New L'Occitane Aqua Réotier Collection *Ad

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Many of you will know that I have not only struggled with my skin over the last few months but I also am very fussy about what products I will even try, let alone keep using. A few weeks ago L'Occitane approached me about collaborating* with them to showcase their new Aqua Réotier Collection. While I was excited about working with a brand I love and am familiar with, I wanted to make sure the products actually worked for me before sharing them with you. I suffer from perioral dermatitis which manifests in red, tight, dry and bumpy skin around my chin and nose-believe me, not pleasant. It took me months to clear and I believe stemmed from over stimulating my skin by frequently introducing new skincare products that were too harsh for my poor face. So, as result, I am very cautious in what I will trust not to flare my skin up. 

As soon as I started to read up on the collection I felt relieved as it is all based on water, specifically, the water of the Réotier spring in Provence which is enriched with minerals and has an especially high concentration of calcium, 10x richer in fact than other French thermal springs. You may not realize it but your skin is made up of water, approximately 64% to be exact. Ever noticed your face almost looks like crepe paper when you're dehydrated, that's when I know I need water, both on the inside and out! The high concentration of calcium in the Réotier spring is essential for helping the skin maintain it's barrier and stay hydrated.

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When this spring water is combined with powerhouses like hyaluronic acid and glycerin you know you are on to a winner. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that helps bind moisture to the skin to help keep it looking plump. Glycerin is also a humectant, attracting moisture onto your skin while also acting as an emollient, making your skin not only moist but soft and supple to the touch. I always look for glycerin as an ingredient in moisturizers and makeup primers, it does a great job of binding makeup to your face while also preventing it drying out and cracking or flaking off. 

There are 5 products in the Aqua Réotier Collection which I will talk you through now. I always start my day by cleansing my face, even if I'm not showering and I'm straight off to the gym I can't leave the house without washing away the impurities that my face may have picked up overnight. The Water Gel Cleanser, €19 is a lovely light gel that transforms into a light lather when mixed with water. I cleanse thoroughly before following in with my new favorite product, Aqua Réotier Moisture Prep Essence, €24, in my opinion, a hybrid between a serum and a toner. I swipe a cotton pad soaked with the essence over my face and neck and leave it to settle for a few minutes before going in with my moisturizer. I find my skin looks plump and hydrated immediately after use and isn't left dry and tight the way a toner can sometimes leave me. 

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After using the essence and usually right before I sit down to apply my makeup I go in with the Aqua Réotier Thirst Quenching Gel, €29. I have spoken many times about my personal preference when it comes to using a gel moisturizer over a cream. I find them less heavy than a rich cream so they're less likely to clog my pores, using a gel-based product makes me feel like my skin can breathe. This one is especially hydrating as it contains thousands of micro-bubbles that instantly recharge skin with water. Its formula is super silky and glides onto skin acting like a magnet to hold-in moisture all day long. 

I find my foundation glides on top of this product and doesn't dry out throughout the day or "crack" and separate around my mouth and chin. The final step I like to take after applying my makeup is to mist my face with the Aqua Réotier Fresh Moisturising Mist, €14. Especially after using powders, my skin can lose its radiance and look dull, a veil of this mist and my skin is instantly back looking dewy and hydrated, all hints of a powdery look gone. I also like to take it in my gym bag and out with me during the day to refresh my face if and when I need to. 

While I haven't personally been using it as I can't stop reaching for the gel version, the line also includes a moisturizing Thirst Quenching Cream, €29, if that is more to your preference. Its light texture combines the refreshing thirst-quenching benefits of the gel with the softening and smoothing properties of a cream. I imagine dry or aging skin may prefer the comfort of the cream but for me the gel ticks all the boxes. 

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I find the collection really well priced ranging from €14 to €29 for each product, however, L'Occitane currently has offers on in which you can bundle and save even more. I have listed them for you below but in my opinion the best option is to grab the 4 products, cleanser, essence, moisturizer of your choice and facial mist for a steal at €65 opposed to €86.  

HYDRATING AQUA RÉOTIER COLLECTION €65
AQUA RÉOTIER GEL DUO €35
AQUA RÉOTIER CREAM DUO €35 

You can discover more about L'Occitane's new Aqua Réotier Collection in store and online here today, hope you love it as much as I do!  

*This post is a paid collaboration with L'Occitane, all views and opinions remain my own. Thank you to L'Occitane for collaborating with me! 

Bronzed Goddess

I've never been one to embrace my pale Irish skin, while I'm lucky enough to tan well naturally I do like to fake it too. Keep reading to hear all about my top tips for getting your skin holiday ready to not only tan better but have it last longer too. 

Before You Fly

Tanning prep should start ideally two weeks before you hit the beach. Tan Booster by Tan Luxe available at Cult Beauty is a revolutionary illuminating serum that contains Melanin Activator Complex to accelerate and extend your natural tan. Starting two weeks before you go, you simply mix a couple of drops in with your existing skincare regime.  It can be used on the body or face, prior to, during and post-sun exposure to enhance, intensify and extend a natural tan. Winner.  

 

 

On Your Holiday

I discovered Institut Estherderm last year, many of you may remember me raving about Adaptasun Protective Tanning Care Body Lotion. It's available at Feel Unique and they ship for free to Ireland! It protects skin at the DNA cellular level from UVB and UVA rays while also activating the natural pigmentation process so the skin adapts more quickly to the sun for a deeper, stimulated and long-lasting tan. Last summer I swear I have never tanned better and put it all down to this lotion. Because I loved the lotion so much I wanted to try more of the line so got my hands on the Sun Care Oil and the Tan Prolonging Body Lotion. The Suncare Oil works in the same way the lotion does, it gives you protection while helping you tan better while the Tan Prolonging Body Lotion acts as an aftersun that extends the longevity of your colour. It's important to note I do wear an SPF on top of the oil or lotion while tanning as I like to know I'm definitely covered but both are available in three different strengths, moderate, strong and extreme sun. Thank me later. 

Protect Yourself

I mentioned I use SPF so I wanted to show you two of my favourites. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Invisible Face Mist SPF 50 is my go-to for my face as I like that I can apply my usual skincare regime and then just mist my fast with this at the end. It's so fine it doesn't feel heavy or greasy, love it. On my body, I love to use Piz Buin Tan and Protect Accelerating Oil, SPF 30. I know it protects me while also aiding natural tanning, smells amazing too! 

Fake It Till You Make It

While tanning naturally looks great, it's not for everyone. Maybe you just don't go brown no matter how hard you try or maybe you don't want to expose your skin. If you're like me and don't like to tan your face a good facial tanner is a must. My personal favourites are tanning drops that you can add to your own existing regime and customize the level of colour you want. My product of choice is also from Tan Luxe at Cult Beauty, simply called The Face. I went for the Med/Dark drops but they also come with a light option for those with a fairer complexion. On my body, I am wholeheartedly converted to Loving Tan from Trnd Beauty. The 2 Hour Express Dark Foaming Moose gives me life. No streaks, no scent, so cracking as it comes off. Life complete. 

Glow Baby Glow

Finally, when it comes to finishing the skin I always like to apply a shimmering body oil and nothing beats the creme de la creme, Show Beauty. It contains Argan & Jojoba Oil to nourish and hydrate skin, aloe vera which is great post tanning to calm inflammation and Vitamin E to leave skin looking healthy and silky smooth as well as enhancing your natural tan. Apply over your chest and down your shoulders to reflect the light! P.s It's currently on sale on Feel Unique!

My Current Favourite Beauty Products

My first post of 2018, Happy New Year everyone!

At the moment I find myself reaching for the same products over and over again. When I travel I strip my makeup bag right back to the products I really need and love so I thought I'd show you what I took to Spain with me for the Christmas break. They are the same products I used to create my New Years Eve makeup look. 

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The Base

For me, skin is something I love to focus on and probably spend the most amount of time doing. I always start with a freshly cleansed and moisturised face complete with an eye cream. There are primers to suit all skin types from oily to dry or textured skin. My current favourite is Becca First Light Priming Filter,  it adds a dewy glow without any grease and helps create a smooth base for my foundation to glide over. Avoid areas you get oily, for me this is my T-zone! Next comes foundation, I have to admit I've been cheating on my Armani Luminous Silk. I first tried this new foundation back in Rome in February, fell in love but never knew the name of it as the writing had worn off the sample bottle! Introducing Guerlain's Lingerie De Peau Founation, super fluid it glides over texture and dryness leaving you with the most beautiful veil of coverage. It will build to a medium which is perfect for me but not one for those who like or require a full coverage base. I wear shade 3W! Obsessed.

To conceal I have reverted back to Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer having tried Tarte Shape Tape for a while. It doesn't crease, provides the perfect amount of coverage and never looks dry on me, I wear shades Custard and Ginger. I set it using my trusty RCMA No Colour Powder. To contour and highlight I love Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Beauty Wands, I use med/dark in the contour wand and the highlighter only comes in one stunning champagne shade. If you purchase both together you can make quite a saving too! This is without a doubt the best highlighter I have ever tried, I apply it to my hand and then to my face using either my beauty blender or my fingers. I wish this had existed for my wedding as it'd be the most ideal bridal highlight to have you looking etherial on your big day! If you prefer a powder bronzer and highlight I still love and use my Hourglass Bronzer in Radiant Light and my Victoria Beckham Highlighter too! When it comes to blush I again prefer a cream product, my current favourite is again Victoria Beckham's Creme Cheek, a bronze warm colour to compliment the rest of my face, (sorry guys I know her stuff is pricey!). Another old favourite that's more affordable and pretty much the same colour is Stilas Convertible Colour in Camellia. Again if you prefer powder try Nars Dual Intensity in Panic, especially fabulous in summer!

The Eyes

Every eye look needs to start with a structured brow, it doesn't matter if you like them to look natural or like slugs, although I'd prefer you aired on the natural side...they need to be tamed. My favourite pencil is Benefit's Goof Proof Brow Pencil, I wear shade 4. I then love to bring some texture back to my brows so I always brush them up with a gel. My favourites include Essence Make Me Brow available in Pennys/Primark and Charlotte Tilbury's Legendary Brow Gel. I recently got the Huda Beauty Obsessions Eye Pallet I shared in my christmas wish list and I love it! It's small meaning it's ideal for me travelling which I appreciate. I have the warm brown one but there are a few options to choose from. I used a mix of most of the shades to create my new years look! For liner I used Urban Decay's warm brown shade in Whiskey, apply to your top and bottom water lines. I still have my lash extensions on, they are done by the fabulous Rebecca in Vintage Glamour in Arklow for those wondering. She does Russian 3D volume lash extensions and I have been going to her for about 3 years now, can't live without them! I didn't wear my usual cat eye liner on this occasion but when I do I love Inglot's Gel Linger or Tom Ford Dual Ended Eye Pen, extortionate but worth every penny...plus it's two liners in one right?

The Lips

Finally to complete my look I lined using one of my two favourite liners, Charlotte Tilbury Iconic Nude. My other go to is Mac Whirl. For lipstick I wore my old favourite YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats in shade 218. This is a warm pink nude that I wore on my wedding day, I re purchase it time and time again because for me it's the perfect "my lips but better" shade! 

