Monday, 27 April 2015

Ziaja Skincare Review

Recently I was sent some Ziaja products to review to celebrate 25 years of timeless beauty. I honestly had never heard of Ziaja before so I was delighted to be given the chance to learn about and use a new product. I was sent three products from their olive leaf collection which smell amazing!!! 

Ziaja Olive Leaf Gel Scrub (200ml) RRP €5.99

The olive leaf gel scrub is my first ever product from the brand to use. I loved it. It smells so good and is really uplifting and energizing in the morning times. It can be used on the face and on the body. Ziaja recommend exfoliating your face twice a week in colder months to increase cell turnover, reduce pores and to help maintain a glowing complexion. Once a week is sufficient other times of the year. To be honest I way prefer using this product on my body in a super hot shower. My skin always felt baby smooth after it. The granules in it make it perfect for exfoliating prior to fake tanning and for removal afterwards. 

Ziaja Olive Leaf Concentrated Nourishing Cream (50ml) €5.99

This moisturising cream is perfect for all skin types and all ages. I used this everyday for almost two months and it left my skin really well hydrated and soft to touch. I LOVE that this product contains both UVA and UVB SPF 20 broad spectrum protection. It just feels so soft and almost like a souffle when you are rubbing it in. Because I am a blogger I am often using different skincare routines for whatever amount of time to trial and review it BUT now and again I get to chose my own. Whenever this happens this will 100% be my moisturiser of choice. 

So, I have a little confession to make... I am a very bold blogger. I haven't yet tried the Ziaja Olive Leaf Regenerating Mask. I am saving it for a pamper night but I promise to blast all about it across my social media sites with the low down as soon as I use it. I have every faith that it will be just as amazing as the products above. 

FYI Ziaja is pronounced as Ji-Ya!! ;)

If you would like to check out the full Ziaja range or make some purchases you can do so HERE

#ziaja25years #timelessbeauty #oliveleaf


Thursday, 23 April 2015

My Proactiv+ Experience

Proactiv+ is used by Nicole Scherzinger and the gorgeous lead singer in Maroon5, Adam Levine. Sure if it's good enough for Sherzy??! In my package I received the skin smoothing exfoliator facial cleanser, the pore targeting treatment facial cream, the complexion perfecting hydrator facial moisturiser and the skin purifying mask. Proactiv+ is suitable for those with sensitive spot prone skin as well as those who suffer from the occasional breakout. I personally would be going along loving life and next thing boom, a big ugly spot!! It's incredibly annoying. 

Proactiv+ uses a patented formula specially designed to tackle blemishes from deep down in the skin while also providing hydration for healthier, more radiant skin. Their Smart Target Technology is developed to deliver more salicylic acid to the pores to promote fresh, spot free skin. 

What is salicylic acid?
Salicylic acid is a multifunctional ingredient used to fight blemishes, exfoliate and as an anti-irritant. It also helps to improve the skins thickness and barrier functions so it prevents excessive amounts of oils, dirt etc from entering your pores. Salicylic acid penetrates deep down into the pores to increase collegen production. Collegen is what makes our skin look firm and plump. As we age production of it slows down and that is why we get fine lines and wrinkles. Below I will talk you through the various steps of my Proactiv+ 3-Piece Core Kit.

Proactiv+ Skin Smoothing Exfoliator Facial Cleanser 
My first impression of this was a slight concern that it was a daily exfoliator. I hoped and prayed it was a gentle but effective exfoliator like the Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant and it is. The minuscule beads gently scrub away makeup, dead skin cells, dirt, oil and other pore clogging impurities to give you fresh, fabulous skin. It smells really good to, kinda like a salon product during a facial.

Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment
This is used twice a day morning and night after the Proactiv+ Skin Smooting Exfoliator Facial Cleanser. You need to apply a pearl sized amount all over your face and allow it soak in fully before the next step. It doesn't take very long so I usually brush my teeth to pass the time. Even though it is a cream is spreads and feels like a serum. 

