Jesska Denise is an Irish beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog



The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Butter

camomille cleanser
I bought this cleansing butter after seeing someone in a youtube video rave about it. I can't remember who that youtuber was but they really peaked my interest in this product.  I'd never seen a cleanser in a butter form before. Usually just liquid or cream. I had a look at it in The Body Shop a few weeks ago and the smell hooked me. I was a little weary about paying nearly 15€ for a simple face wash but I'm really glad I did. Especially because I think I'm going to get a lot of value for my € with this as you only use a tiny amount each time you use it. This product has been knocking around for a while now and there's also a cleansing oil and an eye make up remover in the camomile range.
body shop cleanser
The cleansing butter comes in this 90ml tin. It's a solid butter which reminds me of vaseline a bit. I had no clue how to use this so I referred to The Body Shop website where there's a little blurb telling you how to use it. They recommend applying to a dry face, massaging it into your skin and wiping away with warm water or a muslin cloth. I followed this technique and I was pleasantly surprised. I used the tiniest amount of product, rubbed it into my skin and it effortlessly melted away all my make up. Even my eye make up dissolved without any problems or eye irritation. I found it to be very gentle on my skin with no need to rub vigorously.
My initial thoughts when I first touched the butter were 'its kind of oily, will this break my skin out?' but thankfully it hasn't caused any breakouts. I do find it leaves a little residue on your face if you don't use a cloth to wash it off so I would recommend doing it that way and maybe going in with a micellar water after, if you suffer with problamatic skin like I do.
When it's washed off, your face is left feeling really soft and refreshed. There's no lingering camomile scent and you barely notice the smell when you're applying this to your face. It's just slightly noticeable and really nice before bed because it's so calming.
Overall I really, really like this product and pathetically enough, I find it fun to use because it's not like your typical cleanser. I'm thinking of buying the muslin cloth from this range so if any of you have used that or any of the other products, please let me know in the comments below.


So...? Burlesque

so burlesque spray
(So...? Burlesque EDT & Body Spray*)
Growing up I was always a massive fan of the 'So...?' body sprays. They're fun scents with a kicky attitude and were super handy to throw into your school bag to freshen up throughout the day. I swear everyone had one in their bags when I was at school. They're also pretty inexpensive retailing at 6.95€ to 9.95€ for the EDT and 1.99€ for the body spray. I've never fallen out of love with 'So...?' and have continued to buy their body sprays over the years. Now a third year in college I still reach for my can of 'So...?' on the way out the door in the morning.
so burlesque
'So...? Burlesque' is the only scent from 'So...?' that I had yet to try. Truthfully I was always a little thrown by the packaging. It's very loud, dramatic and in your face. Things I usually shy away from when buying a product. But it's really grown on me. I love, love, love this fragrance and regret not trying it sooner. The scent is a heavy musky one with subtle hints of apricot, vanilla and my personal favourite, jasmine. They're flirty, fun and sophisticated with a hint of sassiness. The embodiment of burlesque all in a can. If Dita Von Teese was a scent, she'd be this one. Because the can is so small I can just pop it into my college bag as I'm running out the door and spray it throughout the day.
so burlesque perfume
I've never used any of the 'So...?' eau de toilettes before so I was really excited when this arrived as well as the body spray. The 'So...? Burlesque' EDT smells incredible. It's just that bit fresher than the body spray and last's a hell of a lot longer. I really like the packaging on this too. Matte black with a pop of fuchsia. Looks so cute sitting in my bathroom.
By using both the body spray and the eau de toilette you can layer the scents so it lasts longer throughout the day. Brilliant if you plan on heading out with some friends. Quick spritz of the ETD and a blast of the body spray will have you smelling and feeling like a sassy goddess.
I fear I may run out of this a little quicker than anticipated because I'm over spraying it at the moment. It's the jasmine undertones. I'm a real sucker for jasmine.
Have any of you tried this? What did you think? Comment below.

(*These products were sent for me to review by 'So...? Fragrance Ireland'. For my full disclaimer please click here.)


