Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Beauty - Cocoa Brown Scrub and Tan Review

I've mentioned in few of my previous blog posts that I've been working on a review of a Cocoa Brown tan and scrub, but never got round to finishing it off  - until now!

Cocoa Brown is an Irish tan brand founded by the Irish entrapreneur Marissa Carter.

They have quite a good few products in the range, including the 1 Hour Tan that a certain Kylie Jenner has raved about on her Instagram and a moisturiser, but I've only tried out the Tough Stuff 3-in-1 Body Scrub and the Day & Night tan so far so that's what I'm focusing on in this blog post.

So before I apply any tan, I would advise to use a body scrub to get rid of any dead skin cells and dry skin patches to make the tan super smooth to apply. I've used many scrubs in the past, from the St Ives to the L'Oreál ones, but decided to pick this scrub as it was a cheap enough price retailing at just €4.99 in Penneys.

The packaging is really cute and girly pink. It's a light pink coloured scrub as you can see from the photo of it on my hand on the right. It smells absolutely fabulous! You can use it on dry skin to give your skin a deeper exfoliation or you can use it wet in the shower. I apply it to my wet skin because I find it more gentle on my sensitive skin then.

It lives up to it's name in that it is very tough - so for that reason I would say to you not to apply it to a sensitive part of your body or it will look red raw. Stick with tough areas of your body like elbows, knees, ankles, feet and hands. For me I find it makes tanning application much easier and I'm left without tell tale patchy orange bits.

I'd highly recommend to use a moisturiser after exfoliation as well as I find that exfoliation often makes my skin super duper dry.

This scrub has won a number of awards like 'Best Exfoliator' in U Magazine's Beauty Awards 2014 among many others so it's definitely worth snapping up.

So now onto the Day and Night tan. This tan set me back €7.99, and like the scrub, was also purchased in Penneys. This tan, like the scrub I've mentioned above, has also won plenty of awards - including scooping the 'Best Instant Tan' award at the U Magazine Beauty Awards 2014. It can be used two ways - an instant tan that develops immediately, or you can use it as a gradual tanner after showering the next day for a sunless glow that lasts up to 5 days. I've used it both ways, but I probably use it more as an instant tan that develops immediately, as I'm not keen on wearing tan every day. There's no horrible burnt biscuit smell off this tan like many other tans - there's a nice fresh, flower-like smell to it. Like I've mentioned, it applies instantly so you get an idea of where you've covered.

It doesn't sting or burn when applied even to my super sensitive skin and contains no parabens. Parabens are chemicals commonly put in cosmetics to prevent bacterial growth, but they were found in recent years to be xenoestrogens which are agents that mimic the hormone oestrogen in the body. The effect - oestrogen disruption - has been linked to breast cancer among other diseases so personally I just like using products that don't contain these harsh chemicals.

I love this tan also because it appears to adapt to my naturally pale skin. Although it says 'light by day, dark by night', it doesn't make me look orange or really dark and brown which would be very un-natural for my porcelain complexion and to be honest would look strange on me.

The only thing I honestly did dislike about this product is that it takes it's time to dry - I had to wait a good 4 hours after application before I could dress myself properly for a night out.
Another dislike is that - even though I know from experience other instant tans do this - if I rubbed ever so slightly on my clothes the tan came off onto it! Not ideal when you're wearing pale dresses and clothing like I often do!

But for the price, I think this tan is far better than more expensive brands such as L'Oreal that I've tried out in the past and the positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion by far.

Expiry date is 12 months from purchase, and I've had this tan since my graduation in November, and it's done me since then really well!


  • Penneys
  •  Boots
  •  Superdrug
  •  Dunnes Stores
  •  Cloud10beauty.com
  •  Supervalu
  •  Heatons 
  • plus other pharmacies.

  • Primark
  • Superdrug
  •  Tesco

Worldwide shipping is avaliable from:
  • FeelUnique.com - browse HERE.
  • Cloud10Beauty.com - browse HERE.
  • Amazon.com - browse HERE.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Beauty & Fashion - Pink dress and Metallic Heels: Outfit of the Night

I feel like my blog recently has been just beauty and makeup, and I haven't done an outfit post in quite a while, so this is what I'm doing in this blog post.

