New In: Birchbox Now Ships to Ireland

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New In: Birchbox Now Ships to Ireland | Pink Elephant Blog.

Whether you love or hate subscription boxes there's no denying it, Birchbox are definitely some of the best ones out there! We used to get our Birchbox delivered through an intricate system of mail forwarding services which was easy enough but also quite expensive in the long run. Now, finally, Birchbox ship to Ireland! 

I like Birchbox for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's great if you like trying and discovering new products that you may not normally pick up. More importantly, however, it is the most amazing treat from me to me! It's just such a great feeling when you get a little surprise box of goodies delivered in the post.

Without further ado, I will just delve right into the contents - that's why we're all here after all!

New In: Birchbox Now Ships to Ireland | Pink Elephant Blog.

Spectrum Collection Tapered Powder Brush

When I first saw this I was skeptical but this synthetic brush is lovely and soft. Great for blush, highlighter, contour or just powder! Really good all-rounder & I will definitely be using it.

Ole Henriksen Truth Serum

I have been wanting to try this for ages! This serum is a high powered vitamin C complex that promises to brighten, nourish and protect the skin. It's a reasonable size deluxe sample that will last me for a while and I looking forward to giving it a try.

New In: Birchbox Now Ships to Ireland | Pink Elephant Blog.

The Balm Frat Boy Blush

Next up there is the cutest little sample of The Balm's blush. I really like the shade of this, a peachy pink with a golden shimmer shot through it. It's a bit difficult to pick up the product out of the tiny sample but once you blend it a little on the back of your hand, it's actually a lovely product!

LOC One & Done Shadow Stick in Champagne Problems

This is a great little eye shadow stick in a pretty golden champagne colour. I will definitely use this - it's lovely on it's own or just a s a brow highlighter.

Ayres Body Butter

This one is probably going to be thrown in with my travel samples. It seems really lovely, packed with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E so I will be bringing it away on my ski trip!

Erickson Grab & Go Ponytail Holder

Weirdly enough, I was most excited about this from the entire box! I love a good hair band and this one is nice and 'grippy' without having any metal buts that will kink and rip out your hair. A definite thumbs up from me!

Have you ever tried a subscription box?

Alex Signature

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* this post includes PR samples

Easy Father's Day DIY Gift Idea

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Easy Father's Day DIY Father's Day is so close now and you still haven't got an idea of what present to get for Dad this year..? We have the perfect idea for you! It is easy to do, customisable and shows you have put some thought and heart into the present. 

I am a huge fan of hampers. Whether it is a birthday, hostess or a just-because gift it's something you can put together and capture some personality, make it really special. The possibilities are endless and you can go all out or keep it budget-friendly.

Easy Father's Day DIY

I went with some nice things I know my Dad will love:

 - A gorgeous Spanish red wine. If your Dad's tipple of choice is something different you could go for a nice bottle of whiskey, cognac or gin...

- The new L'Occitane Cedrat Eau de Toilette and Shower Gel. I love the scent of this line, it is a wonderfully fresh, delicate citrus fragrance that is absolutely perfect for summer. It has quite a sophisticated edge to it and a slightly smokey, woody base which makes it an absolutely delicious scent.

- A selection of dark chocolates. Again, go for whatever you think your dad will like, anything that will feel like a treat: chocolates, gourmet biscuits or a selection of his favourite cheeses. A great place to shop for little delicacies are small deli's like Avoca, Fallon and Byrne or Sheridan's Cheesemongers.

- A summer shirt from H&M. A gorgeous tie, belt or jumper would also be amazing! Check out shops like H&M for more basic items or Ted Baker for the more quirky and colourful accessories.

- Wooden crate from IKEA and some twine. I love the raw and rustic gift packaging, it's not expensive and is quite practical (could be used as storage for dad's whiskey collection...) To make it look like a present use a bit of twine and you're done! If you can't get to IKEA, don't worry! Lot's of places do amazing wooden crates or wire baskets that will do perfectly (check out the home section of TK Maxx)

This is just one of the ways you could assemble the hamper, but really, anything goes: books, DVDs, gardening tools, fishing accessories, cigars - whatever your dad will enjoy most!

Easy Father's Day DIY

It's so easy to make and will show Dad you have put lots of thought and heart into the gift. Give it a try!

What are you giving your dad this year?

 Alex Signature

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Bookworm: My Coffee Table Book Picks

Coffee Books CollectionI love a coffee table book. Not in an obscure, artsy, trendier-than-thou way, but more so objects of my affection- books I truly love, mostly received as gifts and generally around beauty, fashion and food (shocker I know!). Now I'm hardly claiming these to be literary masterpieces and I do actually have a proper book collection in my possession too; but here are a few of my current favourite fun reads to flick through on a lazy Sunday afternoon...

(clockwise from top)

1. Domestic Sluttery, Cheat Your way to the Good Life 2. Limited Edition Barbie Book (because I'm nine....and it's a gorgeous book) 3. Bobbi Brown Make-up Manual 4. The Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days

What are your favourite books to flick through on a lazy duvet day?

B.

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Loving

There's a lot to be loving at the minute, our top five is looking a little like this right now...

1.    Cheesecake Dublin Loving1Located on South William St, Cheesecake has converted me from having ‘take it or leave it’ feelings over cheesecake to waking up in cold sweats at 4am craving it! From Oreo cookie to white chocolate & raspberry these guys know their cheesecake. Do your sweet tooth a favour by paying a visit to this beautifully styled little retro gem and try EVERYTHING. You’ll thank us that you did. 

