Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Review. Show all posts

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua


It’s been a while since my last foundation review and an even longer time since I actually wore any. #Masklife has made wearing makeup almost redundant. When I graduated a couple months back, I decided to treat myself to some new foundation that I could wear on the day and as I started to go out more.


The foundation reminds me of Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Water Fresh foundation -which I think has been discontinued. Chanel's Vitalumière Aqua has a watery base that allows it to spread easily and sit perfectly on my skin.


Originally, I was planning on buying the Les Beiges foundation but I preferred the feel of the Vitalumière Aqua. It provides a very light coverage but is buildable. If you’re looking for a medium coverage to cover blemishes, this might not be one for you. 


The bottle is sold as 30ml for £36 and has SPF 15. I bought the shade 21 Beige. You can’t always rely on the SPF in foundation so I use Garnier’s Ambre Solaire Face Fluid and top up coverage later in the day with the Over Makeup Mist spray.


Chanel CC logo


I really like the satin-like finish and how my skin glows. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like the look or feel of foundation sitting on top of my skin. This blends in and dries so well, it’s hardly noticeable. 


The consistency is quite runny -it is water based after all- so I’m quite careful in applying it. I think it’s thinner than the Double Wear one. I’ve found that it’s important to have a hydrated base otherwise the foundation is at risk of caking and separating. I tend to pack in the moisture before I apply by using a little Aquafor to help create a tacky base.


The little booklet inside the box recommends applying it with your fingers for best results, which is great if you forget to wash your makeup brushes! It makes sense as well considering it’s water based and you are at risk of losing a lot of product by using brushes and sponges.


The one thing I will say is I haven’t yet mastered putting anything over the top of the foundation such as concealer or blush. As the foundation dries in a thin layer, you are at risk of rubbing it away so I think a liquid blusher would suit best. It’s the type of foundation that sells itself for creating a minimal barely-there look. I don’t think you’ll be able to use it for a full face beat.


I really like Chanel’s Vitalumière Aqua foundation. It’s definitely on the pricier side so is more of a luxury item. I’d consider buying it again if I feel like it’s something I want to spend that type of money on. I may need to increase my budget if it's something I want to make a regular appearance in my makeup collection. At the end of the day, it’s a very lightweight water-based foundation that provides light buildable coverage. It works for me because I prefer a minimal make up look and it suits my needs. 


Love, Aoife xo

book review If I never met you mhairi mcfarlane

When it comes to romance novels about fake relationships, we all know how it’s going to end. Well, about 99 percent of the time we do. But, that doesn’t stop you from enjoying the novel and discovering where it will take you. 

Mhairi McFarlane’s If I Never Met You features a tale as old as time but she does it justice. It can be hard to retell the same story we’ve all heard many times before. After all, elements of Cinderella still continue to grace our screens and feature in our books. Yet, only a few can do it justice and make it original.

So, what’s it about? (Taken from the blurb)

When Laurie is dumped by her partner of eighteen years, she’s blindsided. Not only does she feel humiliated, they still have to work together. So when she gets stuck in the lift with handsome colleague Jamie, they hatch a plan to stage the perfect romance. 

My thoughts…

book review If I never met you mhairi mcfarlane

If I Never Met You could have easily turned into another cliche novel but it didn’t. The characters didn’t immediately “sense a connection” and I liked that it took a while for them to figure it out. I felt like I was constantly going will they, won’t they, no they definitely will, oh maybe not. I liked that Laurie spent time trying to figure out who she was after her break up with Dan (the ex) instead of jumping into being starry eyed with the next guy who showed her some attention.

And speaking of Jamie…I really liked his character. He was known as a bit of a ladies man but had complete and utter respect for the women in his life. Most of the time, the male lead in a fake romance can be made out to be a moody and self-centred arse who’s only after two things- getting money and being the boss. However, while Jamie’s intentions for the fake relationship was to get a promotion, he was also rooting for Laurie to help make Dan jealous.

