Laser Hair Removal or Beast from the East…your choice!

Hello all, from a chilly Athlone!

Oddly enough writing a blog post about laser hair removal might not seem appropriate at this moment in time as we wrap ourselves in layers of clothes to retain some heat. Mind you, unless you want to turn into a beast from the east it’s advisable to get rid of unwanted hair no matter how cold we feel!

Now is the time  ladies to start the process as we hopefully head towards warmer months and holiday time! I I have to say laser hair removal has been on of the best decisions I made late last year. You see, when you are dark-haired like me it’s just such a chore having to shave all the time. Not just that, but the dark hairs grow back coarse too which is never a good look (and definitely not a good feel!! Lol). In the past I could shave my legs in the morning and have re-growth in the afternoon and that is fact. I am always so jealous of my friends with their light downy hairs telling me they haven’t shaved in 3 months. Oh my god, I’d be put in the zoo if I left mine for that length of time! I have gone for waxing too but I just can’t cope with the time between waxing when you can’t shave and you have to let it grow to be waxed. I could never seem to time my wax appointments around occasions where I needed my legs out and just ended up reaching for a razor.

Therapie Clinic was the handiest option for me (right beside the entrance to Athlone Towncentre). It has gained great reputation locally and nationally for the services they provide. I must say when I went in initially I was nervous enough and had a million questions ready to ask, the most worrying one of all was, ‘ Will it hurt?’.  I have to say though I didn’t have to ask one question as my consultation covered all the questions I had, and more. The girls working there are so well trained and are constantly up-skilling plus they are fortunate to have top of the range laser machines. Not alone are they highly skilled and professional, they are some of the nicest therapists I have ever met. You do spend alot of time with the therapists depending on the areas you are getting lasered but I must admit the time flies. The girls are so chatty and you know they love what they do as they speak passionately about their job and about working in Therapie.

I am getting full leg, bikini, under-arm and lip laser hair removal. The under-arm, lip and bikini areas take no time at all as they are such small areas. If I were to describe how it feels I can only describe it as short ‘heat zaps’ on the skin nearly like an elastic band, and ‘hand on heart’, it’s not painful at all. And as for the legs, well the girls just fly through them. They section off each leg into areas with a white chalk-like marker and cover over any large freckles or moles, then place the specialised gel on the areas and lightly go over each area with the laser light machine. Again the legs are not painful. If I were to say anything about the experience, I would only say that the under-arm is probably the most sensitive area, but I guess our under-arms never feel direct heat at anytime.

Lovely white pastey legs!!

 

There is zero down-time and pure aloe gel is applied after the treatment. There may be a small bit of redness but nothing that doesn’t disappear within an hour or two. Of course you can’t have hot showers etc for 24 hours which is a normal, similar to waxing.

As I am half way through my treatments, I can honestly say I am very happy. I have noticed a significant decrease in hair growth. Even the hairs that do grow back are softer and less noticeable and the razor is just sitting in the bathroom gradually being made redundant! The great thing about laser hair removal is that you can shave in between treatments if there is hair growth and unlike waxing you must go in totally hair-free for your laser treatment session as they need to zap the root (you also need to go in tan-free and ensure you are not on any medication either).

I still have a few more treatments to get. The amount of treatments will depend on each person’s hair growth and then you only need a top up every 12-18 months again depending on hair growth.

The current offers that Therapie are advertising prompted me to write this post – they have a pre-Summer Sale which I think is great timing and the prices are amazing.

Give them a buzz or pop into Lisa or any of the fabulous girls in the clinic on Gleeson Street the next time you are in town.

Stay safe and warm over the next few days.

Tanya x

 

Skin is in!

Hello there x

I haven’t written a blog post in ages but when I saw all the fantastic Black Friday offers that Carrie’s Salon has on offer I really had to say my bit and not just post the usual photo on my page.

Firstly, I have been using Image products since April this year and I absolutely love them – my personal favourite is the Vital C mask – honestly, there is no better face mask in my opinion. I suffer from dry and tired skin and working in the hospitality industry doesn’t help as I am always running around in hot air…whether it’s in and out of the spa area or kitchens, it has a detrimental effect on my skin. I pop this miracle mask on twice a week and genuinely I always see a significant difference the next morning.  My two other favourite products are the Vital C serum and the SPF daily moisturiser (the smell is amazing). But don’t take my word on the ‘best’ products from the range, these are the best for my skin. If you pop into the girls in Carrie’s they’ll carry out a skin consulation and they will advise you on the most suitable product  for your skin type.

Not alone am I using Image products since April this year which I love but I have also had a couple of peels and one session of micro-needling.

The micro-needling is something I have wanted to do for a while but to be honest I was too scared. A few of my friends have had it done and my constant question to them was, ‘does it hurt?’.  Anyway, let’s just say the annoyance of my lines and wrinkles got the better of my curiosity and I booked a session with Laura in Carrie’s Salon. The one and only reason I booked her was Carrie told me Laura was her sister (so I knew she’d be fab) and she is a nurse! Sure what could happen me in the care of a nurse? Honestly I was seriously impressed that the treatment was actually being carried out by someone in the medical profession. Don’t get me wrong I know all beauticians are equally as caring and professional but for a scaredy cat like me I knew she would look after me if I passed out! *I am the one who passes out having a pin prick for a blood test at the doctors and that is not a word of a lie!

All set and numbed up! Why am I even posting this photo #morto

Anyway I rocked up with a hundred questions in my head and I didn’t have to ask one. Laura covered it all in the consultation. She told me she would be using the derma pen which is advanced vertical skin needling. Unlike the traditional needling rollers it causes less trauma to the skin, therefore reducing the discomfort. The needles are single use and adjustable to target different areas/concerns. A numbing cream is first applied to the skin and once has you are numb the needling can commence –  the little needles vibrate and pierce the skin. Basically, needling triggers the skin’s natural collagen and elastin fibres by penetrating a client specific serum to the skin, right down into the basal layer. That sounds all very technical and I’m sure you all want to know, did it hurt and did it work?

