Category: Beauty

Think less, sleep more – my relationship with Insomnia

 

Insomniacsonly 2 sleeps to Christmas (2)I have had a relationship with insomnia for many years.  I think I have it under control and then wham another night with two ten minute naps and I am sitting at work struggling to focus.

It was so bad at one stage, that my sister kindly send me a version of the image attached, reminding me that as an insomniac I only had two sleeps to wait until Christmas (6 months ahead).

After a particularly bad bout of sleeplessness recently a friend said to me ‘Kerry, you need to think less’.  Simple but it was a bit like a lightbulb moment.

I have a lot going on at the moment, working notice is my current job, preparing for a new job, wondering where I am going to live, house hunting, some personal issues, packing, the list goes on.  When my friend mentioned the idea of thinking less, I thought I had to try it.  Combined with my other insomnia busting tricks listed below, I had a fantastic night’s sleep and was woken by the light shining through the gap in the curtains.  I had even slept through my alarm.

Here are some of my old and new tips to combat wide eyes at night.  Now all I have to do, is remember to follow my own tips.

  1. Work out how long you need to sleep – I need around 6 hours. At one stage I was so tired I was heading to bed around 10 exhausted and then of course I was awake and tossing and turning from about 4 am.  I tend to aim for 11.30, have a little read and then lights out.  My alarm goes off at 6 and then I have the choice of a little slumber before hitting the shower.
  2. Bath before bed. Nothing like it – it is a real treat to run a hot bath with some nice lavender oil and relax while soaking.  Straight into bed after that and out like a light.  Read about my bath time ritual here.
  3. No screens in the bedroom. My TV is downstairs, as is my laptop and iPad.  Work is not for the bedroom.  I am still guilty of this as I keep my phone by my bedside.  Apparently the light mimics daylight and tricks our brains.  I really must try to plug it in downstairs and leave it.  Not quite sure I am ready though.
  4. Crisp clean sheets. If I have been having a bad patch, that hot bath is followed up with a slide into crisp clean sheets.
  5. There is nothing worse than being cold.  I have an underactive thyroid and this sometimes means my body cannot get warm.  I love my electric blanket and even admit to using it on the chillier nights in the summer.
  6. Aroma moments. Aromatherapy is a hobby for me.  There are always little bottles around the house for one remedy or another.  While lavender is an all time favourite, for sleep I use german camomile.  The tip was given to me by a friend years ago.  It is bright blue!  Put a few drops on a hankerchief or cloth and tuck it under your pillow.  Sweet dreams ensured.
  7. Think less – finally added to my list. Empty your mind and remind yourself that your worries and thoughts will still be there tomorrow.  It is time for sleeping now not thinking.  I have even read about the idea of writing things down in a book – and leave them there for the night.

So now will wish you sweet dreams.

Kerry xx

Sexy girls wear glasses

sexy specs (2)

I wear glasses, most of the time anyway.  I have been wearing them since my early twenties, and even though I do have contacts, I tend to stick to my specs.  They are comfortable and most importantly I can see!

It’s funny though everytime there is a special occasion or I want to impress I tend to reach for my contacts, and then land up in a restaurant not being able to read the menu (big secret my glasses are varifocals).  I squint to read text messages and am ever grateful for the fact that by flicking the volume button in a text message I can enlarge the font to headline size.

I digress, bottom line is I feel most comfortable in glasses – so my quest is to feel sexy and fabulous wearing them.

A quick search on the internet found this fabulous article on Buzz Feed with a cool slider thingy.  Check out these celebrities with their glasses on and their glasses off.  So cool, and honestly in most of the pics I would choose glasses!

sexy eyesThe second great reason to wear glasses is you can go all out on the eyemake-up.  Think smouldering lashes and sexy liner.  At a recent make-up demonstration at Matt ‘o Flaherty’s in Galway with the fabulous Stephan Ulvund Øien from Isadora I learnt about tight lines.  It took me a while to get back in and buy my waterproof black liner, but I am so very glad I did.  It has taken a bit of practice, but I am delighted with the results.  And most importantly it lasts all day.

