Doing my Own Nails: Mint Green, Grey & Chrome…

If there’s one thing us nail techs quite often find a drag it’s doing our own nails… I guess it’s kind of like a gardener not being arsed enough to keep his own lawn manicured or a hair-dresser overlooking her mass of split ends. It takes multiple cups of tea and a firm talking to in order to get me at my nail desk for some TLC of my own… not to mention the task of doing the non-dominant hand too – arrrghh! Yet on the other hand (excuse the pun) I could sit and watch YouTube videos from my fav nail gurus for hours without a single grumble – if anything, there’s something slightly therapeutic about it.

So if you’ve got a few minutes to burn and fancy seeing how I tackle bringing my own pinkies to life then why not get yourself comfy & hit the play button… if you’re feeling super generous you might even want to subscribe to keep up with my latest uploads – which you can do by *Clicking Here*

Anyways, more from me when I’ve recovered from my dose of the winter lurgies…. yes, I’m huddled up drinking copious amount of Lucozade and munching my way through vitamins to lift the aches a little quicker with any luck.

Cheerio Chums…

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Celebrating St Patricks Day With The Best In Irish Beauty…

Irish Beauty Brands

Happy St Patrick’s Day…

Of course being the rather proud Irish beauty blogger that I am, what better way to celebrate the day itself than by showcasing some of the best names in Irish beauty! Yes chums, I’ve rounded up a sassy collection of make-up, skin care, cosmetic brushes along with bath & body goodies that will leave you literally spoilt for choice whilst browsing through this exciting collection of beauty gems – namely emeralds of course 😉

So if you’re thinking of treating yourself (or a special someone) to a little St Patrick’s inspired treat then check out this fabulous lot – though I won’t be held responsible for your monumental shopping list thereafter…


Anneco Beauty: Natural Skin Care & Makeup


“Ann Shields is an original ‘Galway Girl’ who is now based in Co. Laois. Her love of the natural way of living comes from growing up on a homely Irish farm. Ann has a background in beauty and has International qualifications in Aestheticienne and Makeup Artistry. Through her interest in cosmetics Ann began researching natural alternatives to the industrious chemical laden makeup, which have swamped the shops. Empowering women to feel and look their optimum inspired Ann to develop a range of mineral makeup.

Ann noticed a movement towards natural products and began to research how to make cosmetics – maintaining her focus on the creation of more natural beauty products. Her products are formulated using organic plant extracts where possible. She completed cosmetic courses in London including a course with a U.S. based botanical blends tutor Cinda Phelps. Cinda was a formulator for Jane Iredale foundation brand before setting up her own business. Ann began working with Natural Cosmetic researchers and alongside Dr. Brian O’Rourke from Carlow Institute of Technology the unique formulas were developed.”



Marble Hill: Natural Skin Care blended by Dr Maria McGee

Marble Hill

“Based in Northern Ireland and having our very own natural spring water from our well in Co.Donegal, Marble Hill develops and manufactures a range of unique and luxurious skin care products that are 100% natural and have proved beneficial to the wellbeing of our customers, leaving skin feeling fresh, invigorated and moisturised. Customer testimonials show that our range is also used in alleviating the irritation caused by skin conditions such as Dermatitis, Eczema, Psoriasis, Athletes Foot, Dry Skin, Acne, Dandruff and other skin malaises.

Continually researching the development of new products to expand the benefits of Dr Maria McGee’s Pure Natural Skincare to an ever increasing customer base, we sincerely wish to have a genuinely positive impact on the wellbeing of all those who choose to buy our products.

We absolutely guarantee that our entire range is completely 100% Natural. We guarantee that none of our products or ingredients we use are ever tested on animals, Marble Hill actively campaign against animal cruelty in all its forms. Unlike some other companies or individuals selling ‘so called natural products’ we can confidently and categorically state that there are no chemicals, additives synthetics, fragrances or colorants’ or any other type of cosmetic or man made ingredient in any product we produce. Our ingredients come from sustainable and fair trade sources.”



