Review: Clarins SOS Primers

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Clarins. The brand consistently releases great, innovative products both in skincare and makeup, and over the past few years, has become one of my go-to brands for both. Their lipsticks have the most incredible pigment which you will know if you followed my lipstick challenge last year, and I honestly couldn’t live without their Double Serum which saved my dry skin over the past nine months of pregnancy.

Their latest release is no exception and comes in the form of six new colour correcting primers to combat dull, uneven skin complexions and focus on promoting ‘a fresh balanced skin tone with maximum radiance’. Each of the six primers targets a different problem area of the skin ranging from fatigue, to redness, and dark spots to dullness, so whatever your issue, rest assured there’s a primer for you.

A couple of weeks back, Clarins very kindly sent me some of the primers to try out and I’ve been putting them to the test ever since. Given that these are part of their SOS range, I had very high hopes for them as I completely fell in love with their SOS nourishing balm face mask released last year and use it all the time. Thankfully, I can honestly say, I have not been disappointed.

I was sent four from the collection to try out, all of which have brilliant pigment, a very smooth texture, and, they blend like a dream into the face allowing makeup to stay in place all day long. However, while my initial impressions are excellent, really, only two of the primers are relevant for my skin tone.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know that I have dry skin which tends to get very dull at times, particularly in winter or when I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Therefore, I am always drawn to products that boost radiance, give me a nice glow and leave my skin feeling soft and smooth. And that’s where shades 00 Universal Light and 03 Coral come in.

Universal Light as you can see from the photos, has a white, pearlised finish to it and instantly I knew this was going to be right up my street. It is lightweight in consistency, and blends into the face very easily without leaving any stickiness or wetness behind. As soon as I apply it, my face takes on a very subtle glow that isn’t shimmery in any way (I hate that in a primer), and gives it a well-needed boost of radiance that is really hard to come by in this cold weather!

Before:AfterAfter:

Primers tend to be needed most around the t-zone area of the face, but I love this primer so much, I’ve been wearing it all over to give me a proper glow. The pump applicator makes it very easy to use, and you need very little too. Just one pump is enough to cover the entire face and believe me, it will keep your makeup perfectly in place too.

The second shade that has been working wonders for me is Coral, which helps to combat dark spots and patches, which I tend to suffer from due to dryness. I’ve been loving the warmness this shade brings to my skin; it gives a tint of colour not dissimilar to a tinted moisturiser, only it’s much more lightweight and gives a lovely glow to my skin too.

Before:BeforeAfter:

I don’t think I would use this shade as often as Universal Light, it’s more of a product I would reach for on a particularly bad skin day for example.  Having said that however, I’ve been switching back and forth between both over the past few weeks and am loving the results that I get from each.

While my concerns are dryness and dullness, we all have different concerns when it comes to our skin so here’s a breakdown of the full collection:

  • 00 Universal Light – This primer reproduces light on the skin’s surface to enhance radiance and boost skin tone
  • 01 Rose – Pink pigments in this shade combat signs of fatigue by giving the skin an energy boost and revitalizing your complexion
  • 02 Peach – This primer focuses on targeting problem skin issues such as visible veins and acne scarring by minimizing imperfections and giving it a ‘touched-up’ finish
  • 03 Coral – Best for targeting dark spots, the orange light pigments in this shade will help to even out skin tone
  • 04 Green – Already receiving rave reviews, the green primer is perfect for anyone who suffers from redness. It re-balances skin tone to remove redness, without making the skin look dull
  • 05 Lavender – This shade is best suited to those with sallow skin in need of a boost of freshness. The lavender pigment helps to give the skin a clearer appearance and combats the effects of day-to-day pollution.

As I mentioned, everyone’s skin tone is different and that’s why it’s so important to try before you buy. For example, if your skin is more oily than dry then I would say the Universal Light shade probably isn’t for you as it does make the skin look very dewy. But that’s the best thing about this collection, there is one for everybody in the audience so to speak!

One of the best things about Clarins as a brand, is the fact that they are always willing to give you samples of products to try out, so if you’re interested in investing, I would suggest popping to your local counter and getting some samples to see which best suits your needs.

Each primer costs €31 and they are on sale at all Clarins counters now.

Sorcha x

Review: This Works In Transit Camera Close-Up | Mask, Moisturiser & Primer In One

A couple of months back, I got a sample of this In Transit Camera Close-Up face product from This Works in a GlossyBox, and as I had heard so many great things about it, I was excited to try it out. Word on the street is that this is one of Victoria Beckham’s favourite skincare products so you know, if it’s good enough for Vicki…!

