Eve Lom cleanser

Described by Vogue as “probably the best cleanser in the world” the Eve Lom cleanser has been around for a while but it’s generally a brand out of my price range, but I kept seeing reviews and recommendations popping up everywhere so I decided to get some testers and try it out.

I did worry that it wouldn’t suit my skin and might be better for dry skin given how rich and thick it is. My skin is combination, a little oily sometimes, and can be prone to breakouts. I don’t always moisturise so cleansing is the key thing for me.

I use a harsher, more active cleanser with glycolic or salicylic acid every second night or when I have a breakout and otherwise I use Liz Earle cleanse and polish (or if I’m being very lazy Garnier Micellar Water). So I have swapped out my Liz Earle with Eve Lom.

In terms of ingredients it doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates or phthalates which is great. The consistency is a very rich balm. You massage a small amount onto dry skin and rinse off which a muslin cloth soaked in warm/hot water. Pressing the hot cloth against your face several times to open pores, wiping off product and finishing with pressing a cold cloth to your face to close pores.

It’s a lovely product to use and your skin feels great during and after – as expected, I love it. I got the smaller size pot as a Christmas present and it came with a muslin cloth but I am planning to buy another. A little does go a long way with this so I think I will get a good while out of it, but I am dreading replacing it. It is very expensive and I’m not sure it’s worth the money.

I think before you make a purchase make a trip to Space NK on Grafton St. or Harvey Nichols in Dundrum and they should give you a small pot to try first. With this kind of product especially, whether it suits you or not would very much depend on what skin type you have so make sure to get a tester before you make the purchase. I know other people with combination oily skin that it hasn’t suited.

 

EveLom

The Konjac sponge

Konjac_Sponge_Facial_Puff_PureSo basically anything with a funny name that I’ve never heard of from Japan is usually something that I want to get and I always think it’s going to be amazing!

Naturally when I heard about the konjac sponge I thought – I’ve gotta have it. And retailing at less than €2 from ebay it really isn’t one of my most outrageous purchases, almost guilt free even!

So, what is it? I hear you say. Well, it is a sponge made from konjac root. Konjac is an asian, root vegetable and the konjac root has been a part of Japanese beauty rituals for over 1,500 years – apparently.

It is supposed to cleanse and gently exfoliate to deliver smoother, softer, brighter-looking skin.

But it’s a sponge with a difference – it feels soft and jelly-like on your face, in a good way. No scratchy-ness just super soft and nice.

When I am using a foaming facial cleanser I use the konjac sponge to massage in the product. To use it you fully immerse the sponge in warm water (when not in use it becomes dry and hard and shrivelled up but returns to normal when submerged in water), gently massage skin in a circular motion, rinse after use and hang it by the attached cotton thread to let it dry. (It is recommended to replace it every two to three months, but I may have mine a bit longer…)

The konjac root is naturally alkaline and enriched with lots of vitamins. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin.

I like mine so much I am looking for a bigger one to use on my body but haven’t found one yet – if anyone knows of where to get one leave me a comment!

 

Pretty products – TONYMOLY

So I have always been a total sucker for pretty packaging, and have long been a fan of EOS lip balms for primarily that reason. Why can something do its job and look cool.

When I spotted TONYMOLY products online I was totally in love with the cute and quirky products and packaging. (TONYMOLY is a Korean cosmetics company.) I had to get some things – I went to ebay and made some orders.

Here’s a mini review of what I got and some other things on my TONYMOLY lust list!

TM hand cream

TONYMOLY Magic Food Banana Hand Milk

It looks and smells like a banana – and I love bananas so that was a winner for me. Banana also has some moisturising properties and along with the other ingredients which include shea butter, milk protein extract, coconut oil and macadamia oil – it’s a lovely hydrating cream that smells yummy. Judging from the name I was worried the lotion would be really thin in consistency as it’s a milk but that isn’t the case. So I love it – it’s the perfect hand bag hand cream and I will definitely be buying it again.

31uWcwUH6eL._SY355_TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bar in juicy apple

Each lip gloss is has a different scent and shade – not to mention a different expression on their little bunny face. I got the juicy apple shade and it’s a really pretty pink.

Generally I prefer either completely tint free lip balm or full on lipstick so it’s not my usual kind of product but I would definitely recommend for anyone that likes tinted lip balm – it’s super cute and would make a great gift.

Some other of their products I really want to try include the Pocket Bunny Sleek + Moist Mist and the Pig Collagen Sleeping Pack – and I really want the panda compact. How cute!!!

 

Morning Pages

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“It is impossible to write morning pages for any extended period of time without coming into content with an unexpected inner power”
Julia Cameron

I came across this great article about apps and websites that help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions. Of course I was intrigued as I am always looking for ways to help me stick to my new plans.

