Category: Beauty

Finding my fashion and beauty secrets!

I have always loved fashion, but as I am getting older and my shape is changing, I find that sometimes I struggle to know exactly what is right for me.  What is going to make me feel great!

I was delighted to be approached by Andrea Pflaumer – best selling author, to be part of a new online video series.

Shopping for the real you!

Andrea Pflaumer is hosting an amazing series where 20+ experts, including myself, are sharing wonderful tips on fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and wellness.

It’s called Shopping for the Real You: Expert Edition and it starts on 12 July.

It’s really easy to get involved.  Simply subscribe by clicking on the link below and the video interviews will be delivered directly to your inbox!

In this series, you will learn:

  • Dos and don’ts of fashion
  • How to boost your self-esteem
  • Beauty and health tips
  • How to achieve a healthy lifestyle
  • Saying yes to yourself
  • Identifying and choosing healthy relationships
  • Keeping your mind active and clear

You will also learn my beauty secret!  The one product that I absolutely cannot live without.

Join in with these fabulous ladies.  I will be watching all the videos hoping to get lots of inspiration.   Join me by clicking HERE

I am proud to be me

I am 55 now and every wrinkle that I have and every lump and bump I have earned.  I am delighted to be authentically me and encourage everyone to be themselves.  In my opinion that is the thing that makes women truly beautiful – Just be authentically you.

Thank you for reading and for listening – I will be sure to let you know when my interview is published!

Kerry x

How often do you replace your make-up?


In many cases not often enough.  I fall in love with a palette and keep going back to it.  Or sometimes I forget about something (in amongst the clutter that is my make-up table), and then find it again.

I got a harsh reminder how important this is when woke up with an infected eye and had to go ‘naked’ for a week.

Yes, I can see clearly now

A second reminder arrived on my return from holidays,when attending a routine eye screening for diabetic retinopathy.  I must admit that I had put it off and kept on postponing.  A commitment to put my health first had me booking the appointment and sunglasses in hand, I set off.

It is simple.  You receive drops in your eyes, wait twenty minutes as the pupils dilate, and then a photo is taken of the back of your eye.  Your vision is blurry for a bit and you should guard your eyes against sunlight.

Unfortunately for me something went wrong.  Within half an hour I had intense pain in my head and eye sockets and couldn’t even open my eyes without getting a wave of nausea.  Thankfully I was able to react quickly and check into A&E where I received some treatment.  It wasn’t the end of the story though as I was sent to an eye specialist the following day, to find out that there had been some eye damage which was to be treated with steroid drops.

It was scary, and a huge reminder to be grateful for the things we take for granted like sight.

I haven’t worn make-up for over a week.  I am really determined to protect my eyes.

Make-up shelf life –  how long is too long?

I did a bit of research, and what really resonated with me was to look at your make-up like food. If it smells odd, looks odd or has changed texture – throw it out.  It can also be a good idea to note the date you bought it – and then simply check back.  Storage is also important and keeping lids tightly sealed and out of direct sunlight will protect your make-up and of course your skin and eyes.

When it comes to make-up shelf life, I will be stickign to these guidelines

  • Mascara and liquid eyeliner– 3 months after opening.  This is the most critical when it comes to infections as bacteria is carried back and forth on the wand.  It goes without saying that if you have an eye infection, treat yourself to a new mascara no matter how old it is.
  • Eye and lip pencils can be kept up to 2 years, if you are using a clean tip.  Invest in a great sharpener and use before each application.
  • Powder based products such as eye shadow palettes and powder brushes should keep up to 2 years, but if it smells odd (this happened to me) then throw it out.
  • Lipsticks can last up to 2 years – unless it’s your favourite colour, in which case it will be used up!  Again, keep an eye on the product and if in doubt indulge in the latest shade.
  • Foundations and concealers have differing shelf lives, normally ranging from 12 to 18 months.

Caring for your make-up brushes and using clean sponges and applicators will extend your products and keep your make-up and your skin in perfect condition.

I have learned my lesson and am off to tidy up my make-up table.  Thank you to Isadora Ireland and The Works PR who gifted me two fabulous new mascaras that arrived just when I needed them.  (Look out for them during May in pharmacies and Shaws as they are 50% off!)

Thanks for reading

Kerry xx

 

Time to love my nails

I always think that it’s important to have pretty nails, especially when your hands are on display. As I teach art and craft – this is quite often.

Over the past few years I have really struggled.  My fingers have lots of lumps and bumps because of arthritis, and are often swollen.  My nails have simply been a disaster area.