Proactiv+ Complexion Perfecting Hydrator Facial Moisturiser
This is also applied twice a day morning and night once the Proactiv+ Pore Targeting Treatment is fully absorbed by the skin. This product is my favourite of them all. I am quite generous with this at night time because it is a little thicker than a regular moisturiser and is really cooling on the skin. It leaves my skin hydrated and baby smooth while also addressing redness, oil, dryness and general lacklustre skin. 

Proactiv+ Skin Purifying Mask
This mask comes free with the Proavtiv+ 3-Piece Core Kit. This can be used up to three times a week. It feels a little gritty when you are rubbing it on. I loved this because I really felt like my skin was getting a good deep clean. This amazing little product is also a great overnight treatment for spots and other problem blemishes. 

So in a nutshell...
I really loved the Proactiv+ products. They gave much better results than I ever expected. My skin feels plumper, thicker and just generally better. A good skincare routine is a vital part of a flawless makeup application. The trick is to find the products that suit your skin and stick with it. Expect a little breakout of a few days of crappy skin near the beginning as all the impurities are drawn out.

For more information or to purchase a Proactiv+ kit of your own click HERE!!

Melissa x


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Get to know your nails...

So you call up and want to book your nail appointment, seems straight forward eh? In most cases not so much. Suddenly it's like a questionnaire. ''So it is gel nails or gelish you are booking? Ohh gel nails so do you want polish or gel polish over them? Do you want nail art? Okay, nail art is an extra charge.'' etc. We have all been there, either as a client or a therapist... All of a sudden your simple phone call is now a crash course in nail treatments. Obviously both sides mean well and I know from my experience of working in salons that there are so many women out there who are unsure of how many different systems there are available. I love educating clients on the different types and today's blog post will hopefully help some of you guys out a little!

I am going to keep it as short, sweet and straight forward as possible.

Acrylic nails are usually but not always applied to a tip extension. They are amazing if you have short or bitten nails and have an occasion coming up where you want your nails to look their best. In basic terms your nail tech will mix a liquid and powder together on her brush to create a mixture which will be applied to your nail and the extension if there was one used. This will create the nail enhancement and add strength. Acrylic hardens when it is exposed to the air. It will then be buffed and filed to perfection by your nail tech. 

Overtime acrylics will grow with your natural nail and you will notice a gap between the nail colour and your cuticle area. This is perfectly normal and you will need to book your refills to have this gap filled if you intend on keeping your acrylics. Your nail tech will gently file down the existing acrylic and refill your nails from your cuticle area to the free edge. 

NOTE: Acrylics have quite a strong odor while they are being applied but this isn't harmful, providing the room you are in is well ventilated. Professional removal is advised.

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Like acrylic nails, gel nails can also but not always be applied to a nail tip to add length and/or shape to the nail. However unlike acrylics gel nails need to cure under a UV or LED light (each brand guidelines vary). This hardens the product and creates your enhancement. There is next to no odor during the application process of gel nails. 

Similar to acrylics, overtime your gel nails will grow along with your natural nail and it to will require refills. When you will need refills totally depends on how fast your nails grow but usually it is in or around the three week mark. 

NOTE: Gel nails and gel polish are two totally different treatments. Professional removal is advised.

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This really is the big one. The world and it's mother has or have used a gel polish. A gel polish is applied to either your natural nail or over a gel/acrylic enhancement. Usually it involves a base coat, two layers of colour and a top coat. Additional layers may be needed for coverage on paler shades but this is okay once they are applied thin. Each layer is cured under a UV or LED light depending on product guidelines and you are left with a manicure that is 100% dry and smudge proof leaving the salon. Gel polish usually lasts between 2-3 weeks, again this depends on which brand you are using. Your nail tech will be able to advise you on how long the product should last. 