A Beauty-full Gift Guide

If like me you have some how managed to leave your christmas shopping to the very last minute this guide is for you! Everything here can be ordered and delivered right to your door in time for the big day! I've split it into 3 categories, affordable stocking fillers, mid priced gifts for friends and family and then the big ones for that very special someone!

As a beauty editor I get to try pretty much every product under the sun so you're in good hands knowing these gifts have been tried and tested. Happy shopping! 

 

Stocking Fillers < €20

For the sheet mask addict, below are my tops picks for clarifying, tanning, hydrating and plumping lips! ASOS also offers free delivery!

For the lady with luscious locks, these minis are so handy for travelling! On a side note, everyone needs Sacha Juan's hair repair serum in their life! Cult Beauty is one of my favourite sites to shop on trend beauty products, they also give you fabulous samples in with each order! Win!

Tools of the trade. For the price, you cannot beat Real Techniques, they were the first brushes I ever bought and I still have and use them to this day. Their equivalent of the Beauty Blender is honestly just as good and a quarter of the price! Look Fantastic is offering 15% off orders using the code LF15 and they also offer free worldwide delivery! 

For the makeup junkies, I've included my favourite drug store purchases and also a couple of minis that I have in full size and use religiously! 

For the fake tan addicts, I can't get over how amazing the price of this St Tropez starter kit is! James Read do my favourite instant wash off tan and to finish it off we all need a little glow!

Friends and Family (€20-€60)

Skincare is something I think we should all personally invest in but I know for many it's something that's over looked and not splurged on. Below are my favourites to suit this price bracket including the wonder eye cream everyone needs in their life! At this time of year brands release kits that are generally great value and a nice way to try a range. Murad is one of my favourites as it's been developed by a dermatologist, Dr Murad. Their retinol line is fabulous and the kit below offers a taste of it all. If you haven't heard of Farsali you've been living under a rock. Charlotte Tilbury's over night tan mask is a recent discovery and a new favourite for me, wake up to supple skin with a beautiful glow.

Before I got into the role I'm in now I would always hunt down the best makeup kits or products and put them onto my wish list. All I ever got for christmas were beauty products! Nothing pains me more than handing over cash for things like foundation or power so I'd always get it as a gift from someone. Mum, if you read this I'd love the eye shadow pallet please!! Check out my favourites, I got the CT travel brush set last year and love them!

Bath, body and hair...my new favourite 2 hour tan is a must for this time of year, buy it for yourself if no one else! Pureology has changed my hair completely and their value gift sets are not to be missed. My go to hair oil and blow dry brush are also listed below. Trilogy's scrub is a great one for removing old tan or slugging off dead skin as it's oil based. Finally have a look at my favourite gadgets!

Extra Special Gifts >€60

Hair and skincare tools can be expensive but were always my favourite thing to receive. If you follow me on social media you know I love both of the GHD tools below, the tongs are great if you like a curly look and the wand if you prefer a wave. I swear by my clarisonic, they are amazing for cleansing the skin without being too harsh. The Steam Pod is however my all time favourite discovery of 2017, game changer if you have frizzy hair or just like a sleek look in general. You can curl or straighten and it locks in shine like you won't believe. 

When it comes to makeup sets and brushes, Charlotte Tilbury does some of the dreamiest kits at this time of year. The 4 piece Natural Look would be ideal for a mum or someone not overly into heavy makeup but who still loves to look put together. Zoeva brushes are my go to, their kits are super and last a lifetime. 

Fragrance is such a personal choice, what you may like the person you gift may hate. Get a feel for what they wear usually, do they like fresh light scents or are they more into dark and sensual numbers. Below are 4 of my favourites that seem to appeal to the masses. Chanel Chance I wore on my wedding day, Elizabeth and James Nirvana White is my new day to day scent, Prada La Femme is my signature and Gucci Bloom is for when I want to step things up a notch. Gift anyone that Gucci set and they'll be smiling from ear to ear on Christmas day! 

Some serious skincare splurges! As you all know I have been using Dr Levy religiously for the last year, you can pick up his range in Beacon Face and Dermatology Clinic, I know they have 2 or 3 gift sets left in sock too. His products are super expensive but are all based on stem cell technology so are unrivalled in results in my opinion. The sets offer phenomenal savings so if you are thinking of trying the brand now is the time. Sunday Riley's best selling Luna night oil will suit all skin types and is simply stunning. For people that have problematic skin or travel a lot and suffer from dehydration, Dr Barbra Strum offers a course of hyaluronic shots that work wonders. Finally my holy grail primer/moisturizer is from Sisley and is so widely talked about by every beauty guru you can imagine for a reason!

To finish off, never under estimate the power of a voucher, especially for those who can be fussy to buy for. A massage in Powerscourt or a Hydrafacial in Beacon Face and Dermatology would be top of my list! I hope you've come across a few products that may solve some shopping dilemmas or even offer inspiration for your own lists! I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and we all remember that at the end of that day it's not about the gifts is it....although they do help! xx

The who, what and where of beauty in Dublin!

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I wanted to put a list together to answer some commonly asked questions about which salons and shops I recommend for specific beauty treatments. Due to the nature of my work I have tried and tested many of the leaders in the industry and narrowed it down to my favourites, places I would be confident sending anyone and knowing they will get the service they desire. Just to note, as I live in Dublin the list will naturally centre around my locality.

 

Nails

Edvard and Pink Beauty Salon, located in Dundrum town centre has a huge salon that feels like an oasis in the middle of a busy chopping centre. Their pedicures are second to none and attention to detail doesn't go unnoticed for me. I get asked regularly about my nail colour, as I am pretty unadventurous I usually stick to nudes on my hands. My favourite Shellac colours are Romatique, Nude Knickers, Bare Chemise and Cashmere Wrap. Manicures start from €30 and pedicures from €40. 

 

Facials

There are two types of facials in the world, the tranquil kind that involve lots of beautifully scented products and facial massaging and then the facials that are results driven and often not as fluffy. As I am after results I personally prefer to spend my money on the latter. Hydrafacial is something I have spoken about before and have a separate blog on so I won't go into too much detail here but in summary it is a wonder treatment I now can't live without. I go to the Beacon Face and Dermatology Clinic where prices for the treatment start from €150. This leads me on to my next subject…

 

Injectables

With anti wrinkle injections and fillers becoming a go to for more and more women here in Ireland I have noticed an increase in interest and information requests from many of you across my platforms. While I have never had fillers done, I do have anti wrinkle injections in my forehead. In the Beacon Face and Dermatology Clinic I have been to both Dr Orla Grimes and clinic owner Mr Kambiz Golchin for my treatment. Both are expert leaders in their field, Mr Golchin is an ENT consultant and Facial Plastic Surgeon so I feel confident that I am in the best hands possible, something I think is of the utmost importance when undergoing any procedure. I can’t stress enough how important it is to do your research if you are thinking of trying injectables, and remember, you get what you pay for. Many clinics that offer inexpensive anti wrinkle treatments are not using authentic Botox and are using cheaper alternatives so always ask to see the product being used before committing. Prices for Botox at BFD Clinic start from €275 per area which includes a review appointment 2 weeks post treatment in which any adjustments can be made if patients wish.

Eyebrows

Dublin’s eyebrow queen holds residence on South William Street at Claudine King Brows and Beauty. When I first went to Claudine about 2 years ago I had one ‘ok’ brow and one that did whatever it felt like at that moment in time. She threaded and tinted them regularly and showed me where to let grow back in and avoid plucking. By the time my wedding came around a couple months later, I was really impressed with how much they had changed and since then my brows have continued to keep growing and now match each other perfectly looking full and fluffy! Prices for a shape and tint are from €32.

 

Eyelashes

If there was one thing on this list I couldn't live without it would be lash extensions. I never had bad lashes to begin with, they just never held a curl particularly well no matter what products and tools I used. I have been going to Rebecca in Vintage Glamour, Arklow, for over two years and have had my extensions applied pretty well consistently throughout that time. She specialises in Russian 3D Volume Lash extensions, again I have a full blog you can read if you would like more info. I have experienced no damage to my own lashes over the course of the two years and can’t recommend her highly enough. I don't feel the need to spend time on eye makeup if I don't want to and I love having them on for no makeup days, I still feel put together even if I have done the minimum. Volume lashes are priced at €90 for a full set and €50 for infills.

Hair

My hair guru is well known here in Ireland as she swoops up every trophy in sight. Danielle Garner has just opened her own hair studio in Ranelagh and will be taking on new clients from November. I trust her to keep my hair healthy while giving me the colour and style I am after. She is super creative and a pleasure to be around which helps…getting an appointment is the only problem! Word of advice…she is worth the wait! 

Massage

While this may not be part of everyones beauty regime going for a massage every now and then is something I love to treat myself to. My all time favourite place to go and unwind is ESPA at Powercourt Hotel, the level of professionalism and luxury you experience is second to none with a beautiful range of treatments on offer. Their relaxation hydra pools and thermal suites are worth the visit alone. The perfect escape or gift for someone and well worth a visit in my opinion. Prices for massages start from €105.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Hi everyone, I know buying for our mums can be tricky so I wanted to put together a little list of gift ideas for your special lady this Sunday. If your mum is anything like mine she deserves a Mother's day once a week so the least we can do is spoil them once a year! I've included options for all budgets so there should be something for everybody, hope you find it helpful!

 Heavenly Necklaces Blue Topaz Collection

Heavenly Necklaces Blue Topaz Collection

Gift Ideas Under €20

  • A Mini Manicure or Pedicure; I know most women love getting pampered but not everyone will spend their own cash having their nails done. Grab your mum a voucher from your local salon for a file and paint and it should come in at under €20, upgrade her to a deluxe mani/pedi and she'll love you forever!
  • A Trip to the Cinema; when was the last time you and your mum caught a movie? No time like the present since Beauty and the Beast has just hit screens, I bet she played you the original as a child! Especially if you're a student on a budget, a discounted ticket has your name on it!
  • House Chore/ Massage Vouchers; Back when I was a child I used to make my mum mini voucher booklets containing tickets for "hoovering" or a "back massage", if you are seriously tight on cash you could do the same, it's the thought that counts!
  • Garden Plants; can't afford a bouquet of roses? Did you know you could buy your mum a potted rose that she'll have for ever for under €15? Same goes for most of the popular plants we pay a fortune for cut. If she loves her garden then why not pick her up some plants, it's the perfect time of year to get growing! 

Gifts under €50

  • Jewellery; What woman doesn't love jewellery! Heavenlynecklaces.com offer an amazing range of imitation jewellery that will have your mum sparkling for days, I love their solitaire pendants and have one myself. They also have a beautiful range of really unusual gem stone pieces if your mum has quirky taste. Check them out with prices to suit all budgets!
  • Afternoon Tea for 2; I love afternoon tea, it's such a lovely experience and is always such a nice treat to mark an occasion. Afternoon tea in in a 5star hotel will run you close to €100 but the Fern House Cafe in Avoca Kilmacanogue have now started offering Afternoon Tea at €25 per person, you can even add prosecco for an extra €7. Truly one of the most beautiful rooms to dine in, your mum would be seriously impressed!

