Skin Saviour

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When I started blogging I wrote about the usual stuff – product reviews etc etc.

 

I definitely fell away from that for the last two years, and focused on writing more about self-love, self-improvement and reflection.

 

I still love makeup, beauty and skincare. To take the time out of your day to take care of your body and make you feel your best self – is practising self-love and self-improvement. By no means am I telling you to go and buy the product I’m about to discuss. Just lettin’ you know what I’ve been loving as of late.

 

Kiehls.

 

Having heard about this brand for a long time in the blogging community, I was always intrigued. I walked into Kiehls’ shop in Dublin at Christmas and instantly fell in love with the scientific / apothecary vibes.

 

Then I walked out and didn’t buy anything because the price freaked me out and I didn’t think it was worth it.

 

Fast forward 2 months – on a recent trip to Paris I came across Kiehls in the duty free section of Charles de Gaulle airport. Hellz yeah. So I treated myself and bought the product I’ve been dying to try since I first heard about it.

 

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Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate

I mean, that packaging tho. So aesthetically pleasing, beautiful deep purple tones, and gold filigree-like lettering. Gorge. Looks like something a high-class witch would put on her face. The dropper is also way too pleasing and beautifully well made. For 30ml, the price is €44.

 

I’ve been going through a change in my skin recently, and I felt that no matter what amount of natural oils I was using, nothing was penetrating deep into my skin.

 

The Midnight Recovery Concentrate from Kiehls is a paraben-free, mineral-oil-free night-time oil. Its main ingredients are evening primrose oil, lavender oil and squalane (wtf is that lol). But it’s a blend of botanical and essential oils which basically rejuvenate your skin overnight. It repairs your skin and replenishes elasticity. All the ingredients are natural or derived from naturally occurring substances.

 

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You wash your face with whatever, and then pat 2-3 drops of this good stuff onto your face – then massage it in. Although it’s made of good quality oils – it doesn’t feel heavy or oily, and actually satisfyingly sinks into your skin.

 

Literally – I woke up like this.

 

I’ve been using this for just over a month and have noticed a huge change in the texture and hydration of my skin.

 

Basic blogger product reviews aside – this shit is real good. Makes me feel fresh and nourished. And I’ll be selling my soul in the future to buy it again.

 

Cheers Kiehls!

 

Love and Light,

 

Namaste,

Amy xx

 

 

 

 

 

Balance

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So I’m sitting here on the 2nd of January unsure of what to start writing about.

 

I’ve only made 5 posts on this blog this year.

 

The longer I leave it between posts the more difficult it is to start a new one.

 

But that’s ok. This is where I’m at. This is 2018.

 

Honestly when I think back on this year, I’m filled with gratitude and happiness.

 

Total sap.

 

I’ve continuously worked my ass off at a job that I love. It’s developed into such a rewarding passion. I’ve learned so much from it and it has brought me on some crazy adventures around this beautiful Island I call home.

 

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It’s given me the freedom to do things outside of work that also bring me happiness.

 

Good quality time. Adventures abroad and at home. Festivals. National Parks. Drunken nights expressing my love to my friends. Sober nights laughing my face off.

 

So it’s brought me to this one particular thing that I feel 2017 has been all about for me.

 

Balance.

 

Balancing work and play. Balancing healthy eating with not so healthy eating. Nights in and nights out. The ups and downs of mental health. A learning curve.

 

Life is so unpredictable no matter how much you try to think that it isn’t. Things change so consistently.

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When I was younger, having a bit of a battle with anxiety and mental health, as so many of us do, change seemed like a really scary thing. Trying to take control of certain aspects of my life always appeared to give me comfort. It’s now that I realise that isn’t true – attempting to control things, that are truly out of your control, usually just leads to you feeling worse.

 

I’m aware that’s a super vague way of putting it, but I hope that at least some of you get where I’m coming from.

 

Change is inevitable. And so much is out of our control.

 

All that we truly have control over is our own thoughts, our own feelings, and whether or not we choose to be happy.

 

If ever someone told me years ago that you could just choose to be happy, I’d call them out on that bullshit. As if it was that easy.

 

It’s not that easy. It’s hard work. But I believe most of us still can.

