Jesska Denise is an Irish beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog



Green Giveaway #HBPaddy

holland and barrett giveaway green
In celebration of St. Patricks day coming up next month, the lovely people at Holland and Barrett have kindly given me a 'Green' giveaway to run on my blog and social media for one of you lucky guys to win. Everything in the box is 'green', keeping in line with the St. Patricks day theme.
The box is valued at over €100 and if you're a bit of a health nut or looking for a little pick me up after a rowdy St. Patricks day weekend, then you'll love this.
You have the chance to win :
  • Spirulina Powder
  • Green Tea Extract
  • Wheat grass powder
  • Sea Kelp
  • Apple Yoyo Bear
  • Nakd Apple Pie Fruit, Nut & Oat Bar
  • Neals Yard Wholefoods Apple Liquorice
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Hemp Oil 2 in 1 Shampoo Conditioner
  • Hemp Oil Body Wash
The box is full of fabulous products. Sea Kelp has incredible benefits, it's great for your hair and nails and claims to give your metabolism a bit of a boost. Likewise, Green Tea Extract has been known to support weight loss by speeding up the metabolism and giving you a boost of energy. I've never tried Wheat Grass powder before, but apparently it's great for a little energy boost also. The Hemp Oil body wash is probably my second favourite item in the box. It smells incredible. I wasn't expecting to like it at all but I'm really enjoying using it and despite the psoriasis, it seems pretty kind on the skin.
I'm a massive of fan of Nakd bars so naturally they're my favourite addition to the box, they're vegan, full of good ingredients and a great snack for when you're on the go. I've been known to buy boxes of them when Holland and Barrett have their 'Buy one, get one for 1c' sale on.
So you're probably thinking, how do I win all of this goodness?? Well it's pretty simple,
  1. Follow me on Twitter @JesskaDenise 
  2. Tweet me using both my Twitter handle @JesskaDenise and the @Holland_Barrett one with the hashtag #HBPaddy with an answer to the following question 'Which item from the box would you most like to try?'.
Simple. The giveaway will run for two weeks from today. If you're not following me on Twitter, your entry won't be counted so make sure you're following. If you have any questions, comment below.
(*Holland and Barrett are sponsoring this giveaway by providing me with a box to review and by sending one out to the winner. The winner will be chosen by me on Twitter in two weeks from now.)


Soap and Glory Scrub Em and Leave Em

soap and glory scrub em and leave em scrub
If there's nothing I love more than a good body scrub, it's a good 'Soap and Glory' body scrub and this one ticks all the boxes. It looks super pretty, it does what it says on the tub and it smells pretty damn scrumptious too.
soap and glory body scrub review
If you follow me via Twitter (@JesskaDenise if you want to keep up to date with my daily going onsss) then you will know that about a month ago I broke out in the absolute worse psoriasis ever. That comes across as a bit dramatic, but as someone who has never experienced psoriasis before, it was nothing short of a shock. When I say I broke out in psoriasis, I really mean broke out. It's on my scalp, face (beautician had to take a rain check on HD brows for the time being), back, arms and legs. It's literally everywhere. Remember the strop Kim Kardashian pulled when she broke out in psoriasis? Yeh, our reactions may have been a teeny bit similar. Me, dramatic? Never.....
Apparently it's been triggered by stress, which makes perfect sense as I am overly stressed, my main concern however was dealing with it from a vanity point of view. At the moment I'm applying various creams that my GP gave me which are really helping to clear it up, but unfortunately some of it is quite dry and ~scaly looking so I popped into Boots and picked up this Soap and Glory scrub to help remove the dry skin.
I don't know if you're really supposed to scrub it, but I mean, how else are you supposed to get rid of the flakiness? Ew gross, I know but lets be real here..
I've found scrub em and leave em is perfect for exfoliating my skin whilst dealing with the psoriasis. I apply about a palm amount of the scrub to the area I want to exfoliate and scrub in gentle circular motions and rinse. It's not too abrasive which means it isn't overly harsh on my already suffering skin. It gives it a nice gentle scrub which leaves the psoriasis and non psoriasis areas feeling a lot better. I also found that despite the delicious scent, this scrub hasn't irritated my skin any more than it already is. Which is quite the blessing because my shower gel didn't make the cut.
For the small amount of skin (lower legs holla) that has no psoriasis, I go to town with this. It really leaves my skin feeling nice and smooth. My favourite thing about this scrub other than how deliciously girly it smells and how pink it is? The way it rinses off. It's hard to describe but it's like it dissolves as soon as it hits contact with water. No other scrub I've used has rinsed away like this.
For extra scent points and deliciously moisturised skin (if you're not over run with psoriasis), I'd recommend adding a good layer of 'The Righteous Butter' body butter (review here) from 'Soap and Glory' to smell like a bubblegum princess all day.
Have any of you tried this? What were your thoughts? Too sweet? Just right? No flake away?