I wore this outfit to my friend's 21st birthday party at the end of May.

The pink dress is from Mi Mi boutique, their Facebook page is HERE. I'm not going to lie - this dress was expensive at €50 but I think it's just super pretty.

The shoes are Penneys, I've mentioned them in previous blog posts, I think they're so nice, and actually easy enough to walk in too.

The tan is Cocoa Brown Day to Night Tan, I'll have the review of this product plus the Cocoa Brown exfoliating scrub up on my blog next week hopefully.

The bangles are Alex and Ani, I've mentioned them before in my blog posts.

Regarding make-up, it's quite similar to other routines I have done before on nights out. After moisturising with my trusty Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Moisturiser (€5), I applied my holy grail of night-time foundations, Max Factor Skin Luminiser Foundation (€15.99), my shade is in 40 Light Ivory. I concealed with my Kubiss London concealer (€2) and then set both with Catrice All Matt Plus setting powder in 010 Transparent (€3.49). I added some Catrice Defining Blush in Sunrose Avenue (€4.49) to my cheeks. I applied W7 in the Nude eyeshadow palette (€9.99) to my eyes, I'll be doing a seperate blog post on a review and look for this product as it is a dupe for Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I applied Penneys Beauty false eyelashes in Sultry for extra drama. I love these eyelashes, they're quite thin so really easy to apply, highly recommend them. I then applied Essence Liquid Ink Eyeliner (€2.49) over the eyelash band. I then applied Model Co. eyeliner kohl pencil on my waterline. This costs €10 but the pigment is unbelievable and the pencil also comes with a built in sharpener which is very handy indeed. I highlighted using Catrice Highlighting powder (€4.49) and filled in my eyebrows using Penneys PS Beauty eyebrow kit (€2).  I lined my lips using Penneys PS Beauty lipliner in a dark plum shade (€1.50) and applied Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in 128 Starry Eyed (€5.50), it is a lovely dark plum shade.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Beauty - Essence Disney Cinderella Range Review

To coincide with the Disney movie that was released a few weeks back, the German make-up brand Essence released a Cinderella beauty range - that consists of a highlighter powder, eyeshadow palette, lipgloss, blush and some nail art. I'm only focusing on the make-up products as if anyone has seen my nails knows they are too short to apply any nail art to them as I have a horrible habit of biting them!

I've already mentioned in the blog that I don't really rate Essence make-up products too highly - I think they're generally of bad quality and not even worth the little price you pay for them. I use the word generally because from my previous blog posts people picked up that I don't like them at all - there are some of their products I really love such as their Liquid Ink Liquid Eyeliner, but the majority aren't great. Will this Cinderella range exceed my poor expectations? Let's find out!

Essence Cinderella Highlighter Powder in '01 The Glass Slipper' - €4.09.

Deciding what product to and try out first in this limited edition range was a no-brainer - the beautiful rose-embossed packaging of this highlighter powder drew me in like a bee to honey! It looks a pale pink in the packaging and is quite matte so no sparkly bits, despite the fact that it is Cinderella product! I think it's really beautiful on and not too in-your-face yet not too subtle, so it's a really great find. More than just a pretty packaging.

My rating: 5/5.

Essence Cinderella Eyeshadow Palette in '01 It's More Than I Ever Hoped For' - €4.79

As you can see, this eyeshadow palette is not quite as fancily packaged as the highlighter powder - quite basically packaged as you can see from the picture.. Six different eyeshadows make up this palette - four that are on the bright side and two that are on the darker side. It contains a double ended sponge applicator. The back of the palette contains instructions on how to create a smokey eye - apparently you have to apply the four brighter shades on the lid and up to the eyebrow socket and the darker shades go on the outer V of the eye, so I did as it said. I didn't use the sponge applicator - I really don't know why these are included in eyeshadow palettes, they really don't assist with much and make the eyeshadows very difficult to blend. I didn't apply eyeshadow primer to really test the staying power of these eyeshadows. First impressions are that the four bright colours are really not pigmented well, barely show up whatsoever in fact. The swatches on my (very pale!) arm even directed in sunlight showed that.