Fuschia: Makeup

Fuschia Makeup

“Fuschia Make-up, a multi award winning Irish make-up company. We first opened our doors in November 2005 in Scotch Hall SC, Drogheda and since then we have never looked back. We are now stocked throughout the country with new salons opening each week. Fuschia is known for its excellent array of products catering for the modern woman. We are a passionate, vibrant and constantly evolving brand that has brought a Fresh prospective to the make up industry.”



Cocoa Brown: Tanning Solutions

cocoa brown

“The Cocoa Brown By Marissa Carter tanning range was launched in November 2012 and has had unprecedented success ever since. Marissa, founder of Cocoa Brown has developed the brand to include a ‘wardrobe of tans’ including eight sister products to suit different types of tanners and non-tanners alike!”



The Belfast Soap Company: Natural Handmade Soap

Belfast Soap Company

“Look at the labelling on soap in supermarkets. Often, nowhere on the packaging will you find the word “soap”. That is because they are actually detergent bars, very cleverly advertised.

Did you know that your skin can absorb up to 94% of what you put on it? Research has shown that the average female in the UK exposes herself to 515 synthetic chemicals a day during her normal grooming and make-up routine. That is a shocking statistic.

Rather than using ingredients that may be harmful and could have adverse effects on your long-term health, it makes sense to choose natural products for your home and family.

This is why we are committed to making only 100% natural products – it’s what we do.”



Ciara Daly: Makeup Brushes

Ciara Daly

“Ciara’s studio boasts the most unique, stimulating environment for both the aspiring and qualified makeup artist alike.

Always ahead of the trend, Ciara delivers high impact workshops and training within a trend setting environment where creativity is encouraged and nurtured. The premises are distinctive, inspired and are testament to the success of the founding makeup academy and Ciara’s esteemed position within the Northern Irish Makeup Artist Industry.

Ciara has tapped into that niche market bridging the gap which lay between the professional high end / high price brush ranges and the drug store standard.

So with this in mind, for the ultimate flawless finish, Ciara Daly presents her bespoke range aptly entitled Complete Control.”



Lucy Annabella: Luxury Bath & Body

Lucy Annabella

“Colleen Harte was inspired to create Lucy Annabella Organics when she realised that ‘being organic’ is as much about what we put on our bodies as what we put into them.

Colleen is a Complementary Therapist and Clinical Aromatherapist who has been an organic health enthusiast for some time.  She lives by the ethos that our health is paramount to our happiness.  Colleen travelled the globe in her quest for knowledge and the best ingredients and dedicated farmers.  On her return to rural County Tyrone she pursued her passion and created Lucy Annabella.

We believe in bath and body functional products which benefit our health therapeutically and are wrapped in luxury.  We deliver certified sustainable beautifully designed and packaged products.  Lucy Annabella, our aromatherapy expert formulates and develops our brand of organic bath and body products for your body and mind.

Borne out of a desire to create sublime oils, lotions, milks and candles made from organic plants and herbs, Lucy Annabella brings you luxury, free from harmful chemicals.  We want you to experience gorgeous products made from only the best essential and plant oils.   From the exquisite packaging, to the divine aromas released upon opening, Lucy Annabella’s ethos of organic luxury is evident in every scent.   We have created a range of products which encourage renewal and restoration.  Lucy Annabella wants you to immerse yourself in a cocoon of sensual healing.”



Blank Canvas: Brushes & Cosmetics

Blank Canvas

“Our philosophy is simple : We see the face as a “blank canvas” with endless possibilities.  We are an online cosmetic brand based in Ireland bringing you quality at an affordable price. Our affordable prices aim to save you money on expensive customs and shipping charges that often happens when ordering from international countries.”



Super Facialist by Una Brennan:

Una Brennan

“Úna’s aim is to attain plump, vibrant, glowing, healthy skin at any age and for every skin type from the inside and out. Her belief is simple: “Skin is magnificently clever but at a very basic level it needs water in the cells and to be able to breathe”.