 

And now I’m this person. I’ve chosen to be happy and I am.

 

I’ve chosen to try my best to take things in my stride, to maintain a healthy balance with whatever I do. Feeling comfortable with myself.

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2017 was super fun. While maintaining a balance with things that I love, like yoga, hikes and some good laughs, I also tried new things that made me step out of my comfort zone. Things that made me feel a bit uncomfortable at first, vulnerable and unknown. Opportunities for growth. I truly feel like I’ve understood how important having a healthy balance is to your mental health.

 

I’m going into 2018 happy and excited for a new chapter. I hope that you are too, and that you know you deserve to feel the same.

 

I talk about this every year because it’s something that always leaves a lasting impact on me: a month of daily yoga in January with Adriene Mishler. You’ll be sick of me mentioning this lady – but tune in to her youtube channel for a new practise every day for the month of January. The series is called ‘True’ this year. It’s real damn good so far.

 

Getting older has been a truly beautiful thing for me, keeping it real and being honest with myself every step of the way has been what’s helped me to stay balanced within myself.

 

Still on that self-love train. Still accepting the ups and downs. Still giving all the love.

 

I wish you all the best for 2018.

 

I’d typically write a little note here on when you’ll hear from me next, but let’s be honest, cut the bullshit and keep it real, neither of us know when that’s gonna happen. I only write when I feel the urge to, which clearly is not that often! All the same, I want to say thank you to anyone who took the time to read the rambles this year.

 

Love & Light to you beautiful people,

 

Namaste,

 

Amy xx

 

 

Refresh

I’ve taken a break for a while.

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This is why I call myself a ‘bad blogger’.

 

Because I’m so shit at putting up posts.

 

Nevertheless, here I am!

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I’ve found it really difficult to think of anything to write.

 

Whenever I focus on an idea, it morphs into 5 different ones and I stop myself because I don’t want to post something so vague.

 

I like to think of an idea, a fully-formed one, think about all angles, create many drafts, edit a million times and then decide on what photographs to put in.

 

I’m a perfectionist;

 

There’s ups and downs to being a perfectionist. In ways I put so much thought into everything I do, in other ways sometimes it’s better to let go.

 

Yoga helps me so much with this, to just let things be. To observe.

 

Always changing. Always working on myself.

 

Always trying to be honest.

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I’ve been really wrapped up in work, and before I know it a few months have gone by and there’s nothing new on the blog. I’m still absolutely loving my job. I am so grateful for it every day – and so proud of myself for getting to this point.

 

Between working so much, focusing on my yoga practise, hanging out with friends this summer and taking weekend trips, I put the blog on the back burner.

 

Soz.

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I feel like it needs a change. A focus; a new direction.

 

But I haven’t figured out what that is, or what I want it to be.

 

I always put a lot of pressure on myself in everything I do, which is why I don’t want my blog to become another source of pressure.

 

My last post was all about doing things for yourself; the self-love vibes. Any spare time I get, I spend on doing things for myself.

 

What would you like to see on here though?

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As I’m getting older, my thoughts and values have changed so much. My view of the world; my view of myself. Maybe that should be a new post. *distraction*

 

Everything is great over here, and I hope you’re taking good care of yourself.

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*mistake selfie*

Basically I just wanted to update you all, and say thanks for reading my hella sporadic posts.

 

There’s new things coming; new sporadic things.

 

Love to you all,

 

Namaste,

 

Amy xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just for you

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Let’s think about doing things just for you.

In the same way you would take time to restore your muscles, it’s important to take time to restore your emotions.

Hard core self love.

I take a lot of time to listen to my body and my mind, because I really think that’s where all the answers come from.

I suppose it’s a meditation in a way; the key is awareness.

Knowing what your body actually needs to feel good, the same for your mind, helps you to take responsibility for your own happiness.

Do more things for you.

Things that make you feel good.

Dance on your own. Twerk it all out if you feel like it.

Laugh at yourself.

Be conscious of your personal development.

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Of course it’s easier said than done, it’s hard to find the time, but I think you can always make time.

