Jesska Denise is an Irish beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog

30.12.16

Anxiety - It's Not Always What You Think

Jesska Denise Irish Beauty Blog
This isn't a blog post I fully planned on writing, I still don't feel comfortable enough talking about my mental health in person, let alone on the internet for everyone to see, and share. But over the last couple of days I've seen the same image come up on my Facebook news feed numerous times, from different people and it got me thinking. Thinking about how anxiety isn't a one glove fits all, it's not the stereotypical rocking back and forth, ~hyperventilating, breathing into a paper bag image we all may be familiar with. I know that's how I used to picture anxiety, and sometimes, that is how my anxiety shows itself. But that's what I call 'level 8 anxiety', when I become so overwhelmed that I feel like I might never breathe properly again, where my hands start to tingle and my face feels like it's bubbling and on fire, and my heart races so fast that I feel like my body will never keep up and I begin to panic even more because, I feel like this is a heart attack and I'm having chest pains, chest pains, that feel like a stabbing twinge in my heart, and I can't breathe and I feel like air is getting trapped in my throat and someone is balancing all their weight between my neck and heart and 'breathe Jess, you need to breathe' starts running through my head, and I'm dizzy, and my body, my body feels like when you've sat in the same position for too long and your foot is asleep, but it's all over and it's torturous, and I'm wrapped up like a pretzel because I need to make myself smaller, smaller because I can't breathe and my mind is screaming danger, and my body is reacting in a way I don't want it to and I have no idea why, and seconds become minutes, and minutes become hours, but eventually I can breathe again, and my body returns to normal, all the while I've just been sat on the chair in my kitchen. No immediate danger. My mind has this way of just over taking my body. I get so overwhelmed, and I over think things and without even meaning to, I'm somehow at 'level 8 anxiety'. I call it that because that is the worst I've ever felt, but it comes in other ways, in many different ways. For me anxiety creeps in in ways I never would have imagined were even anxiety. It's only through therapy that I have learned, that little things I do are 'habits' that I 'taught' myself to do in a way to 'deal' with my anxiety better. I fidget, I fidget a lot. More than the average person, and I've become embarrassingly aware of this in the last couple of months. It gets worse in work. When I'm standing at a till waiting to serve someone, and I'm not able to do anything else because I'm waiting. Waiting for a customer to come along or the previous one to leave. I'm tapping. Tapping the till and the counter because I can feel my breathing is starting to get a little heavier, and I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that I may go to 'level 8' if I don't defuse now, and the queue is getting longer and I'm tapping even more and I'm waiting and I look around and I'm growing increasingly self conscious cause I feel like I'm breathing too much now, and my heart races some more, and flicking my fingers, everyone is staring at me, but realistically I know they're not, it's just how I feel, and I'm flicking them more, trying to tell myself to calm down, my body is on high alert and I can't remove myself from the situation, so I tap more, and fidget more and this eases it a little. And it eases it some more. And I'm nervous and the queue moves and eventually I calm down. Nights out are a similar scenario, if not worse. I find night clubs trigger these feelings even more, the loudness, the crowds, the small spaces and my mind screaming at me to escape because it isn't a safe place to be, even though I'm surrounded by my friends, and security but I still find myself stood in a toilet cubicle multiple times throughout the night, having an inner argument with myself over how i just need to 'chill the fudge out', and some times I can, other times I can't and the night can go on forever with me hyper aware on the dance floor of everything around me and no amount of pinching my palms or tapping my fingers or scrolling through Twitter will ever calm me down, so I remain silent, with my senses on high alert and the fear of feeling like this stops me from going out with my friends more than it should. When I was 13/14 I was bullied. Bullied to the point where I was afraid to leave my house, even walking to the shop at the top of our road filled me with dread in case I'd bump into any of them. They'd taunt me from across the road, or laugh at me when I'd walk by. They egged our house on multiple occasions. They made fun of my clothes, insulted my hair, and would take jibes at my lack of perfect skin, something which I'm still really paranoid about today. Social settings are where my anxiety comes to the fore front. I'm afraid. I get nervous about everything. My outfit, my hair, my make up, how I come across to those around me, I question and over think, everything, and I think being bullied contributed to those feelings a lot. It means I miss out on a lot, especially when it comes to blogging and events. I constantly feel on edge and like I need to escape and unless there's a degree of 'certainty' to a situation, I'm less likely to go along with it. I found college was difficult in regards to this too, because classes were constantly chopped and changed. I like order and familiarity, and for my days to follow a similar routine. It eases the feelings of anxiety, and I panic less when I know if I'm 'coming or going'. I can't do spontaneity because it's not part of the 'plan', and I'd be afraid I'd start getting overwhelmed and 'showing' my anxiety being silent or awkward, and I spend a lot of time trying to avoid 'level 8 anxiety', and considering it's Christmas, I feel quite close to that and I know my anxiety levels are high, because things aren't 'normal' right now, it's the holidays. Schedules are off, my days are different, routine is out the window. I'm a little more on edge, easily pissed off, just so aware of every damn thing, it's like I'm on high alert and constantly trying to remind myself to breathe, it's knowing I'm completely safe but my body refuses to listen, and a chunk of my mind is going 'yeh but, what if?'. I'm stressed without even meaning to be.
It's different for everyone. I truthfully, do not manage it very well, I used to take something for it but stopped back in August because of physical side effects which outweighed the mental benefits for me, right now I manage the physical side (chest pains) with tablets my GP gave me when I really need to, but other than that, I'm not one to be giving advice. If I could find something with minimal side effects, then I might reconsider my thoughts on medication, but right now I have no idea what I'm doing, but hopefully, some day, I manage it better. Because it is pretty damn miserable right now avoiding life, for fear of an anxiety/panic attack. The anxiety isn't the full picture of my life right now, recovering from an eating disorder plays a lot into it too, but Id rather not discuss that until I'm in a better place to do so.
x
(i haven't edited this post, it's pretty jumbled/doesn't make a whole load of sense, but it's just a fraction of my experience with anxiety, if you suffer from anxiety or think you might need a little support check out SpunOut.ie or Mental Health Ireland for more information than I can give.)

