A Little Bit Impassioned.

I have fallen in love. With a lipstick shade.

I received this beauty from the gorgeous Vicky after winning her giveaway a few weeks ago. I had heard about MAC's Impassioned long ago from girlies in the blogging community and how much they loved it, and I was always unusually drawn to it at MAC counters. It is the perfect lip colour; bright, vibrant, exotically pink, but best of all, it comes in my favourite finish; the Amplified Creme.

I have jumped on the statement colour bandwagon, if you've read my Upping the Amp post, you'll know why. I have acquired an alarming number of bright pinks recently, MAC's Viva Glam Nicki and Watch Me Simmer have become firm favourites in my collection. But Impassioned... Well. It is in a whole other league.

It adds a certain oomph, and it is a colour that so unusual and showstopping that I just kind of melt a little bit when I whip off the lipstick lid. Sad I know. Does anyone else do this when they see a colour they love? I really hope it isn't just me.

I applied this colour using a lip brush, which I find to be so much better than just applying from the bullet. I find that it looks much cleaner and precise and lasts a lot longer too. The Amplified Creme finish is also a long lasting finish, kind of glossy and kind of creamy, and doesn't dry my lips out like the dreaded Satin or Matte's from MAC do. Rejoice!

I absolutely adore that this shade is an Amplified finish. It really stays on all day and doesn't budge! I wore this lipstick out to dinner with my boyfriend recently to a Michelin starred restaurant, ate 9 courses, NINE!, drank wine, and only re-applied once, post meal. What! Amazing. This is most definitely my new favourite lip product. I see it being permanently tattooed onto my lips in the summer months!

What do you think of Impassioned? What is your favourite lip colour?

The Best Hand Cream in the World, EVER.

I have a little bit of a problem with trying to find perfect skincare, for my hands that is. Unfortunately for my mitts I work in an environment which exposes them to harsh conditions, that is, in a professional kitchen, where the washing and drying of hands is as regular occurrence as blinking. No really. You wouldn't think someone would have to wash their hands so often, but when you directly work with food, and in my case it's Pastry, it's very hands on, get your hands stuck in there kind of thing; kneading bread, making pastry, getting covered in chocolate, I'm sure you get the drift.

I have suffered with very severely dry hands, cracked, bleeding knuckles and the like, from this new environment, and believe me, it is not pretty. It is sore and uncomfortable and it doesn't help that you can't really take a break from it to let your hands recover, no, the hand washing continues. I have tried mass amounts of hand creams on the market; Neutrogena, Garnier, Vaseline and E45 to name a few, to try and put a stop to this dry hand madness, however, none have really ever repaired my hands to their former glory, or given them the moisture they need to recover. Enter Human + Kind All in One Family Remedy Cream.

Human + Kind All in One Family Remedy Cream - €22.95 for 75ml*

This cream ticks all the boxes. And I mean every single box. It's a multi-tasker, but it really and truly works in every department. This cream is the messiah of Hand Creams. It is an Irish brand, and is produced to remedy the A-Z of Family skin problems, kind of like Sudocrem, you know; cuts, nappy rash, acne, dermatitis, sunburn, insect bites, even razor burn. This godly stuff is better than Sudocrem. It also contains a natural anaesthetic to soothe pain, and helps heal wounds by forming a protective barrier over the affected area. Anything it can't do?!

Another amazing thing about this product is that each tube is crammed full of healthy, natural ingredients; Broccoli Extract, which protects skin from UV radiation; Aloe Vera, to soothe, hydrate and nourish; Marshmallow, (yes really!), to soothe and calm with anti-inflammatory properties; Rosehip Oil, a good source of Vitamin A with a strong regenerative action reducing dermatitis, eczema, and sunburn; Centella, which heals and treats scars and blemishes; and White Lily, which heals burns and wounds. It also contains shea butter, tea tree oil, calendula, avocado oil, and olive leaf extract.

This cream has a potent tea tree scent, which may put you off if you are looking for something specifically unscented for sensitive skin, but it is dermatologically tested, allergy screened, paraben free, with no added chemicals, and is suitable for all skintypes. This cream completely restored my dry hands and I noticed differences from the first application.

Wanna see something disgusting?! Of course you do.

