Sunday, 27 July 2014

Product Of The Week // Sanctuary Radiance Exfoliator

Sanctuary spa radiance facial exfoliator

Let's give a warm welcome to a new series that will be appearing here on clionahill.com ...... Product of the week. I'll be reviewing one product that has received lots of lovin' from me throughout the week. During my last brainstorming session I realised that there's not many series' happening on my blog, so I decided to put an end to that and alas 'Product of the week' was born. In the past I haven't been very good at sticking to writing any series' on my blog (remember wise words wednesday? That right there is a prime example folks) but that's going to change as I'm determined to get more organised with my blog. For my first 'product of the week' post I have a lovely exfoliator to share with you.

Sanctuary Spa Radiance Exfoliator is not only my favourite product of the week but it is also my favourite exfoliator EVER, and I don't just throw that phrase around for any old product, oh no, they have to really earn it. This has a gel like consistency that turns creamy when gently massaged onto damp skin. I find that the apricot granules exfoliate my skin very gently and I've never been left with irritated skin. My skin was very dehydrated recently (ahem, somebody needs to drink more water) so there was some major dry, flaky patches on my skin but this sorted that right out. Goodbye flaky skin! Please don't come back. Not only does this exfoliate dead skin cells and leave my skin feeling smooth as a baby's bum but it also gives my skin an incredible radiant glow. I'm honestly gobsmacked every time I use it. I use it once a week and it leaves my skin so healthy looking. Not only does it give great results but it lasts a really long time too as a tiny amount goes a very long way. It also washes off so much easier than any other exfoliator I've come across, no granule remains left over (does that bug anyone else or is that just me?). Very impressed indeed.

Sanctuary Spa have really out done themselves with the smell of this. If you read my recent Soap & Glory review then you will know that I love citrusy, fruity scents and so it should come to no surprise that I think this apricot, grape seed, pumpkin, pineapple and papaya extracts concoction smells like a little piece of heaven. It was love at first smell.

Have you tried this exfoliator? What's your product of the week?

P.s. How cute is my new makeup brush holder? It's a candle holder from Tesco!

Love,
Cliona xx






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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Weekend Style | Dressing For Humid Weather

Goodbye sunshine and hello grey clouds, it's lovely to see you, not! Even though horrible grey clouds and rain have graced us with their presence it's still bloomin' hot. Oh heavy, humid weather, you are a pain to dress for. I'm really struggling to come up with outfit ideas to wear in this weather so with that in mind I've put together three different looks that I think are ideal for this humid, rainy weather that we're having.

Zara floral trousers and statement necklace

Outfit 1: Blue & White

This first look can be worn to pretty much anywhere; It would see you through a girlie shopping day, a lunch date or you could even dress it up a bit more with a pair of heels and a blazer. I've actually had my eye on these trousers from Zara for a while and I'm so tempted to buy them now that they're on sale from €39.95 to €22.99. You really can't beat the summer sales, so you can't. Sometimes it can be a bit hard to find nice things at this stage of the sales because the shops do be in a right state but places like Zara, Boohoo.com and New Look are having great online sales at the moment - It's definitely easier than sifting through lots of messy rails. 

Dress, leather jacket and floppy hat outfit idea

Outfit 2: Cool & Casual

Don't put your summer dresses away just yet, pair them with a leather jacket and a light pair of tights so that you're prepared for when the heavens decide to open. I've paired this black floppy hat with the outfit also to keep those stylish locks dry and frizz free. We don't want to look like Monica in the episode of Friends when they go to Barbados, now do we? This hat will keep you dry and looking fabulous and not to mention it's very Audrey Hepburn-esque. Just beautiful. As well as the hat, I'm also quite in love with this dress. I'm hooked on the daisy print after purchasing a pair of daisy printed shorts in Penneys which you can find in my holiday style diary post. I was looking at daisy printed dresses on Boohoo.com and I just couldn't help thinking that the print might be a bit too much  but I found the perfect solution when I stumbled across this number. I love that they've broken up the pattern by having the bottom half of the dress white; It has just the right amount of print without being too in your face. Love it.


Outfit 3: Keeping it simple

Anyone having a bbq anytime soon? I personally think that this is a lovely little bbq outfit. We're actually having one tomorrow (touch wood it doesn't rain or it'll have to be an inside bbq) and I might shop my stash to see if I have anything similar. For this look I wanted to keep it very simple and casual, so I decided to go for this chinois green maxi skirt from Vero Moda and paired it with this pink crochet hem t-shirt from New Look. In keeping with the simple theme I kept the accessories, you guessed it, simple, by adding the cute pendant necklace from River Island. If you're looking for a pair of converse but don't want to a pay fortune then you're in luck because Boohoo have a pair for only €15. All in all this look is just great for humid weather.

