Thursday, 2 July 2015

They've cracked it: A properly nice tasting coconut water

innocent. Synonymous with tasty smoothies and cool knitted beanies on their bottles that raise money for charities, we have all had one of their drinks. Well, they have only gone and made the most delicious coconut water. Ever.

Himself has been know to dabble in a few amateur MMA fights and has had to do the whole "weight cut" to "make weight" and then try to re-hydrate and put the extra mass on in the time after weigh-in and before the fight (yes, I know... the ambiguity). He has used coconut waters in the past as they are popular among the MMA crowd, especially for re-hydrating post weigh-in, but they haven't really tasted the best... like I know fresh coconut water to taste. But innocent have actually "cracked it". They have made a product that tastes like it is supposed to.

innocent coconut water is made from a blend of a specially selected varieties of coconut. And that's it. No extra additives, concentrates or added sugar/sweeteners to improve the taste. It naturally contains a high percentage of potassium which is an essential mineral in maintaining hydration levels, making this the perfect drink for the blessedly hot days we have been having. And it tastes JUST like the stuff you try so hard to catch when you crack coconuts at home. It is proper lovely. Honest. Even the kids liked it!

The gorgeous folks over at innocent sent me 2 500ml (RRP 2.99) cartons to try and I am so glad they did because I didn't have to fight himself for a glass. It is seriously delish, on its own straight from the fridge. In the cool glass that came in the even cooler cooler bag. (yep... I said it). You can find cartons in the fridge section of your supermarket.

I have been consistently inconsistent the last few weeks with the blog. But I have my reasons. We were away for our first proper family "vaycay"and if you follow me on instagram you would have seen we have a new baby too: a 3month old pupster that goes by Flash. He's awesome and he is robbing and chewing everything. And I had been running round like a blue arsed fly in this heat trying to get everything organised and sorted and this little package arrived at just the right time. It has made re-hydrating a pleasure and I will deffo be picking a few more up for the day after the night before and also days where I want a wee treat.

innocent coconut water gets a thumbs up from the Skew Clan

innocent have cracked it. A coconut water in a handy carton that tastes as fresh as those yokes you can get on those beaches in those fancy resorts. All you have to do is close your eyes and pretend you are there...

Monday, 15 June 2015

Uhmazing Uhmerica. I'll be back.

17 days in the States, I had an absolute ball. So did the rest of the family.  I didn't take a lot with me, mainly because I wanted to buy a few (all of the) things there. We took 4 cases with us, but only checked 3 (I packed one case into another) and so I had a whole extra 23kgs allowance to be able to bring things back. Which we did, but not as much as I would have hoped. Oh well. 

it was soooo bright!

Anyways... this is what I took body and skincare wise. I haven't included my Sun Protection in this one, because I bought our body SPF there (Banana Boat Spray on SPF50: not amazing...but it did the job), and left it there. My Facial SPF was all LRP and only LRP. The husband and kids also used it on their faces, and spending nearly all day outside in Florida in 32-36degC heat (we did wear peak caps) but we never burned. Not ONCE. None of us even got a little reddish. We picked up colour, but it was so gentle...we are back 5 days and its pretty much gone #sadface .

Cleansers first:

I took with The Body Shop Tea Tree Foam Cleanser, but it does not travel well. Despite being properly closed it leaked all over the place. Thank goodness I had it in a ziplock bag, the only victims of tea tree soakage were my cotton pads. I ended up abandoning it in the 2nd hotel we stayed in because it leaked during a car journey.

That brown tub filled with white lumpy grease is actually a mini body butter tub from The Body Shop that I cleaned out and filled with coconut oil. I love coconut oil at the moment. It cleanses quite nicely and doesn't clog my skin. It is also a great multi-tasking product: its good on hair ends to tame frizz, its an excellent cleanser ans works well as a light moisturiser (use a little) or a deep moisturiser (use layers), its a great waterproof makeup remover, body moisturiser, after sun, hand cream etc. We like coconut oil in our house... and not just as a beauty ingredient. I cook with it too.

I also took my trusty Nima Mitt with. I used it to take of my makeup most days. It is one of those micro-fibre cloths that just use water to take off make-up. It also works as a great exfoliator, but to the way it works. The hotels always supply a little bar of toilet soap (which is what you need to clean your mitt with) so I didn't need to bring that with me. I used my Nima Mitt first (as a pre cleanse) then went in with the coconut oil to deep cleanse.

