Thursday, May 31, 2012

First Look Swatches of Free Ciaté Polishes with This Months Marie Claire!

Have you picked up your free Ciaté polishes I mentioned earlier or are you waiting on these here swatches to make up yo' mind? Wait no more!

I've swatched 'em with no top coat so you can see the purrty shine.

Jelly Bean
First up, Jelly Bean is a beautiful Sunshine Fuchsia pink with a blue microshimmer running through it. It's a gorgeous formulation and although I'm of the firm belief that you can't have too many pink polishes, if you have Sally Hansen's Back to the Fuchsia and aren't of the same mind, you could pass this one. Personally, I HEART it!

Purple Sherbet
Next, Purple Sherbet is a light pastel mauve. On first application I had concerns about its opacity but two coats in, isn't it lovely? Soft, pretty & so wearable. 

Lastly, Bon Bon is a mauve based nude cream. It applies beautifully to a high shine and is perfect for everyday office wear.

I'm really impressed with these, for €5.55 you get the polish AND you get to read all about Eva Mendes talking about my boyfriend. What more could you want, wha?

Have you picked up any of 'em yet? Has this swayed you either way?

Heads Up: Get Your Glossie Freebies From Today. Ciaté, Benefit & Leighton Denny!!

Ding, Ding, Ding - following on from last month's fabulous Nails Inc giveaway with InStyle the glossies are spoiling us with beauty freebies again from today! Wanna see what's on offer?

Marie Claire has a choice of 3 Ciaté polishes, some of the most beautifully formulated polishes on the market that sell for €10.50 a piece normally. There's a pastel lilac, a mauve based nude and a pinky coral. I'm so getting all three if they're on the shelf. 

Pic courtesy of
In Glamour, you have the chance to get your mitts on a Benefit mini. While I'm not crazy about Bad Gal mascara, Porefessional is the shizz as a pore minimising primer, or That Gal is a slinky pink version, hugely flattering for Irish skin tones. These are travel sized products but your saving is still worth a gander and a perfect chance to try before buying as Benefit can be spendy when you're not sure you love the product. 

Finally, you've a couple of days to get yourself ready for this one but BE ready as they'll fly off the shelves fast. Harper's Bazaar have three hot, hot, hot shades of Leighton Denny up for grabs. These rank high in my favourite polishes, they sell for €18 here or €14.30 delivered from Feel Unique! Either way you're looking at a hefty saving and some fairly daycent polishes to add to your collection.

I'm going to be rich in mags! Are you tempted by anything?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Clarins HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase

Remember when I posted about my selfless act of giving the Avon ANEW Ulti-Minute Lifting Complex to the Elder Cherry to test? Weeeellll, that wasn't exactly as selfless as I first admitted, that's because I had this ridiculously good serum from Clarins to trial myself. Whaa? She loves Avon...

HydraQuench Intensive Serum Bi-Phase is everything it says on the heavyweight blue frosted bottle and then some. Only one fifth oil, this Bi Phase serum is billed as suitable for all skin types. I'm blessed(?!) with normal skin though, so took to this like a duck to expensive water. 

One pump is the perfect amount for use. (Would you believe I had NO lines on my hands until I was 12?)
(True Story!)
The Bi-Phase element of this serum is that one fifth is made of oil, so a little shake is needed before use. At the Clarins' Press Evening, Claude showed us that once your skin is exfoliated you should use one pump of the serum, warm it on your hands and using a pressing action onto your skin, apply your serum. He said (& I do) three presses with the entire hands should suffice to do your full face. (Presses are more gentle than rubbing or pulling at your skin) These presses are: One: On both cheeks, Two: One hand on your forehead, the other on your chin and Three: Use hands in a steeple shape over your nose and mouth. 

Isn't it purrty?
At €45 this isn't cheap but I have had a noticeable change in my skin since beginning to use it a couple of weeks back. The consistency is almost water like so doesn't clog pores or build up under your make up. My face honestly feels refreshed, re-hydrated and repaired following use, so much so that unless I'm in an actual hurry, I'm in no real hurry to put on my slap.

Billed by Clarins to restore the skin's natural balance and hydration, smooth premature lines and leave skin soft and young-looking again, my verdict is 'Hell yeah, it does'. Sorry, Mumsy, but there are some things that just can't be passed up. (I'll DIE if she reads this)

Have you tried HydraQuench yet? Recommend anything else in the range?

