10 January 2018

Dia daoibh!
If you follow me on >Snapchat< or >Instagram Stories< you will know that I have been suffering from dehydration - my lips are cracked, my skin is tight and my body is, in general, lacking in the H2O department (I blame the Christmas and New Year celebrations....).  I've been using the Bioderma Hydrabio Mask and wanted to share my thoughts as there are not as many masks available for dry or dehydrated skin as there is for say the likes of oily or blemish prone skin. Here we go.
So, first up; the claims.  Bioderma state that the Hydrabio Mask provides deep-down, long-lasting moisture during periods of extreme dehydration. Second on the list of ingredients is Glycerin (also known as "glycerol" if you want to keep an eye out for it when you're buying a new skincare product) - an ingredient that attracts water to your skin from the air around you and locks it into the skin. It's a skincare ingredient that is compatible with all skin types and people of all ages so I was delighted to see it was high up in the list of the Hydrabio Mask.  Although the mask does contain fragrance, there is no offensive smell (barely detectable in fact) and thankful didn't seem to have a negative effect on my skin.
It is advised to use the mask daily for the first week and then as often as you need it after that.  It's advised to be used regularly at the beginning so that something called the "Aquagenium biological complex" can re-train the skin to generate the hydration essential to its natural balance and to lock it in on its surface..... Now I don't know about all that.  In my opinion just whack it on for a few goes in a row and see how your skin is feeling after that.
Personally, the mask reacted very well with my skin.  Please keep in mind that skincare will work differently on my skin than yours so don't take this as me swearing that it will work for you!!  It left my skin feel super soft and looked and felt plumped and thankfully it eased the tight feeling of my skin..  It's advised to apply a thick layer and leave on for 10 minutes.  The thing about this mask is that is doesn't "set" or harden on the skin.  The consistency of the mask is a mix between a lotion and a cream so it stays feeling moisturised whilst on the skin.  It basically just looks like a moisturiser that isn't fully rubbed in yet!
You can remove any excess with a cotton pad.  Personally, most of the mask actually absorbed into my skin (I'm tellin ya.... dehydration central over here!!) but after about 2 weeks of using it on and off there has been a bit left over afterwards.  In the application instructions it says to remove any excess product with a cotton pad but I really didn't like this as it seemed to go bitty on my skin which I hope you can see in the image above. If I do want to remove it completely from my skin, I wipe it off with a warm facecloth and moisturise after.  The mask is non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic so is suitable for those with sensitive skin also.
The Bioderma Hydrabio Masque is priced at a quite reasonable €13 and is available in most pharmacies nationwide.  You can buy online from >Cloud10Beauty<


The above product was sent to me from the brand's PR team for reviewing purposes. All opinions above are completely my own, 100% honest thoughts on the product.

