Sunday, 28 December 2014

Chic Treat Club - December Unboxing

I was very excited for my first Christmas Chic Treat Club box. Honestly, I was very underwhelmed by last month's box so I was looking forward to a little Chic Treat reset. I was a little worried when I realised that I was going to be in Cork and not in work for the delivery of my Christmas Chic Treat Box but a little email to the Chic Treat Crew and all was sorted in a jiffy! I have to say, the customer service is absolutely top notch and incredibly responsive. 

This month's box was a departure from the usual lemon and instead we were treated to a bright red, festive box with red wrinkle paper instead of the usual pink. The Chic Muse was also suitably festive. 

These were the products that were included in the box:

Wet n' Wild MegaRocks Glitter Polishes, RRP €3.99 each. Two of these were included in this month's Chic Treat box. Now I LOVE Wet n Wild as a brand and I generally LOVE Wet n Wild polishes, especially the Mega Last polishes, but I am not a glitter nail polish kind of gal...usually. However, these arrived in the nick of time just before the big man in red called so I applied the silver coat over my Tanya Burr polish in Riding Hood on Christmas eve and it's still lasting chip free four days later. I haven't contemplated taking it off yet but for the glittery payoff and lasting power, I definitely give these the thumbs up. That said, I'm sure once the Christmas season passes, these will be relegated back to my nail polish collection to gather dust until next December again. 

Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex RRP €23.00 This is the most exciting product in this month's box in my opinion, and the very reason I subscribe to boxes like these. Image Skincare is a well known and well respected brand and I know I would never in a million years blind buy this myself but it sounds interesting. The Chic Muse tells me that it has been specifically designed to enhance the appearance and volume of lip contours- which is music to my ears since a disastrous experience with a cold sore patch last June left my bottom lip contour a little blurred. If this is the cure and improves the appearance, I will be delirah. It also says that it is ultra hydrating with a powerful polypeptide complex which will add up to 40% extra moisture and volume which is also music to my ears because in this frost, my lips will be in bits. Very very excited to use this!

Thalgo Super Lift Toner (full size €29.00, 50ml sample worth €5.80). Thalgo is a brand that I had never tried before subscribing to Chic Treat Club and I certainly have never tried this toner. 50 ml is a decent sample size and I am a divil for skipping toner so this might incentivise me not to skip toner for the foreseeable. It smells nice and is rich in Vitamin A and gently exfoliating citric acid, I hope I will notice a difference from using it. 

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Kohl Kajal Eyeliner , RRP €16.90 for three, individually €5.63. Physician's Formula is another favourite of mine and I have about 6 of these shimmer strip kohl kajals already and I love them all to bits. They are smooth and easy to apply, pigmented, they last incredibly well, the colour range is nice, I think I already have this one but I certainly don't mind having another. 

Elvive Extraordinary Oil (3.5ml sachet) This is just a little extra thrown in- not sure if I'll ever use it but as it's only an extra, I'm not going to give out about it! 

Overall, I much prefer this month's box to last month's Chic Treat collab because the products inside are more appealing. The box has a total combined value of €42.

What do you think of this month's chic treats?

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Irish Beauty Bloggers Secret Santa Extravaganza 2014- the BIG REVEAL is finally here!

Squeee! I can't believe after all this time that the #irishbbloggersSS14 reveal day has finally arrived! After what seems like an eternity (or two months to normal folk), my insatiable curiosity is to be relieved. I cannot believe that SO many lovely Irish bloggers signed up to swap this year- in total, we have 57 bloggers swapping gifts- an unprecedented number! I didn't think we could beat the lovely 37 that signed up last year but so we did! The 2014 swap originated 2 months back when I asked and indeed when I was approached to organise another Secret Santa swap. 2013 was a huge success and there was a lot of appetite for a 2014 repeat. 

I circulated the survey back in October, and collected almost 70 responses, Once the results of the survey were in and the amounts and deadlines were set, I started gathering names. Once I had the names gathered, I wrote out each name twice on paper and had two boxes and picked a name from each box to make a match. I sent emails to 56 ladies and set up the twitter hashtag #irishbbloggersSS14. As soon as the ladies involved got their matches, serious suspicion ensued, and no-one could so much as like a photo on Facebook or favourite a tweet without bloggers assuming the worst! Over the following weeks, the Secret Santas amongst us teased us with clues and mysterious pictures just to whet our appetites.The process went rather swimmingly- apart from a handful of emails and An Post holding one present hostage! 

A huge thank you to everyone who embraced the exchange and I hope you are all delighted with your gifts and enjoyed the experience. It's deeply satisfying to hear good feedback and it makes all the organisation and effort worthwhile! 