The interesting thing about this product is that it’s not just a primer; it’s a face mask, moisturiser and primer all in one. Now, it’s very hard to be good at all those things separately, let alone together in one formula so I was a little skeptical about how well I would get on with this.

The formula is quite thick, much thicker than I would ever usually like in a primer and I really wasn’t sure about it at first. But surprisingly, it blends so well into the skin and actually feels incredibly light on. I thought the thickness might make it cakey or sticky, but once it dries in, it kind of melts into the skin, leaving it feeling very soft and smooth.

However for the purposes of my review, I want to specifically address the three big claims it makes, and how well I think it works in relation to those. As a result, I have broken it down into three parts…

Mask

The purpose of a good face mask in my opinion, is to hydrate the skin and leave it free of any nasties or impurities that we pick up day-to-day. As my skin is on the drier side, I also tend to prefer masks that have a brightening element as a lot of the time my skin looks dull.

From this point of view, while I’m not sure that this tackles nasties and impurities, it definitely leaves my skin feeling plumper and brighter. It contains Bio Boost which is a blend of repairing plant oils; which along with hylauronic acid and caffeine, really help to give the skin a boost of hydration.

Moisturiser

One thing this product is without a doubt, is moisturising. The thickness of the formula means you only need a very small, pea sized amount as a little goes a long way with it.

As I mentioned above, it contains some amazing ingredients including Argan Oil, Shea Butter, Lemon Balm and Hylauranic Acid, all of which are known for being super hydrating and kind to the skin whilst also making it look more radiant too. And, I have to say for me, it really lives up to these claims. My skin feels so soft when I apply this, and I can feel it becoming more hydrated the minute I put it on.

I tend to get some redness around my nose area, and it definitely helps to combat that too, but overall, I just love how my skin feels when I use it.

Primer

So far this product is working for me; I like it as a mask, I like it as a moisturiser, but I love it as a primer!

Like I mentioned above, I tend to opt for primers that have a brightening element, and I love the dewy glow that my face gets when I wear this. Because it’s thick, I tend to wash my face, apply the cream and then let it dry in for a few minutes so that it’s settled into the skin before applying my foundation.

It’s neither oily nor mattifying, but it’s one of the best primers I’ve used for keeping my makeup in place all day long. I’m lucky in that I don’t have oily skin, but I honestly think this would work well on all skin types because of the filter-like finish it gives to your face when you wear it.

Of all the things this product claims to do, for me, it is best as a primer. It brightens the skin, and smooths out blemishes and dryness (especially at the moment when my skin is extra dry from pregnancy). But best of all, its smooth finish also means my foundation glides on so easily without any patchiness.

I find myself reaching for this more and more these days, and I’ve really grown to like it a lot, hence why I decided to share my thoughts with you all. Obviously the tube I have is a sample size but the full size bottle costs €39.50 for 40ml. So yep, it’s spendy.

However, given that you’re getting three good products in one, for me it’s worth the spend, especially if you like your morning skincare routine to be quick and easy.

I don’t think it’s going to replace any of my face masks, I have a particular love for the ones I’m currently using, but as a moisturiser and primer go, I’m definitely sold on this and will be using it for a long time to come.

Sorcha x

Review: Clarins Double Serum

I’m a huge fan of Clarins as many of you already know by now I’m sure. Their products are such great quality, from their makeup to skincare, and it’s very rare that I try a Clarins product I don’t love.

I’m always discovering new things from the brand, and a few months back, they very kindly sent me their new reformulated Double Serum to try out. It launched back in August but I didn’t get around to trying it until September, and wanted to have enough time to really test it out before reporting back to you lovely lot.

Double Serum was first formulated in the mid-80s and its unique formula of water-soluable and oil-soluable ingredients have been a favourite among beauty lovers ever since then. It has been reformulated several times, each time bettering the quality of the product, and this formulation is said to be the best yet.

This year’s version is packed full of the the same 20 plant extract ingredients as the original formula, but also contains one very important new ingredient: Tumeric. Tumeric is known widely for its antioxidant and healing properties, and is also said to help boost skin hydration, minimise the look of fine lines and increase skin vitality. Big claims, I know!

So now we get down to the real question, is it any good? Well, in a word or two; hell yes!

I never used the previous versions of Double Serum so I can’t compare it to that, but what I can tell you about is, the dramatic effect it has had on my skin over the past two months. I have completely fallen in love with it for so many reasons.

When I started using it, my skin was in pretty bad shape due to pregnancy hormones. You’ll have heard me talking about this already in previous posts so I’m not going to bore you with the details, but generally, my skin was incredibly dry, lumpy and very patchy. I had been trying out several different products in order to find something that would help, but the minute I started using this, I knew I needed to look no further.

