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Monday 26 May 2014

Ziaja Cocoa Butter Range | Review

My love for Polish brand Ziaja rages on so and today I have some of the products from the Cocoa Butter line to show you. 

There's actually more in this particular line, including haircare, hand cream, a face mask and a body spray but for now I have the shower soap and scrub, body balm, body butter and face cream to rave about!

Ziaja Cocoa Butter

First up is the Body Balm, designed to "help the skin stay hydrated, prevent excessive moisture loss, provide the skin with revitalising and firming benefits and eliminate the feeling of roughness". Interestingly, it's also supposed to "improve the colour of the skin" when used regularly. I haven't used this for long enough to properly test that last bit but it is plenty moisturising. For me, it's probably slightly too heavy and because of that it requires a little bit of effort to thoroughly massage it into the skin. However, when it's absorbed it's non-greasy and leaves my skin feeling really soft. If you need something a bit more heavy duty than a light lotion, this is a good option but it may be better to save it until the Winter months. Added bonus; it smells like cake mix, so therefore, heaven. This fella is €4.49 for 200mls.

Ziaja Cocoa Butter

The shower scrub with macrogranules is for gentle cleansing and exfoliation of dead skin cells with the extra benefits of "enhancing blood circulation and restoring natural smoothness to the skin". This is €7.99 for 200mls. I've found this to be a really good exfoliator. I probably prefer the finer granules that you get in the likes of Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff Scrub but this is perfect for regular use; it keeps your skin in good condition and is gentle enough to use often. 

Ziaja Cocoa Butter

Next up is the Body Butter which is my favourite from what I've tried. This is designed to "replenish the deficit of lipids and revitalises skin's natural protective banner". This has a much lighter texture than the body balm so it sinks in fast with no greasy residue. It smells lovely and feels refreshing on the skin. I use this every night after a bath or shower and the cocoa/vanilla scent is still on my skin by the following morning. Yum. This is €7.99 for 200ml.

Ziaja Cocoa Butter

The face cream is for normal and dry skin and is designed to "revitalise, smooth and provide protective benefits". As well as the cocoa butter it contains Vitamin E and also interestingly, it can apparently help "prolong the skin's natural tan". Again, this is quite thick and requires a gentle patting motion to apply it. Because of that, I feel like my face is too sensitive for this- I'm thinking it may work a bit better for me again, in Winter but right now my skin doesn't need a moisturiser this concentrated. At the moment I'm using it for the particularly dry patches I have on my body, i.e heels and elbows. If you have very dry but not sensitive skin this may work well for you however. I love the scent of this too, it's quite delicate, a little bit like vanilla but not overly strong so good for use on the face. It's €4.79 for 50mls.

Ziaja Cocoa Butter

I also love the Shower Soap. This is actually quite like a body lotion, it's softening on the skin, unlike most soap based products, so my skin is relatively soft when I get out of the shower. It doesn't hugely lather up, there's never a lot of soap suds but it freshens and cleans the skin and again, smells delish! Amazingly, this is only €2.99 for 500mls!!! Serious bargain alert. 

Ziaja Cocoa Butter

I said I'd put in a couple of photos of what the body balm and shower soap look like, purely because the others were all in tubs that I could open and show you! 

You can find these in selected pharmacies nationwide, Shaws department stores and HERE online from Original Beauty.
So that's the lot! Overall, I really like this range. It's well suited to my dry skin and smells divine. 
Have you tried anything from the Cocoa Butter line? See anything you're interested in?

*Sample, gratefully received. All opinions my own, as always!

Sunday 25 May 2014

Aussie Blog Awards With

Hi everyone!
Just a quick reminder about the Aussie blog awards with I normally don't enter blog competitions and I've never asked for votes for any competition before but I've been working really hard on my little corner of the interwebs for the last two years now and I'd like to start putting the blog out there a bit more.

If you can spare a couple of minutes and you'd like to vote for me I'd appreciate it so much! The competition is open until May 28th.

You can vote HERE.

To enter, you need to add in your own details, then mine:

Name of Blog: Nurse Fancy Pants
URL of blog:
Contact details of blogger:

Thanks again and thank you for reading!

