Beauty and Fashion

The EA Beauty Panel – Review

Weeks ago Elizabeth Arden posted on their Instagram looking for people to apply to take part in their beauty panel. I never expected to hear any more about it but a couple of weeks later they contacted me on Instagram and told me them would send me two products to review. Free beauty products? Yes please!!!

I have been trying a few of their products the last while so I was really excited to try some others. I mean I spent €220 on a serum for crying out loud so of course I knew liked the brand. (I will do another blog post when I have tested them out a bit more). I was asked to try their Advanced Ceramide Capsules Daily Youth Restoring Serum and their Moisturizing Lipstick in the shade 02 Red Door Red

When I purchased their Prevage Serum a few weeks ago I received a sample of their Ceramide Capsules so I already knew I really liked them. I have been using them every 2/3 days at night under my night cream and can honestly say that my skin has seriously improved! I have had adult acne for a few years and for the first time in a very long time my skin is clearing up nicely and has a youthful plumpness that I love! Now I have also been trying a couple of other new products and I think this helped in conjunction with them so I can’t give EA all of the credit but these capsules get two thumbs up from me and I will definitely continue to use them!

dsc01506-2054335931.jpg

Some people may have noticed that I love a red lip for a night out. I think there is nothing more fabulous than the perfect red lip whether I am going dressy casual or full on glam so I was so excited to try their Moisturizing Lipstick. Usually I go for long wear lipsticks but for a colour this fabulous I would make an exception! I don’t know how moisturizing it is but it definitely didn’t dehydrate my lips like some other lipsticks have. It has good pigmentation and feels lovely and creamy. I also absolutely love the packaging, the gold tube is sturdy and has some weight to it and the door design is very cute. It is the perfect red for Christmas (who am I kidding its perfect year round) and I will definitely enjoy popping this on for many a night during the festive season!

All in all I really liked both products, I will probably purchase the capsules and I will enjoy testing out the red lipstick a bit more before I would commit to repurchasing but I definitely wouldn’t rule it out either!

Have you tried either of these products? Do you agree with my review? Have you tried any other Elizabeth Arden products that you would recommend?

Leave a comment or get in touch through my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat!

Nik 🙂

 

 

 

Advertisements
My blog and Me

Giving a Little Back this Christmas

Hi Everyone,

So this post is a little bit different but I felt it was one that I definitely wanted to post in time for it to hopefully make a difference this Christmas.

Every year we spend our hard earned money on gifts for loved ones and even for people we feel obliged to purchase for such as office Kris Kindles. Now I am all for a bit of festive cheer in the office but a few years ago after a particularly awful Kris Kindle gift, which clearly had no thought put into it, I decided I had had enough of wasting money on something that would only clutter up someones work space for the next 12 months.  I bowed out of the office Kris Kindle and instead took part in the office Giving Tree for SVP.

The first year I went a little off my head and spent a fortune on various gifts – I like to think of it as my financial penance for all the years I didn’t think to give to charity come Christmas time, or at least didn’t give as much as I could have. I love receiving a thoughtful gift but I can honestly say that the thought of a stranger being so happy to receive my gift at Christmas absolutely thrills me!

This year I picked a tag for a girl aged 6-12 and I knew just the young lady to help me pick the perfect gift. We popped into a few shops but once we got to Penneys we knew had hit the jackpot. Baring in mind I wanted to pick a gift that both a six year old and a twelve year old would be happy to receive I made sure that I covered all bases including sweet treats, child friendly lip products and fluffy sock goodness. The general spend amount is a minimum of €10, I went slightly over that and spent about €14 but I think that I could easily have stayed closer to the €10 mark if I really wanted to!

What do you think of my gift choice?

 

 

There are so many ways to give back at Christmas, so many worth while charities that would appreciate any donation you give. This Christmas why not sacrifice that new pair of PJs that you really don’t need and donate that money to a cause close to your heart.

Some of my preferred charities (especially at Christmas) are Simon Community which help tackle homelessness in Ireland (Dublin link attached), Pieta House which is a suicide and self harm crisis centre and DSPCA who works towards the prevention of cruelty to animals.

