Back on the Slimming World Wagon

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Hi Everyone 🙂 So last week i rejoined Slimming World for the second time. I previously joined two years ago and lost 1 stone. I was happy with that and maintained it with exercise and continuing healthy eating. However a bit of over-indulgence here and there has caught up with me and it’s time to do something about it. So it’s back to Slimming World I go……

Now we all know the basics for keeping fit and healthy, eat less rubbish and move more, fuelling your body the correct way. The hard bit is applying that in everyday life!! I need structure and I need a plan, which is why I like Slimming World. They set the guidelines to follow so sticking to plan is easy.

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I won’t go into too much detail but the general guidelines are :

* You can eat as much FREE food as you like. Free foods are your lean meats (protein,protein,protein!!), vegetables, fruit, eggs, rice, pasta, couscous and your spices and condiments.

* All meals to include at least 1/3 SPEED foods, eg. vegetables or fruit.

* 1 set portion of bread or cereal per day (Healthy Extra B).

* 1 set portion of milk or cheese per day (Healthy Extra A).

* 15 SYNS allowance per day. Syns are to be used on any food that is not FREE food or your Heathy Extra allowance. These foods all have a syn value and it’s totally up to you how you use them, I generally use mine on mayo or butter and maybe a treat with a cuppa.

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There’s a Slimming World website for members which I find fantastic for recipe ideas and motivation. I like that Slimming World encourages real food in a healthy balanced way, no cutting out food groups or starving yourself. The only thing I wouldn’t be too keen on is their recommendations for artificial sweeteners, I would rather just go without sugar or fizzy drinks than substitute them with artificial sweeteners (aspartame), but that’s just me and it’s up to you to adapt the plan to what suits you best 🙂 I will leave a link below to some of my favourite Slimming World recipes.

My first week back was a big success with a loss of 5lbs, so fingers crossed for another loss this week. I won’t bore you with Slimming World posts every week but I will update you with my progress in a few weeks 🙂 So what do you guys think of Slimming World? Anybody else following the plan? Be sure to let us know and send us your favourite recipes!

Until next time,

Live Pretty, 

Lisa M xx

http://www.slimmingworld.ie/recipes/new-york-bacon-burgers-with-cajun-wedges.aspx

http://www.slimmingworld.ie/recipes/easy-chicken-curry-with-spicy-broccoli-and-green-beans.aspx

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The Ultimate Brush Set

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Hi lovelies 🙂

One question we get asked time and time again is what brushes do we recommend. Gone are the days of a quick swipe of frosted blue across the eyelids with your finger doing the trick. Nope…we are moving on!! We want all the right tools to help us on our way to flawless makeup application every day. If you’re in the market for a set of brushes it can be overwhelming with so much variety and choice available. But ladies I have found the ultimate set of must-have brushes. Let me introduce the Nima Elite Collection.

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How gorgeous are these? Oh my!! The prettiest brushes I ever did see 🙂 Their white wooden handle and rose-gold (OMG!!) ferrule make these the most beautiful brushes in town. Not to mention how fab they look on your dressing table. 

So we know they look lovely but do they do the job? They do indeed!! I’ve been using these for a good while now and have worked with them on a number of different looks from the softest glowy bridal look to full-on glam and these brushes didn’t let me down. The quality is fantastic and the fibres are so soft, both natural and synthetic. All the brushes are the perfect size and shape to make application easy and blending a doddle.

This set contains :

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Flat Head Kabuki – Foundation

Large Powder – Setting Powder/Bronzer

Dome Powder – Blusher

Angled Powder – Contour/Highlight

Small Synthetic – Concealer

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Large Shader – Eyeshadow

Small Shader – Precision Eyeshadow

Round Fluffy Blending – Eyeshadow Blending

Domed Pencil – Precision Eyeshadow

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Small Angle – Liner/Brows

Bent Liner – Gel Eyeliner

Lip Brush with lid

Leather Nima tube (choice of 10 colours)

So there you have all the brushes you’ll need to create any look. The set retails at €105. When you divide that by 13 (12 brushes and Nima tube) they work out at €8 each. Seriously…that there is a bargain!! One more major plus for me is that Nima is an award winning IRISH brand. In the big bad world of cosmetics it’s very often the case that we go straight to the big multinational companies because they are the brand names we hear over and over. But that’s changing with companies like Nima taking the Irish beauty market by storm, both in terms of quality and affordability.

