The Cork Rose Centre is like Carlsberg- Probably the best in the world.

I never really told anyone the real reason I entered the Cork Rose of Tralee, while of course I have always wanted to enter and I really did want to make new friends coming from an all male Engineering class, that wasn’t the whole story. So let’s put this image in your head, it was late March, hair was greased to my head, eyes were red and puffy from 72 hours of straight ugly crying as my disastrous relationship had ended for the final time and I was curled in a mess attempting to recover fragments of my sanity.

And then like a sign from some greater power the Cork Rose of Tralee ad appeared on my Facebook and I swear all it took was 20 seconds of courage mixed with pure Irish thickness in a very mature “I’ll show him” manner when I downloaded the form and entered it. I might add that the photo I attached to my application form was an earlier more flattering representation of myself. I pressed send and forgot all about it.

Until suddenly hours before my final exam, I was contacted by Denis Griffin, the coordinator and everything became real and the panic set in. It seems funny to remember the fear of meeting most of the girls for the first time back in Silversprings, I couldn’t even catch my breath. I don’t do well in social situations so this was me living way outside my comfort zone, practically paralyzed in an anxious incoherent bubble.

And yet this was single-handedly the best experience of my life and I was skeptical, when referred to as the Cork Rose family I felt pessimistic, how could 51 girls in competition ever resemble a family? And yet that was exactly what we were.

I felt people had this perception that the Cork Rose of Tralee was a “lovely girls competition” and yet when I reflect on the people I met in this competition I am so humbled by the strong, intelligent women that I got a chance to know, I was among PhD students, engineers, nurses, teachers and a few not-so-boring accountants with a few girl trained in martial arts. Girls so confident and self-assured that they could put themselves out there and allow themselves to be judged, to get up on stage and take on a crowd and do it high heels and a dress!

It was the loveliest experience from getting to meet the Cork Rose centre team and Denis’ Facebook videos and Will’s snapchats, to getting a bit too used to being helped off the bus by an escort in a suit. I had to hold back tears for the final selection night as I was so overcome by pride for the girls and how far we came together on this crazy adventure.

Ladies and gents you will never realise how much of an honour it has been to meet each and every one of you and Despacito will forever remind us of the summer we all became roses and escorts. To Aishling, our 2017 Cork Rose, you are an absolute lady and I can’t wait to cheer you on in Tralee….

Oh to oh to be, oh to be a CORK ROSE!

 

Monday Makeup Madness- All about the base!

I’m struggling today, this Monday lunchtime, I’m currently tucked behind my desk gazing out at the blue skies and stunning weather as I attempt to motivate myself to begin trekking through the mountain of Masters work in my path, and sure enough, both the creative and procrastination juices have started flowing and I found my long lost urge to blog….FINALLY!

I decided I wanted to introduce a new segment into my blog, Monday Makeup Madness, where I create a wish-list, or a review on a specific product or range I have been loving. This weeks blog is all about bases and the ones I have been using for a while!

First things first a ‘lil skin back story, I suffer from acne so anything I do tend to use is full coverage and my skin is super sensitive as well as dry/combination, so the sheer hint at something heavy and scented and my skin breaks out! So anything I do use should also be perfect for my sensitive skinned sisters out there!

My main foundation of choice is under €15 and it is one of the best foundations I have every used, and trust me there’s been a lot! NOTE Cosmetics was recently launched in Ireland late last year, with Tara O’Farrell of TARA Makeup representing the brand. I was first introduced to it when I luckily won a competition to be a model for one of her makeup masterclasses.

