Thursday, 31 July 2014

My MAC Wishlist

I’m constantly adding to my ‘beauty must-buy’ list and have found my lusting for MAC products to be getting a little out of control lately.  It’s about time I made a few purchases but I can’t decide what I should get first.  I don’t even know a great deal about some of the products I want, I just know I want them (advertisers dream right here!).  Here’s my top ten items from my MAC Wishlist (trust me - there’s more than ten things I want).  I need some serious advice on what to buy!

MAC Wishlist 1

My standard Eyelure lash glue is starting to fail me a little bit.  I use the stuff that comes free with the strip lashes but lately I’m finding it’s just not sticky enough.  I’ve heard really good things about the Duo Adhesive including that it’s waterproof so I think I’ll be most definitely adding this one to my basket pronto.

Now I know it’s not for everyone but when I go out I like my make-up to have that ‘done’ look, if you know what I mean.  I’m all for ‘no make-up make-up’ but sometimes that flawless finish is just so appealing.  I’ve seen this powder foundation used in many a YouTube tutorial to fully set the face and think it could be just what I’m looking for.

I already have one of these in my collection and it probably receives more compliments than any other eyeshadow I own.  It’s buttery soft, easy to apply and packed full to the brim with shimmery glitter.  I’d love to extend my collection with a few more of these and have my eye on the shade Day Gleam.

I’m all over anything that will give me that Kardashian contoured look and this radiant creamy highlighter looks like it would do the trick.  Tanya Burr uses the shade Bright Forecast but I’m a little paler than her so don’t know if I’d suit one of the other shades more?  I’d really appreciate your help with this one so if you could let me know your thoughts in the comments that would great.

MAC fan or not - you have to agree their brushes are simply the best.  Overpriced, yes but I’m yet to find another brand that can live up to them.  The next one I’m after is the Pencil Brush as I think the shape of the bristles looks perfect for getting in the crease and adding shadow below the eye.

MAC Wishlist 2

Eye Kohl in Teddy (£14)
I never thought I’d see the day that I’d favour brown eyeliner over black but when a kohl is a gorgeous as this I can’t resist.  Smudgy and sultry, I think this shade would accentuate my brown eyes beautifully.  Points for the super cute name too! 

Lipstick in Twig (£15.50)
You may be able to tell but I’m a little Kardashian krazy at the moment and I’m lusting after MAC’s Twig lipstick as it’s apparently the shade Kylie Jenner uses to get ‘those’ lips.  WANT.  WANT.  WANT. 

Travel Size Strobe Cream (£10)
I’ve been meaning to buy this for ages and I’m not entirely sure why I haven’t to be honest.  Strobe Cream can either be used alone or mixed with foundation to give you that glow from within.  I’m going to opt for the travel size as it’s half the price and the perfect trial amount.

Powder Blush in Frankly Scarlett (£18)
I admit it.  This shade of blush looks terrifying.  However, used with the right brush and a light hand it can look amazing.  I’m fast-forwarding to Autumn days where I’d wear this with pale skin and lashings of mascara to create that ‘just come in from the cold’ look.  Perfection!

Fix + (£15.50)
Another product that’s been on my lust list for years now.  Fix + is quite simply a vitamin and mineral infused water designed to feed the skin and give it the vital goodness which it needs.  This would be great on holiday to freshen up your face when poolside.  I think it’s time I bought it.

And there you have it - the top ten MAC products I want NEED in my life right now.  I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions.  Which ones do I need?  Which ones aren’t worth it?  Sharing is caring girls.  Let me know!


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Nice day for a white wedding

On Saturday I had the pleasure of attending a wonderful family wedding with my boyfriend and his family.  The day was so ‘Pinterest-worthy’ that I could barely put my camera down so I thought it only right I share some shots.  

The weather for the day was truly glorious - just what every bride would want it to be.  However, in true Brit style we complained all day at how ridiculously hot we were.  Why aren’t we ever satisfied?  If I thought 20 degrees was too much then God help me when I go to Cyprus in September for another wedding.  I predict some ‘hair-frizz induced‘ tantrums.

The ceremony took place in a beautiful church in Sunderland city centre then it was on to the Stadium of Light (our city’s football stadium) for the reception.  Prior to this wedding I could never understand why people chose to spend their special day at a football ground but I’ve now changed my mind.  Seeing the stadium in all of it’s magnitude without thousands of shouting football fans was quite spectacular and the splendour of the banqueting suite in which we had our wedding breakfast was simply breathtaking.  Combine that with the fact both bride and groom are die hard Sunderland AFC fans, I can see why they made their choice.  

