Saturday, 30 November 2013

A Picture Says 1000 Words

Hi guys! How are you all on this glorious Saturday? I know this blog is coming a little late, but my ma is getting internet in her house this week so I'll be able to blog earlier in the week, yay! Today I'm going to focus on something non beauty related, I'm going to put a little compilation here on some of my favourite photos of all time. I think photos are the most important things that we have that give us a glimpse into other people's worlds, the past, important events, good memories and everything in between. They say so much without using words and evoke so much emotion, again, without using words at all. For those of you that don't know, I am a huge history nerd, I always have been, I love it so so, so much, it's so interesting! Hence why alot of these photos are from the past. So, let's get started! Warning! Some of these photos are highly disturbing, so read at your own risk.

Vulture stalking a child. This photo, without a doubt, is one of the most disturbing photos I have ever seen in my life. Taken in March 1993, Kevin Carter went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for his photo. The vulture is waiting on the child to die so it can feed itself. Haunting. The fate of the starving girl is unknown. Carter was criticised for not helping the child. He said he took the photo and chased the vulture away. Consumed with the guilt of not helping the child and what he witnessed, Carter committed suicide 3 months later.

A wall of an Auschwitz gas chamber. My favoutite topic in history is World War 2 and The Holocaust, it's a fantastic example of how twisted and heartless people can be. The world will never forget the atrocities committed by mankind in this era. On the wall of the gas chamber, there are fingernail scratch marks etched into the concrete walls. This is highly disturbing and we today could never understand what it was like inside the gas chambers at this time. In other gas chambers in several other death camps, you can still see these marks and even prayers scratched into the walls in people's final minutes. Auschwitz is a place I have to see when I start travelling someday, I am undecided whether I will enter the gas chambers, I don't think you would ever be the same when you come out of one.

Children running from a napalm attack. This photo was taken by Nick Ut, in 1972 during the Vietnam war. It shows terrified children running from a napalm attack when a south Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped napalm on their own villagers, a mix of gelling agent and petroleum which sticks to skin and causes severe burns when on fire. In the middle, nine year old Kim Phuc ripped off her burning clothing. This photo added to the anti war sentient in the US and communicated all over the world how brutal the Vietnam war was. After Ut took the photo, he took the children to a hospital in Saigon.  

Onto a lighter and happier photo. I adore this photo so much, I really do. The photo shows the child asking Santa Claus for his father to come home, unaware that his father is already home and ready to surprise him. I love photos of children and soldiers seeing each other for the first time since they were deployed, it really pulls at the heartstrings. :) I would have loved to have seen a follow up photo to this. 

Two childhood friends meet during a demonstration, one is a striker, and the other, a policeman. From what I could gather of the backstory, this was taken in Saint-Brieux, France, in 1972 by Jacques Gourmelen. The protester in the photo recalls seeing his childhood friend and remembers feeling an intense rage  “We were at a boil. ''When I recognized Jean-Yvon amid CRS, I blew a fuse. I grabbed him by the collar and I cried. I was telling him, go on, hit me. He would have never raised his baton on me.''. This is one of my favourite photos ever, it's amazing that two friends known as ''inseparable'' went on such different paths to the point that they would eventually have to clash with one another. The emotion on the striker's face really says it all. 

Graves of a Catholic Woman and her Protestant husband. Because of their different religion, the husband and wife were not allowed to be buried together. After 38 years of marriage, the husband died in 1880 and he was buried against the wall of the Protestant part of the graveyard. The wife died eight years later and decided that she did not want to be buried with her family, but on the opposite side of the wall, the closest she could get to  her husband. The clasped hands connect the graves through the wall. I think this is such a beautiful idea, and that in death, they are still together. I think it's so sad that they could not be buried together just on religion. It was a grand idea on the woman's behalf to make sure she is buried as close to him as she could get, I love it.

If there's anything, anything that makes me go 'Awwwwh!', it's cats. This photo and a photo compilation of several firefighters rescuing cats caught in fires, are the photos that cheer me up and remind me that there are decent human beings and that there is so much good in the world. Nothing restores my faith in humankind more than these photos. To have the good heart and go in for a small animal, and make sure they are okay, is so, so heartwarming, it makes me feel great. There is so much good in the world. People like firefighters and paramedics are our everyday superheroes that deserve our awe and respect. :)

Vietnam street execution. This photo depicts Tet Offensive general Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a Viet Cong prisoner on the streets of Saigon. This was the most iconic and famous photos of the Vietnam war and lad to the growing disgust of the war in the US. What's not depicted in the photo however, is the context. The executioner, according to Eddie Adams, who took the photo, was a good and fair officer, and that the man he had executed, not only killed a south Vietnamese police officer, but his civilian family members. This shows that context is so important in a photo, and that the executioner was not a cold hearted killer that he was made to be, before the context was explained.  