I acquired this nasty burn from work, and what started off as a small burn with a blister, transformed into this disgusting mountain shaped cut, which is really quite horrible looking, if I do say so myself. I have been applying the Human + Kind Hand Cream on this baby constantly since it happened, and it looks so much better already. It is healing so quickly!

I am genuinely so so happy with this product, and although it may seem a little steep at €22.95 per 75ml tube, it isn't a fad product trying to nab you with false advertising tactics, it really works. It also won the Tatler Beauty Awards 2012/13!

You can find Human + Kind products on their website HERE, or find alternative stockists HERE.
:) x

Lazy Days

My days off these days tend to revolve around family, cooking and shopping. Is that a bad thing?! Ventures to the park with Carl and his little girl Ella have become a regular occurrence in the life of moi. These were taken on a recent outing to Marlay, which has such lovely grounds, a quaint little food market, and a resident peacock. I also nabbed a bit of rhubarb on a shopping expedition and toyed around with making all sorts of rhubarby goodies. I was so sure that I detested rhubarb, it's unfashionable tartness completely ruining it's reputation, but upon experimentation, I have become quite fond of it. It doesn't help that I produce many a rhubarb dessert in work, and obviously I have to taste what I make, so I think I have been kind of forced to like it. Done the right way, it can be an amazing ingredient in desserts. The trick is to sweeten it with quite a bit of sugar. :) I made some meringues for a family dinner and topped them with cream, rhubarb compote, and a rose and orange syrup made from the rhubarb juices, reduced down with orange and rosewater to produce a gorgeous magenta hued syrup. It was such a simple dish to make, and rounded off a weekend dinner perfectly.

The makeup shopping ban I mentioned in my previous post has come to a halt. I caved and bought some goodies. I like to think of them as necessities, but I can't keep making excuses for myself now can I?! From working 16 hour days in work I have come to realise that wearing expensive makeup for that amount of time, in a hot kitchen, is both ridiculous and wasteful. Although many may argue that makeup is not really necessary for this kind of situation, the full coverage loving shallow me would rather not leave the house at all than don a bare face. Shallow I know. I have quite patchy skin, and I feel more comfortable with smooth, even toned skin. Who doesn't?! I'm not trying to convince you all (or myself) that it's ok to go out without makeup, as I have many a time, don't worry like, but for work, it's a different story. I decided to try out L'Oreal's new BB cream, a bare skin beautifier, which promises to mimic the texture of perfect skin. Skincare and coverage?! Me like. The whole BB cream hype came about yonks ago, but now every brand on the market seems to be pulling out the stops to launch their own version. I also bought the ever lovely Bourjois Healthy Mix, a staple in my collection and one of my favourite foundations, an inexpensive drugstore product that I reach for time and time again. The Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection concealer has also made it's way into my shopping bag and into my collection, after hearing mass amounts of hype about this product in the blogging community, I decided to give it a whirl. So far, I am very impressed.

I also received some goodies from the lovely Vicky as I won a giveaway she had a while back. I am now the proud owner of MAC's Impassioned and Pop Cream blush from Topshop, two products I absolutely adore at the moment. I'll do a separate post on them! Thanks again Vicky. :)

I am aware this post has been another ramble, and forgive me if you really don't like these, product reviews coming soon :) And for those who are interested in the foodie pictures, very special post coming next week!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend :) x

Easter Shenanigans

I have been off gallivanting quite a bit lately, whipping out my camera at every possible opportunity. I received some amazing feedback from this post and so I thought I would incorporate some more lifestyle-y posts into my blog. I have mentioned that I love reading these kinds of posts, and more often than not I find myself trawling through food blogs or other lifestyle blogs just absorbing inspiration. I have also become quite fond of my little Sony Nex 5 DSLR, and I really have come to appreciate quality and detail in photographs, and so thought it would do no harm to document some of my adventures here.

First of all I hope all my readers had a lovely Easter weekend! I spent saturday having a posh lunch with my lovely friend Aoife before hitting the pub for an afternoon pint. Sunday was spent consuming way more chocolate than I should have and visiting Kilruddery House and Farmers Market in Wicklow before returning home fresh and springy ready for a family roast. I am also no longer unemployed! HALLELUJAH! After quitting my last job I have been quite sick, visiting doctor after doctor before eventually ending up in the hospital because after 6 weeks of 'food poisoning', it was concluded that it was something a bit more serious than food poisoning. I am finally back on the mend and rearing for my new jobby! YES!

