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Sunday, 22 December 2013

Irish Bbloggers Secret Santa - THE BIG REVEAL! #IrishBbloggersSS

Hi everyone!

Well the time has come for the BIG reveal as part of the #IrishBbloggersSS 2013!

First of all though - I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to the wonderful Aisling of Total Makeup Addict for organising this and making it all possible. I know a lot of time and effort went into making this a success so a big thank you from everyone Aisling!

My Secret Santa was Alex from Pink Elephant Bloggin'

I didn't know Alex at all, so I had great fun catching up on lots of her posts I missed, trying to see what sort of things she'd like - after which I (hope I got this right anyhow!) that she was a lover of nail polish and berry stained lips (Well she likes MAC Rebel anyhow so the girl has good taste! hehe) and I tried to match skincare products to suit her skin type also - hope I did OK!

I hope she won't mind me posting a photo of what I sent her here - I have to 'fess up - I almost forgot about deadline for posting out the presents. Now I had all the stuff bought and set aside, however I got in a bit of a fluster to get the items wrapped and packed up when I sent them last Friday to get to the Post Office before closing time, so in all my rush I didn't get a chance to get everything wrapped as nice and neat and pretty as I would have :(

Image courtesy of: Pink Elephant Bloggin

Which now leaves me to the lovely lady who gifted me with my wonderful Secret Santa pressie.

Take a step and a bow please, Miss Nora from Too Many Muffins

I got a delightful surprise on Wednesday when my package arrive from Nora which was beautifully wrapped with red paper - unfortunately, in my eagerness to see what surprises lay in store I forgot to take photos before digging in!

I got two gorgeous sets from Nora along with a beautiful handmade card - thank you SO much! I'm delighted with them! :D

Mavala Cracking Duo set and a Pixi Beauty Ice Eye palette

The packaging is so cute - it's like a mini Christmas cracker - love it! 

The included polishes are Miami and Mexico. A really nice combo of a muted pink and a dark, vampy purple!

Next up was the Icy Eye palette by Pixi Beauty. I never actually heard of this brand before, so I'm really looking forward to trying this out.

There's a really nice selection of shimmery chocolate tones in this - not too unlike one of the Naked palettes at all! 

Thanks so much Nora - I love the presents! Would you believe it, I've never used Mavala either so I'm relishing the chance to try them out also - think I'm gonna go with the purple first! :D

I'm so glad I signed up to partake in this, what I hope will be the first of many more #IrishBbloggersSS to come! Again, big thanks and credit where credit is due to Aisling for organising all of this for all of us. It really was a fantastic idea.

I can't wait to have a good ol' snoop at everyone elses goodies now. I hope everyone is delighted with their presents and glad they took part.

Merry Christmas guys, wishing you all a lovely holiday - I hope Santa spoils you rotten! ;)

Thanks for reading, as always x

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Ali Mac Skincare - Winter Skin Saviours

I came across the Ali Mac Skincare range some time back which seems setting the blogosphere alight with great reviews, so of course as a bit of a skincare obsessive I was very eager to try out some of the line for myself to see how it fares.

Alison McIntosh, the founder and creator of Ali Mac Skincare set about to develop a range of wholesome, natural and ethically produced products both free from synthetic and unethical ingredients.

Ali Mac believe that we should all be more aware of the sheer amount of harmful ingredients that skincare products contain and that we should take a more natural approach to our skin.

First up is the Chamomile Hydrating Face Mist.

Tone & Hydrate with this refreshing blend of chamomile, organic mandarin and soothing calendula extract for a fresh, radiant complexion."

The face mist comes in a large brown tinted bottle with your standard spray nozzle.  Most of the Ali Mac range comes in brown class jars and containers - for those of you who might be wondering, the reasoning behind this is that brown glass absorbs the most ultraviolet radiation, so it offers the best protection from potentially damaging light, thus preserving the shelf life of your products for longer :)

This comes in a 150ml size

I've been using this twice daily after cleansing morning and evening and I've also been spritzing myself with it when I feel I need a bit of a boost as I find it really refreshes you and it keeps your skin hydrated throughout the day. I've also been using it as a "setting mist" after I've applied my makeup in place of my usual MAC Fix+ Rose to prevent makeup looking heavy or cakey.

I personally love the smell of this - this is going to sound horridly cliched, but it's like a nice summer breeze - such a pleasant anti-dote to the awful weather we're currently having. 