So let’s be honest here, it’s not like a relaxing facial – there are mini needles piercing your skin so in one word I’d describe it as ‘pinchy’. But the derma pen is moved onto the next part so it’s only a pinch for a second. Laura and myself chatted the whole way through the treatment – she’s worse than me for the yapping, we had such a great natter so the time flew by and I would actually say the whole experience was enjoyable as I was learning loads about skin from Laura too during the procedure. After the treatment ended my skin felt warm and red, a bit like sunburn. Put it this way, you wouldn’t been popping around  the corner to Sean’s Bar for a gin and tonic afterwards!! Haha. I would recommend doing this treatment in the evening time as you can’t apply conventional make up for the first 12 hours and you may be a bit tender too so it’s best to go home and relax.

Redness and dots! Do not leave the house looking like this!! haha

The next morning if you need make-up you can pop on mineral make-up. To be honest the redness had practially gone the next morning anyway. Over the next 2/3 days my skin did tighten and was a little bit itchy but I was lashing on the SPF 30 to moisturise the skin and it as it can be sensitive afterwards. The skin may then flake/shed…mine only did a little bit. After about 8/10 days I started to notice the difference. My skin looked plumper, brighter and the texture felt smoother especially around my chin where I sometimes get a small bit of congestion.  My lines and wrinkles are still there but look softer and I am not obsessing about them as much as the overall condition of my skin is much better.

Approx 7 days later – zero make up and greasy hair! My skin looks good though!

I had planned a ‘course’ of needling as you do need to have it every 4/6 weeks to see a significant difference but as usual time just flew by and I only had the one so I just need to get a few more in the diary now.

As you know by now, Carrie’s is where I go for my skin treatments, products and beauty bits. Very few know that I am actually a trained CIBTAC beautician myself so I tend to do alot of my own bits and pieces. I trained a good while ago and I am non-practicing now…the only one I practice on is myself these days and that’s not great anymore! Treatments etc.  are moving with the times and I am always curious. While I may not be an expert in beauty I do know the biology of skin and what works and what doesn’t. The girls in Carries definitely know their stuff and are constantly up-skilling.

We all have cabinets full of make-up but if there isn’t a good canvas to apply it to, well it doesn’t really matter what you put on your face. So maybe instead of getting the latest eye-shadow palette or foundation this Christmas invest in your skin.

The Black Friday offers are brilliant – as you will see I am heading in Friday for one of my faves…I literally scraped the last bit out at the weekend.

Scraping out the last bit!!

If you have any questions, ask in the comments and I’m sure the girls would be happy to reply if I tag them.

T x

 

 

 

 

Love the skin you’re in!

Hello ladies,

Woohoo it’s nearly the weekend….says she who’s working the weekend but all the same I still love Thursday’s. They slowly roll into Friday and then everyone is in a good mood, especially these days with the mild weather and those few rays of cheery sunshine peeping through, not to mention the great aul stretch in the evenings now! haha

Is it just me or has everyone hopped onto the Image Skincare band-wagon recently? I have been hearing rave reviews about their products and peels. Lately my skin has been driving me mad…it’s dry, it’s dull, it’s tight and let’s be honest, ageing skin is what it is…and it’s kinda frustrating the life outta me. I’ve always had clear skin thankfully with the odd hormonal break-out on my chin but the lines and wrinkles are coming fast and furious – they are all I see when I look in the mirror. I suffer too from dehydration which makes them look worse some days, but of course I don’t help that by downing gallons of coffee daily, working in a warm environment and not getting enough sleep. But sure it could be worse…it’s only skin and ageing is a fact of life, but looking your age is not! Oh to be a young wan again!

I’ve always cleansed, toned and moisturised daily since I was a teenager and have used everything from Nivea to Skin Ceuticals to Clarins etc. so I decided I would give Image a whirl…why not? Sure I have probably tried every other brand on the market anyway and I’d like to jump on that band-wagon for a while with all the famous influencers! Of course, having trained as a beauty therapist and working in the sales and marketing industry for a long time I am no fool either, I wasn’t gonna part with my money just because it works for everyone else (or cos people are paid to say it’s great!).

I looked into local Image stockists and found one right on my doorstep – Carries Beauty Salon here in Athlone. Now I am going to be honest I know Carrie for years since I moved to Athone but have only been to her salon a couple of times in the past, which I was kinda embarrassed about. My own sister is a beautician and whatever I can’t do myself she does for me so I never needed to go to beauty salon in town. Half of the women in Athlone go to Carrie’s – since I’ve gone in I’ve been bumping into everyone I know. She moved to bigger premises a while back to cater for her growing client base and it’s sooo stylish a bit like herself…Carrie is a gorgeous girl, inside and out and a mammy to two adorable twin boys who I love hearing about on my recent visits. But most of all she knows good skin and you only have to look at hers to know that she knows what she is talking about.

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After meeting and chatting with Carrie, I decided to go for an Image Skin peel first before purchasing any products. With the peel you are given a sample size post treatment pack which is fantastic as you receive 5 samples of their various products which must be used after your peel.

So when I heard ‘skin peel’, I was worried as the first thing that sprung into my mind was Samantha from Sex & The City  – remember her chemical skin peel and that scene? She looked like she’d been attacked by a blow torch – totally red and burnt looking! Carrie assured me this would not be the case thankfully. My biggest worry was leaving the salon with no make -up on, nevermind a big red head!!

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The first peel you must get is The Signature Peel. The active ingredients in Image’s peels can be tailor-made to specific skin types but this one is the ‘starter’ peel to prep your skin.

What is is like? Let’s just say you know it’s working! Firstly my skin was cleansed thoroughly and then the gel peel was applied. It feels tingly and warm as it sits on your skin. It doesn’t hurt or sting at all (which I thought it might if I am honest). Then a cooling mask is applied which soothes the skin. The product penetrates down into the 5th layer of your skin which is the living layer where the skin cells are renewed. Most cosmetic brand peels only go as far as the first or second layer of skin. The ingredients in an Image peel include glycolic acid and gentle, yet active ezymes which brighten and tighten your skin (much needed!) and then high doses of Vitamin C hydrates and rejuvenates your skin. Honestly my skin was glowing leaving – the texture was different – it looked dewy and felt so soft and there was zero redness. Now some people will experience mild redness (in no way like Samantha whatsoever) and that’s perfectly ok too as it’s only your skin reacting to different ingredients. I had used products with glycolic acid in the past so maybe that’s why mine didn’t turn red.

After approximately 48 hours your skin does tighten and dry out a small bit – some people suffer from peeling/shedding which is perfectly normal as that is your skin renewing itself. I peeled, but very little, mostly between my eyebrows and on parts of my cheeks and forehead which would’ve been dehydrated anyway.