Her sought after facial treatments fulfil this basic need – they are logical, thorough with every single stage important, but most importantly they work with the skin, not against it. And just as all of our skin is the same but different, much like a fingerprint, so too are Una’s facials – they are all of similar structure but are, in every respect, bespoke. Her clients never know quite what they are going to get when they come in, from a freezing cold power ball of frozen enzymes (her favourite treatment to revitalise – icy cold!) to a physically lifting and plumping lymph drainage mask or to phytoplacenta sheet mask with freeze dried seaweed… there are so many combinations of treatments to hand so she can get the best targeted results for every skin.”



Have you tried any of these Irish skincare & make-up brands? Or, will there be any making their way onto your wish list? Whatever your thoughts I’d love to read them in the comments below so do stope by and say a quick hello! Wishing y’all a fantastic St Patrick’s day 🙂

Cheerio chums…

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*All info above sourced as an excerpt from brands own website*

The Makeup Revolution Menu: First Impressions…

Makeup Revolution First Impressions Haul

A few months ago I treated myself to a rather sizeable Makeup Revolution haul… you can *Click Here* to check it out if you missed it! Having never tried any of their products before, I was filling the contents of my virtual shopping basket based on two things: blog buddy opinions & my own curiosity. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been a fan of buying makeup over the internet, simply because I’m one of those curious little individuals that like to swatch half way up my arm, whilst casting a critical eye under the harsh lights of my local drug store. So with fingers firmly crossed & hope in my heart I hit the ‘Buy Now’ button – quietly confident that all really would be as good as what my fellow cosmetic critics had announced. Needless to say, over the weekend I was *finally* able to try out a few of my new purchases whilst sipping over a cup of tea & basking in time to really get to know my new products.

Fancy finding out more about my first impressions of Makeup Revolution? Then get yourself comfy and let’s get started….


Makeup Revolution - face makeup haul

The One Foundation in Shade 1: Okay, so I’d never read a review about this particular foundation, but the description on the website intrigued me enough to take a punt… after all £4 wasn’t going to break the bank if it was an epic fail. Unfortunately though (at the time of ordering) the shade selection wasn’t clear on the website and the colour I choose (shade 1) is literally as white as an Arctic landscape. Having had to mix it with a considerable amount of an alternative everyday-foundation to build up a bit of warmth, I couldn’t honestly say what my final thoughts were. Thankfully though my skin did feel surprisingly velvety soft, however come my next haul I’ll be aiming for shade 4/5 . Review to be continued gals…

Link To Buy:


Focus & Fix Foundation Liquid Concealer: As many of you already know, concealers & I have had a bumpy road this past year. I haven’t reeeeeally found the one that I can honestly say ‘voila – that’s IT!’. However that’s not to say I don’t appreciate the qualities that some of them bring to the beauty table. Focus & Fix is a quite a light weight concealer, and although buildable I have to say my skin almost drank it within a few hours (though that’s no surprise as it does with most things these day). Thankfully this one didn’t sit in my lines and cause that horrid aging effect that most do. If you’re looking for something that’s affordable, brightening and light enough to compliement a light/medium foundation then I’d certainly encourage you to give it a go. What’s there to lose with a price tag of £2?

Link To Buy:


Ultra Blush Palette in Golden Sugar: Having seen a number of reviews of this stunning blush palette from several bloggers I literally couldn’t wait to get my hands on it; and ladies it didn’t disappoint! Hailed as ‘The one you have been waiting for’ on the description, it certainly ain’t far from the truth.

Makeup Revolution - Golden Sugar Blush Palette

What a beautiful selection of creamy, warm and totally wearable bronzers, merged blushers, baked bronzer and 2 merged baked highlighters. Simply gorgeous & incredibly pigmented, for £6 it’s such a bargain.

Link To Buy:



Makeup Revolution - eye makeup haul

5 Baked Eye Shadows in Electric Dreams: I have hunted shelves high & low for that perfect pigmented purple, and just when I thought it wasn’t to be Makeup Revolution save the day with this little beauty. Five glorious colours ranging from soft shimmering lilac to an intense deep purple. These shadows are so intense they almost seem foiled in consistency – particularly when used with a wet brush for an even more striking finish. At £2.50 they are more than worth the investment!