This is great for calming rosacea, sensitive or easily irritated skin - it will help tone down redness whilst soothing and hydrating the skin. I was a little surprised to see Alcohol listed as the second ingredient in this, however I haven't experienced any sensitivity whilst using this, it's very mild.

Next is the Rose Anti-Oxidant Face Serum. Oh how I love serums! When you have seriously dehydrated and dry skin, serums will become your new BFF so I was looking forward to trying this out.

An intensive treatment serum: the synergy of precious oils; high in GLA (Gamma Linoleic Acids) contained in our serum packs a powerful punch to restore and regenerate your skins tissues; helping to reduce fine lines & wrinkles"

First impressions were good - it's beautifully scented with Damascus Rose oil which is one of my favourite scents (I'm a big lover of most Rose-based perfumes and love using Rose Water as a toner) so I knew this was going to be a hit before I even properly tried it.

This comes in a 30ml brown glass bottle complete with pipette which lets you control each drop of the serum so you needn't worry about using too much or wasting any.

I found using just two drops of this serum to be more than sufficient for my needs, however if your skin is seriously stressed and drier than the Sahara you could try adding 3/4 drops for an ultra-nourishing treatment.

I've been using this straight after cleansing and waiting for it to settle in before applying and moisturiser. If you have a particular moisturiser you love, you could also add a few drops of this to your moisturiser and mixing it in before applying to your face to give your moisturiser an extra hydration boost to give your skin that little bit more TLC and protection during this harsh winter weather.

If you're a fan of Trilogy's now infamous Rosehip oil,  you'll LOVE this! I've been using rosehip oil fairly religiously for the past 2 years or so, however I've now been converted to this, especially for the winter months.

I received two unexpected samples which was a really nice touch and I was delighted to see that I was sent the Chamomile Cleansing Melt and Chamomile Face Polish

Left to Right: Chamomile Cleansing Melt, Chamomile Face Polish

I'm a HUGE fan of cleansing balms in general - they don't strip your skin of any essential oils, they're fantastic for dry skin and better yet, this one doesn't contain any mineral oils.

Enriched with shea butter and argan oil it instantly feels nourishing and rich and makes a breeze of removing makeup thanks to it's incorporated sunflower seed oil. My skin just loves creamy cleansing balms such as this - begone the days of yore of harsh foaming cleansing agents which left my skin feeling dry and tight. Taking off the days daily grime and dirt is a pleasure with this beauty - my only gripe is that I used it up in 5 days!

This works great in combination with a muslin cloth soaked in warm water. You can use the cloth to gently exfoliate and buff your skin for a really smooth finish.

If you need something a little more fast acting however, the Chamomile Face Polish contains natural sugar to gently slough away any dead skin and cells to leave your skin feeling, well polished. The fine nature of the granules means that this can be used even on the most sensitive of skins also. This like the Cleansing Melt also contains shea butter and sunflower seed oil so it feels pleasant on the skin and doesn't strip it of essential oils and fatty acids. 

I've been guilty in the past of being far too enthusiastic of the ol' exfoliators in vain attempt to conquer and banish all signs of dry patches and flakiness, however I've since learned that I need to be gentle and take it easy on my skin as it is prone to redness and sensitivity so I have somewhat a love/hate relationship with exfoliators in general, however I really got on well with this and I could see myself purchasing a full size version of this in the near future.

I'm adding the Ali Mac Rose Anti-Oxidant Face Serum and Chamomile Hydrating Face Mist to my list of Winter Skin SOS Saviours this year - I've been using them in conjunction with the Kerstin Florian Correcting Rescue Creme and my skin is definitely looking happier and healthier since I started this routine.

Pricing & Availability:
Rose Anti-Oxidant Face Serum - €41.95
Chamomile Hydrating Face Mist - €22.95

Rose & Camellia Face Polish €22.95

Chamomile Cleansing Melt €22.95

FrontCover Rainbow Queen

Hi everyone!

A while back I reviewed the FrontCover Party Queen Edition (see other FrontCover Cosmetics review here) and as part of my review I mentioned that the two included pots of glitter were scarcely filled. Now, when I opened them there really was only a bare covering on the bottom of the pots of glitter, but in fairness I didn't mind - there was 19 separate pieces of makeup included in the set so I wasn't going to gripe about two scantily filled glitter pots especially for the mucho-affordable price of the entire shebang, however the lovely folks over at FrontCover got wind of this in my review and as a result, they personally checked all of their available stock at hand to ensure that all the glitter pots were adequately filled (they were) and they wanted to send me out the Rainbow Queen palette by way of apology.

