Beauty: Waxperts Ingrown Hair Pads

Could this be solution to pesky ingrown hairs? 

While I was getting laser hair removal done with Urbana in Dublin I experienced the discomfort of ingrown hairs on my legs. At first I thought it was a rash but my laser therapist, Michelle, assured me that it was ingrown hairs and that this is very common.

Michelle suggested that on top of my daily exfoliation I use ingrown hair solutions, recommending I take a look in Boots.

The range available in Boots was a little pricey for my taste, so I went online to find cheaper alternatives, starting and finishing with Irish business Waxperts.

Waxperts Wax ingrown hair pads reviews

Who are Waxperts?

First of all, I’ll give a little round up about who Waxperts are. Waxperts Salon is lauded establishment in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin set up by Ellen Kavanagh and providing a boudoir salon experience.

Since the business was born, out of savvy and determination, the brand has expanded in the a range of Waxing products, with many beauty bloggers agreeing that it is the most supple, effective wax they have yet to try.

Waxperts Ingrown Hair Pads- do they work? 

Put simply, these ingrown pads, available on dolledup.ie for just €8, are a very effective tool to have in your problem solving kit.

Let’s face it, we all want smooth legs, and unsightly lumps and red spots take away from that ideal. I’ve been using, and have twice repurchased, these pads, which I think is a testament to them; I rarely rebuy, always on the look out for something new, something better value and something more effective.

Using after a shower and after shaving, prior to application of , I noticed how easy and effective these simple pads are. They look like the cotton pads you would use to remove make up and you lightly rub the area you want to treat with them, bringing the ingrown hairs to the surface and tackling any unwanted redness, thanks to the inclusion of salicylic acid. On top of this, the packaging is lovably retro. Always gets you extra marks here on Music & Everything.

Waxperts Wax reviews

The best part about these pads is that they are gentle. One would think a product like this would be abrasive on the skin but even my sensitive skin can deal with daily use.

This comes with a thumbs up from me; they are Irish, which is a bonus, they are effective, they are gentle and they don’t give off an offensive smell. Adding to that the exceptional value, you have yourself a winner. Boot’s own brand ingrown hair solution is over €1 more expensive, and brands like Nair expect you to pay €11 or more; Waxperts pads work and they are friendlier on the purse.

To find out more about Waxperts Wax’s products visit www.waxpertswax.com.

Lifestyle: Kindle Paperwhite Review

First Impressions of a Kindle from a book traditionalist’s view.

I know I am not alone among book lovers in refusing for a lengthy time to given in to the realm of eBooks.

The look and feel of book lends to the experience of reading; the smell of an old book you’ve borrowed from someone or from the library, the touch of the page as you turn it in anticipation.

Recently I was convinced though. A book in my handbag is just added weight to things I “need” to carry with me to work every day. It’s also €11 I could spend on something else, like food or petrol (or 4 kindle books).  Adding that to the fact that my frequent trips to Eason and Chapters have resulted in a lack of storage space, it seemed that eBooks were the way to go. After taking a peek at a friend’s Kindle in work and much discussion with fellow tweeting book worms Karie, Chloe, Sharon and Hazel  (thanks ladies) I decided I was a Kindle person.

Kindle Review

Considering that Sharon and Chloe are wholly responsible for my ever-growing “to-read” list on Goodreads, thanks to their amazing reviews on their respective blogs(Chloe is HERE and Sharon is HERE, you’ll adore them), I figured the Kindle was a good buy for a book worm. Or maybe they’re just  spendaholic enablers.

Down to business… my first impressions of the Kindle. 

I’ve only had the Kindle (The paperwhite edition) a week, and I fell in love with it instantly.

The feel of it; smooth, matte and feather light was what sold me most of all. It means I can read enormous books without it weighing my handbag down. It fits right into the small inside pocket of my handbag and even on a packed train to work I can still comfortable read it because it’s so small. For the lads, it is the perfect size to slip into your coat pocket.

I also love it because of the money saving aspect and the ease of use. The Kindle books are typically around the €4-€6 mark, as opposed to the sometimes outrageous prices you would pay in a book shop. I realise there are cheaper alternatives like The Book Depository, but then you have to wait at least 4 days for your book to come!