The ‘Double’ in this serum refers to the water and oil elements as mentioned above; both of which are contained in separate parts of the bottle. With just one pump, they are released together leaving the oil part in the middle surrounded by the water element on the outside.

To apply, once you’ve pumped onto your hand, you blend the formula together then lightly press into the skin all over your face and neck.

There are two pump dispenser options, one small and one large; I tend to use the large option as I need quite a lot of product, and I also love how it feels on my face so I don’t use it too sparingly. Having said that, I only use this once a day at night time so the bottle still lasts me quite a while.

Despite what you’d initially think given the oil element, there is absolutely no greasiness to the product, and as soon as you apply it, you can feel your skin becomming more hydrated. It penetrates the skin quickly to leave it looking plumper, fresher and feeling incredibly smooth, and somehow manages to break down any dryness on the skin’s surface, removing lumps and bumps, and leaving a lovely smooth texture.

One thing to note with this is that serum is generally the step in your skincare regime in between cleansing and moisturising, but in all honesty, I don’t like to put anything else on my skin once this is on. I really don’t feel like it needs anything else. In fact I find it so good, my skin is still as hydrated and smooth the following morning, and therefore needs less product then too.

Now for the serious part – the price. This baby is expensive! The 30ml bottle which I have is priced at €72, but there is also a 50ml bottle which costs €92, so this is definitely an investment buy should you choose to purchase. It’s a lot of money to spend on one product, but it is full of so many good ingredients and works so well, I honestly can’t fault it in any way.

Before Application

The staff at Clarins counters are always incredibly helpful, so I’d suggest trying out some of this on your face in store to see if you like the formula and texture before purchasing. Bare in mind however, the best results with this serum come from using it over time so you need at least a week to see the full benefits on your skin.

My bottle is two months in use and still going strong, though I will have to replenish soon. However, I will most definitely be repurchasing it and even have it on my Christmas wish list this year!

Double Serum has won a host of beauty industry awards over the years and is a favourite among beauty editors and makeup artists alike so I’ve no doubt this version will be just as popular. But the question is, will you be trying it out? Or have you already invested? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

Sorcha x

My Christmas Beauty Gift Guide

Well, it’s that time of year again, my favourite time! I have to admit, I do love Christmas, and I’m one of those annoying people who starts getting excited about it in October. Anyway, as a result, I have been thinking about the perfect gift guide for a couple of weeks now, and have decided to put together a quick post on some of my favourite items and recommendations for you this Christmas.

I’m sure you’ve been inundated with gift guides on social media, and I understand sometimes too much bombarding of information can be a bad thing. But just in case you’re looking for a few last minute ideas, and given that it’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, I thought this might come in handy…

Beauty

theBalm Meet Matt(e) Hughes Lipstick Set

€29 but on offer for €26.10 this weekend in Debenhams

Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be a gift guide from me without a few lipstick suggestions after my year of Simply Lippy! These liquid lipsticks from theBalm were my favourite liquid lippies of the year and this mini set is brilliant value. It contains six gorgeous shades from light to bold, and will transform any makeup look.

Benefit 3 for 2

Available from Debenhams, Brown Thomas & Boots all weekend

Benefit are running 3for2 offers in several department stores and online beauty sites over the course of the weekend. Obviously, they have a lot of great products to choose from but I’ve put together my top three favourites to help you decide:

  • That Gal Primer, a gorgeous brightening primer which gives the face a glow
  • Galifornia Blush which has a lovely coral tone for lifting the cheek bones
  • They’re Real Mascara, is one of my favourite mascaras for giving life and volume to the lashes

Needless to say, you can’t go too far wrong with any Benefit products, but these are the ones I’ll be treating myself to over the weekend!

Urban Decay Eye Shadow Palettes

Naked 1, 2 & 3 Palettes – €47.50 but on offer for €40.37 in Debenhams

When it comes to eyeshadow, you can never go wrong with a good palette and Urban Decay palettes are my favourite. Debenhams currently have 15% off Naked 1, 2 and 3 palettes, and my top choice is definitely Naked 2. It’s a great all rounder palette for different skin tones with a mixture of matte and shimmer shades.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics Palette

€47.50 but on offer for €42.75 in Debenhams

Of all the Naked palettes, Naked Ultimate Basics has been my go-to since its release last year and includes some gorgeous shades from nude to bold. This is a full matte palette and is a great alternative to Naked 2 for those who don’t like or use shimmer shadows.