Gel polish also grows along with your natural nail and when you decide to have a colour change it is simply soaked off in minutes by your nail tech and the fresh colour reapplied.

NOTE: There are soooo many different gel polish out there that it would be impossible for me to go through them all but my favourites are Gelish, Perfect Match and OPI Gelcolour. Professional removal is advised.

CND Shellac is commonly mistaken as a gel polish when infact it is professionally known as a power polish. It is extra special in that it is porous and allows cuticle oil and/or hand cream to pass through it and reach the natural nail. 

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Gel Look Nail Polish
This is where it can get tricky because people often confuse gel polish with gel look nail polish. A gel look nail polish is basically a regular nail varnish which may contain some properties which would cure/harden with natural light to make your home polish last that little bit longer. It is not the same as a gel polish which requires a UV or LED light to cure. 

UPKEEP: There is little or no upkeep with a gel look nail polish other than applying cuticle oil to the nails and cuticles to help prevent dehydration of the nail plate. 

NOTE: Gel look nail polish can be removed using regular nail varnish remover. 

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I LOVE this nail polish so soooo much. I really feel like it is totally unique and that is why it is getting it's own special little mention. Unlike other polishes CND Vinylux does not require a base coat as it is self adhering and doesn't stain the nail plate. For best results apply to coats of color followed by the CND Vinylux Weekly Top Coat. CND Vinylux dries fully in under ten minutes and is chip free and has a high shine for up to a week afterwards. Pretty amazing for a nail polish!!!

CND Vinylux is removed using regular nail varnish remover. 

Nails is something I LOVE and something my followers really love to. I want to do some more nail related posts in the future so watch this space.

If you have any questions pop a comment below or contact me via email

Mel x

PLEASE NOTE: All nail photos used in this blog post are courtesy of and may not be reposted or reproduced without prior permission. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

My Beauty Career

My Beauty Career

Hey girly girlos. Today I am writing something a little bit different but they idea struck me so I am gonna roll with it. I get asked by lots of you about my beauty training especially when I post photos of my nail art creations so I decided to do a blog post on where I got my qualifications and what I like and love about being in the beauty industry.

So I left school and went to college in Newbridge, Co. Kildare where I studied Beauty & Body Therapy. I loved it. It was the most fun ever. I had a really good teacher called Sinead and an incredible bunch of women of all ages in my class. Off I went to live away from mammy and daddy for the first time and I was only 17!! At the time I thought I was old and class, now I realise I was only really a baba!! 

Anyways the first thing you need to know about Beauty & Body Therapy is that it is hard, really hard. I remember sitting with a few of the girls I was close with when we were given our books and we were like ''What the f*#k is this? Where is all the nail polish, makeup and fake tan?'' This is an incorrect illusion people have about beauty courses. It isn't all doing treatments, having great lols and going home a stunner. We had to learn everything about the human body, muscles, bones, body systems you name it and it was tough. It requires quite a lot of study. My tips to anyone thinking of doing it or currently doing it would be to stay organised and keep on top of things. If you learned about the heart that day go home and study the life out of it because if you leave it, it only builds up and gets more difficult. 

PIC SOURCE: Google Images
In this course we covered pretty much everything. We done facials, waxing, tinting, manicures, pedicures, tanning, makeup, massage, figure analysis...everything!! When it comes to exam time you do a few written exams and then a practical exam where you are given a client and have to do various beauty treatments under the supervision of an examiner. It sounds nerve wreaking and I was nervous going in but honestly it's fine. The examiner wants you to do well so never panic!! It's all in there somewhere.