Link To Buy:

Amazing Eyeliner in Stardust: I confess, I very rarely (if ever) wear kohl eyeshadow on my lids but tend to reserve it for my water line when I’m dressing my eyes up for a sassy night out (which, funnily enough, is another rarity). However glitter Kohl liners have always intrigued me and having had a few bad encounters in the past they’ve been something I’ve naturally migrated away from…

MUR Eyeliner pencil

Yet something told me this little guy with the built in sharpener would change all that… thank you intuition – you done me proud!! Such a great liner that works perfectly when smoked out. The flecks of glitter aren’t too intense but not subtle enough to completely disappear depending on how you build or blend it. It didn’t crumble or make me work to get colour payoff. £1 well spent I’d say ladies 😉

Link To Buy:



Makeup Revolution - ultra velour lips

Ultra Velour Lip Cream in Their Eyes Can’t Find Us: A velour matte lip cream with a beautiful wash of colour. From the moment of application I knew I’d fallen head over heels – even the sweet fudge cake smell of the formula is enough to win your heart before it even touches the lips. Okay, so the colour didn’t make it the full 8 hours for me, but with it feeling and smelling so darn good I certainly wasn’t grumbling when it came to re-applying. Available for a jaw dropping £3!

Link To Buy:






Truthfully the quality, affordability, pigmentation and formula of the entire selection is without a doubt WOW. If you’re looking to top up your makeup stash with high quality products that won’t break the bank then I’m pretty sure you’ll be back-flipping with joy when your Makeup Revolution order arrives. Beautifully presented and a great colour payoff, it’s absolutely no surprise that beauty guru’s across the globe are stocking up their cosmetic kits with this fantastic range!

pink heart

Have you tried any of the cosmetic range from Makeup Revolution? If so what’s your opinion, do you have any favourites of your own? Or maybe they’re top of your next ‘Me Spree’?

Whatever your thoughts I’d love to read them in the comments below so do stop by and say a quick hello 🙂

Cheerio chums…

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Happy St Patricks Day: Why I blooming love being Irish…


So it seems that if you’re Irish (or not) today is a day to unashamedly don huge leprechaun style hats with fluffy ginger beards and head down to the local watering hole for a night of banter and a pint or six of the famous black stuff… and why not? After all, it is St Patricks Day!! *cheers of jubilation*

As the Emerald Isle is well renowned for its warm welcome, breathtaking scenery and multitude of cosy little pubs that are as old as the land itself, I thought I’d honour my heritage with a few of my absolute favourite things that makes this gorgeous place not just my home but my favourite place in the whole world….



Belfast At Night
Having seen a turbulent and devastating past, Belfast has risen to a city that is vibrant, bright and full of life. What I love the most is that although it has evolved into an exciting, diverse and economically thriving place that embraces its multicultural residency, it hasn’t lost any of the homely charm that makes it an amazing place to be day or night. The sightseeing, shopping and nightlife are truly buzzing with so much change and investment. Belfast is a city  filled with opportunity and is continuing to grow, sending a positive message that the wounds of a war torn past can be helped to heal with the combined efforts of those proud to call it their home.


Harland & Wolff:

Is there one sight that reminds you of home? For me, it’s these two huge cranes that have dominated the Belfast skyline since 1969. Although I’ve been blessed enough to have travelled to some beautiful places in my life there’s no better feeling than arriving back in Belfast to see these huge steel icons standing proud on the horizon. They never fail to remind me that I’m back where I belong.


Irish bread:

Irish Bread
Potato bread/wheaten farl/soda bread – we REALLY know how to make a hungry man feel full with our belly filling range of traditional breads, with recipies that have been carefully handed down from generation to generation. If you ever come to Ireland don’t even think of leaving before you’ve tried them all, especially as part of a huge Ulster Fry with a mug of tea!