Monochrome Primark

autum winter 14 houndstooth
Primark / Penneys (whatever you wish to call it) is so on point right now. I need everything. I can almost hear the distant cries of my empty bank account and my Mother who claims I have 'too many clothes'. Crisp white shirts, geometric print cigarette pants, all the shoes, the gingham swing dresses and the pyjamas. Oh the pyjamas. I went into Penneys last week and managed to restrain myself to just three items. The above dogtooth print shirt which was an absolute steal at 5€, a thick pair of leggings and some adorable black shoes with a double buckle.
primark midi rings
The hounds tooth print seems to be creeping up all over the high street for AW14 which is fab if you want to rock the monochrome trend because it's the easiest way to incorporate it into your everyday wardrobe. This shirt was only left in a 14 which means it's more of a shirt dress on me but I just neatly tucked it into my high waisted leggings and away I went. It was an impulse buy but I'm so glad I bought it because I've got a few compliments on it.
fashion ideas for autumn ireland
To add a splash of color I painted my nails in 'Bahama Mama' from Essie and added this satchel-esqe bag that I picked up in Penneys last Christmas for 4€. Bargain. It's a nice thick pleather which is amazing quality for Primark. Most people seem shocked when I tell them it's actually from Penneys because the quality is so sturdy. It was originally 11€ but I picked it up in a pre-Christmas sale.
irish style blog
Aren't these shoes amazing? I wasn't sure about them at first and was hmming and haing all week over them but eventually went back and found a pair in my size. They just scream Alexa Chung to me and they really add that extra something to an otherwise simple outfit. Be warned, they cut the hell out of your ankles the first few times you wear them. Worth it though. These will probably be my most worn shoe this A/W as they go with everything.
If everyone could keep me out of Penneys so I don't go completely broke, that would be amazing. Anything you have your eye on in Penneys?



maybelline brow drama review
I'm all about brows these days. The more on point the brow, the better. You just can't beat a good eyebrow. Trust me, I should know. I used to have hideous eyebrows. Where were my friends that they never told me?? These days I leave the shape of my brows to 'The Body Shop'. I get them threaded every 6 weeks and recently started to get them tinted too. I do not trust anyone else with my eyebrows. The girl who does my brows in the Athlone store has pretty good brows herself so I know I can trust her. Like I say for hairdressers : if they have bad hair don't let them near yours = if they have a bad brow etc. You gots to be careful guys.
Eyebrows have slowly become my new bold lip. I feel a little incomplete without them but there's just some days you do not have the time to sit down and perfectly fill your brows which is why I picked up the 'Maybelline BROWDrama' in the shade medium brown.
irish beauty blog
Where as an eyebrow pencil gives you complete control over the shape of your brow and the ability to shade in sparse areas, the 'Maybelline BROWdrama' doesn't. It's simply a tinted brown sculpting mascara. It allows you to achieve a natural shape whilst tinting your brow to give a little definition.
It dries quickly which helps hold your brow hairs in place. The 'BROWdrama' doesn't weigh down your brow hair or make them look too intense so if you're hesitant about using an eyebrow pencil this is definitely something I recommend you buy. Especially if you're new to filling in your eyebrows because it gives you that slightly defined brow without going overboard ie. sharpie brow.
If you're more of an intense brow person you might enjoy using this to just set your brow in place. The ball on the end of the wand is also a really nice touch because it combs out your brow nicely.
Although I did expect a bit more color pay off from 'BROWdrama' I do enjoy using it for day to day use and i've repurchased it twice and will continue to repurchase until I find something better. I have heard this is a great dupe for Benefits 'Gimme Brow' so if you're looking for a cheaper alternative maybe try this out.
Have you guys tried this? What did you think? Comment below.


My Acne Story

My skin today in 2014.
*Disclaimer - I am not an expert in skin care. This is just my own personal experience. I thought I would share with you guys and if it helps one of you then that's really great.*

