Sunday, 18 March 2018

The Top Recommended US Drugstore Beauty Products- Reviewed!

I find shopping in Sephora and US Drug stores confusing, if I'm honest. Even when I've prepared myself and made a list of things I want, I always find myself feeling a bit overwhelmed; there's just too much beauty stuff.
The gap between what we can't get here and what you can only get in the states has definitely narrowed, but there's still the few items that most Irish gals will be on the lookout for when beauty shopping in America. The last time we were over (November 2017), I knew exactly what I wanted from Sephora but hadn't thought a huge amount about budget beauty so I found myself scrolling through "the top ten drugstore beauty products you need" articles online in our hotel room one night and sure enough, I made my way to a CVS the next day.
These were all recommended by various magazines, I haven't tried them all yet but they didn't cost the earth so I thought they'd be worth a go! (there was also many more products recommended, that either didn't suit me, wrong hair or skin type etc or else products that I already have/have tried).

E.L.F Hydrating Face Primer
This is part of a series of face primers from the budget beauty brand E.L.F (Eyes. Lips, Face). I have dry skin so this seemed a no-brainer and every online magazine raved about this one in particular. If memory serves me correctly, it cost less than $6. It has no fragrance to speak of but I do notice a slightly chemically scent that does wear off as you wear it. It's clear and looks a bit like Vaseline when you pump it out. I've only used this once because I just didn't love it. It is somewhat softening and provides a base in the same way a silicone-heavy primer would. On me, it felt a bit greasy and unpleasant. I'll give it another go but for the moment, I'm not a big fan. I would save your $6 and put it towards this one instead.

Aveeno Positively Radiant 60 Second In-Shower Facial
This was hailed as a new miracle product and one that I sense will take me a good long time to finish. This idea with this is you pop it on your wet face while you're in the shower, leave it on for 60 seconds and gently massage in a circular motion, then wash off. I like to do this while my conditioner is doing its thing. It has a little bit of grit in there (gentle grit, there's no plastic beads in here) but it's mostly the alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that does the exfoliating. I've used this a few times now and have noticed my skin is nicely smooth afterwards and my make-up applies well after using it. I've since found out that Aveeno test on animals so I won't be buying from them again but for now, I'll use this up. It's good.

Almay Healthy Glow Makeup + Gradual Self Tan
This is a medium coverage foundation that supposedly perfects your skin while you wear it; when you take off your make up, you have a natural glow. This has a pump function and two separate chambers that combines the self tan and the make up together when you press down. I got the shade light, which was the lightest there was. There's also an SPF 20 in there, which is good. I've only tried lip products from Almay, which I liked and again, there was great excitement online over this fella. This is a reasonably good colour match for me, if not slightly darker than my own skin tone. It does have that fake tan scent to it, which is never nice but goes fairly fast once it's absorbed. I also quite like the coverage of this; it's buildable but looks natural. So far, I like!

Carmex Daly Care Moisturising Lip Balm 
I love Carmex and didn't need any encouragement to get this three pack of lip balms. I usually use either the tubes or pots of Carmex but I haven't tried the stick version, plus this was only a few dollars. There's a cherry (my fave), strawberry and wintergreen and they all have an spf15.

Covergirl Outlast All-Day Concealer
This is a concealer with a soft-tip applicator, designed to erase the appearance of dark circles and blemishes. It's oil-free and doesn't clog the pores. I got the shade fair. I think this is Covergirl's version of Maybeline's under eye eraser concealer yoke (that I also love and also featured in every top drugstore beauty product article out there). I wouldn't say this is as good as the Maybelline. It's quite a light formula but feels a bit drying. I also don't think it covers my particular dark circles as well as other concealers do. 

CoverGirl Ink It! All-Day Eye Pencil
This is a twist up pencil that glides on like an ink but with the crease and fade-resistance of a kohl pencil. It's also waterproof. I got the shade Charcoal Ink cause I wanted a liquid eyeliner effect. When I opened it I didn't think I'd like it based on how the top of the pencil was packaged but actually, it applies really nicely. I would say; it's not the blackest of the black liners but I can get over that. It's not a super messy liner but you can smudge it if that's your thing (it is mine). Overall, I like!

