Thursday, December 31, 2015

Face of the Day- 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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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. 


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. 


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. 


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

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Ona Rex

Ona Rex is a women's clothing and accessories brand that my friend Ashley created a few years ago. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, she designs unique handmade pieces in beautiful fabrics with the focus on colour, texture and silhouette. 

Sadly, as a whole ocean separates us, I have never actually seen any of the pieces in person (although that will change very soon as I've just made my first purchase!) But I can see from the images Ashley posts on the Ona Rex Instagram account that there is so much hard work and attention to detail that goes into every piece she creates. 

12341373_1002132943183370_5253902935726272296_n ona_rex_holi_header

Holiday Base is her fourth collection and it's my favourite yet. Consisting of metallics, faux fur, silk, tweed and lurex, the pieces in this collection would be ideal additions to your Winter/ Holiday season wardrobe. 

11049109_1001237019939629_2895111079999143952_o 11056644_1001503696579628_8864230098277311698_o ona_rex_holiday_metallic_trapeze_3

The Metallic Swing Dress and Ribbed Silk Trapeze Dress would both be amazing party dresses. If you're tired of wearing black, red, lace and sequins, these could be a great unique choice to set you apart over the party season. I love how they've been styled in the lookbook with sixties inspired make up and glittery boots. You could also add tights if needed, a red lip or statement jewellery. The dresses are so minimalist that there are so many ways you could style them. 

ona_rex_holiday_silk_trapeze_1 ona_rex_holiday_pajama_top_2

The Anastasia Button Up and Anastasia Shorts worn together would make an effortlessly cool alternative to the typical sparkly party dress, just add an amazing pair of heels and tights if you're from a colder climate and you're party ready. Both can be worn separately too if you fancy a more fitted pair of trousers or perhaps a more glitzy top with the shorts. I adore the gold piping detail and the box pleated back and collar on the top. 

ona_rex_holiday_pajama_short_1 ona_rex_holiday_scarf_1 ona_rex_holiday_muff_1

I can't wait until my order arrives and I'll definitely be styling it in an outfit post once it comes. You can follow Ona Rex on Instagram and Facebook and check out the online shop too. 

It's so important to support up and coming designers who are trying to get their creations out there. I love that so many Irish designers are having success in other countries so it would be great to return the favour. 

What do you think of Ona Rex, is there anything that catches your eye? Do you ever buy from independent designers?

Emma x

Monday, November 30, 2015

Clarisonic Mia 2

When Clarisonic first came on the market I was intrigued as to whether this electronic cleansing brush would actually make a difference to my skin. It doesn't come cheap and although I wanted to try it, I wasn't willing to spend that much money on it when I didn't think my skin really needed it. 

Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to be sent a limited editon Clarisonic Mia 2 from the Nautical Summer collection in the pretty Sunwashed Peach shade.

CM22 CM23

Let's begin with what Clarisonic claims it can do for your skin. Clarisonic has a patented sonic technology that has been clinically proven to to cleanse the skin six times better than using hands alone. The device head moves back and forth at a frequency that produces over 300 micro movements per second gently massaging the skin to remove any impurities from the pores. It thoroughly cleanses the skin, transforms the texture and reduces pore size. It also improves the absorption of any serums and moisturisers into the skin afterwards. The end result of using a Clarisonic device is softer, smoother and more radiant skin. 


The big question is do I agree with everything the Clarisonic claims it can do for your skin. After using it almost every day for about six months I can safely say I am a total convert. If my Clarisonic stopped working for whatever reason I would be straight out to buy another one. I have seen first hand how much excess make up and build up of product that this removes after a first cleanse and I have no doubt that it cleans the skin much better than cotton wool or a face cloth could. 

I haven't tried the Clarisonic Cleanser yet but I've just been using mine with whatever cleanser I currently have. I've tried it with the REN Clarimatte T-Zone Control Cleansing Gel, the Estée Lauder Perfectly Clean Foam Cleanser ( I have a review of that here) the Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash but at the moment I'm using it with Lancôme Clarifying Cleanser Pearly Foam. I would recommend any of these cleansers to use with it, they are all amazing at making my face feel clean, soft, smooth and hydrated. 

CM24 CM25

The device comes with a Sensitive Brush Head, a protective case, a charger and a sample size cleanser. I found the sensitive brush head a little harsh for my skin despite the fact that I don't have particularly sensitive skin, so I got the Delicate Brush Head when it needed to be replaced. I find it much better for my skin and I would recommend it if you have any kind of sensitivity. 


You can use the Clarisonic twice a day if you like, but I tend to just use it in the evenings when I'm taking off my make up. It only takes 60 seconds to use so even when I'm really tired and don't feel like going through all of the steps in my skincare routine, I still use my Clarisonic. Once charged it lasts for about three weeks so you could take it away on holidays and you wouldn't have to bring the charger if you didn't want to. 


