Jesska Denise is an Irish beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog



Birchbox Ireland June 2016

birchbox ireland
birchbox contents 20116
subscription box beauty
quay sunglasses birchbox
This months Birchbox UK is definitely a step up from Mays box of disappointment. The palm tree design, and the discounted Quay sunglasses gave me massive Summer vibes and I was really happy with the products in my box this month. I also really liked how they went for a drawer on this months box, rather than the usual Birchbox sack. It's a pity that this seems to be a one time thing, because although the bags are handy for storage, I don't use them all and it's such an unnecessary waste. The drawer just seems that little bit more environmentally friendly. Maybe that's just me??
This months box came in two designs, palm trees or pineapples, and subscribers had the choice between two different style Quay sunglasses to add to their box this month at a discounted price. I went for the sleek black pair, as they're a little more timeless than my other pair of Quay sunglasses which have a crazy crazy animal print. I was delighted to get these at a lower price as I really fancied a black pair but didn't want to pay mucho €€€ for them.
This months box included products all perfect for summer,
  • Cynthia Rowley Brightening Illuminator
  • Beauty Protector Leave in Conditioner & Detangle
  • Absolution Cleanser
  • Monu Body Cream 
  • Ainy Exfoliator
The two products I was most looking forward to trying were the Cynthia Rowley brightening illuminator and the Beauty Protector leave in conditioner. I don't have a highlighter like the Cynthia Rowley one in my collection right, it's quite sheer and pink. Where as my other highlighters are all silver/bronzey. This actually reminds me of Benefits 'High Beam' a little. I can definitely see myself purchasing this when I run out. This is the second Cynthia Rowley product I've received through Birchbox and I'm actually really loving their products.
The leave in conditioner is lovely to use. It's light on the hair, it doesn't have a sticky residue like some leave in conditioners, and it brushes through the hair effortlessly - obviously down to the detangling effect. I currently use a kids detangling spray on my hair, and although it's great and does the job, this one appeals to me that bit more because it seems like a 'grown up' detangler haha.
My least favourite product in the box was the Absolution cleanser. It smells absolutely disgusting. I'm a sucker for sweet, girly, fresh scents. But this was really earthy?!? It's hard to describe but it was very overpowering, I could smell it before I even opened the box. I thought something had spilled it was that strong. I could never imagine putting it on my face. It was just not for me. I'm sure it might be a fabulous cleanser, but I was just so put off by the scent that I couldn't give it a fair trial.
I haven't used the other products yet, but what I have used I really liked.
Next months box is a collaboration with the absolute babe, Millie Mackintosh, and I have been so excited for this box since I saw it mentioned on Instagram a few months ago. I used to love Millie on Made in Chelsea, so I can't wait to see whats included in the box. She's designed a full size LOC lip pencil exclusively for the July box so that's definitely worth subscribing for if you haven't already.
(I have been provided this book by Birchbox to review for the blog. This hasn't impacted my opinion. The sunglasses were purchased by me.)