My skin mostly played ball, but because my diet (and veggies) was pretty much out the window, I did get a few spots on my chin and jaw, nothing serious, but I struggled to get them to heal quickly.


I brought these two sample masks with from Academie. Exfoliating Care is a lactic acid based mask to help lift dead skin cells off the face and reveal the newer skin underneath. I liked it, but it didn't blow me away like the REN Flash Rinse did (and still does).
Academie Stimulating and Moisturizing (urgh that z ) mask was great. I applied it as soon as we got to the hotel after out flight (I cleansed first) and my skin felt instantly soothed. When I took it off my skin felt plump and hydrated and it felt comfortable, I didn't need to rush with moisturiser. I liked that the 50ml sizes  had enough for multiple uses, without taking up massive space.
I think I would like to explore the Academie range a bit more actually...


I alternated using the NIP + Fab Glycolic Fix pads and my now beloved Alpha H Liquid Gold. I have already gushed about the pads... but I need to put pen to paper (or finger my keyboard... teehee) and declare my love for AHLG.

I used LRP Serozinc every evening before applying my moisturiser (after giving my toner/treatmet 30 minutes to do its thang) and every morning before moisturising... but I am still on the fence. It didn't particularly help prevent spots, or actually help them heal. But then the spots didn't become ulcerous once they came to a head, like they would normally. So I am not sure. I need more testing. Happily, the tin is still fairly full, despite me using it fairly liberally over the last 3 weeks.

Facial Moisturisers:

SteamCream. Its good stuff. And it is travel friendly. It is 75ml, so it can go in your cabin luggage. The tins seal properly, so there is no leakage. And the cream itself is lovely. Thick and rich, but absorbs pretty much immediately. We can also use it on Hanna's eczema prone skin without her complaining that it burns. I used this as my night cream. So did Hannah and my husband. Hannah also used it as her day cream. And her lunch time top up. We managed the whole holiday with no eczema itches.

Vichy Normaderm Detox, kinda got forgotten about. I only realised I had it with me when I was packing to come home. I have no idea why... but I just forgot I packed it. It would have been awesome on my chin and Jaw. And its back into my routine, where it belongs.

I used The Body Shop Vitamin E Sorbet as my day cream. I kept it in the fridge in case of sunburns, but we never burned. This meant that it was insanely cooling when it went on in the mornings. Perfect for refreshing skin after sweaty nights.

And the good old coconut oil. I've already explained.

Body Care was minimal:

Garnier Mineral Invisible Roll On Anti-persperant: it was ok. but that is about all I can say about it. It smells lovely, but it goes on so wet, it takes ages to dry. And ain't nobody got time to flap around the bathroom waiting for your pits to dry. I won't get this again.

Cocoabrown 1 hour Tan. Standard. Fool proof colour that stopped me from looking like a ghostly tourist. I applied it with a mitt at night before bed and showered it off the next morning for great colour. Hotel bed sheets... gotta love em :)

Oral B Pro Expert sample got us through the first few days of tooth brishing until we could hit up a Targe/Walmart and get a full sized toothpaste. Its good and gritty and has a lovely minty taste that I personally love, but that my hubby isn't keen on.

The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Sorbet is just lovely stuff. Ultra hydrating, super soothing, lovely smelling cooling goodness. Especially coming straight out of the fridge. I have the Moringa one too and they are my favourite summer body lotions. They leave skin well hydrated without feeling greasy, and you are left smelling lovely too.

The hotels provided nice shower gels, so I used those. But I took with Lush Happy Hippy just for in case. Which was just as well. I ended up using it as a washing detergent. Yes. I washed our clothes with Lush Shower gel. And they smelled amazing afterwards. And the clothes didn't react badly. So yeah. I think I may have found a new way to scent my undies...

That was what I took with us to the States. We went because Dave's nephew was getting married and both our kids were in the wedding party. So we had to go. It was made a whole lot less stressful due to getting my Irish citizenship (and passport) and the fact that just about the whole Irish side of the family went, as a group. We had an absolute blast and I would love to visit again. I would love to spend more time in Chigaco City (the museum circuit is calling me...) and possibly join a tour next time too. And since we were already going to be there we decided to do Orlando too.