I’ll leave the link below for you to go and check these out, maybe leave some hints for Santy. He’ll be here 3 months from today 🙂

Until next time,

Live pretty xx

http://www.nimabrush.com/product/13-piece-elite-collection-with-cylinder-holder/

Make Time for YOU!

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Hello Ladies!

Today I’m going to have a little chat or rant whatever you would like to call it after reading this!  As some of you may already know I’m a mother of 4, yes 4… I can hear you all shouting ‘”mother of 4 are you crazy” well yes probably but to be honest I wouldn’t change a thing! The way I see it, I could only have 1 child and I would still be running around like a lunatic in the mornings trying to get them out the door, you just do it, you manage, you go into robot mode, you are superwoman with amazing powers!  Our lives can get hectic whether your a mother or not we all have stressful days, and need Time Out!  

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But what if you don’t make the time, what if you’re just to busy and you use all the excuses in the world to not make time for you.  I am 100% guilty of this!  My life is revolved around school runs, after school activities, football, matches, work etc… I could actually fill up the page on what I have to do!! I am the one that says I wish I had time for this, that and the other, its plain and simple I just don’t make the time!  If its only a 20 minute walk or 20 minute run or whatever you fancy just do it, just make your day fit around you.  As someone said to me recently “if someone gave you €1000 at the end of the week to do a 1/2hr walk each day would you?” your bloody right I would, I’d be like road runner on wheels!  

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So today is a new day, a fresh start to the week, where we say it’s going to be all about me!  if you want a treat, book that facial or massage, go get your nails done, go pamper yourself, I think we bloody deserve it!  Life is to short to have regrets and fill it with what if’s or I should of done this or that!  If you want to do something for you, do it, take charge of your life and what you want to do.  If there is something you always wanted to do, go find a way to do it, do that course in that hobby that you love, whether it be photography, beauty, makeup, flower arrangement, whatever it is you love, go for it, what have you got to loose in doing something you enjoy.  When I made the decision to do a makeup course and to be honest I didn’t know if it was the right decision or not, but you know what, it was, I love what I do!  

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Being happy in your life will make you better in someone else’s life! You’re whole day will change if you are happy in yourself!  Make today be your D Day, make that decision to do something for you.  My point is sometimes you just have to think outside your comfort zone, do what makes you happy, Make Time for You!

I’ve decided this isn’t a rant, its a positive note to one self, its a reminder to us all to be grateful for what we have and say thank you for whats to come!

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Until next time Ladies!

Live Pretty

The Perfect Brow

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Hello Ladies!

Question for you all!  Who has been a victim of the Skinny Brow, No Brow, Shaved Brow? Anyone be honest with yourself now!! If you have answered YES well then we are all on the same page and more than likely reared in the 90′s, where we rocked the Gwen Stefani and Jennifer Aniston skinny brow look, well I know I gave it a good attempt anyways!!  We were in an era where brows were just skinny lines across your forehead and nothing else, the skinnier they were the cooler they looked!  

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Now ladies roll onto the present day and you have the likes of Cara Delevingne stomping the runways with her gorgeous face and those brows, like what the heck is going on I hear you say!!!

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Us 90′s chic’s were so not prepared for this phase!  So now we are running to our brow experts telling them we want the full on brow or the Cara look or just simply shouting give me back my brows!!   However if you are the 50% that weren’t fortunate enough to grow back the perfect brows, and bank solely on products to make you look half normal.  Here is a little product guide on what I use and would recommend for you to try. Remember though brows should look like sisters not twins so don’t be panicking if you can’t get them the same, they are not supposed to be!!


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The Natural Brow

If you are that person that likes a more natural brow I would suggest using Brow Pencils. I use Mac Cosmetics Brow Pencils (€18) these are super soft and very easy to apply.  You simply use flicking motions on the sparse areas of the brow and apply it in the direction of the natural brow growth. The finish is a more natural soft brow without the defined look.  The three shades that I use in my kit are Fling, Lingering and Spiked.  These are available in Mac at Brown Thomas, Grafton Street, Dublin.

A drug store version would be the Catrice Brow Pencil this has a brush at the end which is perfect for using to brush the brow hair into place.  These are priced at €2.99 and can be applied using the same technique as mentioned above.    This budget brand is in Penny’s and some selected pharmacies.