Gia Paris - A Bourjois Polish Remover Dupe!

When I saw the new Bourjois nail polish remover pot reviewed by Emma over on, I was instantly reminded of a similar pot my Mam had back in the 80's (that's where I get the addiction to polish y'know). I knew I wanted to give it a try but just hadn't seen it yet.

That was until I saw this little dude sitting on the shelf of McCabes Pharmacy at the weekend. Price tag for Bourjois is €6.99, for this though? €2.99! That's a €4 saving, bargain lovers and considering they had the idea down pat in the 80's, I was pretty confident this would work just as well.

I was right! I chose Revlon's Gold Coin to test it out as it has a dense silver & gold micro shimmer that gives it its gawjus shine. Pics, anyone?

Revlon Gold Coin (two coats with top coat) - Golder than any coin I've ever seen...
One second dip - removed most of the polish - Wowsers!
Second One second dip removes every scrap - shiny, spotless nail in a couple of seconds!
I'm thrilled I picked this up, changing my polish 3 and 4 times a week and setting up pictorials means I go through an awful lot of remover but also that a lot of my time is spent cleaning nails when designs don't turn out quite the way I had planned.

While I've no doubt this will do the trick for glitters, the problem is that your glitter will be left on the sponge, which will then transfer up your fingers and mucky up your sponge. For glitter removal I'll still swear by Cutex.

There's no doubt there'll be many, many more cheap versions of these cleaners. Have you spotted any yet? 

Tried any of 'em?

**Edit Sept 2012** After careful consideration, check out this post to see which product performs better over a period of time. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Daddy's Day Gifts that Make Scents

Daddy's Day is galloping toward us at a rate of knots (June 17th actually) and whether you're buying for your Daddy, GranDaddy, BabyDaddy or Sugah Daddy (my personal fave) I should have something over the next couple of weeks that'll take the hassle out of gift picking.

Today, I have the faithful smellies and these are three doozies too!

David Beckham Instinct Sport - €24
Hold your horses now, don't be so judgemental. I have to admit that, I too, scrunched up my nose when this buidéal arrived on my desk... but then I tried it. Tweeting that 'I've just spritzed this and now my own arm is arousing me'. No word of a lie, this is shockingly good from Mr Beckham. Billed as 'Exuding an energetic fusion of speed, action and focus', Instinct Sport is fairly bloody nice. With ginger ale, mandarin, violet leaves, ozone, geranium leaves, apple, cashmeran, patchouli and sandalwood, my youngest is smitten with this. 'It's a man's manly smell' apparently and thus suitable for Daddies everywhere, which are invariably men. 

Acqua Di Gio Essenza -  €51.33 (50ml); €74.50 (75ml)
Acqua Di Gio Essenza is a new woody, aquatic and fresh scent from Giorgio Armani. Described as a timeless and intense reinterpretation of the original, intensely carnal and sensual, Essenza is all those things and more. The 1996 original will always be one of my favourite ever colognes, this has all those markers with a fresh twist.

Again the youngest was the Quick Draw Mc Graw for this one, asking as he wafted his hands upward, sniffing himself like a sommelier sniffs a fine wine, 'Some smells are aphrodisiacs, right?'. Far from shouting at him for fugs of Lynx about the house, he can spray this one as often as he pleases. And that's very, very often. (I'll be replacing it for his birthday in July but do NOT tell him that)

For the record: This is 10 days CONTINUAL use. (He/we can't get enough)
Guess Seductive Homme - 50ml EDT €32.95 with free 200ml Shower Gel worth €18
30ml EDT €24.95 with free Deodorant Body Spray worth €18 
Striking me as a mix of both Guess Suede and Intense Euphoria, Guess Seductive Homme has top notes of mandarin, cardamom & pink pepper, middle of vanilla orchid, crushed violet leaves, vetiver and base notes of amber wood, creamy sandalwood, skin musk and patchouli. The scent is undeniably masculine, as the eldest said 'Using both the spray and the deodorant meant I had the fresh smell all day' also, worryingly 'It smells sexy, if you don't mind me saying, Mam'. I don't mind, as long as girls aren't telling you that, I'll mind even less!

While it's a beautifully shaped bottle, I may have gotten a lax sample as the lid refused to magnetise closed. If you do purchase I'd say just be careful not to pick it up by the lid but on the whole, we like it, also, there's great multi buy deals to be had for this masculine scent.