Every day afterwards you have to use the aftercare pack which I have been doing religiously! I have to say I am really loving the products so far, particularly the Vitamin C Enzyme mask – it’s like an injection of moisture into your skin and is great to prep your skin the night before an event or day out so your skin is smoother for make-up application.

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I have had 2 signature facials in the past 3 weeks and am using my sample product packs still which is great as I haven’t purchased any full size products at all yet. I do see changes in my skin….it’s definitely clearer and brighter, it’s waaay softer (you know those little bumps you can get on the side of your face, well they are gone), my chin sometimes get congested (especially if I am run down or hormonal) and that’s cleared up too. Now lets be real here, the wrinkles are still there but instead of looking at them all the time I am seeing brighter more radiant skin looking back at me so I don’t focus as much on the wrinkles.

I said to Carrie last week I’d love to write a blog post on my peels as I find alot of the influencers who are currently ‘promoting’ Image are younger than me and they receive lots of free samples and that’s ok too, but for me it’s more about trying them out for myself – you gotta always try before you buy!

The next peel I plan to get is the anti-ageing perfection lift peel (still obsessing over the wrinkles a bit!! haha) Carrie’s Salon are also now offering micro-needling which I am very strongly considering getting done next month too. I’ll keep you updated on my skincare journey as it goes along and let you know what products I buy…and if I brave the micro-needling!

Anyway, don’t just take my word – why not pop into Carrie or any of the girls in the salon as they are all experts on Image and skincare as they trained under Jennifer Rock, The Skin Nerd so they know good skin! They would be delighted to do a skin consultation with you so just give them a buzz.

Have a great weekend everyone and remember to love the skin you’re in! (I need to heed that sentiment myself)

Tanya x

P.S. Carries Beauty Salon is opposite Athlone Castle (No.11 Castle Street)

Phone 09064 – 77596 or follow them here on facebook

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Simone Mahler…my new BFF!

Hi there,

Here we are mid-week and mid-Summer…hard to believe really? Clouds all day and now I am actually cold this evening.

Recently I was contacted by Catriona’s Health & Beauty Clinic in Athlone  to see if I would like to try out a new French skincare range they are now retailing, Simone Mahler. I was honest with Catriona and told her I had never heard of it before. After doing my research I found out Simone Mahler started her ‘dermo cosmetic’ company  over 60 years ago and it’s in distribution globally over 40 years but only launched in Ireland early this year. ‘Dermo Cosmetics’…I was interested!

Having a beauty background, being a beauty junkie and always wanting something new for my skin I thought I would give it a go! Dermo cosmetics sounded a lot more scientific than the usual word ‘skincare’ so I was curious. I did explain to Catriona, the owner of Catriona’s Health & Beauty Clinic that my blog is called ‘My Little Love Stories’ for a reason –  I write about what I love, so if I didn’t like or love these products I would not write about them. I think that’s fair enough when you are blogging as we all know the paid endorsements that bloggers get to promote a product which of course is a great revenue line, but I also think there needs to be some credibility and transparency too as I mentioned before in previous posts. I am not getting paid to say I like them or I don’t like them – I am simply giving my honest opinion on the range that was specifically mapped to my skin type and needs.

Simone pic

3 weeks ago I met with Catherine from Simone Mahler who carried out a full computerised skin analysis on my face (eek I was dreading the results!). Basically it was like an ipad that took close-up photos of my skin for rigorous monitoring. My concerns were lines, wrinkles, lines, wrinkles! I was delighted to hear that the findings weren’t as bad I had thought though and Catherine was very complimentary to me…well she said the camera was honest!! Hmmm, maybe all is not as bad as I think!

I have normal/dry skin which was what the camera showed. I also had some slight pigmentation too under my eye area (years of sun holidays definitely being the main cause of that) and there were some open pores around my nose/chin area.  The lines I loathe on my forehead are going nowhere  – by using dermo-cosmetics it will slow down the ageing process but they won’t vanish. The only solution for those pesks  is some kind of cosmetic surgery or needling and I am going to be honest and say that the needling is something I am definitely going to consider…so watch this space! So really ladies no cream will turn back time, it will only help slow down the ageing process so you really need to be looking after your skin from an early age! Ooops too late now for me!

The range that was specific to me was Decrisp’line – this is the preventative range and slows the effects of time – it’s used to reduce the signs of fatigue, to recover suppleness, tone and brighten and to combat the first signs of ageing.

So how have I been getting on? Well so far brilliantly – I think anyway. I guess the hardest part for me is using everything twice daily. I am a divil in the morning – all I do is moisturise my face…occasionally I tone if my skin feels clammy, but other than that its moisturiser, slap on the make-up and out the door. So getting used to a few more steps has been tough and time consuming but I guess if I want my face to show results, getting up a few minutes earlier is only a small effort!

My night-time regime is always my favourite as I love cleaning the day off and this product, the Gelée Satin is without doubt a product that I will 100% continue to use in the future, and my absolute favourite in the range. Firstly it’s so easy to use – you just apply a small amount to your face, massage it in and it turns into an oil-like formula which can be used on the eye area too. Then using a warm face-cloth remove the product from your face. When I say your face feels ‘so soft’ I genuinely mean it – there is ZERO tightness and I have used some high-end gel cleansers/oil cleansers and I have always felt a slight tightness. My sister used it on Monday night and she would have sensitive skin. She commented that she felt she didn’t even need moisturiser after using it…that’s how soft your skin feels afterwards. And she’s a beautician and has literally tried everything on the market!

Gelee Satin

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Looks like a soft coconut oil

Next it’s onto the toner, Tonic Bleu which is light and refreshing and a quick wipe is all that is required as the Gelée Satin has removed all your make-up. Again it is soothing as it contains no alcohol.

toner

The serum and moisturiser are absolutely amazing and my skin drinks them in quickly – there is nothing worse than waiting for moisturiser to sink in so you can apply your make-up…like seriously who has time for all that waiting? Plus they leave a lovely dewy finish on your skin. A few people have commented that my skin is ‘looking glowy these days’ and even Colin said I looked ‘a bit different’ (mind you that could be the few beers talking during Euro 2016!!).

serum

The eye-cream is lovely and rich and a small blob goes a long way…I was advised by Catherine, the Simone Mahler skin specialist to gently massage it in under the eye and over the eye area (each eye 30 seconds). I’m going to be honest and say I only do this at night-time! Well every minute counts in the morning! I just rub it in quickly.

eye

I know you are probably reading this and wondering what’s the difference between Simone Mahler and the pharmacy/supermarket brands that we are all so familiar with.

