Thursday, June 30, 2016

Cocoa Brown Kind Collection

As you may have already gathered I am an avid follower of beauty expert Marissa Carter; girl boss of Ireland's leading self tan and ever expanding brand Cocoa Brown.

And now, she has upped her game and done it again with her latest product launch!
This product launch is the first non-tanning related products and showing us just how Cocoa Brown is evolving into a beauty brand; introducing the first haircare products in the Cocoa Brown range, the Kind collection...

"My passion for beauty isn't limited to tanning so I want the Cocoa Brown brand to reflect that. It can be difficult to find haircare that is suitable for sensitive scalp, coloured hair, extensions and volumising all at the same time. I've created the Kind collection with that in mind."
Marissa, CEO Cocoa Brown

The Cocoa Brown Kind collection is a range of softly scented products designed for everyday use, which have been specially formulated for sensitive scalps and skin.
Scented with fruity peach notes and Cocoa Brown's signature scent Tahitian Gardenia and oh my, what a beautiful scent it is.
The main cleansing agents have been derived from coconut and fruit sugars; natural sources, so it is gentle on your hair, scalp and extensions. The level of fragrance in the products is actually so minimal that it does not technically have to be listed under the ingredients on the products.

The Cocoa Brown Kind Shampoo and Conditioner are free from:
~Alcohol ~Parabens and ~Formaldehyde
and the PH levels of the products will not interfere with your tan, ensuring your tan lasts longer and fades evenly.

The new Cocoa Brown Kind range with new Tanning Wipes ~ Travel Set Size

The Kind range has been launched in a travel set along with a Kind Shower Gel which is gorgeous and the new tanning wipes, if you haven't tried these wipes yet, you need to. They are great for keeping your tan topped up.. gone are the days of the smelly streaky tanning wipes!
The Shampoo and Conditioner will be available in 200ml tubes from mid-July at just €3.50 each.

As a lover of new products and Cocoa Brown, I couldn't wait to try and review the new Kind range. I have a sensitive scalp and a touch of psoriasis at the base of my scalp, which can be really aggravated by the wrong hair care products. Marissa herself suffers with bad psoriasis on her scalp, which is how she came up with the Kind range.

I am super impressed by the Kind haircare products! I will be reusing and using and reusing again.
Firstly, these products smell so fresh and divine! Secondly, my hair looks so healthy, soft, volumised and shiny after using, I couldn't believe how good my hair felt, such a difference. And lastly, it didn't aggravate my scalp. Obviously, it doesn't treat the psoriasis I have but it certainly does not cause it to flare up like other shampoo and conditioners do.

I thoroughly recommend the Kind range, I hope you love it as much as I do!
Available in pharmacies SOON!

Thanks for reading
Danielle x

Disclaimer: Thanks to Cocoa Brown for sending me the Travel Set to review!


Friday, June 24, 2016

Marissa's Masterclass

Look up Girl Boss in the dictionary and you are sure to see a photo of Marissa Carter; entrepreneur, owner and founder of the one and only Cocoa Brown. Marissa is a wife and mother to two young children and she is one inspirational and ambitious woman!

Marissa has created one of Ireland's most successful beauty brands, and it is a brand which keeps on growing. Starting off with the best selling One Hour Original Tan Mousse, there are now twelve products in the range including the much loved Golden Goddess Oil which is even loved by Khloe Kardashian! Marissa's range has just recently branched in to haircare and skincare with the new Kind collection to add even more products to her ever expanding empire. And have you seen the new Rose Gold Goddess Oil.... oh. em. gee. So pretty!

So when Marissa announced she was starting to do a series of workshops, called Marissa's Masterclass, throughout the country, a day full of beauty and skincare, I knew it was a day I would not want to miss out on. When the Donegal date was announced, in Harveys Point on June 11th, Lynette and I immediately got online and got ourselves tickets.

In the week leading up to her Masterclass in Harveys Point, Marissa was letting us see what was going to be included in the goody bags and we were very excited for what was in store in her Masterclass!

On the 11th, the time had arrived to head to Harveys Point to see Marissa and the Cocoa Brown team in action. We arrived in Harveys Point to a 'Welcome Tea and Coffee' in the bar area.
Lots of ladies were starting to gather, some super glamorous ladies at that and the excitement of a day of beauty and skincare talk was palpable! 