Final thoughts…

Overall, I loved this book. It was sweet and wonderfully romantic. The characters felt real and had depths to them that weren’t over the top. The relationship between Jamie and Laurie was so effortless and built on respect. I loved that Jamie would stand up for Laurie and have her back.

If you like Beth O’Leary and Lindsey Kelk, I’m pretty sure you’re going to love Mhairi McFarlane too.

What’s your favourite faux romance book?

Love, Aoife x


Where the Crawdads sing Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Its rich descriptions took my breath away and is a truly an unforgettable read. No wonder it was one of the most popular books last Summer! It’s not the type of book that I’d usually pick up but it caught me off guard and I soon found myself hooked on every word.

What's it about?


The book tells the story of a young Kya Clark, the so-called ‘Marsh Girl’, living just outside of Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. The book is divided into two parts; the Marsh and the Swamp. The chapters alternate between 1952, where we meet a young Kya, and 1969, when the town discovers a local boy has been murdered and a trial ensues. The town suspects Kya but as the book flickers between the two, and as the years get closer, you get the feeling that Kya’s world and the town’s world are complete opposites.

Where the Crawdads sing Delia Owens

My favourite thing...


One thing I love about Kya Clark is her independence and strength. I think those qualities made it easy for me to connect with her and by the end of the book, I felt like Kya’s number one cheerleader. She came from a childhood overshadowed by trauma and as the reader, you can’t help but sympathise for Kya. However, her resilience and utter contentment, makes her truly remarkable. She was dealt with a shit hand and made something spectacular out of it. I wish I had her courage!

Where the Crawdads Sing is a combination of a coming-of-age narrative and a murder mystery. If I’m honest, the murder mystery provided a thread through the novel but I found myself focusing more on Kya’s story. I loved how she developed as a character and blossomed into a remarkable young woman. Kya’s story was wrapped in eloquent and poetic descriptions of nature. Despite Kya’s bleak childhood, Owens pays close attention to the vibrant and sometimes muted colours of the marsh.

This book reminded me of when I was in secondary school reading books with heavily detailed descriptions. We were always taught to pay attention to the significance of the setting in relation to the characters and story. This book is almost solely centred around the marsh and the relationship between the nature and humans.

Final review...


Where the Crawdads Sing is a surprising but delightful read that will be at the top of my recommendations list for anyone looking to see the world from a different perspective. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s not the book I usually pick up but it was refreshing to read a story about something other than fame, fortune and the urban lifestyle.

Have you read it yet?

Love, Aoife xo

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish review

There's a lot I could say about Liz Earle, all good things of course, but the Cleanse & Polish hot cloth cleanser is a classic. I'm now on my third bottle and I've gotten quite familar with it. I'll be upfront and say it's not a cleanser I use reguarly. But, I do enjoy treating my skin to it a couple of times a week, especially when it needs a little more love and there's not a lot of buildup on my face.

Let's jump into the review!

Firstly, it smells amazing. It lists rosemary, chamomile, cocoa butter and eucalyptus essential oil as the highlighted ingredients. The scents of the eucalyptus oil and cocoa butter stand out to me and it makes washing your face a very relaxing experience. The cocoa butter, I'm sure, is responsible for how soft and smooth my skin feels after.

The hot cloth cleanser works by applying the cream to dry skin and gently massaging it to remove any dirt and makeup. Then you use a warm cloth to wipe it off. You can buy the cleanser with Liz Earle muslin cloths as part of a pack for £17. I have bought the packs before and then promply lost the cloths with all the rest I own. So, I think I'll just buy the cleanser separetly next time. 

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish review

I mentioned earlier that Cleanse & Polish isn't my daily cleanser but it's perfect for when you want to treat your skin to some tlc. It's probably a mixture of the natural scents and how my skin feels after that makes it a relaxing experience.

While I do love aspects to the cleanser, I don't always feel like I can massage it into my skin for too long before it starts to absorb the product. This is probably down to it being cream based and applying it to dry skin as opposed to one that lathers. I think I've just gotten used to following the #60secondrule with my other cleansers. Having said that, my skin does feel and look clean too. It suggests to use two/ three pumps but sometimes when I have a full face of makeup, I use a little more.