  • A Trip to The Hairdresser; this one definitely won't go to waste. Find out where your mum gets her hair done and buy her a voucher so that she can go and have her blow dry done for free or put the value towards her cut or colour next time. This is an old reliable that is always a safe bet!

  • A Bouquet of Flowers; I'm putting this in the under €50 category as anyone who spends more than that on cut flowers is crazy. Lidl do amazing flowers for under €5 a bunch that you could mix and make your own bunch if you really wanted to impress her. Otherwise I love Joanna Caffery's bouquets, she always has a range of incredible flowers available to suit all budgets!
 Afternoon Tea, The Fern House Cafe

Afternoon Tea, The Fern House Cafe

 

Gifts Under €100

  • A Voucher for a Massage; this is one of my favourite gifts to receive and I know my mum loves them too. A good massage will usually run you between €70-120 depending on the salon but always check if they have an offers on or for example morning rates, they are often less expensive.
  • Take her to Dinner; bring you mum out to lunch or dinner in her favourite restaurant for some quality time. I bet it's usually you plus your dad or siblings whenever you dine out so why not have a girly night just the two of you!
  • A Piece of Clothing; is your mum always coming home from somewhere with something for you not her? If you've got her style sussed why not pick her up something you think she'd feel great in. A cashmere jumper for example from M&S will cost you about €70, not something your mum may spend her own money on but a gorgeous gift to recieve.
 Powerscourt ESpa

Powerscourt ESpa

 

Gifts €100 +

  • A Night Away; the ultimate indulgence why don't you head off on a spa break and relax in a sauna all weekend? My favourite places to go and chill are Powercourt Hotel, The Brooklodge Hotel or Doonbeg Trump International. All three have gorgeous spa's, serve great food and have walks to go on, what more could you ask for!
  • A Beautiful Watch; mums need to tell the time to keep on top of things, why not pick her up a beautiful timepiece she'll have forever. I'm guessing few of us can afford Rolexes, I love Abbott Lyon's watch collection. Their Kensington 34 gold chain link watch is so timeless and chic any one would love it. Their watches start from about €80 and can be found on their website abbottlyon.com.
  • A Cookery Course; this is something I've wanted to do for so long and I know my mum would love it too. Unless your mum hates to cook you should check out Darina Allen's short course list, from sushi making to afternoon tea and cakes, Ballymaloe Cookery School have a huge range of half day courses available that you and your mum could take a trip down to! They even have gluten free healthy eating classes, everyone's covered! Check them out on cookingisfun.ie.
 Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School

Darina Allen, Ballymaloe Cookery School

Hope I've pointed you in the right direction but remember Mothers's day is about spending quality time with your mum, granny, aunty or whoever you want to thank for doing such a good job and raising you to be the perfectly shaped human you are today! To all the mums reading this, lap up every second! X

 

New Beauty Favourites!

Hi loves, I've been trialling lots of new beauty products over the last few weeks and I wanted to share my favourites with you. If you follow me on snapchat you may have heard me mention some of them already but if not you're in for a treat! Before we start I just wanted you to know that I haven't been paid to blog about any of these products, all opinions are my own!

Let's start with skincare, I'm in my mid...pushing towards late 20's so anything that promises to help me fight ageing has quickly become a must. I'd heard about retinol before as I've been using Pestle and Mortar's Superstar Night Oil for about a year but I wanted to try something with a slightly stronger strength. I've now been using Reform Skincare's 1% Retinol Cream for the last two months and can definitely see a difference. I take it right up under my eyes and that's where I've noticed the biggest change. I had started to notice a specific wrinkle setting in a while back, fast forward 10 weeks and it's definitely reduced. I can't recommend Reform's line enough, I swear by their Hyal Vitamin C and E Serum, I use it religiously every morning along with their SPF 30

Also helping me fight my eye wrinkle, my new 100% Mulberry silk pillow case! I had wanted one for ages so when Vintage Glamour started selling them, the salon I get my lash extensions done in, I had to get one! Silk contains a natural anti ageing protein that's good for your skin along with the fact that it helps prevent your skin creasing the way cotton can. Another plus, they save your blow-dry, silk stops your hair pulling while you sleep so perfect for maintaining styles over night!

Human and Kind is a beautiful brand from Cork that I was introduced to this year and quickly fell in love with. Their body soufflé smells like heaven as do their body washes but their stand out product has got to be their Family Remedy Cream. I spoke about this on snapchat and filled you guys in on how it's a life saver if you have any kind of skin irritation. I use it if I ever get that dreaded rash from waxing or have any kind of severe dry patches. It's incredible for eczema and psoriasis and can be used on kids too as it's all natural, just do a patch test first. 

Spotlight Teeth Whitening is another Irish brand I'm loving at the minute, they come in 2 week kits with easy to use strips. The brand was created by 2 Irish dentists from Galway and is the only European teeth whitening brand that contains hydrogen peroxide the active whitening ingredient. I didn't notice any sensitivity after use and my teeth are looking a lot brighter! Bye bye Crest!

Ok, lets move on to makeup. In my quest to find a concealer that won't highlight fine lines I've fallen back in love with Maybelline's Fit Me Concealer. I usually mix it with my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and they are a match made in heaven, super luminous, full coverage and brightening. I love mixing products, I'm also doing this with foundation at the minute. The Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick is super full coverage but I like using it on top of my Armani Luminous Silk Foundation just in areas I need a little more help. For me it'd be too dry to wear on it's own but if you have oily skin you might love it! 

Staying with Hourglass I usually use their Veil Mineral Primer, an old favourite however I decided to try their No28 Serum Primer this time instead. If you have dry skin you will love this, it feels like an oil mixed with a silicone primer and makes foundation glide on like a dream. If you are oily, avoid this like the plague as it's not for you! It's packed with vitamins and essential oils so I love the fact that it's treating my skin as I wear it all day long. 2 for 1 if you ask me.

I recently got to try some of Powder and Pout's makeup brushes and their Flat Contour Brush has quickly become a favourite! I use it with my Laura Mercier Cream Contour Kit and it gives me cheek bones I never knew I had! Their brushes are all super soft and affordable too. They are just as good as my Zoeva brushes and a little less expensive so they're a win for me.

Let's finish with a bit of sparkle, I have fallen in love with Stila's Heaven Hue Highlighter in Kitten. It's a cream powder hybrid that is so gorgeous on the skin it has to be seen to be believed. It doesn't leave a chalky powdery finish on the skin the way others do which means it's perfect for during that day as it gives your skin an undetectable gleam. Kitten is a champagne shade but it also comes in a rose and more bonze tone too. Pop in to a Stila counter and swatch it to see for yourself!

Kitten is a champagne shade but it also comes in a rose and more bonze tone too. Pop in to a Stila counter and swatch it to see for yourself!

I'm doing a little giveaway over on Instagram to one winner and a friend or family member of her choice the chance to win a Spotlight Teeth Whitening Kit each to try and see the difference for yourself! I'll link my account below as always so you can find out how to enter! Jodie xx

Lets Talk Hair

How do I curl it? What products do I swear by? Who does my colour? All questions you guys ask me at least once a day. I do think a good hairdresser is the best foundation for any style, however, I want to share with you guys what you can do at home to keep your hair manageable and looking fresh. 

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My Hair Right Now

To begin with, my hair dresser is fabulous. Her name is Danielle Garner and she works out of Peter Mark's Style Club on South William Street here in Dublin. She has her own website where you can check out her work, she also did the hair for my wedding, best decision I ever made! I get my colour done every two months, sometimes it's just toning my existing colour if it has brightened up too much or sometimes it's to add more light. In any case, my base colour remains my natural hair colour but I currently have some lightness in the front and ends applied in a technique called "baby lights". Every time I get my colour done I get my hair cut, I never go longer than 12 weeks without a trim, 10 weeks is ideal for me. If you're trying to grow your hair but you find it's not getting any longer I bet you it's because the ends are dead and keep snapping, regular trims help your ends stay healthy and encourages growth. My hair is cut so it falls slightly longer in the front with no layers throughout apart from long bangs to frame my face. 

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My Favourite Products

When it comes to looking after my hair at home I love Kerastase products. Yes, you spend a little more than what you'd pay in the supermarket hair aisle however the benefits for my hair far outweigh the extra expense. As my hair gets oily quickly I currently love their shampoo designed specifically to target this, Bain Divalent. I wash my hair every third day and follow with conditioner, Discipline Fondant Fluidealiste. My hair can frizz easily so this product is great for smoothing things out without weighing it down. As a deep conditioning treatment every couple of weeks I'll heat some coconut oil in the microwave and massage it into my scalp and hair and leave it in overnight. Try it and your hair will feel amazing! 

 

 

 

After towel drying my hair I take a pea sized amount of Kerastase's Nectar Thermique through the mid lengths and ends of my hair. This is a heat protector that also adds shine and helps smooth the hair out. The amount of heat I apply to my hair when styling it is far too intense for me to skip using a protector, I highly recommend this one. If I'm going to curl my hair I then apply the same amount of my new favourite product, L'incroyable Blowdry. This is like a reworkable hairspray in lotion form that you apply to hair before styling it. It not only helps hold styles but it combats frizz and thermo protects too. It's reactivated when heat is reapplied to the hair for example on day two. I don't have to use a hairspray once I've used this and my curls now don't budge. Best invention ever. 

 

 

Texturising sprays are also a great addition to your arsenal if you like volumised modern looking hair. Two of my favourites are the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray and the Ouai Texturising Hair Spray. I spray them at my roots and

through the mid lengths of my hair then shake things up with my fingers. They make polished curls look slightly cooler and undone and are a firm favourite of mine right now. If you're like me and you get about 16 hours out of your hair before it gets dirty you probably use dry shampoo too. I love John Frieda's Luxurious Volume Refresh available in boots, as well as Herbal Essence's Uplifting Volume Dry Shampoo. Both do the job without leaving a white cast, however, the Herbal Essence one definitely leaves a bit of grit behind, almost like a volume powder if you've ever tried one of them before. 

Styling Tools

When it comes to styling tools I can't stress how important a good hairdryer is. I use the Eti Turbo Stratos 3800 dryer, a professional strength the dries my hair quickly, sealing in shine as it works. I use a tangle teaser to brush my hair out when its wet and then swap to the GHD Ceramic Vented Radial Brush in size 3 to dry my hair with. I always dry it pretty straight so I can smooth out frizz before I go in and curl it using the Instyler Max, a two-way rotating iron that can be used to straighten or curl hair. I hold the barrel down pointed away from my face and wrap 1inch sections away from my face around the barrel without clamping the brush head down on the styler. I let the curl sit and go cold before I brush them out or add product so as the wave has time to set. If I'm straightening my hair I use the GHD Platinum Straighteners, an oldie but a goodie. 