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#takeNOTE

NOTE cosmetics have a few different foundations in their range from compacts to mineral foundations, but this one is my favourite! The Detox & Protect foundation contains an SPF15, which is vital and it is full coverage. Similar to MAC Studio Fix Fluid and Studio Sculpt, for only €13.95 it is an absolute must-have for everyday wear, I am quite pale but I wear the shade 02 Natural Beige and it matches perfectly. In Cork I picked this up in Sam McCauley Chemists, but it can be bought online here

My second favourite was the very first high-end foundation I have ever owned and I return to it time and again, MAC Studio Fix Fluid has a cult following and it is worth every penny! At €32 (excluding pump) it is a long-lasting, oil free foundation with the fullest coverage MAC offers. Some people love it and some people hate, it is not suitable for those with very dry skin but suits those with normal/combination as it clings to the skin for an all day flawless finish. It has a matte finish to it, but this can be mixed with MAC strobe cream for a dewy glow or you can just use it as an excuse to overload on the highlight!

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MAC Studio Fix Fluid

Again I wear one of the lightest shades in this, NC15, the C stands for cool tone, meaning it’s yellow based to dispel any redness originally in your skin tone, which I would have from acne. I would recommend getting a professional colour match for this as there is a MASSIVE colour range and it’s totally skintone dependent. Once you know your colour you can buy online here P.S there’s a free gift with purchase RIGHT NOW!!

Last but not least is from YSL, now before anyone gasps with shock at the price range for YSL, this foundation was €35 from Cork Duty Free, it retails at approx. €42 in store but it lasts a really long time and the packaging is as beautiful as the product inside. Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation replaced its iconic, dewy light to medium foundation previously released by YSL. And I was so happy they did!

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YSL Touche Eclat Le Teint

Their new formula is a medium to full coverage foundation that STILL gives a dewy all-round glow! This foundation would suit a multitude of skin types, obviously if you have incredibly dry skin then you do need to be careful, but it incorporates to longevity of a full coverage foundation with the brightness and demi-matte (dewy glow) appearance of a lighter coverage base. It ticks all the boxes for me! I wear Bd10 in the summer when I’m slightly darker but generally I wear the palest shade B10 and I bought from Brown Thomas Cork and it’s also available on their site here

But the most important thing about choosing your foundation, after assessing your skin type, is to choose the correct colour, firstly it’s best if you can identify what tone your skin has…

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Skin Tone Matching for Foundation

By checking the back of your wrist you can check what colour your veins appear to your skin, blue veins are cool-toned (which is the colour category I’m in), a greeny-blue colour is warm-toned, usually with a pinky-golden tone to your skin and a purple-green colour is neutral. C on a foundation usually signals cool-toned, with W meaning warm-toned and N being for neutral, there is also a lot of drugstore brands that range their foundation shades this way.

The best place to check a foundation colour is by checking it on your jawline and you should test the best out of three shades, just like below:

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Foundation matching is best on your jawline.

The colour that disappears on your face and neck is your perfect colour, you may not find your exact colour but the idea is to choose the closest shade. The foundation should only be darker than normal if you are planning to wear tan- it is not to give your face some colour, that’s what bronzer and blusher are for!

Now that I’ve wasted enough time away from my coursework I better get back to it!

Have a Fab Monday X

 

 

Afternoon tea with Eimear Varian Barry

On Sunday I met one of the most fabulous people, the most down to earth, friendly and inspiring person. Did I mention she is also a super fabulous, accomplished blogger?! Eimear Varian Barry!

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EVB speaking with IrishFashoholic, Emer O Mahony

Corkonian Eimear started out in RedFm after studying film making, but her love of life and travel has taken her all over the world, not that you’d think it though as she hasn’t lost bubbly cork accent! An inspiration to all of us she started out taking photos of her new life as a mother and turned it into a career- her Instagram feed is the stuff of dreams filled with beautiful thematic images representing her iconic brand. It really gave me the kick up the arse I needed!!

The mother of two spoke so eloquently for 2 hours alongside Lockdown & IrishFashoholic’s Emer O Mahony, who, is probably more stylish pregnant than I may ever be in my life! The talk was held in Cork’s newest Afternoon Tea venue, Electric, where the prosecco was flowing along with gorgeous savoury and sweet nibbles.

