Sunday, March 22, 2015

Current Haircare Favourites

Hair has never really been my thing. I've never been one of those girls who devotes a certain amount of time each morning to styling her hair, and I would probably put that down to a combination of laziness and the fact that I have pin straight hair which simply refuses to be moulded into something other than a lifeless mop no matter what I do with it. As a result hair products have never been high up on my beauty wishlists. A few weeks back, however, I decided to go for 'the chop' and cut off the long locks that I had sported for years, not because it seems to be the blogger thing to do at the moment, but because I craved having manageable hair once more. And it seemed to have ignited a newfound interest in me in all things hair. New hair always equals new haircare products, and today I thought I would go through my current favourites. 

For Christmas, my sister bought me one of the Lush Solid Shampoo Bars and I have to say that I was really quite surprised with how good it was. They are a bit messier to store compared to regular shampoo, but they lather up so well and last for ages. At the moment I'm alternating between Seanik which contains seaweed and sea salt and adds shine and volume to my hair, and Jumping Juniper which I love for it's clarifying properties. The Unite 7 Seconds Conditioner is more of a long term love at this stage rather than a current favourite as such, but I had to include it as it is a product that I genuinely couldn't be without in my haircare routine. If I want to have hair that I can get a brush through that it. Though pricey, it is one of the few products that I know I will re-purchase for a long time to come - it is the best de-tangler that I've ever come across and it makes post washing hair management a pain free process. My hair is quite fine and gets weighed down easily so I can't use heavy conditioners and treatments too often - this Unite offering is ideal for frequent use as it does everything (detangles, acts as a thermal and UV protector, repairs, protects and strengthens my hair) without weighing it down. Whenever I stop using it for a few days (like when I'm away on holiday and can't bring it with me) I always notice the difference in the condition of my hair and how much more difficult it is to manage post washing. Speaking of products/tools that make de-tangling my hair that bit easier, the Wet Brush was a relatively recent addition to my haircare arsenal but something that I instantly knew would be sticking around for a while. I have been a true Tangle Teezer fan for the past few years, but I haven't so much as looked at it since the Wet Brush came into my life. For something that looks so cheap and flimsy, it certainly delivers in terms of getting through knots and tangles. I used to dread the process of brushing through my hair after washing it, something which took a while and was often quite painful, but this brush makes everything so much easier and faster and I have noticed a huge difference in breakage and hair fallout. 

I have always had a pre-occupation with having voluminous hair and now that my hair is shorter and easier to manage, I have been experimenting with different products without fear of creating a birds nest and having to shave all my hair off. I picked up the Bumble and Bumble Thickening Hairspray (along with a mini Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner) back in January with some Boots points that were burning a hole on my card, and I've been using it after pretty much every hair wash since. I spritz it all over while my hair is still damp and then blow dry it, and it creates a bit more body in my hair which lasts for most of the day. In a nutshell, it makes my hair look less like I've just come out of the hairdressers and they've straightened and serum-ed the roots to within an inch of it's life, and more like it's just naturally thick and bouncy. I've read a few reviews where the user has commented on it feeling sticky, but I really don't notice it in my hair at all. The Oribe Dry Texturising Spray has become another staple in my routine when I want some va-va-voom in the roots and I can really see why everyone raves about it. It creates texture in my baby fine hair without making it feel sticky, crunchy or dirty and it holds impressively well. I purchased the full size (simply because I had finally convinced myself that I needed it and I went into Space NK only to be told that they were out of stock of the smaller size), and I can really see it lasting a long time. Which softens the sting of parting with forty odd euro for a can of hairspray just a little. I never quite got the hang of teasing my hair, but lately I've been using the Denman Dressing Out Brush with the Dry Texturising Spray to get a little more height into my roots and it really does turn backcombing into a relatively simple process. I always have to have some sort of a dry shampoo in my collection, and one that I'm really liking at the moment is the Bumble and Bumble Pret-a-Powder. It's an 'all in one' hair powder that offers oil absorption, volume boosting and style extending benefits and it's super handy for throwing in my bag and using on the go. I'm not sure if it's worth spending the extra money on over a can of Batiste, but I've been enjoying using it all the same. 