Every last detail of the wedding had been given so much thought.  From the box full of free flip-flops for tired feet to the sweetie stand for the kids, there was something for everyone.  A personal favourite of mine was a hamper placed in the ladies toilets full to the brim of everything you may have forgotten.  Whether it be kirby grips, deodorant, hairspray, dry shampoo, a sewing kit, plasters, hayfever tablets...I could go on...the bride had thought of everything!  Such a thoughtful idea and it definitely came in handy later in the night when I had a manicure mishap and needed to help myself to a nail file.  

The fun carried on into the early hours and included lots of Dad dancing, photo booth fun and many a tipple. We all had such a good day/night and I can’t thank the beautiful bride (that dress!) and the awesome groom enough for having us as our guests for the day.  It was most certainly a wedding to remember.

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Clark!



Monday, 21 July 2014

Why I Gave Up Blogging

This feels strange.  Half a year has passed since I last sat down behind my keyboard to write something for my blog.  I don’t know how to start.  I don’t have writer’s block as I know exactly what to write...I’m just not sure how to write it.  To those of you who noticed me disappearing without a trace from my little corner of the internet, I’d like to apologise.  I owe you an explanation.

I didn’t wake up one day and decide to stop blogging.  It just sort of happened.  Those of you who blog yourselves will know how hard it is to set time aside to update and post new material.  If you fall out of the habit it’s hard to get back into it.  Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months and before you know it you’ve not blogged for a long time.  I was sick of starting posts with an apology for being missing and ending them with a promise to try harder next time.  I felt like a child making excuses to a teacher for not handing in their homework and if I’m being honest with myself, that’s how my blog was starting to feel - like homework - a chore.

Back in 2012 I started blogging because I loved writing.  Furthermore I loved writing about fashion and beauty, two very big parts of my life.  Having just graduated from university where I was able to write every day, I wanted my blog to be a continuation of my love for the written word.  A little place online where I could tap-tap away all day long and keep up a hobby which I loved so dearly.  I had so much FUN.  And for a long time my blog was exactly that.

But blogging stopped being fun for various reasons - the main one being the enormous amount of pressure I put upon myself to become the “perfect” blogger and have an amazing website.  I’ve always been a perfectionist with everything I do and writing a blog was no different.  I cannot begin to describe how long it took me to actually pluck up the courage and create my blogging account.  I over-thought every single part of the process.  For example, picking a name for my blog was a painfully slow task and I’m still not happy with it.  My next hurdle was the layout and design of my blog.  I’ve never been good at graphic design and it made me ashamed to share my blog as I believed it didn’t look good enough.  Looking back, I should have cared more at the words on the page rather than the pretty pictures surrounding them.  Too many blogs favour style over substance.

I constantly compared myself to other bloggers and came to the conclusion that I’d never be as successful as my favourites because my design wasn’t right or my name wasn’t catchy enough.  Don’t get me wrong, I know these things are important but they aren’t the be-all and end-all.  What I failed to realise at the time is that these girls put in a lot of hard work and dedication to get their blogs to the level they are at now.

And my word is it hard work.  I guess that’s another reason that blogging stopped being fun for me.  I was aiming to blog three to four times a week whilst working full time, maintaining a social life and making time for myself too.  I wouldn’t accept that my blog could be anything less than perfect but upon reflection that was unrealistic.  I felt like I was failing if my blog didn’t look and feel like it was wrote by a full time blogger.  

My love for beauty was dented by my own silly views.  I’d buy new beauty products and they’d sit in a draw for weeks until I had the time to photograph them as god forbid I posted a photograph of a smudged lipstick.  I’d rave about my new nail polishes to the girls but didn’t want to show them incase they messed up the bottle and  I couldn’t photograph them.  Looking back now it was pathetic.  It totally took the fun out of something I really enjoy.  

I don’t even want to talk about the amount of arguments I had with my dear boyfriend over ‘Outfit of the Day’ pictures.  The stress of trying to get ready thirty minutes early so I could perfect my pose caused many a domestic.  Half of the time I’d look back at the pictures, think they were shit and ruin my day/night before it had even begun.  This might sound silly but the pressure I was putting on myself was effecting my own self esteem.

