Worth The Fuss? Iconic Bronze Tan

Worth The Fuss? Iconic Bronze Tan

I’m a sucker for tan, there’s no doubt about that. I love trying new formulas but one tan I always go back to is Bellamianta. I am a devote user of the Irish tanning brand, but I love to try new products as much as I can.

However, I saw a lot of people talking about Iconic Bronze, which is another Irish brand and stocked in Penneys around the country. For just €12, I had to pick it up. People all over the internet have been raving about it but I didn’t think that it was as good as they said. In fact, I noticed a lot of the people endorsing it didn’t look as bronzed as I personally like. Yes, they were using medium and I pick up dark in almost every tanning shade, but I really didn’t expect much. What interested me the most was that these influencers all mentioned the smell of this tan – or lack there of.

Right, enough waffle, time to dive in. First, I’ll start off with the mitt.

iconic bronze

I love the packaging of this mitt – it’s a metallic pink, and I’m a sucker for anything pink. At just €8, it’s a steal! The mitt itself feels luxuriously soft before any tan goes on it. I almost didn’t want to put it on! When I did put the tan on the mitt and rubbed it on my skin, it didn’t feel as soft. The smoothness went away and it was almost like a fresh towel feel, if that makes sense. That said, it applied the tan evenly and was great at buffing any lines away.

Now, let’s get to the real reason you’re reading this – the actual tan.

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Before we dive into my thoughts, there is a HUGE list on their websites of the benefits. “Instant, ready to wear colour.” “Long lasting with even wear off.” “Olive/Golden Glow.” “Moisturising.” “Quick drying.” Are all these true? Mostly. When I applied the tan, it instantly showed up and grew darker over the first hour. By the time I woke up in the morning, I didn’t want to wash it off because the tan was so wonderfully dark. Like I said, I love a dark tan. It was quick and easy to apply but I did find I had to wait longer for it to dry than with Bellamianta or Cocoa Brown. Think it took about five minutes before I felt comfortable to put on clothes, which isn’t bad – but is longer than the others.

As I applied more and more tan, I realised that less is more. I needed under two pumps for my back and just one pump for my arm. When I washed it off, I was left with a lighter tan but I was still impressed. It was a nice golden tone that didn’t have an orange hue like most other cheaper tans. I’ve been wearing it for just over a week now and have to say I do really like it. It wears off well and doesn’t come off too patchy.

But is it moisturising? Well, certainly more so than most. It has sunflower oil in it, which helps moisturise the skin. And the more supple your skin is, the longer lasting your tan will be. The tan is also loaded with omega 6 and 9, which will help give your skin a lush glow. I didn’t feel I had to put on moisturiser as soon as I washed it off the next day, which is always a good thing.

One thing a lot of people online have been talking about (you know, those paid to talk about it) is the “floral” smell of it. While it didn’t smell like usual fake tan, it certainly didn’t have any of the floral notes mentioned on it’s website. Honestly, it didn’t really have a smell. There was one note that stuck out to me though – cedar. The woody smell is one of the base notes, but it rose to the top for me. This could be different for everyone, though, as scent depends on your own natural scent and your body temperature.

So, is Iconic Bronze worth the fuss? For a tan that costs just €12, it definitely is. My go to tan will still be Bellamianta’s tanning lotion in dark but at a third of the cost, Iconic Bronze will keep me happy until payday.


Wonder Woman Is Getting Her OWN Make-Up Collection

Wonder Woman Is Getting Her OWN Make-Up Collection

When it comes to The Avengers and the Justice League, I will always pick the Justice Leagure. Why? ‘Cause they’re badass but also because Wonder Woman is a huge role model for women all around the world. I love her because she is such a strong character inside and out. She embodies femininity and strength. MAC released a Wonder Woman collection a few years ago and I kick myself for not picking up a few bits.

However, with the new Wonder Woman film such a huge success, Maybelline are bringing out a brand new collection. At the moment, it’s only available in Italy but rumour has it that if it does well over there, it’ll be available in more countries. While Ireland was often overlooked, we’ve become a lot more popular for brands to branch out here. For example, Kat Von D wasn’t available in Ireland until 2016 when she brought her brand to Debenhams. She even flew over for the launch with her WHOLE make-up squad (who are all #makeupgoals.)

The collection will have a selection of matte lipsticks, Maybelline’s iconic Colossal Big Shot mascara and nail polishes – dreamy!

Beat The Burn This Summer

Beat The Burn This Summer

As a painfully white Irish person, I freckle like crazy and burn like a crisp in the sun. Normally when I’m on holidays, I just chill in the shade and lather on SPF 50 every day. However, at home in Dublin I’m not so careful. With the summer sun finally making an appearance, I’ve looked into the best way to take care of my skin before, during and after spending time in the sun.



Fail to prepare? Prepare to fail. To keep your skin soft and smooth, you should moisturise your skin every day. in the morning and at night. The best way to protect your skin during the day without even think about it is to use a moisturiser with SPF. Even when it’s cloudy, there are still UV rays breaking through – yes, even when the sun is a distant memory. But who likes wearing sticky sun cream every day? Instead I use Aveeno’s Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15. It’s light, dries quickly and isn’t sticky. However it’s hard to track down so if you see a bottle, snap it up! I bought mine from Boots a little while ago but iHerb also sell it for €10.99.