I wanted to give the Clarisonic a proper trial before I reviewed it, but even after a few weeks I saw a difference. If you have any skin issues or find removing your make up to be a chore or even if you're looking for a Christmas gift for someone I think everyone would benefit from using this on their skin. 

Clarisonic recently collaborated with the Keith Haring Foundation to create a limited edition range featuring the artist's illustrations. There was another recent launch from Clarisonic, the Smart Profile which is a face and body device. 

Clarisonic is available from Debenhams, House of Fraser and Space NK and prices start at approximately €149.

Have you converted to Clarisonic yet or have you tried any of the other cleansing brushes on the market?

Emma x

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

And We'll Dazzle Them All

You'll have to excuse my unplanned temporary hiatus from blogging. Since I got back from holidays in September there has been a continued series of disruptive life events that have unfortunately meant that I've been unable to do much in the way of writing posts or reading my favourite blogs. 

I know I haven't written very much about my personal life in the past year and a half but I just wanted to write a little bit about what's been going on in my life recently because I've gone through some major life changes in the past couple of months. Just after we got back from holidays we were told that our landlord had sold our building and the new landlord was completely renovating all of the apartments so we had to move out. At the same time I was interviewing for a new job, my first interview in eight years. So we began the daunting task of looking for a place to live. 

Having to move out was a blessing in disguise. We were very lucky in that the rent and location of our old apartment were both incredible. But we were sharing with a flatmate so there were pros and cons and we were both happy to be finally getting our own place. Rent has increased significantly in Dublin over the past few years and the market is hugely competitive. After much wasted time viewing places not fit for habitation and a few disappointments, we finally found the perfect apartment for us. 

While we were apartment searching I got great news that the job I had interviewed for was mine. I handed in my notice to my managers and three weeks later said goodbye to my workplace of eight years and my wonderful friends and colleagues. I had my last day in work on a Friday, moved apartment the following day and started my new job on the Monday and life has been a blur since then. 

We just got internet in the new apartment today, hence the complete silence from me recently. With apartment searching, packing, moving and working so much I haven't had the time to do a lot for the blog. However I've still been taking outfit photos (I should be getting a new camera soon), trying out new products, and attending any events I can that don't clash with work. I have an abundance of content that I can't wait to share with you all. 

For now, I have an outfit post we shot about a month ago before the weather became too Wintery. 

CL1 CL5 CL6 CL8 CL11

Jumper- H&M
Jacket- Penneys/ Primark (similar here)
Skirt- Monsoon
Shoes- New Look (similar here)
Hat- H&M (similar here)
Fur Stole- Accessorize (similar here)
Ring- Stella and Dot Pavé Chevron Ring
Bag- Accessorize (similar here)

I've already written enough in this post so I won't say too much about this outfit except I saw this skirt  and didn't think it would suit me at all but I tried it on and loved it. I'm also still loving fur collars this year, I added this one to the collection I built up last Autumn.  I also love this hat from H&M and it's wool so it keeps my head really warm, although I can't wear it when it's windy because it just blows straight off my head. Lace up shoes seem to still be having a moment, I know a lot of people are probably sick of seeing them but I love mine and never one to be thrown off by trends, I'll keep wearing them until they fall apart.

Thanks to everyone for continuing to support me despite my erratic post schedule recently. I really appreciated the messages I've received asking how I am. I'll be catching up with all my blog reading over the next week. I hope you all are doing well.

Emma x

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

MAC Prep + Prime Lip Base

The MAC Prep+Prime Lip Base is a product I had been meaning to buy for about a year. It was used on me for a photo shoot and I made a mental note to pick it up because I loved it so much. The make up artist used just lip liner on top and I was amazed at how the liner lasted and didn't feel drying on top of this base. I eventually bought it at the airport in May and used it almost every day since and I just repurchased it last week as I couldn't be without it.


If you wear lipstick on a regular basis, you should definitely think about trying this. If you wear matte or long lasting lipsticks on a regular basis you absolutely need this. It's one of those products that once you've been using it for a while you can't remember how you lived without it. 

It comes in sleek, slim packaging and is like any lip balm you just pop it on straight from the tube. It has a gorgeous vanilla scent and glides on smoothly. The texture is similar to a light lip balm but after a couple of minutes it dries a little and that's when I apply my lipstick. It acts in the same way a foundation primer would in that it prepares the skin for the product used afterwards and improves the appearance and longevity of the product. I have found that using this under my lipsticks helps them to last longer without having to reapply, it also helps with feathering and gives my lips the hydration they need so that the lipstick is comfortable to wear for hours, especially matte lipsticks like the MAC ones.