Years on methotrexate (a chemotherapy based drug used for arthritis) saw them in a dreadful state.  They were so ridged they were like corduroy.  That isn’t the worst.  They split – vertically, and flaked and some of them simply stopped growing.

For someone who has always had a nail polish library this was quite distressing.  I must admit that I neglected my nails too.  It just became depressing.

There is nothing I can do about the lumps and bumps, and nothing I can do about the fact that my hands are in their fifties just like my body.  There is however quite a lot I can do about my nails.

Since I have been off methotrexate my nails have slowly started healing, but are far from fine.

Making a Nail Commitment

A couple of months ago I made a commitment to myself.  I was going to take care of my hands.  They may be arthritic but they are the only hands I have.

I set myself up with hand cream – my choice was a nourishing hand and nail treatment from Roger+Gallet – aptly called sublime.  This brand has been going for years (my granny used it) – truly standing the test of time. I placed this along with some cuticle oil next to my sofa spot and promised to nurture my hands and nails every day.  What a difference this has made.   Things have improved significantly but unfortunately the ridges are still quite prominent.

Treating myself to Mavala

I went off to the pharmacy to treat myself to a new colour.  I love Mavala – the little bottles of delicious colour remind me of paint.  They never go hard and you can build up a whole library of little pots of deliciousness.  I chose a gorgeous pearly shade called Rose.

The real find for me was the Mavala ridge filer from the Nail camouflage range.  At nearly nine euros I had to have a little think about it.  I then reminded myself that I was taking care of my body which does so much for me.

What a brilliant little pot of goodness.  I used it as an undercoat and it was brilliant.  My nail polish went on smoothly and lasted for days!

I really think it is important to give our body and in this case our hands a bit of tender loving care.  Now all I need to decide is which colour to add to my library next.

Mavala is available from most pharmacies. 

(This isn’t a sponsored post – I bought the products myself and absolutely love them)

Thanks for reading.  I hope this inspires you to love your hands too.

Kerry xx

 

Feeling fresh with Pit Putty natural deodorant

I love smelling fresh, and I don’t like sweating, but then again I don’t like deodorant or antiperspirant.  The stingy spray is painful and the fumes choking.  This is not something I often reveal.

One day I was trawling through Facebook and came across a fellow blogger’s review of Pit Putty.

Avril, blogger at  A Paler Shade of Beauty speaks honestly and I immediately knew I must try this natural deodorant.

As I was about to head to the sunny island of Tenerife for a holiday, this was the perfect opportunity to try a new product.  The makers – almost local to me in the West of Ireland, kindly sent me a sample to try out.

It’s funny that in this world of budget travel, and no checked luggage, my first thought was wow!  I can take this in my little zip lock back and it won’t be a problem.

Hand made by Laura and Luke in County Sligo in Ireland, these deodorants are unisex (depending on the fragrance of course) and really effective. Using only 100% natural and vegan ingredients, this innovative product is completely free from harmful chemicals, aluminium oxides and preservatives.  You simply pull a little of the paste together, warm it in your hands and apply it to your pits.

Sharing is Caring

I didn’t quite realise I was sharing mine until a couple of days into the holiday I noticed a fresh aroma of limes after going in for a cuddle.  At this point we had walked 10 000 steps and sunned ourselves on a hot beach for a few hours.  I politely enquired if he was using my deodorant and he said that he had tried it one morning and it worked.

Fragrances include the Lime and tea tree  which is definitely unisex as well as Lime, basil and mandarin, Three flowers and Lavender and lemon.  I think I might have a girly one next!

I only review products on my blog that I really like!  My reviews are honest and I have no hesitation in recommending that you try these innovative but extremely effective little pots of Pit Putty this summer.

Thanks for reading and be sure to let me know if you try it!

Kerry xx

 

Destressing my skin and my soul with Hayo’u

Stress is part of my life.  It is part of all our lives and relieving stress is high up on my list of things to deal with.

Over the past couple of years I have learnt to deal with my stress better. To be simply be more ‘in the moment when it comes to day-to-day life.  If I am upset over something I stop and breathe.  Simple I know but it has made a huge difference.

When I received news of the Hayo’u range of products I was intrigued.  I wanted to know more about a pamper product that seemed to understand where I was in my life.

The Hayo’u Method

Rather than a range of products I was introduced to the Hayo’u Method.  The system is designed to tackle stress levels and make you feel and look younger so a win in my book.