Kiehl’s Tumeric & Cranberry Seed Radiance Mask

€35 but on special offer for €28 this weekend in Arnotts

Some of you may have caught my review on this Kiehl’s mask last year – I fell in love with it the first time I’ve tried it and it has remained one of my favourite face masks since. If your face is feeling a bit tired, dull and dry with the cold winter weather, then this is brilliant for brightening skin and giving it a boost of hydration.

YSL All Hours Foundation

€42 but on offer of 10% off this weekend in Debenhams

This purchase may be more a treat for yourself than a gift for someone else, but if you like a medium to full coverage foundation then I definitely recommend. I have a review post coming shortly, but in a nutshell, I am in love with it! You’ll need to get colour matched before purchasing, but if you do decide to buy, then you’ll get it for 10% cheaper in Debenhams this weekend than you normally would. It’s pricey at €42 so as the saying goes, every little helps!

This Works Deep Sleep Lavender & Chamomile Candle

€33 from Meagher’s Pharmacy and selected pharmacies nationwide

I’m a huge fan of This Works’ products; apart from smelling incredible, they are packed full of great ingredients and more importantly, they work too! Their Deep Sleep range has been a go-to for me for quite some time; I use their Deep Sleep pillow spray almost every night and love it, and have recently discovered their Deep Sleep Heavenly candle which is divine too.

Candles are always a great gift in my opinion, I love receiving them as well as giving them, and this one not only looks lovely, but will help keep you calm and relaxed all winter long, as well as helping you catch up on some well needed zzzz’s. What better gift than the gift of sleep this Christmas!

Jo Malone Lime Basil & Mandarin Bath Oil

€54 from Brown Thomas

This beauty is a bit pricey, but if you can’t indulge a little at Christmas time then when can you?! Jo Malone bath oils are so luxurious; they leave your skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth, not to mention how amazing they smell too. They come in a variety of different scents, but Lime Basil & Mandarin is my personal favourite.

StylPro Rose Gold Makeup Brush Cleaner

€69 but on offer for €51.75 from Meagher’s Pharmacy

This limited edition rose gold version of the original StylPro makeup brush cleaner is so pretty and perfect for anyone who has a multitude of makeup brushes like I do but doesn’t always have the time to spend hours cleaning them. The StylPro takes the hassle out of washing and drying your brushes, and is so easy to use too.

Gift Sets

MAC Mini Lipstick Snowball Kit 

€95 in Brown Thomas

You all know my love for lipstick by now, so just in case you have any fellow beauty lovers in your lives then this set of MAC lippies is the perfect present. It contains 12 shades including three of my all time favourites; Mangrove, Velvet Teddy and Rebel.

Sleek Bring on the Night Makeup Set

€39 in Boots Ireland and also part of a 3for2 offer

Sleek is one of the better budget brands out there and their products are such good quality for the price point. This set contains some of their best products including their Solstice Highlighting palette which is a gorgeous trio palette. This, along with the eye shadow and blush palette, will have you makeup ready for the entire festive season.

Clarins Holiday Anti Aging New Double Serum

Was €72 but on offer for €57.60 this weekend in Brown Thomas

Let me tell you, this is one of the best Christmas gift sets I’ve seen on the market so far. It’s amazing! It contains a 30ml bottle of Double Serum which is my current favourite skincare product and usually retails for €72 just on its own.  If you buy this set however, you get the 30ml bottle of Double Serum as well as a 30ml bottle of their Instant Eye makeup remover and one of their deliciously gorgeous lip oils – which I’m sure most of you already know, is one of my favourite ever lip products. This is definitely one not to miss out on if you’re a Clarins fan!

For The Men

Kiehl’s White Eagle Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream

€17.50 but on offer for €14 this weekend in Arnotts

Kiehl’ss do some incredible products as we all know, and their men’s range is equally as good as their women’s. This shave cream is their most popular men’s product and contains menthol to sooth the skin while shaving.

Clarins Men Moisturising Essentials Kit

€38 but on offer for €30.40 this weekend in Brown Thomas

This Clarins Men set is a brilliant option for men on the go and contains some of their best selling products. There are three products in total; a 50ml Super Moisture Balm, a 30ml Active Face Wash and a 30ml Shampoo & Shower Gel in one.

Happy Socks Gift Box

€30 but on offer for €24 this weekend in Brown Thomas

If the man in your life is anything like the man in mine, they will love these quirky and very comfy socks from the Happy Socks company. These gift boxes are a staple each year in our house and come in a range of styles and colours too.

So there you go, a few ideas to get you started this weekend. I hope it helped, happy shopping!