We then started to make our way into the function room and we were greeted by Stephanie from Cocoa Brown and, and our very own Aisling from Powder 'n' Pout. And just behind them, was the lady herself, Marissa! Marissa was very obliging to having photos taken with all the ladies arriving to her Masterclass.
Lynette and I got our chance to get a photo and meet Marissa, and I can safely say that Marissa is the sweetest lady, an absolute diamond. I can't speak highly enough of her and I am not surprised she is as successful as she is. As Lynette and I walked up to her, she exclaimed that she felt 'so small'... you could put her in your pocket!
Me, Marissa, Lynette at Marissa's Masterclass, Harveys Point, June 11th
The Masterclasses are sponsored by Ramona from Cara Pharmacy and RTE's Dragons Den. Cara Pharmacy had a pop-up shop at the Masterclass, full of affordable and high-end beauty and skincare products that were called 'Marissa's Must-Haves'. There were opportunities before the Masterclass kicked off to browse and buy the products... SO many beautiful products, from Flawless to Lancome to Pestle and Mortar ~ one. of. everything. please. (I obviously bought some products.. post on those purchases to come!).

Marissa took to the stage shortly after 11am and held the attention of every lady in the room in the palm of her hand throughout the day! She was an absolute delight to listen to and is a fountain of knowledge on beauty and skincare.
I took notes upon notes about all the products Marissa would recommend, the lady sure knows her stuff so I will be taking her advice.
Ramona then joined Marissa on stage twice throughout the day for a Q&A session and both women are such inspirations.

Marissa gave out spot prizes all throughout the day, everyone in the room got a spot prize ~ I was the lucky winner of the Holos Skincare goody bag, a lush new Irish skincare company. The goody bag included a Sweet Mandarin soy candle, Love Your Skin hand cream and Good Morning body oil. Each one of the products smell divine and all products are natural and aromatherapy based.

Holos Skincare Goody Bag ~ Spot Prize, Thanks Niamh from Holos!
Afternoon Tea was served at lunchtime, and it was delicious. A selection of savoury and sweet treats for everyone, along with tea and coffee. Lunchtime was also a good time to browse the pop-up Cara Pharmacy shop and spend some €€€; the girls from Cara were extremely helpful and knew their products inside out.

Marissa then took to the stage again and introduced Aisling from Powder 'n' Pout in Carndonagh. Aisling and her team of girls; Andrea, Sinead and Julie, were lucky enough to be the hair and makeup team for Marissa and her team that morning! Marissa then sprung it on Aisling asking her to stay for the Masterclass and do a makeup demo on stage! Aisling did a fabulous eyebrow demo look on a lady from the crowd.
Marissa then completed a full makeup look on her own sister Colleen; mainly how to apply your under-eye concealer and contour correctly. The difference your under-eye concealer makes to your face is incredible, below gives you an idea of how to apply.
Marissa is a big fan of colour correcting and she mentioned the CC creams by Flormar several times. These CC creams are available in four shades; green, peach, pink and violet. I have talked about the green shade in a previous post you can read here. I am a big fan of these CC creams and recommend them alot! The full Flormar range is available in Brennans Pharmacy, Carndonagh.

After a day full of information, laughs, spot prizes, product talk and so much beauty related chat, the day had come to end and Marissa thanked us all so much for making the day fun for her and saying she wanted to move to Donegal as we were all so glamorous!
We were given our goody bags which everyone was so excited about! So below you can have a nosey at just how much was included in the goody bags...

Cara Pharmacy 12pc Brush Set

iwhite Instant Teeth Whitening - Marissa herself is a big fan of this range

Sleek Cream Contour Kit in the shade Light

Nivea Double Effects Eye Make-Up Remover | Sally Hansen Nail Polish | Instant Effects Lash Volumiser | Giorgio Armani Si EDP | Viviscal Gorgeous Growth Samples 
New Cocoa Brown Tanning Wipes
To say the goody bags were generous is an understatement! Every single item is something I would use. We were the first to get our hands on the new Tanning Wipes too - something which Marissa said she wants everyone to start to trust again! I have tried them; there are no streaks and they are great for topping up your Cocoa Brown tan ;)

If you have ever have a chance to meet Marissa, do! Or a chance to go to one of her Masterclasses, do! I have followed Marissa on Twitter since her days of owning her own salon in Dublin and then when she was off on maternity leave, she developed the idea for Cocoa Brown.