CoverGirl Ink It! All-Day Eye Pencil

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil
I love Burt's Bees so of course, I had to get this. These are supposed to be moisturising and comforting on the lips while providing a shot of natural looking colour. I wanted a more nude shade but they were all sold out, so I got Crimson Breeze instead. I LOVE this and I need more shades!! I was surprised by how much I like this shade too, I was worried it would be too dark but it's more of a flattering pink plus it feels so lovely on! The only flaw I can see is that it wears of fast but I find that happens with all oil-based lip products. But I like that it's a light gloss and the oil means that it's softening on the lips. So good!

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Oil. CoverGirl Melting Pout Gel Liquid Lipstick

CoverGirl Melting Pout Gel Liquid Lipstick
Pretty sure these are a rip off of the Too Faced ones but at a fraction of the price. I got this in the shades Don't be Gelly and Evan-Gel-Ical (I can't find that one to take the photo, it's more than likely in the bottom of a bag somewhere). This has a soft tip for application. The formula of these are nice but the quality of the overall shade application varies according to each colour. I like these but having not tried the Too Faced ones, I can't make a proper comparison. 

That's my take on the top recommended drugstore beauty products. Have you tried any of these? 

Monday, 5 March 2018

(Possible) New Favourite Beauty Products

There's doubt in that title purely cause some of these have only just come into my life and as yet have to be tried out but there's also new beauty bits in here that I can confirm that I'm loving! 
The make-up pouch (Bath & Bodyworks) is somewhat misleading, is what I'm saying, but isn't it pretty?! 

Yes, you can spot seven lip products there. I am a lip balm/lipstick fiend. 

First up; my thing with these creepy sheet masks doesn't seem to be going anywhere. I will try every brand, as long as it suggests hydration as an outcome. I just finished off a box of Farmacy ones that I got in the states that were fab- more from that brand later. For now, here's a Boscia Deep Hydration Mask I also got in America, which I have yet to use. I'm a beauty horder. We are however just coming to the end of a very cold snap here so I'll be popping this on this week! 

The Ariel one is by a company called Made Beauty, I previously got a Chip and Mrs Potts lip balm set from them, which was frankly, adorable. This mask is infused with cucumber to cool, hydrate and moisturise the skin, which sounds ideal but who knows what it'll actually do. I got this on Asos, where you'll find a selection of Disney Princess masks!

I'm a marketing persons dream. I saw the banana range on The Body Shop's Insta, along with their new lip balms (below), so of course, in I popped to get them for myself. I used the banana shampoo and conditioner way back in the day and guess what?! They still smell the exact same!! Hello nostalgia! 
I went for a hair mask this time, purely to add in a little hydration and it's honesty a divine experience. I put it on this morning after shampooing, put a shower cap over it, left it for five minutes then washed off. My hair has been super soft all day and maybe I'm imagining it, but a little more voluminous too! Plus, that smell! Love it!!

And these are the aforementioned The Body Shop lip balms. These are the Lip Juicers; 100% Vegan, moisture-boosting balms with smoothie-inspired combos. They look a little like the top of a giant pencil and aesthetically, remind me of Eos a bit but other than that, these are far superior from a moisturising perspective. My favourite is the Coconut/Carrot/Passion Fruit, which both smells fantastic and gives the lips a nice colour but they were buy one get one half price, so you know what happened next. I also got Strawberry/Pomegranate/Aloe which I like too but the scent isn't doing it for me as much. 
Anyway, there's three more in the range so who knows what'll happen next (we all know).

In between them is the NYX Turnt Up! Lipstick. I have this in the shade French Kiss, which on the website (this was part of a "I've put my back out, I'm feeling sorry for myself" purchase) didn't look quite this pale a pink, which I'm not sure suits me all that much. Anyway, I've mixed it with other shades which seems to make it work better and it's a lovely moisturising formula.