Well here are a few facts about your skin (which I remember from my beauty course) and which I was reminded of when I met Catherine from Simone Mahler. It’s the skin science stuff and maybe this will explain why Simone Mahler isn’t just your regular skincare range.

Elastin production stops at puberty! Jeez…

Peptides work in the dermis (the base layer of skin – the living tissue) and are a component of collagen which plumps the skin. Stem cells work in the basal layer  where new skin cells are produced. Alot of our favourite brands only penetrate the top layer of skin (the epidermis) never reaching the basal layer where all the collagen and hylauronic acids are produced.

Collagen keeps the skin plump and wrinkle free but here’s a few scary stats –  we lose 1-3% of collagen from the age of 18 years and up to 6% during menopause.

You might ask (like I did) why can’t Simone Mahler products be purchased in  your local chemist/online? The answer is that it’s too active and your skin has to be fully analysed before using it. Then after the diagnosis, a beauty prescription with a clear and personalised solution is drawn up.

I am also trying out the exfoliant scrub and I will let you know how I am getting on with that next week. And I am ‘supposed’ to be using the SPF50 daily too but I am very bold and haven’t even opened it yet! Well I am doing well with what I have so far so I am happy with my routine. I am popping back in for a facial treatment tomorrow too so will have another blog-post for you next week and I’ll let you know the results of that as well!

If you want to find out more information you can contact any of the therapists at Catriona’s Health & Beauty Clinic, Castlemaine Street, Athlone on 09064 74127  – they are the exclusive retailer of Simone Mahler Dermo Cosmetics in Athlone. Give them a follow on facebook too – Catríona’s Health & Beauty Clinic.

Righteo, I’m off to have an epsom salt bath now…get rid of a few toxins but then I might have a glass of wine and put the toxins back in again! It’s a vicious circle!! Well I am off this week, so  it’s allowed!

Chat you soon lovely ladies.

Tanya x

 

 

 

 

 

Beauty begins on the inside!

bodyHey there ladies,

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster of events with me recently between having a trapped nerve in my shoulder and then falling down the stairs nearly 4 weeks ago and breaking a rib. My body is slowly coming back together but at a snail’s pace and I have myself wrapped in cotton wool these days (a suit of armour might be more appropriate though!).

So when I was invited by Fiona Conlon Nally to try out reflexololgy at Therapeutic Treats in Mullingar recently it actually couldn’t have come at a better time.  I love any type of pamper treatment but I had never tried reflexology before I so really didn’t know what to expect. I was delighted to accept the treatment considering my body was crying out for a bit of TLC.

Fiona Conlon Nally is the owner of the business and is a certified reflexologist, massage therapist and reiki practitioner which are holistic therapies that balance the body, mind and soul.  Therapeutic Treats suites are located over Whelehans Pharmacy on Pearse Street in Mullingar (a fab chemist too which I had a good

root around before I left!). From the moment I arrived  there was a sense of relaxation in the room as aromatherapy candles burned and soft music played…I would’ve happily popped up on the bed and had a snooze without any treatment.

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I asked Fiona to explain what reflexology was and how it would benefit me and my body. She explained in simple terms that we all have reflex points in our feet, face, hands and ears which correspond to organs, glands and tissues in our body. When these reflex points are stimulated (mostly on your feet) it improves circulation and removes waste and toxins from the body. Fiona believes that you have physical and emotional energy lines from  your feet which help parts of your body and brain, and when you clear these energy lines it aids you, both physically and emotionally. Lots of people end up quite emotional and teary after the treatment as they are so relaxed as their body releases stress they may have been holding onto. Surprisingly though I didn’t cry (I am no tough cookie by any means and I actually thought I’d be bawling as I cry at the stupidest of things…soaps on tv,  old couples holding hands, every single episode of Grey’s Anatomy ever!..such a wuss!) To be honest, I was just raging it was over as I enjoyed it so much.

So basically Fiona worked on both of my feet,  gently massaging different areas of my foot and toes (it wasn’t tickly or it wasn’t painful, it was just so soothing). Then she applied an oil at the end and gave my feet another gentle massage. For me this was sheer bliss – I just lay back and wandered into dreamy land.

She was able to tell at the end of the treatment that my broken rib was on the left side of my body and she worked on the area of my foot which related to my left side alot. She advised by doing this she would not heal the rib (which was a pity!) but it would help relax the body in that area. Overall she found no problems with me only a little bit of tension on my shoulders (which I do suffer from  –  driving alot and slouching over keyboards and a phone will do that to you!). She also said she usually finds that most people have issues with their throat/tonsils whether it’s from tiredness, hoarseness etc. but she could find nothing wrong with my tonsils. It was then I told her I had no tonsils so she would be a long time looking for a problem with them!! I was very impressed by this! Overall she thought I was in good order considering the tumbles and recent aches and pains!

The reflexology session lasted 50 mins and I was advised to drink lots of water to rehydrate and relax for the remainder of the day to gain the full benefits .

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My bed for 50 mins – sorry the image is so dark but it was dimly lit for the purpose of relaxation.

Fiona also holds Mother & Baby reflexology group classes which help mothers bond with their babies (for example premature babies which may not have bonded early or babies born by c-section).  She also performs reflexology on babies who may be suffering from colic, reflux, constipation or severe teething. I was absolutely amazed at this and I asked her if the babies enjoyed it. She said they loved it as most babies love someone touching their feet and alot of them just fell asleep. One mother told her afterward a session that her baby had cut it’s first tooth without any tears or pain after a course of reflexology, so this is something you mums might like to consider for your baby. And if you would like to train in holistic therapy yourself such as massage or reflexology Fiona also carries out certified training courses.

