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Major fans of a little R&R, we announced we were looking for Ireland’s top spa destination, and we needed you to tell us which spa guaranteed the most luxurious treatments, luscious products and amazing ambiance.

Fingers on the pulse as always, you responded in your thousands, and our panel of judges wasted no time getting to grips with the nominees.

And these are the five incredible finalists.

ESPA at Powerscourt

Your first finalist comes in the form of the stunning ESPA at Powerscourt.

Decadent, indulgent and utterly tranquil, this spa destination in Co Wicklow seek to recalibrate body, mind and spirit in truly breathtaking surrounds.

The Marker Hotel & Spa

An oases in the centre of one of the capital's busiest areas, The Marker Hotel & Spa is devoted to ensuring the rest and relaxation of its visitors.

Encouraging total escape, the spa at the Marker Hotel has been pampering the public since 2013.

The Well Spa, Cliff House Hotel

Set on the coast, the Well Spa at the Cliff House Hotel is known for its breathtaking surroundings, and utterly indulgent treatments.

Overlooking the sea, this intimate spa is considered one of the most opulent the country has to offer.

Chill Spa, The Ice House Hotel

Utterly unique, the Chill Spa at the Ice House Hotel in Co Mayo boasts spectacular views, beautiful surrounds and second-to-none staff.

Straddling contemporary chic with traditional elegance, this spa destination is your fourth finalist.

Seafield Hotel and Spa

Located in Co Wexford, the Seafield Hotel and Spa allowed visitors to luxuriate in serene surrounds before sampling some of the spa's wholly indulgent treatment packages.

Providing the public with an idyllic spot for a much-needed getaway, it's no surprise this destination made the shortlist.

 

In today's current political climate, the vast majority of us prioritise safety above much else when shortlisting potential holiday destinations.

Considering this, it may be worth noting research collated by the World Economic Forum and published in its Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.

According to the data which focussed on 136 economies, Finland is the safest, most secure country to travel to in the world.

"Finland remains the safest destination globally, despite rising concerns in most Europe, including Finland, regarding terrorism," reads the report 
 

According to reports featuring the data, researchers came to the conclusion based on 'sets of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector, which in turn, contributes to the development and competitiveness of a country."

In addition to being named the safest country, Finand was recently placed fifth on a United Nations' list of 'happiest countries'.

Coming in behind Finland in the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report was the United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Oman, Hong Kong, Singapore, Norway, Switzerland, Rwanda and Qatar.

Oh, and while we have you; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!

Life can be tough and there are few among us that don't rely on certain things to make our lives that little bit simpler, right?

With that in mind, we put a call out for the gadget, gizmo, app or establishment that makes your hectic life easier.

And you guys wasted no time filling us in on the various tips and tricks you use to keep your life running on rails.

So, without further ado, here are the five finalists for our Makes Life Easier Award.

My Taxi App

Once known as Hailo, this incredibly popular app may have had a name change this year, but remains one of the handiest apps around.

Initially launched back in 2009, this app allows a customer to connect directly with a driver for a safe and swift journey.

Chopped

The first outlet opened its doors on Baggot Street back in 2012, and five years later Brian Lee and Andy Chen boast an incredible 19 branches nationwide.

Putting an exceedingly healthy spin on the term 'fast food', Chopped provides a range of salads, wraps, sandwiches and soups for a time-poor but health-conscious public.

Water Wipes Cleansing Wipes

Considered one of the purest facial wipes on the market, Water Wipes Cleansing Wipes are a firm favourite with you guys.

Made with just 3 ingredients: water, Dead Sea minerals and fruit extract, this beauty product has made a serious splash.

Just Eat app

As a nation of foodies, it's no real surprise that we're utter devotees of food-focussed delivery app, Just Eat.

Ordering on the go became so much easier when these guys decided to grace our iPhone and Android devices.

Clarisonic Facial Cleanser

According to you guys, the Clarisonic Facial Cleanser has totally revolutinised your beauty routines.