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Sweet Tray from Electric Cork

Eimear’s message was simple to us aspiring bloggers in the audience, if you want it, work for it. It is clear that while she has an eye for fashion and photography, Eimear Varian Barry has balls! She made her blog work because she had to- and everything in her life has brought her up to this moment. She didn’t sit at home waiting for her following to grow and for collaborations to come knocking, she went out and asked for them, she made it happen- all this while staying true to the brand she wanted to create, she now collaborates with the likes of Julian MacDonald!

The Afternoon tea was incredible, from Electric’s new menu launch and I already can’t wait to go back!

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It was the loveliest event I have been to, such a different, relaxed atmosphere filled with a wealth of inspiring knowledge about improving my blog and succeeding in a digital environment. So here is to taking chances, putting myself out there and making it work!

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Product Empties

I have decided to put together a collection of products I have been loving so much I have used them all up!

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Kerastase Ciment Thermique

This is a heat protecting hair serum from Kerastase. It is a hair repairing balm which protects hair from heat styling and repairs hair that is over processed and over styled. I use this on towel dried hair just before straightening it. It reduces overall frizziness and makes my hair feel silky smooth. It also smells amazing!

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YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat

Everyone in the beauty industry freaked out when YSL changed their holy grail foundation formula and re-branded it as a full coverage foundation, but not me! This is my all time favourite base. It is light in formula and doesn’t feel too heavy on, but it is full coverage! It comes in a range of shades, both yellow based and pinky based, I wear the shade BD01, it is a little pricey at €42 a bottle, but it last ages!

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It gives a gorgeous dewy glow while perfecting the skin and blurring any imperfections on the face. It lasts all day and due to the lack of SPF in it it is perfect for nights out and photographs as it has a no flash back. I am also completely in love with the gold YSL packaging! I buff this into the skin daily using the Real Techniques buffing brush! I bought this from Brown Thomas Cork but can be bought on YSL counters nationwide.

Lancome Mousse Eclat

I bought this on a whim when I needed a new facial cleanser. I prefer foam cleansers as I find them a little gentler on the skin. I was nervous about trying this out as I had never used the Lancome skincare range before but I loved it. It lasted ages as one pump of the foaming cleanser washed my whole face. It removed any scrape of makeup or dirt from it leaving my face feel squeaky clean. I will definitely be repurchasing!

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Nuxe Precious Scented Shower Oil

I love this range from Nuxe, it literally smells like you have stepped into a spa. I got this shower gel as part of a free gift and I love it so much. I normally don’t have much of an affinity with shower gels but this one was different. It has the same scent as Nuxe’s cult classic multi-use oil and its oil infused formula leaves the skin feeling super soft. It also has gold flecks throughout the shower oil which gives your skin a beautiful glow, it’s gorgeous with a tan!

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Lancome Advanced Genefique

I have been using this serum for a good while and I can seriously see what the hype is! It is a FANTASTIC product. Its youth activating concentrate promises younger-looking, radiant skin! Skin is immediately soothed and smoothed, soft to the touch while its anti-ageing properties plumps and nourishes the skin for an all over radiant glow! While it is expensive at €73 for a 30ml bottle this serum should last you a long time as you need only apply 3 drops of the serum across the face and neck!

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Lancome Grandiose Liner

The latest innovation in liquid eyeliner comes from Lancome’s bendable brush. It adapts to everyone’s unique eye shape for easy application. It has an incredibly thin tip allows for a precise line and its highly pigmented formula gives a long lasting matte finish that dries in super quickly!

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So there you have the products I have loved so much that I used up!

Until next time….

Happy Shopping

Not So Dumb Blonde X

Nuxe Needs!

**I was gifted these products with the aim of writing a review on each, all views and opinions are my own**

Hi All,

I was recently gifted two Nuxe products to review on my blog from the lovely Joanne in Sam McCauley Chemists, the multi use Nuxe dry oil and their new roll on radiance boosting face mask, Nuxe Nuxuriance Ultra Re-Plumpling Roll-On Mask!

Nuxe Multi Use Dry Oil

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I had used the Nuxe dry oil before and I love it, the first you’ll notice about this product is that it smells AMAZING, its oil is infused six different botanical oils which results in the closest thing to a Spa Day in a bottle!