What are your current favourite haircare products?
Lots of love, Rachael 

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Few New Beauty Additions

February was an expensive month for me what with moving cities and house and all of the necessary but boring 'grown up' purchases that come with such changes, but I still couldn't help but pick up a few long lusted after beauty products throughout the month. Yes, I probably should have postponed the excessive and completely unnecessary spending  for another month, but what's a girl to do when she is finally within a five minute drive of a Space NK? And that's not to mention all of the other beauty brands that I finally have access to like Charlotte Tilbury, NARS and Lush that I previously could only ever lust after from afar. Hopefully the excitement will subside with time... at least for my bank balance's sake. I also had a massive beauty clear out last weekend (a beauty spring clean if you will) and gave a huge amount of unused products away to family and friends, which can obviously only mean one thing... I now have more space for new purchases.

Starting with the most expensive and cringe-worthy purchase - the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray had been on my radar for quite a while but it wasn't until I went for 'the chop' a few weeks back that I decided to just go for it. A new haircut always calls for new haircare products, right? At least in my book it does! My hair is naturally poker straight and fine, but I do have quite a bit of it - sadly, that combination means that my hair tends to fall flat most of the time and it's a nightmare to try and get a bit of volume and life into. I have been spraying a little of the Oribe Dry Texturising Spray into my roots after it has been freshly washed, and it has been making a huge difference to the volume levels of my hair. Not life changing by any manner of means, but definitely enough to justify the purchase. It gives my hair a bit of grit and texture and holds volume for most of the day. I usually use it with the Bumble & Bumble Thickening Hairspray and the two work amazingly well together to inject a bit of life into my locks. Whilst I was making my Oribe purchase, my beady eye spotted the Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 at a nearby counter and I didn't even think for a split second before picking one up and adding it to my small but outrageously expensive loot. Extravagant I know, but I have wanted to try this perfume for years and literally couldn't believe my eyes when I finally saw it in person. For those who are unfamiliar with the product, it is quite a unique fragrance in that it consists of just a single ingredient and supposedly enhances the natural pheromones of the wearer which results in it smelling differently on each person. Personally, it doesn't really smell of anything to me, but from doing a little research online it seems that this is a common complaint with new users. So I will continue to use it and hopefully I will get random people coming up to me wanting to know what fragrance I'm wearing. Which is what I've been led to believe is what happens with this perfume... We'll see! 

After asking for Soar Lip Liner (a.k.a that Kylie Jenner shade) at every MAC counter that I've passed by since Christmas but to no avail, I've come to the conclusion that I probably won't be getting my mitts on it any time soon. So I settled for a lipstick in the shade 'Brave' to fill the Kylie Jenner shaped hole in my heart, at least until Soar comes back into stock. 'Brave' is a pretty mauvey-pink shade with a satin finish that is similar to something that K-Jen would wear. It's a little bit different to what I would usually go for but I've been wearing it a lot since I bought it, usually with my trusty Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Pencil in Pillow Talk. It's wearable and classic and ideal for work, though it can be a bit drying on my lips at times. I also picked up one of the new Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes in the shade Nude Mauve and I'm already smitten with it after just a few uses. These have been likened to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes and they are quite similar, but it's more the shade that I'm obsessed with. Nude Mauve is a mix of pink and dusky rose/brown shades that leaves a noticeable but not too 'in your face' shimmering finish. It's exactly the type of blush shade I like - something natural looking that almost acts as a contour and can be worn with virtually any make-up look. I had been contemplating picking up a second Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure, but this shade is so similar that I won't be bothering with it. The NARS Sheer Glow Foundation was actually a re-purchase, but only because the first one I bought turned out to be completely the wrong shade for me. Which is what I get for buying foundation online I suppose. This time I was properly matched to the shade 'Fiji, Light 5' at a counter and oh boy, the difference wearing the right shade makes to how you feel about a foundation really is incredible. I have only been wearing this a few days but I have already fallen head over heels for it, which is weird because I didn't really rate it beforehand. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post where I plan on going into more detail about my change of heart.    

The Origins Ginzing Energy Boosting Moisturiser was another re-purchase - this stuff is my all time favourite day moisturiser and I really found myself missing it in my morning skincare routine when I ran out of it around Christmas time. I've talked about it a few times before, but I'll mention just once more about how much I adore the lightweight but incredibly moisturising formula and citrusy refreshing scent. My final purchase was the Lush Ro's Argan Body Conditioner, which I haven't gotten around to using yet but boy am I excited to. It's an in shower skin conditioner that is packed with nourishing butters and oils which leaves the skin feeling hydrated, soft and supple. Much like what a good hair conditioner would do to your locks post cleansing. 

