Jesska Denise is an Irish beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog



April Birchbox

birchbox ireland 2016
Birchbox Ireland blog
birchbox contents
For the box design alone, this months Birchbox* is definitely up there as my favourite box so far. For the month of April, Birchbox collaborated with 'Rifle Paper Co' to bring subscribers a beautifully designed box of their choice out of two designs. I went for this one and I'm so happy I did. It's so pretty and I currently have the empty box on display in my room with some candles sat in it. I don't throw the boxes away, I actually use them to store make up in my Alex drawers from Ikea, but this one was too pretty to not have on display. I love my floral prints and this design from 'Rifle Paper Co' is stunning. Box obsession aside, I actually loved nearly every product in this months box.
  • Benefit BADgal mascara - always a favourite of mine, I actually always say I'm going to buy a full size of this mascara but it seems to be the one that's given away as a sample a lot so I've never bothered. I ran out of my other one so I was delighted to see this in the box this month. I love the wand on this, it really helps plump up your lashes and adds some well needed definition to my lashes. I think I need eyelash extensions rly guys.
  • Cynthia Rowley eyeliner - I actually thought I wouldn't get any use from this eyeliner, I'm not very good at doing cute little eye flicks or anything like that but I've surprised myself. I've been using it to tight line and to do tiny little flicks. I find because the pencil is pretty small (sample size yay) that I can get that little bit more control with the nib and it doesn't look a total mess. In contrast to other eyeliners I've used this one is a lot creamier and creates a nice full line that lasts throughout the day. I'm going to be buying a full version of this because I liked it that much and it's only 11£ && yano, packaging is a winner here too.
  • Balance Me tinted wonder eye cream - this eye cream really intrigued me because I've never used a 'tinted' eye cream before. Balance Me is a brand I've only heard of recently (free sample in a magazine with a face mask) and I'm really liking their stuff. I was pleasantly surprised by this eye cream, I have awful black circles beneath my eyes and nothing seems to cover them up but this did a semi decent job. I wouldn't say it fully covered, but it did a nice job of minimizing how harsh they look.
  • Beaver Professional shampoo and conditioner - I haven't used these yet but they sound really nice, there's avocado oil and aloe vera in them.
  • Kueshi foot cream - I didn't use this either. I'm not into foot cream really (Soap and Glory is the only one I use) and knew this would end up in the back of my drawer so I gave it to my Mum and she seems to really like it.
I'm really enjoying this months box, especially the mascara and eyeliner and yano, the box itself. I'm a sucker for pretty things. I'm very excited for next months box because there's a Spectrum blending sponge and again, you choose what color you want. I went for lilac and I love a good beauty blender so I can't wait to try Spectrums version. Are any of you subbed to Birchbox?

(*This box was sent to me to consider for review for my blog. This hasn't impacted my opinion)


Life Through Instagram

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irish beauty blog
jesska denise
irish instagram
I am an Instagram ADDICT. I have 0 shame in admitting that. Most people spend their whole time scrolling through Facebook, I spend every free second scrolling through Instagram from various sources of inspiration. There's just something about all the images that screams out to me. It's just so aesthetically pleasing and it transends all languages because you're just spending your time looking at images, the captions rarely matter. My Instagram is perfectly organised and I get so many questions asking how I manage it, and do not fear, I have a post coming on that in the next week or two.
Right now though, this is just a quick snapshot into what I've been up to over the last couple of weeks. My friends and I are planning a sun getaway for September so naturally we've been spending a lot of time in Costa lately. The unicorn pjs were a cheeky purchase from ASOS and I've been loving them. I think I'm having a unicorn 'moment' with the rest of the world right now. I'm just all about that magic and bright color yano? I was also happily binge rewatching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix, that is until they blocked DNS codes and Hola. Le sigh. I personally don't think the UK/Ireland version is value for money and I'm actually going to cancel my subscription because it's just not worth it. The middle picture on the bottom row is my weak attempt at a crown braid, but I think I'm slowly getting there. I'm getting a lot of braid practice in these days.....trying to not use heat on my hair. It's actually harder than I originally thought it would be.
If you're not already following me on Instagram (why wouldnt you be??), you can do so here.