I get a lot of questions about hair extensions and how to care for them but I've never had them so unfortunately I can't offer any advice! I do however hope this post has answered the majority of your questions but as always feel free to leave me any queries in the comments box below. Alternatively, you'll always get me on Instagram! Happy Sunday everyone! X

My Updated Skincare Routine & Review of my First Hydrafacial

Great skin is the perfect base for any makeup look, and my skincare routine is something I get questions about all the time. If you follow me on Snapchat you may already be familiar with a lot of the products I am going to mention, similarly if you've read my previous posts you may see some old favourites popping up.

Before I talk about the products I'm currently using I wanted to fill you in on what I thought about a facial I recently tried. About 3 weeks ago I visited Beacon Face and Dermatology's clinic to try out one of their signature treatments, the HydraFacial. I had an amazing therapist called Elaine looking after me, before the facial started she looked at my skin using Vista Complexion Analysis.

The machine is like a scanner for your face that takes a series of images from different angles to determine your overall skin condition and true age, providing a metric to guide the selection of skin care products and treatment options. Elaine told me that my skin would be compared to a database of other women of the same age and skin type. The analysis measure spots, wrinkles, texture, pores, UV spots, brown spots, red areas, and porphyrins and shows you where you sit on a scale in comparison. As I suspected my skin was definitely sun damaged and I also had some texture and redness we wanted to address. 

The HydraFacial is all done using a machine, the unique Vortex-Fusion serum delivery system that's like a tube with different heads on the end of it. This is what sets the HydraFacial apart from other procedures, I have been for countless facials that are lovely relaxing treatments all applied by hand but this facial is a lot more than just a massage. The multi-step treatment cleanses, evenly exfoliates and extracts to remove impurities and dead skin cells while at the same time replenishing vital nutrients including Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid. The facial has 6 steps that I've listed below;  


1. Detox - Lymphatic drainage is peformed which detoxes the face and increases blood circulation to restore the hydration of the skin, generating more lymph to restore tone to the skin. 

2. Exfoliation - Dead skin cells are gently exfoliated using Vortex-Exfoliation ™ and this stage deeply cleanses and nourishes the skin. This step feels like you can physically feel the top layer of your skin being scraped off but it isn't in the last painful or uncomfortabe.

3. Peel - A gentle GlySal™ peel (a mix of Glycolic and Salicylic acid) is applied to help to get the skin glowing and soften impurities, the strength of the peel is tailored to the individual.

4. Extraction - The suction head on the end of the Vortex System is run over any areas of congestion to help remove any black heads and impurities of the skin. 

5. Hydration - Bathing the treated skin with hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, peptides and multipeptides. 

6. Rejuvenation - Red and blue infrared light stimulate collagen to give the skin an immediate glow.

There was zero down time following the procedure which I liked, I could have easily gone out that evening. In the days to come my skin felt hydrated and balanced, in addition the treatment didn't trigger any breakouts or peeling which I loved. The treatment starts from €150 and in my eyes would make the most amazing christmas gift for someone really special! Should you want any extra information you can find out more by visiting the clinics website  http://www.beaconfaceanddermatology.ie.

While I was there I was asking Elaine what type of skincare I should be using and she told me three of the most important things to incorporate into any skincare routine are a good SPF, a good antioxidant to protect the skin from free radicals during the day, and a retinol to renew the skin at night. 

After seeing how damaged my skin is from the sun I have been trying to use an SPF daily underneath my makeup. For that reason I wanted one that wasn't too heavy and wouldn't leave a residue so as to sit nicely when foundation is layered on top. I am loving Image Skincare's Prevention+ daily matte moisturizer SPF 32, an oil-free and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB critical wavelength high sun protection mattifying moisturizer. It incorporates microsponge technology to absorb surface oils and leaves my skin with a matte, shine-free finish. It is also supposed to contain a next generation blend of anti-oxidants as free-radical scavengers to decrease damaging effects of the sun and environmental exposures.  I'll be interested to see if my sun damage has been reduced or at least halted in 6 months time!

In keeping with the antioxidant theme I am now in a committed relationship with Reform Skincare's Hyal Vitamin C and E Serum. An antioxidant treatment packed with Hyaluronic Acid that interacts with Vitamin C and E together with Ferulic Acid to provide high levels of protection on the skin surface to prevent damage caused by free radicals and environmental pollutants.  This forumla helps provide for a brighter, radiant even skin toned complexion and I apply it daily under my SPF. I can't stress enough the importance of using products that contain "active ingredients" that actually work on your skin from within instead of just hydrating the top layer in the short term.

To cleanse my skin I've been using Image Skincare's Ageless Cleanser. It's a universal 3-in-1 body and facial cleanser that rinses away makeup and oil and also balances the pH of your skin eliminating the need for a toner. It contains a gentle glycolic acid blend that begins the exfoliating process to reveal smoother skin. I use this in the evening only as I think twice a day would be too harsh for my face so I still use my Kiehls Clearly Corrective Purifying Foaming wash in the morning.

About twice a week I now use Image Skincare's Ageless Total Resurfacing Mask too, I'm obsessed with how this makes my skin look so it's tempting not to use it more often! An exfoliating blend of hydroxy acids and micro crystals resurfaces the skin, gently sloughing off dead cells and helping diminish brown spots. This resurfacing masque is a true at home mini peel!

To take my makeup off at night I've been hooked on No7 Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser, it leaves my dry skin feeling soft and supple. It's initially a gel consistency that develops into a non-drying oil to protect the skin’s natural moisture levels and hydrate dry areas at the same time. After the oil breaks down your makeup and you wet your face it then changes into a light milk formula for easier rinsing, so skin is left residue-free and totally refreshed. I use a facecloth to remove it! 

I still use my Pestle and Mortar Superstar Retinol Night Oil following cleansing in the evening so that hasn't changed but for now these are the products I'm coveting! I know Image Skincare has been "everywhere" this year and it may seem like a fad but some of their products are really worth the spend. About 5 years ago before Image was as popular as it is now I used to swear by their Vital C line, after a year of using it however I just found it wasn't doing anything for me anymore. I can't say I feel the urge to try that range again but if you're mid 20's + the Ageless line in my eyes is fabulous! 

As always I haven't been paid to write any of this and my opinions are all honest and my own. Let me know if you've tried any of the products mentioned and what your thoughts were! Until next time, Jodie xx

A Holiday Wish List; My Top 20 Picks!

At this time of year as I shop for my loved ones I always come across things I would love to receive myself. As the holiday season approaches you can bet most of your favourite brands have come out with limited edition sets and value kits that I think make the best presents. I'm hoping a couple end up in my stocking! 

I thought I'd share with you 20 gifts ranging from stocking fillers to the ultimate in luxury for the beauty addicts in your life! I'll link each gift to where you can buy it, simply click on the photo! 

1. St Tropez Express Party Cracker; the perfect stocking filler for the tanned goddess in your life! The cracker contains their award-winning Self Tan Express Mousse for a party glow in just 1 hour along with their bestselling Tan Applicator Mitt for a streak-free and flawless application every time. For the price you cannot go wrong!

 Available from ASOS, €11

Available from ASOS, €11

2. This Works Sleep Tight Bauble; The perfect tree decoration! I've spoken about how much I love the Deep Sleep line from This Works before, their pillow spray and candle are a must in our house. This cute bauble contains 3 miniature best sellers, a lovely gift for your friends and family who can't switch off. The set contains; Deep Sleep Pillow Spray: Get a great night's sleep with This Works' best-selling deep sleep pillow spray. Clinically proven to help you fall asleep faster and wake feeling more refreshed. Deep Sleep Stress Less: A natural roll-on rescue remedy to aid calm days and restful nights, also a great one for students during exam time. Sleep Plus Pillow Spray: A fast-acting natural remedy to help restore healthy sleep patterns for restless sleepers. Clinically proven to provide a better night's sleep. If they bottled beauty sleep, this would be it.

 Available in store at Avoca or online from Space NK, €15

Available in store at Avoca or online from Space NK, €15

 Available at Boots or Asos, €16

Available at Boots or Asos, €16

3. Tangle Teaser Compact; Tangle teasers are the only thing I touch my hair with when it's wet as they slide though without dragging or damaging the hair. The compact one is my favourite to throw in my handbag or take travelling as it has a "lid" to stop hair escaping all over my bag! Everyone should have one. 

4. Becca Glow On The Go; My favourite highlighters are the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors. I already have the shades Opal and Champagne Pop but until I got this kit had never tried Moonstone which is actually their best seller. I can now see why! You get a mini pressed powder and a mini fluid which I love as I mainly use cream products. Perfect travel sizes too!

 Available from Space NK, €19

Available from Space NK, €19

6. Too Faced 'Twice The Drama" Eye Makeup Set; one of the best mascaras on the market this set is a bargain as it's now on sale at Debenhams! The kit contains the Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner which features a waterproof and tear-proof formula that sweeps on precisely and stays put for up to eight hours. Then frame your eyes and achieve ultra-long lashes with the deluxe-size Better Than Sex Mascara. It's infused with acacia Senegal tree extract and a collagen-enriched formula that thickens, lengthens, and curls for extreme volume and drama. What more could you ask for!

 Available from Debenhams, Was €35 now €23

Available from Debenhams, Was €35 now €23

 Available from M&amp;S and Asos, €25

Available from M&S and Asos, €25

6. Pixi Best of Bright; Pixi by Petra is one of those cult brands made famous by their coveted Glow Tonic. This essential travel trio gives brighter, clearer skin in 3 quick steps! Remove impurities with deeply purifying Glow Mud Cleanser, gently exfoliate & brighten with famous Glow Tonic, and detoxify with Glow Mud Mask. A lovely introduction for anyone to a brand I'm sure they'll love.

7. Essie Crack A Colour; The packaging is just too cute to resist. For the girls who change their nail colour quicker than you can say Father Christmas this will keep them covered for the festive season! This gift contains 4 cult colours, Smokin' Hot, A Cut Above Glitter Nail Effects, Fiji and Bordeaux. Fiji is my favourite summer shade which means the gift will keep on giving!

 Available from Boots, €26

Available from Boots, €26

8. Real Techniques Bold Metals Complete Eye Essentials Set; if you have yet to hear of Real Techniques you'll of been living under a rock. The creators, sisters Sam and Nic Chapman are the first youtube beauty gurus I remember watching and I think I learned most of what I know about makeup from watching them over the last decade. Their brushes are fantastic quality and have a huge following, you'll often see famous makeup artists using them in their kit. Their Bold Metals collection is also visually stunning and this set is incredible value as it's now reduced in Boots for Black Friday. Snap this up as the perfect brush set for beginners or experienced makeup artists and they'll thank you for sure! 

 Available from Boots, Was €55 now €27.50...run!

Available from Boots, Was €55 now €27.50...run!

 Available at Laura Mercier Counters, €30

Available at Laura Mercier Counters, €30

9. Laura Mercier Layer Up Caviar Stick Eye Colour Collection; the caviar sticks have one of the best cream shadow stick formulas I've tried and this set is the perfect way to try them for yourself! The set includes: 4 best selling shades: Rosegold, Amethyst, Aubergine and Tuxedo. With colours to suit daytime and evening looks for every skin tone this would be a dream to unwrap on Christmas day! 