As my sexy glasses confidence has grown, I have also got bolder with colour.  I generally stick to neutrals, but the summer palette from Isadora has had me experimenting and having a bit of fun.  I am not suggesting catwalk crazy eyes, but a subtle blend of some fun summery colours makes me feel fresh.

Lashings of mascara are also an essential to make sure that your eyes are not overshadowed by your frames.

Finally, and I am not great at this, but don’t forget your lips.   A nice strong lip colour will help to balance your face.

My very own sexy glasses come from Eye World here in Westport.  A big thank you to them for allowing me to take pictures in their fab shop.

Thanks for reading, and please if you get a chance leave me a comment letting me know if what you think.  Can glasses be sexy?

 

Kerry x

 

Cocoa Brown had me scrubbing and rubbing to become silky smooth

tough_stuff_solo1Summer has come and now it is time to get my legs out.  Friday night was the night for a little pampering and me time.  I am not one for tanning (but may be converted), but I do like the silky feeling of smooth bare legs.  I love wearing dresses and hate tights so as soon as I can, I like to bare my legs.

The Cocoa Brown Tough Stuff  3 in 1 Body Scrub from my ITWBN Goody bag joined me in the bathroom along with some soft music and candles.  Well let me tell you my legs got some loving. First they were exfoliated – what a gorgeous smell!

It is no surprise that Cocoa Brown By Marissa Carter TOUGH STUFF 3 in 1 Body Scrub has won so many awards.  I found myself covered in the stuff as I remembered other parts of my body that needed a good exfoliation.

You can use the product wet or dry.  Dry gives you a deeper exfoliation.  I used it wet as it was my first time and found that the long sweeping movements recommended did the job.

Just a note to say that it really comes in at an affordable price.

After rinsing it off I made sure to slather myself in moisturiser before climbing into bed.

My legs are so smooth now, I might be tempted to try some tan and show them off even more.

Thanks for reading my little review, hope you are inspired to give you body some love.  I sincerely believe that grooming is important for all of us, not because of who sees us, but how it makes us feel, when we have taken a little effort to shine.

Kerry x

 

Radiant after the shower – the Nía Natural way

500px-Intensive-Shower-MousseMost mornings I start off with a shower.  It wakes me up and gives me a delicious feeling of freshness as I get on with the day. I have tried shower gels and soaps, but I had never tried a mousse.  To be honest when I had a look at this cute little tin in my ITWBN goody bag I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.

Well I can promise you now once you have tried Nía Natural shower mousse, you will be converted. Silky smooth and with a really subtle but fresh aroma this mousse leaves me feeling fresh, and clean.  I appreciate that although softly fragranced, it doesn’t conflict with my perfume choice of the day.

I have struggled with dry spots, where skin gets a little flaky and inflamed on and off for years, and so before even trying the Nia Natural Creamy shower mousse I did a little investigating. Just saying, these spots have all cleared up now!

The company was started by Celia O’Grady in the West of Ireland.  Nía means radiance in Irish and that makes a whole lot of sense if you have used the products.  All the ingredients are all natural using the highest quality ingredients.

The product recipes are a combination of carefully selected ingredients, organic when economically possible and always natural. ‘The skin is our largest organ. It absorbs into the body much of what it comes in contact with. When choosing ingredients that we use in our products, we believe it must be good enough to eat and be beneficial for the skin.’  Read more about the quality ingredients here.

I am making up my shopping lists for Christmas (I know it is early), but I am going back to South Africa to visit family and friends.  I think some really great beauty products from Ireland need to be added to my list.

These gorgeous products are available online or in a range of health shops and other outlets around Ireland.

You can’t beat radiance!

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

Having attended two Into the West Blogger Network (ITWBN) events, I have been really lucky to receive some great products in my goody bags.  All my reviews are honest and relate to products I have used myself. 

The link between fine art and make-up, inspiration from IsaDora

Untitled design (6)

I love make-up – it makes us all a little more fabulous.  As I am not a make-up artist, I have a lot to learn so I was very excited to meet Stephan Ulvund Øien International make-up artist with IsaDora who was visiting Galway.

