Wednesday, February 3, 2016

UDxGwen

I was sent the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette before Christmas and I have used it a lot since then. I wrote about a look I created using the palette back at the end of December but I wanted to review the palette in more depth and try out each of the shades properly before giving you my thoughts. 

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Let's begin with the packaging, which Gwen herself had a major hand in designing. I love that it's true to Gwen's aesthetic, it's stylish yet practical. It feels sturdy and durable which to me is a huge thing when it comes to palettes as you want it to last and not to have to worry about a little wear and tear. I also like that the round shadows straight away set it apart from the other UD palettes. 

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You are getting 15 eyeshadows for the price tag of €46. Three shades (Skimp, Stark and Blackout) are existing UD shades that are Gwen favourites. The other twelve are brand new and are named after all things relating to Gwen and her music career. I mentioned before that I wasn't blown away by the range of shades when I first saw preview images of the palette. However when I saw it in person I was taken aback by how much I loved it. 

The only two shades I was unsure of were Harajuku and Danger, but when I was being shown the palette, it was pointed out to me that Harajuku makes a pretty blush shade if you wouldn't wear it as an eyeshadow. Danger is another one that surprised me, it was actually the first shade I tried from the palette and I found it gave the most stunning eye look, several people commented on how they liked it when I wore it out shopping that day. 

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This look was created using Blonde under my brows, Serious on the lid, with Punk in the crease blended out with Anaheim and a little Pop for some sparkle. I blended Punk lightly on my lower lash line and added Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion and lots of mascara with the Lancôme Hypnôse Star Mascara Gold Topcoat. I then applied Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish lipstick in 03 which is a great long lasting neutral shade, the perfect accompaniment to this kind of eye look. 

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I took photos with and without the flash as I wore this make up in the evening and wanted to show what it looked like both ways. 

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This next look is using three of the same eyeshadows as above with with a completely different result. Here I used Blonde under my brow again, Punk all over the lid blended out with Anaheim. I didn't apply any liner, just plenty of mascara, I'm using this Bourjois one at the moment.  I then applied the Urban Decay Limited Edition Gwen Stefani Lipstick in Rocksteady which came as a sample with the palette. It's a beautiful rich, deep blood red shade that beings to mind that early nineties Winona Ryder gothic glamorous look. 

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Like with any other Urban Decay eyeshadows I have tried, these shadows are soft and easily blended with high pigmentation especially when used over UD Primer Potion. Pop is the only one with any glitter fallout, but once you take your time and blend carefully it's so eye-catching on the lids.

I've tried so many powder eyeshadows over the years and still none have come close to the quality and longevity of Urban Decay. If you haven't already seen this in person, I highly recommend taking a look, but be prepared to want to buy it on the spot!

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I have only tried a sample of the four shades below but so far I'm very impressed with the shade range, formula and finish of these lipsticks. I haven't seen them in person yet but the packaging looks beautiful, I adore the black and gold. I think if I was to create my own lipstick collection, it would be very similar to this one. The price point is €21, only €1 more than MAC and for that you're getting beautiful packaging, a gorgeous range of shades and amazing quality product. 

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Ex-Girlfriend

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Firebird

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Rocksteady

The rest of the collection is available in-store and online now and consists of lip pencils, lipsticks, a brow box and a blush palette all of which look amazing. You can find them in Debenhams and House of Fraser.

Have you tried anything from the UDxGwen collection yet? Is there anything on your wishlist? You can see more about the collection below:



Emma x

Thursday, January 28, 2016

I'll Leave My Love Between The Stars

We took these photos in a local park on the day David Bowie died. I know I've talked about my love for him on the blog before. Since I first saw Labyrinth at a young age, to realising he was an unbelievable artist and falling in love with his music, he has always been a presence in my life. It's rare that the death of a celebrity makes me cry, but this one hit me hard. We actually went to see a special charity screening Labyrinth in the cinema last weekend with my best friend who would have watched it with me countless times growing up, so it was lovely that we got to do that together and celebrate the Goblin King. 


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Jumper- Marks and Spencer Airspun Cowl Neck Jumper
Trousers- Dorothy Perkins (similar here)
Trench Coat- London Fog (similar here)
Boots- Clarks Bizzy Beat
Hat- Accessorize Luxe Cossack Hat
Socks- Topshop (similar here)
Lipstick- MAC Mehr

I got this trench coat in a charity shop last year for €10. The brand is London Fog and their coats usually retail for around €150 so I think that was my biggest bargain of last year. It also has a detachable tartan wool lining so it's very warm but can also be worn in milder weather once the lining is removed. I had it dry cleaned when I bought it and it needed a few buttons replaced which I did myself but I've gotten so much wear out of it and the quality is amazing so I'd definitely recommend checking out London Fog if you're looking to invest in a good quality trench coat.