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For those that want the natural defined brow you can opt for a powder based brow kit. I’d suggest Sleek Makeup’s Brow Kit (€10.49).  It comes with two small brushes and a tiny tweezers.  You simply apply the pigmented wax first using the angled brush, this will help shape and define the brow, then using the rounded brush fill in the sparse areas with the powder and this will also help hold the brow in shape.  Sleek makeup can be purchased in any Boots pharmacy or on 

 www.cloud10beauty.com  www.sleekmakeup.com  

Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Kit is another top product that I think should get a mention.  It consists of a setting wax, two powders, a little angled brush with tweezers, and a surprise little mirror compartment to the side of it, cool huh!!! At €3.99 this is definitely worth the test.  It can be a bit full on when using it so I would suggest using it sparingly and build it up as opposed to piling it on!  You will find this brand in most drug stores, Dunne Stores or your nearest penny’s.

The Defined Brow


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The defined brow is something that has made a huge impact on the beauty craze amongst Irish women.  If you look at any Instagram posts related to makeup their brows are defined to within an inch of its life. We call this the Instagram Brow, sometimes this can be a tad to much I think, but if this is something you are into and would like to try, i’d suggest using Gel based formulas.  These can give a perfect finish to a brow. I’m more drawn towards the defined brow but looking more natural and cleaner looking if that makes sense.  

The Inglot AMC Brow Gel Liners are only recently new and I have to say they are giving the Anastasia Beverely Hills DipBrow Pomade a run for their money! These liners are super pigmented so a little goes along way, using an angled brush, either a Mac 266 or an Inglot 31T, you simply just dip the brush in and take the excess off on the inside of the lid, (thats just what I do)!  Again using flicking motions in the same direction as the natural hair growth apply it through the sparse areas of the brow, and build it up to your desired look.  This will set you back €16 but it is well worth the investment and you will have it for ages.  You can purchase at any Inglot counter or online @www.Inglot.ie 

Now girls I’m not saying you will end up looking like Cara Delevingne, but you will at least look normal.  So for those that  get a little to pluck happy with the tweezers, put them down because this trend is going no where!

Until next time my 90′s chic’s!

Live Pretty xx

Post Holiday Detox Water

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Well I’m back from my holidays and the post-holiday blues are starting to set in looking out at that rain!! We had a great time but you know how it is, maybe….too much of a great time?? There was so much yummy food and of course a few drinks. I did try to make the healthiest choices possible but it’s tough on holidays and….eh, Happy Hour 🙂 So it’s fair to say that my body hates me now and I have to nurse it back to normality with some TLC. 

The first thing on my plan of action is to make up some detox water to get me back on track. Online you can find lots of different recipes to choose from for what your body needs or depending on your taste. Some sound lovely…others not so much…yuk!! The one I usually go for is a mix of citrus fruits, cucumber and mint. It’s really easy to drink and refreshing.

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I use lemons and limes to flush out toxins and boost the immune system. I always seem to catch a bit of a cold within a few days of coming home from holidays so I need all the help I can get in that department. I’ll add an orange too for an extra vitamin C boost. Cucumber is a diuretic and anti-inflammatory, so it can help avoid water retention and reduce bloating, just what the doctor ordered after 10 days of over-indulgence!! Then I’ll add some mint leaves to give it a little kick and it also aids digestion 🙂

The recipe really is so simple. Just chop up all your ingredients any way you like and pop them in a large jug then fill it up with water. Leave it in the fridge to infuse for a couple of hours before drinking. Drink a glass 2-3 times a day. I will have one first thing in the morning and again last thing before bed, with another at some stage during the day. A mixture will last for about 2 days.

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So here’s hoping a few days of this and I’ll be starting to feel back to normal 🙂 Have you tried any infused waters? What worked? What didn’t work?  Be sure to let us know!!

Until next time,

Live Pretty xx

Lisa M x

Inglot Flexi Palette

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Aahhh Inglot….My first true makeup love. Anyone who knows me will know Inglot has a special place in my glitter-filled heart!! From the moment I spied their first store in Liffey Valley in 2009, all shiny and full of gorgeous things, I knew we would have a special relationship. After I qualified as a makeup artist, I was lucky enough to land a job in Inglot. I worked there for a couple of years and the Freedom System stole my heart…..and most of my wages too!!

