Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Masks You Should Be Wearing This Halloween


Hey guys!

I hope you're keeping well. For those of us in Ireland, the next five weeks might be dark and cold but that does not mean there is no light at the end of the tunnel. After this lockdown hopefully, people will have learned that when restrictions ease, life does not go back to normal. We have to remain cautious and careful about who we see, how often and where. If we all stick together and stay at home, things will improve!

On that note, I have done a roundup of my favourite masks for scary skin and horror hair this Halloween! We may not be able to go out but we can certainly take care of ourselves whilst staying in.

Jessica Graaf Reusable Barrier Masks 

Possibly the most important mask you should be wearing this Halloween is a mask when you are on public transport, grocery shopping or out for essential reasons!

I love Jessica Graaf's masks. They are the only ones I have used since reusable masks became easier to purchase during the summer. The masks are cotton, breathable, light and the designs are just gorgeous!

I am really hoping there is a Christmas line as well!

I have bought all of my masks in Supervalu but you can buy them on the Jessica Graaf website as well, they retail for €5 in both.

Garnier Fresh-Mix Vitamin C Tissue Mask

I love sheet masks. Some find them messy but I absolutely love them! The Garnier Fresh-Mix masks are so good as well because each mask has the equivalent of one bottle of serum! This mask leaves my skin feeling smooth and hydrated.

This mask is cool and refreshing and I would definitely recommend using it if your skin needs a pick me up. The tissue mask does not contain any animal ingredients or by-products!

Garnier Fresh-Mix Vitamin C Tissue Masks are available from Boots for €4.99.

No7 Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask

I love this mask because it's a cream mask that does not dry out your skin at all. Finding a mask that does not dry out your skin and gives it all the fab benefits that it claims to do is HARD! I have dry skin and at the moment it is more irritated due to wearing face masks but this does not irritate it any further.

The formula is quite thick which some people may not like but the hydration I get from this is unparalleled and I have also noticed my pores look smaller (not sure if this is a side effect of this mask or my skincare regimen at the moment as a whole).

The No7 Instant Results Nourishing Hydration Mask is available from Boots for €15 and is currently in the a buy one get one 50% offer.

Garnier Moisture Bomb Orange Juice Eye Sheet Mask

I originally received this eye mask as a Christmas present from the Garnier last year and used it after a night out because my under-eyes were in desperate need of some rejuvenation! These are cooling as well as soothing and really give tired eyes an extra boost.

I have tried these both with and without putting them into the fridge and definitely prefer the results I get when they are put into the fridge a few hours before I use them.

These smell great and I love taking my Real Techniques Under Eye Reviver to use any excess product afterwards!

Garnier's Moisture Bomb Eye Sheet Mask is available from Boots for €3.99 and is currently in their 3 for 2 offer!
Real Technique's Under Eye Reviver is part of the Prep + Prime Skincare Brush Set available from ASOS for €31.99.

L'Oréal  Elvive Dream Lengths Hair Mask
I love a good hair mask. I have long hair so looking after my length, especially the ends, is so important to me. I have changed up my shampoos and conditioners recently but my hair mask has remained unchanged. Not only does this smell unreal, it also gives my hair some added hydration when I need it!

A mask will not solve a bad hair routine but in combination with decent shampoos and conditioners (the Dream Lengths range is fantastic), this will definitely help improve your hair health!

L'Oréal Elvive's Dream Lengths Hair Mask is available from Boots for €6.29 and is currently in their 3 for 2 offer. You can also try the whole range, including the No Haircut Cream for €14.82.

Neutrogena Clean and Defend Wash-Mask

I love this mask because you can use it as a face wash as well, depending on your mood you can decide between a wash and a mask in one product!

This really helps problematic areas of my skin and even when I just use it as a mask, it definitely helps angry spots calm down.

I haven't used a huge range of Neutrogena products (pretty much just this and the majority of the Hydro Boost line, which I love!) but from what I have used, I have yet to find a product that lets me down.

Neutrogena's Clean and Defend Wash-Mask is available from Superdrug for £4.99.

I just realised that all of my favourite masks are orange but it definitely keeps with the Halloween theme!

This Halloween might be a different one but you can definitely look after yourself and you skin by giving it a little extra TLC!

What are your favourite face masks?

Let me know in the comments below!


Snapchat: Ciarakxo

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Garnier Green Beauty - A Sustainable Story

Hi guys!

I hope you're keeping well. It really is a strange world we are living in at the moment. If you had told me in January that my final year in college (I finish my masters this academic year) would be online and press events would turn virtual, I probably would've laughed.

Hopefully with everyone sticking to the guidelines and the phases for testing a vaccine go to plan, we can gain some form of normality in the near future.

