Sunday, September 21, 2014

One Month Water Challenge - It's all over!

And the results are in! I think it's safe to say, One Month Water Challenge nil points! Ah no, that's a little harsh, there have been massive benefits in some areas, but do I look 10 years younger? No. Do I look tired for a Sunday morning? Yes. 

So here it is..

 Left = final pic, Right = 4 weeks ago

How's your skin looking?

Not 10 years younger, that's pretty evident. If I'm being honest with myself, in a very unIrish fashion to speak positively of oneself, I don't really think I'd  many signs of ageing to undo in the first place. I've come to realise that the woman in the original before and after shot ( seen herewas 10 years my senior, which would naturally leave a little more scope for change. I was hoping that ye magical water cure would get rid of some expression lines and the beginnings of some fine lines around the eyes but unfortunately that was not to be the case.
 I've had a couple of breakouts over the last few weeks. Although, I find myself singing that Queens of the Stone Age chorus line 'First they giveth then they taketh  away', every time I look in the mirror because despite the fact that the spots came on quite abruptly, they also went quite quickly too. 

Overall I'm not too unhappy with how my skin looks. I figure that the spots must have been a result of toxins in my system, or hormones or something and sure better out than in. My skin tone has improved, and my skin itself feels more supple and  softer to touch. 

Have there been any major benefits?
There's been a fair few. 
  • although it doesn't look younger, my skin feels better
  • my stomach is far less bloated  and other general bowel related benefits (ew)
  • I've avoided getting sick despite there being many bugs going about
  • I've lost a small bit of weight
  • If I reach for my mid morning snack it's purely out of habit and not because I'm that hungry
  • I've had more energy 
  • I've avoided hangovers

What major challenges have you found this ,month?

Drinking 3 litres of water is a pain in the ringer.

Do you feel any different?

I feel healthier. I wouldn't go all out and say that I feel like a clean living yoga guru but my body feels like it's working better.

Has it been worth it?
 Yes, but I've come to the conclusion that 3 litres of water is just unmanageable. Towards the end it became quite the struggle and I'm not too sure if it's really all that extra beneficial. I've decided that I will continue drinking more water than I used to but I'm going to drink 2 litres a day instead.
 I wonder now how I used to get by for days on just maybe a glass of water and a cup of tea. I really don't know how I was expecting my body to function properly. I think that drinking more water so that my body functions better is going to be more prevention rather than cure for my skin. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Estée Lauder Sculpting Foundation Brush - worth every cent

Last week I was having a pretty crappy week. My skin was in bits and it was all over 'tinternet for everyone to see. (Car crash blogging can be seen here if you fancy a nose.)  As a result, my recent decision to swap over to BB cream was thrown out the window and I came back, tail between legs to my beloved Estée only to discover that I was nearly out of my double wear foundation. Disaster.

I decided to embrace this first world problem as an opportunity to try something new and went into town to try out the Estée Lauder Double Wear Light and it was on that fateful Thursday that I discovered the brush that I will be using for the next forever.

Already at a bit of a low, I was prime target for a bit of impulse buying. It was probably spelt* out in a join the dots fashion on my face. The make up lady produced the Sculpted Foundation Brush to apply the Double Wear Light. My eyes widened with curiosity at it's original shape but it was after she let me have a little play around with it that I was truly sold. Quite simply, it's fantastic.

What I like about the brush:

  •  It makes applying foundation incredibly easy. The sculpted shape blends in nicely to the contours of your face. It doesn't leave any streaks and the corners of the brush get right into awkward areas around the nose.
  • Its much quicker to use than a stippling brush as it doesn't need to be applied in circular motions. It glides over one side of the face in around 6 strokes. 
  • Its angled shape allows it to double up as a contouring brush. 
  • It feels like I'm lifting jowls when I doing it too. Early in the morning, due to it's shape,  I feel like a plasterer masking over a litany of mistakes, without looking like I've plastered the slap on either. It's a very comforting feeling! (that could be just me though..)

Here's the bit that has me slightly shy, one I know P.Diddy would mock me for if he read it. It cost a ridiculous amount. Well, a ridiculous amount for me. It was €47.....em...oops?
I've suitably justified this with the fact that
 a) I needed a new brush, despite being 5 years old my other one would still shed hairs and
 b) I'm going to be using it nearly every day for the next few years.

Sure at that rate it's a bargain!

Check out Estée Lauder's Sculpting Brush at a make up counter near  you or over at this link:
make up brush online

 * I googled that word , spelled  = American, spelt = UK, looks strange written out doesn't it??