The package of samples (thank you so much) arrived.  Are these going to be any different to other bath and pamper products.  I had to wonder. They are so very different that I have to attempt to explain the sensory experience that I have had, and continue to have using this method.

The first of my senses was my sense of smell.  I love oils and the combination of lotus flower and frankincense. And combined with the healing properties of Himalayan pink salt it is just heavenly.  The first product I used was the shower gel which  immediately invigorated me.  But, as I was road testing the product I needed to follow instructions.  Each product comes with a little insert which introduces you to the one minute breathing exercise. This little ritual is rooted in the wisdom on Chinese medicine and helps you to focus inwards and calm your mind.  As you breathe in the gorgeous aromas you are drawing out physical tension and inviting in calm.

I love the instructions – Expel – the stale breath, Descend as you breathe in and then as you exhale – Smile though your whole body.  Try it – it feels great and puts me in a happy place.

After trying the shower gel I was ready for a bath, but waited for the following day.  I normally shower but I have been treating myself to baths quite a bit especially since I have been in a bit of pain.  The reason there are none of my own pics for this blog post is that I have used up all the bath product!  A gorgeous oily salty pink pile that I used both as a bath salt and a bit of a scrub.

A Stone massage at home

As if that wasn’t enough there were two more packages in the parcel.  The  Hayo’u Beauty Restorer De-stress Face Tool  a beautiful jade specially shaped stone, and a little bottle of gorgeously aromatic Treat-Rite De-stress Face Oil.

The two are used together to stimulate energy points and release congestion and toxicity.  I have included the video link so you can see how it is used, but let us just say I am addicted.  The experience is wonderful with the fragrance from the oil and the cool pressure of the jade stone tricking me into believing I am in an expensive spa.

It is easier to watch the video than to try to explain how this all works.

https://www.hayoumethod.com/the_one_minute_beauty_ritual/

As a blogger I get asked to try products fairly often but I only write honestly and write about products that I really love.  This little parcel has already brought me so much joy and relaxation that I have no hesitation in recommending it. These are not budget products, however I really think that they are simply fabulous and worth a treat to yourself.

Thank you so much for reading and promise me that no matter what products you use, please treat yourself to a relaxing bath – it is something I think we all neglect.  Lie there and simply breathe.

Kerry x

p.s.  I was gifted these items to try, but my review is from the heart.

SeaBreeze – An oasis of tranquillity

Since moving to Galway over a year ago I have been searching for a place for me.  A place where I can indulge myself in little treats that make me feel good about myself.

You can be excused for thinking I might be talking about a coffee shop that served good cake, but this is so much more important.  I have been looking for a beauty salon where the staff are friendly and the service is good, and more importantly where I feel good, going in and even better coming out.

It was an honour to be a guest at an event for SeaBreeze Beauty & Day Spa when they celebrated their 16th birthday towards the end of last year.  I came away with a sense of finding my new beauty home.  My eyebrows had been threaded as a treat and I was clutching the little booklet which was fast becoming my wish list of treats for me. (anyone wishing to know what I would like for any occasion please feel free to buy me something from here).

There are real perks to being an ITWBN blogger and I was beyond delighted to receive a tweet to ask if I would like to try out one of the SeaBreeze treatments.  At the time my back was in a spasm and there was one treatment that jumped into my mind – a massage!

An Oasis of Tranquility

The salon is in Oranmore which is great as it is a minute off the motorway and less than 15 minutes from home for me.  As I parked my car, my sense of anticipation was mounting.  I knew what was behind the glass doors.  Tranquiliity.

The SeaBreeze decor is ‘sea’ themed and there is the most wonderful restful energy in the salon. There is a sense of stepping into another world where worries, stress and to do lists simply do not exist.

Ciara took me off for my Swedish massage which was simply blissful.  She was so kind and caring and adjusted the pressure to ensure that I got the benefits but no additional pain as I was very tender that day.

I was so tempted to spend a little while sipping tea in the relaxation room.  This room is an oasis itself.  Deck loungers would lull you into forgetting about real life.  I was honestly so relaxed from my massage that I thought I might fall asleep so I passed this time.

I love quotes and when I saw the quote from John Steinbeck on the wall at SeaBreeze I knew I had found home.

The best six doctors anywhere
An
d no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest and air
Exercise and diet.

If you live in Galway – I urge you to visit Sea Breeze and relax and treat yourself.  If you don’t then find your own little oasis and treat yourself when you can.  Fabulous Women deserve to be pampered.

Thank you for reading.