Sorcha x

*None of these links are affiliate links. I have just added them in to make the shopping search a little easier for you!

Review: My Pregnancy Skincare Guide | For Body

Now that I’m 25 weeks into my pregnancy, I’ve been learning a lot about my skin particularly as it has changed so much over the past few months. I’ve always been very lucky in that I don’t get a lot of spots or breakouts, and my skin has always been more dry than oily.

However, when I became pregnant, like most people, I had to completely change my skincare routine as a lot of the ingredients in the products I’d been using up to then, aren’t pregnancy friendly. As a result, my skin became dryer than ever and not only did I have to change my face routine, but also had to find some new products to use on my body too.

I don’t know about you, but I found pregnancy skincare a complete minefield when I began researching what I could and couldn’t use. I knew what ingredients to steer clear of, but I couldn’t find a good comprehensive list of products or brands that are recommended to be good for pregnancy skin.

Anyway, because of that, I’ve decided to share the products I’ve been using for the past few months, in the hope that if you’re also trying to find your way through the minefield, it might help you out!

I’ve broken my skincare routine in two blog posts; the first, today’s post will focus on body products, and my second post which will follow shortly, will focus on my face products.

I don’t know about all you Mummies and pregnant gals, but I honestly can’t believe how much my skin has changed. I know everyone tells you to expect it, but I wasn’t prepared for the sandpaper-like dryness that I’ve been having. Granted, my skin is much better now and feels more like itself again, but it has taken me months of trialing and testing a mix off different products from scrubs, to oils, to creams, to finally come to a happy place with what I’m using.

I’m not an expert on skincare by any means, but these are just some products that have worked for me and helped to keep my skin smooth and hydrated as it goes through a million different changes.

Voya Time To Shine Gentle Body Polish


I’ve always been a fan of body scrubs and exfoliating my skin, but I usually would have only exfoliated every week to two weeks. Recently however, I’m exfoliating at least twice a week, sometimes more, and I found some of the products I previously have used, weren’t cutting it for me anymore.


Voya is a brand I’ve always really liked, their ingredients are organic and very natural so when I spotted this body scrub over the Summer I decided to try it out and see if it would do the trick for my coarse, dry skin.


I started using it a few months ago, and not only does it help to lift all the dry dead skin cells, but the mix of seaweed, ground walnut shells and almond oil combine to buff and polish the skin, as well as leaving it feeling nourished and hydrated too.


After only using this for a few weeks I was totally hooked and it’s now firmly part of my shower routine during the week. I already loved their hand wash and spa products, but I’m so glad I’ve discovered this now too because it’s definitely going to be a staple product in my bathroom for a long time to come.

I paid €30 for this bottle in Avoca, but it’s also available from Kilkenny Design and online from the Voya website too.

Bloom & Blossom Indulgence Bath Oil


Bloom & Blossom is a pregnancy skincare brand created by two sisters in the UK. Strangely enough, although it is my first time pregnant, I had already tried this bath oil a few years ago when my cousin gave it to me as a gift.

I’ve always loved baths, but what used to be a soak every couple of weeks, has now turned into every couple of days. So, when my trusty Jo Malone favourite bath oil ran out, this sprung to mind and I decided to buy a bottle to see if it was as good as I remembered.

The short answer is, yes it is! Now, they recommend using one to two capfuls per bath, but I tend to use three just because of how dry my skin is, and that definitely does the trick.


The ingredients in this oil are just incredible; a mix of sweet almond, lavender, apricot and ylang ylang essential oils, not only make this smell divine, but makes your skin feel as smooth as a baby’s bottom too! They are also amazing for relieving stress and tension, and helping me relax and unwind after a stressful day at work. 


I’ve also been having quite a bit of back pain recently with my growing bump, and there is literally nothing nicer than a warm bath soak with this oil to help relieve that too. I really love it and definitely recommend.


The only downside for me is that the bottle is quite small; it’s just 100ml so it doesn’t last very long. In saying that, I do use a little more than what they suggest so if you stuck to the recommended amount, it would definitely last longer.

I buy mine in Mamas & Papas and the 100ml bottle costs €24 which honestly is a very good price in my opinion, considering other bath oils on the market.

Kiehl’s Soothing Oil to Foam Shower Cleanser


I first heard about this new shower cleanser from Kiehl’s back in August when I read a review about how good it was for pregnancy skin. I was on the hunt for it for weeks until I finally discovered that it hadn’t yet been released in Ireland. Thankfully however, it got released here on 4th October so I ran to the shop to buy it and have been using it religiously ever since.