I love all of these looks so much that I'm tempted to buy half of these items. Writing these style posts are fun but dangerous for my bank balance! I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend. I'm off to watch a movie and have some goodies. I do love the weekends. They're the best!

What have you been wearing during this humid weather? Which look is your favourite?

Love,
Cliona xx



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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My Favourite Scent | Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Range

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush


Don't you just love a relaxing pamper night? Me too. As I was relaxing away in a hot bubble bath during my last pamper night an idea came to mind to blog about my favourite scented range that's perfect to relax to. Sunday night is usually my pamper night and there's nothing like Soap & Glory's sugar crush range to prepare me for the week ahead. These beauties will not only leave you feeling relaxed and pampered but they will also fill your bathroom with a gorgeous scent and leave your skin feeling smooth and soft. Wonderful.

Soap & Glory sugar crush body scrub
Soap & Glory sugar crush body scrub

To know me is to know that I am not very loyal to products, I just love the thrill of trying different products way too much which I'm sure any other beauty lovers can relate to ;-) I've never committed to a body scrub before; I change them as often as underwear! But that all changed when I got my hands on the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub, would you believe I haven't even looked at another body scrub since this entered my life. So what makes this so good? Well for one it smells flippin' delicious, I even open it up when I'm not using it just so I can have a sniff. All three products have a unique difference to their scents, this one being my favourite of the three. The scrub smells more sharp and strong whereas the other two smell quite creamy (if that makes sense?). This smashed brown sugar, lime oil, almond oil and macadamia grains concoction gets rid of any dead skin cells, keep spots at bay and leaves my skin feeling impeccably smoother. If you have dry skin like myself then will you love this scrub as it moisturises your skin and doesn't feel like you've stripped layers off your skin (has anyone else experienced that feeling after using a scrub? Ugh, not good!). Another lovely thing about this scrub is it's very easy to apply (although quite a few bits tend to fall off. It doesn't really bother me but I still thought it was worth mentioning) and a dream to wash off, gone are the days of standing in the shower for ages waiting for a scrub to wash off.

Soap & Glory sugar crush body buttercream
Soap & Glory sugar crush body butter


The Sugar Crush Body Buttercream is a beautiful, luxurious body moisturiser that leaves your skin feeling silky soft, we're talking soft as a baby's skin here folks. Amazing. With that being said it does take quite a long time for it to dry so it's definitely not one for if your in a rush. The consistency is very thick and as the name would suggest buttercream like so it does take a bit longer to rub in so I always take this opportunity to give myself a little massage, it is a pamper night after all ;-) The scent lingers for a good few hours too which I think is just lovely. I used this before I went to the Seventeen event and I was wondering what smelled so nice, then I realised it was coming from my arms because I had used this, yum!

Soap & Glory sugar crush body wash

And paddy last is the Fresh & Foamy Body Wash. I was quite worried when I first tried this as I suffer from eczema and so my skin is extremely sensitive, because of that there were only two shower gels that I could use (How boring, I know!) but I was over the moon when my skin wasn't irritated or affected after using this. It's incredibly rich and creamy and lathers up very well. It leaves my skin feeling refreshed and moisturised. My skin just feels beautiful after I use this. I also love that it has a PUMP, gone are the days of having to screw off a cap with wet, slippy hands - perfect for miss butter fingers over here! A little bit goes a long way (one or two pumps usually does me) so therefore it lasts a long time making it great value for money.

Overall Sugar crush is a lovely fresh, zesty scent that will help wake you up on those pesky early mornings (Monday, I'm looking at you!) and will put you into relaxation mode during your pamper nights. If you're not a fan of lime or zesty scents then these products are definitely not for you. As for the quality of the products, I'm well and truly impressed - they leave my skin feeling like brand new, what more could I ask for? Soap & Glory have really hit the nail on the head with this range. In fact I'd love to see them expand the sugar crush family, Soap & Glory take note! ;-)

Have you tried any of the sugar crush products? Which is your favourite? Or do you prefer a different range from S&G?