Ive mentioned this here before and on Insta and Facebook cause it's so damn good. I got a sample of this in Sephora, having never tried anything from Buxom before and fell for it big time. It's a cream gloss that plumps the lips, tingles a little, smells like vanilla/mint and makes my lips look INCREDIBLE. Himself has actually said "that lip thing you have on is really nice on you". SO YOU KNOW IT'S GOOD. I have the shade Rose Julep and I got it in Debenhams. Also worth noting that this is the lip gloss I keep going on about cause it reminds me of the long gone gloss from Pout that came in those vacuum packs and were beloved by all. WHY did they leave and never come back?!!

Lookit, I know, it's another lip balm but this one was bought last November and I was waiting 'til I finished my Elizabeth Arden one, which is almost gone so it's time for this fella to shine. I love Fresh products, especially the lip balms, which are really soothing. I normally get the Sugar Rose one but this Sugar Lip Caramel Hydrating Balm was new and I'm also a sucker for new products, so here we are. And yes, it smells unbelievably good.

I was harping on about spending the end of a Brown Thomas gift voucher on a 30ml size of Jo Malone's Peony & Pink Suede Blush, when lo and behold, the loveliest gal by the name of Samantha pm'd me on instagram and told me she had a bottle she wasn't going to use and would I like it?
Of course I said yes and in the end we resurrected the old Beaut. i.e Swap Siopa just for the two of us, which was lovely. Anyway, this is a truly beautiful fragrance. It's delicate but not sweet, powdery and floral and an utter classic. I adore it! Thank you again Samantha!

I got a set of these Darkness eyelashes in Korea town in LA for $4 and I wish I had bought more. They're quite natural on so they don't look overly dramatic but they still add a little sumthin' sumthin' to your eye make up. Plus, and this is very shallow but, I like the packaging rather a lot.

I got a gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. set from L'Occitane, free with a sale order just after Christmas and I'm getting around to using the contents now. There's a Shea shower oil, a micellar water and a few other bits as well as this Light Comforting Cream. This is designed to be a non-greasy and comforting face cream with 5% Shea to moisturise for up to 48 hours. I just started using this a couple of days ago but I think the scent is possibly too strong for use on my face. It's a nice face cream though, so I'll give it another go. 

This was a mini freebie with the points I built up on my Sephora card and is from the previously mentioned Farmacy, known for cultivating their own ingredients, for a "farm-to-face" philosophy. I've liked anything I've tried from them and my sister is a big fan so I was looking forward to trying Honey Potion; a warming antioxidant hydration mask with echinacea greenenvy (their star ingredient) honey. You apply this after cleansing, massage it with your fingers to warm it up and then leave it for ten minutes. This really does warm up, and gets a little tingly. Once you've washed it off it's supposed to restore moisture levels and repair stressed complexions. I've only used this once and I'm still not really sure how I feel about it, or if it made a difference. I'll keep testing! 

These aren't anything new but Himself bought me the full Crayola box set of the Clinique chubby sticks last year (I couldn't get them anywhere and he presented them to me on anniversary. He's kind of a legend) and I've been using these two a little more than the others of late. Red Violet is a plummy shade while Mauvelous is a perfect nude pink for daytime. These are both nicely moisturising with a slick of colour, if you don't like a full-on lipstick, these are perfect for you. 

Have you tried any of these?
Any personal favourites amongst this lot?

Friday, 2 March 2018

The Best of February!

Yes, we may be in the middle of a snow storm right now, but it's nice to look back on the parts of the month that did not result in me being forced to stay indoors, watch the Tom Cruise version of The Mummy and eat the only snack foods that were left in my local petrol station (you can imagine) after Snowmaggedon set in. 

West Cork 
I think the country and its mother listened to this Audible original podcast this month. Based on the ongoing investigation into the mid 90's murder of French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier in West Cork, it's similar to the This American Life podcast Serial but possibly even more interesting as it's so close to home. Chief suspect Ian Bailey is interviewed throughout and although he comes across as a terrible person, it's still hard to know whether he's actually innocent or not. It's a weird one but definitely worth a listen! If you don't have Audible, you can get a free trial and an audiobook of
your choice to try! 