The cleanser is part of the Creme de Corps range which I loved already, so I had high hopes for it and honestly, it has totally exceeded them. When I say this cleanser is luxurious, I mean it is luxurious!


The oil itself is thick and creamy, and smells absolutely divine. Oh dear god, I could smell it for hours it’s that good! When you apply it, the water from your shower turns the oil to a rich foam which makes it so easy to lather on the skin and you can feel your skin becoming softer and smoother by the second.


The blend of almond and vanilla gives it a delicious sweet smell, and Grapeseed and Castor oil help to bring back moisture to your skin to leave it very smooth.


Because of the rich lather that you get, you really only need a small amount of oil which was probably the best surprise of this whole product. I’m using it a month now and I’m still on my first bottle which for me, is always a sign of a good oil.


It’s not cheap at €31.50 for 250ml, but to me it’s worth every penny as I’ve never used a shower oil like it. My skin feels amazing every time I use it, and it’s definitely made a massive difference to the dryness.


I’ve also found that I need to apply much less moisturiser on afterwards which has never happened me before so this one is going to be another staple product for me even when I’m not pregnant anymore. I just love it!

I bought mine in the Kiehl’s shop in Dundrum Town Centre, but it’s also available from Debenhams in store or online either.

The Body Shop Mango Softening Body Butter


I’ve been using The Body Shop Body Butters for years now and they never let me down when my skin needs an injection of hydration. There are several different scents and they always release some limited edition ones at Christmas, but I always come back to either Mango or Shea Butter which are my absolute favourite.


The butter itself is quite thick so you’d be forgiven for thinking that you need a lot of product, but because it is so creamy, you really only need a small amount as it is very easy to blend and apply, and goes much further than you expect.


All their body butters are made using community trade Shea Butter, and their oil is organic so it’s very pregnancy friendly. That combined with the 24 hour hydration promise (which really lives up to its claim for me), means your skin feels so soft all day.


I tend to apply this once a day at nighttime, and I love how soft my skin still feels in the morning when I wake up. On a very dry skin day, I’ll also apply in the morning but I find I don’t need to do that much anymore at all because my new skincare routine is working so well for me (so far anyway!).


Another great thing about these is the price point. They cost €20 for a 200ml tub, and last you a good month or two depending on how often you use. Though that might seem a little pricey compared to other body lotions or moisturisers out there, believe me, this is worth the money because it will last.

Clarins Huile Tonic Body Treatment Oil


When the lovely ladies in Clarins heard I was pregnant, they very kindly sent me a bottle of their Huile Tonic body treatment oil to try and when I opened it, it was quite honestly, love at first scent!


I’m a sucker for a gorgeous scent and it was the first thing that struck me about it – it just smells so good. It is made from 100% pure plant extract and the combined mix of mint, rosemary and geranium smells divine! These ingredients are also great for helping to firm the skin and improve elasticity, while hazelnut oil keeps the skin moisturised, hydrated and feeling super soft.


The oil is thick in consistency and I only apply it at nighttime because it takes a good bit of time to properly soak into the skin. I’ve found it works best when I have five to ten minutes to let the excess oil dry – that way you don’t lose any of the product on your pyjamas!


I’m now on my second bottle of this which I bought recently, but the only downside with it is the price point. It’s quite spendy at €47, so it’s not going to be for everyone, and because of how pricey it is, I’ve gone from using it every evening to every few days so it doesn’t run out as quickly as the first bottle!


Although it’s pricey however, it’s been worth every penny as it’s definitely helped to keep my stretch marks at bay; they are growing and there’s no stopping them, but so far they are quite light in colour and I don’t have too many which is good enough for me! 

Of all the products I’m using, this is definitely my ‘treat’ product, so for the days I don’t use it, I’ve turned to Bio Oil which has been my saviour many times even before pregnancy.

Bio Oil


For years I’d heard that Bio Oil was the best product to use for scars and stretch marks, and I can really vouch for its effectiveness. A few years ago, I had to have surgery on my wrist and afterwards, used Bio Oil on my scar every day to help it heal. While my scar didn’t disappear altogether, it dramatically faded, all because I was so strict about using it every day.


It’s been a similar story with my growing tummy. Though people are telling me my bump is still quite neat, the stretch marks have slowly started to show themselves like I mentioned above, so I am lashing on the Bio Oil every day to help keep them at bay.


Bio Oil has some incredible ingredients including Calendula oil which is known for its skin healing properties, as well as Lavender and Rosemary Oil, which leave your skin feeling incredibly soft and hydrated. It again is quite a thick oil, but blends so well into the skin, and has no greasiness at all.