I love taking the time to reevaluate where I’m at. What I want going forward. Making sure I know what actually makes me feel good. Be candid and honest with yourself. Being honest with yourself is damn hard, but trust me, it’s worth it.

I feel like every time I do this something changes. I feel more focussed. More bad ass. 

All the feel good vibes.

Connect to yourself fully.

And trust yourself.

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I know a few people who seem to find it difficult to spent time on their own. Give it a try. I take a lot of time to do things that truly serve me – maybe even too much – and they usually involve being alone.

But I’ve found that the more love you can give to yourself, the more love you can give to others. It grows exponentially.

There’s a huge difference between being alone and being lonely.

Love yourself.

And treat YO’SELF.

Know that there will always be aspects of fear in your life, you are only human. I’m my own worst critic too – take a step back and trust.

Life can get a bit much sometimes, we can get caught up in the daily grind. Always having so much to do, what’s the next task, the next move. It sounds cheesy AF but slow it all down, be a bit more in the moment. Take it all in.

I do a lot of yoga (quite often in my underwear … why the fuck not) and I take a lot of baths. I spend a lot of time with my animals, go for walks, take in my surroundings. I dance. I laugh a lot with my friends. I listen to music far too loud. That’s what makes me feel good. When I write, I go into total hermit mode, and sometimes that’s just what I need.

Be aware of yourself,

but be light and go with ease.

What do you do, just for you?

 

Namaste,

Amy xx

To be female

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Feminist: A person who advocates the social, political & economic equality of the sexes.

This post is going to be a ramble of thoughts, I just know it.

I legit don’t even know where to start.

Let’s start with me because that’s easy to do.

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I’m a person who finds a powerful drive and strength within my own solitude. I thrive and enjoy my own ‘raw-ness’. I think when you are quiet, alone, you are the most ‘you’ that you can be. The true expression of a woman is nothing less of pure beauty. I explore and relish in the feminine physical, sexual and mental side of my true self. It is ever-changing, evolving. Interesting. Challenging. Rewarding. Never stagnant.

Throughout life women are taught to be sexy, but not too sexy. Strong, but not threatening. Pretty, but not too pretty. Tough, but soft. The list goes on.

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Women are amazing. We are so powerful. So beautiful and so worth celebrating.

So are men.

Give yourself time today and every other day, to appreciate yourself. To love yourself fully. To make time for yourself.

Because you’re worth it *hair flip*

Love to all my sistas and brothas on this fabulous day. International Women’s Day. Let’s build eachother up. Love love love. Celebrate.

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I wanna take some time to express the need for support for the #repealthe8th marches going on in Ireland today and around the world.

We deserve the right to bodily autonomy and basic healthcare in this country.

It is not the place of this country, Ireland, or the church, to have any say over our bodies.

We won’t wait.

Wear black today.

Show your support.

March if you can.

#Strike4Repeal.

Twelve women everyday leave Ireland seeking abortion abroad.

No more women should die in this country after being denied life saving abortion procedures.

The fact that a woman can get longer in jail for abortion than a man can for rape in this country is fucked up and it needs to change. So much more to say, but –

We won’t wait. #repealthe8th

 

Love to you all,

Namaste,

Amy xx

The #YogaRevolution



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When I started to write this post, I decided to read over my post on last years ‘yoga camp‘. Dayuum has a lot changed in my life. I still feel so much gratitude for how yoga camp reminded me how to love myself.

But this is a different year.

A different January.

The same me, a different outlook.

A Yoga Revolution.

31 days of Yoga.  January 2017.

January is a hard month for most, but Adriene Mishler’s month long yoga programme is what it’s all about for me. This woman inspires me to no end.

My yoga practice has come a long way in the last few years. I guess my focus now is on building strength and exploring more difficult and challenging poses. But always practising and working on the simpler ones.

Yoga revolution is a 31 day free yoga programme on Yoga with Adriene’s youtube channel.  A daily email to set the tone. A calendar to see what you’ve accomplished and get excited for the next practice. A journey into yourself.

To start a revolution. To practice being present and love and trust in yourself. To allow time for yourself.

 

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The run times for this years programme are shorter than those of last years, averaging at 30 mins per day, which I think was a clever move and a bit more do-able for most. But a shorter practice does not mean less of an experience.