Friday 23 May 2014

John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir | Review

My hair is naturally quite dry and breaks easily so I'm always on the lookout for a good oil that will help heal my poor damaged locks. I had been using THIS L'oreal oil but was never overly impressed with it and openly mourned the loss of my Kerastase, which was thicker and required less product than the L'Oreal, which was a spray. Added to my other hair woes, I've also noticed this annoying frizzy weird hair growing around my hairline, which my hairdresser said is my hair growing back after a lengthy stint of being unwell. While it's great that it's growing back, it is making me look a bit odd so I felt this would be a good option for me.

John Frieda Frizz Ease Nourishing Oil Elixir
Note: I've been using this for about 6 weeks now and that's all I've used- you'll definitely get your moneys worth!

This is an oil elixir containing Argan oil which "nourishes and smoothes 2x the frizz fighting power and blocks the frizz for 50% smoother, healthier hair".

This smells gorgeous, like the Kerastase actually and is the just the right texture; not too heavy and not too light. Like Goldilocks but with hair oil. 

I use it in two main ways. On wet hair at the ends only to provide some extra moisture to any broken hair, which has been working really well. When I dry my hair off it doesn't feel weighed down by the oil, just shiny and healthy looking. I've also been using this as a hair treatment, although that isn't suggested on the bottle! If I'm in for the evening, I just massage it into dry hair and leave it for a few hours, I then wash it out and dry it off. It might not be effective for everyone but my hair is so dry that it really needs this extra care. 

This is only €13.99 for 100mls, which I think is an absolute bargain and is available now in Boots and selected pharmacies nationwide. 

Do you use a hair oil/serum? Have you tried this fella?

*Sample, gratefully received. All opinions my own, as always.

Tuesday 20 May 2014

Unfortunate Things That Happen As You Get Older

So the big 3-0 is fast approaching and I'm now taking stock of my rapidly disappearing youth and impending old age. I've mostly noticed the following things have started happening to me and others my own age (so let me know if any of these are you and we can commiserate together!):

Watching the news, Vincent Brown and *gasp* the Late Late Show. My husband recently looked at me incredulously when I said "best tape the Late Late this week, there's a good mix on". I know, I'm scarlet for me too.

Oh Ronan, I'll never stop laughing.

Reverting to things from your youth for comfort. I've been investing precious time in rewatching She-Ra cartoons and Friends reruns and listening to the likes of Ash, Placebo, Garbage et al. Pretending I'm young and carefree again basically.

Caring about politics; knowing which of the TD's are the most rotten of all and regularly being heard to say "shower of dirty, lazy b*stards, the lot of them. Sure Jesus, I could do a better job myself, wha'?" But never of course, making any effort whatsoever to get involved.

Ditto the Catholic Church.

Hating coffee, red wine and other strong flavours as a teen. Now you need them. You need them bad. They get you through the day. God damn coffee. 

The hangovers are like some cruel endurance test, set by an evil overlord like President*t, this is THE HUNGER GAMES!!! The paranoia you face as part of the Fear is also much, much worse as you get older.

Being happier to stay in of an evening with a good book and a cup of tea, or a full TV series on Netflix. Pyjamas feature strongly and there may also be some take-away action because that's another thing....

..Work makes you more tired now and you start to say "I'm not able for this anymore" as your knees creak when you sit down. At that stage you go for the take-away option because you're just too weary for actual adult food preparation.

Enjoying more pleasant (see boring) televisual viewing. A bit of Downton, by God I'll take an Austen period drama if it's on offer and of course, Call the Midwife, my favourite. Tea and tissues at the ready.

The electric blanket is your new best friend. You tell anyone who'll listen (when you're not giving out about politicians or the length of that young wans skirt) that they must get one, followed effusively by "IT'S THE GREATEST DECISION I'VE EVER MADE"...I usually say this one out of ear shot of my husband.

Having an innocent discussion with someone only for them to let you know they're at least a decade younger than you and you no longer speak their lingo. Case in point; I was in work recently and introduced myself to two student nurses. One of them thought I had said my name was Joey, I corrected her and she said "oh thank god, I was thinking who would name their daughter Joey!" Me, thinking I'd slide in there with a cool pop culture reference, was all "unless you're in Dawson's Creek, eh?!". Cue blank stares and them telling me they had no idea what I was talking about. Which is fair enough because I had just referenced a teen drama that first aired in 1998 when they were about 3 or 4. Good times.

