Monday, 12 June 2017

Picturesques Kilmore Quay

I love Kilmore Quay, and it's our go-to place on the occasional Sunday. Kilmore Quay is a wonderful fishing Village just under 30 minutes outside of Wexford Town. I especially look forward to the Seafood Festival which takes place the first Thursday of July every year for 4 days!

Our first stop is always into Little Saltee Restaurant, and the food is always fantastic, it is situated just across from the marina. It really has that updated coastal interior feel to it, which brings the beach and brightness to its restaurant. Don't leave without trying their scrumptious array of ice creams!

There is a wonderful walk along the coast and hidden nooks to find along the way. A playground is just up from the Marina, and it's one of Lillibug's favourites plus it's free and well kept.

There is a wonderful selection of activities mostly centred around the sea from angling, sailing and snorkelling. You could also go and follow the Norman Way Heritage Trail (I'd highly recommend) which will bring you into Kilmore Quay.

Monday, 1 May 2017

MAC Haul & Review of Extra Dimension Blush Cheeky Bits

If you read my previous post about my trip to the Crowne Plaza in Blanchardstown, you will know that I couldn't bypass the shopping centre while there. I needed to replenish my MAC Studio Fix Fluid and one thing led to another!

I picked up my holy grail of foundations the Studio Fix fluid (€32) in NW13. This seems to be a love/hate foundation when I talk to others about it, but thankfully it performs really well for me still. I also love the fact that the shade is perfection for me, which I struggle with when it comes to other brands.

I picked up my first MAC lip pencil (€17.50) in the shade Dervish to go with my new favourite MAC lipstick Plumful! It's really creamy and lasts all day on me, I need to build this up with a few strokes but I'm loving it and it will go with a lot of lipsticks that I already have.

MAC Fix+ travel size (€10) is another repurchase and love the many uses this comes in handy for. From intensifying eyeshadow, giving a dewy complexion, or just to finish off and lock in place my makeup. Always a must for my makeup bag.

I then picked up MAC Extra Dimension Blush in the shade Cheeky Bits, it was expensive at €29.00 but I really love the formula of this. It's described as a hybrid of a cream because of its smoothness, the bendability of a liquid, and a powder finish. That all sounds like magic to me especially with the prismatic reflection to give a luminous finish.

The powder is firm in the pan and has no kick up of product and blends beautifully on the skin. It's a pinky coral shade that really changes with the light. I was worried it would show up the texture on my cheeks because of the milia under my skin as it looked frosty in the pan, but this wasn't the case once applied. It lasted fairly well giving me six hours before fading but that was with a light application. This can be built up for a stronger finish and can be used wet for extra intensity.

I can see myself adding more of these to the collection as they are now part of the permanent collection at MAC.

What do you think, would you be tempted?

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Birthday Getaway to the Crowne Plaza Blanchardstown

I wasn't planning on doing a review of the Crowne Plaza Blanchardstown at all, but mum and I were so happy with our choice of hotel I thought I'd let you all know. Excuse the lack of photos and bad lighting but I hope you get a feel for the hotel all the same.

April is the month for Birthdays in our family, mum at the beginning of the month and mine the end, so we needed a little weekend away especially when we realised the last time we were away just the two of us was seven years ago! That is shocking and as a result, we have promised ourselves to go away more together. We picked the Crowne Plaza because Mum had stayed there before with Dad for a conference and of course it was close to the amazing shopping centre. Also importantly I found it easy to get to off the M50 coming from Wexford.

The stand out about the hotel was the staff and the customer service they bring. Check-in was quick and help was offered with our luggage. Two huge beds in a bigger than expected room greeted us and we were in our element. The bathroom was a good size too with a shower and toiletries. Parking was free at the hotel which I love because this has become such a rarity these days, and parking at the shopping centre was also free (not that we parked over there as we were in walking distance). Housekeeping was super friendly too, making sure we had everything we needed and always had a hello when we passed them in the hall.