Tayto Crisps:

The famous ‘Norn Irish’ snack that has been the supposed cure of many a hangover, not to mention a fav filler of sandwiches. These are proper crisps for those who crave a bag of cheese and oniony flavour  that will make your eyes water (especially if you find an extra strong bag) If you become utterly besotted then there’s always the legendary tour of Tayto Castle where you can see them being made and meet the famous mascot, Mr Tayto, in the flesh!


Liam Neeson:

1152x864 Liam Neeson HD Liam,Neeson
Hailing from the bustling market town of Ballymena, this man needs no introduction. One of our finest exports he’s built a reputation of becoming our very own homegrown Bruce Willis. Should anyone require a CIA assassin type dude/Jedi master, then our Liam’s the man for the job!


West Coast Cooler:

West coast cooler
There’s so little words to portray what can only be described as a little taste of heaven in a bottle, other than: amazing, addictive, refreshing, crisp, beautiful, life changing – surely the easiest consumed alcoholic beverage known to man?!


C.S Lewis

C.S Lewis
One of the greatest loved children’s novelists, famous for creating the Chronicles of Narnia. A legend in his field, Lewis was born in Belfast in 1898, and later in life became a close friend of author JR Tolkien – yet another genius in the world of fantasy fiction… Lewis’s novels have sold over 100 million copies and have been reborn in the form of major motion pictures. An amazing story teller with an imagination that became his greatest legacy.


The Antrim Coast:

The ruins of Dunluce Castle on the Antrim Coast
When I was a child many a holiday to the sunny shores of Portrush was had via this journey. It is one of the most incredible drives, particularly if your lucky enough to catch it on a sunny day! The bright blue water & dramatic coast line is dotted with little picnic points to pull over and break out the egg and onion baps as you take in the pretty incredible scenery. Every single journey mesmerises me, particularly when at eight years old  my dad would finally reach the stretch of coast overlooking Portrush itself. I still remember the whoosh of excitement at seeing Barry’s Big Dipper (a rollercoaster) standing proudly on the seaside skyline. I instantly knew it was a whole week of amusement rides, candy floss & cosy caravan style living… Oh the memories!


Strangford lough:

Living on the peninsula, I’ve loved this part of the world since I moved here with my parents back in 1990. Oddly enough, I initially set out expecting to hate it and hoped that my parents would catch a grip of their sanity and head back to city-style civilisation. Needless to say they didn’t, and so at eight years old I had no choice but to accept a life of country living was on the cards for the foreseeable future! Thankfully my foul mood didn’t last long as the first time I travelled along the coastal road I spotted all the tiny islands dotted along the middle of the Lough as the huge plantations of trees and woodlands stood proudly on the other side, a sight which left me in awe. It really is one of the most beautiful places to live and I’m incredibly lucky (24 years later) to still be enjoying life on such a gorgeous little peninsula. Now I can’t imagine calling anywhere else home.


The People:


As for us locals, you’ll quickly come to find that we’re a highly welcoming bunch. My hubby happens to be Welsh and hasn’t just travelled but lived all over the globe. With great truth he admits wholeheartedly that the Northern Irish are certainly the most hearty and friendly folk he has encountered. I must admit that no matter where I have travelled, coming home to here has never been a disappointment – even after a week of relaxation on some far flung beach, the grey skies of home have been overruled by the feeling of such receptive warmth.

As rumoured however, our everyday lingo can be little confusing, particularly for those who aren’t quite accustomed to the bizarre and somewhat comical sayings that can appear a tad nonsensical to those observing a conversation between the locals. A few examples of such whimsical words are…

Aul doll = Elderly woman

Aul lad = Elderly man

Away on with ya = I don’t believe you.

Bout ye? = How are you?

Banter = Good fun

Catch yourself on = Wise up

Craic = Fun/goodtime

Dead on = Good/alright

Eejit = Idiot

Grand = Good

Hoop = Bum/bottom

Keep dick = Keep a look out

Lamps = Eyes

Norn Iron = Northern Ireland

Peelers = police

Poke = ice cream

Scundered = embarrassed

Wee = small

Yarn = chat

Hence a conversation using an example of the above expressions may translate to:

 “What about ye, are ya doing grand?! Aye, it was good craic last night, did you see that eejit land on his hoop? Away on with ya….  I was scundered for him. I see the peelers were round looking for that aul lad, but sure some aul doll across the road said ‘catch yourself on, he’s at the pub every night of the friggin week. I’ll keep dick for him coming home’. Anyway, great wee yarn, I’m away to get myself a poke from the poke-man.”

