Sunday, 31 March 2013

Wearable yet dramatic smokey eyes

So "wearable yet dramatic" sounds like I could be saying "hot yet cold pie" or something I know but I honestly did think it aptly described the make up I'm wearing - it's a dark eye colour which makes it dramatic but it's brown which is really wearable and I think this is suitable for any night outs and would suit most outfits too! It's my go to eye look for when I'm in a rush because it is so quick and easy!

Pictures of the look:

Close up - sorry: lash glue is still drying so it's looking a bit grey!!


Products used:

Urban Decay Primer potion
Catrice eyeshadow starlight expresso
Prestige blending brush
Urban decay eyeshadow in darkhorse form Naked 1 palette
Urban decay eyeshadow in creep from Naked 1 palette
Sigma 217 brush
Nyx eyeshadow in black
Paese matte make up base
Revlon Colourstay foundation in ivory
Barbara Daly for Tesco cnceraler in fair
Essence brow powder
Natural collection blush in rosey glow
No7 Amaxing eyes pencil
No7 eye liner brush
Sleek gel liner in dominatrix
Mac eyeliner in smoulder
Shu Uemura eyelash curler
Make up forever aqua smokey lash mascara
Primark false lashes in dazzling
Duo lash glue
Mua Lipstick in 15

Really hope you guys like it - if you can think of an alternative name for the look do tell me below!!

Sarah xx

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What did Katie Healy do?

Katie Healy - Ireland's answer to Dita Von Teese; an elegant cross between old time glamour and modernity, author of one of the top Irish blogs: what katie healy did, a genuinely warm person and owner of the most enviable collection of Agent Provocateur and Louboutins in Ireland!

Recently enough (I say recently because I have no concept of time) Katie tweeted that she would give away some make up to the first two people to respond to her and I was one of the lucky two so I thought I should write a blog detailing what I got. Also how absolutely lovely was that of Katie to do?! There aren't many people out there that would give away something for free, not to celebrate reaching x amount of subscribers/followers or possibly to gain more but to actually just give things away for no other reason than being a generous person. I was absolutely thrilled when I received my package from Katie (wrapped up in delicate blue and black tissue paper) and I knew instantly that I had to write a blog post on it!

I received three Boujois items from Katie: Queen Attitude mascara, blush in rose frisson (frosted rose) and ombre a paupieres eyeshadow.

Sorry for the odd arrangement of these - I honestly didn't even notice til now!!

Queen Attitude Mascara

bourjois blush in rose frisson
close up of rose frisson

bourjois ombre a paupieres eyes

Obviously the eyeshadow and blush are absolutely gorgeous - I haven't tried out the mascara yet because I am finishing up a different one! Thank you so so much to Katie for being so so generous and a blogging inspiration!!

If you have made the mistake of not already following Katie you can do so here:

Thursday, 14 March 2013

RAK swap with Leanne from A Slice of my Life Wales

So I recently participated in a RAK (random act of kindness) swap organised by the incredible Dee from Confessions of a Makeupaholic. I was paired with Leanne from A slice of my life wales. This was the first swap I had ever done and it was such fun! We had a limit of £12/€15 not including postage and it was really cool to try to buy as much as possible within the budget! I wanted to get things that I thought Leanne would like but that I would like to receive too (always find the best present buying method is to buy things you would love yourself too). Anyway I was delighted to receive all my goodies from Leanne and they came in the coolest envelope ever!! 
Even though the same week I got the package I noticed the red envelope in an odd place:

HOLY S***!! LEANNE IS A!!!! :)

Anyway PLL theories aside inside the envelope was a bunch of great stuff:

ELF Vaction Trio Nail Polish Set
ELF HD blush in headliner
Carmex lip balm
A big clump of chocolate to make hot chocolate (obviously long gone)
A really cool badge (which isn't pictured because it's on my bad downstairs and I am lazy)

close up of the nail polishes

I was so happy to receive this and so grateful to Leanne!! Swaps like this are such great ideas because they are so much fun! Thanks so much for everything Leanne! :)

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD - my experience of working with people with disabilities

**Please note I am being excruciatingly honest in this post and I definitely come across as the most selfish, spoiled, undeserving person in the world so I apologize - I think the honesty is necessary though.**

Now for something completely different: This is an issue that is so close to my heart I had to share it. I have never been one to get offended by someone using words, and up until very recently I always thought it was ok to joke about any topic. Summer 2011 changed all of that for me.