The Dry
I'd had this on my to-read list and my kindle for a while but even though I read lots of good books this month, I'm specifically recommending this thriller set in the Australian countryside where a cop has to return to his oppressive hometown after his childhood best friend and his entire family have been killed. They shared some dark secrets from their teen years about the death of one of their friends that neither of them have ever quite moved on from. It's very atmospheric- well worth picking up, even though I read the entire thing in my head in the voice of several characters from Home & Away. 

Black Panther
We'd been waiting for this one for a while and it didn't disappoint (not completely anyway). The character of the Black Panther and pretty much every woman in this film are just brilliant. The women are all warriors- not something you always find in a Marvel movie, or any film for that matter. Plus the exploration of various African tribal costumes, cultures and traditions were really well depicted. There is a but, however. I felt it was too long. Like, could-have-been-a-half-hour-less-too-long and I would happily watch more scenes with Danai Gurira kicking someone's ass. Extra points for Michael B Jordan though. Swoon. 

Hey Donna
We've been planning to go to this new restaurant in Rathmines for a while now. It's where Jo Burger used to be and is owned by the same people. Since the changeover, it's really bright in there, there's books, plants and light everywhere so it's a nice place to go with friends or for a very pleasant date night! Plus, Lebanese food is always a winner. I would suggest the roast aubergine, the labneh, the roast potatoes and the apricot gin cocktail. Himself recommends the lamb! I also went there for lunch with my sister another day and had an excellent chicken salady wrap thing.

Buxom Lip Cream
I had originally picked up a tiny sample size of this with my Sephora rewards card when I was in Vegas, wore it for the night of our vow renewals and quickly became obsessed with it. It's like the original Pout lip glosses if you remember them? 
Pure cream (No shimmer), a tingly sensation that puffs the lips up a bit, a minty-vanilla scent and a gorgeous flattering pink shine. This is the perfect gloss. I bought a full size and some on-sale Paddywax candles from Debenhams online when I was feeling sorry for myself after putting my back out and I have zero regrets. I love it! (the candles were also a winner). You can find the lip cream HERE, on sale, although the shade I got, Rose Julep is low in stock. 

Halo Hair
I finally got my hair reblonded after leaving it be for the last 4 months. I tend to let my roots grow out as long as possible cause my own hair colour is pretty light but every so often it's fun to go super bright blonde. It felt appropriate coming in to Spring but what wth the snow I guess I'm looking more like an Elsa tribute act now. Anyway, the blonde is courtesy of the wonderful Alison in Halo Hair on Drury st, to book find them online HERE

The Start of the Snow
Look, we all got excited there at the start of the last week in February when we found out we were getting some snow. Of course, it's turned out to be so bad that people have lost electricity, some have had holidays cancelled, have had injuries, can't get to work, or worse (in the case of a lot of my colleagues in the health service) have had to sleep in work or nearby hotels. Zero craic. It was beautiful to begin with though. Snow make everything pretty. 

Contributing to Happy Magazine
I was delighted this month to be asked to be a contributor by the lovely Holly, formerly of Sweet Like Cinnamon blog and now editor of Happy Magazine, a site created to provide daily positivity for people going through cancer in Ireland. I'll be sharing my book reviews there and there's some excellent articles to be found on it, so if there's anyone you know who you think would like Happy Magazine, you'll find it HERE!

Beautiful New Shoes
These are from the bridal collection on asos but that did not stop me. I've been practically stalking these shoes and they kept selling out while I weighed up whether or not to get them until they got them back in stock recently and I said feck it and bought them. They are very high and extremely fancy but I am nothing if not a trier so I'll make the extra height work and as you may be aware, I am myself, very fancy so I think I can pull these off...Find them HERE. (I'll show these in more detail on Insta, the photo here is small and they deserve more of a spotlight ;)

And that's the lot for February. 
How was your month? 
Do we have any overlapping favourites?
I'm guessing West Cork could be in there somewhere?!

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Recently Read: January

Man, did I read some truly excellent books last month. I have a thing about the first book of the year that I read- it has to be good, otherwise I feel like it's a bad reading omen for the year. It's probably nonsense but it fills me with great joy when I read a brilliant book in the first few cold days of January!