Love,
Cliona xx



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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Seventeen Festival Makeup Event At Boots

Seventeen makeup
MocktailsSeventeen makeup event with Suzanne Jackson
Zara statement necklace outfit
Seventeen makeup event with Suzanne Jackson

During the week I was lucky enough to win tickets on twitter to attend the Seventeen festival makeup event in Boots Liffey Valley Shopping centre. I brought my Sister along to the event and we had a lovely time. On our arrival, we were greeted with goody bags and yummy mocktails. The night was hosted by Suzanne Jackson from SoSueMe.ie and there was makeup demos done by celebrity makeup artist Vanesa Guallar. She created two gorgeous festival looks. The first look she created was a statement eye look using blue eyeliner and the second was a bright lip. She used so many beautiful products that I quickly noted down onto my wish list - Falsifeye HD mascara (€8.89)Instant Glow Shimmer Brick (€6.29) and their gold eye crayon (€5.09) are only a few of the products that I fell head over heels in love with.

There was also a fun competition on the night where you could use the hashtag #SEVENTEENfestival to post any photos you took at the event and you could win a makeup kit. Exciting! They also printed out every photo you took so we could have keepsakes. How cute. So back to the competition, they picked four winners for: Best overall photo, most funniest photo, most stylish photo and best festival makeup look. And luck would have it, yours truly won 'best overall photo' and I'm absolutely thrilled! My goodies will arrive some time next week and let's just say I can't wait to blog about them ;-)

On the night I wore my green jeans from Zara and my favourite top at the moment which is a beautiful white lace top from Vero Moda. I paired them with my trusty pink sandals from good ol' Penneys and I also debuted my new statement necklace from Zara which you may remember from my accessories haul.

What I Wore: Top - Vero Moda // Jeans - Zara // Sandals - Penneys // Statement necklace - Zara


Have you tried any Seventeen products? Do you like them?  What are your favourite festival makeup looks?


Love,
Cliona xx



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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

New Skincare Favourites

Garnier & avene skincare

Before I get started chatting away about some new skincare favourites of mine, can we appreciate how amazing that pool looks! If only I could wave my magic wand and be back to lounging by that pool in the gorgeous sunshine *Sobs* I took these pictures in Portugal what feels like a decade a go but I wanted to give them a good ol' testing before I spoke about them on my blog. They've well and truly been put to the test (well over two months) and I'm 100% ready to give them a well deserved mention.

Garnier Micellar Water Review


My first favourite is the Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water. This is a makeup remover than contains micelles which allow makeup and dirt to be instantly lifted away. And it did exactly what it claims to do! I found with other makeup removers I would have to scrub my face for a good few minutes and use a dozen cotton pads but with this, just a few quick swipes across the face does the job, my makeup completely vanishes and I only have to use one cotton pad. Brill! My skin can be quite sensitive and I found this to be very gentle and in no way did it irritate my skin. It's also very soothing and refreshing, so it's perfect to use during the summer months to refresh the skin after a hot day (not that we're getting very many of those, haha). I've also been using this to remove my eye makeup too and nope, there was no stinging involved with this bad boy. There's nothing worse than when cleanser gets into your eyes and it stings. Ouch! It lasts a life time too, I've been using it everyday for the past two months and there is still over a 1/4 left.

All in all I think this is a great makeup remover and it won't be leaving my skincare stash any time soon. It's suitable for all skin types, even for sensitive skin and it's affordable too - It costs €6.29 but it's currently on offer in Boots for €4.19! That's amazing value in my opinion and rumour has it that it's just as nice as the famous Bioderma micallar water.

Avene light hydrating cream review

The next skincare product that wowed me was Eau Thermale Avene Hydrance Opitimale Light Hydrating Cream. I bought this face cream as I was looking for something a little bit lighter to use for during the summer and it's the nicest moisturiser I've used to date. The main reasons why I like this moisturiser is it feels light on my skin, it doesn't leave a greasy residue (the same can't be said for my current moisturiser, I despise it!) and it has a subtle sweet scent which I love. The packaging is nice and simple and fuss free. I love the clean white look it has, I think it looks rather lovely perched on my dressing table :-) As well as looking nice it also left my skin feeling incredibly soft. As I have an oily t-zone, I loved the fact that it mattifies the skin, making it a great base for makeup. In fact, my makeup hasn't looked as nice since it ran out.
The only downside to this product is that you don't get nearly enough of the product for the price - It costs €25! But I guess you pay for quality and not quantity, but still, there should be at least 100 ml for the price of it!


Have you discovered any new skincare products worth a try? 