20.12.16

Get Party Ready - IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection

IsaDora boho Baroque Collection
Party season is upon us, which means it's time to pull out all the stops and get ourselves as fancy and sparkly as possible. Whether that's a sequin dress, a glam co-ord or a silky red number from Missguided the possibilities are endless. The glammer the better. It is Christmas after all.
For me, I'm a creature of habit and tend to play it safe with a basic black dress or basic black anything really. I can just never find something that stands out for me, so I tend to glitz things up with my nails and make up. Which is why when the IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection* arrived at my door last week, it was perfect timing.
IsaDora Wonder Nail Polish
IsaDora Holographic Nail Polish
Kay so I have gel nails and haven't personally been able to try out these fabulous IsaDora Golden Edition nail polishes, but I have tried 'Baroque Red' and the 'Holographic' nail polishes out on my Mum and they look stunning. The brush on the nail polish is the perfect size to sweep across the nail with little effort, it dries quickly, and if you're in a hurry, you'd definitely get away with just one coat of the 'Baroque Red'. I applied two coats to Mums nails and then used the 'Holographic' glitter as one accent nail and I was really impressed. Sometimes with glitters, they either apply really gloopy, or the glitter doesn't come out and you're left with a whole load of clear polish and zero glitter. But not with the IsaDora ' Holographic' nail polish. It went on really well and dried just as fast as the 'Baroque Red'. For €8.95 it's the perfect way to add a bit of glammer and festivity to your nails.
IsaDora Matt Blotting Powder
IsaDora Cover Up Foundation
Next up is the IsaDora 'Matt Fixing Blotting Powder' (€13.95), and the IsaDora 'Cover Up' foundation/concealer (€19.95). I used both of these last weekend when I went out with the girls for our 'Christmas girls night' and I was so happy with the finish. I've never used an IsaDora foundation before and I was worried about using a foundation I'd never used before for a night out but I loved it. I find it hard to find foundations that aren't too dark because I'm so pale, but this shade (62 nude cover) was the perfect shade for me, and with five shades available, there's a perfect fit for everyone. The smallest pump gave me a flawless base and depending on how much coverage you need, it's easily build-able without feeling too heavy on your skin. It's recommended to use a brush but I just used my fingers to blend it in and it was perfect. What I really like about the IsaDora 'Cover Up' is that it doubles as a concealer too, so not only is it two products for the price of one, it's also one less item taking up space in your clutch over the holidays. I have a few blemishes that need that extra bit of coverage and I'll always use a bit of concealer to cover them up but I found that just a dab of this on top was enough to conceal, and because it's the one shade, there was no awkward colour discrepancy's. Everything was flawless. I finished off my base with a sweep of the blotting powder and I was photobooth ready the entire night, and there was no weird shiny foundation flashback.
I didn't have to touch up at all throughout the night. I've been using the foundation as my everyday foundation too, and honestly, I really do love this, and definitely recommend if you have acne/combo skin like I do, because it does hold up really well. The blotting powder isn't available until January.
IsaDora Lip Desire Baroque Collection
IsaDora Baroque Lip Swatch
The party look isn't complete without the perfect red lip, ie. my predictable go to, and the IsaDora lip desire lipsticks (€13.50) are stunning. Even the packaging screams CHRISTMAS. I received three shades 'Baroque Red' (gorgeous if you combo it up with the 'Baroque Red' nail polish fyi), 'Purple Plum', and 'Rum Raisin'. My favourite of the three is 'Purple Plum'. Those dark berry vibes yano, they just draw me right in, followed by 'Barqoue Red'. 'Rum Raisin'  was a little on the dark side for me, and considering how pale I am, it just washed me out, but if you're into dark DARK lip shades you'll definitely love it. The red is the perfect shade of red, it has slight blue undertones which is always a winner in my eyes because it makes your teeth look whiter, and when you're going mad with the selfies, white teeth are a must. The lipsticks are very moisturizing, which is a nice change up from the matte lipsticks I usually reach for. My lips are probably thanking me to be fair. The lip desires are incredibly pigmented, and I would recommend going in with a lip liner first because it is quite easy to go overboard on these, or I found that even lightly outlining the edge of my lips using a lip brush was an easy alternative to buying a lipliner. The lip desires do transfer quite easily (be careful under that mistletoe ;) ), and you do need to touch them up, especially after having a drink but they are really lovely and because they're so bright, they do all the talking so your outfit doesn't have to.
The IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection is absolutely stunning, especially if you're into a vampier look. It's glam and seductive all at the same time, and it's not overly expensive. If you were to buy anything from the collection (which also includes a mascara and an eye shadow palette), I'd highly recommend the foundation/concealer. It's been so long since I've been this impressed with a foundation, that I honestly can't see myself reaching for anything else in my make up drawer. It just looks so natural and nice on my skin. The IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection is in stores now with 20% off until New Years Eve, with the blotting powder available in January.
What do you guys think of the IsaDora Boho Baroque Collection and whats your go to for a night out?
x
(*These products were sent to me to consider for review. This has not impacted my opinion in the slightest. Find my full disclaimer here.)

