Friday, 2 October 2015

Review: MADES Hair Care

My hair is a pain sometimes. It's rather healthy, by-and-large, but it has its issues. Firstly, it's quite fine and naturally dead straight which isn't the best look - volume and movement are a must, in order to avoid flat helmety hair. And, secondly, the ends are coloured blonde and need care to ensure they don't become brassy or too dry.

When I was asked if I wanted to try out a new hair care line from a company called MADES, I had these particular concerns in mind and chose products accordingly, knowing my review would be thorough and uncompromising as I had expectations from the outset. I picked out the Radiant Blonde Colour Protect Shampoo - to add moisture to my ends and keep my blonde bright - and the Wonder Volume Blow Dry Bodifying Spray - for obvious reasons.

The range is labelled as a "masstige" line, meaning that it is affordable and mass produced but aims to deliver the quality one would expect of a much more expensive, premium line. Most products are around the nine euro mark so they are more expensive than some might normally be used to for hair care but are at a much more realistic price bracket for most people. It is also a professional brand which kind of warrants the larger spend than on drug-store level products.

Upon first use, the thing that I immediately noticed was the smell. The shampoo smells summery, like exotic fruits, but isn't sickening or synthetically sweet. It also has that indescribable but distinctive note of "salon" smell that gives a sense of luxury and treating yourself. So far, it's been keeping the brassiness out of my hair and I've been really enjoying the smell and using it. I also think the sleek, clean lines of the bottle with the bright, cute colours are a nice balance of chic and youthful which, again, makes the products seem more expensive and luxurious.

The spray, again, has that salon smell and really makes me feel as though I'm getting a blow dry done professionally even though I'm doing it myself. It does wonders for volume at the crown so I've been using it even when I don't blow dry my hair - which is nine times out of ten. The packaging is similarly slim, clean and cute but the real coup of this item is the spraying mechanism on top which delivers just the right amount of product, even at angles and with ease.

Overall, I'm quite impressed! Especially at the price bracket. I really recommend this line for anyone who likes luxury but can't quite afford to go too mental - especially if you have a lot of hair and run through shampoo quickly!

The line is available online and, in particular, from, is currently available from McCabes, Meaghers and Health Express pharmacies and is being rolled out in others across Ireland. So keep an eye out!










(These products have been sent to me as press samples. However, all opinions are my own.)


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Sunday, 27 September 2015

K-Pop Summer 2015 Playlist

I'm a big K-pop fan and this summer has been a particularly great one for launches and reboots. As summer is now officially over, I thought I'd pop some of my favourite songs from the last few months up here for others to discover/obsess over/fall into the endless pit of dreaminess/sign away their lives to being a lame fangirl.

(Also, the use of the term "k-pop" is being used a little loosely here as a couple acts are probably better described as rock or R&B bands but all are South Korean music groups/artists.)


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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Zoe Jordan X River Island

Last season I was checking out Zoe Jordan's AW15 collection at Somerset House with 160g Magazine and, though I couldn't head over this time around, a little bit of LFW came to me on Monday night. In the Grafton Street store, her collab with River Island was launched in Ireland and, within a couple hours, many pieces were sold out. Fear not, however, as more stock is on its way!

Why did it sell out so quickly? Well, it's got a lot to do with Zoe herself, who has a refreshingly honest and practical approach to designing. She put several of her key hero pieces (the "cold shoulder" jumpers and smoky prints) into this collection, making her famous staple items available to a wider audience, and doesn't discriminate between these pieces and those from her own collection, seeing them as complementing each other. In a more general sense, she also believes in creating trans-seasonal, timeless clothes that reward the buyer by lasting.

With cute party dresses, smart tailoring, tough outerwear, cosy knitwear and dressy tees, the collection will easily fit right into countless wardrobes. And the balance between simplicity, badassery and impeccable fit means that, as she will tell you, Zoe Jordan's girl isn't any one girl but all.

You can shop Zoe Jordan x River Island online and instore with prices beginning at €47.00.










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Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Urban Decay x Gwen Stefani

I normally don't write these kinds of posts, don't feel the need to repeat what's in press releases or could be summarised in tweets because I prefer to put out content that I've directly altered and made my own. However, when news in the beauty or fashion worlds really excites me and I'm in a position of privilege to hear about it early on, I cannot help but feel the need to share it with all of you!

The title has given the news away but: HOW EXCITING IS THAT? Gwen Stefani has been a major inspiration for me since I was ten years old. Tragic Kingdom by No Doubt was the first album I bought with my own money and I've always loved her fearless and experimental sense of style. Considering how bold but put-together said style is, her collab with UD is bound to be colourful and exciting - a perfect match, really.

Gwen has worked with the brand on everything for this limited edition collection from packaging to formulations and is stoked for it. She notes: “When Urban Decay came to me to collaborate, I immediately thought it was a perfect match. The way they've built their company is very similar to my aesthetic and approach. It’s all about creative self-expression, being strong and not being afraid to go outside of the box. Everyone in my life knows I absolutely love make-up. From a very young age, it was an artistic passion of mine. I actually used to be a make-up artist. I love wearing make-up and having so many ways to express myself through it. It’s my war paint. To be able to do a collaboration with people who get that concept and who are just as passionate about it is a dream come true. We've made and created products that I actually wear every single day. It’s the real thing. I'm obsessed with everything we've done, and I can’t wait to share it.”

Can't wait to actually see some of the products now!

The collection launches online from Urban Decay in late November and will be available in Ireland through House of Fraser and Debenhams from December.

Gwen Stefani
Photo Credit: Jason H. Smith / CC BY-SA 2.0


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Sunday, 20 September 2015

Review: Urban Decay Brow Tamer, Game Changer

I try a lot of new products in any given month and, while I enjoy lots of them, it is rather rare for any particular make-up item to really, really stand out. However, I've had a spate of being wonderfully surprised by just how good Urban Decay products really are - the new Brow Tamer (RRP €18.50), in particular.

Before trying it, I saw rave reviews in a few places and that always makes me curious. In fact, I often justify my terrible hoarding habit by saying I need to suss out if cult favourites are all hype or worth the buzz. Sometimes they are but, often, they don't quite live up to the level of absolute praise and adoration heaped upon them.

Only launched in the past few weeks and already capturing hearts, the Brow Tamer, is one such product that lives up to the hype. The packaging is sleek, metallic and slim - perfect for popping in a bag and very much in line with Urban Decay's existing products. Where it gets interesting, however, is the brush. Slim and a little shorter than a mascara brush, it's the perfect length for dragging through the expanse of your brows for overall taming and colour but short and narrow enough for precision and concentrating on certain areas, where you might be altering the shape or direction of hairs.

You also don't get an excess of product on the brush when you pull it out and a mechanism inside seals it off when you push it back into the tube and prevents the product from drying out which is always good when it comes to brow gels and mascaras. Speaking of drying, the product doesn't do that gross thing brow gels are prone to, of going crunchy a while after application. Instead, it keeps everything neatly in place and, if you get the right shade, adds enough definition and colour that you can wear it alone, without pencil or powder underneath, for a more natural brow look.

Overall, it's now my go-to brow gel after a little over a week of use. And I can't see that changing anytime soon.







(This product was sent to me as a press sample but all views and opinions are my own)


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