Occaisionally, Liz Earle comes out with limited edition versions of their products. Last year, I bought the limited edition cleanse & polish which used rose, I think. I ended up having a reaction to it which meant I broke out quite badly all over my forehead. So, I thing I'lll just stick to the original one.

So, would I recommend Cleanse & Polish? Yes! Not just for personal use but I also think it makes a great gift too. And it smells fabulous, what's not to love? Speaking of...I think I might use it now...

Have you ever tried Liz Earle's Cleanse & Polish?

Love, Aoife xo

Cosrx Snail Mucin Power Essence Review

My inner product junkie lives on another day and this time bringing you my thoughts on the ever popular South Korean brand Cosrx’s Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power EssenceYep, I said it. It's snail secretion. I have used this product on and off for a couple of months which isn’t really long enough for a full blown review but a small one on first impressions will do.

Word on the street:


“Being 96% Snail Secretion Filtrate (Mucin), this essence helps the skin to lose less moisture while keeping the skin smooth and healthy.”

I love trying out hyped up products and this has been on my list for a while now. Snail Mucin is supposed to be really good because of its hydration properties. People have raved about Cosrx’s Snail Mucin serum for a while now and not just to use on your face, but on other parts of your body too! I’ve yet to experiment on anywhere other than my face but we’ll see.

Cosrx Snail Mucin Power Essence Review

Goodies in the mail:


I ordered my serum from YesStyle -well my friend ordered it for me- and it took a little while to arrive. As it would, coming from the other side of the world and all. It did take a little longer than I thought it would and by the time it arrived, I had almost forgotten about it.

I love the packaging of this serum! The bottle is clear, misted with a small label on the front. They were really going for a minimalist look when they designed the bottle. It doesn’t really list any of the other ingredients on it except from saying it has 96% of snail mucin. If you’re after the full list, it’s best to keep the box it came in.

Thoughts:


The first time I used the Snail Mucin Power Essence, I freaked out. I didn’t know what to expect but a gooey and stringy substance was not it. It made me cringe a little, to be honest. I don’t know what I expected but it felt and looked a lot like snail secretion. It was definitely an experience applying something so stringy, especially when you're used to seeing it on the garden shed. After a couple of days, I got over it and began to notice the differences in my skin.

As I mentioned earlier, hydration is a largely spoken about benefit of using snail mucin. After a week or so, I could tell there was a difference in the appearance and feel of my skin. 
It was only small but it was definitely there. I could see that my skin was a little plumper and it felt healthier too. I applied a couple of small pumps to damp skin and lightly patted it in.

One thing I will say is I did experience some under-the-skin spots around my chin. I wasn’t sure if this was caused by the snail mucin serum so I tested it again a month later and there’s definitely a connection. They weren’t inflamed and never came to the surface but it was annoying.

Would I recommend it? 


I think the jury is still out on this one. I don’t this product is for me, personally. I've given it a go a couple of times but I'm not a fan of something that breaks me out. However, I’m really interested in trying out other products from their range.

Have you tried it?

Love, Aoife xo


P.S- You can find more of my beauty content, here.



I have never been one of those people who are obsessed with candles. I never understood the attraction or appeal to a pot of wax and a flame. However, my knowledge and understanding of candles completely flipped when I received a candle that -no exaggeration- has changed my life. This candle is not only a beautiful specimen to look at but once lit transforms a cold dreary space to a warm cosy sensual space. 

I have never experienced anything like a Jo Malone candle. And yes, I said candle and experience in the same sentence because it most definitely is one. There is always a lot of hype when it comes to Jo Malone products especially by influencers but I can 100% confirm, it’s worth the hype. In the same way, nothing compares to taking a designer bag out of its dustbag, nothing compares to lighting a Jo Malone candle.


I received the candle as a birthday present and as soon as I lifted the lid off the candle, the scent had already enveloped me. The candle is the Velvet Rose & Oud Home candle and comes in all-black packaging with matte black wax and wick with a silver lid. Everything about it screams luxury even down to the matte black matches.