Its vitamin E infused oil nourishes, repairs and softens your face, body and hair in a single go. It leaves your skin velvety soft giving a lasting subtle fragrance. I have also used it during the summer months on my hair to keep it silky soft and protected against the heat and colour treatments.

It is suitable for any skin type, even my own super sensitive skin, as it is 100% hypoallergenic.

This is a gorgeous beauty treatment for all, whatever their age, skin and hair type!

It comes in both 100ml and a 30ml size are priced from €19.50 to €33.00 and you buy this little beauty here

Nuxe Nuxuriance Ultra Re-Plumpling Roll-On Mask

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This is the newest mask on the market from Nuxe, its lotion type texture glides on to the face to provide a rejuvenating, hydrating treatment specially designed to tackle any signs of ageing on the face!

From the get-go the skin looks smoother, firmer and more youthful, all in all more radiant.

The thing I loved the most about this product is the unique massaging applicator which gives an extra freshening technique, it also reduces bacteria on the skin as your hand don’t touch your face. It’s a win win beauty product.

It is encapsulated with saffron and bougainvillea extracts which stimulate the production of new skin cells and the hyaluronic acid hydrates deeply so that your skin appears plumper, more rested and wrinkles appear reduced!

It can be used daily on cleansed, the mask is left on for 10 minutes and then removed either with a dry cotton pad or a facial cleanser. It can also be overnight to wake up with refreshed replenished glow!

It retails at €32.95 and I got mine from Sam McCauley Chemists Blackpool, but can also be bought online from here

Until Next Time…..

Happy Shopping

Not So Dumb Blonde X

Skincare Saviours for Sensitive Skin

I have suffered with my skin since I was 11 years old. Unfortunately puberty seemed to hit me like a giant train and I was blessed with acne, mix that up with severely sensitive skin and I have spent hundreds of euro on skin care that has ended up looking pretty in my bedroom but being completely useless in helping my skin.

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After years of trial and errors I have found a cocktail of skin saviours that suit breakout prone, sensitive skin that I thought I’d share with all my lovely followers!

Here are my top 5 products for sensitive skin….

  1. La Roche Posay Micellar Water

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Micellar water is one of my favourite skincare products on the market. It is a lazy girls dream, it removes makeup and cleanses skin with a swipe of a cotton pad! La roche posay is tested on the most sensitive of skin and is made with thermal spring water. It delicately rids sensitive skin of impurities, and makeup with its soap free formulation that is 100% hypoallergenic. It costs about €15 for a 200ml bottle and it can be purchased here

2. Normaderm Beautifying Anti-Blemish Moisturiser

I like to alternate my day moisturisers as my skin can change between both oily, breakout prone and sensitive and dry. Most anti-blemish moisturiser are primarily to reduce the appearance of spots and acne, but the newest moisturiser in the Normaderm range also helps your skin stay hydrated as well as radiant and beautiful. It is a more broad spectrum moisturiser as it provides 24 hour hydration it suits more skin types while still tackling breakouts when it’s needed. Its super light texture allows for fast absorption and is perfect to be worn under a full face of makeup. This has become one of my go to moisturiser for when my skin acts up. I picked mine up in Sam McCauley Chemists but it can also be bought here

3. La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5

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Everyone needs this balm in their makeup drawer. It can be used by adults children and babies for any type of minor skin irritations. I have used it on major skin breakouts and on shavers rash. It can also be used on tight, sensitive skin, nappy rash, cracked skin and chapped lips. It soothes, protects and repairs sensitive skin practically overnight. I mostly use this at night-time if my skin is really irritated, it has a thick balm like texture, which when dries into the skin gives a non greasy finish.

It comes in two sizes a 50ml tube and a 100ml tube ranging from €7.50 to €13.50 and also comes in a range with an SPF 50 and can be purchased here

4. Avéne Eau Thermale Spring Water

The Avéne spring water mist is perfect soothing care for sensitive skin. It can be sprayed onto the skin over makeup or just after cleansing to soothe irritated, tight, sensitive skin. I have the travel size in my handbag for anytime I feel like my skin needs to be soothed or refreshed. Boots Ireland have the full range of Avéne skin care and can be bought here

5. Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm.