We ate in the Sanctuary Bar and the staff were the best ever! Mum and I both have food allergies (EpiPen always on standby) and they really went out of their way to make us at ease with our order with the maître d' coming to double check about the allergies. They were all so friendly and the atmosphere was really great. The food was divine with service quick and portion size bigger than expected, so well worth the price.

After the stress of the last few months and years, this was a break we needed and we enjoyed ourselves. We definitely would go back again.

Yes, some shopping was done and I'm not sorry! I'll have a little MAC haul up soon.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear

Press Sample 

In celebration of 20 years of Lancome Teint Idole Ultra 24hr now has become Teint Idole Ultra Wear (RRP€41.00)and now comes in a brand-new bottle. The high coverage foundation comes in 40 shades to choose from, but I do warn that this is a foundation you will need to sample and not blindly buy due to the oxidation that I experienced with it. For 2017 I'm on the hunt for perfect foundations so I was delighted to receive this from the PR to sample.

For a full coverage foundation, I was delighted that this wasn't as creamy as I was expecting, but I did find that it still felt heavy on the skin but it didn't look cakey on the same hand. My skin has been okay of late but it is usually on the dry side and this did catch around the dryness on my forehead, brought out the pores on my nose and didn't sit as nicely on (cough) my laughter lines.

For best application and after a lot of experimenting with this, I found using a hydrating primer underneath the best and apply the foundation with my beauty blender. It takes a few minutes to set, but you do end up with a velvety medium coverage, or build up to full. Unfortunately, the shade that I picked was 010 BEIGE PORCELAINE out of the three I got matched with on the Lancome Foundation Shade Finder website. The shade looked promising at first but within seconds of it coming out of the pump you will notice it oxidising and continued to do so on my face for a few minutes after. If I tried to build it up it just got even darker so that was a no go. Below are two swatches of the foundation in my shade, the one on the left was the first to be pumped and by the time I pumped the second there is already a shade change. 

The foundation is also heavily fragranced and I found that my skin was irritated by it around my chin and top of my cheeks, so if your skin is on the sensitive side approach with caution. The Teint Idole Ultra Wear would be more geared towards oily skin but even with my dry skin, this didn't last around my jaw area or around my glasses.

So as you can gather this didn't do the trick for me and I'm still on the hunt for a new foundation to WOW me. Send your recommendations my way in the comments below.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

My Little Box - #NoFilter March Box

It has been a long time since I've spoken about My Little Box, a subscription box that comes from the heart of Paris. It has always been one of my favourite subscription boxes, I think because it has more than beauty, and incorporates lifestyle accessories too. Last year I stopped my subscription as it was getting to be a bit of an expensive box each month, especially as here in Ireland we have to use ParcelMotel to get it. For Mother's Day, Lillibug and Kevin treated me to a box (I must have dropped a lot of hints), they are the best! 

For March, My Little Box's theme was "#NOFILTER". Instead of the usual box, and drawstring bag, everything came in a gorgeous wash bag emblazoned with the slogan "#No Filter". I will definitely get great use out of the bag and it is a great size for all my makeup. Also included was a notebook for all my beauty notes, and printed card (which I love to stick up on my wall).

A lovely soft kabuki brush was included, with rose gold detail and the tips of the bristles are blush coloured. I haven't tried this yet, but it feels very soft to the touch and I will get around to using this during the week.

I was super excited to see a phone ring holder in rose gold. As I'm very clumsy with my phone, this might actually help me not to drop it anymore, plus it works as a stand. I really do love this, and they aren't easy to come by unless you go online for them.

Also included was a nail polish from their own makeup brand "My Little Beauty". It's a lovely pinky nude polish and it has a nice shine to it. Deep Euphoria from Calvin Klein is a cute sample that came in the form of rollerball, so it's very handy for the bag.

I saved the best for last with the inclusion of Laura Mercier's Foundation Primer. I have for so long wanted to try this out after a friend raved about it. I have been using it the last few days and getting on great, and my makeup has not budged! 

My Little Box cost €17.80 plus €3.95 for ParcelMotel compared to last year when it was over €20 for the box alone. I loved this box so much, I'm excited for next months already!