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Fiona Conlon Nally

So did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I go again? For sure. I guess we are all caught up with looking good on the outside but your physical health is not going to look well if your body and mental health is not balanced. I suppose I never really thought about it too much until I landed literally on my ass at the bottom of the stairs a few weeks ago. We are all rushing along in life; we start in the morning at A and get to Z as quick as we can bull-dozing through the day to tick the boxes; whether it’s getting to work on time, getting the kids to school, organising the dinner, picking up the kids from football we are all under pressure to get to the next place and we never really stop. 50 minutes of reflexology costs €40 and is so worth every minute and every euro. We buy creams and make-up  to put on our stressed heads (paying alot more  sometimes),  but no make-up or cream will work if our inner self is not in good health.  It’s true that you must glow from the inside.

But if you don’t have €40 to spare that’s ok because the fabulous Fiona has kindly offered a reflexology treatment to one of my lovely followers. All you have to do is pop over and like her facebook page – click here: Therapeutic Treats Holistic Therapies and leave a comment on her page with  your name or the name of a deserving friend and a winner will be chosen after the weekend.

For further details or to book a treatment you can contact Fiona.

Ph: 086-0780566

Em: fiona@therapeutictreats.eu

http://www.therapeutictreats.eu

Facebook: Therapeutic Treats Holistic Therapies 

Is there love in the air? Yes, it’s the smell of nail polish!

Hi ladies ,

I hope everyone enjoyed the fab sunshine and was lashing on the sun cream too…long may it last!  I was going to post this last night but thought too many of you would be out on the town or having BBQs – literally everyone I know was going somewhere so I thought it might be better to have some hangover reading for ye today!! I don’t have a hangover (*smug smile) as I was Cinderella last night but I did have one of those new Solero mojito ice-pops…oh my god deeeelish and no hangover after one haha!

If you follow me on snap-chat you will see me snapping my nails every month. There are two beauty treats I love in life; one being a blow-dry and the other is getting my nails done.

I have been a customer of Bagira Nail Bar since it opened back in August 2008. Even when I lived in Galway last year I still made my monthly visit to the salon as I was usually heading home to Meath, or up visiting friends in Athlone so it was easy to work my appointments around around my road-trips.

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On my last visit I noticed they had expanded into another room within the building and I was chatting to Julija the owner about the success of her business and how it has grown over the years. She told me it wasn’t always like that, and when she opened first in August 2008 she actually used to have a snooze in the pedicure chair while waiting for the phone to ring or someone to walk in. As any new business owner will tell you the first year is pretty tough as you have to build your client base and then hope for repeat business. Julija was new to the area too at this time so this was challenging in itself and it included moving her family to Athlone and settling into a new town.

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Before…needing refills.

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After.

But she faced the challenge head on and now Bagira is open  5 days per week, Tuesday to Saturday and she has 4 staff working there!

They offer shellac, gel nails, acrylic nails, pedicures, manicures, file and polish and they have 2 amazing spa pedicure chairs which massage your back and neck, so you can sit back and read a magazine while your piggies are being pampered.

In the beginning I used to get gel tips (to add length to my nails) but now that my own nails have grown I just get gel over-lays (which is gel over my own nail) with a shellac top coat. For years I only got the French polish finish (boring me!) but now I’m a bit more adventurous! The girls there also do fabulous nail-art but I guess I just keep them plain for my job and usually just go for one colour. I have seen the nail-art on others and it’s amazing.

Julija has been very fortunate to grow her business by word of mouth. I certainly know I get lots of compliments on my nails, as do many other customers who go there so I guess we are all walking advertisements of her salon’s excellent work.

Unfortunately, years ago I damaged my large toenail when I was dancing at a wedding. I literally got stamped on and my toenail broke in half…yes, it was sore at the time but I danced through the pain! I went to a podiatrist a couple of years later to see if it would ever grow back but as the nail bed was damaged he advised me it would never grow back fully. So I am now just left with a small stub of toenail (the state of it!). Anyway you will never see it!! Julija builds up an acrylic nail for me every few months and it looks perfectly normal  – well as normal as my horrible feet look! Then she pops shellac polish on my toe-nails. I have to say for this nail-fix I am eternally grateful. I can see myself in my 80’s sitting over in her pedi chair getting my acrylic toenail done! I’m not sure she will appreciate my mangled toes at that age though! haha.

So why do I go there all the time? Well firstly my nails always look brilliant as Julija is such a perfectionist and she knows the shape, length, colours etc. I like (they have soooo many colours). The client care is amazing. My acrylic toe-nail broke off just after my wedding and she opened the salon on the Monday night before we headed to the airport to go on honeymoon so I wouldn’t have a gammy looking toe in flip-flops! Now that was superb customer care, and an outstanding example of the service they provide. Each and every one of the nail technicians/therapists who work there are super-friendly, yet professional (I know I am just mentioning Julija but I have always been her client since day one, but on occasion when she is on holidays I have been to the other girls and I would have no hesitation recommending them too as they are equally as brilliant). I love having the chat with Julija too – we yap away throughout the treatment and the time flies by.

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Not only do they offer nail treatments,  they also offer a full range of beauty services – waxing, facials, massage, lash and brow treatments and they also have a sun-bed. I haven’t availed of any of the beauty treatments as I do most of my own bits and bobs or my sister does them for me as she is also a qualified beautician. She loves when I visit as I have a list for her!! But I know in Bagira salon they are very busy too with beauty treatments as I see the clients coming and going for their their appointments. And they are also expanding further and offering some new services soon, so watch this space and I’ll keep you posted.

The other great benefit of this salon is the location and you can avail of free car-parking as they are located in Monksland (close by Super Valu and The Athlone Springs Hotel) so you can pick up your shopping or pop into the Athlone Springs for lunch/coffee, or if you are like me you can run into Roma for the nicest bag of chips if you have a late appointment!

So if you want to get your nails done for holidays, for the Summer, for an occasion or just a treat, I would highly, highly recommend Bagira salon…but I would also advise booking well in advance as they are extremely busy.

Follow them on facebook.com/BagiraNailBar or you will find them at Suite 1aA, Block C, Gateway Tuam Rd, Monksland, Athlone. Phone: 085-1383012

I hope the sun comes back to see us later…but while it’s hiding I’m going to hit the road to Blanchardstown Shopping Centre for a little look!

Chat soon and have a great week.

Tanya x

Note: I offered to write this blog-post for Bagira Nail Salon – I wasn’t paid or given a treatment. I genuinely believe these girls do a great job and as I am a regular customer for the last 8 years I wanted to give them a shout out on my blog!

Quote nails

But first…foundation!