Flower Power. Taken on 21st of October, 1967 by Bernie Boston, this photo shows a young Vietnam protester sticking carnations into the rifle of a National Gaurdsman. In the Flower Power era, flowers were used symbolically against politicians and police, to fight civil violence with peace. I love this photo so much, it is like a stone thrown into water and it has a ripple effect, any protest after, flowers were handed to police and politicians. It gives us a glimpse into the past and shows that the protesters meant to come in peace, that they did not intend for violence to break out at the protest, as they were protesting for peace in Vietnam. It's  representation of the anti-war moment in America. This photo truly says 1000 words.

Well, I hope you all enjoyed that different post and I hope you loved the photos and they affected you like they affected me. Above all, I hope they made you think.
Thank you all so much for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim.  :)

Friday, 22 November 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation

Hi guys! I hope you all had a great week! Thank god it's Friday, am I right? This week really dragged on! Anyways, today I doing a beauty review on the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation. I wanted a change from my Max Factor Lasting Performance, which I adore, but I thought I'd try out something new. I love Bourjois make up, it's a great high street make up brand for a decent price tag, I adore their packaging and make up in general. The Healthy Mix foundation is normally €15, but they had some of their products on sale, so I got it for €10, very reasonably priced! This foundation  in particular, had some fantastic ingredients in it. Apricot for radiance, melon for hydration, apple as a anti-oxidant, and ginger for energy. 

I loved the pump packaging alot! It was handy, not messy and it showed how much you had left in it to use. I got it in the lightest shade they had, shade 51, of course it brought me up a couple of shades darker as I am whiter than Christmas, not too worry though, it wasn't too noticeable. I really, really, loved the smell of this foundation! Very fresh and fruity, the smell of apricots was beautiful, I got a few compliments off my friend on how nice my face smelled (Hi Aoife ;)). This was so easy to apply and once it was on, you hardly felt like you had make up on, it was lightweight and it felt like a second skin. It gave my skin a really healthy and radiant look, very natural looking, not cakey at all. It also made me look alot more awake, exactly what I need right now as my sleeping pattern is messed up and it can be disturbed. 
(Healthy mix swatch, and blended swatch)

However, on my normal to combination skin,it made my skin slightly oily, especially around my t-zone. I'm not sure if I can attribute this to the foundation, but it did not feel oily when I used my Max Factor foundation, I had to counteract this with some fixing powder. It claims it lasts for 16 hours, it doesn't last anywhere near as long as that. It lasts for eight to nine hours at the most. It didn't have as much coverage as I would have liked, either. I would recommend this foundation for those with drier and duller skin types, it would bring it back to life. As for the Fruit Therapy, I did notice a difference in my skin after applying it, not just in skin colour but health wise too. The apricot did make my skin look more radiant, the melon did hydrate my skin, the ginger put a bit of energy in to my skin, making it look more awake. However as for the apple anti-oxidant benefits, that remains to be seen. 
(After using healthy mix foundation, just applied)

All in all, it was worth the €10, a good foundation and a good price for a Bourjois foundation. I think it is more suited for drier skin types. If you wanted to make your skin look healthier, the Bourjois Healthy Mix foundation is worth a try. As it made my skin, more so my t-zone slightly oily, and I didn't get the coverage I would have liked, I'm not too sure if I would repurchase this foundation. Don't get me wrong, it is a great foundation, I just don't think it suited my skin in particular. 

As always, thank you all so much for reading, 
Have a great weekend,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser With Shea Butter

Hi guys! Are you all having a good day? :) I'm doing my first beauty review in a few weeks on the Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Shea Butter. Like I mentioned in a previous review, I needed a change of skin products for the Winter, as my skins tends to dry up really badly because of the harsh weather, I love the cold weather, it doesn't love me, unrequited love. </3 Anyway, this cleanser claims to take away make up, unclog pores, while maintaining skins natural moisture balance, leaving skin soft and smooth, and neutralising the drying effects of hard water, according to the Clarins USA page. After using the cleanser for almost a month now, I can the these claims are completely true! 