Birchbox Ireland Launch

birchbox Ireland
birchbox ireland february
I feel like I've been watching our American and British counterparts obsess over Birchbox* for the longest time now and I've wanted to subscribe ever since Birchbox USA did the Gossip Girl themed box way back when (ohh Gossip Girl) so when I got word that Birchbox UK was going to launch in Ireland this month and they wanted me to receive the February box, I was so excited.
I've subscribed to various boxes over the years (Glossybox and My Little Box) so this isn't my first foray into the monthly beauty box world. I love the idea behind monthly beauty box subscriptions, you pay a reasonable amount of money (£10 & £2.95p+p) and you receive 4 or 5 small products that you would never have tried had you not been subbed to the box. Sometimes they can be a bit hit and miss, which is disappointing considering you are technically paying to be semi-disappointed, but it's all a bit of fun and Birchbox is a pink surprise every month, I was so happy when it arrived during the week, I wasn't expecting it to arrive in a pink box. It's so delightfully girly. I also loved how the outer case was dotted in shamrocks in celebration of it being the first box delivered to Ireland. It was such a nice touch.
inside february birchbox
Each month Birchbox comes with a theme, and this months was no different. ‘Shine Bright Like a Diamond’ was the message behind this months box and all the products featured were chosen with the intentions of adding a little bit of sparkle to your every day life.
There was five products in the box and in typical beauty box fashion, I’ve actually only ever heard of one of them.
  • Spectrum Collection Tapered Powder Brush - I personally think you can never have too many make up brushes and I love how cute this one is. The pink handle is adorable and because the brush is slightly pointed, I’ve been using it to counter and it’s perfect.
  • LOC Shadow Stick in Perfect Cents - LOC is actually Birchbox own make up line and upon first inspection of the box I thought this was a lip pencil. Think NARS. But it’s a shadow stick. The shade I got is quite shimmery and bordering on a coppery gold? I think it would look perfect paired with some shadows from the first naked palette. I’ve only applied it to my hand, but it’s a nice creamy consistency and seems to blend quite easily. Not something I would have ever purchased for myself but I like the idea behind a shadow stick and I’m eager to try this.
  • Ole Henriksen Serum - I think this may be my favourite product in the box. I’ve been wanting to pick up a face serum for the longest time now (all those skincare routines on YouTube have me convinced I need one) and didn’t know which one to go for. They tend to be pretty expensive, the full size version of this retails at 47£, so I didn’t want to splash out and yano - live to regret the splurge. This smells pretty rank tbh. Like fanta, but I suppose it’s all that Vitamin C. I’ll get back to you on this.
  • Ayres Body Butter - this little tub of body butter smells incredible. Jasmine is my favourite scent so this was bound to be a winner. I actually can’t use this body butter right now due to my skin being covered in psoriasis, but hopefully I can use it soon.
  • The Balm Blush/Shadow - the one product I’ve actually heard of before. I’ve actually never bought anything for myself from The Balm, but I have for friends before and they loved it. The colour of this really pretty, it’s like a natural pinky shade and I’m most looking forward to using it as an eyeshadow. I think it will look lovely paired with my Chanel eyeshadow which is a lovely dusky pink so I can see them complimenting each other well.
So there you have it, Birchbox has launched in Ireland at long last and despite some initial hiccoughs (boxes arriving late). I’m excited for more and I can’t wait for my March box to arrive. You can subscribe by going to their website here.
What do you guys think? Will you be subbing?

(*Although I was sent this box to review, this has not impacted my opinion of Birchbox in the slightest. When I was asked if I would like to receive a box I was a little worried that I might hate everything in the box because beauty boxes can be hit or miss but honestly, I would use everything in this months Birchbox. With the exception of the Body Butter because psoriasis.)


Payday Wishlist

(1. Avocado Toast Sweater. 2. Quay Australia Sunglasses. 3. Topshop Pinstripe Trousers. 4. Topshop Colour Block Jumper. 5. Topshop Ankle Boots. 6. Topshop Shift Dress.)
This wishlist is most definitely a wish list due to the fact I am absolutely broke. These days it's like I get paid, only for it to be all gone a few hours later and not a whole lot to show for it. But I can wish can't I? I think my wages may stretch far enough for the Topshop shift dress because I've had my eye on it since Christmas and I see it's now in the sale which is pretty much all the convincing I need to buy it. I recently purchased a pair of Quay Australia sunglasses from the ASOS sale and I can't get enough of them. I feel like I'm lowkey channeling my inner Shay Mitchell. Marble effect sunglasses look set to be a big deal for Summer so I'm keen to get my mitts on this pair. They are pretty pricey and considering I wear glasses 24/7 due to poor eyesight, they're not exactly practical. Especially because I insist on gel nails, which means I can't wear contact lenses. The ultimate #firstworldproblem , I'm very aware. It's quite the dilemma. But I can wander around partially blind for these bad boys. Cheap Monday are also doing some pretty sick ass sunglasses that I kinda sorta don't but do need. Saving my card details to my phone may have been a super bad idea tbh guys, I get bored at night when I can't sleep and I online shop and sometimes I do something crazy like book a holiday to Malta (this happened). Someone needs to be the voice of reason and tell me I don't need any of these pretty things.....Hi my name is Jess, and I'm potentially a shopaholic, shhh ;)