So if you want to see it crowned winner of the Makes Life Easy Award, it's time for you to vote!

 

Whether it's due to a perceived flaw or the side your fringe falls, most of us have a preferred angle when it comes to posing in photos.

However, it looks like those who opt to showcase the left side of their face are in the majority if a recent study is anything to go by.

According to research conducted Down Under, the left side of the face is considered more attractive as researchers trawled Instagram for evidence to reinforce the hypothesis.

Annukka Lindell, senior lecturer in experimental neuropsychology at La Trobe University in Melbourne, collated 2,000 selfies as part of her research and established that the majority of people showcased the left side of their faces.

"Given that only 8 percent of selfie- takers showed no overall bias, the tendency to repeatedly adopt a preferred pose appears to be the norm for selfie takers," Lindell surmised when sharing her findings in Frontiers in Psychology.

Of the 2,000 selfies studied, 779 – or 41 per cent – featured the left side of the face as opposed to the right which scored 686 whereas the midline was only showed in 535 images.

And now for the science bit.

Lindell concluded that the left side of the face is considered more attractive by selfie-takers as it is controlled by the right side of the brain which dictates the individual's emotions.

The findings have been dubbed the 'left-side bias' by those investigating the theory.

Women in Fort Collins, Colorado can now free the nipple anytime they please, thanks to one Court District Judge.

The judge has brought a halt to a law which bans the presentation of womens' nipples in public spaces, as he feels the law, written in 2015, is unconstitutional.

The law bans women aged over 10 from showing any part of the breast below the top of the nipple, with the exception of breast feeding mothers. 

A judge has found that this law specifically discriminates against women, and so is unconstitutional. 

"I find that the ordinance discriminates against women based on the generalised notion that, regardless of a woman’s intent, the exposure of her breasts in public (or even in her private home if viewable by the public) is necessarily a sexualised act," said U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson, according to The Huffington Post. 

"Thus, it perpetuates a stereotype engrained in our society that female breasts are primarily objects of sexual desire whereas male breasts are not.”

The judge also pointed out that ironically, by policing women into hiding their nipples, nipples become a spectacle. 

“The naked female breast is seen as disorderly or dangerous because society, from Renaissance paintings to Victoria’s Secret commercials, has conflated female breasts with genitalia and stereotyped them as such," he said

"The irony is that by forcing women to cover up their bodies, society has made naked women’s breasts something to see.”

 

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The free the nipple movement has come on leaps and bounds thanks to the support of high profile celebrities like Kendall Jenner, Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. 

This latest instance in Fort Collins is another huge step for the decriminalisation, desexualisation and acceptance of the female form. 

So, while we have you here; don't forget to have your say in the inaugural SHEmazing Awards this May! It's time to vote, and you can do it right here!

If you've ever spent a Sunday afternoon scrolling through your phone with one eye open, bird's nest hair and a distinct sense of jealousy, you're not alone.

Wishing you hadn't ruined today for the sake of last night might be standard procedure, but it's time to bring that to an end right now.

Don't want to be #thatperson AGAIN? Ladies, we got you.

1. Consider your tipple 

Taking a second to note the alcoholic content of a drink is key if you want a great night to become a great tomorrow.

Take Heineken Light, for example.

With 3 per cent alcohol content, it retains the same great taste Heineken is known for, but helps you moderate your alcohol intake. Sorted!

2. Make plans

If you commit to an activity with friends for a Sunday morning, you'll be much more likely to stick to it than if you plan a solo adventure.

And if everyone keeps the same tips and tricks in mind, there'll be no stopping you on a Sunday.

Yep, you and the squad will be one of those wholesome Instagramming groups in no time…

3. Consider your calories 

Sundays are often spent lamenting the amount of calories we consumed through alcohol the night before, right?

But it actually doesn't have to be that way.

Not only is it a very appealing 3 per cent tipple, Heineken Light comes in a just 73 calories a bottle, so no guilt!