I’m not good at describing the scent but according to the website it says, “transform the atmosphere with the scent of darkest Damask rose. Wrapped with smoky out wood. Spiked with clove, decadent praline.” The scent is incredible when the candle isn’t even lit. And when it is, it’s extraordinary. The whole room is soon smelling of the greatest things in life. The wood and cloves give it a warm comforting feeling. 

I’m convinced that Jo Malone is a scent extraordinaire. Everything about the candle exudes luxury and elegance. And, I’m here for it. 

Love, Aoife xo

If you liked this post, you might like What is your Love Language?

It’s no secret that skincare is one of my favourite things to purchase. In this new series, I want to put to the test whether some of the holy grail and most talked about products are worth the hype they receive. In the first post I’m reviewing Pixi's Glow Tonic.  

Pixi’s Glow Tonic is a staple feature when it comes to skincare products appearing on my Instagram feed. The bottle’s iconic packaging of an orange tinted plastic bottle with a pea green lid and label is instantly recognisable anywhere. The 250ml bottle retails for £18, but 100ml and 500ml are also available to buy from most beauty outlets. The 250ml bottle lasted me about nine months.

The Tonic contains 5% glycolic acid which is a micro-exfoliant. (Read here what glycolic acid is and it's benefits.) On the label, it recommends using the tonic either in the morning and at night or when needed. At first, I used it at both times at the day before switching to only at night. I actually prefer using the product once a day as two times is too strong for my skin. After consistently using the product for about a month, I slowly started using my exfoliating scrub less and less. However, I still exfoliate once a week to smooth my skin and give it a little TLC boost.


It also contains Aloe Vera to soothe and hydrate the skin as well as ginseng to improve circulation for a brighter, healthier looking complexion. I agree that the tonic has helped improve my skin’s appearance in looking brighter and healthier. My pore’s have also been looking pretty great at the moment.

It took me a little while to understand this product. It might seem a bit silly but at first I wasn’t quite sure what its purpose was. I understand slightly better now that it's a light daily chemical exfoliater. The results were quite gradual and for the most part, I’m still on the fence. However, I stopped using the tonic for a week and I could really feel and see a difference in the texture of my skin. 

Overall, I’d say this product is worth the hype. It’s a bit of a luxury to add to your routine and I like the simplicity of it. It’s a micro-exfoliant that works best with regular use.

Have you tried Pixi Glow Tonic?


Love, Aoife xo





If you’ve read my post on joining the sustainable fashion conversation then you may have gathered that as of recently I’m trying to encourage a change within my lifestyle. There is currently six of us at home and between us, we create a lot of rubbish. The kitchen bin gets full pretty much within a day or two. And, it’s starting to get quite disturbing at the amount that gets thrown away.

Looking at my own lifestyle and beauty routine, I decided to try and change one of the main culprits that fill up my own rubbish; cotton pads. Cotton pads are awesome. They’re so versatile; removing a full face of makeup, putting on toner, removing nail varnish, putting on cream… the list goes on. On an average day when I don’t wear makeup, I probably go through three cotton pads. When I wear a full face, you’re looking at five or six. And if you add that all up, using them every day, that’s a lot of cotton pads in my bin. 

Reusable cotton pads are something I’ve seen buzzing around on the internet. People are using them in tutorials and tweeting about how much they love them. So, in true Aoife fashion, I decided to put them to the test. 

Need to know: 

Reusable makeup pads are typically made from organic bamboo and have a texture similar to a microfibre flannel. To clean them all you need to do is put them in with your clothes wash. Most reusable pads come with a little pouch to put them in. I picked up a box of 20 Eco-Friendly Reusable Makeup pads made by a company called Bamboo Feels on Amazon. The general price range of most boxes fit in between £10 to £20, which can seem a little costly but you are able to use these a lot more than disposable ones. Therefore, in the long term, they can work out cheaper.