Chicken Liver Parfait and Cockails at the Westbury | Keeping cosy in a vintage cream dress, leopard cardi and scarf | Treats | Lavender | Organic Carrots | Cheesy goodness | The most random signpost I have ever seen | Gardens | Black Radish | Asparagus | Tea and Tisanes | Rhubarb | Chocolate Goodies | Cherry Blossom | Hotdoggity | Flapjacks and traybakes | Wooden eggs | Macro flower shot | Possessed goat | Stoney walkway | Hills | Hut | More hills | Muppet starfish!

I've become such an outdoorsy person as of late, just wanting to nip off, get outside and wander. Check out the possessed goat! I know many of you may not like these kinds of posts, and from now on they probably will just pop up once in a while. I am thinking of setting up a foodie type blog for these kinds of things, where I can post about things I've made and eaten from day to day, or in restaurants out. I did have a food blog yonks ago, but it kind of suffered and got neglected, and so I want to start afresh. Next project maybe? It all depends on how this new job will take it's toll on me. I am preparing for a 6 day work week, working well into the early hours, so it will probably take time to adjust.

I sorted out my wardrobe today and was so amazed to see forgotten clothes and also!; forgotten makeup items. I am ashamed to say that some makeup products are sitting on my dresser still untouched, still packaged and all. I think a makeup ban is in order! It will benefit me in the long term, because then I can actually save up for things I really want, rediscover old favourites, discover new favourites, and use up what I have.

I do this from time to time, decide I am never buying makeup again and then cave a week later. But in all honesty, can anyone really have too many lipsticks?! I don't think so. :)


Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser - €17*

Yes, another Cleanse and Polish review. I really never knew what all the fuss was about. To be frank, I had never really heard of Liz before the world of blogging. It isn't widely available in my neck of the woods, and although available online, I wasn't really drawn to purchasing a skincare product or range from a brand that I hadn't kind of physically seen in person. When you hear of brands in the beauty blogging community and you see them when you're out shopping they pop back into your head, and you think, "Oh, I've heard that this is good, I'll try it!". But with Liz Earle I have never physically seen it on my many wanders through Boots or other chemists, and so, it never really stuck in my head.

I have struggled in the past to find my perfect skincare routine, and while I am lucky enough not to suffer from bad acne (albeit a few breakouts in my teens), I still suffer from clogged pores and combination skin; dry on the forehead, a bit oily in the T-Zone. I test out different skincare products every few months, and when one does nothing for me, I move onto the next, it's predecessor entirely forgotten about never to be purchased again.

The lovely Julie swears by Liz, as do many other beauties in the blogging world, and eventually, about a million years late, I gave in. Before even testing out my new cleanser I was impressed with Liz Earle's professionalism and efficiency. My Cleanse and Polish was wrapped with generous precision in crepe and arrived posted to me with mountains of information about their products, the brand, and included a personalised handwritten note. So far, so good.

The bottle in question is a sturdy standard 100ml of product, packaged in such a way that makes it enticing to use. It's squirty pump expels a perfect blob, enough to cover your entire face without the risk of using too much product in one go.

The Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser boasts that it 'cleanses and gently exfoliates for smoother, clearer skin', and contains natural ingredients, the most prominent of which are rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus, the latter giving this creamy cleanser its distinct aroma. The first time I tried it I felt like I was in a sauna. I love that sauna scent.

It comes with two Muslin cloths, which when used, undenyingly affect the overall result. The back of the bottle states that Cleanse and Polish is a two step process: first, the cleansing; instructing to massage the product all over dry skin to stimulate circulation. The second step; if you haven't guessed already, is the polishing; directing to rinse with the hot water soaked muslin, before splashing with cool water. Used morning and night for the past two weeks, this product has undoubtedly improved my skin. My face is free from blemishes and looks brighter and fresher, and has even been commented on by members of my family who have exclaimed that 'I'm looking really well'. Whatever that means Dad!

One of the most impressive things about Cleanse and Polish is that it is suitable for all skin types, and is universal. I definitely intend to check out the rest of Liz Earle's skincare range and try out a moisturiser to accompany my cleanser. Could this be the beginning of my perfect skincare routine?! Quite possibly. I succumbed to the hype and I am now a total Liz Earle convert.

The Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser retails for €17 and can be purchased here .
Have you tried any Liz Earle products?