I was in 3rd year of my Speech and Language Therapy Degree when I got an email (we had gotten the same one every year since starting college) asking if we wanted to work in a camp in America for people with disabilities. The idea of going to America had always appealed to me but the idea of working with people with disabilities never had (NOT saying that I didn't want to work with them, just that it had never seemed especially desirable or as something I would love or would have thought to do). For some reason however, my friend and I decided to interview for jobs there as cabin counsellors. My friend wanted to go for actual good reasons, I wanted to go because I am selfish and thought it would be so cool to get to go to Sephora and Forever 21 and we both knew that it would be great experience for our course and would look good on a CV. Throughout my life I had only ever known one person with any kind of disability - a friends brother who had Down syndrome - he had (I'm guessing) a very mild intellectual disability, he was in mainstream school and I only knew him for about three years from when he was about 8. Anyway I interviewed and I got the position. As summer drew closer I became more and more nervous - I knew I had no experience with people with disabilities and actually felt quite awkward if I saw someone in a wheelchair etc and the job would involve total care - changing campers nappies, showering campers, feeding campers, bringing campers to the toilet, wiping bums etc.... the thought of which really grossed me out.

Anyway away I went to the camp with my friend, heartbroken that I was leaving my boyfriend of a month behind (we had a looooooong history) and regretting my decision to ever go to America (in fact the day we were leaving my friend and I were freaking out in my boyfriend's car and seriously considering driving straight back home). When we arrived there were lots of other Irish people there who would be working as cabin counsellors and for the first few days the international workers just got to know each other. That entire first week I was so miserable - I missed my boyfriend, there were only three computers for 100 staff, I hated the food, the list goes on....I basically spent the first few days crying or wanting to cry the whole time. This all changed as soon as we started training.

We had a week of training and were then launching straight into the camps. I was so so nervous about all the camps and about training because a lot of the other staff were nursing students and had backgrounds in total care etc. From the second day of training for the camps I knew that I wanted to work with people with disabilities for the rest of my life. This feeling continued - two weeks in I broke up with my boyfriend (not because I didn't love him - but purely because I was spending so much time thinking about my campers that I wasn't thinking about him at all anymore which made me feel horrible and it wasn't fair to him, we have since gotten back together by the way). I knew I had changed when I left my backpack behind at the art centre because I was so engaged in being with a camper - I know this sounds like nothing, but for me (who is always extremely careful of my belongings) I knew that I had completely forgotten myself and my needs for this camper. I tried to do everything for my campers (sometimes this wasn't possible because I am human and I am flawed but I tried to the best of my ability) - one of my campers asked me to go up the climbing tower with her and though I had always been terrified of climbing towers I did it without even thinking. The whole time I was with her I didn't think once how scary it was - I was just thinking about making sure she was ok and enjoying herself.

Never have I been more inspired than when I was at camp by the strength of people with disabilities - I saw people with physical disabilities who had pushed themselves so much that they were doing things I didn't know the human body could physically do, I met amazing people who had been through tragic home life situations but were still smiling and positive. Some of the campers were just so innately good - so caring - I can't even fathom it. There were times when you had to be so patient with some campers - maybe they took 30 minutes to tie their shoe, or it took a long time for them to understand what was happening - but it was so unbelievably worth it, especially when they would look at you and smile or ask you specifically to help them do something like to swim across the lake with them, or ask if you would go to the bathroom with them. There was absolutely nothing "retarded" about any of the campers - they were all amazing in their own right. People with disabilities are not "slow" or "stupid", they deserve the same rights and respect as everyone else. It's true people with disabilities may need extra support to do things that others can do without thinking about it but giving them extra support is not giving them "an advantage"- it is making it an equal ground for everyone.

