29 July 2014

Ziaja'a New Manuka Range - Face Care Products for Oily/Combination Skin

Ziaja have very recently launched a new skincare range called Manuka. The Manuka Tree Purifying range like all their other lines of skincare is incredibly affordable with products ranging from €4.49 up to €6.99.

The new range is targeted for people with oily/combination skin who suffer from an oily t-zone, dilated pores, blackheads, minor spots, acne breakouts and shine control. The new face care products get their name from the star ingredient, Manuka leaf extract. It's contains powerful antibacterial properties which make it perfect for soothing irritation, eliminating bacteria and cleansing the skin.

The range consists of a Normalising day cream €6.99, a gently exfoliating night cream €6.99, a deeply cleansing peeling paste €4.49, a Astringent face toner €4.49 and a normalising cleansing gel €4.49. I myself have dry skin so taking that on bored I tested out the cleansing peeling paste and the face toner.


Ziaja Manuka Tree Purifying Deeply Cleansing Peeling Paste €4.99
Despite what the name might suggest this is essentially a ex-foliating facial wash. 
Directions: Massage onto damp face and rinse off. Use once a week.
A little goes a long way with this product. I found the exfoliating beads to be absolutely perfect for my face. Not too abrasive, just the right amount to unblock my pores and leave my skin feeling fresh. Perfect for removing dead skin cells and perfect preparation before you complete the rest of your daily skincare routine. As it is directed for oily/combination skin and I have dry skin I feel it's worth mentioning that this product didn't dry my skin out. Make sure to apply a suitable moisturiser directly after applying products like this to your face. 

Pleas note that this is not a peel off mask. They mention Peeling paste in the title because this product removes dead skin cells and it also resembles the consistency of toothpaste. 

The purpose of this face toner is to reduce the appearance of porous areas, sooth acne breakouts and also improve blemishes. 
Directions: Apply with cotton pad over cleansed skin. Use daily.
Firstly I just want to say this product worked best for me when I spritzed the solution straight onto my face and then used a cotton pad to lightly dab around the different areas of my face. I enjoyed this product because the mist was so gentle and it felt nice and light on my skin. Great skin preparation for your favourite daily moisturiser. 

All the products in this range smell the same and the scent is nice and refreshing. It's the kind of scent you would associate with a freshly cleaned face if that makes any sense. 

I would recommend this range to teenagers suffering from breakouts and women of all ages who have oily/combination skin. If like me and you have dry skin and love a good facial exfoliant please try out the Deeply Cleansing Peeling Paste. I haven't tried anything like it since Soap & Glory's No Clogs Allowed and that costs €15. Great quality for an even better price.

Have you tried out any of the Ziaja skincare ranges yet? 


28 July 2014

Magnifibres or Magni-AWFUL?! Lash Lengthening Product Review

I was recently sent Magnifibres to try out for review and it instantly reminded me of the Maybelline XXL Volume and Length Microfiber Mascara as with both products you have a layering system to follow. What a disaster the Maybelline XXL mascara turned out to be. If you weren't left with clumpy spider lashes you had the white layer peering out from underneath the black mascara making you look just plain ill. 

Magnifibres €25.85/£21 is different in that the fibres do not come in the form of a mascara type consistency but as fibres seen in the photo above which are made from the following ingredients: Viscose, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol. 

Magnifibres brush on lashes claim to instantly lengthen lashes up to 5mm. "No glue...No mess..No fuss...just glamour" it says on the packaging. 

It works as follows:
Step 1. Apply your own mascara.
Step 2. Using the same method apply Magnifibres but look down.
Step3. Wait 30 seconds, then apply a second coat of your mascara.

In the above photo I have followed all three steps. I used No7 Fanomenal Lashes Mascara, it's one of my favourites. Even though it claims to give fuller lashes I actually find it great for separating the lashes making them appear longer. 

The first time I used Magnifibres I got a bit of a fright with how the fibres felt on my lashes and had an uncontrollable blinking fit. After using a few more times I have taken to applying the fibres really slowly and carefully making sure not to apply too much. After following the last step and applying the second coat of mascara I have to say I was not impressed in the slightest with how my lashes looked. 

The fibres made my otherwise nicely separated lashes clump together when I applies the second coat of mascara. Maybe this is how you get the fuller looking lash effect but I was not loving it! Throughout the day I also noticed that some of black fibres had fallen onto my cheeks. I could have rubbed my eyes or knocked my glasses off my lashes but this was also a big turn off for me with this product. Taking my mascara off also got a whole lot scarier because the fibres with the coat of mascara when trying to take off with my make-up remover created little balls hell which then got rubbed into my eye lids. 