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Eco Gel 2 Week Manicure - a word of warning before you considering buying it

Last year my sister and I got the notion that we could do our own shellac nails. We figured how hard could it be? We invested heavily. We went out and got the uv lamp and all of the other paraphernalia that went with it in our local Hairspray. We didn't quite realise just how tedious a process doing your own shellac is and also, just how expensive buying all of the bits and bobs are.
For those who mightn't be in the know,  you need:

a lamp
nail cleaners
a base coat
the nail varnish itself
a top coat
acetone to remove the nails. 

Going through all of those steps at home seems like a very long and drawn out process. A very infuriating long and drawn out process too if at any stage you apply too much of a polish, the whole thing goes on too thick and peels off in a few days. Ever being the bad tradeswoman, I blamed my tools and invested in a good few brands of polish. I would say that one or two were better than others but if I'm being honest, I just don't have the time or patience to apply it myself, especially when I find that I never get a whole two weeks out of the manicure anyways. 

This all in mind, ever the gullable eejit in search of a shortcut, I got very exctied when I saw Eco Gel 2 week Manicure in my local Hairspray.  This stuff claims to be a bit of a one stop shop. Exactly the kind of thing I'd be interested in. Full of hope I decided to investigate. Here's how I got on:

The first nail varnish I bought was the simple '2 week manicure colour gel' for €9.95. According to the site, this is an optional 2 step process and a top coat can be applied. I was pretty impressed by it. Two coats, two shots under the lamp and ta-dah, my nails had a pretty solid looking shellac on them. I found that it wasn't super shiney but that it didn't really need the top coat. It's worth pointing out here that a gel nail cleanser is needed here to remove the tacky residue.
 I wouldn't say that the colour lasted the full two weeks but it definitely lasted a week before it started to chip. It didn't come off in the shower or washing the dishes as I had happen with other diy shellac before. 
The only downside to this varnish was the removing of it. It needs to be removed with acetone and true to form, I didn't have great patience at home for  the whole cotton wool/ tin foil wraps and I ended up picking it off premeturely. No one to blame but myself now for weakened nails.

Pleased with the overall results of my Econails experience I went out to buy another colour. Oddly, the second nail varnish that I tried was a bit confusing, despite its one step process being the most straightforward. I didn't understand why it was €12.95 instead of €9.95 when I went to til to pay until the girl told me that it was a 'one step'  polish. I'd thought the original nail varnish that I'd bought was one step as that's how I'd used it but apparently not. This second 'one step' nail varnish is supposed to be grand without a topcoat (although the other one was too).

So, what do you get for your extra €2.95? Ripped off, that's what. It's absolutely and completely hopeless. The little 'one step' label to the right of the circle would appear to make the world of a difference.

My friend Sarah and I tried it on Thursday. She texted me the next day questioning whether or not she had over active thumbs as it had totally peeled off her thumbnails. I'm glad she texted as I had found earlier that the colour literally peeled off like a sticker from my index fingers. Two days later I've only got nail varnish on 4 of my 10 nails. This time I'm sure it wasn't my impatient skills at fault as Sarah and I bought painted each other's nails only to have the same crappy result.

Would I buy this product again? 
Em... definitely not the 'one step' polish. I feel ripped off it was that awful. If I wanted to put stickers on my nails I would. I'd probably buy the other polish again though as it was handy having it last for a good few days. It would be great for a weekend away.

Would I recommend Econails?
I'd recommend the plain 2 week polish (not the one step) but only to someone who has a lamp already. I've probably spent the equivalent of at least 10 professional shellacs on some overall pretty average results at home.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Someone's not a happy camper. Week 3 results: One Month Water Challenge

Of all weeks, this has been my least favourite. Ya know that dream they all go on about? The one where you walk into a public place in your nip? That's me this week.

I'm gonna just get straight into this one:

Here I am..
I hope for both of our sakes that you're looking at this on a phone and not in full screen mode.

How's your skin looking?
It's in a jock. There's no point in lying about it. I would appear that the challenge has worked a little too well and instead of looking 10 years younger I'm looking a whopping 16 years younger. Hello 15 year old Mary. Ironic thing is, my skin wasn't even that bad during my teenage years. Karma, meet Mary. *gives Karma the finger behind back*
In the interest of being a blog with integrity and not one that's going to say how amazing everything is, I'm gonna hold my hands up and say that this week sucked. My skin has been awful. I had a massive breakout on my chin, one on my forehead (that never happens) and then to top it all off the rest of skin on my face and hands was incredibly dry. Unfortunately, the breakout (although more extreme than normal) isn't out of character for me, the extremely dry skin is however. I'd hazard a guess that it might be due to the very changeable weather this week but that would only be a guess. Maybe it's due to the water, maybe it's not. My gripe  is, if I'm supposed to be so bloody hydrated, shouldn't my skin be prepared for this??