Love,
Cliona xx




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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Summer Blogger Challenge // Summer Days

Lifestyle blog // summer days
Holiday snaps :-)

As the saying goes 'all good things must come to an end' and today we have sadly reached the end of the summer blogger challenge *wipes tears away* A huge thank you to the ever so lovely Amy for organising this challenge. It has been so much fun and I hope you enjoyed it too. So for the last week the topic is .... Anything Summer related. I chose to do a lifestyle post for this topic as it's been quite a long time since a lifestyle post has seen the light of day here on clionahill.com and I wanted to share what I've been getting up to during these lovely Summer days.


I kicked off the summer by jetting off to sunny Portugal back in May, where I spent my days relaxing by the pool with a John Green book in my hands, wandering the cobbled streets of old town, Albufeira and consuming the best cakes EVER. I had the most amazing chocolate cake in a small restaurant in the old town and it was honestly the best thing I've ever tasted. Seriously, Portuguese chocolate cake is the bomb! Stunning beaches, a clear blue ocean, sunny weather, beautiful food and relaxation, what more could I ask for?! It was just perfect.

Lifestyle blog / Summer days
Pics from left to right: Making daisy chains with my Grandad | Baking summer cakes | Kisses from Elsie | 
Caramel cream frappuccino from Starbucks (yum!) | Reading whilst on a picnic | Blogging Bliss-fullness!
My love - Piper | Skerries beach (yes, you're eyes do not deceive you, that is a beach in Ireland, haha. It looks like it could be abroad - Amazing!) | More yummy drinks, this time it's a raspberry & white choc cream cooler from Costa

I didn't have the post holiday blues for very long as the weather in Ireland was gorgeous (it is the exact opposite now though. We're back to umbrellas and rain coats *Insert sad face*). We hit the beach a good few times, had barbecues (and actually ate it outside for once), went on picnics and made daisy chains in the garden. I'm loving spending time with my family, we always have a good laugh. Elsie (my niece) is flying along - she's now eating solids and nearly crawling! Time is just flying by, it only feels like yesterday that we were in the hospital meeting her for the first time.

I do apologise for the mouth wateriness in this post but you have to have some yummy treats in the summer, right? ;-) I always get obsessed with Starbucks during the summer as their cold drinks are THE best. And this summer my obsession is going nowhere, I've been loving their oh-so-famous cream frappuccino drinks (if you haven't tried these yet then get your backside to Starbucks and try them, they are so so good!) with the caramel one being my absolute favourite. Last summer I was all about the raspberry blackcurrant blended juice drink but this summer I've been craving something just that little bit sweeter, you can't get any sweeter than caramel! Or can you? ;-)

I've also been enjoying the sales, eh who wouldn't?! Ok, maybe my wallet disagrees but as they say 'if you can't beat them, join them.' With the abysmal weather we were having lately a few trips to the cinema were needed. I went to see the hilarious 22 Jump Street and the most anticipated movie of the year The fault in our stars. Both movies were brilliant - 22 Jump Street was so so funny, I couldn't stop laughing! And The Fault in our stars was amaaaazing - It was sad, funny, gripping and heart warming all rolled into one. Loved it!


What fun things have you been doing this Summer?


Love, 
Cliona xx



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Friday, 11 July 2014

Lots Of Love | Benefit Dandelion


Hi everyone! I hope you're all having a wonderful Friday? I was searching through my beauty stash for my usual monthly favourites post but to my surprise I wasn't really loving much so, this month I decided I'd just declare my love for one thing that I loved rather than lots of things that I wasn't truly loving, because what would be the point in that?! Even though I didn't come across many new beauty discoveries, I did however discover an absolute gem which I will love forever! So it wasn't a total loss in june ;-)

The product that received a whole lot of loving from me this month was Benefit Dandelion. Here's what I thought of it!


This was my first time to try one of Benefit's famous powder boxes and I must say I'm rather impressed. This can be used all over the face as a brightening powder or just on the cheeks as a blush. I have typical pale Irish skin so I prefer to wear it as a blush because it really shows up and I don't think going around with a pink face would look good ;-) It's a beautiful, soft pink colour with a light shimmer running through it which brightens up the complexion and gives the skin a healthy looking glow. This is perfect for a natural, everyday makeup look but it could easily be built up for a stronger look. It also has a lovely sweet, floral smell, which is heavenly! Seriously, I could sniff it all day! It also comes with a brush which I didn't like very much because it applied way too much product. Other than that, I haven't a bad word to say about it.