And now, on reveal day, let me link you up to the lovely bloggers that took part in this years' swap so you can make sure you click through to all their blogs to see what they got!

Yavanna from Makeup Monster
Kat and Rachelle for DollyRouge
Orla from Makeup Over Mind
Sharon from Behind Green Eyes
Chloe from Nurse Fancy Pants
Sarah from Adoreabubbles
Danielle from LilliwhiteRose
Rebecca from Bec Boop Fashionista
Samantha from All the Buzz
Anne-Marie from Girlfriday's Beauty Blog
Elaine from Ruby Laine Make Up
Leanne from Blather and Beauty
Kelly from Mon Petit Blog
Susan Gaynor from Makeup by Ruby Sue
Nadine Stephens from The Parma Violet
Cat Wilson from Big Blonde Girl
Sarah from Beauty Angel
Avril from Blushful Beauty
Vicki from Happy Bubble Gal 
Bernie from Beauty Minx Blog
Deirdre from Deelightful
Nirina from Killer Fashion
Kayleigh from Cheerful Beauty Nerd
Michelle from Michelle Alice
Nicole from Nicholle Bartlett
Jennifer and Ciara from From Matte to Metallic
Audrey from The Nail Affair
Lesley from Bellinis and Blush
Ciara from Rees Design
Aisling from Coveted Mess
Mary Cate from The Fashion Horn
Zoe from Zoe Coco
Rachel from Oh Hey There Rachel
Olive from the Skinny Doll
Elizabeth from Life with Lizzy
Kayliegh from Kayliegh Land
Rachel from Rachel Brennan Life

Make sure to keep an eye out on Twitter under the #irishbbloggersSS14 hashtag and don't forget to leave lots on comments under the reveal posts and support and retweet/favourite your fellow swapping bloggers. I'll be checking in on the hashtag all day long and will be at the other side of Twitter if you have any questions etc.

So it's a wrap from me for the Irish Beauty Bloggers Secret Santa Extravaganza of 2014, and who knows, if the appetite is there, I might do it all over again in 2015!!


Saturday, 13 December 2014

MeMeMe Cosmetics- The Ultimate Eye Palette - Review and Swatches

The thing with budget eyeshadow palettes is that it's quite difficult to find a good one that doesn't have a couple of dud colours. I'm almost skeptical now before I even try any new eyeshadow palettes out. Last weekend however, I made the conscious (and some would say brave!) decision to bring just one eyeshadow palette away with me for an long weekend break in Belfast, and this MeMeMe Cosmetics Ultimate Eye Palette was the one that made the cut. I first clapped my eyes on this back at the Cork Meetup in July, and it was love at first sight. This palette landed in my hands about three weeks ago (thanks Joan!) and with work being crazy, a stomach bug, terrible skin reaction and crick in my neck, I just didn't get around to devoting any attention to this. And I am REALLY glad that I did bring just this palette to Belfast because I used every single colour over the course of my stay and tried out various combinations for day and night appropriate looks. I have to admit, this is one seriously impressive little palette.

As you can see from the swatches above, this is one remarkably well pigmented palette. 8 neutral colours (you KNOW how I feel about brown eyeshadows), this palette seems to have a little bit of everything, and I feel about it the way I feel about the original Urban Decay Naked palette- a great all rounder. You have your highlighting shade, your matte crease transition colour, plenty of lid wash options, but you also grey and black at the end to smoke out your day time looks to make them more night time appropriate. All of the shadows are soft, totally blendable, apply well with minimal fallout, and lasted at least 10 hours on me when I applied them over a cream eyeshadow base (recently been using the Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige). 

I love the usual black Grecian style packaging of the MeMeMe Cosmetics product line and this palette is no exception. It's sleek, compact and I think it looks more expensive than the mere €12 it costs. The case is made out of cardboard so it is perfectly light and portable for transportation. The palette also has a decent mirror (not one of those ones that makes you look like you've stepped into the Twilight Zone).

And I usually do not rate makeup brushes that come with palettes AT ALL, in fact I usually fling them out straight away and resent the gap in the packaging thereafter- BUT the brush in the Ultimate Eye palette is very nice indeed, very soft, not plastic- one side for blending and one side for packing on colour. As far as brushes in palettes go, this is pretty decent!

So if you cannot already tell, I am really enjoying using this palette and I definitely recommend it as a sneaky gift to self, or even pick one up for the perfect stocking filler. I just cannot believe this palette was only €12- it feels almost like a crime. If you are looking for your nearest stockist of MeMeMe, head over to their Facebook page. I have also seen on the MeMeMe Ireland page that there is a new PLUM version of this available now too so I am going to raid all the Dublin city stockists in my search for one and when I find one, I will of course report back. 

Have you seen this palette in shops yet? Does it look like something that would make your heart flutter?

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