Anything here you think the Daddio in your life might like? 

New - Nuxe Cleansing Range with Rose Petals

Parisian favourite Nuxe have released their latest cleansing range and it's a manna from heaven for sensitive skins or those that simply want a gentle, feminine and delicately scented cleansing routine.

Each offering is based on one key ingredient, the Rosa Damascena (the Damascus Rose) renowned for their fine fragrance and use in Rose Oil production. The non allergenic perfume for the entire range is based on this rose and also uses subtle floral notes, such as honeysuckle and cyclamen. It's non allergenic, pampering and one of my favourite floral combinations.

Micellar Foam Cleanser - €14.90
Gentle enough to use every day with a little warm water, the Micellar Foam Cleanser is a velvety foam that needs only one pump per cleanse. Using vegetal glycerin and cotton seed oil derivatives to soften the skin, I found this bubbly emollient a joy to use. I did avoid the eye area as I'm a chicken when it comes to stingy peepers. It washes off cleanly and left me with a thoroughly clean yet soft face. There's no tightness or squeakiness as can happen with foam cleansers.

Gentle Exfoliating Gel - €17.90

This viscous amber gentle exfoliating gel uses 100% natural scrubbers, such as lychee seeds and walnut shell powders combined with rose petals and water to effectively eliminate impurities and buff the skin. To be used on dry or damp skin once or twice a week, Gentle Exfoliating Gel worked to make both my hands and face silky soft. The gentle perfume lasted until lunch time too.

I'm really liking both of these, sent from the brand for review, so much so that my next beauty purchase will be the Clarifying Cream Mask for a little bit of weekend pampering.

Have you used Nuxe yet? Are florally scented cleansers for you?


Monday, May 28, 2012

Barry M Nail Paint - New Addition - Denim

Today I have a peep at Barry M's new Nail Paint offering, Denim. It's a bright, royal blue richly infused with silver micro shimmer.

Gorgeous in the natural sunlight, this blue boy will set you back €4.79 from Boots but they very often have specials so unless you're gagging to pick it up, I'd hold off for a deal.

I'm especially impressed with the pigmentation of this new line (which also includes Copper, Silvery Lilac & Teal). Complete opacity can be reached with just one coat, which is a rarity in the polish world.  Denim dries semi matte, so if high shine is your preference, you're going to need a top coat.

Close up, innit?
And now for the bad news, while this didn't chip outright, there was tip wear on the second day with this polish, even with a Seche Vite top coat. I don't mind so much with lighter colours but with this blue, it's immediately obvious and just made my nails seem a little tatty. Boooo.

While it's not one for longevity, I'm still loving the colour and formulation. For a night out or to match an outfit (possibly denim), I'd say Denim is a winner.

Have you picked up anything from the new Barry M line as yet?

Monday's Moments - 28/05

Morning all, wasn't that a scorcher of a weekend? Hope you had glorious sun shine wherever you are too and were rocking the SPF, I've little doubt that there'll be lobsters aplenty in Irish offices up and down the country today.

First and foremost the best news? This is your last Monday for a fortnight. Bank Holiday next weekend, yo! And now on with the task at hand...

1. How Do You Know it's Time? 

Some of us, that use home highlights or dyes tend to do so on a schedule, every 6 - 8 weeks for me as my hair is naturally light enough. The Sis is exactly the same, though she has a fool proof alarm to let her know it's time. His name is Séamus. I didn't believe this until I witnessed it last week.

Séamus has just turned four and has taken to examining her fringe to tell her 'That's an awful lot of old hair, Mam' or, post dye job. 'MAM! What happened all your old hair?!'. I almost choked when I saw him eyeing her suspiciously last week and exclaiming the latter. Out of the mouths of Babes, right?

2. No Caption Needed. 

Just as the title reads, this doesn't even need a caption. I saw this pic last week of BoD bringing the Heineken Cup into Temple St and almost welled up with happy tears immediately, then spent the entire day smiling at the memory. They say a picture tells a thousand words, this one has a thousand emotions. I absolutely adore it. 

3. Smells Like Holidays! 

Following the Snow White & the Huntsman premiere on Wednesday (review up Fri) the Sis and I decided that it was too early to call it a night. In we trotted (trat?) to the Gibson Hotel right beside the cinema in Point Village. It was as gorgeous an evening as we've had all year so we decided to try out the internal garden of the Hemi Bar. It was and is fabulous. 