What is your favourite charity to contribute to? Will you be making a donation this Christmas? Oh and most importantly have you starting thinking about when you will be putting up your decorations yet?

Leave a comment or get in touch through my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat!

Nik 🙂

 

Beauty and Fashion

GlossyBox Uk Unboxing – November 17

My November Glossybox arrived a few days ago and the truth is that at first glance I wasn’t overly impressed with it. Don’t get me wrong I am excited to try the products but it is definitely one of the lower value boxes which for a bargain hunter like myself is always gonna be a bit of a downer! This month there were four full sized products and one travel size with a total RRP of £22.62. I mean its not bad value but I have come to expect higher from Glossybox!

DSC01509

First up was a travel size bottle of Geranium and Peppermint Bodywash from Greenfrog Botanic which retails for £3.99 while a 300ml bottle will set you back £8.99 which is a pretty reasonable price for an Organic, cruelty free vegan product that is also environmentally friendly, sustainable and 100% biodegradable. I have to say it smells nice and I am really looking forward to trying this and have very high hopes for it. Recently I have become a lot more aware of choosing products that are in line with my own values, such as being cruelty free, so it great to see brands in general really making the effort to be more transparent in the processes their products go through!

In last months Glossybox there was a spoiler for this one so I knew that product two was coming my way and I am looking forward to trying it. The Contour/Powder Brush from Beauty UK Cosmetics retails for £6.99 and when I tried it on the back of my hand it did seem to be as soft as they claim. I am not overly keen on intense contour so it will be interesting to see if this can give me the natural look I crave!

Next up was the Candy Floss Moisturising Lip Balm from Sport FX which is a limited edition product which claims to repair dry, chapped lips. It has SPF 15, is infused with vitamins and minerals and gives a sheer wash of colour. In truth I am not a fan of sweet scents so I am not overly excited to try this and may just pass it on to a pal who would love it but for €4.99 it’s not a bad price and the main collection has a Raspberry Rhubarb version which scent wise is probably more my cuppa tea!

Fourth up was the Collection Cosmetics Define and Perfect Eyebrow Powder in the shade Brunette which I am definitely looking forward to trying. I have tried few bits from this budget brand before and I love their concealer so I have high hopes for it. There will definitely be a mini review on my FB or Insta so keep an eye out for that!

Last but not least was a Boots Charcoal and Willow Bark Sheet Mask which is £2.50 each according to the info card. In general I haven’t enjoyed sheet masks in the past and at €3.25 I think one mask in the box was a little cheap but I will try keep an open mind for this one. I have problem skin in general so hopefully this cleansing and purifying mask will help clear up some break outs!

Overall this months box felt like a bit of a let down compared with previous months. One product will go to a pal and I will try the other four though I don’t really think two of them will be for me!

Did you get the same glossybox as me this month? Where you impressed or disappointed? Leave a comment or get in touch through my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these sites, they are the links provided by glossybox on the info card as are the prices!

Nik 🙂

Home and Garden

Increasing Storage by Flooring our Attic

I live in a small two bed end of terrace house with my husband and two cats. There is plenty of space in general for us but storage is something I am obsessed with. I love a tidy home and try to avoid clutter as much as possible so having a place to store away things like suitcases and Christmas decorations is vital!

Up until recently we had been using our attic for this purpose but without any proper flooring it was quite the balancing act to ensure our stored items didn’t reappear via the ceiling! Another drawback of not having a proper flooring was the lack of insulation meant that while our walls are really well insulated downstairs we were losing heat through the attic at an alarming rate!

Our tips for a smooth project are at the end! 🙂

Before we started:

Now I am lucky that I have a very handy hubby and my dad was a carpenter by trade so he is always good for a loan of a saw or three! So off we went to B&Q to pick up ‘Loft Flooring’ and insulation. I say we when in fact I sent hubby off to pick it up because I was busy studying at the time and in all honesty I just needed him out of the house! 🙂

Adding Insulation before laying to the floor:

Thanks to Stephens DIY skills and my Dad lending us a good saw the total cost of this project was less than €300. The space that a proper floor has created is brilliant and I couldn’t wait to reorganise the boxes that were heading up there! Next on my list is a good sturdy ladder to ease access but until then hubby will just have to drag in his work ladder each time we need something from up there!