Being able to say things like "back in nineteen-dickety-two" and for no one to correct you or think you're joking, because you're old now, and that's how people your age speak.

You get a bit anxious thinking about all the books you want to read and whether you will now have time to read them all..

Everyone you know is either getting married or having a baby. You've gone to more weddings than you can shake a good stick at and begin to comment on best man speeches etc as if you were the narrator from Come Dine With Me. Basically, all sarcastic and judge-y.

You start saying things like "there's a fine old stretch in the evenings" and "great drying weather today" with no hint of irony.

Giving out about how you don't understand "today's fashions". Yeah, that's right. I've said those words and I've no doubt bored the arse of off everyone I know whilst giving out about this whole 90's/Clueless trend that's around at the moment..seriously lads, pull it together. There's a reason why the 90's is in no way known for it's fashion, good or bad.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and wrap my Peig Sayers shawl about myself and shake a stick at the youths on my lawn. Do you have any to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!

Monday 19 May 2014

Rimmel ScandalEyes Mascara and Gel Eyeliner by Kate Moss | Review

On my little "buy all the things jaunt" to Boots last week I picked up this mascara and gel eyeliner from the Kate Moss for Rimmel range. I really like the Kate Moss lipsticks and liked the idea of an eye collection too as Moss is well known for her love of a smokey eye. I also love a bargain and these were both reduced at €5.99 down from €9.49 for the mascara while the eyeliner was €5.49 down from €8.99. I'm currently out of mascara and haven't used a gel liner in years so now seemed as good a time as any to try these. 

First up, ScandalEyes by Kate in Eye Rock Jet Black. Housed in quite a big shiny tube is a "broken heart shaped brush". According to Rimmel this is designed to give voluminous lift and hug the lash line for a false lash effect. 

Rimmel ScandalEyes Kate Moss Mascara
Rimmel ScandalEyes Kate Moss Mascara

Here's what I thought:
  • It definitely adds a whole lot of volume. I'd liken it to my YSL effet faux cils except I much prefer the YSL. This has a much wetter formula (might just be because it's new, some mascaras need a while to settle down) and it needs more than one coat for that proper full on false lash effect, unlike the YSL. It is still surprising how fuller my lashes were with it though.
  • Because it's a wetter formula it can be tricky to work with. This is not one for throwing on at the last minute in the morning because you will most likely destroy all the rest of the make up on your face. This one needs time and a bit of effort to apply. Similarly, if you're the sort that cries at the drop of a hat, beware! This mascara is not your friend!
  • That aside, I do quite like this but I'm going to reserve full judgement til I've given it a bit of time in case it does dry out a bit more.
  • It's worth trying especially if you can get the sale price and even better is that it's €4.99 on the site HERE.
This also comes in Amethyst, Emerald and Sapphire, if you're a fan of the coloured mascaras.

Rimmel ScandalEyes Kate Moss Mascara
(L) Nil, (R) One Coat.

Next up is the Gel liner in Emerald. I was drawn mostly by the colour of this; I can sometimes find black liner a bit harsh and this seemed a good match for blonde-haired, blue-eyed me although equally I think this would look amazing on brown-eyed ladies. 

Rimmel Gel Eyeliner by Kate Moss

This is a waterproof formula, designed to stay put; it doesn't flake, smudge, smear or run. 
I completely agree with all of that. If I put this on in the morning, it's still there that evening. It's actually quite easy to apply and the little brush that's included is super handy. I can see myself getting a lot of use out of this for plenty of time to come as a little goes a long way.

Rimmel Gel Eyeliner by Kate Moss

Rimmel Gel Eyeliner by Kate Moss

I scrubbed at this swatch with soap and water and then a towel and it was still fairly perfect afterwards. 

Rimmel Gel Eyeliner by Kate Moss
(L) & (R) liner and one coat mascara.

What I like the most about the liner is that it's an understated way of getting a bit more colour into your eye make-up, which is ideal for those of us tightly gripping our nude shadows for dear life. 