They have lighting through the trees and running fountains with the smell of the open kitchen, cooking up tasty treats, wafting through the air. Closing my eyes for just a minute and catching the last of the evening sun, we could have been anywhere in the world. Glorious. 

4. Ice, Ice, Baby!!

I'm still pinching myself about Moment number 4. On Friday we (Karen & Joanne from and Lorraine from headed along to the 98fm Listener Summer party in the new Rouge nightclub in Swords. Aside from the inhalation of helium balloons and subsequent chipmunk rapping AND the two for one cocktails, 98fm were giving away one or two prizes on the night. 

Not being hugely interested in the movie passes or Peppa Pig tickets, we waited for the big one. A luxury weekend, all expenses paid to The Ice House Hotel in Ballina. I've heard nothing but rave reviews for this place so when the only entry condition was to tag yourself and comment, I was on it! I tagged us in and added a little rhyme (I never win the free stuff, it really is a crime, but send us to the Ice House and we'll love you dudes long time (no licky licky)) and Voilà ! WE WON!! The only thing better than a holiday is a free holiday (I say that like I know). So excited to get our tushes down there for some pampering and lolz in the coming weeks! Pack yo' mála, @Lovelygirlybits!

5. The Daily Double

I mentioned in last weeks Monday's Moments that I'd be starting to post twice a day. I was a little apprehensive at first that I wouldn't find the time to get the posts prepared and scheduled but I got there and the response has been phenomenal. Everything I'm writing about excites me (& hopefully you), so it really doesn't feel like a chore to be done.

Traffic has almost doubled and I'm right back on top of reviews, sneak peeks and tutorials for you lovely lot. One of my favourite things about established and respected Blogs is their fresh and up to date content, that and that I can check back a couple of times a day for new, exciting posts. I've had several companies (Beauty & Movies) approach me this week for PR and reviews and, while that was happening anyway, to be honest I think it's a result of the double posting and means only good things for this little blog and you, it's readers. 

It's taken me a while to get to grips with enough organisational skillz to have a hectic career, two big & bauld teens and a burgeoning social calendar to take the blog to the next level but I've gotten here eventually. I'd say if you're considering making the leap. Do it! I'm thrilled I did but even more thrilled that you're here and reading about it! Thanks, yo. 

Tell me this and tell me no more - what's going down in your world this week?

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Cherry Pick of The Week - Chiddy Bang - Mind Your Manners

Loving this catchy little ditty from Chiddy Bang, it has shoulder dancing in the car written all over it.

Not only is the chorus full of self affirming awesomeness but also the opportunity to crow about minding your manners? It's Irish Mammy Gold!

Have you a choon you can't stop listening to this week?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Return of the Plait! (To the tune of Mark Morrison)

If you've followed Pinterest for any amount of time or been to the movies in the past year you'll have noticed the re-emergence of one of the best time saviours to Mammies of little girls since time immemorial. The plait. The Sis and I, used to sport Rapunzel locks to our knees for a long time so can attest to that. The lowly plait has taken on a new dimension though, some of the most beautiful hairstyles created now are done so using plaits and braids and the movies are beginning to reflect it in a very big way. 

As Tyra would say.... 'Fierce!'

At the Snow White & The Huntsman premiere on Wednesday I couldn't help but be wowed by the hairstyles sported by the cast, Charlize especially, but even Kristen - taking the time, while fleeing through The Dark Forest, to throw in a couple of plaits was definitely dedication to being the fairest in the land. Every female cast member wore braids, some intricate, some simple but all stunning. I'll have some exclusive footage from Universal next week so you can see what I mean. It's embargoed until then so we'll have to make do with stills.

Fabulous tutorial on how to achieve this look here

There are several websites dedicated solely to the plait but my favourite has to be the Pinterest Board of Take a look at the outstanding work they do here, there's pictures, pictorials and videos with hints and tips from novice to expert braider. There's a style there for every girl, young or slightly older.

I was having the chats with D'Sis about the merits of this gorgeous grúaig style, she, more than anyone, with 4 childer under 5 knows how helpful and time saving it can be when it comes to keeping girls cool in Summer and making sure they look great going to school or on the playground, without flowing locks getting in the way of valuable playing time. My gorgeous Madser nieces Aoife & Orla have kindly modelled a couple of simple plaited looks to let you see too.