It is 100% user friendly, too. With a simple touch screen and a handy user introduction when you first switch it on there is not much you could get confused about. You can even load books to your kindle from your desktop or phone if you think of a book you want to read and don’t have your device to hand.

Finally, I feel like I am reading a lot more now that I have the Kindle. As much of a book worm as I am (I do read every day, typically), I am an abominably slow reader. It could take me a month to read a book normally, sometimes longer. Put it this way; I ambitiously decided to take the Good reads challenge and set myself a target of 30 books. I’ve read 9.

Like I said, I only have the Kindle a week and I am already halfway through the very intriguing Cop Town by  Karin Slaughter (because the aforementioned Sharon reviewed it). It is just so much easier to fly through a book using it.

A couple of other features worth mentioning are the dictionary; one click and you are given the definition and it saves into a little vocabulary log, and the highlight feature; press down to highlight and drag across the sentence, it saves in your notes and you can look back on your favourite lines and quotes whenever you want, this is definitely one of my favourite things about it.

Kindle review, highlight feature

I would absolutely recommend The Kindle Paperwhite to any serious bookworms out there; you’ll save on space, you’ll save on money long term and you can read it under the covers thanks to the backlight. Yes, the look and feel of a book is fantastic and no, I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a book if it was lent to me or gifted to me (I think books are the most thoughtful gift) but this is genuinely the best material investment I have made since I bought my car.

You can pick one up in PC World for €139 or €79.99 for the non-touch screen version.

 

Beauty: What a waste of money- Beauty products to avoid

Beauty products I wish I never bought

You know when you spend money on something, no matter how little, and your expectations are high and then… it lets you down. Thankfully when it comes to pricier products I research, research, research and tend to stick the brands I know; these budget buys are ones I recommend you avoid.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine Lip Crayon

I thought I had hit the jackpot when I came across this product; I love lip crayon, hate gloss, so this would be the ideal combo. Wrong, so very wrong.

Barry M Gelly Hi Shine

I pressed the tip to my lips and it broke immediately with little or no pressure applied. Minus several points right there. Add to that the smudgy, sloppy consistency of the crayon it was a use once and destroy kind of beauty product.

Soap and Glory Thick and Fast Mascara

After reading a post by another blogger ages ago (I can’t recall who it was) about the dangers of using your Mascara for, well, years, I binned my beloved Max Factor Excess Volume and sought a similarly lengthening alternative. I had read good things about Soap and Glory’s product range so I decided to give them a try. I picked up this particular one in the hope that would give me the extended look it promised. It didn’t.

I still use it, but only for work because I don’t like to over do the make up just for sitting at a desk and because I spent €13 euro on it, I’m not going to throw that out so easily.

Soap and Glory Supercat eyeliner

Lately I haven’t been in the position to pick up my usual MAC eyeliner for quite a while now and I’ve been through quite a few not so good alternatives, least impressive of all being this particular one.

Supercat liner review

I love liner pens because they are quick and easy and last a long time, however this is just frustrating. It’s not as fluid as one would hope, requiring a bit of dragging on the lid. On top of this, it has no staying power. Most liquid liners last the day, but this fades within a couple of hours; yes, it’s only about €7 but I suppose I expected more from a brand that I have loved so dearly the past year.

The never ending search for a replacement for MAC liquid liner will probably end up with a trip to MAC, to be honest.

Batiste Plumping Powder

“For maximum root boost”. More like “for maximum hair mattifying”.  I was looking for something that would help add volume to my hair aside from plain old shampoo, so I figured being a reliable brand, the Batiste plumping powder was the answer to this particularly non-issue.

It calls itself “weightless” but it absolutely isn’t. It made my hair feel dirty instead of light and voluminous. I gave it a few tries; trying it on dry hair, wet hair, up dos, down dos and nothing seemed to work with it. If you want chalky, limp hair, this is the product for you.

Garnier Ultimate Blends, The Silky

I feel like there should be a good competitor for Batiste’s dry shampoo, but there isn’t. I’ve tried a few different brands and this is by far the worst. A dry shampoo that makes your hair silky while keeping it fresh between washes; that’s what you want, isn’t it? That’s not what you get though. This product doesn’t lend the volume that Batiste does, in fact it weighs the hair down making it look even more unwashed; flat, lifeless, dull hair was the result, not the promised easy to detangle, cleansed and fresh look.