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
And here it is, the excellent first read of 2018. This is what the 90's film of the same name, starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman was based on. I also loved that film and kind of jumped at the chance to read the book when it popped up on my Borrowbox (library ebook/audiobook app). Gillian and Sally have had an unusual upbringing. Their parents deaths left them orphans in the care of their two elderly, unconventional aunts. The other kids bullied them for being weird and the rumours of witchcraft followed them around everywhere they went. They're both desperate to escape this life and as soon as they're old enough they do just that- one of them runs away and lives a very wild life, while the other settles down and marries. It looks like they may never see each other again, until dark forces (and let's face it, a bit of magic) brings the sisters back together again. I really loved this book. The descriptions are beautiful; it's romantic and witty, dramatic and fantastical and it flows along wonderfully. Hoffman has a very unique style of writing that I haven't come across before. I've already checked out the sequel, The Rules of Magic from the library and I cannot wait to start it!

The Mother of All Questions by Rebecca Solnit
I've mentioned before my love for feminist author Rebecca Solnit (HERE) and after buying Men Explain Things To Me while in Boston, I had to get The Mother Of All Questions when I saw it in a San Franciscan book store. This is actually the third in this series, so it looks like I'll need another stateside trip to get the second one and complete the tradition! This is a collection of essays with feminism at their core and with the central theme being "the mother of all questions", i.e if you have children, if you don't, why not and are you selfish for not having them? Questions Solnit and many women are all too familiar with. I really enjoyed this, I couldn't put it down and I found her discussions on misogynistic violence, women who refuse to be silenced, the gender binary, rape jokes and the fragile masculinity of some of the "great male authors" were incredibly insightful and well thought out. Several times I found myself reading a section aloud to Himself. Loved it. 

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips
I read about this book last year and the premise; a mother with her son on a day trip to the zoo, forced to fight for their survival when they come under attack, left me so intrigued that I had to get it! I listened to this one, again on my Borrowbox app (honestly, save yisserselves a fortune and get a library card lads). It starts out pretty innocuously, Jane is in the play area of the park with her young son and becomes aware of how late it's getting. She starts to gather him and his toys up, hurrying hm along to the exists when she hears some loud noises, confused as it's too early in the year for fireworks. When she finally realises what it is- a terrorist group have taken over the zoo and are shooting everyone in sight, Jane's adrenaline kicks in and she has to use all her strength to keep her and her son safe, outwitting the killers. This was an interesting take on the thriller genre, considering most of what's around at the minute is very much your domestic noir, this was refreshingly different but at the same time, relevant to the society we live in where these sorts of attacks are becoming more and more commonplace, particularly in America. 

Little Deaths by Emma Flint
This was another Borrowbox read and this is not an ad for Borrowbox, I swear! Set in an oppressively tight-knit working class community in Brooklyn in 1965, Ruth Malone is a single mother of two, working as a cocktail waitress at night and seeing different men in her spare time. She wakes one day to discover that her two children are gone- missing from their beds. No one saw anything but because of Ruth's unconventional lifestyle for the time, all fingers immediately point to her. The police decide she did it and nothing can change their minds. Meanwhile, a young journalist becomes obsessed with the case and with the beautiful and tragic Ruth. Did Ruth kill her children or is she a victim of misogyny and the public court of opinion? I was astounded by this book- I felt at times like I couldn't read on but then I was so gripped by Ruth and her plight that I had to. It's really beautifully written and so evocative of the time. It made me feel angry and sad and devastated, all at the same time. I both highly recommend this book and advise caution; if you have children or you're of a particularly sensitive disposition lately, I would avoid!