My Everyday Makeup

everyday natural makeup blog review
hello flawless bourjois makeup
face of the day blog post
HOLY RIDICULOUS CLOSE UP OF MY FACE. That's a little startling. It's also making me realise how badly I need to get my hair toned. It's looking a little brassy since I think this photo. Hair aside, I thought I'd share my current everyday makeup routine. At the moment I'm that little bit more on the tan side so I've been taking full advantage of being able to use my Benefit 'Hello Flawless' foundation. This foundation was recommended to me by the girl on the Benefit counter as it's very light on the skin, and is water based so provides hydration to my skin rather than filling it with oil and clogging my pores. Considering I have acne prone skin, this is exactly what I need and it's such a pity Benefit don't have this in a lighter shade, because I'm currently using the lightest and it's still only wearable when I have a tan. I was matched to this when I returned from a sun holiday so it wasn't a problem at the time, but you pale girls know where I'm coming from.
My go to mascara is the No7 Midnight Lash mascara which I've blogged about before here. It's such a lovely everyday mascara, it's not too over the top and if you're trying to keep your look that little bit more ~simple, then this is ideal.
Bronzer and blush wise, I use the Benefit Hoola bronzer and 'Pink Swoon' from MAC blush, which I blogged about here. Neither of which you can really make out in the pic mind you, but yano.....I'm actually low key obsessed with Hoola, this is my second purchase and I'm already hitting pan. I like that it adds a lovely glow and a natural looking contour depending on how intensely you apply. It's also extra nice when you're rocking a tan because it makes your skin look a little more glowy than normal and paired with the 'Pink Swoon' they both add a gorgeous pop of color.
To tie the look together I usually go for something a little more wow on the lips. I tend to keep everything a little safer because I suck at eyeshadow and lips are that teensy bit simpler for adding a bit of everyday drama. I find myself reaching for one of the many beautiful shades from the Bourjois 'Rogue Edition' range. This one is 'Hot Pepper' and it's a gorgeous red shade with a slightly more orange undertone than most reds I used which tend to veer more to the pinky side. The 'Rogue Edition' formula is definitely up there as one of my favorite lip formulas on the high street. It applies easily, last's decently well throughout the day and comes in a wide range of shades. It doesn't fare well when it comes to reapplication, it feels quite gloopy on the lips and it's just not a nice sensation. However I really like how pigmented these are, they apply like a gloss, but have the finish of a lipstick. I have quite a few of them in my make up collection and I highly recommend them if you haven't tried them yet.
My eyebrows are HD brows and here I only have them filled in slighlty with a Rimmel eyebrow pencil, which I managed to forget to include in pictures but it's a holy grail item for me tbh. I lurve it. I might do a post on it actually, it's definitely something you need if you're eyebrow obsessed like moi.
My everyday make up is quite simple, I'm a creature of habit and the riskiest I get is lip color. Boring really, but I'm sure some of you are the same?? Right??


