Hair removal is something that I rarely read about on blogs despite the fact that for most women (and a lot of men) it's part of our weekly, sometimes daily routine. Over the 14 or so years that I've been removing unwanted hair I've tried almost everything. I think a lot of younger girls tend to follow the footsteps of their mothers and sisters and my mam was always a waxing kind of woman so naturally that was my first foray into hair removal. I remember going into the salon with no clue as to what I was getting myself into. My first experience with waxing resulted in me going out the next day to buy a razor and shave gel.
I was shocked that women paid other women money to inflict them with so much pain. I didn't think it was worth it and so began my relationship with shaving. It was a novelty at first, feeling like a grown up shaving my legs and under my arms but that feeling soon wore off when I got annoying stubbly regrowth and had to invest in body scrubs and pay an extortionate amount of money for razors. The added joy of having sensitive skin that would get red and itch after shaving didn't enamour me with the process in any way. It meant I couldn't shave my legs more than once a week, twice at a push, because it would really irritate my skin.
When laser hair removal came onto the beauty scene a few years ago it seemed like the answer to my prayers, an expensive answer at that and to be honest although I have seriously considered booking a consultation, I never really had the extra money lying around so I put it on the long finger and kept shaving. I gave waxing another chance before holidays in recent years and yet again I decided it wasn't for me. In theory I love the idea of waxing because you get a lot longer out of it than shaving and it doesn't seem to irritate my skin at all, however waiting 4-6 weeks between appointments is difficult and I always end up shaving in between because the regrowth gets to me.
All options exhausted or so it seemed until my mam bought an epilator last year. She had similar struggles with hair removal over the years and decided to give epilating a go. My sister in turn bought one after trying out my mam's one. I borrowed her's to test it out before we went on holiday to France in August.
I bought the Braun Silk Épil 9 which after much research seems to be the best on the market, it's also the one my sister has so I knew I liked it. I was quite apprehensive at first after being warned my both my mam and sister that it is very painful the first time you use it. I think they both have much higher pain thresholds than me so this made me very nervous. They did also say that it gets less painful each time you use it so I just had to get through the first time and I knew it'd be okay after that.
I braced myself by having a bath first, blaring some tunes that I could sing along with to distract myself and drank a couple of glasses of wine. I can't tell you if it all made a difference but I feel like it did. I'm not going to sugar coat anything, it hurts like hell. The pain, if you can imagine it, is almost exactly like someone plucking all of the hairs out of your legs at the same time. I got through the first leg, just about, and the battery died which I was extremely grateful for because I don't think I could have made it through both legs in one night. The next evening with a freshly charged battery I soldiered on and managed to finish the second leg.
I have to be honest there was a point when I didn't think I could take the pain anymore and yet again questioned why on earth women do this to themselves, I thought, there's not a chance in hell men would inflict this much pain on themselves voluntarily. Looking back on it now I'm so glad I persevered because it really does get less painful each time. Obviously the first time epilating is the worst because it's all of the hair at once whereas after that it's just a case of maintaining it which isn't pain free but completely bearable. I have yet to brave my armpits which my sister has warned me is excruciating the first time you do it.
I thought I would do a quick list of the pros and cons of epilating using the Braun Silk Épil 9 for anyone who wants the main features.
- One time purchase (hopefully, unless it breaks!)
- Cost effective (no need for razors or shave gel or paying for a wax every month so it works out less expensive in the long run)
- It's longer lasting than shaving so you don't need to do it every day
- It's convenient (because you don't need water or shave gel in can be done any time or anywhere)
- Travel friendly (It means less liquid for your carry on on if you're traveling by plane)
- Cordless (comes with a charger but once it's charged you can use it in your bathroom or wherever you like)
- Can be used wet or dry, it's waterproof so you can use it in the bath or shower which helps with the pain
-Charges in one hour and can be used for up to 40 minutes
- Good option for anyone with sensitive skin as it means you won't get razor burn or a reaction to wax
- Hair grows back more sparse
- It comes with a trimmer cap and shave head so you have three products in one. It also has a tiny light to help guide you in lower light
- Very painful at first
- Expensive if you're on a budget (depending on what option you go for, mine cost roughly €110. However you can get other models for around €40)
- Can't be used while being charged (however it charges very quickly)
- There is no cap to cover the head which can be an inconvenience when travelling, the travel bag it comes with is poor quality, I would have expected more for the money you're paying
- Like waxing it's difficult to get a completely smooth finish as your hairs grow at different rates
- Not all models are cordless and waterproof
- Like with waxing you might suffer from ingrown hairs so having a good exfoliator like Tend Skin or the Waxperts Wonder Pads is a must
I got my Braun Silk Épil 9 from Amazon as I found it was the best price. I got the one with the bonus facial epilator which I haven't properly tried yet but the reviews I've read seem to to be very positive, it's around €50 by itself so it's deinfitely worth it if you think you'll use it as it won't cost you any more money. You can also get them from Boots, Argos and Littlewoods which are considerably more expensive or Target and Ulta if you're in the US. With the current Pound to Euro exchange rate it's definitely worth it buying from Amazon, you save about €50 compared other retailers.