One that struck me as interesting was http://750words.com/ as journaling is always on my to do list. This helps you write on a daily basis, you set up a free account and the challenge is to write 750 words (3 pages) every day. It tracks your progress and captures some fun metrics.

It’s an easy way (for me anyway) to do the writing exercise known as Morning Pages, which involves filling three sides of paper with words each morning – it can be a rant, a stream of consciousness, anything – first thing every day. “Pages are meant to be, simply, the act of moving the hand across the page and writing whatever comes to mind” Julia Cameron

Morning Pages were created by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way (1992).

Her rules on morning pages are strict.

  1. They must be done first thing. “You’re trying to catch yourself before your ego’s defences are in place.”
  2. They must be longhand.
  3. And you must fill 3 sides of US Letter paper. That 3 pages rule is key, some days you might struggle to fill 3 pages “The second page-and-a-half comes harder, but often contains paydirt.”
  4. What you write should not be shared with anyone, or even re-read it is simply to clear your mind and start the day fresh.
  5. After three pages, you stop, to avoid “self-involvement and narcissism”.

Then, clear – you get on with your day! You don’t of course need the website to do Morning Pages. But for me it’s helping me continue with it. http://750words.com/

 

 

 

 

#3 Spring clean your beauty blender (or other make up sponge)!

beauty-blender-singleI used to throw out my old sponges but the beauty blender is a little bit too pricey to ditch! So when I clean my brushes I also clean my beauty blender. I think sponges are a little big trickier to clean to as you can’t get inside every part like you can with a brush so you need to spend a little more time ensuring that you rinse it properly.
I know there is a special cleanser for the beauty blender but I use my old faithful baby shampoo and so far so good.

You need warm water, baby shampoo and a towel.

  1. Dampen the sponge in warm water.
  1. Rub some baby shampoo into the sponge.
  1. Massage and work into a lather.
  1. Gently squeeze under the tap rinsing and working out any last stains.
  1. Keep rinsing and squeezing the sponge until there are no more suds or traces of shampoo.
  1. When you think all the shampoo is gone, squeeze the sponge in a dry towel to remove the excess water and let it sit on a dry towel to dry out.

Happy cleaning!

For more cleaning tips check out:

 

 

#2 Spring clean your make up!

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So continuing with the January cleaning vibe – if you’ve cleaned your make up brushes (check out how to clean your make up brushes) and you want to take it to the next step you can actually clean your make up too.

Bottles, bags and even compacts and lipsticks can be cleaned and it’s such a nice feeling once you’ve done it.

My make up can get really grubby over time and I know a lot of germs can build up – especially if you like to share make up with your friends, which I do!

Often a make up bag can look like it’s been through some horrible ordeal so every so often I try to do a big clear out, clean and disinfect my products and swap to a clean make up bag.

To do this you will need: warm water, vodka (pure alcohol can be bought from a chemist but vodka works as well and is something that I usually have in the house!), a small spray bottle, a shot glass, cotton buds, tissues and a clean cloth.

  1. Compacts and pressed powders
    With a dry tissue wipe off any surface direct with a dry tissue or if there are any stubborn parts a clean cotton bud and then you can spray with vodka to disinfect it and kill any germs and let it dry.
  1. Lipstick
    (This is something I probably share the most with friends on nights out.) To clean you turn your lipstick up slightly, wipe off the top layer with a tissue and then dip into a shot glass of vodka for 20 seconds, dab it lightly with a clean tissue and set it down to dry.
  1. Pencils
    For most pencils the best way to keep them fresh and clean is to sharpen them. If you are using the pencils that you don’t sharpen but retract you can wipe them with a dry tissue dip into your vodka, pat off any excess and set down and allow to fully dry.
  1. Mascara
    Mascara wands can get really clumpy with dried product building up on the wand. It’s a good idea to clean it every so often. I know it is also recommended that you replace your mascara every month or 3 months – whether your do this or not I think it is good clean your wand regularly. Pull the wand between clean tissue wiggling it up and down to remove as much product as possible, soak it in warm/hot water to try and dislodge any old product, work the bristles and when you have what you feel is a clean brush dip it in vodka, dab dry with a dry cloth and leave to dry.
  1. Eyelash curlers
    I tend to clean my eyelash curlers every time I use them because they get so dirty. I use a cotton bud and take off any mascara or eye make up stuck to them. Every so often if is a good idea to wipe them with some alcohol and replace the pads every few months.

Happy cleaning!

 

Review of Mink Ballsbridge

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For me a trip to Mink is total indulgence. I absolutely love Mink and think few places match them in terms of excellent consistent service and luxury. This does of course come with a pretty hefty price tag that I certainly can’t afford very often. So I tend to go a few times a year for a treat picking the most luxurious treatment!

For me going there is more about the experience, don’t get me wrong they give great nail – but if all I need is some expert nail attention chances are I will go somewhere cheaper – like Tropical Popical which gives great results too but cheaper (and cooler).  But for a treat – it’s Mink.