Due to my acne I use a lot of harsh anti blemish skin care on my face which can be quite drying especially on the lips. I suffer quite regularly from dry, tight, chapped lips so a friend of mine recommended the Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm. This is by far the most expensive lip balm I have ever owned, at €21 I was a little sceptical on how good it could possibly be, but this is an investment beauty product for those of you who may suffer from chapped lips. It repairs and protects lips with its rose wax as well as its SPF 15 it helps insulate lips from ageing from the sun, it can be bought here.

Until Next Time….

Happy Shopping,

Not So Dumb Blonde X

Lash Extensions at Shirley’s Beauty Clinic

I recently made a trip to Shirley’s Beauty Clinic in Glanmire for a set of eyelash extensions, I have previously had two separate sets of lash extensions that have cost a fortune but have only lasted between a week to 10 days so I was hoping that I would have better luck this time!

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Shirley’s has been open in the heart of Glanmire since 1998 and provides a massive range of different treatments and a very high level of experienced therapists.

They do Russian volume lashes which are a technique using ultra light extensions, your technician hand makes a fan and places it on one natural lash.

 The end result is a dense lash line with a soft, fluffy finish that’s lighter in weight than traditional extensions and healthier for your natural lash.

Also known as 2D, 3D, 4D etc Eyelash Extensions, Russian Volume is the newest technology in Eyelash Extensions that are proven to out-perform classic (or 1D) Eyelash Extensions in density and comfort as well as being healthier on the natural eyelash because of the lighter weight application.

 The volume acheiveable with Classic Eyelash Extensions is limited to the number of natural eyelashes a person has. Those with thin and sparse natural eyelashes weren’t able to acheive a volumous look due to the damage the weight of a heavy extension would cause. 

They offer three different levels of eyelash extensions looks depending on the amount of eyelashes you want applied and the intensity of the look desired.

Keria was my therapist and I chose the most natural option Shirley’s has on offer but the results were still absolutely incredible.

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Eyelashes with mascara vs Ms Elegant Eyelash extensions

Russian volume lashes lasts between 4-8 weeks provided they are cared for correctly.

Shirley’s give a detailed aftercare leaflet and lash brush in order to care for your lashes.

  1. Brush lashes daily.

Keep your lashes looking nice and fresh with a little brush throughout the day. You should receive a brand new mascara wand after every appointment to keep them nice and aligned. Lashes should not need to be force brushed. If they are done properly, a little light brush is all you need. They should never look messy.

2. Cleanse lashes daily.

It’s so important to cleanse your lashes daily. Eyelashes catch debris and dust from entering into your eyes. If you are not cleansing daily, those debris and bacteria’s build up on your extensions. Yuck!

3. Maintain them by getting fills no later than every 3 weeks.

Because of the natural lash shedding cycle, you need to maintain your eyelash extensions to keep them looking fresh and full, nice and even.

4. Use oily substances.

Oil degrades the adhesive slowly. So be sure to steer clear of all oily lotions and potions that get near your eyes.

5. Pick or pull on your lashes.

Natural eyelashes go through a shedding cycle, just like your hair! Lashes fall out, with the extension attached, and a new lash grows in its place. Picking and pulling on those extensions runs the risk of premature shedding, and there is only so many pulls before lashes don’t grow back! Eyelashes are the most delicate cycle on the body, so treat them with care.

I booked in for an eyelash top-up after four weeks.

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Eyelashes after 4 weeks

The full set of Ms. Elegant lashes took 1 hours and cost me €65 and the lash top-up a month later cost €30 and only took 30 minutes to complete.

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After eyelash top-up

I am now completely hooked on lash extensions and will definitely be back!

Appointments can be through Shirley’s Beauty Clinic’s Facebook page here.

Until Next Time.

Happy Shopping

Not So Dumb Blonde X