Dont Look at Me Lush Face Mask

dont look at me lush face mask review
face mask for acne lush
dont look at me mask review acne
As far as I'm concerned there is nothing more relaxing than sitting down in the bath with a good face mask on. I'm a little guilty of having a bit of a face mask obsession going on. More to the point, I have a bit of a Lush face mask obsession going on. I struggle with acne and when it comes to skincare I like to keep it straight to the point, a few basic products and that's it. I think taking care of your skin from the inside out is the way to go but sometimes you need a few products to help moisturise, exfoliate and treat your skin. When it comes to face masks, I like to stick to Lush because they're full of fresh ingredients and you can usually find a mask which will meet your skins specific needs. The guys and gals in Lush are FULL of knowledge, so if you're not sure which mask to go for, they can usually recommend a mask or two for you. Sometimes I don't know which mask to buy so I ask one of the sales assistants, and they always steer me in the right direction.
Basic run down of my skin - oily t zone, clusters of acne on forehead and lower face, dry skin around the nose and redness from scarring.
What first attracted me to the 'Dont Look at Me' face mask was the outrageous turquoisey blue colour. It looks amazing and gave me complete mermaid vibes. The ingredients also really intrigued me, the mask contains lemon juice which I had previously heard was good for acne scarring. The mask also doubles as an exfoliator so it's like two for the price of one.
'Dont Look at Me' smells quite citrusy and fresh, but it's not overwhelmingly citrusy, it's just right and I really liked it. The mask applies easily and you can build it up to be as thick or light as you would like. I varied my use between a light mask and a thicker mask and I definitely preferred a thicker application. As you can see from the pictures it is quite lumpy but I found a thicker mask was better for getting a good scrub on, and I was excited to get scrubbing because it looked like it would really loosen all that dead skin on my face, especially where I'm more prone to breaking out.
I don't recommend leaving the mask on for longer than 10mins, when it hardens, it hardens and it's actually a little hard to wash off when you leave it on too long. Yano what they say, 'unnecessary tugging of the skin can lead to wrinkles' and a little redness. Not cute.
When I washed the mask off my skin felt fresh and alive. It felt smoother and softer and after a few goes of the mask, I noticed a slight difference to the redness of my skin, especially around the nose and lower chin. I also really enjoy wearing this mask because of how blue it is. It makes me feel like I'm a little smurfette or mermaid wannabe. It's quite funny to look at and my family think I look hilarious with it on, all in the name of beauty am I right?
If you have acne prone skin and you're looking for a good natural face mask, then I highly recommend you give 'Dont Look at Me' a go. I've bought four pots of it and turned a few friends onto it too and they really loved it. Definitely up there as one of my favourite Lush face masks.


Shea Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner

shea moisture shampoo and conditioner review
Let me introduce you to the two products that have helped completely revive my hair over the last few months. I honestly wasn't holding out much hope for the Shea Moisture* 'Superfruit Complex' shampoo or conditioner when they were sent to me. I had never heard of them before I was contacted  but I was instantly intrigued by the supposed '10 in 1' things that each bottle helps against. I had dry, colored hair that looked flat and completely lifeless. I had blonde in my hair that completely sucked the life out of the ends of it. So much so that when I went to the salon to revert back to my brunette locks, my hair was so dry and fragile that it knotted together and took the patience of my hairdresser to unravel. SO embarrassing. Ever since that humiliating hairdresser visit I've been using this shampoo and conditioner from Shea Moisture. I was determined to bring my hair back to life and I have done. My hairdresser commented when I went in a few weeks ago that my hair looked and felt so much better and it had a lovely shine off of it. All done to this shampoo and conditioner my friends because I changed nothing else. I don't have too much to say on these, I mean they're a shampoo and conditioner with big claims, and they deliver.
The shampoo - I expected it to smell kind of coconutty, but it was more fruity than anything else. I found that there was more of the scent on my hair when it dried than there was when I was washing it. It was hard to make out any sort of scent really, but when your hair dries, ahhh it smells so good. I found it really hard to get a good lather from this shampoo, you really have to use quite a bit of the product which was annoying because I felt like I was wasting a lot of it. IT also stays true to it's claims and doesn't build up on your hair. A nice change from the usual shampoos I use, especially since clarifying shampoos are so expensive.
The conditioner - this was weird because it felt more like a mask than a conditioner? It's quite thick and a little pump really goes a long way, unlike the shampoo. I applied this to the ends of my hair post shampoo and brushed it through with a tangle teezer. I left it for the length of my shower and then rinsed. I found it hard to get off the ends of my hair because it was quite thick but it left my hair feeling so soft and shiny that I really can't complain.
I do recommend using both these products together, they really compliment one another and I found switching out the shampoo for another shampoo didn't leave my hair feeling half as nice as when I used both the 'Superfruit Complex' products together.
Right now my hair feels and looks so much better than it has in a long time and I owe it all to these guys. It smells so good too. They're also 100% cruelty free. Have any of you tried these? What did you think?

(These products were sent to me to consider for review, this has not impacted my opinion in the slightest. Please read my full disclaimer here.)