(Update: we have since installed a handy little ladder!)

Floor Insulated, time to start cutting the boards:

I know it must be in my head but I can honestly feel the difference the insulation has made to the house already and while there was alright a light up in the attic which we added during our initial renovation of the house, we have also added in a double plug socket so it really has a world of potential!

Almost Finished:

After completing this project my top tips for anyone taking on a project like this would be:

  1. Measure the space you need to floor and remeasure it again! We over estimated the quantity we would need and ended up having to return some of it, luckily B&Q are very good for taking back unused products within 45 days with proof of purchase but save yourself some time and double check your measurements!
  2. Be prepared for an epic level of spider activity! Spiders just love the cold dark vibe that attics provide and I can honestly say that after the stand off with the GIANT spider in our attic, I feel lucky to be alive! If you are squeamish, send someone braver up there first… like your cat! 🙂
  3. Preparation is extremely important. Make sure you have all the tools and materials you will need before you start. If you plan to spend a weekend flooring your attic spend an evening during the week clearing out the space. It will save you so much pain and torture come project day that losing an hour or so midweek will seem worth it!
  4. If you think it will take you 6 hours then allow yourself 12! Once a project begins you will always run into difficulty and unforeseen issues so save yourself the heartache and just give yourself the extra time, if you finish it in 6 hours then great but if it takes the few hours longer then at least you wont feel like the task will never end.
  5. This final tip is some specific to those of you (myself included) who suffer from Hanger! Have a good breakfast before you start, plan a reasonable amount of work to complete before lunch and make sure you keep hydrating… oh and a little bit of snacking never hurt a hard worker so if you are supervising rather than actually doing the DIY be sure to bring regular snacks and beverages to keep your minion happy and motivated!

End Result (including giant wine rack!)

Do you agree with my tips above? Have you any suggestions of your own? Leave a comment or head over to one my social media pages. I have Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat 🙂

Nik 🙂

Beauty and Fashion

GlossyBox Uk Unboxing – October 2017: Are you a Mermaid or Unicorn?

The October Glossybox has arrived! This month there were two themes: Mermaid or Unicorn. Mine was a Unicorn themed box and I have to say it was so cute! I loved the box and under the lid is the perfect message: Be a Unicorn in a field of Horses!

This months box came with 5 full size products which is great value. The first product is a Mermaids vs Unicorns Eye Shadow Palette from MakeUp Revolution which has 12 colourful glittery eye shadows in a compact plastic case. I am not a fan of very colourful eye shadows or of glittery ones (hello hooded eyes!) but I definitely love the colours in this palette and may have to break my self imposed eye shadows rules and give these shadows a try. I have swatched them and there does seem to be a fair bit of fall out but given the price I am pretty pleased to add to my collection just in case I ever decide to go glitter colour crazy!

DSC0138020171101_184220-828218576.jpg

 

Next up is the Sleek Creme to Powder Blush in the shade Crimson. I have never tried a product like this so it was definitely a learning curve! The colour is very pigmented, a little really does go a long way and while I don’t think this shade is quite right for me I would definitely consider purchasing it in the shade Carnation or French Rose. It was long lasting and once I got the hang of it pretty easy to work with.

Third in the box is the Kawaii Enterprise Brush Cleansing Egg which has proved a little difficult to buy online, though maybe that is more of a reflection on my googling skills than on the product! I haven’t tried this yet though it is a compact little product so size wise is an improvement on the current cleansing mitt though I can’t really review it until I try it out properly! I do like the colour though I think the opening may be more of a hindrance than asset. I am sure I will pop a quick review up on one of social media once I have tried it so make sure you are following me and find out my full opinion!

Fourth up is the Lord&Berry Magic Brow which claims to ‘flatter all colourings by mimicking the colour variation naturally found in brows’. Now I don’t know about all that but I do know that this is a brand I have been wanting to try for a while so I will definitely be keeping this and thoroughly testing it.