It was a great day and I would thoroughly recommend Marissa's Masterclass, perfect girly day out!

Thanks for reading :)

Danielle x


Friday, June 17, 2016

Sephora Goodies

FINALLY I am getting round to doing this post on what I bought in Sephora while on honeymoon in LA.
If you love all things beauty and skincare as much as I do, Sephora is absolute heaven.
You will find all brands imaginable in this French chain of cosmetic stores, almost 300 brands in fact including makeup, skincare, fragrance, body, nail colour and haircare. Enough already Sephora, hurry up and come to Ireland and the UK!!

I kept it simple *this time*, plus a couple of the Sephoras I visited were actually out of stock of a few things I wanted (including Becca Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop collection/Anastasia Glow Kit) but I am already compiling a (long) list.

So here is what I bought... (Flat lay complete with trademark Sephora black and white stripes tissue paper, thanks Sephora!)
Sephora purchases

The first product I will show is the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation.
I have heard so much about this foundation, have read lots of blogposts about it and I know Ellen from Waxperts is a big fan of this foundation. (If you are not following Ellen on Snapchat, you must! @waxpertsellen)

The Ultra HD foundation is available in 40 shades, I tested several and went for Y245. This makeup was "created for the very latest high-definition technologies of the film and TV industry, Ultra HD advanced formulas look invisible on 4K camera and to the naked eye."
The Ultra HD foundation is supposed to feel like a second skin, however the coverage is medium with a light-diffusing formula to make it look natural and the skin look flawless.
The formula is great for all skin types. I have not tried this yet, but I will let you know what I think when I do!
Make Up For Ever Ultra Hd Invisible Cover Foundation

My next purchase is the much-loved Benefit High Beam. It is a luminescent complexion enhancer, i.e. an awesome highlighter!
I was always a big fan of Benefit products, including their primers, foundations, Hoola, Coralista, Benetint etc. but I have been trying other brands for the past few years but I definitely want to repurchase all of my old favourites (and new favourites!)

High Beam is used where the light would naturally hit your face; so on the browbones, down your nose, cheekbones and your cupids bow ~ on top of your makeup and blend.
It is a luminous pearlescent colour, creating a beautiful dewy complexion making it a gorgeous highlighter.
And, lets face it, it is all about the glow these days!
Benefit High Beam

Up next is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. It is a 'weightless complete coverage concealer'.
I am always trying different concealers for my dark under eye circles, blemishes and breakouts.
The one I am currently using is the Flormar Perfect Coverage liquid concealer, which I find good but I wanted to try something new and spotted this!

The bumf on this concealer says "this is a liquid concealer like no other. Cover imperfections without looking covered up. Our weightless, high tech formula provides buildable, even coverage with an invisible Naked skin feel. And it never settles into fine lines." This concealer is enriched with Matrixyl 3000 ~ this ingredient contains peptides which helps the skin's youthful appearance and elasticity, and  also Japanese Green Tea which revitalizes and reduces the appearance of fine lines.
Sounds too good to be true, but I will give it a go and let you know what I think.
Urban Decay Naked Skin
The legendary 100% argan oil by Josie Maran is up next. This is a beauty. I first seen this on Alanna's night time routine on her blog ~ Click here for the link to Alanna's blogpost on the oil.
Argan Oil is clinically proven to improve skin hydration and smoothness and to visibly reduce coarse lines and wrinkles in just four weeks. Winner winner...