Not Your Mothers Dry Shampoo Review

not your mothers dry shampoo review
My hair has been through an absolute war path over the last few months. In a moment of complete madness I decided that dip dyeing my hair blue was a good idea and I've never regretted a decision more. I had finally gotten my hair to a somewhat ~semi healthy state and essentially ruined my ends with blue. I also pierced my nose at the same time, it's safe to assume I was in a bad decision mode. I've since had my hairdresser fix the ends and lighten them as best as she could, keeping in mind that they were blue and could so easily have gone green. So to give my hair as much of a rest as possible, I've been minimising the number of washes it gets during the week (I rely on the hairdryer too much) and considering it gets disgustingly greasy after a few days I've been relying heavily on dry shampoo, specifically this 'Clean Freak' Dry Shampoo from Not Your Mothers. Not Your Mothers isn't a brand I've heard a whole lot about, I remember a YouTube video from Meghan Rienks last year that sang absolute praises about their  salt sea spray, but other than that - nada. I'm not a fan of the batiste dry shampoo and i love the aussie one but find that the aussie dry shampoo stops spraying after a while (I emailed them about this and they never replied) so it wastes product.
However, this dry shampoo from Not Your Mothers is possibly the best dry shampoo I've tried. I applied it to my hair like I would any other dry shampoo - sectioning the hair, paying most attention to the roots and letting it sit in my hair for a bit before brushing through. I actually think that's a big step a lot of people make with their dry shampoo, they don't let it sit long enough on their hair to absorb the oils. 
My first impression of the Not Your Mothers dry shampoo was it smelt really nice. It's not sickeningly sweet like a lot of dry shampoos, it's a fresh clean smell, maybe even a little on the fruity side? It sprayed pretty effortlessly and didn't splurt the product all over my head. It didn't feel heavy on my hair as i was spraying either, and despite it's matte finish, my hair didn't feel dried out or straw like. It felt refreshed and clean and it worked its magic at removing the oils from my disgustingly greasy hair. I bought this on a whim (pulled in by packaging) and I'm really glad I did because it's keeping me going between washes and keeping any paranoia i have about greasy hair showing at bay. Have any of you tried this? What did you think?


Gel Nails Masterpost

gel nail design ideas irish beauty blog
I say 'Gel Nails Masterpost', but really I'm missing a few pictures and even then I don't know if thats enough to qualify for a 'masterpost' but anyway.....If you follow me on Instagram (JesskaDenise), then you will already know that I am vry vry fond of my gel nails. Back in October (€50 to get them on), after swearing to a friend that I would 'never get gel nails ever again' after a bad set I got back in June, I was back on the gel nails express train. I've been getting refills (€25) every three weeks since October and I don't see myself stopping anytime soon. I go to the same place in Longford town every month, 'The Nail Bar' and you can find it on Facebook here. I honestly wouldn't go anywhere else in Longford for them. I'm always happy with how they turn out and 9 times out of 10 she can do the design I fancy. Sometimes I play it completely boring with a nude or glitter accent nail. Sometimes I really can't decide what shade to go with at all and I'm still scrolling through Pinterest for ideas minutes before my appointment. I'm a creature of habit and I've been sticking to an almond shape, it feel it's the most flattering shape for my hand (i'm cray, I know) and I'm happy with it. I did consider 'coffin' nails cause Kylie, but decided to back out at the last minute. Maybe next time.
gel nails longford
I keep mine quite short, I kind of have to with work, they can make simple things like picking money out of the till a little awkward. I've only ever broke two since October and I blame that on it being my actual nail rather than the stick on. Thankfully they were slow breaks so there was no pain, I've heard many horror stories from friends who've just lost them in one whack. Ouch. I know there's a lot of talk about gels being bad for your nails and having gel nails for too long can ruin your own nails, but my actual nails are quite weak and flaky so I've never thought of it as an issue. I prefer the sturdiness of the gel nail, and the lack of chipping is a winner in my eyes. I did ask my nail technician if prolonged wearing of gel nails was bad for my nails and she said that it wasn't really, and that your nails grow back eventually so what difference does it make. Wise wise words that I am choosing to live by.
If you live in Longford and you're looking for somewhere to get your nails done, I highly recommend 'The Nail Bar'. It's located next to Game Stop on your way down to Tesco, but be warned that they are very popular so getting an appointment is a challenge in itself. I always book my next appointments when I'm there and I know my friends do the same, it makes it easier.
What about you guys? Do any of you get gel nails?