Have you made any recent beauty purchases?
Lots of love, Rachael 


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spring Beauty

There is just something so uplifting about entering into the spring months, and now that the days are finally starting to get that little bit longer and brighter I can feel my spirits start to rise. I'm definitely a warm blooded creature at heart (above anything else, I really cannot stand being cold), and I love the thought of being one step closer to being able to leave the house without a coat, hat and scarf once spring rolls around. I'm not really one to diligently follow seasonal make-up trends (I'm going to wear that tinted moisturiser in winter if I want to), but I do love switching things up just a little in spring. To get me into the spring spirit, I thought I would showcase my make-up and beauty picks for this year - all completely stereotypical of course, but I wouldn't be a beauty blogger if I didn't pay homage to lightweight bases and pastel nail colours in spring. 

The colder months wreak havoc with my skin and by the time spring rolls around it often tends to look dull and lacklustre. I do my best to look after it with skincare, but when I need an extra boost of glowiness I turn to make-up. The Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector is ideal as it can be used in so many ways to fake naturally dewy skin - it can be layered on underneath foundation, worn on it's own, mixed in with your base of choice or used as a liquid highlighter on the high points of the face. I have it in the shade Moonstone which imparts the most stunning golden/champagne hue to the skin, and I'm obsessed with it now that we are into the spring months. For foundation, there are two in particular that I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of this spring - the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and the YSL Le Teint Touche Éclat Foundation. To be fair, I have been wearing the NARS offering all through winter with great success so I wouldn't say that it's especially suited towards the warmer months, but I do associate brighter days with low coverage bases and this is my favourite at the moment. It does give a little more coverage than your average tinted moisturiser which is great, but it's the naturally dewy finish which is what I love most about it. I also love the formula of the YSL La Teint Touche Éclat, but purchasing a shade that's too light for me has stopped me from using it on a regular basis thus far. Which is why I'm thinking about just biting the bullet and buying another to take me through the spring months after getting properly matched up at a counter. Ugh, when will I learn that buying foundation online is never a good idea?! 

Spring makes me think of pretty pastel shades (ground breaking, I know), and though I probably won't opt for them clothing wise (I'm a monochrome girl through and through) I may just incorporate them into my make-up. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow is a stunning cool toned pink shade that adds an impressive amount of light and luminosity to my complexion through the use of something called 'photoluminescent technology'. Yes, it's gone over my head too, but you can be damn sure that I'm going to be all over anything that promises to boost radiance while adding a pretty flush of colour to the cheeks. And this one delivers. Eyeshadow-wise, I'm all about the neutrals year round but sometimes it's nice to inject a little bit of colour every now and again. To a certain extent. The By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock is a shimmering taupe shade with a pinkey-plum undertone to it, and that is about as colourful as I'm going to get in the eyeshadow department. It can be smudged on all over the lids and blended out in next to no time to create a neutral eye make-up look with a bit of a twist. I like to pair it with a nude coloured eyeliner in the waterline to really help open up the eyes, and I'm loving the NYX Wonder Pencil at the moment.   

Moving onto the lip category... Spring is a time to ditch the dark and vampy lipsticks and opt for lighter colours instead (if you want to stick to stereotypical trends that is). Two I am loving at the moment are the Dior Addict Lip Glow and Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in the shade Boy. The Dior Lip Glow is a 'made-to-measure' lip balm that reacts with the chemistry of the lips to create a customised shade on each person - interesting, right? On me, it imparts a rosy pink hue and somehow manages to plump my lips up and give them a healthier, fuller look. Oh, and it also helps protect them against the harsh March weather that we tend to experience in Ireland with the inclusion of SPF and other nourishing ingredients in the formula. The Chanel Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in Boy is the perfect sheer, baby pink shade that really could be worn any time of year but I love the idea of lightweight, moisturising lipstick formulas for the spring and I don't think I will be putting this one down over the coming months. For fragrance, I think I will be sticking to the Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne this spring - the light, floral scent is perfect for this time of year and just can't get enough  of it at the moment.  

What are your spring beauty favourites?
Lots of love, Rachael