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Hi ladies,

It’s Friday and it’s a 3 day weekend…woohoo!

This evening I wanted to write a short blog-post about choosing your foundation. These days we are all glued to our favourite bloggers and you-tube tutorials and we feel we ‘need’ to have the foundation they recommend. Of course, hands up, I am as guilty as the rest and I am as easily led, but I have to say I am a little bit more cautious about just running out and buying the latest ‘must-have’ one!

Consider a few of the below points before you buy a new foundation…

Age: Are you the same age as the person promoting the foundation? I remember when I was in my 20’s I could slap any type of foundation on my skin and it looked flawless (well I thought it did anyway). As we get older our skin changes and we may be looking for a different type of coverage (gone are the days of the Max Factor pan-stick  rolled all over our faces!! Oh the good old ‘Nouveau Beige’!).

Skin type:  Remember different foundations are suitable for different skin types so just because it suits one person, it may not suit you.  Any beautician will carry out a skin analysis for you, so just ask the next time you are in a salon.

Marketing: Lots of bloggers, make-up artists and tv programmes are paid to promote a specific foundation they receive from PR companies. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing as they are just another marketing tool that companies use, similar to placing an advert in a glossy magazine, but more effective these days. I would suggest that you follow this person’s blog for a little longer and see if they continue to use the product and then you will see the transparency. Is it just an advertising campaign they are paid to do or a product they genuinely do love?

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So the reason I am writing this blog is because I recently purchased the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation  – of course it’s constantly mentioned by all the top bloggers and make-up artists and that’s how it came on my radar a few months ago. But I did my research on it and I do see alot of beauty bloggers continuously wearing it, so I thought I’d give it a whirl! (If it’s good enough for Pippa, Marissa Carter, Triona McCarthy, but to name a few, it’s worth a try)

Since I mentioned I got it though, I have had so many people asking me what it’s like, saying they are going to buy it and asking me what shade I bought as they will buy the same!! Eh, hang onto your purse for a minute…we are not all clones of me!! God help us all if we were! 😂

Before you fork out your well- earned cash I’ve listed a a few tips on ‘how to buy foundation’ and this applies to all brands and budgets!

  1. Decide firstly if the foundation you are going to buy will be an every-day foundation . At this price (€45 for Giorgio Armani) it won’t be for me! I wear make-up every single day and I couldn’t justify the price of replacing it frequently. That’s a very important factor to consider – the price!
  2. If it’s a night-time/occasion-wear only foundation, you could likely be wearing tan too, so remember that when choosing your shade. Now, you don’t want a big dark head but maybe a half shade or one shade darker than your day-time make-up.
  3. I NEVER test foundation on my arm/wrist/back of my hand….sure why would I? I don’t wear foundation there? Do you? And your skin tone and texture is totally different. If testing foundation on yourself, put a small amount along your jaw-line.
  4. If you don’t already know this, you can book a full make-up application at most of the department stores make-up counters which is free with the purchase of 2 products. So if you are going to an event why don’t you do that? Then you get the face done and you can buy  the foundation and maybe the lippy to top up during the day/night. It will cost a bit more than getting a make-up application done in a beauty salon, but you do leave with 2 products.
  5. Alternatively, you can ask for a small amount to be put on your face and then maybe go off for an hour and review how it looks before you buy. If you don’t have time to do this, most make-up counters give out samples so don’t be afraid to ask…’try before you buy!’ I can’t stress how important it is to check out your foundation in natural daylight. Department store/pharmacy lighting can either be dimmed down/too bright so after application you should walk towards the door with a mirror – the girls on the counter will give you one!

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Finally, this is my top tip and what I did when buying my foundation. I brought the foundations I currently use into the Giorgio Armani counter to do a colour match. These are ones I always use and re-purchase, so I know I am happy with the colour. My every-day foundation is the L’oreal Colour Match and my ‘going out’ foundation is the Lancome Visionnaire (hard to beat,  I might add). The make-up artist popped a blob of each of my foundations on a make-up pallet and then we colour matched the most suitable Armani Luminous Silk shade to those and then I popped it on my face to confirm I was happy with it. Turns out my colour is 3.5 and it’s perfect for me.

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I have to say so far I am loving it. It has buildable natural -looking coverage and while I can’t say it has a ‘dewy’ finish on my dry skin it certainly is ‘glowy’! You would know upon application it is a higher-end brand as it applies seamlessly and moves easily on the skin.  I wore it last Sunday during the day (on a very tired head, so it was hard to review it then) and I did wear it one of the days this week to work to see how long lasting it was, and I must say I was very impressed. It was roughly slopped on at 6.15am and still looked pretty good at 7pm (without any top-up). I have a  few night’s out planned  for May so it’ll be well road-tested then!

Remember you don’t have to spend the world on your foundation – find one that suits your needs, your budget and your skin type and always try before you buy!

Have a fabulous weekend x

T 💖 x 13081953_10207413694793409_1649392965_n

 

Aloe Aloe…

Hi ladies,

Happy Friday lovely ladies. Isn’t it great to see a bit of sun? Ireland is such a nice little country when the sun is shining…pity we don’t get more of it! We’re all in a good mood cos we are all looking for the nearest beer garden or thinking of sparking up the BBQ. Oh I just love Summer drinks and food!

Recently, I was contacted to see if I would like to sample some products from the Forever Living range. I am a bit of a cosmetic junkie and only loyal to a few. I go from brand to brand depending on what’s going on with my skin and how much money is in my bank account! One week it’s the supermarket brands, and the next week I’m in Brown Thomas or Debenhams convinced I need the ‘good stuff’! But of course never one to refuse putting potions and lotions on my mug, I said I’d give it a whirl. My skin is predominantly dry for a few reasons…I don’t drink enough water, I drink too much coffee and I  go from house to car to office, and like you all I’m sure the heat has been blasting for the past few months in all these places.  I’m also at a stage where I’m noticing my ‘rapidly’ ageing skin  – all of my friends will tell you that I’m totally obsessed with my  lines because they are all I see when I look in the mirror. I have very bad dark circles under my eyes too.So basically reading all of that you would nearly wonder why  I would even leave the house at all!

Anyway, the reason I am telling you about my skin is that when you try a product it might be good for a certain skin type but not necessarily good for other skin types so I can only say what works for me.

So what did I try and what did I think?