06 January 2018

Dia daoibh.
Today is Women's Little Christmas (not "Little Women's" Christmas - if you're going to celebrate, don't beLITTLE yourself!! #PetPeeve!). So yeah,  a day of celebrating women, to acknowledge and appreciate all of the hard work they have put in over the Christmas period - cooking the dinner, cleaning the house, wrapping the gifts etc.  Traditionally, the men gave the women the day off and they took over the housework and the woman of the house could have a day of rest or celebrate with her fellow hardworking and exhausted female friends.  
It's more of a big deal this year because 2018 marks the 100 year anniversary since Irish women were given the right to vote.   Celebrity Big Brother this year has historically opened up with an all-female cast, something that's never been done before.  In mid 2018 the huge vote regarding the removal of the Eighth Amendment from the Irish Constitution will take place; another huge women's rights issue.
Anyway..... it's all getting a bit deep here.  My point is,  this year and today is a day for celebrating women. And what are a vast amount of female Irish social media users focusing on today...... the newly created instagram page "bullshitcallerouter".  
The page was set up this week and basically is a profile dedicated to comparing (shaming? you decide) before and after pics of popular Irish Bloggers and influencers.  Calling them out on photoshopping their photos. This has always been an issue in the online beauty community and people have very different views on the matter. I'm here to share mine.
There's a difference between filtering your photo and photoshopping it.  I make no qualms in saying that I filter 90% of my instagram photos, mainly for lighting reasons.  Let's face it, Ireland doesn't have the best natural light so Clarendon is my go to.  If I happen to take a selfie, which isn't actually that regularly if you look at my Insta, I again usually use the Clarendon filter which sometimes can make my skin look clearer or my eyes look bluer/greener. Also, if I do take a selfie of my make up or whatever the case may be, I stand in front of my ringlight, which instantly makes the picture and me as a person in real life, look better.  Is that me "editing the bejaysus" out of myself?  Everyone will have their own views, but I personally know you can see the picture clearer and I look better in it so obviously I want to use it over the original. 
Where the issue is, it seems, is when women (I haven't seen  mention of a man yet.... *eyeroll) alter the size and shape of their body. There doesn't seem to be too much of  an issue with people editing out a spot or whitening their teeth etc. but it's when it comes to the shape of a woman's body, fellow women are up in arms about it.  At the centre of the "controversy" are Suzanne Jackson, Rosie Connolly and Joanne Larby.  Some of the before and after pictures are gas.  I mean gas as in one pic looks as if it was taken back in the 90s and then the after is from last week. Hardly fair eh bullshitcallerouter!?  People NATURALLY change over time, their hair, their body, their eyebrows, their makeup technique.  Then people change with the help of cosmetology - veneers, lash extensions, boob jobs, wigs.  That's ok too.  
I get that people are mainly pissed with Joanne Larby A.K.A. The Make Up Fairy because some of the full body shots posted of her taken by someone else vs one she has taken of herself on the same day, do look quite different.  It's an issue for people because Joanne has documented her lifestyle change and fitness journey in depth on her blog and social media and people take it as her being a liar about her progress, about how she really looks.  Others have said they feel left down.  This has me torn.  If MUF inspired you with her words and blog posts to get up off your ass and lose weight or get fit then isn't that a positive thing?  You have changed your life for the better because of her.  If she has insecurities about herself and feels the urge to virtually nip and tuck herself, that shouldn't affect your self esteem.  Of course, then there’s the business aspect. Joanne is not just a blogger, she’s a business woman. Blogging and social media pay her bills so therein lies the problem in my opinion. For example, where she alters images of her body in a paid/sponsored post, that has left a sour taste in a lot of women’s mouths, causing people to accuse her of “false advertising”. Again, I’m a bit torn here as Joanne isn’t selling her body, she’s advertising the fitness clothes. Whether she looks “fat” or “fit” won’t make a difference as to how the clothes will look on you. People do need to be aware that editing is EVERYWHERE these days, be it in the papers, magazine, tv or blogs; however I think the ASAI need to enforce regulations when it comes to this as not everyone is au fait with this as I am, so I guess this is something bloggers and I myself need to keep in mind. I’m not saying people editing their bodies is ok, I just know it’s been happening for a long time. I can’t stop it, I can only control my own actions and choose not to participate. There’s nothing legally stopping bloggers from editing their pictures. It’s their property. 

Lots of others have come to Joanne’s defence regarding lighting and angles and I totally agree with this.  I've seen it myself first hand with my own photo's vs the same night someone else has taken.  See exhibit a and b below.....
I know my angles, I can make myself look a size 10 despite having crept back up to a size 14 over the last few months (*eyeroll).  I know the angles thing isn't the answer here but it is a huge factor that I think people need to take into consideration.  Also, editing works both ways.... can make you look better or make you look worse. Some images posted online of bloggers have been edited to make them look worse. Keep that in mind too. 
On the other hand, I have seen other photo's of her (the one in the green dress in particular) where both photos were taken head on, so no angle excuse can be used.  It's clear her waist line is different in each pic.  Does that effect my day to day life?  No. I still think she's a lovely girl who wasn't 100% happy with the way she looked, so she altered it. She’s wasn’t advertising anything in the post so it was a personal blogger picture so she can do what she wants with it.  It's not like she put her hand on the bible and swore to us she didn't edit it.  It's not like as if she edited the photo to be 7 stone lighter.  It's not like as if she's horsing McDonalds into her every day. It's obvious that she's working on her physical appearance and perhaps she was having a low self esteem day & did it to get through the day.  Who knows. Does she regret editing her photos? I don't know.  Are the disgusting, unnecessary over the top comments getting her down today on a day of celebrating women? Most probably. If you're one of those people leaving nasty comments, do you feel better?  Have you left a positive vibe for other females to take with them? Doubtful.  Maybe she's a complete liar and I'm being "fooled" (into what, I don't know.... it doesn't make a difference to me what she weighs).  It doesn't excuse the way some other women are spitefully reacting.  Do women just want to see shit selfies of others? It's not going to happen, you and I will take multiple photos and put up the most flattering one.  There may not be a need to photoshop the image and I do get why people feel let down, but that's an issue for the uploader.  It's their issue/insecurity, not yours.  