Our next holiday will be in Europe, but America is on my list. Especially the Beluga Whales.

Friday, 22 May 2015

NYC Satin Matte Lipsticks: Fierce & Fabulous!

Guess what?!?!?!? NYC (or New York Color) has launched 5 gorgeous new lippies, and they are flippin fabulous. NYC Expert Last Lip Colour Satin Matte formulations and superb pigmentation are the order of business here, and these aren't as drying as you might expect.

These retail for the ridiculously low €2.49 / £1.99 each and they are worth way more. With hydrating properties, these are buttery and creamy, I'd be worried about the colour cracking off inside the bullet and making a mess of my handbag, but the lid clicks closed fairly firmly, so its ok, just be gentle when topping up on the go.

As I said, there are 5 colours in this formulation and I have thoroughly tested every one of them. Super soft and rather balm-like in texture, staying power is pretty good: I get about 4 hours of solid colour before I feel like I need to top up the colour on the inner rim of my lips. But I think its just because I like the balmy texture ans smooshing my lips together. To really prolong wear I would recommend applying a lip liner, a layer of colour, blotting and adding a 2nd layer of colour and blotting again to set.

Satin-Matte is a good description for this new formula, because it is satiny when it is first applied, but once it dries and settles on your lips it turns to a more matte finish. It does take a wee while for it to dry though, so give it 15 /20 minutes before you eat/drink/stick your fingers in your mouth, otherwise you will end up with stains on everything. If you ca't wait and want a velvety matte finish immediately, blot gently with a translucent powder and you are ready.

On to swatches!

The nudest of of the bunch, 448 Smooth Beige was the one I struggled a bit with. It clung in any dry patches and emphasized them, and it does look a bit like concealer lips, but with a super balm-like feeling. Paired with flawless skin and a deep smokey eye this is looks pretty good. A light slick patted in as a hint of colour works really well to take down the colour of your lips if you are wanting to do a nude lip.

449 Creamy Mauve is a more pink than mauve, but it is still pretty and looks lovely with fresh skin and minimal faff on the makeup front. I like it, and its gorgeous for summer.

450 Pure Coral is just that: Pure Coral. Loud and proud, bright and insanely bold, this Pinky-Orangey Gorgeousness practically screams neon (well to me it does) and is the one that puts me right out of my comfort zone. I am so not used to lippy this bright, but because the formulation is so lovely... I have worn this on the school run a few times and I am getting used to it. Its coming with me to Chicago and is a contender for the "wedding face**".

451 Velvety Fuchsia is the other contender for the "wedding face**". Another bright, this is more pink and it is the one I have enjoyed wearing most so far. I love the way that this wears too, it stains the lips so if you apply lipbalm after eating it sheers it out and helps you avoid "Ring Mouth" (where you lipstick wears off everywhere except the outlines of your lips). A lip liner will help you get a good 4 hours out of one application, but I can't be bothered. I'll just touch up on the go.

Finally, we have 452 Red Suede. Va va voom, this is red velvet on your lips. I wore this all day today after taking these photos as I just liked the way it looked with the clean liner. This is also coming with to Chicago, because reasons. I will find a place to wear it. Even if it is just IHOP. I made this matte instantly by patting a bit of YoungBlood Mineral Rice Setting Powder over it with my finger tips and blotting with a clean tissue. A lip liner would have given me a cleaner line, but I didn't get any feathering, and it didn't bleed at all, regardless of how many times I smooshed. And I like to smoosh.

All in all, these NYC Expert Last Lip Colours are fantastic value for money and if you are looking for a new lip colour for the summer months it is well worth checking them out. I know that Sera (Agoraphobic Fashionista) likes them too

NYC stands are like hens teeth in my area, but I spotted a relatively unmolested one in Newry (in SemiChem) that had these new colours in it. You can also find stockists here: Click Here

**Wedding Face: the main purpose of our trip State-side is for a Wedding. The kids are part of the wedding party so we have to go...

*PR Samples gratefully received, (mainly because I can never find a decently stocked stand) Opinions are always my own.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

L'Oréal Paris Skin Perfection Soothing Gel-cream Wash: a bit meh.

