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Monday 31 August 2015

NEW! No7 Dramatic Lift Mascara | Review

No7 do mascaras really well- I often use my Boots vouchers on them actually. While YSL Shocking is my most favouritest mascara ever, I like to use a less I'm-wearing-three-pairs-of-false-lashes mascara for daytime, especially for work but I don't want to lose out on defined lashes. 
Step in then Dramatic Lift from No7*.

So here's the story;
it's created with flexible polymers and building waxes to make your lashes look thicker. Added to that is a stylised brush that helps to lift each individual lash from the root to the tip to leave you with a wide awake, weightless feel. 

Sounds good, eh? But how does it measure up in reality?

I really like this one. Even on days where I wear no make-up, I'll just put on a coat of this and I immediately look more awake and a bit more together. It doesn't irritate my eyes, it can be built up with a second coat and it's easily removed. You'll also spot from the photo that there is a noticeable difference between the before and after application- it actually is a dramatic lift (it sounds like I'm being paid for this but I'm not, I promise!)
While it's not going to take the coveted place of my most favourite mascara ever (that firmly belongs to the YSL), it's an excellent high street alternative and a great choice for spending your Boots NO7 vouchers on.

It's in Boots stores nationwide right now for €17.50 and is available in black and brown.

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

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Beautiful New Books

This is an amalgamation of birthday books, airport shopping and a trip to buy books for someone else that resulted in me buying four for myself too.
Good times.

Quite the stack, eh? Doesn't that just do your book-loving heart good? 
Ah sure lookit, I know. Don't judge a book by its cover and all that but some of these are just strokeably beautiful. 

Himself and I were in Chapters on Parnell St buying books for someone else and it was there that I was introduced to some truly stunning editions. Himself told me he actually buys most of my book gifts in there which makes sense now- he always gets me the most gorgeous tomes and I never knew where they all came from until now! 

I've read Fahrenheit 451 and loved it but that was on audio so I didn't hesitate when I spotted this stunning hardback cover for €9.99! 
I haven't read Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit but I've been meaning to for a while now and this glorious edition was only €4.99. 
I've read most of Ira Levin's books (he also wrote The Stepford Wives and Rosemary's Baby, for example) and Sliver looks like another brilliant read. This was again, only €4.99.

I gave in and bought Go Set A Watchman after I found it reduced online. I've been reluctant about this one..I read To Kill A Mockingbird as a fourteen year old and it helped shape my brain for the better and having read the reviews of this, a prequel that Harper Lee apparently never intended to publish, well, you can understand my misgivings. Regardless, I have to know for myself! 

Jaws was also a nostalgia-driven purchase and again from Chapters. Jaws has always been one of my most loved films so when I spotted this hardback for €4.99, I had to get it. I've read it since- review coming soon!

I haven't read a Nick Hornby book in years but picked this up on offer in the airport (it was buy one get another half price but I'm not even showing you the other book as it was pretty awful). I haven't read Funny Girl yet but I've heard good things.

These last six were all birthday presents. I know, I'm super jammy. 

My Mum gave me The Crafty Minx at Home, which is packed with frankly drool-worthy photos for how to turn your living space into a vintage, floral heaven. Inside there's over fifty handmade and upcycled projects to help you beautify your home. This is very much my style and I've already earmarked several different ideas to try.

All Things Sweet is the latest baking book from Rachel Allen and a gift from my sister. Although I generally never watch Rachel on tv, I do love her books and this is now the second of hers to happily take up residence on my cookbook shelf. 
Highlights that I'll be trying include; Apple Crumble Ice-Cream, Double Chocolate Mousse Cake, Poached Peaches with Raspberry Sorbet and Ballymaloe Vanilla Fudge (himself's favourite!)

Another from my sister is Secret Dublin, An Unusual Guide. This is such a cool little book. It takes Dublin and divides it into areas and from there, all the little odd places and things that you might not have even known or heard about before. Even from just a brief perusal of it, I've realised how many brilliant things there are to see and do that I was completely unaware of, even in my own locality. 
Our plan is to take it section by section and get as much ticked off as we can!

My mum also gave me this book from Carol Ann Duffy. The Other Country is her third collection of poetry. I've never read anything from her before but I'm looking forward to this one- it's been far too long since I read any poetry. 

My lovely sister-in-law and her boyfriend gave me the Joss Whedon, Geek King of the Universe biography for my birthday and I genuinely may have squealed when I opened this. I've been a big Buffy fan since I was a teenager; all of those Whedon-isms have helped shape my sense of humour and my own pop culture references and I've always been interested in Whedon's feminist perspective and unique writing style so I'm very excited about reading this!