*NO PR Samples contained within this post. and not sponsored

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

National Bed Month with Netflix

We all love a good binge watch, right? Getting a few solid hours of your favourite show in can be an incredibly fun and satisfying experience. More and more, we seem to be doing this in bed. Fittingly, this month of March has been decreed "National Bed Month". After doing some research, though, I've found that while it's nice to binge watch in bed, it goes against the advice of The Sleep Council in relation to the perfect sleep environment. But, there's nothing stopping you from grabbing your PJs, hot water bottle and duvet and spending a day on the couch. This way, you're not disrupting your much-needed sleep pattern and you're having a day for yourself. 

In terms of a duvet driven binge day Netflix has you well looked after, regardless of what you're into,  with the following shows and movies:

Iron Fist: 13 Episodes, 1 Season.

The last Marvel/Netflix solo show following "Daredevil", "Jessica Jones", and "Luke Cage", "Iron Fist" tells the story of Danny Rand a wealthy orphan returning to his home of New York after going missing in the Himalayas. While he was there, however, he became very proficient in martial arts. It's a similar story to the Marvel movie "Doctor Strange", but won't be quite as epic in scope. It does promise to be a lot of fun, and will serve as a great final chapter before we get the team up show "The Defenders".

The Crown: 10 Episodes, 1 Season

The £100 million pound gamble that paid off for Netflix, "The Crown" has become possibly the most highly regarded show on the service. Rightly so? You'll have to judge for yourself, but it's hard to dispute that it looks incredible, and is impeccably acted specifically the award-winning Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth) and John Lithgow (Winston Churchill). The series tells the story of the first decade or so of the reign of Queen Elizabeth and the trials and tribulations she faced along the way. Special mention should go to Matt Smith who is a standout as Prince Philip, a man who is seemingly lost in is role withing the palace and his own marriage. 

Fawlty Towers: 12 Episodes.

Let's go back in time to some classic comedy from the minds of John Cleese and Connie Booth. There's very little that can be said about this show that hasn't been said already. It's one of those shows that I saw when I was younger and it always seemed like there were much more than just twelve episodes! 

Once Upon A Time: 124 Episodes (so far), 6 Seasons.

An old favourite of mine at this stage, this Disney/ABC Studios co-production takes the classic characters from old and new Disney movies and puts a "Lost" style spin on them by flipping the characters between the real world and the fairytale world. Netflix is the only place to see new episodes of this show as they are the exclusive distributors in the UK and Ireland.

*Disclaimer: I'm a member of the Netflix Stream Team and for this, I receive a complimentary subscription.  All opinions are my own, and I will be posting once a month in relation to Netflix Stream Team. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Spring has Sprung with IsaDora


The sun is out and spring is in the air, and thanks to IsaDora spring has sprung in the makeup department too! IsaDora sent me two of the Perfect Blushes (€12.95) and one of the Ultra Matt Liquid Lipsticks (€12.95), I had already purchased the shade "Cool Mauve".

I never tried the blushes before from IsaDora so this was exciting to try out. These are super creamy and easy to apply. These aren't super pigmented but are buildable and a flawless on the skin. Pink Glow had been my go-to blush for the last week and has a gold glow (no glitter to be seen here) and is super lifting on my pale complexion. I recently bought a NARS Palette but find myself coming back to the IsaDora blushes over and over again as they are on par with the higher-end blushes. Frosty Rose has a slight sheen to it but pulls more brown on my skin tone, yet on my mum's skin it has that rose undertone and looks very sophisticated. These held up well throughout the day with very little fading and would definitely like to try more of these. The packaging is plain but I can forgive that for it's what is on the inside that counts here with these beauties.

As we all know the matt lip has been around for a while and shows no signs of stopping, personally I have preferred a glossier lip of late but I spotted the shade Cool Mauve in Shaws and really loved the plum shade, so I was only delighted to try out Dolce Rose (a much lighter shade) when I received it. 