4. Let your hair down

Many of us assume that if we want to indulge in wholesome Sunday activities, we need to sip water all night while the rest of the bar gives it socks to some absolute stonkers.

But having an incredible night out does not mean you must endure a hangover the following morning.

You can still get your drink and dance on as long as you choose wisely, right?

5. Consider the envy

We hate to admit it, but a small part of us loves the idea people that may be envious of our weekend escapades. (There, we said it.)

And we're not naming any names here, but there's little for people to be jealous of when you spend your entire Sunday sleeping or flaking on the couch.

Becoming one of those 'have-it-all' peeps is as simple as remembering a great night can become a great tomorrow with a little simple planning.

 

Heineken Light is proud sponsor of the SHEmazing Awards 2017 'Man of the Year' category.

 

You'd be forgiven for thinking it was a satirical depiction of the media's obsession with weight loss.

You'd like to assume it was an exaggerated version of the importance society places on the scales.

And you'd hope that Cosmopolitan's astonishing decision to frame a story about cancer with a clickbait headline about weight loss was an ill-advised, but genuine attempt to highlight society's misplaced priorities, but it wasn't.  

How This Woman Lost 44 Pounds without *ANY* Exercise was a genuine article written by Elizabeth Narins about a woman who survived cancer.

As a magazine typically aimed at women, the headline suggests that Cosmopolitan believes the attention of their target demographic will only be piqued if the content effects our aesthetic.

In just 42 characters, Cosmo revealed what they really believe of their readers. In their eyes, we are – beneath it all –  people who rate weight, size and body measurements above health, vitality and quality of life.

We'll only read about Simone Harbinson's battle with cancer if it's prefaced with a few 'before and after' weight loss snaps, and we'll endure the grim reality of a life-threatening illness if we ultimately learn that Simone is now rocking a pair of size 8 jeans.

While the article itself does indeed focus on Simone's prognosis, diagnosis and unbalanced relationship with food as a result of her illness, the idea that Cosmopolitan felt it must frame a story about cancer with what appears to be a weight loss incentive is indicative of their perception of the female demographic.

And as Cosmo clearly didn't get the memo that women don't, in fact, consider weight loss the be-all and end-all, Twitter wasted no time informing them.
 

 

 

 

 

The publication has since changed its headline to A Serious Health Scare Helped Me Love My Body More Than Ever, but the damage is already done.

Note to Cosmopolitan and Elizabeth Narins: a story about a woman's battle with cancer is entitled to be just that.

Don't insult us – and more importantly, her – by assuming we need a cryptic message about a three-stone weight loss to care.

There are some things in life which most of us simply can't bear to contemplate, let alone actually do.

While we might tend to countless tasks, errands and responsibilities on a daily basis without so much as a second thought, there are some which we always resign to the 'Not Right Now' area of our brain.

Unsurprisingly, these tasks rarely get completed because we convince ourselves we've simply no time to do them.

And here, ladies, are just nine…

1. Making 'that' phonecall.

Whether it's a long overdue catch-up with an overly demanding friend or a 'Why does my statement terrify me' call to the bank, some phone calls find the NRN area of your brain and bunker on down for months.

2. Tackling the book pile by your bed.

Oh, you're totally convinced you'll read them one day, but today is simply not that day. Tomorrow isn't good either.

3. Going to the Post Office.

Finding stamps is hard enough, but when you actually have to queue in a Post Office and ask for assistance, you must accept that that parcel won't be going anywhere.

4. Preparing a healthy, well-balanced meal more than once a week.

A new campaign from Uncle Ben’s reveals that a mere one in five Irish people prepare and cook a healthy balanced meal just once a week with a perceived lack of time as the leading barrier in cooking at home, and hands up, we're one of them.

"I recommend picking a time in the week to plan your meals and make a list of all the ingredients that you’ll need to buy in order to prepare for a tasty and nutritional offer," advises nutritional therapist Elsa Jones.

5. Tending to your email inbox.

Deep down you know that blitzing your inbox would give you a serious sense of satisfaction, but if you could pay someone to do it for you, you would.