If you can’t find a daily moisturiser with SPF, just be sure to invest in a good cream. The best way to get and maintain a tan is by having hydrated skin. I’m obsessed with body butters and especially love The Body Shop‘s almond milk and honey range. It’s just €20.95 and will leave your skin feeling soft, supple and ready to tan.


sun pool tan burn ring holiday

While you’re out in the sun, living it up, sun cream is your go to. There are so many options out there to protect your skin – from Liz Earle to Nivea to Penneys. But what SPF should you use? The American Academy of Dermatology say that dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Higher-number SPFs block slightly more of the sun’s UVB rays, but no sunscreen can block 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays. Another report says that SPF 15 blocks 93% of the suns rays.

However, don’t think that products with the same SPF offer the same protection. You should also look out for UVA protection. But why? UVA forms the majority of UV light and contributes to skin ageing and the development of skin cancer, as it penetrates deeper into the skin. So you should make sure that the product you are buying is EU compliant against both UVA and UVB rays, while the SPF should vary depending on the UV levels and the amount of time you will be in sun.

But what about your tan? Does the higher the protection affect how dark your tan is? The simple answer is yes. Sun cream helps prevent sun burn but you will still tan, it will just take longer.


sun tan cream spf blonde happy sunset

Is there anything more painful that wearing a bra over your sun burn? To speed up that burn and stop it from peeling, invest in after-sun. Simple as. I use Garnier’s Ambre Solaire After Sun Moisturiser Gel because it’s so nice and cooling but I also use their spray for my back – because I’m no way that flexible, can barely slap on fake tan on my back! The aloe vera in the after sun will help cool your sunburn and speed up the recovery process.

A strange – but good tip – for sun burn is to invest in apple cider vinegar. I’m not saying lash it on your burn, that would be a back idea, but pour it into a hot water bath. Just add a cup or two to your bath and jump in. Make sure it’s diluted as vinegar can burn the skin if concentrated. But how does something I throw on my chips help sunburn? Vinegar contains acetic acid, a component of aspirin that can help relieve the pain, itching, and inflammation of a burn. Bathing in apple cider vinegar has other benefits too, such as reducing body odour and provides relief to joint pain.

Most vinegars will work but for the best results look for raw, organic apple cider vinegar. I buy mine from Nourish and it’s €8.99 for almost a litre.

Synthetic VS Natural: Which To Use?

Synthetic VS Natural: Which To Use?

Since I started learning about SFX make-up, I only ever looked at the products and skincare. However, I’ve neglected something really important – brushes. For any make-up look, whether it’s beauty or costume, how your make-up looks and stays depends on not only your products but your brushes too.

Before I read up on it, I didn’t have a clue about brushes. I used what I thought were the best ones – I judged brushes on shape, how many bristles they have, that kind of thing. I knew the type of bristles mattered, whether they were real or synthetic hair, but never knew which were better for what products.


I’ll start off with real hair brushes first and their benefits. These type of brushes are best for powder make-up, such as eyeshadows, bronzers and everything in between. They are great for powder because they are loaded with texture and so hold the product better. Natural hair bristles move freely which help pick up a lot of product in one swipe but it will also blend beautifully. The brush hair is extremely durable and actually get better the more you use them.

However, I believe we should all buy cruelty-free make-up brushes. If you’re shopping online or in store, be sure to check what the brushes are made of and why they are produced. Most real hair bristles are from certified animal farms where animals are shaved or trimmed, like how sheep are for cosy jumpers. But there are some brands who don’t offer as much love and care towards animals, so watch out. For instance, it’s illegal in the European Union to test on animal so you can trust that products produced within the EU are cruelty-free. I love my natural make-up brushes from Zoeva – but you need to read up on any natural brushes to truly buy cruelty free.

brushes 2

Moving on to synthetic brushes, you can trust most are cruelty-free and the majority are vegan friendly. Unlike natural brushes, synthetic make-up brushes don’t have a cuticle which makes them great for liquid or cream products. I would use these for cream contours, liquid foundation, gel liners and other similar products. Synthetic products tend to gravitate towards each other, making them best for precision applications – so for the perfect winged liner, go synthetic.

For manmade bristles, I particularly love Eco Tools and Inglot brushes but I’m also a huge fan of Joanne Larby’s Fairy Wands – they’re so easy to use, clean and an Irish brand. I also have to give a mention towards Too Faced’s make-up brushes which are synthetic and terribly adorable.

Honestly, I love using synthetic brushes, even for eyeshadow. They’re safe to use and with the advancements in make-up, many synthetic brushes are on par with natural bristles. I love Eco Tools‘ eye brushes because, even though they are synthetic, they pick up product really well and blend really well.