I am always looking for a new cleanser that will take off the days makeup easily while looking after my skin. I know that L'Oréal have been upping their game with regards to new product formulations so when I spied the Skin Perfecting Soothing Gel-cream Wash in Tesco for just under a fiver... I popped it in the trolley and that was before Christmas.

Supposedly good for dry and sensitive skin, and making some big claims about removing makeup and impurities, this contains no perfume or soap, and so smells mostly like nothing, but there is a faint wiff of something pharmaceutical about it. It isn't unpleasant at all, just clean. I like that.

The other thing I like is that it has a flip top. And I like how the hole is small, because this cleanser is quite runny, and you only really need a small amount, which makes this great for the budget conscious user. You won't be accidentally wasting this.

This reacts like a gel when you mix it with water. It just spreads further and if you agitate it you will see it captures small bubbles of air, but it doesn't actually foam. As I said it spreads easily and feels soft and gentle on my skin, and I suppose it does an ok job as a morning cleanser. But that is about where the good things end for me.

I tried using this to remove a regular days makeup: moisturiser, foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush, whats left of my lipstick. And after rinsing off with my usual facecloth and warm water, when I went in with my toner afterwards I still had an awful lot of colour product that came off on the cotton pad. Strike One.

Even after rinsing and rinsing again, my skin didn't actually feel like it was clean. I can't explain it, but I felt like I needed to go in with my balm cleanser. It didn't leave a film behind, but it didn't remove all the dirt/grime/makeup. Strike Two.

It broke me out. One of the ingredients in this caused spots all over my cheeks, jaw and my temples. Despite rinsing properly and using LRP Effaclar Duo +  this broke me out. It was the only thing I changed in my routine... and even though I know I was struggling with my skin, this honestly did it no favours, especially since the breakouts around my temples was new. Strike Three.

A week after I stopped using it the new breakouts started clearing up. I waited for my skin to clear and then I used it again, in the mornings only and within a week I had new spots (little whiteheads) all around my temples and on my chin. I tried it for about 9 weeks, with the same results. breakout central.

I stopped using it. And let himself use it. Aaaaannnndddd it broke him out too. We didn't even finish it... I felt crappy about chucking out a half full tube of product... but it just didn't work for me and my oily combo skin.

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Body Shop: Morning Combo for my Combo Skin

My skin has mostly been playing ball the last few weeks, mostly I think due to the Vichy Normaderm Night Detox. But I have added two new products into the mix as well, giving my skin two weeks between each new product to get used to it before adding anything else, both are from The Body Shop and both are fitting in nicely.

Cleanser first: The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser (£5 / €11 eh c'meretomenow... what is up with the pricing guys??). If you don't like the smell of tea tree then this is not for you. But if you don't mind it and you don't have particularly sensitive skin (this contains menthol which creates that cooling feeling on the skin but is quite irritating to sensitive skin types) and you are worried about blemishes, then I would try it as a morning cleanser.

It comes with a pump attached to the bottle that aerates the liquid in the bottle as it comes out of the nozzle. So its already foamed. And you only need one pump to do do your face and neck.

All you need to do it apply it to your dampened face, massage it in gently to encourage your skin to divest itself of the night's products and dirt. It won't foam anymore. Himself (who has also been using this) was a bit perturbed by the fact that it wouldn't make more bubbles as he used it, but got over that when he used it and like how it worked.

It smells fresh and clean and while it is a "Foamed" cleanser, once I've used a warm wet facecloth to take it off, it doesn't leave my face feeling like its been stripped of all its moisture. Skin just feels soft and clean and ready for the next step.

Ive had this about a month now and even with himself using it occasionally, I have just under half of the bottle left. Its fit into my budget quite nicely and my skin hasn't reacted to it and I haven't had any new breakouts!

The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Foaming Cleanser Ingredients

I must just note that this is a morning cleanser for me. While it says it will "gently remove make up and impurities", it didnt really do anything except leave me with mascara in my eyebrows and lipstick around my nose. I still had to use a decent balm cleanser. But as a morning cleanser this is pretty good.

Next step: Toner! And I am loving The Body Shop Vitamin E Hydrating Toner (£8.50 / €11.50).