Unlike the Clarins oil, this actually dries in quite quickly, so it’s more like a dry oil in texture and it also has a gorgeous smooth finish. It’s also one of the very few oils that I don’t wash my hands after using because I love how it feels on my hands too.


I honestly think this is the one beauty product that everyone should have in their home because it’s so good for a multitude of things like scrapes and sunburn, as well as stretch marks, and without a doubt, it works too.


The bottle I have is the 60ml bottle and costs €12.99. I get mine in Boots but nearly every pharmacy or supermarket sell it so it’s very easy to pick up. It also comes in a 125ml and 200ml bottle.

Just one thing to note about these oils is; while they help to keep stretch marks from getting too bad during pregnancy, they will also help to make the stretch marks disappear quicker after pregnancy. Of course some will remain, but anything you read about stretch marks will tell you that if you keep your skin hydrated and soft with the right products during pregnancy, then they will definitely fade better afterwards.

Obviously, I still have a while to go yet before I can let you know whether that’s worked for me or not, but don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted!

Well, there you have it; my full body pregnancy skin routine! I know it’s been a long post, but I really hope it helps you if you’re in the same boat as I was.

But more importantly don’t forget, all these products will be equally as amazing on your skin even if you’re not pregnant. So if you’re in the market for some new skincare, then I definitely recommend all of the above!

Sorcha x

Travel Thursday | Beauty Around the World

Well, I can’t believe I’m writing this, but today marks just three weeks until Dave and I head off on our big adventure to see the world. Many of you will already know this if you’ve been reading my blog posts of late, but if not, then let me fill you in.

In three weeks time, Dave and I are embarking on a two month trip around the world. Yes, I really just said that. I can’t believe it myself. Eeek! When I say around the world, I really mean the other side of the world namely, Bali, Australia and Thailand. We’re just packing up, heading off, cameras and suncream in tow, and going to see where the adventure takes us. Somewhere good I hope…

As amazing as my trip is going to be, I don’t want to let my blogging fall by the way side while I’m gone, so I’ve decided to set a few blogging challenges for myself. Hence the purpose of today’s blog post.

I blog mostly about beauty and lifestyle, with a little bit of travel thrown in here and there when I visit different places, but because I’m going to be gone so long, I was concerned that travel posts may take over and not all of you will be interested in reading those posts. So, to make sure I cover topics everyone will be interested in, there will be a beauty challenge, a lifestyle challenge and of course, a travel challenge (the last of which let’s be honest, should be a doddle).

While I haven’t decided on all the challenges just yet, I have decided on one and that is, the beauty challenge. The first challenge is for me to discover, trial, test and blog about at least two beauty products or rituals native to each place I visit. So whether it be buying makeup from a local cosmetics company, having an amazing facial or massage experience, or giving a weird and wonderful local old wives tale a try, I’m going to challenge myself to embrace, blog and put them all to the test.

I’ve started researching beauty and skincare in each of the countries I’m visiting and already I’ve come up with a few gems. Here’s a look what awaits me:

Bali

Image: Tripadvisor

From what I’ve read so far about Bali, inner beauty is deemed just as important as outer beauty, in other words, healing and looking after ourselves from the inside out. Apart from regular massages, yoga and mediation, many Balinese use herbal heeling recipes, or Jamu it is known, to keep them healthy and glowing.

Image: Pinterest

Jamu is said to be full of anti-oxidants with amazing age-defying properties so needless to say I’m intrigued. I plan on routing out some Jamu filled products during my stay to see what all the fuss is about. I think there are Jamu teas and drinks too.

Image: Pinterest

There are also several Indonesian cosmetics brands, one in particular I keep coming across is called, Caring Colours. Now, I’ve no idea what the products are like, I’ve tried using google translate to learn more, but unfortunately I think I’ll just have to wait until we get there to suss it out.

Australia

Image: Pinterest

Australia is way ahead of the curve when it comes to certain beauty products and rituals. They do beach waves (and I mean the hair kind) better than anywhere else, they embrace natural beauty both in their look and in the products they use, and there are just so many Aussie brands I am dying to try out.

I’ve been in Australia before, I spent three months there about six years ago. But, it was my last stop on a ten month trip around the world and I was pretty broke. So beauty and makeup sadly didn’t get much of a look in back then, but I’m going to make up for that this time around.

Image: Pinterest

Perhaps the most famous products to come out of Australia is cult favourite, Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, which is said to be a miracle ointment made from 100% natural ingredients. It is good for chapped and cracked lips, minor burns, sunburn, insect bites – you name it. And it was even voted ‘Most Popular Lip Balm’ in Tripadvisor’s 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards – who even knew there was such an award? It sounds very similar to my trusty Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour cream, so this is first on my list of products to try when I arrive.