10. Mac Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lipgloss Kit; who doesn't love a nude gloss and the packaging of this holiday collection is gorgeous! This kit is a safe bet for anyone you're not sure what to buy for! It has 3 mini Cremesheen Glasses and 1 mini Dazzleglass all in nude hues. No-one does sparkle like Mac!

 Available at Mac Counters, €35

Available at Mac Counters, €35

 Available at Brown Thomas, Was €40 now €36

Available at Brown Thomas, Was €40 now €36

11. Charlotte Tilbury Mini Lipstick Trio; If you haven't tried Charlotte Tilbury's lipstick formulas you haven't lived. This cute little set contains 3 of her 'Matte Revolution' lipsticks in best selling shades Amazing Grace, Red Carpet Red and Very Victoria. Perfect for popping in your clutch this festive season! Brown Thomas have 10% Charlotte Tilbury's gifts until Monday Nov 28th so shop now!

12. Glamglow Sexy Youthmud Set; having a healthy canvas to work on is the key to any fabulous makeup look so start with good skin. In this dreamy kit you get the famous Youthmud Tingleexfoliate Treatment which I obsess over. The mud that started it all, a 10 minute facial in a jar. Youthmud helps to leave skin looking smoother, brighter, and softer resulting in instant camera ready skin, just what you need for festive snaps! Next you'll get to try Supermud, a clearing treatment to help fight all common skin concerns and keep skin spot free. You also get the amazing Thirstymud hydrating treatment that hydrates, moisturizes, restores, and calms the skin. The hype is real. 

 Available at Boots, €45

Available at Boots, €45

 Available at Asos €53

Available at Asos €53

13. Benefit Brow Bundle Exclusive to Asos. Your eyebrows frame your face and I'd reach for my brow gel or pencil before mascara. This kit would be heaven for any makeup lover as you really get everything you need to make sure you have your #BROWSONFLEEK. Set contains: Precisely My Brow waterproof pencil eyeliner, Browvo conditioning primer, Gimme Brow pigmented eyebrow gel, Ready, Set Brow to shape and set the brow and a cute Brow make up bag! ASOS have their Black Friday promotions running from tomorrow to Sunday so make sure you take advantage of their discounts! 

14. Charlotte Tilbury's Magical Mini Brush Set; four mini essentials. A powder, blender, smudger and precision brush in a beautiful clutch! Such a gorgeous gift at a great price point, this is definitely on my list! 

 Available at Brown Thomas, Was €60 now €54

Available at Brown Thomas, Was €60 now €54

 Available at Brown Thomas, €64

Available at Brown Thomas, €64

15. Bobbi Brown Bronze Glow Beauty Set; no one need know you haven't seen sunlight since July. This kit has all you need for a natural looking glow containing 3 cult classics and a beautiful mini Face Blender Brush. Bobbi Brown's Bronzing Powders are my favourite and you get the shade Natural which will suit everyone. You also get a mini Long Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Taupe which is again universally flattering. Finish eyes off with the ever popular Everything Mascara and you're good to go! A lovely gift for someone who is just getting started with makeup or prefers a natural look.

16. Pestle and Mortar Hydrating Duo Gift Set; I couldn't leave out my skincare saviours. The set contains the widely acclaimed Pure Hyaluronic Serum and award-winning Hydrate Moisturiser. With a €5 saving this gift bundle is something I know I'll be buying! This transformed my skin, put it on your list and you can thank me later.

 Available in store at Avoca or online from Pestle and Mortar, €86

Available in store at Avoca or online from Pestle and Mortar, €86

 Available from Asos or Petermark, €160

Available from Asos or Petermark, €160

17. GHD Curve Copper Luxe Soft Curl Tong 32mm Gift Set; I always think hair tools are a great christmas gift as they can be expensive and not always something we treat ourselves to. The GHD curve line is amazing, every time my hair dresser uses it on me you guys ask me how we did my hair! They come in a range of barrel widths and as tongs or wands for short or long hair. This cute set also contains a beautiful copper nail polish by Nails Inc. A gorgeous gift that would be welcome under my tree any day! 

18. Lanai Blo; staying on the subject of hair, hair guru Katie Jane Goldin recently brought out a new line of dryers that are lightweight but super powerful. The Lanai Blo Tourmaline Crystal components help to seal moisture into the hair and lock in shine. The best part, you can have them personalised! Sign me up!  

 Available online from Lanai Blo, €115 including personalisation&nbsp;

Available online from Lanai Blo, €115 including personalisation 

 Available at Brown Thomas, Was €195 now €175

Available at Brown Thomas, Was €195 now €175

19. Charlotte Tilbury's World of Legendary Parties Advent Calendar; anyone would drool over this one. 12 magical minis to have you covered from all angles and party ready. The boxes contain; Mini Magic Cream, Mini Wonderglow, Mini Multi Miracle Glow, Mini Goddess Skin Clay Mask, Mini Take It All Off Eye Makeup Remover, Mini Supermodel Body, Full Size Eyes to Mesmerise: Marie Antoinette, Full Size K.I.S.S.I.N.G.® Lipstick: Penelope Pink, Full Size Colour Chameleon: Black Diamonds, Full Size EXCLUSIVE Pocket Pout: Jessica Red, Mini Legendary Lashes and Full Size Lip Lustre: Sweet Stiletto. Santa... I've been very good. 

20. Nars Cult Survival Kit; the ultimate. I am a huge fan of Nars and their products make up a large portion of my makeup bag. It's survival of the chicest with this giant treasure trove. Keep it together in every scenario with François Nars’ hand-picked essentials. Includes 11 NARS cult-classics: Pandora Duo Eyeshadow, Exhibit A and Orgasm Blush, Laguna Bronzing Powder, Schiap Lipstick, Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Turkish Delight Lip Gloss, Via Veneto Larger Than Life Eyeliner, Black Moon Audacious Mascara, Light Reflecting Setting Powder, and Monoï Body Glow II. If you're one of those boyfriends or husbands that hasn't a clue but has money to spend, get her this and watch her face light up!

 Available at Brown Thomas, €300

Available at Brown Thomas, €300

So that's it girls, I'm pretty confident that there's something for everyone to be found here but please let me know which your favourites are! Take advantage of Black Friday and all of the deals on this week and get your shopping started, I must take my own advise. I love chatting to you all on Snapchat (jodielawsonwood) and Instagram (JodieWood_) so send me a little message if you find yourself here! Happy shopping, Jodie x

 

White Teeth and Winter Nudes

We all know nothing pairs better with a gorgeous lip color than dazzling white teeth! I've teamed up with my favourite teeth whitening company iWhite to give one of my readers a chance to try their Professional Teeth Whitening Kit and Toothpaste.

The whitening kit comprises of 10 thin and flexible trays that are one-size-fits-all and individually packed. The rubber trays come prefilled with a revolutionary whitening gel which has been clinically proven to be dental safe and instantly effective. Before trying iWhite I was used to using standard whitening strips that I always felt slipped off my teeth while I wore them so I love how comfortable the trays are. In addition I always noticed sensitivity following use of other brands so I was pleasantly surprised when nothing of the sort happened using the trays. The trays should be worn for about 20 minutes so I usually pop them in while I'm doing my makeup or dying my hair in the morning. You can use the trays for either 5 days consecutively or space them out over a couple of weeks. I tend to use them every second or third day. iWhite say that your teeth will lighten up to 8 shades, I don't know how accurate that is as I have never checked my teeth against a chart before use but I do notice a visible difference! In addition I regularly have people comment on my teeth after I whiten them so that's how I know it's really working! iWhite Instant Care toothpaste is also something I love to use to hold on to my results and keep my teeth looking white and bright! The whitening kit retails for €29.99 and the toothpaste is €9.50, both can be bought here! Keep reading to the end of this post to see how you can win this fabulous duo!

As I mentioned earlier nothing looks better with a pearly smile than a gorgeous lip colour; I thought I'd share with you my 3 current favourites! In the summer I love a bright lip paired with a tan, in the winter however I tend to stick to warm nudes as my skin gets paler. I have been wearing the same 3 over and over again and you guys always ask me what they are on social media! 

The first one is a cult beauty product I'm sure a lot of you have seen on Instagram or Youtube; Kat Von D Everlasting Lipstick in "Bow n Arrow".  A long-wear, full-coverage liquid lipstick with a smooth, matte finish. The colour is described as a "fawn nude", on me it's definitely a warm brown nude. This liquid lipstick does not budge! Pair it with Whirl lipliner from Mac and you'll be giving Kylie Jenner a run for her money! As I said in my last post Kat Von D is now available in Debenhams so you can purchase it here!

The next one is Nars new Velvet Lip Glide in the colour 'Playpen'. This nude is seriously pigmented, fully coats the lips with one swipe and has a smooth, saturated, semi-matte finish. Its not as long wearing as the Kat Von D liquid lipstick but definitely packs more punch than a lipstick. I love the colour playpen as it's the perfect pinky nude, not too pale for daytime wear! I pair it with Subculture lipliner from Mac, slightly more pink than Whirl. You can buy Nars from Brown Thomas here!

Finally my favourite traditional lipstick is by the legend herself Charlotte Tilbury, K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick in the shade "Bitch Perfect". Even the name is fabulous! A paler nude than the first two I love this with a smokey eye. I usually wear a lip balm under it to give it a slightly reflective finish but it's by no means drying on it's own. Paired with her Iconic Nude lipliner they are a match made in heaven! You can purchase it here!

To be in with a chance to win yourself the iWhite duo simply comment on my corresponding instagram post here letting me know what your favourite lip colour is! Good luck girls xxx

Autumn Beauty Favourites!

It's that time of year where the weather has cooled down and my tan has officially faded. I'll admit it's not my favourite season but some new additions to my bathroom cabinet have certainly managed to brighten things up. I thought I'd share with you some new products that I'm currently coveting and won't be saying goodbye to for the foreseeable future! Simply click any of the images in the post to shop the product online!

I don't like being pale; I've tried embracing it, it looks beautiful on some people but it's just not for me. I glow more of a bluish pink as opposed to a Kristen Stewart in Twighlight glisten so as my natural colour dwindles I've been trying out a couple of new tanning products. The arrival of James Reed's tanning products to my favourite salon Vintage Glamour could not have been timed more appropriately. I have been using his Overnight Tan Sleep Mask in the shade 'Go Darker' and cannot say praise it enough. It gives me the ideal olive based colour that looks like I'm just off a plane rather than the latest shade of coral. The mask has added skin boosting ingredients too, infused with Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid and Algae Extract to leave skin hydrated and moisturised. It hasn't made me break out with some facial tanners do, dries instantly and doesn't destroy white pillows. His instant wash off tan is also gorgeous and well worth a look if you're like me and don't like to commit! Winner in my book! 

 

Continuing on with the skincare theme, Pestle and Mortar's Superstar Retinol Night Oil almost deserves a post of it's own. I'd read a lot about the benefit of introducing retinoids into your skincare regime but had always been a little nervous to try them. A lot of stronger strength retinol creams on the market can cause skin irritation and excessive dryness when first used and while the general consensus is to push through any initial unwanted side effects because the long term results are worth it, I personally couldn't afford that down time. Pestle and Mortar's Retinol Night Oil contains Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate that they claim represents a new generation of retinoid. It is supposed to help reverse signs of ageing, smooth fine lines and wrinkles, and boost collagen production, all of which I can confidently say it does. It stimulates cell growth and cell turnover, restoring suppleness and hydration to the skin. Any dry patches or flaking I had before are long gone and I noticed a visible difference in my skin after about a month of consistent use.