14.12.16

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Review and Eyebrow 101

anastasia beverly hills dipbrow pomade review
eyebrow gel review anastasia
I love eyebrows, seriously. Absolutely love. They have the power to transform your entire face and considering I suck at all other basic makeup application, I like to think I have mastered the art of the perfect brow. You can spend all the money in the world on your make up but if your brows aren't on point, well, you may not even bother. It just pulls everything together.
Speaking as a girl who went the whole way through secondary school with the most caterpillary looking brows you've ever seen, it's only in the last four or five years that I have mastered the art of the eyebrow. So trust me, I know. Although, this served me in the end because at the grand old age of 24, I don't have the problem of over plucked brows that some of my peers do (bold statement? maybe).  I always get messages about my eyebrows so I thought I would share some of my tips for keeping your brows in top shape, along with my holy grail brow item.
  1. Do not do your brows yourself - this is an absolute no no. Really. Get yourself to a professional. 9 times out of 10 they know what they're doing. It doesn't have to be anything expensive. The Body Shop and Benefit both offer amazing services around the country including threading and tinting, and it doesn't break the bank. I don't have these where I live, so I go to Wards Urban Day Spa in Longford and I get 'HD Brows'. This is where the brows are shaped and tinted etc for €25.
  2. Stick to the same place - unless they really botch your brows, I find sticking to the same place is the best. Especially the same person. That way they know what you want and if you're growing them out a little, or if you had a botched job and you need it fixed, they'll know what they're working with and can help fix the problem.
  3. Keep tweezing to a minimum - the girl who does my brows recommends coming in every 6 weeks or so to get the brows done again, but in between appointments they can get a little unruly, especially beneath the brows and between. Don't overdo it. More often than not we will over pluck, so it's best to just tweeze a little to keep the unibrow at bay, and to keep underneath tidy looking. You're paying someone to do them for you, so don't go messing up their hard work in between appointments. You could accidentally go too far up on one brow and mess up the shape etc. It does grow back obviously, but it's such a pain when it's simple to avoid.
  4. Don't overfill - it's so easy to do, and it looks horrendous. Watch some YouTube videos, teach yourself some basics. Remember you're just trying to give them a bit of shape and color. It's not about tracing and coloring them in like a coloring book, you can create a nice thick high def brow without going over the top.
anastasia beverly hills dipbrow gel blog post
I'm not an expert, nor do I think my eyebrows are that fab but those are just some of the things I try to stick to when it comes to my brows. I see so many people with such brow disasters that really could be avoided and I'd like to avoid any mishaps after them looking so rough throughout my teens haha.
I like to think of the above as ~maintenance, and then the fun comes in. Eyebrow products. I love eyebrow products. Brow gels, brow pencil, brow mascara, powder etc etc, I could go on. Drugstore, high end, I try them all. But the Anastasia Beverly Hills dipbrow pomade is my holy grail item. It wasn't till I started using it that I truly understand the Instagram hype around it. It's easy to use, it stays put all day, and there's such a wide range of shades there's one suitable for everybody. The one I purchased was 'medium brown' and it's actually a little on the light side for me, but I make it work. I will be repurchasing a darker shade, but considering how long such a tiny pot lasts, it'll be a few months yet.
I apply the dipbrow with a thin angled brush and brush through it with a little spooly. It's very easy to go a little OTT with this. It's happened. It's just so so pigmented. The first time I used it I underestimated just how pigmented it actually was and had to wipe it all off and restart.