A History - My skin began to breakout when I was 11/12 in sixth class. Which thinking about it now, is 10 whole years I've spent dealing with chronic acne!! That's a long time. Especially when you consider how I've literally just cleared my skin up in the last few months.
My skin problems started off as basic teenage spots. I wasn't too bothered. To me it was just a normal thing and in a few years it would disappear. That's what being a teenager was all about right? It's in the magazines and all over the media. Deal with it for a few years and eventually you'll have perfectly clear skin. Sadly they were wrong. I'm 21 and I've only just gotten it under control.
before and after acne ireland
(2009 - 2010. The blonde hair is Nov 2010, slow improvement in skin)
To begin with my breakouts were restricted to my forehead, the odd spot on my nose and chin. My forehead was where I experienced the worst breakouts until around 3rd year/transition year where it started to get worse.
Come 6th year (18years old) my skin was out of control. I had cystic acne all over my chin and forehead. It was sore to touch and visually it didn't look great. The sides of my face close to my ear began to breakout and so did the area around my cheeks. Thankfully these weren't as bad as the other areas of my face but any ounce of confidence I did have slipped away.
My skin continued as it was in 6th year for the next two years until around when I turned 20 and decided enough was enough.
my acne story
 (2012 - 2011. Bad make up happens to good people. 2012 - cut out dairy.)
Looking at my diet :  Like all teenagers I didn't have the best diet but I never really made the connection between crappy food and crappy skin. 'You are what you eat'. It's actually about 70% true. I can honestly say that chocolate doesn't break my skin out. I cut chocolate out and still continued to have horrible breakouts. As I became more informed about the impact different foods can have on your skin I began to experiment and see what was or wasn't contributing to bigger breakouts.
When I was 19/20 (2012)I read about the link between dairy and acne and found that for me, dairy contributed in a big way to my breakouts. I cut out nearly all dairy (minus chocolate) and my skin cleared up in a way I never even thought was possible. My forehead was clear, the area around my eyes and cheeks were clear but my chin was still sore and cystic and just horrible looking.
I read that dehydration was a cause of acne and since last summer (2013) I tried to up the amount of water I was drinking everyday and I now get 2ltrs everyday. This didn't help with the acne but it did help with making my skin look more alive and fresh.
Making changes to my diet really did help but unfortunately it wasn't enough and my skin began to breakout again over my forehead and even more so on my chin.
Anytime I eat things such as ice cream or dairy my skin breaks out even more around my chin.
I do find that eating oranges really helps with the appearance of my skin too.
(If you're considering eliminating food groups from your diet to clear up your skin, please consult your doctor first).
irish beauty lifestyle blog
 (2013 - 2014. Not as clear as the others sorry. 2013 - started zineryt. 2014 - minosil. The mirror one is make up free.)
Confidence Knock : I hated my skin. Absolutely hated it. The idea of people looking at my face and seeing the spots made me really uncomfortable. I avoided looking at people in the eye because I thought - well if I'm not looking at them, they won't look at me and see how horrendous my face looks. It was really all I thought about. It bothered me so much and no amount of make up would cover it up. It's worth pointing out that I used to be really bad at make up too so it was just a car wreck. I'd avoid wearing my hair up because having it down around my face meant it was blanketing my face and would make it harder for people to see. I'd sit in class with my hands covering my chin because I just really didn't want people looking at it. Looking back at old pictures it's no where near as bad as I made myself believe but the odd comment from people just made me really paranoid.
irish beauty blogger
(July 2014 - photobooth selfie, hard to make out but skin is so much clearer)
Medical Advice : My skin was really bringing me down so I mentioned it to my doctor (19/20)  to see if there was anything she could give me. I had tried things like Clean & Clear and Clearasil over the years but found they irritated the area more than they helped it. So my doctor prescribed me a topical lotion named 'Zineryt' which I still use today. You apply it twice a day to the affected areas of your skin and let it soak in. I always apply just after i've cleaned my face as I don't want bacteria to build up on the roller. The 'Zineryt' is very strong and I saw results the next day. The spots had reduced in size and visually began to look better. 'Zineryt' really helped clear up 90% of my acne and I felt a thousand times better about my skin. But all good things must come to an end and my acne began to become resistant to the lotion and a couple months ago began to break out worse than it had in a long long time. I shared my concerns with my doctor and she prescribed me a tablet named 'Minosil' (May 2014) to begin taking twice a day along with applying the 'Zineryt'. 4 weeks after beginning the course my skin was clear. However, my stomach and shoulders began to break out. I freaked out and went to google. After some extensive internet research I found a few webpages that put my mind at ease. It was just the 'Minosil' doing it's job. You see acne is a combination of things but it's mostly down to the bacteria in your skin. The 'Minosil' was just purging my skin of all this bad bacteria which resulted in my shoulders and stomach becoming covered in spots. Thankfully that calmed down quite a bit and I'm very very happy with the appearance of my skin.

I have found my skin has become oilier since I started taking 'Minosil' which means I've had to reconsider my skin care routine and day to day make up.