Last but not least is the Bang Beauty Cream Color which claims to be a multi purpose cream that can be used on lips cheeks and eyes, it is also vegan and cruelty free! I am not sure this will be a product I love but I will give it a try, it has a bit of shimmer in it so I don’t think I will like it as a lip or brow product and I think it is to dark as a highlight for my pale Irish skin but I will pop it on my must test list and hopefully it will exceed my expectations.

So all in all I am pretty impressed with Glossybox this month, 3 products I think I will really enjoy and 2 that normally wouldn’t by my thing but I will have fun testing anyway!

Do you subscribe to any beauty services? Would you recommend them? More importantly: are you a mermaid or a unicorn?! 🙂

Leave a comment or get in touch through my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these sites, I simply did a quick google search! 🙂

Nik 🙂

Beauty and Fashion

GlossyBox Uk Unboxing – September 2017

With all the wonderful (and hard) things life has been offering this Glossybox was relegated to the ‘must look at later pile’. Shame on me!

Now that I have finally gotten around to properly looking at the goodies in the pretty pink packaging I can honestly say September was an amazing month for Glossybox. There was even a bonus item… a Kinder Bueno! 🙂

The first item in this months box was the Siligel Blender and in all honesty I am not sure this is going to be for me! I like using makeup brushes instead of sponges so I really don’t think I will love this but I will definitely give it a try. It retails for £5.99 and claims to reduce the amount of product needed to complete your makeup as the blender doesn’t absorb any of the product. It recommends using it with both face cream and foundation.

Next up was a Brow Tamer from Pixi by Petra retailing for £12.99. It claims to set and hold unruly brows in place all day. It is  paraben and fragrance free and is not tested on animals which gets a big thumbs up from me! I have tried this out very quickly and I really liked the natural effect it gave my brows. I only wore it for a couple of hours so I cannot comment on its longevity but I can say it had a very subtle scent which I really liked as I have found some brow products can have a very heavy chemical smell! I will have to try this a few more times before I commit to loving it but it is definitely a case of ‘so far so good’!

dsc013311.jpg

Third up was the Monu Firming Fiji Facial Oil which contains planet oils to nourish and protect. It also contains a blend of Bois de Rose and Patchouli which gives it a strong but fresh scent, I am definitely a fan of the smell! I tried it on the back of my hand and I really liked the consistency but unfortunately due to an allergy I doubt think I will get to try this but I will pass it on to a pal who will give some honest feedback. The full size of this product retails for £26!

Next up was the Cetaphil Mini Skincare Trio which according to glossybox claims to be the ultimate skincare kit. It includes the Gentle Skin Cleanser (RRP £14.99), Moisturising Cream (RRP £8.99) and Moisturizing Lotion (RRP £14.99). Its not a brand I had heard of before but a quick google search meant I discovered it is not only available in Boots but some of this products in the range are currently buy one get one half price! Winning!! I am definitely looking forward to trying these out once my current cleanser runs out!

Last but not least was the Skinfix Hand Repair Cream contains 1% colloidal oatmeal to target eczema, dermatitis and extreme dryness. It is dermatologist tested but in truth while I liked the consistency of it, I didn’t like the scent. I will try it the next few weeks to see if it help keep my hands hydrated, which given the autumn weather and the heating/aircon combination provided by my office, will not be an easy task. This retails for €12.99 but a quick search online proved that some retailers have a much larger mark up so if you are looking to try this product be careful and make sure you are getting the best price you can!

DSC01366

The September GlossyBox included 3 full size products  (4 if you include the Kinder Bueno!) and 2 sample size products. Three of the products I am really looking forward to testing out, the oil will go to a good home thanks to my stupid allergies and as for the blender I am definitely undecided but will give it a try!

Do you subscribe to any beauty services? Would you recommend them?

Leave a comment or get in touch through my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these sites, I simply did a quick google search! 🙂

Nik 🙂

Beauty and Fashion

GlossyBox Uk Unboxing – August 2017

So this is becoming a bit of a habit and once again I am super late getting this post up! It has been a busy few months so please bare with me while I get my organisational skills up to par!!

 

The August Glossybox is (was) a very pretty blue colour with ‘ Girls just wanna have sun’ printed on it. As with last months box this has also made its way onto one of my shelves and I can honestly say I really do love the Glossybox packaging so much, it really makes such an impact each time! I have tried include links to the products wherever I can so if any of them are not working please let me know!