Killman Creek by Rachel Caine
This is the sequel to Stillhouse Lake, a thriller I read last year and loved. This was provided for review, so thank you to NetGalley for that! Gwen Proctor is living a secret life. She used to be Gina Royal, wife and mother of two until her husband was revealed to be a prolific serial killer. She had to change her name and those of her children, bringing them on the run, moving at a minutes notice, if it looked like the internet trolls who stalked them had found their whereabouts. In the first book the family had managed to find peace at Stillhouse Lake; that is until the bodies of young women began to turn up nearby, murdered in the same gruesome method as Gwen's ex husband was known for. While that turned out to not be the work of Gwen's ex, he did escape his prison cell at the end of the first book and so now Killman Creek is about their survival again; can Gwen track him down and kill him before he finds her? I love Gwen's character; she's strong and resilient but human too. As her close knit support circle begins to dwindle she has only herself to rely on and she has to find the strength to keep going, even in the face of utter horror. It's unusual to find a female protagonist like this and I'm really hoping there'll be a third book!

Women & Power A Manifesto by Mary Beard
This was a super quick read- just two short essays from professor of classics and feminist Mary Beard. Sick of the online misogynist trolls, Beard decides to examine the origins of this behaviour and finds that it traces right back to Ancient Greece. Here, she dips in to the classics to compare the treatment of women in Homer's Odyssey and works or art to how Hillary Clinton, Elizabeth Warren and other prominent women are treated in society today. Beard also reflects on her own experiences of sexist abuse online, examining the power structure between men and women. I found this to be a really interesting read and focused on an area of feminism I hadn't concerned before. 

And that's the lot for the minute. I'll have February's books up soon but until then, have you read any of these? What are you reading right now?

Monday, 12 February 2018

Come, Look At My Trash #7

Alright, these have been building up for a while now and everyone loves a good empties post, so here we go. I'm gonna empty out my box of beauty trash and let you know what I loved, what I didn't and what I would buy again. It's one of my personal favourite types of blog posts actually cause it's almost the best type of review- you liked something enough to use it up and now you can properly give its pros and cons! Yay!

Make Up:

YSL Le Effet Faux Cils Shocking Mascara x3. Yeah...I really like this mascara, clearly. I usually pick up a double pack when I pass through duty free cause it's better value. This mascara is just high drama, no fallout, pitch black. I haven't found its match and I've tried a lot of mascaras! Do you even need to ask? I've another waiting to go!

Speaking of! Bourjois Mascara Effet Push Up Volume Glamour*. This was a good little mascara actually. Not quite on a par with my all time fave but a good, cheaper option. Would buy again.

Benefit's They're Real Macara. This is a mini that I got in a set. I've never been a huge fan of this mascara, I don't like the hard plastic bristles. I do love mini mascara though, so handy and adorable!

Bourjois Brow Design Mascara*. This is in a brown shade that might have been slightly too dark for me, but I liked the formula and how thin the brush is, which is important for a brow product like this. Would buy again!

Flower That's So Kohl Brown eyeliner. I freakin loved this!! This is Drew Barrymore's make up brand. I annoyingly bought only one of these and it's brilliant. It's a thick kohl pencil that smudges really well with the sponge at the other end. I couldn't find this brand when we were in the states again last November, and I was raging!

Maybelline Master Prime by Face Studio Blur & Illuminate. I really liked this primer. It provided a nice, glowy base, good for dry skin. It also has an spf of 30. I got this in the states, not sure if they have this one here but even if they do I have two or three other primers to use up first!

Revlon double ended eye cream. Again, an American purchase. On one end is a beautiful taupey silk shimmery shade that I used every last drop of. On the other is a matching glitter cream, which I liked but just didn't use. I'm kind of past the all out glitter shadow look at this stage to be honest. I would buy again but I'd love to just get that one shade on its own!

Maybelline Anti-Age Eraser Eye conceleaer. This is probably my third one of these. It has a little sponge at the top, you twist and then pat it on under your eye. This is a great concealer. I've already got another one on the go!

NYX Concealer. All of the packaging has come off of this so I'm not sure what the actual name of this is but it was grand. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. I probably wouldn't buy it again.

YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation. Love this. Probably my second or third bottle but they have changed the formula, so I'm not sure about getting another one..

Bourjois City Radiance Foundation. This is a really light weight foundation, more like a BB cream than anything. I like it though, it's nice for days where you don't want that much coverage but you still want a little summin' summin'. I have a new one ready to go!

