Day Trips

Family Days Out| Dalriada Festival 18


Excited small person ready to go!

This weekend I grabbed the small people and off we went to the Dalriada Festival.  I’d never been before but the website made the whole thing look pretty great so I was over the moon when our local radio station Cool FM gave me some free tickets.

We were only able to make it up on the Sunday and it was tipping it down when we arrived but the small people were too excited to care.  The setting of the festival was beautiful!  I wish I had been able to bring the proper camera to take photos of the scenery but sadly you are going to have to make do with some phone photos as I didn’t want to risk getting it damaged in the rain.

Tea Party


We took a quick look at the map and decided our first port of call would be the Punjana Tea Party.  It was set in an open tent with some beautiful ladies performing songs we were able to sing along to.  In an effort of reducing our waste at the event we brought our own picnic along and munched on it while sipping our tea.  I was pleased the cups had no caps, one less bit of waste however I was sad that the buns my mum decided to buy came on a polystyrene plate.  I’d love to see them change this to real crockery or paper plates in the future.

After our lunch we wondered through a tent filled with stalls the kids tried strange and wonderful flavours of cheese including strawberry cheese and seaweed cheese.  Annabelle loved it and so we bought some seaweed cheese for her to enjoy at home.  She then spotted a stand full of American sweets and what kid doesn’t love American sweets? I was also pleased to see a Tropic skincare stand.  I managed to try their sunscreen which I have been itching to try for a while.  It smelt beautiful, a little coconut like.  Ingredient wise it is pretty amazing looking too, Tropic are an all natural range of products with are proudly cruelty free and vegan.


main stageThe main stage had some great fun acts on and the kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves having a dance (as did my dad).  Matt Cardle was playing in the evening which would have been wonderful to see had the kids been able to last that long.  I can imagine if you were staying for the weekend the main stage would be guaranteed fun to dip in and out of.

Kids Zone

With a whole lot of the festival dedicated to the kids having fun we spent a good amount of time and money putting the kids on rides.  There was a great selection available and you could no doubt spend a clean fortune but they did have other things for the kids to see such as the PJ Masks and Tractor Ted.

Let’s not forget this is also the home of the wife carrying contest, a course of hay bales and paddling pools for men to run through while their wives hang over their shoulders.  All looks a bit mental but it’s all in good fun.

So I guess once you know what all was going on you would wonder “Would you go back?” – well the answer is a big fat YES!  Yes I would go back again and I fully intend to bring the kids again next year but with a caravan to make the most of the weekend rather than a day trip.  We left early this year due to the kids being tired out but had we brought a caravan they could have taken a nap and gone on to have so much more fun.  Who knows, we might even bring the fur baby with us as they allow dogs into the festival so long as they are on leads.  We adored seeing everyone’s dogs and stopped to talk and pat so many dogs it was an animal lovers dream.

We were sad to leave but until next year Dalriada, we will see you for #DalFest19 .


beauty, make-up

Beauty Review | Rodial Luxury Lip And Eye Duo

I am ever searching for the perfect lip liner and trying new eyeliners is always fun right?  So I was over the moon to spot this cruelty free duo in the August edition of Red Magazine (don’t be fooled by the word August…. this means it’s available in July – I never understand why they do that!).


Smokey Eye Pen in Black

I’m not really sure why this is called a pen as it is 100% a pencil.  It has a very definite black shade and it is easy to buff if you want a softer look to your eyeliner which I guess is why they put the smokey in the title.  It has a super buttery application and glides without any pull to the skin.

I wanted to love it, however, having put it through it’s paces in work it has a flaw for me and that is it doesn’t seem to set on my eyes and therefore if I touch my eyes (which I do often right now with it being hayfever season) I smudge it.  I’ve even had staff in the store point out that I have smudged it along the side of my face which let’s be honest isn’t a great look.


XXL Lip Liner in Street Style

As with the Eye Pen this is super easy to apply and glides on without any pull to the skin.  The colour of this is actually really lovely on and blends in well with the lip colours I tried it with.  I tend not to wear lip colour much as I don’t like to reapply colour on the go and I still haven’t found one that lasts in a shade that suits me – so feel free to give me a heads up on any you have tried that you love!