I would definitely recommend this if you have pale skin and you're looking for a subtle, pink blush to add to your makeup bag. It's a little pricey at €34 but definitely worth it in my opinion!


Have you ever tried Benefit dandelion? What's your favourite blush at the moment?

Love,
Cliona xx


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Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Summer Senses | Baking Lemon Cupcakes!





Another Tuesday, another summer blogger challenge post! After two weeks of not being able to do these posts (due to migraines. Boo!), I'm back on track and ready to talk about all things summer once again. This week's topic is a very interesting one .... Summer senses.
When I found out what this week's topic was I immediately knew that the sense I wanted to do would be taste. I haven't baked something in ages and the topic was the perfect excuse to take some time out to get my hands messy and do a bit of baking.

I decided to make some yummy lemon cupcakes as I think lemon just screams summer. I made lemon cupcakes ages ago and I wasn't impressed with the recipe at all so I decided to use my trusty vanilla cupcake recipe and just add lemon to it. I adapted the recipe (here) from the odlums website. I've been using this recipe to make cupcakes for years and it's just the best I've come across. They always turn out light, fluffy and delicious! This recipe is so quick and easy to make so if you're not a confident baker then I would definitely recommend you giving it a try. The thing that I love most about this recipe is that there's no sieving required (yes, I'm THAT lazy!)



Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:
125g Self Raising Flour
125g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
Few Drops of Vanilla essence
Few Drops of Lemon juice

For the buttercream:
100g Butter
200g Icing sugar
Few Drops of Lemon juice

How to make them:

- Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius 

- Beat the butter and sugar until it's a light and fluffy consistency. Beat in the eggs, vanilla essence and the lemon juice.

- Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon.

- Divide the mixture into cupcake cases.

- Bake for about 20 minutes. They should be golden brown when they're done.

- To make the icing, beat the icing sugar, butter and lemon juice until it forms a smooth, creamy icing.


Quick tip! I always add less sugar to anything I bake whenever I use essences/sweeteners as there's just no need for the amount of sugar that they tell you to use. The essence or in this case the lemon juice sweetens it just fine. 

They were put to the all important taste test this evening and it's safe to say they tasted bloody amazing! (if I do say so myself! Ha ha!) They got a thumbs up from my family and even Miss Piper Rae seemed to approve! She thought all her christmases came at once when she tried to take a sneaky taste while I was photographing them!! I quickly let her know otherwise and took them away ;-)

Right, I'll stop making your mouths drool now and finish up the post. I'm off to devour some more of these now! Let's just call it a pre-bedtime snack ;-)

Do you like lemon cupcakes? Have you ever made them before? What's your favourite thing to eat in the summer?


Love,
Cliona xx




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Thursday, 3 July 2014

Ripped jeans




Top - Zara
Jeans - Zara
Belt - H&M
Runners - Penneys
Sunglasses - Topshop
Bracelets - Parfois


Would you believe I haven't done an outfit post in over a month?! That's mainly because I haven't worn anything that exciting and I wouldn't want to bore you with my tracksuit collection ;-) But fear not as I have an outfit post for you today featuring my new love; Ripped jeans!

Ripped jeans have been everywhere this summer and I finally jumped on the bandwagon and got myself a pair. I was very hesitant about buying these as I've never been a huge fan of ripped jeans. In fact, back in the early 2000's when they were all the rage I absolutely hated them and I used to shudder at the sight of them! I always thought they looked quite tacky but they've definitely improved since then and I've actually grown to like them. I tried these on ages ago and I put them back because I wasn't 100% sure about them. But when I was browsing in Zara recently I noticed they were on sale for €20! and before I knew it I was headed to the checkout with these bad boys in my hands.

I had so many doubts running through my mind about these when I first bought them but it's safe to say I'm truly in love with them now. In fact, I've barely even taken them off since I got them!

 I wore this very laid back outfit on Sunday and this is what I would typically wear on a sunday, it's comfy and casual - perfect for a chilled Sunday! I paired the jeans with this simple white t-shirt that has a see-through detail at the top (I only noticed that you can see my string top through it when I was looking back at these photos! In future I need to wear a white one. Ha ha!) and a pink belt for a pop of colour. I also wore my new bracelets from Parfois (read my haul post here) and my cute leopard print runners from Penneys that only cost €3! Did I hear someone say bargain?


What are your thoughts on ripped jeans? Do you have a pair?

Love,
Cliona xx









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