Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Aurora Band - Does it actually work??

A few of you may have noticed that this  review has been a long time in the making. Straight up, it was because I wasn't so blown away by my first attempt at using the Aurora Band and I really wanted to be. Although I don't personally know the creator, I hear we went to the same school, her salon is around the corner from my mam's. It felt too close. I also applaud anyone who puts themselves out there and tries something new, even more so if they're female and local so, as you can imagine, I had a case of the awks after my first attempt. Stick with me though story gets a bit better. 

Attempt Number 1:

How I used the band:

I washed my hair, applied my holy grail leave in conditioner and roughly dried my hair. I got all of the heavy wet out of it. I'd say it was about 40% dry.
I looked at youtube video on how to apply the band and off I went.

A critical thing to point out here is the texture of my hair as I feel it had a big effect on my results with the band. My hair is naturally wavy/curly. 

In brief:
  • The band was easy to apply, it took a couple of minutes and wasn't that fiddly. This was great as I have a lot of hair.
  • The band genuinely was really easy to sleep on. Nothing like my those bloody sleep in rollers. I didn't notice it after a while and I'm happy to report that it didn't come out during the nigh  on both uses.

The results:

I think this looks grand from a distance but it was a bit too 70's for me.

    • The next morning I'd be lying if I said that the band came out like it did in the demo video on the Dragons Den. There was a bit of reefing going on. I think this is down to my technique and the texture of my knot prone hair.
    • When I did have my hair out I wasn't really crazy on the result because I felt it looked a bit too crazy. To me, it was wild. I don't feel that the natural texture of my hair is the ideal candidate for this product. From a distance it may have looked grand but it felt frizzy and undone to me. I ended up using heat tools to smooth it out.

A bit too frizzy for my liking. 

                                        Say Whuut? This is the how my hair felt for the day.

Attempt Number 2

For my second attempt using the band I dried my hair so that it was about 90% dry. Again, I used my leave in conditioner but this time I made sure to smooth my hair down and dried it in sections.

The band went in easily again, was easy to sleep on and didn't budge during the night. It also came out a bit easier, I'm guessing that this was because my hair didn't have as much of a knotty nature to it from being straightened. 

Definitely a lot less cray cray. 

The results were a lot tamer, and my hair felt how I like it to feel, smooth with a bit of a kink and curl to it. I have to point out though that it didn't stay like this for the day. I think I over straightened it in my prep stages. Next time I use it I will try and dry my hair to around the 70% mark.

My overall thoughts:

I think results using this product really depend on your own natural hair type. 
Given the rough, curlyish texture of my own hair it wasn't the simple 'blast your hair dry and have your hair sorted in minutes' product that I thought it was going to be. I think that's the curse of my own hair really though, I was a bit deluded to think that a band of velcro, cotton and foam was going to magically change that.
My own hair type aside, I do feel that the  Aurora Band really does work and would be ideal if you had naturally smooth hair or if you're willing to put in a little more effort if you've less than straight hair.   
I will use the Aurora Band again, probably for during the work week and leave the heat tools for the weekend, which I'm sure my hair will thank me for. 

I picked mine up in McCabes Pharamacy in Swords for €12.99

Monday, April 20, 2015

The ultimate lazy guide to taking off make up

Lately I've been on a quest to find a shortcut to doing everything. If there's a corner to be cut, I'm going to be snipping away at that bad boy. Normally I'm quite good with my skincare, I've a solid routine using some ridiculously priced products down, but I have to admit, more often than not lately I've been thinking that to remove my make up and take all of the necessary steps in doing so just seems like eeehhfort. You'd swear I had it caked on, although, gimme two more months and I'll probably be just drawing in what supposed to be cheekbones with a brown marker.

Back to make up removal...

At night, the thoughts of taking off eye make up, taking off my 'face' and cleansing  is just a chore I simply can't be arsed with. It's all just too much. I've tried the make up wipe route but let's be honest here people. It's like ordering lettuce on a chicken fillet roll and convincing yourself it's a 'salad sandwich', you're not fooling anyone. They're crap, I've tried them all. They always, always leave a scree of mascara under the eye and wouldn't be passing a Kim n Aggy white glove test.

Well, it's as though the good people at Garnier were up to some mind reading and have invented the world's easiest and best make up remover, 'Essentials Miscellar Cleaning Water',

This stuff might as well be renamed Miracle Water.  It takes off everything. Honestly, total face nakedness in one product. At night I use one large cotton wool pad and some of this miracle water and it takes off all brows, eye make up, (including mascara) and all of my foundation.
I've even gone over my face with cotton wool and toner just to double check that it's really taken it all off only to be proven a (delighted) doubting Tom.
The toner only happens though if I've reached moderate levels of laziness, this product doesn't
leave your skin tight or in even needing it if you've reached Mama June levels. If I'm being very fancay, I'll treat myself to some night cream.