Kerry xx

 

 

 

 

 

An added bonus ingredient from The Body Shop makes me smile

Body shop Vitamin E Fabulicousfifty

I first heard of hyaluronic acid last year – and the more I read about it the more it made sense to me.  It is a little bit of magic that locks moisture into your skin.

Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally in the body and acts as a moisture magnet trapping up to 1000 times its own weight – excellent for the odd wrinkle.

I am getting a little bit older, and I am becoming more conscious of aging.  I am not looking to age backwards, but to simply be the best I can be.  Looking after my skin is a priority and I don’t have a big budget to do that.

I was delighted when I saw that the Body Shop Vitamin E range now has the added bonus included hyaluronic acid.

This product range, which now has some new family members ticks all my boxes.  My skin is quite dry and I find that the moisture is really locked in as promised.

I was lucky enough to have access to one of those magic wand things you see in the shops that measure the moisture in your skin.  The science geeky side of me likes being able to back up my gut feeling on a product range – the difference before and after was significant.

The products I tried are the Aqua Boost Essence lotion which is not a cream but neither is it a liquid.  It is deliciously cooling and leaves me feeling really refreshed especially during the hot weather.  I follow this with the Moisture Protect Emulsion which is silky smooth.

All the products have a fresh fragrance (I am fussy about things like that), and I know that all the ingredients are natural and pure, which means quite a lot.

I have been using these products for a good few weeks and I am delighted with them.

I was given these products to test, but was not paid for this review.  I reviewed it because it fits my ethos about our right to feel fabulous!

Thanks for reading.

Kerry x

 

Bellissimo – Everyone has a right to feel lovely

Bellissimo translated into English means lovely.  I strongly believe that no matter where we are in our lives we all should feel lovely.  Sometimes that comes about due to some kind words but sometimes it rests on us to make ourselves feel lovely no matter what is going on in our lives.

Bellisimo pretty mermaid nailsI know for me having my nails done is a big treat.  Due to some of the auto-immune diseases I have and some of the drugs I need to take, my nails are brittle, ridged and dented.  One has a fault and it cannot grow.  Every little millimetre it grows just causes a vertical split.

One of the few things that helps is having a manicure and if I go all out and have a Shellac (two-week manicure) it kind of holds my nails together.  And of course makes me feel lovely.

I was treated to a beautiful ‘mermaid’ themed shellac manicure at a blogger pamper evening held at the very aptly named Bellissimo salon in Galway.  My comment – these nails look so good I might have to scratch someone just to show them off.  Of course there might be other ways of showing them off too.

It was such a fun evening, hanging out with ITWBN bloggers having manicures and pedicures while eating delicious food supplied by the g Counter.  Honestly it was a bit like a grown-up slumber party with lots of giggling and laughing as we had the run of the salon for the night.

Trying on a long glamours dark wig!The biggest laughs of the evening came about when we started trying on wigs.  There were shrieks of laughter as we transformed ourselves into different characters by simply changing our hair.  Loads of giggles.  Wigs however are a medical necessity for many women.

A couple of years ago when I started on Methotrexate to treat arthritis a lot of my hair fell out!  I have always been quite proud of my hair and I can tell you I panicked.  Hair wash day became worry day as the plug hole filled and each stroke of the brush meant less hair on my head.

Thankfully I didn’t loose all my hair, and by using vitamins and other tricks and techniques (which you can read about here), I was able to get back on track.  I regularly trimmed my hair and waited hoping it would grow back.

Many many woman are not as lucky.  Various conditions and drug programmes result in thinning hair leaving woman feeling less lovely than they should be.

As we clowned around in the wig room at Bellissimo I couldn’t help thinking how important wigs are to so many people.  Many of the wigs available look so good, you wouldn’t realise that they were exactly that.  These wigs are well made and although synthetic would make anyone look fabulous – even if they were simply having a bad hair day.

I spoke to  Mike and Dympna our Bellissimo hosts who explained that because the salon was registered with the HSE (Ireland’s health service), there was a contribution that could be claimed against the purchase of a wig if hair loss was medically related.  The staff is fully informed and are happy to help anyone in a confidential way.   You can also have a look at the info on the website. I can promise you that anyone leaving the salon would feel fabulous!

Bellissimo in Galway is a simply gorgeous venue.  I really couldn’t think of a better name for a salon that makes woman feel lovely!

Thanks to the staff and the lovely ITWBN bloggers for having a pretend slumber party with me.  I felt Bellissimo going home.

Thanks for reading.