I've written about my love for Clarks shoes countless times here. I just think in terms of comfort, quality and style, they are so underrated. The amount of times people are shocked when I tell them my shoes are Clarks, they still seem to have a reputation for being a bit sensible but they have the most beautiful stylish shoes every season. These pointed ankle boots are so comfortable and flattering, they're the perfect height so that they elongate my legs instead of cutting them off. They're also super soft and comfortable.

I've been loving wearing my faux fur Doctor Zhivago hat in the colder January weather. It's surprisingly warm and I think it amps up the style of the most basic outfit. I just got this one at the start of the Winter, but I've had a cossack hat for years and it's something that I find never goes out of style. Mine may not make me look like Julie Christie, but I love it all the same!

What have been your Winter wardrobe staples?

Emma x

PS. You can see the make up look I wore in this post, here.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mehr

I have a small carefully curated collection of MAC lipsticks and over Christmas I purchased the latest addition in the form of Mehr. Any fellow fans of blogger Lily Pebbles will have heard her mention Mehr recently as she has been wearing it a lot over the past six months or so. Every time I saw it on her I made a mental note to make it my next make up purchase.

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On the MAC site it's described as a dirty blue pink. It's one of their matte finish lipsticks and even though I do find them drying, I'm not as bothered about it since using their Prep + Prime Lip which is a must-have product if you're a matte lip lover. It makes such a difference especially with the MAC matte lipsticks which I find to be the most dry matte lipstick formula I've tried.


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It's definitely not as harsh on the lips as Ruby Woo which for some reason seems to be such a hard lipstick to work with (seriously though if you love Ruby Woo, invest in the Prep + Prime Lip, it helps so much!). I wear it over just the primer and it lasts really well so I'd say with a lip liner too it would have amazing staying power.


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I love the shade of Mehr, it's a great neutral that looks beautiful worn with minimal make up, or to counteract a stronger eye look. I've been wearing this a lot in work with just my base make up and mascara and it looks so fresh and pretty.


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My other face make up is No7 Airbrush Away Foundation, Inglot Gel Liner and the Lorac Pro Palette on my eyes. 


I compared Mehr to another MAC lipstick I have, Plumful, which is slightly deeper and a more sheer Lustre finish but they are very similar in tone. For me, these kinds of shades are much more appealing and flattering than the nineties nudes that are still going strong in the world of make up. If you are a fan of pink-toned understated lipsticks but hate constant reapplication, then I'd definitely recommend checking out Mehr at your nearest MAC counter. I bought mine for €20 in Brown Thomas.

What's your favourite understated lipstick?

Emma x


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

As It Breaks, The Summer Will Warm

I'm excited to present to you my first blog post of 2016, it's fitting that it's also my first outfit post using my new Canon 700D camera. I'm still getting used to all of the settings and having fun playing around with it and taking photos of my family over Christmas. I'm just so happy to finally have great quality photos back on my blog after almost 2 years of using a camera that was so frustrating to take a photo with. 

I based the entire outfit around my new Ona Rex Faux Fur Scarf. I blogged about my friend Ashley's clothing and accessories brand a few weeks ago and I finally got around to styling this stunning scarf I ordered from her before Christmas. I was blown away by the quality of the scarf when I finally saw it in person. It's so big and warm and versatile. I've worn it both casually over my coat and more dressed up as you can see below. Despite the party season being over I decided to dress up the scarf with my idea of a Winter party look. 


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Top- ASOS Crop Top in Textured Rib (similar here and here)
Skirt- Missguided Metallic Midi Skirt (via ASOS)
Shoes- Marks and Spencer Limited Edition Crossover Block Heel Sandals
Faux Fur Scarf- Ona Rex
Brooch- Ona Rex
Earrings- H&M (similar herehere and here)
Ring- Vintage (from my Granny)
Lipstick- Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red
Fingernails- Essie Bahama Mama
Toenails- Essie On A Silver Platter


One of my absolute favourite things about Winter clothing is wearing different textures and it's something that I really wanted to play up with this outfit. I feel like the ribbed top, metallic skirt, faux fur scarf and velvet heels create such a fun combination.

You might remember I wore this crop top to the races earlier this year and I was looking forward to styling it again. I love how it makes what could be a classic evening look a bit more modern. I adore these tassel earrings, they were a very thoughtful Christmas gift from my boyfriend who remembered I said I loved them when we were browsing in H&M one day.

