Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Online Shopping, Is Your Credit Card Safe? The Lime Crime Hacker Scandal

To me there's nothing better than online shopping.

Picture courtesy of fashionbite.co.uk
The ease of buying what you need without having to leave your bedroom. The rush of making that purchase and knowing that in a few days time it will arrive nicely packaged at your doorstep, a lovely present from Mr. Postman. Over the past eight years or so I've thought nothing of handing over my credit card details online (provided the site is secure of course) until now. I'm sure by now you will have heard that on Monday 16th February it emerged that Lime Crime's website had been hacked and thousands of customers credit card details were stolen. This apparently had first started back in October but as people didn't realise their details were stolen because they had made a purchase on Lime Crime's site it unfortunately continued.

Lime Crime logo from naimies.com
What gets me about this is that it wasn't just people who had recently made purchases that had their details swiped, it was happening to anybody who had made a purchase from the site since October 4th 2014. I myself in the past have ordered from Lime Crime but luckily for me I used Pay Pal for the transaction. I had heard that even customers who had used Pay Pal had been targeted but Lime Crime have since said this is not the case, phew!

I stumbled upon the whole affair the first day it broke. I was online and decided to check and see if the ever popular Velvetines had been restocked when I saw that the site was 'down for maintenance'. At the time I didn't read too much into it but later on I saw a status update from the Lime Crime Facebook page explaining what was going on.

'Lime Crime Customers,
We have received reports of potential data breach on our website due to a hacker attack. We are NOT taking these reports lightly and are working with the authorities to investigate the nature and scope of the incident.
Your trust in us is our absolute priority. We have decided to temporarily disable limecrime.com so we can investigate further and ensure we can provide the secure shopping experience you all deserve. Further updates to follow.'

Needless to say there were hundreds of comments from concerned customers about what exactly was going on underneath. The next day they posted another update to let us know what was happening.

'Cyber crime is a real thing and, unfortunately, it's common. We have contacted law enforcement and have been working with forensic specialists in order to investigate the incident we believe took place on our website. What we know so far is that we've been attacked by hackers seeking to take credit & debit card data (based on our current investigation PayPal users were NOT affected). We do not yet know the window during which this occurred. We apologize profusely for any frustration this may have caused! At this time, we recommend that you review your banking activity vigilantly and contact your bank or credit card company immediately if any fraudulent transactions occurred.  We will be reaching out directly to anyone that may have been affected with additional information and support. We are not going anywhere. All orders placed on the website will still be shipped! limecrime.com will return after we investigate and rebuild a better, safer, more secure platform for you. We will continue to share any information we have and are compiling an FAQ on the incident that will be available shortly.'

Again there were lots of angry comments from affected customers saying that somebody had used their card online on various sites (even gambling sites such as online poker) and had reached the limit. Some hadn't even realised and only for their bank contacting them regarding suspicious activity on their account and cancelling the card they would have got away with more. Lime Crime's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posted this update on Thursday 19th February:

'Thank you for bearing with us as we further investigate the recent hacker attack on our site. We know it's important to keep you in the loop! Many of you are wondering why we didn't disclose this earlier. The simple answer is: we didn't have any solid facts and couldn't see the magnitude of the situation. Based on just a handful of early complaints, we immediately initiated an investigation. It wasn't until very recently that a cyber forensics company retained by us found malicious software placed on our servers by hackers. Please know that as soon as we had more solid information, we shared it with you promptly and openly.
Some of you also wanted to know why a routine makeup post was removed earlier this week. We removed the post because the discussion was causing confusion and misinformation to our fans and customers. We felt it was important to make a dedicated post addressing the issue and share all the best information available. In retrospect, we agree that it wasn't the best way to handle things and we are sincerely sorry for any frustration it caused.
Currently, we are in the process of compiling a list of everyone affected & will be contacting directly. An FAQ is also under way. We treasure our customers and promise to keep you informed. We appreciate all the support, thank you for sticking by us during these trying times!'

As of today 23 February, the site is back up and running with a Security FAQ added and an apology from Doe Deere, the founder.

Apology from Doe Deere on limecrime.com
Although this is quite a big deal, it isn't just Lime Crime who have been targeted. This has happened to many big companies and unfortunately will continue to happen. There will always be people out there who will try to take what isn't theirs. This leads me to ask, really how safe is online shopping? OK you have the comfort of shopping from your own home, but this also means your money can still be stolen while your relaxing in your pajamas, just after buying those new pair of boots you wanted blissfully unaware that right that second somebody was having a spree online courtesy of you.

Picture courtesy of favim.com
What do you think? Would something like this make you think twice about shopping online? Let me know in the comments below!


Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Wet Brush & WEN Replenishing Mist - Sweet Almond Mint

Hey guys!

Isn't balayage hair just so pretty? I love the graduated colour and the brightness of the blonde when it's first done. I've been getting balayage done now for about 3 years and although I only get it done about twice a year (I do the roots every 5 weeks, gotta cover them greys!) it makes your hair SUPER dry and very knotty. 