The big selling point is that there is no visible residue; big deal. Batiste might have residue but it brushes out and it leaves your hair feeling fresh, not worse that prior to spraying it in.

Garnier Dry Shampoo Review

The only redeeming quality of this product is that it smells nice; I for one would rather have hair that doesn’t smell like Madagascan vanilla and looks a little less dull.

That’s approximately €40 wasted on products that let me down over the past couple of months; €40 I could have spent on a nice dinner, or a couple of reliable MAC products.  Go forth and spend wisely, don’t waste your money on these things.

Have you been let down by any beauty buys recently? Head to the comments and rant! 

Lifestyle: 5 reasons to be glad Autumn is here

This post has been inspired by a lot of the sorrowful tweets I’ve read mourning the loss of Summer 2014.

We’re conditioned from our school years to dread autumn back to school, back to homework, back to exams.

Honestly though, this can’t be good for our mental health; we spend our winters complaining and waiting for the summer and, if you’re reading in Ireland or the UK, that can be a bit of a disappointment weather wise.

Summer is fantastic, yes; the warmer weather is good for us, we get to get the pins out, eat al fresco, enjoy longer nights. That being said, Autumn/Winter (It’s all one and the same in Ireland) gets an unjust bad rap; it has its own charms and there are plenty of reasons as to why we should be glad it has arrived.

Winter clothes!

Winter look

 

Image source frankieheartsfashion.com

Surely I am not alone in thinking that winter clothes are far superior to summer clothes? The cosy, stylish coats, the hats, scarves, oversized jumpers, boots. I spend most of my summer wishing I could wear my favourite boots without melting. As soon as the temperature starts to drop I get a fuzzy excitement for the new range of scarves and gloves to come into the shops.

 The colours are always more universally flattering, also; pastel yellows and greens and floral patterns are not for everyone.

Lack of night-in guilt

We all need a night in but there is nothing like a long, sunny, warm evening to make you feel guilty about wanting nothing more than curling up in your PJs and watching a film.

Once winter comes and it starts getting dark at around 9pm our psyche tells us that it’s ok to not want to go out, it’s ok to want to avoid other humans, and it’s ok to just want to eat and watch TV.

Cosiness!

Cosy winter nights

 

image source elvisduran.com

This summer in Ireland had been stifling. I have never lost so many nights’ sleep due to the humidity and soon we can no doubt expect the exact opposite; freezing cold nights, howling winds. The thing is, the howling winds, rain and low temperatures all lend to the charm of Autumn and Winter. It’s the perfect excuse to get some candles lit and snuggle up in your favourite PJs with a hot drink in your hand. Not to mention the hot water bottles. How could you favour Feeling like a hot water bottle in summer ahead of having a hot water bottle warm your bed up before your climb in. Lovely!

Halloween!

Taking the fools who go wild with the fireworks and bangers out of the equation, Halloween is my favourite time of year. I love it. I love dressing up as something ghoulish, I love planning my costume, I love seeing other people’s costumes , I love ritualistically watching Hocus Pocus and horror movies. I. Love. IT. I also love reflecting on the people I’ve lost over the years without having being forced to do so like at Christmas when the empty chairs and missing voices are so glaringly obvious. It is a feast for the spirits, after all.

 It’s like Christmas for people who probably could have been descended from The Addams Family had they not been fictional. The most wonderful time of year!

Christmas cheer is on the horizon.

Christmas lights

 

image source:  karlafitzpatrickfyb.blogspot.com

Christmas day, most of us could take or leave, but one of the best things about winter is the lead up to Christmas (from December only, bored of the overkill!); the lights, meeting up with people you may not have seen for months, the songs, the hot chocolates, the seasonal drinks, the jumpers, our younger relatives excitement about Santa’s visit; everything about it is automatically mood lifting; it’s like sprinkling cinnamon in your coffee, which incidentally would have been the 6th on the list if that didn’t make things uneven.

Hopefully this quick post has dashed away the immediate post-summer blues and instilled in you the warm, fuzzy feeling I get just thinking about Autumn and Winter. What’s really important is to look at the positives of the season; it’s going to happen whether you like having to wear a scarf or not!

Fitness & Health: The best protein powder for sensitive tummies.