The darker shadows are more pigmented by far, but not by much. Like another Essence palette I used, this eyeshadow lasted for the whole day but it did start to fade quite quickly I noticed throughout the day.

My rating: 3/5.

Essence Cinderella Blusher in '01 So This Is Love' - €4.09

This is again, not as impressively packaged as the highlighter powder but cutely packaged all the same as you can see. The blush is a mid-tone pink with coral tones. It looks bright pink in the packaging, so I was a bit wary of using it. I applied only a tiny bit on my brush. Once on however, surprisingly it looks quite natural, and gives a lovely flushed appearance. It lasts all day too. A really nice blusher if you are going for quite a natural look, but try and only use a light hand to make it natural.

My rating: 4/5.

Essence Cinderella Lipgloss in '01 Sing, Sweet Nightingale' - €2.49.

This is quite basically packaged as you can see. The colour in the tube looks quite glittery and glossy it reminded me of a lipgloss I used to get free with teenage magazines back in the day, so I wondered about the quality of it. It's quite sweetly fragranced, almost to the point where it's sickeningly sweet. It does apply quite smoothly to the lips but the small brush doesn't deliver much product to the lips, and for me I found it needed three atte
mpts before it coated my lips fully. Once applied, it appears much like a regular clear lip gloss would, with absolutely NO HINT of this sparkle that you can see in the tube, and also felt slightly sticky on my lips too. It also causes your hair to stick to your lips
in the wind! It's staying power is quite good however, and once applied it will stay good for two/three hours.

My rating: 2/5.

Stockists: I bought all of these items in Penneys (Primark) in Ireland, and in my local Penneys they are still available, but as this was a limited edition range they may not be available anywhere anymore except for Ebay.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Beauty - Tester Tuesday: Boots Seventeen Skin Wow! 3 Way Highlighter

So I've seen a lot of bloggers do this thing called 'Tester Tuesdays' where they test and try out a new product and wanted to try it out for myself!

First up on my 'Tester Tuesday' is this relatively new highlighter, that is part of Boots own make-up brand, Seventeen.

After reading great reviews of this online, I was curious to try it out for myself. It costs €7.59.

This highlighter comes in a plastic long tube as you can see with a pump that you press down on and out pumps the product!

It claims to be the "ultimate skin pick me up".

First impressions - pretty basic packaging. There is a smell to it but it's not an overpowering smell.

Like I said, it's a three way highlighter so the three ways you can wear it is as a primer under foundation, mixed with foundation or applied directly onto the cheekbones.

I tried it out all three ways.

Firstly, I tried it out as a primer, and found that it stung my sensitive skin so much I quickly had to remove it.

Secondly, I mixed it with my regular foundation (Rimmel 25 Hour foundation), and found that while it didn't sting my skin then, it did appear to make my skin look off-colour, almost grey and sickly looking.

Thirdly, I tried it as a highlighter to my cheekbones after applying the rest of my face make-up, and found it gave me little of a glow. The consistency was far too runny, ruining my foundation. It was too silver toned, and when I tried to blend it into my skin, it just lost all it's effect.

I was really disappointed with it, as I haven't used much of it, and can't really use any more of it - unless I'm going for a really sick and almost dying look at Halloween maybe.

I think this highlighter is best suited to a tanned complexion, so you should definitely stay clear if your skin is as Casper the ghost-pale like myself. Which begs me to ask the question - why did a British company like Boots create such a product?!

My rating: 1/10.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Beauty - Fairytale Villian: Collaboration No.3

I mentioned in my last blogpost that I am now doing collaborations with other bloggers I interact with on Instagram. I thought it would be a great way to support other bloggers and also to do something exciting with my blog - new ideas are never a bad thing!