The heels were one of my two sales purchases this Christmas (the other was also a pair of shoes). I fell in love with these sandals when I saw them in a magazine a few months ago. I've had them on my wishlist since then and so when I saw them in the sale I bought them straight away. They're surprisingly comfortable considering I rarely wear heels and the ankle strap makes you feel really secure wearing them.

The finishing touches to the outfit were of course, a red lipstick, the stunning Charlotte Tilbury Red Carpet Red Matte Revolution lipstick which is the most amazing matte formula I think I've ever tried.   I then used my Instyler to curl my hair, I love how quick and easy it is to use and it gives more volume than any curling iron I've ever used. I definitely recommend it if you like to curl your hair but hate how long it takes.


Let me know what you think if my party look! Happy New Year, I hope you're all enjoying 2016 so far!

Emma x

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Punk Baby

I haven't had the chance to experiment much with make up in the past month or so. Since starting my new job I've been wearing the same minimal daily make up in order to save precious time in the morning. Weekend mornings are my only chance to play around with make up and take my time creating looks. I've gotten a few new eyeshadow palettes recently but I keep being drawn to the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eyeshadow Palette. This past weekend I decided to emulate a more pared down Gwen inspired look. 


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I know you're all probably tired of hearing about this palette. It's been all over the internet over the past few weeks. I have to admit when I saw the first preview images of the palette I wasn't too sure about it. It seemed like a lot of very similar neutrals with some weird bright shades thrown in, which looked a bit strange to me. However when I saw the palette in person I was really taken aback by how much I liked it. I haven't been the only one to note that this palette has to by seen in person to be fully appreciated.

I haven't had the chance to play around with it too much, however I have already used the royal blue shade, Danger and let me tell you it is an absolute stunner of a shade. I want to write a more in depth review once I've tried a few more looks, but for now I am hugely impressed with this palette and I find myself excited to use it everyday. 


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I began this look by using the YSL Top Secret Moisture Glow, a skincare/make up primer hybrid product that gives incredible hydration to the skin and prepares it for make up. I tend to save this for use under my beloved Estée Lauder Double Wear Light as I find that my skin has to be perfectly hydrated in order for the foundation to look as good as it possibly can on my skin. Moisture Glow has the most beautiful velvet texture and sinks into the skin quickly and easily giving my skin an injection of hydration and a great blank canvas to begin my foundation routine. 


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I mixed two L'Oréal foundations together for my base. The Infallible 24-Hour Matte and True Match in the shades 01 Porcelain and C1 Rose Ivory respectively. I have to admit I've found both of these foundations difficult to work with. I find that less is more with both of these. I have to be very careful with the amount of product I use because both have a tendency to sit in my pores if I use too much. I've found that they work better on my skin mixed together.

To give my brows a little more definition I used the Billion Dollar Brows Universal Brow Pencil. Billion Dollar Brows is a relatively new brand to me and back in November I got the chance to meet the company's founder Natalie Plain. She demonstrated some of the brand's key products on a myself and a few of my fellow bloggers including this brow pencil. It's quite similar to my favourite brow product, the Soap and Glory Archery Brow Pencil, except the nib is a bit thinner on the Soap and Glory one making it a bit easier to do smaller strokes and gives you more precision. The Billion Dollar Brows pencil is supposed to be a universally flattering shade which I can't attest to as I haven't seen what it looks like on people with lighter coloured brows.

I think both are great colour matches for me and would recommend either if you're in the market for a new brow product, however the Soap and Glory Archery is €11 compared to €24 for the Billion Dollar Brows pencil so I'll definitely be sticking to repurchasing the former again as there isn't enough of a difference between the two to warrant the extra €13. I set my brows with the translucent Bourjois Brow design Brow Mascara which is light formula and does the job without leaving visible residue. 


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For the eye look I used a few shades from the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Palette. I primed my entire eyelid first using the Urban Decay Anti-Aging Primer Potion. Under my brows I used a little bit of Blonde which is described as beige with iridescent pink shift and is a great highlighting shade. I then went in with Baby all over the lid and darkened the crease with Anaheim and a tiny bit of the gorgeous reddish brown matte shade Punk. This is such an easy eye look to achieve and the colours blend beautifully together. I added my favourite liquid liner, Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion and No7 Midnight Lash Mascara which gives great volume and definition for a wide-eyed look. 

