Friday, 13 March 2015

Essence Makeup Haul

As you know I escaped the house by myself the other day and made my way to the chemist where I treated myself to a number of Essence makeup products, so here is what I got.

Essence all-in-one CC cream in natural.

I have been having a bad acne break out on my face for the last few weeks so I didn't want to put full foundation on as if I wear it too often it clogs up my pores even more and makes the breakout worse. I have a Nivea bb cream but I don't like the feel of it much, it dries in too quick as I am putting it on and makes me look a bit orange. This cc cream caught my eye as it says clear & correct for even and perfect complexion. As a bonus it has SPF 30, the only issue was even though it was in natural I was worried it might be too dark for my skin as I am pale as pale can be but I was open to the idea of putting a bit of colour on my face and for €4.99 it was worth a try.

I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it. I had already washed and moisturised my face, normally I put primer on before any foundation but I didn't use any at all. The cc cream was light but covered well and blended in nicely without rubbing off. It doesn't have any overpowering smell, I love how light it feels and it doesn't make my skin feel tight. I wasn't left with that mask like feel you sometimes get with foundation, my face felt soft and moisturised. I normally prefer a matte finish but I love the dewy glow the cc cream gave to my skin. It brings a nice bit of colour to my skin without making me look orange, it looks like I got a bit of sun on my face (I wish!).

Here is my before bare face selfie and my cc cream face selfie..

Something else I have never used before is blusher, I have always thought my cheeks were red enough and I was never keen on highlighting that but as I am all for trying new things I picked one up. I got the Essence Blush Up! Powder blush in 20 Pinky Flow for €4.39.

It looked so pretty and caught my eye straight away, I love pink and I thought this shade was nice and subtle. I wasn't quite certain how much to put on so I just swept some across my cheeks ones and then blended it a bit just to give a hint of pink there.

I needed some new eyeshadow and as Cinderella is all the rage now I thought I would go for blue. I had wanted to get the Essence Cinderella range but it wasn't on display in the shop and only when I was finished did I find out they had it in the back. I picked up Essence 3D eyeshadow in 09 Irresistible Midnight Date for €3.49.

My pictures really don't do this eye shadow any justice, the dark blue is full of sparkle, it goes on light but you can build it up to a deeper colour. The light silvery blue goes well with it to brighten the inner corner of the eye. I loved this its so sparkly and would be perfect for a night out.

I used to have a number of coloured eye pencils but I have none now so thought I would start my collection again. Sticking with the blue I got the Essence Longlasting eye pencil in 17 Tu-Tu-Touquoise for €1.89. I thought this was great value.

I love the pop of colour this pencil gives. It's twists up as well which I really like, goes on easy and has a bit of sparkle in it. I will definitely be buying more of these!

To make my eyes pop of course I needed some mascara. I have only ever been a one mascara kind of girl and I never understood the value of having more then one, but after trying a few different mascaras lately I just want to try them all! I got the Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara for €4.09.

I love the design on the tube, it is so pretty and who doesn't want lashes like a princess? I am lacking a bit in the eyelash department so with the promise of extra volume I was hoping this would make my eyes pop and I wasn't disappointed. It made my lashes appear fuller and longer and even picked up my bottom lashes without clumping or smudging. I didn't need to reapply at all throughout the day they stayed full.

To finish my eyes I decided it was time to venture into eyebrow territory. I get my eyebrows plucked every few months but that's about the extent of their up keep. I thought it was about time I got an eyebrow pencil to give them a bit more definition. I got the Essence Eyebrow Designer pencil in 02 Brown for €1.89.

I was worried this would come out too heavy and I would be left with huge dark brows taking over my forehead but I gave it a go and I was pretty pleased with how they turned out, I never realised how faded my brows look when I have makeup on compared to how defined they look now. I will be using this more regularly for sure.

My favourite purchase I got last minute, when I found out they had the Essence Cinderella range, I had to have the Cinderella Highlighting powder. It's so pretty!!

I have never used highlighting powder before but it was so pretty I had to have it and for €4.09 you can't go wrong. I nearly didn't want to use it as the detail in the design is so nice but use it I did. I swept it over the top of my cheekbones, under my eyes, along my brow line, down my nose and a dab on my Cupid's bow. I love the effect it gives, I probably used too much but I just loved it and it's so light going on.