Although I had learned about person first language from university but I learned person first thinking from camp. For those that don't know person first language teaches that  it's not "autistic person" - it's "a person with autism" - the disorder or whatever it is does not define the person. Earlier I said "shower campers, change their nappies, feeding campers" - it's not called that anymore - it is freshening up with campers, eating with campers, and it really is that; you don't feed a camper and then feed yourself - you eat with them so that you take a bite of your food and they take a bite of their food (even if you need to put the food on a fork for them). If they need to wear a shirt saver (a bib - though not a good term to use because it is associated with infants) you wear a shirt saver. That goes in with the principle of universal design - things are designed for everyone to use, people with and without disabilities. If you look at the social model of disability it says that people have disabilities because society makes it that way. Imagine a stairs - a person in a wheelchair can't get up it obviously, but if all stairs were replaced with lifts then that person in a wheelchair wouldn't be prevented from going upstairs and wouldn't have that as a "disability".

Also I need to put in here about how inspiring the other staff were, one in particular especially inspired me - she had the most amazing attitude and gave the most amazing speeches before camp started and something she said "choose your attitude" will stick with me for the rest of my life. Some of the staff had disabilities too which was amazing because it showed that having a disability does not have to limit a person. Also want to mention a girl I met over there who I was so close to after 5 days of knowing each other people were asking if we had met in secondary school or college. That girl also super inspired me - she was so selfless before even going to camp I honestly tried to change some parts of my personality (the vices like my selfishness etc) so I could be more like her.

When I came home after three months of being immersed in person first thinking and I heard someone use the word retarded I flinched. I don't think people can understand how disgusting that word is or how hurtful it is. When you use "retarded" to describe something silly your friend did it's comparing people with disabilities to stupidity. It is the exact opposite of what we should be trying to do - empowering people, allowing them to be independent with everything, developing proper self esteem and confidence. "Retard" diminishes all of it. I can't even describe it fully because I am not clever enough. I have directly copied something from to illustrate my point as it does it better than I ever could (I know I should really just link the post to avoid copyright but I want to make it as easy as possible for people to read it).

This is the link I retrieved it from:

It started with an experiment where I tracked the word "retard" on Twitter and asked people to reconsider using it. And I've continued to speak out about the r-word and how offensive it is, as have many parents of kids with special needs and others. It's been gratifying to hear people say that they have quit using that word. It's been hard to hear people staunchly defending their use of it or getting into passionate diatribes about semantics and freedom of speech. Sometimes, it seems as if the word might be engraved on people's tombstones, so fond of it are they: Here lies Cassie, devoted mother, loving wife, advocate for the word "retard."

Today is the fifth annual day of awareness for Spread The Word To End The Word, a campaign created by the Special Olympics. To illuminate why the word is so demeaning, why parents take it so personally and why this isn't just about a word, I put together a little quiz I hope you'll share. The prize for acing it: a lifetime supply of compassion, consideration and soul.

1. The word "retard" is another word for...
a) Loser
b) Pathetic
c) Uncool
d) Stupid
e) Clueless
f) All of the above

2. The phrase "That's retarded!" basically means...
a) "That's uncool"
b) "That's ignorant"
c) "That's ridiculous"
d) "That's pointless"
e) All of the above

3. And now, a three-step exercise. First, read this paragraph:

When Ann Coulter referred to President Obama as "the retard" in a tweet last October, Special Olympics athlete/global messenger John Franklin Stephens wrote an open letter to her. In it he said, "I'm a 30 year old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public's perception that an intellectual disability means I'm dumb and shallow.... After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult...."

Then watch this video:

Then answer this question:

If people with intellectual disability are offended by the word and consider it a slur, it's better not to use the word, right? 
a) I don't agree.
b) I think I'm starting to get it.