In hindsight I guess it all would have felt a lot more worth it if I was seeing my numbers of followers grow but they just didn’t seem to budge.  I felt as though I was putting in a lot of effort and there was nobody out there reading it.  If you blog you will know the feeling.  It’s dissapointing.  It wasn’t until I stopped posting that I realised I had the most unlikely followers out there reading my blog.  People from work would ask me why I was no longer posting.  Friends of friends commented on how they missed my musings.  And most of all, the people who I really cared about such as friends and family, would encourage me to start again.  I was amazed!  For all the numbers weren’t there in the digital world, I did have people reading and I had people who cared.  This meant so much to me and is the reason I’m putting fingers to keys once more.

So...there you have it.  I finally have everything off my chest.  I feel like I can make a clean start with my blog and start to do what I love once again.  I’ve learnt some valuable lessons through my previous mistakes and have made some vows to myself to make blogging more enjoyable again.  The main one?  To be myself.  I’m going to write about what I want to write about and not feel the need to imitate anyone else.  I’m going to buy a lipstick and actually use it.  If I love it, you will see a picture of the used product and I will no longer care that it’s not perfect.  And finally, I’m going to think less about the numbers involved in blogging (readership, page views, followers) and more about the letters and words involved.  After all, they are the most important things right?

If you’ve made it this far then thank you for reading.  It means more to me than you will ever know.  I’m not in a position to give anyone advice on blogging but if you’re reading this and feeling like I once did then please don’t give up.  Take some time out if you need it and use it to think about the reasons why you started blogging and what you love about writing.  Don’t feel down about a lack of readers.  There’s always someone out there hanging on to every word.  Good luck!


Monday, 20 January 2014

Debauchery in Dublin

  Dress - Topshop | Shoes - ASOS | Watch - Michael Kors | Lipstick - MAC Dark Side

I have that Sunday night feeling but it’s Monday.  I’m so confused right now.  Having just returned from an awesome weekend in Dublin with the girls I’m feeling a tad worse for wear yet very content.  You know the kind of weekend where memories are made and you laugh from start to finish?  This was one of them!  There to celebrate a friends birthday, we were determined to not let the wind and rain dampen our spirits and made sure we constantly had a cocktail in hand or were doing some sort of activity which filled us with glee i.e. shopping!

The girls looked so glam on the night that I just had to grab my camera and take a few quick snaps.  I then had the idea to do a mini fashion feature starring each one of them and their gorgeous outfits.  I’m going to post one each night this week so if you’re looking for a bit of dress-spiration then make sure to check back.  They were all pros in front of the camera and I’m sure you will all agree they looked gorge.

First things first: my outfit!  As it’s January No Money Month I decided to re-wear the outfit I wore for my office Christmas party.  I was disappointed I didn’t get any photographs of this last time so I’m pleased I could re-wear and share.  I love the colour and think it was perfect for the occasion as Ireland is very green!  The high neck collar and top section overlapping material make it a little more interesting and I felt wearing my hair up would show off the dress a little more.  And on that note...why does effortless, messy look hair take SO MUCH EFFORT?!  To achieve this look I had to backcomb all of my hair, add my hair extensions and then attempt the impossible task of getting it all in a hair bobble.  I’m not exaggerating when I say it took two of us to make it look half decent.  And it took even longer to take back out!  Please tell me I’m not the only girl who has this problem?

Anyway, my bed is calling me.  It’s time I caught up on some much needed sleep ready for work tomorrow.  I’ll be back tomorrow for my first installment of Fashion With Friends.  See you then :)


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

On my quest for affordable yet effective skincare I’ve come across Clinique’s Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm.  Cleansing balms are having a moment after the Emma Hardie balm cleanser became a hit with bloggers and skincare fanatics alike last year.  It may be worth its hefty price tag but I wanted to try a more purse friendly balm first so opted for Clinique’s offering.  Am I impressed?  I can confirm I am!

With an ingredient list filled with nothing but good things for your skin, as well as it being 100% fragrance free, this balm should suit all/most skin types without any irritation or issues.  I have combination skin and often get blemishes on my chin area but I’ve been getting along with this just fine.  Each evening before bed I warm a small amount of the balm between my fingertips before massaging it into the rest of my face, then wash it off with a clean flannel.  It does remove eye makeup well but I prefer to take mine off separately before concentrating the balm on my face. 