From a distance to look at, not so bad. But close up...and I'll quote my boyfriend on this..."Your eyelashes look like yard brushes"! There was noting glamorous about Magnifibres brush on lashes for me I'm afraid and I would never pay over €25 for a product like this when I can just use one of my favourite budget friendly volume and lengthening mascaras which feel lighter, take less time to apply and don't give me yard brush lashes! 

What do you think ladies, is this a product you could live without?


27 July 2014

My Luxury Spa Experience - Knightsbrook River Spa

Today I am going to share with you my first ever spa experience. I visited the Knightsbrook hotel, spa and golf resort in Trim, Co Meath. 

Reason for going:
A parent of a child in my pre-school class rather kindly gave me a voucher for the Knightsbrook River Spa. I was gobsmacked by such a lovely gesture to be honest with you, I would have been just as delighted with a card! 

What treatments did I book in for?
Looking at the River Spa brochure I was intrigued by all the holistic Thai spa treatments they have to offer. However most of the treatments are little pricey for me and I wanted to make the most out of my voucher and get a few treatments done. Sometimes I hate being practical! Practical Sarah booked in for an Express Manicure, Express Pedicure and a half leg wax. The perfect trio for summer I think.

How did I get on?!
Upon entering the River Spa I was greeted and escorted to the lush waiting room. I was surprised that most of the place was only lit by candles and dim down lights. I had never been to a luxury spa before so I really had no idea what to expect and was slightly embarrassed when I commented to the receptionist "Oh, it's very dark in here"! It only took me a few moments to fill out a form outlining any health issues I may have and then I was swiftly escorted to the ladies changing room. I was so impressed with the facilities, so clean and well managed. My robe and slippers had been waiting for me in my own locker which securely held my belongings while I was getting my treatments done.

Treatment #1 - Half leg wax €25
Once I had changed I made my way back out to the waiting area where I was taken to the first treatment room to have my legs waxed. The lady who did all my treatments was very nice and gentle with me. She spoke very softly which I think was part of the whole relaxation process.
Spa Etiquette
"The Spa is designed to be calm, quiet and relaxing and for this 
reason the use of mobile phones is prohibited. We also ask that you 
respect other Spa users by speaking quietly whilst in our relaxation 
area. Any loud behaviour in any area of the Spa may result in you 
being asked to vacate the premises."

I tried my best to spark up a conversation but she was solely focused on my treatments, which was not a bad thing. My leg wax treatment took thirty minutes which was good timing in my book, she didn't rush and made extra effort to make sure all the hairs had been removed. 

Treatment #2 - Manicure €25
After my waxing treatment I was lead out of the room to another area of the spa. I was taken down a romantically lit corridor, up a stunning marble stair case, past their make-up application area and into another treatment room. They have sixteen treatment rooms, a thermal suite and two relaxation suites. I was asked to lay on a bed which I was surprised about because I was getting my nails done. A small towel was placed over my eyes while she completed my manicure. It was so relaxing I swear I nearly fell asleep. The background music was so relaxing and again my beautician was so focused on my treatments there was no chatter. I was asked what shaped I would like my nails to be filed and was asked was I happy with the shape before she applied the polish I had chosen. 

Treatment #2 - Pedicure €25
I've never had a pedicure before so I was a bit excited about this treatment. There was no questions this time she just asked me to inform her if I was uncomfortable at any stage. I really liked how she focused on making me feel as comfortable and relaxed as possible. The pedicure did not take long and afterwards she asked me if I would like a massage while the polish was drying. Oh god I'm glad I said "go for it"! I nearly slipped into a deep coma, it was amazing. I felt so rejuvenated afterwards. 

Just when I thought it was time to go home she lead me to yet another room. I was entering the relaxation suite. This room contained loungers separated by chiffon curtains. There was also a table of refreshing drinks and magazines. I'm not too sure on how long I would have been allowed to stay in this luxurious room but I gave it a full fifteen minutes before I decided to head back to the changing room. 

After I changed I made my way back to the reception and settled up with my voucher. The ladies on the desk were friendly and asked how I got on. I enquired about their opening times and signed up to their email/text notifications so I will find out about any future special offers they might be running. 

Wax used: 
Lycon Active Gold Strip Wax
"Glows like gold and removes hair effectively, gently and quickly. Contains the soothing benefits of Chamomile and the finest grade of gold Micro Mica, for extra gentle waxing and no skin drag."

Nail Polish Used:
Don't Bossa Nova Me Around

I absolutely loved my experience at the Knightsbrook River Spa. I will be back but next time I would love to go with my mam or a few friends. It was very relaxing and I left feeling pampered but I did miss a bit of a natter. I can see how it would be the perfect environment for someone wanting to get away from the daily stresses of life. It would also be the perfect place to bring your best friend or your mum. You also have the hotel bar and restaurant which would be a nice extension to the day if you wanted to take your experience to another level.

That's it from me girls, I'm off to continue being blissfully relaxed! 

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