Basically, it's an enthusiastic yes for the KM eyes collection. I am still undecided about the mascara but once I've given it a bit more of a test I'll let ye know the final verdict! 
Either way, I'm really loving that eyeliner. 

These are both available now alongside the Kate shadow sticks (which include a very nice looking purple shade).

Liking the look of these? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Sunday 18 May 2014

The Goodreads Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Kate of Ruby Duchess to do this post and as I recently wrote about why I love Goodreads HERE, I thought this might be a nice way to follow on from that.

You can read all about Goodreads in that post so for now, on to the questions!

What was the last book you marked as read?
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak.

What are you currently reading?
Well the answer to that is long but basically I read books in a few different ways. Of actual real life books that you can hold, I'm reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Gretel and the Dark, and The Wasp Factory. On kindle I'm reading Fangirl. On my phone I'm reading Dubliners and Mrs Dalloway and on Audible I'm listening to The Stand and The Lemon Grove. I try and fit as many books in as possible because I want to read so many, I have to always have a few on the go!

What was the last book you marked as to-read?
The Bonfire of the Vanities.

What do you plan to read next?
 Divergent by Veronica Roth, Longbourne by Jo Baker and of course, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Do you use the star rating system?
I do but I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's rare that I think something is bad enough to deserve less than 3 stars but what I would class as 3 stars and what I class as 5 stars varies wildly so often times something mediocre will get a three and something really good gets a doesn't seem like the most accurate way of measuring that but I guess that's where the reviews come in!

Are you doing a 2014 reading challenge?
I am indeed! I'm aiming to read 60 books this year. I'm at 18 at the moment but I've loads of time! Within that I have a few personal challenges. I want to read the Harry Potter series, read more graphic novels and of course, get through my piles of unread books I already own. I also want to read more classics, in particular, Joyce.

Do you have a wish list?
No but I really should make one. Would be fierce handy for anyone stuck for a birthday/Christmas/anniversary present, eh hubster? (he's actually never stuck, he somehow has some weird unagi present-buying ability especially when it comes to buying me books).

What book do you plan to buy next?
I saw a truly beautiful edition of the Woman In Black on instagram the other day so I'm very tempted to get that..even though I already have a copy. I know. I need to catch a hold of myself.
I also just bought "I Quit Sugar" on The Book Depository so I'm looking forward to getting my hands on that!

Who are your favourite authors?
Kazuo Ishuguro, Margaret Atwood, David Sedaris, Donna Tartt, Ian McEwan, George Orwell, Stephen King, Daphne Du Maurier, Tana French, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Sylvia Plath, to name a few! I'm sure there's plenty more I can't remember right now!

Have you joined any groups?
I haven't. Maybe I should..and maybe I will at some stage!

I tag anyone who'd like to do this post too, in particular:

Breige from Rare Opal
Sharon from Behind Green Eyes 
Roisin from Cuti-Clu-Les


Saturday 17 May 2014

Lough Rynn | Weekend Break Suggestion!

I spotted a DealRush offer the other day for 4-star Lough Rynn castle in Co. Leitrim and then remembered we went there just before Christmas but I never blogged about it due to pure laziness. The deal is only €89 for 2 people for 1 night B&B with early check-in and late check-out (but it's only available for Thursdays, annoyingly).
Anyway, although this is no longer seasonally appropriate, I think these photos still demonstrate the natural beauty you'll see on a walk around the grounds; lakes, forest, a rose garden, a little Summer house/turret overlooking a lake and just general lovely foliage. 

Food wise we had a really excellent lunch and a very good dinner (not my favourite of places we've stayed around Ireland but it was good) and again, breakfast was nice. We thought the decor of the restaurant was a bit old fashioned, in an early 90's "we-built-this-part-on" kind of way but the actual house itself was gorgeous: lots of wood, welcoming bar, big open fires, comfy seats and reading nooks and our room was nice and cosy. 

If you're looking for a really reasonable break away then check out the DealRush offer HERE.

Friday 16 May 2014

Pharmacy & Boots Haul!