I’ve found this to be the best protein powder for sensitive stomachs/IBS

When increasing your activity Protein Powder is a great way to meet your requirements. A bigger demand on nutrition due to a jump in the exercise you’re doing requires extra protein in your daily food consumption in order to meet energy demands and help repair muscles.

Really though, people often neglect to tell you that they can wreak havoc if you have IBS or a sensitive stomach. As someone with IBS I can vouch for the debilitating pain that can come along with taking the wrong type of protein powder.

I’ve tried four products prior to finding my holy grail of sensitive tummy powders.

 My first foray into the world of protein powder was before I had any notion of what nutrition was actually about was the Sculptress Maxitone “Weight Loss System” shake.  The less said the better; do not use anything entitled “diet”. I’ve also tried Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard Whey which, in fairness to the brand and product, is a fantastic shake, one of the cleanest you can buy and with a very palatable taste, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a simple, clean whey protein.

After discovering that Whey inflamed my IBS, I opted for a vegan protein formula from Raw Fusion; this was the nicest protein I have ever tasted and I am very disappointed to say I can’t take it any more because the incredibly high fructose content effect my tummy terribly.

Protein Guide

Handy guide to different types of protein powder. Credit: http://www.sensualappealblog.com/protein-powders/
 

Enter Sunwarrior; a clean, vegan protein powder that is just as good, if not better, than Whey shakes. Favoured by the Paleo obsessors, you can bet that this is the cleanest protein out there.

Note: I am 100% positive that the Paleolithians did not have protein powders so I reckon you’re cheating if you are on the Paleo diet and taking any protein powder, no matter how clean they are. Also they didn’t avocados. Just saying.

Anyway… *clears throat*

First off I tried the vegan blend; a rice protein shake  with an okay flavour, is a very loose, messy powder that I was happy to take because, at last, I found a protein powder that didn’t make me bloated to the point were people were asking me when I was due (you know who you are and yes, I hate you now), caused me to double over in pain and made me feel generally awful.

Thankfully I discovered Sunwarrior’s much more palatable, completely nutritional packed-out Warrior Blend, which not only has it got 15g of protein per scoop, it’s also packed with Branched  Chain Amino Acids which regulate blood sugars, supposedly increase your metabolism and overall benefit your health and immune system. It’s easy to digest which is key when you suffer with IBS or any tummy issues.

Sunwarrior Protein Reviews

The Warrior blend is composed of Hemp, Cranberry, Pea and Coconut protein, as opposed to the rice protein that makes up the vegan blend. Its flavour is delicious by comparison to its Vegan Blend counterpart, making it a nicer addition to pancakes, porridge etc. It’s also nice for smoothies as it blends a little thicker, making the need for yogurt null and void.

I cannot recommend this beauty of a protein powder enough to anyone looking for a good one to supplement their nutrition and go easy on their tummy.

Where can I buy Sunwarrior Protein?

The cheapest place to buy Sunwarrior Warrior Blend in Ireland is Discount Supplements, honestly, I wouldn’t buy it anywhere else; at just €44.98, it’s a good €5 cheaper than most places AND they have been kind enough to give me a discount code exclusively for Musicandeverything.com readers.

Shop Sun Warrior Products here

Discount code 5%: mae5

 Nutritional Note: I wouldn’t recommend you take protein supplements unless you have a balanced, healthy diet and partake in physical activity/exercise on a regular basis; if you are not enjoying additional activity on top of your usual daily grind, you do not need to add more protein into your diet unless recommended by a doctor.

I also cannot stress the word Supplement enough. Protein shakes are not a meal replacement; you need solid, digestible food in your diet for weight loss and replacing proper meals with protein shakes defeats their purpose; they are supposed to add further nutritional value to your diet, not replace what you are already in-taking. 

It’s quite fitting that my only post this week is a nutritional one; perhaps it’s because I have a one track mind this week. I won’t be posting until next week because I’m taking my final Nutrition Exam at the end of the week. 

So tell me, will you be trying Sunwarrior Protein? Or do you have your own recommendations? To the comments

Beauty: NYX Born to glow illuminator | Review & Swatches

NYX Illuminator Review – What’s it for and does it work?

I’ll admit it- I am a bad beauty blogger. I’ve never used an Illuminator before; only highlighters. So when I was sent NYX’s Born to Glow to try out I wasn’t exactly 100 per cent sure whether it was a highlighter or not.