Swatching these on my arm do no justice to these at all but do give you an idea of the shades I have. These applied so well to the lips and felt really weightless. I loved how comfortable they felt and the fact that it didn't zap the life out of my lips to shrivel up with dryness. These are available in three shades and I'm going to hunt down Vintage Rose next!

I hold my hands up, I have at times overlooked IsaDora until earlier last year and continue to find some gems in their collections.

What have you tried and liked from IsaDora? Let me know in the comments below.

*PR Samples contained within this post. Not sponsored

Friday, 3 March 2017

Coming Up for Air: Our Story of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Where does one start? From the beginning usually. I don't think I will, though.

I start on a drizzly evening in 1998, when meeting back at the community centre after Dad's football training. I noticed straight away dad wasn't himself, but like most, he didn't want to show that he was in pain. The drive home seemed like a struggle yet it was only a short drive. I knew then I needed to call for help, but dad was stubborn and continued to block me. Fortunately, my reflexes at 14 were pretty good and dad was getting weak at that moment. I managed to ring the doc on call but he wouldn't come to the house and dad agreed to go to his surgery. It was another short drive but it felt like a lifetime because I thought he was going to black out and end up in a ditch, me with my hand on the handbrake. By the time we reached the doctor's surgery dad could barely walk, I asked for help but it was me alone that held my dad's weight with all my might. Dad had a heart attack; I knew it I didn't need to be told. It was the first of many to come over the years and now Mum was making a long journey back from a funeral in Donegal not knowing how bad dad was.

With each heart attack came the recovery, it was always Mum, Dad and I forever fighting for one another. Strict diets came in, along with sneaky cream buns smuggled through my school bag. Exercising was great craic when dad joined cardiac rehab, such a wonderful team they were. Dad, as always, recovered thanks to his positive attitude and grace.

The tough part in a long road was the triple bypass, I knew dad could do it and beat all odds. As far as I was concerned Dad is invincible! Yep, I was right Dad rocked that surgery and had the scars to prove it. Dad took longer to recover this time but again the three amigos (being mum, dad and me) did it together. Dad even got back onto the football pitch. It was dad's passion and even though never to be at 100% fitness again he still showed immense skill and determination at 60 weaving through the opposition. Ahhh the opposition, that brings me to the dark void that hit us in 2012.

Dad's fitness levels started to deteriorate around this time. Breathlessness kicked in and looked like asthma or allergies. Dad began fighting for breath but we didn't know the full extent at this stage. We all flagged it, something just wasn't right. Fast forward a year and Dad is under a new consultant and not for the heart but for the lungs. Dad has been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. The seriousness wasn't really brought home to us, the consultant was very blasé. We started to doubt the integrity of this doctor in 2015 when dad was on portable oxygen and walking became difficult. I asked the consultant one question only to be ignored, then the blowouts began. Dad was subsequently admitted for more tests and then discharged around a week and a half later and told no change. Yes, there was a change we could see it, hear it, feel it but no one listened. Enough was enough! We went back to dad's original consultant for his heart, who took us seriously and could see that we needed to fight. Unfortunately, the news came that dad was dying, and given a year. This is when we found out there is only one unit for Pulmonary Hypertension in the whole of Ireland and he was going to get us there. He kept his promise we got there in December 2015. I was angry that it took years for anyone to mention the unit and for dad to be referred. I blame the consultant who was so blasé with my dad. How can you play with someone's life like that?!

Seeing my dad struggle to come up for air for so long was heartbreaking there just had to be a way. Dad was now also in a wheelchair with a whole host of other problems. Dad's heart was getting weaker and fighting with itself to carry on. The team were amazing they followed through on everything they said. We kind felt like we could breathe and that there was a chance ahead of us, for us all to come up for air.

The timeline of a year was shortened to two months....this ate me up and consumed me, this couldn't be possible. My dad was invincible, he had to have one last superpower to get through this.

New drugs were introduced, these saved the day and also brought us all to the brink of insanity. The mediation had to be inhaled every 3 hours from 7 am to 10 pm. This was no easy feat as it was also the preparation and cleaning of it all and the other zillion drugs that had to be taken. The road was long, it was hard but dad always made things easy. Dad forever laid back, determined, kind and graceful about it all.