Well firstly I am very familiar with the brand as I’m sure most of you are! Forever Living Products are made from pure aloe vera and I’m sure at some stage every home in Ireland has bought at least one product. Lots of people I know take the Aloe Vera gel daily and I have heard of so many who did the Clean 9 plan. What I didn’t realise was the vast range of products they offer; from household, skincare, health and wellness, supplements, sunscreen, hair products etc.

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Firstly, I have to tell you about the Aloe Vera Gelly . Since the time I ran my own beauty salon this product has become a firm favourite of mine, so it needed no introduction to me. I use it for many different reasons – easing a burn or a rash, putting it on my skin after waxing (it’s extremely soothing) or just to use it after plucking your eyebrows to reduce the redness. It can also be used to pop around the hairline if applying colour to your hair. It’s colourless, absorbs quickly and doesn’t stain your clothes. And of course if you get sunburn this is one of the best products you can apply to your skin. You can even take a teaspoon of it to soothe a sore throat…that’s how natural it is! I always keep mine in the fridge.

Aloe Fleur de Jouvence Mask Powder

When I met Rachel, the lady who asked me to try out the products she swore by this mask. She said it was excellent for tightening the skin and my God was she right! You add a spoon of Mask Powder to the Aloe Activator until the mixture has the consistency of a lotion, then you apply a thin layer from the neck up. The next part was literally mad!!! You have to limit your facial movement for approximately 30 minutes – I had to check that a few times as it seemed like a very long time to leave a mask on, but it was correct.  It set like cement – not a word of a lie! Colin came in to talk to me during this process and I could just about move my lips but that was it – my face was practically frozen. He headed out the door laughing and secretly delighted I’d say that something actually silenced me!! I found it a strange experience to be honest. But after the 30 minutes I  placed a moistened face cloth on my face to soften the mask and then rinsed it off. I then applied the Aloe Vera toner. My skin was a bit red for 5-10 mins (this is only due to your skin being stimulated) and then it resumed to it’s normal colour. It was so soft and fresh looking I couldn’t believe it! I would highly recommend this before a big event…it’s unreal for smoothing skin and my make up went on flawlessly for days after it. But, as with all products, patch test your skin first a few weeks beforehand.

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My favourite product of them all  was the Aloe Scrub…I had never tried this before and it was just soooo gentle and perfect for every day use if desired. It has very small grains rather than hard granules that you find in some scrubs which will aggravate your skin. If you follow me on snap-chat you will have seen it over the past few weeks appearing in my photos. I keep it in the shower and give my face a little scrub once or twice a week and I have to say this is one I will be buying. It’s just makes my skin look so much brighter and when I apply my moisturiser afterwards it soaks right in and is not sitting on top of dry, flaky skin. It can also be used on the body.

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Other products I tested:

Forever Essential Oils: I burned the lemon one and it was just gorgeous – very energising and left a really nice fresh scent which lingered in the house for days. I have yet to burn the lavender or peppermint – you can buy them separately or in a set (as pictured).

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Aloe Propolis Creme:

A great all-round moisturiser and very nourishing – I used all over my body.

Relaxation Massage Lotion :

I just massaged it on myself…no fun in that!! But, I have to say it was so luxurious. It contains lavender so I used it after my shower one night and it definitely aided a restful night’s sleep – lavender will do that!

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Forever Marine Mask:

This is a really deep cleansing mask – it also contains honey and cucumber extract and leaves your skin feels nourished and conditioned. Unlike the Mask Powder I mentioned earlier, this can be used a couple of times per week.

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I have some other products to test our too including their deodorant, toothpaste and items from the Sonya range (which is another skincare range they retail) so once I try them I’ll let you know the outcome!

So now, the next time you are looking at your aloe vera plant sitting in it’s pot, it might just remind you of what a hard working little plant it is!

If you would like to find out more information or purchase some of these products here are the details for Rachel Jordan who is an independent business owner for Forever Living Products Ireland.  Rachel is based in the midlands but supplies all around the country and internationally too.

Mobile: 0870564708

Facebook on http://bit.ly/Rachelsaloe

Shop: www.racheljordan.myforever.biz/store

Rachel has promised one lucky follower a €50 voucher so head over and like her facebook page over the weekend and I will post details of how to win it tomorrow! You can have a look around her shop too and plan what you will purchase if you are the lucky winner!

Have a fab weekend ladies.

Tanya x

P.S. You know the drill with me…all opinions are my own – I wasn’t paid to say any of the above and I thoroughly enjoyed trying them all. Jeez, when will all this blogger money start rolling in??? haha…I better hang onto the day job!

Looking good in the sun!

Hey there,

How’s everyone? I received  lots of messages last week from ladies asking about holiday fashion and tanning ideas. Wow, is it that time of the year already? I’m not too jealous of ye ladies heading away to warmer climates! 😎

So this evening I’ll answer the ladies who asked about tanning and prepping your skin for the sun.

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January 2015 in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand…no filter! #amazingmemories

I am going to be very honest first and admit to using sun-beds in the past before I went away on holidays. When I say ‘using them’,  I mean only a few times before holidays and only to get the very ‘pastey look’ off my skin. The last time I used a sun-bed was before my wedding in 2013 for 2 reasons…I didn’t want to wear tan on my wedding day (to avoid getting my dress stained) and I didn’t want to be pale as a ghost as I was heading away on honeymoon 2 days later. Now I want to be clear and let you know that I am certainly not advocating the use of sun-beds as they have very high potential to cause skin cancer and can accelerate the effects of ageing, such as wrinkling, sagging and broken blood vessels.  It was a personal choice I made at the time. Similar to cigarettes and alcohol and all the other bad things we are told not to do, they are freely available –  it’s up to each individual if they choose to use them, and of course I do regret it but that was something I chose to do at the time. My blog-posts are honest and transparent so there is no point telling you about all the products I’ve been using since I started going on sun holidays. I probably need a slap on the back of the hand for my boldness…but I’m thinking I’m not the only one who used them.

I am fortunate though that I do tan quickly when I am in the sun but unfortunate to find that tan leaves my skin very quickly on my return home…I can practically see it washing down the plug-hole after each shower! 🙈

Nowadays (not that I am older, wiser and wrinklier!), I opt for a gradual self-tanning moisturiser before I go away. I know alot of people choose a spray-tan before they head to the sun. I got one a couple of years ago before a sun holiday to Portugal, but never again. Between the heat of the sun and the chlorine of the pool and the sea salt, you can only imagine what I looked like after a few days – streak city! I would have relatively dry skin though, so if you have normal skin you won’t end up looking like me!

