Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Il Valentino

One of my favourite things to do is try out new places to eat and drink in Dublin. In the past couple of years I've almost made it into a hobby (a rather pricey one!). There's something really satisfying about finding a new and amazing place to eat and sharing it online and with my friends and family and trying to convince everyone that they need to try it out. 

For a few years now I've frequented Il Valentino bakery and cafĂ© located in one of my favourite areas of Dublin- Grand Canal Harbour. Bread and pastries are freshly baked in store every day using the best ingredients from all over the world to making it like an authentic Italian/French bakery.  

There are very few places like this in Dublin where you can get the same fresh bread you'd get on holiday in France or Italy. I adored going to the Boulangerie every day when I was in Nice last year and getting a fresh baguette and croissants so Il Valentino brings a little bit of that tradition to my home town. 

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I usually order one of their gorgeous coffees and something sweet. Their eclairs are unbelievable (I love the Pistachio and coffee ones). They also have proper Italian cannoli (a recent favourite of mine), a selection of sandwiches made with their fresh bread and made to order cakes (which I haven't tried but they look delicious!).

Next time you're in the area you have to try this place. Now that the weather is kind of getting nicer I recommend getting your order to take away and sitting on the benches facing the harbour, it's such a nice way to spend an afternoon away from the busy city centre.

Tell me some of your favourite places to eat in Dublin. I'm hoping to feature more of my favourite spots to eat on the blog so I'd love to know what yours are.

Emma x

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Turn My Head With Talk Of Summertime

Summer is slowly beginning to arrive in Dublin, so last Friday we took advantage of the sunshine and got the DART to Dun Laoghaire for the day. We had lunch followed by Scrumdiddly's ice cream (which is definitely worth the long queue!) and walked down the pier and sat in the sun. 

I brought my new camera along to play around with and took some photos of the gorgeous seaside scenery. 

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I'm really looking forward to bringing my camera on more adventures over the Summer. We're going on a city break with a few friends to Amsterdam in July and back to the south of France in August. I'm so excited for another Summer of travelling!

What are your Summer plans?

Emma x

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Maximillian Strasse Her and Stones n' Roses

I haven't written a post about nail polish in a while, but after digging out some Essie polishes I bought last year I was inspired to share them with you. Maximillian Strasse Her is from the Spring 2013 collection. I remember this shade got a bit of attention when it was released because it is such a  unique colour. When I first saw it in the bottle I wasn't that pushed on it, but whenever I saw someone wearing it I made note to buy it the next time I was at an Essie stand.

It's a cool toned pale grey/green that almost works as a neutral. It's like the green version of Essie's Cocktail Bling which is one of my favourite shades of theirs. I get compliments on it every time I wear it because it's such an unusual shade. It's still available on Debenhams, Amazon and Superdrug if you want to get your hands on it.


Stones n' Roses was part to the Resort 2015 collection and is what I would describe as a pastel coral quite similar to Tart Deco, but a little more washed out. I've been wearing this a lot throughout Spring and now that it's "Summer" I'm wearing it on my toes too.

As with all of my other Essie polishes, the formula of these is excellent, in fact you could get away with one coat of both of these shades. The diffusion line in Boots and other pharmacies has a wider brush than the usual Essie polishes I've bought online and I definitely prefer this kind of brush as it allows me to coat my nails much quicker and more easily. Even though I apply a top coat over these, I still find them longer lasting than most of the other nail polish formulas I've tried.

Stones n' Roses can be found on Boots website and on Amazon.


Essie remain one of my favourite nail brands, I think I've featured them more than any other brand here on the blog. I adore both of these shades and feel like they're the perfect subdued Spring/Summer nail colours.  

What nail colours are you loving at the moment? Do you know any dupes for these shades?

Emma x

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

This Could Be The Saddest Dusk I've Ever Seen

I first heard about the Archive by Alexa collaboration between Alexa Chung and Marks and Spencer back in February and being a big Alexa fan I was so excited to see the collection. When I saw Alexa wearing the Frances Trench Coat at the launch party I immediately fell in love. 

If you've been reading my blog for a while you'll know that I'm a big fan of the classic trench coat, I have a black one and a beige one and I wear them all the time. The 'Frances' is based on a design that's been in the M&S archive since the 1950s. I love the khaki colour and the checked lining is a nice little touch that sets it apart from your average high street trench.

There are some gorgeous pieces in the collection, the red printed Misty Dress and double breasted Ada Blazer are two of my other favourites. Sadly after the coat I couldn't afford anything else but I'm very happy with my sole purchase. 