Vitamin A is one of the known ingredients which helps skin structure. Topical vitamin A can be readily absorbed by the skin and has the ability to interrupt the damage caused by free radicals resulting in smoother, softer skin. If you've read my previous blogs you'll know I already swear by their Hyaluronic Serum and daily moisturizer so my skincare system is now solely Pestle and Mortar. Worth every penny!

About twice a week I like to do a mask, I initially wasn't sure about this one and couldn't understand what all the global fuss was about but fast forward a couple of months and I'm converted. I think the problem was that I was thinking of it as a traditional clay mask that should be cleaning out my skin and it just wasn't doing that. I really should have taken a hint from the product name. Glamglow's Youthmud Tinglexfoliate does something to my pores that I've never experienced. Do you ever have one of those days where you start your makeup but things just aren't going well? Foundation clings in places it shouldn't and powder does nothing but accentuate things that no one wants to see. That's when I stop and apply this mask, ten minutes later it's like I have a new face. My skin is smooth, pores have vanished and makeup glides on. I love it. 

Sheet masks are also something I've been loving. I've tried most of Sephora's own brand ones and they're ok, not amazing but ok if you're on a budget. My favourite mid range one that I've found is by a brand called Starskin. Their Bio Cellulose masks actually feel like they've done something when I remove them leaving my skin soft and supple. When I've time to lounge around looking mad I sit and watch tv with one of these on for about half an hour. With the month that's in it you could always buy one and have it double as your halloween costume...no time like the present!

On to some makeup, the Kat Von D 'Shade and Light Eye Contour Pallet' is handsdown the best eyeshadow pallet I've ever tried. The colours are right up my alley, neutral and matte with some beautiful deep warm browns. The black is actually black unlike so many other dark shadows and they blend like butter. Kat Von D is now available in Debenhams for us here in Ireland so I know this is one product I'll never be without again. Obsessed. 

I'll admit I am a bit of a creature of habit, give or take a week or two I reckon I have had the same Shallac combination on my nails for the last two years solid, two coats of 'Romantique' with one coat of 'Beau' on top. I go to NewYorki Nails in Bray and they don't even ask me what I want anymore. This being said I am officially bored of it so I went wild and tried a new nude. Shellac 'Bare Chemise' is my new favourite. The perfect pale nude thats neutral, not too sickly pink, not too white and not too beige. I'll be wearing it all winter, wonders will never cease eh!

 

We'll finish with foundation, Armani's Luminous Silk Foundation has been in my makeup bag for a couple of months now and while I flirt between it and YSL's Touche Eclait foundation I have to say it takes the biscuit. Last week I changed shade from 6.5 to 6.25 and it's made me love it even more. While it's called 'luminous' silk I would describe it as a satin finish, no excessive shine so it should be fine with a dusting of powder for those with oilier skin. It's natural looking with a medium buildable coverage so it's just what I look for in foundation, applied with a beauty blender it's pretty close to perfect. Why YSL reformulated their Touche Eclait foundation I'll never know, unfortunately it's nothing like the original and left me a little disappointed! 

So there you have it, my favourite products of the moment. Let me know if you've discovered anything new recently that you think I'd like! I love chatting on snapchat so you can message me there, my username is Jodielawsonwood!

Have a great week! Jodie xx

Fancy Feet

With the hope of warmer weather approaching I've been shopping for a host of new summer sandals to start running around in. A good leather sandal is a must for me to wear casually with jeans or day time dresses, spend the extra and invest in real leather if you can and your feet will thank you! While jeweled flats were very much in last spring too, the good news is they are definitely here to stay. I picked up a pair of beautiful embellished sandals last summer in Zara that I've also been keeping to put on under my wedding dress when my feet start to hurt, you may have seen them on my Instagram last year! In addition to the jeweled trend you may be noticing the rise of the pom pom lace up, not for everyone but I have to admit love them! With my wedding around the corner I'll be in spain for a lot of the summer and I'm then heading to Ibiza for one of my best friend's weddings so I know I'll get some wear out of them! 

I've rounded up my top 10 favourites, from fun and flirty to elegant and chic; check out my top picks for any budget! Click on the images to shop the sandal!

Trend 1-Pom Pom Power

 Elina Linardaki $225

Elina Linardaki $225

 Zara  €59.95

Zara €59.95

 Asos Fruit Loop Sandals £16

Asos Fruit Loop Sandals £16

Mabu by Maria BK $200

Trend 2-Blinging Beauties

 Sam Edelman  €106

Sam Edelman €106

 New Look  €26

New Look €26

 Asos Fiji Sandal £28

Asos Fiji Sandal £28

Trend 3-Lace Up Leather

 New Look  €27.99

New Look €27.99

 BCBG Generation  €83

BCBG Generation €83

 River Island  €33

River Island €33

Let me know if you find any pretty shoes you think I'd love by tagging me on Instagram @JodieWood_! xx

Hair and Makeup Run Down-My Favourite Products! Plus win a chance to have your eyes made over with Brow Specialist Claudine King!

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Hi guys, in time for Valentines Day I'm delighted to be doing a giveaway with the talented Claudine King. This week I went in to her beautiful new salon at 22 South William Street, and was lucky enough to have her work her magic on my brows.  

Claudine King began her career eleven years ago at the renowned Bronwyn Conroy Beauty School in Dublin. Also qualified in Microblading Semi-Permanent Make-Up, she knows her stuff when it comes to all things face. Using world renowned brands including Rodial, Cailyn Cosmetics, Dermalogica, U-Spa, Revitabrow, Anastasia Beverly Hills, Essie, OPI Nail Care, Yon-Ka and Dr. Murad, Claudine is a trusted expert in her field. The ability to provide painless threading is just one element that makes her stand out from the crowd, I couldn't believe how little it hurt compared to what I was used to! Many of Claudine’s loyal clients are well known faces in the worlds of modelling, media and entertainment. Her relationships are built on her expertise and the trust which clients have in her ability to perfect each aspect of a look - be it brow, lash, skin or nail treatments. 

I was impressed that Claudine took the time to speak to me at length about what exactly I wanted out of the appointment and how I liked my brows to look before she started working on anything. Eyebrows are so important to me and I have too often come out of a salon sorely disappointed trying to scrub black dye off my face in the car on the way home! I was throughly impressed and highly recommend trying her out if your after the perfect brow!

To be in with a chance to win a comlimentary eye trio with Claudine check out my Instagram for details on how to enter @jodiewood_. You can find out more on Claudine via her website www.claudinekingbrows.ie or on her Instagram @claudineking!

Now for what's on my face! I had lots of questions today on snapchat (jodielawsonwood) about what makeup I'm wearing and it's the same thing I do everyday so I thought I'd share my product list! 

Base

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, Armani Lumious Silk Foundation in shade 6.5, Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in shade 20 under the eye mixed with YSL Touché Eclait in number 2, Givenchy Teint Couture Embellishing Concealer to spot conceal.

Eyes 

Cailyn Gelux Eyebrow in shade Oak, Anastasia Brow Gel in clear, Mac Paintpot in shade Groundwork, Bobbi Brown eyeshadow in shade Camel through the socket, Mac shadow in Embark tighter through the crease, Mac Shadow in Carbon along the lash line topped with Kat Von D tattoo liner in Trooper. Lashes are 3D volume lash extensions applied by Rebecca in Vintage Glamour, brow bone highlighted with Chelsea brow pencil and inner corner with Becca highlighter in Champagne Pop.

Cheeks 

Hourglass Bronzer in Radiant Light, Mac shadow in Cork as a precise contour under the cheek bone and down the nose, Mac blush in Peaches, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal along the cheekbones and on top of the brow bone, Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop as a little extra highlighter on cheek bones. 

Lips 

Smashbox Always Sharp Liner in Medium Nude, Charlotte Tilbury Matt Lipstick in Bitch Perfect.  

Set my whole face with Mac Fix Plus!

 

 Hair

Washed and conditioned with Kerastase Bain Satin and Lait Vital. Ran some Nectar Thermique through the ends and sprayed the roots with Tigi Superstar for a Day for some lift and volume. Blow dryed my hair upside down and the curled it with the Instyler Max. I pin the curls up as I do them and then shake my hair out after I finish my makeup so they cool and set in place.  

This is pretty much my routine for any time I'm getting done up, obviously I skip a few steps for work on a daily basis! Let me know if you'd like anymore info on any of the products mentioned!

 

Jodie xx

 

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My September Favourites

From here out I will be posting my monthly favourites from the world of hair and beauty for you all, a simple way to keep everyone updated! This September I attended quite a few events and beauty launches, some of the products we were introduced to I loved and have included in this as a mini haul!

Starting off with fragrance, the two I have been reaching for the most over the last 6 weeks are Givenchy's "L'Atelier Gaiac Mystique" and "Flower by Kenzo, L'Elixir".  As summer fades I tend to move towards darker sultry scents that pair well with chunky knits and cooler weather. L'Atelier Gaiac Mystique comes in the most beautiful box and glass bottle imaginable. Anything white, simple and with clean lines is right up my street. This perfume has a definite smokey scent that comes from the middle notes of guaiac wood, the top note is iris and the base notes are tonka bean and incense giving it an alluring, romantic feel. My go to evening scent! For daytime at work I opt for Kenzo's new take on an old favourite. The original scent, Flower by Kenzo has been around a long time and is well known and loved by many. L'Elixir, is their latest release and has floral fruity fragrance without being too sweet. Based on raspberry and Bulgarian rose essence with a hint of vanilla it's simply beautiful. I have people ask what I'm wearing whenever I have this on!

On to makeup, I have finally found a dupe for my favourite Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. The No7 new Airbrush Away Foundation is fantastic, perfect for everyday wear. It has the same consistency as the Nars foundation or Armani Maestro, very fluid and almost water like yet still provides great coverage. After watching the No7 Match Made ads on tv I popped into Boots intrigued to see what shade the machine would tell me I am. The lady at the counter held it up to my jaw and informed me I am the shade cool beige, after inspection I think it's the shade I would have chosen anyway, impressed! The free service is offered in 30 stores nation wide and I highly recommend it if you struggle to pick foundation shades yourself. To set my foundation I have been using the Givency Prisme Libre. A mattifying and color-correcting loose powder for the face combining four shades into a perfect cocktail. I use the shade Taffetas Beige: A balance of beiges, apricot and yellow, which delivers a healthy glow in just one stroke of a brush. I like that I have the option to pick up just the lightest yellow shade to use to set my under eye concealer and then can mix the four to set the rest of my makeup. Love!