First, let me talk about the smell. Oh my god. It smells absolutely beautiful. Buttery, nutty, like raw cocoa butter, chocolately, due to the shea butter in it, aaaah. The smell lingers aswell, amazing smelling stuff. The texture is thick and rich, very creamy, perfect for Winter, you know just by the texture it will really hydrate your face. I feel the packaging could be more practical, I wish it had a pump so I could get more out of it, but it's grand, because I will cut it with a scissors and scrape out the last of it, to get my money's worth. ;) A little really goes a long way with this cleanser, I had a Clarins cleanser before, at 75ml, it lasted me from June untill September, this cleanser is 125ml, so I know I'll get months out of it! When I went to buy it, there was noone at the Clarins counter, so I bought it at the main counter, so I got no free samples to try out, as I had before, wah. :( At €21.50, I did my research on it beforehand, and I think the results and the longevity, it's well worth it, but a few free samples would have been nice, too. 

Something you would want to take into consideration when buying a cleanser is the ingredients, the less chemicals the better. This cleanser is best suited for dry and sensitive skin, and it has some really nice ingredients in it. Shea butter, which protects, nourishes and regenerates the skin. Pro vitamin B5, that helps preserve the skin's natural moisture balance. Katafray bark extract, which prevents moisture loss. Tamarind fruit acid, eliminates dry skin, blocking pores. Cottonseed, leaving soft and smooth. Bio-Ecolia, also prevents moisture balance. Lastly, it has an ingredient which shouldn't be in a product for dry and sensitive skin, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, the ingredient that helps it to foam up. SLS has been known to dry skin with prolonged use, and worsen skin conditions like hypersensitivity. I use this every morning and night, wetting my face and using a small blob, massaging it deeply into my skin, leave it for a minute and wash it off and pat it dry. It foams up somewhat, but not alot, which I really like, and it leaves no residue on the skin. The results were great, my skin was left glowing, soft and supple, moisturised and hydrated, without making my skin oily! The dry weather has not affected it at all! I absolutely love it! I would definitely repurchase this. However, it was not absolutely transforming, I wish it had gotten rid of my stress spots too, but I found Micellar water got rid of those, but it never said it would prevent spots, so that's grand. 
(Cleanser swatch)

When using this, it feels very soft and gentle on the skin, and when patted dry it feels soft and hydrated and moisturised, it feels like there's a protective barrier on your skin but it doesn't feel heavy or anything like that. Your skin can tend to look quite dull during the Winter, and I feel this cleanser brings it back to life and makes the skin look radiant. Another plus with the Clarins cleanser is that it is quite good at removing make-up! However, I'm quite meticulous with my skin cleaning routine, and I don't like the though of make-up left behind and clogging my pores, so I use L'Oreal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Purifying Micellar Solution beforehand to take away make-up, which I will absolutely RAVE about in an upcoming post! 
I love this cleanser so much, I will definitely repurchase this, it's perfect for Winter, it does exactly what it says on the tin! The addition of SLS and I wish it would have gotten rid of my stress spots, I give this a well deserved 9/10, I highly recommend it! 

I hope you liked this post as much as I liked writing it, 
Thank you all so much for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim :)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

My Winter Essentials

Hi guys! I hope you are all having a wonderful week! Sorry I haven't been so active on the blog and commenting scene, I recently moved house... sort of. The place does not have internet yet :( so, I came to the library to put this blog up. Now that we are two weeks into Winter I thought I would write up a blog post on what I consider to be my ultimate Winter essentials, the products, and clothes, I need especially this time of the year, and rely on. I don't know about you guys, but I absolutely love Winter! The cold, crisp weather, the shorter evenings, breaking out the cosy clothes, and of course, Christmas! However, I don't think Winter is so keen on me. The weather I love tends to wreak havoc on my skin, nightmare normal to combination skin.... anyway, here is my Winter essentials list. :)
Lip scrub
Chapped and sore lips happens to be a year round problem from me, since I was fairly young. Two or three hours without Vaseline, my lips are killing me. However, it does get worse during the Winter, and I find  good lip scrub calms them down aswell, and it also moisturises and exfoliates away all the dead skin, and I get more wear out of my lipstick too with it on. I use Lush's Bubblegum lip scrub, and I love it. 