I felt the need to write this post because some people are being absolutely completely over the top and cruel about it. This post is more so about the feedback from the public of the actions of the bloggers as opposed to the actions/editing topic itself. Just look at some of the below comments.

It's the reaction from other women that has saddened me rather than a blogger editing their pictures.  It angers me more when people buy followers, rather that earning them.  It frustrates me when people are sent items free of charge to review  but don't actually properly try them out or give an honest opinion, they just simply rehash the press release.  It pisses me off when bloggers are paid to say good things about a product that they don't use or believe in.  All these things, to me, are deception.  A woman cinching her waist or adding seagulls to a photo, isn't enough for me to lose faith in the power that is womanhood.  
Regarding people being disappointed in these women as role models to their kids or nieces etc...... step up to the mark.  You be their role model.  Teach them the way YOU think things or people should be. Don't leave it up to a woman you don't know from the internet.  Lead by example instead of criticism.

To make it clear, I don't necessarily agree with the extent some bloggers have gone to to make themselves look thinner, more muscular, more tanned, prettier etc.....  it's more so the tone of the backlash that I find so upsetting. Yes, we need to teach the younger generation to be comfortable in their own bodies, but this won't happen by attacking someone you dislike. Like I said, lead by example and if you happen to be a new blogger reading this, stay true to yourself.  You won't have to worry about being called out on in the future!

I do hope that all women out there learn to love the body they have and not edit as much to the point of it becoming an issue to their followers.  All opinions welcome in the comments below or on my social media. 


04 January 2018

Dia daoibh!
Just within the last few days of 2017, I received what was probably THEE most exciting package I had received all year... the brand new release from my favourite make up brush brand, the Blank Canvas Cosmetics Magnimarble Set.  The set goes beyond just looking stunning.....
Ok, lets start with the obvious; the design.  I don't know when or why white marble became so crazily popular within 2017, but I'm fully on board the band wagon! Each brush has a beautiful copper and white marble design.
Now, like I said, it's not just about the design; it's about the "hidden" function of the base of each brush.  As you will see, each brush is tipped with what looks like a regular rose gold design.  Here's the secret..... it's magnetic! You might be stumped as to why that's a big deal so wait.... there's more.
Within the luxurious and sturdy marble keepsake box is a metal frame.  Because the casing is metal, the tip of each brush can adhere to the base therefore creating an instant and fuss free stand for the full set of brushes.
Not only will your brushes be displayed beautifully, in a row like above, or every second one reversed like in the image below, but it's an ideal way of letting your brushes dry after cleaning.  Because the brushes can hang upside down in the frame, this prevents water from entering the ferrule and extending the lifespan of the brushes!
Included in the set are ten face and eye brushes, which are all multi purpose, but here's  list of what each one works best at:

MF47 Medium Powder Brush: Ideal to use as a finishing brush for application of blush/powder 
MF38 Duo Fibre Face Brush: Ideal for sculpting, contouring, blending and highlighting the face. 
MF08 Dome Buffing Brush. Ideal for foundation/blush/contour application. 
MF56 Medium Buffer: Perfect to use with liquid, cream or powder products such as concealer/contour/highlight. 
MF35 Small Angled Edge Face Brush: Use to apply or blend concealer, foundation, cream contour, and powder products. 
MF49 Jumbo Buffer: Ideal for buffing concealer/foundation to smaller areas. 
MF48: Flat Concealer Brush. Use with cream or liquid products. 