On Christmas Eve I went for a White Chocolate & Cranberry Pedicure, a 75 minute treatment at €85 – a big treat! As always it was a great experience.

Firstly you are sat in a lovely cosy pedicure chair – a big cream lazy boy – you are given magazines and offered tea/coffee/water. To start with they soak your feet in a lovely bubble bath, then they do all the boring work – filing, cuticles, hard skin etc. Then comes an exfoliation with anti-oxidant rich white chocolate and pure organic argan oil. Then comes the hot paraffin wax, feet are dipped into a hot white chocolate paraffin wax, for me this is always so funny to see your wax feet. You sit for a while with your feet in wax wrapped in a hot big sock – it’s a lovely treatment and it’s so weird to see them how easily the wax comes off – like a big wax sock. After that you get a foot and leg massage – my favourite part and then sadly it was over!

My feet felt super soft afterwards and looked great. If you have major hardness – it’s defo not a medi pedi – but for everyday feet it’s perfect.

During the treatment someone popped over with fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate, which are included in this treatment and I had almost forgotten about. There were five giant strawberries and they were gorgeous. You can get them as an extra for any treatment and it really made me feel like I was having an extra special treat!

For polish I got a pink OPI and this new rose gold glitter Essie polish over it and they look really pretty. (I was so relaxed during the pedi – I can’t remember the name of the colours and didn’t note it down) The polish is still perfect today! Mink have a really nice polish selection and always have the new ranges too.

Finally they put your flip flops on instructing you VERY sternly not to move!!

So all in all, a really lovely treatment in a lovely salon – I would completely recommend it for a treat.

They have two locations fairly close to each other, one in Ballsbridge the other in Donnybrook. They are both lovely but I think Ballsbridge is easier for parking.

For more information check out http://www.mink.ie/

 

 

#1 Spring clean your make up brushes!

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January is a great time to do a clear out and spring clean, and a good place to start can be your make up brushes (I know I leave mine WAY too long).

Make up brushes can get really dirty with old product, dead skin cells, oil and bacteria building up. They can become be a breeding ground for dirt and if you’re prone to break outs (like I am) keeping your brushes clean can make a big difference.

You need warm water, clean cloth, towel and a brush cleansers. There are lots of brush cleanser on the market but baby shampoo works as well and is cheaper and easier to buy.

  1. Dip the bristles in luke warm water (don’t dipthe handle in, this could cause the bond to loosen and could damage your brush)
  1. Pour a little baby shampoo onto a clean cloth and swirl the brush in circles on the cloth working in the shampoo and building up a lather
  1. When the brush is clean rinse  with luke warm water – making sure that all traces of the shampoo is gone
  1. Squeeze the brush bristles until excess water is gone and lay the brush flat on a clean towel to dry overnight

Happy cleaning!

Fighting the January blues

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Feeling the Monday fear? The back to work blues? The consequences of an over indulgent December and the prospect of a lean January ahead? You are not alone!

Here are some tips that might help improve your day:

  • Smell:
    Scent really can improve your mood and make you feel less anxious, more positive, and calmer. If you have an oil burner add some lavender or bergamot or jasmine for a boost in your mood. In lieu of that your favourite perfume, a scented candle or handcream might help do the trick.
  • Get organised:
    There is nothing worse than dreading the morning routine and spending your evening thinking – I must get ready for work. So get your work gear together as soon as you get home. Set you alarm and do what you can to make your evening more enjoyable and forget about work. A quick tidy of your house will make you feel happier and more at ease – a quick 30 minute blitz for an evening of peace!
  • Incentivise yourself:
    Getting back into a proper routine after Christmas is hard, so make life a little easier and do some kind for yourself as an incentive. Whether it’s burning your favourite candle, putting on a box set or snuggling up with a nice hot chocolate – do something nice for yourself that you will enjoy.
  • Laugh:
    We all know that laughing makes us feel happier and it’s even proven to positively alter our body at a chemical level. So seek out a You Tube video that you will enjoy, watch a comedy show you like or call someone who makes you laugh!
  • Fake it till you make it:
    Smiling and acting happy can in turn actually make you feel happier. So even though it might seem silly there’s good evidence that just smiling and looking like you’re happy will make you feel sunnier. So smile!
  • Meditate:
    Life can be so busy and technology can mean that we are constantly over stimulated looking at several screens for most of the day. Taking some time to zone out and be quiet is important – even just ten minutes of quite solitude can help recharge your batteries and boost your mood.
  • Do a good deed:
    Doing something nice for someone can really make you feel happier. Whether you volunteer for a local cause, give up your seat on the bus, or hold the door for someone – see if you can do a good deed for someone today.
  • Exercise:
    Even though you might not be in the mood – getting out for a brisk walk (or any exercise) will make you feel happier.