Today : My skin is now 80% clear with some acne scarring around certain areas of my face. I have begun using a Clearsil acne product to reduce the visibility of the scarring and it's really working. My confidence is just on a whole other level than it's ever been. I don't feel the need to wear make up everyday or even heavy make up. I generally go to work and college make up free these days and only ever wear some if I feel like it. Since first year (13) I applied disgusting amounts of foundation to my face. Everyday. 8years later I don't feel the need to do that.
At the moment I do have some spots on my forehead and a few on my chin which are a result of me indulging in some ice cream and pizza over the last few weeks. Ice cream and cheese are the biggest breakout trigger for me.
It's just really really great. I'm also really happy that the 'Minosil' took care of it because the thoughts of going on something like 'Roaccutane' really scared me but I was kind of willing to do anything for clear skin.
minosil review
(August 2014 - photobooth again. This is all i have on my fb.)
Common Misconceptions (for me anyway) : People often have this opinion that people with really bad acne have inflicted it on themselves. Bad diet, not washing their faces etc etc but that couldn't be further from the truth. Over the years I always had a healthyish diet. Fast food in our house was always a treat and I would never in a million years think of sitting down to eat take out for lunch/dinner everyday. I've always been pretty on top of my skin care routine. Sleeping in make up was a total no no. It's not like I enjoyed having acne. Don't you think if there was a way to stop it, we would? I mean although it doesn't seem like it, taking medication everyday so I can have clear skin is pretty extreme. I wouldn't do it if I didn't have to.
 (not the clearest but you can slightly see of them bumps on my chin - 5 days ago)

Before I end I just want to say that I can't stress enough how important diet and proper nutrition is. I didn't go into it completely in this post but before I began taking 'Minosil' I also made a conscious decision to revamp my lifestyle. I cut down on junk food. I rarely drink soda unless I need a quick energy burst or I'm on a night out because I don't drink alcohol. I eat a whole lot of fruit and veg. I workout for 30-40mins a day. I drink 2ltrs of water everyday. I'm very aware that what I put into my body is the difference between me looking, feeling and being healthy and not being healthy.
Good health comes from the inside. You really are what you eat. It's so cliche but it really is true.
I would like to think my skin could stay clear without the 'Minosil' but sadly (and thankfully) at the moment it's keeping everything under control.
So that's my rambly back story on my acne and how I cleared my skin. I do hope it was helpful to some of you guys.
If you're experiencing problems with your skin and it's really impacting on your day to day life do seek advice from your GP. You might think you're overreacting but they're there to help.
I tried to find pictures that best displayed what I was trying to say in this post but found it rather hard so this was the best I could do.