A few weeks before you head on holidays, I would recommend you use a body brush before you shower. This is used on dry skin. Brush in upward strokes towards the heart to circulate the blood flow. This will remove any old flaky skin too. When you jump into the shower use an exfoliator scrub which removes dead skin cells and any little lumps and bumps and will prep your skin. After your shower lash on lots of your favourite body moisturiser.

My scrub of choice is Tough Stuff Scrub by Cocoa Brown…I swear by this! Available in most pharmacies, supermarkets and Penneys.

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Tough Stuff Scrub & Body Brush

My favourite gradual tanning product is: Cocoa Brown Gentle Bronze.

You apply a thin layer each night for about 3 days before your holiday  – you won’t be mega brown but you won’t be the obvious white Irish person on the beach either. You will have a lovely sun-kissed glow!

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My fave gradual tanning product – Gentle Bronze by Cocoa Brown

Again similar to the body, I tan my face a few days before holidays too – I like to add a few drops of Clarins Radiance Golden Glow Booster to my normal moisturiser and that gives my skin a nice glow. Again, you’re not gonna look like an oompa loompa with this! Just remember one thing with body and face gradual tans…wash your hands after applying. Nothing worse than orange palms!

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Add 2 drops to your normal moisturiser.

While on holidays I always use Factor 50 on my face in the sun – I already have sun spots on my skin from my years of baking in the sun (and from the sun-beds too) so the damage is already done, but I guess I am trying to prevent more. AS2

I use the Garnier Ambre Solaire BB Cream, Factor 50…I don’t wear make up during the day on holidays but I do like to cover all the imperfections and believe me there’s a fair few! So while you are protecting your face with factor 50 you also feel like you have some coverage.

A floppy hat and a good pair of sunglasses are a necessity – Of course these will protect your eyes and your face from the UV rays…but also hide your tired eyes after a few too many late nights and cocktails!

I am prone to cold-sore break outs too when I’m in the sun or when stressed or tired. I have been using Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 45 for the past few years when on holiday on my lips. I also take Lysine supplements before holidays too, which you can pick up in any health shop.

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My favourite suncream is Piz Buin – it’s very moisturising and some bottles have built in a tan pro-longing agent in it too. It’s a little bit more expensive than the  other suncreams but definitely worth the investment. Sometimes they run offers on this brand in supermarkets and chemists – 2 for 1 etc. so keep your eyes open. Regarding which factor to use, it really depends how fair/dark your skin is, so if you are unsure ask the pharmacist in the chemist.

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Last year I thought we would be clever heading to Thailand and I would buy our sun-cream out there.  After our luggage remained in Abu Dhabi for 2 days (not too stressful!!) we headed to the open air market to buy our suncream and some towels…not one of my better ideas – take it from me…never again. Let’s just say we weren’t the two ‘Pastey Paddies’, we were the two reddened lobsters! I’d honestly say there was zero factor in it! We spent 2 days putting pure Aloe Vera gel on each other and before you think ‘ooooh very sexy’, I can assure you it wasn’t!! haha

Anyway lesson learned there…stick to what you know and buy the branded sun-cream you are familiar with.

I hope this helps and if anyone has room in their suitcase for a little one…I’m ready for off!

Tanya x

At boiling point with water-proof eyeliner!

Hi there ladies,

I hope you are all having a great week. There’s a bit of midweek madness going on in this blog-post!

I was in Mayo at the weekend at a wedding and was having a big chat with my sister-in-law Sandra about all things skin and beauty related. We were obsessing over our own facial flaws (she has none by the way!) and the different products we both use. Thankfully this conversation was the morning of the wedding, not the morning after…there were a fair few more facial flaws that morning!

Anyway, she told me two stories that stuck out in my mind following our conversations…the first being a very funny incident that I remember her posting about on her own facebook account a few months ago. Bear with me now while I tell the story and you will see where it’s going…

She had just gotten some fresh eggs and was putting them away when she noticed there were already a couple of unused eggs in the fridge. So, as you do, you want to use the older ones first. As she was putting them all into the same box she decided to mark the older eggs. Rather than using a pen, she used her new waterproof eye-liner which she had also just purchased as it was close to hand! She used it to write the words ‘use 1st’ on the older eggs.

The next morning her husband took out the eggs, followed the ‘use first’ instructions and boiled them…and here is the result! If you are wondering what is the best waterproof eye-liner on the market, I think this might win hands down after bubbling away for 3 minutes in boiling water…unreal or what?!

Rimmel Exaggerate Water-proof Eyeliner only €7.49

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The second memorable piece of info she divulged was how she always gets her tan through the airport security when travelling home from the UK. She uses the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs tan (the liquid one in the tube). It’s slightly over the required 100ml limit, at 125ml, but for some reason whenever she is travelling with it in her hand luggage, this tan is never picked up on the scanner! Now I’m not saying to break any airport rules but it’s worth a try as it’s cheap enough even if it is confiscated and there is nothing worse than trying to transfer tan into a smaller bottle for travelling.

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Did you ever wonder what the airport security staff do with all the stuff they take? There is definitely one aul hag of a security guard in Manchester now with fab skin and eye-brows after taking my Clarins toner, Eliabeth Arden 8 hour cream and a Tweezerman tweezers….I know it’s my own fault but I came from Dublin with them and it was only after the new rules came in. As you can see I am not quite over it yet!!! haha

So that’s it ladies…thanks Sandra for my blog content this week! She told me she actually left the tan behind her by mistake. Don’t worry Sandra it’ll be there for you when you come home again to Mayo…but not if I get my hands on it first!!

Have a good week…I am meeting the gorgeous Roz Purcell on Friday evening as she is hosting an event for us at work. Now in all fairness no amount of make up or any kind of effort on my behalf will make me look anyway decent in a photo beside her…I think I’ll just stay behind the lense!

And don’t be going mad on the vino on Good Friday ladies with the ‘home measures!’. I can foresee the queues already in the off-licenses on Thursday!!

I hope the Easter bunny leaves you lots of nice chocolate too on Sunday.

Tanya x