 Its not much to look at, but it does a stellar job of setting skin up for moisturiser. I have oily/combo skin but it is a bit dehydrated and even-though it doesn't feel tight once I have cleansed, it generally drinks up moisturiser as soon as its applied. The fact that in a few hours it is a greasy mess is just once of those things. I have found though, that since I have been using this toner and a decent hydrating moisturiser, my skin isn't producing as much oil as quickly. And I am getting more wear out of my foundations as a result.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Toner Ingredients

 After cleansing, I pour a little of this clear liquidy gel onto a clean cotton pad and sweep it over my face and neck, going over my cheeks and neck as I need more hydration in those areas. It is soft and gentle and doesn't sting and does what it says on the bottle. It hydrates my skin without making it feel greasy.

Vitamin E Toner comes in a 200ml flip top bottle and using it every morning and every 2nd evening I still have more than half a bottle left after having it for just over 2 months.

I've already said that it doesn't look like anything special, but this toner is scented with the iconic The Body Shop Vitamin E scent. I love it. It evokes memories of my Gran for some reason. And along with the Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil it has a permanent spot on my bathroom shelf.

I have fallen in love with The Body Shop for starter skincare steps (cleanser, toner, moisturiser) and they fit my budget nicely and there are products to suit every skin type and requirement.

The only thing I have an issue with is the euro/sterling pricing... And the fact that you can't buy online from the website. Fingers crossed this is something that will be coming soon... as it is I have to trek in to Dublin to get to my favourite products.

So you have any favourite products from The Body Shop? Anything I should try? Let me know!

Friday, 15 May 2015

Brow Wow! Budget Brow Battle: essence vs Rimmel

So we all know that Brows are only Massive for summer. Actually, they are massive all year round and we are all looking for that special product that is going to help us achieve Blow-out Brows (er... thats a thing... I made it up). I picked up two budget brow products and put them to the test. Rimmel Brow This Way (€3.99) and essence Make Me Brow (€3.09).

My brows are naturally quite full, I never had skinnies, my mom was good enough to hide the tweezers when I was younger and honestly, I've never really faffed with them a whole lot. Things changed once I started blogging and I started taking a bit more notice of them, and actually paying a bit of attention to them.

I picked up Rimmel Brow This Way in 002 Medium Brown in February and then I picked up essence Make Me Brow in 02 Browny Brown a few weeks later as these were the colours that were closest to my natural hair colour and I alternated using them to see which I preferred.

That Rimmel's brush is bigger and fatter than essence's and so picks up way more of the brow gel than you actually need to do 2 eye-brows. The essence brush is small and skinny, but this gives you loads more control over where you apply the gel.
The win here goes to essence.

Both claim to fill in the brows with little fibres that mimic hairs to give the appearance of fuller brows. But something I found when I cleaned the product off to get a decent pic of the brushes was that there are LOADS more fibres in essence's gel than there are in the Rimmel one. I cleaned both brushes the exact same way (each was twirled in a clean dry tissue) and as I said I only noticed the difference after.
essence wins.

As far as colours go I prefer the essence offering. It is more ashy compared to the Rimmel one that leans more red. I like red... but not really in my eyebrows. And while it looks like the Rimmel formulation is smoother, it is more liquid and doesn't apply as easily as the marginally drier formulation of essence. The essence one is easier to place and control, while the Rimmel one tends to blob onto the brows and then you need to comb it thru, which more often than not results in too much gel on your brows.
Essence beats Rimmel here, again.

You can't really see it here (although I took about 300 pictures to try to show the difference) but I can see in the mirror that Rimmel is more red than than the essence side... Longevity is pretty even, with both holding my hairy caterpillars in check all day, with no major catastrophes, but I haven't tested these in a full on hot and humid summer yet. Neither is waterproof though... but I never swim with a full face of slap on anyway... so its not an issue.

essence also just pips Rimmel to the post in the price war too, coming in 90cents cheaper. I know that essence Make Me Brow has been compared favorably to the (way) more expensive Benefit Gimme Brow, and although I don't have the Benefit version, I know I'm not even going to bother because the essence version is so darn good.

So unless you prefer a reddish undertone to your brows (I am forever trying to get rid of the red... sigh) essence wins all of the battles in this war. But don't just take my word for it... Makeup Monster likes Make Me Brow too.

essence and Rimmel are available in most pharmacies and Penney's stores around Ireland.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Water wipes: emergency makeup removal level 1

If you have heard of Caroline Hirons, then you know her stance (and mine) on wipes: “fannies, festivals or flights". And while facial wipes are not something I would ordinarily pick up, I was quite interested in the hype around WaterWipes.