Durability wise, it lasted longer than the lip colours I applied it with so that’s one up for Rodial in my books.  Now all I need to do is find the perfect lip product to apply with it.


This set retails for £36 – I’m not sure I would buy the set unless you are happy with a liner that is easy to blend but I would certainly buy the XXL Lip Liner again on its own.

Have you tried these products?  If so be sure to let me know what you made of them.

Emmy x

beauty, Freebies, Uncategorized

Free Beauty Products – July

The last few months have been great for getting beauty products that are cruelty free with magazines .  This month is no exception and I have found 2 magazines offering free beauty products with purchase that you just might love.

Free Make-up


First up Red magazine costing £4.50 have a duo of free products included, valued at £36 they have some Rodial make-up.   Rodial products are always great quality so I have high hopes for this pair.  The set contains a Smokey Eye Pen in “Black” (it’s a pencil, not sure why they call it a pen) and their XXL lip liner in “Street Style”.

Both of these items are full size which is always a bonus as so often you get minis as your free item. You will find my review of the products up later this week as I have been giving them a trial run in work.

Free Skincare


Next up is Marie Claire costing £4.20 containing the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser.   This isn’t a full size, it is £10 worth of product which is enough to use it for traveling or to give the cleanser a good try at home and see how you get on with it.  You can read my review of the product up in the next few days – be sure to subscribe to get an alert when it goes up.

Have you spotted any Cruelty Free magazine freebies this month that I have missed?  If so, let me know and I will add them into the blog.


Emmy x



beauty, make-up

An interview with Patsy Kensit | Studio 10 Beauty

DSC_0699.JPGLast week I was kindly invited down to an interview with Patsy Kensit at Marks and Spencers in Sprucefield to promote the Studio 10 make-up range.

The set up was lovely with welcome drinks on the way in and goodie bags on each of the seats.  M&S were very generous giving us some mini perfumes, face creams and samples all for just attending.  Gotta love the girls in Sprucefield for hooking us up with goodies,

First up at the event was make-up artist Paul Herrington.  He spent a few minutes introducing the Studio 10 brand to us and then Patsy herself.  Lovely guy, super passionate about what he does and a lovely confidence in what he is talking about.  He explained that Studio 10 itself was created by Grace Fodor when she hit her 50’s as she was unable to find the kind of make-up she felt she needed.  The range was put together more as a grooming range for women rather than to make them look like they are wearing make-up.


After a few minutes the very striking Patsy Kensit arrived and introduced herself, told us about her morning and how she had been up from 4am to get here (It was after 11am at this point) and how she was confident the make-up applied to her would last her all day.  Then she hopped up on a seat to chat.


She advised us that we should be happy in our own skin and that she doesn’t want to make herself look 35 or 45, “I want to look the best that I can for the age that I am” which btw is 50.  I know what you’re thinking “Say what!?” I will be more than happy if I look like Patsy when I hit 50!

Apparently we should consider make-up as “Spanx for your face, think of it as good underwear that makes the dress look great.”  I really liked this comparison.  I always think we should make the most of keeping our skin healthy and while I am happy for people to go down the route of more extreme treatments if they would like, I really wish nobody was ever made feel they had to.  I actually thanked Patsy for her promo image  showing some real lines and skin texture.  It’s so common for us to see photos airbrushed to “perfection” that we can forget what real people look like.  Personally I want to know other people have lines and imperfections and I don’t want to see 25 year olds advertising wrinkle creams that we know have never helped their skin look good because… well because they are 25! Show me them when they are 45 or 55 and I will be more impressed. (I’m looking at you Dior!)


She then started to talk about specific products such as the Studio 10 Glow Plexion which is the red carpet of her make-up.  She compared it to Nars Orgasim and saying how she feels it has a much better effect on the skin and costs a fraction of the price.  Personally I am not a fan of using other products to try and sell your own and I don’t think there is as much of a price difference between the products as she did however, if you like Nars Orgasim and are looking for a cruelty free dupe, this product may be worth giving a try.  I can’t give you an honest comparison of the two products as I have never used Nars due to them not being a cruelty free brand.