Jess Watches : Fall Premieres

shonda rhimes abc review
I have learned a lot of things from writing this post. One of them being - I watch a lotta tv shows. I don't even know how I would begin to keep track of any of them if it wasn't for 'Episode Calendar'. Possibly the best site that's ever been recommended to me. As i follow the American premiere dates this post may or may not contain spoilers but I mean who can even sit around waiting for the UK/Ireland premieres. Not me anyway.
Lets begin with the best thing ABC has done in recent times #TGIT (thank god its thursday) ie. Shonda night. I feel like all we're missing is 'Private Practice'. At least Amelia moved over to Greys, I live for those Derek & Amelia moments.
Greys Anatomy (S11) - Oh Greys, I fear you may be nearing your end. As much as it's Merediths show, I really don't see it hanging in there without Sandra Oh. We need our twisted sisters. We need our Yang and Hunt 'will they wont they?' weekly drama. Alex can try and replace Yang all he wants but I don't see it working. It was a slow premiere and even though they barely set up any of the season storylines in the premiere I've already sniffed out where this season is going.
I love that they've given Richard a daughter. I find myself thinking what would 'Adele think'? I'm sure she'd be pretty pissed on some level. It'll all work out in the end, sure Meredith hated Lexie for the longest time and by the time Shonda decided it was 'bye bye lexie' they were pretty close. Lets just hope things pick up. Greys is my baby and I want it to keep going but they need to switch things up a bit and maybe look back to the earlier seasons cause they've kind of lost what the show was about.
Scandal (S4) - I recently just got into 'Scandal' over the Summer. Thank the lord for Netflix right? I'm glad I caught up in time for the season 4 premiere because Sky just started season 3 and I would have been so bummed out with season 4 spoilers. Olivia is back better than ever but I am loving Mellie right now. She literally could not care less this season. The uggs, the sass, perfection. I'm still not over Jerry's death or Harrisons for that matter. It was just one major shock after another. The premiere was everything Greys wasn't. I sense a lot of drama coming our way and the addition of Portia de Rossi to the cast is fantastic.
How To Get Away With Murder (S1) - Shonda's new show this season. I had high expectations. Both Greys and Scandal had such brilliant pilots. It was good but it wasn't great. I'm going to watch the second episode because maybe it was just a weak pilot but I'm not too sure on this one just yet.
gotham premiere ireland review
New Girl (S4) - I may have to give up on 'New Girl' soon. Sadly it's no longer interesting to me and I think they need to call it quits or change it up a bit. I watched the premiere and the second episode and I don't even remember what happened in either episode. I think Jess has become a little irritating. She's become overly kooky and maybe the writers think it's cute but for me it's just bordering on annoying. Cece and Schmidt just need to get married already. Been rooting for them since S1. I'm glad the writers made us hate Jess and Nick being together cause now I don't have to waste my time with the show because that was my only pull. I'm now just watching for Cece and Schmidt. And I don't know if it's because I totally spaced on S3 but when did Coach come back? So lost.
Gotham (S1) - Just to get it out of the way - how great is it having Ben back on our screens? My inner OC fangirl is delighted and Ben didn't disappoint. Within the first 10 seconds 'Gotham' had me hooked. How to tell for sure? I didn't look at my phone once as I was watching. Very rare. 'Gotham' is the prequel to 'Batman' and focuses very little on Batman himself. Sure there's a nod to Bruce's troubled upbringing and the events that lead to him forging a relationship with James Gordon but this seems to really be Gothams show.
I think the pilot was everything a pilot should be and considering Gotham is already established in the mind of the viewer they didn't bore you with the nitty gritty stuff you probably should already know. But incase you're new here and actually know nothing from the Batman series you do get your mini introduction to main characters with a hint of back story and it's obvious which character is going to be which villain. It's interesting to see Foxs interpretation of such a popular story and in the day of the tv superhero, i can see this lasting at least three seasons. There's so much potential and with tv you have so much freedom that you don't have with movies. I'm a little too excited.
Red Band Society (S1) - If it hadn't been for a reblog on Tumblr I would never have heard about this show. Where is your promo Fox? Is it any wonder the number of viewers has dropped ridiculously low in the week since it premiered? I fear this show may not last which is disappointing because it has all the ingredients to make a good show I just don't think Fox are going about the promo the right way. Hello Dave Annabel is in it? Anyway, if you didn't know cause lets face it you probably don't - 'Red Band Society' is set in a hospital on the pediatric ward and focuses on a number of patients and their different ailments. All the characters are your standard Hollywood stereotype, the nerd, the cool girl, the hot guy etc etc but I find myself a little attached to the show and the Glee like humor it brings to an otherwise mundane setting. It's very current and has potential to go far if Fox could just get it a bit more out there.
irish blog
Nashville (S3) - I'm so happy 'Nashville' is back. It was looking a little iffy there during the Summer but I'm delighted ABC decided to renew it. I have a soft spot for Deacon and Gunnar okay! It was a good opening. I like where things are going. Juliette's pregnancy was so obvious considering Hayden but I'm eager to see where they go with this one. I'm so over Maddy and all her teen drama. Get over it like. Deacon and Rayna need to get back together already. They belong together okay? I'm hoping Gunnar and Scar get back together too. It's looking hopeful. Is it sad that I'm already counting down till this seasons soundtrack gets released?
Modern Family (S6) - Can we permanently get rid of Alex? The whole 15mins she was absent was the best ever. The whole episode was really good. Cam and Mitchell being married is the cutest thing ever and Lily's one liners in the first ep alone had me on the floor.
The Big Bang Theory (S8) - needs to die already. It's not funny anymore. The show has kind of dumbed itself down a bit to appeal to a wider audience so anything that made it fresh in the first few seasons is gone. I hate to comment on another women's appearance but Kay, gurl what happened? Penny used to be such a good character. I'm hoping they turn it around this season now she has a new job. I have no idea what happened anyone else in the first two episodes because I got distracted and scrolled through Tumblr.

So there we have it - you should be watching everything excpet 'New Girl' and 'The Big Bang Theory'. Both comedies. The humor just ran out I guess.