The quality and thought put into the programme inspired me greatly. Each day was perfect for the timeline of the programme, maintaining a balance and understanding of what your body might need, in comparison to the previous practice or what was yet to come.

A workout. But mindful and gentle at the same time.

Prana bods as Adriene puts it. I will be using this term time and time again and I’m sure the YogaRevolution community will be too. Energy flow baby.

I learned how to practice lightness in every movement, an awareness of every limb and how it feels and moves. It changed my daily life, my posture, my unconscious yogic movements throughout the day. I adjusted my car seat so my lower back felt supported. I sat up straight at my desk. I did a quick forward fold and mountain pose during my bathroom breaks in work (don’t tell anyone it might seem weird).

The daily practise has worked its way into my unconscious and connected my body to my mind more than ever before. I move with intent.

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Although last year’s program was very emotional for me as I had so many personal issues with insecurity and self-love that I had to work through, I didn’t feel that emotional during yoga revolution. Until Day 31.

Just as the video started playing, I cried.

Tears of happiness. Gratitude. Pride. I smile-cried.

I sat and looked at my calendar as I ticked off the final day. Placed on the wall above last year’s calendar for yoga camp. I read the mantra’s I completed last year. I cried again. There is no better feeling than appreciating yourself and reflecting on how far you have come.

This truly was a journey, a magnificent one. So thank you Adriene. Namaste you lovely lady.

I intend to practice daily following yoga revolution. I’m gon’ make my own calendar, to stay focussed. It has been a revolution for me. Feel empowered – Laugh – Build strength – Smile – Start your own inner revolution here with Adriene Mishler -> Yoga Revolution

Namaste. Honor the prana bod.

“Present and awake.

Love yourself.

Love your neighbour.

Move from a place of connect.

Present and awake.

May all beings be free and happy.” – Adriene Mishler.

 

Amy xx

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2017

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I know I’m late.

But how late is too late?

2017. Wait… 2016.

Let’s talk about 2016.

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2016 was  one of the hardest and best years of my life thus far. Let’s start from the beginning.

January was filled with #yogacamp by the wonderful Adriene Mishler – see my post about it here. I learned self-love, confidence, trusting in myself. It changed me.

February I started to step out of my comfort zone. I went on dates. I kept up the fitness – LWRHIITIN4. My body changed dramatically.

I bought my first car and got insured. I started to drive and tasted that freedom for the first time.

I became closer to female friends, lost some, gained some. I felt I only truly started to understand the beauty of women and all that we are.

I agreed to do my first photo-shoot for a hair salon. I didn’t know what I was getting into. I took the leap, I couldn’t believe I did it. I let the hairstylist do what she wanted to my hair. I felt such empowerment and freedom from this experience (I wasn’t thrilled with the new look … but hey that was part of the process!)

I saw Beyoncé in June. Formation World Tour. BEYONCÉ. What?! B.E.Y.O.N.C.É. That night legit changed my life. So much happiness, so much strength. So. Much. Love.

I passed my driving test first time.

I spent the sunny Irish summer (max. 3 weeks… maybe…) lying in my back garden, mostly naked, listening to music and reading books. All day everyday for those 3 weeks. I enjoyed this time with myself so much and will never forget it.

I got a job. I got the job. I got a job that I always wanted. I cried with happiness, I welcomed the challenge. I still love it.

I stayed vegan all this year. I don’t think I will ever go back. It gives me such gratitude and respect for all living things.

I overcame so many mental issues. So many downfalls, tears, difficulty… within myself. I worked through it. I had the strength and drive to want better for myself. I can’t say I solved everything ….there is always work to be done (Do you ever really ‘get there’?). But I achieved so much and have come so far. I am not even close to the person I was this time last year. I learned to love myself. I learned to give love.

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2017.

This year tho.

This gon’ be my year tho.

Let’s just list out some things/thoughts for 2017, cause that’s what people do, right?

I want to explore my creativity, fully, now that I have recognised how much joy it gives me. And to explore that through many different outlets. Write more on the blog, pull back on the perfectionism … you’re just writing about you and the things that you love.