When I apply I start at the bottom beneath the arch, and drag the brush to the end of my brow. Making it a little longer on the left because my left brow is not as Gucci as the right. I then draw a fainter line from the start of my brow to the middle to connect the two and fill in the sparse bits carefully. I find the gel can dry out a little bit in the tub which is really annoying, but if you wet your angled brush a tiny bit it's fine. I actually find using a slightly wet angled brush helps with applying it more, it seems to glide beneath the brow a lot better. I also always do my brows before I apply my foundation. I find it looks better to do it this way first.
The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow is a solid 10/10 from me. It applies easily, gives great definition to your eyebrow, doesn't look clumpy and stay's put all day. Even if you mistakenly scratch at your eyebrow, it doesn't smudge. The above picture is my brows filled in with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in the shade 'medium brown'.
Sadly Anastasia isn't stocked in Ireland, but I purchased mine from BeautyBay.com for €19.30 and it arrived in no time.
Have any of you tried this? What did you think, and what are your eyebrow tips?
x

9.12.16

Origins Face Mask For Dehydrated Skin

origins drink up overnight mask review
Over the years, I have read numerous blog posts that sung nothing but praise for this Origins 'Drink Up Intensive' Over Night Face Mask. I however was a little bit skeptical. I questioned if it could really be that good and if it was worth replacing my nightly moisturiser with twice a week?
That my friends was until I went for a facial a few weeks ago and I was told my skin was very dehydrated. Super dehydrated. Considering I have combination skin, it's usually the oils and acne areas to cause me the most bother. Never has a facialist told me my skin was dehydrated, a little dry maybe, so that was interesting// concerning if I'm honest. The beautician recommended some fab products for me to use and with continued use, I think they've been drying my skin out more. They contain salicylic acid and although salicylic acid does work wonders, especially in acne prone skin, too much of it can dry my skin out which can cause more problems than it solves.
In regards to the Origins 'Drink Up Intensive' Over Night Face Mask, I have to say, two weeks post purchase, that I regret not being swept up by the hype and trying this sooner. It's brilliant.
In the last two months when I would be applying my make up, I could see it was just catching in dryer areas along my forehead and cheek area. It looked terrible, like it was crusty and cakey. I noticed this even more, post facial with the new products, and I have honestly never experienced anything like it. Although my skin was 'dehydrated', and would probably have been solved with water consumption, the new products ended up drying out my already moisture lacking skin.
My skin was crying out for something to re-hydrate it and that's when I finally decided to take the plunge and purchase the Origins 'Drink Up Intensive' Over Night Face Mask. It's worked wonders in the two weeks I've been using it, and I'm normally not one to blog about skincare so soon after purchasing, but this has already helped improve the appearance of my skin to a point where it's no longer as dry and cakey. Each morning my skin feels soft and you know, normal. Not dry dry dry, but still a teensy bit dry but nothing to stress over.  With continued use it'll get there.
My makeup also looks less cakey and disgusting, because its no longer clinging to dry patches.
The smell is another major selling point for me, it's so fruity, but not too fruity if you get what I mean? It's just a nice, subtle mango scent which really makes you feel like you've given yourself a bit of a pamper sesh.
I apply it twice a week, post cleanse, to my face and neck, and I just let it do it's thing, whilst I try and get some sleep. It's effortless really cause there's no rinsing away so you just let it work it's magic. Lazy gurls I gotcha ;) .
I think this was €30 for 100ml in House of Fraser, so it's not exactly the cheapest face mask there ever was, but it is definitely worth splashing out for if your skin is feeling the effects of harsh winter weather and needs some rehydrating from the outside like mine did.
Have any of you tried this? What did you think?