If you want an even longer lasting result, you could use this under lip liner and lipstick and I can't imagine your lipstick would budge. It would be a great investment for anyone who likes to wear lip liner alone but hates that dry feeling it can have on the lips. I generally don't wear lip liner because I feel like it changes the colour and finish of the lipstick unless you have the exact match from the same brand and that could be quite expensive (considering the amount of lippies I own). 


At €17, I think it's worth every cent. I wear lipstick almost every day and most days I choose a colourful shade like red or pink so I think any product that improves the look and feel of the lipstick and makes it more comfortable for me to wear for hours and not have to reapply is worth the money. 

If you don't wear lipstick that often and you don't mind wearing liner, then you probably don't need this, but if like me you are a lipstick fanatic, I can't recommend this highly enough. 

Do you prime your lips? or do you think it's a step that can be skipped?

Emma x

Friday, October 2, 2015

Avenues All Lined With Trees

We finally got to take some outfit photos this weekend after such a long time. Autumn is in full swing here and I couldn't be happier. I love this transitional time of year and I have so much fun dressing for the weather we're having at the moment wearing light layers and having fun with accessories. 


Coat- Dunnes Stores (similar here)
Shirt- H&M (similar here)
Jeans- New Look (similar here)
Sunglasses- ASOS
Bag, Necklace and Ring- Accessorize (similar bag, similar ring)
Shoes- c/o Heatons (similar here)
Lipstick- NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Cannes

I've had this trench coat for a few years now, it wasn't very expensive but I love how it instantly makes me look more put together. It's a wardrobe classic that's well worth investing in, I've worn mine countless times.

I'm trying to embrace the seventies trend in small ways like with my accessories. I got this necklace with the idea of wearing it over a button up shirt and I think it's the perfect way to wear the trend if you aren't all that enthused about flared jeans, wide-leg trousers and corduroy skirts.

I saw these loafers at the Heatons Autumn/Winter press day and I ordered them straight away. They're a pink toned nude shade and are the perfect accompaniment to any casual outfit.

The denim shirt and black jeans are two other wardrobe staples for me as they're so versatile. I like to wear this shirt tucked into a high waisted skirt if I want it to look a bit less casual.

What are your Autumn wardrobe staples?

Emma x

Friday, September 25, 2015

Lancôme Hypnôse Volume-à-porter Mascara

I've never tried a Lancôme mascara before despite the fact that I've often bought them as gifts for other people. I know that they have great reputation for being excellent high end mascaras so when this Hypnôse Volume-à-porter mascara arrived in the post I was incredibly excited to give it a try.

The concept behind the campaign for this mascara is that the eyes say just as much as the lips and in French culture there is an emphasis on the power of the gaze.  Let's put it this way, you know a mascara is amazing when you're talking to your friend and they tell you they didn't hear a word you said because they were too busy staring at your eyelashes.


For years I would have chosen length and definition over volume every time, but getting up early for work every morning means that I forgo wearing eyeshadow most days and therefore the only eye make up I wear is mascara. Recently I've been wearing more volumising mascaras to compensate for having naked eyes and paired with shaped brows, some blush and a bold lip, it's been my go to effortless make up look most days.

Straight away I was impressed by the sleek, minimalist gunmetal packaging. For me Lancôme have always been such a classy brand and I've long admired their general aesthetic and packaging. 


It's the first time Lancôme have used an elastomer brush which means that it's flexible but still manages to maintain a great shape. I usually don't go for rubber brushes, but this one is like no other I've tried. The wand is tapered which allows you to coat the tiniest inner lashes with ease. There are 306(!) yes, that's right, 306 bristles on the brush. The shorter bristles coat the roots and the longer ones bring the mascara through to the tips of the lashes giving full and even distribution. 

When I first applied this I wasn't hugely impressed with the volume it gave, however after the application of a second coat I could see exactly where it gets it's name from. It's the first mascara I've used that allows for a second coat with such ease and not a clump in sight. You can see below that there is length, volume and definition which is very hard to achieve with your average mascara. 


It's not just the brush that's amazing, the formula consists of a melt-in cream texture and it's smudge proof so there is no transfer under my eyes during the day. The formula also contains latex which gives great hold. I curl my lashes beforehand and I've noticed that this holds the curl all day because it's so lightweight. 

Not only do you get the most beautiful instant results from this mascara, you also get the continuous benefit of the exclusive Lancôme Native Rose Cells extract that leaves the lashes softer, stronger and more full looking after just a few weeks. 

Hypnôse Volume-à-porter/Bare lashes

I don't have a bad word to say about this mascara, it even has a scent of roses. At €27.50 it is very pricey for a mascara and a lot more than I would usually pay, but if you like to wear minimal eye make up or if your lashes are in need of some TLC, this is the mascara for you. I've been wearing this for a couple of months now and it hasn't dried out at all which is very rare in my experience so you definitely get value for your money. 

What's your current favourite mascara?

Emma x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...