Face scrub
With normal to combination skin, my T-zone tends to be oily sometimes, my chin is prone to break outs, other than that, my skin is usually really good, I don't really breakout anywhere else else except my chin. But during Winter, all hell breaks lose, and my skin makes me want to cry. My whole face feels dry and tight, not only that, but my hairline flakes up some Winters at the very worst! So, if your skin is like mine, I'd recommend a decent face scrub. It with gently exfoliate away any dead skin, and any decent face scrub should leave your skin feeling fresh and moisturised, I use Lush's Ocean Salt, I would highly recommend it, as the avacado butter in it really moisturises the skin. 

A decent moisturiser
No matter your skin type, every skin needs moisturiser to protect us against the elements. In the summer time, I use a light feeling moisturiser, such as Garnier moisture match, which I love. However, in the winter, I switch over to thicker, richer, creamy moisturiser. At the moment I am using Simple's Kind to skin replenishing rich moisturiser, and I am loving it, and I apply this in a circular upwards motion twice a day. I would recommend trying to get a moisturiser with SPF to protect against the cold and the wind. Winter time especially, our skin needs that extra boost of hydration.

Thick black tights
Now, onto the clothes side of things, I believe that thick black tights are absolutely essential for every wardrobe. It's a handy piece to transfer summer clothes to winter clothes, so it's easier to wear more of the clothes in your wardrobe year round. They look great with skirts and shorts. Penny's/Primark do amazing fleece lined black tights which I love. 

Cosy jumpers
One of the great things about winter is that it is finally time to break out the cosy, over sized knitted jumpers! I would wear them all year round if I could. They look great with a pair of leggings and knee high boots. It's something just to be cosy and warm in, I think it doesn't really feel like winter untill the cosy jumpers come out to play! I have a few in my own wardrobe, I take a size small in a jumper, but I like mine baggy so I get a size medium or large. I hope to invest aswell in a tacky Christmas jumper, a la Hal from Malcolm In The Middle. ;)
(The nose flashed too!)

That hoodie
You know what hoodie I'm talking about, that hoodie you just live in during the Winter, probably Autumn aswell, the hoodie you live in, and sleep in. It's a hard thing to part with and because of this, it probably gets washed twice in the three months, but that doesn't matter, because it feels like heaven, and you can't just wash heaven. Mine is my purple college hoodie, money well spent.

A decent coat
I firmly believe, every single girl, and lad, should have a proper coat in their wardrobe for the winter. It should go with most things, keep you warm and snug, fit you properly, and preferably, be stylish. It's an investment piece that won't always come so cheap, but once you have it, you'll have it for years to come, provided you make the investment. It's a wardrobe must have, an absolute essential.

A snood or a scarf 
I'll be the first to admit it. I absolutely cannot hack scarves! I think they can be too fussy, I get hot way too easily, so I don't like them. If they are too loose, I look swamped, if they are too tight, I feel suffocated. If you're a scarf person, that's great, but if you don't like scarves either, a fantastic alternative I find, is a lovely snood! All you have to do is throw it on and Bob's your uncle! Dunne's Stores have lovely ones in right now, big knitted thick ones in burgundy, navy, forest green, cream and black for €12, or lighter, but still extra snug ones in the same colours for only €6! I got mine in burgundy. :)

Hot chocolate
Lastly, but not least, hot chocolate. Not a beauty product or clothes, I know. But what's winter without a good cup of hot chocolate? I make a mean hot chocolate, with Option's Mint Madness, milk, marshmallows and a dash of Mint Madness on top. Delightful. It always goes down well with a nice aul chocolate bar of your choosing.

I hope you all liked this blog, I will try next week to blog twice next week, hopefully, we'll be getting the internet in soon, I really hope so!
Thank you all for reading, 
Stay fab xo
Kim :)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Bit More About Me - A Quick Update