8.12.16

I'm Back.....

irish beauty blog lifestyle
Okay, wow. Guys. If you're still here. I'm sorry. It's been a while. Three months nearly. Although, I know some of you are still here, because I've been looking at my page views and someone's been waiting for a blog post. Whoever you are. Thank you.
I sort of somewhat, rather crazily dropped my little corner of the internet. The last time I posted on here was September, and we're now fastly approaching 2017, so it's been some time. It wasn't intentional to begin with. I had a lot (or so it seemed at the time) going on in September/October, and my blog got put to the side. As time went by and the gap between when I lost blogged or even turned on my laptop got even bigger, my inspiration and any motivation I had, honestly, died. I'm a creative person and though I may not be the best writer, or blogger or photographer there's ever been, I do like to put my all into my blog and I just couldn't find that spark of creativity or inspiration. It disappeared. Completely. And it's hard to come up with content and new ideas when you're lacking inspiration and motivation to do so. But I've found it again, somehow, and I'm so excited to get blogging and reading everyone elses blogs and just creating content again that I love and really want to share with you guys here on my little corner of the web. I think with blogging, I'm constantly comparing my blog to everyone else - pictures aren't good enough, my grammar/writing is awful, my blog design is terrible etc etc. But that is just my inner critique getting very loud, and I'm going to try and stop comparing myself to everyone else and just try and get back to what I love, after all, this is a blog. It's me.  It's not polished and perfected. It's personal, and that's just the way I want it.
x
(Also, I've been reading 'Hygge The Danish Art of Happiness' and I highly recommend you give it a read if you haven't done so, it really makes you think about the simpler things.)

12.9.16

Summer #OOTN

styling a playsuit clubbing ideas blog
Summer's drawn to a close and I would like to see it was an eventful, jam-packed Summer but it wasn't. With the exception of doing the Womens mini marathon at the beginning of June, my Summer was pretty chill. I think I ventured away from town a handful of times, one time being to do a repeat exam (third time is probably not the charm), so that pretty much tells you all. I basically spent the whole Summer in work, with the exception of a night or two out on the town (see above #OOTN) or trying to figure out how to spend this coming September.
Just a quick word on the #OOTN - playsuit is River Island, my Mum picked it up for me in a charity shop a few years ago and it's been lying, waiting in my wardrobe ever since. It's such a fun pattern, very playful and bright. The shoes, are Penneys/Primark via my friend Celine. They're basically stilts, but ugh I love them, they're a classic really. My tan is 'Selfie Tan', nails are gel nails from 'The Nail Bar' here in Longford, and my hair was done by Aine & Renatta in The Loft hair salon, just outside of Longford Town. Every time I see a picture of my hair post salon, it reminds me how much I need to get it toned and brightened, it's a yellow mess right now.
If you've managed to read all this waffle, five points to you.
x

9.9.16

Pique Tea Crystals

pique tea crystals
pique tea review
pique earl grey tea
Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a massive tea and coffee lover. Flavored teas, specialty coffees, I love them. It's quite the obsession. So I was absolutely delighted when I was contacted by San Francisco based Pique Tea to see if I would like to try out a sample of some of their teas.
I'm Irish, I love tea, naturally I was delighted. Especially because Pique Tea is unlike any other conventional tea I've used before. I'm used to the tea being in a tea bag. Yano, throw it into the cup, pour in your hot water, a touch of almond milk and boom, there's a cuppa. Pique Tea however comes in crystal form, it actually reminded me a little of finally grounded brown sugar, and the packaging is very convenient, which it makes it so easy to just toss in your bag and go.
Very handy if you're a commuter, a student or just like bringing your own tea to work etc.
pique organic tea review
Simon from Pique Tea (the founder) was kind enough to send me three of their tea flavors, old school Earl Grey, Jasmine, and Sencha Green tea. I loved the Sencha Green tea and would highly recommend if you're looking for a lovely, all-natural green tea. But, the Earl Grey was probably my favourite and stood out for me. It is a classic. I found it was a lot stronger than the regular tea I use which was great because there's no fussing around with a tea bag trying to get it to my desired strength. I love a strong cuppa. and with a touch of almond milk, it was absolute perfection. Definitely, the best cup of tea I've had in a long time.
The whole process of crystallizing the tea leaves (which are organic and fair trade btw) fascinates me, it's such a new innovative way of making a cup of tea and something I've never even heard of before. I just think it's pretty cool, and Pique Tea is actually better for you than trendy ~matcha tea, which I found interesting because I was always interested in trying matcha but heard conflicting reports taste wise, and well Pique Tea tastes pretty damn great and is quite cheap too, with a pack of Pique Tea containing 14 sachets like the ones above costing $7.99. Not too shabby.
Now, unfortunately, Pique Tea don't ship internationally just yet, but if you're American (the majority of my readers are which is why I thought this would be of interest) and into healthy food and drinks, then you can order online or pick up in Whole Foods.
Have any of you tried Pique Tea? What do you think of the crystals or are you a sucker for a tea bag?
x
(*This tea was sent to me to consider for review, this hasn't impacted my opinion on Pique Tea, I just really love it.)