I love how squeaky clean and soft my skin feels after using this.  It’s smooth, fresh and feels ready to soak in the rest of the products which follow in my skincare routine.  The balm doesn’t leave behind any sort of greasy residue which is really good considering it’s effectively an oil once it melts onto your skin.  Initially I found it a little difficult to get the balm out of the pot as it was so solid and hard but it’s really easy to do now the tub sits at room temperature in my bathroom.

A little goes a long way with this product so don’t worry about the price tag (which I think is rather reasonable anyway!).  I’ve been using this at least once, maybe twice, a day for three months and have barely used a quarter of the tub, which I think is fab value for money.  I’m really pleased I tried this before splashing out on the Emma Hardy version as I don’t think I need to buy it (for now anyway - I can’t make any promises!)  If you’re looking at balm cleansers, or even just cleansers in general, this is definitely worth a try!


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Disco pants and denim

 Top - Primark | Jacket - Primark | Disco Pants - American Apparel | Shoes - Topshop | Bag - Topshop | Watch - Michael Kors | Lipstick - MAC Russian Red

Well hello there and welcome to my first blog post of 2014!  Actually, it’s my first blog post in a long, long time.  I’ve kinda fell off the blogging wagon lately having got caught up in the busyness of the festive period and life in general, but I have missed it and I feel so happy to be sitting behind the keyboard once more.  As usual you can expect a lot of beauty related posts from me this year but I’m also going to try and write a lot more fashion and lifestyle ramblings.  Starting with todays outfit of the day or OOTD for all you abbreviation lovers...

I’ve done nothing else today other than have a long lie in and then go to my parents’ house for a lovely roast dinner to celebrate my Dad’s birthday.    The disco pants were a bad choice after a big lunch but I do think they went well with my new top and jacket, which were a pair of Primark bargains.  The denim jacket with wooly lining reminds me of this one from Topshop but it’s a lot more purse-friendly of course.  I know it’s far too early to be thinking about spring but I can see this being a good transition piece in the warmer months.  My shoes are the highlight of this outfit and I know I will wear them a lot.  The lion head embellishment is very chic I think and goes well against the patent leather.  Comfort plus style equals my kind of shoe!

Currently I’m suffering a serious case of ‘round face’ after totally letting myself go this Christmas and so I’m using red lipstick as welcome distraction.  Red lippy always brightens up my complexion so it’s an essential for me whenever I’m feeling a bit sluggish.  My healthy eating regime starts again tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing the effects  the vitamin-filled veg and plenty of water will have on my skin.  Right now, I’m on a mission to finish the box of leftover chocolate biscuits whilst I still can.  It would be rude not too wouldn’t it?


Monday, 9 December 2013

NARS Highlighting Blush in Miss Liberty

This is one of those products that I picked up without fully understanding its uses.  Very naughty I know because you should always do your beauty research but sometimes those products you pick up on a whim turn out to be pleasantly surprising.  And guess what?  This is exactly that.

Miss Liberty from NARS is described as a highlighting blush however I was under the impression it was just a regular highlighter.  I was using it on my brow bone and my cupids bow and although it was giving a nice amount of shimmer, it wasn’t as light-reflecting as some other powders I’d used.  Feeling a little frustrated I took to the trusty internet in search of answers and of course the blog world didn’t fail me.  I soon found this was actually a blusher designed to be worn either alone on or on top of other cheek products to create that glow from within.  The flecks of shimmer running through the powder are very subtle which explains why it works better as a discreet illuminator rather than a full-on highlighter.

I prefer to wear this alone but I have tried it over other blushers and it does look lovely either way.  I think it adds that perfect hint of shimmer and really brings my cheekbones to life without being too obvious or OTT.  I have been known to go a little blusher crazy in the past so this is a refreshing change for me.  You can also get this in two other shades: New Order (a pinky, slightly more pigmented colour) and Albatross (a translucent offering which seems to be a favourite in the blog world).  I think all shades are rather gorgeous and all are supposed to be universally flattering so should suit most skin tones.

I’m so pleased I discovered how to use this product properly.  I’m using it every day now and have had lots of comments on how dewy and fresh my skin looks so it certainly does the trick.  Perfect for perking up your complexion the morning after your Christmas party!

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