Yeah so I went to the pharmacy to pick up some more heat wraps for my back (they're not pictured here but I did get them, I promise!) and this happened. Meagher's pharmacy on Upper Baggot St is actually brilliant. It stocks Burt's Bees, Roger and Gallet, This Works, Clarins, Lancóme as well as the standard pharmacy brands like Rimmel, Revlon, Catrice etc. 
I always pop in there because they have a special offer section, where I got this Garnier dry shampoo and the L'oreal fibrology serum, which I will be reviewing soon. 
This time I got the Garnier Ultimate Blends conditioner for dry/frizzy hair for €2.75!!!! Containing coconut oil and shea butter, this smells amazing and I'm hoping it'll do wonders for my hair, which is also why I bought the 1 minute avocado oil and shea butter treatment from the same range. This was slightly more expensive at €4.68 but both were well reduced and I'm delighted with my little hair bargains! 
I also got the Eyelure double lashes set because I can never find them anywhere! €8.99 for two very natural sets of lashes, these are also a bit of a bargain. I've a few events coming up so I'll definitely be making good use of these.
Lastly from Meagher's, I got this tinted lip balm from Burt's bees. Confession, I've never tried anything from BB's before and gave a little squee when I saw these at the counter. Review coming soon!

Then I had to check out the reduced items in Boots, because, well it would have been rude not to.

There I found Soap & Glory Bright here, Bright Now for €10.65 (reduced from €15.99). I saw this reviewed on The Beauty Fairground yesterday and as I've just finished my Clarins FlashBalm I thought this might be a good alternative, considering the price difference. I'll do a full review once I've given it a good trial.

I love the Kate Moss for Rimmel lipsticks so I had to try this Eyeliner gel in Emerald (€5.49 down from €8.99) and Kate Scandaleyes mascara in Jet Black (€5.99, down from €9.49). Both will also be reviewed!

Have you tried any of this lot?

Thursday 15 May 2014

Zara Cutout Leather Sandals

I've wanted these beauties for a while so when I finally got them I felt they warranted a bit of cherry blossom action. The cherry blossoms had other ideas and stuck to the shoes plenty but you get the idea. Anyways, these are super comfortable, not too high and perfect for Summer. 

I've mostly been wearing these with knee length 50's style skirts because they make the whole look a bit less twee housewife and a bit more modern while still focusing on the shape and style of skirt, which I love. Equally, they'd be great with a pair of floral shorts and a white t-shirt.

You can get these now from Zara for €79.95, HERE and they also come in black.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Three Of The Best | Hand Creams

These are my current favourite hand creams. I'm a nurse, so have permanently dry hands and always have a tube of something softening for the auld phalanges on the go. 
So basically I know my shizz.

hand cream

Laura Mercier Créme Brûlée Hand Creme
This was a present, which is a good job too as I consider the LM body care range to be a total luxury and so I would never have bought it for myself. Creme brûlée does exactly what it says on the shiny tube; it's a rich, sweet, caramel-smelling hand cream (it's uncannily like a creme brûlée, which just happens to be one of my favourite desserts). Other similarly lovely scents from the same range include pistachio and almond-coconut milk. Lovely.

Roger & Gallet Rose Hands & nail cream*
Although I'm generally not a fan of Rose, this is so delicately scented and combined with the shea butter, the fragrance is actually really gentle and pleasant. It's a very light formula that sinks in immediately and provides that all important relief that dry hands badly need. I have the 30 ml tube which is ideal for handbags AND is only €6.95, which is rather brilliant. It also comes in Fleur d'Osmanthus and Créme Sublime so you can be sure I'll be trying those next!

Soap & Glory Hand Food
This has that unique scent that all S&G products possess; containing shea butter, macadamia oil and marshmallow, it's sweet in a vanilla, florally way (it actually really reminds me of the very beautiful Miss Dior perfume) and is so delicious that I constantly wish it was edible. Alas, it's not. It is very moisturising though. For the price of this (€3.49 for the 50ml size), you're getting a seriously good hand cream; it's non-greasy, sinks in quickly and really works on dry skin. I'm already onto my second tube and will be getting a third. 

If you lean towards the more sensitive side of things and dislike perfumed products then I reviewed La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Mains Hand Cream HERE, which is a good'un too!