Billed as "THE WORLD’S PUREST FACIAL WIPES NO STING, NO SKIN-TIGHTNESS AND NO CHEMICALS". A tall order that my daughter and I decided to put to the test. Made with just water, 0.1% grapefruit seed and sea mineral extracts, Allergy UK has given them a big thumbs up, the first ever endorsement for a cleansing wipe. Its not a treatment for eczema or dermatitis, but it is safe to use on sore or sensitive skin types, especially if you are travelling or at a festival. I like that this has an expiry date too: you need to use the pack up within a month of opening it.

As far as appearances go, it looks the same as an ordinary wipe,is the same size and feels like and ordinary wipe but it smells like nothing, and it feels a lot wetter than a standard wipe, which I like because then you won't tend to scrub at your face trying to distribute the moisture over you skin. Perfect for removing makeup, and it even removed my mascara when I held it over my lashes for a few seconds and gave it a little wiggle.

Hannah used this to remove the grime off her face after a day running around and we were both a little surprised at the amount of dirt that was on the wipe when she was done. It didn't sting or burn, even around her eyes (her skin is particularly delicate there, we have to keep it well moisturised otherwise it cracks) but she did note it was a little more scratchy than her normal face cloth.

I used these to remove a full face of makeup at the end of an evening out and I was quite impressed at how well it worked to take off multiple layers of mascara and heavy eye makeup in the same amount of time as it would have if I had used cotton pads and micellar water. And I didn't have to try scrub mascara out of my face cloth the next morning!

My skin didn't feel oily or like it had a film on it when I was finished and it didn't feel dry or stripped either. But generally I would go in with a proper balm cleanser afterwards... just because I am now in the habit of double cleansing, and because I have running water and my cleanser handy.

As a stopgap, these are pretty brilliant. And we are taking a pack with us to Chicago, not just just to remove my daily slap before I go in with a heavy duty cleanser, but also as hand wipes and general face-cleaning (kids get dirty just standing still...) and WaterWipes are perfect as a single wipe is wet enough to properly clean a chocolaty face and both hands with moisture to spare.

A pack of 24 wipes costs €3.49 and will fit into a Mammy-bag (one of those big jobs) or a changing bag with ease. Oh and they are Irish!!!

You can find WaterWipes in supermarkets and pharmacies across Ireland.

**PR Sample gratefully received, Opinion my own. 

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

LRP Cicaplast Lavant B5: sensitive cleansing

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast isn't a new range... but its such a good one, especially for super sensitive skins. Cicaplast Lavant B5 is the cleanser in the range and its pretty good.

LRP Cicaplast Wash B5 is their "first soothing, purifying and repairing gel cleanser for delicate skin", and contains Panthenol (soothing and promotes healing), Copper, Zinc and Managanese to prevent "bacterial creation", glycerin to promote hydration and LRP Thermal Spring Water which is anti-inflamatory and soothing. All of which are combined into a fragrance-free, clear gel that cleanses gently and doesn't leave my skin feeling dry or stripped.

LRP formulated Cicaplast Wash B5 for all body areas (even intimate places) and it can be used on babies, children and Adults and its good for all of the following conditions:
- Eczema
- Dermatitis / Irritative dermatitis
- Scalp Irritations
- Chicken Pox
- Infant Redness / Nappy Rash
- Rough Patches / Chapped skin
- Sun burned skin
- Superficial wounds/scrapes (post-tattoo washes)

While this is a foaming wash (it does contain SLSulfate), it doesn't actually create tons of bubbles or foam. You basically put a small amount of the clear, un-fragranced gel into the palm of your hand and add a bit of water until it sort of lathers, then gently cleanse the affected area.

This is the most "lather" that I could build with it.

But it is an incredibly gentle cleanser. My daughter has been sharing it with me and she hasn't complained about the usual things: She has extremely delicate skin around her eyes, it often cracks and breaks and there are very few things that she can use on that area that doesn't sting or burn when she washes her face. She is (almost) 10 and she likes to play around with my makeup, but taking it off at bath time is a bit of a mission, because we need to get it off. Cicaplast Wash B5 is gentle enough not to sting, and it takes off light make-up. We like this.