Now, the only reason I'm prefacing this by mentioning this scenario at all is to give you an idea of the AMAZING customer service by FrontCover! I had no issue at all with the glitter pots - it was merely an observation I wanted to point out in my previous review as I always want to be honest and up front with my readers at all times, and being perfectly honest I've often purchased MAC pigments which were just about half-ways filled - but I am of course aware that pigments and glitters are generally filled by weight and not volume so you do get discrepancies when opening pots for the first time. It's happens - no big deal!

I was however blown away by how seriously and thoroughly FrontCover took this issue, checking their inventory and sending out this palette by way of apology (when none was needed in the first place) So I thought it only right to let you guys know how conscientious the brand is. It's not everyday you get such stellar service and when you do, you should tell everyone about it!

So big THANK YOU to FrontCover! It's great to see a brand so committed to their customers and such attentive service.

In the Rainbow Queen Edition you'll find:

  • X20 Click In Eyeshadows
  • 1 Refillable Compact 
  • Double Ended Applicator
  • Shadowbase
  • Shadowline
  • Double Ended Mascara
In other words, quite a bit for your money. There's definite bang for you buck going on here.

This set comes with an ingenious portable shadow palette with space for 4 shadows and the included double-ended brush. You can customise the palette with your 4 favourite shadows - simply click them in and off you go. Want to change the colours for night-time? Then simply pop out the shades and replace them with your new chosen colours and off you go!


All swatches are done over one swipe of the Shadow Base. I also applied a one-stroke swatch of each shadow using the Shadowline Eyeliner underneath for reference.

Row 1

These shades are very frosted leaning towards the metallic end of the spectrum. Pigmentation was decent and they give a high-shine finish. The shades in this really reminded me of the Palette D'Antoinette by Lime Crime - think shimmery pastels.

Row 2

These were a lovely selection of Autumnal shades - gold toned olive greens and warm rust toned autumn leaves. Very decent colour pay off with these and they have a satin/frost finish.

If you want to pair these with the Shadowline Eyeliner to create your own custom liner, you can see that it doesn't effect the colour or finish of the shadows and they stay true to form even when creating a liner.

Row 3

This was probably my favourite selection of shades - I normally go for cool toned shadows and there was a nice selection of shades here. Black Spark was my favourite shade out of the bunch - it didn't translate well on the photos but it's actually a lovely charcoal black with electric blue sparkles and shimmer running through it. This would be awesome with a festive smokey eye with lots of glitz and sparkle. :D

Row 4

The last row were much more muted shades but yet again have that lovely high frost, shimmer and metallic look to them. These would make lovely brow highlights and both Corona and Day Star could also be used as a gorgeous cheekbone highlight if you wanted.

  Customisable Mirror Compact

Nice combination of colours were already in the compact - good pigmentation and easy to blend and smoke out. With this compact you can mix and match the shades and bring any 4 with you when you're on the go for touch ups throughout the day - or bring some darker shades with you for more depth and definition if you want to quickly transform your daytime look into an evening look

Shadowbase lid primer

This is a lovely champagne shade to suit nearly all skintones. Can be worn on it's own or as a primer underneath your shadows to make the colour really POP and to enhance longevity and keep creasing at bay.

The Shadowline Eyeliner is similar to Inglot's Duraline and Too Faced's Liquify Eye Shadow Transformer in that it's a clear liquid which can turn any powder eye shadow / pressed pigment or loose powder into a custom eyeliner.

It has a nice stiff applicator making it a cinch to get straight, neat lines and line close to the lash line. The shape also makes winging your liner a breeze.

I always clean the applicator after every use with 99.9% Isopropyl alcohol so that I'm not dipping the coloured wand back in each time as eventually I'm sure the liquid inside would turn murky and your liner won't look as fresh or vibrant. That's just me though!

There's also a mascara included in the set. Nice shaped wand. The mascara itself does the job and I wasn't left with clumpy lashes / panda eyes or flaking - always a good sign!

Lastly, there's also a double ended brush included - one fluffy blending side and the other side for smuding and crease work. It's not a brush I would have up there with my MAC brushes, but it does the job and it fits in the portable mirror compact so you can't really complain. Plus you can never have too many brushes, so it's always handy to have a few extra around the place.