Kerry x

 

Thank you for my gift – Meaghers Pharmacy

meaghers one

 

It was like Christmas this morning – thank you Meaghers Pharmacy.  On a Monday in April with the rain at the window.

Yesterday I was privileged to speak at the Elite Munster Bloggers Network event in Limerick.  I was honestly over-excited especially as I got to chat to so many bloggers and get up to date on the latest products and trends.

At the end of the day, when I was quite tired, I was given a black box!  Now although I was excited, I was simply too tired to open it, so this morning it was Christmas for me.

The box, was a gift from Meaghers Pharmacy.  I am told that this is how all their products are delivered when you order from the website.

Opening time ….

-it's getting exciting ...Opening the box revealed a lovely letter and lots of yellow tissue paper – my favourite!

Each item was carefully wrapped individually with a little quality seal sticker on each one.  Now you know what I mean – it was like Christmas.

meaghers threeThings have been a bit tough financially this year with having to give up work due to my health.  I have had to dial back my beauty spending.  The selection of products for us to try felt like it had been selected for me!

  • A brand new Sleek palette – my favourite eyeshadow brand.  I think the pigment is really strong and the colours stays!
  •  A cool Code VLM mascara to transform my eyelashes
  • And for my lips a luscious NYX soft matt lip cream

And to take off my make-up …

  • Bioderma H20 solution
  • Nip+Fab Glycolic Daily Cleansing pads

And for pamper time.

  • A yummy smelling bamboo green tea candle from Purcell & Woodcock
  • A wild Irish Seaweed moisturising mask – the healing benefits of seaweed are well-known and now I get to treat my face.
  • I was admiring the Victoria’s Secret bottles on the exhibition table and guess what was inside – a full bottle of Amber Romance fragrance mist.

meaghers four

Blogging means a lot to me – I write about being fabulous despite the curveballs life throws at us.  This little box made me feel fabulous today!  A girl should always have some treats to make her feel special.

The good news is that I can have a few more treats as Meaghers Pharmacy had given me a discount code to use, and to share with my blog readers!   I think I might use my discount to treat myself to the new brush cleaner as I have been working on a make-up maintenance post.

It is only valid until 17th April – so by using Code ELITE34 – you can get your own delivery of a special Black box filled with yellow tissue and gifts to yourself.  You can find the website at www.meaghers.ie

This is a bit of a different post for me but I hope you enjoyed sharing my excitement of have Christmas on a wet Monday in April.

Thanks for reading.

Kerry x

 

Cleanse, Tone, Moisturise – a Mantra I have never Forgotten

ultrapure rosewater toner

When I was about 13 my sister and I were sent to Matty Reid’s Finishing School in the holidays. It was a week-long course presented by a delightfully eccentric ex-model.

On the first day she swept into the classroom with a turban and a hat, but with such panache! I immediately found myself sitting up straighter and aspiring for sophistication.

Each day was dedicated to one subject – fashion, deportment (how to walk and how to get out of a car elegantly), accessories (I still have a drawer full of scarves as a result), make-up and beauty.

Cleanse, tone, moisturise ….

This pivotal week, was the first time I heard about the basic skin care routine, and it is something I have never forgotten. I remember raising my hand and asking what the value of toning was. Cleaning was easy enough to understand, as was moisturising, but what role did the toner play. A toner clarifies. It cleans away any residual oil and make-up and leaves your skin sparkling.

It was a long time ago, but this lesson has stayed with me and I always follow these 3 steps. As my knowledge of skin care and beauty has grown I have of course added to these steps with some great exfoliators, masks and serums but the basic routine has never changed.

The products have however. As I have got a bit older (mmm) I have found myself trying different products to find what suits my skin best. I have a dry mature skin and am also very conscious that wrinkles are knocking on the door.

I was delighted to try the Rose Water and Glycerine Hydrating and Harmonising Toner from Ultra Pure Laboratories. Rose is one of my favourite oils and the addition of the glycerine makes this almost a moisturising toner. There are two toners in the Rose Water range and I use both, one in the morning and one in the evening.

I use the Rose Water Hydrating and Balancing Toner in the morning which leaves my skin feeling fresh, and the Rose Water and Glycerine toner in the evening locking even more moisture before a generous coating of night cream.

An added benefit to these Ultra Pure products – the gorgeous aroma of Rose.  These fabulicious products are available at pharmacies throughout Ireland.

A quick thank you to the fabulous ladies at ITBWN who organised this collaboration.

Thanks for reading.

Kerry x

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