Here is my finished look..

To go along with all my makeup I picked up some eyeshadow applicators for €1.99 and a new blusher brush for €3.49.

Lastly to finish the look I picked up a new nail polish form the Essence Pastels collection, I stuck with my blue theme and went for 07 Bubble Bath for €2.29.

I love this polish, the finish on it is so different it's very soft and almost like the feel of a love heart sweet. I don't think my picture does the colour justice, it's perfect for Spring and I am definitely going to get more of the pastel range.

I really enjoyed doing this makeup haul, it was fun to try out each product and give myself a little makeover. I will definitely be using the cc cream, eyebrow pencil and mascara more regularly. I will need to do another little haul next month I think, I need to get some lipsticks and lip glosses and something I have never tried before is a lip liner. It's fun to try new things and learn along the way, I'm glad that I am rediscovering my love of makeup and I have my Nanny to thank for giving me a few bob towards it all.

What are your go to products that you use regularly?

(I wasn't asked to review these products I bought them myself and wanted to write about them.)

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Escaping the chicken pox and cabin fever!

We are coming to the end of our second round of the chicken pox in this house and I'm going ever so slightly out of my mind from being stuck at home! Ella had them first, she broke out all over during the midterm break. Thankfully she didn't suffer too badly she had no fever and she only scratched one badly, she didn't seem to itch too much. We were stuck at home for a week while she recovered and most of the spots cleared up. Both her and I were delighted when she went back to school.

Just as things started getting back to normal Abigail started to itch, "Mom I think I have a chicken pock!!", I didn't have to look too hard she was quickly covered in them. Unfortunately for her she got them a lot worse then Ella, not only was she covered head to toe but she quickly came down with a very high temperature and she tore the skin off herself with scratching. We didn't get much sleep for 3 nights when finally her temperature returned to normal. Even though she is feeling better I still have to keep her home as she scratched so bad she has opened up her skin and it needs to heal up more before she can go back. So with that I have been cooped up at home for the last week.

Thankfully today Owen was home and I was able to escape for a couple of hours. I never realised how dependent I had become on my mornings to myself, just those couple of hours to get a few bits done, enjoy a mug of coffee and set myself up for the day make all the difference. My Nanny had sent the girls some lovely clips for St. Patricks Day in the post and she very thoughtfully put a few bob in for me and told me to buy myself something nice, so that's what I did today. I went down to the chemist and treated myself to a mini beauty haul. It's good to treat yourself every now and again.

All Essence except for a W7 lip balm. I was delighted to find out they had the new Essence Cinderella range too so I picked up the highlighter powder. I will be spending some time to myself testing this lot out and will be sure to follow up with a post.

After that I went to Tesco and managed to get the shopping done in peace, it's amazing how quick you can get it done when you're on your own. One last treat for myself was a bunch of flowers, they were so pretty and when the sun is shining I love having flowers in the house, they really brighten up a room.

So my little trip out took the edge off my cabin fever, Abigail will still be home tomorrow but fingers crossed she will be back to school on Thursday, she is missing her friends at this stage and she is super bored being stuck at home!

How do you keep your sanity when you're cooped up at home with your kids for a long time?

Sunday, 8 March 2015

#DearMe A letter to my younger self

Dear Sara,

I know things seem really hard now and you feel like the whole world is against you but remember this, you have your whole life ahead of you and this too shall pass..

There will be more tough times ahead, some really tough times but you WILL get through them because you are strong and smart and no matter what you think, you ARE good enough.

Don't worry about what other people think, say or do.. Look after YOU!

YOU are important, I know you don't feel like it now but you are.

In the words of A.A. Milne,

"Promise me you'll always remember:
You're braver than you believe,
and stronger than you seem,
and smarter than you think."

Be kind to yourself.

Go out and meet new people.

Have fun.

Take a tonne of pictures.

Love yourself..

Love your family.

Listen to your Mammy..

Don't forget about your friends.

Don't be afraid to be yourself..

Monday, 2 March 2015

I Can't Breathe.. (Panic Attacks)

All of a sudden a heat rises up in me.
My palms are sweaty and my skin prickles,
The little hairs on the back of my neck stick up.
My face flushes red hot,
My throat feels like it's closing up,
I can't breathe..
I can't even swallow..
What's happening to me?
Am I dying?
My heart pounds in my chest,
My head throbs,
My pulse is racing.
I feel like I'm going to be sick..
My knees get weak,
I can't catch a breath.
Lights dance before my eyes,
Everything is black..