Worth The Fuss? Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser

Worth The Fuss? Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser

I’m a sucker for being influenced – YouTubers, bloggers, Snapchat stars, you name it. However, there are so many people that I don’t believe, who are pushing products to make themselves a bit of cash. When I saw one of the Geordie Shore stars talking about Bondi Sands’ new Self Tan Eraser, I thought “Jog on, that’s a gimmick.” But then I saw a YouTuber who I follow and trust talk about it, which of course changed my mind. I hadn’t seen anyone use it yet, so I picked up a bottle of the Self Tan Eraser from Boots for €19.49 and hoped I wasn’t wasting money on something that didn’t work.


I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that it actually WORKED. I couldn’t believe it, I had tried everything under the sun to remove tan – exfoliators, lemon juice, oil, you name it I’ve tried it. Most of my home tricks did remove a slight bit of tan, but Bondi Sands Self Tan Eraser removed 99% of my tan.


My Bellamianta tan was about five days old. Fortunately with Bellamianta, you don’t have to worry about it fading in patches. But me being the cleanliness freak that I am, the tan had completely come off my hands leaving them their natural shade of shocking white. Luckily this was a good guide to go by for how well the Tan Eraser worked.

The application and removal was so easy. I just shook the bottle up, pumped out generous amounts of foam into my hand and rubbed it all over my old tan. It was quite tacky on my sign while I waited for it to dry. But after a ten minutes (they say you only needed to wait five but I don’t take chances) I jumped into the shower. With a face cloth, I rubbed off the eraser and with it came off my tan. Seriously – it just went. Gone. POOF.


It had all completely come off and my freckles are now more visible than they have been in years. I was not expecting this to work and to work so well. I had some really stubborn tan on my elbows that came off with ease. They say for those kind of patches to use their exfoliator but all I did was just give them a good rub with the cloth.

So is it worth the fuss? Definitely!

Why You Need Vitamin A In Your Skincare Routine

Why You Need Vitamin A In Your Skincare Routine

I’m pretty skin obsessed. I strive to have smooth, spot-free skin but that’s not always the case. Now more than ever, even more than when I was a teen, spots keep cropping up on my skin. I’ve also noticed something that’s I though only happened to older people, not me, a young spring chicken at 24 – wrinkles. While no one else can really see my little creases, I can see them and I can see them growing. It’s tough to get totally rid of wrinkles without the help of a doctor and a needle, but it’s not that hard to prevent any severe lines showing up with the help of retinol, or vitamin A.

Retinol when broken down into retinoic acid can communicate with your skin cells and tell a skin cell how to behave and look. It can make your skin appear more normal, healthier and younger – something which I’m striving to hold on to!

When using retinol in your skincare routine, you can expect a lot of results from it. It can help a variety of skin issues including wrinkles, loss of firmness and signs of ageing to uneven skin tone and other signs of sun damage. It also helps to promote the skin’s natural moisturising factor, giving you a radiant glow – you might even get ID’d with your revitalised youthful radiance.


There are a host of products you can use which contain retinol – and don’t worry, they won’t break the bank. At the moment I’m using This Works’ No Wrinkles Night Repair Serum. I’m using a night serum because even though you can use retinol products during the day (despite the myth that you shouldn’t) retinol does breakdown in sunlight and is so less effective. It’s advised by various skincare professionals to use products with retinol in them at night.

If you’re interested in adding retinol to your nighttime routine, there is one other ingredient that we’re told not use with it – glycolic acid. The mixture of the two can cause irritation and redness in the skin, making it tender to touch. In fact, they say you shouldn’t use any alpha hydroxy acids with retinol. Why? Ranella Hirsch, a dermatologist in Boston, said to Allure Magazine in 2014, “This duo is a recipe for redness and irritation.” However, it’s not easy to find retinol products without alpha hydroxy acids. So if you do happen to have a product with retinol and glycolic acid, you can take an anti-inflammatory, like ibuprofen, to help calm the skin and smoothing on hydrocortisone cream, like HC45.

My Favourite SFX Make-Up Tool

My Favourite SFX Make-Up Tool

When creating any sort of look, whether it’s for cosplay or for a night on the town, it’s vital you have the right tools. However, the tools you need for a creative look compared to your standard beauty look are very different. While it’s important to have an almost endless supply of brushes to perfect that smokey eye, you want to avoid using brushes when using liquid latex – you will ruin your brushes no matter how much isopropyl myristrate you use.

For my creative looks, I use a host of random tools – sponges, cotton buds, cotton balls, toothpicks, spatulas, spoons and almost anything that’s just in sight. But there is one tool I constantly use, my steel make-up palette.

I mix a lot of colours together and have started mixing liquid latex with colour as well to enhance looks. So instead of ruining my plates or spending cash on paper cups, a steel make-up palette is essential. Like I said, you can mix different materials together but you can also squeeze out different products out so that you don’t end up with twenty different colours on the back of your hand. I even use my palette for my beauty looks – eyelash glue, mixing foundation, glitter mixes and more. It’s so handy.

The palette I use I bought off Amazon for cheap as chips, just under £5 (about €6). It came with a double-ended spatula as well, which is another tool I can’t live without. It’s the best way to mix together liquid products without wasting any!

So if you’re loving SFX make-up or are a beauty fanatic that’s looking for a new tool, a steel make-up palette is very handy to have.