 
6. Getting your phone fixed.

The idea of being without your phone for a prolonged period of time means you'd rather squint through a shattered screen than actually have someone tend to the damage.

7. Complaining to an establishment.

You didn't bite the bullet at the time, but you brooded over that case of bad service, insisted you would follow up on it and then promptly resigned it to the NRN section of your brain because… effort.

8. Booking that 'follow-up' appointment.

You went the first time, so why should you have to go again? It's not fair, and it's not happening.

9. Updating your phone

If you're reading your shattered screen correctly, it may be time for an update, but that is not your concern right now… or ever.

 

 

Whether it’s your admiration of their goals, their attitude to health and fitness or your take on their second-to-none squats, nominating for the #FitFam Award was your chance to remind your nominee that they’re absolutely killing it on the health and fitness front in Ireland.

And you guys did not hold back!

Our panel of judges trawled through thousands of very worthy nominees before settling on this incredible shortlist.

And now they need YOU to make the final decision on SHEmazing's #FitFam Award.

Let's take a look at the five finalists.

The Food Medic

A junior doctor and qualified personal trainer, Dr Hazel Wallace has educated, inspired and motivated you guys across various realms.

From nutrition to exercise, and everything in between, The Food Medic schools us on food, fitness and how to do it the fun way.

Siobhan O’Hagan

Having switched career paths and overhauled her lifestyle, Siobhan O' Hagan is perfectly positioned to motivate anyone who thinks a certain lifestyle is out of their reach.

Between motivating the masses and coaching clients, Siobhan gives much of herself, and reminds us that you take one day at a time when it comes to fitness and nutrition goals.

Maeve Madden

With an Instagram full to bursting with posts, snaps and videos which motivate and inspire, it's no surprise Maeve Madden has made it on to our shortlist.

A personal trainer and pro Irish dancer, Maeve's impact on the Irish #FitFam scene has been nothing short of incredible.

Sarah Godfrey

From sharing pro tips to keeping her followers updated on her personal health and fitness regime, Sarah Godfrey has amassed a huge following on social media.

If you've been inspired by Sarah, now is the time to crown her the winner of the category!

Sian Walton

Our fifth finalist comes in the form of self-confessed gymshark, Sian Walton.

With Instagram followers that number in their tens of thousands, Sian's dedication to health and fitness has had a massive impact on you guys, so be sure to vote if Sian is your number 1 #FitFammer.

 

 

Look, we’d be lying if we said certain drinks didn’t go hand in hand with a little down-time.

And while getting stuck into a bottle or two of vino with the squad is always a surefire to relax, it’s rare we don’t regret it slightly when a vague headache sets in the following morning.

Thankfully, someone came up with a beverage which lowers stress levels and reduces anxiety, but doesn’t compel you to share your deepest, darkest secrets to a pub full of people.

And if you’re not in the know, it’s about time you got your head in the game because frankly Tranquini is our new savour.

The first global relaxation beverage that offers a healthy and convenient way to de-stress,Tranquini contains a unique blend of extracts from chamomile, lavender, lemon balm and green tea – all of which have scientifically proven efficacy in reducing stress and anxiety, without causing drowsiness.

Oh, and it doesn’t stop there.

Tranquini Water+Juice range was specifically developed for people that want to stop drinking high sugar soft drinks, but do not want to compromise on taste.

 

#tranquini#relaxed#bepositive#goodhappens

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With that in mind, Tranquini Still Drink has, on average, 40 per cent less sugar and calories than other sugar-based soft drinks and fruit juices.

So if you want to chill out, save on calories and actively reduce stress levels it looks like you’ve found your new best friend.

There are few amongst us who haven’t lost a friend to foreign climes in the last decade.

Whether the recession forced them to seek work abroad, their chosen college course required relocation or they’ve always had a serious case of wanderlust, waving goodbye is never easy.

And maintaining the friendship through time zones even less so.

If you’re currently struggling to maintain your friendship due to the oceans which lie between you and your mate, fear not because we’ve got you on this one.