And my most impressive beauty empty of all time is the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronze Universel. So this took maybe three years for me to use up. it didn't go off and stayed perfect that entire time. I often used this as a make up base to give an extra healthy glow and sometimes I blended it out as a bronzer over foundation. It's a good product but I got sick of using it if I'm perfectly honest! I would buy it again but I might leave it a while!

Shower & Hair:

Korres Almond & Cherry shower gel. I got this plus the body lotion further down in here on offer last January from Debenhams. This smells beautiful and lathers well. Korres are one of my fave brands- they use mostly natural ingredients, are cruelty free and can be hard to find here which gives them a nice elusive quality ;) Would buy again.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub. Sweet baba Jay, the smell of this. I could eat it, honestly! And I would too except that I always stop myself in time (I jest). Anyway, this is an excellent body scrub. When I'm prepping for tan, I use it dry first, then hop in the shower, add water and scrub some more. It's good. Would def buy again.

Kevin Murphy Angel Rinse & Angel Shine. I love this range. it's great for damaged hair, which mine is. I've gone through a few of these and although they're pricey, I'd definitely buy them again. They work.


Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water. They sell these smaller sizes right by the counter in Penneys and I get suckered into buying them every time. This is grand. It's a micellar water like, they're really just for removing the top layer of your make up before you go in with a proper oil cleanser to do your second cleanse. Or you know, when you're too tired to get out of bed and the bottle is right there. I probably will end up getting this again for handiness sake if nothing else.

Korres Almond & Cherry Body Milk. This is the partner to the shower gel above. This was gorgeous too. Keep an eye on Debenhams sale online for the Christmas sets like this. I got the two of these for about €11, if memory serves correctly. I'd absolutely get this again.

Aveeno Skin Relief Cooling Menthol Moisturising Lotion. I think I got this on special offer where it was half price in some random pharmacy so I said I'd give it a go. I found this great for the drier skin on my legs. It's not the most luxurious of body creams- I use them on my arms and chest to get the most out of them and this is very much just for legs, elbows, knees, other dry patches etc. I have a new one ready to go!

Burt's Bees Ultimate Care Body Lotion with Baobab Oil for Very Dry Skin. I bought this in New Orleans the October before last and every time I smelt this since, it reminded me of our very cool Airbnb apartment, beads, gators and being both very warm and very drunk. Great times. It's also brilliant for dry skin- super moisturising. They didn't have this exact one the last time I was in the states (I can never find this exact product in Ireland either) so I bought a different scent for dry skin, hopefully it'll be as good!

Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive & Basil Body Butter. Oh, I loved this. It's so moisturising and sinks in so well but it also smells just like Summer. It's gorgeous. I definitely want more of this in my life.

Ren Express Make Up Remover*. This was a nice milk cleanser. It did the job well but I suppose it was nothing special. I wouldn't be against using it again but I wouldn't actively seek it out again.

Korres Wild Rose Brightening & Line Smoothing Serum. I bought this in Greece because the Korres products are way better value over there. I used this every morning, under my moisturiser and it was an absolute joy. My skin felt soft and comforted plus you can't beat a shot of vitamin C to your skin! It also smells really good (are you sensing an olfactory pattern here?) And yes, I want more!!

Nivea Double Effect Eye Make Up Remover*. This is one of those half oil, half water yokes that you shake up before applying onto a cotton pad. If I'm wearing a lot of eye make up/heavy mascara, I hold the cotton pad over my eyelid for a few seconds and it desolves the worst of it. This is a really good, non-stingy and non-costly option. I already have a new one on the go!

Fresh black Tea Firming Overnight Mask. I've actually been using this since I bought it in New York two years ago. It took that long to finish, and not because I didn't love it (because I did) but because a little goes a long way. I'm also big into overnight masks and the smell of tea so this was a win-win for me. Who knows whether it actually firmed my face or not but I will say that it is intensely moisturising. My face always felt softer and less parched the morning after using it. I'd definitely buy it again but it costs $60 so I'm using up everything else I have first!!