Have there been any major benefits?
I went out on Saturday night. I'd like to say I only had a few drinks but I'd also like not to lie. I had many drinks. Many sugary ones at that, judge me if you will! The next day I didn't have my regular banging headache or sick tummy, instead I was just a little tired. I'm 100 % sure that my hydration had prevented my dehydration.

What major challenges have you found this week?
On my hangover day I found it a bit of effort to get through the 3  litres. My stomach was closed for business and I just wasn't in the humour. On the plus side, I didn't have a hangover so the good with the bad n all of that. 

Do you feel any different?

Does pissed off count?

Has it been worth it?

Eh... no. I'd rather take a few paracetemol and get rid of headache if the extra water has resulted in that little party on my face.

Check out my first post on my journey here

Week 1 Results: here

Week 2 Results: here

Thursday, September 4, 2014

One Month Water Challenge: Week 2 Results

This week has seen a bit of a change in my routine. I'm back in work and didn't really think it was appropriate or very accident friendly to have a pint glass sitting on my desk. Instead I've opted for 2 litres and 2 pints a day. My routine looks a bit like this:

1. Litre bottle before lunch
2. Litre bottle after lunch before 'home time'
3. Two pints of Miwadi (I know, I'm not being a puritanical waterist here) in the evening

I'm finding it very manageable. I talk a lot as part of my job so drinking plenty of water has been easy enough as I've been quite thirsty. In the past I would have had a sore throat in the beginning of September after taking a hiatus from constant chatter for a few months but I'm finding this not to be the case now.

Here I am at 7am this morning

Initial Shot on the Left / End of Week 2 shot on the right.
I'm not giving you stink eye there, my left eye didnt seem to get the memo that it was time to be awake.
It was 7 am after all :)  

Here's how I got on with everything else.

What major challenges have you found so far?
None this week. I haven't been well (you might here that a few times!) so I found that I've been quite thirsty. The peeing constantly has subsided a little too. I'm starting to go less during the day. Trips to the loo are now about the quality  while I'm there rather than the quantity of my visits - that's about the nicest way I can put it.

Have there been any major benefits?
I may have mentioned, I've been only a little sick this week and as odd as it sounds, this has been the most  surprising result for me. A plague has been cast upon our house and for some reason, it's chosen to pretty much pass me over. This is massive for me. I'm almost gloating typing this because normally in our house I'm always the one with a cold or sniffle or a flu. Every September without fail I come down with something. Himself - P.Diddy, is never, ever sick. For the life of me, I can't remember the last time he  was ill. He doesn't even suffer with the dreaded manflu because he's never sick to begin with. Last week I wrote how I was starting to feel a bit ill and it remained at just that. I had a bit of aches and pains, a little trouble sleeping but that's about it. It didn't really turn into anything more. P.Diddy on the other hand is 'dyin' and for the first time in a long time, has had to retreat to the sickbed. I'm wary of making it sound like water is this wonder cure, I mean - after all, it is just water but honestly, I can't think of why else I was left pretty unscathed by the bug and he's in bits. Maybe it was just time his turn to take the hit but I genuinely feel like my increase in water consumption has had a big difference to my health.
Another benefit is that my stomach has continued to be less bloated.

How's your skin looking?
I'm trying to be as consistent as I can with the taking of the shots. I take them in the morning, with no cleansing having gone on and on my desk in front of the same window. I think the lighting was slightly different this morning, it was a bit cloudier out. I think you can notice this change in that my eyes on the left appear greener than the right.
      That spot, that ruination on my face is 100% my fault. Ok, I'm being a bit overdramatic but I did get a whopper of a spot on my chin last weekend. I have teeny confession to make. Last Friday when I was feeling a bit under the weather and I went to bed early. I was feeling really lazy and I used a very ineffective facewipe. The next morning I woke up with half of my make up still on my face and the other half on the pillow. As a result I ended up with a whopper of spot that came up pretty much the next day. *Congrats face, I'm only showing my bare face to the internets here*
     I would still say that my skin is looking less red and that the tone has evened out more. I'm also quite impressed at how quickly the redness from my Vesuvius is clearing up. Overall I wouldn't say I'm looking young enough to be asked for i.d. but I am happy with how my skin is looking.

Do you feel any different?
In my mindset, yes. I feel like my body is starting to work more efficiently. My stomach is less bloated, my body is fighting off infections better and the skin on my face feels softer with a more even skintone. 

Has it been worth it?
Yes, I'm beginning to think that it really has. I don't think I look 10 years younger (yet! there's always hope!) but I'm definitely feeling the benefits. I'm really looking forward to seeing what changes next week will bring. 

If you've reading and following me on my journey I'd really appreciate it if you'd like and share it with your friends on facebook and twitter :)