Also: Flippy top!
I like to use this in the mornings when I need to remove the previous nights product/sweat/skincells. Its light and rinses away easily, with no residue, and it doesn't leave me running for moisturiser when I'm done.

It's not going to do jack for heavy makeup except maybe move it around your face... and Waterproof makeup is going to laugh in its face. But when your skin is sore and sensitive you really shouldn't be wearing anything heavy anyways, Cicaplast Wash B5 is going to do the job, and it will help to sooth your skin and help it on its way to healing.

And when I get my next tattoo I will deffo invest in another bottle of this and a tube of Cicaplast Gel. I think it is going to be perfect for cleaning and healing tattoos.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Wash B5 costs €8.00 for 125mls (which has lasted me and Hannah about 4 months now) and is available in Pharmacies.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Miners : Budget bits for beginners

I was invited to pop into Jocelyn Pharmacy in my (new) hometown of Dundalk, County Louth a few weeks ago, to check out Miners Cosmetics. Jocelyn Pharmacy is located at the top of Jocelyn street, and while it looks like it could do with a new coat of paint from the outside... its immaculately clean and orderly inside. With a bit of everything (its where I got my Invisibobbles!) and a full Isa Dora stand (Yay!) it is worth checking out.

Having not grown up in Ireland (or the UK) Miners is a new brand to me and I was keen to have a look-see at these budget beauty bits. Joanna very kindly gifted me these bits to play with:

Miners is a proper budget range. Products starting at €0.99 and no single product is more than €2.99. And while there are some products that don't float my boat, there are one or two gems, overall though, this would be a great as an introduction to makeup, especially for a younger age group.

The Blusher Brick comes in two variants, The Pinks and The Browns. I got the latter which costs €2.99 for a decent sized "brick" with three colour bars. Swatched, the pigmentation is pretty good, but trying to get a blended swatch is difficult. You can see it on my face, but it is very subtle, no shimmer here, just subtle colour.

Miners Eyeshadow Trio (€1.99) comes in 4 colour ways. Above is the Safari Trio and even though it is on the shimmery side, its rather pretty. Also, ot massively pigmented, but it means its pretty fool proof to slap on in the mornings when you're in a rush. I like it. Its a bit more pigmented than most of the Essence singles, but not as pigmented as most of Catrice's shadows. As I said... great for beginners.

Wearing Blusher Brick, Eyeshadow Trio, Mascara and Lip Gloss.

Miners The Matte Factor Lip Paint is very nice for something that costs €2.99. Its quite awesome actually. A liquid lipstick that dries to a comfy matte-ish finish. Its not completely matte, but there isn't any shine on it either. Its very comfortable on my lips, and doesn't magnify or sit in dry patches. Warm Red is bright and eye-catching and feels very old Hollywood. It does need touching up, but only after serious eating and drinking. It still looks good after 3hrs of wine drinking and that's good enough for me! There are 5 other colours... for €2.99 and a velvety feel on the lips... Bargain.

Miners Luxe Lips Creme Gloss (€2.99) in Beauty Queen lives in my car. A glossy gloss sans stickiness, that gives a polished look to my lips and makes me look like I've at least made a bit of an effort. Even when all I've done is chuck on a bit of BB cream. This is surprising to me because normally... I don't like gloss.

Miners Tin o' Tint (€2.99) comes in 7 different flavours, each with a its own pretty well pigmented tint. Cherry smells lovely, and even though it is primarily vaseline... it doesn't taste terrible. And its tinted. Well tinted. But it means you have to be careful applying it without a mirror to check you haven't smeared it all over your face, and you will always need a handy tissue to wipe off the residue from your finger...

To re-cap: I rate the lip products, I'm not mad about the blusher brick and the eyeshadows are great for beginners starting out, who are still trying to decide which colours they like. I did also get the waterproof Mascara, but I struggled with it... it just didn't do anything for me... so I would rather spend my moolah elsewhere.

I think I'd like to try the eye pencils and the Dip and Define eyeshadows next and see how they compare. I'm also going to hit up that beautifully stocked, un-ravaged Isa Dora stand before my holidays to pick up a few bits.

Is Miners something you grew up with? Have you used it? Does it bring back memories?

Check out Miners Cosmetics in selected Pharmacies (including Jocelyn Pharmacy in Dundalk!!)

**Samples provided for review, Opinions my own
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