Sunday, 30 November 2014

Bargain Christmas False Nails from Primark

A couple of weeks ago I went to Primark and while I am not usually a fan of false nails, I saw that there was a huge selection of festive themed nails, and at only £1 per pack how could I resist? In fact I liked the sparkly snow scene nails so much that I picked up 2 sets of them! 

 I like these red ones that I got, but first I wanted to try out the sparkly blue ones!

They don't look too bad for only being £1! The only thing I will say about them is that the shapes and length of them are a little erratic. I couldn't find a decent sized one in the pack for my thumbs, and while the rest of my nails looked nice and long, I had to make do with a short, square thumb nail! Still, that is  a minor complaint I suppose!

It's hard for me to get used to wearing false nails, it has taken every effort to type this post up while wearing them, but of course they are perfect for over the Christmas season!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

My Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is my absolute favourite time of year! I love giving (and receiving!) presents, and I have picked a few things that are a safe bet to buy, for your sisters, friends or work colleagues.

1. A Yankee Candle. I am a huge lover of Yankee Candles, and I do not know who wouldn't want to receive one as a gift! Their Christmas candles are a family favourite at Christmas time, and I really don't think Christmas would be the same without a lovely Yankee Candle!

2. A nice perfume! A perfume will always be well appreciated. I think most people tend to lean more towards more musky, woody scents in Winter. I have pictured Thierry Mugler Angel, which I did a review of here ! It is a lovely smokey scent, and the bottle also looks pretty festive!

3. A Lancome Mascara Set! If you want to buy a present of the cosmetic variety, a mascara is a great choice as you can't really go wrong. The Lancome sets are brilliant, as you get a little Crayon Kohl and Bi-Facil eye make up remover and are a great introduction to Lancome eye make up. I have pictured Doll Eyes, a fantastic mascara! But all of the Lancome mascaras are absolutely phenomenal in my opinion!

4. Make your own hamper! This is something that I like to do each year as I have a big family, it's nice to make up a hamper instead and there will be something in there for everybody. I love picking up bits and pieces from Marks and Spencers, they have brilliant things around Christmas and great offers too. I pick up a selection of sweets, mints, biscuits etc. and then I have fun wrapping them all up in a hamper!

I hope this post has maybe provided some inspiration! Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Festive Make Up!

It's that time of year again! Christmas parties will soon be coming up and I happened to take some photos one day when I was playing around with make up, and I thought it might be an appropriate look for a Christmas do.

I used some old favourites as well as new products - I was really dying to try out the Tanya Burr eyelashes and I got a gold Stargazer glitter too that I wanted to play around with!

Firstly I put Half Baked from the Naked palette all over the lid with a bit of Darkhorse in the crease.

I added some of the glitter on top of the eyeshadow and some lashes - I am a fake lash novice so I only put on a couple of individuals on the outside of my lashes.

I used the Clarins Extra Comfort foundation (I love this foundation!) subtle contouring with the Chanel bronzer and golden highlight with the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick (Apricot). Clarins Soft Peach blush and a Clarins Lip Balm Crayon in Sweet Cherry - I didn't want too much lip action since the eyes are so glittery!

It's a lot more make up than I would usually wear but I thought I would try something different! I had been wanting to experiment with glitters for a while and the festive season is the perfect time to do so!

Hope you liked this look! Tell me what make up you like to wear around Christmas!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

New Nail Polishes from NYC! Crystal Couture & Strip Me Off base coat

NYC were my go-to brand for nail polishes for a long time. I hadn't bought any of their polishes in a long time though (trying to cut back as I already have so many!) but while passing the NYC stand in my local chemist I noticed some new beauties… Crystal Couture! I couldn't leave without getting at least one, so I chose the sparkly purple named "NY Princess".

Also I bought the Strip Me Off base coat to give it a try! Glitter nail polishes are such a pain to remove so I thought this would come in handy!