May you go forth and do very, very little.

* I bought mine in Boots, it's on sale at the moment for €4.19. It's also for sale in Pennys/ Primark.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

You Used To Be Sound

By that title what I really mean is 'I used to be sound', but the Irish self deprecation gene stops me from writing that. But it's true. Kinda.

I used to have a life. That's not to say that I don't have one now but it's most certainly been altered and I've a feeling it's going to change a hellova lot more over the next while.
Don't get me wrong, I'm delira to be pregnant, genuinely over the moon but I wanted to write this blog to mark the change in my life, or maybe in small way to mourn some of the changes too.

Once upon a time I used to go to gigs. Gigs are great, they're noisy and loud and filled with beer and great music. The only gig I've been at recently is that time last week when I turned up the Smashing Pumpkins really loud in my car for a whole song. There's a 90's revival going on, that still makes me relevant right?

I miss spontaneity in general as well. As it turns out, tiredness and spontaneity don't really go hand in hand. No more are there just impromptu trips to the cinema because even getting off my arse to go and sit on my arse somewhere else seems like a lot of effort. I call it tiredness, you'd call it laziness. You'd probably be right.

Wine. I miss that one too. Red wine, in large glasses and plenty of it. You may have noticed my penchant for talking shite, I'm quite the fan. Red wine and talking shite with your girlos go hand in hand. Talking shite over a diet coke until 10pm when you start to fade because you're getting tired (not lazy...) is about as satisfying as buying a massive bar of chocolate and only eating 2 squares, 'because you're being good'.

The ability to stand up, turn in bed or bend over without making old man sighing noises.

Controlling my hormones. I hear hissy fits are back in style, closely followed to coming near to tears when someone gives you a packet of mini creme eggs and you were really really looking forward to a normal creme egg.

Now like I said, this is probably a very premature list. Give me a few more months and I'm sure there'll be a hole heap of things that could be added on to the list.

Mamas out there, forget your lovely bundle of squishiness and hugs, fill me in, what do you  miss the most?

Note to self:
*I will get to see the Montage of Heck*
* I will get to the see the Montage of Heck*
*I will make efforts to move on from the 90's*

P. Diddy has just informed me that he misses me being sound too. Aahh. <3 Love <3

Monday, April 13, 2015

You're Being Lied To

Yep, I just ended that title in a presposition.  That's right,  I'm just all kinds of wild tonight. 

I've come to the conclusion that's been confirmed by recent weight gain that I've been blessed with the cheeks of a gerbil. Big, roundy, fat storing beauties. Thanks Dad. That conclusion isn't concrete though, I still haven't ruled out the idea that I'm experiencing some facial form of the evolution of the puffer fish. 

Increased time spent sitting on my arse has  lead to increased time spent on Instagram.  I'm not quite at need to be carried to the dinner table stage yet like that ad on tv but I do stress the yet. To my advantage, I don't think P.Diddy has access to a crane. 

 Back to my puffer fish face and Instagram obessession.. so I follow a lot of chung ones, bloggers and primark on it. I look at the pics, compare them to my own life and base my self worth on how the two compare. Listen, I'm not proud of it, but it's that and voyeurism  that the whole app thrives on. We're clearly not there 'for the articles'. My increased face volume has lead me to be very aware of the fact that everyone on it is a ride. Like, no one ever has the sheer volume of face that I seem to have. 

I was having this very discussion with a friend when she showed me something that made me feel a whole lot better about my expanding face situation. It was two pictures of a girl we only know online. One she'd taken of herself before a night out, looking her usual posed, poised, preened, pouty and any other p adjective self, the second picture was a shot taken by someone else of her smiling naturally with her friend on the same night. I'm not being a see you next Tuesday here, she was still very pretty in the second photograph but holy Jesus there was a whole world of a difference in the two pictures. I'm talking about the sort of difference that good lighting alone wouldn't sort out. I'm talking bone structure, face shape, 'is that really the same girl' sort of difference. I brought this up with the enabler and that's when she gave me some news that I'm still processing. 

We're being lied to.

It's an app.

A bleedin app, and they're ALL bleedin at it. I'm not just referring to the filters on Instagram, sure we all know about them. It turns out there are photoshopping apps that can be downloaded for free in the app store that will drop 10 pounds off your face in the slide of an index finger. 

I don't know why I'm so bothered by this. At some stage we've all used stuff to change our appearance, make up being a daily one others being  tan, hair dye, extensions, magic knickers, chicken fillets, push up bras, fake eyelashses, the list goes on. The thing is though, these are all physical, tactile changes. This app seems like the digital version of Bridget Jones' knickers, I just don't know if I'm ready for that. I'm suddenly having an empathy for all those teenage guys who shoved their eager hand up some young one's top only to be disappointed with less than a handful and what felt like the makings of tomorrows dinner. 