I wanted to write about my experience with epilating because I couldn't find that many reviews or articles about it when I was doing my research and I thought this might be helpful to anyone thinking about investing in an epilator. It's not exactly an inexpensive purchase and it's hard to test it out beforehand unless you know someone who has one so I think it's important to have as much information as possible before investing in a beauty tool like this one. I have to be honest I don't know if I would have bought one outright if I hadn't tried my sister's one and heard her and my mam rave about their ones.
I'm so happy that I invested in an epilator, it's one of those "how did I not do this sooner?" products. I actually enjoy epilating my legs whereas I used to dread having to shave. I hope that I've covered everything in this blog but if you happen to have any specific questions please leave a comment or email me privately.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Saturday, October 22, 2016
I saw this pink H&M Knitted Turtleneck Jumper (€69.99) on a couple of different people on Instagram and I was immediately obsessed. Nothing about this is typically me, it's oversized which is generally unflattering me and it's bright pink, a colour I think I've only worn once as an adult. This is definitely a love or hate it jumper, I haven't seen it in person and tried it on yet so it could be hideous on me but a girl can dream.
I saw these New Look Black Patent Flared Heel Ankle Boots (€39.99) a couple of months ago instore and they didn't have my size and haven't had it since and I think that makes me want them even more. They don't have my size online either so I'm thinking I might have to give up on this one. I love the shape of these, the slightly pointed round toe is a bit more flattering and the heel isn't too high either.
I've seen Jenn Im (one of my favourite Youtubers) wearing these Jenny Bird Edie Hoops a few times now and I adore them. I had a big hair change last week getting about 6 or 7 inches off the length of my hair so I really want to start wearing big earrings again since you'll be able to see them better without all my curly hair in the way. They also come in silver and rose gold and in a bigger version too.
The other item of jewellery that I'm crazy about is the Stella & Dot Signature Bespoke Pre-layered Necklace. This necklace was recently added to Stella & Dot's growing Bespoke collection and it's right up my street. It's three in one so you can wear both layers either separately or together and both can be engraved making this a great gift idea.
& Other Stories is opening it's first Irish store on Grafton Street before the end of the year (I hope!) and having already been a fan I've been perusing their online store a lot recently knowing that I'll get to see everything in person soon. Their bags are some of my favourite on the "high street" and this Galaxy Print Leather Box Bag jumped out at me when I saw it on the site a few weeks ago. There are plain versions too but I love the idea of a statement printed bag paired with a colourful coat to brighten up the dull, dark Winter months.
I actually bought this Lace Midi Skirt from Zara this week. It's the kind of skirt I can wear dressed up over Christmas and New Year or dressed down with a jumper and ankle boots. Lastly, I've been looking for the perfect leopard print coat for the past few years to no avail. I haven't seen this Faux Fur Coat from H&M in person yet but I'm hoping this might be the answer to my leopard print prayers.
So that's my Winter wardrobe wishlist, what's on yours?
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Let me begin this review by saying that the new Giorgio Armani Lip Magnets are on a different level to any lip product I've ever tried. The Lip Magnets have been inspired by two iconic Giorgio Armani products: Maestro Fusion Makeup and Lip Maestro velvet lipcolour.
The Lip Magnets are described as a second-skin matte colour because their finish is four times thinner than that of your average liquid lipstick. Armani are proud to have created the first inverted emulsion in a lipstick. Water, pigment and fine oils are combined, the water gradually evaporates from the lips so that the oil and pigment fuse to give a highly concentrated lip colour that is long lasting, hydrating and comfortable on the lips. In other words, this is a very technologically advanced lip colour.
I attended a press preview of some of the new Winter launches for Armani and when I first saw these I thought they were nail polishes. The packaging is actually inspired by fragrance vials, it's sleek and durable and I love that Armani uses red instead of the usual black or gold. The calligraphic applicator is another innovation, I was surprised at how the shape allows for such definition. International Face Designer for Armani Laura D'Ambrosio went through the products with us and she explained that the shape of the applicator negates the need to use a separate lip liner as you can achieve such precision with the diamond shaped wand. You can overdraw your lips and not worry about feathering so those liner lovers needn't worry.