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For anyone who might not have seen it before, the Freedom System is a totally customizable palette system. The palettes come in many different sizes, starting from 1 pan all the way up to 40. But the best part is you don’t have to fill the palette all at once. So say you fancy a nice 10 colour eyeshadow palette but not sure what to go for? You can buy your empty palette and maybe only one or two colours to start, then add to it over time. It’s such a budget friendly way to add to your kit. Although eyeshadows are the most popular Freedom System product, you can also get lip colours, sculpting powders, concealers, brow products and blushers to fit. So far so good right??

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It gets better. Inglot have just launched the Flexi Palette. This palette doesn’t have dividers built in like the others, leaving you to mix and match the products in your palette to your hearts desire. As it is, I generally lug around a 40 pan eyeshadow palette, a 20 pan lip palette, a 5 pan brow palette and a 4 pan blush palette. Which is all very well for my kit when I’m working, but not so much for practical everyday use. With my Flexi Palette, I could pick out my favourites from each palette and pop them in and have them in one handy place. Delira!! I’m away on holidays this week and this was the perfect solution to the “I need to pack light but I want to bring ALL my makeup” dilemma. I know I’m not the only one who goes through this!!

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So if you have the Flexi Palette already let me know what made it in to yours. And if you don’t have one – GO GET ONE!!

They are available from all Inglot stores and their website www.inglot.ie . The palette retails €18 at and the product refills start at €6.

Now I’m off for a cocktail on the beach…..it’s a tough aul’ life 🙂

Until next time…..

Live Pretty xx

It’s all about the Glitz N Pieces

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Hey lovely ladies, 

How quick did that weekend go!  I have had the busiest week with work, then a Saturday night celebration to top it off and a Sunday filled with catching up on mummy duties, you know what I’m talking about #exhausted !! Any how thats another blog!!  But getting to the post in hand, while I was out over the weekend I had a few compliments on the above piece of jewellery that I wore.  So I thought, while lying up watching the first episode of Breaking Bad (I know i’m a bit late in the game!) why not write a quick post of the details!

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The two pieces that I purchased were from an Irish company called Glitz n Pieces @www.glitznpieces.com  they stock amazing affordable fashion accessories such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, bags, hair accessories etc…and have a very easy online shopping website to purchase from.  So for those of you, like me that don’t get out of town to often, will find this right up your street!

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The picture on the left is the ‘Luxe Necklace’ which is €16.50.  It is a dainty delicate gold chain with two connecting circles.  it’s a beautiful piece with one circle encrusted with silver rhinestone jewels & the second smaller circle is gold in colour with roman script engraved. 

On the right is the ‘Peace Symbol Necklace’ €15.00.  This is from their luxury range.  It is a gold coloured chain with a symbol of peace pendant.  Peace is something we could all do with!!

I am not one for very chunky jewellery, I like simple but yet eye catching pieces that don’t get tiresome looking and will suit almost every outfit that you put on, whether it be for a night out or a casual day time look.  

This accessory brand is very much loved by our Irish fashionistas and business women with the likes of Holly Carpenter, Pippa O’Connor, Joanne Larby aka The Makeup Fairy, Rosanna Davidson and Marissa Carter to name but a few all wearing gorgeous pieces.  I will definitely be adding more to my Glitz n Pieces collection, I think it’s going to be bracelet next (hope the hubby is reading this post)!!

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With Christmas (there I said it Christmas!!) only around the corner, these would make pretty gorgeous gifts for under the tree at an affordable price, it’s a win win situation all round really.

Right so that’s me over and out and back to episode 2 of Breaking Bad, think I’m hooked already!  

Until next time,

Live Pretty xx

August Favourites!

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Another month bites the dust!  The months are just rolling in to quick, but nevertheless I still had a lovely August and thought I would share my beauty favourites for the month!  However, having said that here is the problem.  I am a total beauty/makeup addict and asking me to pick my favourites was like asking me to choose my favourite child, impossible!  So I split them into categories of 5 skin care products and 5 makeup products.  It was a tough one but it had to be done!  These are the products that I use either on myself or on my clients and have repurchased time and time again.  So here it goes…

Skin Products

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1.  Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Nourishing Moisturiser  30ml – €17

Anyone with dry skin will thank me for this one!  According to the brand “it provides the skin with all the nutrients and water needed for its balance, and accelerates all renewal signs of dryness and discomfort will disappear” and guess what it actually does!  Its fairly new in Ireland and not cheap but it’s also not going to break the bank, trust me though it is well worth the purchase.  It is suited to all skin types but anyone with dry skin will really benefit from this.