After this course myself and one of my classmates (who is an amazing and fab friend) decided we would head off to Carlow to become Makeup Artists and Nail Technicians. We moved in together in a gorgeous apartment and we just loved our course. It was entitled ''Makeup Artistry and Nail Technician'' in Carlow Institiute Of Further Education. I will be honest and admit that it was the nails I loved the most. I liked the makeup to but anyone who follows my blog regularly will know I am nail obsessed. We done loads of fun and creative makeup looks followed by photoshoots and in the nail end of things we covered manicures, pedicures, gel and acrylic. Again we had lots of theory work to do on learning the structure of the nail and about all the various infections and diseases they can carry and get. For me, that is kinda they boring end of it. I know how incredibly important it is but all I wanted to do was have the craic and try out some nail art designs. 

Being honest, I would say about 80% of my nail art is self thought. It's from seeing designs and wanting to try and perfect them. I remember seeing a Cath Kidston handbag one day and thinking right I wanna learn how to do those flowers and after that I was constantly asked for them. I was practically drawing them in my sleep!! I have done lots of smaller courses here and there including CND Shellac training with the Creative Academy and a one stroke nail art course with the incredibly talented Anna from Nail Artists Cork. 

To date, I have worked in a few different salons including my own little beauty room I had at home. Initially this was set up for me to work on family and friends to perfect the trade but word spread so I began booking appointments and running my own little business from what was our spare bedroom. I transformed it into a cute, relaxing little beauty room and I had so many laughs and chats with lots of amazing women. Leaving this behind to move to Cork was sooooo difficult. It was my baby and I loved it but on the bright side of things there is nothing stopping me from building up another little beauty bizz someday!! 

So I hope you found that helpful or informative. Working in the beauty industry is challenging and tiring but it is also super girly and a lot of fun. 

Chat soon,
Melissa x


Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The W7 Cosmetics Brow Parlour Is No Wow Parlour...

The W7 Cosmetics Brow Parlour Is No Wow Parlour... 

I hate doing negative reviews but this product really just wasn't good... I was so excited when it arrived. The packaging is cute and I love the durable tin it comes in with the little labels on each product inside but it is defo one of the worst brow products I have ever used and I have used a lot. 

The eyebrow wax is okay but like wax is wax, it can't really be bad can it? It's only job is to hold the brows in place! The highlighter is also okay, not amazing but it's okay... The problem is the brown shades for actually doing the shading in. There is little or no pigment in these. You really have to load up your brush and even then it doesn't go far. For example, doing one eyebrow I have to go back to the palette for more product atleast five times! 

In this picture I swatched the highligher, the medium brown and the dark brown. I ran my finger across the colour 4-5 times and this was the pay off I got...a little disappointing!!
Like I said from the off I really hate doing negative reviews. They don't happen often thank god but when I am not passionate about something or just simply didn't get good results, I cannot lie. I respect my followers and my blog way too much to do that. Also I really give products a good testing before decided whether I like, love or loath them. 

I would also like to highlight that W7 Cosmetics is a brand that I really, really like but their Brow Parlour and me just aren't meant to be together. If you have had a similar experience or even a positive one I would love to hear from you! 

Mel x

Friday, 3 April 2015

REVIEW | bBold Flawless Legs

REVIEW | bBold Flawless Legs 

Hi everyone. Tonight's review is on a product I have never used before, the bBold Flawless Legs tan. It was sent to me for review recently from the lovely crew over at For those of you who may not know Simply Foxy is a new Irish shop for all your beauty, hair, tanning, fragrance needs and so much more. Check them out HERE

So, when I first sprayed the bBold Flawless Legs I got a feeling of dread that it was going to be like Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs which I hate BUT thankfully it isn't. It sprays on the same but it doesn't look caked on. It looks completely natural and flawless. It blended really well and has amazing coverage. I have a few stretch marks from pregnancy and this really concealed them well. It has a noticeable but pleasant scent. It is water resistant and you can dress after 60 seconds. 

How amazing is that? 

While applying the tan I was thinking how I could best demonstrate it and show it off so I decided to do a little video using my favourite video making app VivaVideo. 

Check it out here... 

You can purchase bBold Flawless Legs for just €6.49 HERE.

Happy Easter,
Melissa x

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