Cherry Cheat: Of course, if your hair is a little shorter, there's always the 'fake it till you make it' way to achieve this style. Plaited hair pieces or hair bands can be picked up for next to no p now in Claire's Accessories or any Hairspray siopa. Use 'em to throw your hair into a plaited bun or get creative using inspiration from sites such as Lauren Conrad's The Beauty Department.

You too could look like Charlize in minutes. Swear!

Are you a fan of the braid? Have you noticed them popping up everywhere too?

Men In Black 3 - Movie Review

Who's in it? 

Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin & Emma Thompson

What's it about?

The men in black are back. This time, as a result of a lunar prison escape and a crease in the time space continuum, Agent J (Smith) must travel back in time to the late sixties to save Agent Ks life and, of course, the world. 

Any good? 

After a 10 year hiatus, following a less than average sequel in the franchise, I wasn't expecting much from Men in Black 3, that's why when it turned out to be an enjoyable little escapade I was more than pleasantly surprised. Sonnenfield directs again, with Spielberg as Executive Producer and Ethan Coen on the screen writing team, all of which help to push this film to another level.

Brolin & Smith (K&J) seeing eye to eye, reluctantly. 

This time round we’re given a very personal insight into the men behind the black suits, their history and their relationship, which was engaging and heartfelt. Agent J (Smith) is his charismatic self, travelling through time to save the partner that never gives him more than a hint of emotion. That is until he meets the younger Agent K (Brolin). Coen brothers’ favourite Brolin is so convincing in his role as a younger Jones that you’d be forgiven for thinking there was CGI and dubbing work at play.

There's something here for everyone, enough slapstick to keep the younger audience entertained, a genuinely believable baddy (Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchordes) that gave me the heebie jeebies, a funny tongue in cheek poke at the 1960’s pop culture era and a plot that keeps you guessing till the last few minutes.

Boris the Animal. Or 'Just Boris', if you're Boris. 

Although my respect for Smith, as an actor, is on the wane, that didn’t completely overshadow this movie for me as it did for a lot of reviewers and critics. I would have liked to see some of the other relationships fleshed out, namely Agent O and an early Agent K but even though all of the elements of Men in Black 3 have been done before, it still manages to travel back to a time when sci fi sequels were exciting. It’s light years better than the second and, to me, even better than the first.

Yes, there’s high octane action and aliens aplenty but there’s also dry wit and sharp humorous screen writing. Add in the time travelling dimension and stellar acting from Brolin et al and you have the recipe for a very entertaining 106 minutes of a threequel

All pics courtesy of Sony Pictures. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

New to Ireland - and their Lime Body Scrub Cubes

Combining natural and organic ingredients from 'Mother Nature's cupboard' to bring you the best in natural beauty, is the newest beauty brand on the Irish block and I have to say I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. Prices seem very reasonable, products look fresh and exciting and if these Lime Body Scrubbers that the brand have sent me to review are anything to go by, Pixy is about to become very popular indeed. 

These scrubbers came in a dainty little package from Pixy last week, not too overwhelming on first sight but when you open the bag, ZING, the fresh lime lime scent is instantly recognisable (immediate want of a mojito followed close after). The scent isn't chemical or synthetic though, more clean and inviting.

90g (approx 6 cubes) of Lime Body Scrubbers - €4.99 - Vay reasonable, non?
Containing only five ingredients: Lime Essential Oil, Sodium Bicarbonate, Citric Acid, Apricot Oil & Cocoa Butter, I was very keen to give these zesty wonders a workout. So into the shower I hopped. 

This isn't in the shower, I don't normally shower with limes...

The cube melts easily into your skin but lasts long enough to do your bod, cupped in the palm of your hand. Ideally you'd use two per shower if you're wanting to completely exfoliate your legs too. The little scrubbers are neither harsh nor abrasive and work to gently buff the skin. While it doesn't lather, it does wash off quickly and easily without leaving any residue behind. recommend exercising caution in the shower or bath though as they may cause slippery surfaces once done. I didn't have any problems though. Just lightly buffed, freshly scented skin.

To me, looks set to give Lush a run for its money in the Irish market and I'd urge you to give them a look see to see what you think. There are select stockists right now (details online) in Cork, Dublin, Limerick, Tipperary & Waterford but they have a fully stocked website ready for a gander.


Psst Am I the only one with a serious
goo for a Mojito now?