Have you ever had a panic attack? They can come out of nowhere and hit you like a tonne of bricks.

Anxiety and stress greatly increase your chances of having a panic attack. They are terrifying, you feel like you are dying.

When I first started having panic attacks I had no idea what was going on, each time I would collapse and blackout. I have woken up in an ambulance and on one particular occasion where I collapsed waiting for a bus I came to in a puddle on the side of the road. A taxi man very kindly pulled up beside me, rang an ambulance and sat me up in his car.

I started having them while I was in school, at the time I had also been very sick and had my appendix removed. After a while the attacks seemed to ease off but I was still none the wiser as to what was wrong with me. They increased again during my first pregnancy and after numerous tests and a lot of time spent in the hospital I was eventually diagnosed with a Panic Disorder with associated drop attacks. With help I was able to recognise when an attack was starting and how to defer it so here are some helpful tips if you feel a panic attack coming on :

If you can, put your back to a wall and slowly sink down to your knees, this will help stop you from collapsing.

Don't think about not breathing focus on slowing your breathing because more then likely you will be hyperventilating which is why you aren't getting enough air, take deep breaths slowly in and out again.

Don't worry about what's going on around you, never be embarrassed.

If you are inside, once your breathing has eased a bit, go out and get some air, it will cool you down too. Bring someone with you.

If you are feeling stressed, anxious, aren't sleeping or eating well, go talk to your Doctor. There is probably an underlying issue that needs to be addressed and it really really helps to talk.

Don't bottle up your worries, write it all down, talk to friends and family, let them know how you feel.

I hope you find this helpful, I just want to clarify that I am not a doctor of any kind and I am just speaking from my own personal experiences.

Friday, 13 February 2015

The Book of You - Review

YOU wanted me, Clarissa.
YOU lied to me, Clarissa.
YOU left me no choice, Clarissa.
I warned YOU, Clarissa.

It is you..
Of course it is you.
Always it is YOU..

The Book of You is the debut novel by Claire Kendal.

A dark and gripping tale of obsession and deception. Clarissa is becoming more and more frightened of her colleague, Rafe. He won't leave her alone and he won't take no for an answer. He is always there.

Being selected for jury service is a relief. In the courtroom she will be safe. But as a violent tale of abuse unfolds, Clarissa begins to see parallels between her own situation and that of the woman on the witness stand.

Realising that she bears the burden of proof, Clarissa unravels the twisted fairy tale that Rafe has spun around them and discovers that the ending he envisions is more terrifying then she could have imagined...

I was delighted to be sent this book to review, I love a good thriller, a story I can really sink my teeth into, a book that I can't put down. I stayed up till half 2 in the morning sitting on the bathroom floor so I wouldn't wake anyone just so I could finish reading. I couldn't sleep without knowing how it ended. It's very hard for me to put into words how captivating the story is without giving away too much, but I will admit that some of it was very hard to read, it is quite gruesome and violent in some instances but what scared me the most was how helpless Clarissa was in the situation she was in. I wanted to scream at her sometimes to ask for help but in the same situation could I? Would I want anyone to know?

Clarissa is falling apart at the seams throughout the book as she is continually dogged and harassed by Rafe, he invades every aspect of her life and cuts her off from everyone and everything. He invades her dreams, the thought of him makes her feel sick. A lot of the time I was reading I felt uneasy. There are a lot of references to fairy tales in this book but it only goes to show how far from a fairy tale life really is. Don't expect a fairy tale ending.. I was surprised by the end but I admire the authors will to create a reality.

This book is chilling, addictive, it will make you uneasy but it is masterfully written. It will leave you on edge. Don't plan on reading it before you go to sleep unless you are willing to stay up until the end.

Claire Kendal is already working on her next psychological thriller and I am truly excited to see what she has in store for us. If you are looking for something to keep you up at night I highly recommend this, it is well worth the read. You can keep up to date with Claire on Twitter.

(Disclosure : I received this book as part of the Mumsnet Bookclub for the purpose of a review. All opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.)