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Coat- Marks and Spencer (similar here and here)
Shirt- H&M (similar here, here and here)
Boots- ASOS (similar here and here)
Bandana- ASOS
Lipstick- Rimmel Kate Moss 45

I kept the rest of my outfit fairly simple as I wanted to showcase the coat more than anything. I was big into bandanas as a teenager and I've been really enjoying seeing how everyone is styling them recently. Coincidentally I watched Frankie and Johnny the other day and Al Pacino spends most of the film in his cook's uniform with a bandana around his neck or on his head and it made me want to buy a few more colours to wear during the summer.

I got these boots from ASOS a few months ago after a long search for some black patent ankle boots. I love that these have a small block heel and a pointed toe, it makes them perfect for wearing to events where I want to feel comfortable but still a little bit dressed up. They're also great for wearing in the rain!

What do you think of the Alexa Chung and M&S collaboration? Is there anything you'd love to get your hands on? The trench coat is sold out online but there is still some left in stores.

Emma x

Monday, April 18, 2016

Rosie For Autograph Make Up

A couple of months ago Rosie Huntington-Whiteley launched her new make up collection Rosie for Autograph. She worked closely with Intercos, an Italian cosmetics manufacturers to create a 51 piece collection exclusively for Marks and Spencer.

After working as a model for over ten years Rosie has plenty of experience with make up and wanted to create a collection that would reflect her go-to look which she describes as 'pretty natural'.

I was excited to try out the collection after seeing the beautiful rose gold packaging on Rosie's Instagram feed. The pricing starts at €13.50 for the Eyebrow Pencil and goes up to €24 so they aren't cheap but I think the gorgeous packaging and quality of the products reflects the more high end prices.

I initially bought two items from the collection, the cream eyeshadow stick in Movie Star Crush (€17) and the lipstick in Laugh Out Loud (€19). I then went on to buy the lipstick in Lady Rose after seeing Rosie herself wearing it and looking at swatches. I've been trying the products out for a while now so I wanted to share my thoughts.


Beginning with what drew me in in the first place, the packaging. Any of my fellow rose gold fans will agree that the packaging is beautiful. You can tell it's been well thought out by someone who really cares about what they put their name on. The cream eyeshadow stick is sleek and easy to use as it twists up. It also has the shade at the bottom so if you have a few it's easy to grab the one you want quickly out of your make up bag.


I applied it straight to my eyelid and because the formula is so creamy I blended it out easily with a fluffy brush. You can just do a quick wash of colour or go in with a second application for a more pigmented finish which is what I did in the photos below.

Movie Star Crush is a mauve/brown/taupe hybrid similar to the KIKO Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in Rosy Brown or the By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock. You'll need to work with this fast because of the long lasting formula and once it sets it stays in place all day. I use my trusted Garnier 2 in 1 make up remover to take this off so that's something to bear in mind if you dislike using oil-based make up removers. Micellar water just won't work as well. 

If you're a fan of fuss free products that are long lasting and you don't mind using an oil based make up remover, this is definitely one to check out. There are three other shades which all look really wearable. 


The lipstick packaging too is beautiful. They have that very satisfying magnetic click that makes them addictive to open and close (and very annoying for everyone else). The lipstick itself has a subtle vanilla scent which shouldn't offend many people. I love the little detail of the Rosie rose embossed on the lipstick itself.

I was debating which shade to go for but in the end I decided on LOL which is a vibrant red/ deep coral. I absolutely love how this colour looks on and I can see myself wearing it a lot during the Summer months with minimal eye make up.

The formula is enriched with organ oil so it applies smoothly and feels so comfortable to wear. It's richly pigmented and I actually found that I prefer to apply this with a lip brush rather than straight from the bullet as it's so creamy, the lip brush just gives me better control. The finish is a satin/cream but because of the long lasting formula it stays put and doesn't feather outside my lips.


The second lipstick I bought is Lady Rose. Although I haven't worn them together yet I think this would actually work very well with Movie Star Crush. Lady Rose is a warm rosy brown shade that I think would work really well as a neutral for many different skin tones. It looks gorgeous on Rosie who is a lot more sallow than me.

You can see below a comparison between Lady Rose and one of the Rimmel Kate Moss nude shades which is one of my favourite neutral lipsticks. My lips are naturally quite pigmented so I usually have to go for something deeper in order for it to look "nude" or neutral with my skin tone.

I really love this shade and I'm looking forward to pairing it with different eye looks so see what works best with it.

Top: Lady Rose, Bottom: Rimmel Kate Moss Nudes shade 45


So there you have my initial thoughts on the few items I've tried from the Rosie for Autograph make up collection. I'm very impressed so far and I'll definitely be trying out more products from the collection soon.

Let me know if there's anything you like the look of or if you've tried any of the products. I'd love to know what you think.

Emma x

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