The ITWBN ladies were invited to Matt O’ Flaherty’s chemist in William Street in Galway and it was fabulous from the moment we arrived.

I had a front row seat and just like being in school, it was the best place to be, because I learnt so much. We learnt about lips, eyes, contouring and more, but for me real take-away was how this gorgeous make-up can be used just like paint.

As an artist I have learnt all about colours. Complementary colours, contrasting colours and tonal values. Stephan showed us how these very same principles work with make-up.  A fabulous demonstration with three different lip colours really blew me away.  He shows us warm lips, he showed us cool lips and then he took all sorts of products and with a scrape of each one, he made a custom colour.  The colour of the hair (a brown pencil), colour of the eyes (blue), pink for lips and some foundation.  These were all mixed together on a pallette knife and when the colour went on – the true beauty of the model came out.  Make-up can enhance our beauty and this is exactly what happened.

Another great lesson was all about eyes.  The first look used the gorgeous new summer colour pallette.  A really stunning look that I thought could not get better.  Stephan said this was a look for going out with the girls!  He then proceeded to change it up using neutrals for a more natural, but sultry look – this one for men. Wow, if I could look as sexy as that!

Question time was great with a quick class on tight lines (waterproof liner on the inside of your upper eyelid), and a beautiful way of doing brows.

The IsaDora make-up is really yummy.  I have only started using it this year, and i find it really luxurious and a joy to use.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

Beauty review: Kinvara Skincare Rosehip Serum

kinvara skincare

I am a sucker for beauty products, and especially ones that make promises.  My sister told me about the Rosehip Serum from Kinvara Skincare, and I just had to try it.  I got lucky because a few days later there was a discount voucher online, and so I treated myself to a bottle.

A couple of days later it arrived and even the packaging excited me.

Aromatherapy is a hobby of mine, and the wafts of citrussy freshness from this serum is so refreshing and uplifting.  I use it in the morning and it is my wake-up smell.  My reviews here will always be honest so I have to say that the only thing I don’t like about this product is the slight stickiness after application.  It goes on under my make-up so that this only lasts a minute or two.  It is absorbed really quickly and I find it refreshing compared to other creamy moisturisers, really ideal under make-up.

I have been using it for a few months and I think my skin is definitely less red, and it feels soft.  I am delighted that so little goes a long way, and my bottle should last me 6 months – great value at 28 Euro.

I was asked by a friend what to buy her sister (another fabulous lady) for her birthday.  There wasn’t even a minute’s hesitation before I recommended the Rosehip Serum.

7 Essentials for a Fabulicious Bathtime

 

Bath like you deserve it! (2)I sincerely believe that we have to treat ourselves.  In the past (and sometimes in the present) treats often revolve around food. Cake or chocolate in front of the TV.  I am trying to change, as I continue on my  journey to improve my health.  One of my favourite treats these days is a luxurious bath.

A bath can become a home spa with a bit of planning.  A gift to the senses that is not only extremely pleasurable, but also really good for you.  Read this post and start planning ladies, we all need some me time! Loads of  lapping steamy water to luxuriate in and more importantly a complete switch-off with no interruptions.

In the rush of everyday life it is all about a quick shower, but you cannot beat a bath for pure indulgence.  I find that an evening bath has all sorts of added benefits including the fact that it really helps me sleep – I get into bed all warm and cosy and completely relaxed.  And, I am told that sleeping helps you loose weight so double win!

Here are my 7 essentials for a fabulicious bathtime.