NY Princess is such a beautiful nail polish! I applied one layer of Strip Me Off base coat and three coats of NY Princess. It is a gorgeous shade of purple packed full of glitters. I love wearing this, it is perfect for the party season. The other shades in the Crystal Couture collection looked very festive too, a beautiful glittery red and gold! I must get them next time!

The Strip Me Off base coat works really well, all my nails peeled off in one piece. The only problem was, they started peeling off throughout the day, when I wanted my nail polish to remain intact! I don't think I would use this again for fear of losing all my nails before the day is out! It is rather therapeutic however being able to peel off your nail polish with such ease, absent-mindedly while watching TV!

NYC remains my top brand for budget nail polishes. In fact I think their nail polishes perform better than some expensive ones I have tried. I can't remember exactly how much these ones cost me, I have a feeling they were £1.99 each. What a bargain!

What do you think of these nail polishes? Should I give Strip Me Off another try?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Lancome Winter 2014 Parisian Lights Collection

I absolutely love a good Christmas make up collection, and Lancome have released the most exquisite collection this year. I want all of it!
There is nothing better than a bit of glitz and glamour around Christmas time, and Lancome's Parisian Lights captures everything that I love about Christmas make up.

Poudre de Lumiere - €45 / £35 
An ultra soft texture and fine gold formula. This iridescent loose powder will softly bring glow and radiance to any complexion. A subtle hint of sparkle for the season. 

Hypnose Drama Eyes Parisian Lights - €48 / £37
Create an ultra luxurious shimmery smoky eye with this exclusive and glamorous palette. Five new shades inspired by the opulent gold and the precious jewels of Place Vendôme. 

Vernis in Love - €19 / £13
Wear alone or in duos. Dark red and white gold are the definitive colours for this season. A collection of three, including special effect nail polish ; Vernis In Love Illumination. A textured matte finish for all nails or feature nail. 

Isn't this the most beautiful collection? All of these products would be just perfect to wear to a Christmas party! Is there anything you have your eye on?

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Clarins Instant Concealer Review

I am a little late to the party with this review! Basically, I realised I was in dire need of a concealer. I don't really get any breakouts and I use my Touche Eclat for under my eyes so I didn't really "need" a concealer!  I had my makeup done in Debenhams one day and realised how that something "missing" from my makeup routine was in fact, a nice creamy concealer. Clarins Instant Concealer was released last year. I really put my faith in Clarins makeup now and it has become my favourite brand, actually! So I knew that this concealer would be worth it.

The fabulous Makeup Monster mentioned this concealer numerous times on her blog and I knew then it must be amazing! You can read her review here.

I got the shade 01 which is a little warm but it does work for me. I don't tend to wear a concealer under my eyes as I am afraid that it will emphasise my under eye lines, but lately my Touche Eclat just isn't cutting it for me. Plus I am getting a little redness across my nose and cheeks. I need something with plenty of coverage and this is it! As you can see from the packaging it claims to smooth out the skin and revive tired eyes. I think the photos speak for themselves really!


You can really see the difference a bit of this concealer makes! It is a really creamy texture, so only a very small dot of this product is enough to cover your under eyes, nose, cheeks and any blemishes. You get 15ml of product for £21.00 - it may seem expensive but when you are using such a small amount it should be worth it. It provides amazing coverage, and now I don't know how I ever did my make up without it! 

Recently I also reviewed the Clarins Extra Comfort foundation (you can read that here ) and I think the Instant Concealer is a brilliant accompaniment to this foundation for a flawless finish. 

Are there any other concealers that I should look into? Particularly for under-eyes?

Friday, 7 November 2014

Galgorm Resort and Spa

I am sitting here typing this feeling totally relaxed and absolutely rejuvenated. I have just got home from a wonderful overnight stay at the Galgorm Resort and Spa, which honestly was just pure heaven! It is also my first hotel review, an opportunity that I am so grateful for. A huge thank you to Scarlett PR for arranging this!

