pain nor Ouch as Hello would put it.

Hello is available in McCabes, Sam McCauleys and Boots Pharmacy.

The mouthwash is available at €7.50
and the mouth spray at €4.50

Also Boots have a special offer on at the moment with 2 for €10.

Sunday 21 September 2014

Why I Nearly Gave Up Blogging!

Since I started blogging 3 years ago, the whole blogging world has changed completely, and you know what it was changing before I even joined. From a small corner of the Internet where mostly anonymous writers would talk about their life in detail to now what is an industry, where people consider it their job and make money from under their duvets typing on a laptop about everything and anything. 

When I first started blogging I knew nothing about pr companies, blogging events, page views, bots, trolls, spammers and seo. I just wanted some place I could write down my thoughts on my makeup and beauty obsession because I knew my family and friends were literally bored to death of my constant ramblings. 

It was my place to relish in all things beauty, share my thoughts, justify my spending and just to get away from everyday life. I kept it quiet for a good while, sharing it only on twitter and Instagram where people I did not know followed me. As my blog grew, so did my confidence and I finally shared it on my  other social media platforms where I had not only blogger friends but people I knew for years. To my suprise it was perceived well and I wondered why I ever worried about it.

Before I started my blog, I only ever read one blog, I never knew about the international or even the ever growing Irish community. When I became involved in it my blog reading list grew and I tried to read as many blogs as possible especially all the Irish ones I knew of, always trying to keep up with the flood of bloggers starting up. 

I have been lucky enough to be invited to a good few pr events and I was always so astonished that I was even invited. It's no secret that my blog never had a massive following, so to be invited to events where I rubbed shoulders with bloggers who had thousands of followers was incredible to me.

So where did it all change, well that fear of not been accepted came back but not from those close around me but actually from the some of the blogging community( I say some because 95% of them are amazing and genuinely the most welcoming people I know) and pr companies. 

Blogs all of a sudden had become the in thing and blogs that were constantly growing seemed to lack in content yet all I could see everyday was their Instagram/twitter been flooded with pr samples. These blogs gave glowing reviews of literally everything received yet lacked in necessary components that I looked for in blog posts. It was if everything that they received was a holy grail item. I struggled some days to find posts that actually didn't set to please and actually gave in depth and honest reviews. Something that I always try to provide on my blog. From this I actually doubted my own blog, did the readers want me to up my content but lack honesty, because by what the statistics show of readers following blogs this was it.

I was shunned by a few pr companies and brands, some because I am not known enough by them, one or two brands because I have worked for their companies and they know that from my experience I do not have the highest opinion of them and their practices. There are also a few including an Irish brand because I did not write about as soon as everyone else did.(No one told me there was a time limit). This whole thing of sending in your page views and bounce rate and returning visits really got to me, I really am a firm believer in quality rather then quantity.

With this grew my lack of confidence, so when I got trolled on my last YouTube video over my choice of lip color and how I spoke I literally felt like giving the fuck up and forgetting it all. And I honestly did, I have not posted a YouTube video since even though I adore it. I gave up outfit of the days after readers commented that they were happy to see a girl of larger proportions sharing ootd, they were actually paying me compliments, but in my head I saw it as been called fat.

Finally I met a handful of bloggers who have in blatant terms become stuck up their own arseholes over the past few years, they who were once part of our ever loving, supportive community have now decided that we are two small now to fit into their ever growing heads as their views and readers/subscribers grow. I recently met a blogger that was honestly shocked that I had been around for so long because they had never heard of me or my blog/YouTube, and made a comment that maybe I should just forget it all as I did not grow as much them in the time span we had been around.

I also felt confined in my blog, I started to want to include different aspects of my life from personal issues I have dealt with, to other things I enjoyed from gaming to cooking. This overwhelming feeling of nobody wants to read this and the fact I had become consumed with numbers and statistics and I completely forgot why I started in the first place.

So I gave up I stopped writing all together, I put my camera and tripod away in a box and stopped with something that made me happy for a few years. I let companies down with reviews and refused event invitations and I let my readers down and I stepped back from my social media and my amazing blogger community of friends . I stopped involving myself in #bblogger and #irishbblogger conversations. I most of all let myself down because I let things that are so trivial get to me and my passion. I let the fear of not been good enough and not looking perfect get in the way of something I enjoyed so much. I let words and actions hurt me.

By taking that step back and giving myself a few months, things became a lot clearer. This fear of not being good enough disappeared from the support of friends and family and of course my ever supportive partner. I stopped caring what people thought and remembered why I actually fell in love with blogging in the first place.