4. True or False:
• "Mental retardation" was once a clinical diagnosis. When the words "retard" and "retarded" became derogatory slang, however, modern-day organizations, doctors and schools quit using that diagnosis.
• In 2010, Congress dropped the terms "mental retardation" and "mentally retarded" in federal health, education and labor laws and replaced them with "intellectual disability"—and 43 states have passed similar legislation.
• I am a clever person who can come up with plenty of other words to use besides "retard" and "retarded" and "tard."

5. Logic section!

IF you had a child with intellectual disability, and you wanted to empower this child in a world where there is real stigma against people with disabilities, and you pray that he'll never feel like a lesser human being for having disabilities, MIGHT you want people to avoid using a word that perpetuates negative stereotypes?
a) Nope
b) I get it, I get it

6. If you're not yet convinced, consider this: You wouldn't make fun of someone who was deaf or  paralyzed—or use their disabilities as insults, would you? As in, you'd never say "Oh, my boss is such a quadriplegic!" So then...
a) It makes sense not to slam people with intellectual disability by using "retard" as a synonym for "loser"
b) I'm still not convinced

7. OK, then try this fill-in-the-blank sentence where you replace "retard" with another word, and see how it feels:

"She is such a [insert your name/your partner's name/your child's name/your mother's name] for dropping her iPhone out the car window!"

8. If you still insist it's fine to use the word as long as you are not actually making fun of a person with intellectual disability, then you are:
a) Missing the point
b) Missing the point
c) Missing the point
d) All of the above

9. In the last couple of years, when celebs and other well-knowns have dropped the r-bomb, some have publicly apologized. Take Lady Gaga, who used the word "retarded" in an interview then issued a statement that said "I consider it part of my life's work and music to push the boundaries of love and acceptance. My apologies for not speaking thoughtfully...."

This is a sign that:
a) These celebs feel badly
b) Their publicists have told them to feel badly
c) The word is a slur, so publicists consider it important enough to issue statements
d) Lady Gaga should do a song about why the word sucks
e) All of the above

10. This whole thing about people speaking out about the r-word: Is it about censorship, political correct-ness or freedom of speech? Or is it really about consideration, dignity and respect for people with intellectual disability?

a) It's really about consideration, dignity and respect for people with disability.


Do the decent thing and use a word that doesn't insult people with disability, demean them and pain those who love them.

            That summer was the best of my life, and I feel like it will be the best I ever will have. Camp taught me so many things and completely changed my personality. While obviously I am still very flawed and selfish; camp really helped me appreciate so much about my life - it made me a much better person, honestly not one day has gone by where I haven't thought about my one of my campers, or the camp in general. That three months completely defined what I want to do for the rest of my life and the kind of person I want to be. I will never forget how much the entire experience meant to me and how precious every single person is - regardless of physical or intellectual disability. My campers may have forgotten me by this stage but as far as I am concerned they are my sisters and brothers and if someone says anything that seems in any way offensive to someone with disabilities you better believe I'm gonna have an issue with it. Retard, spastic, handicapped, disabled, any words like this or sentiments close to these words and I'm gonna lose so much respect for you instantly. In the 21st century there is no place for ignorance of this magnitude. People don't always realize what kind of an impact their throwaway comments can have - please, please spread the word to end the word or at the very least if you don't want to share it maybe you can just take the pledge yourself here -

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post.

Collection Cover and Go Foundation Review

What the hell is this? Well quite frankly it is possibly the worst foundation I have ever tried. Now I normally LOVE Collection products, maybe that's why I'm so disappointed in this offering, or maybe it's because it's rubbish - I took pictures so you can decide!

I bought this foundation because I thought it would be super handy for just putting in my bag and doing touch ups during the day, especially with the concealer in the lid - it sounded fantastic! I got it for €6.39 when it came out because it was on offer but the regular price is €9.39 (and boy would I have been mad if I had paid full price).