Marble Macbook Case DIY

marble macbook case diy blog
macbook diy caover ideas
If you're like me and spend a lot of your time on Instagram, then you will be all too familiar with the 'marble case' trend. I don't know what it is about marble but it just looks so damn aesthetically pleasing. I really wanted a marble case for my Macbook, but found one impossible to find since my Macbook is a few years old and no longer available to buy. Any that I did find that looked like they could fit (Etsy) were crazy expensive and I just couldn't bring myself to pay €40+ for one. So I longed from afar and envied everyone on Instagram who had painfully basic omg.
However, there was one day I was in woodies and came across this roll of 'marble' style book cover. Yano, the stuff you stuck on your school books way back in the day? Yeh, apparently it's come a long way since then. I had a brainwave moment and decided to buy a roll in the hope of getting it to fit to my Macbook. It was €5 for the roll, quite the saving and I've since seen that you can pick this stuff up anywhere really.
marble cover diy blog
I know some people may be quite weary about sticking this directly onto their laptop, but I've had my Macbook for five years now and naturally it's scratched quite a lot on the outside so I wasn't too bothered. To stick this to your Macbook is actually so stupidly simple. It took me only a few minutes.
I rolled out the marble cover, placed my Macbook on top and cut around until I was satisfied it would be a perfect fit. The hard part was trimming off the edges closer to the edges of the Macbook. I used a tiny tweezers to do this and to file it right down, but depending on how big your scissors is, you shouldn't need to use a tweezers, I just wanted it perfectly filed down.
irish lifestyle blog
You will need to use the tweezers if you want to free the apple logo from behind the cover. I just punctured a hole and dragged the tweezers along the edges so I didn't damage the apple itself. I had actually completely forgotten all about the apple when I started this little DIY so there might be an easier way to do that, but considering I had the whole thing in place when I realized, it was the besst I could do and it looks fab.
I love this little DIY and I've had a few people ask me if this was an actual case and they're always really surprised to hear that it's just some book cover because even when you're looking at it in person it looks more like a decal than anything else. If you guys give this a go, let me know.


La Roche Posay Make Up Remover Gel

la roche posay make up remover gel review
la roche posay cleansing gel bad review
This is going to be a negative review which is such a pity because I really wanted to love the La Roche Posay Make Up Remover Gel. I've never used a make up remover that was a gel before and when I set about revamping my whole skincare routine, I decided I would opt for a micellar gel rather than my usual go to of the Garnier micellar water for removing my make up. I am massively anti make up wipes so I will always opt for a good micellar water to remove my make up, even if it is 4am and I'm coming in from a night out. It's just not worth it.
My friend mentioned some time ago that she had used a micellar gel from a different brand and said it was amazing. She said it helped remove her make up really quick and left her skin feeling squeaky clean, so it was always something that echoed in the back of my mind when I was browsing the shelves in Boots.
At the moment everything in my skincare routine is La Roche Posay, and I figured with this micellar gel being La Roche Posay and a little more on the ~spendy side of Boots I wouldn't be let down. I mean, you get what you pay for right?! But no, I was wrong. When it came to this make up remover gel, I found it to be short of amazing and pretty useless to be honest.
Definitely not worth the €15.99 I paid for it.
The La Roche Posay make up remover gel is a clear gel made for combination to sensitive skin, it contains no soap or alcohol and lacks any scent. Considering my acne prone skin, these are all things I look for and something that stood out when I was trying to decide which micellar gel to go with. I found no irritation when I used this and it didn't break out my skin. But when it came down to removing my make up, that's where it fell short. You apply the gel to a wet face, massage it into your face to lift the make up from your skin, and then this is where it gets confusing, the bottle says 'no rinsing'. So I removed the gel with a cotton bud. I found that one pump of this was definitely not enough to help dissolve your makeup, it takes about three goes of pumping and massaging to get your make up off your face and even then I didn't feel like my face was squeaky clean. Which I confirmed by going over my face with my micellar water. I was disappointed to see the gel hadn't removed all my make up and was no where near the 'quick' solution I was hoping it would be to remove my make up.
Maybe I'm not using it correctly, afterall the instructions aren't very clear but I found it's no where near as good as my Garnier micellar water which I would consider a holy grail at this stage.
I'm still using the La Roche Posay Make Up Remover Gel, but I'm using it in combination with my micellar water to ensure I've removed all make up. It's definitely not something I would recommend buying or run out and repurchase.
Have any of you tried this? What were your thoughts?