Pictures courtesy of Pinterest :)
Pictures courtesy of Pinterest :)
I condition my hair every time I wash it but it still needs that extra something. For the last few weeks I've been using the WEN Replenishing Mist before I dry my hair. This stuff is AWESOME! I just spray it onto the ends of my hair and leave about ten minutes before drying, mostly I'll just leave my hair dry naturally so I don't damage it further. For those of you who aren't familiar with WEN products i'll give you a little background info. Chaz Dean, a hair stylist to the stars from Los Angeles decided to branch out into natural products which wouldn't damage hair. He has his own salon in Hollywood called the Chaz Dean Studio and treats many a celebrity before a big event. If you want to read the full story click here

There are a few great things about this product, firstly can we talk about the smell? Sweet. Almond. Mint. I remember when I smelled it for the first time I wanted to cover myself in it :) Its a very refreshing smell, minty but not overpowering and subtly sweet. Since I've been using the mist my hair has been so much sleeker, shinier and easier to manage. I also just want to mention the spray top, this is the best spray hair mist I have ever used. The product disperses evenly from the sprayer and is the perfect pressure. I know that might sound a little strange but there's nothing worse than spraying your hair with a weak mist or one that just shoots out in a line from a cheap bottle. They end up everywhere and you end up wasting a lot of product as a result. So A+ for packaging WEN :)

In combination with using the WEN Replenishing Mist I've also been using the Wet Brush to brush my hair through. I had been previously using my Aveda Wooden Paddle Brush and I'm pretty sure I have this for about 8 years (has it been that long since I worked for Aveda? Yikes!). This brush has been used to death and the little balls at the end of the brush bristles are starting to fall out so it's definitely seen better days. The Wet Brush is really great. its comfortable to use and the bristles are very flexible which means no more knots for me. Now I know what you might be thinking and yes, you can use it on wet AND dry hair, the name is a bit confusing! This is a great brush for anybody that has a sensitive scalp or has issues with hair loss, in particular alopecia as it prevents tugging or tearing the hair which in turn helps to prevent split ends and hair loss. It can also be used on hair extensions for any of you that have that extra mane to worry about.

I have the limited edition Earth Collection wet brush which has a nice bamboo handle but they come in an array of colours. They have a lovely spring collection out at the moment if pastel colours take your fancy. My UK and Irish followers can buy the Wet Brush from Sally Salon Services for €10.49, they only have the pink and purple version at the moment. You can also buy direct from the Wet Brush website if you're living in the good old USA.

The WEN Replenishing Sweet Almond Mist is available to buy from www.wen.ie and retails for €24.90. I really am in love with this product so i'll have to try out some more things from WEN, especially the almond mint range :)

What are your current hair care favourites you can't live without? Let me know in the comments below!

Bye beauties!


*Products sent by PR for sample under no obligation to review. All opinions are my own! :)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

The Spa At The Kingsley Cork With Afternoon Tea

Hey guys!

It was my mum's birthday last Friday so I decided to pamper her for the day and treat her to a day at the Kingsley Hotel Spa in Victoria Cross in Cork. I booked the Infusion of Tea Time Treats package for both of us which includes your choice of two treatments and afternoon tea afterwards. To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement, I couldn't wait to get in there and just relax! 

The Kingsley Hotel, Victoria Cross, Cork
After checking in at the spa and changing into our robes and slippers, the receptionist Ann showed us through to the Thermal Suite and talked us through everything that was on offer. We started off our experience in the Chromotherapy Room which consists of heated loungers and tranquil coloured walls which change every few seconds in a relaxing rhythm. Chromotherapy is also known as 'colour therapy' and is used to balance a person's energy. Next we tried out the Aromatherapy Steam Baths (there are two) and soaked up the herbal infused steam. Then it was time to cool down in the Cool Mist Shower and Tropical Rain Shower, I would LOVE one of these in my house! :) We then entered the Finnish Sauna, this was heaven and my favourite part of the thermal suite. It reminds me of when I was in Finland with college for a month a few years ago, good memories! After chilling out in the sauna we moved onto the Haman which is a Turkish Bath, the smell in here was divine, chamomile! Lastly we spent some time in the Jacuzzi Pool listening to calming music. We didn't have time to use the Tepidarium, we totally lost track of time and before we knew it it was time to go.

The Tepidarium in the Thermal Suite
Our therapists Fiona and Amy came to collect us to start our treatments. Fiona brought me to the Cyprus room where it was all set up for my Lime and Lemongrass Salt Scrub and Raspberry Infused Back Neck and Shoulder Massage, the smell in the room was gorgeous! She started off with the salt scrub, working it into my skin and concentrating on any dry areas. Fiona then left me to shower off the scrub and instructed me not to use shower gel as the scrub leaves behind a lovely oil leaving your skin SUPER soft.  For my back massage she asked what kind of pressure I wanted and if there were any areas giving me trouble. After being a therapist myself for years it's nice to be asked what kind of pressure you like for your massage, it makes such a difference. I hadn't had any treatments in so long my shoulders were in bits but they were soon sorted out. When the treatments were over I was brought to the relaxation room and given fruit with lemon water. My mum went for the Sweet Chocolate Body Wrap and the Express Facial, she was delighted with herself!

The spa, reception and relaxation area
After spending about half an hour relaxing we decided we better get ready for afternoon tea. A day at the spa really takes it out of you and by then I was absolutely starving :) The choice of treats was great, my favourites were the goats cheese and sun blush tomato tartlet, smoked salmon with capers mille-feuille, fruit scones and raspberry tartlets. Delicious!

Tasty afternoon tea! 
We both thoroughly enjoyed our day at The Kingsley and will most definitely be back again soon. What are your favourite spots to go for afternoon tea and treatments? Let me know in the comments below!

Bye beauties!