Alpro #GoOn Event London

alpro go yogurt
alpro go yogurt blog
alpro go blackcurrant yogurt
Last week I was invited along to London to the launch of the brand new Alpro 'Go On' yogurt, which is a high protein plant based alternative to yogurt. If you're a long time reader of my blog or follow me on social media, you will know that I follow a dairy free, vegetarian diet. Alpro products are a firm staple in my daily diet. I use their almond milk every day, and I was so excited to see the new 'Go On' yogurt as it's a lot thicker than their other yogurts. It reminds me of the thick greek yogurt that I used to love before I adapted a more 'plant' based diet. It's available in three different flavours, Mango, Passion Fruit and Blackcurrant and I absolutely LOVE the blackcurrant flavour. I wasn't sure if I would love it, I thought they might be too sweet and the yogurt might be a little more miss than hit, but honestly, they're so so good. I've even turned my dairy loving friends onto them.
They're great for if you're on the go, or you're looking for a quick snack. I like to scoop mine into a bowl and layer it with some fruit such as apple and banana for lunch or dessert. It's nice for shaking things up a little and they're a great source of calcium and vitamin b12. I highly recommend you give them a go. I've become obsessed with them and it didn't help that my local tesco had them on offer for 0.79c all last week, I did some major stocking up as they're usually around €1.59. 
alpro x charli cohen
charli cohen london
the braid bar london
selfridges braid bar
eva braid selfridges
The event itself was held in Elms Lesters Painting Rooms in London and to celebrate the launch of the 'Go On' yogurt, Alpro teamed up with the ever so cool athleisure designer Charli Cohen to screen her latest collection, as well as having The Braid Bar team from Selfridges on site to braid everyones hair. I'm a sucker for braids and instantly went for the 'Eva', it's so cool and I really wish I could recreate it myself at home. The girl who did my hair, Rose, is so talented, I envy her braiding ability. There needs to be a braid bar here in Ireland, it's such a unique idea, I'd happily pay someone to do these braids in my hair.
The event was so much fun, it was lovely to mingle with some London bloggers as well other Irish bloggers that I had never met before, Louise Cooney, Lauren Arthurs, Orla of Gym Bunny and Rosemary MacCabe, and to chat to the lovely ladies who invited me over to the event.
I was afraid my anxiety would take over and ruin the whole trip for me, especially as I didn't know anyone. But I tried my best to push through it and chat to as many people as I could and I'm so glad I did because it was so much fun and I would have been so upset at myself if I had let it overcome me.
st martins london
st martins hotel london blog
irish beauty blogger
When I was in London I stayed in the gorgeous St Martins Lane hotel. This was my second time to ever stay in a hotel and honestly, the next hotel I stay in is going to have some serious living up to do because the St Martins was so funky and chic. The carpet was leopard print, and the room was kitted out with the perfect selfie mirror, which I took full advantage of on snapchat (JesskaDenise). The bed was so hard to get out of the next morning, I didn't want to leave. The hotel was the perfect location too. Everything from Oxford Street to Trafalgar Square was a short walk away.
london blog post ireland
irish lifestyle blog
cereal killer cafe london camden
As I was traveling solo and in London for such a short time, I wasn't sure what to do with my time. I message an online friend to tell her I would be in London as we had talked about meeting before and the absolute cutie that she is, came the whole way down on the coach to hang out with me. It was the best end to the day. I can't believe we finally met, we've been friends since Bebo was an actual thing and I think we've talked online every day for the last year and a half. I honestly don't know what I'd have done without her support over these last few months. She's one of the bravest, sweetest, most beautiful inside and out people I know and I couldn't be happier that we got to hang out. Even if it was for only a few hours. She's my little LUSH encyclopedia and we finally got to go to LUSH Oxford St together, what dreams are made of tbh. We even challenged ourselves to go along to the Cereal Killer Cafe in Camden and if you haven't been, you definitely need to drag yourself along. It's such a cool idea, and they even do Alpro almond milk. Winners in my book.
I had such a fun time in London, I can't wait to go back and just explore more. I feel so at home and calm there, it's definitely the city for me. Such a good vibe there.
Have any of you guys tried the new yogurts? Tell me your favorite flavaaa in the comments.
(Massive thanks to Alpro & Food Pr, for flying me over for the event.xx)


Santander Spain

irish lifestyle blog
Santander Spain
Santander Spain blog
santa and co santander restaurant
santa and co spain
vegetarian restaurant santander spain
places to eat santander spain
Last month I went to Santander in Spain and thought I would share a few of the photos I took whilst I was over there. The last few are from this lovely café called 'Santa & Co' (find them on Facebook here) which was right up my street interiors wise. I'm a sucker for a good café with fairy lights and mix matched furniture. It reminded me so much of 'Two Hands' in New York, and they had an absolute banging playlist playing throughout the café. It had such a hip atmosphere and all the staff were lovely, considering they had very little English. If you ever find yourself in Santander, I highly recommend you go there for a spot of brunch or dinner. I honestly wish we had somewhere like that here in Ireland, if anything it's a little dream of mine to open a similar style café and to serve up only vegan foods. Some day..... If you're looking for something else to do in Santander, the palace grounds are pretty cool and there's penguins and sea lions there too, as well as a beach and some beautiful walk ways. The city of Santander itself has the most beautiful architecture. I don't think I've ever seen a city which such idyllic buildings, and the views from the upper part of the city were breathtaking. You could really stand there for hours just taking it all in. It was really something else.
My visit was short and I didn't take full advantage of all the things available to do there (my own fault), but I do recommend you take a look on trip advisor to get a full picture of what you can do over there.
Next week I'm off to London for 24hrs, so if you guys have any idea how I can spend an evening over there, do comment below.