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these sites, I simply did a quick google search! 🙂

DSC01284

First up this month was the SportFX Time Out Face Mist and Fix. The spray on this 30ml bottle was so fine that I struggle to see how anyone could complain about it! It claims to be long lasting, paraben free with no petroleum or mineral oils and dermatologically tested. The product feels refreshing on the skin though I am not sure I found it as hydrating as it claimed. I found it great for a quick spritz after freshening up my make up and all in all I think for €7.19 its definitely worth a try!

DSC01279

Next up was the Valquer Ice Hair Mask which in all honesty I have not tried yet. It smells great though and the bottle is a handy little 100ml size. After a week in Kos I think this could turn out to be a hair life saver. I am sure I will pop a little review up on my Instagram once I have tried it.

 

The Rodial Suede Lip Jumbo Crayon in the shade Big Apple was the third thing in my box and while I liked the colour, I found it very drying on my lips. On top of the dehydrating disappointment, it was also very patchy as it wore off and that’s never fun! It was a full sized product but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it and I wont be trying it again especially not at €29 a pop!

Fourth up was Modellauncher’s Safari Sun Bronzer which is a pretty animal print bronzer but since I think it will be too dark for my pale Irish skin I haven’t tested this yet! I am not overly keen on the packaging which feels like a very cheap plastic but it is light so would be handy for on the go. This will definitely be passed on to a pal and if they give me any feedback about it I will be sure to post it on one of my social media pages!

As there was a bonus item this month the second to last product this month was the Mixa Restoring Body Lotion which seems to widely available is a number of pharmacies. i took this with me to Kos and I like it so far. I only used it a few times since I was also testing an aftersun from my July Glossybox but so far so good. I love the pump, it makes it so easy to dispense the lotion and it is always really reasonably priced at just €6!

DSC01311

Last but not least was the bonus item: a Purelei Aloha Bracelet. Honestly it is not my style so I haven’t taken it out of the package but I have a pal that I think will love it so it will be going to a good home.

All in all I really liked this months glossybox though at least one item was a total bust as far as I am concerned. Two products will go to loving homes with friends of mine, two products I really enjoyed and one product I have yet to test.

Do you subscribe to any beauty services? Would you recommend them?

Leave a comment or get in touch through my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat!

 

Nik 🙂

 

Beauty and Fashion

GlossyBox Uk Unboxing – July 2017

I can honestly say that every time my GlossyBox arrives it makes me so happy, I could literally be having the worst day but that pink box arriving really does just cheer me right up. The July Glossybox was a special one for me since it was my first once since I renewed my subscription and you can find out why I decided to renew subscription here

During the summer months Glossybox seems to change up their packaging from the pretty pink boxes to colourful themed boxes, which I love! The box was such a pretty peach colour with beautiful gold foil lettering, ‘Hello Summer’ and currently has pride of place of one of my bedroom shelves.

It included four full size products and one smaller size which I think makes it such good value, especially when you consider that to buy the five products in full size retails at about 70 GBP!

The first full size product was a banana powder from Bellapierre Cosmetics. Having never used a banana powder before so I was a little apprehensive about trying it out. It took a few tries but i definitely think I am getting the hang of it. The packaging is pretty compact which I like though I am not overly fond of the way the product gathers in the top of it but that wouldn’t put me off purchasing this. As I said I have never tried this type of product before but I would definitely use this one again and would like to try other brands for comparison.

DSC01022

The second product was a very pretty, super colourful fan brush from the brand Spectrum Collections. With its blue bristles with purple tips it is very on trend for the latest mermaid and unicorn theme. Its a good quality brush that is synthetic and cruelty free – always a good thing! It has quite a thick fan so its not ideal for smaller highlighting but it is very soft and I am very happy to add it to my growing brush collection.

DSC01018

Next up was an After Sun Lotion from the brand Monu Professional Skincare. The product says it is packed with soothing aloe vera as well as vitamin E and shea butter. I have decided to save this for my holiday so I can’t give a proper opinion but keep an eye on my Social Media. I am sure I will pop up a cheeky little review once I get home!