The 2 months passed and dad still with us, well...see told you he was invincible.

We never let the timeline in on us, yes it was in the back of our minds it was spoken about in the most humorous ways imaginable by us. We weren't going to mope around. As dad would always say "Life is for the living" and lived it we did.

Trying to gasp for breath every living moment has to be a living nightmare. My only personal experiences of it are 3 asthma attacks that made me feel that the devil was inside me trying to choke me. I can't even begin to explain how my dad felt but I saw it on his face, that question of "is this my last?".

7 months went by and the fight was still on, and such an epic fight this was. We were told that dad would be assessed for a lung transplant. Initially, a few years previous we were told without a doubt dad would not survive one and would die on the table because of his heart conditions so this was unexpected. To be honest it was cruel. The hope that this brought was a mountain on our hearts. The answer was an astounding NO. The anger and disappointment were something I never felt before, not for myself but for the cruel act of giving false hope to my dad. My mum as always was the pillar of strength and reasoning throughout it all.

We all rallied and all hands were on deck to keep the ship afloat and to keep the air going. Mum, dad, daughter, son in law and granddaughter. We knew the drill inside out, we knew the regime on how to keep the sails going.

Things took a downward spiral, it was fight after fight with the medical teams, the local teams, and general practitioners, it was never ending and exhausting but never the less it was always worth the fight.

Dad went into hospital November 2016 which was 1 year on from the initial timeline. He knew, we knew but we carried on as if everything was the same. The 30th of November and we snuck his Angel (Lillibug) into see him for her birthday, as she was turning 5. She knew her grandaddy inside out they were peas in a pod, she rode shotgun on the wheelchair any chance she would get, proud as punch on his lap. Unfortunately, that was last time she would see him.

On the 1st of December at 9.30am dad passed away peacefully in my arms.

The sails are down and the air has stood still. The battle was epic. The fighter a gladiator and he beat all the odds. The legacy my father has left will always live on in the good he did for others and the love he showed. He lived life and followed his heart with every last breath.

Having pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) means that you have high blood pressure in the arteries that go from your heart to your lungs, visit for more info or to donate.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Shiseido 7 Lights Powder Illuminator

Press Sample

I was very excited back in November to see that Shiseido was bringing back their rainbow powder in a whole new way. They kept their promise and now we have the 7 Lights Powder Illuminator.

The powder is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their iconic Rainbow Beauty Powders. In 1917 the powders were a revolutionary concept that graced the beauty tables in Japan. The original range had 7 separate coloured powders with each working like our modern day colour correctors. These have also with limited supply brought back in Japan this year.

Shiseido 7 Colours Powder Revival Centennial Edition

The individual powders which are coming in a set won't be easy to get but may still be in other countries at $200, but not to worry. Shiseido's Artistic Director Dick Page has given us an update on the powders in the way of the 7 Lights Powder Illuminator. Made with the modern woman in mind this compact holds all the 7 colours for you to have on the go. As it's all in one compacts it is also more versatile, it can be used for colour correcting, bronzing, blush and even use it as eyeshadow. I've done all of the above and each time and loved how this powder works so well for me. You have the choice to create the desired finish you want to achieve.

It's compact, and even the top compartment holds a very luxurious brush and it's worth noting that it's one that I did not throw away, (which I usually do) but here we have been given a very soft brush that works very well for the application of this powder.

Underneath is where the magic is and a compact mirror for on the go touch-ups.

The powder is soft and buttery, leaving my skin bright and fresh. The powder adjusts to various types of skin, it can smooth over dry patches (which I can vouch for) or absorb oiliness. It's refreshing to try a powder that doesn't make my skin look cakey or cling to dry patches. You can see in the following two pictures the beautiful colours and how it came alive with natural light.