1.9.16

LUSH R&B Hair Moisturiser

LUSH R&B hair treatment review
lush hair mask
Raise your hand if your hair could use a little TLC cause you torture it day in and day out with hair straighteners and hair curlers and don't give it the rest it deserves. *raises hand*. I'm so so guilty of over using the hair dryer and hair straightener on my hair. It's an addiction and I don't know why I continue to do it because I spend most of my time in work with my hair tied up anyway so it's not like I'm showing it off or anything. And to top things off, the ends are dipped with blonde (balayage) which isn't exactly the most hydrating of colors to have in your hair. It essentially sucks the life from your hair like a dementor, which means my ends are dry and frazzled and in need of a bit of moisture. And seeing as we're approaching the colder, windier months of the year, that can cause it's own sorts of havoc on your hair. DRIES IT OUT.
LUSH R&B hair moisturiser review
When it comes to hair care, I normally just pick up whatever takes my fancy in Boots, but this time round I wanted something a little more natural that wasn't full of harsh chemicals. So I raided LUSH. I initially wanted to get my hands on Lush 'Custard' but that wasn't available so after talking to the guy in LUSH Henry St, he recommended I tried LUSH 'R&B' hair moisturiser. This was my first foray into LUSH hair care, and he said it would be perfect for my hair type (dry, frizzy ends && curly) and would help give it back some much-needed life.
The product is easy to use, you wash your hair as normal and then apply it throughout your hair like you would any other hair product. It's thick and creamy and reminded me of a normal face moisturiser.
Because my hair can get greasy quite easily I focus my application towards the ends. Especially because I find the ends need it more than the root and mid section of my hair. I then style my hair as I normally would.
Since I've started using LUSH R&B Hair Moisturiser I've found that my ends feel a lot silkier. They feel a lot more nourished and hydrated, I'm not as worried about my ends snapping as I used to be. I also find that the product makes it a lot easier to comb through my hair, I used to use a detangling spray after I washed my hair because my hair would get so tangled and awkward to brush through, but I no longer have to use that which is great and definitely down to use of LUSH R&B Hair Moisturiser. With subtle hints of orange and jasmine, not only is it nourishing for your hair but it leaves it smelling pretty good too. I enjoy the smell so much that I apply a tiny amount of the moisturiser to dry hair just so my hair continues to smell nice between washes. Having not researched LUSH R&B Hair Moisturiser before hand, I was a little unsure on whether it would work for me or not, but I'm so glad I went with the guy in LUSH's recommendation because this has honestly made such a difference to my hair. This isn't the cheapest of LUSH products, but I think if you're like me and have dry, damaged and frizzy hair, then this is definitely worth the price tag.
Have any of you tried this or any other LUSH hair care products? Comment below.
x