So I did what anyone would do, I googled it. Turns out an Illuminator has a shimmer effect, unlike a highlighter, and can be used on large portions of the face to create a fresh glow. Who knew?

The NYX illuminator is the first of its kind that I have used so I’m not an expert by any means.

nyx illuminator review and swatches

If you’re an illumination virgin like me, you’ll probably want to know a little more about them, so…

An illuminator is used on large parts of your face, usually around the top half or around the jaw line, to give a softness to the complexion. It brightens your face, essentially adding what you hope people will perceive as a natural, healthy glow.

Case in point, J.Lo’s face.

J.Lo illuminator complexion

*image courtesy of Islandher.com

That is the first and last time you will see J.Lo on the blog, but her face is known for its illumination.

Take caution, though! As I learned from using the NYX products, less really is more. Too much and you like less dewy and more greasy.

The soft shimmer in both the Sunbeam, a light pink hue, and Gleam, a more golden hue, is beautiful; really light and doesn’t overly glitterise your face, instead lending a dewy glow.

Sunbeam Swatch

Sunbeam Swatch

Gleam Swatch

Gleam Swatch

Sunbeam is more my bag; a friend to the pale skinned girl, while the Gleam shade only got one run out from me because it would be better suited to someone with warmer tones than I. The latter will be ideal for anyone looking for a sunkissed glow, while the former is suitable for someone simply looking to add a softness to another wise matte or severe look.

Because, with my pale skin and dark hair, I tend to go for bold, dark lips and lined eyes I find it is a fine way to lighten things up a bit without going all-out glow.

I now use it almost every day under my foundation, starting at my nose and working out towards the apples of my cheeks.

NYX illuminator in sunbeam

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to try out an illumintator but isn’t prepare to pay for the likes of a Nars or MAC one just yet. At just €9.50, it goes a long way and is a good starting point if you want to start playing around with new looks. Like I said, though, I have no previous dealings with products like this so I can’t vouch for its excellence against other brands.

If you’re having trouble finding an NYX stockist,  I have a list right HERE  

Have you tried out any NYX products yet? Head to the comments! 

Beauty: Dream Dots- A Magical spot treatment? | Review

I’ve read quite a few reviews of new Irish Product, Dream Dots, Over the past while and I don’t like to get in the habit of reviewing “so hot right now” products. That being said, as a sufferer of oily skin and frequent outbreaks I feel it is my humble duty to add to the many reviews you may have already read. 

So, in case you aren’t aware of what this allegedly skin saving product is; Dream Dots are tiny little see through discs that put on the offending blemish and, it says on their website, vanishes it overnight.

Now, the few reviews I have read about this certainly innovative product have all sung the praises of this product saying they have indeed seen their spots disappear overnight or over the course of two nights and I am delighted to say that I have similar results to report.

Two days after these little discs arrived in the post a spot suddenly appeared on my face. A big one. And it was the only time I was ever glad to have a spot because it meant I could test out this new product.

Spot treatments

This was one of those red spots that no concealer could possibly hide, so before bed I stuck one of those little bad boys on and the following morning it was still there, although I couldn’t help but notice it went from offensively red to coyishly pink. Much easier to conceal and less obvious without make up. See below for initial outrageously red state of the spot and what it looked like the next morning.

Dream dots reviewdreamdots review

I tried another dream spot a second night and low and behold, it had indeed disappeared. Vanished off my face! What kind of blissful witchery is this? It’s cruelty and vegan freely witchery so we have all pluses on all fronts; a product that works and isn’t tested on animals.

I was very sceptical when I heard about the product at first but I was surprised to discover that it’s not a gimmick.

The only issue with this product are the bodies that recommend it; Rosanna Davidson and a couple of well known media outlets/figures that I for one don’t respect and wouldn’t purchase because they say it’s good.

My opinions on mainstream media aside, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who is prone to sneaky spot outbreaks, and don’t they always come when you have an event on the horizon? They have become a regular in my oily skin combating arsenal.

These dots are great to have when even the best of blemish fighting products can’t hold them off.

Where to buy Dream Dots?

You can buy a pack of 24 or a double pack of 48 for €14.95 and €24.95 respectively either on the brand’s website HERE or in certain pharmacies such as Mc Cabes and Sam Mc Cauleys.

Does this sound like something you would try?