I love that I can layer the product and it doesn't build up and crack, instead it dries down to a satin matte finish. I probably have about three layers in the photos below and it looks perfect. The scent is inoffensive so if you're sensitive to scented beauty products I can't see that being an issue. They are supposed to last up to 8 hours and I found that they really do last well even with eating and drinking it stayed in place. The great thing is that because the formula is so thin you can continue to reapply if there is a need to throughout the day.
I was given the shade 403 Vibrato which is a deep brick red and the perfect Autumnal shade. It's not too dark so I think it would suit a variety of skin tones. It looks beautiful with a minimal face of make up but I really loved it how I wore it in these photos, pared with the shade Garnet from my LORAC PRO eyeshadow palette. I'm very excited to wear this lots throughout Autumn and Winter. I just need to decide which shade I want to get next.
They are available from Brown Thomas instore and online. If you're in the market for a new lip colour I highly recommend taking a look at these in person. As a lipstick fanatic I can honestly say these are some of the best lip products I have ever tried in my life.
Have you tried anything from Giorgio Armani Beauty? What's your current favourite lip product.
Friday, October 7, 2016
I don't tend to buy into many trends as I find it's not very cost effective and I prefer to invest in pieces I know will last from season to season. However the metallic pleated skirt trend that's been around for the past few seasons is one I knew straight away I wanted to try out. I'm a big fan of skirts in general and although pleats can be unflattering, I wanted to try it myself so I got this very inexpensive one from Zara a few weeks ago.
I wanted to dress the skirt down and I love how these skirts look with oversized knitwear so I thought this burgundy jumper from H&M would be perfect with the gunmetal colour of the skirt. The weather is starting to get cold so I brought my Archive by Alexa trench coat out again and I've been wearing it non stop for the past couple of weeks. I'm already excited for the new Archive by Alexa collection that's launching in early November.
Coat- Marks and Spencer (similar here, here and here)
Bag- Zara (similar here and here)
Boots- ASOS (similar here, here and here)
Socks- Topshop (similar here)
Sunglasses- ASOS (similar here, here and here)
Necklace- Stella & Dot
Lipstick- Armani Lip Magnet in Vibrato 403
Patent shoes are another trend I've been loving, I got these ASOS boots last year and I'm so glad I did because I wear them so much in the colder weather when I need to look a bit dressier. I'm on the lookout for another pair with a higher heel, I have my eye on these ones from New Look.
My Bespoke Stella and Dot necklace has barely come off my neck too, every time I wear it someone compliments it. I'm looking forward to getting another piece from their Bespoke collection and perhaps some Christmas presents too as I think they make gorgeous gifts.
I'm wearing one of the new Armani Lip Magnets on my lips and I'm crazy about the shade and formula. I attended a masterclass by one of the Armani makeup artists a couple of weeks ago and I've been trying out a few of their new products. So keep an eye out for lots of exciting beauty reviews in the coming weeks.
What trends have you bought into for Autumn? What's on your Winter wishlist?
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
I'm a big fan of the No7 Stay Perfect lipsticks, I have three of them and they're all gorgeous shades that are comfortable to wear and last incredibly well. I highly rate them if you don't want to spend a fortune on a lipstick but want quality and lasting power. So when the newly formulated Moisture Drench lipstick in Spiced Latte arrived a few weeks ago I was excited to put it it the test to see how it compared to the Stay Perfect formula.
When I first saw the shade I was unsure as to whether it would suit me, however as soon as I applied it I was in love. The colour is so flattering, a neutral rosy toned brown that works really well with my fair skin. The formula applies easily and feels hydrating but there is still great colour pay off. I wasn't expecting much pigmentation, I thought from the name that it would be much more sheer but as you can see from the swatches below, the colour is very rich.
The Moisture Drench formula has been updated to give hydration for up to 9 hours. Some of the ingredients include Shea Butter (an emollient and anti-oxidant) and Rosehip Seed Oil which contains Vitamins A and E helping to promote cell growth and protect the skin as well as fatty acids which nourish the skin and aid elasticity. It also contains SPF 15, a rarity in my experience when it comes to lipstick, I always forget to apply sun protection to my lips so having SPF in my lipstick makes things much easier.
