Review: Original Mane ‘n Tail Shampoo

My next review for you is Original Mane ‘n Tail and Body Shampoo. I’m a bit obsessed with hair products, so I’m always trying new shampoos and conditioners and so on. Mane ‘n Tail sounds a bit mad because apparently you can use it on both horses and humans but at €6.95 I doubt you’d want to be using it on a horse. But who knows? I’m not a horse expert.

I got this because I read on some long hair forums that it’s pretty good, in particular that it helps to grow long, thick hair, and I really like it so far. I thought that with the ‘and body’ bit it was volumising too, but this seems to just be the original formula.

It smells nice but the smell isn’t very strong. The shampoo is quite thick and not runny, but it doesn’t foam up a great deal. I like a lot of foam but I know it’s not good for my hair so I don’t mind this.

My hair is thick so some shampoos struggle to get all the grease out but this cleans my hair very effectively and it remains clean for a few days. However, it manages to not dry it out at the ends, so really it does exactly what I want! I also have quite a dry, itchy scalp which hasn’t been bothering me since I started using Mane ‘n Tail!

So far I’d give this five out of five stars, I’m very happy and I’ll probably report back when I finish the bottle and see how it fares over a long period of time. Bonus points because the makers, ironically, don’t test on animals!

 

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Outfit of the Day: Rocking up to Work

This is my OOTD that I wore to work today. I’m lucky in that my office is totally casual, you can go in wearing a bin bag if you like, so nobody bats an eye at my rocker clothes.

Outfit of the Day

Top/jumper dress (although not really long enough to earn the title of jumper dress, it’s too long to be a top): £14, charity shop in the North, but originally Next

Wet look/leather leggings (I call them leather, normal people call them wet look): On sale for €15, Vero Moda

Necklace with Deer and Flowers Pendant

Deer necklace: Was a present, but I know it’s from Penneys.

I love this, it gets so many comments and compliments. I’m not sure if the deer is dead though, but maybe that just makes it cooler.

Leopard Print Creepers

Leopard print creepers: €15, just a little shoe shop. I fucking love these though, I wanted a pair for about a year and I was watching these ones for ages but at €45 I just couldn’t afford them. I couldn’t believe my luck when I found them reduced to only €15! I think they look badass and they rock-up any outfit. I can’t stop wearing them!

So that’s my OOTD, let me know what you think!

 

Tangle Teezer Review

Next up for a review is my Tangle Teezer. I have been wanting one of these forever, in fact I added one to my Amazon wishlist way back in 2011! I finally got around to buying one about two and a half weeks ago.

So far, I’m pretty impressed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a hairbrush before that doesn’t have seams on the bristles. I’m obsessed with growing my hair until it will grow no more, and I bleached it for years so taking the best care of it is really important to me now.

My hair is quite thick, and the bristles are long enough to get all the way down to my scalp, even at the nape of my neck. This is something I was worried about because the bristles didn’t look very long, but it’s actually fine.

Something I didn’t expect, was that the Tangle Teezer gets extremely dirty, really fast! After just seven days, it was full of lint. But, I Googled it, and I discovered that you can actually put them in the dishwasher!

I was a little apprehensive but I reasoned that I couldn’t be hand-washing it every single week so I took a risk. I put it in the top shelf because it’s plastic and it turned out great! I’ll definitely be doing it again.

It does feel gentle and I haven’t felt like my hair was being ripped when I use it, even if it’s a bit knotty. I’ll give it 4/5 stars for now, major bonus points for being dish-washerable, but I’m going to review this again in a few months or maybe a year and report on whether I feel it’s made a difference to my hair.

 

Cocoa Brown Night and Day Tan Review

I thought I’d review the Cocoa Brown Day & Night Tan for you, at last! I know I was pretty late to this particular party, but that’s just me! I wanted to wear some tan for the Summer but my budget was pretty bad, and I reckoned that no matter how bad this stuff was, it couldn’t be that bad for €8 in Penneys.

Beauty bloggers have been going mad about the Cocoa Brown tan. The idea of the Day & Night tan is that you apply the tan when you’re going out and a dark colour develops straight away. You go out, dance the night away or whatever you’re into, and when you shower in the morning you wash off the guide colour to reveal a more natural daytime tan.

Overall, I’m very happy with my purchase, although Cocoa Brown tan did have some drawbacks. First of all, the colour is not that dark at all. The ‘night’ colour is more of what I would consider a daytime colour, and when you shower, it pretty much washes off altogether.

However, the colour is natural-looking, and seems to be green-based because it doesn’t look at all orange. It’s a mousse formula which smells gorgeous (everyone’s talking about the smell!) and blends easily. Just be careful, because a little goes a long way. It also dries quite quickly so you have to work fast.

Another drawback I noticed is that it sticks in dry patches a little bit, but until now I have only ever used Fake Bake and Fake Bake is much worse for it. In fact, I think it compares really well with Fake Bake, and I found them to be the exact same. When you consider that Fake Bake is about €40, you realise that you’re getting serious bang for your buck with Cocoa Brown.

I know I’ve run it down a bit, but I just wanted to give the full picture. Overall, I’m very happy with the product. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars. It smells good, it’s cheap and cheerful, natural looking, and compares well with a product five times its price. Where could you go wrong?