I also read a blog post from GEMSMAQUILLAGE  . She made me see that I was not the only one who had these feelings about blogging and actually gave me the push to to actually consider getting back into it.

So I sat down and wrote out a plan that if I was going to do it then I wanted to change a few things, improve stuff and vary what I wrote about. I also wrote down the pro and cons and there was one pro that made it seem all worth it.

The blogger community
These lovely females who have come into my life and have been so supportive of everyone, no matter where you come from, how you look or how many views you have. Your accepted no matter what. I might not see them that often but I know their only a tweet away. When I went to Anita's blogger meet up the other week, I finally realised that I still wanted to be apart of it and I thank her for still including me in the invite as I had been so quiet for so long.

There are so many other bloggers that have been supportive but you think I can locate pictures of us, NOPE! so here are some honorable mentions:

I am probably forgetting a few so do not scald me but I adore you all equally and thank you for having me in your community.

So welcome to my blog it's been here a while and will be here a good while longer. Expect honest reviews and ramblings about not only beauty but my life. If it's not for you then that's ok because there's an x in the top corner and I am sure you know how to use it. I am here for me and for those who want to read my blog.

Friday 18 April 2014

#FOODDAY - What I ate in Cork

As I stated in yesterday's post thank you to everyone on twitter for their recommendations on where to eat while in Cork. 

Early evening we went on a little stroll around Cork checking out a few of the places suggested as well as looking for a place to eat. Me being me half way through the stroll I ended up needing the little ladies room. My eye caught sober lane across the bridge and I made a dash for it. We decided to stay for a drink, the place was pretty full so we took the only table available at the side of the bar. Needless to say it was the nearest table beside the kitchen and the beautiful smell hit my senses and we decided to stay for dinner.

I decided on the baby back ribs in the spicy sticky sauce and himself went for the meat burger which is two 4oz beef patties with Irish Cheddar. We bought choose two sides also as they were only €3, I choose the parsnip chips and himself choose the onion rings.

Yes them sides were only €3 each!
Needless to say we were stuffed afterwards and could not fault any part of the food. Their menu has a good selection of and sides with something for everyone. They also have great deal if your heading with a few friends €20 for one pizza of choice with 4 bottles of beers/bottle of wine/ pitcher of beer Its very budget friendly with our meal and two pints of beer under €40. I would highly suggest sober lane to anyone weather your going for a quiet drink or to watch the match or to just to use the ladies room. Whatever the reason once you see (or smell) the food you will get some.

This was one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Cork. I love everything to do with food and this place is a foodie paradise. Even if you do not even buy anything having a look around is just fascinating with lots to ogle at.

I sent this picture to my mother as she is an avid cake lover and wanted to make her droll.

Passing by the fish section I spotted a little sign saying espressos €1, getting to my afternoon slump I stopped to recharge the batteries. I instantly fell in love with this little sandwich stall but I will get back to that later.

This was our second visit to Soho that day we had planned on heading to another place but after heading to three different restaurants to be told at half eight in the evening the kitchen was closed. We headed back to Soho in hope of a table.

We had been there that afternoon for lunch, I had completely forgot to take pictures in defence we were starving especially himself after carrying all my shopping bags. We got a portion of the chicken wings in their suicidal sauce and also went for the daily special of beef enchiladas with chips. Both were delicious and could not fault them at all.

When we arrived back at Soho, they were very accommodating even though they were very busy and we did not have a booking. We had a little wait for a table but I did not mind I got to sit at the bar and enjoy a glass of wine.

For starters we both wanted to try something a little different, himself went for the Monk fish on lemongrass skewer on a bed of shredded courgette and sesame. I myself went for the vegetarian sushi, I have never had sushi as I only like certain fish. Both were very tasty and we both got to try some Wasabi which we have decided never to try again.

For mains, he went for the 10oz rib eye steak in medium  which was served with pan fried mushrooms and onions,peppercorn sauce and french fries. He devoured the plate and said it was a very enjoyable meal.

I myself went for the Madras Curry, served with chicken( you could have had beef), wild rice and a poppadom. Unfortunately mine was not as enjoyable, as an avid spicy food lover, Indian been one of the main things I would cook and eat on a weekly basis, I was highly disappointed in this curry. Madras is supposed to be the second hottest curry, this one was far from spicy. It was very bland and mild and would be stretching to even call this a curry. It was edible and cooked well but for something that is nearly €20 I expected a bit more. I will state their plates were presented very well.

I will like to add in that the service we got in SOHO was excellent we were waited on by one of their head male staff who I never caught his name. We were there on the 26th of March.

As I said I was going to revisit this little stall I fell in love with. On our last day before we headed back on the bus I headed back here purely because I wanted to try their delicious looking food. I walked around the market three times just so I could sit at their benches.