  1. Scented candles.  I love the flickering glow and the gorgeous scent.  Tonight I indulged inUrban Apothecary London’s Peony Rose luxury scented candle from my Mother’s day treatment Glossy Box.  I light the candle when I start running the bath and keep the door closed so that the aroma of the candle and the bath oils treat the senses.
  2. Lots of hot water – maybe it doesn’t need to be said, but I am one of those people who top up during the bath and I need to know that there is steamy water waiting for me.
  3. Oils.  I used to love a good bubble bath but I am now a convert to oils.  The lovely Elmis frangipani monoi oil from my ITWBN goody bag, a gift from the Raddison Blu in Galway.  Although this is a body oil I find a few drops in the bath along with my cheat product (almond oil that I buy from the Asian food store) makes a really special bath.  Aroma and moisturising – double benefit.
  4. Music:  mellow jazz.
  5. A good book.  Yes, I am a reader and I love reading in the bath.  It is especially fun when it is a book that I can loose myself in.
  6. A fluffy soft bath sheet.  As I am not skinny I like a towel that can wrap around me and keep me warm while I dry myself.  If the heating is on I warm it on the radiator for an extra sensual experience.
  7. Luxury body lotion.  Currently Naobay body radiance lotion from my Glossy Box again.

And then when I am super relaxed, my skin hydrated, I hop into my warm bed.  Switch the light off and know that at least tonight I will get 6 to 8 hours sleep.

Thanks for reading and enjoy your bath!

Kerry x

What better way to celebrate than with a Make-over!

 

Celebrate (2)A couple of weeks ago I reached a milestone in my life.  It was two years since my move to Westport.  It was really a significant shift in my life for all sorts of reasons.  I moved to the beautiful County of Mayo to start a new job, back in the corporate world, after a 10 year stint as an arty hippy shopkeeper.  A new town, new county and new me.

It hasn’t been easy, but change never is.  It has however, been challenging and rewarding, both in ways I had never expected.  I have found myself using brain cells that I didn’t know I had, and simply learning (or should that be re-learning) how to simply have fun.  To kick back and celebrate life.

Part of this journey has been accepting myself and embracing fabulousness.  Understanding that we are all beautiful and that is ok to be a girly girl.  As my inner confidence has grown I have begun to feel more confident in myself and have learnt to love make-up again.

So no better way to celebrate that a night at home with my girl friends Ruth and Taylor.  We set the scene with lots of little snacky food (my favourite way to eat) and tall glasses of sparkling prosecco. We had a proper natter, with lots of giggles talking over our journeys over the past two years.

As a special treat Taylor, who has trained as a make-up artist did a little make-over for me.  She used loads of the yummy products from my Into The West Blogger Network (ITWBN) goody bag from the last event.

Just saying I feel very brave putting my bare face out on the internet.  There was a time when I wouldn’t let anyone take a picture of my face at all.

I think the concealer pallette from Isadora Cosmetics did a fantanstic job of evening out my skin. I use it every day and love how the green stuff evens out the red around my nose.  The highlighter is fab for adding shape to my cheekbones and highlighting my brows.  This was of course the end of the day, so the dark circle stuff was more than necessary. The gorgeous mascara was the final flourish for sexy eyes.

Thanks for reading and most importantly thank you to my girlies for making my night special.

Kerry xx

My mini blogger and me go shopping!

I have a simple philosophy when it comes to shopping. It must be enjoyed – when it isn’t fun anymore there is little point.

I needed to get a few bits to make my beauty routine, an in fact my life a little easier and like any Irish woman I knew that Penneys was the place to go!  It so happened that I had planned to spend the day with my almost 9 year old niece while her Mom was at college.  Well, as you can imagine, my mind started plotting and planning.

What I did was simply this ….

I set us each a budget of 15 Euro to get whatever fabulousness we needed.  I went over budget and spent around 20 Euro.

My fabulous niece Isabella chose Populicious Panda as her blogger name and did very well coming in a few cents under budget.

Here is what we bought, and Isabella aka Populicious Panda’s very own blog post

I bought …

  • a lovely spotty sponge bag, I never seem to have one big enough.
  • a cute handbag mirror for those lipstick touch ups
  • a nude lip pencil – I like to colour the entire lip in with pencil and then top up – I find it makes the colour last longer
  • some very essential cotton pads for cleaning
  • a bottle of Garnier Micellar water – I really must never go to bed with my make up on (repeating to myself)
  • a bunch of soft hair elastics for the days when my hair goes up
  • a bunch of pretty lacy and pearl hair elastics for pretty ponytails
  • lacy topped socks (2 pairs)- I am a real girly girl and love a bit of lace (even if nobody sees it!)