I've previously reviewed these extra items included in the set so if you want some more in-depth info or photos then please check out this and this, thanks :)

If you're stuck for a last minute Xmas gift for a fellow beauty enthusiast, I don't think you can go too far wrong with this for the price.

There's 25 separate makeup items in this set for the very affordable price of £35 / €42

This would also make a great buy for someone making their first foray into the world of makeup as there's a good mix of eye products included with which you can create lots of fun looks.

It's also very reassuring to know that if you ever have any issues, FrontCover Cosmetics are there to help and do their best to assist which is something well worth pointing out.

Find FrontCover Cosmetics here,

Friday, 20 December 2013

Indulge yourself this Christmas with Pixy

If you're looking for some pampering treats this Christmas, whether it be for yourself or as a gift for someone then look no further than Pixy for your very own winter skin wonderland.

I was lucky enough to be recently sent out the Indulge Pixy Gift Box which is a complete bargain at under €20, so you won't feel like you're breaking the bank splashing out on this.

The Indulge Gift Box comes with;

A moisturising Bath Bomb - I got Lime Light in mine, a Pixy portrait Honeysuckle Soap that smells just divine and is full of natural goodness, some skin-softening Lime Body Scrub Cubes - ideal for exfoliating and brilliant for removing fake tan and last but certainly not least, a therapeutic bathing experience by way of the included Muscle Soothing Bath Salts that not only contain therapeutic Epsom salts and Dead Sea Salts but have the beneficial qualities of Black Pepper, Eucalyptus and Rosemary essential oils that create pure Pixy bliss.

The set comes in a delightful glossy cardboard box with each item lovingly presented. I personally think it looks great in the box the way it comes, however the set also contains some cellophane and ribbon so you can create a DIY hamper if you wish and get some extra brownie points too while you're at it.

The gift box


Bath Bomb in Lime Light

Zings into life in a burst of grapefruit and lime fragrances and a sprinkle of glittery mica, then the honey powder gently softens your skin as it cleans.

This smells absolutely amaaaazing! I could smell it straight away once I opened the box - you get a gorgeous citrus burst through the cellophane. Such a delicious scent - I even left this in my bedroom for a few days before using it to scent my room and it worked a treat.


Sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, honey powder, grapefruit fragrance, lime fragrance, colourant, mica.

Honeysuckle Soap

Contains rich cocoa butter and macadamia oil to deeply moisturise your skin, it is great for all skin types but is particularly beneficial for dry or ageing skin. With a sheen of glitter and a summer-fresh honeysuckle fragrance, this is a beautiful bar!

How pretty is this with the fairy? It's almost too pretty to use but It's not all style over substance with this however - it works up into a nice bubbly lather and leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean yet nicely hydrated - it's not at all drying. 

Lime Body Scrub Cubes

These moisturising Lime Body Scrub Cubes are probably one of Pixy's bestsellers and with good reason, when applied melts into the skin ensuring lovely, soft to the touch, silky, smooth skin. 

 Lime oils cleanse and purify the skin - if you're a fan of citrus scents you'll love this. It goes amazingly well with the Lime Light bath bomb. It's ideal for exfoliating your skin before applying fake tan too to ensure you're not left with any flaky patches.

Great all-rounder!

The Muscle Soothing Bath Salts include Epsom salts which remove toxins, exfoliate the skin, reduce swelling of sprains and bruises, relax muscles and sooth your aching bones. 

Dead Sea salts, rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium, gently exfoliate, improve circulation, slow down skin aging and ease muscle stiffness.

 Black pepper essential oil, rosemary essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil to help in healing and preventing skin conditions, they increase perspiration for natural skin cleansing, flushing out toxins and bacteria. 

They naturally deodorise and disinfect and to top it all, their scent is very beneficial for easing mental exhaustion! 

After a long hard day's shopping spent traipsing about the town all in the name of last minute Christmas shopping and frantic, panic buying it's hard to beat chilling out in a bath with a few spoonfuls of these bath salts to de-stress and clear your mind

These are quite potent, so a little goes a long way. It comes in a lovely jar which looks great in the bathroom and it's generously filled to the brim, so this should last ages. I've taken 4 baths using these salts and I've barely made a dent in it.

You can find this set, along with others for just €19.95 over at

There's also free delivery when you spend over €10

If you fancy it, why not wish the Pixies a Merry Christmas over on their Facebook and Twitter while you're at it :)

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