They do everything from salads to noodles, from rolls to sandwiches they even had a special that day of Channa Masala which was a chickpea and vegetable curry served with a mango chutney and fresh coriander and basmati rice which smelled absolutely delicious.

We both went for the same roll which I can not remember exactly what was on it had salami, spinach sun dried tomato amongst other things. They even heat them up for you on their sandwich grill which they then served neatly in this paper wrapping. We both have since agreed these were the best sandwiches we have ever tasted!
I could not recommend this stall enough, the staff are super friendly, you get service with a smile and will probably eat the best sandwiches ever!

The stall behind The Sandwich Stall, and original stall of The Real Olive Co which own The Sandwich Stall and provide ingredients for the amazing sandwiches. This was our first purchase at the market which was devoured in a few days. A beautiful sun dried tomato pesto. For €3 this portion did about 5 portions and was super tasty. I have since learned this company have 7 stalls and 1 shop in Dublin City which you can check out locations here

As well as some spices for my cupboards I also picked up this Tomato Focaccia bread from the bakery stall in the Market. For €2 it was a bargain and delicious and would loved to have picked up some more of their loafs. (In the picture half of the loaf had already been eaten so imagine the size of it)

 I hope you enjoyed reading about all things food wise I had in Cork. Let me know if you have had anything really tasty lately.

Thursday 17 April 2014

My Recent Stay at The Montenotte Hotel in Cork City

Recently me and the other half went on a midweek trip away to Cork. I had been working alot over the month of March including the whole week of my Birthday that a few days away was needed. 

So we bought a voucher from Pigsback for 2 nights away in The Montenotte Hotel. As neither of us drive we took the Aircoach which turned out to be the fast and budget friendly with it only 20 euro return each for non stop express bus to Cork.
The journey was very pleasant, the bus was not overcrowded and each chair reclined and had two plug sockets per 2 seats.

The hotel itself is located on top of a hill which was a trek with the suitcases but not too bad without, the hotel does boast a five minute walk to centre which unfortunately is untrue, even walking downhill to the centre its more like 15 and 25 minutes back up the hill. I was grateful for the views the hotel did have and that it was situated away from the bustling busy streets of Cork.

The room itself unfortunately did not live up to expectations,  The Montenotte Hotel boasts a four star rating, and its website does showcase some beautiful rooms but I have stayed in nicer rooms in a three stars. Our room was a very decent size but they gave us two double beds when we only needed one. I would have greatly had a smaller room as the extra bed made it sightly difficult to move around. There was only one plug socket visible, on the second day, the other half had to move out the beds to try and find a second socket so we could both charge our phones at the same time. The bathroom was less to be desired the shower head was pretty old and so was the bath. while sitting in the bath you could see all the pipes under the sink which looked a bit grubby. The wardrobe in the room also had a good few chips taken off it and needed a new coat of varnish. The room also had 3 huge windows but only one of them opened.

Staff wise they were very friendly from the beginning and were there to help in anyway from bringing up an iron or calling us a taxi. We had a bottle of wine included in our voucher which we decided to have brought to our room. We had a choice of any wine which was great so I choose the Pinot Grigio my favourite and to my surprise my other half liked it as well. ( He never drinks wine.) It was presented beautifully to the room.

The breakfast staff were pleasant, but both days we did have to ask for tea/coffee though while any other couple were asked straight away when they sat down, which I found strange. One member of breakfast staff was very lovely though indeed, she was chatty and very helpful with anything we needed at breakfast. their breakfast selection was great from fruit to cereal, yoghurt's to fry and a great selection of bread. The view from breakfast was also great you could choose to sit on the left hand side which was over looking all of Cork. We were blessed with sunshine while we were there so the views were very clear.

The hotel does have a leisure centre but neither of us swim and we spent alot of time down in the city that we had no use for it but I heard from other people it was lovely and hosts a gym, steam room, Shauna and Jacuzzi and a 20 metre pool.

The Bar was a decent size and very well laid out and decorated. It had televisions to broadcast games and sport fixtures. Drink prices were reasonable for a hotel with a pint costing around €5.20~5.40.

Cork itself is a beautiful city with many shops, restaurant and pubs. On the way down I tweeted asking for recommendations of places to go and was inundated with replies. I would have loved to venture out to Douglas as I was suggested a few places out there for food and such but we decided to stay in the city and not venture too far away from comfort. I mostly went for shopping and not sight seeing but if your a foodie like me I would highly suggest visiting The English Food Market while there.

As tomorrow is #FOODAY I will be covering more on the The English Food Market and also our meals in Cork. So keep an eye out tomorrow.
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