Galgorm is situated amongst the most beautiful grounds I have seen by the banks of the River Maine, about 30 minutes from Belfast city centre. Upon arrival my sister and I were promptly shown to our room, a beautiful twin room with a lovely view of the grounds. The room was absolutely fantastic, with the most comfortable bed and lovely spacious bathroom. 

Our first stop was of course, the spa! We wanted to start relaxing as soon as we got there. We changed into our swimwear and the robes and slippers provided, and headed down to the spa where we were greeted with the warmest welcome.

We experienced absolutely everything there is in the thermal spa - there is a hydrotherapy pool, outdoor hot tub, outdoor jacuzzi pool, sauna, different aroma rooms and heated relaxation loungers. My particular favourite was the outdoor hot tub! There is a wonderful atmosphere in the spa, everyone is completely relaxed and the surroundings are so beautiful and calming.

I also had a treatment - I chose the Intensive Release Muscle Massage which I thoroughly enjoyed! My therapist was Ascensao who was a real lady and explained every step beforehand and I felt very comfortable during the treatment. As I have a desk job I feel like I have a lot of tension built up, particularly around my shoulders and neck, and it was true- I had lots of knots! So I knew this would be the perfect treatment for me. I definitely feel like my muscles have loosened up and I am less tense.

After all that relaxation we dolled ourselves up for dinner in Gillies Bar & Grill. I think it is safe to say we well and truly stuffed ourselves and the food was to die for! Obligatory food pics below.

We then moved to the River Room Conservatory for some cocktails, which was a beautiful setting if you wanted somewhere a bit quieter. There was a very relaxed atmosphere with some nice jazz music in the background.

The next morning we were once again very well looked after in Gillies where breakfast was served. There was a  huge selection including continental and cooked breakfasts and tea and coffee. After breakfast, we didn't waste any time in heading back to the spa for an hour or two. It was so nice on a bitter cold morning stepping into the outdoor hot tub!

We checked out of our room but we weren't quite ready to leave! We had a lovely walk around the gardens and just taking in the beautiful surroundings.

Before leaving we returned to the River Room Conservatory for some afternoon tea. This was really exquisite and a lovely dining experience! You have a choice of sandwich and tea with a mix of other little delicacies.

I really did not want to leave Galgorm! It was the must luxurious, relaxing experience. The staff were absolutely wonderful and were so attentive to each and every guest. We were treated like royalty!
There is such attention to detail in Galgorm, even the little finishing touches felt extravagant.

I actually think that Autumn is a lovely time of year for a getaway like this. Galgorm are offering some great overnight packages throughout November and December, I would highly recommend checking them out!

A huge thank you to everyone at Galgorm for having me, I had the most wonderful time and I will definitely be back soon. I will be recommending this hotel to anybody, it really is the complete luxurious spa experience! And I think we all deserve a little rest and relaxation every once in a while!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Thierry Mugler Angel - Glamorama Edition - Perfume Review

Here is something really exciting and fabulous, and I couldn't wait to share with you!

Everyone likes to change up their perfume according to the seasons. I feel like I am constantly searching for my perfect Summer or Winter perfume! The very second I spritzed it I couldn't believe how incredibly Wintery Angel is! It grabbed my attention right away. It's a musky, spicy sort of a scent. I am not really good at describing fragrances though! It has notes of fruit, honey, vanilla, chocolate, caramel and patchouli. They all come together so brilliantly, there is actually an incredible depth to this perfume. The scent lasts all day too.

It is in fact, one of the most unusual perfumes I have ever came across. I am usually attracted to more sweeter perfumes, and I really do not like floral scents. But how can I describe Angel? I guess you would say Angel is a more smokey, sensual scent. I have read that many people consider this to be a "love it or hate it" scent. I think that people underestimate the power of Angel! You only need about two spritzes of this perfume, in fact if you spray it onto your clothes (I like to spray my scarves) you can still get a hint of Angel days later. This is a loud perfume!