Finally my favourite hair care, I'm officially a Tigi addict. You may have seen my haul of their products on snapchat a while back. After trying them all for a couple of months I cannot live without two of them, Joyride and Headrush. Joyride is the latest addition to the Bedhead line and is a texturising powder balm. It has the same feel to it that silicone based foundation primers do, think Smashbox photo finish. Silky smooth with a slip to it but not wet or sticky. It can be applied to damp hair to smooth, defrizz and make styling easier acting as a hair primer or it can be used on dry day two hair to add a little life and texture back in. I find if using this balm that my curling tongs doesn't snag or pull on my hair as I twist it through sections, in addition it's also a heat protectant which I love. If I'm doing a messy pony with day 2 hair that I don't want to wash I'll scrunch a pump of this into the hair to give it a little texture and then use whats left in my hands to smooth down the crown and sides of my head. I'll then douse my head in Headrush, Tigi's shine spray. The smell of these products is incredible, think my little pony meets strawberry jelly. I love spraying my hair with this on day two to freshen up the scent and also to bring it back to life and add some gloss. I used to hate how dull my hair looked if I used dry shampoo but this puts the shine straight back in without weighing the hair down. I'll be repurchasing both as soon as they run out! 

As always let me know what you're loving at the minute and if you're on snapchat add me for daily vlogs! My username is "jodielawsonwood". Happy weekend! X

 

 

Intelligent Nutrients Arrives in Ireland

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Intelligent Nutrients is a premium beauty brand, created on the basis that everything we put in and on our bodies must be nutritious and safe, an ethos that sings to me! Intelligent Nutrients uses scientific technology to create products which are sustainable, effective and a pleasure to use. The brand is certified Organic, Cruelty Free and all Intelligent Nutrient products are created with 100% renewable energy too. Does it get any better?

Founder Horst Rechelbacher, a pioneer in plant-based personal care & aromatherapy, began a three-year apprenticeship in the beauty and salon industry at the age of 14. His intuitive talent, creativity and charisma catapulted him to the top of the swinging sixties hair competition circuit. A rock star life followed, leading him to the U.S. where fate landed him in the Midwest. By 1965, he started his own salons and a product line called Horst.

In 1978, Horst founded Aveda Corporation, a global plant-based cosmetic company, and ushered a new consciousness into the world of beauty. Nearly two decades later, he sold Aveda to Estee Lauder. He shifted focus to Intelligent Nutrients, a health and beauty company that lives to the highest standards of 100% food-based, safe, non-toxic and organic ingredients.

Organic agriculture improves living matter in the soil, supports the air quality and builds up nutrition. But because health and beauty companies are trusted to regulate themselves, the words “natural” and “organic” have become a free-for-all. USDA Certified Organic is the only seal that ensures an ingredient or product is truly organic. Anything else or less is marketing. Nutritional chemistry technology and science have evolved so that using non-toxic, natural and organic products doesn't mean sacrificing performance. Intelligent nutrients products are free of sulfates, plastics, parabens, silicone, mineral oil, petrolatum, petrochemical derivatives and synthetics. Instead they are formulated with state of the art science that makes them so potent and high performing.  Perfect for those with sensitive skin!

 

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Before using the line I did wonder whether I'd miss the chemical ingredients from a results point of view... Could something entirely plant based really work as well for my skin, especially in the fight against ageing! I've been using the face serum, moisturiser and cleanser now for about 2 weeks and so far so good. I prefer to try skincare out for a full 6 week skin cycle before making any grand announcements but for now I like where we're headed. The serum feels incredibly rich and nourishing and has quite an oily texture where as the moisturiser is light and fluid. A nice balance and choice to have depending on the time of day you apply them, I keep the serum for evenings. My favourite product is the antioxidant lip treatment, a glossy balm that comes in 3 shades and offers a hint of colour. I apply it twice a day and my lips stay hydrated and have yet to get dry coming into the cooler weather. It's important to note that the plant extracts you find in these products are second to none and each product is based on the same foundation. 

Intellimune® is the super-antioxidant seed blend found in almost every one of Intelligent Nutrients products. It starts with thousands of certified-organic fruit and vegetable seeds packed with even more potential than the plants themselves. Because they are the source of all life, they are cold pressed without chemicals for a potency far greater than the sum of its parts. The results, Intellimune fights off free radicals, reduces inflammation, protects healthy cellular activity and growth and helps to slow unnecessary premature ageing and disease in the process. I love the idea that my skin is getting the nourishment it requires with no scary chemicals to worry about.

From revitalising facial serums to anti-oxidising hair care, Intelligent Nutrients is now available in Avoca Kilamc, Suffolk Street and Rathcoole. Join Intelligent Nutrients in Avoca Kilmac on Friday October 2nd between 12-3pm to speak to a brand expert and discover the line for yourself!

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Highlighter Heaven

We have a winner... I have tried and tested so many highlighters at this stage and am glad to say I have finally found my dream product! 

The Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector® Pressed in "Champagne Pop" is a powder highlighter that came out earlier this year. For any of you who don't know who Jaclyn Hill is she is a Youtube Beauty Guru with over 2million subscribers who has always been obsessed with getting that glow! Hence her collaboration with Becca Cosmetics, known for their highlighters was a match made in heaven. After watching just about every youtuber and beauty blogger in the US use the highlighter and love it I needed to get my hands on it. Unfortunately this is an Sephora exclusive meaning I struggled to do so. They don't yet ship to Ireland but will post to the UK if you're based there, I managed to get one of my friends to bring it home from New York for me. I know they are also up on Ebay but expect to pay more, the RRP is $38.

The shade is a pale yellow gold with a peachy undertone that I think would work for nearly everyone, unless you are very dark in which case it could show up a little ashy. The reason I love it is because of it's texture, although it's a powder it feels as though it's a cream. Super smooth and very finely milled, unlike other highlight powders it does not emphasise texture on the skin and does not look stark in natural light. If you can't get your hands on it I also adore the highlighers pictured below. During the day I tend to use a cream product as it looks a little more natural but at night I layer a powder on top of a cream for extra glow!

 From left to right; Mac "Soft and Gentle", Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in "Beige", Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in "Champagne Pop", Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in "Opal", &nbsp;Seventeen Wow Skin Tan Liquid Glow

From left to right; Mac "Soft and Gentle", Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in "Beige", Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in "Champagne Pop", Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in "Opal",  Seventeen Wow Skin Tan Liquid Glow

The last two products pictured above are both liquid/cream highlighters and as you can see are much more natural in texture. If you have any texture on your skin like scaring, acne or peach fuzz I recommend trying out a product like such if you want to avoid emphasising such issues.  I tend to reach for the cooler tones like Opal and Soft and Gentle if I'm slightly paler and the bronzy tones if I've a bit of a tan. I always place my highlighter in the same spots, in a C shape on the tops of my cheeks sweeping up to the top of my brow bone, on my cupids bow and on the inner corner of my eye. If you don't have a highlighter in your makeup collection, get one and try it, it will change your makeup life forever! 

Eyelash Extensions-The Good, The Bad, The Can't Live Without Them

I first started getting semi permanent eyelash extensions about 4 years ago and to begin with eased my way in by only getting "corner lashes", about 15-20 extensions on the end of each eye. Now a couple of years later I regularly get them done with over 200 extensions applied to each eye! For many people the idea seems a little scary or hard to grasp, hair glued to your actual eyelash... I too was a little apprehensive at first, would they suit me? Would they damage my own lashes? Would they irritate my eyes? 

There are several salons offering eyelash extensions and the quality and end product you receive truly depends on who you go to. I have been to several places both here and in London and  have come out with quite different results each time, some great, some not so good. Up until last year I was getting individual "mink" eyelash extensions, one high quality lash attached to each of your lashes (don't worry they're not actually made of mink, just a higher quality acrylic). Most salons offer the choice of getting a "full set" or a more natural looking "half set" that give off more of a mascara look than full glamour in which an extension is generally applied to every second lash. I've had both before and been happy with the results, it again depends on the desired outcome.

For the last 18months I have however been getting a treatment that is less common here in Ireland, Russian 3D Volume Lash Extensions. Volume lash extensions consist of applying multiple lash extensions to each natural lash in a fanned out shape. Between 3-6 lashes are applied to each of your own usually resulting in between 200-400 lashes per eye instead of the traditional 1:1 ratio observed with classic lash extensions that have 80-100 extensions per eye. The extensions used feel like silk feathers and are about a quarter of the weight of a traditional lash extension meaning multiple lashes can be applied without damaging or weighing down your lash. This technique creates a fuller and feather like effect with the result appearing fluffy but still somewhat natural looking. I have never looked back...

The main reason I love getting this treatment done is way that it looks, even with no makeup I still feel put together and happy to head out. In addition it saves me time when getting ready as I've no need to curl my eyelashes or apply mascara let alone false lashes. I prefer the fullness and fluffy appearance my lashes have when I get the volume extensions in comparison to classic minks but that may be personal preference. In addition I find they last me at least two weeks longer than traditional extensions since I have about 4 times the amount to fall out. 

I have been trying to think of the cons of having lash extensions to mention and the only thing I can think of is the fact that you will no doubt get addicted to them. While it dosen't bother me it may bother others that you also can't really rub your eyes or use any oil based products on or near them while you have the extensions as it breaks down the bonds and will cause them to fall out quicker. I've listed below the answers to some questions you may be wondering about.

  • How long do they take to apply? Russian Volume 3D Volume Lashes take about 2hours to apply so if you're fidgety this may not be for you. I don't mind it and often fall asleep!
  • How long do they last? As the lash extensions fall out naturally along with your own eyelash cycle, once you follow your lash care routine you should get 4-6 weeks out of your lashes before you need refills. 
  • Can you get them wet? Previously, I have had lash technicians advise me to wear goggles while in the shower however my current therapist has told me there is no need. You do however need to keep them away from water for the first 24hours so avoid showering. 
  • Do they ruin your own eyelashes? I have heard several girls say that getting lash extensions "destroyed" their lashes however I can only imagine this is down to receiving a poor service. As I mentioned I have been getting them religiously for many years as have many of my friends and none of us have found this to be the case. This summer as my therapist was on maternity leave I had about a 2month break from getting them and noticed the only difference in my own lashes was that perhaps they were straighter than they were before. The fullness and length was the same as ever so it was nothing an eyelash curler couldn't fix. I do highly recommend going to someone who specialises in this treatment to avoid a nasty outcome. 
  • Are they expensive? That's a personal opinion... Lash extensions can range anywhere from 40-200euro+ in Dublin but I seriously believe you pay for what you get. I highly discourage you going somewhere cheap as I expect the outcome will reflect this. Several girls I know have had horror stories with lashes glued together in clumps and swollen itchy eyelids after perhaps taking the cheaper route. Proceed with caution!

Not many salons provide Russian 3D lash treatments as of yet so I'm lucky in the fact that I live relatively near to one. I go to see Rebecca Greene, a master lash specialist who has her salon Vintage Glamour in Arklow, Co. Wicklow. Rebecca was recently nominated in the Best Brow Artist category of the Image Beauty Awards and for good reason. She also offers traditional mink lash extensions but has traveled to several countries to train and specialise in Russian 3D Volume Lashes. She charges €90 for a full set of Volume Lash Extensions, a 2hour treatment. Should you wish to get refills done, it is suggested you do so after 4-5weeks, this is priced at €50. As many salons charge the same price for standard lash extensions I think she is fantastic value and I highly recommend her! In addition she is very kindly offering 10% off to anyone who quotes my blog when booking! You can check out her website here.