 

Rathcroghan & the Cave of the Cats

Disclaimer: None of these pictures are my own, the source is provided but if they are yours and you would like them removed, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Rathcroghan is an ancient royal complex surrounding Tulsk, County Roscommon, Ireland. It spans several individual sites, including mounds, fairy forts, caves and more.

There’s a lot of magic and mythology associated with the area, so of course I was intrigued and I’ve been meaning to go for a visit for ages. Last week was National Heritage week in Ireland, and Rathcroghan Visitors’ Centre (AKA Cruachan Aí) were running tours to the Cave of the Cats (AKA Owenygat or Uaigh na gCat). The cave is said to be a gateway to the otherworld. I decided I well and truly had no excuse now, and I went with my mother.

I was lucky enough to have interviewed (listen here) the incredibly knowledgable Lora O’ Brien, who works at the centre, a couple of times already for my work at RosFM, so I did have a bit of background knowledge about the magical sites and I knew that I was in for a treat. Lora is an amazing storyteller, an academic, and an Irish witch who really takes you to the past, the other world or the land of the Sidhe (faeries).

The tour started at Cruachán Aí where we all met up, and we then drove to the location of the Cave of the Cats, which was only about two miles away, in a field down a cul-de-sac.

Photo of Entrance to Oweynagat

The entrance to The Cave of the Cats is low and dark, and easily missed. Source.

I don’t have any of my own pictures, because Lora warned us that not only is the cave filled with muck, but it doesn’t seem to like electrical equipment. This is the moment when the tour visitors all started looking at each other with freaked-out-expressions.

We proceeded into the field to the mouth of the cave, which is very small and low to the ground, where Lora spend quite a while telling fascinating facts and stories about the cave.

Then, we begin our descent. This consists of a very narrow passageway, which opens out into a large chamber. Be warned, the passageway is very narrow, and very muddy, and you can feel claustrophobic, especially if you’re part of a large tour group who are all coming down behind you. The passageway is ten metres long, but it feels much longer than that on the way down. You go down on your bum, and your entire body gets covered in muck. You come back up on your hands and knees. Honestly, though, it’s really not that bad. In fact, I thought it was all part of the fun experience.

The Ogham Stone over the Cave Entrance

The Ogham Stone over the Cave Entrance. Source.

Just be sure to bring sturdy shoes or wellies and old clothes, maybe waterproof stuff if you’re into that kind of thing, and definitely bring a torch. My mother and I didn’t. There were a few torches in the group, but not enough to light the passageway down, and navigating sharp rocks and overhanging lintels in total darkness was quite the experience. Also, bring something to cover the car seat for travelling back so you don’t ruin it with your mucky bum.

When we finally got down to the main chamber, where Lora spoke some more about the cave and its significance. The Cave of the Cats is the home of the Morrigan, the Goddess of battle and strife, and Lora said that she has learned over a long period of time that things go best if you greet her. So, we all turned off our torches, and took the opportunity to say hello.

The atmosphere was very respectful, and I think we were all in awe of the great power we could sense in the cave. When the torches were turned off, the darkness was darker than you can imagine. Hundreds of times darker than closing your eyes the darkest night. It has a constant temperature of 4 degrees celcius, regardless of whether the temperature on the ground is +30 or -20 degrees, and it felt serene.

Lora pointed out that, at this point, people in the group often feel moved to speak about how they feel or why they have come here, and she has learned over the years that it’s best to give them the opportunity to do so. My immediate thought was, ‘Oh, it’s not me anyway, I wonder what she’s talking about…’ but as the silence carried on and the darkness pressed in on me, the urge started to rise.

It’s very difficult to describe, but it felt like a pressure coming from inside me. I felt that if I didn’t say something, I was going to burst into tears. I didn’t feel the urge to say anything in particular, but I had to say something, so I made a disjointed little statement about how incredible it was to be following the footsteps of ancient people, and to be in a place that has had so much meaning for such a long time.

The lights came on and we asked Lora questions for a while longer before heading back up.

The ascent certainly felt a lot quicker than the descent! We paused at the entrance to marvel over the ancient Ogham script overhead, then we were reborn into the physical world. That’s just how it felt. We felt refreshed and energised, and as we lay about on the warm grass, we marvelled over how we didn’t feel at all like we had just been climbing into and out of a cave. The group felt united and we chatted about what we thought of the whole experience, before we all started breaking off and going home.

Looking Out from the Entrance of Oweynagat

Looking Out from the Entrance of Oweynagat. Source.

My mother in particular felt really lifted by the experience. She felt like she had been revitalised and had been gifted with lots of energy. We both felt that the presence in the cave was a benevolent one, not at all what you’d expect from the Goddess of battle! At the same time, I wouldn’t like to be down there by myself – but it was truly a wonderful experience.

You shouldn’t visit the Cave of the Cats by yourself because it’s on private land (and I just wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t know what your’e doing), but you can get tours from Rathcroghan Visitors’ Centre, and I very highly recommend it. I’ll definitely be back at some stage because the feeling you get from it is so thrilling, and the ancient magic surrounding it is truly fascinating to feel a part of.

Here’s a video that somebody managed to get inside the cave.