2.  Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant – €33

This has been in my kit for the longest time.  And any client of mine will know that I use this prior to any lip application.  It is just the best conditioner for any dryness or flakey patches on any area of the skin.  Well worth investing in and the smell is amazing!  Again at €33 its not cheap but you will get a very long time out of this product.


3.  Garnier Miceller Cleansing Water – €4

I think everybody and anybody know about this product, but still I had to share it.  i have repurchased this product numerous times already,  Its brilliant for removing makeup immediately and doesn’t dry out or irritate the skin.  It even removes stubborn lipstick and eye makeup.

 4.  Mac Strobe Cream (30ml) – €12 

I have been using this for quite a while now so I know exactly how is works and how amazing it really is.  Strobe cream is a light moisturiser basically. The product contains shimmering, pinkish micro particles that gives the skin this dewy and radiant appearance.  It can either be used alone on the skin or prior to foundation routine.  If you are into the JLO Glow well this beauty is for you.  It can be purchased in any Mac Cosmetics stores.


5.  Clarins Pure Melt Cleanser – €23

This product is so luxurious and leaves the skin feeling amazing afterwards.  Its a beautiful thick cleanser that goes on like a gel, you rub it until it turns into a liquidy oil, and then as you rinse it off with water it turns milky.  It also removes heavy makeup in an instant, as I previously demonstrated on Snap Chat!  I love this product and would highly recommend it.

Makeup Products 

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1.  NYX Round Lipsticks – €5.49

These lipsticks are fairly new to me, but OMG they are amazing!  The product is creamy, smooth, pigmented, and even on the lips.  They leave a beautiful smooth cream finish on the lips and is almost quite moisturising.  I will undoubtedly be stocking up on all the shades in this range.


2.  Inglot Eye Shadows – €6

These eye shadows are one of my favourites to use on clients.  They are so blendable and so highly pigmented. The colours that Inglot provide are just amazing and the price point will make you repurchase.  You can buy any eyeshadow pan and for convenience purchase a freedom palette system and pop your favourites right in them.  I am very much a Mac head but I’m sorry to say Inglot is winning my heart at the moment!

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3.  Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Polish €2.99

One word “Amazing”!  This brand has truly out done itself by launching these polishes .  Lets just say that I for one (and not ashamed to say it), am not a nail person! I’d rather go get my fabulous local beautician to pop on shellac/gelish and be done.  But however, I purchased these beauties a while back and I have been blown away by how much I love them.  The intensity of these polishes are beautiful and one coat really shows how gorgeous the colours are. These are definitely fool proof polishes and very much a good quality budget product!


4.  Inglot YSM Foundation – €20

Those of you with oily skin will adore this foundation.  It is a sheer, long lasting, light weight foundation with matifying agents.  The skin appears smooth and gives a natural looking matt finish, whilst leaving the skin radiant.  I use this on a lot of my clients and it photographs beautifully.  It has plenty of shades to pick from and at a price of €20 it’s very reasonable indeed.  I couldn’t recommend this product enough for anyone with oily skin, it will no doubt become your favourite beauty buy.


5.  Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara – €11.99

My last and final product!! This mascara is up there with the best of them, it does not budge.  I have went through many types of mascaras from your high-end brands to the drugstore, and this has proven to be a hit.  The brush is perfect, it has short and long bristles on opposite sides which makes it so much easier to get every last lash especially in the awkward inner corners! You should definitely give this mascara a go!

These products are just some of my favourites, yes I have a lot more and yes I will probably do another post about them, but for now during the month of August these seemed to be my most go to products!  

I hope you enjoyed this post and I probably did blabber on to much but hey I have a lot to say!  Don’t forget most of these products can be purchased locally in our pharmacies or your nearest Boots.  Ill leave a link below for the other brands to make it little bit easier to browze them.

Until next time all you fabulous beauties.

Live Pretty xx

www.brownthomas.com/Mac-Cosmetics

www.inglot.ie

www.boots.ie

www.ryanspharmacy.com