I used YSL Touche Éclat in 01 to bring light to the skin and then Clarins Instant Concealer to cover any redness and dark circles under my eyes. I've been loving this combination recently as these two products are both very light and easy to work with and they give radiance and coverage at the same time with a natural finish. 

I then used NYX HD Blush in Taupe, Urban Decay Afterglow Blush in Score and theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer to give colour and definition to my cheeks. I finished off the skin with a light dusting of No7 Perfect Light Pressed Powder in Translucent on my T-Zone just to set the foundation there as I can get a little oily throughout the day. 

Finally on my lips I used one of the sample of the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani lipstick Ex-Girlfriend that was included along with the palette. There were four samples altogether, the three others are quite bright shades but I thought Ex-Girlfriend would work well with the eyeshadow as the shade is very subtle and the finish is sheer. The formula of this lipstick feels gorgeous, it's easy to wear and feels very hydrating. I can't wait to get my hands on the full sizes of the lipsticks when they're released next year.

Let me know if there are any particular looks you would like to see when I write the more in depth review of the palette. Although I haven't used all of the shades yet I already love the palette and can't wait to continue trying it out and seeing what I can do with it.

Happy New Year to all of my readers! I hope you have a great start to 2016.

Emma x

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

There's A Belt Of Sun Dripping Through A Porthole

We took these outfit photos when the weather was a bit milder last month. I bought the Bow Tie from ASOS during the Summer and wanted to style a whole outfit around it. I was unsure whether I'd end up looking a bit too Western, but I think it's a really cute way to smarten up an outfit. 


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Jacket- Penneys/Primark
Shirt- Monsoon (similar here)
Jeans- New Look
Shoes- ASOS Mara Leather Pointed Flat Shoes (sold out, similar here)
Hat- H&M
Bow Tie- ASOS (sold out, similar here)
Lipstick- MAC Ruby Woo

I wanted some leopard print shoes for a long time so when I saw these pointed lace up ones on ASOS I ordered them straight away. They're a great addition to an otherwise monochrome outfit like this. Unfortunately as they're faux pony skin, I can only really wear them when it's dry outside which isn't very often during an Irish Winter.

The hat from H&M was another purchase I had been thinking about for a long time. I really wanted to try out a floppy hat, again I wasn't sure how it would look on me but I really like it. It's wool too, so it's very warm.

My gorgeous haircut/bouncy blow dry is courtesy of Carolin in Preen Hair and Beauty Salon in Dublin. I've been going there for about a year now and I am always so happy when I leave. I always get people asking me who did my hair afterwards which I think is a sign that it looks great.

I hope you all are having a great Holiday season so far. I'm looking forward to the madness of Christmas in retail being over for another year and getting to spend time with my family and friends. What's your favourite thing about this time of year?

Emma x


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sephora Cream Lip Stain- 01 Always Red

When I was on holiday in Nice back in September one of the only places I insisted we go shopping was Sephora. The number one item on my Sephora shopping list was their Cream Lip Stain in Always Red. I wanted to get it ever since I saw it on Lily Pebbles last year, I loved the shade and finish of it on her and was curious to see how it would compare to my other long lasting lip products.


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There are 15 shades in the range including both matte and satin finishes. They contain Avocado oil to nourish and provide comfort to the lips as well as Vitamin E which is an anti-oxidant. The formula also contains ingredients that guarantees the product won't transfer. 


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I was totally blown away when I first tried this. I've never used a lip product that is so long wearing and comfortable on my lips. The doe-foot wand allows for easy and precise application. The formula is lightweight and allows for time to perfect edges before it dries. Once it does dry it doesn't feel uncomfortable at all. It also applies evenly unlike some similar products I've tried where any extra layers make your lips look patchy. 


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As you can see in the photos, this shade gives beautifully rich pigmentation and the finish is more of a satin-matte which is a lot more flattering and forgiving on the lips. I can't speak for any of the other shades or the satin finish as this is the only one I have tried. 

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When I went to take off my make up the first time I wore this, I was stunned as to how I needed my bi-phase make up remover to get this off my lips. It really is so long lasting, which is the only reason I can see for people not liking it. You definitely need to remove it with proper make up remover, it won't come off with a tissue or face wipe. 

For around €11, you are getting a quality lip product. I can't recommend this enough for fans of long lasting products and red lip lovers, you won't regret buying this. 

The only negative that I can think of is that this won't be easy to get if you don't live in a country that has Sephora. However you can now have a Sephora order shipped to the UK and use Parcel Motel or DPD Wizard to have it delivered to Ireland. 

Have you tried any of Sephoras own brand products?

Emma x








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