I want to continuously remind myself to take responsibility for my own happiness.

I want to continue to practise yoga, daily, because I know how good it makes me feel.

I want to get fitter and push the boundaries of that, but with ease and awareness.

I want to continue to challenge myself in my work, and push myself to learn and succeed.

I want to love more. I know that I have the capacity and it is in my nature, but past hurt has made me wary, less giving. I want to let go of that fear, and I want to give love to the people in my life that matter so much to me. *Don’t cry*

I want to laugh more and stop being so god damn serious (if you read my blog you will totally get this!)

I want to travel more and see more of the world, and through this learn more about myself.

Finally, something I’ve really been working on and getting somewhere with, is to apologise less. Stop apologising. You are who you are. You know who you are. You love who you are.

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A lot of negative things happened in 2016. A lot of sad things, scary things. Things I never imagined would happen, and things I am not going to comment on or discuss here. All I will say is, keep your focus on love. Love will conquer, and there is always love to be found if you look hard enough.

Happy New Year.

Feel free to comment… to discuss things you’ve overcome in 2016, goals you have for the new year, or just to have a chat, please do so down below… or tweet me @amylauren_b

Thank you so much to everyone who has read my blog over the past year, it means a lot more to me than you might think! I wish you all the best for the year ahead.

So. Much. Love.

Namaste,

Amy xx

P.s.   First full moon of 2017 last night. I’m relishing in it, and viewing it as the ‘real’ New Year. Celebrate. Be present. Enjoy!

Strength

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I’ve tried to write this post so many times. For a few months now I’ve had overwhelming thought processes on what it means to be a strong woman, and how the word ‘strong’ makes me feel.

Firstly I’d like say that I’ve taken full responsibility for the paths in life I’ve chosen so far, and I have grown to love myself, my mind and my body. That is a feeling I never thought I would have.

Reading my past posts on this blog naturally make me cringe, because I have changed so much. But I respect that I wrote certain things at a time that I felt appropriate, and in a way it documents part of my journey.

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However, looking back, I was still in denial about certain aspects of my life. To be more specific, I was unaware of the damaging effects my last relationship had on my self-esteem, and how it induced a heavy anxiety that I never had before. It scared me to be so honest with myself. Recently I was having a discussion with someone about the different types of abuse in relationships. It’s easy to recognise and quantify physical abuse, as horrible as it is, because it is visible in a physical form. Emotional abuse however, is so difficult to see, and the scars left in the aftermath can last a lifetime for some people. I was afraid to admit to myself that I had experienced years of emotional abuse, but once I did, everything changed. I started recognising that my anxiety, my low self esteem and all that came with it, were the scars that were left over that had to be healed.

All of the above realisations happened a very long time ago. I’ve taken responsibility for my own happiness. I have fallen in love with learning about myself, exploring my body, my sexuality and my mind. I am so grateful for the tough times because without them I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t have the confidence and strength I have now.

There truly is beauty in pain, and strength in vulnerability. It is such a good feeling to be 100% yourself with no apologies. I feel constantly inspired by the amazing women in my life, the ability to put on a smile and keep going no matter what is going on underneath. I feel empowered. I feel proud of myself for having the strength to work on my mind and explore the origins of my negative thinking. I feel proud of my mother, my sisters, my beautiful female friends, who can, all in their own way, make something blossom out of something negative.

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In the end, it all comes down to love. Even in the hardest of times, it is love that pulls us out. Love for ourselves, our families, friends and partners. Love your scars. I am constantly surprised that no matter how much you think you have been knocked down, there is always more love to give.

I feel it’s an exciting time to be a woman, something to celebrate. With albums from artists like Beyoncé, Solange, A Tribe Called Quest, and many more touching on the sexualisation of women, the divide between the sexes, and the empowerment of women all over the world. We need to lift each other up. We need to celebrate our strengths and know that it is infinite. You are all amazing and don’t be afraid to accept every part of yourself. Don’t underestimate your strength.

“There is no such thing as a weak woman” – Beyoncé

“I’m a woman phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, that’s me” – Maya Angleou

Love to you all,

Namaste,

Amy xx

Where Have I Been?