I was very pleased with myself and feel a make-up cupboard tidy-up brewing.

And now for the mini bloggers post …

Hey guys, its Isabella a.k.a Populicious Panda.

So today I decided I would set myself a challenge, so I went to Penneys with my Aunty Kerry a.k.a. Fabulicous Fifty, and we went to Debenhams first to look at shoes (boring…).  But finally (yes!) we went to Penneys.   We went in through the doors and straight away I saw something (my Mum’s present).  After that we went and looked at hair accessories, there was nothing that I liked there so we carried on.  Finally we went to the make-up and nails section.  I basically bought all my stuff there first.  We looked at the nail stuff, I found a pug mirror (OMG!!!!)  Next I found some very nice nail polishes:  a set of 4 and a separate nail polish, then I found a strawberry and passionfruit nail polish remover and bought it (cos ya know that’s what you do).  After that comes the nail decorations (divine, right?).  So basically that was the end of nails, OK!  Right, well now that that’s over lets move on.  Make-up.  So I saw a lipgloss and I just went for it, because ya know that’s what ya do.  There was nothing else I liked so I went with my cousin David (he was with us the whole time!) to get a shirt and trousers.  We ended up just getting some jeans and a sweater.  So after that we went to pay. But at the till I saw a lipbalm, a watermelon one.  I was just under €15 euro (wow!).  Then once we paid we went for a bite to eat (Yum! )  But now I’m sorry to say that this is the end of Blog Number 1.

Populiciouspanda Penneys haul (3)

 

  • I bought the candle holder (my mums present) because I thought they looked really pretty and also because they had hearts on them.
  • I bought the pug mirror because I absolutely adore pugs and because I have a pug duvet cover.
  • I bought the set of 4 nail polishes and the separate nail polish because they were all fab colours!!!
  • I bought the nail polish remover because ya know, that’s what ya do.
  • I bought the nail decorations so I can decorate my nails.
  • I bought the fruity shine watermelon lip balm because I love, love, love watermelon flavoured and smelling things.
  • And last but not least I bought the Wet n Wild lipgloss because its got a fabulicious smell and because it makes my lips go all shiny when I put it on.

Well, I hope you guys all enjoyed my little blog.  So bye for now. Gotta go do my make up!!

From

xxxx Populicious Panda xxxx

Swoosh swoosh and the magic happens – lines and puffiness gone!

To start with I need to set the scene for this blog post…

I live in Westport, and when I visit Galway (an hour and a half away) I tend to pack my weekend with lots of fabulousness.  This weekend was no different. I was so excited to be have a Debenhams gift voucher, from the recent ITWBN event, that I was desperate to spend.  I knew I would be heading straight for the Benefit counter.  But before Saturday morning came I was delighted to be attending an art exhibition opening for my talented friend Ruth Cadden, on Friday night.  It turned out to be a delightful evening with excellent company and a few drinkies! On the way into town the following day I looked in my rearview mirror, as you do, and I am telling you my wrinkles were bad – despite the make-up.  My very kind (well trained, diplomatic) son had exactly the right answer to my gasp of horror.  ‘Do you think my wrinkles are worse because I was out late drinking last night?’ ‘Of course Mom!’ Whew at least it wasn’t permanent. After a small detour to pick up some fabulous shoes we arrived at the Benefit Counter.  Kelly-Ann was happy to help me choose a new foundation.  The care and attention I received as so welcome and just what I needed to get my fabuliciousness back. And then ….. She said she was going to try out something on me.  Looked a bit scary and medical with it’s metal tip, but the coolness of the swoosh swoosh happened and then I looked in the mirror.  I promise, I am not exaggerating, the one eye was almost instantly less puffy and wrinkled.  It was literally a magic wand. Real name is of course Benefit Puff Off.  The little iron (and of course the goodness inside) literally ironed away the night before. Transformation complete about ten minutes later, I walked out of Debenhams, back to full Fabuliciousfifty with a little bag of goodies that included  foundation in honey, and Coralista blush. Thank you Debenhams, and the lovely ladies at ITWBN (Into the West Blogger Network) for making my day. And thank you for reading. Kerry x

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