Top-Bottom; Rosie for Autograph Lady Rose, Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish 08, No7 Spiced Latte, Estée Lauder Crystal Baby, Charlotte Tilbury Bitch Perfect
I thought it would be a good colour guide to compare Spiced Latte to some similar shades in my collection ranging from budget to high end. You can also see the colour pay off in comparison to the other lipsticks. Click on each shade to see how it looks on me in comparison to Spiced Latte.
I was surprised by how much I loved this shade, I don't think I ever would have looked twice at it in Boots, but I've been wearing it so much over the past few weeks, alone and paired with Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Lip Cheat which gives it greater staying power.
Have you tried any of these lipsticks? What are you wearing on your lips this Autumn?
Monday, September 19, 2016
The Summer is sadly over for another year. We've been lucky in Ireland to have had relatively good weather for September but before I get my woollies out I wanted to share some photos we took while we were away in the south of France at the beginning of the month.
We stayed in a beautiful little town called Beaulieu-sur-Mer close to Nice. I hadn't planned on taking outfit photos (mostly because it was so hot I didn't think it would be a pleasant sight) but the scenery was so beautiful I couldn't resist, so on our last day we went to the waterfront at the hottest time of day and I tried to not look like a sweating mess.
Necklace- Stella and Dot
Sunglasses- Quay Australia Delilah
Lipstick- Rosie for Autograph LOL Lipstick
I loved this Zara skirt when I saw it at the start of the Summer, I managed to pick it up on sale and it's served me well over the past few months. It was the perfect statement piece to bring on holiday because of the light cotton fabric, I'll definitely be bringing it back out next Summer.
I got these Quay Australia sunglasses in TK Maxx and I've worn them all Summer. They're really great quality and look amazing with a simple outfit. I'm eyeing up a few things on the Quay website, they have some gorgeous cat eye styles.
The necklace is from the Stella and Dot Bespoke collection which launched a few months ago. I'm so obsessed with it, I've been wearing it almost every day since I got it. I've gotten so many compliments on it too. It's one of the few items of jewellery I brought away with me. I had it personalised in a circular font with my initials. There are cuffs, necklaces, a ring and cufflinks in the Bespoke collection that can be personalised with letters or numbers in different fonts. I love this collection, the pieces make for great gifts with a personal touch. I'm already planning on getting the signet ring for myself. I know people who have gotten their children initials/ birthdays and even the co-ordinates to their house on their Bespoke pieces. The quality is amazing and they come packaged beautifully, if you're looking for a special gift for someone, I'd recommend checking this collection out.
I can safely say this is my last Summer outfit of 2016 but I'm excited about dressing for Autumn, I have a wishlist I'll be sharing soon. What's on your Autumn shopping list?
Friday, September 16, 2016
I have something a little different for you today. I was recently introduced to Bloom & Wild, a UK based flower delivery and subscription service that has just launched in Ireland. I got to chat to the company's founder Aron Gelbard and he talked me through everything Bloom & Wild has to offer it's customers. I never thought I'd be writing about flowers but after seeing the flower arrangements and the new Christmas collection in person, I wanted to share it with you all.
The big difference between Bloom & Wild and your average florist is that the flowers are delivered through your letterbox in a long cardboard box. The larger flowers in the bouquet are protected with individual nets to keep them safe during transit, they are also sent when they are in bud so that they last longer. The package contains care and arrangement instructions and once followed correctly, the flowers should last for at least seven days.
What I really love about this company is that you get to do some flower arranging when your package arrives. I tried flower arranging for the first time at an event last year and I was surprised by how much I loved it, it's so relaxing and seeing the end result is very satisfying. Obviously, this won't be for everyone, I'm sure there are some people who would prefer a pre-arranged bouquet, but if you're looking for a more unique gift, I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't adore a Bloom & Wild package coming through their letterbox.
I was given the Posy Party which contains 5 small glass bottles in 2 different sizes, some twine and a selection of Autumnal wildflowers that you can arrange as you like. I loved putting together my five mini bouquets, its such a lovely gift idea because you can re-use the glass bottles.
There are lots of different bouquets to choose from, as well as a new selection of succulents that come in a sleek white tray. They also have a beautiful Christmas collection including a mini Christmas tree with optional baubles and lights, a wreath that comes in two parts and a Birch tree which is a collaboration with Birchbox and includes premium beauty products to hang on your little tree, it's such a cute Christmas present idea. There are gift bundles and subscriptions to chose from too if you're looking for a Christmas gift with a difference.
There's a special discount of 20% for first time customers with the code IRELAND.
I hope you like the idea of Bloom & Wild as much as I do!
I hope you like the idea of Bloom & Wild as much as I do!