Have you tried any of these? Any others I should be checking out?

*Press sample, gratefully received. All opinions my own, as always.

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Wedding World Online Store | Wedding Know-How at Your Fingertips!

Calling all brides-to-be!

If you're struggling with wedding planning, I've got you covered! This week Wedding World Store was brought to my attention and even though I'm not planning a wedding, I found myself quickly absorbed in everything they have to offer.
When my husband and I were planning our own wedding a couple of years ago, we didn't have anything like this and while we didn't get hugely stressed out I think a site that gathered all the information you needed in one place would have been pretty helpful. It's also fun; once you start planning your big day you can get a bit heavily invested in everything wedding; I still pin dresses and hair styles on Pinterest to this day, just because I'm so used to it! On that note, when I was planning I found magazines a bit useless..the ideas in them were great but you have to go to so much effort sorting through pages of ads to get the information out of them. Being able to attend a wedding fair and indeed, a wedding planning site (from the comfort of your own home!) is even better.

So, what's it all about? There's three main elements.
Wedding World is the brainchild of two wedding industry suppliers, set up in 2012. They realised that couples stuggle with traditional wedding fairs; they're chaotic and stressful and can be hard to see the wood from the trees. They set up the Wedding Exhibition Centre with this in mind (couples are encouraged to take their time, take a clipboard with them and select what they're interested in to be contacted later for more information, rather than having to fill in a gazillion forms) and now house over 60 suppliers including cake makers, marquee hire, videographers and make up artists
While that's all brilliant, if you don't have the time to attend or you can't physically get to the exhibition then you can find the same information from the exhibition online via As a part of that you can now also utilise Wedding World TV, a youtube channel offering everything from honeymoon ideas, photography tips and beauty advice. Here's their first video:

And for beauty enthusiasts like myself, you'll appreciate this dedicated panel discussion with experienced MUA's about ALL things beauty and weddings...heaven!

You can check out the Wedding World TV channel HERE, Wedding World Store HERE and as part of the website, the Wedding World Blog HERE.

Just to point out, this is not a sponsored post; I just think it's a really good idea and I'd love to know what you think too! Let me know in the comments! Are you planning a wedding? Or like me is this something you would have welcomed in the run-up to your own big day?

Friday 9 May 2014

Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs | Review

I'm sure everyone knows by now that I'm a big Cocoa Brown fan. It's changed how I feel about self-tanners; for years I avoided them completely because they were just too much hassle but with the arrival of One Hour Tan, I grew to love being all bronzed again. My legs however are always a bit of a struggle. They just don't seem to take the tan the same way the rest of my body does and I've no idea why! Am I alone in this or does anyone else have the same trouble? First world problem or wha'?

Anyway, now Cocoa Brown have Lovely Legs; a "medium bronze tanning make up for flawless pins". It comes in a spray can that you give a quick shake to, spray onto a tanning mitt and apply to your legs, blending well. 
Like all CB products, this applied like a dream, I had no streaks and had both my legs done in about ten minutes, maybe less. 
It has the same "Tahitian Gardenia" scent that all CB products have, which is always very nice and in appearance is a bit like the Sally Hansen Spray On Legs, which I actually don't use so I can't compare the two.
I can say that I much preferred this to regular tan for my legs, which I apply at night time, meaning I generally don't notice til the following morning that it's all patchy (regardless of exfoliation and moisturising the day before) and by then it's too late. Lovely legs is instant and is a wash off tan so if you were to make a mistake, it's easily fixed. It's basically fake tanning for dummies, if someone were to write such a book.

And here's the results:

Cocoa Brown Lovely Legs

Love it! I actually think it looks really natural, it gave my skin a nice glow and a healthy tan which is going to be perfect for Summer. 
The only problem I can foresee is getting stuck in a rain shower or some randomer spilling a pint down your legs of an evening. But that's true of all wash off tans and if you're living in Ireland I guess you just have to take that chance! 

You can pick yourself up a can of Lovely Legs from Penneys and selected pharmacies nationwide now for €7.99.

Have you tried Lovely Legs yet?

*Press sample, gratefully received. All opinions my own, as always!