I took some time away from my blog and really most social media over the summer. Despite everything, I had an incredibly fulfilling summer! I am so delighted that I have secured a Training Contract with DLA Piper and will start working with the in 2022. I also quit my part-time job so I could focus on the upcoming academic year and I spent a lot of time away from Dublin which was great!

It has been so nice to get back into the swing of things and the Garnier 'Virtual Press Trip' today was a great start to it all.

I love Garnier products, that is no secret. From Garnier Summer Body to Garnier Ultimate Blends Hair Food, I am always using their products. The event today highlighted Garnier's clear commitment to Green Beauty by 2025.

We got to hear from experts like Laurent Gilbert and Caroline Delaunay on how Green Sciences will allow Garnier to make the change by limiting their environmental impact and preserving ecosystems. It is so refreshing to hear a brand championing their green initiatives and working towards a more sustainable product as well as more sustainable packaging and practices.

Garnier plans to be 100% carbon neutral by 2025. This is not an easy task from such a large, well-known brand. Challenges surrounding consuming zero virgin plastic, among others are noted but the brand seems confident that their 2025 goal will be met, but the change won't stop there. They also hope to achieve this by the end of 2020 in Europe!

It was so interesting to hear about their goal of using 100% post-consumer recycled material for their packaging in less than five years. They have already preempted issues such as achieving vibrant colours on the already recycled packaging, which shows they are not willing to compromise on the quality of their products while on this sustainable journey!

The Garnier Organic range already includes some products that I don't think I could live without, having used them for just over a year now! I suffer from dry skin and the Argan Multi-Use Rescue Balm does wonders when my skin reacts to harsh weather or goes through a particularly dry spell. The balm is rich but non-greasy which is something I was surprised about. I have used some on my hands in recent months as well as it is great!

New product launches into the range are imminent as well!

 The Hemp Multi-Restore Facial Sleeping Oil is vegan and intend to deeply nourish your skin overnight. Aimed towards dry, sensitive and stressed skin, this is definitely something I would love to try.

The shampoo bar is also a new product I will definitely purchase. With zero plastic waste, and a promise that the product works in the same way (hair goals still achievable!), this is definitely a move in the right direction for haircare!

It was really interesting to hear from Laurent Gilbert (Head of Sustainable Innovation) that they want to replace silicone in products by reinvented the formulation, starting from natural waxes and moving onto even more natural alternatives. 

The launch I am most excited for is the Reusable Eco Pads. I am currently using a few reusable makeup removers, including Face Halo and the Skinny Dip x Primark peaches but these ones are pink so I might just be sold on the colour alone!

The point that was really driven home was that understanding change is important and Garnier are actively trying to understand how they can change as a brand to ensure their environmental impact is low.

Garnier will also remain an accessible brand. Their ambition is to provide products for everyone and remain in the price range they are currently in.

I love that Garnier are putting in a huge amount of work to become a more sustainable brand and look forward to more brands following suit!

What sustainable brands do you love?

Let me know in the comments below!


Snapchat: Ciarakxo

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Summer Palette Picks

Hey guys!

Just a quick reminder that the protests in June were not enough to call yourself an 'ally'. To be an ally you need to actively make an effort to fight racism and discrimination whether that is by educating yourself, no longer being complicit or complacent or by fighting to get the officers who killed Breonna Taylor charged.

I know the weather in Ireland is not exactly summery at the minute but I cannot wait to break out my golden hues and iridescent highlights when it is sunnier!

I have four favourites and if you haven't tried them you need to!

Penneys (Primark) PS Single Shadows

I bought these shadows individually almost a year ago now and I am still in love with them! The lilac shimmer shade is perfect for the summer months as pop of colour under your brows or if you're feeling brave and going for a full purple/violet look, it is perfect as an accent colour on your lids!

With a good primer, these shadows last all day and the soft lilac just screams summer flowers to me.

You can purchase PS Pro Single Shadows for €1 in Penneys stores!

Urban Decay Naked Heat

I don't think anything could say summer more than Naked Heat. The whole palette just looks like a smouldering sun and you can create the perfect sultry summer look with this palette. It is also so easy to take a day look into the night by adding one of the shimmer shades to your lid!

The warm tones of this palette are perfect for summer and the ratio of matte to metallic is fantastic!

If you're looking to create a warm, sultry summer look, Naked Heat is the palette for you! The pigmentation is fantastic and there is only a little fallout from the shimmer shades (which is expected because they are very shimmery!).

Naked Heat is available from Arnotts for €50.

Violet Voss x Nicol Concilio Palette

I usually end up using this palette alongside Naked Heat because I adore the gold shimmery shades in this palette. The copper-toned shades are also perfect with the mattes in Naked Heat.