To summarise whether you have a special occasion such as a wedding or birthday coming up or just feel like treating yourself, I highly recommend trying out 3D Volume Lash Extensions. They are my number one beauty accessory I can't live without!!

 

Review: Urban Health 3 Day Soup and Juice Cleanse

Many of you will have heard about "juicing" by now, in Dublin alone we have seen several juice bars pop up over the last couple of years and "cleanses" are now widely available to purchase. I recently tried and tested Urban Health's 3 day soup and juice cleanse and thought I would let you in on how I got on.

I'll start by saying that Urban Health in Ranelagh is a fantastic shop for anyone into their health food and nutrition. I was so impressed by the range of products they stock there, from paleo granolas to superfood powders, they have it all. What interested me in trying their cleanse was that this one was a little different to the others in the fact that you get soups along with your juices. When trying juice cleanses before, eating was always the part I missed so the idea that a hot "meal" was included was a bonus for me. In the three day cleanse you receive; 3 fresh juices and 2 soups per day. The juices are as follows;

  1. Morning Glory: Cucumber, Kiwi, Spinach, Lime, Mint, Apple.
  2. The Zinger: Orange, Carrot, Grapefruit, Ginger, Lemon.
  3. Green Envy: Celery, Cucumber, Spinach, Lime, Avocado, Apple.
  4. Pret A Protein: Cucumber, Pineapple, Apple, Avocado, Spirulina.
  5. The Glow: Apple, Broccoli, Carrot, Beetroot & Avocado.

The soups you receive are all freshly made and come in easy to carry 475 ml containers perfect for taking to work and stacking in your fridge. In addition they are all 100% gluten free. Although the soups vary depending on what's in season here is an example of some:

  1. Fresh Black Bean and Vegetable.
  2. Garden Vegetable.
  3. Winter Minestrone.
  4. Fresh Mushroom.
  5. Pea and Mint.
  6. Chilli Tomato with Basil.

The idea is you have your juices in the morning and in between meals, the soups can be eaten for lunch and dinner. My favourite juice is their Morning Glory which I looked forward to having each day, I loved all of the soups, each had a good flavour to it and nothing was watery. My favourite soup was the Minestrone pictured above, it was jammed full of various beans which we all know I love! It kept me feeling full for ages. The benefit of having soups as part of a cleanse comes from the fact that you are getting additional nutrients and antioxidants from the ingredients in the soups that you wouldn't get from juices alone. The beans, pulses, onions and peppers are an added hit that will keep you from experiencing the negative feelings such as extreme hunger, tiredness and lack of concentration that some people experience while on a normal juice cleanse. While I am all for adding fresh juices into existing healthy diets, as a nutritionist, typically I am not a huge supporter of drastic 7+ day juice cleanses as in my opinion anything over 3 days will start to have an adverse effect on the body. 

The theory behind detox cleanses is that, by eliminating solid foods, you are eliminating toxins, which will supposedly give your digestive system a break, allowing it to heal and better absorb nutrients in the future. In reality, there is no conclusive medical evidence that your digestive tract will heal from removing solid foods from the diet for any period of time (unless you have a digestive disorder such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease). Solid foods are actually vital to our digestive health. Fibre, found in plant-based foods such as fruits and vegetables, slows digestion, helps with nutrient absorption and removes toxins via stool. It is generally found in the skins of fruit and vegetables which is why I support the inclusion of soups in this cleanse, much of the fibre is retained compared to in juices where the "pulp" is discarded.

There are however many benefits of juicing that should be appreciated. While on a juice cleanse you’ll benefit from an increased intake of vitamins and minerals naturally from the juiced fruits and veg that are packed full of antioxidants. In addition it can be a great way to tune into your body and help you identify food sensitivities by eliminating certain foods for several days, then gradually reintroducing potential trigger foods. The fact that you can drink a juice packed full of fruit and veg in one go also means it's a quicker and easier way to try and get your daily intake. 

Just remember that these diets are low in calories, carbohydrates and protein, which will leave you with little energy to exercise and may disrupt your metabolic rate and blood glucose levels so should not be done for long periods of time and certainly not often. You may also experience gastrointestinal upset and frequent bowel movements so bear that in mind and plan well when you're going to do one! Cleanses are not effective for long-term weight loss. The weight you lose from a cleanse is a result of losing water, carbohydrate stores and stool, which all return after you resume a regular diet. They are however a great platform to launch you into a healthy eating plan, avoid the Big Macs on day 4!

All in all I enjoyed doing this soup and juice cleanse and think it's a great addition to the market, hopefully other juice companies will follow Urban Health's lead and begin offering soups too. The cleanse is priced at 70euro and is available to order 7days a week. 

Urban Health: 9 Fields Terrace, The Triangle, Ranelagh, Dublin 6. 

Email info@urbanhealth.ie. 

Mobile 0873567517

My Skin Care Routine

Looking after my skin has always been something that's important to me, my mum was definitely the one who got me into it. I started a skin care routine from about the age of 12, I can remember getting the La Roche Posay Rosaliac moisturiser to try combat my red cheeks and as a teenager used to use their bright green primer under my foundation. I never went to bed with makeup on and still won't to this day, no matter how drunk or tired! I truly believe that your skin condition is first and foremost based on your diet and hydration. I personally notice a huge difference in mine when I'm being good and drinking enough water! Similarly if I've been drinking a lot or binging on sugar my skin reflects it.  That being said these products I am about to talk through are my skin saviours. After trialling far too many alternatives these are my go to's that I'd be lost without.

If I have makeup on I will first take it off using a good quality organic coconut oil. I take a small amount and rub it all over my skin, into my lashes and brows and then using a face wipe or a damp facecloth I remove it. The oil breaks down the makeup and mascara while also conditioning my lashes and brows, win-win! I then cleanse my face, to me this is easily the most important step. There's no point rubbing expensive creams and lotions into your skin if it's still covered in dirt and excess makeup that will breed bacteria and cause impurities. There are several cleansers on the market from creams to milks to foams. I personally like one that foams because I use it with my Boots Number 7, Skin Cleansing Brush, a great and inexpensive version of the Clarisonic.

The cleanser I use is the Kiehl's Purifying Foaming Cleanser, part of the Clearly Corrective White system. While on the pricier side for a cleanser after a few months of using this I did notice a visible difference in my skin, any discolouration had dulled slightly and my skin appeared brighter. In my opinion, it is a two in one product, brightening and cleansing the skin so I don't mind paying an extra few euro for it. Alternatively I also love the Clinique Rinse off Foaming Cleanser or the La Roche Posay Effaclar Purifying Foaming Gel, both available in Boots. After cleansing I take a cotton pad and go over my face with the Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner. I have dry skin so I don't like to use anything too harsh that is likely to strip the skin, this toner is gentle and alcohol free which I love. Using a toner after cleansing restores the skins pH and as it's mildly astringent will clear away any thing that you missed while washing your face. 

Equally important for me is a good exfoliant. There are gel exfoliants that are amazing and act as a mask that dries on the skin, you then whisk away any dead skin cells using a face cloth. If you would prefer a gel and don't like the idea of anything abrasive like a traditional scrub I highly recommend the Yon-Ka, Gommage 305. Personally I prefer something that has little particles in it. The Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant is fantastic for just that, daily use. It's a rice based powder that activates to form a paste when mixed with water. It contains salicylic acid to brighten, retexturize and combat break outs and rice enzymes that exfoliate the skin. As you rub this over your skin the paste thickens and removes any dead skin cells, your skin really does appear polished after use.

The other scrub I quite like is the Nip+Fab Scrub Fix, more of a traditional exfoliant with tiny mico-particles. It also contains salicylic acid and has bamboo extract that helps renew and revitalise the skin. I only use this when my skin needs a really good scrub as it's quite abrasive but it does the job. If you don't want to spend the money on an exfoliant you can mix a little caster sugar with some good quality honey at home, rub this all over your skin and it will work a treat. Honey also has fantastic antibacterial and healing properties so you'll get the benefit of that too. Leave it on as a mask for a few minutes then remove with a damp face cloth. Also an amazing edible lip scrub!

On to the lotions and potions. I promise I don't work for Kiehl's and this post isn't sponsored, these are just the products that work for me! As a daily moisturiser I use the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. It has a light texture which I love and it leaves my skin feeling comfortable and hydrated. I recently watched a makeup tutorial with Kim Kardashian's make up artist Mario Dedivanoic in which he said he had applied this as his makeup base as he loved how emollient it is! If it's good enough for Kim it's good enough for me! I too find makeup applies beautifully on top of it. An extra bonus is that this moisturiser is designed specifically to protect skin in harsh weather conditions. It contains a glycoprotien called Antarcticine, sourced from sea glaciers for it's ability to protect skin from cold temperatures, perfect for us here is Ireland!

At night time I use the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, the most heavenly scented oil you will ever come across. It's packed with Essential Oils, is paraban free and is made with 99.8% natural ingredients. I use the eye cream from the same Midnight Recovery system at night time. It's infused with the same natural ingredients as the concentrate but also includes Butcher's Broom, which improves circulation and reduces inflammation that causes puffiness under the eye. Finally on to the best face mask I have ever used, the Ultra Facial Overnight Hydrating Masque. It has a thick gel like consistency that you put on before bed, if I were to purchase one product from those mentioned in this post it would be this. I use it once or twice a week after cleansing and exfoliating and my skin thanks me for it. It's a plant based formula that works by restoring the skins hydration levels, it's silcone, paraban, colorant and fragrance free. To me the scent (or lack there of) is the only downfall as I don't love its natural one but I can live with it. The results speak for themselves! From what I remember is was about €33 for a huge 4.2fl.oz that should last you a year, worth every penny in my book! On my lips I use the Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour lip treatment that I've mentioned before, I also swear by the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm. 

 No7 Beautiful Skin&nbsp;Cleansing Brush, €33&nbsp;from Boots

No7 Beautiful Skin Cleansing Brush, €33 from Boots

To summarise incase the order I do this all in wasn't clear, I start each morning by washing my face with my foaming cleanser using a facecloth, no cleansing brush. I follow this up with my moisturiser and makeup if I'm wearing any that day. At the end of the day I take my makeup off using coconut oil and follow through with the cleanser again, this time using the brush. I then use either the daily microfoliant or the face scrub depending on my skins needs that day, I don't use the scrub fix more than twice a week. After towelling off my face I spend a few minutes massaging 2-3 drops of the facial oil into my skin and apply my eye cream. If you watch the queen of beauty, Lisa Eldridge's YouTube videos, you may have seen her post on her facial massage to help with signs of ageing-I give this a go! Once or twice a week I will swap the oil for the mask and I always apply lip balm after brushing my teeth. 

I hope this post was helpful for those of you who had requested it! If anyone has any dupes for these products that may be slightly less expensive let us know in the comments section! I also love seeing your snaps of things I've recommended, keep them coming! (snapchat;jodielawsonwood) X