2. Topshop Spring CollectionLoving2 I find myself back in love with Topshop as they roll out more beautiful pastels throughout their Spring collection.  I'm particularly  obsessed with their underwear range right now (is it just me or is there nowhere decent in Dublin to buy nice underwear- something in between pvc and Bridget Jones would be nice!!) So to brighten up a bad case of the Monday blues this week, I ordered these lovelies....

3. Farmers MarketsLoving3

I've always been a fan of local farmers market and love the idea of buying fresh local, organic produce. It's worth the effort to know you're not pumping a side of hormones into you with your cheeseburger, and apart from the health benefits it's always a plus to support small local Irish business. Now that Spring is here and the threat of sunshine looms, I'm dedicating my Saturday mornings to stuffing my face at Marlay Park Farmers Market- well worth checking out.Loving4

4. Orly Nail Polish in Country Club Loving5Every now and then when himself is picking up dinner and I get a ‘what do we need’ phone call, I respond with ‘milk, kitchen roll and a surprise please’. Usually my surprise is in the form of a glossy mag or slab of chocolate (both equally acceptable) and a couple of weeks back he came good with an issue of Cosmo complete with this little Orly nail polish FGWP. I’m a big fan of nude/mink polishes and am so impressed with this one. The colour is perfect, especially good for work and it just lasts and lasts- even when I neglect a topcoat. Great stuff! (below pic is two days in btw- minimal chipping)

5. Max Benjamin Candle Fragrance for HerLoving6

This baby made its way onto my dressing table on Valentine’s Day and I adore it. Always a fan of Max Benjamin candles- I actually regularly stop when passing it and just inhale the scent (that’s normal right?!). Max Benjamin Fragrance for Her is a combination of Mandarin, Bergamot blend, Jasmine and Lily with base notes of Vetyvert- it's amazing. There’s something very high-end boutique about the glossy purple glass finish that I LOVE, even without lighting it, it looks so pretty on my dresser.

What are you loving right now?

B. xx

Budget find of the Week

Dogeared NecklaceAs we all hold our breathes for January's payday to arrive (best payday of the year if you ask me) this bargain of the week is a steal that costs mere spare change. In the style of the most beautiful, delicate jewellery brand 'Dogeared', our pals at Penney's have created a copycat version which could fool even the sharpest eye.Penney's Necklace

Various styles including wishbone and stars are available in matching earring & necklace sets for €3 (the price of a coffee!)

One of the lovely things here is that these sets come with a tiny envelope waiting to be sealed inside, such a lovely little gift and perfectly sized for posting inside a Birthday card.

B x

Magpie on a Budget

When it comes to New Look I can generally take or leave it, nothing against it but not their biggest fan...that is until I got lost for a well over an hour in the jewellery section today- am I the only one who didn't know about this?!  I'm easily distracted by anything shiny at the best of times, so was in my element by the ridiculous selection of gorgeous embellished necklaces that New Look are doing brilliantly. So many jewels, rope detail and lots of variety on length and colour- and the best part? They're mostly under €10! At that price I couldn't stop at one...!Magpie on a Budget

€6.99 down to €3.50 (!) New LookMagpie on a Budget2

€8.99 New Look (photographing more black here but the jewels are actually more ruby/berry)Magpie on a Budget3

€8.99 New Look. Got a little carried away- white shirt €22.99 also New Look!Magpie on a Budget4

Well worth checking out- a very easy way to vamp up your winter wardrobe and with change from a tenner!

B.

(I got my goodies at New Look in Blanchardstown retail park)

It's beginning to look a lot like...

So I'm a Christmas freakshow, and I know I'm not alone here! Don't worry, we're not about to get all festive just yet (although truth be told I'd put the tree up tonight if I was allowed) but if there's anything that warrants mentioning the silly season a little early it's the beauty big guns Christmas collections (yeussssss!) The masterminds at Mac will be rolling out their 'Divine Nights' holiday collection Oct 17th- conveniently the day between both our Birthdays, thoughtful of them! It's the first Mac seasonal collection I've really want to get my hands on in a few years now, beautiful rich jewel pigments with lots of festive shimmer and monochrome packaging with a little gold...form an orderly queue!!MAC Holiday Collection MAC Holiday Collection2 MAC Holiday Collection3

B.

Photo credits: Specktra.net Shesaidbeauty.com Chicprofile.com

Sweet Stuff

So as I may have happened to mention before I have a VERY sweet tooth which needs to be kept under control and there's nothing quite like this ultimate Rocky Road to hit the spot- it's so good I've had to ration myself with a cut-off limit and box the rest to get out of my sight; it otherwise has a habit of disappearing (strangely enough around the same time my skinnies have a habit of becoming tighter...) I can't explain how much people love this stuff- I churn out batches of the traditional favourite come silly season  but at this time of year its a lovely post BBQ treat to hit the spot when cut into bite size pieces. Great one to bring along to kids Birthday parties; I'd generally loose the nuts (someone's always allergic) and use more milk than plain chocolate if it's for the tiny tots.

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Its always fun to try different variations, I like to mix up the type of nuts sometimes combining a few and together with quantities of plain and milk chocolate- the original (and probably best) recipe is by domestic goddess herself, Nigella Lawson and can be found here.

B.