I am a sucker for a bright, shimmery and golden summer eye so this palette with the warm tones in Naked Heat is my go-to during the summer! 

While this palette is no longer available, you can find similar ones on Beauty Bay!

Urban Decay Afterglow Highlighter Palette

It is completely okay to use what is a 'designated' highlighter on your eyelids. It is a powder product and lets be real, I always just bring bronzer and highligther away with me on weekend trips to save room and I always love my eye looks!

I have hit pan on both highlighters (I tend to use Side Piece more on my eyes than as a highlight) and the palette has been discontinued but I think I have found a close replacement!

Urban Decay Naked Illuminated in Bronze Lit is a gorgeous universal bronze shade that is perfect for warming up any look, especially if you're going for a sun-kissed look.

Bronze Lit is available from Arnotts for €29.50.

Even though I won't be heading abroad this summer, I am still holding out for another heatwave in Ireland.
When it hits, I'll be walking around like a bronzed, glowy goddess with these products!

What are your summer palette picks?
Are they the same as mine or different?

Let me know in the comments below!


Snapchat: Ciarakxo

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter - Wikipedia

Hey guys!

In the wake of George Floyd's death, many of us have been thinking about racism at home and abroad.

I thought long and hard about what to say, how to say it and when I should. The current protests happening worldwide are a wake-up call to many, but for others it came as a shock, some even outraged by the protests. 

I support the protests and have acknowledged that I will never know the struggle people of colour face every single day. I have stood up for people, both friends and strangers, when I knew they were being discriminated against and I have tried to educate myself on the movement and systemic racism around the world.

I wanted to share this post to let everyone know I stand with them, I may not fully understand how the pressures, fears and discriminatory acts feel but I can do my best to listen and learn.

There is no room for racism in my life and I respect everyone, a human being is a human being, it is your actions that define you, not how you were born. To judge someone on something as superficial as the colour of their skin is just something I cannot and will never comprehend.

For those who want to educate themselves, I have some resources below that I myself have used and learned from.


We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy by Ta-Nehisi Coates

We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates is an American author who explores race relations in many of his pieces and discusses cultural, political and social issues surrounding African Americans and white supremacy in America.

The book is a compilation of a number of Atlantic articles written during Obama's presidency which highlighted that any black progress was always met with societal backlash. It was eye-opening to read and I would recommend this to anyone and everyone.

White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About ...

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo 
DiAngelo explores how white people endorse racial inequality in their reactions to their assumptions and understanding about race being challenged.

Discussing how society is still largely segregated (in her opinion to insulate white people from racial discomfort), it did open my eyes to how things I do everyday have given me the opportunity to (and I'm sure I have inadvertently done so) participate in racist systems.

I do have more books I need to read and I will have an updated post after I have read them!

TV Shows and Movies 

NAACP Image Awards Nominee: 'Dear White People' | All Of It | WNYC

Dear White People (Netflix)
While satirical, Dear White People highlights the biases and injustices a group of black students face at a predominantly white Ivy League university. Later seasons also draw attention to white supremacist groups and how they remain active on college campuses and around the world.

Logan Browning (Samantha) is also a fantastic actress and it is worth reading this piece in The Georgetown Voice.

If Beale Street Could Talk - *NEW MOVIE* - The Blue Loon

If Beale Street Could Talk
This movie is amazing. Centering on a young couple from Harlem, it follows their struggle after Fonny, a black man, is arrested for a crime he did not commit.

A classic love story halted by a grudge-bearing white cop, this movie is a must-see but only scratches the surface on the struggles faced by African Americans in the 1970s and today. Watch Selma | Prime Video

Selma follows civil rights demonstrators as they marched from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. I learned about the marches in school but the emotions in this movie really bring it home. Culminating in the Voting Rights Act 1965, many believed that was the start of the end of systemic racism in America.

It's harrowing to believe 55 years later almost nothing has changed. The movie was made in 2014 and is a harrowing reminder that those who do not acknowledge the wrongs in history are doomed to repeat them.

There are countless movies and series that I have yet to watch, 13th on Netflix being one of these. I will update my list on ways to educate yourself after I have educated myself some more.



Support Irish Black Owned Businesses 

Eviye Brand is a handmade, organic and vegan cosmetics company.

Bees of Honey is a self-care pack and items can now be bought individually as well.

Whipped sells cruelty free body butter (skincare).

Nectar and Ambrosia Cakes (bakery) with delivery in Dublin.

BvdGyalBrand lashes to order.

Irish Black Owned Instagram highlights a lot of black owned Irish businesses and is well worth checking out and following!

The final thing I have to say is do not stay silent. Stand up, speak up and actively acknowledge how you have played a part in the systemic racism that is still part of our world.


Snapchat: Ciarakxo