I tried out this foundation one day when I wasn't going anywhere (my favourite time to try out new makeup) and I am so glad I did. You can see from the photos down below that I have quite shiny skin but usually with foundation this goes away and I get a pretty decent wear time out of my foundations (about 8-9 hours), with the cover and go though it did nothing to counteract shine (even with powder) and I actually think it made me look greasier. Collection, if a foundation makes the wearer look and feel like they've just applied a load of vaseline to their face there is something wrong! Besides all that, the colour (ivory - their lightest) was too dark for me (although this shouldn't necessarily deter others because most foundations are too dark for ol' ghostface here). I can't give an accurate estimation of how long the foundation lasted on me because a) I wanted to scrub it off as soon as I put it on; and b) it made my face shiny from first application so there was no way of telling whether it was the foundation or my natural shinyness on my skin.

The concealer looks like it would be good but it has such light coverage - which I understand people may go for in a foundation but surely for a concealer you actually want it to conceal?! As far as I could tell the concealer made no discernible difference to my spots.

Picture time (please excuse the horrific facial expression and insane shinyness)

Blank face

Cover and go foundation

Now I know this doesn't look too dark but trust me it is - you may be able to see better in the next picture....

Spot with no concealer (what a sexy picture title!) (also sorry for the random shadow)

spot with concealer

As I am on a tight budget and hate wasting money my plan is to mix the foundation with sun cream (to lighten it - and maybe use some of my beloved Face Atelier foundation in Zero minus if it need's more lightening) and to give a liberal dusting of powder on my face (possibly every hour) when wearing this product. I love the idea of a foundation and concealer duo for on the go but sadly for me Collection's Cover and Go foundation just isn't it....

Any other "on the go" foundation recommendations for me?

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Clash of the eye make up removers

So it turns out I have a crazy amount of eye make up removers and so in a bid to declutter I decided to pit my removers against each other in an epic battle of wits, strength and courage  effectiveness and price. I did a video solely to go with this blog so you could see each remover in action ( you will note any facial grimaces indicate poor performing make up removers where I had to scrub my arm in an effort to clean it). I have also listed each remover by price per 100mls giving equal opportunity to all.

To start I lined my arm with a marker:

Then I covered it in loads of different make up from gel liner to mascara to glitter.

Then I went on to the actual battle

Contenders to your battle stations please!

Clinique Naturally Gentle Eye Makeup Remover 

Simple Kind to Eyes Nourishing Eye Make-Up Remover Cream
Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
Johnson's Daily Essentials Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover
L'ancome Bi Facil 

Garnier Soothing 2 n 1 Make-up Remover 
Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover 
No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-Up Remover

How did they do???
L-R (as you're looking at it) nothing, nothing, Garnier, L'ancome, Johnsons, Estee lauder, Simple cream, Clinique

L-R (as you're looking at it and starting where my finger is) No7, Simple, Garnier, L'ancome, Johnsons, Estee lauder, Simple cream, Clinique

Here's the video so you can see how they all performed better than in these pictures:

Price per unit (€)
Price per 100ml (€)
Clinique naturally gentle eye makeup remover  
Simple Kind To Eyes Nourishing Eye Make-Up Remover Cream
Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover
Johnson's Daily Essentials Gentle Eye Make-Up Remover
L'ancome Bi Facil    
Garnier Soothing 2 n 1 Make-up Remover 
Simple Kind To Eyes Eye Make-Up Remover 
No7 Beautiful Skin Eye Make-Up Remover 

Cheapest: Garnier Soothing 2 n 1 Make-up Remover
Most expensive: Clinique naturally gentle eye makeup remover and Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Who emerged victorious??
Best product at actually removing eye make up: Lancome Bi-facil (surprise surprise; this is legendary for a reason)
Best drugstore/chemist product at removing eye make up: Johnsons

Overall I recommend Lancome Bi-facil (if you can afford it - if not Johnson's is almost as good), Garnier as it is the only eye and face make up remover which is effective at removing both kinds of make up and Simple nourishing eye cream (this ain't that great at removing but it is nice if your eyes are sensitive - I use it a lot to get any remaining eye make up remover off my eyes and it does work pretty well at that).