The bottle is absolutely fantastic. Normally housed in a blue "nomadic star", I have here the Glamorama Edition, which is a limited edition exclusive to Selfridges. It looks so elegant and sophisticated! I love the blue and silver glitter against the sleek black. I think it looks incredibly festive, don't you? It really looks fab sitting on a dressing table. What is fantastic about these bottles is that they are actually refillable. I am a real hoarder and I keep all my empty perfume bottles because I just can't bear to throw them away. It's great that this can be refilled and the bottle can be re-used again and again!

If you haven't tried Angel before, I would recommend giving it a try. It is one of the most unique and passionate scents you will ever try! And it is perfect for the winter season. One for the Christmas wish list maybe?

RRP £65.00 - 50ml refillable bottle
*Product provided for review

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Instyler Rotating Iron Review

I was very kindly sent the Instyler to try out. I hadn't actually came across the Instyler before, but basically it is a rotating barrel which can be used to curl, straighten (yes!) and give volume to the hair. Sounds amazing, doesn't it?! It's like several hair tools in one.

 It comes with a fabulous drawstring pouch, comb, heat guard and instructional dvd. It really is an impressive kit!

This is a 32mm barrel. The barrel begins to rotate when you clamp it together. The black bristles smooth the hair and the heat can distribute evenly while the barrel is rotating. There is also a thin ceramic plate in the middle of the bristles.

The heat guard can only be used when you are straightening your hair with this barrel. You won't be able to curl your hair with this thing on, as you need to wrap the hair around the barrel. I actually burned my forehead while curling my hair so do be careful!

Here is what my hair looked like, straight after I curled it. I spent quite a bit of time curling my hair, and to be honest I was left a little disappointed. It certainly looks wavy, but not curly how I like it, even when I used the highest heat setting.

I felt the Instyler was a little too time consuming for my liking. Only a tiny section of my long (relatively thick) hair could be put through the Instyler at one time for any sort of curl to appear. You then of course have to hold each section of hair in the barrel for around 20 seconds. So I was working on my hair for a good half an hour to achieve this look! Whereas with my Remington Pearl wand I can create waves like this in less than 10 minutes by just separating my hair into about 5 big sections.

Anyway, just about an hour or two after the above photo was taken, my hair was back to it's natural straight self as though I had never curled it at all!

I'm just disappointed that I spent so long curling my hair just to get a few kinks in it like this. I tried it on freshly washed hair, and on two day old hair but it didn't make any difference, my hair just didn't take to the curl.

I also tried straightening my hair with the Instyler, and I must admit that this did nothing for me at all. My hair is already naturally straight. When I ran the Instyler through my hair it genuinely didn't look any different. It doesn't give me that sleek, polished look as when I straighten with my GHDs.

Maybe part of my problem with the Instyler is due to the fact that my hair is long, kinda thick and I have no layers cut in my hair, so it's quite heavy. I asked my sister to try the Instyler and she loved it on her short hair and thought it gave her a lot of volume!

I should also add that I don't use any styling products in my hair at all, I just wash and condition my hair. I am not sure if that would have any impact on the performance of the Instyler. I don't even own any styling products so I couldn't test it that way.

The Instyler RRPs for €120.00. It certainly is not cheap. I think the price is a little high considering I am so fond of my Remington Pearl curling wand which cost a fraction of the price. (You can read my review of the Remington pearl here! )

What I really liked about the Instyler was the fact that it is a multi-functional hair tool and would be great for travelling and you wanted to create different hair styles. It comes with a great pouch suitable for travel. It certainly was presented incredibly well and the accompanying accessories are really handy.

Sadly the Instyler did not perform on my hair as well as I had hoped. I know that i have read many a rave review on it, I guess some things just don't work for everybody!