ME04 Flat Shader: Ideal for applying or shading product. Also great for applying lip product.
ME45 Duo Fibre Eye Blender: Amazing eyeshadow blending brush. Great for concealer too. 
ME11 Brow/Liner Brush: Perfect for brow grooming or applying liner to the lash line. Great with powder/gel/cream product. 
I am beyond impressed with the design and quality of the Magnimarble set.  The full set including gift box, metal frame, 7 face brushes and 3 eye brushes retails for €99.95 from >INISH PHARMACY< or €100 at  >BLANK CANVAS COSMETICS<, or >MEAHERS PHARMACY<

The above products were sent to me from the Blank Canvas Cosmetics team for reviewing purposes. All opinions above are completely my own, 100% honest thoughts on the product.

02 January 2018

Dia daoibh!
So, today I mean business and am getting stuck straight into my new Leanún Planner.  I celebrated the new year at a house party in Cork so, needless to say, I was in no fit state to start planning yesterday! But.... today's the day.
So before I show you inside my mint 2018 planner, a little about the brand.  Leanún is an Irish brand  founded by Cork girls Ciara, Éadaoin & Kate, best friends who met in college.  Leanún is a shortened version of the Irish word ‘leanúnach’ which means to continue, to keep moving or to progress. 
This planner had everything I was looking for and because it's and Irish brand (printed in Ireland also) it was a no brainer for me to go for it!  
It's a page per day planner which also includes a full page month view, monthly inspirational prints, monthly trackers such as goal action list, needs & treats, things to download, books to read, people to meet, things to try, and important dates.  The planner is wire bound, which I love as it lays flat on the desk as you write.  
As you can see, I went for the white and mint planner but it comes in a black and white version also.  The planner is well priced at €35 and I have to say the quality of the planner, hard back, gold foiled writing, thick paper, fonts etc. are beautiful.  
Leanún ship internationally and it' free shipping on orders over €35.  If would prefer to try out one of their other items, they also sell beautiful notepads (€15), meal planners (€12.50) or trackers (€15).
So there you have it.  Here's hoping that my new planner will keep me on track and organised for 2018!

Click >HERE< or order your own Leanun Planner


01 January 2018

Dia daoibh!

A new year, new chances. Welcome 2018!  I'm back to blogging and with today being the first day of the new year I wanted to reintroduce myself and welcome you to my newly revamped blog.  
If you're new here, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my little corner of the world wide web. If you've been here before, thank you for returning and supporting my blog.   

I'm "Fitz" and I write about "Bitz"; mainly beauty bitz.  My blog is focused on reviews, my honest opinion of makeup, skincare, haircare. If there's ever something specific you'd like my review or give my opinion of, just shoot me a message (my social media is at the top right).
I've been through a lot in 2017 on so many different levels - personal, professional, friendships, relationships, mental journeys and more.  We all have our own things going on and if I've learned anything in 2017 it's to simply be kind.  Be present. Be aware.  Be true to yourself.
Back to the blog.  My aim for 2018 is to blog regularly.  One of my downfalls in 2017 was irregularity.  I'd post here and there in a non scheduled manner.  This year.... will be different.  I'm going to put  my beautiful new Leanún planner to good use.  (I might do a post on the planner in fact).
I'll try to focus on new products also.  I've noticed that there's huge hype when a new foundation, lipstick etc. is released and I'm here to give an honest, real review, not a rewrite of a PR release praising the shite of something for no good reason other than to please companies and perhaps gain a few free goodies along the way.
On the point of free stuff..... lets be real.  We all know bloggers work in different ways when it comes to freebies, sponsored posts and the like.  I myself, do accept products to try, but I have never accepted payment to promote a product.  I accept products for free to try out in exchange for my written review.  Simple. It's the way it's always been here on FitznBitz and it's the way it will continue.  For those of you out there who are wary of honesty in bloggers, I have and will always continue to disclose when a product has been sent to me (even though I'm not actually required to.  I just feel better about it by doing so).
So there you go.  More of the same for 2018 but hopefully in a more regular schedule.  I'd love for us to trust each other here and get to know one another.  Leave a comment if you stop by.  I'd love to know you were here.  Here's to 2018.


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