My Opinion 

The cotton pads, or Eco-friendly reusable makeup pads, I bought come in three different colours; white, grey and black. They are larger than normal cotton pads and are double-sided. I use them mainly for removing my makeup and I’ll use both sides of them. They are quite good at removing all my makeup, however, there is occasionally some residue left behind. 

With that said, I haven’t completely eliminated disposable cotton pads from my routine. I only use them for applying my Pixi Glow Tonic because it’s quite expensive and I feel like there’s less product waste on the disposable ones.



Conclusion:

I really like them. I like that they’re effective at removing makeup and good for the environment. Being able to wash them with my normal clothes wash is really handy. They're not as soft as I thought they would be but are still gentle on the skin. 

These are alternatives for removing makeup so I haven't used them for anything else such as applying toner or removing nail polish.

Even though I haven’t fully swapped my disposables, just incorporating them with has helped drastically reduce my waste. I’ll definitely be keeping these on.


Love, Aoife xo

When it comes to make-up, I have three simple requests: it works on my pale skin, it’s hardly there and it doesn’t cause breakouts. 

When I first started wearing make-up, I used to slap it on, and all would be dandy. Then as I got older, my skin decided she didn’t want to participate in this activity anymore and I would breakout whenever I wore it. This issue was fixed by using a great primer. I wrote a review on my current primer which you can check out here. 

With the first step handled, I required a base that gave something back to my skin and let it breathe. I carry the opinion that spending a little more on things are worth it and are much better overall. And this is how I came to stand at the Estée Lauder counter in John Lewis. 

The lady introduced the Double Wear water fresh finish to me based on the fact I preferred lighter coverage and I didn’t like anything that would sit too heavy on my face. Ever since I picked it up, it’s become my new favourite go-to foundation.


The Water Fresh version gives a lighter coverage compared to the original Double Wear and is also buildable. The foundation has a water base and so will sit nicely on the skin. 

The foundation comes in a frosted glass bottle, has SPF 30 and is sold as 30ml. It’s a mid-range luxury foundation at £33.50 a bottle. However, I did get a student discount with my foundation which made it considerably cheaper. It’s quite runny so you have to be careful when you pour it. I wear the shade 1C2 Petal and is the perfect match for my skin tone.

I pour a pea-sized amount on the back of my hand and use my fingers to apply it. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer light coverage so I am only looking to cover my face with a thin layer. However, let the first layer dry a little to apply another for move coverage. With this foundation, you have to build it to get a better, smoother finish than putting it all on at once.


The only issue I have with the foundation is that you need a moist base. It doesn’t work that great with dry skin, and it can start to separate after the water dries. This can easily be corrected with setting spray; spray it all over to prevent it from drying out. With that said, I do need to make sure my base is as hydrated as possible. Which there is no harm in doing because your skin could probably do with the extra nutrients.

The foundation lasts all day giving me a flawless finish. It feels like a second skin and sits comfortably not sinking into my pores. I hardly ever break out anymore and my skin feels a lot better after as well.


Love, Aoife xo


We're currently 13 days into the new year and guess who's still reminiscing about the past? I know I'm a little behind but I really wanted to do this post before we got too far into the new year. I saw InTheFrow do this and a couple of other bloggers do something similar and I felt it was the perfect way to share some of my highlights from the previous year without going on a long warbly post.

January: Life & Death @ Kew Gardens


February: Chancellor's Dinner, LFW Mulberry event
& LWFW (London Fashion Week Festival)



March: Filmed a Beauty Blogger Video & Found my voice

April: 36 Hours in Bath

May: Finished decorating my room & Shooting in Notting Hill 

June: Traveling along the Cote d'Azur & a Spainish holiday

July: Marc Jacobs Daisy event at Somerset House, Weekend in Liverpool & Notion Summer Party

August: Azzedine Alaia exhibition + going it alone

September: Moved house for the first time, Crazy Rich Asians VIP screening & Back to Uni

October + November: Jorja Smith concert & Became a Radio Presenter 

December: Christmas in the new house!