The Josie Maran Argan Oil is 100% pure, 100% organic, 100% natural Argan oil and it is a multitasking moisturiser that works on the skin, hair and nails. It is chemical free and so pure that it helps soothe skin problems such as eczema and rosacea. It is a wonder oil and I notice such a difference in my skin by using this. I use it a couple of times a week on my face and it is a real treat for the skin.
Josie MAran 100% Pure Argan Oil

I have read SO much about this next product that I had to have it. It is a loose finishing powder for the face. I much prefer translucent loose powders compared to pressed powders because I feel like they set my makeup so much better and last longer, so I love this product.
The bumf on this product says: "Mineral Veil melts into your skin, infusing it with softness and light, giving the look you see with a soft focus camera lens.
This powder is completely sheer and suitable for all skin tones. Mineral Veil helps to absorb oil, which I need, and reduces the appearance of lines and pores. The best thing about Mineral Veil is that it does not have the buildup that pressed powders can have and this is because Mineral Veil is free from parabens, waxes, dyes and binders which pressed powders contain.
I love this powder. It gives such a smooth, soft and flawless finish to my makeup. It helps absorb oil throughout the day, my makeup would always get much oilier before as the day goes on but not so much anymore. 
Bare Minerals Mineral Veil

Last but not least, the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. I have tried several setting sprays before, including NYX and Flormar but this one by UD is my favourite. 

I knew of this setting spray before but I heard about it most recently from Suzanne Jackson a.k.a SoSueMe at her workshop in Inishowen back in April. Suzanne was doing a contour demo on her sister and was blending the contour with her own SOSU Pro Blender, but before using the blender she dampened it down with this UD All Nighter Spray, squeezed the blender gently then blended. She swears by this setting spray so I thought if Suzanne liked it, it must be good. (Another to follow on Snapchat, @SoSueMe_ie)
"Stop makeup meltdown with this groundbreaking clinically tested formula. All Nighter mists on weightlessly to keep your makeup looking gorgeously just-applied for up to 16 hours, without melting, cracking, fading or setting into fine lines.
Simply mist the face 2-4 times after applying makeup in an "X" and "T" formation and voilĂ !

I have linked all the products to the Sephora website in their captions but all of these products are all available online to Ireland and the UK :)

What is on your Sephora wish list?

Add me on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter: @stardust_belle

Thanks for reading,
Danielle x


Monday, June 13, 2016

Lots to come...

Hello everyone,

I have been a busy bee since we got back from honeymoon. We had thee most incredible and action-packed two weeks in California and Las Vegas, so many memories made!

I have loads of cool photos that I will do a blogpost with to show you some of our adventures.
I will recommend places to see and things to do if you are ever lucky enough to visit that glorious part of the world.

I am currently studying a Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills, i.e. Pharmacy Technician, so I have my head back in the books. We are on our third assignment of second year. It has been a test of endurance to say the least. Second year should be wrapped up by Christmas, I CAN NOT WAIT.
To be able to simply spend an evening with my husband without textbooks/assignments/medical dictionaries/SOP folders and NOT feel guilty about it, well it is going to be awesome! Roll on the end of this.. No more books for me, ever!

Myself and Lynette attended Marissas Masterclass on Saturday past in Harveys Point in Donegal Town. If you don't know who Marissa is (well, where have you been!), Marissa Carter is the founder and owner of the self tan MEGA brand, Cocoa Brown.
I have followed Marissa on Twitter since the days she owned her own beauty salon, Carter Beauty, before Cocoa Brown was invented so it was very exciting to finally meet her on Saturday. And girls, she is an absolute diamond! Marissa is the loveliest lady, an inspiration and I'm not surprised her tan has exploded globally how it has done with a sweetheart like Marissa at the helm. Marissa is a Snapchat power-user so go follow her, I never miss her Snapchat story - @CarterMarissa

I will do a full blogpost on the Masterclass day and show you the amazing goody bags that we received!
I have lots of products to show you from the goody bags and a couple of other hauls aswell.

So stay tuned, lots to come.

Thanks for reading :)
Danielle x


Friday, June 3, 2016

It's almost time to go home...

Hello everyone,

We are on our last full day of our honeymoon #sadface ~ 
we have had the most incredible two weeks together spent between Beverly Hills, Las Vegas, West Hollywood & Redondo Beach. 

We packed LOTS in, I will do a full post with photos when we get settled back home again of our adventures.

I squeezed in a trip to Sephora in Beverly Hills yesterday so I will also do a haul post on what I purchased in there.. I really wish we had Sephora back home, it is literally paradise, I could spend hours in there! 

I will end with one of my favourite photos of us.. Ever! 
On the actual set of Central Perk from Friends ~ my favourite tv show, so it was a surreal moment and so much fun. 

That's all for now,
Thanks for reading

Danielle x
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