I’m sure you can grasp at why many (whom aren’t accustomed to our ‘wee’ sayings) could be ultimately left scratching their head in wonderment as to what exactly was communicated or even if indeed any of it was English to begin with. For the rest of us, it makes perfect sense.

So there you have it, my favourite things about hailing from the Emerald Isle. I hope it gave you a little insight as to why I adore my culture and heritage so darn much! Wishing you all a fun filled St Paddy’s day wherever you are in the world. As always thanks so much for stopping by!

Cheerio chums…

Karen signature


Sunday Shenanigans…

Sunday Shenanigans

Hey Beauty Buddies…

Yaaaay for a brand new month! I always get excited for March arriving as sunny spring is just peeking round the corner… time to clear out the closet and relish in a whole new season of adventures.

 How was your weekend? Did I miss anything? We had one of the quietest 48 hours in a loooong time. Forget a pj day, it was more like a full weekend of lounging around doing absolutely nothing apart from recharging our batteries… I even managed to close the laptop for (most) of the duration too – I know, shocking right?!

However come Sunday morning I woke with a huge urge to spring out of bed and fill my lungs with some fresh salty sea air by taking a lovely dander along our local beach. Considering the sun was streaming in through the cracks of the blinds it would’ve been a shame not to take advantage of such a gorgeous morning – anything to get out in a bit of much needed sunshine.

Tottering down the stairs semi-ready for my seaside dander, Steve was busy working away in the kitchen… he’d gotten up early to prepare a yummy Sunday lunch and had the entire house cleaned from one end to the other. Seeing as I usually tackle most of the cooking it was such a welcomed break and a great feeling having absolutely nothing to do… so Ems’ and I grabbed our coats and headed out for a bit of fresh air whilst Steve stayed at home sipping his coffee and pre-booking the all important Ireland v England rugby game (that would undoubtedly exercise my vocal chords)

Anyways, I thought it would be fun to take a few piccies of our little Sunday shenanigans to share with you guys…


Sunday Dinner

Yep, photographic evidence that a huge Sunday lunch was all prepared by my very own head-chef. All I had to do was sit back and enjoy eating it… what a lucky lady 🙂

Spring Flowers

On our way out the front door I noticed (for the 1st time I must add) my little spring flowers have made an appearance meaning it’s ‘almost’ time to shed the winter woollies *happy dance*

Emma and Karen

So we made the 45 second walk to the breezy shores (yes we live that close!) and I have to say that although my teeny little spring flowers are in full bloom I’ll not be hanging up my chunky knits just yet… it was SO cold but worth the teeth chattering!

Beach 6

Searching for little weird shaped pebbles (preferably heart ones) to add to Emma’s collection of seaside memorabilia she has stored in various places, including a little pile by the front door and a jar full of shells in the bathroom. Love seaside life ❤

Beach 3

Time for a dander along the shoreline… so good for clearing your thoughts and unbelievably therapeutic. Any time I feel my anxiety playing up a walk along the beach always helps calms me down. Everyone needs a bitta beach in their lives 😉

Beach 4

I don’t care what anyone says, no matter what age you are you can’t resist playing catch with the waves… even if it means squelching home in soggy gym shoes! Thankfully I have a 9 year old daughter I can excuse my childish Tom foolery on *rolls eyes*

Beach 2   Beach 5

Tide well on it’s way out, getting windy and cold…

Beach 8

A windswept Em’s

Beach 9

Homeward bound for some tea & warmth by the fire.

Did you do anything exciting this weekend, or like us did you spend it chillaxing? As always thanks so much for reading, do say a quick hello in the comments below, you know how much I enjoy a little chatter! Happy March y’all 🙂

Cheerio chums…

Karen signature