Apart from Lucas’ Papaw, there are so many other Australian cosmetic and skincare brands I’m sure I’ll discover during the trip, but what intrigues me even more are some of the natural beauty remedies or old wives tales that are still used to this day. From applying almond oil all over your body after a cold shower; to putting apple cider vinegar in your hair for extra shine; to using basil to get rid of spots and blemishes, the Australian’s definitely know how to embrace the alternative. And although a bit apprehensive, I think I’m going to have to give some of these a try to see if they really do work.

Thailand

Image: Tripadvisor

Well, we all know that in terms of beauty, Thailand is probably most famous for its massage. I cannot wait to get a real, authentic Thai massage. I’ve heard they are sore, uncomfortable and a bit awkward, but I’ve also heard that you feel feckin’ fantastic afterwards.

Image: Pinterest

Spa culture is big in Thailand, and it’s one of the things I’m most looking forward to about our trip there. Because of this, several high quality holistic, natural skincare brands have shot to fame over the past number of years and by all accounts, they are amazing. Two of the most recognised and seemingly popular brands I’ve come across through my research so far are Siam Botanicals and another brand called Thann.

Image: Siam Botanicals

Aside from the fabulous spa culture, the Thai women also have some secret beauty rituals of their own. They believe mango is the cure for, well, pretty much everything from spots to cuts; Tamarind pulp is apparently a great skin exfoliator; while seaweed is reportedly their secret to shiny, bouncy hair. I’m not feeling very brave right now, but I’ll just have to man up – all in the name of beauty as they say!

Who knows if I’ll come across any of these brands whilst on my travels, I may discover many other weird and wonderful rituals and products instead, or I may discover none. But that’s my challenge, and I choose to accept it.

I’m hoping I might learn a thing or two, and maybe come home with incredibly gorgeous glowing skin just in time for Christmas? Or maybe I’ll have a few disaster stories that will do nothing more than give us all a great laugh! Either way, it’ll be an experience.

The countdown is well and truly on now, so be prepared for plenty more travel posts coming your way soon. And if you’re not into the travel posts, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with lots of beauty and lifestyle too.

Sorcha x

My Faves Part 11: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief


As many of you will know by now, I often write posts about my most-loved and most-used beauty products as part of the ‘My Faves’ series, and today I want to share my love for Clinique’s Moisture Surge with you all.

This product has been on the market for quite a long time now so many of you may know about it already, but I’ve just recently rediscovered this in my bathroom cupboard and remembered just how much I love it!

For those of you not familiar with this product, Clinique describe it as a gel-creme, which I would say is very accurate, and it is one of the best face moisturisers I have ever used. Firstly because it does exactly what it claims to do, and secondly, because it leaves my skin feeling smooth, hydrated and gloriously plump.

The key ingredient in this moisturiser is Hyaluronic Acid which is a natural component of the skin that is now used in many cosmetic products. It is known for being super hydrating because of its ability to retain extremely high levels of moisture, therefore allowing for quicker, deeper moisturisation of the skin.


Many of you will know by now that I suffer from dry skin and I’m prone to dehydration quite often. As a result, I’m quite strict with the type of skincare products I use because let’s be honest, there is nothing worse than a dry, dehydrated face. But any time I use the Clinique Moisture Surge my skin feels A.MA.ZING! Even after just one day.

There are so many things this product claims to do that I feel its justified in stating so let’s run through them quickly:

  • Hydrating? Yes, every time.
  • Moisturising? Absolutely.
  • Reduces fine lines? You know what, it really does. Now it doesn’t get rid of them of course, but the ability it has to plump out the skin means lines really are reduced.
  • Firming? Well, maybe not quite firming, but plumping definitely.

While you can use this gel-cream both day and night, I tend to use it at night time after taking off my makeup to give my skin a real boost of freshness, and also because it needs a little drying time. But, the minute you apply this on your face it feels better, and when I wake up in the morning my skin is always as smooth as a baby’s bottom!

Yes, as mentioned above, I suffer from dry skin so maybe the results wouldn’t be as dramatic if you have a normal, combination or oily skin type. But if like me, you’re always looking for good hydrating products then this is really worth a try. The only downside to this if I really have to pick one, is that it doesn’t contain an SPF. But if you wear a separate SPF or your makeup contains one, then you don’t need to worry.

I can’t believe I forgot how much I liked this product. I definitely won’t be forgetting anytime soon again that’s for sure!

Have you ever used this? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sorcha x