Rituals Magic Touch Body Cream Ritual of Sakura Organic Rice Milk & Cherry Blossom. Another beautifully scented body lotion. I also found this one to be really good for dry skin and I would 100% buy it again. It feels very luxurious when it's applied.

The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Butter*. I brought this to California as it's such a handy size, so now yet again the smell of this will always remind me of that trip. This is from a limited edition Christmas range that comes out every year- I'll definitely get it next Winter because it's a great moisturiser, smells sweet but with a gorgeous hit of spice from the cinnamon to warm it up.

Botanics Hydration Burst Hydrating Day Cream*. This was really more of a very light gel and while it did the job in the warmer months, I really need a thicker moisturiser throughout the colder parts of the year (so that's September through to March, then. Thanks, Irish weather). I probably wouldn't buy it again for that reason.

The Body Shop Vanilla Chai Body Butter*. I brought this to California as it's such a handy size, so now yet again the smell of this will always remind me of that trip. This is from a limited edition Christmas range that comes out every year- I'll definitely get it next Winter because it's a great moisturiser, smells sweet but with a gorgeous hit of spice from the cinnamon to warm it up.

Lancome Renergie Multi Lift Cream. This is quite a thick, heavily scented cream. It says it's for all skin types but if you have sensitive skin, I'd probably avoid it to be honest. It does have an SPF of 15 which is good but I wouldn't buy it again, I felt like it needed a lot of work to move it around my face and the smell is a bit overpowering.

Kinvara Rosehip Face Serum. I really liked this, it did feel quite intensive on the skin but I didn't run into any problems like some people with more sensitive skin have reported with it. I probably wouldn't get this again, purely because I've used serum I've preferred more since.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip balm. One of my all time faves. This is probably my fourth tub. I'll absolutely buy it again!

The Body Shop Camomile Gentle Eye Make Up Remover. Not such a big fan of this one. It actually stung my eyes, which is strange for a gentle eye make up remover. That might just be me. Anyway, this then leaked all over my toiletry bag so it finished itself off in the end. Wouldn't buy again.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Night Cream. I liked this one, it's thick enough that it feels like you're giving yourself a nice nighttime face mask. I much preferred this to its day cream counterpart. I'd get this one again.

Clarins HydraQuench Cream. Not a huge fan of this, again it has a very overpowering perfumed scent that feels a bit smothering on. Won't be getting it again.

Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm. I'm obsessed with this stuff. It's the best cleanser I've ever used- you apply it to dry skin, add some water to emulsify and the oil/balm melts your make up and cleans it all away with a warm muslin cloth. I love the smell. Love it!! I've another mini one on the go but I'm getting a full size as soon as that's finished (treat yo'self etc), even if it is horribly expensive! Eep.

Korres Damask Rose Overnight Mask for fatigued skin. God knows I need this! As I've mentioned, I loved the overnight masks, this was lovely. Possibly a little greasy so I probably wouldn't get it again.

The Body Shop Oils of Life Sleeping Cream. I loved this!!! It felt so luxurious, especially when used with the Oils of life facial Oil. Would buy both of these again, for sure.

M&S Beauty Formula Absolute Ultimate Sleep Cream. This promises it'll make you look like you've had 8 hours sleep..I'm not sure if that's true but I know I really liked this and I'd buy a full size!

Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil light. This is a really gorgeous facial oil- it sinks in really well but provides the same nourishment as a heavier oil might. I got this in the states and I'd definitely get a new one the next time I'm back!


Cocoa Brown Instant Tan Bronzing Gel Shimmer. I'm a big fan of instant wash off tan, always have been. Back in the day I was all about the Rimmel Sun Shimmer. I liked this one, there was no streaking, easy to apply, nice glow. I would get it again but I'm currently using a really good one from  St. Moriz.

ChloƩ Love Story Eau de Parfum. This is my second bottle of this that I've gone through. I love this perfume, possibly more than the original ChloƩ. This is a delicate floral but not overly sweet- it has a powdery feel to it too and it lasts really well on the skin. Love it, would love more of it!

Phew! That was quite a lot; probably a years worth of beauty trash! Are any of these your favourites too?

*Denotes that the product was provided for review but this is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, as always.