DSC01028

Fourth up was Spiral Headbands from the brand Papanga, these just are not my thing so they will be passed on to a pal who I think would appreciate them more than I do. Have any of you tried other things from this brand? I feel like since this type of product isn’t for me I am missing out on seeing if I would like the brand in general!

DSC01027

Last but not least was an Ultimate Colour Lipstick from Catrice Cosmetics in the shade  020 Maroon. It is a beautiful brown tone neutral and I can honestly say that I have really enjoyed this product. I wear it most days, the colour is perfect for day to day for a simple pulled together make up look. It is comfortable to wear and lasts a reasonable length of time.

All in all the July Glossybox gets two thumbs up from me! I love three products, I will be trying the fourth product soon and only one product to go in the give away pile… I think that counts as a huge success!

Do you subscribe to any beauty services? Would you recommend them?

Leave a comment or get in touch through my Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat!

 

Nik 🙂

Adventures, Fitness and Health

Hell and Back … Did I Survive?

The short answer is YES I survived.

That doesn’t make for much of a post now does it, so I better give a few more details!

As I have said in a previous blog post, I was really unprepared for this time round and so nervous that I thought I might throw up but as I waited in the pen with my 5 companions I did something that turned it around for me.

I tried the 5 second rule, its a method of transferring fear energy into excitement by counting back from 5 to 1 and then focusing on all the good things about whatever challenge you are facing. It worked!

As the warm up started and music played I focused on how I was just going to take each obstacle one at a time, that I would feel so proud when I got to the finish and that my little team would help me when I needed it!

Baring in mind there were 80 obstacles over 7km, it took about 2 hours to complete and  took every last reserve of energy I had! It was a tough course but all of the obstacles meant there wasn’t much running for me, which was definitely a blessing.

The weather was perfect, not too hot but cool enough to keep you motivated to get to the next obstacle AND we managed to avoid the rain until after we finished!

We did every obstacle and I was so proud of my Mam tackling the 10foot wall this time! Although I can honestly saying being shot 8 times in sniper alley was a real low point for me!

Capture
The Finish Line 🙂

All in all it was a great experience and I am so happy I did it though I don’t think I will commit to another one any time soon! As I sit typing my elbows are so bruised that they hurt to have on the desk, both knees are black and blue with one being ever so slightly swollen and my hip bones are bruised from throwing myself down the water slide face first!

I really am amazed at how far we can push ourselves when we stop letting our fears dictate what we believe we can achieve!

Have any of you taken part in any challenges like Hell and Back? Would you recommend them or were they simply paying to be tortured? Head on over to my social media and let me know!

I have Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and on Snapchat just search asplashofsherry!

Nik 🙂

Beauty and Fashion

Glossy Box UK – Renewing my Subscription

I renewed my yearly Glossybox subscription and I can honestly say I could not wait to get it. My last subscription ended in May and it felt like there was something missing from my life! With the Euro strong against the Sterling the yearly subscription including postage is about €165 which works out at less than €14 a month for 5 beauty treats. There are always some full size products and one or two travel sized ones.

Up until two years ago I really was not into beauty products and make up. After I got married and moved into our new home I found my anxiety had kicked in and was dragging me down so I started looking for things to help boost my confidence. In my quest for beauty tips I came across Glossybox and I can honestly say that it has very much helped me find new products and with a little help from YouTube tutorials it has also improved my confidence.

Originally I signed up for a three month subscription in early 2016 to discover new beauty products and to get me out of my beauty comfort zone. I loved it so much that my husband bought me a yearly subscription for my birthday that year effectively ensuring a present a month for the year… yes he is bloody brilliant and no you can’t have him!

Now I wont pretend I love every product in it every time but I always love the presentation and usually if a product isn’t for me a pal will gladly take it off my hands! The pretty pink box just makes my heart burst I love it that much and I have found various uses for the boxes from makeup storage to recovering them and using them as gift boxes – win win!

I really loved my July and August Glossybox‘s and I will most definitely be writing a post on it with reviews of the products when I eventually get my act together!

Are any of you subscribed? Have you tried any other subscription boxes that you would recommend?

Looking forward to hearing your views!

Nik 🙂