My first collaboration was the summer look I posted on the 15th May - natural eyes with a pop of pink colour on the lips, if you haven't checked it out already please do HERE.

My second collaboration was posted last Wednesday, the 27th May - the ombré eyeliner look inspired by YouTuber Shaaanxo. Please check it out HERE.

This is my third collaboration. I did this with a lovely beauty blogger called @butterflysinhereyes on Instagram. (please do check her out!). We decided to do a make-up look inspired by a fairy tale character and in the end, decided to do it on a fairy-tale villain - we both thought it was more fun!

I thought long and hard about what fairy tale villain to base my look on. I didn't want it to look too overboard (I'll save the fancy dress stuff till Halloween!), and was also on a budget as well. In the end I decided to go for a look inspired by the Evil Queen from Snow White - so as you can see - it's a purple smoky eye, red lip and bright pink blush.

All the products used as usual are under €10.

I started on my eyes first as usual. I primed my eyelids using Catrice Prime and Fine eye shadow base. It hides imperfections and any unsightly freckles (yes, I have them everywhere!) and also gives my eyeshadow a good base to cling to.  I used NYC Quattro Eyeshadow in 'NY Tribute' to create a smoky eye, using the white shade as a highlight on the inner eye and on the browbone and also as a base, the lightest purple all over the eyelid, and the darkest purple in the crease and also below on the lower eye-rim. I find this eyeshadow palette very good for the price (see below) as it is heavily pigmented. I've yet to try it out for long-time wear, so I'll review that when I do.

I filled in my eyebrows with Penneys browkit. It's up to everyone individually, but personally I love big, bold defined eyebrows.

I thought false eyelashes would make the look more dramatic. I bought five pairs of false eyelashes last week in Penneys (Primark) for €5. They are all really pretty looking, but I decided to use the third ones - Sexy - for this look. As with every false eyelash I have ever used, due to my really small eyes I needed to cut quite a bit of the lash off so it would fit my eye. I quite like these eyelashes though. I then used NYC Liquid eyeliner to create an eyeliner flick on my top lash line and to also hide the false eyelashes band.

For my base, the Evil Queen is quite pale, so after priming my skin using my trusty simple moisturiser, I used my lightest foundation is Penneys own brand foundation (I've reviewed this product here) using my Penneys beauty blender. I used Kubiss London Light reflecting concealer under my eyes. I set both foundation and concealer using Catrice All Matt Plus Shine Control powder.

The Evil Queen has an obvious bright blush, so I used Essence Cinderella blush to create that (I will be reviewing the whole Essence Cinderella range soon). I skipped bronzer and contouring as the Evil Queen is pale.

I prepped my lips by applying Nivea Essential Care lipbalm to them.

I lined my lips with Catrice Longlasting lip-liner before applying Seventeen Stay Pout red lipstick.

For an added fairy-tale villain touch, I lined my lips again, but this time using Penneys own brand lip-liner in plum.

Products Used: 

Simple Kind to Skin Light Hydrating Moisturiser, €5, Boots/Penneys/any other chemist.
Catrice Prime and Fine eyeshadow base, €3.20, Penneys or in many other chemists.
New York Color HD Color Quattro Eyeshadow in '821 NY Tribute', €3.29, chemists nationwide, or Penneys.
New York Color Liquid Eyeliner in Black, €2.40, Penneys..
Primark Beauty browkit, €2, Penneys.
Primark Beauty foundation in 'Light', €3.
Kubiss London Light Reflecting concealer in '02 Medium', €2, local chemist.
Catrice All Matt Plus Shine Control Powder in '010 Transparent', €3.49, Penneys.
Essence Cinderella Blush in 'So this is Love', €4.09, Penneys/chemists nationwide.
Nivea Essental Care lipbalm, €2.09, Penneys.
Catrice Long Lasting Lip pencil in '050 Red Lip District', €2.20, Penneys.
Seventeen Stay Pout Lipstick in Red, €5.69, Boots.
Primark Beauty lipliner, €1.50.