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I’m not even sure how to start this!  I’ve been in a blogging drought since May and I feel like I need to explain myself.  However that’s very hard when it’s difficult to pin point exactly how you’re feeling.

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So for ages I haven’t been happy with how the blog was going, how I was putting in that work, what I was writing about etc.  I wanted to keep things more personal, more real, more relatable… and less about products and material things.  But when you want to make that kind of change, you have to have feelings or experiences to write about.  My best posts were written when I was going through a big change in my life, and those sorts of big changes don’t come around often.  So then I feel this pressure to feel, to be different and to learn, but you can’t force that kind of thing.  On top of that I am currently unemployed and looking for work, so as much as I love blogging I really have to give 95% percent of my time into changing that.  I’m letting y’all know this because things are hopefully going to be different from now on.

I don’t want my posts to be as long or as intricate because even though I push myself to keep a high standard of content, it stops me from being consistent.  It becomes this big thing in my mind and the pressure I put on myself scares me out of just completing it.  So I want my posts to be shorter, more concise, more direct.  And on any topic I’m thinking about that week or whatever is relevant to my experiences at that time.

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I want to feel more connected to whoever reads my blog, I want to have good conversations and interactions, so please feel free to tweet me or comment on my instagram and we can start to feel more together.

The photos taken for this post were in Bray, Co. Wicklow, Ireland – on a much needed trip recently to clear my head.

I love you all so much and thanks to anyone who takes time out of their day to read anything here,

Love and light,

Namaste,

Amy xx

UPDATE : So I wrote this post two days ago intending to post it today.  As of two days ago, I NOW HAVE A JOB!  A job I have wanted for a really long time and I am so excited to start.  I wanted to include this, because it’s funny how just as I write about it something changes.  That’s just life though isn’t it!  Love to all you gorgeous people!!

Bourjois Air Mat Foundation Review

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I’ve been using this foundation for a little over 4 months so I’ve had a lot of time to test this out!  All my oily skinned guurls get ready to be amazed!  Obviously my new favourite, this is such a beautiful foundation.  Lets get into it.

So, as Bourjois describe it, it has a matte and smooth finish, 24hr hold…it’s non-drying, lightweight formula lets skin breathe throughout the day and provides high coverage for a flawless finish.  It’s enriched with mattifying micronized powders which eliminate shine with no mask effect.  I agree with 90% of these statements so that’s pretty damn good for a brand’s description.

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Priced at €13.99, you get 30mls per product so that’s pretty standard. The colour is definitely yellow-toned, but for me it goes perfectly with tan that i’ve been wearing most of the time lately so it’s all good (the colour I’m using at the moment is 02 Vanilla).  I find it does tend to go a bit darker, slightly oxidising on the skin, so beware of that and keep an eye out before you set/put on bronzer/contour, etc.  I’m definitely going to purchase a lighter shade to see how well that works.  The best part of this foundation however is how amazing it feels on the skin for the coverage that it gives.  I would say it’s a medium-high coverage as it doesn’t cover my acne scars so this girl still be using concealer but it’s pretty darn good. Within seconds of applying it feels so so light, and like ACTUAL SKIN.  Which is something I’m never used to because most that i’ve used in the past, because of how much acne/scarring I have to cover, usually feel very heavy.  Sooo I’m super happy with that.

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More great things! It’s definitely buildable and doesn’t go cakey if you want to apply a second layer.  When it does dry it gives a healthy matte finish, rather than a powdery one which is so lovely.  I find my skin takes a bit longer to get oily compared to other foundations, and when I do reapply powder if needed, it reacts well to that too.

I love that because you squeeze out the product and it’s not a pump, you can really control how much of it you use which is so good, you’re not wasting any product and constantly finding yourself repurchasing it.  Which I have done …. but not because I’m wasting it because I’m actually using it everyday!  The rest of the packaging is ok, looks fairly cheap but it’s functional which is more important right? I mean it is only €13.99, this aint no mac product yo.

Overall, it’s been a godsend, totally great for oily skin and affordable.  If you’re from Ireland, you can find it in Boots/Superdrug, or anywhere else with a Bourjois Makeup stand.

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read this,

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Namaste,

Amy xx