1. Send a ‘for absolutely no reason’ card

It’s a given that you should remember their birthday, but opting to use snail mail for no other reason than you saw a card that reminded you of them or thought it would give them a giggle is extra special.

Getting post (that doesn’t contain a bill) is always appreciated, and is one of the easiest ways to make your friend feel appreciated.

2. Pay attention to the names of their local hotspots

When your friend mentions a restaurant which she goes to on the regular or a new bar which blew her away, don’t just nod along.

Make a note of the establishment’s name and organise a gift voucher for the place. You mightn’t get to wine and dine her in person, but doing it from afar is the next best thing.

3. Make an effort with their family

If you’re close with her family, be sure to pop in to them every now and again as this will mean a lot to your pal who probably wishes she could get home more often.

If you’re not that close to the family, tea and chats may not be an option, but there’s a lot to be said for sending a Christmas card or giving a quick call to let them know that you’re looking forward to seeing them during your friend’s next visit home.

4. Video call while attempting a joint activity

Why not decide on a time when you and your friend can Skype and get busy with a joint activity? Prop the laptop on your respective kitchen tables, and get busy making cupcakes together.

Flour, eggs, butter, sugar and Avonmore Super Milk is all you’ll need alongside a desire to watch your mate get busy baking from thousands of miles away!

5. Record messages from the gang

When you live abroad, you’re used to hearing you were missed at special events, but actually seeing your friends gather together during a big event to record a message for you means the world.

At the next birthday party, hen night or wedding day that your pal can’t attend, take 15 minutes to record messages from everyone to remind them that they haven’t been forgotten.

6. Don’t flake on catch-up dates

There will always be a time when you can’t take an impromptu call from Down Under or delay responding to a text sent from Canada, but if you and your friend decide on a day and time for a catch-up call, do not flake on it.

Time distance makes it hard enough as it is, so if you agree to an allocated time, be sound and stick to it. Your time isn’t any more valuable than theirs.

7. Make an effort with their new friends

Take the time to find out more about their new housemates and work mates so you have a point fo reference that isn’t firmly rooted in the comings and goings of the gang at home.

Remembering your pal’s work mate is an absolute melter or enquiring after their new gym buddy goes a long, long way.

8. Accept their method of communication

If you’d much rather ping tests back and forth all day long, but your friend is all about the scheduled 60-minute phone call, accept it and compromise.

If your pal would always rather voice-on-voice action, but you can’t spare an hour, phone her first and explain you’re free for 30 and hopes she can chat,

9. Don’t hold lack of contact against each other.

There will always be times in your lives when you’re busier than others, so chances are weeks might pass when checking in with friends is neither yours nor her’s number one priority.

Accept that as part of life, explain when you get a chance, accept her explanation and remember that it takes more than a few weeks of radio silence to ruin a friendship as strong as yours.

 

If a woeful night's sleep results in a whopper binge, you're not alone.

Nothing brings on those pesky sugar cravings quite like a bad night’s sleep, and it’s a habit we could all afford to lose.

And, as usual, science is here to give us a helping hand. 

A recent study published by The Feinbery School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago investigated the relationship between sleep deprivation and the brain’s sensitivity to food smells – and the results were interesting.

According to Science News, the sleep-deprived participants underwent MRI scans while being exposed to some unhealthy (but delicious) food smells such as chips and cinnamon rolls as well as non-food smells like fir trees.

Several weeks later, the experiment was repeated, however this time the participants had had a full eight hours of sleep.

So, here’s the science bit.

Study co-author Sarabhi Bhutani explains that when the participants were operating on just four hours of sleep, food smells prompted greater activity in the piriform cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex (the parts of the brain that recognise smells) than when they had a restful night’s sleep.  

This difference in brain activity was not noted in response to non-food smells, leading researchers to believe there is a direct link between over-tiredness and excessive consumption.

So basically, get your beauty sleep and you’ll eat better too, it’s win-win!