Lastly, my sister (I know, I have very generous family) also gave me A Passion For Birth by Sheila Kitzinger; a natural birth activist and author of loads of books on pregnancy and childbirth. This book follows her life from early childhood with the influence of a feminist mother to her pioneering work campaigning for women's rights and improvement in the maternity services. As I'm working in that area of healthcare myself and I'm also a feminist, this is pretty much the ideal book for me. Kitzinger is a fascinating woman and her life story looks like quite the read. 

And that's my big beautiful book haul! I may have bought a few (ahem) on kindle also so I'll probably do a post on that too. 
Tell me, have you bought any lovely new books lately?
Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Get Glowing Skin With These 3 Products!

I'm back! Hello! I returned to work last month and so have been in a world of early mornings, extreme brain focusing and some minor physical exhaustion. It's all good though, I'm loving it. It has meant the blog has taken a step back, which I think is fine too. We can't all do everything all the time. There has to be give and take. Anyways I'm getting back into things today with a look at three of the best skincare products that I've used in a really long time. I've noticed an immediate change to the appearance of my skin with all three of these and felt that that required some celebration, blog stylee.

First up is the Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial from Ren. I'd heard great things about this fella but had put off buying it as it is rather pricey. However I recently availed of a 15% off offer on Cloud 10 Beauty and I knew from the second I used this that I loved it. 
Here's what Ren have to say about it: 

A transforming treatment that instantly revitalizes and visibly rejuvenates the skin. Formulated with potent water-activated Vitamin C it will neutralize urban grey in a flash, leaving skin looking firm, toned and smoothed, while reducing the signs of fatigue, photo-ageing and skin imperfections. Skin instantly glows with renewed health and radiance.  

Ren 1 minute facial

I can wholeheartedly agree with that. Recommended use is three times a week- you apply it to your face and neck, wet your fingertips and massage using circular movements to activate the Vitamin C and leave for a minute, before rinsing off. It has a strange texture- almost grainy to start with. As you massage with the water however, it becomes a little bit paste-like and you can actually see it, removing the dead skin! It's unreal. What was particularly amazing however was how soft my skin was afterwards. I've never used an exfoliator, face mask, cleanser or anything that left my skin looking like this. I can't recommended this enough. Gone are the days of tired, dull looking skin. You might be hungover or shattered but this means your skin at least won't look it! Lash in some eye drops, make your hair 90% dry shampoo and use this- you'll be sorted! Bite the bullet, spend the money, it's very much worth it. Available HERE for €37.95. 

kinvara rose hip face serum

I hadn't actually tried anything from Irish skincare brand Kinvara and then I only went and won a hamper of their products at the Irish beauty Blog Awards recently! Hurrah! While I've yet to try their well loved Oil Cleanser or their moisturiser, I've been addicted to this. 

The Rosehip Face Serum is the business. This is intensive care for your face day or night and contains a blend of antioxidants, anti-inflammatories (something my poor puffy mug needs), vitamins and herbal extracts to help leave your skin softer, supple, hydrated and nourished.

If you follow me on snap chat (nursefancypants), you'll have spotted me raving about this before bed recently. It's a rather intimidating shade of bright yellow and feels quite heavy to be a serum but my god, once you blend it in, it's so good. 
Here's why I'm so mad about this one. I was absentmindedly touching my forehead a week or so ago (stay with me, this is going somewhere) and I suddenly realised- that part in between my brows and just above it, it's normally always quite dry. Make-up can be a bit patchy there, I have definite frown lines there too and overall it's the most "problem area" on my face. Not anymore! It's now smooth and super soft! What witchcraft is this, I mused. The only new product I had been using at the time was my Rosehip Serum. See? The business. It's not just that one weird patch either, my whole face loves it. Find out more from the brand on their Facebook page, HERE.

Botanics radiance balm

Lastly then, we have Radiance Balm All Bright from Boots brand, Botanics. This has been a beauty blogger favourite for a while now and is often hyped as being a dupe for MAC's strobe cream. 
While I've never tried the latter, I can confirm that the Botanics version is worth all the hype. This is a revitalising balm designed for all skin types and contains: 
Hibiscus for a brightness booster that leaves skin smoother, softer and radiant. 
I use this as a primer but honestly, this would work as well on its own for those days where you can't be bothered with make-up but still need a little sumin' sumin' to make you look less deathly (might just be speaking for myself there). 
While the Ren and the Kinvara will have more long term effects and this is really more of a surface only kind of result I'm still loving how quickly this can transform my face! 
So yes, I'm genuinely very impressed by how great this product is and even better, it's super bargainous. You can find it in Boots at the minute for only €3.99 HERE

Have you used any of these three miracle workers? If not, are they now on your to-buy list?!