30.8.16

Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff

cocoa brown tough stuff
tough stuff tan remover
tough stuff before
For the sake of this blog review, I let my tan go as ratchet as possible. Well more ratchet than usual that is. I'm terrible. I was determined to give Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff a good before and after / demonstration on this blog just to show how good it actually is.
I swear by it when it comes to removing my tan, and I'm constantly recommending it to my friends. They know how bad I am at applying fake tan to begin with, so seeing something that erases the mess I've made can only speak for itself really. But I'm going to sing it's praises cause I lurve it, and I want you guys to lurve it too cause Marissa Carter has truly out done herself with this 'stuff'.
I've been using Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff religiously since it launched. I use it pre-tanning to prep my skin to make sure I've removed all dead skin, and I use it again to yano remove the tan.
cocoa brown demo blog
cocoa brown blog review
I'm low maintenance with fake tan. I want something that applies easily, and I want it to come off just as easily. I'm lazy, and I know you reading this review are lazy too. There is nothing more tedious than having to scrub your entire body clear of fake tan. When you think you have it all removed and you're back to being squeaky clean pale again, you see a tiny little patch on your elbow, and another patch above that and before you know it, you're a cheetah with orange spots.
Tough stuff however, takes off fake tan with minimal effort. And that's any tan, it doesn't just work it's wonders on Cocoa Browns own tans, now that would be cheating, although the two do make an almighty pair sitting there all pink on your bathroom cabinet. Girly vibez.
tough stuff before and after blog
Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff is brilliant in that unlike other exfoliators I've used, it's colored. Removing your tan becomes so much easier because you don't have to remember where exactly you've applied the product, it bursts out in this gorgeous shade of pink which leaves an easy trail of remembrance across your skin. It smells like absolute bliss too and I adore it.
My technique with Tough stuff is to apply it to dry skin (I find this way I'm not losing the majority of the product than the drain and it gives a tougher scrub) and to start scrubbing in an upward motion to remove the tan. Where other scrubs take ages to actually remove the tan, Tough Stuff removes it a lot quicker. It's like it's melting the tan away. I like that I don't have to scrub too hard either because I hate pulling unnecessarily at my skin. When you begin to rub the product into your skin it turns into a white lather and the beads begin to work their magic. Like I mentioned above it leaves a nice little trail behind so you can remember where you've already scrubbed, or rather forgot to scrub.
I always find my elbows and knees to be quite stubborn when it comes to tan hanging on for dear life so I pay a little extra attention to those areas. I find the tan is more likely to cling to these areas if I haven't been great with premoisturising so that's also something to keep in mind when you're tanning.
When I've finished scrubbing Tough Stuff all over, I hop into the shower and rinse it all away, again with minimal effort. It pretty much dissolves upon contact with water (another reason I prefer to apply dry skin) which makes the removal process that little bit less tedious.
I pop out of the shower, moisturise, and I'm back to my usual aul Irish self - porcelain. I think the pictures speak for themselves really.
For me Tough Stuff takes out the whole 'ughhhhh I've to scrub off my tan #prayforJess' moment of drama. I simply just love using the product. Even when I'm not removing tan, I use it as a normal body exfoliator. It works like a charm, and I love that it's pink. Other bonuses are because Cocoa Brown use great ingredients in their products, it doesn't irritate my skin and cause break outs / reactions with psoriasis. I've repurchased it numerous times, usually in Cara Pharmacy because they have the best deals, and I sing it's praises to all my friends. If you still have some Cocoa Brown Chocolate Whip lying around, it's the perfect post Tough Stuff moisturiser because it intensifies and builds on the scent. If you don't want to shell out on a full size tube, you can buy handy little sachets which is great because if you're heading on a girls weekend or something you want to keep that space for shoes and stuff.
Have any of you tried this?? What are your thoughts? Comment below.
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22.8.16

Birchbox Ireland July 2016

birchbox ireland july 2016 millie mackintosh
birchbox ireland blog review
I am behind on all my blog posts and I know it makes literally no sense to be blogging about the July Birchbox* (sent to me) near the end of August when I have the August Birchbox (Birchbag?) chilling here next to me but ahh, I was so excited for this box. It was the box Millie Mackintosh (Made in Chelsea anyone?) partnered up with them for, and ever since I saw it on Instagram, I knew I needed it. Millie even designed her own exclusive lip shades for LOC purely for July's box. Everything down to the design of the box was completely adorable and screamed Summer. The products, to me anyway, were all perfect for that mini heatwave we were having a few weeks back. You know the one where it was super hot but it was raining at the same time and you didn't know if you should just pack it all in and buy an umbrella and throw on some sunglasses? Yeh, that one. Crazy weather aside, lets get on to crazy hair and the absolute lifesaver that is the John Frieda Anti Frizz Primer. A product I had never heard of until it arrived in my Birchbox last month, but definitely a welcome addition to my hair care regime.
Long time readers will know that my hair gets a lil out of control when it's humid and I've found that using the John Frieda Anti Frizz Primer has been making quite the difference when it comes to my hair. I want to do a full review on this product so I'm not giving you guys any more thoughts on this (evil I know), but it was my favourite product from the July Birchbox and just reinforces my thoughts on how monthly beauty boxes are great for introducing you to new products.
The Millie lipstick from LOC was also a fave because it was such a pretty pink shade. I didn't expect much because it was a lip 'crayon' and they can be a little hit and miss, but I was pleasently surprised and being a massive Millie fan, I'm happy to have something designed by the kween herself.
As for the other products, I couldn't get full use of them. I have gel nails so the nail polish was a no, but held out quite well on my toe nails. The skin care would have interfered with the skin care 'five step' system I'm using right now so I couldn't give them a fair trial.
For the John Frieda & the lip crayon, the overall cost of the box was outweighed and I was pretty chuffed with what I received, and from what I saw online, so were most subbbies.
What do you guys think? Monthly beauty boxes, yay or nay?
(Birchbox is being sent to me to consider for review, this has not impacted my opinion in the slightest.)
Save