Paul brought up a member of the audience for a demonstration and this lady had her make-up done while Patsy took comments and questions.  The lady who was selected from the audience was over the moon with the results and I did spot her purchasing some products after the talk so she was clearly sincere with her response.


When the talk was over I headed to the well stocked mini make over station to try some products on for myself.  The girls had many shades of everything open and were ready to go as soon as a customer sat down and the queue was pretty mighty so people had loved what they had been hearing and all wanted to try the products for themselves.

I already had a full face of make-up on and so I opted to try the lip liner, the lipstick that doubles up as a blush, Glow-Plexion as they bigged it up so much and a brow pencil as I am in need of a new one soon.


I have to be honest, while I loved the lip liner and lip colour, I was highly unimpressed with the brow pencil.  The colour was fine but it wasn’t great at giving good definition to the shape of my brows.  I was so unimpressed with it that I didn’t even take it as my free sample product.

I purchased the lip products and got the Glow-Plexion mini to try at home.  The Glow-Plexion is nice but I really wouldn’t write home about it.  A subtle glow to the skin and can be mixed in with your flundation.  The Age Reverse lip pencil and Wake up and Glow as a lip colour look good on and apply like butter on the skin but sadly for me they have no staying power.  I put them on this morning and 1 hour later it was almost all gone so I was really disappointed with it, the Wake up and Glow up did stay on my cheeks well though and made a lovely cream blush.  Would I buy them again?  Sadly it’s unlikely.  While I love what the brand stands for and that it is filling a gap in the market for the mature woman, I just feel for those of us happy to invest our time in trying different brands rather than looking for a one stop shop, it isn’t up to standard.





beauty, miscellaneous, Uncategorized

Nails & Lashes| Kiss Summer Party, Belfast 2018

This week I was blessed to be invited to the Kiss Summer Party to see their new Faux Mink Lash Couture Lashes and try out the imPRESS Gel Manicure.  As if that wasn’t enough, the event was held in The Merchant hotels roof top garden and the girls even brought the sunshine for us.

chikumo having her nails applied

No sooner were we into the party and we were being attended to with drinks from the free bar and having sets of the imPRESS Gel Manicure nails applied.  They had an amazing array to choose from and everyone picked the set that seemed to best fit their personality.  I opted for a beautiful summery turquoise with sparkly gold accent nails.  Love a bit of sparkle me.

legallybrunette_ni getting her nails did

To be honest, I’ve never worn false nails before because I keep my nails long and they are in a fairly decent condition so this was a first for me.  They had 2 options available, nails with tabs you peel and stick on and nails you apply with glue.  Mine had the tabs and honestly, it couldn’t have been easier for the girl to apply them.  She matched the size of the nails up to my own and then removed the tabs and pressed firmly onto my natural nail.  Simple as that really and they would be perfect for applying for a night out when you haven’t the time to paint your nails and wait for them to dry.


Time wise the press on nails should last around 4 days and those applied with glue last around 7 days.  I was worried mine might not last very well due to running around after the kids but 24 hours later and they are still going strong.


Next we hit the lash tables to get our own Faux Mink Lash Couture lashes applied.  Be aware KISS also do human hair ones which people may or may not wish to avoid on ethical grounds so you do need to go for the Faux Mink if you require a vegan option.

impress nails

They had a variety of lashes available to choose from and the glues were all vegan friendly too.  I had a more natural lash applied however due to the heat and hayfever eyes mine did start to lift at the edges so I didn’t get a photo of the finished look.  What I can say is everyone elses lashes looked spectacular and did last through the night.

When we left they gave us these super cute branded tote bags filled with a magical amount of goodies.  I’d say there is far more in there than I can get through… so I might as well share the love, keep your eyes peeled for a competition coming up on my Instagram page soon!!

24 hours later and my nails are still going strong

**gifted items are included in this review but all opinions are my own.

beauty, Skincare

Beauty Bargains|Aromatherapy Associates and St Tropez at TK Maxx


I do love a good bargain and when I have time to spare I am happy to have a good old root around in TK Maxx to see what’s hiding in their shelves.  I called in this week and they had so many great cruelty free brands on the shelves that I had to control myself.

