10 February 2017

Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Essie nail polish in Plumberry and Romper Room / Clinique Chubby Stick in Chunky Cherry

Most people have two approaches to Valentine's Day. The first approach would be disregarding it and not making a big deal of it, and the second approach would be celebrating it religiously with all the pink and red you can find and the grandest of romantic gestures. C and I tend to be more on the casual side of the spectrum. For many years, while C and I were in a long distance relationship, we chose to completely ignore it and then on the first Valentine's Day we spent physically together we opted to stay in, watch a film and eat all the Haribo Starmix we could manage. Since that Valentine's Day, we've kept it casual and budget friendly, avoiding overcrowded restaurants and expensive gifts. That's not to say I don't like a cute gift and on Valentine's Day I like to treat myself. After all, the most important relationship you'll have in life is with yourself. So why not treat yourself to a nice V-Day gift? 

I've rounded up my favourite Valentine's Day budget-conscious gifts for yourself or any lady in your life.

Butlers Chocolates / Card / Leather Crossbody Bag
Lace Bralette / PJ Shorts / Sweater
Butlers Chocolates

7 February 2017

Six Winter Skin Saviours


Like most people, my skin takes a beating every winter. Since moving back to Canada from Ireland, it has been especially bad as it re-adapts to the colder and less humid environment that is Canada. I have dry and dehydrated skin, to begin with so even in the best of conditions my skin is always looking for extra moisture. My skincare routine hasn’t changed dramatically over the last year or so but I’ve fine-tuned the products I use so they do what they’re supposed to and bring me joy in using them, in part due to their skincare benefits, and their amazing fragrances.


After hearing so many good things about the Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser I decided to give it a try about a year ago and haven’t looked back since. I tend to gravitate towards cream cleansers because they’re more gentle and moisturising on my skin than foam or gel cleansers and this one fits the bill just right. It’s super moisturising and soothing, thanks to the cocoa butter, rosemary and chamomile, not to mention divine smelling thanks to the eucalyptus essential oil. Sadly, this product doesn't seem to be available in Canada, so I'm going to have to bulk buy when I'm visiting friends and family in Dublin or start looking for a replacement. 


Oils and moisturisers will only properly do their job if they're applied to exfoliated skin. I don't always use exfoliating pads, opting sometimes for more gentle exfoliating, but these Clearasil 5-in-1 Cleansing Pads do a remarkable job at exfoliating my skin and getting rid of all the dry bits in part due to the salicylic acid it contains. The pads are quite powerful so I tend to use them only 2-3 times a week. From what I can tell, this product in Canada is called Ultra Deep Pore Cleansing Pads.


When I first heard of people using oils on their face I was sceptical. I thought it would leave your skin greasy and slippery but boy, was I wrong. I’ve used a few oils but my favourite is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate primarily because of its calming essential oils blend which smells like lavender, perfect for use in the evenings. It penetrates quickly into the skin leaving it feeling soft and not at all greasy. I only use this in the evening and skip the oil step in the morning.


The Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré is my holy grail of moisturisers. So much so that I don’t think I could ever use anything else. It’s thick and very indulgent and leaves my skin plump and soft all day long. It’s filled with good things including shea butter, beeswax, aloe vera and soy proteins and is paraben-free. I use it morning and night without fail and find that a little goes a long way which shows just how powerful it is. For my eyes, I use another French pharmacy product, the Caudalie PremierCru The Eye Cream. Some might not need eye cream but I get very dry eyes, especially at the outer corners and on the top lids near the inner corners, so I find this cream indispensable. To note, this is also the only anti-ageing product I use in my everyday skincare routine. 


I say this is step is optional only because it’s just if you need or want a deep dose of hydration. This La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Masque has hyaluronic acid in it which is what makes it so hydrating. I like to use it at night, 2-3 times a week, on different days that I use the Clearasil 5-in-1 Cleansing Pads and when I do so I skip steps 3 and 4, opting to leave the mask on overnight. I wake up with exceptionally soft, smooth skin.