Maybe I'm just showing my age. Maybe these apps are the Bridget Jones knickers of this generation and I just hadn't realised it yet. What bugs me though is that I was aware of images being altered of celebs in magazines, Heat magazine has me well informed on celebs and their bad photoshop jobs, I just wasn't really aware that it was going on  on Instagram. Instagram for me is supposed to be real people posting real pics of their own lives, even if they are very carefully angled and pretentiously over thought. 

Less waffling, more app naming I hear you say. Ok, ok, it's called FotoRus. It's free in the apple app store, there are probably loads more but it's the only one I could bring myself to download without feeling dirty. 

The app lets you:

  • soften skin
  • brighten skin
  • change your skin tone
  • fix blemishes
  • slim your nose
  • slim your face
  • enlarge your eyes
  • sort out your eyebags
  • lift your nose
  • brighten your eyes.
I shit you not. All of the above and not a single course in Photoshop need be taken. 

Time to roll out the big boys and show you what it can do.

There are the cheeks in all of their make up free, fat storing glory on the left:

And there they on the right are once my app and index finger have worked it's magic. 

If that's me in my leaba at 8pm of a Monday night just imagine the results you could get with the help of some make up and a bit of decent contouring.

If you're anything like me, you'll now spend at least the next 30  minutes taking messing with photos of yourself and then spend the next 30 minutes after that trying to figure out who has and hasn't used the app on their Instagram.

***please note, all that being said, I might just end up using it myself in the future. I'm shallow like that........

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Thoughts that go through every girl's head before swimming

Today I'm going swimming for the first time in my pregnancy, and if I'm honest, by a swim I mean a float. There will be no Michael Phelps style laps of the pool for me, more lying back, belly in the air trying to ignore the water going up my nose and convincing myself that this is the life.

It occurred to me this morning  that I have spent an irrational amount of time thinking about this float this week. By every girl in that heading I'm probably just referring to myself. No one can be this neurotic but I hope they are, because then I'll feel a lot better.

So here's a few of the thoughts that I have go through my head for the last few days, all of these on a recoccurring, in no particular order, loop.

  • The the obvious issue of defuzzing, but I'll spare everyone the mental image of that one

The ever present issue of typical Irish skin:
  • Do I need to tan? Yeah I'm a bit white, I don't want to scare people away/ have them think that there's a lunar eclipse happening in Cashel. I'll do humanity a favour and put some on. I'm such a considerate person.
  • If I put tan on do I need to exfoliate first? Probably, cakey tan is no bueno.
  • Ok, I'll exfoliate the night before and tan that morning, that way I don't have to sleep basking in the smell of burnt biscuits.
  • But - I'm feeling really lazy, I can't be arsed doing any of that. Ok, ok, do it all on the morning in a mad panic. It'll be graaaand.
  • Oh, but now I'll need to tan and then shower before swimming. No one wants to tango the pool. People will either think you've pissed yourself or that you're some creature from The Blue Lagoon.. (or orange lagoon in this case)
  • P.Diddy will have to do my back. Where's P.Diddy?? What does he MEAN he's making my breakfast?? I need him to do my back. How inconsiderate.
What do you with my hair...

  • My hair needs a wash
  • Do I want to get my hair wet in the pool? It's nice not having to worry about ruining it, it's also nice being able to stick your head under the water. Ok, I'll go with getting hair wet.
  • But .. but... does that mean leaving the gaff with hair like that? Oh.
  • Does this also mean I'll have to dry my hair when I'm away? Must factor in 30 minute for hairdrying. 
  • Now need to pack Instyler, hair grip, hair products.
  • Will the hotel have a decent hairdryer? Probably not, best pack that
  • *an extra 10kg of luggage now to be carried by the ever suffereing P.Diddy to the car*
Make up

  • Repeat entire process of hair questions swapped with to make up or not make up before swim
  • Decides not to make up, ain't nobody got time for mascara down face look because inevitably I wont have removed it properly in the room.
  • Again, do I have to leave the gaff like that so? Oh. 
Swim Attire

  • Luckily I can now avoid the 'is a bikini too slutty for a family hotel or should I embrace my inner aul one / Michelle Smith - DeBrun (showing my age much?) and wear a swimsuit?' debate. It's howiya Michelle for me.
  • It's a given that my belly is gonna look big in that, let's move on to obsessing over the size of your arse instead then.
Anything else?
  • Should I paint my toenails? Do they match my fingernails? Oh for fuck sakes, this is Cashel, not Cancun.