19.8.16

Lets Catch Up?

irish lifestyle blog
Hi, it's me. Ireland's flakiest blogger. I kind of took an unexpected hiatus from blogging. It wasn't fully intentional, but I've been crazy busy in work, had an exam to study for, and then I was struck down with a kidney infection and didn't know I actually had a kidney infection until I was sat in A&E and they were like 'yo'. TWO DAYS before my freaking exam. Oh the stress. My luck with this exam is zero. I've failed it twice, and deferred it once aaaand I'm pretty sure I've failed it for a third time, but I'm trying to not get too caught up with it. Other than all that I've been making the most of what's left of the Summer. I've booked my drivers test. I've bought some studio lights (YouTube). Went on a night out. Did some shopping, finished Stranger Things like everyone else in the world and spent a hell of a lot of time in Costa. Ofcourse. It's an ongoing joke about how much time my circle of friends and I spend in Costa. We like coffee, they have wifi and a bangin playlist on Spotify. Which was playing Christmas songs just the other day, which made me disgustingly happy.
Majorly unexpected fun things over the last few weeks were (1) Goss.ie included me on their "Top 31 Irish Beauty Instagrammers You Need To Follow" list. INSANE. There's so many amazing bloggers on there, I'm delighted to be included in such a list with so many people I admire so it was such a nice surprise. You can follow me on Instagram at "JesskaDenise".
and (2), I've been shortlisted for an Irish Blog Award in the "Best Beauty" category. I honestly never expect to be nominated // shortlisted for this award so I am always genuinely surprised when they come around every year and I'm on the list. I never think of people actually ~liking my blog. Like I have my faves (Dreaming In Sequins // Snappedup.ie // Pure Irish Sugar // Dreaming Again to name a few, all Irish gals ofcourse) , but I never think of anyone ever thinking of my blog enough if you get what I mean. I think of "JesskaDenise" as my space on the internet. At the end of the day, I'm not a professional. I don't know everything. But I love blogging and writing so I just do. If you guys would like to vote for me you can do so here and thanks so much for sticking with me. Whether you're new to the blog or a long time reader, thank you. I really appreciate it.
I have so many posts ready to fire out. Some skin care, product reviews, recipes. I'm excited to bring my little space back to life.
x

18.7.16

Sports Direct Haul

sports direct haul
During the week I treated myself to some workout clothes from Sports World in town. At the moment it has a massive sale on because it's slowly being overtaken by Sports Direct and not being one to pass up a sale I went in and spend a little more than I initially intended. I only went in for runners, but left with a whole color co-ordinated outfit. This whole haul was 85€ and the runners alone would have cost that to begin with. They were in the sale for 37€. I picked up a sports bra, and some nike 3/4 length leggings too. I'm actually really loving the Nike leggings. I've never tried their 'fit' range clothing before but I''m definitely going to head back into Sports World during the week to pick up a few more things. There's a lot of items with 70% off. They don't offer student discount anymore though which is a shame, I'm all about that discount ahah.
At the moment I'm solely a yoga and running girl. I walk 5k in the morning and aim for a 5k run in the evening. I do various yoga videos from yoga with adriene on YouTube to work my core and help me relax when I'm feeling anxious. A lot of people are quick to knock down yoga as a helpful tool for dealing with anxiety, but I find it incredibly helpful. When I'm anxious, I feel like I'm going to stop breathing and I get extremely fidgety and quiet. Yoga helps me work on breathing techniques and because I'm working on yoga poses, it stops me from fidgeting, something I'm really self conscious of. At the moment I'm thinking of joining one of the local gyms, but I want a gym that has a personal trainer so someone can keep me in check and I can make the most of my time in the gym. If anyone has experience with a personal trainer, do comment below because I'm at a bit of a loss with that one.
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