I am a huge lover of St Tropez and I was over the moon to see they had a full range of St Tropez products available at discounted prices.  I grabbed a couple of the gradual tan as I do use this regularly and at £7.99 it was less than the offer Superdrug currently have on which is £9.99 down from £14.99.  I can’t recommend St Tropez gradual tan enough for anyone who likes a gentle glow and it’s perfect for the tanning novice worried they will get it wrong (Trust me, you can’t go wrong with this stuff).


Then I spotted this beauty by Aromatherapy Associates.  Their stuff always smells so beautiful and I couldn’t believe the discount listed on it!  Using the digital age to my advantage I had a check online and sure enough Space NK are still selling it at £79!  I tried to tell myself I didn’t really need another night mask as it hasn’t been that long from I purchased the Pacifica night mask but I cracked and went back today to get one.  REALLY looking forward to trying it and will update you on how I feel about it’s effects.


Other cruelty free brands I spotted today included products by Sienna Tan, Tarte, Too Faced, Milk, Ultra sun and so many more but sure we’d be broke if we bought all the bargains.

I was offered one of their Treasure cards today which was new to me.  I’ve never realised they even had a rewards card!  Time will tell if it is any good but I am a big lover of rewards cards in general and store my points up for Christmas splurges.

So now I want to know, what are your biggest bargain beauty buys?  Some of you must have got deals that top my £79 down to £24.99?

Emmy x


Beauty haul| The Body Shop Sale June 2018

I work a few doors down from The Body Shop in Newry and so I like to dander down on my lunch break to see what they have going on.  This week thanks to Instagram story mode I seen they had some items heavily reduced and made a bee line down to try and grab a bottle of Red Musk which was only £2!

Sadly when I got there all that was left of the Red Musk was the tester and they had sold out.  Gutted, it was a beautiful fragrance. I love anything musky and wear their Black Musk regularly.  It’s my mums fault really, she liked White Musk when I was younger and so any musky smell now just draws me in.


However, they had some Fijian Lotus Water in 100ml bottles down to £9 which is a great price for that volume of perfume so I grabbed it.  It isn’t at all musky and is much fresher to wear and I can see it being a great scent for me to wear during the summer.  I would compare it to the original Christina Aguilera perfume which I used to wear religiously in my early 20’s.

I’m sure many of you have used Instablur right?  But have you ever used the eye version before?  Because you should definitely give it a go sometime.  And by sometime I mean now because it is currently £1.  I still have some of mine left but for £1 I couldn’t not buy another tube.  This stuff comes out of the nozzle like a paste, you then blend the paste into your skin and it helps to fill in any fine lines and conceal any dark circles under the eyes at the same time.  Genius right?


I then impulse bought these little beauties.  This is Fresh Sorbet Blush in Cuban Watermelon and Lychee Blossom.  They had 5 or 6 colour shades available in my local store and as tempted as I was to buy one of each of them due to them also being reduced to £1, I stayed sensible and only grabbed 2.  One in a warmer shade for when I have tan on and one in a cooler shade for when I am my pale Irish self.


I did not however expect them to be a liquid!  I totally thought they would be a solid cream blush so this was a curve ball for me.  The colours are beautiful with a great pigment and if you can excuse the poor quality of the photo below, it will at least give you an idea of what it looks like on the skin.


I applied the cream quite heavily to show you the shade on my skin but you would of course blend them in to your own requirements when applying on your face.  As a side note, this smells pretty amazing too.  Weirdly not too dissimilar to the perfume I picked up!


The last item I grabbed was the Tea Tree Flawless BB Cream in shade 01.  This purchase wasn’t for me but for my eldest small person.  She is just about to start big school after the summer and wanted to feel a bit more grown up with some make-up of her own.  While I in no way think she needs make-up, nor will I be buying her a wide range, I felt this was a good compromise to start her with.  The tea tree will be great for helping keep any blemishes at bay and the BB cream will keep her skin hydrated as well as adding a bit of colour to keep her happy.


They had so many items in the sale at great prices, I stayed away from the shower gels and body butters due to having an immense amount to use up at home already but if you need some it is worth checking them out as they had loads available.

Let me know if you hit their sale and what you thought of what you got.  I always love getting inspired by other peoples shopping!