Total time spent thinking about swim: 4 hours 26 minutes
Total time spent in pool:  14 minutes.

Exhausted. If mental energy expended could be translated into physical energy I'd be a size 6. 

I need to get out more.

On a less neurotic note...

Just LOOK at the swimsuit we got for baba. 
*Heart melts and relaxes again*

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I'm in Love - Green Angel Sunrise Body Smoother

There's no other way to start this post other than with an Oh My God. 

Oh My God this stuff smells so amazing that I switch into full on crazy lady mode every time I use it. I literally stand in the bathroom for around 30 seconds with my head stuck in the jar inhaling  every time I open it. 

Ok.. I'm getting a little over excited by this post. Let me start again from the beginning. 

For those of you new to Green Angel you're in for a wonderful world of discovery.  Green Angel is an Irish natural skincare company that use blends of seaweed, essential oils and other natural ingredients in all of their products. To top it all off, they're quite reasonably priced too considering all of the expensive non synthetic ingredients that are used. What's not to love about all of that?

P.Diddy proved that he does actually listen to me, or just got really lucky, and bought me the Sunrise Body Smoother with Argan Oil (the exfoliator in laymans terms) as part of my Christmas gift. I have to give it to him, he done good!

To sounds like Louis Walsh, this product is a triple threat: (did I really just write that?? I think the citrus has gone to my head) 

It smells amazing. It's lemony, citrusy, super super fresh. It brings back memories of Super Splits during the Summer holidays and gives me the biggest craving for homemade lemonade every time I use it.

The essential oils and argan oil is so nourishing that it leaves the skin super soft afterwards with no need to moisturise.

It's actually a really good exfoliator. It give a really good scrubby feeling so good that it's great to use for pedicures too. 

Ok, Im going over 3 here but it comes in a really cool jar that you get to keep afterwards. Who doesn't love mason type jars? 

According to the website, the full list of ingredients are:

Aqua, Argan Oil, Bladderwrack Extract, Carragheen Extract, Grapefruit Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Knotted Wrack Extract, Lemon Oil, Pure Dried Salt, Sea Lavender Extract, Thyme Extract, Toothed Wrack Extract

As you can see there's no nasty chemical in there. Only natural, wonderful smelling goodness.

 A great tip is to stand in the shower or bath with the water off first before you use it. It has enough essential oils in it to spread well and it stops the salts from going all over the floor.

This product is a holy grail product as far as I'm concerned. It's a Tan Thursday essential!

P. Diddy picked mine up at Evelyn Bradley's Chemist in Artane. It can be bought in chemists nationwide or alternatively can be purchased online for €29.99 using the following link:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Where do you go??? My lovely.

'MEMBER that song?? No Mercy is right, I'm taking no prisoners with that little earworm. That little bad boy (band) is gonna root right in there for DAYS. You're welcome ;)

So.... if I haven't managed to melt you head completely and you're still reading, this little post was supposed to be about my very long hiatus from the world of blogging. 

In the spirit of this year's One City One Book   (your  life will be improved immeasurably by clicking on that link) I'm up the pole. A1 Maro. 6 months and counting to be exact. 

In all seriousness, I'm over the moon. Our little baby girl is due this July. I won't bore you all with details because I'm not really a mammy and baby blogger, to be honest I don't really know my arse from my elbow yet in regards to the whole mothering thing. Case in point being the fact that I'm currently listening to Mozart for baby brain development because both Helena Bonham Carter and the Daily Mail told me it makes for a smart baby. Life lessons from the Daily Mail. Bit of an oxymoron there. 

Back to my absence. All was going grand in the world of blogging for me and then the first trimester hit and BAM!! there went the  desire to do anything other than lie on the sofa or bed depending on which one was closer. The only way I can describe the tiredness of those first few months is by comparing it to the Death Eaters in Harry Potter. Ya know the way they're described as sucking out every last bit of happiness from a persons body, right down to their very soul? Yeah. Like that. But with energy. Bedtime at 6.30pm was a welcome occurrence a few times. Thank Holy Jesus that's done with. Other than that though I can't complain. I've had a pretty textbook perfect pregnancy so far. Ok, I know I said I wasn't going to talk about baby stuff but I want to take this moment to be a smug git. In terms of health issues, I'm generally the one to get the raw end of the deal. I was the kid in the class who got the measles from the MMR jab, yeah, that kid. So I'm relishing in the fact that I have had no morning sickness, no back pain, no heartburn and if I continue any longer, soon to be no female readers.

So on that note I'll leave you with a hello! I hope you can drop by over the next while.

A big shout out to my homies in Belarus, Egypt,. Japan and Finland who've been checking in during my absence! I'm randomly delighted :) 

 Mother, Child and Grandfather all doing well.