Hi guys! I hope you're all having a wonderful day as always. :) At the weekend, I bought a good few beauty products as Winter has finally arrived, I needed some to get me through what's usually a really harsh Winter weather wise. But at the moment, I'm trying them all out and gathering my thoughts on them for you guys for review posts next week, I need to give them time to work their magic before reporting back. So today, instead of a beauty post, I thought I'd share a bit more about myself with you guys. :)
If you know me, you will know how much I adore baking. I learned how to bake from my mother when I was three, I would help her in the kitchen bake everything from scones, cakes, tarts, crumbles, cookies and cupcakes. She learned how to bake from her mother and so on. It wasn't untill I was seventeen though that I decided I wanted to be a chef, so when I went to college, I did a 2 year full time course in Culinary Arts, I graduated with a Higher Certificate - and with good grades. As much as I loved the course, it was there I decided I did not want to be a chef, but I got more and more passionate with baking. Now, I hope to open my own coffee shop with my own baking with a Round The World theme and live music at night time sometime in the future. Along with beauty and fashion, baking is my biggest passion. (I rhyme too) Since I was very young, one of my biggest dreams has been to travel the world, hence the Round The World theme.
I guess why I felt the need to say this here is because, there will be a slight change in my blog posts, I will continue to write about beauty mostly, but the odd blog I will be posting pictures, recipes and methods here for you to try yourself at home! I think it will be a welcome change! :)
On Monday, I saw one of the bloggers I follow on here, Beauty and the Baker, had a guest blogger, Gillian from Always Unrepresentable, put up an amaaazing recipe from Nutella chocolate chip cookies, and I just had to try them! You can find the recipe here. How delicious do they look?! So yesterday, I gave the recipe a whirl myself, and I took some photos:

They tasted amazing! They had that unmistakable taste of Nutella, they were gooey and crunchy, the perfect cookie. I highly recommend giving this recipe a try for yourself! They went down nice with a cold glass of milk. :) 

I hope this change I'm making to my blog is a move in the right direction, I think it is, and I hope you will all love my recipe posts to come in the future. I will be back with a beauty post or two next week, so stay tuned and keep reading.
Thank you all for reading, 
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)

Monday, 4 November 2013

The Best And Worst October Products

Hi guys! I hope you are all having a great afternoon! Now that we're into November, and Winter, my favourite season ever, I thought I'd do a blog on two products I bought at the start of October. One I love and one I found absolutely useless! So, lets just dive into it!

Best- Andrew Barton The Straight Answer Hot Iron Protection Spray
I really loved this heat protection spray, I try to look after my hair as best as I can, but sometimes I either curl, straighten or blow dry my hair so a heart protection spray is a necessity. I tried a heat protection hair mask from the Andrew Barton range, which I adored, so I thought I would try another product from the range again. I love the packaging for the Andrew Barton range, not too girly and the colours stand out, so I love that. It can be used on wet and dry hair, so it protects against hair dryers too, but I try to completely air dry my hair, so I only take 5 minutes with a cool setting on the hair dryer, so I only really use it for curling and straightening, but I'll try to get into the habit of using it when I dry my hair. It really protects the hair, and that's really obvious, after I style my hair, it looks healthy smooth and the ends don't look frazzled at all. It leaves my hair shiny, soft and very smooth. Another thing I love about this spray is that is doesn't leave your hair feeling sticky like other sprays might. The smell is absolutely gorgeous aswell, quite fresh and like sweets, and the smell stays after you style your hair, and makes your room smell beautiful in the process! It is so cheap aswell! At around 5 euro, this is so well worth it! 10/10. I would definitely repurchase.

Worst - La Roche Posay Themal Spring Water
 Now, it's not that I hate this product, I just found that for me, it was absolutely useless. That being said, that might not be the case for you. I found it to be incredibly over-hyped. I wanted to try it though, with 33% off, this came to almost €7, not worth the money, at all. It seems to be one of those fad type products. It did absolutely nothing for my skin. It claims to be softening, which I do not think is true. It was just like spraying normal water on your face, nothing special, no luxury feeling. The woman at the counter told me it would work like a toner, which it doesn't. All it really did was cool my skin a little, and even at that, my cheap Garnier toner did a hell of a better job at that. The spray does not sink in whatsoever either. It seems like a completely unnecessary step in the face cleansing routine. Do yourself a favour and save your money and buy a decent toner instead. I might just use it to soothe my upcoming tattoo chances are that Bepanthen will work alot better anyways. I really expected alot better from this brand, I won't be repurchasing. 2/10. 

I hope you liked this blog, and any feedback is appreciated. I would just like say that a few days ago, my blog hit 800 views! Not only that, but I have been getting more comments on my posts and great feedback, so thank you all so much for taking the time to read my posts and comment, it's such a confidence boost and helps keep me going. So thank you all for the support :) and don't forget to follow me. :)
Thank you again for reading,
Stay fab xo
Kim. :)