Thank you to everyone who made my 2018 special. I didn't realise just how much I had accomplished last year. I loved looking through all the pictures and it's definitely given me some blog post ideas. So, thank you to all my friends, you are the best support network. Thank you to my Mum, Dad and brother. Thank you for all the love on my blog too. 2019 is the year of content.

Love, Aoife x






Primer has become a must-have item in my makeup bag ever since I started wearing the stuff almost five years ago. The other month I decided it was time to switch up my primer as my skin type had changed and I needed it to do different things. 

Revlon’s PhotoReady Pore Reducing Primer was suggested to me by a friend and I thought I’d do a review on it.

It's one of their two primers from their PhotoReady collection and will set you back £12.99 for 27ml. The product comes in a glass pump jar, which I like as it keeps the primer fresher and feels better on my face (compared to a primer out of a plastic tube). 



When applying the primer, a full pump will give you a pea-sized amount which is the perfect size for your whole face. But you can top it more if you wish. 

My first thoughts of the primer were that 1) it was pink and 2) it was much thicker than my previous primer (Nivea, Hydrating primer). I was a little hesitant at first to see how pink this would turn out but when it’s applied to the face, it spreads out and the pinkness creates a blurring effect, in other words, those “pore reducing” qualities. The primer creates a sort of film over the face, which is a little thicker than I'm used to. Having said that, my skin is still able to breathe.




As a primer, it does create a good protective barrier between my skin and my makeup. After applying the primer and leaving it to dry/ settle a little, it’s a little tacky but this helps to keep the foundation in place. Making my makeup last pretty much all day. The slight thickness of the primer means the protective barrier is harder to penetrate so you don’t have to worry about your makeup seeping through.

However, if you’re looking for that silicon feel -which I think I prefer- this product has a slight feel but it’s not a defining quality. Looking at the ingredients, it's a water-based primer. It has a light matte and pink tinted finish which may not be everyone’s cup of tea and I’m not sure it’s mine.

Overall, I’d say it’s a good primer. It’s an easy high street alternative for the higher end ones. I wouldn’t say I’m crazy about it, I’m more of a light coverage kind of girl and it’s a little heavy for me. But with that said, I can’t lie when I see a good product which this is.

Love, Aoife xo

Have you ever been afraid to read a book? No? I suppose no one ever gets scared of a book but when I bought milk and honey, I was afraid to go near it. Not because it was bad or I thought it was going to be rubbish, but because I knew -I got this feeling- that in front of me was a really powerful book. A book that could make me happy and tear me to shreds seconds later.


Milk + Honey is a collection of poems split into four sections; the loving, the breaking, the hurting and the healing. Kaur articulates every feeling, emotion and thought that I’ve ever felt and haven't yet felt. She made me feel happy, sad, vulnerable and strong. Through her poetry, Kaur is able to teach a way of life that we’ve become accustomed too. She points out how we (especially females) have been forced to accept things as a way of life.

After reading this book, I definitely felt as though I’d been schooled in life. I felt as though I’d been taught to understand I’m a vulnerable creature and there’s plenty of loss in life. But I was also taught to appreciate life and there’s beauty in vulnerability. It’s the vulnerability that makes us human and being human is a beautiful thing. She also taught me that love is a very passionate emotion and we should be able to experience that and give everything to it.

Milk + Honey is definitely a book I would recommend. And I think everyone should read it at least once in their life. It’s the type of book that gets you thinking and tapping into/ confronting emotions that you’re used to hiding away. It’s the type of book that shows beauty in life, through the loving, breaking, hurting and healing. It’s a book that encourages hope and makes you look at the person you are and want to be. She writes about being whole as a person before you can give yourself to others. Kaur touches on the pressures of society and what is right for the mind and body. 



Milk + Honey has to be one the best books I’ve ever read. She changes the game on poetry and it made me fall in love with the written musical language. There’s so much emotion rooted deep down in the pit of your stomach that rises up into your heart (if you read it properly). If you’re debating what to read next, or you keep putting off buying the book. Buy it now! Because it’s the game changer you need in your life.

Love, Aoife x

P.S- I'm going to read her new book the sun and her flowers next. I'll let you know how it goes.