I tried this on my mum too, just to see how it would work on her, and the results were great. I was worried that the top right corner would look stark on her sallow skin but it looked gorgeous. I'm waiting for this to hit the counters soon in March so I can buy one for mum. My mum, however, is trying out the Synchro Skin Glow Foundation so she is going to let me know this week how she is getting on with it and we'll have a review on that for you then. The foundation will be launched in March RRP€48.

Shiseido also offers tips on how to get the best out of the 7 Lights Powder Illuminator so you really get your €47 worth.

•Use the brush gently to mix all the surface powder colours and apply over the face.
•To create a more natural look, draw from the upper left corner for fair skin, and from the lower right corner for darker skin.
As a Highlighter:
Draw from the upper-left triangle with a brush and apply to the T-zone, C-zone, and chin.
As a Contouring Powder:
Draw from the bottom-right triangle with a brush and apply from the cheekbones to the hairline, then down the face line.
As a Blusher:
•Go through the inner area (around Peony) with a brush and apply from the top of the cheek toward the face line, fading into your base skin tone.
•Go from Peony to Peach with a brush, and apply from the top of the cheeks toward the face line to shade off in the base skin tone.
•Take from the bottom-right triangle, apply from the tip of the cheekbones toward the face line and fade into the base skin tone.
As an Eye Shadow:
•Take up the powder using your fingertip/eyeshadow brush, and apply to the eyelids and around the eye area. 

*PR Samples contained within this post. Not sponsored

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint: Stool Makeover

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may have noticed my posts on the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint? I was updating a little stool that I had as a child. I've been in the middle of making changes in the house and decided I wanted to update a few bits of furniture to reflect those changes.

I loved taking on this project for myself, and I really enjoyed it. I've never used chalk paint before and popped into a local stockist of Annie Sloan products, and they were great at giving advice. So onto the stool, I firstly gave it a wash down with some soapy water and allowing it to dry. I went in with the first coat of paint after stirring with a lollipop stick and used the shade, Provence. One coat wasn't enough with some of the natural wood still coming through, so I gave it a second coat the next morning. The second coat was more difficult to work with, almost dragging the first coat of paint off. On advice I got on Facebook from Maison Moli a specialist in upcycled furniture, I watered it down and that worked perfectly, also they were very kind with giving me tips. I didn't want the stool to be perfect; this stool has been through the wars with me since I was nine, and it was made by a friend of the family for me and I've cherished it all these years. For the last few years, the stool has been my seat for the dressing table and I love it.

The stool lacked something for me, so I made my way back downtown and bought a pretty stencil and another shade. The shade I used was Henrietta for the stencilling and I was pretty chuffed as the two shades I picked are a running feature in this house. The stencilling was in no way perfect, I used a brush to apply but I used way too much, which in turn caused it to bleed. I can live with that as this chair was not meant to be perfect in every way.

I finished off by using the Annie Sloan Soft Wax Clear, this I didn't like working with at all as you have to do it in small parts and wiping off the excess. The wax changed the colour of the paint at first, but this was nothing to worry about as once dry it went back to what it was. I'm delighted with the results and it didn't take long to do at all. It was a practice round for a table I would like to do in our hallway. I ended up practising one more time on a smaller table in our know because now I'm obsessed and can't stop. I had enough left in my small 100ml cans and wanted to use it. 

I used the rest of the Henrietta and again applied two coats, and used Provence for the stencilling. The stencilling worked out much better this time as I used an old kitchen sponge cut up and lightly pressed over the stencil. Lillibug even helped out on this project. I don't have a "before" image of this little table, but it was bad and I was tempted to get rid of it before making it a project. I'm glad I tackled it because now it's Lillbug's bedside table! I finished it off using the wax, but once again the wax and I just don't get on, however, I will get the hang of it.

The small 100ml sample pots and are around 9.00 really do go a long way as that's all I used for these two projects. I barely used any of the wax so that goes even longer.

So what do you think of the final look we created? It was fun and I'm looking forward to tackling some more furniture, would you be interested in another post when I do the hall table? Let me know! I hope you enjoyed reading, as this is a very different topic for me!

*NO PR Samples contained within this post. and not sponsored
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